Wanting separation from Vince was the last thing she wanted. I was reminded of how right my gut was about what my future would look like after I read an email I sent myself days after meeting his ex-wife. It wasn’t just he who gutted me, her actions over the past 5.5 years made me feel even more humiliated. The actions she took is equivalent to being kicked when I was already down. I felt bullied by a gang of thugs and I didn’t know how to respond to being treated as though I was nothing. In looking back I wish I would have trusted my gut and walked away from it all because everything I predicted about the role she was going to play and Vince’s inability to draw boundaries came to fruition. What I didn’t expect was the aftermath of having been in a narcissistic abusive relationship.
Looking back I should have never met with the ex wife – She was a stressor for both he and I because of her insatiable need to be front and center. I’m not trying to say it was all her fault – my abuser wasn’t and still isn’t capable of setting new expectation or drawing boundaries with her. I reached out to her because I was tired of feeling as though I was nothing and I thought if she becomes comfortable with who I am then we can all live harmoniously. I never thought she would use the opportunity to intentionally drive a wedge not only between Vince and I but his entire family. That said, none of her actions are reason for Vince’s actions and reason for how cruel his family is.
So, after almost 2 years into the relationship I decided to begin a dialogue with Christine hoping it would reside the stress she was causing. Big mistake. Huge huge mistake! We met after exchanging emails (see below for emails,) and I thought afterwards we had resolved any discomfort that existed for her. I could not have been more wrong. One month after I met her, and once she learned we were going to his parents house for Thanksgiving as a unit, she used my getting in touch with her to let her know what her youngest had said when I was talking to him and my daughter who are the same age who wanted to be in touch, have a playdate or skype when he was with his mom. Her reaction shocked me! She was insulted and blew things up, accusing me of creating drama. She was livid and used the opportunity to make additional demands, which led to us altering our thanksgiving trip, Instead of addressing her truthfully and drawing appropriate boundaries Vince was to frightened to disagree with her, he blamed me and it only got worse from there. While at his parents house, she texted Vince and called the house constantly just as she did the following year when we were there for Christmas. She would call her boys asking what they were doing and they would lie or omit me presence from the story because they didn’t want to upset her. His oldest caught himself telling her about the gift I gave him, which he really liked, but her actions made it obvious she was unable to handle my being there, and that is what led to her forcing his parents to choose. That was 2013 and 2014. In 2016 she emailed Vince the day after Christmas while we were in Costa Rica questioning why he was still with me. Vince was passive in dealing with her and continued to grant her wishes despite telling me he wasn’t. He gaslighted a lot trying to justify his actions because he wasn’t capable of facing his weakness and pain of why his reaction to her and his mother was driven by fear. He didn’t address it then and I know him well enough to know he’s high on himself right now. I know he is once again doing all he can to run away from the demons that have defined him as a liar, a detached individual devoid of any emotion. He’s high on the lies he tells himself – As the weather improves I am certain he has begun to cycle and he will cycle every free moment so he doesn’t have to sit alone with his thoughts. He will find articles and TED talks to validate his belief that the formula to happiness is living in the now and with this he will never look at his actions or his fatal flaws. He uses Eckhart Tolle’s living in the now to not examine his weaknesses. He is busy taking selfies on every one of his rides, posting it and waiting for the praises to come in. That’s how he operates. What he’s doing now is exactly what he did after his separation with his ex wife. He found a new supplier, ME, got on his bike and did everything not to think of what he did that was the last straw that shattered a very fragile marriage. The stories are the same. I saw the pattern yet I justified it because I wanted it to work so bad, and that’s where my work begins.
I tried to remain civil and did so even after 2015 after the way she handled my invitation to have thanksgiving together and put the past behind us. Any chance she had she caused problems and Vince being the coward that he is with both her and his mom, took out his aggression out on me since I was catching him in lie after lie and pointing out what he wasn’t willing to admit and probably never will, which is he feared her and his mother. I don’t have any joy chronicling this because it’s sad mostly for his kids.
After 2015 I began to be very blunt in how I felt about what she was doing – I pretty much had, and let her know exactly what I thought of her especially after she caused chaos once again in September of 2016.
I have never met anyone like these people and hope I never do again. She turned out to be exactly what I thought she was. Dangerous.
From: VESTa <vesta2>
Date: Sun, Sep 29, 2013 at 3:40 PM
Subject: Random thoughts about Christine and predictions on
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, >Random thoughts about Christine and predictions on what she may do.
