I could not believe what I was reading when my boyfriend sent me to HostileAggressiveParenting.com. The website should just be titled “Ted”.
“ Hostile Aggressive Parenting or HAP is a serious form of child maltreatment and abuse, and is encountered in most high conflict child-custody disputes and is often used as a tool to align the child with one parent during litigation. ( Life, in my case) A parent suffering from HAP will do their best to interfere with the relationship of a child with another person, usually the other parent or guardian. Such interferences could include using an older sibling to control the child, guilting the child into submission, or not allowing telephone, email or any other communication between the child and the other person…”
If your ex displays narcissistic traits, you need to visit this site. If more parents become aware of this behavior, maybe our voices will rise high enough to lead to ways “the system” will one day recognize it.
When I see this happening to my own children, I have learned I have to deal with the situation as neutral as possible, because unleashing the “mama bear” has never done any good. It wasn’t until I tried (as hard as I could) to stay neutral and react very little to behaviors, instead of the drama my ex was demanding at that time, that I started seeing changes in MY CHILDREN.
That is what is most important, right? Our focus needs to be on the kids and stay on them. I support Grant and Kristy in a positive way. I hug them or just listen, I don’t say anything negative about their father, and try to help them come up with solutions in which they are comfortable. I help them to learn to deal with a negative controlling personality, being careful to also enforce positive behaviors such as telling the truth and standing up for what is right. I do this all while my heart is breaking in a million pieces or I am so enraged I could shoot fire from my eyes. Friends and family ask me how I can do this so calmly.
I deal with it as best I can, and then have a big ol’ glass of wine once the kids are gone. It has taken a mighty long time to get here, and because it is what the kids need most. I have tried the other ways(screaming, crying, etc) and they failed for me.
It seems I am always playing defense when it comes to anything related to the divorce and Grant and Kristy. Lies are told to them constantly about me. Ted badgers them calmly but relentlessly from every angle he can until he gets them to believe what he wants them to believe. I lived through marriage with him, I know how he operates. What breaks my heart the most is how he focuses his intimidation on Grant and Kristy…mostly Kristy because Grant is his little “yes” boy and Kristy is a girl. Ted views women as beneath him, because that is how he thinks the Bible tells him to be. He calls women in power “feminazi’s” and constantly bashes women.
Grant and Kristy are just kids though. Kristy will say to me “Mom, he won’t let up! He just keeps going and going. He follows me around and won’t leave me alone.” She worries about drama he will create and then turn and guilt and blame her. I try to help her with answers for when this happens….again while boiling behind my smile….and half the time she will reply “I’m not strong enough to say that. It’s how I feel, but if I say it he will rip into me.”
I am really surprised I can stop at one glass of wine.