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And on it goes

Pretty soon it will be three months with no form of support payment at all from Tab. No spousal, no child, nothing. I know it’s the way of the narcissist, but it continues to boggle my mind that he does not care that he is purposely leaving  his children without the basics needed for life.

It’s not like money is an issue for him (aside from the fact that no matter how much he has it will never be enough), he earns over 250K USD per year. He has money and companies hidden away overseas, he drives a Range Rover, he vacations,  he has a pretty comfortable life. Money, however, is the only real means of control he has left over what used to be his family. Aside from making good on prior threats to harm us physically, it’s the only remaining way he can cause us pain. It’s still less pain than what he inflicted on us when we lived with him, but it’s damaging nonetheless.

I have thought what would I have done if all of this had happened while we were still away and didn’t have my family to protect us? It’s a reminder that God is holding us as we walk on this path of recovery from the abuse and the fear.

I am learning to trust that somehow inside of all of this there is a bigger plan, a greater purpose. I have moments of paralyzing fear that I can’t provide for my kids, I feel like a huge failure that I am not able to support them. But, I chose the role of stay at home mom because I believed in it – I still believe my kids are better people because I have made them my priority instead of building my own career. This is not a slam against working moms in any way, it is just a fact for our family based on the years of abuse we suffered. In small ways I have been better able to protect them because I have been there for them. Better yet would have been that we never were put in this situation at all…. but I can’t go back and change the past.

I have finally realized that there is absolutely nothing that is going to make him care about his kids – I understood a long time ago there was nothing I could do to make him care about me. It is sad, and baffling that someone could choose to walk away from two of the greatest beings who have ever lived. They are the brightest stars in my sky and I could never imagine willfully choosing to not be in their lives. But, again, this is the life of the narcissist.

I have done all my paperwork here in Alberta, MEP here activated their file the beginning of April. Virginia however, has not activated their file yet and have indicated that process could take months. Months where he will be allowed to violate the court order and not make any payments. My only hope is that he is stupid enough to come to Canada and I can arrange for the authorities here to deal with him. It sickens me.

And yet, underneath all of that fear and pain is another feeling entirely. There is this feeling of freedom and hope. He is not controlling us anymore. He has done his worst and we are still standing. Somehow I believe that God will provide for me an opportunity that will allow me to support me and the kids while still being a parent to them. I can’t believe that He brought us this far on this journey just to abandon us now. So we will continue to move forward in faith (and still a little fear – working on that).

In this there is also gratitude that while my kids have spent the last two years being afraid of him from a distance, they haven’t had to go to bed terrified their dad is going to decide that this is the night he chooses a permanent solution to his problems and does away with his family. That is an entirely different kind of fear and one I happily sleep at night without.

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The second month

We are now in our second month of no support (child or spousal) from Tab, he has missed two payments. I don’t understand how or why this is allowed to happen, but it seems that it is.

This is seriously the only responsibility he has left to the family he no longer wanted to be  part of, and these payments are court ordered. To say he’s a disappointment is an understatement.

I have no idea where money is going to come from, we are living on kindness and air at the moment as I figure out what the next step will be for my family. Obviously I have spent too long looking for support (of any kind) from a man who has shown me time and time again that he is not capable of support of any sort.

This situation has strengthened my connection with God as I have seen no other option but to pray for some kind of miracle. The kids need to be fed, they have to get to school, they are enrolled in activities, we have a life here that we have created and we need to live it. Somehow I have to find faith that all the money issues will fall into place.

It is just one more way for him to try and control me and to make me feel fearful and intimidated. He almost destroyed me with that when I lived with him and there is no way I’m giving my power to him so that he can do it again.

I think he forgets (or does not care) that the kids are involved in this attack of his as well. My kids are my love, my life, and always my number one priority. It blows me away that not only does he not know them, but he won’t help support them. What kind of a man does that?

I feel like the Whos in Whoville after the Grinch stole Christmas. He may be trying to take away all of our things, but our love and our faith remains. We stand together, united and strong. And it will all work out in the end – this is just an in between time.

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Forgiveness, Uncategorized

Coping with fear

This has been a very fearful couple of weeks. On the advice of my lawyer I finally got registered with MEP (our support enforcement program) so that they would be able to take care of getting payments from Tab and I would have less stress to deal with. Every month since the order was made he has been at least 3 weeks late with the payment, leaving me feeling insecure every single time that one would in fact be made. Last month he failed to make his section 7 payments, and when I asked him about the regular support payments he refused to answer – so I  got things activated with MEP.

I spoke with MEP a week ago and they said that they had contacted Tab the first of April to organize payments, but that they didn’t yet have jurisdiction in his area (he lives in the States, we are in Canada – but there is an agreement between countries that payments must be made) and they couldn’t enforce the payment. So this month he has decided simply not to make a payment. This month, when my taxes were due and they wiped out what I had left in savings, I have no money left over to look after the kids, to pay my bills, to pay my lawyer, to live.

