One Step

There is a lovely little story, “Little One Step” that I used to read to my daughter when she was younger. I find it to be very relevant now and a story can come in very handy when you’re not sure what to say.

You never know when a child will feel comfortable or feel the need to share their feelings. My daughter had spent the day playing with her dear friend she hadn’t seen for quite a while. They had gone to a birthday party together, and by all counts, she should have been flying high on the way home. But half way there, she brought up her father.

For the sake of creating a context, let me backtrack a bit. When I had picked her up from her father’s a few days ago, she told me that just before I arrived he suddenly brought up her reaction to a documentary he had forced her to watch. She didn’t know why. He was just talking and the next thing she knew he was talking about – no, mocking her about her reaction to this documentary three days previous. She was very upset about this. Continue reading

Verbal Abuse Defines You

An author stated that verbal abuse is when someone defines you. This is very significant in relation to narcissism. Narcissistic abuse often is covert. Because image and appearance is of utmost importance, most of the abuse meted out by narcissistic people will be under the radar, leaving very deep but invisible wounds.

This happens all the time to my dd. Happened to me, too, but what’s significant here is as an adult I had the ability to walk away. A child who has an abusive parent, and does not show signs of physical abuse, is pretty much stuck with that person until they are of legal age to walk away. By that time considerable damage has been done, and even if they do have the ability and desire to walk away, they take the impact of all those invalidating years with them.

I find that my most important job as the other parent is to validate my child. He invalidates. I validate. It’s a fine line to walk sometimes, but I cannot leave her to suffer at his diminishing of her and her reality with silence under the pretense of not wanting to speak badly of her father.

I don’t speak badly of her father. I speak truthfully of his bad behavior. There’s a difference. I cannot let him define her according to his convenience, insecurity or any other agenda he may have that has nothing to do with her, but everything to do with him.

Because being rendered invisible by someone who is supposed to love you is a kind of slow death. And what good parent would not want to save their child from that?

Where did they go?

She’s at a friend’s house right now. It’s not too often I have time like this to myself, but as usual, I have to leave in a few minutes to do something. I need to help a dear friend who is facing a health challenge. Though I often feel like I run around too much, I do not resent this. I want to be there. I don’t mind being there for something that’s important to me.

What I do resent is the draw on my time by the toxic Ex, the narcissist I was so attracted and attached to at one time, and who I now can’t get far enough away from. It’s not that he asks to spend time with me anymore…only intermittently. It’s just that our interactions are very draining to me, and I never know if he’s going to “act up” or if it will be my lucky day and all will be civil and fine. And then by his choices regarding our DD, he winds up making so much more work for me…or sabotages what I’ve already done.

Because he has no real regard for reality or truth, I never know what I might get accused of or what shape the latest twisting of facts will take. I suppose I could make a game of it…you know, a predicting game, but I’ve never been a big fan of games. So, why then was I so attracted to such a player?

Well, I supposed I could pick out some reasons, but I swear, sometimes I just wonder where my brains went.

Some Bruises Aren’t Black and Blue

Some are invisible.

I no longer live with my narcissist (N), my dd has to on a periodic basis. Because she is getting older and developing her own personality apart from his she is starting to see and experience another side to her father.

From what I understand, this is what happens with narcissists and their children. While the kids are very young and worshipful, narcissists can get along fabulously with their children. But when they start to grow up and get their own likes and dislikes and become less compliant, more individual, that’s when the honeymoon can end. It can be traumatic for the child.

She is beginning to become the target of emotional outbursts and is learning what to say and how to say when she’s around him. She is
learning about manipulation, walking on eggshells, how to put on a face, when to censure yourself and how to say what other people want to hear. She is also learning contempt for a parent she has to teach proper behavior around a child.

She is learning survival techniques that children learn with narcissistic parents.

I feel like I am fighting for her life, her integrity and character.

It is getting harder and harder for me to let her go, because I am not there to protect her. When he’s in a “good space” she has fun with
him, but he can change so quickly, and the way he hurts her is starting to affect all the time she spends with him. The hardest thing she has to deal with is how he diminishes her, how he trivializes what she’s thinking or feeling and the way he makes her feel invisible.

Oh, how I know how she feels! It’s so hard to know she must suffer through this and at such a young age. I divorced him, but she cannot.

This makes every moment she’s with me all that much more precious. For every denial, I will meet with acknowledgment. For each gaslighting, I will validate. For every act of disrespect, I will honor her. For every appeal to her vices, I will hold her accountable for her virtue. For every lie, integrity. For each derision, love.