A Mother’s Turmoil

By AnotherChance63

After stumbling upon this site by chance and reading many of the heartbreaking stories herein, I have decided to share my own.

I grew up with only one sibling, a sister, and a severely bi-polar mother. I won’t leave my father out as he was a good one, when he was around. Being a doctor, he was often gone and thus did not see or even seem to care what was transpiring between my mother and me. My mother hated me and made it manifest every day of my childhood. Interestingly enough she adored my little sister and made it evident there would NEVER be anything I could do to deserve the love she had for her.

My mother never worked and rarely lifted a finger to do anything around the house. It was common to come home from school and find her still in her pajamas either in her bed or on the couch, crying. I tried to help her (by doing laundry, dishes, etc.) and even let her take the credit for it. But nothing was good enough to please her and it seemed to make her hate me even more.

She would often tell me she wished she had aborted me. I didn’t know what that meant until I was around the age of ten and it nearly tore my tiny heart from my chest. I spent the bulk of my young life sequestered in my room trying to will myself invisible, but even there I wasn’t safe from her violent rages. She would beat me silly, throw everything from my dresser drawers all over my room and then tell me to pick it all up. I grew to hate her as soon as I knew what hate was.

I left home when I was fourteen and lived with friends and their families, finally finding some peace and normalcy, or so I thought. I married for the first time at the age of eighteen and this was to begin my many years of marrying time and again trying to seek out the proverbial “White Knight”. I longed to be loved and wanted and I swiftly found myself in a flurry of relationships that promised anything but. The first two marriages left me beaten and broken, but no one could ever label me as a quitter and I tried again and again.

By the fourth marriage I had produced three beautiful children and my world revolved around them. I was able to give them all the love they needed, love that had been suppressed in me for what seemed like an eternity. I considered myself a survivor and endured hell with the hope of finding heaven.

Nothing I had ever been through, as bad as it was, could have prepared me for my fifth marriage though, for this time I really knew what it must be like to live with Satan himself.

I met him on the Internet and spent a few months corresponding with him before meeting in person since he lived in a neighboring state. He was everything I had been looking for and more. He was very handsome, charismatic and extremely generous, often sending gifts and cards through the mail. I had spent the previous five years out of a relationship clearing my head and deciding what I really wanted.

I thought this wonderful man was it.

He wound up moving to the state where I resided and rented a nice house for us. I quit my job because he told me he could make enough to take care of us.

A few months passed before he began to hide out in our bedroom, drinking whiskey. He ignored me and the kids and was very secretive about everything he did. I knew things had changed, but I didn’t have any money to leave him and no one I could turn to for help so, I bent over backwards trying to make him want me again.

I was successful in my attempts and he explained he was acting differently because he didn’t like the big city and wanted to move back to his home state, a place he hadn’t been in over twenty years. We moved a month later.

Everything went well for a while, but then his hiding out and drinking commenced again along with mental abuse SO severe I thought I had died and gone to hell. He never apologized for anything he said and made every conflict “my fault”.

I would break down and cry and he would tell me where his loaded 45 was so, I could “put myself out of my misery”. He would say hideous, horrible things to me and then tell me, five minutes later, he never said what I knew he said.

It got to the point where I was hiding a tape recorder in my pocket to ensure I wasn’t losing my mind. He turned everyone against me by telling them I was crazy, his family, our pastor, and my few friends. I was kept in a cage and taken out only when he wanted to do further damage to me.

I did begin to pack mine and the kid’s things at this point, but found out I was pregnant. When I told him he was furious, but ultimately said he would change for the baby’s sake. Like a fool, I believed him.

Six months into my pregnancy I moved out of our bedroom and into my son’s room as I found out he was cheating on me. Again, it was my fault and he had no remorse, acting as if he hadn’t done anything wrong.

When our baby boy was born, we still weren’t married and I felt sick that this was my first child born out of wedlock.

He almost didn’t sign the paternity papers stating: “I’m not paying child support for eighteen years”. But, he did sign them and our baby changed him. So much so he married me three months later and actually treated me with respect. I really believed things were going to be different now.

He decided he no longer wanted to be around his family and took a great job in yet another state. This is when the insults, the belittling, the hiding from all of us reached a crescendo. He would come home from work and head straight to his room and lock the door shutting even his own child out.

One evening, six months after our move, his Irish setter bit our son across the face so badly he had to be taken to the emergency room (our son was in the room watching T.V. with his father at the time). His father did not go saying he was going to get rid of the dog. He never came back nor did any of us hear from him for three weeks.

I later discovered he had moved in with another woman. I filed for divorce and custody of our son. I couldn’t afford a lawyer, but I didn’t think I needed one based on what I thought I could prove about this heinous man. He didn’t have a lawyer either.

A narcissist can manipulate anyone, anytime, anywhere; of this I am now thoroughly convinced.

