Share your Experience with Family Court

There’s an organization called the “National Family Court Watch Project”, dedicated to providing an impartial assessment of the effectiveness of family courts in dealing with custody, visitation, support and property issues.

There is a page on their website to submit information about your experience in family court.  If you’ve had experiences where the court didn’t respond in a way which was best for the children given the evidence presented – or if evidence wasn’t able to be presented because the rules of evidence prevent information from coming into the hearing which desparately needs to be considered… Please go to their website and record your information.  The more information is collected, the better that they can do to make a change in the system.

www.nationalfamilycourtwatchproject.org/share

Good Touch / Bad Touch Books for Children

Given that personality disordered parents (narcissistic, borderline, antisocial) / Axis II / Cluster B have very loose if not non-existent boundaries, it is easy to see how the co-parents of these types would be worried about whether the parent is sexually abusing in some manner.  I am quite certain that research exists that shows that “intimate partner” abusers are more likely to also abuse their own children.  However, I’m not going to take the time at this moment to find that particular research.

The best thing we can do to help protect our children who have to visit with disordered parents and who may be at risk for abuse or sexual abuse is to teach them about good touch/bad touch and to develop a strong sense of boundaries.  Frankly… this is a good thing for any child – regardless of their situation!

To borrow a quote from someone I spoke with recently – ‘focus on helping the children to understand boundaries, because the more they can recognize boundaries, the better they can recognize when these boundaries have been crossed.”  Awesomely said.

In my situation, I have used basically two books to initiate the conversations where I can teach my young children about appropriate ‘sexual’ behavior.  One is The Right Touch, and the other is “I Said No! A Kid-to-Kid Guide to Keeping Your Private Parts Private” .  Both are good for the age of my children; 5 and 8.   The latter was used because my daughter was inappropriately exploring body parts with another child, and the story speaks of a little boy who went to a sleepover and avoided another kid who wanted to explore.

There is another book that I really like that speaks about “Personal Power”.  There are stories on how to navigate other situations with children.   This book is “Stick Up for Yourself: Every Kid’s Guide to Personal Power & Positive Self-Esteem“.  I found it really easy to read through with my 8 year old, and that it will be relevant for older, pre-teen children as well.

Often used in describing boundaries in children is the concept of the “bubble” to describe personal space around a person, and to respect that personal space.  I also use a golden rule “If it’s not your’s, don’t touch it”.  Kids are so naturally curious and immediately reach out to touch anything – but they shouldn’t when it’s not their’s to touch.  So, I’m using this to build up the idea of resisting the urge to touch and consider whether it’s appropriate to do so first.

Research on Personality Disordered Parents and the impact on their kids.

Just passing along an article posted online at Psychology Today by Randi Kreger, who also has written books about divorcing a narcissistic or borderline individual.

I am researching and trying to understand the impact that personality disordered parents have on the children they are raising, and most importantly, what can be done while the children are being raised to help mitigate this negative impact.  The article really focuses most on mother’s who have personality disorders, and how negatively this impacts children by providing listings of research studies which were done to this effect. There isn’t information provided on how to help change this, although one of the research studies does speak to what may need to be done to intervene when a child has parent/s with a personality disorder.

Rules for the Male Narcissist

This post is because sometimes humor is healing, even cathartic.  It is also because sometimes, I have dreams that make me laugh!

 

 

 

1. Image is everything.  Dress nice, drive a legendary car and live in nothing less than a prestigous, exclusive place

2. Always purchase the top of the line products.  Your image is on the line.  Most importantly, shoes and watches speak volumes about people.  As a pathological narcissist, you may not be able to interpret or empathize with other people, but if you can impress them with what you wear, they won’t notice your shortcomings.  Remember #1: Image is everything.

3. Be a Master Manipulator.  There are courses that one can take to get their certification.  Master manipulators are magicians – they can twist stories and truth so well that no one knows what is really up.  Do this really, really well.

4. Don’t just BE.  Be ENTITLED.  It’s your right. Read More…

An Interesting Upside / Downside to Parenting Well with a Narcissist

This week, as the school counselor interviewed my daughter, she reported to me repeatedly how “upbeat” and “in good spirits” my daughter was even as she speaks about what happens.

