Tina Swithin is a high-conflict divorce survivor who shares her hard-won survival skills on the hugely popular Facebook Page One Mom’s Battle and in her just-published book Divorcing a Narcissist — a must-read for anyone who has the misfortune to do that! Check out her Blogger Space below.
I must admit that I was pretty excited when I was asked me to write about my personal “Blogger Space.” On a daily basis, my “blogging brain” is usually consumed with topics like personality disorders and divorce. Being asked to write about my blogging space was a welcomed relief because this is more than just a space where I write—it’s the space that holds my heart.
Before I tell you about my special place, I must give you a bit of the back story. I am 38 years old and this is the first time that I’ve ever had a home. You could say that I’ve spent 38 years being emotionally homeless. I’ve had a roof over my head for all of these years so you can immediately cancel out the mental images of me pushing a shopping cart through town. I’ve had many houses but this is my very first home.
The first 18 years of my life could only be described as severely dysfunctional. In addition to that label, we moved around often so there isn’t a particular house that I would reflect on when pondering my childhood. My last marriage took me into a realm that was new to me: a couple of very fancy houses that were worth well over a million dollars each. These expansive dwellings never felt quite right to me although they did help us to portray the façade of a happy couple that we had painted for the community.
Fast forward through my Category 5 Divorce Hurricane and my houses consisted of tiny apartments that were intended for college students and I even did a stint at my local Women’s Shelter which is a blog in itself. Each of these places shared similarities such as a roof, floor and walls to protect me from the weather. These places lacked one thing: my heart never settled in or thought of these spaces as a “home.” There is a song on the radio called, “My Temporary Home” by Carrie Underwood which chokes me up (literally) each time it comes on:
This is my temporary home It’s not where I belong Windows and rooms That I’m passing through This is just a stop On the way to where I’m going I’m not afraid because I know This is my temporary home
I am proud to say that while it has taken me a while, I finally have a home. It’s a charming little home measuring just 980 square feet but it contains a lot of love and happiness. When I wake up in the morning I have feelings of peace and contentment for the first time in my life. I live in this home with my amazing little girls and a fiancé that has completely restored my faith that good men do exist.
In this little dwelling, I have a window seat which was my absolute dream as a little girl. My favorite blogging spot is the window seat because while I am sitting there I can see our raised, organic vegetable gardens and the beautiful mountains that surround my little town. There is no place that I’d rather be on a rainy day then sitting in the window seat of my home with a cup of coffee and my laptop computer.
I have little interest in any televised sport.
Which brings me to Lance Armstrong.
On warm summer mornings, I am often found blogging just steps away from my window seat on my back patio. My new blogging space contains everything that I’ve yearned for my entire life.
Tina Swithin is the Author of “Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle” and the popular blog, “One Mom’s Battle”. Tina is also a Huffington Post contributor and resides in sunny California with her fiancé, two daughters and three-legged tortoise named, “Oliver.”
Blogger Space is a series devoted to profiling the places bloggers choose to write. Wanna show off your digs? Send a photo of your space, a post about why you write where you do, and a link to your blog to [email protected]
lisa thomson says
Hi Tina, I first read your blog about a year ago or more and was startled by your strength in handling your custody case. I’m happy to hear you have found your home physically and emotionally. I also wrote a self help guide for women going through divorce and I have a question for you. Do you ever worry abut your ex reading your blog or initiating a law suit against you over information in your book?
One Mom's Battle (@onemomsbattle) says
Lisa- Thank you very much.
He (his family) does read my blog. The Commissioner in my case sites my right to freedom of speech. It has come up in my court case multiple times– he also drug me into court to stop my book from going to print. That was also rejected.
Lawsuits over things like this can happen but he could never win. He would need to prove that he has lost income or a job (monetary damage) from my blog. I have been very careful to conceal his identity– and the identity of my children. I use my maiden name which could never be traced to “Seth”. Tina
Freetze Frew says
Tina, I know how important it is to know you are “home”. I had a home once, and was tricked out of it. My grandparents had built in in 1926. I was the third generation to call it home and my children would have inherited it from me. My narc husband hated it. We relocated across the country, my narc told me we could keep it as a rental, but after we got back east, it had to be sold or we would be homeless, or so he said. I let my family down. I can’t watch DIY shows, or House Hunters, any tv show that is in the neighborhood that my home was in, as it breaks my heart. Congratulations on being “home”. You’ve earned it!
