Remembering to Breathe

Read the full article at Remembering to Breathe

This piece was submitted to our 100K STORIES PROJECT by an anonymous protective mom.

I have been a single parent twenty two years now. Single parenthood is filled with tears , loneliness, and holding my breath to survive on a shoe string budget. Buster our dog was colored blue, extreme teenage rebellion which included the police and more hospital stays then I can count are just a few off my lists of parenting. My life changed when I was in a horrific car crash at thirty two weeks pregnant. I called the ex from the back of the ambulance and he never came. I survived twenty five surgeries and my son seven since 2006. The ex left California in 2009 for Colorado and never looked back. The lawyer stole my settlement and I ended up on welfare. The dad contributed two packs of diapers, bottles, drop ins, and socks and called it a day before he left. I was broken emotionally and financially and physically so I moved back home to my fathers. I just went back to working last year and juggling multiple jobs since my ex has managed to skate by the OCDA and now Colorado DA. My son receives SSI now from the injuries he sustained in the crash. I was told by the OCDA I was lucky at least I received something.  Why does the legal system fail our kids? My ex uses his Jr’s social and changed his middle name and still driving around freely while his kids go without. Why does the government pay for deadbeat dads and their responsibilities? Why do we as mothers go without since we sure don’t let our children do? I have been called bitter and money hungry by his new woman. I have been told by the OCDA its Colorado’s job sorry we just have to wait. In the end this battle is for our children and I am his voice. I will not be silenced by this corrupt child support system.

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Protect Children and Parents from Court Appointees including Mediators

Read the full article at Protect Children and Parents from Court Appointees including Mediators

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Although I was in a 7 year post divorce case initiated by the father, MRS. Family Court Helper referred to me throughout her report to the court as MRS. Was she a once a MRS. always a MRS. kind of person or was she just careless in her cut and paste of a report she had used many times before?

MRS. Family Court Helper follows the money and moves from role to role. The trend in the family court industry is to find another court appointee role without standards or standardized training (especially domestic violence training) and use this for divorcing families who end up in court. The latest trend is mediation. MRS. Family Court Helper is now a mediator.

But she still prefers to do a PRE (custody evaluation) even though the research is saying this approach is harmful to children. MRS. Family Court Helper has conducted over 100 PRE (custody evaluations). When asked how much follow-up she had done to see how the children fared, she was incensed. When she finally responded, the answer was she hadn’t done any. What kind of professional does that?

MRS. Family Court Helper now says on her web site that the mother filed a complaint with the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) because she was upset with the parenting time decision she recommended when serving as a parent coordinator. It was much more than that. BEWARE of any licensed mental health professional that uses this line. MRS. Family Court Helper suddenly became an SA/CFI (Special Advocate/Child and Family Investigator), the role the court appointed her to serve, again in her response to DORA. Interesting isn’t it?

• MRS. Family Court Helper double billed me. These were corrected when I pointed out the errors, but not before.

• When I asked for a recap of the billing it took MRS. Family Court Helper 4 months to get me a recap of the billing. It was submitted in her reply to my DORA complaint. Even though she says she was a parent coordinator on her web site and in previous billings to me, the billing and the response she submitted to DORA listed all her work as being that of an SA/CFI as the court document ordered. She’s sneaky.

• MRS. Family Court Helper failed to discuss or implement changes that would take my child out of the middle of the conflict. Suggestions were made by a school counselor with over 20 years’ experience as a counselor and parent. The counselor looked over the child’s records and shared what she had seen work and then made some recommendations based on the changes MRS. Family Court Helper was proposing. When the recommendations were shared with MRS. Family Court Helper, her response was maybe it should be her who goes to the school and talks to the school personnel. She didn’t implement any of the recommendations.

• MRS. Family Court Helper took a piece of research which spanned 25 years and included recommendations to a group of Colorado goons promoting the parent coordinator role and decided not to follow the research but the recommendations of the goons who had no back up research.

• MRS. Family Court Helper did not set session agendas and the sessions were totally out of control. According to other mental health professionals I shared my concerns with regarding the nature of the sessions; MRS. Family Court Helper allowed transference to occur but did not remove herself from the case per the standard recommendation when transference occurs.

• MRS. Family Court Helper’s bizarre suggestion—“I can hardly wait to tell you this, what about, what if, the parenting communication is just between you and the father’s girl friend?” The girl friend is long gone from the picture.

• MRS. Family Court Helper’s response to the child running away from the father’s house a second time was to say the child “said she/he could handle it”. If the child could handle it, why did the child run away? And why wasn’t this a red flag to MRS. Family Court Helper?

