Visitation Transitions, Narcissism and Lack of Empathy

Today, my kids transferred to their dad’s for the last of their three separate weeks of summer vacation with him.  My daughter didn’t realize it was today, and sobbed the minute she heard it earlier in the day.  When he came to pick her up, she was refusing to go.  She didn’t want to walk out of the house, she wouldn’t look at him, she cried and cried.  I told her I didn’t have a choice at this point, that she has to go.  I can’t risk the issues that come out of her refusal.  I flat out told her (she’s age 8) that her dad says she refuses to go only when she’s with me and doesn’t do so when she leaves Westgate, so therefore the problem is with me.  I told her I need her to go.

It is so incredibly heart wrenching to watch your child look you in the eyes and see the sadness run through every ounce of her body as she says “I don’t want to go with daddy”, crying.

It’s also bewildering how a parent can hear this and show absolutely no empathy or caring.  Her dad never once asked “why?”, “what’s the matter?”, “what can I do to help you?” or anything.  When our son looked in his eyes and said “-My sister- doesn’t to go with you”, he said “yeah, she likes it with her mom”.  The only consoling words he offered his daughter were “you can talk to your mom again in two hours”.  Otherwise, he just stood there – “patiently” for once, and he only occasionally interjected that our daughter needed to get in the car.  Usually he has far more negative words to say and shows more anger.  At least this time, he was more patient.  It took 45 minutes for me to get them in the car, and she left grasping the ipod I gave her, trying to convince her to stare at it instead of thinking about where she was.

My daughter doesn’t do this with other things.  She’s not the kind that just plays you – she acts out of real emotion, and I’m sure that is what this is.  Last week, when I took her to her therapy, she had reverted back to not speaking whatsoever to the therapist.  Her therapist was stunned.

I asked my daughter in the middle of this ‘what happened last time you were with him?”  She said ‘mean, yelling, kicking, screaming, ugly daddy”.   It’s the kicking part that scares me.  I told her – ‘you have a cell phone, if it happens again, you call 911 and tell them you need help.  Take your brother and go away from him.  You can do it.’

Now… where was our five year old in this?  He was focused on a perceived promise.  He thinks his dad promised him a new beyblade, and he has been entirely focused on getting it.  He told his sister just after their dad arrived that “Daddy’s a nice guy, when you first meet him.”  he paused, then added “but when you really look at his spirit, he’s mean”.

Truth… from the mouth of a babe.


5 Responses to “Visitation Transitions, Narcissism and Lack of Empathy”

  1. Chris says:

    This breaks my heart and I can 100% relate. I am so sorry. Luckily, my kids father has disappeared from their lives, at least for the time being. I will pray for your sweet little ones along with my own. God bless!

  2. KariJO says:

    Think about if the roles were reversed and your child didn’t want to go with you? What would you do? I have thought of this time and time again and I know I could never force my child to go with me. If they wre happy and content with the other parent why upset that? My ex forces things also, contempt charges, threats, harassment, and withholding affection if the kids didn’t comply. I would beg and plead and offer rewards when they got home on Sunday and there were just some weekends that nothing would get them in the car. I talked with my sons therapist and he devised a plan of ‘grounding’ if they wanted to stay home with me then they would have to remain in their rooms with no tv, video games or friends for the entire weekend. The only thing that was allowed were team (sports, scouts) events that were already on the calendar. There were many weekends that my kids actually picked the grounding rather than dads! When court stuff came up my attorney would tell the judge, GAL, ETC that I was doing everything possible and that the kids actually would pick isolation vs dads. They were preteens at the time and my son has always been bigger than me so picking him up and putting him in the car was not an option. Your kids are pretty young also so they many not ‘get’ how it all works….just a thought for the future. I can only hope that your ex will eventually grow tired of it and just let the children be happy.

    • It’s a fascinating dynamic. We, as the non-disordered parent, are court ordered and required to make the child/children go. Therapists and counselors, though, should be there to understand it further – why does the kid not want to go? Is there an abusive situation? If it’s not easily identifiable abuse, is it that the parent has issues? (Why else would a parent force their kids?) It is like we are teaching our children to ignor their instinct to not be around someone who is ultiimately harmful for them. We wouldn’t force or convince our kids to hang out with a psychopathic child at their school, but yet the family court system and the mental health professionals who work within it, do. It feels like a huge red flad to me, particularly the other parents response. Sorry for typos, I’m using my phone!

    • trish says:

      Children do not normally sob when going to spend time with a healthy and safe parent. The Family Court is practicing social engineering- not law.


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