One of the hardest things for a recovering codependent like me, is to let other people believe I’m _____ (fill in the blank – crazy, nuts, incompetent, or STU-PID with a nasty, thick Brooklyn accent.)

Because it’s just not true.

Sometimes I’ve had to reach deep to find a positive fact or affirmation to contradict the negative messages I received over the course of my 17-year marriage. It started with him telling me, 2 months in, after my questioning why he didn’t seem so interested in sex anymore, that we were “living in the real world now, and people just don’t go around having sex all the time.” (In other words – how stupid are you?) And pretty much ended with “you can’t even handle the three you have” when I told him I wanted to have more kids.

And there was a whole lot of shit in between. It wasn’t always a flat-out insult – so many things Mr. N/A did degraded me and crushed my spirit. Thinking I would believe his lies was particularly offensive. He actually got pissed at me for spending money on a private investigator when I knew he was denying an affair and he was trying to make me think I was nuts. How could I be so irresponsible with our money?

Jesus.

So, I tell myself I do live in the real world, and yes, some people do enjoy an active sex life that doesn’t involve a pathetic secret late-night scotch with a hand in the pants and the porn channel. And that maybe he was the not-so-bright one who would rather be out drinking until 4 in the morning instead of having fun sex with his very willing new bride that he seemed crazy about and proposed to after just 7 short months.

I tell myself that apparently I can handle my 3 kids, because I do, and because the courts felt, after a comprehensive psychological family study, that I was the most qualified to have residential custody of them.

And I remind myself that I don’t have to prove a goddamn thing to anybody.

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