1. Start complaining about what we are doing and whether it’s appropriate.
2. Will be nice to Vince with increased emails re how kids are doing.
3. May exaggerate parts of conversation to get in between us.
4. May point out her loyalty vs lack of mine for listening to her/meeting her/. I shared my telling you that life keeps throwing you shit comment unless you look at what you’re suppose to change. I believe I said I told you you’ll keep getting into accidents as a way to slow your mind and make you sit with shit.
5. She told me you called from work saying not to let ****** *******because he *******. Had to call mom to get details. Referred to you saying you were acting as an investigator. You didn’t comfort ******* at all. And refused to look at pattern. Didn’t mention ****** unlike you had. Omitted that part.
6. Was crying then stopped wanting to make sure I wasn’t going to tell you fearing you would ‘punish’ her by stopping giving extra support when you don’t have to.
7. Said she was the glue that held you together and didn’t understand why you had to get involved with scheduling. She had done it for 17 years.My impression is she was trying to play me. Hoping I would offer information. There was a coldness to her. She flip flopped every time I offered a solution that was focused on her changing her behavior. Said she was happiest when you were gone and she had the kids 6,7,8 days in a row. Said she loved summer when you were gone 8 weeks vacationing and biking.
My concerns are Vince won’t do anything to curb her or set boundaries and what that means to us. I told her I wanted a friendship where I can call her to set up play date for kids. Felt okay about her when I left with some concerns but after more thought clarified what was bothering me.
Said she should not allow for him to dictate her happiness and why should he considering he wasn’t able to do it while married. She kept asking me if Vince had mentioned her having shingles, and spine issues causing her great pain. Said you didn’t visit her dad after he had a heart attack and child counselor said go visit. Said her dad was an awesome guy. Said you didn’t socialize with others for kids sake. And you were at fault for marriage falling apart.
If any of what I said comes true and you haven’t yet taken necessary steps then I will have no choice but implement time line and and consider walking away considering she isn’t right in the head. I’ve had my share of that so can’t place myself in same place. It’s dangerous. I think she’s Borderline. Will investigate more to be more specific for my sake.
She tried to say I was projecting and telling her what to do and I corrected her saying that was not true. Feeling scared. She’s very manipulative.
Well, I didn’t walk away because I was hooked by that time. I was deep in the narcissistic cycle of abuse and had no idea what was happening. I was right about everything I said about her. EVERYTHING!!!
Below are the few exchanges before she decided I was a problem. I understand now why Vince wasn’t too fond of my having contacted her in the first place. As screwed up as he was he knew exactly what she was like.
Sep 26, 2013, at 11:13 PM
Thanks for your message. I appreciate you reaching out and really want you to know that I have no ill feelings toward you at all. I am sure you are a great person and mom – no reason to think otherwise.
While I have no romantic feelings for Vince, this divorce has been extremely difficult for me because of the break up of my family. I have been very hurt by Vince’s behavior both before and after our separation. It is obviously not appropriate to discuss those things with you, nor would I imagine you are interested, but it has shaped the kind of relationship that I am willing and able to have with him right now.
I would actually be happy to meet with you for coffee, and I appreciate the offer. As I said, I am sure you are a very nice person and will be great with my kids.
I have been trying to rebuild my life and how I think about life as a single mom and part of that has been to get the kids and I settled into a neighborhood and into the ordinary things in life with the kids that bring me joy. In order for me to have this space to feel good in, I really need some separation from Vince and this new life that he is building with you and your children (and mine). I have had to accept that my kids are now part of your relationship, and I am doing my best to adjust to that. They know their Dad has done nothing wrong and I have of course said nothing negative about your relationship. I have simply asked Vince that I be allowed the space to recover and part of that is not seeing Vince with the new family he is creating – at least not where I am trying to rebuild (e.g., *****’s baseball games, kids’ schools). I don’t understand why this accommodation cannot be made – for now anyway. I have pretty much begged for this, so I am out of options. Please know that I am not trying to be difficult or mean, I just can’t do it and I would hope you guys would have some empathy regarding this. Vince talks about moving into a better relationship between he and I and these things are always a two-way street, with compromises to support each others’ needs. I am probably not expressing myself very well, apologies for that. I would appreciate you considering this.
