Almost Got Had

Well, today pretty much sucked. Even after all the lessons I’ve learned the hard way and vows to never play my ex’s mind-games again, I fell for it. Slap me, somebody.

This is a little long and complicated – bare with me.

So, the house my children and I live in is in my husband and his father’s names. My husband hasn’t made a mortgage payment since I first consulted a divorce attorney in February. A letter was sent to our address from a law firm regarding the past-due house payments. After a few unanswered messages to my ex, I put the letter in his parents mailbox. (Since I am not on the loan, the mortgage company isn’t allowed to discuss anything with me – I have tried to call and set up a payment plan, with no success.)

Last night at around 9:30 my ex sent me a text saying he and his dad had talked and figured out what to do about the house. Of course, I asked what they decided – it would be nice to know if I need to start packing and looking for a new place. He didn’t answer me, because he likes to keep me guessing on pins and needles. Needless to say, his plan worked and I lost almost an entire night of sleep worrying about where the kids and I will live.

Then this morning rolls around and he finally decides to answer me ( he had gone to drink with his buddies that live downstairs from him last night, which is why he says he didn’t answer me – priorities, right?).

Well, this is what he and his dad “figured out” – his dad will catch up our house payments, but he wants to know what the status is of our relationship first. Also, he wants my ex to move back in with us and find a job in our hometown. Not only that, but he wants my ex to come back now. Like, today. He offered to take care of our bills until my ex finds work.

If you’re having trouble getting this straight like I was at first, let me lay it out for you like my best friend did for me: they are basically using my home as blackmail to get me to throw out the divorce papers. If I stay and let my ex move back in and give it yet another try, the kids get to keep the home they’ve grown up in. If I say no, they will most likely put it on the market.

Is this real life?!?!?!?

I spent my entire day in a total panic. After all the years I begged him to move back, he wants to do it now??? He’s going to just up and quit his job, so if I leave he won’t have to pay child support???

And then something occurred to me – I was being played. Again. So I decided to test him. I sent him a text saying his dad was right, and not only that but there’s an emergency with his oldest son so he should definitely come home as soon as he possibly can.

His response? He can’t come home – they start a huge job on Saturday that will last until fall and he has too much to do to come home before it starts. So there’s that. Acting like things are going to change so he can suck me back in, just to take back everything he had said only hours later. So he was telling me everything he thought I wanted to hear (I’m going to move home, I’m going to see the kids more, blah, blah) and the minute I actually held him to what he was saying, he backtracked. And then he stopped talking to me.

Narcissists don’t care what kind of attention they’re getting, as long as they’re getting it. They will do and say just about anything to sneak back into your life.

Whatever happens, I plan to start looking for a place that will belong to just me. And the kids, of course. You can’t give a narcissist anything they can use to hold over your head, or they will use it against you.

Another lesson learned, I guess. He will go as low as using blackmail to get me to stay, even using his parents in his game now. Just when I think he can’t go any lower, he always surprises me.

Today was crap, but now I know what I need to do.

Never underestimate a narcissist – when they appear to be helping, they more than likely have an ulterior motive. Always be aware.


Oh How I Tried. Oh How I Cried, Until the Day he Broke Me. Life with a Sociopathic Love Rat | No 2 Abuse

Oh How I Tried. Oh How I Cried, Until the Day he Broke Me. Life with a Sociopathic Love Rat | No 2 Abuse
— Read on The Original House: Step back in time…if you dare (9781522056676): Kim Atkinson: Books The Original House: Step back in time…if you dare (9781522056676): Kim Atkinson: Books
— Read on

Wondering if anyone has suggestions on literary agents???

What a Long, Strange Trip…

My ex and I were together for fifteen years, married for almost nine of them. When we first began dating I had about ten million awesome friends – they surrounded me at work, in my classes at UMD, on nights out, and in my free time. I was always with a friend, if not a few. Looking back now, it should have been a red flag to me that my ex had a handful of people he considered to be his friends, and he didn’t even seem to like them that much. Relationships weren’t important to him – in fact, he in general despised everyone. What he liked was money. I don’t know why this didn’t concern me more at the time.

