Judgmental Girlfriends

Okay, I’m sure she’s heard all kinds of bad stuff about me. I’m sure she blames me for him not being able to make a commitment/get closer/trust her completely. It’s my fault, you see. Just like it was that girlfriend before me, and the one before her.

And I’m sure that he not only holds me out as the reason for his crippled emotional state, but that he uses me to keep her on her toes, through comparison and jealousy. She’ll never be able to quite live up to whatever standard I represent…just like I wasn’t able to quite compete with those before (or concurrent, at the time).

Because that’s what a narcissist does. Use people. Manipulate them. Pull their strings. Work on their self-doubts and needs, all to his advantage and amusement.

But how about some civility for crying out loud?

I mean, is it too much to actually speak on the phone when you call…when you’re asked to call?

I’ve always acknowledged this girl. I’ve remembered her at my daughter’s art exhibits. Even bought her and her own child their tickets. But my Ex’s girlfriend can be in the same room, and not once acknowledge me. It’s always me, first, who will say hello to her. But I feel it’s because it’s just too obviously rude to not say hello back. Her dislike of me is palpable on her face.

So today, I call, as requested by my Ex, to set up a time for drop off. (That’s something I need to look at.) She picks up the phone, says hello. I greet her by name, and make a friendly comment. I wait for her to comment back.

Silence. Did the line go dead? I don’t hear a sound. Then my Ex is on the phone.

She just handed the phone over to him, without so much as a word to me.

You know, I don’t mean her ill. My daughter likes her, and that’s all that’s important.

But it’s days like this, when I get treated with undeserved disrespect that I find myself feeling like I just had it. I mean, I’ve never been ignorant to ex-girlfriends, and even those who were trying to hit on my N, I never went out of my way to be ignorant…to the point where that was taken advantage of, more than a few times.

But just because I have learned to be more self-respectful, and am better at drawing boundaries, doesn’t mean I spit at people from across them. I just don’t understand this kind of rude behavior.

Then I am reminded that no matter how she treats me it’s small beans compared to how he is and will be treating her.

I don’t need to get worked up about it. If she wants to judge me on his behalf, and if she wants to take that judgment to justify treating me meanly – whatever. My daughter is happy. I’m happy.

I’ll just have to not set myself up to give her opportunities to be ignorant. That’s all.

As for her? Her own ignorance will come back to haunt her. I know. Mine did.

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2 Responses to Judgmental Girlfriends

  1. Mrytle says:

    Hi, I found your site by Googling as I was searching for help with my own daughter. First, your situation sounds so similar to mine as to be uncanny. My narcissistic ex got married to a rich spinster (no joke) who treats me like your ex’s girlfriend does. My only solution is to restrict contact to the barest of the bare minimums. You have my sympathy.

    But now, here’s the reason I logged on to your site: I’m in need of advice. My daughter (I’ll call her Kate) is 18, freshman in college. To weeks ago, she had a psychotic break. Perhaps she is bipolar (it runs on her dad’s side of the family, in addition to the narcissism), or perhaps she’ll eventually receive some other diagnosis, but it’s far too early to say now. She’s in a psych intensive care unit.

    I’ll spare the horrible details of the past few weeks, to focus on now: she’s doing better, responding well to both medication and therapy, and may be getting out of the unit next week. As I write this, her dad does not know where she is or what has happened. He thinks she’s still at college. But that’s about to change. He e-mailed me, saying he’s going to her college this weekend to pick her up to take her to his mother’s (her grandmother’s) big hoopla 75th birthday party this weekend. So when he goes to the college and can’t find her . . . well, I just don’t know what he’ll do. (Yes, he’ll show up there, even though he hasn’t spoken to her in two weeks; she can’t have a phone on the psych unit.)

    Kate doesn’t want to talk to him, doesn’t want to see him. She has asked me not to tell him anything, not to talk to him. Easy for me to do, since I have something like a restraining order against him anyway. I’ve talked to quite a few people about this, who’ve all assured me that I’m well within my legal and moral rights not to talk to my ex. I suspect he’ll go on a rampage and make a barrage of phone calls to anyone he can think of who might know where Kate is, but the people who know have all agreed not to tell him. They know him too well.

    With Kate, I’m just being there for her during the one-hour visits and brief phone calls she’s allowed on the psych unit. She had repeated to me that she wants no contact whatsoever with her dad right now. I’m just listening to her. I don’t even want to give her advice; I just want to listen to her.

    But eventually, something’s going to have to happen. Her dad will not stop until he finds out what’s happened, and there will be an emotional firestorm.

    Kate’s an adult, though, so I can’t take any legal action or anything else on her behalf.

    Any advice anyone has for me would be most sincerely appreciated.

  2. PhoenixRising says:

    Mrytle, I’m so sorry it’s taken me this long to find your comment. These past weeks have been very hard, not only with my ex but with other family members, and it’s all I can do to just put one foot in front of the other sometimes.

    How did that weekend turn out? I was wondering, if he emailed you, do you email him back? If you do, I don’t think it would have been inappropriate to let him know she would not be there, and that she needs her space from him a this time. End of that conversation.

    Although I do know how easy it is to get drawn into becoming engaged in more interaction than you want again – give them an inch…

    If you don’t, then I’d feel totally comfortable not answering that or any other email. It’s his responsibility to having a way to keep in contact with his daughter, rather than just showing up whenever he feels like it.

    Anyway, I’ll be checking this board a little more regularly. Hope to hear from you again and best to you and your daughter!

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