He won custody of our son by lying to the judge saying he was doing extremely well financially, planned on marrying the woman he left me for and never moving again as he had recently purchased a home. I was so distraught I cried for days on end. Four months later, he moved back to his home state and, in the state we lived in, there was nothing I could do to stop it.

Our little boy was just three years old and would only see his mother every three months according to the court order, since his father refused one day visitations. Mother and child were both distraught.

Our son is now six, I am married again and have moved back home. This time I truly do have my “White Knight”. We have been married two years and he is my sea of tranquility. He and I are able to relate on so many different levels and he understands what I continue to deal with concerning my son’s father, who now manipulates my son and tries to turn him against me.

My visitations are always controlled by the N and he has to one-up me in everything I do for my child. I bought him a video game for him to play on his brother’s Playstation3 this Christmas and, as soon as the N found out, he went out and bought a whole gaming system for our son and tons of games.

I am SO tired of trying to compete with this irrational little boy who will turn FIFTY this year! I am currently in the process of seeking custody of my little boy and, this time, with the help of a lawyer.

But dealing with the N has left me afraid I can’t do anything to prove what he is REALLY like. He has always gotten away with SO much!

Three weeks ago the N suffered a heart attack and, against his doctor’s orders, drove with our son here for my visitation even though I said I would drive to pick him up. I worry constantly about my son and wonder if anyone here has been through anything similar and what they did to out maneuver the narcissist and take back control.

Thanks for allowing me to share.

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10 Responses to A Mother’s Turmoil

  1. PhoenixRising says:

    Wow! What a nightmare! Thank you for sharing your story, AnotherChance, and welcome to this blog 🙂

    Your story follows a not uncommon progression. People from extremely dysfunctional backgrounds often follow the same emotional and psychological pattern in their adult relationships.

    The flip side are people from such loving backgrounds that they cannot conceive of anyone using love and people’s hearts in this fashion, and by the time they figure it out, so much damage has been done and they’ve been filled with such shame they can barely escape.

    I’ve never had to deal with the court system. I doubt they can provide me with a better situation than I already have…it’s not perfect – perfect would be full custody and him finding the love of his life on the other side of the world and losing interest.

    But because I do have her more than him, I consider myself fortunate in that regard.

    I hope you have a great lawyer who truly understands narcissists, because he may be able to play the law to your son’s advantage. At the least, you can take the specifics of dropping off/picking up and visits out of the N’s hands. All that should be court ordered, not N determined.

    I can say that I’m very happy you have a good man in your life now and the emotional support you truly need and deserve. You might want to consider a good counselor for yourself. N’s can drive you crazy, as you so well know, and he may really ramp up his antics with your attempt to “wrench control away from him” – which is how he will see it.

    Again, make sure your therapist, if you choose to have one, knows about narcissism. Not all do. One I went to, I had to explain to her about narcissistic personality disorder and the games he played! She should have paid me for that hour, not me her!

    Anyway, hang in there and take care of yourself. 🙂

  2. anotherchance63 says:

    Ah Phoenixrising, to have a chance at a “do-over” would be amazing. We, however, cannot choose the family that rises us to adulthood, can we? I live with my lot, but cannot help but be a bit envious of my sister’s “perfect” life.

    Her husband is still in AWE of her after 22 years of marriage. She is a stay-at-home mom and he makes bank. They live in a $350,000 home and have very expensive dogs she litters for “extra income”. I wish I could REALLY write to you as there is only so much I can share here. There is SO much more, SO much.

  3. PhoenixRising says:

    I understand, AnotherChance. It’s hard not to compare ourselves to other people. And I’m not downing her successes or happiness, however, I’m also very aware that sometimes there are things that just aren’t quite what they seem.

    This may totally not be the case with your sister, but for example, I know in my own family life everyone thought everything was perfect. My father, a fine upstanding member of the community, etc.

    He was a pedophile, and behind our happy front there was so much dysfunction it was literally a crime.

    Again, I’m not saying this is your sister’s situation. Of course, I do not know.

    But my own experience has taught me to be cautious and to remind myself that 1) I don’t know the whole story, and 2) life is unfair.

    So I better do my best to count the blessings I do have and not lose those looking at someone else’s.

    It’s normal to feel a bit envious. I’ve sighed that sigh more than a few times, that’s for sure.

    And while I may not be in awe of you for your expensive house or expensive dogs, I am in awe of your inner strength and tenacity.

    You can hold your head up high.

  4. hangingbyathread says:

    I have just joined this site as well. I too am a mother in turmoil.I married late in life at 38, thinking I’d seen all the disastrous marriages go before me and I knew what I was doing. I was financially stable and career-oriented as a lawyer. My spouse was cute, socially charming, successful, financially well off, and very intelligent. I thought I’d picked the best.

