I don’t know if this is a normal thing with narcissists, but my husband never finishes a task or project. I mean, my understanding of finishing a project or task includes picking after yourself, especially when it can affect other people. My husband would start a project, sometimes months after he said that he was going to start it, it would take him several days to get through it when it could have been completed in one afternoon, and then he would leave tools, trash, and everything else all over the place, for weeks.
I have heard people describing narcissists as lazy individuals. Maybe that’s true. I have also heard people saying that they do not like completing tasks that they feel they are beneath them since they have this sense of grandiose about themselves.
I’m guessing the latter is the reason why my husband doesn’t take the trash out, doesn’t pick up after himself after a project, does not empty the diaper Genie, does not put a new roll of toilet paper when he finishes a roll or replace the Cottonelle wipes package when he finishes them.
It was something as simple as going to the bathroom this morning and realizing there was only one wipe left, which triggered so many memories of situations where he clearly did not care about other people.
Moreover, we just started the psychological evaluations to determine our daughter’s custody. It is a very frightening experience since a narcissist can fool the smartest person, while the victim may have all of her or his feelings still burning. I came out of the meeting exhausted. Many things I had forgotten or buried deep inside of me came up. Not that I mentioned them, but I remembered them because of things that the psychologist was asking and that was more than enough to force me to make an extra effort to keep my feelings at bay and face the interview as calmly as possible.
This was just the first interview. I realized I went first. After my husband goes, I’m sure I’ll be smeared and bashed to no end. Ultimately, that’s not my problem. I know who I am and I know what I am. He can smear and trash me as much as he wants. He will need proof anyway. Me, on the other hand, I prefer to stick to facts and I limited myself to answer the questions as they were being asked to me. I didn’t bash him, but I didn’t hide the truth, either. Only God knows if this was the right thing to do.
What scares me the most is the fact that someone who will only see my daughter for two hours (one hour playtime with me and another hour playtime with him) will advise the court on who should have her.
I remember several weeks before our mediation, I offered my husband to sit down and try to figure out as many things as possible just the two of us, without attorneys. I remember even telling him that we should do that because, if we ended up with psychological evaluations and all of that, neither one of us was going to be happy with the outcome. So might as well try to come up to some agreements ourselves.
My husband kept on looking at me, standing there, in the middle of the room, with both hands in his pockets, and this look on his face, like saying “I got you! I’m making you suffer. You’re scared. I’m winning.” This was about 7 months ago and I still remember how I had to make a huge effort to control myself because I just wanted to slap the smirk out of his face. Had I done so, I would have given him exactly what he wanted. I’m glad I didn’t slap him, even when he deserved it. And I never felt like slapping anybody in my life before. Narcissists can bring the worst of you out, can’t they?
I consider myself a problem-solver and I like to take things in my own hands. That’s the reason why I offered to try to sit down and work some things ourselves, leaving as little as possible for the court to decide. Unfortunately, that was not likely to happen with someone like my husband, the narcissist and it didn’t happen. I knew it was not going to happen. But I didn’t have anything to lose by asking. I guess I’m a hopeless hopeful person after all.
My husband seems to be enjoying all of this. He has an audience now: The judge, the attorneys, the psychiatrist, and who knows who else. What I’m not sure he’s realizing is that his audience is coming at a high cost. Maybe he thinks I’ll be paying his attorney’s fees and other legal-related expenses. In his dreams! I’m not the one who filed.
It’s a little bit of a contradiction, though. He does not like to spend money at all. He always complained about how expensive formula was, how expensive the diapers are, how expensive the milk our daughter drinks is (we tried different brands and the only one that she tolerates and likes is an expensive, organic brand,) how expensive children’s clothes and shoes are (yes, they are overpriced, but that’s because manufacturers know they are going to outgrow them very soon and you will need to buy more,) how much the doctor costs, and the list goes on. The most interesting thing is that I pay for most of that. I got very tired of his complaints when our daughter wasn’t even a year old and I started to pay for most of it out of my own pocket. But I’m getting sidetracked. While he complained for years about the price of things, now he seems to have no problems in spending money on attorneys and delaying things.
And talking about the cost of things, I’m starting to think how high the cost of reshaping my faith might end up being. While driving to meet the psychologist, I prayed the rosary and I kept on asking God and the Virgin Mary to please help me get through the interview not looking like I am a nut-job or an emotional wreck. And once out of it, I started to pray the rosary again.