Slowly, one by one, he found fault with nearly every one of my close friends. They were bad influences on me, they annoyed him, they were around too often, they were immature – there was always something. So when we moved in together I grew more and more isolated, as he didn’t want my friends in his house.

After a few years, I realized my only social life was at work. I would occasionally go out with my coworkers if I worked the late shift, but pretty soon that wasn’t allowed, either. When he moved to North Dakota for work and I had to stay home with the kids I realized how few friends I still had contact with, but what was I supposed to do? Call them and say “Hey, sorry I’ve been such crap for the past few years, but wanna be friends again now that my ex is gone?” People don’t understand…

I don’t even remember the last time I had a weekend away. I was never “allowed” to do girls weekends or take some time to myself. My twin girls are turning eight next month and I have never spent a weekend away from them. So, now that I am narcissist-free, I bought myself a ticket to a music festival called Revival Fest over Memorial weekend. Three days of no Mom duties listening to great music (Phil Lesh and the Grateful Dead Band!!!!!!!) and camping with awesome friends. I still can’t believe I get to go. But the anxiety and guilt I feel for taking time to myself is ridiculous.

The narcissists condition us to feel guilty when we do things for ourselves. I feel selfish for spending $200 on a ticket and leaving my kids with their (fabulous) babysitter for two nights. And I realize that this is part of my recovery, this is something I will need to learn over time is that I am worth it. I deserve a break just like the next guy.

When you leave an emotionally abusive relationship one of the things you need to do is fill yourself as full of happiness as you possibly can – do new things, meet new people, discover what gives you joy in life. All the things you did for the narcissist at one time, you are now free to do for yourself.

So get out there band have fun – discover yourself and what fills your happy-tank.

And do it guilt-free, because you deserve it.

The Future is Bright

In the aftermath of an emotionally abusive relationship, life can be overwhelming, feel like complete chaos. One minute you may feel free and euphoric and confident in your decision, and then find yourself drowning in worry and self-doubt the next.

You will have the typical worries that come with every separation/divorce – Will the kids come out of this unscathed? Will we have to sell the family home? Can I take care of myself and the kids physically, financially, and emotionally all on my own?

And then you will have the worries that come with leaving a narcissist – Is he going to brainwash the kids and make them hate me for leaving him? Is he going to tell everyone we know that the divorce was my fault or I’m crazy? Is he going to burn down my house at night while I’m sleeping???

When I find myself getting overwhelmed (which, I admit, has been quite often lately since he continues to harass me) I need to take a minute to step back from the present and imagine what life will look like for the kids and I in a year from now. We will have a peaceful home where we no longer have to walk on eggshells. I will have my own income, whether it’s a book deal or a job with the school this fall, or both. I will continue to rekindle friendships that I had to leave behind when I was controlled by my ex. Maybe I will have a new relationship with a man who treats both me and the kids beautifully and is everything my ex never was.

All I know is that in a year from now we will all be in a healthier place. Our lives will not be filled with drama and disappointment on a daily basis, things will have fallen into place, and the chaos will return to order. It may not be easy, but it will still be.

So in those moments where you feel like giving up, imagine your future and how wonderful you are going to make it. Fight to turn it into your reality. And before you know it, your future will be your present.

Life will be good again. I promise.

No More Chances

If your relationship with a narcissistic partner went anything like mine, you found yourself wasting far too much time trying to not only explain your feelings, but also trying to get the narcissist to understand. Or maybe even to care about the way you felt (haha). You would send endless texts baring your soul, suggesting ways to fix the relationship, attempting to address all the issues that needed to be discussed. You would send links to articles you felt could be beneficial to your relationship. You tried to coax them into couples therapy. You tried everything, talking until you were blue in the face, frantic to find a solution to fix this relationship.

