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To the Narcissistic Father of My Children:

To the Narcissist who fathered my three girls:

It’s been a while since we have spoken. However, today we did and I listened as you complained about how I have withheld visitation from you. I heard you as you spoke about my inability to communicate in a healthy way. I was forced to hear you blaming me for everything that our children are going through. I saw you roll your eyes when you saw the diagnosis of ‘trauma disorder’ listed on the paperwork. I saw the look of disgust on your face as I talked about recommendations for medication given by the doctors. I saw your eyes as they lit up as you listened to the way our daughter terrorized the household and felt the need to defend your every move.

#1 is the conformer of the group. She is the one that doesn’t rock the boat. She abides by the rules. I hear the constant apologies and the overwhelming guilt. She feels like if she makes herself small that she will stay safe.

#2 is the rebellious one. She spoke up so all of this is her fault. She is the scapegoat, the black sheep who started this all. You blame her for everything. You tried to shun her for being honest about your abuse. The abuse is ongoing. The fact is, she never stopped loving you only herself. She cut her body to shreds and tore her skin open, yet you still don’t see the pain you’ve caused. How are you so blind?

#3 is the golden child who does nothing wrong. She hasn’t seen the abuse the way her sisters have. The psychological torment you have inflicted is what she struggles with most. She is too young to understand, but she will. She is your last ally. You ply her with treats and gifts. Nonetheless, she still sees you as the super hero that does no wrong. You are the good guy. Your lies and manipulation are always forced onto her as truth. As a result, you have turned her against her sisters and I. She is your last hope, but you’ll hurt her too.

Then there is me. The ex wife who is crazy and tries to keep you from your kids. I am the only one that knows you and the monster inside. The marks on my face you once called love. The scars that are still left behind from the past remind me of that monster everyday.

Yet, I’m still standing. I’m still cleaning up the messes you leave behind. I work twice as hard now to protect these girls. I work even harder to provide for them. While you try to buy their love and affection, I earn it with my presence and consistency. I’m not the perfect person, and definitely not the perfect mom. However, I try my best every day, for them.

I will keep going and I will keep getting better. They are worth it. I hope one day you will appreciate their love for you and all the chances they give you to change. Maybe one day you’ll take the opportunity. However many times they choose to forgive you is a choice they make. Even if you hurt them every time, somehow, they are the ones that always take the first step to fix it.

I just hope that you don’t take the last pieces of them and destroy them completely. Although, I’m terrified that you will. I’m never going to keep them from you. In all honesty, I wish you would go away. Maybe then, they would have a chance to love themselves as I love them. I pray one day they will see themselves through a different lens than the one you created. Until then, I’ll be the mom they need me to be and work twice as hard to help them heal.

In case you didn’t know. I’ve got this.

~M

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ENDurance

We’ve all been enthusiastic about something in life. My favorite example of enthusiasm is how the night before my first day of school as a kid I would be so enthusiastic and had this anxious excitement for the year ahead. It was a fresh start, school supplies were accounted for and I knew that it was going to be a great year. I was enthusiastic about getting started. I believe that enthusiasm is a common occurrence for everyone. It may be that first day of school or a new job. Maybe it was a relationship or a project. However, enthusiasm can only take us so far.

Eventually, we hit a wall and enthusiasm isn’t always enough to get us to the finish line. The desire doesn’t go away, but it’s not as exciting now that it’s hard or now that it’s actually happening. Maybe it wasn’t what you thought it was. Your schedule changes at school, the job isn’t anything what you thought, the fighting begins with the partner, or you hit a roadblock with the project you wanted to do. In the loss of that enthusiasm we tend to give up. I know, I do.

