Dec 23, 2011

A new Christmas feeling...

The chaos within me has abated,  I am adapting and learning to deal with the conflicts and the anxiety of having my children's time monopolized and manipulated by my ex.  The kids are old enough, they make their own choices.  The final decisions will not be made for another month and a half and I am abiding my time.. I have stopped being and feeling defensive to my ex's whining (through his lawyer). The main  thing I focus on is what is in the child's interest. I'll do what I need to do then, if it's not.

Now and then, the anger leaks in and I have a momentary lapse of wanting to lash out but it's under control. I've put him and his shenanigans out of my mind. After this year, I have come to realise I depend on him for nothing that is necessary.

Patience, humility, tolerance .. these run top of  mind and that seems to help alot but forgiveness, that's not possible yet. I trust that truth will win out.

This Christmas is a new beginning for me. More than ever, I appreciate the family I have and the love that we share and I am grateful to God for his many blessings and lessons.

I wish all bloggers and readers a beautiful Christmas peace and a good New Year ahead.

Nov 15, 2011

A Self reflection; learning to live honestly


The last quarter always sees more family occasions. I realize recently that my attitude to attending events that bring me in closer contact with relatives has changed and for the better – I'm less apprehensive and less calculating in my thoughts of what might be asked and how I might respond where my ex is concerned.

They must have noticed his absence from social functions for many years now. Not strange then, they have stopped asking me about it or him. 
I feel more open in my thoughts, there is less or hardly that sense of being imperfect or defensiveness  that I used to ‘arm ‘ myself with when going to these family affairs.
I suppose it would be called coming to terms with what has always been and what it will be and what it actually is today.

I want to be the person in charge of me again.

Who am I or was I trying to satisfy, why pretend?

Society is not perfect and as I sat in the living room of my brother's in-laws and the families a couple of weeks ago, I thought, everyone has issues,  I don't judge them, why should they judge me.



Why do we love ourselves less and not see our weakness as our humanness that is forgivable by God and yet not by ourselves? Do we set higher standards for being who we should be?

Nov 2, 2011

Waiting for Joy

It's been an exhausting few weeks, mentally more than anything.
I can't wait for everything to be over and to have my X out of my face. It will be soon,  looking forward to the joy of living.  The children are impatient too but I think they are handling it better than I am. In fact they play the 'game' quite well.  They seem almost stoic about  their father's behaviour, which is escalating in terms of the show of power and aggression. They do not want me confronting him. I have to wait it out.
He thinks he's winning, well he can have his illusion.

-------------------------------------------

My latest diversion is reading Eric Fromm, it's seriously tough text to follow but here and there there is light on particular subjects of interest. Here's something I want to remember particularly from his discussion....I keep trying to imagine how and what it would be/feel like in this ultimate situation of true Joy.

Eric Fromm writes about the difference between joy and pleasure and that what God wants for us is Joy as a virtue of living in the mode of being. Pleasure is transient, momentary and a product of possessions and the need to have.

Master Eckhart's thinking interprets it such.."When God laughs at the soul and the soul laughs back at God, the persons of the Trinity are begotten..
...when the Father laughs to the son and the son laughs back to the Father, that laughter gives pleasure, that pleasure gives joy, that joy gives love and love gives the persons [of the Trinity] of which the Holy Spirit is one. .................
Joy, then, is what we experience in the process of growing nearer to the goal of becoming oneself"

Oct 20, 2011

Why did I not get out?

I was waiting for a miracle. I prayed for help, a way. I suppose in the deepest deepest part of my mind I had this everlasting hope.

choppy waters, rocks aplenty...
But my prayers were not to be answered so easily or too soon. The abuse, the narcissistic behaviour began a long time ago and I suppose another reason for hanging on was the hope that he would mature and change.

But that was not to be even as I carried my first child. I was treated no better or differently. But still I hung on. I am Catholic and as much as I think myself a grade B- quality type of Catholic, deep down my faith mattered , my vows mattered, the sacrament mattered. It would not be right for the kids. So I held on. Was it cowardly?



Imagine having to hold your breathe on your partner's reactions/response to soup that comes out of a familiar can; because that taste too is your responsibility. 90% of the time, nothing is good enough or well done or right ..
I didn't make it worse, I took on the meek role and stayed in the silence which grew longer and longer each time, but I couldn't make it better. Maybe if I kept the peace long enough, he would see?

After the third child, he didn't change for the better, he got more arrogant and his self-esteem did not improve with respect to me, more tyrannical, using the silent treatment permanently on me as his means for punishment and his physical temper emerged more and more frequently.  Sometimes I think he has a brain disease. And still I did not think of getting out. I prayed for wisdom too.

