Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode · 1 year ago

Christine Hammond Interviews Chris and Lisa, Part 2

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Christine Hammond Interviews Chris and Lisa, Part 2

...some abuses dangerously obvious. While other types of abuse creep into our family DNA in covert ways, keeping family secrets, intimidation, the silent treatment and cyber bullying are just a few examples of the many forms of abuse with troubling outcomes. Often victims ask why did this happen to me or what can I do while abusers will excuse their behavior, asking why do you make me do this, victims and abusers can rewrite their stories, improve their relationships and break the cycle for their future generations. In Christine Hammond's latest book, abuse exposed, you will learn the wide range of types of abuse, both overt and covert the generational links to abuse, what to do before, during and after abuse, how to confront your abuser, how to talk to a victim of rape, finding forgiveness despite the pain, how to rewrite your story and avoid future problems and much much more. Look for Christine Hammond's latest book abuse exposed now available on amazon. This is understanding today's Narcissist brought to you in part by psych central dot com and now here's your host, Christine Hammond. Alright, well welcome back and today we're gonna be talking with Christine lisa and I came across them a while ago on their website, been there got out dot com and they have this amazing story which was part of another podcast episode. They should go back and listen to their story and today we're gonna be talking about co parenting with a narcissist and both chris and lisa have very...

...different journeys that they have walked through. And so I'm gonna let each of you share like where you're at with your X. Right now in the co parenting standpoint and then we'll talk about some tips because there's two different ways that this can go and you guys have both extremes at this point, so lisa, why don't you share with us? Like what's going on with co parenting with your narcissistic? I just want to laugh when you say that. But um so my kids have basically been pretty much no contact from the minute he walked out of the house, what was it took a year for my divorce to happen? But in the very beginning my wonderful and I'm saying that seriously, I had a wonderful divorce attorney, he advised me to go to mediation. He said you're not going to get everything done but do what you can. And so the thing that I did in mediation was the parenting plan. I didn't realize at the time, but I was really lucky because I hear these horror stories every single day about custody battles, you know, and these abusers use the kids as pawns because they know that's you know what the other parent cares about the most. But in my case. But in my situation in mediation out of the legal field before we got there, my extra said, okay, you know the kids are going to stay with you so that's no problem, but we're going to have joint legal custody now. Later my lawyer was like, oh we should never, the mediator should have caught that. This was like a different kind of situation. But so we have joint legal custody and I had sole physical custody. But my ex thought that he would do some kind of nesting thing where he would come stay with us on the weekends. He convinced me when he needed to use the stove because he didn't have one in his apartment that he would just come over and cook. And that that he and I were going to date. He actually thought we were going to date. That's what yeah, so, but anyway, he didn't didn't work out that way anyway. He as soon as the kids knew we were getting divorced and why they didn't want to speak to him.

So the parenting plan was ready. I again, this wonderful divorce attorney said I want to take a look at that and I want to do the language for it. And one of the things he put in there was this protective language which said that visitation, even though there was no specific schedule, you know, it was like free and open access any time, which I think a lot of people would think is a nightmare. But but we had that in there again. This clever divorce attorney said let's leave that. But what we're going to put is that one tiny parenthetical comment about how visitation will start. It's going to depend on the wishes of the Children and their therapists. Oh saved my life and saved my kid's life because there was a gatekeeper. My kids immediately went into therapy. I got excellent therapist, took a few therapists sometimes. But in the beginning my ex of course was like, I want to, you know, I want to talk to the kids. He had no sense of empathy towards their feelings, their confusion there shocked about what had happened and all he was concerned about is I'm getting my kids back in, the therapist said, no, we're going to take some time. The kids are going to take the time they meet and he wasn't in control anymore. And so again, my my kids were really shielded from a lot of his behavior and I am so grateful to my divorce attorney for knowing that that was going to happen. That was great foresight on his part. So Chris you have a very different, very different and lisa and a lot of times we used to say who's got it worse. You know, she's got to be a parent of single parent all the time. So like I get a break, I'm about 5050 but of course I've got other issues because I do share parenting responsibilities and there are a handful of things in my divorce agreement. We call the stipulation here in new york that I don't like. And one of those is the relatively narrow but important set of areas where she has final decision making her it's all about power. You know, like education and medical and...

