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77 thoughts on “When Your Kids Turn Against You In Favor of the Narcissistic Parent

  • August 6, 2017 at 10:55 pm
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    I so wish this article was around, when I left almost 20 years ago. I was almost a complete wreck before I left. The children’s reactions, though, were the hardest part of it all. It broke my heart. It wasn’t that I wanted a competition for their affection, I just needed them to respect the strength and courage I’d found somewhere within myself to leave a marriage that was abusive in every way. Their reactions to the situation weren’t what I’d even remotely believed they would be. The nightmare continues as your ex-partner continues to manipulate everyone with self pity and blaming others for his infidelities, alcoholism, black moods, bullying and anger.

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    • July 22, 2019 at 12:37 pm
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      Lyndi Lou, I was just reading this today, as I near the 20th anniversary of my divorce from the ex. I, too, wish I had known these things. After being married 10 years and being terrorized daily by him, the thought of his turning our child against me was so hard to take. Things are better now that she’s older, but my heart goes out to those who struggle with dealing with a narcissistic ex. I understand what you went through, and I hope you are doing all right now.

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  • August 8, 2017 at 2:56 pm
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    I am on the 3rd alienation attempt by my ex-narc and I didn’t even see it coming. Put the kids on the bus and that was the last time I saw it 14 years of raising my children and its all over never to see them again. They say they hate me and hope I die and I should just kill myself. But as I have been through many years of therapy and therapy now how does it help. My kids still feel the same way they aren’t back in their rooms I have no one at night the loneliest time and when the spiral starts swallowing me alive. My children are my heart they are what I lived for everyday they are what made me drive to be a better person and to achieve everything I did. I lost everything because of me ex my job, my strength, financial security, self worth. I feel like a zombie walking around with the living in a nightmare I cannot wake up from. This time I felt something break in me unlike before during the other 2 attempts something psychologically happened and there are days I do nothing but cry and stay in bed. How can these people walk around freely and do this to people why are they not charged criminally for what they do. It is a violation of human rights I have been tortured for 20years my children have been abused my whole family has been abused. Why is there nothing that can be done to make them stop?

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    • May 22, 2018 at 3:36 am
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      Hi erased mum, I am reading your story and it’s the same as mine, 14 years ! He got my daughter and he took my son at 8 and he refused to come back, my son is now 18 he will rarely answer a message, his father can do no wrong even though he took him and dumped him at his grandparents!
      And my 14 year old waited until I was walking the dog on mother’s Day and he picked her up and they just left, they stole her passport and turned off my cctv.
      When I called her she said I am not really her family her step mother was supposed to be her mum, both kids tell me that, then her phone was cut off and all contact,
      Social services tell me she’s 14 and I should just accept my daughter doesn’t want me or her step father.
      She had a great nice loving life, over time both kids turned nasty and made horrible comments and then they were gone, and it’s so hard to do anything to stop it.
      My hearts ripped out and I think about suicide daily, even having a husband doesn’t help that pain.
      I desperately trying at 42 tobhave more children because all I ever wanted was to be a mum years of abuse and I find myself saying I should have just stayed because I’d still have me kids and it sickens me.
      I get sick of the they will come back crap from everyone to who totally don’t get how powerful manipulators these evil people are.
      I now just tell myself I had children and shit down.
      I send my love to you, you aren’t alone and I know how the shame feels and everyone sides with the whack job and thinks they are great.
      We have to live on no matter what and I tell myself the children that were there are now gone and who knows who they are now.
      I was a good mum I did the best I could I hate myself but we have to realise that this is done to people like us because we are good parents it doesn’t work on bad ones.
      Live on tell yourself what you have to to ease your mind and heart, I do it’s so hard but one day who knows we’re our lives will be, my life changed in a heartbeat so many times there’s hope in that, stay strong, we survived vile abuse, I lost my home my job my kids, but he won’t get me hell no I will survive to make sure he knows he never killed me. Xxx

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      • May 14, 2019 at 4:29 pm
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        I know I went throught that and I broke the narcisst cycle ..have god in my life …and for the first time I am in peace with my inner child…I give everything to God…GOD has a plan for me and everyone that goes to him ….You cant honor GOD and the devil at the same time…..ONE WAY have GOD in your life and everything will be beautiful

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      • July 5, 2019 at 7:05 pm
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        The whole article describes my life. I will never understand why they would go to his side. He never raised them or cared about them. I did everything for them. But I know the devil is evil and he knows how to turn people against each other. I stay strong in my faith in God but I will always love my kids. I pray one day they change. The hurt is always there.

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    • February 16, 2019 at 11:45 am
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      I feel the same. My children are starting to turn on me. They are teenagers and their Father acts like a teenager. So, they are all happy to be verbally abusive towards me. It’s night and day. They can do as they please. He will never back me up or defend me. I’m very close to abandoning my children. Because, I have no way out. He has threatened to quit his job if I file for divorce. I can not support my children on my own. It’s literally hopeless….

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    • March 6, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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      To those parents struggling feeling so lost and hopeless… I want to give a word of hope. My mother is a narcissist. But when she left my father she manipulated us kids into believing our father was abusive and horrible. We did not know what narcissism was back then. We were useful idiots for our mother. We didn’t see it then. We grew up. We cut our father off for many years. It was not until I turned 29 that I reconciled with my father and found out about my mother’s lies and deceit. The guilt and pain I feel at this lost time with my innocent father is so immense, there are no words.
      So although your teens have cut contact and act like you’re their enemy now, it will catch up to them. They’ll regret it when it does. The epiphany won’t happen over night. It’ll take them years and experience and lessons in the real world. But it will happen someday. Don’t lose hope. They’re very young and extremely naive and parents who manipulate prey on their gullible children. My own ex narcissist husband is doing this to me and my kids, and my children are only 6 and 4. Its very very painful. But I hold to the hope from my own experience… Someday they’ll wake up from his spell.
      Best wishes to all of you suffering this inhumane gross injustice. Don’t give up. They will always be your children. And that connection is much stronger than any despicable manipulation a narcissist can muster.

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      • April 10, 2019 at 2:03 am
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        Thank you for the encouragement.

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      • May 7, 2019 at 1:03 pm
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        Thank you Moira! Reading your post gives me hope. My daughter is now 20 and she was manipulated at the age of 14 by her father. I dropped her off there for a visit with him and never to see her again. The hatred she has for me is indescribable. Everyone I tell says she will be back and realize but at this time as long as she is getting brainwashed I do not see the light. I am so happy that you reconnected with your father and realized all the false accusations about him were not true. I too hope that her life experiences and so on will open her up to see a new perspective on things.
        Thank you again!!

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      • September 5, 2019 at 3:16 pm
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        Thank you for this! I needed this hope today from a child that lived through it and eventually saw the light. Bless you and your children as you have to walk out your own traumatic situation. I pray God draws you three close together and I pray God protects all of your hearts and minds. Bless you!

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    • April 14, 2019 at 4:27 pm
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      This happened to me too, my kids came back one by one after 3 years… it sent me crazy and it still makes me sad and angry when I tell people..

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    • May 25, 2019 at 4:18 pm
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      Hello. My story is similar. I left my ex narc after 32 years of marriage and 2 adult children. Or to be truthful I was forced out of my home I helped make the mortgage payment on so he could be with his young girlfriend. I was destroyed broken hearted crushed and hoped and truthfully. Expected help and support from my two adult children. Didn’t happen. They sided with him. Said some horrible things to me and ghosted me pretty much out of they’re lives.
      I’ve been out now for 3 years and it continues. He’s the great one I’m just an annoyance.
      Grandchildren’s parties birthdays holidays he’s there and has to get his jabs in at me with the kids
      So the last 2 years I’ve set boundaries with the kids
      I will not attend these functions if he is there. It’s just too uncomfortable for me. I asked my daughter if she would alternate these special moments. Me one birthday attending. Him the next. I was told to get my girl panties on and take it. I didn’t and I won’t. I still acknowledge they’re birthdays and Christmas and other things but not with my ex narc and his mother. It would only take away from they’re special time. I tried after the divorce to participate and be around but he made it impossible. My point is don’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable because narcs want and need that.
      When you realize you have to take control
      And set boundaries it’s a stronger better place to be.

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    • May 29, 2019 at 1:23 pm
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      This same thing happened to me. I was the breadwinner and one day the door shut in my face. I left and he would not let me see my kids. I fought hard, cried till my eyes stung for weeks, was I. Such shock I lost weight, he stalked me in my new place so all blinds were closed for 2 years. I met a wonderful man who got me through. It’s now been 5 years. My once adored children remain estranged regardless of my attempts and apologies. I have never been more heart broken as my children were my hope and he used them as the ultimate punishment. He turned my mother and family on me too. He needed to make himself the only way back to my life. I am a proud person and just this week reached out for proper therapy. I had to save myself. If you need to talk I’m here.