All of that felt like unfinished business. My faith is a mess. My personal life is a mess. My future looks bleak at this point. My finances are getting in really bad shape and this was an area I have always been very proud of, not having debt apart from my mortgage. Probably the biggest unfinished business of my life is my marriage. It will always be an unfinished business in some ways, even after the divorce is final. Why do I say that? Because there’s never closure with someone like my husband and he will never be completely out of my life. However, what it may not end up being unfinished business is my own closure. I realized that I don’t need closure coming from him. While this doctor was asking me all these questions, and believe me that they dig deeper than what anybody would want, I realized that I have already found closure concerning my relationship with my husband. I gave myself the closure I needed. While I may have not completely moved on because I’m still stuck living with him until this is all over, I have moved on in other ways.
I don’t care what he does or doesn’t do… unless it concerns our daughter. I don’t care how his job is going. I don’t care if he is closing a big deal or not. And believe me that he has tried to drag me in conversations I don’t give a hoot for. It’s as if he thinks we can still be friends after this. He tries to talk to me as if nothing is happening, only to later slam me with some nasty, ridiculous letter through our attorneys. I could probably call him Two Face, the one from Batman, something I won’t be doing. I am done giving him nicknames. He doesn’t deserve them and it just brings me down to a level I don’t want to be.
I have also realized that, the reason why he does that is because he craves attention, he craves an audience, and he’s not getting it from me. In fact, I doubt he has any other audience right now other than his attorney, his mother and his father. Maybe some other relative. That’s it. I’m not sure if he even has any friends because I never really met any friends of his, but for one that lives in Chicago and only comes around town for Christmas and he not always stops to pay my husband a visit. Yep, he refers to that guy as his closest friend. Oh, and the guy who was his best man at our wedding, who is also having his own marital problems.
More than once, I have caught my husband talking to our just-turned 3-yr old daughter about his day. My daughter, in the meantime, keeps on playing with whichever toy she may have at the time, not minding him at all, as if her father’s voice would just be background or white noise. I can’t blame her. Who talks to a 3-yr old about their jobs and in the detail her father does? Children that age are into Thomas the Engine, Mickey Mouse, some TV show of their liking, and the most recent accomplishment, which could be as simple as being able to jump off the ground with both feet. They are not into bids, product manuals, supposedly difficult-to-deal customers, and demanding bosses. I cannot imagine myself telling my daughter in detail about the projects I have to manage at work. It would be ridiculous! On the other hand, the last thing I want to do when I get out of work is talk about work.
I apologize for rumbling so much. The last days have been exhausting for me, more than anything because of the stress related to having to undergo all these psychological tests and interviews. Nonetheless, I keep on thinking that I would love to have a stronger faith in God than what I do. I keep praying, but I feel I’m not doing it wholeheartedly when I should. And maybe I do, or maybe this is what I can do at this point in my life.
I keep on running through my mind all the other times when I thought I would not be able to overcome some obstacle towards a goal or something I wanted or needed, mostly the latter. I would pray, do my part, and things would eventually work out, maybe not exactly the way I wanted them to, but it had always worked out for the better in the long run. I think the difference between then and now is that I still had control over many factors affecting my situation. I don’t have that luxury now. I cannot predict what my husband would do next. As I have said before, it’s like walking through a field of unmarked landmines with him. And I do not know what the judge or anybody else involved will do. As a result, this is truly in God’s hands and I better accept it rather sooner than later. And I do not want to fall in the trap of acting like a victim, asking God why He is allowing for all of this to happen. I already did that a few months ago, when I was very angry at Him. It is not worth being angry at someone who loves you and gave you life. I learnt this with my mother and God is no different since He is the maker of life. He gave us this gift of life and so many other blessings and gifts.
But that’s probably another reason why my faith is truly an unfinished business for me. I go back and forth between feeling guilty for all the things that have been bestowed on me and my loved ones to then feeling why me, why my daughter, why my mother. But didn’t even Jesus say “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” We don’t truly know the reasons why Jesus said that while on the cross. Was it because He truly believed that He had been forsaken? Was it because of the pain? Or was He having some private, internal conversation with the Father and there are other things to consider that we will never be privy to?
Nonetheless, this may sound like solace to some of us who are feeling that we have also been forsaken. If His own Son said those words, does that mean that He can relate to us in His human form and, therefore, bring us closer to Him in the process? Meaning that, after all, we are not alone and that He truly understands what we’re going through, wanting us to turn to Him when all hope is lost and we have impending unfinished business we cannot close or deal with. Maybe He is the master of unfinished businesses and we just have to let Him be and do His job and stop messing things around on our end. For a natural problem-solver, self-sufficient person like me, this is indeed something very difficult for me to do. I also must confess that probably the main reason why it is so difficult for me to let go is because of all the years I have been exposed to my husband: I have trouble trusting now.
Definitely, I still have a very long and winding road to cover.