It’s not just the invalidation that is the core of narcissistic abuse that makes you feel alone. It’s the inability of others to see what you’re experiencing, to get what’s happening. I’ve been on lists with very well meaning people – education and homeschooling lists, where from time to time I’ve expressed my frustration in attempting to homeschool my child.
There have been times I have even spelled out exactly what was going on, making it so clear his refusal to support or cooperate, no – his intentional choices to sabotage his child’s education. And always…always, there’s several posts suggesting how we could work together.
Have you thought about asking…talking…expressing…appealing to…making him realize that…?
And I am stunned. It’s all I can do to stop myself from writing back in all caps, HAVE YOU NOT READ A SINGLE WORD I WROTE???
But I don’t.
I respond nicely back, thank them for their caring and concern, assure them that I have attempted all those things (AS I STATED IN MY POST) and slowly back out…go back into lurking and getting information pertaining to curriculum or websites or whatever other resources, because help for the parent with an abusive spouse or ex is hard to come by on those lists.
Because most people are nice and most people are good, and even when you spell things out for them, they just can’t get someone that evil to their child. They will believe a parent is capable of breaking a child’s legs, their arms, their face, before they can wrap their brain around someone who is capable of sucking the spirit, the life and soul out of a child for no other reason than to feed their warped little needs.
Occasionally, I’ve received a heartfelt response from someone experiencing the same or similar thing. But often I’ve received not only comments that make me question whether they even read my post, but little sanctimonious statements about the virtues of forgiveness and letting go – or heaven help me, fathers rights!…often from women who are having a hard time with their husbands or ex-husbands, themselves!
Look at me, how I’m handling this by just letting it all go.
Well, good for them! God, wouldn’t I love to do that! To let it all go, and not let him bother me, but you see, I can’t. Because it does bother me, and may I be hit by lightening if it ever stops bothering me, because my daughter is not a spiritual experiment, and I can’t smile like a saint and forgive, while someone is hurting my child.
I need to get her out of harm’s way first, I need to meet her needs first, I need to see and address what she’s going through first, because I will not render her invisible as I have been.
And then I’ll forgive if need be…or I’ll forgive while I’m saving her – I don’t care, but I’m called upon to act. That’s my job, that GOD gave me. To protect my child, to do what is in her best interest. Not to show the world how holy I am while she pays for my halo.
So I need some advice, some help to show me how to meet her needs under these circumstances. And I have discovered some things on my way, and I have received an email or two with helpful advice from those who understand and do not attempt to lecture me without hearing me.
Because you know, this is not about personality differences or frickin teaching styles. This is about manipulating, lying, verbally assaulting, gaslighting and setting your kid on fire to light the fuse.
But more often than not, I get suggestions on how to work with the EX, include him in the decision making and teaching. Like I hadn’t already tried, like I hadn’t already conveyed that’s exactly what I had attempted, failed and am now frustrated and need help.
Most people can’t wrap their mind around how evil narcissists can be, to what extent they can hurt anyone, including their own children, to make their point or win some kind of tug of war where they are the only one holding the rope.
These people who give your EX the benefit of the doubt, mean well. But they only create a bigger sense of isolation and loneliness by not giving you the benefit of the doubt, that what you describe is as it is.
They make the same mistake you did. They assume his basic humanity.
I don’t expect validation. I just don’t expect invalidation either. No one has to tell me “poor thing”, but it would be so nice if people could just accept the description of circumstances as is, and then give suggestions relative to that. A “hang in there” is also nice. Condemnation, righteous anger is not only not needed, but not wanted.
But that’s not what happens most of the time.
Needless to say, I’ve only appealed for help a few times over the years. I have learned to keep most of this to myself, asking only for specific educational advice and leaving the rest alone.
Because when you are “parenting” with a narcissist, you have less in common with other mothers or fathers, and more in common with those unfortunate creatures who have fallen prey to the whims and abuses of a narcissist. You are more visible to them than someone else who has gone through the birthing process.
Narcissism is a nightmare, and we who have gotten close to it must wander in our surrealism until we find another who knows our landscape.
It’s lonely. It can be, anyway. But it doesn’t mean you are alone. There are plenty of casualties in this minefield of narcissism. But these veterans are powerful allies, beautiful to behold. They can help you…we can help each other maneuver our way out of this field onto safe and solid ground.
And the beauty of it is, we can take our children with us.