Narcissists aren’t called the “crazy makers” for nothing. They will lie, twist, and manipulate everyone against you, including their own children. They will then lie, twist and manipulate everything they can in an effort to maintain control over you. So, what do you do, besides go insane? I have learned a few tricks over the years to help calm your storm and help you see through the BS to the big picture. I had to learn the hard way, from doing it wrong so many times I thought sometimes I may never get my face out of the dirt.
The number one lesson I have learned since my divorce from a narcissist is I cannot control my crazy-making ex into acting like a human being. But…and I do stumble still…I can control how I react. Ted has filed for emergency court orders, lying and preventing me from leaving the state with our children. Ted has kept our children from me over my parenting time, and continually looks for ways to cause drama while at the same time trying to make me look bad to the kids and turn them against me. I have been through some major “crazy-making” hell. In the past two weeks he has caused nothing but drama, because I refuse to let him bully me and break through my boundaries.
Narcissists love to set rules for us and make us walk a very narrow line, yet feel they have no rules they must follow. When we finally start to feel stronger and set boundaries, they are bound and determined to barrel through those boundaries in order to show us who is in control. We were strong enough to finally get out, now we need to be strong enough to stick with our boundaries.
“Boundaries”, if new to this world, are basically agreements or compromises we are willing to make. A normal human will respect others’ boundaries. I set the boundary long ago I would only communicate with Ted via email. Boy, does he hate that one. Ted cries to whoever will listen that I just will not co-parent and talk to him on the phone! He still whines in court about it. Now it makes me chuckle, because I know it is the only way to communicate and protect myself.
Within the last two weeks, Ted has tried to bully me into paying one of his bills, even though I had already fulfilled the amount I agreed to pay. He sees my boundary as a personal challenge, and was prepared to punish Grant, blaming me in the process, for not breaking my boundary. I stayed calm and refused to budge.
Tonight, Kristy called me in a panic. Ted has been trying to bully me into taking make up parenting time when HE wants me to. It is my time and the way he wants to set it up, I would end up owing HIM make up time because of it at the end of summer. The answer was simply no. I was tricked into this agreement before and got burned, told him I wouldn’t agree to it again, and he just keeps pushing. Because I refuse to be bullied, Kristy is now going to be late to her dance recital tomorrow night. She will not be there when she is supposed to and will not have time to get ready before, but she will be there and ready before she takes the stage. Ted is doing everything he can to make her upset with me over it….but I will not budge my boundary. If I do, the monster becomes even bigger. Repeat after me…WE MUST NOT FEED THE MONSTERS.
When narcissists hit one of their rages, we must be on full alert. Ted is currently in a borderline rage because I am not reacting how he wants. His supply is not being met and he is unhappy. Well hell, he has never been happy in his life, but right now he is super unhappy. Some narcissists/ sociopaths are capable of physical violence when we refuse to be bullied any longer. Always have a safety plan in place in case a rage gets out of control, especially if children are involved. A friend in my support group had to rely on her safety plan with her children just last night. Thank God everyone is ok.
Set reasonable, fair boundaries and keep them…then calmly sit back and watch the circus. The narcissist/sociopath will unravel… and then you have something to document. Getting upset only fills their supply and gives them what they want. It also fills us with negativity which attracts more negativity. I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of Ted having that control over me.
Liv BySurprise says
I so get you on the trying hard and sometimes failing. Boundaries are important…but sometimes it’s hard to enforce them. And in the heat of the moment – hard to remember them. Keep trying. You’re right – the only thing you can really control is your reaction. Most of the time. 😉
Oh, doesn’t it seem like they just wait for the next boundary so they can test it? Ugh. Constant lately. If we can’t enforce, all we can do is document for future use 😉
Yes, stay the course, don’t feed the monster. Not yielding is difficult to do at the best of time. I hope you have a good safety plan.
We only have so much will power in us for a day and the draw on us is more now than it used to be. With a narc we are drained dry and the only thing that fills will power back up is to not be drawn on, a rest from it all. I was married to a narc for 16 years and it’s no way to live. I left him with an anxiety disorder that I have mastered since but hell until I did. However, he turned out to be one of the best lessons in my life. I learned how to stay true to myself and how to stand my ground no matter what. It made me who I am today over who I was before. I was a strong woman when I meant him so he promptly removed that but later once I gone and mended I was not only stronger I had a warrior in me when I needed it and I was wiser. I believe there is a silver lining to everything. That life happens for us not to us. That is not a naive comment, I have had some terrible things happen to me but I still found that silver lining. Not every one in our life is meant to be there forever. Some are there for us to learn from and not about them as much as about ourselves. I recommend learning what you can about yourself when it comes the first time narc in your life. I found that if we don’t learn the lesson we need to there will be a repeat in our lives sooner or later…….. life kicks us using others until we learn the lesson we need to learn about ourselves.
It is really hard when there are kids involved. We worry about what the narc is filling the kids heads with. All we can do there is teach our children to be mindful instead reactive….. There is information online about this and how to teach it.
It helps children think about things over automatically making what they hear theirs. It helps them control themselves and with a narc parent they will need this more than most kids. It is the best you can do to keep them from taking on his traits. Helps with loads of areas in a kids life, adults to. Teach about love what it means and how to do it, fairness, justice, balance in life, the importance of self control, not to be selfish but to remain true to themselves etc. Build it in their core and as they mature they will start to see him as he is on their own. It is always best to let children see for themselves over pushing something they don’t want to see because it hurts. You may feel you could lose them sometimes but you won’t. Although still in that stage of frustration and his rage this will pass to some degree with time.. But again if he is steaming mad and a narc you must be doing something right. They really hate it when we stand our ground or remain true to ourselves. So sad too bad. lol
So far it sounds like you have a pretty good handle on things, keep up the good work.
Wishing the best for you and your children.