lost and found
I can't believe it's been almost a year and a half since I've added to my story.
it's not like nothing's been going on. I've packed in so many life changing events in the past 16 months, I'm not sure how I survived.
I think one reason that I stopped writing was fear that my blog would be used against me in court, to try to make me look crazy. I'm over that at this point. I have enough documentation to prove I'm not crazy, and I feel like this story needs to be told because I can't be the only person who's ever had to deal with this. it's lonely. finding out you're not insane -- that you just feel that way because you've been manipulated for so long -- it frees you to move on with your life.
since I don't have time to write a novel, I'll just give a quick-ish update and revisit some of these topics later.
in the past year:
1. my father died of cancer.
2. I lost my house. yes, it happened, thanks to mr. N's vindictive withholding of child support. he told me more than once the only way I'll get it is when it's garnished.
3. my son was suspended from school multiple times, and in the process of being evaluated for special education, had two inpatient visits to a psychiatric ward and was diagnosed as having a learning disability and signs of PTSD. at first my heart was broken for my son, but as we've worked through it, I've recaptured hope for him. he's in a special school, where he's learning coping and social skills that our dysfunctional family life would never allow him to learn.
4. my ex filed a motion for more parenting time, accusing me of alienating the kids. I hired a lawyer and got a court order for mr. N to participate in a parenting evaluation. a year later, he has yet to comply with court's orders.
5. I made a decision to let my son go live with mr. N, because I realized that by fighting to protect my son from the damage his father is determined to inflict, I was making it worse. my son was an emotional war-zone, hungering to be with the one person who flattered him, pampered him, and focused on him to his own detriment. I never wanted to compete with that, and I couldn't. real life with me just didn't have the romantic appeal. my daughter was suffering. I was sick. it was time to let him go. it was a gamble, but I did it believing the expensive gifts and artificial friendship won't stand up to the reality of living with someone completely self-absorbed and neglectful. I spent about $8,000 in legal fees to make sure my son could not be moved away and would have the mental health support he needs. his father cannot ruin that for him now.
6. I was diagnosed with PTSD and developing agoraphobia. when I was married to mr. N, we were in a controlling, patriarchal religious cult. in September of 2006, I quietly left the cult, with a great deal of fear that God would strike me or my children dead for "copping out" on the "one true ministry". being in the cult kept me married to mr. N for years beyond his expiration date, and helped condition me to take the ever-escalating abuse. after leaving, it took me a long time to be able to tell anyone what I'd been involved in. I WAS IN A CULT. it just sounds freaky. over the past year, I've been piecing together some of my life as the daughter of a narcissistic mother, married to a narcissist man and living in a patriarchal, evangelical cult. upon reflection, my conclusion is that anyone who lived through what I did would end up with PTSD and could easily become agoraphobic. contact with people in the cult became risky, and contact with people outside the cult became uncomfortable as I was mentally conditioned to use cult jargon and to distrust outsiders.
7. I'm in therapy, and I have my daughter in therapy. I'm taking time to take care of her, and myself, like I haven't been able to.
that was longer than I planned, but there's a lot more.
I'm going back in front of a judge next month for a status hearing, where mr. N will ask for more parenting time and I'll ask if he's complied with court orders regarding the parenting evaluation (duh!).
Ronda seems to be back on the scene. she's a damned fool. when a man runs away from a woman after promising to marry her, after she's agreed to leave the life she's built and move to another state, then he gets a new girlfriend while he's supposed to be in a long-distance relationship, then the new girlfriend throws him out, so he's single again... and both of them are apparently desperate to get back together, although he couldn't treat her with the respect she's entitled to when he left her a year ago in April... it just makes me go wtf. I think he targeted her because he could lure her in, just like he targeted me and became the man I wanted to marry, for a while anyway. but she excused the fact that he physically attacked me and injured our daughter, so I suspect that she'll excuse anything he does, which means she can't be trusted. I had hope at one point she'd make it safe for my kids to be with him. she still might, if she's stupid enough to marry him, but there will be animosity between us as long as she only sees the person he wants her to see.
and, predictably, he keeps lying. he'll always lie.