On the Christmas Never underestimate an old woman with a Chihuahua shirt and by the same token and one hand, not everyone who cheats, lies, or behaves cruelly is a narcissist. Just like not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic, not everyone with cancer is dying, and not everyone who is socially awkward has asperger’s. If their father is a jerk with narcissistic tendencies, or just a flawed person you resent, then telling your children he’s a narcissist is morally wrong, selfish, and abusive. On the other hand, if you’ve done tons of research, reading, counseling, soul-searching, and memory re-processing, and you’ve finally faced the horrible truth, then you owe it to your kids to give them the tools they need to cope. To let them “figure it out” is self-serving. It leaves you free from any fallout but sacrifices them to their father’s ongoing manipulation and abuse. It took me 17 years of a slow-torture marriage, a passing comment from my neighbor (“he sounds like a narcissist”), and another 2 years of research and counseling, to come to the truth about my ex. The cognitive dissonance was surreal. I felt like I was literally going crazy because I had to piece together an entirely new reality for myself. Was your journey similar to mine? Did you take the blame for the narcissist’s wrongs, suffer through years of gaslighting, and lose your self-worth completely? Did it take years to find joy in life again? Imagine what a child would have to do to come to the truth on her own, especially after she’s been programmed by the narcissist since birth. Then imagine what kind of mental mutations she would have to undergo in order to cope with her new reality. Think what you would have done differently if you had known about his disorder – and how to deal with it – from the start? How immensely would that have changed your life? And why would you not give that gift of truth and the freedom that goes with it to your children? Because books, friends, and family say it’s wrong? How much do they really understand the nightmare your children now face? Besides, the truth doesn’t necessitate bashing their father. You don’t have to be mean or offer up all the sordid details. Just let them know that he has a kind of brain sickness that makes him behave badly. Sometimes your dad blames people for things they haven’t done or tells you things that didn’t happen. If he does this to you, it’s because his brain confuses what’s true and what’s not.
Sometimes your dad gets very angry all of a sudden, says mean things, or won’t talk to you. He will do this even if you haven’t done anything wrong. When he does, it’s because he suddenly feels ashamed of himself for no reason. Remember that his anger is not your fault. Your dad’s sickness sometimes makes him act selfishly because his brain thinks that everyone feels the Christmas Never underestimate an old woman with a Chihuahua shirt and by the same token and way he does. So, if he doesn’t call or visit, forgets about your games, or does something that makes you sad, it’s not your fault. It’s because if he doesn’t feel sad, then he thinks you don’t feel sad. Your dad may expect too much from you, like wanting you to take care of him, but that’s not your job and you don’t have to worry about him or his feelings. It’s his job to worry about you and your feelings, even if he’s not so good at it. Your dad may tell you something – or just give you a look – that will make you feel bad about yourself. It’s not about you. His sickness makes him think silly little things you do or say are worse than they really are. If he does this, remember that his brain exaggerates others’ mistakes and ignores their good qualities. Your dad’s brain also makes him feel very jealous of others, so if you do something really awesome, he may put it down or ignore you. Know that he does this because he wishes he was getting lots of attention for doing something awesome. No matter what, stay proud of yourself. It makes your dad feel good about himself to make lots of promises, and he wishes he could do the things he says he will. If he makes promises to you, like taking you to Disneyworld or buying you a pony, understand that they are just wishes. They will only come true in his imagination. Obviously, if your children are older, you can be more direct and sophisticated. As long as you’re not denigrating their father but just explaining his mental disorder, you’re not being abusive to your kids. In fact, you’re saving them from being damaged by his abuse and giving them some good coping tools. After the labours, hard enough for the mother but obviously much harder for the baby, a new human being is absolutely helpless. It is exposed to the outward world, sometimes arid, sometimes cold, full of awful noises and of crazy colours. At the beginning, the baby, crushed by the gravitation, cannot make a movement.