Not long after a complaint was filed with DORA and a motion was filed by me to have MRS. Family Court Helper removed as the appointed SA/CFI, a contempt charge was filed against me. MRS. Family Court Helper said she read every document but failed to note as did Jefferson County Magistrate Cecelia Curtis that the contempt motion was meaningless. Magistrate Curtis had failed to read the file and didn’t realize the document surrounding the contempt charge had not yet been signed by her and sent out to all parties.

MRS. Family Court Helper is sneaky. BEWARE. She was assigned to be a SA/CFI and decided she would rather be a parent coordinator—a Colorado role with no standards, no standardized training and no follow up on its effectiveness. Not knowing at the time that this was a specific ambiguous role a group of Colorado goons were promoting, I signed an agreement with her saying she was a parent coordinator. Please learn from my mistake. Do not trust a court appointee, regardless of credentials.

Lessons learned. Don’t sign any document with a licensed mental health professional working in a court-appointed role without having it first looked over by an attorney working specifically for your family. If the court appointee is in business with an attorney as MRS. Family Court Helper is, even more reason to consult with another attorney. Or better yet, avoid this type of arrangement all together. It is not good for you or your children in my opinion.

Better yet, don’t use a mediator who has worked extensively in family courts in other roles. It’s not about the children for them, it’s about the money. Avoid Colorado family courts if at all possible.

The post Protect Children and Parents from Court Appointees including Mediators appeared first on Moms Fight Back.

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Family Injustice: A Capitol Conflict

Want to see the joke of the day? The Texas Constitution requires state lawmakers who have a personal or private interest in a proposed law to disclose it to the House… and not vote. Now you will understand why fathers rights groups are furious and are demanding a vote on a bill for equal parenting after divorce. We agree.

18 Tips For Successful Co-Parenting

18 Tips For Successful Co-Parenting

 

Co-parenting after divorce is challenging but doable with planning focused on the children’s needs.

Agreement on rules for co-parenting is key, setting up guidelines for both parents, and having a constructive and productive dialogue with your ex is crucial for forming an effective co-parenting relationship.

Tips for successful co-parenting

Raising children is already hard work, so you can only imagine how much harder it becomes with joint custody.  So, make it easier by planning, reaching an agreement, and keeping communications open.

Shared parenting after divorce can greatly impact the mental and emotional well-being of children, which is why the entire divorce process should be healthy and mess-free. Begin the journey of co-parenting by addressing the issue during the divorce process.

No longer husband and wife.

The relationship with your former spouse changes when you start co-parenting with your ex.

The focus of your “relationship” is now the connection you have as your kid’s other parent. It’s important to emphasize that your children hold more importance to you than the conflict that resulted in ending your marriage.

Demonstrate to your kids that your love for them will prevail through effective and persuasive dialogues with your ex. While no co-parent can give a concrete answer to what is a perfect relationship with their former partner, here are co-parenting tips that make the process uncomplicated.

1. Set co-parenting boundaries.

After being officially divorced from your partner, you’ll have to set co-parenting boundaries and ground rules to start building a new working dynamic of your family. These include keeping things businesslike and establishing conversational limits. Your ex doesn’t need to know every detail of your personal life if it doesn’t involve your children and vice versa. Setting these boundaries will help avoid future co-parenting conflicts and introduce new behavioral guidelines that both parents must follow.

2. Focus on healing yourself to prepare for co-parenting with your ex.

To become a good co-parent to your child, remember to own your role in ending your marriage and reflect back on your mistakes to move on to the next chapter of your life.

3. Create a family plan for your children along with your former partner.

Write out a document depicting the details of your family plan for your children. Create the co-parenting plan with the best interests of your kids in mind. Outline specific aspects of how much time the kids will be spending time with your co-parent, how the children’s schedule will be after the divorce, as well as how co-parenting conflicts will be resolved.

4. Don’t project your anger and resentment onto your children.

It’s almost impossible to immediately bounce back after getting a divorce—especially if your former partner was abusive. However, if you do end up getting joint custody, remember to love your child more than you hate your ex-partner. Set aside any anger, resentment, or hurt for the sake of your children and put forward their happiness, stability, and future well-being.

5. Don’t use your kids against their parents.

Nothing good ever comes out of bad-mouthing your ex-partner. Even if your former spouse was the worst to you, never insult them in front of your children. Do not vent your frustrations about your co-parent to your kids—you make them conflicted and leave the impression that they must take sides. Keep your children out of your co-parenting conflicts.

6. Don’t use them as a messenger either.

If you use your kids to pass on messages to your former spouse, you’re essentially avoiding having dialogues with your ex and putting your children in the center of your co-parenting conflict.

One of the most important co-parenting tips to keep in mind is to make your relationship with your ex-partner as peaceful as possible. No sending passive-aggressive messages, especially through your kids.

7. Create a sense of security for your children.

In unsure times like these, it’s crucial to make your children feel safe and secure. Do your best to put them first, even if it requires involving mediation in the divorce proceedings.

