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Friday, January 24, 2014

Taking a break from the "lessons" and sharing a bit of my life

In looking at the nearly 100 posts on this blog over the past weeks/months/years, I realize I've not really shared much of my life with you.  I looked back at some older posts, sporadically put here over the time I've lived in Arizona, averaging two or three a year.  I look at the posts and see the timeline that's been my life with an Aspie.

This is me now.  Also, being a little
goofy for my friends
Back when this all started, in November 2004, about a month after I moved to Arizona - there's a photo of me in this post.  I've got a newer one now.  This was taken just a couple of weeks ago right before I had all my hair cut off, had it dyed and picked up some highlights along the way.  I've also lost a great deal of weight since this divorce started over two months ago - about 40 pounds.

Then there are two more postings about some animals we had here on the soon-to-be former homestead.  Some goats, some chickens, all gone once Mark realized owning them meant work.  I then see some posts about blue skies, rainbows and hot air balloons; pretty pictures that don't tell the whole story.

Then I see some posts about news stories and some rants of mine related to them.  Then, in 2007, I complain a bit about my high school reunion and mention 2012's reunion to plan.  2012 went off without a hitch and I don't think there's a single person who didn't have a great time!  Currently, we planning a 50th birthday party that will include a 5k to commemorate a classmate of ours who passed away from the effects of Muscular Dystrophy.  There are some more ramblings, then a posting to remember my father.  I still miss him everyday.  I still have the coonhound, Daisy, who was bitten by a rattlesnake.  She's now nearly seven years old, she hasn't been bitten by anymore rattlesnakes and she's definitely wiser.  More postings, my crazy mom manifesto and then I move on again.

Which brings us to now...

Just so you know I'm not just talking off the cuff, I've been living with the man I'm describing to you for the last 21+ years.  It's been an incredibly difficult 21+ years dealing with the baggage that comes with being married to an Aspie/narcissist.  My life has been a roller coaster of emotions, up and down, round and round in circles, advancing, retreating, hurting, loving, crying alone in the shower on the bad days, laughing aloud on the good days, and in general, just pretty confusing.

But, like Daisy, I'm no longer being bitten by a rattlesnake.  When Daisy sees a rattlesnake in the yard, now, she barks at it from a safe distance.  When I see my rattlesnake coming, I don't bark, but I do prepare myself for a possible strike.  I assume my rattlesnake is already coiled up and ready to strike.  That way, there are no surprises.

This past week was an odd one, but no surprise.  Out of the blue, Mark came to me with the suggestion we do a legal separation rather than a divorce. Seems he wants to keep me on Tricare so he doesn't have to pay for health insurance for me.  And, oh, by the way, how about we keep reconciliation on the table for some point in the future?  I won't bore you with a lot of the talk that went on between us over the week but I was wary.  I'd been so beaten down by this guy over two decades.  His lies, manipulations, half-truths, cheating, hitting, stealing money from the household funds; you name it, he did it.

What I ended up telling him was, reconciliation isn't off the table, but not now.  When, then?  I don't know.  I need some therapy and so does he.  And I would never consider reconciling if it meant things being the way they were before.  I was in desperate need of some "me time".  This was a couple Thursdays ago.  He didn't even make it a week before reverting back to his passive-aggressive, abusive self.  By this past Wednesday, he responded to a text from me with, "I'm in my cave" (which is his code for needing to be alone with his thoughts)  The following morning, he was back to his "I'm mad at you for no reason other than what I've developed in my head and I'm ignoring you again." Well, that and his attorney talked him out of being "friendly" during this divorce or legal separation or whatever it is (in my mind, a divorce).  Mark's need, though, for a narcissistic host means he'll go on paying her for so long as she'll let him, since she feeds his ego.  And so long as his dad has a pen, a checkbook and a way to mail money to Mark, she'll let him.  So long as she goes on telling him just how wonderful and right he is, he's glad to do it.  She needs hours to bill and he needs someone to tell him what an amazing, wonderful person he truly is.  All parasites need a host and I'm glad they found each other.  We'll file that one under, "Not my problem anymore".

