Some Freedom and the Puppy Dilema

It’s about time I did a new post.  It’s been far too long without anything. Frankly – I don’t know how all you single parents do so much!   I returned to working full time and it’s been quite an adventure in transition for me and my kids.

So here’s how things have been going for us… up until this weekend, it’s been wonderful.  My daughter has only been to her father’s for a full weekend once since December of last year.  She started telling him she didn’t want to go and refusing – strangely, he continues to show up at the after care place to pick them up and then proceed to drive away.  On the one weekend she went, it was because her father’s family was in town (they are not emotionally healthy people but she loves her Aunt).  Plus, her father had been in-the-hospital sick and the guilt factor was strong for her to see how he was doing.  When she found out he was just fine and it was hype, she was a bit annoyed.

My son wants to love everyone – good or bad.  He doesn’t stay mad for long and simply wants to love.  He’s also afraid of “rules”.  In his six year old mind – there is the “law” that he has to go and he didn’t want to see me get in trouble for his not going.   So, he continued going by himself until about six weeks ago.   Just prior to that, my daughter’s therapist said that it was law unless her father doesn’t make her go – which eliminates the law.  Combo that with the idea that sister was able to get out of it … and then he decided to “stand up for himself”.  He hasn’t been in three weekends. 

My kids have, however, negotiated with their dad that they would spend time with him on their terms.  This past weekend, I asked what the conversation was when their dad came to get them.  They described “options” with “consequences” and I thought they were discussing what their dad was saying to THEM.  I was wrong… apparently – it was my kids making up the options.  “We can see you tonight for dinner and then that’s it, or if you wait, we’ll see you on Sunday for longer”.  How backwards is that??  What got them all to this point?

I did try intervening at one point and sent an email to my ex.  I outlined that things have been bad for the kids for sometime, and that I’m glad he’s giving them the space they are asking to have.  However, I feel like the bi-weekly debate isn’t good for them and it should be a decision made at an adult level.  This is where, frankly, CPS and many other structures have failed to protect my kids and leave them in the situation of needing to stand up for themselves.  I asked my ex that he and I discuss further what is going on.  His only reply was “Things will work out.. just encourage them to go”.  Seriously? 

So this past weekend… I finally, FINALLY, took my son to do the evaluation that I have fought long and hard to do.  And guess what?  At the end of an entire day of testing – the psychologist doing the testing tells me that despite the steps taken to get there (a court order, letters from him to my ex regarding payment, approval from my ex directly to him, etc) … my ex says he is in no position to pay.  So, the psychologist will not schedule review appointments or release results until he pays.  Again… seriously?  My ex doesn’t want the evaluation – so of course this just plays into his desires. 

Then there’s the puppy dilema.  On Sunday, my kids went with their dad.  He picks them up and immediately asks my daughter what we did the day prior when they should have been with him.  She forgets what I said about being vague and blurts out everything… went to swim team, spent the afternoon at the pool with friends, two parties that she loved, etc.  His theory and argument is that I should punish our children for not going with him, and that I am enticing them with fun things to do.  It’s normal NPD/emotional abuse tactics… they turn the issue away from them.  After all, it’s not really about the fact that he’s been on a terrorizing screaming tirad for years now, hitting his kids and scaring them to hide under the bed… right?  No … of course it’s because I’m luring them away from him and it’s all my fault they don’t want to go. 

Next, they go to get in the car and he tells them of a surprise in the car.  I asked if he is bribing them and see this sick look cross his face.  It makes sense later when the kids return:  his girlfriend (poor girl doesn’t realize he is on and not being faithful to her) has recently bought a puppy and has the puppy there to play with for the kids.  She further promises to bring the puppy to play with every Saturday and Sunday they are with their dad if they will go.  How wrong is that?  I was livid… livid that he was f*cking with our kids and livid that she’s involved.  I’m also upset with my kids that they are, of course, kids… and easily lured away.  They tell me how they’ve discussed beach vacations with their father for the summer.  Seriously?

This is a person who hasn’t paid mortgage, is in arrears in child support, hasn’t paid his attorney or mine (but found the funds to file the appeal for his having to pay my legal fees), and owes the IRS thousands.  However, he recently paid $1200 to have someone open the pool at his house, and $300 to go gambling.    It’s so disturbing how he works that I feel like I want to throw up.

This is a long post. I normally try not to focus in on the negative – in this case, I am trying to release it.  I am releasing my past (this weekend) here on this page.  I am going to returning to my mediation in the morning as a much happier person, knowing and having faith that God WILL give us our freedom from this person who so desparately wants to get even with me through our kids.

For all of you fighting the same fight and looking for that faith – I pray for you too.  “Ask and ye shall receive”…

12 Responses to “Some Freedom and the Puppy Dilema”

  1. Yvette says:

    Googled “co-parenting with a narcissist and this was one of the top links. I could have written this for you based on my experiences with minor variations such as a girlfriend with a kitten instead of a puppy and boy scout camps instead of birthday parties. I am preparing for a contempt hearing because I refuse to make my youngest miss his first football game EVER to go to his father’s house. May we both be comforted in the fact that try as they will to make us feel crazy, there are other mothers out there trying to do the same things to try to raise well-adjusted people.

