One Mom’s Battle has Many Faces

I am one face in this battle but there are many, many more.

I have come to realize that this isn’t just my story – it’s the story of many, many women (and men) who have been affected by narcissistic personality disorder or other personality disordersDivorcing a narcissist isn’t for the weak yet by the time you get to the point of finally wanting to leave your narcissist, you are usually beaten down and to the point that you don’t think you can continue for another day.  That is the point in time where you have to dig deep inside and find the courage and the strength to take a stand.  You need to dig deep in your closet for the battle gear (you know that dark corner where you throw the jeans that no longer fit?).  Sometimes it takes a big of digging but I promise you that you will find the courage if you look hard enough.

My journal has turned into your journal.  So many of my readers have shared stories with me that make me question if I was unknowingly living in a polygamist marriage.  Usually, I don’t put anything past my X but somehow, I don’t think he was keeping up a double life in both the UK and China.  Joking aside, this personality disorder affects so many people.  If the stats are true and 4% of the population are Narcissists, that leaves a lot of us in the aftermath of the storm.  There is power in numbers.  A lot of my healing has come from hearing your stories and feeling less alone.

One of my friends said that she is going to write a book called, “Narcissism for Dummies” and the first (and only page) would say, “RUN“!  Hindsight really is 20-20.  I was almost two years into my battle before I realized that Narcissism was to blame for the chaos that had ensued over the past ten years of my life.  Prior to that, I was clueless.  I would watch him lie, steal, cheat and manipulate with a smile on his face.  I would question my sanity.  How can he open his mouth and lie like that?  Who does that?  I now have the answer: Narcissists do.

As I’ve said before, I don’t want to be seen as a victim.  I don’t want you to be seen as a victim because your story is my story.  My story is your story.  I have the privilege of authoring the next chapter of my life and you have the ability to write your next chapter.  Is it going to be a chapter where you are the victim or is it going to be the chapter where the victim finds her (his) voice and stands up to the bully?   Narcissists are the same as bullies– they have low self esteems yet portray themselves to be powerful and bigger than life.  I want to be that awesome kid on the playground who finally stands up to the bully and sets boundaries.

Cheers to setting boundaries and finding your voice!  -Tina

PS Thank you for all of your comments and emails.  I can’t tell you how inspiring it is for me to hear from you— some days I am encouraged to keep writing based on a simple message from my readers.


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  1. Cheryl

    Thanks, Tina; for writing this! I can’t begin to tell you how much your blog has encouraged me to keep reaching out & helping other women recover from abusive situations! Your honest, heartfelt words bring so much insight and healing to my heart; God bless you EVERY day for what you’re doing for women and children everywhere!

  2. loveydove

    I often think of going to Amazon and writing reviews of all of the books on Verbal or Emotional abuse and narcissism etc and just saying to run away from the relationship. To buy the book or not, but that really the best action is to get out.

    I was even thinking of that today and yesterday. I remember in 2003 when I was breaking up with my first N and was reading a book that I thought of writing a review of the book I read and saying, Just get out! What does it say that it is now 2012 and I just got out of another relationship with another N and now have a child. Maybe I should add all that to the review.

    Anyway, thanks for your blog, it’s so helpful to many people.

  3. Our situation isn’t the same. We are dealing with an ex wife with a borderline personality but the struggle and fears are the same. I totally related to you and the feeling of thinking I was the crazy one and I was alone! Stay Strong!

  4. Anytime you are dealing with this type of person, it is scary. They are great at wearing masks which makes it an uphill battle. Hang in there!

  5. Sandra

    OMGoodness! This is my life. Except we were married in 2000. Divorced in 2005 and now almost 7 years later- STILL in court. We asked for suprevised visitation, we hope to hear that on Tuesday, but he filed for custody yesterday and we will hear that on Tuesday as well. I do belive that the Judge has seen through his lies but it is still so hard to deal with. Thanks for your blog. I will be in touch with you very soon to pick your brain. I really want to make a difference and help others men and women in this situation, especially when it comes to the court systems. I am so sick of heaing “well they don’t have a bruise on them”!!

  6. Tina Swithin

    Sandra- cheers to you for fighting back. Keep it up– you can do it! The truth will eventually prevail.

  7. Tina – I just started following your blog. I have to say, the more I read the more I am so glad to have found you. Thank you for opening your life up to so many of us and letting so many of us connect to you. It is by connecting to women like you that women like me stay sane.

  8. Tina Swithin

    Thank you SO much for reading my blog. There is power in numbers and there are a lot of us. ((Hugs))

  9. Carly Dobbins


    I love it when I read something out of your blog that turns the lightbulb on. I had never thought about my X being an ‘N’, but after reading your blog – I think he is! I have thought for years that I was crazy because who lies just to lie? Who refuses to compromise and turns everything around onto me? Who won’t pay a measley $250 a month for child support? Who refuses to work to avoid child support? Who doesn’t file taxes for 4 years to avoid child support?
    Who tells their children that because their mother does not go to church she is going to hell? Who will not allow their children to talk about the other parent during their time away? MY CRAZY ‘N’ X — THATS WHO! I am in the middle of this storm and will continue to turn to your blog for encouragement and sanity. Thanks, and sorry about my rant…

  10. Tina Swithin


    There is power in knowledge. Educate yourself and you will be much more equipped to deal with your X. Stay in touch 🙂 Tina

  11. Brenda

    Please keep writing your blog. You are right. Your story is my story and sometimes I just need to be reminded that I am not crazy.

  12. Heather

    Felt I had to share this, and felt this was the most appropriate post.

    As followers of the blog comments have probably seen, I have been in high conflict divorce with my NPD husband for 8 months now–I finally threw in the towel and agreed to the divorce (for the 4th time) four months ago. We have all the classic symptoms of high conflict, NPD divorce (death threats, psychological abuse, project his damage onto me until I’m questioning my sanity, etc). I’m sure the divorced girlfriend he moved in with (she was still married when they hooked up) has just been egging him on.

    Yesterday I told my husband I was done: I will hire my attorney to draw up the paperwork and we can each represent ourselves in court, *or* we can each retain lawyers. I can afford to pay the retainer at a moment’s notice. Which way does he want to do this? I decided to lawyer up after months of me writing up the paperwork, and him deciding it was ‘unacceptable’ with no explaination. Since I am not an attorney, what the hell do I know about writing up a divorce decree?

    This stress and struggle has completely undermined my focus in my career, at a time when I need the stability of an income more than ever.

    My managers have been truly incredible, working with me, allowing me to make up time early & late and take “long lunches” for therapist appointments, lawyer appointments, etc.

    Just had my quarterly review yesterday. Won’t go into all of it, but we have a number of metrics that are tracked. My performance 1st Q is significantly better than 4th Q, by almost double the productivity. I’m pretty much hitting average or better on every metric. I’ve been there almost 4 years, and am one of the more experienced people, so I’m a little embarrassed by this. My reaction: ‘I know, I need to knuckle down. I’m going to re-engage my focus and get ‘er done.’

    My manager stops me. ‘You don’t understand. I’m not upset. In the situation your in, I consider this performance an impressive accomplishment.’

    What a boost to my confidence at a time I could really use it!

  13. Tina

    Awww…thank you for sharing. (((hugs))

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