One of the most important life lessons I have learned in the past five years or so, I actually have to credit to Crow. Watching her permit her entire life to revolve around the past, watching her sink farther and farther into her own negativity like fecid quicksand, and watching her rot and fester in her own hate has been beyond eye-opening.
When immersed in an insane and hostile battlefield like Gary, the children, and I have been ever since Crow tore apart her marriage and family, then decided it is somehow my and Gary’s fault, it becomes intensely difficult not to fall into the trap of allowing each day, each thought, to be tainted by the negative situation that sits like a large, ugly elephant right smack in the middle of your life. You can’t ignore it. You can’t miss it. Everything you try to do, it seems to be in the way, refusing to go away.
And it won’t go away. Unless, by some miracle, the Crow in your life suddenly discovers her sanity and decides to grow up and play in Adult Land, it is not going to stop. Wishing for someone to stop behaving like a rabid beast won’t make the problem go away. That is simply the reality of enmeshment with a self-absorbed individual refusing to treat his or her own personality disorder.
It is easy to allow it to overtake your life. It is easy to drown in the sea of nastiness and drama, and lose who you are, your own life, when you are relentlessly bombarded with the concentrated and undiluted insanity of another.
Crow, as the perpetrator of the craziness, has wallowed in it for years and has completely lost herself in her self-created swamp of hate and bitterness. I believe she is especially entrapped because she created the situation 100% with her own manipulative hands, and extracting herself will be akin to admitting the truth: that she is wrong, that she has used the children, that she has lied damn near every time she has opened her ugly mouth. It is easier for her to stay right where she is, swirling in the cesspool of waste she adds to with every poor choice, every selfish decision, every lie to the kids.
I violently, absolutely, and willfully do not want to ever be how she is. Crow’s day-to-day existence revolves around sniffing out what her ex-husband and his current love are doing, where they are, and desperately seeking their attention. Her life is no longer hers. She desires and attempts no self-improvement, no growth as a human being, no maturing past being absurdly dependent upon her warped father and using other people in her life to try to get her ex-husband’s attention once again.
In short, Crow has essentially stopped being a real person. Her sun rises and falls on a life that doesn’t exist anymore, if it ever truly did, and on people who only see as her as worthless and pathetic.
Her toxic behavior has taught me to never become hopelessly immersed in the negativity, hostility, and drama upon which she is dependent. I existed before I ever met Gary or became involved in the hateful nonsense Crow insists on perpetuating. I had ideas, plans, goals, and wants before, and of course I still do. Who I am as a person did not go away just because of the histrionics of someone else, and I refuse to lose myself in the theatrics and lunacy.
That is a lesson that can’t be emphasized enough for stepmothers and fathers forced to deal with a toxic ex-wife who wants to drag them down to her subterranean level. When your happiness is a thorn in the side of a jealous, bitter ex, it is too easy to turn over all of your emotions, thoughts, and feelings to the sewer of a non-person polluting your life. Don’t do it.
Be angry, as you have a right to anger in the face of someone wiling to manipulate and abuse children to make herself feel in control; be sad, as you have a right to mourn the loss of innocence and the abuse of trust of young children who deserve a better mother. But don’t ever forget that your life, your mind, your wants, your plans, your goals, your thoughts, are YOURS, not hers.
Your life exists independent of the hate, jealousy, and negativity of a shallow and contemptible person. Don’t abandon who you are, no matter how overwhelmed you may feel at times because of the non-stop circus and maniacal song-and-dance routine your life may feel like it turned into at times.
The alternative is to stop being a human being at all. The alternative is to lose yourself and give control to a poisonous individual who no longer cares about anything but tearing you down.
Crow is a noxious, reactive, infantile puppet, a disgraceful imitation of a person who can only exist through us, every twist and turn of her life revolving completely around us. I believe watching us, following us, asking others about us, and outright stalking us is something that she could not stop now if her life depended on it…and, in more ways than one, it actually and truly does.