Sep 27, 2013 at 9:19 AM
I’m so happy you responded and want to meet – when do you want to do that? I also appreciate your sincerity and openness in where you are. What you said about family resonates more than you can imagine and while my circumstances differ in a much different and chaotic way I feel your pain. I will share just a bit… I grew up in Iran until I was 9. We came to the US because my mother was invited to be a guest professor at UC Davis. 6 weeks after we arrived the revolution happened and we spent the rest of my childhood well into adulthood waiting for the two months to be over. After all there was no way the mullahs were going to last more than 2 months. My life was far from perfect in Iran – my mother’s work always came first which has left me with some issues 🙂 but there was a lot of wonderful memories too. To this day I cry when I think about the summers I spent at the Caspian Sea with my family. But that will never happen largely due to family members scattered all around the world and some who died. I still long for that togetherness I once knew and had always imagined creating those happy memories on my own. I relate more than you know to your wanting that family. I want to share more with you but don’t want to step over boundaries and upset you. So maybe when we meet you can get a better feel as to who I am. The one thing I want to reassure you of is that I respect you and know where my place is in respect to your boys. You are their mom. Period. I am just one more person in their life that cares for them. And because of my own experience I want all of us, including you, to co exist and create a kind of a new unit. And soon you will meet someone and the unit will grow. I hope I’m coming across and making sense. I think I can explain better when we talk. Another thing I will share with you is, like ****, I have ADHD and given my struggles I think you and Vince are doing a great job with addressing it now. I was just diagnosed 2 years ago…anyway…I have lots to share with you if you are open. It’s part of who I am and I guess a little bit part of my culture.
Re Saturday…I don’t need to be there but I have a couple of ideas I want to run by you to see what you think about this weekend only. Can we do that though over the phone? My main concern are the kids. Yours and mine so it’s with them in mind but I’m in a hurry now so I can’t write any more and rather talk over the phone a little later if you are open to it. I also think this stuff is really between you and Vince and the two of you need to find a way to figure it out. I’ve even given him a number of a therapist to help… I gotta get going but lets talk today!
Mon, Nov 18, 2013 at 11:03 PM
Hope you had a nice Sunday and enjoyed the rest of your weekend. I want to clarify a few things about our exchange the other night.
In retrospect I wish I waited for a better time to start such a dialogue so I apologize for my bad timing. The first time I emailed you I did so without talking to Vince – I made the choice to text Saturday night without talking to or asking Vince because I didn’t feel it was necessary considering how much we shared when we met. I was left with the impression that while we weren’t going to be best friends, meeting provided some closure. I honestly thought we were in a comfortable place and felt, because of what we shared during our meeting, I could reach out to you – That was where I was coming from.
My main reason for getting in touch was to start a dialogue about ***** and ***** Skyping when he’s with you. They’ve become friends and ask about the next time they see each other. I suggested Skype since next time was going to be a while, and that’s when *****said what he said. So my primary reason for reaching out was to talk about the kids skpying. I included what ***** said so you had all the information. It wasn’t meant as a personal attack. I wasn’t accusing you of anything. I wasn’t asking you to explain why he was saying it, and I certainly wasn’t suggesting a fix. I was simply sharing a piece of information. My mistake was to assume your reaction. I didn’t think it was a big deal and that you would just file it. And, maybe the next time it came up casually reassure him you’re fine. That was the scenario running through my head based on the impression I had after we met.
Vince & I don’t take blending our families lightly. We dated more than a year before deciding it was time – Christine, I care about the boys and want the best for them so please rest assure I always tell Vince if something is said that I think he should know about. I don’t take on the responsibility of resolving or addressing issues because they’re not my kids, and because I think about what I want in the situation. I made the choice to discuss this subject directly, without Vince, because I didn’t think we needed a middle man. So, technically Vince wasn’t aware of what had taken place earlier in the evening. That didn’t mean I wasn’t planning to tell him, but I hadn’t at the time of the text. I did though when they took a life of their own.
The last thing I want, for my own sanity more than anyone else’s, is to have drama. So, in order avoid a repeat of Saturday, please clarify how you want to proceed when there’s a situation that would, in my opinion, be easier worked out directly, such as kids wanting to Skype. Do you want to work out such things directly or do you want to communicate everything through Vince? Also, my offer to drive ***** home was to save 15 minutes since I knew you wanted to see him. I didn’t think it was such a big deal given how we left things. But frankly after our exchange and things that were said I am left with the impression I may have misjudged the situation and there are unresolved issues, and that makes me sad for everyone involved, especially the kids.