    After a long haul with fertility treatments I got my precious baby girl at 42, she is now almost 8. Ten years of marriage later, I am in the fight of my life, for HER, in a nasty, unending, contentious, financially-killing me divorce against HIm, a true, classic NARCISSISt.

    Only after reading dozens of books on the subject did I realize WHAT AND whO I had married. I have been kicking myself ever since for not seeing it before I took that fateful walk down the aisle.

    PhoenixRising, if you read this comment, I too had a father who was the pillar of the community, but guess what, behind closed doors he was a wife beater. He died 2 weeks ago. I not only had that emotional baggage for nearly 50 years, but now I have my divorce, and I am unemployed (I thought it was a good move to be a stay at home mom for a couple of years, but it has bitten me in the ass now with the cost of this divorce and no one wants a stale lawyer).

    My spouse has been intractably uncompromising, unwilling to negotiate, winning every step of the way in court (being a lawyer AND a client is NOT an advantage, but I have an excellent lawyer at the rate of $250 hour and because he chooses to be litigious, I am bleeding financially).

    NExt up is court ordered psychological evaluations, which I dread because of course I am the one with emotional baggage, and my attorney has already told me he will come off pure as the driven snow. I fear losing my baby girl because mommy had a BAD childhood and an even worSe marriage to a Narcissist who blamed me for everything and tore to shreds what was left of my fragile self esteem. GOd help me. I too have SO much more to share if someone would listen. I have nowhere to turn.

  5. PhoenixRising says:

    Oh, Hangingbyathread! My heart goes out to you. I want to say more, and will tomorrow, as I’m walking out the door now. But let me just say that you are a remarkably courageous woman.

    Use the strength and courage you had to survive your childhood and use it now. Don’t see it as a liability. He may try to use it as a liability, but you can use the fruit of your experiences as your strength.

    Sending you lots of supportive and positive thoughts!

  6. anotherchance63 says:

    I am here for you and I know phoenixrising is too! It’s extremely hard dealing with people like this, and I can definitely sympathize with your plight. Hang in there, girl!

  7. beenthere says:

    I read this and felt an obligation to comment here. I just finished 18 months of custody litigation over my daughter. Her father and I were together for 5 years off and on with 2 significant long periods being together. Then, almost to the date after our second reconciliation commenced, he ran off with someone else while I was out of town. Relieved to a certain degree, I let him go and go he did without an explanation, an apology or anything and he told me he owed me nothing much less an explanation. I was also ready to put into effect our agreement that I could move if the relationship did not work out. He did not keep his end of the bargain, hence the long litigation. He has a long history of drug abuse, alcoholism, and he has been officially diagnosed with NPD (with sadistic tendencies) and Bipolar I. He is a psychopath. He also regularly gave up time with her, didn’t show up, etc. I am also a lawyer and I consider myself to be relatively intelligent. He kept our reconciliation secret from his family for a long time and kept me away from most of his friends, claiming he was afraid I would say something inappropriate around them. In fact, he was simply assassinating my character to everyone under the sun. I learned there was nothing I could trust him with, nothing was sacred. He would go for my jugular every chance he got. He is mentally ill to the extreme. Long story short, he settled on the litigation at the 11th hour and he lost BIG TIME. He had an NPD lawyer representing him and she is about as dumb and self-involved as he is. The point of my story is, we had a custody evaluation and I had a mountain of evidence. Thousands of emails, labeled and organized in binders with a log providing the date and substance and a categories. I also took my daughter to the pediatrician each time he did not feed her properly or if she had hygiene issues while in his care. The rule of thumb is to DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT!! Even though you are fighting to win back custody, starting documenting. Even 3 months of documenting will help. Record phone calls with your N, just make sure you know what is acceptable and admissible in your state. In my case, the custody evaluator was on to his antics in no time and she didn’t accept his lies no matter what web he spun. She knew he was a psycho from day 1. Also, ask for psych evaluations, like the multiple choice kind which have like 600 questions. He won’t be able to cheat and it will expose him. In my case, the N was the one who asked for the custody evaluation. He is so mentally sick that he has convinced himself that he is the white knight and I am the bad guy. I grew up in a loving home with wonderful balanced parents, so this has been extremely traumatic for me.

    So remember 2 major points:

    (1) Document a lot. Keep a phone log of when you get to speak to your son. Keep an email binder and a log of emails documenting any violations of the court order or misbehavior by your co-parent Narc.

    (2) Get a custody evaluator and make it be someone you choose or someone chosen by the court. DO NOT let him choose.

    Even after our couples counselor and the custody evaluator have told him how sick he is, he is still in complete denial. It would be sad, if I actually cared. I wish he would just disappear instead. He is now engaged to his next sucker, a divorcee with 2 kids. And he even has convinced her I am the entire problem in their relationship according to her deposition and got her to purger herself at least 10-15 times in a 2 hour deposition. Which is so weird considering she has unilaterally emailed me and contacted me on Facebook and I had to threaten her with legal action to get her to leave me alone.

