So it’s excelerating

So the next time after “stop making me look like an asshole” incident, (previous post), my daughter is lying on her side on the bed with her laptop. He’s on the bed laying behind her. Girlfriend is there, too. He reaches over and holds DD by the arm. She tries to move it. He holds it down. So she struggles. He pulls his strength on her and suddenly turns her over toward him, at which point she strikes out and hits him. She nails him in the eye.

This, of course, infuriates him. Cuss words go flying, and he grabs her arms with both hands with barely concealed rage. She said she was scared stiff by the look of his face, the curses and the rage squeezed between clenched teeth.

We have a long talk about what her options are when she’s with him. I tell her physical retaliation or even defense on her part isn’t a great idea, unless her life is threatened and she has the ability to escape. Should never be first course of action.

I tell her she needs to vocalize her discomfort rather than physically struggle, take advantage of the fact that Tabitha is there, even if she’s not quite the solid protection she was before.

His power play was subtle at first in holding her arm down. He probably was presenting a loving picture of father and daughter to Girlfriend.

He did this to me at a family member’s funeral. I wanted nothing to do with him, but to not be ignorant, I let him give me a hug after the service. He held me in place. I could not move, could not lift my head from his chest. I was pinned.

My oldest children were there, and I knew he was looking at them as he created this picture of me leaning on him for comfort.

I felt defiled. I wanted to scream and vomit. I did none of those things. When he released me, I maintained my composure and then got as far away from him as possible. But to this day I feel violated.

Can you believe someone using someone else’s death like that to force themselves on a grieving person? For what? For caring? For concern? No, for SHOW.

And that’s probably what was happening there. And DD was not cooperating, and he didn’t care. He would not let her release his grip on her, and when she struggled, he got angry and flipped her, and when she struck out he became enraged.

Survival methods. That’s what DD is learning. What she must do, how she must cope while she’s still under his roof during those times. Tabitha is of some help, though not nearly as much as before, during the “honeymoon” period.

DD said she cried. DD said Tabitha hugged and consoled her. Funny…but not so funny. That’s what DD did for Tabitha when N Ex ripped her a new one.

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3 Responses to So it’s excelerating

  1. Pingback: MePregnant

  2. hlgallagher says:

    Oh my gosh…I just found your site and I swear, you are living my life! I was married to a narcissist for 10 years, divorced and now share custody of my two elementary school-aged children. It is horrible when they are with him beccause he treats them like objects. My 8-year-old can see through it and it is very hard for her to be with him and away from me. Even my 5-year-old has caught on to many of my ex’s tricks. It is so infuriating and I feel so helpless. All I can do at this point is wait until they are old enough to be taken seriously in a courtroom.

  3. PhoenixRising says:

    Hi hlgallagher,

    Sorry I didn’t approve this comment right away. I don’t get here every day, though I think I probably should. It’s hard for me to look at this stuff in writing. Sometimes I want to just get away, and I’m also afraid of being “found out”. That maybe he’d recognize himself if he ever came here, although I do change some details, but not enough that he wouldn’t figure it out…okay, enough of scaring myself.


    It’s great they are picking up his tricks, but they have many, many years to have to deal with this, and if you think it’s long for an adult, imagine what it must be like for a child. Your youngest will have to go through close to about two and a half of her lifetimes before she can be free, and your 8 year old, a little over another lifetime.

    You ARE helpless to control your Ex’s behavior, but you are NOT helpless to validate your children. Use this as a learning experience. Since your kids can see his tricks, you don’t have to volunteer stuff. Just ask them how they were at their dad’s, how things went and let them talk. Then actively listen and repeat what they say or rephrase it and then validate, validate, validate whatever emotional response or truthful assessment they make.

    The older they get, the more you can share as the opportunity presents itself. Believe me, your EX will accommodate them.

    So sorry to hear you have to go through this, BUT since you do, it’s good you are aware and your children are.

    As far as court goes, good luck on that one. Being the performers Narcissists are, unless there’s documented physical abuse, you will have a hard time getting the court to believe you – regardless what the kids say. If anything, your Ex will paint you to be someone who turned his kids against him, especially if he has other “witnesses” – people who have a vested interest in their relationship with him or who have bought his performance in front of them as a loving father. They will testify as to him being a great dad.

    If your children are attempting to survive when they’re with them, they will more than likely respond positively to him in public, because to not do so will surely bring about retribution in private. They are not empowered to walk away. They will need to do what they need to do to survive. But bear in mind, other people will see this and will be shocked to hear what’s going on. Most people don’t want to believe something like this. They’ll believe breaking bones, before they believe breaking spirit.

    What you might want to do is get them counseling. It’s terrific to get validation from you, but they will need it from someone else, too. It’s best if you can find someone who is knowledgeable about narcissists, but finding a kind counselor with a sympathetic ear whose purpose is to validate the child is just as effective.

    My child asks me to come in with her. She has the option to counsel alone, but has chosen to have me there. It’s her time, not mine, but it’s been a wonderful healing experience for both of us.

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