A few days ago I got some bad news. Nothing directly about me, but about something that has the potential to affect me financially down the road. I used to joke about how this particular form of financial disaster might happen to me one day, but I thought I was just being funny in an edgy way. I didn’t really think it would happen.
On Saturday I found out it did. My ex-husband was fired. One of the first things he said to me was “this could affect support payments.” Not right away, but eventually.
I took a deep breath. Every time I think he has reached some sort of nadir, he proves me wrong by sinking deeper.
Once upon a time I would get sucked into his drama. Panic when he panicked. It took me years to realize that this is the energy he draws on. He creates drama because he needs it. And as a narcissist, his needs always came first. They still do.
So, I didn’t challenge him on what he said. Instead I just took it in, and said little. I got the information I needed, and kept the phone call as short as possible.
Inside, I felt calm, but alert. I am concerned, yes, but not panicked. I am as resourceful as anyone out there. More importantly, I see him for what he is. He may try to challenge me, or more likely, get me into a position of emotional vulnerability so that I let him off the hook, but I’m not biting. His obligations remain what they have been, and I expect him to honour them. He has the means to honour them- particularly if he stops indulging in German cars, designer clothes, and his huge collection of expensive toys.
I don’t expect him to change. He’s a spoiled little boy in a 50-something body, no matter how much he tries to sell himself as a martyr.
The only expectations I have are on myself. I expect myself to honour my end of the business agreement I have to raise our children. I expect myself, always, to act in their best interest. I expect myself to no longer enable his shitty behaviour. I expect myself to carry on, with the good and the bad, to ride the tough times, plan as best as I can, and enjoy the moments of bliss, big and small, when they suddenly emerge.