The counselor said that “her therapist must be doing a remarkable job with her”.  Yes, she is.. but frankly – I also think it’s all the things that happen at home that really help complement that one hour every two weeks in therapy.

Although, …. I wonder …. since my daughter is able to be strong emotionally – does that take away from what happened?  Do they think that it must not be as bad as the kids described, or affecting them all that much … if the child can be upbeat and positive?

Of course, they don’t see the mental breakdown my daughter has after returning from her dad’s.  They didn’t see her crying, kicking, screaming, hitting walls and floors and having a full on tantrum about how hard her life is and why does her life  have to be this HARD?

No, because I worked through that with my daughter.  I was able to do that because I haven’t been working full time because my kids need me.  So I canned doing any work that day and I sat there with my daughter as she worked through all those emotions.

So, it’s good for my daughter, as she is emotionally stronger for dealing with all this, but … does that mean that people listen less because she’s not an emotional wreck from it?

It’s an interesting upside… that what is happening at home and with the therapist is really helping… and potentially an interesting downside, too – that maybe it deters others from understanding just how hard and how much of an effect it really is.

The School Counselor: Next Time There’s a Bruise…

I’m furious.  I’m beyond being furious for personal reasons – I’m furious that this type of mentality exists and that it puts children even more at risk rather than helping to protect them.

To explain… After a really hard weekend for my children where it struck me that my ex’s behavior is cycling worse and worse and worse… I called CPS anonymously on Tuesday.  Read More…

Visitation with a Narcissistic Parent

The past several weekends have been really bad for my kids.  I’m sure this is a familiar situation to many:  kids who resist going, phone calls which are blocked or monitored, or involve a child crying about having to be there and wanting to come home.  Complaints of verbal raging (“he was yelling at the top of his lungs, and calling us fuck you, assholes, stupid idiots”), and physical hitting.  Complaints of trying to hide from their father, crying their eyes out, one sibling trying to protect or hide the other. Read More…

Power & Control Wheel – Abuse of Children by Narcissistic / Personality Disordered Parents

The Duluth Model created the Power & Control wheel back in 1984 to describe the dynamics of an abusive relationship.  The original Power & Control wheel has included how an abusive person may exercise visitation with the children after seperation with the purpose of being able to continue exhorting power over their victim.

In this wheel, the Duluth Model shows the dynamics of an abusive relationship with children.  It may be difficult to read  here, and if so, you can follow through the link on the image or here to see the original.  If you are coparenting with a narcissist or other type of personality disordered individual, these behaviors are likely very familiar to you.

The items I see happen most with my kids are:

Physical: Hitting, twisting/squeezing arms or legs, pinching

Adult Privilege: Using the children as servants.  This is also seen as role-reversal, where the adult is turning to the child to fulfill their emotional needs as well as do things in life that they should be doing for the child.

Intimidation / instilling fear through actions, looks

Using Institutions: Threatening to put me in jail, expressing a desire that I am in jail, calling the police if they don’t transition

Isolation:  Lives far away, they are taken away from their normal social lives and often denied the ability to go to friend’s parties or other events on “his time” Read More…

The Impact of Divorce

There’s a blogger who’s posts I enjoy reading who recently posted a very inspirational article about “Good Things that Come from Bad Divorces“.  She highlights people who have done great things that they may not otherwise have done had it not been for their own personal divorces. Read More…

How Narcissists Emphathize

The other day, I had a wonderful opportunity to pick up my kids from their dad’s store and take them to my son’s friend’s indoor swimming party.  Afterwards, I returned them to him.  This was on “his weekend”, and really was a win-win situation as the kids weren’t at the store to bug him while he worked.  However, I will say that he still asked to keep them later on Monday to ‘compensate’ for the time lost.  (‘What?? You’re working during that time anyway, and keeping them hostage at your store!’).  Nonetheless, I’m grateful to have seen them and be able to make the long weekend with him seem a little less long.

Back to the title of the post… Read More…

Brené Brown’s Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto

First of all… to Heather: thanks for telling me to read Brene Brown. 🙂  I love her work!

Second… Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.  She has on her website a free download of her “Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto”.  Along the same lines of yesterday’s post … this is a wonderfully inspiring way to think about how we parent.  I have printed it and hung it on my fridge (the fridge I always swear I will keep free of magnets and paper… not!).