  2. JenelleMarie says:

    So glad to see you blogging again. I haven’t been able to catch up for the last few months, but just finished your last three recent blogs. Glad you are still actively healing and working through each day as it comes your way.

  3. brandi says:

    nice to see a post natalie : ) i’m just going to throw it out that possibly this puppy is in your children’s lives to assist them! you probably know that but feeling gratitude for what the puppy is sharing and acknowledging the presence of that unconditonal love being offered is an amazing opportunity and a huge buffer to what your former spouse sends your children’s way –seeing that puppy with your amazing love instead of your knowing that the puppy is being used (true) gives the puppy space to protect and shine a light on things for all involved. sounds like your children are flexing their autonomy muscles – what strong beautiful souls you and they are – much love to you brandi

    • I hope you are right that the puppy is here as a blessing! It’s a chihuahua – which has a tendency to be nippy with children once it grows bigger. We actually also talked about the fact that this girlfriend has come and gone from their dad’s life many times already – so be careful about getting hooked on a puppy that may not be hanging around. I also asked them to make sure they make their choice about going based on what’s going on with their dad and not the puppy!
      Hope you are doing well…

  4. Ana says:

    Nice t see you back. It would be nice if karma bit these guys on the butt once in awhile. We just have to keep doing the best we can and hope our kids understand.

    • It does (Karma and life patterns too). My ex’s finances are a mess – just like when I met him and thought it was a one time thing in his life and of course… that I could help fix him and his issues. Ha!

  5. Leo says:

    I think getting a dog is in the narcicisst handbook under the point my kids seem not to want to spend time with me. My children came home excited about a dog some years ago and it broke my heart. My husband was never an animal lover probably the opposite. I had held off getting a family pet due to lack of money.
    Anyway i can tell you that it all played out in a way that made me realise not to get upset about these things.After the initial excitement the children worked out that the dog was in fact not bought for them but was for my ex’s new partner. They felt betrayed and they still say the dog is not ours despite being a little fond of it.
    I also had the threat of a wonderful winter skiing holiday. I let them go and it was the worst holiday they have ever had. They felt sick and did not like the food and they felt that they were not cared for. I took the time to take a trip on my own and it was torture but now the kids don’t ask to go on holidays with him.
    Sometimes we have to be brave and do the opposite. Buy the new dog a chew toy, say wow that is great and then wait for the inevitable.
    My children are older now but they were the same age as yours when all these things happened.
    Mine are now 15 and 12 and all i can say is keep the faith. Just do the best you can to be the stable loving wonderful mother you are and your kids will turn out just fine. Having your wonderful home to go to will mean that your children turn out fine. Mine still have to endure the nightmare ex but they get it all. I still get taken to court for ridiculous things but my kids are 100% behind me and they understand it all even if i don’t tell them. I am so close to them and them to me. I get to experience all the things that make them uniquely who they are while they show their father a very protected view of themselves.
    Thanks for you blog. It made so much sense when i read it.

    • Thanks for sharing. You are right that sometimes we have to just let things play out. Puppies can be fun at first, but taxing later. My kids have a whole petting zoo in our house already (lol) – and the puppy we got five years ago is too energetic to “cuddle” in the way they hoped.
      We did talk about the puppy as basically being a bribe to go with him, and they understand that. It’s unfortunate that they have to learn so much about relationships and that their parent isn’t what they want him to be.
      I appreciate the remind to keep the faith – I know that we will come out of this just fine. All the best to you!

  6. Ruby says:

    I was happy when your post popped into my email account as I chose to worry about you the other day. I am not sure why, just the absence of posts and the concern I think we all feel for others dealing with a hologram. Your children, like mine, will have a lot of hard lessons in front of them. My children adore their father and sometimes ask for more time with him. And I feel conflictd about this. I understand that they need to know him and that there is no replacement for your dad. But I worry about their precious hearts and minds and what he could do to them. They spend 5 nights a fortnight with him already. The puppy is such a draw card for loving children, but nothing lasts forever, things are always changing, how long will the girlfriend be around? Puppies are nice but are they enough to make his yelling tolerable? I dont really have any advice actually, but glad you have managed to slip back into full time work (impressive).

    • Hi there! Thanks for keeping me in mind. I do miss touching base here. I’m thankful that I got so much of it up when I wasn’t working, and that even if I don’t manage to update – that at least what is there can still help validate for others that they aren’t alone or crazy.
      That’s a lot of time with their dad for your’s. I can see why you would be concerned, because they have to read through the stuff they that they are told, and the backwards thinking that is presented. While it stinks in a way to do it, it’s good to be able to have a chance to ask my kids the questions that help them see the truth in the situations that they are in (like when ex promises things but it’s just words at that moment to get what he wants). If only all kids were born with discernment and the ability to see through b.s.!
      Take care of you

  7. E says:

    Yay! I am so happy to see a post from you. I was actually just thinking about your blog a lot last week wondering why I hadn’t seen anything lately. poof! Here you are! Darn puppies and their super powers to draw kids attention away from the future. Maybe the cute little puppy will bite your ex strategically one day… that would be validating. Have a great day!

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