Remember to also allow your kids to have power in your co-parenting relationship—encourage them to take some of their things to your former partner’s house, let them know it’s okay to want to stay with them. Always assure them that both co-parents love them equally and they’re not to blame for your separation.

8. Focus on bettering your communication with your ex-spouse.

The key to having an effective co-parenting relationship is improving your communication with your ex-spouse. Calm, consistent, and calculated dialogue with your ex helps to positively impact your relationship with your kids.

Don’t forget to make your children the focus of your conversations. While it may seem impossible to be on good terms with your former spouse, your goal is to have conflict-free dialogues with your ex for the sake of your kids.

9. Make visitations and transitions easy for your children.

Being a child who frequently moves from one household to another is overwhelming. You’re saying “hello” to one parent and “goodbye” to the other. Make these transitions easier for your kids by reminding them they’ll be leaving for the other parent’s house a few days before the visit. Another useful co-parenting tip for these situations is dropping off your children instead of picking them up—you wouldn’t want to interrupt a special moment.

10. Be a flexible parent to avoid co-parenting conflicts.

While being a strict parent is necessary to establish behavioral guidelines and set agreed rules for children, it doesn’t hurt to chill out every now and then.

So what if you co-parent dropped off your kids 30 minutes late? When you compromise and let minor things slide, your former partner is more likely to become equally flexible in the future.

11. Keep in mind that fair doesn’t necessarily mean equal in co-parenting.

Since your children divide their time between co-parents, the time you spend with them is limited and precious. Sometimes, it’ll seem like your co-parent is organizing extra-curricular activities when the kids are supposed to be spending that time with you.

Learn to refrain from starting co-parenting conflicts in these situations by seeing the bigger picture—what works for you may not be in your children’s best interest. Support your kids at all times.

12. Respect your children’s time with their other parent.

Simultaneously, respect each other’s parenting time. Let your kids spend quality time with the other parent without disturbing or potentially sabotaging their time. Acknowledge your former partner’s authority to your children, whether or not you agree with every decision they make.

Successfully co-parenting after divorce is possible when both parties respect the fact that each co-parent has the best interests of the kids in every decision they make.

13. Plan regular co-parenting meetings.

Have regular check-ins with your former partner not only to form an effective co-parenting relationship but to also improve your communication with your ex-spouse. The co-parental meetings should revolve around your children’s schedule after the divorce, as well as their health and well-being.

Keep the meetings brief and to the point—take to each other with respect and listen to what you both have to say.  Take notes and share them with your ex so there is no confusion on what was discussed and what was agreed to.

14. Don’t expect your co-parent to strictly follow your rules.

Although you might have a specific approach regarding raising your children, your co-parent might disagree with certain aspects of your methods. They might let them do things—not necessarily dangerous or unsafe—that you don’t normally allow them to do.

Your co-parent might let your kids stay past their bedtime or allow them to have ice cream at late night hours. Abide by the agreed rules for your children, but don’t expect to strictly follow them at all times.

15. Share your children’s photos of important events with your co-parent.

No parent wants to miss their children’s birthday, graduation, or any other important life event on purpose. However, if you or your co-parent happen to miss a certain event, do send pictures of the occasion to make them feel they’re a part of the family.

Don’t trigger co-parenting conflicts and accuse them of deliberately not attending the event. Try to understand where they’re coming from and why they can’t come to the occasion. After all, they’re also your kids’ parent and they deserve to be a part of their lives.

16. Make important family decisions with your co-parent present.

Unless your co-parent is abusing their power over your children, do not make necessary decisions regarding your kids without your ex-spouses’ input. Hold a brief discussion about the subject before meeting your co-parent to explain further.

Avoid sending one-sided emails or messages to your co-partner in these cases—words may get lost in translation in texts and emails and your effective co-parenting relationship may be compromised.

17. Establish a support system for shared parenting after divorce

Co-parenting after divorce may get overwhelming, so don’t hesitate to reach out to friends and family to help you overcome these difficult times. Having joint custody with your ex-spouse can be paralyzing, but as long as you know you have a support network, moving forward becomes doable.

18. Create a fresh co-parenting plan when new partners are introduced to the family dynamic.

You can’t stick to the same co-parenting plan forever. Children grow up, you introduce new parenting methods, and eventually, new people become a part of your family. Go over the co-parenting plan with your ex-spouse to change or add new behavioral guidelines and further discuss new co-parenting boundaries.

Joint custody arrangements can be stressful when you don’t have an effective co-parenting relationship. Stress, exhaustion, and trauma might get the best of you. However, co-parenting plans can be created early on in the divorce process.

Have fruitful and productive dialogues with your ex and come up with a family plan for the children with the presence of a divorce mediator.

