Dear Hopeful,

Your story makes me realize a lot and I am thankful and glad you shared it. I truly wish you all the best for your future. A lot of what you said resonated with me; I too felt like a failure, was made to feel “to blame” for all of the relationship problems. I’ve felt particularly “stupid” because I was in my late 20s and consciously and deliberately tried to choose a partner who shared my values and faith, not just base things on stuff that doesn’t last/matter. Probably because I lost my mother and a dear stepmother through divorce while growing up and wanted my children to NOT go through similar.

Even though things are tough right now, I hope you an take some heart. I joined another support group on-line before I knew exactly what was going on, and didn’t find that one (for people with personality disordered partners) until going through many on-line forums, describing what sounded “crazy” and getting very little response from other members. What could they say? If I didn’t KNOW that what happened had, I would have thought the (my) situation was “made up” or exaggerated … or something. Sometimes, it still makes my head spin to think that some of what happened/is happening is even POSSIBLE. When you said you went to professionals for help, I can only imagine what that was like, if my own experience is any indication.

Twilight talking about her situation, too … since I have two daughters whom he got custody of earlier on … because he could control them and they were worth money, til they graduated from high school … he successfully convinced “professionals” that I really was not only a “nut” but a drug addict to boot (taking meds prescribed by doctor for 3 weeks) and I lost years with my children, as well as most of my assets and confidence … my career, more than once. He successfully got me to divorce him by threatening me with (permanent) involuntary commitment … I even thought or about half so, that I must or might be crazy.

I didn’t realize until doing some research, that people with CG often have other problems, including sometimes personality disorders, that make it harder to face their own problems but their involvement/responsibility as well. There is a great site, bullyonline.org, I believe that talked about how and why targets might be chosen. When we get bullied and otherwise get so much negativity from CG, it seems over time to erode confidence and even our correct perceptions. I didn’t realize how much I retreated into somewhat a daydream world, reading fiction and such, where I found “life” and a way to cope, over the years. I didn’t realize that I not only had so much untapped potential, but that I actually was an excellent wife, mother, nurse and etc. Like any other person, I was not perfect, but those small imperfections and insecurities I had were magnified all out of proportion to their reality. I realized that I had then become more dependent on him and his opinions of me rather than more accurate reflections from the results of my efforts, other people and so on.

Even though you are probably somewhat scared about money and the like and probably still healing, I think you still have made the very best choice. Especially since he came on so fast with the negatives. I can’t pay any of the bills right now other than immediate ones, like rent and groceries … utilities. And am going to be sharing expenses with my younger daughter. Both of us have been devastated, both financially and at times emotionally. She more so because she confronted the issues and has basically now been cut off by half her family; I know that has to hurt no matter how it’s sliced. But in the long run, she is better off without people who don’t care about her, reality or even in reality, her father (they enable). And I have my “bad” days and I think I am going through a lot.

But being divorced from this CG in past and learning that the only “mental issues” I have ever had were directly related to my “relationship” with him/his relatives … wow! I finally realized I had been injured, with PTSD, and not surprising when someone you are supposed to be able to trust … I made a new career and was doing as well as before all the stuff started.

I think you likely have a LOT of potential and strength within you and often, we look to professionals first … when we start finding out what the truths are, we start becoming quite capable of becoming experts (even if unrecognized) in aspects that no professionals around us are. And when I eliminate the finances, it is VERY CLEAR that nothing has changed about me, or even the situation. I am still a responsible person and someone who takes my word, promises and obligations seriously. Even the Court orders and shenanigans he and his relatives have played, enabling them to destroy any hope of settlement from the divorce, don’t change REALITY. So the Court and people in it are easily fooled … I’m not, any longer. And it REALLY SUCKS at times, to have to explain to people or scrounge around for information about a situation I didn’t create, but hey, I have at least survived (even with no credit) over a year, learned to do repairs on my car and so on. Not all peaches and cream, but there are also people who care and help, and I am very thankful to them and for them.

My guess is that if you move forward without expecting financial support of any kind, you will likely be surprised in future, to find out how far you can go. I got bogged in costly Court proceedings for years just to see our children and that is how I ended up going back and part of the reason my finances got so hard to manage. If you have your children and your sanity, you can get your confidence and potential back and other good things will follow. I kept a journal and it seemed to take forever, but it finally happened that my efforts started having results … and it was “a gusher” when it finally broke.

Again, best wishes and keep your chin up! Thank you VERY MUCH for sharing, because it has also helped me a great deal. I hope, too, that you will also update as to how you are doing in future. I will be thinking of you and remembering you.