Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse, by Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach.
If your ex is a narcissist, a toxic person or just an idiot when it comes to the children you have together the same rules apply to help raise happy, confident, well-rounded kids, if no safeguarding issues are in place, let your children see and get to know the other parent for themselves. Children can, will and do thrive with one healthy parent. Stopping contact although You may think it’s in the best interest of the children it can create more harm and they can grow up with an image of the other parent in their heads which isn’t an actual image, they may grow up resenting you for not allowing contact. Then you have an adult that’s not close to either parent. It’s tough, but if it is possible, it can be done, putting the children’s needs first. Children can also thrive if they don’t see the other parent if safeguarding is too big, it’s then best the children, don’t see the other parent, only you know what your children and yourself are genuinely going through and what’s right for you and your children, this can be hard when the children go no contact as you may need to change your beliefs from. “Children need both parents.” To “Children’s safety comes first.” Whatever you do, do your best to stay a positive, happy influence on them that doesn’t slate the other parent to them.
If the children still see the narcissist. The narcissistic parent may think they are getting at you through your children. This will backfire. Your children will always love both parents, and they will grow up knowing which was around for them no matter what, who was the kind and loving parent. It really works. It’s extremely hard, most things that are worth doing are not easy, but they can be the most rewarding, especially when you realise you raised positive children that surround themselves with positive people and can spot negative people a mile away.
If The Children have contact with the narcissist or not, make the most of your time together with your children. Children can and will thrive with the unconditional love of one stable parent. Eventually, they will grow up and know the difference between a narcissistic personality and other personality’s, surround yourself and your children with as many positive people as you can to counteract the mental abuse.
With some, the safeguarding issues are too great, and the children can not visit. Keep everything recorded, for when the children are old enough to understand. Stick to facts. Do not fight fire with fire. Put it out by blaming no one to your child. Explain it’s no one person fault. Things happen, and people just don’t get on all the time. You’re the child we realise this is the own time.
Try to keep your mind busy, If they see the other parent or not. Try new things with your children. Stay positive stay happy. If you’ve got People with narcissistic personality traits or just hard to deal with people, they don’t like boundaries, and they like to be in control. You need boundaries with toxic people.
One of the most important things to set up, for yourself and your children’s sanity is.
Routine, for when they see the other parent, the other parent will not like this, but it’s not about them, stick with your boundaries and what’s best for your children. So you and your children know exactly where you are and when this helps to develop a healthy mind.
If they don’t see the other parent, and you don’t have much family around, join support groups, join toddler groups, connect with other for you and your children, if they are older, dancing or martial arts, tennis, football, hockey, team sports are good so they can make new friends, as can you with other parents.
The routine of seeing the other parent is a tough thing to do with these kinds of people. You will more than likely get a barrage of abuse from them as they feel like they are losing control, to the narcissist nothing is ever the narcissist’s fault.
You’ll be told, “you’re damaging your children.” “you’re keeping them apart.” “you’re playing games.” “you’re strange.” And so many more.
Try to remember when you get these. You are NOT keeping them apart; you are keeping your children’s mental health safe.
You are NOT damaging your children. You’re helping them grow into strong, healthy adults and surround them with as much love and support as you can.
You’re NOT playing games. You’re trying to counteract the damage your ex causes with their games.
Whatever they send to try to turn it into a positive which isn’t easy.
The more you stick with it, the more you see your children happy and positive, the less the narcissist twisted words will affect you. It will slowly become second nature to you.
More often than not, these people will not turn up on some pre-arranged days try to swap things around. Try to regain control.
If they manage a personality transplant and prove they will show up for children when they say, then yes sometimes people are busy, and you can make allowances to swap, but if they fail to show up for your children no need to make allowances for someone who will not make allowances for their own children.
You may need to swallow your pride and not worry about how they take this next step. If at all possible, you need to try and get them to think the routine was there idea. If they send you a list of dates, they want to see the children, and it fits in with your children’s daily lives. Say yes. Tell them what a brilliant idea that is from them. It’s hard when you know what they are like. But one parent needs to step up for the children. This way, you get less backlash from the ex as they believe they got what they wanted and had a great idea. When in reality, you got what you and your children needed without any negatively. Yes, it’s hard to swallow your own pride when you know exactly what the ex is like, think how beneficial it is not to get the belittling messages from them.
