A Glimpse into MY Ex’s Narcissistic parenting

In an effort to understand more fully what’s going on for my children, I have decided to send with them a recording device.  I hope to catch one of his rages on record – although I don’t believe I can use it in court anyway.  I have recorded previous rages from when we were separated but it wasn’t court admissible in my state regardless.

What I did learn was a little about what my ex is like as a parent.  See, I asked for a divorce from him when I was 3 months pregnant with our second, and our older daughter was only 2 at the time.  He lived in another state for our daughters first year+, so we have very very little shared moments of parenting – and even then it was at a very different stage of our kid’s lives.

There were a couple things that occurred that were fascinating.  The first is that he hadn’t seen our children in a week, and the major thing he wanted to ‘discuss’ was our daughter’s spelling test score with her.  She didn’t know what she made on this particular test yet – and told him so.  He didn’t believe her and kept pelting her with “tell me what you made”, even telling her “you’re lying” when she said she didn’t know.  Now… something to know as well was that the list of words that they had were ridiculous.  They were taken from a book the class was reading and very much above their spelling abilities.  For example – one of the words was (ironically) “suspicious”.   If it weren’t for spell check – even I would get hung up on that word.  Last week before her test – the prep I did with her was simply to ask if she wanted to review them together or not.  She said no, I said “ok” and that was it.  Who cares, really… it’s one second grade spelling test and in the grand scheme of things… she’ll never remember it and it won’t make or break her for college.

However – for her father – it is very important.  He was raised with parents who only ever showed approval by the grades he received.  His entire self-worth was built on his grades.  He is unable to relate to his kids in any true emotionally bonded type of way – only in the same way he knew growing up.  “How did you DO today? What did you ACCOMPLISH?”   Many of us only have our parent’s way of  parenting to use to model for our own – but also many of us filter from our parents what worked, what didn’t, maybe read a parenting book or two, and then make modifications.  I don’t think that narcissists can do this level of comprehending people skills.

The other thing that I noticed in listening to their evening was that there was very little interaction during the long time in the car, which doesn’t surprise me.  My ex isn’t entirely classic ‘narc’.  He’s very introverted and self-absorbed, and in has some antisocial disorder characteristics.   I think interacting with others is a challenge for him.

Another aspect was that my son – who’s five and the youngest – stands up for my daughter.  Both my kids point out that my daughter is the chastised one, and my son is the honored one in their relationships with their father.  I’ve heard my little guy tell his dad “can’t you just say something nice to her?”  (yes … this is from a five year old), but now I’m hearing more times that he’s stepping up and standing up for her.  Interesting – because my daughter protects my son when they are there and looks after him with all her heart and soul.  But at the same time – he stands up for her against the rage of their father.

Lastly, as they were getting out of the car and leaving the recorder in a bag in the car – I heard my ex ask my son “how’s your bum bum feeling?  Is it better?”.  It startled the heck out of me, and I wish I had the rest of what was said.  WHY is my ex asking?  I don’t know, but I do know that our attorneys met that day to discuss getting an psychological evaluation completed for our son, and I know that my son has been returning from my ex for about a year now with a red, irritated anus, sometimes with fissures.   Is my ex guilty as ‘suspected’, and is he worried that the evaluation will show this?

Anyway – my sincere apologies for a long post.  I found the recording interesting – it was great insight into what my kids deal with when they are with their father, and how he is as a parent (individually – not as a generic narcissistic parent).

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