A Father’s Story

I am so happy to have found this blog.

I am a father of a three and half year old daughter who i love more than anything. After a six month fling with my daughter’s narcissist mother, who is English, my life has been a surrealist kafkaesque thing for these four years – made more strange by living half of the time in England where my daughter was born.

I have been in court with the mom for two years, and am deeply in debt. The British court supports mothers to an extent that is painful and absurd. The United Kingdom keeps more children from their fathers than any other jurisdiction in the western world.

The four and five month periods in which my daughter’s mother simply would not communicate with me are not only not punished, but condoned to an extent that they are not even acknowledged.

To add to the drama, I have been warned that any criticism of the British court could mean even less contact than the 11 hours a week i am now granted with my daughter. The standard is so low in England, many simply don’t understand my sense of injustice or my concern for my daughter being denied a full relationship with her dad.

The narcissist mom has done everything she can to prevent me from having a real relationship, including keeping my name off of my daughter’s birth certificate, which prevents me from having a visa to live and work in the UK and be close to my daughter.

She puts this pit in my stomach like no one else, just the sense that I will be violated again and again, and i can not walk away because my daughter so badly needs me. I will survive…

I have done so so far, but god it is hard. There is no communication…..no justice….nothing fair….she has charmed the child agency, CAFCASS woman and the parenting assessment woman, to a point that they are condescending toward me and dismissive of my concern the mother has a personality disorder.

She has lied to the court that I have sexually molested my daughter. She just this week fired a nanny because the nanny reported that I am a loving father and that my daughter clearly loves me.

The potential for insanity is all around. What a tricky narrow path! Anger and reaction only complicate and worsen things. How do you accept and work with injustice to make it more livable?

How?

Can someone who has no empathy for other human beings develop empathy?

How can my precious daughter not be harmed by this?

I guess as I have read, things must move in tiny increments. But what a drain to everything I am and was….

How badly I must find myself again…and find ways of protecting myself

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13 Responses to A Father’s Story

  1. PhoenixRising says:

    Hey surviving. I just want to welcome you to this blog. Thank you for being willing to share your story. I can hear the frustration in your words and that sense of desperation for your child is something we all can identify.

    Whether our parenting “ex” is male or female, if they are narcissistic they are equally adept at making life a living hell for others.

    As for your question “Can someone who has no empathy for other human beings develop empathy?”, I like to think they can. But I’m not holding my breath for the ones I know.

    Whether or not someone can, without a doubt, it will only happen if they want it to, are willing to go through the type of honest assessment and heart felt changes and follow-through that such a transformation would entail.

    It seems to me, the very things that would enable empathy are the very things a narcissist lives their entire lives to avoid.

  2. Survivor says:

    There are very few narcissists that seek treatment. Remember, we are the problem, not them. When my ex NPD was in court mandated therapy, the psychologist told me that he could not do any diagnostics with the ex because the ex would not agree with the results. The psychologist said it was better to for him to try and be his friend to get more from him. I was angry that no one would address his mental health issues. Many mental health providers don’t even want to treat narcissists because it is such a frustrating and draining situation with little hope that many clinicians are not trained to deal with. It is ashame that we all have to deal with these destructive individuals who seem to be energized keeping us hostage through our children. Hang in there.

  3. PhoenixRising says:

    “The psychologist said it was better for him to try and be his friend to get more from him.”

    Oh, how sad! But in a way he was probably right.

    It would be great to address the N’s mental health issues, but in court what’s important is getting the results you want, not justice. The two don’t always coincide – more often than not they don’t.

    But what’s really sad, is that “being a friend” to a narcissist, and doing what they want is oftentimes an illusion we give ourselves to fool us into thinking we have some control over the situation, when we don’t.

    How can you control anything that is predicated on a whim or a nasty agenda?