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    • July 6, 2019 at 8:55 pm
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      Erasedmom75, I’m Dismissedmom666:I could have written your comment. It’s identical to my situation. What I don’t understand is the therapist saying, “Practice Acceptance. Don’t dwell on the negativity of it all. Drag yourself out of the cesspool and land on solid ground, where peace and sunshine abound. Don’t allow the narcissist to steal your joy, even if he/she manages to manipulate your children into his/her web of deception and ugliness.” My children were my peace, sunshine, love, joy and everything I lived for. Now that they are gone, my son for 17 years, my daughter 7, I don’t know what to do with my life. I have driven friends and family away because they don’t understand and got tired of me being depressed even when I tried my hardest not to be. I just didn’t have anything to talk about as they shared so much about their children. I eventually stopped going around people. I now live alone and do t socialize. I’m just existing not living. I work to pay bills and keep to myself at work and go home alone every night. Day in and day out it’s the same old thing. I have no joy in my life except my lil dog for companionship. He’s my lil buddy. But other than that I have nothing and therapists can’t help. I try to find joy in my life but it impossible. I’m lost and don’t know how to get out of this pain!

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      • July 19, 2019 at 12:03 pm
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        I suffer the same kind if loss. Havent seen or communicated with my son…my only child…for ten years. So I totally know the pain you describe. I decided to choose whether I wanted to live or die. It wasnt an easy choice. I knew choosing life would be harder. I chose it anyway. But I knew choosing life would mean choosing another life. Me would have to die. The former me. I enrolled in Neurogym and for the past year have been reprogramming my mind. I think of my life now as my third chapter. New friends. Future thinking only allowed. No past dwelling memories. I give myself to the needs of other children who need love and volunteer my time to make a difference when and where I can. I definately would get rid of your “dismissedmom666” as an identity. It is an evil and dark place you opt to identify yourself. Change it to something like “empoweredfuturemom333” and go find three children or organizations you can give your time. I have read to children at my local library. Currently I am exploring working with unwed young pregnant girls facing tough decisions. My worth is increasing everyday by makiing a positive impact on others. It never totally takes away the pain…particularly on holidays or on my son’s birthday. But I am on such a better path than before. And I always remind myself that we cannot see what tomorrow brings until tomorrow. I live in hope I will one day be with my son. And in the meantime I will strive to be the best I can be so he will be proud of what I did and who I served while we were apart.

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    • August 27, 2019 at 10:22 am
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      Dear Erased Mom.

      Hi, my name is Jill and I just read your post. It really touched my heart because my children turned on me in much the same way. My daughter has since had a change of heart but my son is still being manipulated by my ex.

      It seems like it should be illegal what these guys do to our children…putting such things in their heads! I just wanted you to know that you are not alone and that I said a Prayer for you today. I do hope that you do not give up and that your children have a change of heart soon.

      If you ever want to email me please email. Jill at igetyounoticed at gmail

      God Bless,

      Jill

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  • August 8, 2017 at 7:18 pm
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    You were right in what you said but have missed the most important point.

    Yes I have friends that have children that were full blown addicts, serious medical condition and see them do what they can to assist (sometimes the hardest is to see them partly recover and giving them $ and them relapsing and learning not to fund the habit) and realize they are not in control (their children are individuals). The parent may be removed from their children but that natural remains and are either sure or simply do not know if their children are being psychologically abused and can do nothing. Many of us would die for our children if it would free them from the psychological torture they are experiencing but know that if we did die the it would not help them and maybe make it worse.

    Practice Acceptance: That your children are being abused in a way that may impact the rest of their lives and future relationships and one is prevented from helping those that we love! The ability to let go of things that we cannot change is one perspective.

    What you missed is what we can do. Preparing ourselves so that we are in a position to help our children when one day they may turn to us for an explanation is something we can focus upon. We need to do this as relentlessly as the narcissist that is inflicting the pain.

    How to do this while trying to form a new and healthy relationship with a new person is the challenge (concealing is impossible and revealing is fraught with disbelief and something being wrong) that you may consider writing about (so we do not fall into the Loneliness Epidemic)!

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  • August 8, 2017 at 7:28 pm
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    “People are hoodwinked and don’t even realise it”. Although not a parent have experienced this with family of origin who decided to listen to the abuser. Perhaps one day they will really see the situation for what it is, or maybe not. I’ve just had to get on with things. At least having no contact means that I’m not surrounded by the drama any more.

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  • August 9, 2017 at 9:43 am
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    “And if you talk to your own kids about the situation you are drawing them into the middle of your relationship problems with their other parent – which is a big ‘no no.'”. sometimes. My greatest challenge, and I was awarded custody by the court, was to talk to my children – in an age appropriate manner – about the elephant in the room, without drawing them into the middle. Obviously, children are in the middle, but it was my experience it can be equally unhealthy to NOT “talk to your own kids about the(ir) situation”. The value of a competent, professional therapist is important, but I believe the love and support of a competent parent is more important. It goes without saying, this can open up any number of legal cans of worms, and these conversations should be initiated by the child(ren). And, again, any advice or counsel on the part of competent counselors/therapists is never a bad thing. My children were 5 and 8 when the split occurred, and they are now late teens and early 20’s. As such the “talks” (and we still have them) are age appropriate (and as with the talks as youngsters, the subject or content focused in their feelings and observations, as opposed to mine, the Court’s, etc.). What I have discovered, and this is my experience alone, is; the children of narcissists can develop empathy (as evidenced by their feelings about the non-narcissistic parent and/or empathy toward friends/colleagues who had/have a narcissistic parent are in a relationship with a narcissist). This of course, suggests they might be on the way to “breaking the cycle” of narcissism.

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    • September 1, 2018 at 11:06 pm
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      Hi Matt Foley’s Twin, 1st time here so hoping you’ll see this or be notified! I feel/think/act similar to this approach… pondering all aspects & possible outcomes before reacting, with my child’s best interest always 1st & foremost! Years of silent suffering finally paid off; children are always observing & coming to their own conclusions, he’d buried himself (tho victory shadowed by seeing the pain he’d arrogantly inflicted upon her)… & short lived as he quickly upped his manipulative ammo; I’ve been in a puzzled limbo tho, as she’s reverted & kinda shutdown again recently…
      So if u could share some examples with any words of wisdom/positive & negatives outcomes – it’d be greatly appreciated!

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    • February 12, 2019 at 5:59 am
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      People don’t realize that kids ARE (will be) caught in the middle of any divorce. It cannot be avoided, and the best that you can hope for is that it be minimized.

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  • August 9, 2017 at 2:05 pm
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    Due to the illness of narcissism, the ONLY escape is GOD. This type of manipulation is a mental illness at it’s peak. They are delusional and really do believe they are the victim. After $18000.00 in child custody battles, winning every time, I released my son at age 17 to his mafia father in order to protect him from his father using his as a pawn, and essentially putting our son in a position to have to “pick a parent”. I also may never see him again:(, however I am the most proud mom there is. I raised him to get a 31 out of 36 on his act’s! I provided a “stable” environment for him. If I had to do it all over again…I would do the same thing. Too bad courts can’t recognize master manipulators of emotional child abuse.Keep the faith! The truth will prevail.

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  • August 9, 2017 at 3:30 pm
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    At honestly, I now have courage and strenght to choose to leave the unhealthy and habitual relationship with my narcissist mother who still brainwashes my family siblings being older than I am to start the new life by separating from them. Fortunetly my best licensed, clinical psychotherapist with Ph.D., my close friends, my staff members in my best teams, and others in the safe, secure and healthy environment in my residence in our safe community, all are openly understanding, and very, supportive to me at best. In a fact I continue to feel better in progress on pace. Regards, Christa

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  • August 13, 2017 at 9:51 am
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    My children are both grown adults and my NARC divorce is fairly fresh. Reading these blog posts on NARC over the past three-year process of a divorce [after 34yrs.] has helped me sustain a therapeutic perspective. Witnessing the entire country dealing with our unelected Super NARC has provided a useful metaphor and daily reminder also. My first reaction was to immediately share this article and the comments with my children. However, Matt Foley’s Twin, “Obviously, children are in the middle, but it was my experience it can be equally unhealthy to NOT “talk to your own kids about the(ir) situation”. The value of a competent, professional therapist is important, but I believe the love and support of a competent parent is more important.”, really struck a chord with me. I have decided to reach out to both of my children whom I haven’t heard from in several weeks just to see how “they are doing”.
    THX to all that have shared here. Sharing a common language is extremely helpful…

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    • February 18, 2019 at 10:56 am
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      Good morning Jcamp!
      I understand this forum is fairly dated, but I’m curious. What was the outcome when reaching out to your children?

