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During this 3rd year of my separation I’ve become increasingly reclusive, and I haven’t been sure why.  The other night I figured it out.

I was talking to a friend who had just scarfed down 2 bagels and pound of M & M’s and was in a shame spiral.  I’m the ideal person to call when  in a shame spiral as I lived in one for most of my life.  We spent at least a half hour talking about her childhood, her current status as a single mom, her financial struggles, her widowhood and more her.

That’s when it happened:  my divorce came up.  She said, as the majority of people do, “just get divorced already”.  Anyone not intimately familiar with my case apparently assumes that I’m the one holding things up.  She suggested that I “reason with him”.  Her idea was that I just talk to him about how we both want the same thing, then ask what  it will take to get it done.   Hahahahaha!    I  said “got to go”  and, as I hung up I realized why  I have spent so much time alone this year:  this is humiliating.

Whenever I talk to someone who knows anything about me I have to answer the question “why aren’t you divorced yet”.  And how am I supposed to explain it?  And even if I did try to explain, how many would truely understand what has been happening?  The only ones who can understand are the one’s who have been copied on all the emails and filings, because the whole picture is simply unbelievable.  The people who are copied on all of the emails and filings always have the same reaction:   WTF???   Our courts are the perfect place for the covert narcissist.  He can go on and on and on, playing victim, harassing me,  and pretending he’s not the problem.  Our courts seem thrive on this type of case.   After all we are both paying exorbitant legal and court fees.  We are a divorce attorney’s wet dream – the divorce that never ends, providing ever increasing billable hours.

I feel the same way I did for the past 25 years.  Its like I’m stuck in a virtual ping pong game,  bouncing between the “just get divorced” crowd and the “don’t you dare give up contingent”.   I’m the net, marking the line down the middle, frozen in my position,  wondering what the hell am I doing, should I be doing it, am I right, does it matter if I’m right:  what is the real price I’m paying?  It’s Marraige Take 2 – frozen with indecision, self doubt, and depression, becoming increasingly isolated and fearful, less able to cope every day.

I know that in theory I am doing the right thing, chasing down his hidden income & assets, making sure that I and my kids are provided for, but what if the theory is wrong?  Isn’t that how science works?  You start with a hypothesis, which is a simple guess.  After preliminary research, if there is enough evidence backing it,  your hypothesis becomes a theory, meaning most likely true but not conclusive, not yet a Fact.

I am at the theory stage, but guess what?  I wake up every morning and feel the dread of facing another day of fighting.  I hate talking to all but my inner most circle who have all the facts.  I have no energy, no motivation, and some days I’m even too tired to cry.  Does that support the theory that I’m doing the right thing?

This is exactly where the Narc wants me to be.  He is like the Charlie Sheen of divorce:  he’s “winning” because he’s filled with “tiger blood”.   He feels a sense of excitement.  He is energized every time there is another email or court filing.  He is thriving.  And he is thriving all the more because he knows I’m wilting.  He knows how close he is to the “win”.  He knows that if it weren’t for those few urging me on, I’d have caved by now.

He’s also got another weapon in his arsenal of reasons he’s a victim – namely me, who is being stubborn and obstinate, holding up what would be an amicable divorce if left up to him.  And I feel certain he is spreading this belief not only through our community but to my children, my youngest of which tells me “I [you] have no right to complain about anything, I [you] have a great life”.  Wonder where he got that one?

Last night I was watching a movie with my sons girlfriend while the boys played video games.  We eventually turned off the movie and talked.   She told me she felt bad for him [my spouse, torturer, bane of my existence] because he’s so “stressed” right now.  She knows he’s stressed because she can see it in his body language, and he keeps talking about how the sale of the business is falling apart.  I admit, I was not able to hold  my tongue.   I didn’t explain that he was using them to get sympathy and further advance his status as a victim.  I did explain to her that the sale of the business was never meant to happen.  It was a ruse, designed to get me to give up my share and walk away with nothing, allowing his life to go on as usual, not burdened with taking care of an ex.

So it seems I’ll enter 2017 the same way I have the past two New Years:  the net, anchored in place, not really belonging to either side of the game, standing alone and quiet.    The only difference is that the number of people I can talk to is dwindling.   And I guess if my Charlie Sheen of an ex gets his way, I’ll be walking among an increasing number of people who beleive I am the problem.

Sounds fun, eh?