It Does Get Better

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 … Continue reading

How Do I Teach My Child to Stand Up to the Narcissist Parent?

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, … Continue reading

Wasted Time

The vast majority of the time I wasted with my narcissistic ex was trying to understand him. Because I was trying to do that with the expectation that I was dealing with someone who held similar values, deep down inside, as me. Now, I can appreciate diversity. I love it. I’m glad we’re not all the same. But underneath our differences lies a commonality, core values that extend to all human beings. Well, maybe in a perfect world. But it’s still a standard to which I believe most people do adhere to. What are those values? Well, common courtesy, for one. Respect. Some level of integrity, honesty, and kindness. Seeing oneself in another – not as in making them invisible or merely a reflection of you – that’s what narcissists do – but seeing yourself in another through empathy, recognizing their humanity they share with you. Trying to understand a … Continue reading

Set up…and other war stories

So what’s your “favorite” manipulation or crazy-making incident or outrageous behavior you’d like to enter for the records? This isn’t my favorite, but it is a biggie for me, the anger of which has taken longer for me to heal. It’s not the lies or the cheating or even the “run of the mill” verbal and emotional abuse. It’s being set up. Do you know what I mean? It goes like this… You go to him…after making sure it’s the right time, the right place, he’s in a good mood (but not too good, because you don’t want to ruin it), he’s not in a bad mood (because how can you burden him with another negative thing?), it’s the right season, temperature, day of the week and all the stars are lined up just so, and of course, there’s nothing else more important happening like a night out with the … Continue reading

Those Sudden Changes

One day he calls. He’s as nice as can be and engages in friendly conversation. I’m civil, but I learned long ago not to read anything positive or hopeful into such behavior. I have no desire to linger, but I’m not rude. Sometimes it helps to leave him in a good mood. My daughter might benefit from it, when she has to be with him tomorrow. For her, I’ll play along. The very next day he appears at my door. Knocks once, and steps in, not even waiting for me to answer. I look at his face. His eyes are shiny, almost wet, his face is red. He’s not drunk. No, it’s not that. I can feel it. There’s that familiar rage, the one I know so well. It’s just underneath the surface waiting for the slightest excuse to explode onto the scene. He cannot hold it. He asks if … Continue reading