Make joint custody work, enable your kids to thrive, and incorporate as many co-parenting tips as you can in your everyday routine to make life after divorce effective and contented.

 

The post 18 Tips For Successful Co-Parenting appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Woman talking to angry ex on the phone who needs to establish boundaries in their co-parenting communication

Co-parenting Communication Tips

Getting along with your ex isn’t always easy, but these tips on setting boundaries can make discussions about your child(ren) less stressful.

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Veterans In Politics Argues Against Nevada Assembly Bill 115

Veterans In Politics Argues Against Nevada Assembly Bill 115

 

Clark County Nevada

March 2, 2021

 

Veterans In Politics video internet talk-show interviewed Burke Hall a litigant that has been fighting to have custody of his two remaining sons after his ex-wife was convicted of the death of their youngest son.  Burke discusses why AB 115 is not a law that would benefit Nevada’s families in this year’s legislative session.

Please click on the link below to view AB115:

legiscan.com/NV/bill/AB115/2021

 

Summary

AN ACT relating to parentage; authorizing a court to determine in certain circumstances that more than two people have a parent and child relationship with a child; establishing provisions concerning custody and visitation, adoption, and the termination of parental rights in cases in which a child has more than two parents; requiring the Committee to Review Child Support Guidelines to review the guidelines established by regulation for the support of one or more children to determine the amount of required support in cases in which a child has more than two parents and provide any recommendations for revisions to the Administrator of the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services of the Department of Health and Human Services; requiring the Administrator to review and consider any such recommendations and revise or adopt any necessary regulations, and providing other matters properly relating thereto.

 

Our Argument Against this bill:

 

ASSEMBLY BILL 115

 

  1. TOTAL WASTE OF LEGISLATION RESOURCES. THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER IMPORTANT BILLS TO ADDRESS. THIS IS A DIRECT VIOLATION AND MOCKERY OF OUR US CONSTITUTION.
  2. SEVERE VIOLATION OF NRS 126.036 TROXEL V. GRANVILLE
  3. WE ALREADY HAVE SURROGACY LAWS AND SPERM DONATION CONTRACT LAWS.
  4. AND GAY MARRIAGE ALREADY ALLOWS SAME-SEX COUPLES TO BE PARENTS.
  5. THERE IS NO REASON FOR EVEN MORE DISCRETION.
  6. THIS BILL WOULD UNDERMINE THE ENTIRE INSTITUTION OF THE FAMILY UNIT. AND GIVE FAMILY COURT JUDGES UNLIMITED POWER AND DISCRETION OVER THE BIOLOGICAL PARENTS REGARDLESS IF THEY ARE FIT; REGARDLESS IF THEY ARE MARRIED
  7. WE ALREADY SUFFER FROM JUDGES HAVING “TOO MUCH” DISCRETION AND THIS WOULD GIVE CARTE BLANCHE TO DESTROY THE FAMILY UNIT AND ALLOW LEGALIZED TORTUROUS INTERFERENCE IN PARENTING RIGHTS. ESSENTIALLY IT WOULD ALLOW LEGALIZED KIDNAPPING—GIVE THEM THE DISCRETION TO ASSIGN OR REMOVE PARENTS.
  8. JUST LIKE IN THE DOCUMENTARY “THE GUARDIANS”, A STATE OFFICIAL SHOWS UP AT YOUR FRONT DOOR——MRS. _____________, I HAVE A TEMPORARY ORDER TO TAKE YOUR CHILD. COMPLY OR FACE JAIL TIME.
  9. CREATES SIBLING ALIENATION AS YOUR CHILDREN COULD EACH HAVE DIFFERENT PARENTS EVEN IF THEY ARE 100% BIOLOGICALLY RELATED.
  10. IN THE RASMUSSEN-HAMMER CASE THAT HAS BEEN ONGOING FOR 8 YEARS WE SEE THE SEVERE DAMAGE CAUSED TO THE CHILD WHEN DISTRICT COURT JUDGES USED THEIR DISCRETION TO GIVE A MARRIED WOMAN PARENTING RIGHTS TO A 6 ½ YRS OLD GIRL ALONG WITH THE BIOLOGICAL PARENTS ON THE PREMISE SHE WAS A “BABYSITTER”. HOW THIS IS GOING ON UNDER EXISTING LAW IS A MYSTERY. THE COURT TREATS THE 100% BIOLOGICALLY RELATED SIBLINGS AS IF THEY HAVE DIFFERENT PARENTS AND AS SUCH SIBLING BOND DOES NOT EXIST. THE BROTHER AND SISTER HAVE NOT BEEN ALLOWED CONTACT IN OVER 2 YEARS. BOTH GRIEVE THE LOSS OF ONE ANOTHER.
  11. THIS JUDICIAL DISCRETION WOULD ALSO DESTROY BEST INTEREST UNDER NRS 125C.0035.
  12. AMERICA HAS THE LOWEST CHILDBIRTH IN 38 YEARS. IF PARENTS FEEL THEY HAVE NO POWER TO GOVERN THEIR FAMILIES, THEY WILL HAVE FEWER CHILDREN.
  13. A JUDICIAL CRISIS ALREADY EXISTS, JUDGES ALREADY ABUSING DISCRETION, THIS WOULD MAKE IT 10X WORSE. THIS BILL WILL FEED THE FIRE OF JUDICIAL ERROR OR JUDICIAL CORRUPTION.
  14. WOULD CLOG UP CHILD SUPPORT COURTS AS NOW THERE ARE MORE PARENTS FROM WHICH TO COLLECT.
  15. IT MIGHT BE A WAY TO DRUM UP MORE $$$$ THROUGH FAMILY COURT. THE CONTENTION IS ALREADY AT A HIGH WITH TWO PARENTS. MORE THAN TWO WOULD CREATE BIGGER WARS AND PUT EVEN MORE PRESSURE ON CHILDREN.; FORCING THEM IN THE MIDDLE OF THREE, FOUR, OR MORE ADULTS.
  16. IN ADDITION, IT ALLOWS THE GOVERNMENT TO INTERCEDE.
  17. YOU MIGHT BE FORCED TO SHARE YOUR CHILD WITH A STATE AGENCY WHERE THE STATE AGENCY IS DEEMED TO BE GIVEN THE PARENT STATUS.
  18. ANYONE COULD NOW FILE A PETITION FOR PARENTAGE; NEIGHBOR, FRIEND, SCHOOL TEACHER, BABYSITTER, ANYONE WHO HAS A “RELATIONSHIP” WITH YOUR CHILD.