In response, your narcissist would stonewall you (my ex’s #1 personal favorite), gaslight you, minimize your feelings, completely dismiss what you said and instead comment on the weather… Their apathy would infuriate you and their control tactics would cause you to question your sanity. The narcissist is loving all the energy and power they are getting out of seeing your misery.

Everything I stated above is why I will never miss my ex. Ever.

A few days ago, he sent me a message asking “When did you become so unhappy with us?” I wanted to throw my phone.

Instead, I laughed. I laughed hard.

Now that I can see his behaviors and tactics for what they are, this was a pathetic attempt at roping me back into the cycle of abuse. “Oh, I never realized you were so unhappy. Let me fix this” probably could have sucked me back in at one point in time, but not anymore.

Now I am in a place where I can call him out on his bullshit. When did I become so unhappy?!?!?Are you kidding me?!?!? If he honestly doesn’t know the answer to that (which I can guarantee he does), then he must be a complete idiot. By asking me that question, he is telling me that he has never listened to one thing I have said in the past few years. That he didn’t read the articles I sent him. That he was ignoring all my attempts at fixing things.

And you know what? Nothing has changed. If I were to fall for this, it would be the same thing. The same issues would still exist, as would his refusal to address any of them.

The more you educate yourself on the tactics of narcissists, the more you can protect yourself from the manipulation.

Do not fall for it.

Remember, you deserve better than that.

“You Ruined My Life”

You know, it kind of amazes me that I left my husband months ago, and he is still providing constant fodder for my blog. No matter how many times I tell him to leave me alone, he just keeps coming at me with more. And with every punch he throws, I come up with a new lesson I have learned and hope to pass on to others going through this same crap.

“You ruined my life.” That was the text I got before bed last night. I’m not sure if he likes to text me at bedtime in the hopes of keeping me up thinking of him at night or if that’s just when he’s drunk enough to muster up the nerve to be such a jerk, but it’s getting old.

My first reaction to reading this message was anger. After all the hell he has put our kids and I through, he’s going to blame the outcome on me?!? Was I the one who forced him to work 500 miles away from home for six years? Was I the one who fed him booze until that became the most central part of his life? Was I the one who forced him to constantly seek out other women when he needed his ego stroked? Was I the one who told him he should have as little contact with his kids as possible so they barely know each other?


I spent years begging him to move home so we could both work. He chose to stay in Williston because it made him look good. It made others believe he was out there busting his ass to take care of his family, when in reality he stayed because he enjoyed the bachelor lifestyle. His one and only responsibility has always been to just show up for work, and he likes it that way. It was the easy way out for him.

I spent years suggesting he drink less/go to AA meetings/ reach out to family members for help. His alcoholism was (is) completely out of control and he knows it, yet he still chooses to pretend it’s not a problem.

I spent years competing with the other women…I am over that, and not even going to go into it, but I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t the one finding him dates on the Williston back-pages.

I spent years warning him of what would happen if he didn’t try to be more involved with he kids. When I got really mad about it he would call them for two or three days in a row and then go MIA again. In fact, the other day he was sending me messages asking why the kids won’t talk to him and why they hate him – he said he had been trying to get in touch with them for days with no response. I checked the kids phones and there were no missed or received calls or messages from him – he just wanted a reason for me to feel sorry for him. Poor baby, your kids don’t like you after you pretended they didn’t exist for six years? Not my problem.

After going through this list in my head and realizing he is definitely the one responsible for ruining his own life, I was left with the question all victims of narcissists wonder – how could he possibly be blaming this on me???

What I came up with is this – I ruined his life (in his mind) by not letting him ruin mine. I escaped, I moved on, and I am rekindling friendships and doing what makes me happy while he is stuck in the lonely life he created for himself.

The fact that my life is not ruined is what is ruining his.

So, if he wants to say “You ruined my life” I will take that as a compliment. It means I was too strong for him to hold down and without my energy source feeding his ego he is miserable. And that is the hell he created for himself.

As for me, I’ll continue creating my own paradise without feeling guilty.