      Tracy in Oregon..

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  • August 13, 2017 at 10:53 pm
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    Gosh, this is exactly my story and even as a therapist I have been at loss as to what to do about it. He generated such hatred in my daughter against me and there was nothing to be done it seemed. After years of keeping the door open, staying in contact with her, putting up with verbal abuse, I finally just gave up and turned the page. She knows my door is always open and I love her to death. Continuing on that path was just awful for my mental health, so I did what I felt I needed to do–hard as it is. Thank you so much, Sharie. I’ve finally found a bit of sanity in this mess. Hugs, Donna

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    • November 4, 2018 at 3:45 am
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      This is exactly my current situation. My soon to be narcissistic ex has poisoned both my adult children aged 25 and 22 years against me. Married for 28 years in what I always thought was a happy relationship. His behaviour changed 3 years ago and he put me through hell, accusing me of being unfaithful. In fact he is with someone else. He started a smear campaign, claiming he was the victim because I started divorce proceedings but only after I was advised by him of his intention to do the same. He spent a week with my daughter after which I received the most heartbreaking letter from her. She doesn’t want me to attend her graduation ceremony after 4 years of supporting her both financially and emotionally. She want nothing else to do with me. He has even used his solicitor to manipulate the situation with my daughter.
      He threatened on more than one occasion “you will have no family, no friends and even your children won’t want to know you. I will leave you financially ruined “
      It seems he has almost achieved this, he is currently trying to get spousal maintenance in our financial settlement. I have near encountered such evilness. It is leaving me numb.

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      • January 2, 2019 at 6:16 pm
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        Hello Jeanette. I’m so sorry you have gone through this! My ex has done the same to my two adult girls, but was not able to succeed with my youngest boy, as he calls me now just to keep in touch. I discovered this site last night, but it’s been a year now since I last spoke to my oldest daughter, and when I tried calling my younger daughter, she hung up on me.

        I’m not sure if you will receive this message.

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      • May 5, 2019 at 8:44 pm
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        Hi, this is happening to me too and it’s been 28 years for me also. I only have the one son and he’s 27. He is the only child I could ever have after an emergency hysterectomy. Even that wasn’t enough to stop him being abusive towards me, I didn’t actually know what abuse was back then. I suppose I thought the smear campaign would begin if I left my partner, that’s really what made me stay with him. But my son has even started to think that he’s abusive towards me because I deserve it in some way. I know how awful I sound but I’m prepared to just walk away. He has brainwashed him into believing a lie and I just can’t live with it. He doesn’t abuse alone either, his mother and brother cover for him. I really feel that my son and I were just thrown into the lions den really as they knew he was a bully but told me it was my bad attitude that caused it. The trouble is, you can keep trying harder and harder but it will never work because they change the rules each time and you don’t know how to play the game,nor do you wish to. They will never change not ever, no matter what you do. Because they feel entitled to behave this way.

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  • August 15, 2017 at 9:20 am
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    Finally, I have found an article addressing a burning question that I have faced. It pains me terribly that my still narc wife has turned my own children against me and keeps them and my very young grandchildren away from the family home.

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  • August 20, 2017 at 1:37 pm
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    I’m scared and when stumbled across this article today I wonder if it was fate. I spent 2006-2010 in an abusive relationship with a narcissist/sociopath. He ended up with custody of our son in 2013, it was supposed to be temporary, but then he disappeared. He reached out a year later but then spent these past 3 years using our son as a way to continue to terrorize, torment, control, and abuse me. He is always moving (mostly getting kicked out & evicted for the drinking, abuse with women, and general violence) Neighbors have filed over 2 dozen reports to social services against him, but he lives in New Hampshire, where it’s legal to hit your child “as long as he’s not breaking bones or covering the child in bruises” (this is what the DCYF investigator told me, although I can’t believe that’s true.) Of course my ex is a master manipulator and charmer and every report has been investigated by women & end up “unfounded.” (Apparently the excuses “everyone is crazy, drunk or an addict” and “the neighbor just said these things because I turned down her sexual advances towards me” keep working like a charm.) My ex had another child with a different women who is a heroin addict currently in jail. Now his new wife is an active heroin addict, alcoholic, who suffers from bipolar and possibly borderline personality disorder. She has been arrested buying drugs with the kids in the car, charged with child endangerment (plus has a previous history of this charge as well as abusing her own children, which is how she lost all custody & visitation with her own kids), but since she’s not my son’s or his sister’s birth mother, NH said they can’t do anything about it. I tried to stand up to my ex. I tried to cooperate with DCYF, and tell them the truth about the abuse my son faces and who my ex really is, but they said after hearing my story it seems like I should be “more focused on all my trauma” (I’ve been in therapy and in DV shelters for years still afraid of him.) Then my ex once again cut off all my contact with our son. It was my punishment for “betraying him.” A month later, my ex calls me drunk saying his wife left, got a restraining order against him, bought a gun, and he’s scared for the children. He admitted to her abusing our son and their drunken brawls in front of the kids. He apologized to me for everything and let me see our son again finally. When my ex realized I still didn’t want to sleep with him, he went back to his wife, and now they’ve disappeared with our son. I don’t know what to do. I can’t find them. We live in 2 different states. I have 2 other children, who live with me and they miss their brother too. I wish I could just cut my crazy ex out of my life, but I need to find my son. I’m scared to go against him in court because he’s threatened to disappear with our son and made it clear he doesn’t care what he has to do, but I’m not taking “his boy.”

    Sorry this is so long. I’ve been trying to let go of things I can’t control, but how do you let go of your 8 year old son? Finding the person who abused and almost killed you 7 times, the person you are most afraid of, in order to find the child you love so much? I would risk my life if I didn’t have 2 other kids who need me.

    In the meantime I’ve been trying to rebuild the life he destroyed. I’ve rebuilt my support system, been in therapy, developed great coping skills that along with new hobbies, I take classes online, I’m getting an apartment soon and plan to get a security system put in place. I’m trying not to let him control me with fear anymore. I write letters in a journal to my son to give him when he’s an adult one day. I know my ex will call me the next time his wife leaves him, I just wish I knew the best way to handle it. I’ve been calm, even told him I forgave him, that I just wanted to find a way to co-parent that would best benefit our son. He’ll agree then change his tone a few days later. Everything always comes back to the year he spent in jail for kidnapping and almost killing me. (I could’ve put him away for 20 years, I wish I had, but it was back in 2010 after I ended things for good, I still thought he could change.) He still blames it on me, and it becomes the reason he can’t trust me.

    Please help! Anyone?

    If I get him to court by some miracle, I still have to convince everyone I’m telling the truth. Our son is too afraid to speak against his father to anyone now. He tried telling the truth years ago but his father convinced people “he was a storyteller” then our son paid dearly.

    Would court-ordered psychological testing help?

    My ex doesn’t have empathy or understand love, he says he only knows anger, rage, and jealousy. So he’s spent his life, (over 40 years,) watching people. learning to mimic emotions, even cry on command. He’s always in complete control of his emotions, except when he gets mad, but in public he mostly holds it in until later. It’s a skill he says took awhile to master. The last time I stood up to him in court, he slipped up, he clenched up and his eyes went blank & dark, he got the “I’m going to kill you if you don’t shut up” look. The ADA saw it and knew I was telling the truth right then. But she was one of the few. Most people see a charming, responsible, dad who loves his kids.

    …if they only knew the monster behind the mask.

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    • July 9, 2019 at 12:52 pm
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      My heart goes out to you and I hope someone who reads this can help you. It is such a shame that these men are so good at manipulation and so sad that our children don’t see it until it’s too late. You have had a tremendous life, and you’ve got some strength in you that could only be heaven sent. I pray you find your son and find the peace you deserve.

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  • August 29, 2017 at 9:54 pm
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    Excellent post! When my abusive ex of 20 years walked out on me and our two boys in ’09 he worked hard to turn people against me, even my boys. My youngest son never bought into it, but my oldest who was 17 at the time became very bitter towards me over the next couple years and would spew things at me which left me shaking and crying after he was gone. My family and friends always told me to not speak ill of his father and to just keep quiet, because they all said that one day my son would come around, he would learn the truth for himself. Today our relationship is better, but honestly, I regret not speaking my truth at least once in a bold manner, instead of constantly remaining quiet. I look back now and see how my quietness probably said to my son that his father’s accusations against me were true.

    But it is a fine line of not dragging the kids clear into the middle and yet not letting your voice be drowned out by the abuser.

    I would say it’s important at least once to speak loudly and clearly about your truth of the situation if and when your child comes at you with hatred and scorn which your ex placed in them.

