Tag Archive | unhealthy people

Reasons For No Contact With Abusers

There are several reasons why you should consider going No Contact with Abusers, Narcissists, and Emotional Manipulators. There may be reasons why you cannot block the person, but you can take steps to ensure you are not surprised by their emails.

Emotional Health

You deserve to protect your emotional health from abuser, narcissist, and/or emotional manipulator. If they send emails that are not constructive and do not offer any value you may want to consider blocking them completely. If this person cannot behave properly and uses emails for personal attacks, threaten or bully, emotionally blackmail, or send blatant lies; you may want to keep these messages out of your life for good.

Lets face it, this person has learned enough about you to know exactly what to say to hurt you, push your buttons, or make you feel bad. A person who is constantly using email to lash out to hurt you is not emotionally well or healthy and has not earned the right to continue contacting you. This is a perfect time to create some boundaries to protect your emotional wellbeing.

Boundaries – a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line. This is like setting up a wall to protect yourself from people who are not trustworthy or are unhealthy. This wall can serve to allow healthy inside this wall and keeping unhealthy people out.

Another reason, lets say you receive an hateful email, and you choose not to respond. You may find yourself playing those hateful messages inside your head all day long. There is no reason for that and it is healthier for you to go No Contact instead.

Do This

Block Them

If you do not have any good reasons to receive their communications, it may make sense to block them in your phone. There is no reason to allow them to call or send you text messages. Phone calls are harder to control with an abusive person. Even if you have mentally prepared yourself for this phone call keeping the call under control can be a challenge. Text message are similar to email, but it is harder to save these message unless you screenshot all your messages. You may be resistant to blocking them off completely, but this will help you move on and become stronger.

Email Hacks

If blocking them is not possible, here are some email hacks to help control the situation better. You may want to consider creating a special folder and create a rule when those email(s) show up it automatically moves it into that folder or smart mailbox. By keeping these emails out of your Inbox, it will give you time to mentally prepare yourself before reading those messages. This will prevent the email from popping in the middle of the day when you are unprepared. If you are unprepared, you may find yourself reacting in you response instead of responding.

Reacting vs Responding

Reacting means than you are not in control of you response. For example, if you received a hateful email and sent an immediate reply, you response may be full of anger, frustration, and may provoke back and forth. For example, if you were having a bad day and this email showed up unexpected, you might be more apt to react to the situation.

Responding means you are in control of you response and tone. You may have received a hateful email, but you take time, pause, take deep breaths, or maybe even respond at another time or day. When you take time to think about how you would like to respond helps you reply with controlled responses. Taking time will help you avoid responding when you are emotionally charged with fear, hurt, or anger.

Maybe, Don’t Do This

Yesterday, I received an email from my abusive ex-husband’s wife. Whenever she sends me emails they are condescending, rude, an full of personal attacks. Although I have received less emails than I used to from my ex-husband, it hadn’t occurred to me to create a special folder for her emails into. There is no reason for her to talk to me. She is extremely abusive and unhealthy and I really do not need that in my life.

I didn’t exactly react, but I didn’t exactly respond either. So you can see why putting this in a special folder to avoid random emails. As, I mentioned in one of my previous posts, it seems like his wife is doing my ex-husband’s dirty work. I consider her like his personal minion and doing his bidding.

[To Me]

It has been over 30 days since a payment has been received for [daughter’s name] medical/dental expenses. Please advise when a payment will be rendered.

[From Minion]

My response:

[To Minion]

Check your mail.

Ask your husband, maybe he is hiding money in another account like he did with me. (include a screenshot of this payment sent out by the bank 7 days ago on Oct 13th) This message was truthful, but I really didn’t need to say it, but my frustrations were high after receiving another email from her and this is how I responded. So of course she is going to strike back. 

[From Me]

Her response:

[To Me]

My husband is an amazing man. He would give his right arm for me. He showers me with gifts all the time just Bc he loves me.  No deception in our marriage. The man I know would push someone in front of a bullet and save himself. We have never talked about these things, maybe deep down she knows there is a problem.

We have only receive a payment of $100.00 from you. Should I make a google spreadsheet for you to keep a running outstanding balance for you?  I don’t think I need to. Stop playing games and step-up to your mothers responsiblilites.

[From Minion]

My response, I have really grown tired of her bullying:

[To Minion]

My motherly duties exist since I gave birth to her and raised her for over 17 years with just a smidgen of your involvement. I will always be a REAL mother and have the responsibility as a REAL mother.

