Narcissistic Rage and Children

Apparently, narcissists have no filter when they rage. It doesn’t surprise me, in many ways, but it saddens me in so many other ways.

My children have been complaining of more and more instances of their dad getting extremely mad in his presence. I know him well enough to know that he can react strongly to nearly anything (a lost tv remote results in a string of f-words). Recently, I have been hearing about him calling my children “@ssholes”, “idiots”, and telling them “fu@k you” or “fu@k-it”. It has then been expanded to “Ya know what’s wrong with you? You’re both @ssholes”. The rage isn’t just verbal – there’s swinging arms coming at the head, back, or wherever he can make contact.

My daughter tells me “mom, I don’t even know what an @sshole is!”.

It’s such a tough situation, because I want to directly address it with my ex. However, I know that what will happen is that he will yell at our kids more for telling about it — risking that my kids stop telling me.

My attorney says it ‘doesn’t rise to the level of abuse’. He doesn’t leave bruises (often) and in relation to more severe cases of abuse that CPS hears, it doesn’t raise a lot of eyebrows (unfortunately).
But this type of behavior is, by many people’s definition, abusive. It meets the definition of domestic abuse, and if a woman called the police about her husband hitting her head – she could request a protective order.
So why is it so different in the land of child custody in a divorce – where the child/children should be able to have their other parent protect them?

8 Responses to “Narcissistic Rage and Children”

  1. Heidi says:

    Dear Natalia, I live in Massachusetts, a little north of Boston. Here, everything he is doing constitues child abuse and punishable. I don’t know where you live and why your lawyer doesn’t seem to think it’s such a big deal. I’d like to give you the link to the Mass. laws on child abuse.
    Hopefully you can look up a similar site where you are, I can’t imagine the laws are that much more lenient. I hope this helps, please post any updates because I am truly concerned. Just for an example, her in Mass a woman can get a restraining order (209A) which would cover not only you but your children too.

    • Thank you so much. I have to figure out what else I can do. They returned from this weekend complaining of anger all weekend. Last night, my daughter was crying on the phone, saying “I can’t make it another night”. After that call, he raged at them – full of curse words, as they curled up together with my 5 year old trying to hide behind his 8 year old sister as his tears soaked her back. He yelled at them how he does all sorts of stuff for them and all they can think about is their mom. I’ve yet to learn if he hit them or not. As I understand it from my state, CPS won’t open a case unless there are bruises and marks from being physically abused. My attorney, I believe, feels so dismayed at having lost the original case despite all that was admitted and said on the stand, that she shrinks from considering how to approach it. Plus, there are many case examples she has of worse behavior where the judges did nothing. I’m going to make a few calls tomorrow again and see what I can come up with on how to protect them.

  2. KariJo says:

    He actually turned 16 Thursday so we are even closer to a “end” of forced visitations. My fear is the damage in the next two years, his emotional scars are deep and manifesting in a really bad way. He has had incidents with the law and school is a nightmare. I just keep hoping that my unconditional love can be enough to save him. Today he sent me a message to come get him ASAP…I texted back why…no response…called….no response….finally texted his dad to see if son had his phone (ex likes to take it from him so he can have sons undivided attention)….no response. After three hours I texted ex again saying I would be calling the police to come out and check on son since I did not get a response and clearly there was something wrong. I got a text from ex, he had taken sons phone because he was being disrespectful. I asked that he have son call me. He said son was sleeping (in the middle of the day) I said have son call me when he wakes….ex response “you are harassing me and I am calling the cops”. Last visitation he locked the kid in the basement for three hours for discipline.
    I agree as adults we would NEVER tolerate this behavior from another adult but yet we are to sit by and watch as an adult does it to our offspring….disgusting. I have two therapists and one court counselor agree that son should remain with me, my ex is allowed to dismiss them and continue his quest to find someone that sees him as “fit”. I think he has found it with the GAL that has been assisned

    • KariJo says:

      I feel for you and the fight you will have to do for many years. I fight everyday to give my son some sense of normalcy. And tonight I shed tears for the new layer of emotional scars my ex is inflicting. Stay strong!

      • Ditto – to both you and your son! It will take time to heal the damage both of you have had to endure. Kudos to you and all the strength you’ve had to get you guys this far!!

    • Your situation is so incredibly wrong. You and your son will be in my prayers. I have hope that two therapists and one court counselor will trump a GAL who clearly shouldn’t be advocating for children. It may help to look up some of the advocacy groups and see if they have suggestions on what you can do. Your son is certainly old enough to speak about his situation. Perhaps the next time that he’s locked in the basement or in fear of what happens next, he can consider calling 911? As a victim of domestic abuse myself, certainly that was helpful for me to have police intervene. It seems that he should have some sort of “safety plan” in this situation – ask the therapists and court counselor to help you and your son develop one.

  3. KariJo says:

    Don’t you wonder exactly how being called an asshole every other weekend, or swung at is not abuse? My 15 year old recently went through a psyc eval and the evaluator actually attributed much of my son’s behavior and problems to my ex, she reported that my ex would pull the kids ear, threaten him, repeatedly call him a “little F*cker” …she is a psychiatrist…and you know that the Guardian at L item’s response? He said it was one person’s opinion and my son has made his own bad choices! I almost lost it, I wanted to suggest he send one or both of HIS children to my Ex’s for the weekend! I would rather raise 100 rebellious teenagers alone than to co-parent just one with my ex.

    • Really, it is abuse – by so many people’s definitions (and so is what your child endures). The unfortunate fact is that CPS and our legal system needs to be reconfigured, including some locations of GAL programs and probably even some places of CASA programs as well (although as a whole, I support the work of CASA). It’s totally SICK what the GAL’s response is to you, and when I read that it provokes that feeling of needing to vomit. It makes me want to say to the GAL.. “Let’s see, dear GAL… if someone treated you that way at work…. what would you do? You’d march your tail right to HR or to an attorney and the last thing you would want to hear is how you’ve committed transgressions in your life”. GROWL. It’s insane – plus your son is a mere 3 years away from legal voting age. Seems to me he should be able to have some say in where he spends time and be able to walk away from abusive people. Plus, look at – an organization geared at teaching our teens what healthy relationships look like. How can your son look at that and read that it’s not acceptable for him to behave that way to a girl he’s dating, but yet he has to endure this with his father? It just doesn’t rhyme.

      Sorry for the soapbox 🙂 While I try to stay positive, I still get frustrated when society repeatedly fails kids.

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