Being Stuck

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StuckHopefull

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Being Stuck
« on: August 03, 2019, 05:34:51 PM »
This is my first post here.  Iím stuck and donít where to turn. 

To give context, I will include some background info. 

In 2011, I began to have multiple health issues,  primarily autoimmune that affected my eyes and resulted in 6 six surgeries.  Prior to those issues and the downturn in the economy I was the primary breadwinner for my small family. During that time, I defaulted to being a stay at home dad to our wonderful son.  It was a gift, to raise our boy and it brought such meaning and motivation to persevere.  Meanwhile, my now ex-wife pursued her nursing background and I managed most other things. 
Though I deeply loved my wife and would have done anything for her, I always felt that something was off.  The only way I can explain it concisely is that she was chameleon like.

Fast forward to 2016Ö  Health problems seem to have stabilized; our son is now eight.  We decided to move from the city to a very small mountain town.  Better schools for him, a good new job for her in nursing and I would rebuild the once thriving Real Estate business I once had.  I knew it would take time and that was discussed, and I thought understood. 

Within four months of moving here, my wife starts acting very, very distant.  Short tempered spending more time on her phone and something was more off than usual.  One month later, our lives would be forever changed. 

On Christmas eve, we got into an argument.  She was unrelenting following me around the house antagonizing.  Shoving me and would not stop.  In a moment of frustration, I shoved her back. I had never laid a finger on lady in my life.  There had been three times in our 14-yr. relationship that the same respect was not paid to me.  In most peopleís eyes and mine included, we were a very good couple dealing with the stresses of life. 

On that evening, after the shoves I went to our bedroom and locked the door.  She repeatedly, kept on trying to come in.  I sat down and calmed myself and tried to center, what was happening?  Eventually, the house grew quiet and I came out, checked on our son who was about asleep in his bedroom and assured him that mom and dad a disagreement and that everything would be okay.  Get some good rest, because Santa was coming.  I went back to our bedroom and started reading with the door closed.  I assumed my wife went out for some air and was centering herself too. 

About twenty minutes later, there was a knock on the bedroom door againÖ  This time is was the Sheriff department and I was arrested for DV and dragged out of the house In front of my now awake crying son.  Never to return to our home. 

It was like evil had taken over.  She filed for an ex-parte restraining order and in that moment,  I was homeless in a small town where I knew nobody.  Bank accounts cleared or frozen.  I was painted black in a moment.  I was now being accused of being a violent person, an alcoholic, refusing to workÖ.  This list went on and on, was disgusting and mind blowing.  This order also prevented me from contacting or seeing our son while I slept in my car nightly and prayed for us all. 
It has never stopped.   I was able to get the restraining order and DV charges dropped but it took almost a year.  I borrowed and begged and did everything I could to get myself back to our boy. 

Because of the lies and being labeled there were very dark days and still are.  I eventually petitioned the court for a GAL for our son.  It was an 8-month process of investigation after investigation.   It was revealed that it was clear, the character assassinations were false and a report was issued documenting this.  It gave me leverage to finally have her settle out of court for 50/50 custody.  God bless that GAL, her 30 yrs. of therapy background, her diligence in looking deeply. 
You would think it would end there, but it hasnít stopped.

My now ex-wife makes a very good living in health care in this tiny town and I have been kept off balance ever since.  Constant, court abuse, sheís on her third attorney and I canít afford one any longer.  I havenít had health insurance in 3 yrs. and that is pretty concerning to me given my prior health issues. 
This little town in a tourist destination and very hard to make a living wage in.  My son and I are very close.  I put on a smile and have provided for him week on/week off for the past 2 yrs. 

Heís 11 now, very smart, kind and full of love.  I feel so horribly for him that he must experience this. 
I feel that I must go away to heal from this and to save myself or Iím not going to make it.  I just canít bring myself to do it.  How can I leave him with such a manipulative person? I donít believe that she will ever stop, its pure scorched earth.  The wife I loved with everything in my being was a complete fraud and seems hell bent on destruction.
I am stuck and greatly could use some advice or sharing of experiences with something like this   I donít have any family and really nowhere to go.  I donít want to end up not available for my son as he comes of age and I donít want to leave him here with her, to be damaged on a full-time basis.  Itís come to a point of self-survival going up against my paternal instincts.  Itís taken itís toll and I donít know where to turn. 

Thanks for listening.   

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Being Stuck
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2019, 05:59:28 PM »
Welcome! I am sorry you had to find us and glad that you did.

Sounds like you have a good relationship with your son and know what you want. Check out the Toolbox for ideas how to protect yourself when dealing with your wife.