 

Please click on the link below to view: Burke Hall discusses proposed legislation regarding family court on Veterans In Politics talk-show

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUIs14J-6Kw&t=534s

 

 

 

Educate yourself!

 

 

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20 Signs Your Ex Is Narcissistic

20 Signs Your Ex Is Narcissistic

You leave and you’ll never see the kids again

Narcissistic mother

Things started so well.  They seemed perfect and, even better, they made you feel perfect too.  They lavished praise and attention on you.  It felt wonderful.  It was everything you ever dreamed of.

Then they stopped being so affectionate.  They started talking about someone new at work.  Everything they once said they loved most about you suddenly seemed to irritate the crap out of them.

What changed?

They tell you it was you but you aren’t sure.  Nevertheless you try everything to win back their acceptance.

But it’s not enough and although you do anything and everything, nothing works.

It’s all your fault

Or is it?

 

Individuals with narcissistic personalities tend to be grandiose, entitled, and self-centered.  They are often impulsive and anxious, have ideas of grandiosity and “specialness“, become quickly dissatisfied with others and maintain superficial, exploitative interpersonal relationships.

It’s why they find it so easy to  move on to the next “supply” and so easily discard you.

They react to criticism with feels of rage, stress or humiliation (even though they will never express that).  They take advantage of others to achieve their own ends.  

Other personality disorder processes are high levels of over-dramatic emotional displays (silent treatment or rage), paranoia (jealousy and suspiciousness), antisocial behaviours (aggression, domestic abuse and verbal abuse) or obsessive compulsive behaviours (rigid moralistic rules).  These are often evident throughout the relationship, although not at the start as they usually have another person who is able to be their “regulatory other” (the person who regulates their emotions). 


Overt narcissist (sometimes called grandiose narcissist)

Overt narcissists are characterised by grandiosity, attention-seeking, entitlement, arrogance and little observable anxiety. They can be socially charming, despite being oblivious to the needs of others, and are interpersonally exploitative.  They engage in superficial relationships and seek out external feedback that supports their grandiose sense of self and protects them from their fragile self image

Covert narcissist (sometimes called vulnerable narcissist)

Coverst narcissists present as vulnerable, fragile and thin-skinned.  They are characterised as inhibited, distressed and hypersensitive to evaluations of theirs, while chronically envious and evaluation themselves in relation to others. Interpersonally they tend to be shy, outwardly self-effacing (modest) and hypersensitive to criticism, but are covertly grandiose and jealous.

Malignant narcissist

They are characterised by the typical symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder as well as prominent antisocial behaviour, paranoid features and sadism towards others.  they engage in chronic lying, intimidation and financial or interpersonal secondary gains which maintain their malignant pattern.