I’ve been known to lose enthusiasm and lose my want to see whatever it is to the finish line. School was exciting and I would try really hard for a few weeks, but if that effort didn’t pay off, I didn’t like the class or just simply lost my motivation for a couple of days…it was done, I didn’t try anything else. I would diet, lose weight, and do well for a few weeks. Then there would be a ‘bad’ day. I would eat the fries and have cake. I would throw in the towel and say ‘there’s no point. I can’t do this, I already screwed it up.’ That’s how we react when it doesn’t go exactly according to our plan. The end.

Wait…It’s time for endurance, not time for the end! This is when I think we set ourselves apart. There are numerous things that even with enthusiasm and good intentions matched with hard work and a willingness to learn that will require endurance, patience, and strength to be successful. Some things may come easily and all it takes is the attitude and confidence that you are capable. While other ventures may end regardless of the enthusiasm and endurance you have. It’s about listening to yourself and finding what you believe is worth fighting for. For me, it took a long time to find what I was willing to endure and recognize what I was capable of enduring…and yes, what I needed to end.

I endured and persevered through an abusive and unfulfilling marriage. I felt I gave what I could and allowed what was taken from me. I tried to push through and find the enthusiasm to continue. I had the determination, but when there are many factors involved and other people have an effect on your result, it’s trickier to decide if it’s meant to be I fought the end many years, in fact much longer than I should’ve, but in the end I knew that I tried and could walk away knowing that it wasn’t just me quitting when things got hard. I didn’t jump ship at the first sign of bad times. I stuck with it, but it wasn’t healthy for myself or my threefold. It had reached the end. The end has been a process of endurance {and enthusiasm} in and of itself. I could’ve just as easily ran back to what I knew, instead of facing many hardships or fighting the battles I have. The end was my goal. I needed to end that chapter and find my path to happiness; for my threefold and I.

I am enthusiastic at my work and it pays off. I have a good attitude and I enjoy what I do. I’m confident in my abilities. I know my value and my work is often rewarded. I attribute this to my success in my company. It’s not always easy, I often want to say ‘screw it, someone else can handle this’ or have to pull myself out of bed in the morning, but I endure those challenges of my own making and those beyond my control. This endurance has led to two years under my belt with two promotions and four raises, amongst accolades from my clients and my company. It’s resulted in creating a name for myself and a future for my threefold and I. It also led me to find the man I now consider my soulmate and my second chance romance, which is quite enough to call myself successful.

I could’ve quit on my relationship with ‘E’ when things got hard. I could’ve stopped writing when I’ve had blocks. I could’ve quit many nights fighting my threefold. I could’ve quit my job when #2 was hospitalized. I could’ve quit trying to find solutions and treatment plans to help myself and my threefold. I could’ve quit my healthier lifestyle. I could’ve thrown my hands up a million times, but that’s not who I am or the role model I want for my threefold. I’m not a quitter. When life throws punches, I bob and weave. I wait for my opening and show life who is in control. I win. I’m a badass. Stay positive. Endure. We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Adulting {ish}

Today is #1’s 18th birthday. It’s been a weekend full of partying, celebrating and more reality checks than I wanted to face. Today, my oldest is legally an adult {ish} heavy on the ish. When they say time flies and in a blink of an eye they grow up, it’s true. I barely remember sleepless nights anymore, but it still seems like it wasn’t 18 years ago that this tiny, red headed child was coming into the world. It’s crazy how fast it went by, and even though it’s not like it’s over it’s like grieving a loss. She isn’t a child, she’s an adult, a grown woman capable of making decisions that could change her life. I’m just a bystander, an onlooker, and a resource that she can choose to listen to…or not. That’s scary as hell!

I’m confident that she has been raised to know herself and her path. I’m proud of her for a million reasons. I’m not worried about her, I’m worried about the world around her. She is loving, giving, accepting, inclusive and people pleasing. People take advantage of the nice ones sometimes. They walk on people like #1 then call them naive for seeing the best in people. She is scared to let others see her as someone who has an opinion. She is hard on herself and she thinks perfection is an attainable goal. #1 hates conflict and doesn’t want to disappoint others. Her inner voice is very much her biggest obstacle. I believe in her, but now she has to believe in herself.

