Overcoming narcissist Abuse, by Elizabeth Shaw.
The narcissist will stop at nothing in their manipulative ways, even using their own children. Here are some examples of how my ex-narcissist has used my children and the ways I’ve counteracted it.
What the narcissist uses as the golden child, he was born a sensitive soul, picks up on people’s emotions with ease, eager to please, what I’d noticed over the years, is he wasn’t like my other children, my other children are all individuals and unique to themselves, one thing they had in common was a big beaming smile. It was easy to snap a photo of a happy face. You could never get a true smiley photo from the sensitive child, his eyes always looked sad, he always looked like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Spending two years reaching narcissism, and thinking yes they so are, to a little self-doubt, then yes they so are. It took one major life event for me to truly get it, then actually distance myself and observe the true actions of the narcissist.
We’d spent two years to what I believed was co-parenting, it wasn’t it was the narcissist trying to get a roof over their head as they didn’t want to live with mummy and daddy no more. Why they lived there was because I’d kicked them out over drug use, within a week they’d moved in with someone new, within six months they were back with all the excuse of why it was all my fault. How they wanted to try again, but I was wiser and stronger than before, parenting yes, the relationship no.
Whilst spending eighteen months wanting to move back in, get married and buy my home, they managed to get my replacement pregnant. How did they want to solve this, yes they still wanted me to have another baby, as it was all my fault they’d got an unwanted child, as I wouldn’t get back together with them.
So what clicked was the day my five-year-old just burst into tears out of nowhere and told me he wanted to die. First thing I did, called his other parent for support, to be told: “ you’re crazy, you’ve caused this, you’re ruining the boys’ life.” To which I hung up.
Still trying to co-parent I messaged to information we need to get our son some help. What did I get “I’ll evaluations him when I next see him.”
Yes because you know all about psychology.
I then got a message to say “ if you carry on with these games, you’re further damaging my child, he doesn’t need outside help. If you continue, I’ll call social services.”
So I thought long and hard about our son, his sensitivity is his nature, his anxiety, unwillingness to get dressed, wanting to sleep in, not wanting to leave the house, the weight of the world on his shoulders and so many more. Most importantly his lack of smile reminded me of someone, my narcissists eldest child, then I remembered everything I’d read, I thought about what the narcissist was like with there eldest child. I started to look into the children’s side effects, I opened my eyes and for the first time I realised, his anxiety and depression at five were due to his nurture, If he wasn’t visiting his parent he was FaceTiming his parent, so our son. Never got space or time to think clearly without the narcissist influence.
That’s when I got on the phone, health visitor, Doctors, child phycologist. He was five I had time to take action, children’s core values are usually set by the age of seven, although with hard work they can be changed after seven,
I still gave the narcissist a chance, people with empathy like to give chances. To get threatened in front of my boys. “ if you carry on with these silly games I’ll make you disappear.” Getting my son help how silly of me I think not. I responded, with a restraining order, limited contact for the boys, everything to do with boys via message. No responses from me to the ex.
Within weeks the school, friends and family. Noticed. The shy, quite reserved boy, turn into a confident, happy, smiling child, he was even putting shoes on to leave the house and excited to go out, something he’d never done before, he’s still sensitive, that’s the nature of his soul.
So here are some of the manipulations the narcissist has tried since, how I’ve managed to counteract and teach valuable life lessons, one thing I will add is I know some have bigger safeguarding, so the children can not see the parent. I am on constant watch and if the situation starts to worsen, if my child stops improving and starts going backwards, I will re-evaluate the situation.
I told the narcissist, boys needed routine and set days. Yes, I explain my self once and once only to the narcissist in simple boring ways via message. I asked what day suited, he told, it suited the boys and me so I said yes. Within two weeks of the days arranged. They said it was no longer suitable. So the boys have been dropped last minute in the past, or me swapping for them to be a no show anyway. I stuck firmly. It’s only one day a week. I told them. “ no that is your day, you chose it. If you want to see them pick them up, if you don’t, don’t.” No more, no less, they’d had plenty of chances before. Well of course barrage of abuse.
