At a child’s expense

Okay, after writing about needing to take care of yourself, eating right, getting the sleep you need, I’m up at 3:00 in the morning writing, because I can’t sleep.

The N-Ex is telling my daughter that she doesn’t need braces when her teeth are more and more crooked and getting out of alignment. Anyone with eye balls in their head can see just how much she needs them…not to mention her own dentist who recommends she sees an orthodontist, like now.

The bottom line is, he doesn’t want to pay for them. The irony is that he doesn’t have to. His mother set up a savings for her that has more than enough money to cover it for just such an occasion. Unfortunately, she turned it over to him, so he controls the account. But guess what he wants to do? He wants to save it for a car for her, when she turns sixteen.

She wants the braces. She wants straight teeth. But what she wants doesn’t matter. He wants to give her the cool gift. He thinks it will make her adore him. He’s looking for those brownie points when she’s sixteen. The hell with her living self-conscious about her smile or having to deal with dental complications that come from crowded and crooked teeth.

Once again, it’s about him. And once again, it’s at her expense.

And he knows I want her to have them. That seals her fate. He won’t give in to me.

So, I wake up in the middle of this night, just dumbfounded at his ability and willingness to hurt his child in a battle in which he is the only participant. But I guess, to a narcissist, that is enough. All he needs is himself, because in the world of a narcissist, that’s all there is.

And I am incredulous.

That’s another thing about being with a narcissistic “partner”. No matter how low they go, they are always capable of doing one more thing that flabbergasts you. You know what they’re like. You’ve already witnessed what they’re capable of. And yet, they will pull one more thing out of the depth of their narcissistic magic hat, and just floor you.

Yes, I should be in bed, but I needed to write. It’s one of those, if I don’t get this out, I’ll wind up laying awake till the morning light, kind of nights.

Are you up in the middle of your night? If you are, know that you’re not sitting wide awake alone. God knows how many of us are just as stupefied as you, staring into the dark, looking for an explanation of something we will never find.

Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to At a child’s expense

  1. kbcarleton says:

    Sounds sooooo familiar. My daughter wanted to get her teeth cleaned before school started. Since her father was always complaining about not getting to be a parent, I told her I would ask her dad to take her to the dentist when she went to visit him and that way he could feel more involved in her upbringing. She thought that sounded nice. But, as might be expected, he didn’t have time to do it while she was there. He did however have time to take her out for driving practice since she has her permit now. Of course, he doesn’t mind doing the cool stuff with her. Also, as you said, I had asked him to take her to the dentist, and if it’s something I ask for there’s no way he’s going to comply! Little does he know, she is the one who requested a dentist appointment. The frustrating thing though is that she defended him about this as she always seems to do whenever he screws up. I know, it is her dad and she truly wants to believe he cares, but will she ever see the real man; the selfish man, or will she always make excuses for him like I did for 20 years and then end up with someone just like him? I gently try to give her the truth, but she gets mad at me and defends him, so I don’t push it. I worry about her. My own father is just like my ex. I never saw how abnormal this kind of relationship is and worry that she will think it is normal to do whatever your husband wants with no say of your own. The only thing I can think of to do for now is to be sure that whenever she is with me, she has a voice in decisions that effect her.I even give her a voice in decisions about her visitation, since she is 16, but so far, she chooses to accomaodate his wishes even when they don’t fit well with hers. I hope she sees what she is doing with open eyes.

  2. PhoenixRising says:

    Oh, my goodness. That has got to be the hardest part. Not just dealing with his foolishness, but watching your daughter turn a blind eye to them…and defending them! Ouch.

    You are wise to be committed to giving her a voice in her relationship with you and honoring her choices. And you are wise to not push her into seeing what she’s not ready to.

    You might want to try asking her how she feels about a thing when it happens. If she says, okay, a “Does that work for you then?” in a nonchalant kind of way, and then an “Okay”, when she says “yeah”, might at least give her space or opportunity to reassess what’s going on in the safety of her own time.

    Another idea might be to focus on healthy relationships, dynamics for healthy interactions in other relationships. To discuss them or take the opportunity to make a comment on them as they present themselves in the media or in other people other than her father.

