I will write one more chapter on what I went through and then my story will focus on the hope and future I began to build for myself. We can only go through this nastiness for so long before we need a break.
Almost every week when I was texting about where we would meet to exchange children he would insult me. He was angry that I refused to be around him and he called me a drama queen, fake victim, part-time parent, liar, and on and on. I had to be careful of how I phrased things when I texted or emailed or he would use my weakness as a way to attack me.
He was angry at me, about how expensive divorcing me was. I think he had hoped to discard me cheaply. He already had his new woman and now he wanted to get rid of me and pretend she was the mother of our children.
He began to have her and her children spend the night. My children were instructed to keep quiet about what he and his mistress were doing in our home. I didn’t realize what was going on in my own home and my bed until a couple of months after it started.
He texted that I was being unfair by not meeting him in person to exchange children. He hated that he couldn’t make a power play while I was inside a building and he was outside during exchanges. I replied that I knew he was having an affair and had been for some time and I didn’t want to see him. His reply was that I was jealous and had always been jealous. He WAS NOT having an affair. I laughed to myself when I read that message. This would become a coping mechanism. To laugh the first time I read his insane rantings. Sadly, I would go back for a second and third dose of poison and then begin to wonder if his words were true and I really was jealous, narcissistic, a terrible mother.
One day I dropped the children off at what had been my home and saw her car in my driveway. One of her children came up to talk to me and tell me how impressed I would be to meet her mother. I fear I was somewhat rude to that innocent child. She didn’t know what was happening and believed the story my husband was telling the children.
My own children refused to believe they were boyfriend and girlfriend even when she spent the night in his bedroom. He made a show of sleeping on the floor and they never kissed when they thought the children could see. I was embarrassed at the gullibility of my teens and young adults who wanted so desperately to believe their father wasn’t a cheater.
I was furious that he was having her spend the night before we were divorced and before she was divorced. It was a stupid move but he would never face any consequences for his actions during our divorce. I never addressed what he was doing. I knew it would just leave me open for attack or give him some reason to hurt me.
I became skilled at ignoring his taunts and sticking to the facts of the text or email conversation. You have to turn your emotions off towards that person to make it through this. I would cry, rant to friends about his actions, and journal but never gave him a reaction.
For some reason turning my emotions off towards him began to open them to life. I had always been reserved. I was like a turtle peeking out of my shell. I would pull myself back into safety at the hint of any negative emotion towards me. I had learned as a child not to show happiness or my narcissistic mom would suck it from me like the emotional vampire she was.
Now my emotions began to come back to me. At first, it was overwhelming. I could cry over sappy stories, laugh at the antics of little kids, and give hugs to my friends. I let others touch me and began to lose my prickly porcupine quills. I let myself open up to others.
I began to build a support system. I began to reach out to others. I would even talk to people in public which was a minor miracle for a person who had hardly dared to look someone in the eyes before.
As my healing continued, little by little, what he did to me hurt less and less. I had to learn to be myself by myself so I could grow in strength and become who I was meant to be.
Here’s a link to all the chapters of My Story.