    Oh and his paranoia is extreme. He acts so WEIRD at exchanges and cases parking lots etc. He gives me the complete creeps.

    I wish you the best of luck. But you have to let your emotions take a backseat and put on your thinking cap and stay focused. Every time I would get upset I would call my family and they would say “Stay focused and keep your eye on the ball.” You can do it. Nothing is more precious or valuable than your child. You have to throw yourself into this 150% and come out fighting.

  8. PhoenixRising says:

    Wow, welcome beenthere! I’m so sorry you had to go through such a nightmare, but am truly grateful that you have chosen to share the wisdom of your experiences with others here.

    Thank you!

    And you are absolutely right. Nothing is more precious or valuable than your child. Your child is truly blessed to have a mother who recognizes that and is willing to fight for her safety and sanity.

    As incomprehensibly hard the journey has been for you, I’m so glad at least you have a happy ending…as happy as one can have with an Ex with NPD.

    So my question is, you have custody, but does he have visitation rights and how often and under what circumstances? It was SOOOO hard to let my child go, especially when she was little. I worried about her whenever she was there. I wasn’t afraid he’d physically hurt her, but I was afraid of the verbal and emotional abuse.

    It’s a bit better now that she’s older, can speak up for herself more. She, also, has a cell phone and texts me often when she’s with him, so we stay connected. And as time has gone by for a variety of reasons I have her more often now, so that’s good.

    How is it for you?

  9. beenthere says:

    Hi PhoenixRIsing –

    Yes, he does have visitation but it will be very long distance and it is 2 weekends per month. Fingers crossed that he will not put forth the effort. I feel that she is better off with no dad at all than one who will damage her or destroy her. The damage and trauma has already begun emotionally. She recognizes it and is smart enough to question why he does what he does and she is only 5. I explain to her at an appropriate level why he behaves as he does without trying to be derogatory or negative about him, which would only backfire. I have to provide her with the tools and emotional support and she has to make her own mind up about him.

    The scary part of her visiting with him is his lifestyle, his bad habits and his irresponsibility. From what I can tell, he isn’t outright mean to her, he just ignores her when she visits and she comes home dirty and hungry and usually exhausted and often misbehaves/pitches fits. I think it is the result of spending time in such an obviously apathetic environment. The scariest part though is his drinking, drug use and frat boy lifestyle even though he is hitting 40. His house has a revolving door of visitors, usually male and single (which makes one wonder about his true sexuality!). I am frightened each time she overnights with him so his marrying may provide a more stable place for her to visit although there have already been episodes of the new victim, aka his fiancee, mistreating my daughter. I am trying to go totally no contact and I try to wait weeks before responding to correspondence from him (but only if required legally) otherwise I ignore him completely. Sometimes it seems to be working, other times not. Sometimes when I ignore him he will email me every day for a week straight. Other times not. Oh, the mind of a crazy person!!

    I would love to do the cell phone thing, but he even steals her shoes, etc. so a cell phone would surely be a goner first thing. How do you keep that from happening?

    You all have no idea how grateful I am for blogs like this. They have helped me keep my sanity these past 2 years. I would love to turn back time and have never told him of her existence and just disappeared, but back then I had no idea people like him existed and he certainly seemed very average and normal on the outside. It didn’t even really surface that he had NPD until we got back together the second time around. The first time I chalked up his behavior to immaturity and being stuck with a woman and a baby he had not wanted. Now I unfortunately know better.

  10. Survivor says:

    I understand about the continuous emails. I use to get them. the ex would just fixate on a topic and try to manipulate my words and bully me. He loves emails because he can just go on a tangent without being called on his behavior. He would threaten to call child protective services or animal control (we do dog rescue for an organization). I felt like a victim. I finally consulted with a coworker that runs the security dept. at my work and was a police officer. He told me it was harrassment and to call the police. The police officer was very nice and told me to email the ex. I had to tell him to stop emailing me in that tone and that it was considered harrassment. I also had to tell him that I had contacted the police who instructed me to send the email. If he did not stop, the police would get involved. The ex was in another state when this episode happened but it did not matter. I have not received the harrassing emails since then. The real motive behind his emails was that the emails started on my 1st wedding anniversary to my nice nonNPD husband and the ex was unsettled about it. The kids were with me for the summer and he didn’t feel in control so he had to create some drama. My only mistake was allowing the exNPD to upset me with his threatening emails.I have read some books on codependence which really made me realize why I have responded in a certain manner and was so easily put in this victim role. Each day I get a little better and I forgive myself when I slip every now and then. You seem stronger than me so will do even better.:)

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