I wish I was doing better. I wish I was all healed up. I'm not. I still suffer from the long marriage and the longer fight. I wish that I could be set free from the co-parenting nightmare. I have not been set free. I have tried my hardest. I have put my children first, in order to save them (as much as I could) from suffering. I am sad to say that they are damaged by their NSP (Narcissistic, Sociopathic, Psychopathic) father.
I am sad to say that their relationship with me has been damaged by him, and I am afraid it is irreparable.
"Oh, NO!" You want to say! "It is NOT irreparable! There is always hope! Good will prevail!"
I am afraid not. Why do I say this? Because as a child, I lived the constant onslaught an undermining by a personality disordered parent. Permanent Harm. But, alas, that is a different blog post, or a different blog.
This article: What It's Like To Suffer From PTSD Post-Divorce by Cathy Meyer
At the end of the article, she writes "...the only way to win over someone who wants you to suffer is to give up the fight. Let it go, your health is more important.”
Yes! In order to get on with my life, preserve and recover my health, and not cause additional harm to my children, I have to let it go. I have to give up the fight. And, sadly, that means, Let The Narcissist Win. They always win.
The Narcissist Loses + Everyone Involved Loses = (In His Mind) The Narcissist Has Won.
That's what it's like for them.
I mourn the loss of the life I was promised by him. I mourn the loss of the time I should have, as a mother, to parent my children. I mourn the unspoiled relationship I feel that I SHOULD HAVE HAD with my children. But, it IS spoiled. It IS ruined. And I find that they more I attempt to strengthen and repair it, the deeper a hole I find myself in.
Cathy Meyer doesn't explain how to let it go. I'm not sure what she means. I know that for me, "letting go" means turning away from my children. Sound awful? Yeah, me too. I think it's AWFUL.
Here's what I mean:
My kids come home and they CLING to me. They are by my side like little goslings. Bless their hearts. They cling to me in order to recover from the nonsense they experience at their father's house. OK. Great for them. So, they cling to me and I absorb all the emotions and it sucks me down into a pit. They recover and then BYE! Off they go again into the land of Daddy. And they live. And they get on with their lives and I am left, bereft. This cycle repeats endlessly. And it doesn't work for me.
Do you know why it doesn't work for me? MY HEALTH. MY LIFE.
When they are here, they are EVERYTHING. 100% devotion and attention. Mom completely available. I keep their heads above water.
Then, they leave. I have NOTHING. I have zero continuity between custody and non-custody periods. I sink and nearly drown.
How does Daddy do it? Well, Daddy IGNORES the kids when they are with him. He has his proxy care-givers do the work for him. The kids are on their own, relying on the mothering I have given them while in MY care. (My children have told me this. They do what I would tell them to do. No one tells them what to do. They must act as little adults. For this they are praised, or rather, FLATTERED by their father for their 'independence' and 'self-sufficiency'.)
So, I knock myself out being 100% mom non-stop when they are with me. It isn't sustainable. How do I know it's not sustainable? Because I've been doing it a long long long time and I am OFFICIALLY OVER IT. It is killing me. I can not do it anymore.
The Narcissist Always Wins.
Can anyone relate to this? Has anyone lived this scenario? Has anyone dealt with it in a successful way?
I find it maddening. Angry. Crazy-Making. Resentful. Sad.
"Giving up" and "Letting go" doesn't seem good for my children. It isn't good for me. But I don't see any other way to continue on. I see them floundering and breaking. I feel sorry for myself. I see no solution.
Filled with regret.
So, I give up the fight? Focus on myself? Focus on my health, my strength, my happiness? Get on with my life? Turn my attention away from my children? Live more like the Narcissist/Psychopath does? I don't get it.
I have been his victim since the moment we met. Now our children are his victims. I can untangle myself. I lose them in the process, but, I think they are already lost. I think they always were. How sad. Save myself?
Save myself? Because if I don't save myself, I can save nobody else? Is that what it comes to?
by AKA Rose Lee Mitchell