10 Signs Your Ex Wife/Girlfriend Is Narcissistic

I watched Gone Girl for the first time a few months ago and I thought Amy (pictured above, credit: thefincheranalyst.com) was one of the best depictions of a female covert narcissistic I have seen.  She played the part of victim so well at the start to lure in her husband (Amy’s mother was a overt narcissist) and then later in the film to restore her delusion as “loyal wife”.  Apologies if I have given too many spoilers away there, trust me that there is so much more to the film.

The female narcissists I have dealt with personally and professionally were covert and loved to act like the perfect partner and parent.  They go to extreme lengths outside the family home to project this image of perfection.  Obviously within the relationship things are very different.

Here are ten signs of a female narcissistic ex:

Continuous sense that she is disappointed

Take sides against you by default, assume the worst, distrust

Fantasies, several would involve another partner, not subtle

Your were paying for others mistakes against her

No true connection, emotionally distant, and callous

Ruined your special occasions by refusing to acknowledge them but wanted excessive displays of devotion on theirs

She prevented you from making friends, venting frustrations, or seeking support

Double standards in everything (they expect praise but gave you nothing but criticism, even if you did the same/similar thing)

You were made to feel guilty for wanting to be intimate

She regularly threatened to leave, threatening to pursue support in Family Court in order to destroy you financially (and may have followed through on this)

If you have children with a female narcissist, I recommend reading our blog 13 Strategies for Dealing With A Female Narcissist 

10 Signs Your Ex Husband/Boyfriend Is Narcissistic

I hate to admit this but I loved the first season of You.  Joe was a terrifyingly good narcissist.  So good that I think he lovebombed half the female audience! He displayed anti-social behaviour (malignant), vulnerability (covert) and was incredibly socially charming (overt). He was a full-house.

The male narcissists I have dealt with have also displayed all of the criteria.  I have had men ring me telling me that their ex is stopping them from seeing their children only to make false allegations against me online 24 hours later because HE didn’t answer the call HE arranged. I have spoken to men who have overtly spoken of their own grandiose sense of self by stating how they were capable of doing x,y and z even though they emailed me for advice. I have also had conversations with someone who claimed they were alienated only to later discover that they were in fact a registered sex offender.

Here are ten signs your ex was narcissistic:

Infidelity is common but they will also engage in sexual fantasies and try to get you involved

He wanted to control your appearance appearance

His and your emotional needs were not attended to

Triangulated the children into arguments and expects the children to take his side

Was only interested in doing things he wanted to do

He was extremely jealously of other men

He was envious of any of your successes (including your relationship with the children)

He never listened, but expected a lot of attention and perfect memory

Downplayed the contribution of raising children or taking care of the household

Sees you as his only being there to meet his needs

If you have children with a narcissistic ex I recommend reading out blog The Realities of Co-Parenting with a Narcissist

Narcissists dispaly a pattern of self-centeredness and grandiosity.  They have an exaggerated sense of their own abilities and achievements, require constant attention, affirmation and praise and believe they are unique and special and should only associate with others who are equally unique and special (you).  These are all brilliant reasons they are your ex.

As stated, if you have children with a narcissist do check out our resources on parental alienation and divorcing the narcissist.  Forewarned is forearmed.

The post 20 Signs Your Ex Is Narcissistic appeared first on The Nurturing Coach.

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single parenting: blonde woman in blue top pouting

Single Parenting: Do We Ever Stop Feeling Guilty?

single parenting: blonde woman in blue top pouting

 

The beauty of life, while we cannot undo what is done, we can see it, understand it, learn from it and change so that every new moment is spent not in regret, guilt, fear or anger but in wisdom, understanding, and love.

Single parent or not, I don’t think there is a space that exists that guilt doesn’t somehow find its way into the psyche of your day. We never feel like we are enough on the best of days.

Single Parenting

But single parents have a unique extra shoulder that sits on them like the yoke on an Ox because they must be so many people at once. If you need to please your child, your job may suffer. If you need to please your work, your children may suffer. If you need to please yourself, well…that’s a rare occasion and one that usually doesn’t even register on the totem pole of the priorities of your life.

We check off the boxes of the laundry list of chores that need to be done each day. Chores that reflect everything from just waking up to getting breakfast in your children’s tummies, to getting dressed, to checking that their homework is in the backpacks tucked alongside their lunches.

You make sure you are out the door not a minute past 7:20 am or you will hit the swath of traffic on Western Avenue that will slow you down and get you last in line for the drop off to the first of the two schools your kids attend.

As you drive you pray, they get there on time and are not subject to being tardy.

After doing the proverbial school drop-offs, you swing by McDonald’s for your first cup of desperately needed coffee which is also part of the timing game. Get there too late and you sit-in line and then you are late for work.

As you drive to work traversing over the bridges, sipping your cup of Joe, you feel yourself getting reacquainted with a moment of control.