  4. Survivor says:

    I have learned from my personal and professional experiences that not all mental health providers are qualified. They were able to memorize answers to an exam and get their mental health license. There are others that are amazing and have great insight on situations. It feels like the luck of the draw. I knew my ex’s psych wasn’t great when he was disclosing thearpy information about my ex without getting a release to give me the information. I wasn’t going to tell the psych that though. It was his ethical and licensing responsibility for his client. All I can say is do your research and try to find a good therapist. If you don’t like the first one, try another one. Please don’t give up on it. We all need support at times to get through the rough patches.

  5. Survivor says:

    We need the support because the NPD’s will most likely continue the behaviors with true mental health interventions. 🙂

  6. Survivor says:

    I meant to say “without” instead of with. I need to scan my words better. 🙁

  7. surviving says:

    i had 5 days of bliss with my daughter away at my parents and then back to nyc and then 10 solid hours of chaos and drama via text message from babymama. we are trying to settle things out of court and writing things back and forth and of course the hidden compact that we all must make is that she has done nothing wrong for these four years, nothing. all trouble, strife and sorrow is entirely of my making……as my daughter’s mother doesn’t want me to have extra time with my daughter, and her mother is working all weekend, my daughter will spend the weekend traveling in a van with no one to look after her while her mother is working……england has threatened to take all of my rights away if i take any court action in the united states, so, i just deal and accept and memorize the serenity prayer…..the court appointed psychologist in london was very angry with me for suggesting that x had narcissist personality disorder, so she wrote a twelve page report to the english court about my
    obsession with injustice. she did not mention the four or five month periods in which i had no contact with my daughter or her mother, nor did she mention anything about the mother and her lawyer’s attempt to get me to sign a document saying they would put my name on my daughter’s birth certificate if i agreed to see my daughter twice a year for four days each visit. it astonished me that such things were legal anywhere…….england creates the most apartheid like family court system in the western world through privacy laws…..i have been threatened in a manner befitting stalin’s russia, north korea, and iran, that if i speak about what is happening to me in court that i will lose all my paternal rights…….in england, america’s closest ally that bills itself as a democracy…..
    i have spent £45,000 (that’s pounds) getting my name on my daughter’s birth certificate….it is not done yet she will be four in december….
    everyone here is just aghast that this is possible…..many in england as well……of course the psychologist does not mention that it is illegal to keep a father’s name from a birth certificate in every other jurisdiction in the western world……..40% of all separated fathers in the uk have NO contact with their children. 40%. the united states needs to end its support of their reciprocal laws with the united kingdom.
    they are hurting children.

    i love my daughter so much
    i need to accept that her mother only thinks of herself and that is likely to continue….i imagine so many here have experience the delusion
    of projecting hope and the possibility of kind interaction on someone who is not capable of such behavior.
    it is just so hard to accept.
    even after close to five years…….
    we have no common values….
    i still am constantly just amazed that someone
    is capable of such outright cruelty and lack of human feeling….

    i am thrilled that my sacrifices in being in pure financial chaos living in a country without a visa for two years has meant that i have forged a really great bond with my little girl in the 11 hours the court grants me each week…..

    i pray i get more time
    i pray for courage
    i pray it gets a bit easier

    thanks

    surviving

  8. Survivor says:

    I thought my situation was very unfair and horrible. Unfortunately, you seem to have won the prize. My children leave in a few weeks to go back to their dad and my grief will begin again. At the end of the summer, I loose my children for a few months until an extended weekend with me. We all need help to deal with these losses. My children were telling me this morning that their father gave the I bought for them to Goodwill. He can get a tax write off for it. He had the kids go with him and they were crying that he was giving their toys away. They were both crying saying they needed their memories and it was unfair that he would take them away. Everyone tells me that the children will figure out things and be angry at the things that have been done. We decided that presents from mom will stay at mom’s house so they will not be given away. I just cherish the time I have with them, hope they will be ok, and I tried so hard for them to be with me to have a normal life.

  9. Survivor says:

    Here I go again leaving words out. Sorry. My ex gave their toys to Goodwill. 🙁

  10. FREEDOM FIGHTER says:

    Gave the gifts to Goodwill?!!!! All of what I have read thus far is so tragic, but these people keep doing it to children and society.
    I find it very painful to think that loving parents have to hurt to love their children who are in turn hurt by the narcissitic parents selfish behaviors. I am really tired of the saying that “children are resilient.” If that were true then the mental health facilities would be non existent.

