From the time I separated from my ex in 2016 to the time I was granted sole custody in 2020, I felt like I lived in a constant state of things spinning out of control.
I had to bounce from one thing to another like a pinball in a game - raising my kid, maintaining friendships, working, paying bills, court, lawyers, and dealing with crap from the ex. I was on guard all the time because I was stretched so thin.
I was in a constant state of heightened emotion, always looking over my shoulder or waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Can you relate to this feeling? Have you ever been in this place? Are you still there now?
Single mom life is hard in general, and when you add in court battles, narcissism, and all the high conflict things on top of it, it’s exhausting.
You don’t feel free to live your own life apart from the ex. Some of that is a trauma response because you’ve been conditioned to keep one eye open for the next trick.
As you look at your life right now, do you feel like you’re only really living for those times in between his antics and the drama?
We all know we have physical realities to deal with like work, motherhood, etc. I believe we have spiritual realities to contend with as well. (If you don’t believe in God, replace this thought with a battle between good and evil.)
There is a constant weight on us because the enemy is trying to knock us down. It’s in this spiritual battle where I feel this message hits home.
My situation has changed and I don’t have the amount of conflict I did before, but I vividly remember this state of being. I’m so grateful that I don’t live there anymore and in my next post I’m going to share one thing I did that helped to bring me out of my heightened state.
It feels like you’re always on guard and you can only live life in between the chaotic episodes from the high-conflict ex.
I was in this state for a few years after finally leaving with my kid. Physically, I couldn't keep up the pace of living in this madness every single day. I couldn't keep up the pace of always looking over my shoulder, waiting for when the ex was going to pull a trick, hurt my kid, lie, manipulate, and throw something at me out of the blue to disrupt my plan.
I realized I just couldn't live this way anymore. The reality of the chaos and drama still remained. He wasn’t going to change. So I had to rise above it.
I decided to start by taking 15 minutes to sit and write out all the things swirling around in my mind that I was afraid of or worried about. I got up early for this - even though I’m not naturally a morning person - so I could dedicate this time without distraction. No tv, no social media, just me and my thoughts.
This simple act allowed me to take the thoughts that were occupying valuable space in my mind and get them on paper so I could see them visually. Not a novel, just bullet points. I asked myself questions like:
- If he does this, do I need a plan?
- If I make this decision, what will he do?
- Can I delay this one?
- Is this an actual problem?
I circled and highlighted my thoughts and decided which ones could be delayed, which ones weren’t even worth my energy, and which ones were real and present and needed action on my part.
As you’re reading this, are you thinking, “But Vickie, I don’t have TIME for this!”
I’m going to challenge that thought and say YES YOU DO. Because if you don’t take the time to compartmentalize all the madness, you will continue to blame your situation, the ex, and you’ll stay stuck in the pinball machine.
This isn’t a cure-all and it won’t stop the ex from causing drama. You know it’s coming, he’s not going to change.
This is simply one thing you can do to take charge of your own life.
You can rise above the madness and make one decision at a time and build a better life for you and your kids.
In the meantime, sister, I want you to know that I get it. This life is TOUGH.
Trust that you are the perfect mama for your kid(s) and you can rise above that constant pinball madness to be the single mama badass you were meant to be!
Want personalized, one on one help through the madness you're walking through?
I will be honest and let you know if I can help you!
God made you for this!
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