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Bloomie

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Re: Being Stuck
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2019, 06:57:24 PM »
Hi and a warm welcome to you. Reaching out for support, both in real life and through a support forum like this, is a really important stabilizing step on your healing journey. I am just so very sorry for the incredibly painful experiences you and your child have endured.

There are many here that have been through similar difficulties and you will find the validation and understanding this community offers a balm and a help. A couple of great boards to visit are:

Separating and Divorcing: https://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?board=8.0
Non PD Dad's Board: https://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?board=33.0

You also might find the work of Bill Eddy, an experienced  lawyer, therapist, and mediator, to be enlightening and beneficial as you go forward and continue to parent your precious child with a high conflict individual.
Free articles found here: https://www.highconflictinstitute.com/hci-articles

We have great resources in our links for those who are separating and divorcing and attempting to co-parent with a personality disordered individual and they are found here: https://outofthefog.website/links/#DivorcingLinks

A suggestion to help alleviate the isolation and angst you are feeling is finding groups through your local faith community or domestic violence advocates, meet up type groups that are for people who are recovering from the type of trauma and domestic abuse you have endured.

There is help in community resources and there are people who will walk through this time with you and are able to support you as you make some very important decisions about your availability to your child that have potential life long consequences. You may have to dig and ask and keep asking, but I have found, in my own recovery journey, that I absolutely needed people to help, to listen, to encourage, to understand in real life along with the recovery work and support found here. It requires self advocacy, such as you have shown by joining us here, and you are worth that effort.

I imagine you are just plain worn out and I can hear through you words you feel possibly defeated due to the level of destruction your ex has wreaked upon your heart and soul. You have shown tremendous strength and perseverance through the most difficult of experiences. You will get to a better place very soon. You are taking important steps to care for yourself and you are caring for your dear child and all of this will bear much good fruit in your life.

Keep coming back and sharing! We are here for you.


"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

Bloomie 🌸

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StuckHopefull

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Re: Being Stuck
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2019, 12:38:14 AM »
Thank you for the replies. 

I have been doing much research online and it's very helpful. 

Found this site after Googling: "I feel like I'm in a fog".   

Reading here is enlightening, terrible and comforting .  It's like there is playbook for this abuse.

The feelings, the grief the constant roller-coaster  ... none of 14 yrs were real!  Of course that brings on a ton of thoughts.  I obviously have codependency issues,  how could I allow this?  Feelings of guilt,  I did get frustrated and loose my temper in a moment of being overwhelmed.  I finally shoved back.  Totally wrong and out of character.   I don't believe it justified this craziness.  This was an "unmasking"  and it's so incredibly deeply saddening.   

I do believe I would just disappear in such a situation if I could.   Start new somewhere else, walk away from it all.    In fact i'd RUN! 

But that really isn't an option,  now is it?  I have a wonderful son to love and do my best to continue to be strong for. 

It's all so very isolating.  I suppose we learn the most in times like these.   


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Whiteheron

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Re: Being Stuck
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2019, 04:50:53 PM »
Welcome, StuckHopeful! You found the right place.
It is very hard. The best advice I can give you is to get yourself into therapy if you can (I know the insurance thing might be a barrier), and to take the time to recharge and take care of yourself. I have made it my mission to be the supportive stable parent for my kids, no matter what stbx throws my way. stbx is unable to provide any kind of stability for them, and in fact, thrives at keeping them off-balance. It's so hard taking them over to his house, knowing what they are being exposed to and knowing there isn't a damn thing I can do about it.

There are several books out there that have been recommended by other users, such as Co-parenting with a Toxic Ex, PTSD from Surviving to Thriving and a few others (I tend to order them, but I have yet to read through most). I can also recommend Kris Godinez (her older posts are much shorter) and Richard Grannon on youtube. They have some great advice that has helped me a lot. Also, posting here helps too. A lot of the posters have been through something similar. There truly is a playbook!

One step at a time, one foot in front of the other. Hang in there.
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

Being able to survive it doesn't mean it was ever ok.

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Being Stuck
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2019, 05:16:09 PM »
First of all thanks for making it this far.  With what you have gone through it would have been easy to divert from you mission as a father.

He is 11 and smart.  You are way along the path of parenting him into manhood.  The determination and perseverance you have shown in this will likely be character traits he will have as well.

The time you are living in this less than optum situation that you ex has beought on, is not wasted. 

Each year that passes your son will be less at risk because he is becoming old enough to figure out what is what.