You’re children get to see both parents, and you have a routine. I know it’s no easy to do. It is worth it.
The key to boundaries and routine is stick to them. That can be very hard when dealing with idiots, and you will have your moments of taking a step backwards.
Hang up the phone, close the door. Saying No. do not let them in your home.
Do your absolute best to stick to the routine and the boundaries, and it will not take long before you see the benefits of this for your children and yourself.
Try to keep everything by, messages or email.
If they take you to mediation or court, you have written evidence. Do not let the ex know you have.
Also, as the children get older, if they need to see if they can.
I had a situation over Christmas 2018 where the narcissist dropped kids off and said. “ I’ve told them I’m free tomorrow if they’d like to come across and see me.”
I’ve asked them countless times not to say in front of boys in the past, as when they did, they would let them down, and I had to pick up the pieces, which just made them do it all the more. I learned to stop letting them know what actions hurt the children the most, so they could no longer use it against me. Which my ex narcissist upped their games, to try and get a reaction.
My son woke the next day, asking to go. With it been Christmas, I thought well routines out of the window anyway, and the boys asked. So I messaged to say. “ yes, boys would like to see you today.” To get. “ sorry cannot do. I’m going bowling.” Well, our little man was heartbroken, but then came from our son. “You’re lying, and they said you wouldn’t let me go,” I asked if they’d like to see messages, which they read. So knew for themselves, without words from me. I just explained that “the other parent thinks differently about things. As long as you know your own mind, what you’re values and opinions are. Respect others opinions and boundaries, but you don’t need to take opinions on board.”
The next time narcissist tried this on drop off. In front of the children, I said “No.” nothing else. They respond with talking to the children “See I told you today I ask, it’s them that will not allow it, not me.” I didn’t waste my breath on them, although I’d have liked to have given them a good shake to wake them up and see the damage they are causing, although a narcissist never looks at their own actions and always blames others. Instead, I closed the door. Began to explain to my children they can see us both, but it’s about routine, so we all know where we are when, the genuinely heartbreaking, draining part is when our son turned around to say. “It’s ok I get routine, they’d not turn up for me anyway.” This is horrible to hear from your child. But the positive is. They learn for themselves.
They know they have one parent who bad mouths and slates. They know they have one, that explains opinions, that lets them think for themselves, that will be there to pick up the pieces.
On another occasion, they came back crying, and the youngest was saying he was scared. Eldest saying it was their fault, the parent got angry because they wanted to come home, I sat for a good five minutes, with two very hurt, angry, confused boys, I cried with them, I explained, “It’s perfectly fine to feel how you do, let it all out.” Once they let it out, we put some music on and danced on the bed. This cheered them both up.
One thing to remember is when the children come home angry, lashing out or upset. This is good.
As they’ve spent time on best behaviour, so as not to get reactions from the narcissist. They feel happy, safe, secure and loved enough at home to let it all out with you. Just let them know it’s healthy, so long as they’re not hurting themselves or others, let them let all the anger and resentment out. This is far better than bottling it up.
Yes its extremely tough job being a parent at the best of times. When one parent is playing mind games, it even tougher. Not for everyone, our children had a child psychologist, and the multi-agency team go to school, I got them involved, after asking our son if he’d like them, this actually got me death threats from the narcissist as I had kept the narcissist informed, believing they’d want to help our children, yet to the narcissist the children were perfect and it was all my fault, the narcissist didn’t wish to have anyone involved. Our children know they can reach out at any point, that the feelings they have are normal and they are allowed to speak up for who they are and what they are feeling.
It’s one big learning curve, I made mistakes along the way, but I keep driving forwards, the boys are making great progress.
Unfortunately, our safeguarding issues got too big, so it’s now no contact. The boys are doing amazingly well, full of laughter, and fun and no more anxiety, it sends a world of emotions through you, just let them out and do your best.
Stay strong, and you’re an amazing parent. Keep going. It’s worth it.
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