book recommendation about gaslighting?
Hi Everyone... I'm not very active on this site very much anymore and when I participate... it's usually in the divorce/separation forum.
Anyway, I watched a documentary last night in which the story involved a lot of gaslighting and I realized that I am still not fully healed (or ever close) from the gaslighting that was inflicted upon me during my marriage and subsequent divorce.
I seem to recall that there is a really good book on gaslighting that folks recommend... and I was wondering if you could share that recommendation with me.
3 comments posted: Wednesday, September 15th, 2021
Could someone send me a PM? I have an issue that I would like to discuss...
1 comment posted: Monday, May 24th, 2021
Still struggling with "real vs. imagined"?
I figured that I would put this in New Beginnings because... well... it's relevant for my post-divorce life.
I now recognize that xWW was gaslighting me about her affairs... and although I don't remember many specific details... I am pretty sure that she was gaslighting me about a lot of the rest of our lives too.
Anyway, these days... I still find myself struggling with recognizing what is real versus what is not real.
I had a conversation with my attorney yesterday (we're appealing the judge's decisions on my divorce) and we discussed a few things that xWW said at trial. It was shockingly comforting to have a third person recognize that her statements were ridiculous. Meaning, I felt "less crazy" after talking to my attorney about things that xWW said at trial.
I know that some of you have been victims of long-term gaslighting like me. Have you gotten over it? Do you ever feel normal again?
I haven't lived with xWW for almost two years... and I am still struggling with recognizing reality.
26 comments posted: Thursday, April 22nd, 2021
Gender inclusive language?
Please forgive me if this is against the zero tolerance policy of no politics...
I am required to go through sexual harassment training at work. Part of the training is to use gender-neutral language...
The specific example was:
Do not say "pregnant women" but instead say "pregnant people"
Really? Am I crazy to thing this is going a little too far with gender neutral language?
[This message edited by barcher144 at 8:19 AM, March 23rd (Tuesday)]
224 comments posted: Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021
post-divorce loose ends?
Now that I am divorced, I am trying to remember all of the things that I have wanted to do for the last 30 months but I have not been able to do because the divorce was not final.
For example, I am going to work with my insurance agent to kick her off of policies that I am paying for (like my umbrella policy) and kick myself off of policies that have nothing to do with me anymore (like her homeowner's policy).
Are there other things that I should be doing? I am talking financial/practical loose ends, not the emotional stuff.
22 comments posted: Friday, February 5th, 2021
I am divorced!
My attorney just called me.
The judge awarded her a bit of alimony and a little more child support that we asked for... but nothing like she had been requesting.
My attorney said that I have a really strong case on appeal because the judge made an easily documentable error. I don't know if I will go that route because the amount of alimony is relatively small ($400 per month for 7 years) compared to the cost of an appeal ($10-20K).
Time to celebrate!
183 comments posted: Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021
The waiting is killing me (a vent)
According to my attorney, the judge has 90 days to make his ruling on my divorce. According to my math, day#60 is next Tuesday. Day#90 is Feb 18.
I am almost there.
I really need this ruling. I want to re-start my life so badly.
(in other news, I think that my relationship with my current GF is now over... and I need to move out... another reason to get this divorce finalized!)
22 comments posted: Tuesday, January 12th, 2021
some general advice: check your credit
Now that I am FINALLY getting to the point where my STBXW becomes only an XW... I am looking forward to embarking on my new life more or less.
One thing that concerned me was that my credit rating has dropped by 100+ points in the last 6 months or so. I didn't think much of it at the time because I had been opening new credit cards, attempting to take advantage of initial offers for no interest. I used these cards to cover my legal expenses primarily.
Today, I checked my credit report using a "free" credit-checking website. I found a major issue...
I was listed as an "authorized user" on one of STBXW's credit cards... and she had maxed it out... and so this was a major issue on my credit report.
When we separated, I had removed her as an authorized user on all of my credit cards... but I didn't think about the fact that I could have been an authorized user on one of her cards.
Just something to check...
14 comments posted: Friday, December 4th, 2020
The countdown has begun
Well, folks, I am getting ever-closer to the finish line that is divorced!
Attorneys had a deadline of last Friday to submit their summary document, which means that the judge's clock has begun ticking... he has 90 days as of Friday to make his ruling. That means, at worst, I will not be married in no more than 87 days!
I was able to get a copy of her lawyer's report today. It was a complete shit-show. And that's not my opinion, here is what my lawyer said:
The submission contains ZERO law. That is totally weird!
This is a court. We had a trial.
I will be sharing some more of the highlights soon, but the one that stands out to me is...
I have made about $10,000 in the last year working an extra job as a handyman to help pay my bills because the temporary order required that I pay her way more than I could afford.
Her attorney literally suggested that I should pay STBXW that very same $10,000 to help pay STBXW's legal bills.
That is, I worked an extra job to help pay my bills and STBXW's lawyer says that I should just give her that money...
13 comments posted: Monday, November 23rd, 2020
Parental Alienation: Hiding behind your kids
I have had a good deal of experience with parental alienation, unfortunately. I have read a good deal about it too and I watch videos online about it.
