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    Forced to parent with your abuser

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    DaisyK

    Posts : 1
    Join date : 2016-04-03

    Forced to parent with your abuser

    Post by DaisyK on Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:14 pm

    Hello all, I'm new here.
    I've had no contact with my abuser for almost a year now. We have 4 children together and we are currently getting a divorce. His lawyer and my lawyer are in touch and we are trying to work out a settlement outside of the courtroom.

    Right now it seems likely that the children will spend all of their weekends with their father and I find myself peering into the abyss that is the inevitable.

    I've only recently become aware of the terms 'CPTSD' and 'narsisistic victim syndrome'. I've known something was terribly askew for quite some time now and had previously assumed that my ex was a sociopath or something of the sort, but had not fully grasped what that meant or the effect that it had on my children and myself.

    I'm becoming more aware now, spending as much if my free time researching etc.. as possible. I've only been listening to the Spartan Life Coach YouTube videos for about a week now, but already I can tell that the advice is sound and the techniques, once I learn to properly employ them, will most likely be effective. For the first time in a long time, I believe there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

    My life has unfortunately been a veritable lasagna of tragedy since early childhood and the abuse from my narsisistic ex began when I was only twelve years old. He was born in 1952. I was born in a 1988.

    Long story short here, I will be forced to share the children with him and they will be exposed many dangers in his care. There seems to be nothing I can do to prevent this, and God knows I've tried!

    My own recovery is in sight. I now believe it is possible. I will be starting counseling soon and I will continue to strive for a healthy, happy life.

    My main question here is, how do I protect the children from the evil voodoo of their father? Is there even a way to do that?

    Our contact will be very limited. I will only communicate with him via text message and the child exchanges will happen in a police department parking lot.

    Are there any books I can read to the children? Activities to strengthen their sense of self worth and self identity etc that anyone can suggest?

    Also, any tips to help keep me sane and not crumble in the face of such great adversity would be great!

    wishangerdreamer

    Posts : 1
    Join date : 2016-04-13

    Re: Forced to parent with your abuser

    Post by wishangerdreamer on Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:58 am

    Hi Daisy K,

    I'm new too here. I'm also divorcing a disordered person and we have two children. My youngest is a teenager, who lives with me, and I've found that when any incidents happen that upset her at all, if I respond by saying anything slightly negative about her father she would immediately go into feeling the need to protect him but if I can simply listen fully and empathetically and give her the space to say how "annoyed" etc she is feeling then she will feel heard, validated and encouraged to explore how she is feeling and get it off her chest. This seems to be really working the longer I simply try to create the space for her to be able to talk, without her having to deal with my perspective.

    Also apparently, if you say negative things about the abusive parent to the child then they can feel shame for feeling love for that parent. I've only just read about this recently, but it makes sense to me.

    The only other thing I am trying to do is praise her if she sets a boundary with him and reassure her that this is a good idea but that it's also ok for her not to be sincere in her communication with him, as a way of protecting herself. She figured this out for herself via using flattery or distracting him with a new topic or telling him she is too exhausted to even talk right now due to school work when he phones her etc.

    I'm trying to divorce via the Collaborative route as advised in the book Splitting Protecting Yourself Whilst Divorcing Someone With Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder by Bill Eddy. It is slow going as he uses the process to obtain supply but may mean I get to avoid a court room drama. Hard though as I get re triggered as a result of the face to face divorce sessions. The book is useful on strategy and communication tools.

    I'd advise getting the kids into therapy with a therapist who has experience of personality disorders and the effects on victims, if they are showing signs of trauma.

    For my children I've found the most helpful thing above all for them is my own recovery itself. As I get stronger, resilient, out of the fog, braver and light hearted ( hard to do I know) then it seems to really help the kids too. I've recently tried reframing the abuser as toad of toad hall and it seems to help me and I can sometimes then laugh about him and his antics. This is very new for me to try to do this but it seems to be helping me and my children.

    Lots of comedy shows help us all. My daughter does drama clubs to help boost her self confidence.