It is only you in the car as you say your positive affirmations to yourself …” I intend on having a calm and confident day!” … “I am successful beyond my wildest dreams!” And so, it is as the day progresses.

You literally feel like you have already lived 6 hours of your day before it has even begun.

What did my children learn from me?

Did they see the guilt I lived with every day?

Did they feel responsible for any of the guilt that I imposed on myself and yet, picked up by them?

As I look at them now at the ages of 24 and 20, I see that indeed some of it has rubbed off on them.

I had written an article earlier about the comments of my children after I had interviewed them about their experiences with divorce. I asked the following question which gave me insight. This was what my son’s answer was.

If you could have any wish now as an adult of a divorced family what would that wish be?

 “I wish I handled it better and didn’t manifest resentments or anxieties that should have been addressed earlier. I wish I could have also been more supportive. Even though I was young, there was always more I could have done.”

My son was 4 years old when our marriage ended. What was this little boy thinking he could do? He was a child. There was nothing that was his responsibility.

Yet, he is 24 now and has articulated this. And honestly, I think he still feels this way. So, the answer to my own question would be, yes, they learned that their mom did feel guilt so perhaps they should too. My absence of mind in this was not what my intention was. I just felt what I felt, and they absorbed it.

The job of two is done by one. The job of two is done by

“Mum”.

Do We Ever Stop Feeling Guilty?

So, what is this guilt that single moms in general feel?

Why do we feel so obliged to be everything to everyone?

In my case, I felt that because their father didn’t love me anymore and found someone new, it made me feel like I had failed not him… but them. I wasn’t lovable any longer and thus they felt unlovable by him too.

To this day they both will curtail their conversations with him to please him. They will avoid subjects and requests that they feel will displease him because they feel the conditions of that love.

After all, he left his two children and married another woman with two children. This action alone made them feel somewhat invalidated and thus the conditions began. I never went a day in my life that I didn’t feel loved by both my parents and most particularly my father. Because they didn’t get that everyday love that I had experienced, I have spent the greater part of the past 20 years feeling guilt that has at times undone me.

The guilt of feeling like you are a bad mom means that you are a good mom.

So, what have they learned?

What is the imprint this guilt has made on their lives now that they are young adults?

Was it good?

Or was it not so good?

Notice I didn’t say bad. I don’t want to think that anything I did as a single mother was bad for them. I don’t think anything was. I just think there are varying degrees of what a child absorbs simply because their single mom is navigating waters that are uncharted to her.

And in many cases, frightening. Perhaps the bigger question is what have I learned?

Was this guilt manufactured by my need to keep the pity party going? Or was it real and did I just feel profound sorrow? And was I just too overwhelmed? I think all the above.

What happens many times is that children of divorce see what is happening to the parent they are left to live with the most. And in almost all cases, this is with the mother.

I would frequently say out loud things like, “Good Lord, with this stress I will be surprised if I make it to my next birthday!” That was my way of letting off my steam. I never meant it for one day. But they both have commented on how my saying that had affected them. They literally worried that I was going to die. And the very thought of that was horrific to them.

They had already lost their father to another family. The next thought that raced into their young minds was what will happen to them if I die?

They only shared this with me a few months ago and I have never said it again. And if I could take it back all those years ago I would. It breaks my heart to think that I placed this kind of fear in them.

“Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”

Winston Churchill

I do still feel guilty about a myriad of things. I feel guilty for not being able to give my children the kind of security I felt growing up. I also feel guilty for making them so much of a priority that I didn’t spend time looking for a possible stepdad for them. They never really saw a good relationship between a husband and wife. And for that I am sorry.

My son’s only example was perhaps in my Father with my Mother. My daughter has learned to take care of herself and be strong because as she said, love is never guaranteed. But as Winston Churchill said, it takes courage. Courage to step into the fear. Courage to find the wisdom. And courage to be your true authentic self.

And at the end of the day …yes, I still have guilt. But I also have perspective. My fears of the past created reactions that made me feel hopeless. My courage for the future is how I will navigate this next chapter of my life. And I know they will both be watching me from afar.

The post Single Parenting: Do We Ever Stop Feeling Guilty? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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How Co-Parenting Might Look This Summer Given Current Circumstances

Originally published by Bryce Hopson.

Summer season is fast approaching, and that would typically mean co-parents across the metroplex are gearing up for some significant changes to their daily schedules with kids staying home. In the current environment created by Covid-19 and social distancing, the summer of 2020 might look very different than those of the recent past. Nevertheless, with most counties slowly phasing back to a normal—or maybe “new normal” is more accurate—pace of life and business, the summer schedule remains.

There are numerous ways in which the possession schedule for summer months has been crafted into custody orders across the state. Some are standard and adopt the one-size-fits-all approach, while others are intricately unique and carefully tailored to fit the specific needs of a particular family.