“You’re damaging the children, by keeping us apart for your weird games.”
“You’re jealous and using the children.”
“I calling mediation.”
I did not respond. Only in my mind, did I respond. I’d got messages from a few weeks earlier, a day given that the narc asked for. If they wanted to see the kids they were there on the day set, not my problem if they don’t show.
Messaging at 4:30 to show a pic, saying only just having lunch. so I said. “Bet they ate it all they had breakfast at 7.00.” To get.
“I’m not regimented like you.”
I didn’t give a response to them. In my head it was a case of, basic human needs, feed children. Funny when they dropped them home, they remarked the kids must be coming down with something as the were grumpy till the end of the day. I didn’t respond just thought, yes humans are grumpy when hungry.
Slowly bringing them home later and later on the one school night they have them. For now, it’s not affecting boys, so not responding, if I need to, they’ll simply not see them on a school night.
The hair cut one, now I know this grates a lot and that’s fine, it’s your child, and your child’s hair, do not let the narcissist know it’s bothered you that’s why they did it. It is not something that really bothers me, it’s hair it grows back. If it bothers you-you’re not alone, just remember it grows back. What did bother me is what my son said. He came home happily with a fresh new hair cut, I said. “Wow, you look cool.” This is nice for the child to hear. We got on with our evening. At bedtime my son said. “ do you like my hair? ‘Parent’ said you wouldn’t like it.” I respond with, “actually yes I do like it, ( not my choice of hair cut but it looked ok) but even if I didn’t that wouldn’t matter, it doesn’t matter who does or doesn’t like it. All that count is you like it. It’s your hair on your head, so you can listen to others opinions, respect others opinions are theirs for them, but as it’s your hair, the only opinion that matters is your own.” Then came. “ ‘parent’ said you’d be mad ‘ new partner’ cut it.”
I did fall lucky with this as I used to be a hairdresser. So I rolled with. “ I used to be a hairdresser, the reason I’m no longer is I didn’t enjoy it, so I found a job I did enjoy for me. If they want to cut your hair, and they don’t mind. That’s helped me out, they are doing me a favour, just remember, take on board others opinions and views and beliefs, but if you don’t agree, like or want to do something that doesn’t match yours, then don’t. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. “ so thank you Mr narcissist. I got to teach our child.
My son then went onto YouTube to search how you can tell someone is lying. I told him, go with what your inner instinct tells you, the sooner they learn this the better. Also as he knows if he lies, he’s in trouble, if he tells the truth, no matter what’s happened, he’s not in trouble, we just work out how to solve the issues and look into ways of not repeating, I did this with all my children anyway.
Let’s face it most children lie, that fear of been caught or getting into trouble. You walk into the kitchen to find the milk everywhere and one plastic cup, there’s only you and one other person in the house, you know it wasn’t you, looks like the child was going to get a drink, yes we all have those parenting moments when we’ve just cleaned up and really can not be bothered, or your on a rush to leave, it’s ok if you lose it sometimes parents do, just explains why you were annoyed once you’ve calmed down.
More often than not you may call for your child to come to the kitchen. They have a natural fear of being in trouble, so if you ask them straight, they’ll might say it wasn’t them. Just explain how you know it was them and with the truth no trouble, with a lie there will be consequences, with the truth, we can work it out and help each other. Children will lie it’s to protect themselves from getting into trouble, a bit like if you go near a hot iron you’ll pull you are had away so you don’t get burnt human nature.
