…I take the time to stop, and look at the long road I have traveled. And I thank God that I am no longer where I have been. There are days when you can take a deep breath and in the stillness of that moment, you are grateful. And you know you are going to make it…even with the high price you paid, you know you will make it. In fact, you already have. Because you have awareness and determination, and you know you will never go back there again. There are days you stop and just can’t stop that small smile from creeping across your face. No malice, just a quiet thank you. Today is such a day.
So, are you nodding your head in recognition? Heard this before? You’re a target of sudden rage – either over something totally unexpected or totally out of proportion to what you would think. And then after they’ve ripped you a new one or two and you’re lying all over the floor in pieces, they look at you and say, “It’s okay…I’m not mad.” As if they had a right to assault you, as if they were entitled to unload on you and aren’t you relieved, you who are left there bleeding, that they aren’t actually mad at you? And they feel better. And they’re all nice again as if nothing had happened. And don’t you DARE ask them to acknowledge what they just did to you and make them feel bad again, because they are all that matters. You are supposed to, EXPECTED to, understand this. And you know what’s so pathetic? It’s thinking about how I must have sounded as I tried to understand my raging narcissist, as I pleaded with him asking him why he was so angry, or assuring him I didn’t mean this or that or whatever he was raging about at the moment – so … Continue reading
That’s what a commenter wrote in a comment. This is true for my child, too. And when he doesn’t feel like it, he doesn’t. It’s as simple…and as selfish as that. Doesn’t matter if he said he would. Doesn’t matter if there’s things that need to be discussed. It’s only what he feels like. So, my problem has always been with him interfering with my child’s education. Wanting her to fill up his time, meet his needs regardless of whether it negatively impacted her education or not. But he has a girlfriend now. Has for a while. And that’s helped my daughter’s education a bit. But now, his behavior has taken even another twist. He’s either pissed at me (something did occur a couple weeks back, that to a normal person would have been no big thing, but to him, was a great offense…and yes, it had to do with me respecting myself and setting some boundaries). Or maybe he’s simply having his needs met elsewhere to the point where his daughter and her concerns are totally irrelevant right now. Maybe it’s both. So, what does this new twist look like? Well, it looks like just bailing out. We needed … Continue reading
“…It’s where I can be myself.” This is what she said to me yesterday. I can see the gratefulness in her, see it on her face, hear it in her voice. It’s almost like a sigh of relief that she can’t wait to breathe as soon as her father walks away and leaves her with me. Home should be a place of safety. And safety doesn’t just mean safe from physical harm or from the harshness of the outside world, but safe to be yourself. A place where you can talk without censorship or walk from room to room with a confident stride. Not tiptoeing delicately as on eggshells. Children of narcissists don’t have that. If you are still with your narcissist, as the more stable parent, you will be hard pressed to provide that – not impossible, but just very hard. Because a narcissist will drain the life out of you, and the longer you stay, the less of your real self you will have. You can’t provide the space for authenticity for your child, that you can’t maintain for yourself. If you’re separated or divorced, then you have a better chance to provide that for your child. You … Continue reading
This is Part 3. Here is Part 1 and Part 2. This is not easy. But it is essential. You cannot let your experience, your knowledge go to waste. And you cannot not respect your child’s relationship with her dad, so you don’t just blurt things out. You don’t say things in anger or to make a point. This isn’t about what you want her to know. It’s about validating what she is already finding out. What and how you say it is a tender matter that you must decide carefully, taking into consideration her age, her level of maturity, the level of trust and confidence between you and the place of discussion. Riding along in a car, listening to the radio and such, if your child say, “Dad doesn’t love me”, your response might be “Why do you say that?” This would most likely be an invitation from her to talk. Not necessarily a time to face her worst fears. If your child says, “He doesn’t love me”, in an intimate setting within an already active sharing, where she has given permission to delve deeper, your response might be, ““I believe he thinks he does…but no, honey, this isn’t … Continue reading
This is Part 2. Part 1 is here Your first priority is not to her father or his image. It’s to her. And your child looks to you for the truth. So you will listen to her. You will sympathize with how she feels. You will reflect back to her what she is telling you, holding up each little heartache so she can see them clearly, bringing them to her conscious awareness, her intellect so that she may reason and come to conclusions…about what love is and what love isn’t. You will not spell it out to her. Her father will. You will only help her to read what is written. And she will realize what she already knows. That what this man gives her is not love. And you will let her know that it is not personal. Perhaps giving her examples, you will help her to see a bigger picture. Looking at what she is experiencing, gently guiding her through questions, giving her space to come to her conclusions. And if she says, “He doesn’t love me”, not from that angry pouting kind of way a child can do when they don’t get what they want, but from … Continue reading
You don’t. You let him tell her. And he will. In the many ways a narcissist does, he will let her know she is not valued for who she is, she is not seen, she is invisible and does not even exist except in what she is to him. He will show her that everything revolves around him and that if by chance that coincides with what she wants, it’s only by chance…or design for something greater he wants. He will turn his affections toward her off and on, depending on which way the wind blows. If she does anything to disturb his over inflated version of how he sees himself as a father, he will punish her. If she embarrasses him, he will punish her. If it suits him, he will ridicule her. He will laugh at her and call it “just teasing”. He will see it upset her, ignore her protests and pleas for him to stop…and do it some more. He will demand to have her when he’s lonely or when he needs her for one reason or another, and just as easily discard her when he has other plans or interests. And when she cries to … Continue reading