Oh my! Someone went on a tangent. Insecurities much?? How did you go from payments to “he showers me with gifts.” Weird. I did voice these thoughts with the help of a dear friend. There are so many things I would love to say, but I continue to hold back. 

[From Me]

Her response, really hateful and full of lies:

[To Me]

You make me laugh. [Daughter’s name] is healthy and thriving living with us. Everyday we peel back the layers of damage you have done to her.  No one falls for your victim act anymore.  Take a look in the mirror.  I’m sure you don’t like what’s looking back.  

I know you will respond to this bc you have a “last worder” personality & that makes me laugh, too. This was a low blow and my good friend even said, watch out when she replies, they will hit below the belt… and she did. 

[From Minion]

Get Healthy Support

After sending this message to one of my trusted friends who has known me for more than ten years she sent a text back saying:

Oh, she is lying!!!!

She is using a strategy of the narcissist (and some addicts): they don’t accept any responsibility for what they did (THEY damaged [daughter’s name]), but they are quick to say “It’s all your fault.”

It’s a sick game. Sick, sick, sick.

Another good friend said this:

Just remember they may try to hit below the belt like they have done in the past. Don’t let it get to you.

If they reply, just laugh because you will know you got to them.

All email screenshots were sent to my counselor along with this comment:

Okay. Trying not to let her message affect me. I know I didn’t damage my daughter. I did thrown the ball back a few times. I know better. I am just tired of being bullied by them.

My counselor replied:

I think it is okay to fight back. She sounds awful.

Last Response

There are no regrets over sending this message. Plus, there is no sickness in my stomach. Also, I thought about it carefully and waited all day. A good friend helped me with the wording and this was not sent when I was angry. Now their email will go to a special and forgotten folder. Once my daughter has graduated I will block the both of them completely. I also know this response is hitting her below the belt and isn’t exactly that nice. I am just sick of being a doormat for my ex-husband and his wife. There is no reason for them to speak to me the way they do. In the past, I have always taken the high road and it doesn’t stop them from attacking. So, I realize no matter how I respond, it will not have a positive response ever.

Closing Thoughts

So, do what you need to do to create a healthy atmosphere. I have created my folders and rules for both my ex-husband and his wife. I am not going to be caught off-guard again. It is time to stop allowing their emails to show up unexpected. It is time to set up healthy boundaries to prevent toxic elements from entering my life.

Co-parenting a Teenager with an Abusive Ex-Husband

co-parenting with loveIt is difficult to deal with a manipulative abusive ex-husband. Co-parenting with my abusive ex-husband has been more than a little difficult.  In fact, it has been downright painful at times. Time to make smarter choices when dealing with my teenager.

There are times I have felt hopeless, like this is some sort of game that he is winning.  Plus, he does often treat our daughter like a pawn for some game he is playing.  The problem is manipulation does seem to be pretty powerful tool that is working with our daughter.

Here are the issues:

  • She never gets in trouble at his house. How is this, well there are no rules, or the rules are opposite of our rules. So if you don’t have rules, you really can’t do anything wrong. So what would you get in trouble for?
  • When she gets in trouble at our house, for failing a class, lying, or smoking pot (recently)… she can call him and he will be understanding and we are overbearing.
  • When she isn’t trying in school, we are constantly on her, and he can praise her for bring her F up to a D at the last moment.  They tell her they are so proud of her.
  • Having no rule at his house, makes our house look like a strict household where we are just unfair parents who won’t let her do anything.
  • She goes to his house and tells her “They said I don’t deserve to eat food”, something we never said, and then he calls up and yells at us for saying something we didn’t say.  So when she is angry, she uses this tool to create additional conflict.
  • He and I do not communicate, not that I wouldn’t like to co-parent with her father, but that I really can’t co-parent with a combative parent. So, our teenage daughter takes full advantage of this opportunity to spin the story however she likes to both of the households.
  • His wife has told my daughter that I am crazy, or have ‘borderline personality disorder’.  Keep in mind that she is an assistant teacher and not really qualified to diagnose anyone, especially since we have never met.
  • He has spent years telling our daughter passive aggressive comments, like; your mom is going to be mad at you, you only have one real dad, he isn’t your real dad, you need to listen to your mom ‘no matter how she acts’, we aren’t the food police here, ….

So, I would like to say the truth wins, but it doesn’t always.  I was really thinking today I need to rethink my approach.  So, over here we do get on her too much when she lies, doesn’t do what she says, or does something she shouldn’t. So I realize, we need to pull a little Alanon tools into this situation.  No matter what she does, at her dad’s house they praise her for everything so they look better.

