Winning My Children Back From the Narcissist
The battle for my children continues
My divorce from a narcissist was over more than three years ago. The battle to keep my children in my life has been going on since I left him.
The children have been in counseling off and on for over a year. They reached their worst point with me last summer. I stopped seeing one of them at all and the other child wouldn’t speak to me during our visitation.
Recently, things have started to change. There is good news and there is bad news.
The Solid Child Begins to Break Down
One of the children I thought was fine with me yelled at me using the same words his father does against me. I can see even with his limited contact with his father the poison has already started to flow through his mind to make him hate me. It makes me afraid I will lose all of my younger children when they hit their teens.
I have to keep seeing the positive signs in the children instead of living in fear of what might happen. I can pour truth into them and hope they will see the difference between their father and me. I can teach them to think for themselves and continue to apply what I have learned to hopefully keep them from being pulled into the abyss with the other children.
What I am doing to keep the poison from taking hold
I think it’s time for me to dust off the book Divorce Poison by Richard A. Warshak which I read a while ago. I think this book is better for heading off the symptoms of alienation and strengthening the bond with your children vs. bringing your children back to you.
I have the tools I need to continue to heal and lead my children into freedom. I have to keep going. I can’t go back to how I used to be. Children understand leading by example and actions more than words. I will continue to be the strong parent they can depend on.
The Lost Ones Return?
The children who have turned almost completely away from me are slowly turning back. I don’t know how or why this change has come about. I wonder if things are getting worse at dad’s house. If his relationship with my replacement is falling apart. Then I remember I need to stay focused on my business and keep working on healing and becoming stronger.
I believe the children can see I am changing and becoming the strong parent they need to rely on. They still take verbal jabs at me and still have a hard look in their eyes but I see them lower their guard more often. I see smiles. I see a softer look in their eyes.
Here are a few things I have done lately that may have helped
I sent things home with one of them for the new supply’s child after I was told by their father I was bullying her(don’t ask, it’s insanity) so they would see the truth.
I have been sending little goody bags for any holiday I celebrate with the kids who are with me full-time including daily advent treats. I also added some extras for the new supply’s child. 😉
I texted for birthdays and holidays when we were separated. I sent gifts with the younger children for the older children when they went to see their father. I made sure to send these gifts after they celebrated with their father so I wouldn't seem to be in competition with him.
I don’t react to their verbal jabs. I try to roll with it and laugh things off or just ignore their words.
I stay calm and cool when communicating with their father and never respond to his insults. I keep on topic and only communicate what is absolutely necessary.
I do not react to any of his attempts to throw me off balance at exchanges. I have a smile on my face and don’t show that anything he does bothers me.
I endured a pointless co-parenting session with him. I am hopeful that giving him an audience with a mediator to blow off some steam may have helped him move on a little more.
This fight to keep my children in my life is an ongoing process. From my research, the children should be separated from their father so we can rebuild our relationship. What he is doing is psychological abuse. It is difficult to “prove” in court and everyone seems to be afraid of making things worse so we carry on with our half-hearted attempt at therapy and rebuilding our relationship. The system does not work. I don’t know if the therapy is helping either. It’s an expensive lesson in how not to rebuild your family.
I think working on myself and continuing on with my life is doing more to help my relationship with the children than anything else. I will continue to learn from people like Dr. Childress, Dorcy Pruter, and others in the field so that I can become the mother my children need. If I had enough money I would work with Dorcy to speed this process up. For now, I continue to learn and heal and hope.
Here’s some food for thought:
My prayers are with you if you are also going through this.