Recently, I saw a short video in which a parental alienation expert was talking about how the alienating parent "hides behind the kids" as a technique.
It occurs to me that my STBXW does this often.
For example, last week, I was not able to have my kids on my normal night because GF's older son was experiencing upper respiratory symptoms and we thought that he might have had COVID (it turns out it was "just" strep throat). So, I let STBXW know that it would be better if I did not have the kids last week and I said that I would be happy to have the kids some other night in trade.
She initially ignored my request to trade nights. Then, today, I emailed her back and let her know that we were COVID-free and that I would have the kids this weekend.
Her response was "I talked to the kids and they don't want to trade."
It was unnecessary... but it's yet another example of how alienating parents hide behind their kids.
One thing that I don't know... how should I be dealing with my STBXW who hides behind my kids? What do you all do?
17 comments posted: Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020
I need advice about my daughter
If you don't know, my divorce is super high conflict. STBXW and I do not speak at all anymore.
Prior to the divorce beginning, my oldest daughter (age = 15) had been experiencing mild mental health issues for a year or two.
After the divorce began, DD15 started experiencing more severe mental health issues... and STBXW suggested that she speak to a family friend, informally, whereas I got her into see a therapist. The therapist has helped, quite a bit.
To give you an idea of STBXW's mentality, she literally testified in court that I was a jerk for "forcing" DD15 to see a therapist but that STBXW was a wonderful mother because she now takes DD15 to therapy every week and it's been helping (I'm not allowed to take DD 15 to therapy -- it's scheduled on a day that is STBXW's parenting time).
I got a long email from the therapist today. DD15 is not eating well and apparently the therapist thinks that it is literally an eating disorder (DD15 does not have body image issues, according to the therapist). DD15 is also apparently hearing voices, but (according to the therapist) it is not likely to be schizophrenia (I don't understand why).
My GF is convinced that DD15 has Asperger's. GF is a high school teacher with a master's degree that included a good deal of education in psychology. She also has had plenty of experience with students (especially girls) with Asperger's. Also, I suspected that my daughter was on the autism spectrum throughout her early childhood, to the point where I even asked her pediatrician about it.
What would I like to do? I'd like to get DD15 into see a psychiatrist, but STBXW almost certainly won't allow it (because her self-image can't stand to have a daughter who sees a psychiatrist) or she won't let me take her (because she has to control her children).
Any advice on how to proceed? I am talking more about how to deal with my narcissistic STBXW more so than the medical side (but medical advice would be fine too).
15 comments posted: Wednesday, September 30th, 2020
One of the dumbest things that I have ever heard
I am putting this here because it's technically off-topic for this site (because it does not involve any infidelity).
My current GF has been separated from her ex husband for almost five years. Yes, you read that right: five years. She and I have been dating for two years. I moved into her house (she's technically renting) about 2 months ago. She waited a year after separating before dating anyone seriously. She has had one serious boyfriend between her ex husband and me (the two of them dated for about a year). There's a lot of water under that bridge.
Needless to say, he's an alcoholic and she's horribly co-dependent. He has attempted to stall on this divorce for as long as possible for reasons that don't make any sense to me, but she claims "anxiety." She has, obviously, let his stall tactics succeed.
In her mind, she has been trying to negotiate a full agreement on all issues before even asking her attorney to file anything with the court. About three months ago, her attorney sent him an email with an initial offer and language that said something like "you have 30 days to respond." He freaked out. He demanded more than 30 days to respond because he was "busy" (he has a normal job and alcohol, nothing else going on as far as we know). So, GF asked her attorney to give him more time, which is what happened.
Fast forward to this week, she had her attorney send him a second message, letting him know that they are literally going to file something with the court this week (because he hasn't responded to their first inquiry). Meaning, that almost after five years of separation, the divorce process is about to begin.
Dude immediately texts my GF, angry as hell. He literally said:
How dare you spring this on me without a warning!
You can't make this shit up.
8 comments posted: Tuesday, September 15th, 2020
New trial date has been set
I emailed my lawyer last week, letting her know that I have a new address (I've moved in with GF).
She responded by saying that we have trial scheduled for Sept 24. Nothing more than that...
I figure that I might as well start a thread now.
183 comments posted: Monday, August 10th, 2020
It must be hard being right all of the time
I don't know which forum to put this... so I am putting it here. I'm just venting some.
Yesterday, STBXW took two of our children to the dentist. I have really good dental insurance for the kids, so while they were driving to the dentist... my older daughter texted me and I asked if I would send a photo of the dental insurance card.
I responded right away, but I sent the response to STBXW via our special co-parenting app. I asked that she communicate with me directly in the future. I did so politely and I did not mention this is a requirement of our parenting plan, which she signed.
The response was "I was driving."
I responded with the fact that it was a 15-minute drive, the appointment had been made months ago, and she could have texted me before she began driving or after she arrived at the dentist's office.
She then responded that I should have sent the dental card months ago.