I get spousal support because of the length of the time we were married and because I stayed home with the kids so that we could move around while he grew his career – so he knows I depend on his payments. I also have spent the entire amount I have received in spousal support in the last year on lawyers fees – most of which was to enforce support payments (see what that did for me). Not that I have to justify it, but I’m not working now because my son has been dealing with suicidal issues over the last year as he’s dealing with his own issues after being abused and I’m kind of busy dealing with that.

Scorched Earth Divorce – it’s a real thing. He is trying to drive me into the ground. He has hidden money, hidden a big raise,  hidden businesses in a different country, and hidden God knows what else.

So, here’s the thing. At Easter time I was praying by the ocean and I realized that I had given up hope. I have made myself his victim. He made me his victim for years as I lived in the abuse, but now I am still his victim as he holds me financially hostage and that is not ok at all.

I am starting to understand that the only way for me to move ahead is to learn how to forgive him somehow and to take myself out of the role of victim. Both are harder than I thought. I can think about forgiving him for injuries in the past, but the fact that he continues to attack me makes it so incredibly difficult to allow myself to forgive. When I see how it hurts my kids it breaks my heart. But more than anything I want to be free of him, so I will figure out a way to let go and let God.

I figure that the fact that all of this has blown up since my decision by the ocean to find hope, to allow forgiveness, to keep faith, is God saying here’s where the rubber hits the road. Now I have to really decide how I am going to handle it. Am I going to completely fall apart and allow him to make me his victim, to control me, to try and destroy me? Or am I going to walk in my Faith with God and keep moving towards living the kind of life I want?

At this point, I don’t see there is much more to do than just pray. God has taken me out of an abusive relationship because of faith and prayer. He has held my hand constantly over the last two years. I have to have faith that there is a plan in all of this as well.

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Forgiveness, Uncategorized

Survivor – compassion and forgiveness

I finally watched the Survivor episode where Zeke was outed as being transgender. I’ve been working really hard the last 10 days or so on learning how to forgive. I’ve been trying to forgive my ex for things since I first met him 20 years ago – but in the last couple of weeks it has really come to my attention that if I am to move ahead in my own healing journey I need to learn how to really and truly forgive him. I don’t like it, it is the last thing I want to do – but I also want to heal and find peace and I know I have to do this.

Anyway…

I was watching the tribal council when Jeff Varner outed Zeke as being transgender. I’ve actually now watched it twice as I wanted S to watch it with me to see how incredibly some of the people responded to the situation.

I had been so impressed with Tai and Zeke. Tai giving Varner comfort as he broke down and realized what he had done, and Zeke not saying a harsh word but instead forgiving, saying that it was likely for a better good, hugging him and letting go.

I realized that often in situations that need forgiveness, compassion, and love instead of responding like these two men and offering it with their whole hearts, I respond more like Sarah who instantly turned the entire situation into an “all about me” moment. The first time I watched I didn’t notice as much, but the second time around it really became obvious the two different reactions to the pain (whether on purpose or by accident) that Varner caused.

Sarah told Varner he was malicious and cruel and then went on a rant about how much this game had changed her that despite how sheltered she had grown up she didn’t see Zeke any differently. Tai and Zeke just turned to Varner, said what he had done was not cool, but offered him so much compassion and forgiveness. It was impressive to watch these men act with so much dignity.

It’s impressed upon me once again how important it is to respond with compassion and forgiveness to Tab when what I really want to do is scream from the rooftops about what an evil dick he is.

So I will continue to pray and meditate and really watch what comes out of my mouth, but more importantly what sits in my heart.

I don’t have many examples of how to forgive someone who has hurt me deeply, and I am hugely appreciative of the fact that I was able to watch these men behave with such grace and love.

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Stepping out of the victim role

I have been spending a lot of time praying about and working towards learning how to forgive my ex-husband Tab – it is so not something I want to do, but something I am beginning to feel compelled to do it all the same. I thought maybe I could forget about him without forgiving – but his energy presence has remained very strong in our family even though his physical presence is non-existent.

Not forgiving him is keeping me in the role of his victim – when I realized that, the way I looked at everything changed.

For a long time I had to be his victim. Part of this was his doing and part of it was mine. His part was playing the role of narcissist and abuser, mine was different as the victim, but also very damaging. I realized a few years into the abuse that life was better for me and the  kids if I was wounded, weak, broken, full of anxiety, – basically damaged and broken. Then he clearly had the power and was a kinder, more gentle version of who he normally was. If I stopped being his victim he took his rage out on S and I couldn’t stand that so I tried to be the weak one as often as possible.

I haven’t seen him in almost 2 years and yet his presence is still strong in our home. It’s there because of the financial dependence and ties, it’s there because of the emotional damage we are still learning to heal from, it’s there because I’m angry as fuck with him (and also scared as fuck if we are being perfectly honest), it’s there because the kids live in fear that one day he will show up, kidnap them, and make good on his old threats to harm or kill them (lovely isn’t it?). I mean, the fears are real – the feelings are real – but they are holding us captive and that can’t happen anymore.