My best guess at this moment, is she is 17 and almost at the age where she could drive.  If she hadn’t been lying, failing school, and being so untrustworthy… we probably would have already have completed driving school, gotten her a used car and had her working by now. My ex-husband wants her to get a license, and this is even after being caught smoking pot in a car less than three weeks ago. He is determined to get her in a car.

He has never wanted to put the work in throughout her entire childhood.  He did not help her with homework on weekends, would say that she doesn’t have homework on weekends.  He almost never took her to any birthday parties that fell on his weekend. He stopped coming to see her during the week and just did visitation every other weekend. So, what is this big push now for her to come live with him.

Well, until she graduates from high school, he is supposed to pay child support.  He made the max amount of money, so he owes the max amount of child support. So, if she came to live with him, he could possibly stop paying child support.  If she had a car, she could potentially drive herself to school.  He may even think she could drive herself to the school by us and not even change schools. He also says he wants to buy her a car, and of course she wants that vehicle.

What he doesn’t realize is that she can’t choose until she is 18, but he believes she really can choose at 17. So, by him telling her this, she of course is really rebelling against the rules.  She doesn’t want to follow the rules and so it is easier to go live with dad, where she can do what she wants.

What do I do about this? It is definitely a tough situation. If she has an attitude and we are constantly on her, and they are constantly praising her, then she feels life would just be better at her dad’s house.

So, perhaps we need to approach this in a better way.  First, I do have her signed up to see a new counselor, because her old one just didn’t seem to be getting anywhere with her.  Probably will have to make a deal with her to see the counselor every week until she is 18, then if she still wants to move out at 18, well I can’t stop her.  I am hoping the counselor will possibly be able to reach her between now and then.

At home, I think we need to be more loving.  Continue with our boundaries, but speak more about love and how much we want her to succeed.  Try to release the tension, but at the same time keep our rules.  This new territory and will require plenty of Alanon meetings, Co-dependent meetings and church. Hopefully, she will pull through this okay and survive her childhood.

Accept the fact, that this might be all wrong and I might have to change my approach again.  In Alanon, one of the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ is ‘Do not be discouraged by the mistakes you make’. These same rules should probably be applied when dealing with teenagers.

Al-Anon Family Groups

Do’s and Don’ts

DO…

  • Forgive
  • Be honest with yourself
  • Be Humble Take it Easy – Tension is Harmful Play –
  • Find recreation and hobbies
  • Keep on Trying whenever you fail
  • Learn all the facts about Alcoholism (or Teenagerism)
  • Attend Alanon meetings often
  • Pray

DON’T…

  • Be Self-Righteous
  • Try to dominate, nag, scold or complain
  • Lose Your Temper
  • Try to push anyone but yourself
  • Keep bringing up the past
  • Keep checking up on your alcoholic (teenager)
  • Wallow in self-pity
  • Make threats you don’t intend to carry out
  • Be over-protective
  • Be a doormat

Breaking the Addiction to Emotional Abuse

During my abuse recovery, I have questioned if I was possibly addicted to the emotional and physiological abuse that I endured daily for so many years. There are times when I question if I will ever truly be over the abuse.  There are always things that triggers my memory of my past life.  They do not trigger an emotional response from me so much anymore.   During the first few years of my divorce even a memory could trigger a panic attack or anxiety.  I am very grateful this type of response happens less today.

Also, I lived under continuous stress for so long it almost seems as if I was unable to live without it.  Almost as if my mind would create the stressful memories so I could feel the stressful feelings that once use to be a normal daily feeling.  When I first moved into my house after my divorce, it was so quiet it was like my brain couldn’t handle it.

Today, I must watch out for warning signs in other relationships.  I have found it was easy to attract certain types of people into my life because they exhibited some of abusive behaviors I had grown accustomed to.  Certainly I was not consciously trying to meet abusive people but feel the same types of emotions I had felt throughout my whole life.  For example, start working at a job that is continuously emotionally stressful with a manipulative & abusive boss.

Looking back now, it sometimes makes me wonder if I did not allow healthy people in my life because of some sort of addiction I had to those emotions.   Abusive people are certainly unhealthy and not good to have in our lives because of the stress they induce.  However, there was always drama and chaos and perhaps they kept emotions running high.   So in a very sick way an abusive relationship might be somewhat exciting even if that ‘exciting’ is really sick and unhealthy.

We have all been given those survival skills, fight or flight, and it is normal to be able to react when we are exposed to those types of situations.  I know those fight or flight trigger an adrenaline rush that gives me the energy to deal with what I have to.  However, it is not normal to feel those feelings continuously.  It makes me think I was somewhat addicted to that adrenaline rush?