I got the courage to take out the protection order, not for myself but for the kids. When I think back I can't recall what pushed me to take those steps, did I plan did I think it through.... 
Hoping again that he would see (reality) what he had to do (a chance to try to hold this family together) and consequently would shake him and make him realize he needed help and advise for his behavior that was not right; that he would then attempt to salvage us all as a family unit.  But that didn't happen.  I once said that hope can be bad thing,  this is what I meant.

And so I wondered then what was the answer, I got up the courage to take ONE step, was it up to me to take the next and last resort, to break the vows, was that the way ?

But that was not.  In the end, it was he who did it. Why at this time, I can't figure?

But this seems to be that final answer to my problem and repeated prayer.

There are several thoughts that come to mind as I surmise what has passed:
I was meant to have three kids and not stop at one
There is a purpose for their being.
I was meant to take that extra journey of suffering, it made me stronger and to become a different person from the one who started out. My faith is stronger.
I have come to appreciate what normal means in most human natures - my tolerance is that much more for the range of human temperaments as nothing comes remotely close to the evil nature of my ex whom I have had to  survive with all these years.
Perhaps this is where fate is meant to take me.
This is where his guiding spirit led me.  God does not intervene until you give him permission and so he couldn't give me the miracle I asked for.

Oct 17, 2011

Strangely calm

Whether it's trust in God or just the belief that there is little more I can do, I realize I have been less anxious and less paranoid over the current events and situation. It's like I have decided I have to leave it in the hands of the high court and know that it will turn out for the best.  I hope it's faith.

My ex has been filling my middle child's head with lies, intimidating the youngest with his growling and sarcasm and pressing for the sale of the house through the lawyers. He is attempting to solve his own problem where the property issues are concerned by addressing half of the ancillary issue to his own benefit without a solution to my own housing issue. While he flings words such as 'putting me on notice' and the 'uncertain property market' prices etc etc there is nothing for it but to wait for the high court to settle it all that includes my issues.

He is either dense or stupid or just plain selfish if he thinks I will give in and put myself at a disadvantage just to take advantage of property prices !  I feel the storm building around him.  He rails at some poor victim over the phone from time to time, I think it's his mother (poor woman),I feels sorry for her, but I am glad he can no longer take out his frustration on me or the kids.

I think he is desperate financially, since he's been attempting to stay in the country to show the court he can work from here rather than have to stay overseas where he has been operating his business for the most part of the last few years.

I know where the kids stand, I hope it's the same place that the court stands.

Oct 8, 2011

Gift to Frens


May the love and warmth of friendship
fuel our being,
our hearts and mind cherish,
every moment of our living;
what all, we bring together
in our meetings, our crafts, our sharing,
in the peace of our laughter
and in the knowing of each other,
We strive
to keep our souls alive .


 - HA





Oct 3, 2011

Worried, I can't help it.

Can anyone really understand our situation unless they have been in one like it or faced a scheming narcissist such as my ex. I am worried about the interview with the family court counselor. Will she ask the right questions and will she interpret the answers correctly. Does she understand the context of the situation the kids have lived under for the past many years. Will she get the true picture?

The next 3 weeks are going to be heavy with anxiety.


I pray it will all work out satisfactorily.

Sep 28, 2011

Wednesday Solitude: Working on defects

There were two reflections that stayed stuck to me this past week and seemed to follow me, entering my mind at the oddest times and places.
I have been worrying additionally as events are coming to a head soon, I suppose one leads to the other....

1. A reflection from the 25th week Friday encourages us to be more present, to make good use of the time that is now and not think about yesterday or worry about tomorrow. Essentially offer only the present moment to God and fill it with your worth.

Mat 6:34 "Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day"
Ecc 11:4 "He who observes the wind will not sow; and he who regards the clouds will not reap"

2. In a reflection of 26th week Tuesday reading,  I am reminded of CS Lewis's Screwtape's letters, in that our defects are our weakest points through which temptation enters. 
The apostles themselves I am reminded were not perfect and Christ was patient and taught them. I am encouraged.
 
Somewhere in the reflection it goes "progress in our life of piety depends a good deal on our recognition and understanding of our dominant defect.  This is the defect which has the biggest influence on our behaviour and thinking."

So it's not the same for you and me, I will have to find my own path to holiness by working on that defect and strengthening the interior life.

Sep 26, 2011

Is the World spinning faster ?

