I’m going to have to change my tagline on this blog. Because this weekend, I was most definitely NOT surviving OR thriving. “Crying and Dying” would be more appropriate. The grief of my divorce hit me hard on Friday. Have you ever cried so much that you couldn’t keep your eyes open? I found myself in that predicament last night, and my only option was to head to bed at 6pm. I tossed and turned for hours. Why is it that when I don’t have my kids, I can’t sleep. My options for fun were limited since I couldn’t see, so I did what I do best: overthink!
I began thinking about time. Time is so bizarre. It seems like just yesterday I was encouraging The Husband to sign up for his first 100 mile race. He needed something to focus on and provide him with a sense of purpose after leaving the SEAL teams. Just a few months ago, I found the perfect race for him/us. Secretly planning on tagging along as “pit crew”, I sent him the link for the Run Rabbit Run Race in Colorado. Something about the majestic Rockies spoke to us as a couple, and I figured the added elevation would give him the extra challenge he was searching for. Meanwhile I could pretend to be athletic via my Patagonia Parka and North Face Thermos (full of red wine, duh). It was going to be the perfect weekend. Instead, I’m in bed by 6pm on a Saturday night and too blinded by tears to see. How in the heck did I end up in this terrible, awful predicament in just a few short months? How did I get here from there? Isn’t there a Deana Carter song about that?
The big race was this past Friday, and as you are probably assuming, I didn’t go. Although he did kindly invite us(me and the boys) for some reason not being there hit me hard. My therapist would most likely say I have finally begun grieving the end of our relationship, which is a good thing. It caught me off guard to feel so poorly and I’m hoping the grieving process is quick!
In addition to feeling grief, I felt anger. Pissed off, irrational, red in the face anger. While listing to a you tube video on Narcissism yesterday, the expert, Dr Ramani Durvasula suggested that Narcissits are made, not born. Her exact words: “Narcissism is a byproduct of parenting”. Yikes. She went on to say that Narcissism is caused by simultaneously over indulging and under indulging a child. How exactly do you do that?
Dr Durvasula provided some examples which I’ve posted below:
- Give credit for achievements only
- Make sure you have the most fabulous family life
- Focus on their appearance
- Focus on having the best family vacations that you can afford
- Insist that the child will be the best player on sports teams
- Parent doesn’t value feelings
- Parent isn’t fully present for emotional needs of child
- Parent can’t be bothered with parenting unless it’s something that brings glory to the family
- Only placing value on the exterior and appearances, not the interior self
I am no clinical expert, but I have to say I agree with her, 100%. When I think back on early interactions with The Husbands family, I can see why he ended up as a narcissist and it PISSES ME OFF. Perhaps, just perhaps, this could have all been prevented in the beginning and I could be living my happily ever after. For years, I used to tell The Husband that I seemed to be the ONLY person in his family who loved him for who he was as a person, and not just his achievements. His Fan Club aka family, fawned all over his accomplishments(there are many) and screamed from the mountain tops how wonderful and amazing he was. I learned that he could kick a soccer ball en utero, was climbing trees by 3 years old, and at birth was already so incredibly strong that the doctor had to dislocate his arm to pull him out. But what about his other qualities, I would wonder. Surely, they’ll talk about some of his internal attributes, and how wonderful he was as a person. Nope. At our wedding, the best man(his brother) gave a 10-20 minute soliloquy(I call it a soliloquy because I’m almost certain no one was listening) about why The Husband was the most important, amazing and achieved man of our time. “Umm HELLLOOO”, I wanted to scream. This wedding is about US as a couple, not your obsession with your baby brother’s achievements. While you’re up there bro, at least talk about how good I am at drinking red wine!! It was actually at our wedding reception when I began to doubt myself as a person. My achievements seemed minuscule and inconsequential and I was secretly thankful we had already said “I Do” before The Husband realized he was more deserving of the Gisele Bundchen type. His families passwords for things all included the word “SEAL” as if they had no other personal identity besides their sons career choice. To be honest, thinking back, our marriage was doomed from the start. No one, and I mean no one would ever be good enough for the “golden boy” of the family.
My heart hurts to think back on The Husband as a little boy. Curly blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and the sweetest smile. To think that he may have felt his only way to receive love was through his accomplishments, breaks my heart. To have your entire self worth based on achievements is an incredibly sorrowful way to live life as achievements can come and go, but your soul lasts forever. While I realize it’s fruitless to think back on what may have been, I can do everything in my power to make sure my sons are raised to value empathy, have respect for others, and know that they are loved to their very core. Quite frankly, I’d be more proud of my kids for having a big heart than a big super bowl ring and I am determined to raise them accordingly.
Mamas(and Pappas) let’s do our best to raise happy, healthy, and well adjusted children! Here’s hoping the next few days are better than the last. Onward and Upward!