One Mom's Battle (@onemomsbattle) says
Freetze Frew- He didn’t like it because it was a “home” — and contained sentiment and feelings…neither which they are capable of. I am so sorry
Thank you– home is where the heart is….and my heart is home <
lisa thomson says
Thanks, Tina that’s good to know.
I love your blog, so real and sincere. Thank you for sharing. <3
Tina Swithin says
Thank you, Stephanie!!! Best to you! -Tina
I love this, your experience and the fact that you are sharing it is so helpful to so many of us. It is such a hard road to navigate. Thank you!
I have been divorcing a narcissist with borderline personality disorder for five years. I, too, had a dysfunctional childhood. My story is is so similar. Beautiful homes worth millions, an affluent lifestyle, wonderful trips around the world and the prestige of being a popular, well-known family invited to all the “best events”. My husband was a senior executive at a large firm and served as chairman of many cultural institutions. My children attend the best private schools. But mental illness knows no rules and doesn’t care about family promises and commitments. Slowly but clearly my husband came apart. He was always difficult but became intolerable. He left our home often for days or weeks without telling me where he was. He drank excessively. On a family vacation with friends, my husband became angry and left his family in the middle of the night. My beautiful children slept with me that night and cried all night. How could I explain this behavior to my children ….. my friends? So with that, our marriage was over. Since that time, he has recreated the reasons for our divorce. Emails have been sent to all of the most prominent people in our community telling them that our divorce is a result of my affairs. I never had an affair. Ever. I was always too busy with our projects, our businesses and our children. I never had the desire to have an affair. All I ever wanted was to be part of a family and some financial security. And I wanted him to be happy. I really wanted that. But he couldn’t find happiness with me, his children, his career. So here I am five years later. We’ve spent over a million dollars on legal fees with no end in sight. He has incurred significant losses in our investments and little by little the money is dissipating. Our four homes are for sale. I don’t know where I’ll live with my children. I don’t know how I’ll support myself. I gave up a very lucrative career to raise our children and support his efforts. It’s tough in your 50′s re-entering the work force after 17 years. I wake up every morning and pray for strength – not for the week, the month, the year, the case. Just one day. Lord, please give me the strength for today. I dream of the time when I am settled wherever that may be. I’ll adjust. I came from nothing. Will my children adjust? They’ve had everything.
Sorry to hear about your past, but you’ve got a nice home now., so i am happy for you. Keep going, it can only get better!
Tina-It is a relief to know others have experienced what I have been going through for the past 2 years. The control, manipulation, “crazy making”, lies and deceit that only a trained eye can see in the man I married devastates and destroys my soul. After 18 years of marriage and prays that one day he would change are over. He filed for divorce and claims I wanted the divorce. Truthfully he would say he did not love me for over 10 years. We are still in a battle over assets and custody of our children. His passive aggressive behavior is out of control. He is alienating my son from me. He controlled our money, lied on financials, changed jobs to show he makes $20,000 a year now. He once made over $200,000 a year. We have 3 children and it is sad to hear them repeat his lies and they believe him. This man is wanting to destroy me and take everything from me. I just want peace for me and my children. It gets worse….he has not filed taxes in over 20 years and refuses to file or pay taxes, which leaves a tax lien in his name. This would eat up the equity in the home and all assets just because he is a tax evader. No one knows how it is to talk to a Narcissistic, socio pathic person who probably is bipolar too. He is a master manipulator and I have to take one day at time and rely on God. Thank you for sharing your blog!
Bella Palma says
This has been the very advice I may have been missing….I knew I wasnt alone dealing with someone like my ex. Thank you for validating what I have always known all along.
The odds are against the protective parent. But in the end many do prevail. Read all you can to learn about the legal tricks they will use against you in court….
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