...stuff like that. It hasn't come up often, but when it has it's been a challenge. And for her it's all about power and control and she does exactly what we talked about. Getting to me through the kids, You know, having them, you know, not be allowed to play certain sports, they're going to play the sport she wants them to play. And I'm a dad, you know, they're boys and I'm a dad, you know, that kind of thing. She gets me that way, but you know, at this point practice acceptance. You know, and I worry about the things I can control or influence, but not the things I can't. So part of it is mental. One thing that has worked really well recently, my kids are older now. There's 17 and 14. They were 10 and seven when we split. So it's been a while. Um, there are a handful of things that my ex does. She has, she's very explosive. She's mean, um, she rips other people, um, makes fun of people. There's, and, and she's always been that way and I was able to see some examples of that kind of behavior that I knew my kids saw. Now I had I sat them down and I talked with them and I said, you know when mom's, when, when you're with mom, she makes the rules. I don't want to interfere with that. When you're with me, I don't want her interfering here, but I will just let you know that I've observed this behavior and it's not okay. We don't act that way. We're not mean, We don't make fun of people. You know, it's it's been, it was like three or four different topics. Um, and the details aren't important, but just that strategy of, and I could see my kids have like a look of relief on their face. You know, like it was almost like validating what they already felt like. Here's my other parent is behaving this way and they didn't say this. I'm reading into it, but it's like they knew it wasn't okay. And to hear it from me to confirm their feelings, it looked like it was a big relief to them. So I love that strategy and anybody in that situation and you need, the kids need to be a little bit older I think. But you know, I love that and I'm going to continue to use it. Yeah, ideally,...

...you know, we always want as um, for healthy co parenting for the rules to be consistent right from both households, from one to another. But when you're dealing with a narcissist, that's virtually impossible. And so I like how you handle that situation and just said, these are the rules here and while you're here, this is what we're going to be as opposed to pointing the finger and trying to say this person is terrible. Don't listen to this other parent like that kind of thing. It's about behavior, not about the other person, right? Yes. Always focusing on the behavior not the other person. So lisa your challenges are quite different because you are a single parent. You have an absentee X. I know that there are people listening right now that would give their right arm for that situation. So like educate them as to like some of the challenges that you've had because of this. Okay, so in the beginning it was really hard because the kids uh you know, they my ex was unmasked right before their eyes one night, you know? Well I thought it was I I learned later that there were things that they knew well before we split that I I hadn't realized they knew, but I felt like it was a huge shock to them and they, in that first week after he left or I finally got him out, they emailed him and called them. He was still so in the throes of his online fantasy affair that he didn't respond to them. And after those few days they were they had been so hurt that they wanted nothing to do with him. And so since then he has been trying to get back in their lives and blame me, accused me of parental alienation. Again, my kids were older when we split, they were already teenagers. So there was nothing I could have said. I didn't have to say anything. They made judgments based on how he treated them,...

...but he's unable to see that his broken relationship as are the consequences of his failure to parent. You know, there were several, he had so many opportunities to be part of their lives and he chose not to, but as so in some ways, yeah, I know I'm the lucky one because I don't have the toxic influence over my kids, but it was really hard to get my kids to get to the point of going no contact because I couldn't say, you know, stop talking to look how awful he is. Instead it got to be like those first two years, there was a lot of breadcrumb ng, you know what that is, where he give like little little bits of affection and it was always like he'd say stuff, but the actions were the opposite. So they had a hard time just like we do in these relationships. Like, well he says he loves me, but he's but I feel bad all the time. You know, like why is that they went through because Children are not just witnesses to domestic abuse their victims. So they were victimized as well emotionally by what he did. And at some point, especially with my son. Um, you know, they only saw their dad like since in these past seven ish years, they've only seen their dad like less than five times. And, and a lot of that was him, never never showing up either. But they, when my son would come back from the last couple of times of seeing seeing his dad, he would be like furious at me and acting out miserable. And I finally said, is he, do you ever notice like how you are after you see your dad, like he makes you, you seem, I didn't say he makes you said you seem like you're miserable and angry. Sorry, there's a landscaper right out. Um, like what, why do you, what are you getting out of this relationship? Like what, how is he supporting you? And that question really made my son think about it. I didn't have to say stop seeing him. But you know, again, he was an older...

