I always want to appear strong… I want to appear like I am not hurting or that I am not bothered by my situation. I have to remain strong so when my kids see me, they see a mom who has persevered everything. And I feel like any woman or man who has gone through something traumatic wants to appear like that even though they are hurting on the inside, they have to appear strong on the outside. My situation has been anything, but easy and after almost two years of barely facing my ex our relationship is something I still deal with and have to struggle with. He likes to pop up every so often, sometimes it’s his few months check up on our kids or it is something completely manic and crazy.

If you have ever dealt with a narcissist, you know they love to ruin holidays… Birthdays, holidays, important events… Every single one gets ruined somehow. They could start off amazing, but always by the end I ended up in tears. Another thing while dealing with a narcissist and also being an empath (which I strongly am) is that they know how to get inside your head, your weak spots and more. We were together 10 years; this man probably knows me better than a lot of people. He has always been able to use that to his advantage, especially my weaknesses. I wouldn’t always consider being an empath a weakness, but if you are dealing with a narcissist… being an empath really ends up making your entire situation 1000 times harder.

As I am sitting on my couch last night after getting home from work, my phone is on do not disturb… It’s the evening before Easter and I had just got done hiding eggs and baskets… Finally, time for me to relax… My phone starts to ring and its a number that isn’t saved, but I know. Immediately my heart sinks to my stomach because it is my kid’s father. Ignoring calls from him these days are easy, but it’s when the calls get returned with manic texts that cause me anxiety. Immediately I get a text “This is urgent call me back” “Call me back please” “I need you to have my back I have court Tuesday and I need you as a witness….” blah blah blah. Now these texts I can just laugh at because he is saying he has court over his kids… I am unsure if he means our kids or the twins he just recently had, but regardless I am the last person that is going to be on a stand as a witness for you. I go on with my night not responding to any of these messages. It is an unfornately predictable cycle I go through with him. He needs an excuse to try to get his way into our lives again and this moment would be perfect because before I would have his back, I would be a witness… But I am not that girl anymore.

Later into the night I get woken up with my phone ringing… 5 missed calls, 13 texts messages. Every single one from him. “Please help” “SOS” “PLEASE” and they just continue like that. More calls… After the 9th call, I finally answer. It is him, crying, begging to let me let him come back home. This is where I struggle to stay strong, where I struggle as an empath. I know I will never allow this man back into my home, but I pray every day for him to get healthy and better for our kids. I want so badly for them to have a HEALTHY relationship with their father. As I listen to him cry and beg… part of me thinks this is karma, but then part of me hurts. This man is so broken… with such a broken childhood… that I wanted to fix so bad… asking for help. The mother side of me for my children want to believe so bad that he is ready to change, but the woman who has been through it all time and time again knows better. The emotions that this takes a toll on you is indescribable. My heart hurts for this man who I once loved so much, my heart hurts for my kids who loves this man so much and my heart hurts for myself… who let such a broken man break her.

He knows what he needs to do in order to rebuild a relationship with our children and that is exactly what I told him as he cried to me. You have to turn yourself in and sit your time… If I knew that sitting 3 months in county jail made me one step closer to a relationship with my children, I would be right there immediately turning myself in. He says no, he doesn’t want to sit, he just wants to come home. He wants to come home to a home that he broke, come home after a year of doing whatever he wanted with no thought of us or his actions in his mind. As he continues to cry to me at 4 am over the phone, I feel myself wanting to just give him a hug, tell him it will be okay, because at one point in life this was my best friend, my entire world for 10 years. I just can’t anymore. I have to stray strong for myself and everything I have built for myself while he was gone. I have to hold on to the peace I finally have.

It is easy for people who haven’t been through something so traumatizing to just say ignore him, block him, move on, but there is so much more to it. Two little humans who still have this hope that their dad is going to walk through those doors and be the dad he once was. Two little humans whose love was never destroyed by his actions. Then there is their mom, me, who was destroyed by his actions and even though I do not want to have him apart of my life, I do want a healthy version of him to be a part of theirs. So, I hold onto the little bit of hope it may happen for them… Then these calls and moments happen… They are so manic induced and confusing. I know he isn’t sorry for what he did, I know that his is just convenient for him, and I know he is used to the girl that would just let him walk back through those doors, but she isn’t here anymore.

Every day I miss our family, I miss the good times, I miss my kids having their dad, but I don’t miss the abuse. I don’t miss the gaslighting, the cheating, the depression. I struggle though because I know that this man has never been properly loved or care for growing up and it reflects with how he was raised as a man and I hate when I am that call that he has no one. He truly has burnt every bridge and he does every time… But he is still my children’s father and my biggest fear in these manic episodes are what if he does something that takes him away from us forever? What if that one phone is the last one, I will get? What if I didn’t help when I should have? And those thoughts should never be on anyone’s mind, but the thought of my children possibly losing their father for all of his shitty decisions that lead to a possibly final fateful decision is my biggest fear.

He hung up on me last night, after I said no… 12 more texts of begging and pleading… I finally was able to fall back asleep… but all day my mind was what if? This is the realness of a trauma bond, the effects of a truly traumatic abusive relationship. Just trying to go day by day… and I just sit here and write. I dont know what else to do anymore.

As I finish this, still lost in so many thoughts of the pure chaos this past week has brought, I just wanted to remind people that it is okay to have times that you are not okay. I really need to remind myself this more often. You just need to make sure you can get back out of not being okay. Life has a funny way of working and a funny way of really testing you, but I believe there is a reason.

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