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  • December 11, 2017 at 8:47 pm
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    Omg, this is my life!!, my son at 29 years old turned on me in favor of his mentally abusive father……since he was 3 years old his father has been brainwashing him against me. I saw what he was doing and finally got enough courage to leave. But I couldnt stop the visits with his dad and he continued to abuse my son. I felt powerless, i tried going to councelling and getting letters sent to his dad about the harm he was causing my son, to no avail…….thank you thank you for writing this piece….finally I feel validated in what I was feeling……..i will take this advice and try to work through what is going on now…..thank you again..

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  • December 20, 2017 at 7:07 am
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    left dv in nov 2015 with two nearly adult children, 18 and 16 at the time. From the moment I took a lawyer for the civil matter who threatened him of restrain order if he continues to psychologically abuse me, he had already financially, emotionally, socially (isolation by taking me from Europe to Australia) abused me for 20 years and physically abused me in the last steps of our separation. From that moment onwards he stopped himself to abuse me but turned the children against me. They didn’t or didn’t want to realise that they were his weapon.
    Only time and distance from my adult son (18) who moved 800kms away for Uni has brought my son some respect to me since he isn’t more involved daily with his father against me. My daughter (16) is still taking advantage of both sides as long as she’s got what she wants. I don’t play her game, one parent against the other and that brings her tantrums. But I stay on my line and she’s not allowed to overdraw it.

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  • December 20, 2017 at 3:44 pm
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    I left my ex after 23 years of marriage. The kids stayed with him. I stayed close by and soon enough, my ex started behaving toward them as he did toward me. Now one son is living with me and the other has moved to another city. They understand now.

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  • December 20, 2017 at 6:46 pm
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    Any suggestions for people who see a daughter getting involved with a narcissist on how to help her see the type of person he is before she is too damaged by the situation or tied in by the arrival of children. To late for us but it might help other families.

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    • April 8, 2019 at 8:46 pm
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      Obtain a copy of the book “The Charm Syndrome ( why charming men make dangerous lovers)”. I have lent my copy of it to a number of delusional women and once they read it and wake up to the manipulation being used on then , it becomes an immediate wake up call. The link-up is the techniques applied . l did not realise in the twenty years l was with my partner , that everything he did was ways of controlling me and trust me l beat myself up for not seeing it. But once outside of the emotional abuse , things start to fall into place and you line up incidents that happened. A close friend of mine whose husband had been playing away for many years and they had three children, she threatened to get a divorce. He got all dramatic whipping the children into hysteria and saying he was going to hang himself from the loft hatch. The upshot was my friend dropped all conversation of a divorce , but the youngest child slept the night on the floor outside their bedroom for fear his dad would do something dreadful. When she was telling me all this , l made the comment” so he got what he wanted then?”, she retorted “what do you mean” and l replied “well the subject of you divorcing him never came up again”, then she understood. He wanted it all , the wife / kids /nice home , and the freedom to s–g away. I can well understand how the experts loose all patience , as it’s true , you as the victim , are far to close to see the motives involved. But the book l recommend is in part about five cases where the names are changed to protect the people it is about. Once you equate to the thinking process for what these people do , it’s true is is narcistic tendencies. I suppose it’s what makes us all the more gullible and the difference between men and woman. Yet we are made too feel guilty for even having suspicious thoughts and before you know it , you will go along with anything just for the peace / quiet / tranquillity of getting through the day

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  • January 2, 2018 at 8:16 pm
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    Reading this I know I am not alone and I feel validated. I wish I would have discovered this years ago- I would have done everything differently! I have kept quiet for years, in fact, I have done everything to support a relationship with his dad-thinking that was the best thing for my son. The whole time having faith that he would get older and see the light. Being where I am now, I would do this differently-I would have fought for full custody and never encouraged the relationship with his dad. I have worked so hard to provide him with a stable, loving home with a stepfather that is everything you would hope a father would be and awesome step sibling and a half sister. My son is 15 and even though he has admitted his dad has anger issues, he is being seduced with a car, unlimited gaming and no rules or accountability when it comes to anything. He has been convinced by his dad that his friends and teachers are terrible people and he would be better off moving to where his dad lives. In our state the law is on my side but I do not have my son’s heart or head. My family and I are devastated, we are praying to God constantly that he will intervene. I can not imagine letting go of my son. He is pushing all of us away and treating us all with huge disrespect. My heart goes out to all of you-this is incredibly painful for all of us-consuming. I finally spoke my side to my son and shared the truth about who his dad is underneath all the charisma-I felt like staying quiet was not working. I did my best to be as kind as I could and talk about his dad as respectfully as I could. However, my son shared with his dad what I said and his dad, he didn’t want to hear ugly things about his dad-I totally understand that. Of course, his dad responded in furry and deeper manipulation-speaking the truth only pushed him toward his dad. It is so hard to find the balance in what to say when it gets to this point. I do have an amazing therapist and her advice is to leave your child out of the middle. I know that part of my son is seeking acceptance and validation from his dad but he can only get it if hates the rest of us. How do I re-engage my son in our home with our family?

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    • August 13, 2018 at 2:47 am
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      I hope things have gotten better since yiu wrote this. My situation is so similar to yours in many ways. My son is 17 and left to live with his father in June. My ex always worked to try to turn both sons against me but only succeeded with this one. It is devastating. I too tried to take the high road with my ex and not interfere with the relationship. I have lost my son now to him now and haven- t heard from my son except for hateful nasty texts amd then silence. I wrote because i understand and maybe it helps to know it happened to someone else too. I wish you well.

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      • August 14, 2018 at 2:38 am
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        It happens way more often than you realize. I hear these stories all the time. Never give up.

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    • March 25, 2019 at 7:36 am
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      It’s been a year since you wrote this post. Has anything changed with your son? I’m just courious.

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  • January 17, 2018 at 8:26 pm
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    OMG!! I just found you all … Thanks for being here …

    My story is not my husband, but his toxic narcissistic parents who when our daughters were little brainwashed them, against me and when I asked they said they were just being kids- then as teens body shamed the girls and told them they weren’t true granddaughters as my husband’s younger brother’s kids were true granddaughters. (he had divorced the woman who had a kid by anotherhr the two of them).
    Both of his parents told them (daughters)the reason we had nothing was because of me and I wanted to stay home and eat everything in sight. WHAT ? I stayed home as my husband wanted his daughters to come home to someone there not like when he was growing up.
    The parents have told all the family any and every conversation that we have had.. and fortunately when I found all this out- I just stopped talking to them and really started finding out from other relatives and family members what was said. It wasn’t pretty, every conversation I had ever had with them the whole immediate family and other relatives knew about. I also found out she was totally putting me down and making herself the savior of my daughters. The woman says she has forgotten so much but she manages to throw things up into my face about the past ie: old cars, 2nd hand clothes etc… So I just stopped talking to them and told his aunt who is just about as narcissistic as the both of the parents I was done with their attitude, drama, lies, domineering, bullying, lecturing (oh yes his Dad loves to lecture as he thinks everything he says is the right way to do things which are of the 1950’s), which she promptly told them and their reply was they couldn’t figure out what they had done. WHAT?. I am 17 years younger than his mother and 20 years younger than his father.
    His parents are now into their 80’s/late 70’s, she had a heart transplant at age 42 and regrets it every since. He is a wife beater as his wife lies like a rug. She has tried to commit suicide by not taking her pills twice that I am aware of.
    I have told my husband which puts him in a difficult spot in life I want nothing to do with his parents nor his family. Come to find out three of the family including my husband have CAD -coronary artery disease -which runs rampant in the family genes.
    Even my grown daughters have walked away from his family-but not unscathed, and both had to seek professional help. The oldest daughter has 3 beautiful daughters and it has taken its toll on their relationship with me as all three must be present and they must record their conversations with me so that Mom can make sure I am not treating them like her grandparents did to her and her sister.
    Suggestions ? ideas? Other than the silent treatment which makes them very angry they cannot find out about their great granddaughters or our daughters or even what my husband and I are doing. My husband does go over to their house to see them but for only a small window of time. He says he knows they have hated me since the day we met.

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  • May 29, 2018 at 3:22 pm
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    Such a validating read for those of us who know this reality and keep trying to figure out how this could happen. Something I have read about “Stockholm Syndrome” is starting to resonate for me. My understanding is that my children and other family members end up aligning with the abuser, because they have observed how cruel and hurtful she can be and they would rather be on her team and stay safe. It is about fear and survival. It shows how powerful and oppressive these people are. It also helps me to understand how this can happen and why our children align with the abusive person. It takes a lot of courage and strength to take a stand against someone who seems to have all the power. They are fragile bullies and they are convincing liars… they can’t handle the truth and they are scary people. We are afraid of going up against a type of evil. It is very overpowering to do on your own. In a family, if everyone stood strong, it would topple the bad guy but their are always dissenters that weaken the chain of personal power. I still have a broken heart but I am pushing forward hoping that being true to myself and living with integrity will eventually feel good enough. I pray for a joyful heart for myself and all of us. These types of articles are so valuable in helping maintain ones sanity…and
    “be with those who support your being”-Rumi

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    • May 30, 2018 at 2:07 am
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      Wow, that was well said! Thank you!

