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NPD

Prolonged Exposure Therapy: Session 7

the heart-racing stress reaction I had when listening to the recording of session six marked out what is called a "hot spot". as I listened to it every day, I realized that I was really angry that Scott had made me responsible for meeting his every emotional need.

after the event where he threw books at me and at our petite two-year-old daughter, Scott took out the trash. then for weeks he asked me every day what he ought to do. then every day he showed me what he did, whether it was putting dishes away or wiping off the table, apparently to gauge my approval rating of his efforts.

it was so exhausting. why did he need my feedback so badly? when I cleaned the toilet, I didn't ask anyone to look at it and praise me for the job. I'd probably cleaned toilets a thousand times during our marriage, all without a scrap of fanfare. fanfare would have seemed very strange for something as mundane as cleaning a toilet.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy: Session 6

for session six of Prolonged Exposure Therapy, I chose to focus on the final act of domestic violence by Scott (the man I was then married to) against me.

it was both more and less damaging than the previous event I'd focused on, the gas-lighting session by cult leaders that destroyed my ability to trust others and to make decisions on my own. it was more damaging because it brought me closer to accepting death as a solution to my pain than anything I'd previously encountered, even the verbal and physical abuse I suffered at the hands of my mother.

it was less damaging only because my psyche was already so damaged that it couldn't have created in my heart any more of a sense of worthlessness than I already harbored against myself. it is possible that if Scott, along with the cult leaders, had not destroyed my soul so completely in that closed-door session a few years before, I would have found the strength to gather up my children and walk out the door after he attacked me.

I wish there was a Solomon

my narcissist has got a game on. it's so good I think his lawyer told him how to play it. he's filed for full legal custody of our son. if he wins, that means the support system I built for our son goes down the toilet. he won't have to take our son to his therapist. I won't get to give any input on my son's education or mental health treatment.

all it takes in our state is for the parents to have an uncooperative relationship for the court to terminate shared legal custody. so, he's being an asshole, telling me I'm too difficult to communicate with, ignoring my email requests for information about my son's activities and treatment. I even tried calling him to find out why he wants full legal custody, and he hung up on me.

the art of war

I've been reading Sun Tzu's Art of War. In it, he says:

"Ground on which each side has liberty of movement is open ground."

I realize that's where I had deluded myself into thinking I stood at one point, both during and after my divorce. I simply could not conceive of parenting children with someone unless we both had liberty of movement. I believed that although we were, at heart, enemies, co-existing on open ground meant safety from attack because it would be foolish for either of us to do so.

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.

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