Severe anxiety as a child of a narcissistic parent

I have been placing my children in God’s hands for every visitation.  I know that these visits are stressful on my children, but I have focused on placing my faith in God that he will answer our prayers to have a better schedule for my children when the time is right.

My ex has refused to ‘authorize’ that our five year old son be seen in therapy or evaluated, despite recommendations from other mental health professionals.  He also does not support our daughter – however, I filed a motion in court to appoint a therapist and it was done.  He does not, and has not, support paying for it – which means he is going against our court order that says he has to do just that.  The tab has been mounting with my daughter’s therapist, who is wonderfully in it for the reason of helping the children and gratefully extremely understanding about how broke I am from the years of legal & therapeutic bills.

Last week, my children spent spring break at their dad’s.  They left on Monday.  On our allowed Monday evening phone call, our son was crying.  On Tuesday, he was crying and I promised him a new toy light saber if he can pull it through until Friday when they returned.  On Wednesday, I thankfully was able to see them for a couple hours (it helped my ex to get the kids off his hands so he could work in his store- although he would never admit that as his driving reason).   I had to leave my daughter in the store crying as I drove away, mouthing to her to ‘be strong’, and waving the ‘i love you’ sign in sign language.  It was one of the hardest moments of all this, as the tears were so completely authentic, and she was trying so hard to hold them back and keep her dad from seeing them.  Her dad/my ex was already mad at my presence – which is also why I had to drive away at that moment and couldn’t console her whatsoever.

My son, started sucking his thumb at the age of four.  When increased visitation started at the age of 3, he spent 9 months telling me how he would go to an imaginary house and asking me to drive around to find the house so he could show me where he was going.  He then realized that it wasn’t real, and other coping mechanisms set in.  During those same initial months, he bit me incessantly and basically had a personality change – going from sweet to angry.   This regression has progressed, and before leaving for the week’s visitation – he actually tried to lift my shirt so he could suck on my breast (my daughter was not present at this time).

When my kids returned, my daughter shared with me that she has been letting her brother put her hand in her shirt as he does mine for comfort while he sucks his thumb.  She also has been letting him suck her little nipple (she is 8).  I was disturbed from hearing this in so many ways … saddened that my son felt such anxiety about being there, and that my daughter’s need to help him wound up being so strong.  Upset that she was doing that and wondering why when she hears me repeatedly tell him that he is not even allowed to touch my breast, and that his hand must stay in the middle of my shirt.  To my children,  I only described how I was so sad that he felt that way, and that I would work on finding him help asap.

Today in my daughter’s therapy session, I found out that she has been doing this for him for quite some time.

I am saddened and upset and worried in so many levels.

I am thankful and grateful for hearing what is going on so I can do something about it.

I am scared about hearing what else is going on to cause such anxiety in my little one.  But I feel brave that now is the time for me to open my ears and my heart and listen carefully on all levels.

I am thankful that my daughter’s therapist will be writing a referral and recommendation that our son go through a comprehensive medical and psychological evaluation, and that she is helping me look for the best place to take him.


2 Responses to “Severe anxiety as a child of a narcissistic parent”

  1. ME says:

    My heart breaks for you and your children after reading this post. I am so proud of you for having them in counseling and for writing this blog for others to read. My 3 year old daughter has so much anxiety when it’s time to go to her dad’s and it breaks my heart. My daughter has started sucking on her hair (as an infant, I breastfed and she always twirled her fingers in my hair) and she also bites herself on her hands. I haven’t found a counselor yet that will take on a 3yr old consistently, so I’m doing the best I can with taking myself to counseling. God’s Blessings as we do what we can to protect our kids!

    • Thank you so much for your comments! Hopefully you can find a counselor soon – maybe focus your search for one that does child development or early child development? There’s a lot of research that shows that what happens in the early years really does make a difference, even though as adults we don’t have solid memories from that time. I found some of my best resources through domestic violence programs. What’s great, though – is it sounds as though your own therapist really recognizes the issues. You must be so thankful to have that sanity saving sounding board! Prayers for you…

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