How do I thrive?

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Associate of Daniel

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How do I thrive?
« on: May 10, 2019, 04:32:21 AM »
I know as parents we tend to put our lives on hold, to a point, while we raise our kids.

But in my situation as a single mum with an uNPD exH and his uNPD wife, I feel like I'm just (only just) surviving.

I never wanted to be a working mum.  I was a stay at home homeschooling mum before uNPD exH left.

Now I'm juggling 3 low paid casual jobs and dealing with abuse from the pds who are taking me to court for custody of ds, who wants to live with them and attend the school next to their apartment, an hour's drive away from me.

I'm surviving but really struggling.

I have no extra money for hobbies and no energy to pursue them.

I've never been ambitious.  I'm not interested in or clever enough for a career of any kind.

I just want peace and quiet and no pds.

What can I do to move from surviving to thriving?

AOD

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Penny Lane

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Re: How do I thrive?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2019, 12:18:42 PM »
AOD,  I will say that when DH was in court (not even me! my husband!) I found it overwhelming and all-consuming. It was incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to really truly thrive in that environment. I mean, we had some goals and some good stuff outside of the court case. But now that I'm out of it, I realize it just put an incredible strain on both of us and the household as a whole. And we spent more energy trying to shield the kids from that strain which meant even less energy for ourselves. So first off I would say, go incredibly easy on yourself. This is a tough time and it's a marathon not a sprint. But it WILL be over eventually and you will feel like a whole new person.

During that time I wish I had focused more on acquiring tools to cope with my own anxiety and stress. And made some more time for myself. Even if that's just, taking a bath and reading a library book for pleasure.

Do you have any goals for yourself that you could make some progress on, however small? Maybe a project around the house, a book you want to read? You say you're not ambitious but maybe your career goal could be, find a higher paying job so you can only work one job and be around DS more? Could you make a little progress toward that, like looking at job listings to get a sense of what's out there or put together a brand new resume? This is just an example, it doesn't have to be that. To me even clearing out a closet or small area of the house makes a huge difference - it reminds me that my life and our house are slowly getting better and that there is progress. Sometimes I also like to write down every single thing I have to do, in a day or a weekend, and break it down into each little task. Then when I cross stuff off I can actually SEE, wow, I am accomplishing stuff.

I also periodically write out my goals and break them into short, medium and long term. That helps too, we know that we're working towards something. During the court case a lot of the medium and long term things were items DH wanted changed in the parenting plan. Now it's mostly projects around the house. A couple years after I started doing this, it's been nice to watch that list evolve and see that we're actually accomplishing a lot of the long term goals. Because a lot of time it doesn't feel like it in the day to day.

I hope some of this helps. Truly I think the best thing you can do is put your head down, know this time is gonna be tough and remember that there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

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Re: How do I thrive?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2019, 09:34:32 AM »
Thanks, Penny Lane. Your suggestions are all helpful.

The thought of the future is exhausting.  I know I should do something about it but while dealing with the pds and trying to protect ds from them,  I have no brain space or emotional energy for anything other than what I'm doing.

I guess that's the definition of a victim of abuse, isn't it?

But my music is such a wonderful gift from God.  I'm so thankful for the joy and confidence it brings to me - and hopefully others.

AOD

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Penny Lane

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Re: How do I thrive?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2019, 12:45:32 PM »
Maybe plans or goals isn't quite the right way to express what I was trying to say - maybe it's more like, recognizing your own accomplishments? Making beautiful music, that's an accomplishment every time. A nice day with your son, that's an accomplishment. Reading an abusive email from your ex and feeling just a tiny little bit less stressed than you were about the last one: accomplishment. Cleaning the kitchen: accomplishment. Etc. If those accomplishments match up with your long term goals that's even better, but even just getting through the day can be an accomplishment when your brain is constantly fried with the stress of dealing with PDs.

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athene1399

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Re: How do I thrive?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2019, 03:34:04 PM »
AoD,

You are going through a lot right now. It is so hard to see the end in sight. It feels like how things are now is how they will always be. When SO was in court I couldn't eat or sleep. It was terrible. I can't imagine how it must feel for you. It was very overwhelming for me and I felt like his BPD ex had control over everything. Every morning it was like "what type of hell is she creating for us today." Or "what plans do i have to change because of whatever crap she is pulling?" Looking back I wish I chilled out a bit more and didn't let her have so much space in my head. But easier said than done.  It was so exhausting. We sacrificed a lot and some days it feels like it was pointless, but I'm sure one day SD will realize the difference we made and what we sacrificed to keep her safe. But yes. Everything in our lives revolved around BM and court. So maybe try to give yourself a small break for something you enjoy.

I am a music person, too! That has always made me feel better and I look forward to playing/singing. I am so glad you have that. Try to find small things you can look forward to. Set small attainable goals for yourself.  Even if it's just picking up your flute for 10 min (i think that's what you said you play :) ). Maybe find something that is yours that they can't touch, and make sure you work that in when you can.  And be self-compassionate. You are going through so much, yet you are surviving. That is an accomplishment even if it doesn't feel like it. :)

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SomethingElse

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Re: How do I thrive?
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2019, 04:43:04 AM »
AOD,

All the ideas that are shared here are wonderful.
Can you take extra time for self-care? Even one small thing every week is enough that you might very soon start to feel better.
For years I survived by doing small things for myself (self-care) when I could.
Now that I'm on my own I can do some more. But doing something for yourself only, no matter what every week can start you off on a good footing to feeling a sense of self satisfaction.

You can also start using affirmations about becoming a self satisfied person. Do you know anything about affirmations?