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  • June 21, 2018 at 12:33 pm
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    I just found this and it couldn’t come at a better time. I left my narcissist ex 18 years ago after noticing signs of abuse, violence, and alcoholism very early on. It has been a nightmare dealing with him co-parenting our two sons since. I have maintained my ground, as best I can. I have fallen several times due to exhaustion, ended up in counseling, experienced many smear campaigns, before knowing what they were, and even found myself turning to substance abuse after a few defeats over the years where he humiliated me and tore them from me once again. Always, in the end, the boys knew I was solid and that our home was home. Now, my oldest has been, once again, subjected to another smear campaign against me and turned from me. I feel it starting all over again. Finding myself trying to defend my character, explain to him the real truth of things that happened long ago when he was a baby, and the whole time wondering why this man continues to harass me all these years later. He’s had another marriage end due to abuse, verbal and physical, as well as alcoholism. I fear my son is developing these exact qualities no matter how hard I tried to keep him from seeing his father behave this way. I am now isolated and the one wearing the Scarlet Letter once again. I appreciate your article. I needed the guidance and the encouraging words. I guess only time will tell and I can only pray for the best. I know I have not done anything wrong to warrant such an attack against me yet again. He’s simply a very angry, jealous person and hates that I have a relationship with our oldest son at all. He leaves our youngest boy alone, actually treats him like an outcast because he’s closer to me. It’s sick behavior. I think some days that these people should be punished for the abuse they inflict on others, yet they go through life never really caring who they hurt, even their own children. He feeds my oldest boy alcohol and encourages him to adopt the same disease he, himself, has. He encourages him to treat women the exact same way he does. My boy has no chance at a healthy relationship in his future. I worry every day….

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    • January 2, 2019 at 9:11 pm
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      Angela, I believe that there will come a day of reckoning for what these people are doing.
      I too have fought long and hard to maintain my sanity in my “twisted” marriage. I somehow thought that I was doing the right thing (although I was miserable). I’m so glad to be free of him and the drama, but so sad that my adult daughters have been taken in by his lies. I pray they will see the light one day.

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  • July 2, 2018 at 5:29 pm
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    I found such hope in reading your stories. I’ve been married to a narcissist and his narcissistic family for 20 years. I tried getting out of it 4 times only to be lured back with empty promises and years of punishment.
    When I gave in mentally and emotionally and kept the peace by not defending myself and just learning to say “i’m sorry i’ll try harder” all for the “sake of the children” (14 and 17) They suffered with me and were also a target when I wasn’t reacting and they cried and complained bitterly. But he has money, I don’t – had such control over my life. 2 years ago I nearly died. All from stress, in my 20 years of marriage – 22 surgeries – 12 of which were over the last two years. I have a pacemaker, damaged kidneys and liver and auto-immune disease – all because of “bottling up”. The church was also fooled by him and his family who knew the bible back to front and wore their church mask. 2 weeks ago – I was literally chased down the street to get away from him because he was forcing me to go to counselling where he would anialate me. He loved it. I refused (we were dragged before the church and made to apologise for our fighting) he didn’t care, but I broke completely. He took the keys for the car and house and I didn’t go back after he chased me (I had my clothes on my back and handbag) I worked for him 20years. Nothing to show. No money, no friends – he didn’t allow me to. My daughter and I are ……..were best friends, I was a full time mom (worked for him too) and ran around fir my kids every day if my life for 17 years. I have been homeless for two weeks – found a shelter. My dad who has leukaemia is leaving my sick mom with parkinsons and scoliosis and myolosis at home to come and help me at the court next week. He booked a place to stay so he could get fetch my kids to come see me, I am too scared to go back.
    They have sent me hate mail, phones off. Got hold if them tonight – only to be told they don’t really want to see me, they need to stay with daddy and sister and spend time with them ?!?! Since when has he ever been available to spend time with them. I was devastated, they have been totally brainwashed into thinking I wanted to leave, i’m selfish, i’m mentally unstable, I don’t care about them. And I cant tell them the truth – it will hurt them more – last time I left he said “you give me the plot and you can have the kids”.
    I read your article just in time and then the comnents – OH MY WORD – I want to scream to the wirld – DO SOMETHING PLEASE – but at least there is this little spot where you can share hope. And though I’ve been “handed over to the devil” because I am divorcing him, I know I am a christian, only God has been there for me – the people that say they will be there for you anytime – suddenly scatter and don’t want to get involved.
    I have no idea what thr future holds let alone the next week, but I hope these posts of hope keep coming in, we can’t let them get away with this.

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  • July 10, 2018 at 9:42 am
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    This article is spot on, as far as I’m concerned. I, too, left a narcissistic spouse after 27 years of marriage, finally divorced two years later, in May, 2018. After suffering the classic abuse (devaluation, alienation, gas lighting, etc.) and constantly being in defense mode, I am still suffering the fact that my adult children approve of/tolerate any of their father’s behavior, yet I’m still treated as a second-class citizen. My husband lives/works 30 minutes from my grown son (who has constantly reached out to him), but couldn’t be bothered to see him for 7 months. He FINALLY took him out to dinner with colleagues to save the expense of a birthday dinner for our son (in addition to including people my son had never met) and my son and his gf were so excited. I see my son and his girlfriend a couple of times a month, bringing over dinner and watching their dog. I took them and my daughter out to a birthday dinner for him that cost $300! that I paid for (my son clearly chose the most expensive place he could find to “stick it to me”). My son challenges me/discounts me just as he has witnessed his father treat me. I moved my daughter’s stuff from two different places on two different weekends recently (because she knows her father will never help her) and when I ask her if she has time on one evening when my cousin is in town to meet us (a month in advance!), she doesn’t have time. She would jump for her father and his family, yet he can barely be bothered with either one of his children. They all go to a summer house that requires a ride over on a boat, and he will only give them a ride when it’s convenient for him. However, they see it completely differently. They will accept any nugget of attention/support he gives them. I’m upset that these intelligent young adults don’t see the differentiation in my behavior, compared to his. In light of these past recent incidents, I have told them that I need to distance myself from ALL of the people I care about the most who consistently put me last when I put them first. I have to put myself first. So, as this article states, I need to “make my position known” and I did. I do believe I have to go “no contact” with all, because they all impact me. As painful as it is, because I love my children so. HOWEVER, if we are all talking about recovery here, aren’t we continuing potential residual abuse by children that don’t acknowledge/support/consider our position and feelings by how they treat us (as their father did) and we continue to interact with them? In essence, my kids are acting the same way their dad did.

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    • October 28, 2018 at 4:43 pm
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      I so agree Alison! Are we not ‘feeding’ their narcissistic behavior with our own attempt at being a good parent and not involving them in our divorce?!
      It has backfired on me big-time. Part of me wants to scream from the top of the mountain about the infidelities, abuse, lies perpetuated by their father….But I know I would only bring more pain on my children.

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  • July 16, 2018 at 9:53 pm
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    Great article. Great advice. I’ve been the alienated parent and it sucks. One day your kids are hugging you and think you are the greatest and almost overnight they are brainwashed agains you and say “I hate you…you are a liar….you don’t even care about us….etc”. But I’ve learned it’s important to keep your faith in God and let go of the things you cannot control and focus on the things you can. If you focus on the terrible things that have happened to you, you then risk seeing the world as a victim and you risk mis-interpreting many normal childhood behaviors as acts of war by the “Alienating, Narcissistic” parent. This only makes things worse. Instead let go… focus on moving your life forward..be positive at all times especially with the kids…and if your good example is not enough ….that’s OK…be patient… they will come back to you some day.