As parents of narcissistic ex’s… we have to “take the high road”. We have to “parent beyond” and let our children know that they are loved for who they are, and that they are unique and wonderful just as they are…to give them what they need to “blossom beyond” the challenges of growing up with a controlling, abusive parent.

This is such a great way to keep that in mind on a daily basis!

DaringGreatly-ParentingManifesto-dark-8×10

Children Learn what they Live

I have always loved this… especially the day I realized that my ex (spouse at the time) would be unable to provide a good environment for our daughter (this was before our son was born).  It is what a single parent has to do on their own – and with a personality disordered co-parent, we have this sole responsibility to provide this – in bold, to our kids.  This can & will, I believe, overpower the negative influences of the other parent.  “Darkness cannot exist in the presence of Light”.

Children Learn What They Live
By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.


If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.  Read More…

Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde and Narcissism – a common theme?

A phrase that is used quite frequently with narcissists is “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”.  The original movie actually had to do with someone who actually had split personalities, which came about because of dissociative disorder.  Dissociation is a defence mechanism – commonly used by children who are enduring abuse and basically energetically “leave their body” to avoid pain.

Perhaps there’s a connection between the two disorders, as some experts theorize that maybe narcissism is a product of something traumatic happening to the child when they are young, which stops them from emotionally growing beyond that point.

Nonetheless – we all see it.  The guy/gal we started with doesn’t even begin to mirror who we are dealing with now.  I think, actually, that the shift starts to occur most frequently from Jekyll to Hyde at the point in the relationship when the narcissist feels that the relationship is solid. Read More…

Finding Peace

Today, I’m feeling a bit stressed as my kids are scheduled to be with their dad for this upcoming “holiday” weekend, and he seems to be doing pretty bad financially.  More stress on him means more stress taken out on my kids.  This also means that he hasn’t been paying child support and he’s filed that motion to “relieve” him of child support…. which equates to me needing to figure out how to magically compensate for his lack of child support and the upcoming legal fees.  Plus, I am filing a motion to appoint a therapist for our son – which equals even more legal fees.  And…I probably haven’t mentioned that I live in one of the “top ten most expensive metro areas” in the US.

So today I need to focus on what I can do to feel peace inside.  Here’s some of my favorite resources for doing so: Read More…

My (abusive, narcissistic) dad says…

Quotes from my children:

  • My dad says that I’m useless.
  • My dad says I’m an asshole.
  • My dad says I’m a jerk.
  • and an idiot too.
  • Daddy says that you are an idiot like me, mom, and you don’t know what you’re talking about.
  • He also says  you’re not an expert on everything.
  • Daddy says he wants put you in jail, then he can have us with him all the time. I don’t want you to go to jail, mom. I don’t want to be with daddy.
  • Daddy says… You keep us from him.
  • And that it’s all your fault, mom, that we have to go back and forth between our parents.  I feel like a tennis ball.
  • Dad says he loves you, and he would do anything to be married to you and have our family back together.
  • Mom, dad says that you are ridiculous and you have stupid rules about safety.
  • I feel like you are the heart, mom… And dad is the knife that cuts.
  • Sometimes I think that I am the animal, and daddy is the gun.
  • Or I am the ball, and dad is the kicker.
  • I just want to be with you, mom.

 

Parenting Plans & Narcissism, Borderline, Personality Disordered or general “High Conflict”

When I was working through the initial stages of divorce and needed to do a parenting plan with my ex, I had a hard time finding what elements should even be included in the plan itself.  Later, I was advised by a domestic violence expert, that when dealing with a person like my ex – aggressive, boundaryless, abusive, controlling, manipulative, entitled, who sees the children as pawns and pieces of property – that the plan should be as detailed as possible.   In a situation with two emotionally & mentally healthy adults who are working together to do what is best for the children, the plan doesn’t need the detail because the adults can work together as normal people do.  That said, let me lay out the different pieces of a plan and some things to think about.  Note, though, that I plan to update this as other things come to mind or my awareness.  I’m also aware that there are sooo many factors at play during divorce that may or not make it even feasible to have a choice or opportunity to make decisions about the elements below.  Sometimes, there’s not even the opportunity to have a discussion about putting the detail in place (which is for the sake of the children involved).  Read More…