It must be difficult being right all of the time.
7 comments posted: Sunday, July 26th, 2020
Brag post: No more antidepressants!
This is a new beginning of a different kind, although it is definitely infidelity-related.
After D-day in August 2016 (and even before... because of the red flags), I fell into clinical depression. The ride on the depression roller coaster was not fun; it included a lame-ass suicide attempt in August 2017. The low point was not the suicide attempt; it was when I was placed on Abilify, which basically slowed my brain down so that I no longer had a will to live.. Then, when we started tapering me off of that drug, I experienced severe anxiety in addition to depression.
I was very lucky to have had a great psychiatrist (more correctly: master's level nurse practitioner of psychiatry) and after I went to the hospital... I found a great therapist too. By the time that I had gotten off of Abilify, the therapy was working and I was doing much better. Although I haven't had depression symptoms since May 31, 2018, STBXW deciding to get divorced in late August 2018 was yet another milestone as that was the beginning of the removal process for that cancerous blight on my mental health.
About a year ago, my psychiatrist and I decided to start tapering down my dose of antidepressant, slowing reducing from 100 mg/day down to 25 mg/day. Today, I spoke to my psychiatrist and we agreed that I am doing well and that I do not have to take any more Zoloft and that I do not even need a follow-up visit (she trusts that I will call her back if I start having trouble again).
So, here's to be both being depression and medication free!!! Woot!!!
18 comments posted: Monday, July 6th, 2020
My new place!
I normally just vent, but this is... I don't know... a brag post?
I get to move into my new place on Sunday! It's a mile from STBX's house, so I will get to see my kids more often.
I have been living at my GF's about half of the time since December... and there almost full time since late June. It's going to be so nice to have my own place again.
I feel like I have been living out of my car for almost a year.
18 comments posted: Wednesday, August 28th, 2019
Finding names associated with phone numbers?
I am in the middle of a high conflict divorce. Until recently, I had access to STBXWW's texting records (we had had a shared cell phone account).
STBXWW is claiming that she does not have a boyfriend, even though she has introduced a guy to our kids. This is pertinent for our custody evaluation.
I think, based on her texting records, that she is also seeing at least 2 other guys right now, perhaps more than that.
My problem: I know the numbers that she texts and the times/days... but I do not know the person associated with many of the specific phone numbers.
How can I do a reverse phone number search? I am willing to pay for an online account, but I would like a referral to a site that is legitimate.
13 comments posted: Sunday, July 21st, 2019
Catching the Unabomber -- Investigate what is missing
I have been watching the series about the FBI guys who caught the Unabomber on Discovery.
I hope this isn't a huge spoiler... I haven't seen all of it yet... but the guy for the FBI was looking at the Unabomber's manifesto and trying to figure out who he was.
He initially started with the direct data, trying to figure out the origins of unique words and phrases. This got him so far.
After that, he started thinking about topics that the Unabomber did not discuss in his manifesto. Things like... a family, relatives, neighbors. From this, I am assuming that he figure out that the Unabomber was a loner (like I said, I haven't gotten that far in the series).
This "look at what is missing" can often be helpful in interpreting data that you already have.
For example, I know that my wife invited AP to our house on June 30 at 9:04pm because she sent him a text (that I retrieved from her phone) that said "Come on over." I also know that she confessed to sleeping with him that night. I also know that he arrived in town a couple of days before that.
Now, logic suggests to me that they would have gotten together every night. I mean, they have been carrying on their affair via text for a year or so... wouldn't they get together as much as possible?
So, I checked the cell phone records.... there are no texts between them (or from her) between 9pm and midnight any of the days that he was in town. This morning, after a year of denying it, she admitted that he was at our house for three consecutive evenings and they had sex each of the three evenings.
Now, I have also noticed that they never texted between noon and 6pm on the days when he was in town. He had a hotel room. She has a job, but she has flexible work hours and an over-abundance of vacation time...and unlike the evenings, our son would have been in daycare. So, I am now convinced that they were together during the day too, although I can't get her to admit that (for now).
Anyway, here is my tip: think about what is MISSING in the evidence that you have. You might be able to catch your spouse and/or the Unabomber.
2 comments posted: Sunday, August 27th, 2017
Dr Fone question
A few days after D-day last year, I got a free trial version of Dr Fone and tried it on my wife's phone. It didn't turn up anything new.
I am wondering... would it likely/possible that re-using a paid version of Dr. Fone would generate different and more informative results?
2 comments posted: Thursday, August 24th, 2017
Dr. Fone questions...
My D-day was almost a year ago.
Sometime after D-day (a week or two?), I downloaded Dr. Fone and did a free trial version analysis of my wife's phone. It didn't show me anything new.
Question#1: I am wondering, though, if the free trial version is worthless?
Question#2: My wife got a new phone last week, giving me very good access to her old phone. If the free trial version of Dr. Fone is worthless... would it be worthwhile to apply it to her old phone? Mind you, all of the texts that I would want to see would be prior to D-day, almost a year ago.
1 comment posted: Thursday, July 6th, 2017