When your child’s other parent may have issues or show traits of being a narcissist, there are two things that can happen. One, you feel the need to protect your child, and rightly so. The second is that you can project the narcissistic parent’s trait onto the child without meaning too. Of course, we don’t want our children to emulate the behaviors of a narcissist. We don’t want to see our beautiful babies grow up to be entitled, selfish people who see other people as resources to be used, who manipulate and can “do integrity” rather than actually be or have integrity. But children, by nature, can be quite selfish — that’s not a moralistic judgement. It’s normal. And what we call narcissistic traits are part of the growing up stages of children, especially as they enter their teen years. This can throw a concerned parent into a tizzy. In a sense, you are fighting for your child’s life. Make no mistake about it. When one parent models hurtful behavior, when science is out on how much personality disorders are the result of environmental influence and how much is genetics, if your child’s behavior shadows the narcissistic parent’s behavior in … Continue reading
Over a year ago, DD made the decision to go no contact with her father. Since she was 16 he’s been trying to convince her to drop out of school, get a “real job” and move in with him. She had other plans, but his perception of her being in school as a waste of time or something she would not be able to attain impacted her. So a number of things combined with this underlying pressure caused her to decide to remove herself from an energy that had more invested in her failing than succeeding. Her senior year stood as a testament to the rightness of her decision. Her attitude improved and with that her grades and with that her self-esteem. She took more risks and expanded more artistically than she ever had before. When she first made that decision, I had long talks with her. I posed different scenarios to her that she might face if she went through with this decision and asked her to consider how she might feel in those situations. However, she was not only thoughtful in her responses but articulate in her reasons. I could see she had made this decision mindfully and … Continue reading
I’m cleaning out the subscriber list to this blog, as there are a lot of spam registrations. The plugin I’m using has taken care of quite a few, but not every one so I’m attempting to clean out the rest. I’m trying not to delete legitimate members. If I do inadvertently delete you, please just re-sign up. Thanks! PhoenixRising
I know you hear this all the time — a lot of times from those who don’t understand, who haven’t been there, who can’t comprehend the depth of toxicity and wrongness of having the other parent of your child personality disordered. Like it’s just a phase you will all grow through, your child, the other parent. Only it’s not a phase. It’s a dynamic — a toxic, poisonous, spirit crushing dynamic. Even without meeting the criteria of clinical narcissism, someone who is “just abusive” or “just a jerk” can wreck so much damage on a child. And now you have this. Not some kind of generational gap or personality clash or the usual conflicts between adolescents and parents or differences in child rearing styles or just someone who has poor parenting techniques. This isn’t something a course on parenting can help or insights from others that can clarify better dynamics or choices. In those cases, things do get better as the parent, in good faith, attempts to do a better job, when real efforts at communication are made, when realistic expectations and consequences are laid out that speak of respect and love. Or simply, in the case of older kids, … Continue reading
You don’t. You teach your child to value him or her self. It’s not easy for anyone to stand up to a narcissist, to address them head on, to hold them accountable, to draw the line. Never mind a child, with the narcissist being your parent on top of that. If narcissistic rage is terrifying for an adult, imagine what it’s like for a child. When you teach a child to value himself, you teach him to have a stronger sense of self. When you have a sense of who you are, you know where your boundaries are, where you end and another person begins. Standing up to any violation or trespass of that happens over time if the child has been given enough respect and role modeling on which to build a foundation for something healthier. “Enough” varies from person to person. Personal choice, also, factors into it greatly, but in my experience the human spirit is hungry for anything that acknowledges its dignity. Even intermittent examples of empowering acts can go a long way. Your task as a parent is to model and set as many examples of that before your child as possible. It’s so hard to … Continue reading
Yes, I know I said this before. What’s different? My minor child is no longer a minor. So with that, I feel a certain amount of safety about being able to speak more freely though you can never be too careful in these situations. I do feel a little safer over my child’s safety now they’re legally an adult. We’ve also gone through the darkest part of those tumultuous teen years where genetic and environmental narcissism accentuates and amplifies regular adolescent narcissism. I think we’re seeing the light now. Having gone through that and surviving 18 years of parenting with a narcissist, 13 of them separated/divorced, I’m happy to say I’ve survived and I think I can say I have a few things to share about my journey that may be of help to others. It’s not the end of the journey, but we’ve made the shift from minor child to adult child. And I feel hopeful. That says a lot. My deepest apologies for not responding to comments posted eons ago! But I got swallowed up in the black hole of drama and crisis only a narcissistic “partner” can incite. Not only in person but from “afar”. I hope … Continue reading
I haven’t had a chance to go through this website yet, but it comes highly recommended, and I didn’t want to wait to post it. http://onemomsbattle.com/ Briefly, this is the story of one woman’s battle in and after divorce with a narcissist. Her name is Tina, and she acts as her own attorney and is an advocate for changing the court system. If you are dealing with legal issues, I imagine you can learn from her expreiences. You can purchase her entire blog in an ebook form or just peruse her site. I see there’s, also, another ebook that may be helpful for those who are getting ready to go into court. I have not read either books, so I can’t tell you if they are good investments or not. Still, I do believe there is valuable information on her blog that can be helpful to those who are in the unhappy situation of attempting to co-parent with a narcissist or are tangled in the court system with one. I look forward to reading your reviews. I’ll be posting mine as I go through her site.