I set up an appointment for my daughter with a therapist. First for a kids’ group and then one on one.
The reason isn’t just for the coping skills she’ll learn or realizing that she’s really not alone in facing life changes and challenges. It’s for the validation. I was told one of the things she would be learning was how to express her emotions. To me, what’s priceless is that she will be given the message that her feelings are even valid to express. That she has a right to them and that others find them important.
Being with a narcissistic parent, she has learned to show him what he wants to see.
I had asked her the other day if she gave her father any indication that she liked some of the documentaries he made her watch. She looked at my rather incredulously, almost like I was stupid, and said, “Uh…yeah. If I didn’t, he’d get mad!”
She told me not only does she have to be there when he watches these documentaries, but if she looks away or hides her eyes or covers her ears, he will get angry and threaten that she will never watch her own shows again if she doesn’t watch his.
That is so controlling, more than I thought he would be…but why wouldn’t I know this? Maybe I just thought he wouldn’t be like that, that cruel to her.
In our conversation, dd said to me, “I think what he does is child abuse.”
It is. But there are no laws that will protect her from it.
So in the face of so much discounting of what she feels, she really needs to be with others who will validate those feelings and her right to have them and to show her that anything less than that is not healthy at best and abusive at worst. The skills will be great, but the validation will be even better.