The Holiday Season & the Narcissistic Ex

As we are surrounded by holiday colors ‘everywhere we go’, I thought it might make sense to revisit a post I did last year in regards to the holidays.  Personally, I know my children are very upset to spend christmas with their father, even if the aunt that they like from his side will be in town.  I am following as much of my own suggestions as I can, and also trying to make sure that we keep Christmas “in perspective” in terms of trying to minimize disappointment from unachieveable expectations.

A wonderful person that I met last year and came across again this year reminded me of something I had heard long ago.  “Acceptance does not mean approval”.  We can accept that we are in a situation or dealing with something from someone, but not approve of what happened or is happening.  It’s a good way to consider finding ‘acceptance’ of the situations in our lives and subsequently finding more peace.

I met someone today in his late teens/early 20’s.  He spent his life growing up with his aunt, and later in foster homes where he was abused.  6 years of abuse with his aunt, and then two more years of abuse in foster care before he reached 18 and broke free.  He reflected on the holiday and told me how he doesn’t have plans, but he’s also happy to just stay at home.  He’s now in an apartment and home is safe, free from abuse and his life is his own to claim.  He was inspirationally strong and amazing at how he has come to terms with the childhood, or lack of childhood, that he had.  My prayers are with any child, and if they have one – with their non-abusive parent, as they go through this season and every day of every non-season.


4 Responses to “The Holiday Season & the Narcissistic Ex”

  1. JenelleMarie says:

    thinking about you and hoping you are doing ok and just busy with the kids and upcoming holidays.

    • Hey there! Thank you for writing. It’s been a busy season, both with just the holiday stuff, but also with trying to work through what’s going on for the kids, CPS, etc. Are you doing ok?

  2. Vanessa says:

    I am also learning that “acceptance does not mean approval” especially when dealing with a narcissist. Your posts on dealing with the holidays and your healing journey are really good in addressing that too. What I’ve been learning (with you) about dealing with a N that it’s best to disengage, communicate as little as possible and set clear boundaries works even though it’s not easy. I used to struggle with frequently recalling my ex saying, “Silence gives consent” which made it hard to try to communicate as little as possible. But, as I am getting stronger and healing from N abuse, my actions speak volumes to both my children and ex. Thanks for your posts!

    • They are so manipulative – it’s frustrating when I read that he does the “silence gives consent” crap. You are right, though, that the stronger you get and the less his antics bother you, the better off you are in the long run. When he can no longer get emotional reactions from you, he will stop trying. Now, that said… be prepared that he may try more and more extremes to get the emotional reactions. BUT that’s okay, because you’ll be getting stronger and stronger at the same time. That aspect of learning to not be affected is on the top of my list for my ‘healing journey’. All the best to you 🙂

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