    PhoenixRising Reply:

    @FREEDOM FIGHTER, Yeah, resilient but not impervious. And that matters.

  11. Rich says:

    Hi Surviving,

    I am UK based and have been through our country’s Family Court System, I understand your anxiety. My narc. ex told me if I went through the courts they would favour the mother and I would lose. I didn’t believe her in this age of equailty, boy was I in for a surprise and the financial burden is impossible.

    We have a fantastic piece of legislation here called the Children’s Act. The overriding ethos of the act being that it’s the child’s right to see the parents, not the other way round. This should mean that the prayers of the non resident parent and child are answered. How does the Act work?

    It doesn’t

    As soon as the resident parent says “The non resident parent abused the child, or they are aggressive, or they are threatening,” The district Judge thinks, we can’t expose the child to such risk, reduce contact. The non resident parent is guilty, without sound basis, evidence, investigation or trial. Then begins the process of trying to clear your name.

    The Family Court is a blundering institution where the process from application to final hearing can take years. As soon as you make an application you are at the mercy of the court timetable, temporary orders are set and reviewed, during this time the child develops and their needs change meaning a different order and another ‘directions’ hearing.

    I read you’ve had dealings with Cafcass another blundering UK institution, previously their waiting lists were so long you had to wait 12 weeks for an assessment. Then when the assessment was published you had to wait for a court date. If all contact was being refused, the non resident parent may have to wait over 4 months until the next directions hearing.

    We had two meetings with Cafcass, the first time they ‘inadvertantly’ reduced contact by getting the facts wrong the day before the hearing, to challenge it would have taken more time and money. Later I finally got through to them by bursting into tears, when they asked about all the allegations of abuse. I played the victim. The report stated “The mother admits to not being a victim of domestic violence”. A home run, it was followed up with ‘the mother cannot be certain there weren’t any incidents against the children while she was at work.’ This can be taken either way, I will capitalise on it that the mother has issues with contact.

    Contact to a non resident parent is a very emotive topic, getting a contact order in England is like playing a game of chess, occasionally blowing the dust off the Judge to call check or check mate. However as emotive as the topic is and I have been there, as soon as you discredit the mother the institutions will call ‘foul play’ and you are playing right into the mother’s hands.

    A counsellor once gave me excellent advice. Write down all your emotions and thoughts before going to a meeting or replying to a letter. Then shred it, its fantastic cleansing. Later write your response or meeting preparation without the emotion. It works.

    You have done the right thing and built a bond with your daughter, as your daughter grows and develops so will your bond, she will soon reach an age when she will question contact and want more. The institutions in the UK do encourage flexibility, however a narc cannot be flexible as it’s about control, flexibility means compromise, compromise to a narc means losing. This will not always work in their favour, now our daughter has a voice my ex will often look like the ogre.

    There is one thing I always say to our daughter after contact, “thankyou” she always gives me a hug after, she wants to see more of me and she will.

    PhoenixRising Reply:

    @Rich, “…flexibility means compromise, compromise to a narc means losing”. That’s the truth!

    And they’ll be inflexible even if it means doing so will cost them. Doesn’t matter.

    You would think an N would eventually get that all the game playing will negatively affect their relationship with their own children…but they don’t seem to. Or if they do, they don’t care, because it really is about control…or at least the feel of control.

    They can be falling off a cliff getting their way, but as long as they get their way…

    Sounds like you’ve been through the mill,Rich, but those hugs are everything, aren’t they? Sometimes it’s hard to remember why and for whom you are going through all this, but keeping that child in the forefront of your mind makes those maddening days easier to handle – not easy, but easier.

    Oh, and I do like your counselor’s advice. It really is good to clear yourself of as much negative energy and anxiety before an encounter, especially a legal one. Never good to appear to be the unstable one. The N will play it for all it’s worth.

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