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  • August 21, 2018 at 12:22 pm
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    Hi all,
    Wonderful article and comments. I was beginning to think I was crazy; didn’t even understand that my ex was a narcissist. In my case, I carried an 8 year relationship with the narc, during which he manipulated me into believing that I should stay with him, although he was married for a large part of those years. Luckily for me after 8 years of feeling worthless and that no one else would love me because my skin was not perfect enough, or everything I said was inappropriate, or I wasn’t skinny, etc etc, something happened that saved me from him. I got pregnant on the pill! When I held my daughter in my arms, I knew that all the love I ever needed was her. Unfortunately, as a few of you said, I bought into the idea that it was best that she had a relationship with her father and so she did. Since we were never married, and I was young and stupid, I didn’t pursue child support. When he settled down with his second wife when my daughter was 6, he started picking her up every other weekend, occasionally canceling on our daughter or picking her up to drop her off all weekend at his sister’s house together with the siblings from his prior marriage. I tried to tell my daughter that daddy and I both loved her and that some times adults got busy and that’s why daddy wasn’t picking her up. Eventually, at his house, she learned that he had been married to the other kid’s mother but not me, that’s why she had my last name (he never gave her his last name). Then my narc divorced again, when my daughter was 11, and married another narc, like him. That’s when my real problems began! Subtle, but surely, I was stripped of Mother’s Day with my daughter, Christmas with her, and had to plan vacations around a schedule that he would email me as HIS DAYS. By the time she was 15, she was having problems in school and I had to give up on most outings with her on my weekends because the narc refused to do homework with her when she was visiting him, and I knew she would fail if I didn’t.
    Then she said she would move in with him at 16 and that he would call me to let me know when he was coming to get her. I managed to diffuse that one and keep her focused in school. I’m proud to say that she surpassed the struggles she had faced with reading through a lot of hard work and was in an early enrollment program in college in her junior year in HS. The narc was enraged about her having too much work for college and having to skip some days with him for college group projects, etc. I reminded him that she was 17 and needed to focus in school now. She drove by herself then, so she used the car I gave her to go visit him outside the weekend schedule when he guilt tripped her. We managed through it and silence did help me through that ( not a bad comment about dad). Finally, she got into the university of her choice, supported only by me and left (600 miles away).
    I thought I had managed to avert this situation with him and new wife that always sounded fishy to me, although I never had a definition for it (narcissism). However, the new wife had now spent 8 years helping him brainwash my daughter. 6 months after moving away to college they convinced her to leave her university and go move in with them and attend the local (not as good) university there. When I disagreed she turned on me and hardly speaks to me now. She says I never wanted her to have a relationship with her dad, that I was always unhappy about her going out with friends because she had to do schoolwork all the time when she was with me, and that I acted crazy when she told me she was leaving her school to go move in with him at 19 because I begged her not to do it and kneeled down crying in front of her begging to please listen to me.

    My heart breaks, she saved me from the narc and I feel like I fed her to him.

    I hope this can help those of you who can still save your kids. Don’t trust! If you needed to run away from a narc, don’t think it’s over, please talk to your children, do not stay quiet like me, or give excuses for the narc in order for your children not to suffer. When dealing with a narc, you need to forget everything you thought a good parent should do or be. You have to realize that the narc will play dead to see how far he/she gets. Run for your life with your kids if you can. I should have ran with her when she was a toddler and he was not interested in her.
    I’ve lost my daughter and my entire life now because of the grief I feel.
    A while ago a picture of my daughter, dad, and stepmother was posted by stepmother on Instagram with the tag #theyareallmine. This was a month before my daughter said she was leaving her university to move in with them. They are evil people. Please be careful if you are in a situation with a narc. I got two for the price of one!
    My daughter doesn’t speak to her half sister, who saw her narc father for what he was and ran away from him the minute she turned 18. Her half brother still comes around but my daughter doesn’t speak much with him either because stepmother is turning her against him too.
    She speaks to me for less than 5 minutes maybe once a week. I hope that continues until she grows up enough to maybe see for herself.

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  • October 11, 2018 at 11:20 am
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    My narc ex wife left me 5 years ago and the two sons went with her…they all ‘divorced‘ me. We had an idyllic marriage, family, and the proverbial white picket fence…so I thought. I went through an emotional meat grinder hell dealing with this. Education and knowledge about narcissism….leading to understanding…..is all that has saved me from suicide. She told them about the impending divorce months before telling me. I loved my fake ex companion completely and love my sons and always will; I realize they cannot help what happened to them. I pray every night that GOD will forgive me for bringing a narc into their realm. They didn’t deserve this. The oldest, now 23, called and told me not to contact them again 3 months ago…and I haven’t. He is a high grade narcissist being converted through the golden child route and other obvious emotional abuse by his narc mother. The youngest, 18, went off to school out of state without seeing me nor saying goodbye. I had written him an email after his high school graduation explaining the cause of the dysfunction and alienation in our family. I do not regret this action; that was the most valuable information that he will ever be given and I would have been remiss as a father not to share this information with him and as it turned out..them. I had had hopes that he wasn’t a narc despite seeing lots of indications. He shared the letter with his brother and mother and of course they all suffered a major narc injury. They can walk easily with no regret, no love, no connection, nor remorse because they have none and are not capable of feelings of love, empathy, and emotional connection. My ex companion emotionally murdered my fine, beautiful, intelligent sons.

    There is nothing that I can do but live my life to the best of my ability; I will mourn the loss of my sons until I die. It is good to have hope but I don’t think they will ever ‘return’ as narcs aren’t real people. I wish all of you well in your lives that have been damaged or destroyed by a narc. Narcs are the devils walking among us.

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  • October 26, 2018 at 9:50 pm
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    Is there a group like this in Melbourne Australia , my children do not hate me yet but the father is working on it . My children go to his house randomly despite him telling child support he has them every second weekend, pops in during the week and has them half the school holidays so he can pay less child support. He educates them when he has them on what an awful person i am when he does have them , he will bag me infront of the children with his family and friends. I had left him 5 years ago due to his narcissistic behavior and financial abuse. I have heard rumors from friends and our mutual friends that he tells them he left me and I planned the break up etc (lies , lies and more lies) . He paints me as a crazy person and even manipulated my family (this is how sick this man is) . I feel exactly like this amazing article written , alone and uncertain on the future . When I got back into dating he would come around to visit, if he saw someones car in my driveway he would send the children in to check (he would say they needed the toilet) if he had them that weekend, after questioning them when they got back in the car and they told him who was in there (mums friend who is a man) he then did a burnout in the front with the children in the car . I stopped dating after this as i didn’t want him to hurt the children. He now holds them against his will when they ask to come home . I have no idea where I stand and I don’t want there to be a big show down if I call the police to get them back . I have no idea what to do !!!!

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  • October 28, 2018 at 4:31 pm
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    Nothing would have prepared me for life as it is now. After finally divorcing my ex husband of 20 years, our children,all adults at the time, had been raised with his controlling narcissistic ways continue to feed on his approval. I admit not doing everything right going thru the divorce. I quickly understood not to condemn their father. But he has continued to gather joy by serving me up as the ‘vindictive, vengeful’ ex to them. (mostly because I was awarded equal shares of our assets)
    I’m now disregarded for the most part. One of my daughters has stayed close to me but is looked at as the ‘black sheep’ by her siblings and has been made to feel like an outsider.
    It’s now 10+ yrs later and they’ve only grown more distant. Part of me feels that maybe I should have exposed all of the painful reasons we divorced to them instead of promoting their relationship with their father. But I believed it to be the healthy and right thing to do for my children.
    It’s backfired. All they know or hear is how evil & vindictive I was to go after his assets. I can feel and see their distance to me and it’s beyond heartbreaking. I won’t stop calling or checking in with them and sending my love even if I don’t hear anything back for months at a time. I could never have anticipated this in a million years. We were always so close….
    But this says so much about the extent and hold a narcissist has….
    I continue to hope for the day they realize it.

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  • November 8, 2018 at 5:42 pm
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    I have two adult children. My daughter told me she was scared of her dad when she was small. He didnt spend time with any of us i brought them up he did his own thing. I gave her and my son all my time and spent all i had to make their childhood happy as i had a terrible one with narcissist parents. I divorced their dad 10 years ago. He was cheating with a colleague once again. I fidnt even know he was a covert narc i only knew he was cold and unloving and very selfish. Now my adult daughter has married a man who is similar and had a child. She has an older girl who i discovered he had been unkind to and had pushed. Now my daughter has turned sgainst me and her brother and now my sister too. She says shes found it increasingly hard to see me because i make him unwelcome, but he has alwsys treated me and her brother with rudeness and contempt yet we are being blamed for not welcoming him? The first time we met him he grabbed her in thecrestaurant snd began kissing her in frontof us which was highly embarrassing at the table in a restaurant. He has zero manners or respect and hated his own mother yet acted out dramatically when we actually got to visit last xmas, pretending to cry and sighing constantly while his father tried so hard to be happy and make it a nice day fof the grandchildren. Now my son snd i have been cut out of her life snd we cant see the children snd i dread to think what rhey are being told about us. Its broken my heart and her brother is now saying hes done with her as shes turned nasty and cruel with us. She sent me a horrible message asking me not to contact her 2 days ago..it didnt even sound like her. I feel shes been told how to think and poisoned against me. I think j have to accept i have lost her and my grandchildren.

