names have been omitted in this post
It was Friday evening… my daughter was back and I was looking forward to us spending time together. Her brightly hued tennis shoes sat by the front door where she had taken them off and hung her jean jacket. Dressed in dark leggings and a t-shirt with her school logo on it her beach blonde waves bounced around her face as she happily jumped up and down…
"I'm so glad to be back!" She exclaimed and I leaned down to hug her and caught a whiff of strawberry scented shampoo.
"I'm glad you're here! I have missed you. We have lots to catch up on." I smiled, my brown-green eyes sparkling at her.
I asked her if pancakes sounded good for dinner and she nodded enthusiastically. As we headed in the kitchen to retrieve syrup from the fridge along with eggs and milk to add to the Bisquick I spoke…
"So, hey… "I said as I grabbed a stainless steel mixing bowl off an open upper shelf "I wanted to ask you… I sent you a text every night this week at bedtime telling you goodnight. Did you get them?" I asked her.
She furrowed her brows and took a seat on the turquoise metal folding chair at the kitchen table nearby, watching me slowly pour Bisquick into a glass measuring cup.
"Nuh, uh… "She shook her head, meaning no. She tucked her hair behind her ears and then snapped the hair rubber band off her wrist to pull her hair into a ponytail instead. "I didn't get them. Daddy must be blocking your texts on my phone." She informed me. Thunder began rumbling in the distance to the west… severe thunderstorms were headed in our direction, warnings of more rain, heavy winds and possible flooding were possible as the weather channel gave us continual updates.
"Hmmm…" I replied as I cracked an egg and added it to the mixing bowl. "Have you talked to him about this? Because this isn't the first time this has happened. This is an ongoing thing." I told her.
"I have…" She sighed "But he always tells me stuff like well, your mother's phone must not be working… or it must be an internet problem… or something like that. He just lies." She shrugged.
"How does that make you feel? When he does that?" I asked her.
"Mad… " She replied in a dejected tone that pretty much implied she was beyond over him not being the parent he needed to be. Her tone conveyed it all. I could hardly blame her.
"You could just tell him that you know he's blocking the texts and call him on his behavior." I pointed out… "You could tell him that you know what he's doing and you don't agree with him blocking your texts. I don't block his communication. He can call you anytime he wants on my phone… which he does."
"Because he'll get mad." She told me. Lightning flashed outside and the sky thundered.
"So? So what? He gets mad. " I shrugged. "You're not responsible for how he feels." I pointed out. "You have a right to receive communication from the other parent… whoever you're with. He's the adult. You're the child and you shouldn't have to worry about whether he's mad or upset or whatever. You should be able to respectfully tell him that you know what he's doing, that he is overstepping one of your rights, one of your needs and you don't have to put up with it, period. You are a person not a piece of property." I told her, fed up with his manipulative childish shenanigans.
"I know!" She agreed "But he will get mad at me and yell at me!" She wailed.
"What's the worst thing that could happen?" I asked her, "If you stood up to him?"
"He could take my phone away and then I won't have any way to call you! Which he would do!" She exclaimed.
I exhaled and slowly poured some batter onto the hot skillet where it sizzled and began to set up… I set the bowl down and went to sit beside her in my knee length black leggings and oversized faded t-shirt. I slipped a bobby pin out of my hair re-adjusting it to hold the messy bun in place on my head... "You know what? It's important that you know how to set boundaries with people… regardless of whether they are family or not. Because there will be people in life who try to overstep what you want, what you need and just do what they want… learning to speak up for yourself is an important life skill sweet pea…" I explained to her gently… "It's not easy, but sometimes we have to do it. All of us, even grownups." We sat together and then I spoke "He is your dad. You must be respectful. Always. But you do have a right to speak up for what you need. The thing is… I get it that you don't want to do it. I understand that is where you're at right now… and in a way… that is totally okay. You're where you are and what you're comfortable with at this time. But it's so important to at least start thinking about what you could say… what you would say… just think about it, okay?" I asked her and gave her a hug.
Country singer Miranda Lambert sang the words...
"Can’t get revenge
and keep a
Country singer Miranda Lambert sang the words...
"Can’t get revenge
and keep a
That line may hold true for most folks but it seems for a narcissistic sociopath it is completely possible for them to do everything in their power to make you pay for breaking it off and yet he (or she) can appear completely innocent to the untrained eye of others.
The narcissistic sociopath is many things… he (or she) is someone who seeks image and materialism over giving and charity, ego over others, bragging over humbleness and more. But what the narcissistic sociopath truly loves, what he (or she) truly lives for is….
Ah, yes… the punisher.
When we break up with or divorce a narcissistic sociopath we erroneously believe that we are bringing the toxicity that we have endured for whatever length of time to an end. And in many ways we are… it's such a blessing as anyone knows who has lived with a crazy-maker to finally pull away from the driveway for one last time and sigh "That's behind me, thank God…. on to the new chapter." It's truth for anyone who has signed the divorce papers and said a prayer of thankfulness for having gotten out alive… it's sweet reality for the one who thankfully never has to bar the door again from the psycho they married because they are scared for their life… or not having to recoil from hurtful words anymore… or even worse nurse bruises or wounds from physical abuse… yes, when the ending finally arrives and the new chapter starts it is so incredibly freeing… but in some ways… especially where children are involved… the hell has just begun when we say "Goodbye".
Because the children become PAWNS. The children become the INSTRUMENT used to punish you. and yes… it works… it does punish you. Because one, it hurts you to see your children suffer. Because two, it frustrates you to no end to have to "deal" with the continuing crazy that the narc wields. But at the end of the day… it's your children that truly suffer… they are the ones who are truly punished.
How does he (or she) use the children as pawns? In what ways does the narcissistic sociopath punish?
Let's count the ways… there are so many… here are a few.
1. They block communication via phone, FaceTime, Skype, etc. They block texts, calls, etc.
2. They don't send back the children's medication, clothes, toys etc on exchange day.
3. They don't send you a health insurance card for the children.
4. They don't let you know about school plays, swim lessons, soccer games, doctor appts, etc.
5. They don't pay child support or it's always late.
6. They interrupt your phone calls or just hang up in the middle of your conversation.
7. They don't include your name in the school phone directory.
8. They don't include your information on the emergency card at the school.
9. They become involved way too soon with someone new and demand your child calls him or her mom/dad.
10. They grill your child about where you work, who you're dating, etc.
11. They keep trying to change the child custody schedule as they see fit and demand you agree or you won't see your children.
12. They keep threatening to seek full custody of the children.
13. They reply "Take me to court if you don't like it" when you voice reasonable dislike over their negative behavior.
14. They continue to bad mouth you to the children because you won't allow them to have the phone they (the narc) purchased for them in your home… because in reality you know it's likely bugged.
15. They take away anything you send with your child on exchange day and it mysteriously "disappears"… whether it's just personal hygiene items like deodorant or precious stuffed animals, gifts etc.
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