Where did the time go? In a blink, I can't believe it. 
Only a quarter of the year to go, September is soon ending. 
While I walked was I unconscious
through months, days, hours, only to realize I'm here now. 
I still recall the beginning of the year
thinking 'it's going to be a long year' 
and yet here I am now. 
Work and kids are consuming but Troubles are too, 
that's where Time went flying, into a black hole of distraction. 
Can I slow it down? 
But then it has not been a good year, so let it fly, next year will be better. 
I'll have to attempt to be more present. 
When I think back, read what is written, lived through, had created along that way, 
I am quite glad; there are fruits and flowers, it's not all barren or sad. 
There are footprints too, not mine alone.
Where did time go?

Sep 20, 2011

Wrestling with deeper thoughts



Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew.   - Saint Francis de Sales
Off and on I think..... what did I do to deserve this kind of torment.  How naive I was to have married such a monster and lived with him for so many years. Was I that wrapped up in work? Did I so successfully ignore the harsh reality that I survived it all this while and continued to do just that 'survive' instead of being  'alive'.
The wake up call to 'un-zombify' came in two hard knocks (think this is what they mean by God shaking the earth under you). One was my retrenchment from an all absorbing job and the other was the increased sociopathic behaviour of the ex. There was an increasing obsession with 'discipline' and a corresponding suffering of the kids which my senses began to grow increasingly troubled with. Did one lead to the other or did my change of situation lead to the blunt awareness.

... this keeps on circling in my thoughts...
I have never thought of myself as a perfect mother, and being a working one perhaps that had been my crutch. I have never been in the position to not have to work, and so now and then I have these feelings of regret and wish I could go back in time to capture more memories with my kids.

The kids have more because of it on one hand but less of me in other ways. It is my loss.
But then now I am stronger for it too , and in my current situation  I have to be grateful for how it had been. Because I know we can survive without him and that is one less insecurity I will face.
and so my internal arguments seem to face each other off.....

I believe that there must be a purpose for the kids, their being brought into this world. [Else if I had been a different person and taken a different path, they would not have come to be except perhaps one] God works in puzzling ways.

Am I making sense.. ...I believe the sum of who I am now is the result of where I have been.  And so I am more able to take on and cope with what is happening now.

feelings of guilt and yet... a strong desire to move forward.....

It bugs me that I cannot carry all their burdens,  I can try to anticipate to lighten it.

I pray for a little more perfection in the area of motherhood but most of all, I pray that my kids will come to understand it all when they are older and not judge me for the many things they probably will not recall or understand.
Is it because I am a mother that I demand more of myself or is it just me demanding more of me?

What sort of person would I have turned out to be were I not a mother?



Sep 14, 2011

Chimes in children's voices

It's Sunday, and I usually take the dog for a walk in the evening and sit in the playground for a while, usually an hour before sunset.  In the past months I have noticed, there are more young children, and from a number of nationalities. It's like a junior UN.

I enjoy this moment when I have it.

It's quite something to watch them interact. They may be strangers initially for about three minutes, but soon they are bosom buddies, screaming, yelling playing catch or hide and seek and chasing each other all over the park. They play together, falling in so easily,  no matter the age difference or skin colour or their accents; the more the merrier. Unspoken rules yet they understand the child's world of play.

As I sit there listening, I find myself undisturbed and sooth; there is a sweetness in the voices, a freedom, ..not a care.I'm lulled into this nether world of innocence for a little while as I rest on a park bench amid plants and trees, lulled by voices like gentle chimes.

I wonder, is this  an example of what Ericc Fromm tried to describe as the 'Shabbat institution' ( a Sunday rest).."rest in the sense of the re-establishment of complete harmony between human beings and between them and nature."

Sep 10, 2011

Managing tension? Add Faith...

‘Hypertension’ the moment the doctor mentioned that my BP was approaching that level it has kept me thinking.  Am I in a state of distress ?. Am I putting myself there?. I have always considered myself calm and patient and yet perhaps it’s being eroded by all the negative things going on in my life for the past year. I just realized it has been a year, since the actual proceedings began.