    As you begin to more strongly define what is healthy and honoring and what isn’t in safer space, she may make that transference over to her father when she’s ready…thereby lifting her expectations on how she should be treated by other males in her life.

    It hit me like a brick wall when I realized how my EX *was* my father. I knew there were some similarities here and there, but though the details changed, the psychological dynamics, the emotional environment and ensuing pain was identical. It made me sick…but it was freeing.

    I understand the fear you feel for your daughter. I am fortunate in that my daughter is very aware of her father’s game playing and lack of integrity. She started seeing this at an early age, because we split up when she was quite young, and she began to see this morphing from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde early on.

    She really struggled with it and it brings her great pain, but it is a price I’m glad she is paying – since she has to – for her empowerment and knowledge.

    How long ago was it that you were able to leave him?

  3. kbcarleton says:

    I have been gone for 2and1/2 years now and thankfully returned to my home state and left him behind in the state we moved to for his job. He is now with the co-worker he was having an affair with (and denied to me daily when I would call him on it). My daughters found out by accident that he was living with her and still believe his lies that they only started dating after I left and she decided to divorce her husband. Funny that they started living together after only a month of dating! Anyway, it’s frustrating to still be abused by him even after so long. I’m sure it will continue as long as we have to do parenting together, but one thing I know enough not to do is let him see that he still gets to me. You have to stand up to bullies you know. lol

  4. PhoenixRising says:

    Congratulations on your 2 and 1/2 years! Yeah! For me it will soon be five. I don’t regret a single moment. I had lost SO much of myself during my time with him. It’s been a slow process getting myself back, but right away, I felt that glow of health returning.

    I wish my Ex were with the one he had cheated on with me. They deserve each other, but that ended, at least I think so, before I finally left. But you can cheat on your spouse with a lot of other things besides a woman. Friends, drugs, partying…these things can be more compelling than a mistress. In fact, these are the things he liked doing with her. I don’t do them.

    My daughter started to see her dad for what he is when she started to come into her own. When she started to grow from an adoring toddler/preschooler/kindergartner and started to develop her own personality apart from what he wanted her to be, that’s when he started invalidating her.

    Invalidation of her feelings, her thoughts is not a good thing to do. I’m afraid I’m the culprit to a very large degree. Validation is a very big thing to me. She likes it. She’s used to it from me. She knows it’s synonymous with respect. She started to see very early on that she is, essentially, invisible to him unless she’s being what he needs or wants her to be.

    It must be hard that your daughters believe their father’s lies over your truths. But 2 and a 1/2 years is still soon. My daughter, also, believed his stories to a good degree in the beginning and even was angry with me for a while. That’s another post.

    But the good news is that narcissists eventually reveal who they are, if you’re close to them. They can’t help it. The bad news is that those closest to them often are the ones who make the most excuses for them.

    But you keep being true to who you are. There’s power in that, and it will not go wasted.

    I take it that even though you are in different states, you are still close enough for your daughters to easily see and be with him? That’s another thing. If being with him is always going to be like a lovely weekend visit or a vacation time, then he will have the advantage of being on his best behavior.

    Still a narcissist is a narcissist, and you can count on them to be inconvenienced by your presence at one time or another, and then their true colors will show.

    And I do understand how frustrating it is to still be abused by him after so long…after you’re divorced. I know I get frustrated and sometimes overwhelmed by the feeling that I’ll never be free. But then I find my center again, and I focus on being detached – not denying what I feel, but making a conscious choice as to what to do with it and putting things into perspective.

    And then I realize just how strong I really am, and that makes me feel good.

    You know, it took me a while to learn how to not let him see how he can still get to me, and it took even longer to finally make that pretty real. I don’t react anywhere near like I used to…with or without him around. Half the time, I don’t even have to hide my emotions from him, because I don’t have them! He’s really become that much more and more unimportant to me.

    And when I do, I can always rant here or with a friend or who knows.

    And it’s this nonreaction to them, that drives them the craziest! LOL, yeah, you do have to stand up to bullies, and it sounds like you’re doing a great job!

Leave a Reply

WordPress spam blocked by CleanTalk.