    It has taken me a year, since I tricked him into leaving the family home, to get him to the divorce table. During this time he turned into a covert stalker. I decided to go grey rock through this and then employed the service of a conflict resolution (N.V.C. trained) consultant as a bait to hook him into meetings on the pretext to help him " get closure " as poor poor him only wanted us to get back together......... I predicted he'd use these sessions as a source of supply which he did. Through this process in order for him not to appear stupid he had to make out he was "of course a reasonable person " and et viola he began to agree to a divorce.

    It must all be working as he's just announced last week he needs to emigrate to the USA in three weeks time !! yippee !! So he's gone into discard mode. We can do the Collaborative Divorce still via skype apparently. So we'll see.....otherwise I'll simply have to take him to court here in UK and divorce him in his absence.

    Meanwhile I'm negotiating the sale of our family home and will be homeless shortly as there is no final financial settlement. Have to sell due to the financial abuse and huge debts he's forced us into. But I plan to tackle this too!!

    How Ive kept sane this past year is by : having a relaxing massage once a week as I go through the divorce, daily doses of Richard and Dana of narcissism free and Tara Brach's lovely pod casts, mindfulness meditation, journaling, walking my dog in nature, accepting my friends can't really understand and not taking this personally anymore, training to be a yoga teacher and qualifying to boost my self esteem. Somehow I've managed to do this even though at times I believed it was too much for me to cope with but doing something not connected to Crazy or to divorce and a real challenge for myself seems to have really helped me to become strong. Plus yoga is great for soothing my nervous system too.

    I also insist on having extremely tight boundaries with him as you seem to be doing re doing the exchange at the police station. I am also logging everything : all emails, texts, incidents both involving myself and the children, in case I need them in a court room in the future. It is all dated and filed away. I also try to come across as very logical, efficient and polite with my lawyer and not an emotional wreck, even if I am that day. This seems to help keeping her on board and believing me when I explain to her the more bizarre aspects of the "husbopath"s' tactics and behaviours so we can devise a strategy to counter it.

    Hope this helps!

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    dre!cali

    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2016-04-23
    Location : California, USA

    Re: Forced to parent with your abuser

    Post by dre!cali on Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:39 am

    Hi DaisyK,

    Wow you’re were I was a few years ago.  I think the first thing you’re going to have to accept is that nothing really good is going to come from the court systems.  Your best bet is to establish visitation the in the beginning.  I know you said he wants every weekend but you should at least try to get one weekend a month.  I would also highly recommend you think about EVERYTHING right now as to what is going to be in the court order.  I made many mistakes not specifically spelling out dates and holidays and it has make things a nightmare, actually even with the things that were spelled out it was a nightmare…

    The first thing you are going to have to do, that took me a long time to figure out, you won’t be able to reason with the other person.  You’ve probably already tried to have reasonable discussions that just only work to trigger and emotional deregulate yourself.  I did that a lot and it was just counter productive.

    Your best bet, in my opinion, is to try and establish the best, stable, supportive environment possible with your kids.  They will figure all of this stuff out on their own BUT if you try to point it out to them it doesn’t help.  They need to find their own answers, you can point them in a direction but you have to be VERY careful about it.

    The next thing is you need to mentally prepare yourself for the kids to be external triggers.  They will say and do things that make it feel like your ex is right there with you dropping bombs on you.  This part is VERY difficult but it’s crucial to try and not take the bait.  Unfortunately it took me three years into the divorce to realize all this new information so I made MANY mistakes in this area.  

    On your communication email is probably a better approach because it’s easy to document and track.  Text’s are a pain in that regard, at least from my experience.  Also, DO NOT take the bait on emails.  Again this is something that I failed on numerous times and the communication would be a tit-for-tat back and forth that was pointless.  My ex was obviously much better at this that I was and she could get me going and then she would disappear (maybe in her mind she was going ‘no contact’ with me, who knows).  So what I do now is:

    - Do not send any question in an email, I only send information either copies of school, medical, etc documentation or statements as to what is going on.
    - If you receive a reply, read it to see if they are asking any questions.  If they are, read it again and ask yourself is it really a question.  If the answer is still yes ask yourself do I really need to answer that question.  Bottom line, don’t take the bait.