Another one, this time because the narcissist doesn’t like the routine, why? Because it’s not about them, they don’t understand or care to understand it’s in the best interest of the children. My son told me “‘parent’ said it’s all your fault I can not see them.” So I explained, the parent is allowed their opinion on this, as I’m allowed mine, and you are allowed yours, with the routine we all know exactly where we are and when. Obviously, the narcissist didn’t like that I didn’t message them, so the next week they dropped if they said in front of the child. “ I’ve told them I’m free tomorrow if they want to see me.” I only said “ok.” And closed the door. My son woke the next day asking to go. Well, we had no plans, so I explained as we’d no plans, and parent said they were free if you’d like to it’s ok to mix up the routine, now and again. So I messaged parent to get. “Can not do today I’m bowling.” When I told my son he was heartbroken saying “‘parent says you never ask,” so I had to sit and read messages with him. He thanked me gave me a big hug and told me it’s ok. This is truly heartbreaking and at times it’s draining with not knowing what stunt they’ll pull to try and hurt you, that actually hurts the children. Seeing your child upset is the worst.
The next was. “the parent says it’s all your fault they can not live here if it wasn’t for you they would.” Well, that parent has already moved in with a new partner and they have a child. I know what I’d like to say, but then I’m as bad as them. My son can see for himself and make his own mind up when older. He’s already got one parent ramming lies and unnecessary information down him. What he needs is one parent he can turn to and not be judged, be allowed to make his own mind up. So I said. “ if that’s what ‘parent’ thinks that’s fine. I think different. When two people don’t get on or hurt each other, it’s better they are apart and find people who bring the best out of them, you’re free to look at it in your own way,”
One of the narcissist tricks was music. “My son came home saying ‘parent wants us to listen to a song.” I like music so “yes if you’d like to. My son pops on, All of the lights by Kayne West. I’ll let you google the lyrics, it describes the other parents’ life. Worse still my son knew the words. So I said “that’s very clever learning the words so fast,” giving him praise. Then I asked if he liked the song. He said, “No we’ve listened to it all day.” Again thanks to the narcissist I explained to my son, about listening to other opinions taking them on board, if you can accept them great, if not they are entitled to like what they like, and you are entitled to what you like, sometimes you. Have to agree to disagree.
The younger child, the scapegoat, did get dropped off early a lot, his big brother comes home calling from Mardy bum, to grumpy. I have to explain they are allowed to feel grumpy but you look out for each other or leave each other alone, you are not mean to each other, I believe because the younger one is stubborn and will not conform, parents, using the divide and conquer. I do have a post on golden/ scapegoat child.
So many more I could be here all year.
So phrase you may hear,
“You’re keeping the children from me.”
“You’re being selfish.”
“You’re not putting the children first.”
“I’m not dancing to your tune.”
And so many more, please add in comments phrases you’ve had so others can no they are not alone in this.
Stick with what’s best for your children and you, they will only put the children first if it’s of benefit to them, so in reality, they only put themselves first. If it suits you and your children, don’t say no for the sake of it.
Set up a routine. It’s ok to say no if it’s not within your boundaries for your children and yourself.
Don’t listen to the narcissist twisted words.
Do not respond to the narcissist when they pull something, put that time and energy into teaching the children
If possible, teach the children to respect and understand that everyone’s allowed an opinion, but to know and understand within themselves if it feels wrong in any way you don’t have to take it on board.
Do not slate the ex, the child gets enough of this from the ex, they need to know they have one reliable parent.
They may come home all wild, that’s good, tell them it’s ok and they need to let it all out, being around the narcissist they will have been on best must conform to behaviour. They feel safe and secure with you to let it out.
Keep as much as possible in writing about stuff that’s been said.
Keep communication between you and the narcissist via messenger, or email, so if it ends up in court or mediation you have everything, I have a post about facing them in court if you’re at that point.
Remember it’s a tough enough job being a parent, it’s even tougher when their other parent is a narcissist, you’re doing your best, you are amazing, keep going you will get through, and you’ll have happier children for it.
You are allowed mistakes we all make them, the key is whatever the situation, with your child talk, talk and more talk.
Age appropriate and with respect to questions they ask or things they say.
There is no wrong or right way, only your way, you know your child best. Find what works for your child and you,
Another key thing to remember is, your children will grow to learn what toxic people are and who they don’t want in their lives, for themselves.