Yes, I’m looking forward to thanksgiving so thanks – It will be an adventure. Do you plan to drive when you go in December or are you flying? Have you read The Mastery Of Love? It’s a short read, and it’s on audio – I may have told you about it – My therapist recommended it and it’s offered a new way to view things in any sort of relationship. I also skimmed through When things fall apart. Anyway, I will continue to do what I can and hope we can be friendly and united not only for our sake but also for the kids sake because it’s best for them, and their healing. And I will hope that if not next year than the following year, all of us (Dave, you, me, Vince, your significant other, Dave’s significant other, and our extended families) can stand around the thanksgiving table, together, comfortable and happy…Life is simply too short to waste on the should’s and shouldn’t of the unwritten rule book we each have that was formulated from our own very unique dysfunctions, passed on to us by our fucked up parents, courtesy of the generations before them by more fucked upness (not sure that’s a word). Anyway…take care.
I wrote the following note after I heard her talk to Vince telling him I needed to be handled, and that she didn’t want me in the car to pick up the kids with him. In 2015 he finally let me go with him when he had to pick them up. When she saw us coming she ran into the house crying. All this while she’s dating. It’s all about control.
Tue, Nov 19, 2013 at 10:19 PM
No need to get back to me re earlier email. There really isn’t a reason for us to get in touch, is there. I told my daughter she would see ****** when he’s with Vince because you still have hurt feelings. It’s what she heard ***** say. And it’s what I am starting to believe after our exchange, but also the way you referred to me. It’s saying one thing and doing another. Frankly, I think you want Vince back. Your actions don’t match what you say…you said you want to cut down how much you talk to him yet your actions say something entirely different. You say you love it when he’s away and you have the kids all to yourself and you don’t have to talk to him yet your actions say the opposite. When we met you went out of your way to bad mouth him, put him down, embarrass him with the reference to his hand always being in a cereal box, not once but 3 times, confiding in me he kept ***** getting ****** to himself, making fun of his parents and dropping all sorts of other bombs on me and asking me to keep it all to myself. I thought you were sharing but now I wonder what the purpose of all that was. And why did you only mention ***** needing comfort. Why did you hold back *****’s part. I have wondered about that since I left that night….Then you refer to me as if I’m somehow beneath you…needing to be handled. I don’t know. I feel a little had. Not because you told Vince as he already knew but because I had no idea you saw me in the light that you do – So for now let’s stick to your plan and go through Vince for everything. There hasn’t been anything so far. And I don’t anticipate anything in the future. Nothing’s changed for me as far as my continuous hope that someday all will be harmonious. And, I know I will continue to treat you as I would want to be treated.
No hard feelings and I sincerely hope you figure things out.
I have no idea why I’m apologizing. Probably because Vince made me feel horrible about upsetting her when in reality I did no such thing. She had it in me from the beginning because she needed to be in control and didn’t want to lose control of Vince. For a woman who needed separation from Vince, she did everything but to create seperation. She made plans with his family to spend holidays with versus creating new traditions, and was on Vince when he and I chose to do things differently to which he would always agree to. It wasn’t that I cared she spent holidays with his family, I cared that she had made it clear that they had to choose between her and I. She told Vince she wasn’t going to allow her parents to stay at her home because she didn’t want them to stay there and then go out with him and I. The stories are long but this is how it started. I really hope they end up together because they deserve one another.
Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 12:32 PM
I hope your trip is going well.
I have thought about getting in touch since our last exchange, but wasn’t sure what to say until a few nights ago when I read something that hit home. Know that I haven’t felt right about our exchange – That wasn’t me, and I’m sorry. The things I assumed and said came from me and things I’m dealing with, not anything that don’t have anything to do with you. I should have taken a breath, and dealt with what was really going on, but I’m human and make mistakes, and I, too, have challenges and pain I still deal with. So, take care and have a safe flight back.
On Sep 18, 2016, at 9:30 PM, Vincent wrote:
Text was this: I was the cause of many of the issues that have come up because I accommodated your requests to keep Vesta out of simple things like baseball games and picking the kids up. I should not have accommodated requests that were not healthy and I think making an issue of a cordial request about a dish Rowan wanted to eat was making it about you instead of simply responding. I won’t accommodate things that don’t promote health adult communications and actions.
Begin forwarded message:
Date: September 18, 2016 at 11:15:47 PM EDT
Subject: Re: The text I sent at 6:45 was from me
This is a strange view of things given all that vesta has said about me and **** over the past few years and her irrational accusations and behavior yet again today. That is what has created this issue and my refusal to deal with her, which is well within my rights. Same for not allowing her to pick up kids when you are not there.
Sent from my iPhone