It’s always interesting to me when I’m on Facebook and the ‘Memories’ page pops up. You click on the link and have the ability to scroll through various posts that you’ve shared on this day in history. Some bring giggles and laughs, others are more contemplative. Always the option is available to share. Today I shared the memory below from 3 years ago and added the comment: “And 3 years later. . .I did! LOL”
From 3 years ago today:
“I just want to move . . . far, far away.”
From 9 years ago today (at this point we’d been divorced for 7 months and I couldn’t get him to move out of my house):
“MOVING – the act of taking one’s personal belongings from one house and putting them at another house. Involves the use of boxes and energy – no magic included or needed. Just do it!!!!!”
As I re-read these posts, I knew EXACTLY to whom they were referring. Nine years of exasperation, patience, self-control, and attempting to be fair and understanding (which by the way is useless when dealing with a narcissist). Nine years following our divorce of having to hide my feelings, keep my thoughts neutral, speak kindly while being chastised and berated both privately and publicly at any time he felt threatened or eclipsed by my accomplishments or personal successes. Nine years of being depressed, never knowing when the (usually) paranoid and ridiculous barrage of vitriol would be thrown. Having to block him from my Facebook page because he couldn’t stop assuming that any negative post was about him. I’ve made no secret of my feelings, obviously, from the aforementioned FB posts, albeit tactful and without concrete finger-pointing. However, from the comments on each post, it was very clear that the majority of those who read the posts knew precisely to whom I was referring.
I will not apologize for moving 700 miles away to remove myself from the proximity of a narcissistic controlling person whose behavior is toxic. At this point, the only control he can attempt to exert over me is through the children, and that he does: picking them up late or dropping them off late, refusing to make a parenting plan, refusing to go to mediation, choosing to go straight to an attorney resulting in massive legal fees for both of us, and refusing to assist with transportation or associated costs. As an individual with Asperger’s, I operate from a very logical, concrete standpoint. I have always believed that if I could explain my position, the other party would have to at least acknowledge my view. Not so with a narcissist. He has the uncanny knack of twisting anything and everything said to make himself the victim and me the bad guy. I believe strongly that children need both parents in their lives. Our divorce decree states that we both have to work to ensure “frequent and meaningful contact” with the children. The narcissist, believing that such constraints as divorce decrees don’t apply to him, is not going to aid in anything which will benefit anyone but himself.
Looking at the pros and cons of the move, it is obvious that making the move was necessary and needed to occur for quite some time:
- Having frequently had headaches, often for several days at a time, I now only have headaches on the days I have to attempt to drop-off/pick-up the kids
- I am blatantly happier – friends and family say they can hear it in my voice, I feel it
- I feel safe and relaxed in my new home knowing that it is too far away for him to constantly drive by and peruse any home improvements or cars in the driveway or visitors
- I am doing a job for which I trained and went to school and which I absolutely LOVE
- I am able to disconnect when his texts become purposely obtuse or inappropriate. Distance has given me the ability to discern more clearly when he is attempting to control a situation.
- I am learning that it is okay to feel the way I feel and to express those feelings.
- Time, distance and shielding work great for toxic relationships.
The signs have been there for years. It’s been a long-time coming and it took a lot of love and support from some very special people for me to take the necessary steps to break the cycle. While the biggest con to this situation is the distance from my children and family, the benefit to my physical and mental health is astounding.