I was in an abusive relationship for more than 15 years. I didn't realize that it was abusive. I just knew it wasn't good. My ex told me that she was verbally, physically and sexually abused from her adoptive step father. When I saw all of the yellow, orange and red flags pop up in our early relationship, she promised that she had received years of therapy and that she had worked through it all. What did I know? All I knew was that it was a whirlwind of a relationship and I wanted to get married and have a family. Since she was almost 10 years older than me, I knew we had to hurry.
It happened so fast. Too fast. We talked about getting married within weeks of first meeting. She said she would "be willing to have a child" for me, even though she NEVER wanted kids. As the relationship progressed, I saw more and more RED flags and I expressed my concern and displeasure, but by then she was already pregnant. We were together less than six months and I was expecting the first family member of hopefully many!
The first time I KNEW things were no longer good was when I went to have dinner with my coworkers while on a business trip. I told her later that night about it. I told her I had mexican food and had a margarita with my dinner. She and I used to do the very same just a few months prior. When I got home from that work trip she demanded that I go to several weeks of couples counseling because I was "so inconsiderate and selfish" because I had a drink with dinner. I thought it was just her pregnant hormones especially due to the SEVERITY of her anger and upset. Little did I know that this was just the tip of the iceberg.
Living with a person that has borderline personality disorder is called euphemistically by mental health professionals (MH Pros) as "walking on eggshells." This was my daily life for fifteen years. The only respite I got was when one of us would be on a work trip (we both travel for work). I never knew what kind of mood she would be in day to day. Life would go from one crisis to the next. There was always something disastrous happening. I was always relieved when it was SOMEBODY else that she could blame and not me for some imagined or blown out of proportion wrong. Occasionally, and I mean like once or twice a year, she would return to that funny, sweet, person I fell in love with years prior. I think that was one of the things that kept me holding on.
I stayed with her for several reasons. Mostly my daughter, the occasional glimmer of hope she would be pleasant, and my own distorted sense of duty and responsibility towards her, my family and to the institution of marriage itself.
My biggest joy was spending time with my daughter. I taught her how to read, how to swim, how to do well in school and how to play with others. I helped in her classroom from pre-school until the teachers told me they didn't need parent volunteers anymore (fourth grade) nearly everyday. I was Mr Mom. In fact I was not only the Room Dad, I was also an Honorary Girl Scout Troop leader, and even dressed up in the school mascot costume a couple of times. Why? Because not only did I love my child and want to help her and be there for her. I also needed to get out of the house while my ex was home!!!!!
When my daughter got old enough, and realized how impossible it was to please (appease) her mother, she actually told me that she "would understand if mom and I split up" and that she would "be ok with that". After attempting to leave several times prior, but always getting pulled back in by my ex using either my daughter, or family to drag me back in to the relationship and then enduring years of marriage counseling (8 out of our 15 years of marriage involved counseling!) My daughter had given me the "GREEN LIGHT"to go!! Within a couple of months I had planned my final escape.
Now, you may be thinking, what kind of a man is afraid of his wife so much that he has to plan an escape after getting permission from his 14 year old daughter?!?! Some of you may know that living with a BPD/NPD is a miserable, painful and fearful experience. They lie. they control you. They manipulate you. They make you think there is something wrong with YOU! In hindsight, and now that I am out of the woods, I can see the forest clearly. But while I was in, I had NO idea how bad things were. I was stressed perpetually. It took a toll on my mental health. It took a toll on my spirit. It took a toll on my physical health. I got cancer. Of course I didn't know I had cancer until AFTER I managed to break free. Ironically, while moving out (all by myself, because over 15 years she had managed to completely isolate me from any friends and family) I got a hernia from moving some heavy furniture. Thank GOD!!! The hernia prompted me to get checked out and the CT scan showed I had a tumor in my kidney and it would have to be removed.
If I remained until my daughter graduated high school in 2017, I would be dead. Kidney cancer has no symptoms until it is too late.
On the night I moved my furniture into my new place, I brought my daughter to share it with her. My plan was to have her stay with me for the first week or so, so she could get used to the idea of her mom and dad being apart. The place I got was across the street from her high school, it had a swimming pool and was pet friendly so the dogs could come with her whenever she wanted. I thought it was going to work out pretty well. My daughter was used to each of us being gone for about half the time already. She was excited and happy and looking forward to mom and dad not fighting anymore. But that night she didn't want her mom to come home from a work trip to an empty house and said she wanted to go home to spend the night there and then come back to my new place the next day. That was May 23, 2014. I have not seen my daughter since.
She now cusses me out via text when I contact her. She says I am the one that "messed up, abandoned THEM, have multiple affairs, going through a midlife crisis and am going go hell." Funny, she never used any of those terms BEFORE, yet they did sound familiar.......I wonder where I had heard them before? We all know from who.
I am now cancer free and am trying to get back to my normal job (I was prohibited from my job due to the cancer). I have spent all of my retirement savings on attorneys, custody evaluators (MH Pros, that aren't worth a penny!) medical bills and living expenses (since I have no income...). The money has dried up, both attorneys saw the writing on the wall and both bailed out. The ink has dried on the pretty much open ended settlement agreement. Now I have in writing everything I had from the very beginning, minus $100K. My daughter who will be 17 soon can "decide"whom she wants to live with/visit etc. Of course with the brainwashing we know who she has chosen to stay with so far. She will realize that her mother is a "difficult person to live with" and maybe then seek me out for help. I move on day to day with open arms knowing that day might never come.
I have shared and will continue to share my experience with all of you. How to deal with certain things in the courts and what not to do. I am not an attorney and I am not offering any legal advice. Just some friendly tips on how to help YOU get through all of this!!! Learn from my mistakes. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Together we can fight parental alienation. Thank you for joining me in this club that NO one wants to be member of!!!
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10/7/2016 05:03:37 am
Thank you for sharing. This is the most difficult thing I have had to endure in my life. I have lost my children. I have lost everything. Seeing your words lets me know I am not alone. Maybe there is some hope out there after all....
11/3/2016 10:38:57 am
My youngest is now 19. I have no idea where she is going to college. I asked and was told "I'm not telling you that". ALL contact (if there is any at all) is with my exes wife. He refuses to speak to me or maybe she won't let him. I don't care. I just want to see my daughter but she hates me for no reason other than they've emotionally kid napped her. I feel for you. Grieving a living child is horrible and there should be consequences for alienation! It's an evil, cruel and selfish thing to do to the target parent and emotionally to the children. Something needs to change in the justice system to keep this from happening! I feel for you and all of us going through this. No one can understand what it feels like unless they are in our shoes. You don't just get over it. Hugs....
11/3/2016 10:40:18 am
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I too am a Targeted Parent. Stand with me to defeat the horrible monster that is PA.