My girl, is a strong person who has overcome challenges. She doesn’t see that side of her. She has had trauma, but still has a bright light that she shines on those around her. So much has been stolen from #1, but still she gives without hesitation. She is full of love and a genuine sweetness. That innocence and faith of a child that has never been hurt, but she has been hurt. That amazes me. She hasn’t allowed that past hurt to make her cynical or bitter. She is warm and endearing. She chooses her attitude. She isn’t perfect, and never will be, but I want her to be her. Regardless of who that is I will love her unconditionally.

I’m sad and happy today. I’m sad to know my baby, the first of my threefold has officially graduated into adulthood. I’m happy because I know this means she is going to embark on the adventure she chooses for herself. She is a beautiful person, inside and out. Her light will guide her on this path forward into her future. Mommin’ ain’t easy, but I have to pay myself on the back today too and say I’ve reached a milestone as well. I’m the mom of an adult {ish}. One down, two to go! Stay positive! I’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Silver Linings

I’ve been pretty negative the past few weeks, just sitting in my puddle of pity and splashing people in the face if they came near or tried to pull me from wallowing in my many woes. Even those that you would think are the strongest still fall. I had to climb out of the hell I was allowing to take over my life {or drug out kicking and screaming} I had to get out of there before I let it consume me and cover me in the dark bitterness of depression. It took some come ups and some push {ok a lot of push} but I’m starting to see some of that silver lining.

I never rolled over and quit {I wanted to.} I knew that my only choice was to keep moving forward and as hard as it has been this past month it’s time to shake off the sadness and the hardships. Now I am going to get to the good {ish} part again. And yes I say ish because it’s never going to be perfect but goodish is MUCH better than hellish. Real talk.

Both of my girls aren’t discharged from the hospital yet, but # 2 came home today. She’ll do a partial hospitalization program starting Monday. That means I can have her home at night, but she’ll still have daily therapy and see her psychiatrist daily. So hospital diring the day, work, and then home. Much better than inpatient with five minute phone calls and no face to face visitation.

#3 will hopefully get out next week. They did a full medication change on her so she has to be monitored while she adjusts to the new regimen. Hopefully, this change is one that helps her to regulate her emotions better. She is ready to be back home. Home for a week then back inpatient isn’t the goal at all. Hopefully her step down care will be partial or intensive outpatient care.

On a brighter note, tomorrow #1 has her 18th birthday party! I went all out. She didn’t get a sweet sixteen due to Covid popping up this time two years ago. She chose an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme. I love it. We bought cute spring dresses, too many decorations, and I have three cakes. Yes, I know it’s excessive. Who needs 3 cakes, cupcakes, chocolate covered strawberries and ooey gooey bars? Well, apparently we do. It should be fun and give us all the ability to relax and have some fun. I hate #3 won’t be here with us to celebrate. I miss that kid with all of me right now.

To top off the celebration of the 18th birthday and the official adulthood commencing for one of my threefold we also are celebrating that full scholarship she was awarded for her amazing ACT and academic achievements amongst an essay she wrote. So proud of her! She is rocking this year and has grown so much as a person this year. {still 4’10” but she is dynamite in a tiny package!}

In case I need more to celebrate other than I am one down two to go to successful child rearing, then I can add to the celebratory mood. I achieved a goal that I’ve been working on professionally. I got a promotion at work and a nice little pay increase to go with it. I’m pretty proud to be able to say that in just shy of two years with my current company I’ve had 2 promotions and 4 raises. Not too damn shabby. I do love what I do and the people I get to work with.

Despite all the headaches and the hardships there is still a lot of good happening for us. I know eventually the good will outweigh the bad. I’m ready to keep moving forward and keep overcoming the obstacles. It’s a crazy life Mommin ’ mental illness, but who better to have to do it for my threefold than I? In the mean time I’ll keep trying to see all the good. Stay positive! We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M