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  • February 7, 2019 at 6:39 am
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    I guess I was a “lucky”victim as my narcissist treated our daughter the same, so she knows the truth. I waited till she was nearly 18 to pick up and leave, as I knew he would give me legal issues and I didn’t want to have to share with him weekends because I could not be there to defend her. Even with that we have both had to go to counseling and now the final legal issue of divorce awaits me and I expect a real war. Bottom line is we both feel free emotionally, even though I know my daughters heart aches at not having the right kind of father.

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  • February 12, 2019 at 7:42 am
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    He left when my baby was 9 weeks old. To join a band…… He just told me he hated everything about me and seeya later. Was gone in a flash. It was sudden and devastating. Of course, I haven’t over the years told my now 25 year old the whole story, but I couldn’t condone his father’s behaviour because I thought that would normalise it. I wanted to raise a caring man who knew right from wrong and if his father couldn’t be a positive role model, then perhaps he could be an anti-role model. It was a mean and rotten thing to do to both of us and I tried to focus on the actions, not the person himself as I know that everyone wants a dad. He’d done it previously to his first wife and three kids and he has done it to other women since (no more kids, though, thankfully). I was a fool to marry him. Unfortunately he is a very charming man, likeable. No one sees the darkness within, except the three or four women whose lives he ruined.

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  • February 14, 2019 at 10:54 pm
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    Wow. I can’t stop crying. I am currently being isolated from my daughter. My best friend. We were inseparable. Now she hates me and calls another woman her mom. I’m at a loss. I am so heartbroken.

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    • April 10, 2019 at 11:31 pm
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      I’m starting to realize this our situation now too. I wouldn’t have called us best friends, but my daughter and I were very close, and I raised her primarily on my own with very little involvement from her father until she was school-aged. He then took me to court when she was 7 and won full custody, decision-making and child support, plus tens of thousands in court costs. She was devastated when this all happened, and I can’t even begin to put words to the suffering she’d experienced as a result – and of course I did too. Recently, she’s been behaving differently, and everything she’s ever felt has turned upside down. I’m now the problem, step is now “mom” and things are better at her dad’s (and I’d spent years attempting to create a positive relationship for her with him, despite what he was doing to both of us). After a particularly hostile eruption from her over the course of an evening, I lay down serious boundaries — essentially to help us repair and heal our relationship.

      I know she’s not happy about any of this, but refuses to discuss it. She sees me as the problem and says she doesn’t like the way I’m treating her. All very bizarre, since it mostly involves my implementing boundaries around any hurtful or even abusive behaviour. She doesn’t own it, and doesn’t see it (young teenager). But the chilling insight that came to me both during and after the big blowout (during which I was mostly in silent disbelief), was that her words, verbal attacks and rages were exactly what her father did when we were together and for years after, too. We’re supposed to attend counselling together soon, though she says she’ll not be speaking about it then. We shall see. What I came to learn after working sooo hard to “improve” my relationship with her father when she was a baby, was the true meaning of: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”.

      I love my daughter with my whole heart and more, and have done my best for her — but if she doesn’t want a rekationship with me or behaves abusively, I’m stepping out of that equation. I’ve had 15 years with her father. I’m not accepting it from her — or anyone, at this point. I keep thinking of that saying when on a plane: “If the air pressure drops, put your own oxygen mask on first, then help someone else, like your child”. We need to ensure we survive — and even thrive — especially if the depraved narc is turning your child against you. I’m not getting sucked into that darkness. And yes, utterly heart-breaking. I’m doing my best to take good care of myself in the meantime — having spent most of the past 15 yrs focused on raising her, plus dealing with the ongoing onslaught of abuse, emotional, financial, legal and physical — plus the fallout for our daughter (serious anxiety issues from 6, difficulty self-regulating/intense lashing out, threats of suicide, self-harm, etc), I’m spent. Time to help, heal and mother myself. The only thing we ever really have any say in: our own feelings, thoughts, actions. Blessings ❤️

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    • April 11, 2019 at 12:06 am
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      I’m starting to realize this is our situation now too. I wouldn’t have called us best friends, but my daughter and I were very close, and I raised her primarily on my own with very little involvement from her father until she was school-aged. (We’d split up before she was 2, and he “stepped away” from parenting entirely several times). He then took me to court when she was 7 and won full custody, decision-making and child support, plus tens of thousands in court costs a couple years ago. No one who knew us — including my lawyer, who termed it a crucifixion — could believe any of this was possible. My daughter was 12 at that time and was utterly devastated when this all happened, and I can’t even begin to put words to the suffering she’d experienced as a result – as of course, I did too. Recently, she’s been behaving differently, and everything she’s ever felt about any of this has turned upside down. I’m now the problem, step is now “mom” and things are better at her dad’s (after I’d spent years attempting to create a positive relationship for her with him, despite what he was doing to both of us). Then, after a particularly hostile eruption from her over the course of an evening several weeks ago, I lay down serious boundaries — essentially to help us repair and heal our relationship.

      I know she’s not happy about any of this, but refuses to discuss it. She sees me as the problem and says she doesn’t like the way I’m treating her. All very bizarre, since it mostly involves my implementing boundaries around any hurtful or even abusive behaviour she’s exhibiting. She doesn’t own it, and doesn’t see it (young teenager). But the chilling insight that came to me both during and after the big blowout (during which I was mostly in silent disbelief), was that her demeaning words, verbal attacks and rages were exactly what her father did when we were together and for years after, too. We’re supposed to attend counselling together soon, though she says she’ll not be speaking about it then. We shall see. What I came to learn after working so hard to “improve” my relationship with her father when she was a baby, was the true meaning of: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”.

      I love my daughter with my whole heart and more, and have done my best for her — but if she doesn’t want a relationship with me or behaves abusively, I’m stepping out of that equation. I’ve had 15 years with her father. I’m not accepting it from her — or anyone, at this point. I keep thinking of that saying before a plane takes off: “If the air pressure drops, put your own oxygen mask on first, then help someone else, like your child”. We need to ensure we survive — and even thrive — especially if the depraved narc is turning your child against you. I’m not getting sucked into that darkness. And yes, utterly heart-breaking. A lot of tears. Though I’m also doing my best to take good care of myself in the meantime — having spent most of the past 15 yrs focused on raising her, plus dealing with the ongoing onslaught of abuse, emotional, financial, legal and physical — plus the fallout for our daughter (serious anxiety issues from 6, difficulty self-regulating/intense lashing out, threats of suicide since age 7, self-harm, etc), I’m spent, burnt out and have seen my own health suffer. To that I say: enough already.

      Time to help, heal and mother myself. Ourselves. The only thing we ever really have any say in: our own feelings, thoughts, actions. Blessings ❤️

      Reply
  • February 20, 2019 at 11:46 am
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    I lived in an abusive relationship with my ex for 10 yrs. My kids were young and saw it all, the verbal and physical abuse was beyond belief i am lucky to be alive. He finally met another and left us. My daughter was 9 and son 4. That was 41 yrs ago. Since then, my son got leukemia for 10 yrs and passed at 23. He loved me more than anyone but my daughter always hated me. She was verbally abusive and cruel to me. I walked on eggshells around her for many yrs until 6 yrs ago she called me every name under the sun because i had a small elective surgery. I told her do not speak to me until you apologize. Haven’t heard from her since, she is 51 yrs old and exactly like her father. Life is so peaceful and stress free now. Yes i am sad but i have a great husband and he has seen what i have been thru. I finally went to a therapist who said i need to forget her .i was diagnosed with PTSD. I am 68 now and still sad how my life turned out but maybe i wont live too many more yrs and can be with my son who truly loved me.

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    • March 11, 2019 at 2:13 am
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      I’m so sorry. I’ve gone through a lot of abuse too. I’m sorry about your son.

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  • March 3, 2019 at 5:53 am
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    Hi everyone, It is validating to learn I am not the only one feeling this way. I came across this article after I found out my teenage daughter was feeding things about me to my abusive narcissist ex and was lying to me that she has nothing to do with things. I have tried to take the high road, but my ex has been saying to my daughter “don’t listen to your mother” even when she was very little. He has threatened to take me to the court right in front of her many times (without any reasonable grounds of course). I wanted to believe in justice or karma, wanted to assure myself that I am in control of my life now, but as of now, I feel he is winning my daughter…

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  • March 11, 2019 at 2:09 am
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    I’m going through this with a grandparent. She actually took my daughter shopping and the MOVED with her and didn’t tell me. I went looking and went to police. They said it was a legal issue now. I mourned with my other kids over this. Then I was served by to
    Show up at court and was investigated for abuse and neglect! All LIES! I represented myself and became overwhelmed at the hurling insults and dishonesty from the counselors representing my daughter and the grandma! It’s been a year of HELL! Now she is demanding child support on my 17 year old. My own child agreed to the maliscious lies. Talk about pain. Most of my family believed it
    And shunned me.