I’ve moved from acceptance to elation to worry.
Acceptance because I can finally get on with living and not the hollow shell I have been for so long, acceptance because this is where my prayers have led me and this must be the step, the only solution which I am grateful has been taken out of my hands.
Elation because of the liberation from the abusive environment and the hell of my ex’s ill-foreboding ever-presence. Worry over the mischief the ex is

Sep 5, 2011

Life - like a carnival


Stepping into colours and sights,
sounds, smells, noise and wild movement.
Exhilaration and excitement unfurls, 
where to begin, what to try, which to sample.
Slowly the atmosphere soaks in, we warm up,
the game stalls beckon,
look at those soft toys, a sigh, not easy,  we move on.
Check out the carousel, how many rides,
just get on, let's not get off at all,
round and round,  easy and breezy, 
round and round, up and down,
Are we free, feels whimsical, 
can we toss the worries,
can I stay forever on my white horse.
Cotton candy puffs and popcorn smells, let’s get some.
We’re done,  it’s time to get the heart pumping.
Do we ride the roller coaster or the magic carpet?
Upside down or a real fast drop, what a choice, both or one.
We scream at the top of our lungs, breathing hard,
gripping the sides, knuckles straining out.
One more time, now with eyes open
we do it again, the speed demon takes over.
More exhilarated, eyes bright, minds giddy,
we rush on to the magic carpet.
Heart and stomach lost in transit, shot straight down, 
we come out and down, happily dazed.
Looking up, there looms ahead a glittering Ferris wheel.
Slowly and steadily, it seems to call. 
Let’s get to the top of the world. 
Will we ever get there? 
Another round, another shot at the top.
Slow and steady, in and out, we breathe in the clear air,
as we make our way.
Finally,  we are back down to earth, 
and it’s time to take leave.
Goodnight to lights, noise, smells and sights.
We're done now,
childhood, to youth, to grey.

(HA-8/11)

Sep 1, 2011

250th Post

250 posts and crawling.. ... I celebrated 150 posts in October last year, somewhere along the way I hit 200 and didn't celebrate.

I'm still writing, and I am glad. It's been a trouble-filled first half of year for me and a trying one for the kids. My hobby time is seriously compromised and I'm aching to get back to it. But the kids and this drama are taking a toll.

Writing helps, taking my mind off and into other modes of thoughts helps to keep some form of balance ...to be objective and think about what is important. I have been going back over some of what I have written and there are many reminders and lessons that show that time heals different wounds.
In many of them, I  seem to be talking to me!

I think a good posting average would be 1 a week, if I can keep up that is. I started in June 2009, so I think I'm doing OK.
http://mothersalways.blogspot.com/2010/03/stand-tall.html


Aug 29, 2011

Divorce Coach | A Narcissist Will Not Cease and Desist!

I came across this blog through's Mandy's blog sincemydivorce.com.. and there's a picture close to my reality..I did marry a narcissist..This is what stresses me out, will he desist?

Divorce Coach | A Narcissist Will Not Cease and Desist!


Aug 25, 2011

That time of the month...






This is a post that only women CAN understand.  I haven't hit 50 yet,  I keep thinking that instead of getting better during THAT time of the month, it feels worse. .. hormones !!!!
Today this is how I feel, my body feels like it has aged 20years or more and my eyes feel like my brain is squishing down on it and my joints feel stiff and sore (like I'm 90 though I have no idea how a 70 year old feels either).  It's like overnight,  someone took my body and replaced it with some old cranked up worn down body.  That SUMS IT UP.

But thankfully usually and HOPEFULLY, it's over within a couple of days, but it's horrible when you can't take off and you have to sit in the office and work and smile like everything is normal, FINE and DANDY.

The primrose isn't helping.!




Aug 17, 2011

Fresh


I stepped out this morning
the earth smelt fresh, washed,
very little was stirring
even the sun seemed abashed,
hidden behind veils of white,
not a human sound
nor one in sight.

Then, further down the road,
an engine, a gnawing drone
dogs awaken in their abode
I am no longer alone.

The newspaper arrives,
hear the barks come alive.

What news brings the day
houses rouse, raps and thuds,
a cool breeze whispers, leaves sway,
alone, me and my thoughts.

(HA 08/11)

Aug 9, 2011

Having and being

As I read Eric Fromm's book I think about what's happening now, with the children in the middle.

Is my ex's goal to have the kids, to have power over them or is it because he truly loves them?  In this phase of 'no man's land' for the kids I have decided that I will do what is best for them (not back away, I can't do that to the kids), but at the same time I will not worsen the tense situations the ex creates.
To him it is about control and power and who wins, that's the way it has always been. There has never been gentleness or compassion before now, yet he displays it now in a very restrained fashion. I read the 'disbelief' in the kids' faces but I know they play a survivor's game, almost like 'keep the brute happy so he keeps calm'.

They have attempted to speak and he walks over them. Soon it will be settled and I have to be patient and so will they. He makes comments to the boys about what he believes I feel or what I'm doing to thwart him. All I'm doing is trying to balance their relax time and outing time. But the ex has strange thoughts that I'm manipulating them, when it is he who seems to be doing that on his time with the boys.
I know this because the boys convey some of these strange statements and comments my ex makes. 