What does the standard, one-size schedule look like?

The Standard Possession Order, crafted by our legislature and incorporated into the Texas Family Code, is a defined schedule delineating which parent is legally entitled to possession of a child, and it is presumed to be in the best interest of the child. Under the Standard Possession Order, one parent is designated with specific periods of possession, and the other parent is entitled to possession “at all other times not specifically designated” to the first parent.

The parent with designated periods during the school year is entitled to 30 days of possession time in the summer, which can be exercised consecutively or broken up into no more than two smaller periods of at least 7 days each if notice is provided to the other parent by April 15th (if not, the 30 days runs from July 1-31). The parent with designated periods will still get the regular 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend periods that they normally have during the school year, but the Thursday periods go away in the summer.

If a 30-day block of time in the middle of the summer is impractical because of a parent’s work schedule, or a child’s summer activities, what options are available for a more customized approach to the summer schedule? Here are a few options that some parents have utilized when the circumstances called for more of a customized fit:

  • Week-on / Week-off: Alternating seven-day periods of possession has some advantages over the standard block schedule. It shares the load of additional childcare needs that comes when both parents are working and school lets out, and limits the span of time that the child goes without seeing the other parent. 30 days without seeing a 16 year old might not sound that bad (and in some cases, might serve as a needed relief), but it is typically more difficult to say goodbye to a 5 or 6 year old for such an extended period of time.

  • The “Quadrant” Schedule: This approach takes June and July and breaks them up into four quadrants. One parent gets the first half of each month, the other parent gets the second half of each month, and they rotate every-other year. Although the summer vacation schedule will generally run into the first couple weeks of August, this schedule has some clear advantages to a standard structure. It provides each parent with two opportunities to take extended trips and travel with the child—if you have the privilege of lasting memories of road trips to the Grand Canyon, summer nights on the beach, or sleeping under the stars next to a campfire, those are typically trips that take more than 7 days, and this schedule can make creating those memories much more available. It also has the benefit of avoiding the need for designating—and potentially arguing—over which weeks one parent wants to exercise. This schedule is set as soon as the order is signed, meaning you can start planning your summer vacation three years in advance if you feel like it!

  • Alternating Weeks with Extended Election: This schedule has the same general structure as the week-on / week-off, but it includes a carve out for each parent to extend one of their seven-day periods into a ten-day period. This gives added flexibility for those longer trips to visit Aunt Betty up in Brunswick or hop across the pond for a European Vacation.

At the end of the day, the schedule that has the best chance of working is the one that both parents agree upon and work together to come up with. And most importantly, crafting your summer schedule to be conducive with the child’s activities is crucial to ensuring a smooth, successful summer vacation.

 

The post How Co-Parenting Might Look This Summer Given Current Circumstances appeared first on Hance Law Group | Dallas Divorce & Family Lawyers.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



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children of divorce

Can we temporarily change our parenting plan by verbal agreement until quarantine is over?

children of divorce

Question:

Can we temporarily change our parenting plan by verbal agreement until quarantine is over?

Answer:

I practice law in the state of South Carolina. Unless you live there, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state, but I can give you some general observations on family law issues and how they are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

The answer is yes, and it highly is encouraged that parents be reasonable in attaining such an agreement. It is inevitable that both parties will experience some roadblock that renders their rights short of what is court ordered. Both parents should expect to make concessions for the other to abide by the spirit of the agreement as much as possible. A family court judge undoubtedly will respect the parties and their decisions considering the circumstances.

If you are the parent being asked to make a change in the parenting plan, then you should consider these requests. Keep in mind that your conduct can be scrutinized by a judge if the facts show that you were not being reasonable under the circumstances. It also is important that you make clear to the other parent that the change strictly is intended until such times as things get back to normal. You should be careful in not allowing the other party to misconstrue the change as a new agreement, but rather a temporary agreement.

If you are the parent requesting for a change in the parenting plan, then you should memorialize these communications whether the changes are consented to or not. Memorialized communications can be recorded through text message, email, or any other form of written communication wherein you can justify the other party’s intent. If the changes are not consented to by the other party, then these communications will come in handy when illustrating to a family court judge the conduct of the other parent should you need to go to court in the future. Similarly, these memorialized communications will protect the requesting parent should the other party claim some violation of the Agreement in the future. The bottom line is that written communication is key when communicating with the other parent.

Due to the fact-specific nature of this situation, I would strongly suggest you contact an attorney who handles family law matters in your jurisdiction to see how your state’s laws specifically can help you with this serious situation. This type of attorney should be helpful in providing you specific assistance for your matter. Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they particularly impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including South Carolina divorce attorney Chris Jacobcontact Cordell & Cordell.

The post Can we temporarily change our parenting plan by verbal agreement until quarantine is over? appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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