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  • March 31, 2019 at 2:35 am
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    I came by accident to this article it has been 1 year and half since last time I heard my children voice or see them …to explain what happened I can’t believe that they will hate me they know how much I loved them but it seems that I have to accept the truth that they r manipulated by my ex evil husband all what I can do now after wasting my health on crying every night missing them is employ every thing to God and believe in his power that the good must win at the end if God will

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  • April 7, 2019 at 8:15 pm
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    So my 17-year-old was permanent with me. My ex-narc and I share custody. My ex got divorced from his current wife. Now, my ex lets her boyfriend spend the night at his house. Now my daughter won’t come back here. My ex is doing it, for 1. he hates to be alone for 2. he wants to be able to tell the child support office that he has one of the children there all the time. I keep telling my 17-year-old, she needs to come back, but she is 17 and thinks she knows it all. We talk all day, every day on the phone, but she won’t come back here to sleep, because she gets to live with her boyfriend essentially. HEre is my dilemma, My daughter doesn’t like the way her dad is, she knows he is narcissistic, she won’t give people his phone number (drs, schools, counselors) because she doesn’t like the way he is. She uses me for all the “important” contacts. I’m to the point now of saying. If you’re going to live with your dad full time than you need to have your dad step up to the responsibility of being a dad. (i could tell him that, but he doesn’t do it) I am torn between, being a mom. being a friend, and being a responsible mom. I want to make sure she doesn’t stress about things, but on the other hand, if she doesn’t want to come here, why do I have to do all the adult responsible things that her DAD should be taking care of. Sorry for the rant, but it is something that has been wearing on me lately!

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  • May 2, 2019 at 10:21 am
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    My ex husband is a narcissist, even his own mother has called him that when she was estranged from him, but now that she speaks to him again after 10 years everything is all my fault. My ex left the marriage for the final time having an affair when my boys were 5 and 8,,, they are now 16 and 19… I raised them with him having them every 2nd weekend but doing any hard yards parenting. My 19 year old son doesn’t go to see his father anymore as he saw how he really was in time, my youngest didn’t have a good relationship with him for most of that time however has developed a much stronger relationship over the last 2 years even though his father barely did any for him as I did. Now I’ve lost my youngest to him 😢. My 16yr old son had sex multiple times in one night with his brothers girlfriend in his brothers bed then made a joke of it to his workmates – all at his brothers expense , my ex has convinced him that I’ve chosen my fiancé over my own son when it was my fiancé standing by me and my eldest boy as he had trouble dealing with what my youngest son has done to his brother. Sadly my youngest has always shown signs of the same temperament as his father… now he is happy to be living out of home and doesn’t want to come back 😢
    My ex husbands family are all narcissistic, how do I win against that with my son??? 😢😢😢

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  • May 6, 2019 at 12:34 pm
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    My 3 adult children ages 22,24,26 staged a false arrest to have me removed from my own house. The master mind was my ex. The state police that arrived at my home apologized to me and informed that they believed my story and had no choice but to arrest me. They said if my phone was on record then I wouldn’t have been arrested. The supervising officer was outraged and recommended that I have my children evicted. He also wrote me the longest and best report I could have ever possibly received to take to court with me and my lawyer. My story is too long to give it proper justice. It is betrayal at its highest degree by my children.

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    • May 6, 2019 at 1:50 pm
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      Wow, that is quite a story!

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  • May 27, 2019 at 2:04 pm
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    The most painful moment of the life is when you are loosing your children who you dairly love. Narcistic personality people slowly turn with manipulative tactics such buying what ever the children want, let them to what they want even buying game 18 plus not for their age, amazing holidays, trips and clothes, no limits, no rules when is needed to follow, or backing up mother when she says it is time to go to sleep becouse tomorrow is a school etc. There is a voice up becouse of not back up and etc. The mother is crazy, bad, fat, neurotic and mentally ill. Behind the wall the narcistic person behave being cold, refusing, having sex when they want, refuse your feelings, blame you for having somebody else even you are not and you are faithful and tells you they want you the same time. Then you find the narcistic leads a double life and have a child and buys properties behind your back to have a life with the new supply. The children are already turned against you. You tell him the true behind the wall and you will be attacked and let down. The system knows about this kind of narcistic relationship. There is a way out going through solace or other help, but you will be told the children go which parent they chose to go for. It does not make a sense at all. It is a psychological war of narcistic parent who played a victim and lies to authorities, records you for years and say he loves you but treats you as a secondary and apply double attitude, different in front of children usually being very nice, silent and and different in the bed behind the wall.This kind of manipulators with pathological lining and hurting others win becouse the system allows them. The system does not have money to help you get out to stay in your home with children, so he has a money to pay his solicitor to get you out from the house to go back where I come from as I was told by him. They say in front of children they agree to divorce but in private will say I will not sign the papers, no divorce.This war is the wars of wars in relationships. The mothers should be protected with children and this manipulation should be recognised and dealt with to prevent children to be manipulated by the narcistic and get into the cycle of narcistic abuse. Sad but true. Love is not a manipulation or pathological lying to children and mother and friends.Love is not a double life and lying to authorities and family to get what they want whatever the price. Love is not turning people against you. It is evel and it should have a name and be punishable by the system.

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  • July 6, 2019 at 3:26 am
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    I split with my youngest daughter’s dad nearly three years ago, he’s a narc and he has serious problems! Since then I split with my recent boyfriend, my daughters dad is now, again, dumping his rage he has, onto me, the vileness of him is out again. This is of course only with me. The rest of he world thinks he’s amazing, kind, generous, community spirited etc. He paints me as a psycho, who’s lost it, and it is horrendous to feel so isolated. He’s a Disney daddy to our daughter. I see that she is besotted with him and I can see why.(let’s face it I used to be too). I can’t do the expensive demonstrations that he and his girlfriend do every other weekend.
    I have felt like I am loosing my mind and a grip on reality. I know there is no way of winning this battle, not by fighting anyway. I have wondered if life is really worth living.
    I have to remain well and rise above his rage. I have blocked his communication media for now, I read lots about post narcissistic abuse recovery and keep pulling myself away from believing his lies….I have to stay sane to win the war. I’m here for the long haul, I’m the tortoise and not the hare.
    I can only do my best, do all the school stuff, all the routine caring stuff and hope that my daughter will eventually understand and appreciate things differently when she’s older, hopefully if she ever sees him for who he is. Showing her now who he really is wouldn’t work, even though I wish it would. He’s still her daddy and she needs and wants a dad. In the meantime I have to baton down the hatches and wait for the war to be over. Wish me luck!!

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  • July 6, 2019 at 12:59 pm
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    I am a survivor of a narcissist husband. I do not have my children since January 4th, 2015. I am alive thanks to my strong family that supports me, mentally, emotionally, financially, physically, you name it. My heart is with all the parents that are, were or will be on this kind of situation. God is my strength. Praying every day for those children like mine that have to endure this “FOGGY” cruel life. 🙏🏼❤️😓

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  • September 4, 2019 at 10:17 pm
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    I just feel like I failed them.
    I stayed too long. I thought if i tried harder and focused on keeping my children happy, i could hold out for my miracle and it all would one day just stop. My miracle never happened.
    After 28 years, my desire to not have a broken family ended up destroying me, and now your article has spoken what I had been living for the past 11 months since he left. C-PTSD took over and culminated in my having a minor nervous breakdown a few weeks ago. My 5 grown children and spouses, and my sister literally came and had an “intervention”. I felt so ashamed and humiliated by how I allowed that man to get so far in my head, and now it seemed like i was proving him right.😢
    A few days later I got a different kind of miracle. I was miraculously healed of the C-PTSD!!! I didnt even believe it would happen, but by the end of the evening I was and still am a brand new person! Not one symptom or trigger in two weeks!! HalleluYah!
    But i NEEDED this article!!! Now that C-PTSD is gone and i can read and actually process information again i needed to know different ways to process my grown children’s desire to have a relationship with him.
    My only problem is when they dismiss the abuse with statements like “well he says you hurt him too” or “you both are sinners and do wrong things” or “you just want us to hate him”(which I sincerely do not)
    I am going to try to follow your steps, especially try not to give in to defending myself, but how do they learn that it really was covert narcissism?
    Especially when he’s using this exact same website to convince them I have BPD?
    (I have been tested and no, I do not, but he tells them that BPDs are so intelligent they can fake passing the tests.😢

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    • September 5, 2019 at 9:51 am
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      It helps to realize that your healing is not dependent on anyone else ever acknowledging the problem or being on your side. Your healing only involves you and your ability to process the trauma and accept the reality of the situation.

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