When you are the victim of narcissistic abuse, you are caught in a web. I know at times I even felt a degree of security, while trapped and wrapped tightly in their silken threads.
Each thread has to be removed and be prepared, this will probably take time. Escape can take patience, courage and determination. I am in the process I believe of breaking the very last of these silken bonds. Like a spider sitting in the corner of a web, these beings seem to sense movement and struggle. They then go back to secure their victim with more web and perhaps another paralysing bite. I try to ensure I am one meal not worth the consequences these days.
I am probably a bit unusual in that through my teacher training, I recognised much of what he was doing but I could not bring myself to completely face the fact that, it was entirely deliberate. In my mind, one day he was going to come to me apologise and own his behaviour, whereupon we would live happily ever after.
I watched him try to train us all. As a teacher I know children often crave attention more than anything else. Any attention is usually better than being ignored. He would deliberately re-enforce negative behaviour by rewarding it with his attention. He would encourage them to ignore boundaries by saying “No” to them and immediately caving once they(the children) started to badger him. If you have to co-parent with a toxic partner, whether you are living with them or not, you have to work doubly hard on teaching boundaries. I watched the way he tried to use language to program us all. My counter would usually be to ask my youngsters,
What do you want?
What do you like?
What do you think?
to help them develop their own opinions, likes and dislikes.
One of my children wrote him a powerful missive, once they had hit their teens, basically telling him what they thought. He had immediately became the unappreciated victim. This had helped to put an end to one important aspect of his shenanigans however. I think the most important thing anybody trying to co-parent with a toxic partner can do. is to teach them(the children) to think for themselves. They will turn on you at times but it nonetheless means, in my opinion, you have done your job. My youngsters will also tell me without hesitation when they feel I am wrong about something. This can be challenging at times but I remember once thanking my father for encouraging me to have a mind of my own. I truly recognised what a precious gift this was, once I realised the number of people, who had not been allowed to think for themselves or to hold their own opinions.
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