Two years ago this week my grandmother died. She and I were not close, in fact she had disowned me when I was a teenager. I had been trying to reestablish a relationship for a few years before she died. She loved my little boy, though and I wanted to be there when she died. When she went into hospice I was held in the state of New Jersey by my still-then husband. I didn’t know that he was about to go on a vacation to Japan the day after I informed him of her impending death. He didn’t feel the need to tell the mother of his child that he was leaving the country and couldn’t be reached. Long story short, I ended up not being able to attend the funeral because he was unreachable and then refused to let me take our son to my home state of Iowa, even though he was on the other side of the planet.
He had done some unbelievable things in the past but I think that this was the moment I realized that I wasn’t dealing with a normal human being. I had said for years that he was a good person, that he was just troubled and if he could get some help he would be fine. The events surrounding my grandmother’s death were what I needed to realize that this man has zero capacity for empathy. I immediately started looking into high conflict divorce, finally understanding that maybe I WASN’T THE PROBLEM.
I read several books before, in November of 2011, I opened Tina Swithin’s Divorcing a Narcissist. “Oh my god,” I thought. “It is like I am reading my life!” Reading Tina’s book and then her blog brought me to my people. Finally, someone who could understand what I was going through! One Mom’s Battle only had a couple of members on Facebook at that point but it was all I needed to light a fire under my sympathetic ass. I started researching Narcissistic Personality Disorder and knew without a doubt that my would-be-ex husband was afflicted with this vicious personality disorder. It changed everything. I started to forgive myself. He suddenly didn’t have as much power over me. Instead of losing an entire day to tears when I’d get nasty emails and threatening text messages from him I only spent a few hours crying into my pillow each night. It sounds awful, but what an improvement! I credit Tina for giving me the strength to fight my ex-hsuabnd and his team of attorneys, even though I have never stood before our family court judge with counsel. I’ve done it all by myself, and with the support of thousands of other warrior moms.
Today One Mom’s Battle shared the event I am planning in Montclair, NJ. What a vote of confidence! And there are already five shares of the post! I picked up flyers and business cards today and it looks like this is actually happening. I was smacked with a little bit of fear when I looked at that first printed flyer and paid the print shop bill. I’m really doing this! A few hundred dollars and maybe a handful of people show up. A small price for me to pay to better heal the wounds of my past.