One of the life lessons everyone needs to learn, and so few of us do, is that you, and only you are in control of your mind. Of your attitude, your thoughts, the level upon which you allow others to affect you. There are countless quotes floating all over the world, inspirational, powerful and so simple to understand.
And yet, so seldom do we apply this concept to ourselves, to our lives. It’s so, so easy to say or type you are in control of your emotions. You are in control of your mindset. It’s so incredibly hard to actually apply this concept to life.
Stuff like this.
So the point I’m leading up to is that despite having 10, nearly 11 months of practice at dealing with a narcissistic psychopath…it only takes a little bit of adjusting to send me backsliding down the path of no return, forgetting all that I’ve learned about not engaging, not letting him get to me, not believing his stupid threats. Not letting his words sting me and arouse rage.
After PC was charged in contempt, we entered a fun little five-day period in which he tried to convince us all he had changed, he was “moving forward” and of course, alluding to his mysterious health issue that I feel has either been invented or greatly magnified in hopes of garnering sympathy. During this 5 day period, he spoke like a semi-normal human being to me (i.e. communicated without threats, although he still sounds batshit insane and makes no sense) and extended an olive branch so far it practically entered another galaxy (inviting me on vacation with Trollup and their collective kids. Um, thanks but no thanks.)
As soon as he realized none of this behavior was going to change things in the way that he wanted (i.e he would be nice and I would agree to settle for pennies) he immediately reverted. And this is what pushed me over the edge. Because even though in my head, I did not believe he had changed; even though in my head, I knew his behavior was crazy; even though in my head I did not have faith that it would stick…still. He got me, once again.
My mistake was letting it happen. My mistake was, on the day he picked up our children for a 5 day vacation after a gazillion threats, trying to reason with him as though he were rational. Asking for a plan to call the kids and what time they would be picked up seems pretty reasonable, right? PC’s responses varied from there is no reception where we are going to I hate you and I always have to I’m not letting you talk to them and I don’t have to (wrong, that was the whole fucking thing you were charged in contempt of!) to thanks for ruining my family vacation before it even began. All, obviously, are logical responses to simple factual questions. Insert dripping sarcasm.
And I, of course, flipped out. Contacted my lawyer. Vented to my parents. Desperately tried to communicate with Trollup to no avail. Packed my kids and sent them off with an uncertified lunatic. Who snapped that he hated my guts moments before taking them away from me.
In the end? After all that, 24 hours of fights and threats over A PHONE CALL…my kids called me every single day. There was no issue. And I need to remind myself of this next time. The same outcome likely would have happened had I simply not responded, not engaged, not attempted to rationalize with an abnormal person as if they are normal.
But the factor that is a wild card, the one that floats down out of nowhere and knocks you off-balance, is emotions. PC was charged in contempt; PC then acted semi-human. In my heart of hearts, this is all I want–communication, putting the kids first. Eliminating the ridiculous fights and stress over nothing from my life.
Except, news flash. That isn’t how it works with a narcissist. And I let my guard down, got walloped, and backslid.
And so, I go forth yet again with this lesson. That it was me, and me alone who was in control of how this situation affected me. I won’t lie…even after the kids called me the first night, I was still a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I mean really, a psychopath tells you they hate you, and then whisks your kids to a cabin in the woods for 5 days. But over the 5 days, I have managed to reclaim a little bit of my resolve. I spent time on myself (in the words of my therapist/medium…feeding my soul). I visited people. I went to a wedding and I spent time with my family. I visited my BFF, ate good food, cleaned my house top to bottom and now my kids will be back in less than hour.
Backsliding. Inevitable but only a reminder that I am in control. A reminder that 99% of PC’s threats are simply that…threats. A reminder that even though it sucks balls that my kids are gone, it doesn’t mean I can’t at least try to enjoy the time. A reminder that, when it’s all said and done, there is no one besides myself that can choose how to navigate this path.