Here’s my issue with forgiveness (well one of them). In the past when I forgave him for raging, cheating, lying, stealing, I had to work at trusting and trying to have a relationship with him and that made my life a very unsafe one. In my brain I know that now I can learn to forgive but that I don’t have to let him back into my world – my heart and my body don’t seem to have that knowledge. So, every time I begin the process of forgiveness my body shuts down in protective mode afraid that he is coming back into our lives to hurt us.

That is not what forgiveness is, and obviously I have a long road ahead of me learning what exactly it is and how to do it. I don’t have a role model for this kind of thing, I don’t particularly want to be the trailblazer – but here I am. If I can learn forgiveness and show the kids how to forgive someone we were supposed to trust – if I can show us all that we can do that and still be safe, that we can be free, that we are no longer the victims – then I will have changed the way we live the rest of our lives.

I’m working on it.

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Controlling relationships 

I have been in some form of a controlling relationship my entire life. I didn’t realize this until a few years ago when I was doing some reflecting while still in my marriage – that this was a pattern I had created. It wasn’t always a romantic relationship that was controlling, but it was always one of my main relationships, and the patten was clear and consistent.

I began to believe that I would repeat the same behavior, make the same choices, over and over until I had learned what I needed to in these situations. Why was I constantly putting myself in a position where I allowed someone to control me?

I believed that I needed to learn better coping skills, or learn how to properly identify this type (in my case a narcissist) of person whom I continued to let into my inner circle.

This was confusing and frustrating for me as I felt like I had learned that lesson. I made very clear choices as I exited my marriage and swore that I would never be in that type of relationship again.

Then I met 2.0 and our hearts were like old friends. It was one of those really cool, deep connections that don’t happen very often. But, I felt constantly out of balance the entire time I was in the relationship and I didn’t know why.

It wasn’t until after we had broken up that I was able to piece it together. I had once again fallen into a controlling relationship. He wasn’t as obviously mean as TAB (although he proved to be pretty cruel in his own way as I learned of his behaviour patterns towards those who loved him), but he needed to make all the rules, he needed to be right, he needed to be the successful one, he needed me to dim my shine so that his could shine brighter.

And that hurt my soul, but my heart was so wrapped up in it I didn’t understand what was going on. After we broke up I realized I would never have had a chance to walk into myself, to see my light shine, to share my gifts with the world.

I’ve been reading Entering The Castle by Caroline Myss and the part I was working on today included this sentence:

Detaching from the controlling influence of others so that you adhere to the trust and humbleness you need in order to listen to divine instructions is difficult, but it is your task.

And just like that it all made sense. That is the lesson I have needed to learn. As long as I allow these controlling relationships to run my life I don’t have to trust and be humble and listen to divine instructions. It never had anything to do with learning to protect myself from them, it had to do with learning to have faith and trust in my divine connection over anything else.

It was quite honestly a life changing moment. I don’t have to spend so much energy fretting that TAB is refusing to pay again, I don’t have to spend my energy worrying that he’s going to continue to hurt me. I need to focus inwards and have faith in my divine connection because it is giving me really clear guidance right now.

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Walking through fear

I have come to realize that I live in a great deal of fear. I don’t want to, and honestly it pisses me off that I do, as I believe I have had to be incredibly brave the last few years, but the fear is still there.

I am afraid I won’t be able to support the kids and myself financially. I am afraid I will spend the rest of my life alone. I am afraid I will meet someone and he will be as abusive as TAB,  I am afraid the kids and I will never recover from the abuse we lived through.

Usually I stuff all that fear down into the dark places of my soul and pretend it’s not  there. But it is and it affects my physical, emotional, and spiritual health. It affects the way I live my life, the relationships I have with people, and the ability I have to move ahead into a happier and more peaceful life.

So, the fear needs to be addressed.

I went to a transformational acupuncture appointment last week – I had been once before and it was pretty powerful stuff. We worked on acknowledging that fear, understanding why it is there, and on beginning to let it pass through. I have had reasons in my life to be afraid but I have also taken on the fears of those around me and made them my own. It’s a heavy and unnecessary burden that I drag along.

TAB thrives on making me be afraid, it’s his life force. And I have a difficult time not feeding into it because I am afraid of him. I spent years being afraid he would end our lives, I am afraid now of the devastating impact he has on my son, I am afraid he will cut us off again financially and I won’t be able to provide for my kids. I know it’s an awful lot of power to give someone, and I am learning to let that go – it’s 20 years of training I have to undo.

I have been able to open my heart connection to God again and that is where I will get my power from. It is what will let me be able to let the fear flow through me instead of becoming lodged inside my body. When I have a true and strong connection I trust that I am doing the right thing and that I have the support of the universe behind me. When I lose that connection I feel like I am left all alone trying to slay a vicious dragon all by myself.

So now when I feel that fear pass through – and it does several times a day – I breathe and realign myself with my Source. If I can keep that connection open and keep my faith strong I will be able to walk through my fear. And I have to because I have the lives of my two children who depend on me to walk them through theirs as well.

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