    To go back to your comment about “protecting the children” I think you’re best bet is providing a safe, sane, secure, nurturing environment for them.  There is really nothing you’re going to be able do to keep the kids from seeing the other parent (at least in our state).  I’ve had two therapists say this too me from the beginning of all of this and it didn’t really click until I came across The Spartan Life Coach site.  But I think it’s really true, you have to demonstrate the difference to the kids and they have to figure it out on their own. It is going to suck and it’s going to hurt but there isn’t any way around it.

    What also took me a long time to figure out is if your ex truly is a narcissist/cluster-B all of this is really only about them.  He/She isn’t really going to spend a significant amount of time trying to go after you, well unless you take the bait, and just let them implode on themselves.  BUT, and this is the part that is hard, your kids may see it and may even comment on it BUT they won’t really get it.  That part hurts, it’s hard when the kids will say something to you that shows what they re going through with the ex and then completely disregard it later like it never happened.

    Think of it this way, you escaped, you got away so you are free from the physically close nightmare that was your life.  Now that’s the kids life when they are there with the other parent.  I mean I was with my ex for 23 years and it wasn’t until the last few months of the marriage that I really truly realized that something was wrong.  Prior to that I made excuses, thought I was the problem, and just couldn’t understand.  It’s still your kid’s mother/father and they still love them and want them to be there.  Maybe if you do better than I did they will feel safe enough to talk to you about it when they are hurt and you can help them heal.  But more than likely they are going to feel like they are in the middle in-between two warring factions.

    So, final bit of advice, try to get good therapists for the kids.  If you can find someone who understands this trauma the better.   Unfortunately the therapist “we” found did and it has taken YEARS for her to finally start to understand what is going on.  I think partly it helped that she has a professional relationship with my therapist and they share information.  But your kids are going to need a save environment to openly communicate without fear of picking sides.

    Keep going through Richard’s videos and if you can pick up some of his courses and listen to them A LOT.  His thoughts and observations have helped keep me sane during this nightmare even with the progress I feel I’ve made I have to routinely go back to his information/videos to keep me grounded.

    Good luck!

    dre

    talha

    Posts : 2
    Join date : 2016-05-04

    Re: Forced to parent with your abuser

    Post by talha on Wed May 04, 2016 4:39 am

    To go back to your comment about “protecting the children” I think you’re best bet is providing a safe, sane, secure, nurturing environment for them. There is really nothing you’re going to be able do to keep the kids from seeing the other parent (at least in our state). I’ve had two therapists say this too me from the beginning of all of this and it didn’t really click until I came across The Spartan Life Coach site. But I think it’s really true, you have to demonstrate the difference to the kids and they have to figure it out on their own. It is going to suck and it’s going to hurt but there isn’t any way around it.
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    Leyla Loric

    Posts : 25
    Join date : 2015-09-26

    Re: Forced to parent with your abuser

    Post by Leyla Loric on Fri May 20, 2016 11:40 pm

    Hi DaisyK and the other guys,

    Thank you for sharing.

    I see you have already got some great advice. I also hope things are going better for you..?

    As I read your post, I thought you might find these two videos helpful:






    Best wishes,
    Leyla Loric
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    HadEnough

    Posts : 7
    Join date : 2016-05-21

    Re: Forced to parent with your abuser

    Post by HadEnough on Mon May 23, 2016 6:19 pm

    Daisy,
    I am in the same boat! I have been FREE from the narc ex for 10 beautifully confusing years. I only found out what it is that he is about a year ago. Unfortunately, the kids go over there every weekend. And when they want to do something other than go to his house he screams about it being HIS TIME!

    I have read the other responses and I think they are gold!

    I strive every day to make this home a haven from his cold contempt. I worry it's not enough.

    Best wishes!

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