The post below was originally written in February 2008, over 8 years ago. My child is no longer the minor she was when I first started this blog. Four years ago, I pretty much left this blog dead in the water. The reason was going through the teen years with her was hell. It was like I was literally fighting the devil for her soul, and sometimes I thought I was losing — losing to the toxic dynamics assaulting her and our relationship, losing her.
But we made it through.
And because she is no longer a minor, I feel a little safer running this blog. She has, also, given me permission to share her experiences trying to deal with the verbal, emotional and psychological abuse from her father… as well as what she put me through.
There are on-going challenges, but we’ve reached that turn in the road, and after a great deal of hesitation and u-turns, she has made it, made the decision to 1) draw the line and 2) travel her own path.
Yes, you can survive this, you and your children. Hang In There!
I am writing this blog to keep from going crazy, to not go insane as I try to deal with a toxic Ex who I have come to realize will never let me go or stop using our child as a pawn in securing his own needs – whether for himself or in relation to me.
I’ve learned a lot over the years. One of the things I have learned is the multi-generational disease that narcissism is. There are so many forms of abuse, but they all have one thing in common – The gross sense of entitlement the abuser has toward his or her victims.
I’m a daughter of narcissists and I have, much to my chagrin and much of my life, grown into a woman lost in her own fantasy and illusions, a narcissist in my own right who could barely see her children through her own delusional eyes.
But within my soul there was just enough realness, just enough authenticity alive, that when my own children began to suffer, something inside of me snapped. Something inside of me slapped me up side the head and said, “LOOK!” My reality wasn’t matching up with the illusions I had created about myself or the relationship I was in. My children’s pain told me something was wrong, and thankfully, I didn’t say it was them and not me.
I began to wake up. Not all at once – more like slowly, but surely. Telling yourself the truth isn’t easy, especially when you’ve lied in so many areas and paid such a high price to believe in them.
I brought a narcissist into my life, just like dear old mom, and into the lives of my children, just like dear old mom. And I even fought like hell for him, just like dear old mom, but unlike her, I was the one who would find the strength to leave.
The day I left was the best day of my life, because it was the first step into the world of the living for me. The bad news is I had a child by him, in addition to my older ones. The good news is I had a child by him and without her I probably would have committed suicide, as there were many moments when the losses I suffered and the realization of just how much I had contributed to the pain of my own children, in addition to the death of a cherished family member became too much to bear.
But here was another minor who depended on me, just as my older ones had when they were minors, and this one, I would not let down.
If you’ve ever been involved with a narcissist, you know it’s not easy to walk away. They just don’t want to let you go, do they? If it’s just you, you’re “lucky”. It will be hard and sometimes dangerous, but the only back you’ll have to watch out for is usually yours. If you have children with the narcissist, then that’s a different matter.
For one, unless he or she decides they don’t want to have anything to do with or have any use for their child(ren), there’s no way you can maintain “no contact”.
Two, your children will be used as pawns to either get to you or to meet the self-centered needs of the narcissist. Often it will be both.
Some of us will tangle with our narcissists in custody battles. Others will find ourselves in many smaller, eroding-away-your-sanity battles every day, whether we live with the narcissistic parent or not.
But it’s not just our sanity. It’s our children’s.
I fight for the life of my child – every day. Every day she is with him, I worry about the myriad number of ways he will abuse her. Emotional, verbal, psychological. How many ways can he think of to demean her or diminish her? In what way will he gaslight her? Just how deeply will he hurt her when he charms her with his wonderful Dr. Jeckyl self and then shocks her with his Mr. Hyde?
In a way this is a life and death battle. Does she succumb to narcissism, herself, to survive? Which is a kind of death. Or does she hang on to her authenticity and live?
I write. I write for my life, for my child’s, and perhaps for you and your child. I need to break the cycle. Part of that consists of acknowledging her humanity and naming the abuse whenever it appears – everything a narcissist will want to deny.
I believe in healing, but before I get there…before we get there, I have to deal with the day in and day out abuse of a narcissistic “partner”, even if as an “ex”. (I use “partner” loosely, because with a narcissist, there is no such thing.)
Truly, having a narcissistic ex makes me wish I truly were a single – as in alone – parent, for to have a narcissist in your life even only in relation to someone else, makes everything more complicated and more difficult.
I will share as much of my experiences as possible, but I must remain anonymous here. If you understand narcissistic rage, you will understand.