However, I am not a doctor and I really cannot diagnose these feelings.  However, if you are in a situation where your life is crazy and your are living in hell every day for years, it might be hard to feel okay without it.  That crazy hell I lived in became my ‘normal’.  I has taken me a long time to make non-stressful life ‘normal’ and any sort of crazy hell ‘abnormal’.

After leaving my abusive ex-husband I have found I do not allow unhealthy people to stay in my life for very long.  It took me 10 years to leave my ex-husband and only 1 year to leave the next unhealthy relationship.  So I had to be extra careful, after being with my ex-husband, my bar was set really low and anyone looked good in comparison.

I am not sure if you can identify with these feelings but they are just some thoughts that have come to my mind.  Today I really do not want to live with daily fighting, drama and chaos.  I do not like to feel stressed but it is something I have to work on because occasionally I find myself engaging in a stressful conversation with a company who did something wrong or unethical.   These are things I have to work on trying to avoid.

Received a Letter from the School

I received  a rather interesting letter from my daughter’s school today regarding the complaints I had made.

School Web of Deception

The letter basically says that since my daughter is no longer a student their district they cannot hear any formal complaints.  They have closed all complaints regarding my daughter.

They CCd all the people involved in this complaint.  It certainly appears they were looking for that loop hole out of the mess they created.

However, they regret that I felt it necessary to bring forward complaints to the district.  I should be assured the complaints were fully investigated and appropriate action was taken (no action was taken), according to their board policy.  The policies were a complete joke, all they offered was lip service, and did everything they could to sweep the situation under the rug.

School Lies and Corruption

Never mind that my daughter caught her teacher in a lie as they tried to cover up the evidence of their inappropriate behavior.  Never mind that the school signed parenting rights away to a girlfriend who had no rights to be treated as anything more than a non-parent.

I am glad to be done with the complaints as it was a waste of time.  I truly hope all schools are not like this and we just had some misfortune.

I did send them a response by email asking them if they had any transfer papers to another school district.  As they do not have any such thing.  At this time she is still scheduled to attend a school within their district.  I would love to hear how they respond to that.  I guess it will give me something else to write about.

Read All Posts from this Story:
1) What a Tangled Web They Weave (first)
2) The Drama Continues and My Daughter Saw It (second)
3) The School Responds and Dismissed Everything (previous)
4) Received a Letter from the School (current)

How Did I Meet The Abuser

I thought I would jump back into the past a little and tell you how I met this man who I am now divorced from. I guess to tell you that story I might have to go back a little further.

I was very attractive when I was younger but the problem was I never believed it. I did not have a very good opinion about myself. Looking back now I would believe I didn’t find myself attractive because I was not making very good decisions. Throughout high school I was always hanging out with the wrong friends, getting into trouble, and I was always rebellious. The thing was, I had a conscious, and I knew the things I was doing were wrong. I would tell you I didn’t care but I know I did because I felt a lot of guilt over my choices for a lot of years.

I did not have very many relationships with very many guys. I honestly thought I might as well been a leper. Truth be told, with such low self esteem, there was no way I would have attracted a guy worth anything. In order to attract healthy people, you need to be healthy yourself, and I was not. I thought I was very independent because I would just make decisions to move without giving it much thought. I am not sure if that was independent or just making a geographical change to fix my life?

So here I was in this new city with very few friends and working the night shift at a bar. One night some of my co-workers invited me to go out with them. After having several months of boredom in a new city I decided to join them. They had the drug Ecstasy with them and I decided to try it. Other than the occasional experience smoking pot when I was in high school and not enjoying it I had never tried any drugs. So when I met my ex-husband I was literally on drugs.

I thought he was handsome and he was in really good shape. I was actually pretty amazed he picked me and I guess I felt special and flattered. The hidden truth there is my ex-husband had a major self esteem issue and a big ego and he needed to meet someone who was just like me. You see a strong, confident, healthy woman would not have wasted any time on this man. Healthy people are not typically attracted nor do they attract unhealthy people. That match just wouldn’t work right or last very long.

Now do not get me wrong, I am not bashing myself here, because I have worked very hard on myself and accomplished a lot. I took some wrong paths and made some mistakes. The days are over when I beat myself up over my past I cannot change. From time to time, when my ex-husband is trying to control our lives, I find myself beating myself up over picking him. Then I think, how grateful I am, to have my lovely daughter and if that was all it was worth I would do it all over.