I just shook my head when I got his nasty email.  Same shit, different day.  And I moved on.  One thing to mention is: I did let my attorney go after the first hearing after she did pretty much nothing at all.  I might as well have driven down the street tossing $2,000.00 out the car window for all the good it did me in hiring this attorney.  Just for fun, I started sending emails requesting discovery from his attorney.  She's been denying me access to Mark's financial records but she's never "said" she's denying it.  She's just not doing it. (And here's a tip - the more they want to hide something, the more you want to see it - especially if it relates to the finance)  Up until yesterday, there was really nothing that could be done.  BUT - in the flurry of emails yesterday, mine requesting discovery, hers getting longer and longer, all filled with her narcissistic rage she finally said something that the Arizona Bar is VERY interested in seeing - her telling me IN WRITING that she didn't consider his financial records to be relevant to the proceedings.  As soon as I got that one, I called the people at the Arizona Bar and they asked me to email them everything.  This is an ethics violation and it involves hiding financial resources, something they take very seriously ever since another attorney in another part of Arizona helped a client hide a great deal of money in a divorce proceeding.  He got seven years in prison.

I'm seeing two attorneys next week and one of them comes highly recommended as the one to have since Mark's attorney has the reputation of being one of the most unstable, mentally disturbed attorneys in the county.  So I guess she and Mark deserve each other.

As far as how I'm doing: I'm healing.  I guess there was some residual guilt left over from caring for a mentally/emotionally disturbed person for 21+ years.  I think that's what last week was about.  I'm here to tell you all, anyone reading this, expect the guilt.  Expect them to come back during it all.  Expect it all to fall apart very quickly again.  Again, same shit, different day.  So long as you EXPECT them to be capricious, vile, mean, apathetic, manipulative and abusive, all will be well.  Which is why I never completely let down my guard, even when he was discussing with me the possibility of his quitting his job to go back to school.  I was actually starting to fall for it a little bit; I guess old habits die hard. However, it didn't take me long to snap out of it once his true colors came out again.

This is me now, 40 lbs lighter
and looking pretty amazing!
I'm trying to figure out how to
take a selfie w/o looking like
I'm not taking a selfie!
But, I'm still healing.  I didn't get the house I wanted in my hometown that went up for auction today.  But that's okay.  It just wasn't meant to be or it would have been.  But, I'm still healing and will continue to heal with each day that the sun rises on a new one.

For anyone contemplating leaving their Aspie, it really will be okay.  Whether the relationship is a shorter one or a longer one, it will be devastating, at first.  These guys work on us DAILY to convince us we're nothing w/o them.  I can remember my STBE husband would tell anyone who would listen he couldn't possibly become an Episcopalian priest because I was such a bad person with a bad background.  I come from an incredible family who worked hard for everything we have.  My grandparents were both farmers, my mother and father were both well-educated (but didn't have any degrees) and set an excellent example for me and my siblings.  They remained married for 53 years, only ending it on the day my father died.  His family, though...  Well, that should be another blog post some day.  Trust me when I tell you - they have issues and always will because they refuse to see it's they who are nuts.  They are enablers, co-dependent, mentally ill and refuse to medicate because "Jesus will heal me".

I'm not going to lie - there were days I was positive I wouldn't be able to take the heart ache anymore.  But I got up the next morning and found I could make it through another day.  I don't know just when I stopped thinking about the pain in my heart on a continual basis but I did.  And before I knew it, I lost the "whatever" in the pit of my stomach that was omnipresent.  I was laughing again with people and looking forward to a future by myself.  I started visiting Pinterest to look for decor I liked that I could do in my new home, where ever that might be.  I'm seeing just what life CAN be like w/o having someone peering over my shoulder constantly to tell me how I'm scrambling the wrong egg.  I'm enjoying NOT hearing someone tell me just how wrong I am all the time, not correcting me in front of other people, not telling me how I've become so unattractive over the years.\If I had a nickel for each time someone told me just how beautiful I am...

Yes, that first step is scary - but, trust me, it's worth it.  And you'll come out of it okay.  I promise.

And if you need some inspiration, to know you CAN get through it, try reading One Mom's Battle Divorcing a Narcissist.  I know, I know, we're all talking about Aspies here, but Aspies are also narcissists.