He tries to grab as much of the public holiday time and keep the boys out all day.  The kids grumble to me but the boys have to speak up for themselves and I hope they find the courage to do it eventually.
It took me years, I cannot expect more from them.

Matt 14:27,31  
“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” ......
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Aug 7, 2011

Retreats should effect a positive change for you while not creating new burdens for others.

Beware 'retreats' that are all about you. Somebody talked to me about attending a retreat a short while ago. The retreat was about clearing one's own baggage, dropping past negatives and finding peace on a straight unencumbered road forward.

Interesting thing about it was that it was not a spiritual or a religious-based retreat but a secular one. But what it also included (one of the many outcomes perhaps) was some form of confession (opening yourself) as part of the cleansing process to someone who had a negative impact on your life. To clear that blockage so that you can proceed to love that someone fully and immerse your self in their lives more fully rather than keeping that distance you came to realise that you kept.

I had heard from someone who had attended this retreat and what struck me, what was off here was, would they be hurting someone else(elders) by bringing up something they( eg your parents) might then be bothered with.  Shouldn't it be done without passing the burden, rather to face yourself and put it in the past.  Confess for your desired change if you must, speak of it but do not lay the cause at another's feet so it may burden them. If they cannot do anything about it now, why create issues where none were for others. So the handling of that should be delicate too, does the retreat address that or does it just 'sell' the participant to do what is needed for themselves and 'all will be well'.

The outcome of your actions is to work for you but think of the consequences of your actions on others too.

Jul 30, 2011

Conflicting thoughts and making right choices.

Whenever we make a decision, whatever the circumstances, whatever the reasons, it's still our choice, right or wrong, we own it, we take responsibility for it. This is one of the classic steps to ease stress.

It struck me that at some point I would have to let the children make their choices and learn from it.

I can't continue to protect them on every front because I am not there. Hence my conflict, I have to rationalize.

I've been thinking alot lately that I am still allowing him(X) to yank my chain, through the children. I have been attempting to run interference but I'm advised, there's very little I can do at this point eventhough it could be what is right for them. The kids know that alot of things do not  feel right and yet, are they hoping to please both sides?  Is it fear or love that prods them, it's hard to decipher.
To me, I think they might not be the best judge, but I'm advised they are old enough even for 10 to know the difference.
The children must make their stand and learn to face their fears too. I do not want to cause more tensions and more confusion for the kids.  And the children ultimately need to realise what it is they want and what makes them happy, not what they think should or ought to be right thing to do.

The harsh truth is,  consequences may be the best teacher.

And I cannot please everyone either, I have do what I need to do too.

There is no right or wrong, just a difficult road.

Jul 21, 2011

A doggie to boost life.

.....  something happy to post about !
I got us a dog a few months ago. A spaniel, a cute little girlie looking(becos she looks like a she) dog of 4 years, with long floppy furry ears. They are supposed to be of a 'barkie' nature, but she seems to control herself.
At the onset of the drama, when we were officially divorced, I thought a dog would do several different things for us, the kids and me. We got her from the SPCA(the pound), unbelievable that someone could just give up a dog after 3 1/2 years.

A pet is a dependent and so the kids especially the boys feel a sense of responsibility and take to caring for her in their own ways. They relate differently to the dog as well.  They share certain responsibilities like taking her for her walks and ensuring she gets fed when big sister or mummy is not around.
She's drawn our hugs and attention and love just by being, and literally brought light into some of the shadow that we carry around with us.. 

For the youngest, he's her playmate as much as she is his. But doggie is a little wary of children I observed. But she is good-natured in the way she continues to let him annoy her, almost tolerant-like in the way her eyes follow him.
She's jealous and protective(from other-dog perspective) and super friendly with all humans. She's also a little beggar at the dining table, like we don't feed her enough.  Truly those big puppy dog eyes just melts your resolve.

With my middle kid, some of his maturity comes out, and his temperament is pretty much calmer around the little fella. 

The primary care giver is my oldest, she's just into animals, birds and even insects. She is her best pal, she's her silent companion. She sneaks in to sleep near her whenever she can.

Doggie's got the patience to just listen quietly and she looks at you paying real close attention. You know she'll keep your secrets. She's constantly butting against my legs, warm and sort of comforting really to just sit with her. And sometimes she can be like another mischievous kid when she gets into the mood to keep  yapping at the wind.

This little dog does wonders for us, does she know, I think she does cos she keeps begging for more treats.

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