Hang in there, explore your options and resources and stay strong while you continue being dad.  You sacrifice is a worthy one evem of your local feedback swwms to say otherwise. You son is lucky.

One thing comes to mind is you stuck.  Coukd you move just far enough to have your own community, space etc but still be close enough to coparent.  If not, perhaps you could at keast spend your free time and work just far enough away so you can have a life not interconnected with your ex in her small town.

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StuckHopefull

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Re: Being Stuck
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2019, 04:24:11 PM »
Thank you all, for the replies.   Grateful!   

This week has been my on week with our son.  These weeks do show me that this time is not spent in vain.  We don't seem to skip a beat and I'm becoming conditioned to let the craziness roll off my back, better.

Locally, some victories have been coming to fruition.  Even though I've been smeared beyond my wildest imagination... Some influential people have taken note of the slow and steadiness that has progressed.   They see my boy and I having fun and doing many things together. 

This week while he has been with me I was served multiple subpoenas and then a notice of hearing, with 18 hrs notice!  I had to scramble to find care and change my schedule.  A local attorney, has taken notice of me checking my file weekly, seen me sitting in court, defending myself, continuance after continuance... Finally, I just asked him would you please help me.  I laid it all on the line.   

Long story short, this person stepped in while I was court the other morning and was able to deny this frivolous motion, hearing and request for me to pay for her continued abuse.       

I suppose this is the learning process of being married to, discarded and now divorced from soul assassin.  I see why no contact is the advice of most people.  It really is a never ending process.  They seek any fuel they can get.  Very demented stuff. 

For now, grateful for small victories and finding this forum.     
 

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Being Stuck
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2019, 10:42:36 PM »
18 hours, very unfair.  Im glad to read someone stepped in to help right a wrong.

She seems to have someone breaking proceedure on her behalf.  Hopefully they will discontinue this work on her behalf.

Stay Strong.

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StuckHopefull

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Re: Being Stuck
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2019, 09:54:11 PM »
Indeed, there have been so many things that have transpired in this tiny little town.  That if I shared them all in detail, I would sound like a conspiracy theorist.  It's been three consistent years of pure chaos. 

I continue to hang in there for our son, but deep down inside I don't know how much more I can take.  Tonight, I had a to be around her for a couple hours because our son is going into middle school and the orientation was this evening.  There has been zero communication about arrangements for this transition.  The only communication she seems keen on, is having her lawyers hound me with threats and postponements.   

I am finding it harder and harder to share the same space with her.  This is not like me to be triggered like I have been lately.  I must say that I feel embarrassed to say that I may be suffering from some sort of PTSD from this nightmare.   Being around her has started to cause major anxiety in me.  I don't show it, but when I get home it as though I am completely drained and overwhelmed.  It's been so long since I've had a moment to breathe, constant hoops all the time.  Like it's some sort of sick game and our son is the pawn she uses.   

Struggling today... 

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Bloomie

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Re: Being Stuck
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2019, 11:21:58 AM »
StuckHopefull - after what you have been through and the atmosphere of risk and waiting for the next shoe to drop it is no wonder you are experiencing this kind of response to someone who has systematically torn your life apart. This is terribly hard stuff you are facing with dignity and grace all the while putting your child first.

A couple of resources that may be of comfort and help with this trauma type response is our sister site Out of the Storm which is a forum for those dealing with Complex - PTSD. Many of our members have been subjected to abuse and trauma over time that they had no ability to escape and find they are expecting these type of symptoms and need specific support, so they come here to coping and strategies in dealing with the PD person in their lives and OOTS for help in coping with the aftermath. Many members even use the same forum name if it is available.

https://www.outofthestorm.website

And the work of Pete Walker has been deeply impactful in my own healing journey and he offers insights and wisdom for those of us who are healing from the wounds of repeated exposure to abuse: http://pete-walker.com

http://pete-walker.com

Keep coming back here. Keep pushing forward one step at a time. You are not alone!
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

Bloomie 🌸

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StuckHopefull

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Re: Being Stuck
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2019, 01:51:18 AM »
Thank you for that insight Bloomie. 

After I wrote my reply last evening...  I reread all that had been written here, both from others and myself. 

At that point, I jumped out of my momentary pity party and jumped into the "Toolbox".  Spent sometime there, wow!   

The pieces of this tweaked out jigsaw puzzle started spiraling around.  The analogy of "fleas" hit me like a brick at that moment. 

I'm sorry that you all have had to walk a similar path.  Life is short, and sometimes difficult in it's own-right.   However,  what seems purposeful strife is really useless and overwhelming at times.

Finding this space is a true blessing and thank you!