...teenager at that point and he finally was like, you know what? I think I'm done And and he made that choice. And my son actually yesterday just did a podcast with somebody talking about what it was like to be the son of a narcissistic father. Now, now he's 21 years old, so he's, we don't have to worry about anything with custody and legal. But yeah, it's really fascinating, you know? But I would say, even though we as parents are so terrified that our kids are gonna be destroyed for life, it's not true and they are affected, but they get certain strengths along the way from having to deal with this at an early age. I want to go back to what you were saying before about how kids are just witnesses of abuse, but their victims as well. And I think one thing that happens is a lot of time people stay in a toxic relationship, you know, for the kids, you know, I'm gonna wait till the kids go to college and then I'll leave. What you're doing is you're modeling for them. That that kind of treatment that that abuse is okay, it's normal and that really doing your kids a big disservice and I think one of the most wonderful things about lisa and I getting together now for over six years is my kids now are seeing and her kids also are seeing what a real, healthy loving relationship is, is like a new normal for that, right? Retraining their brains and my son has had a girlfriend for the past year and a half, and they remind me of us because they're really good friends and they laugh a lot and they argue. Sometimes they'll debate, I mean they actually argue more than we do, but they'll debate about stuff, they're both really into debate, but I see like a real friendship and I'm so glad that he's learned that I know he's learned that from us, That sounds great. So what advice would you give to a person who is in the middle of trying to co parent with a narcissist and they're just literally wanting to pull their hair out and I want you to do it from your...

...own like situations too. Like what advice chris would you give in at least a you. So um the thing I said before you try that trick right about just saying, you know, you can only control what's going on in your house, make sure that your rules your relationship, you're on your parenting time is as healthy as possible. You know, also learn how to communicate effectively with your ex and that's really, really hard, right? And you're not going to get your way. But there are things you can do, like you can maybe learn that if you stroke their ego or if you you know something that's hard, I don't want to stroke my ex's ego, I want to tell her to go jump in a lake, but think about ways you can communicate to at least mitigate the damage and get things as close to healthy as you can. Absolutely, I I would agree that that's really important and lisa what would you say from like your standpoint, what advice would you give? Somebody who's going through a similar situation to you? You know, that is actually the number one question that we got from our community. When I posted that there would be a college student talking about his experience with a narcissistic parents, women in particular said, what can we do his parents to help our Children going through that? And I'm actually gonna pull from what my son himself suggested. He said that what helped him the most was that I really pushed him to get out there and do different activities and it helped him to sort of develop himself as a human being and not be defined by just this terrible experience in his family. And he also learned by getting out there. He met a lot of people that became his mentors, not just male figures, but certainly male father figures that he has been able to lean on through the years, who have taught him all different aspects of life. And my son is very successful, you know, academically, he's got these great internship, he's still in college, but he's like a champion debater and he's won all kinds of things, was his...

...high school graduation speaker. And all of these achievements have taught him like that, he can feel good about himself, and that part of his life doesn't matter that much good. That's also perfect. I love the advice that both of you have given on this. So I want you to share with everybody a little bit about your website and what you have available for other parents who might be struggling right now. Absolutely. So, as you know, when you're in a narcissistic relationship and you're the light bulbs just going on, you're figuring out what the problem is from there to that happy life once you're out. And if you're lucky enough to find true healthy love as lisa that I have found there are a lot of steps and so we try to help anybody that wherever they are in their process. And we have a bunch of workshops have been there, got out dot com, there's an enrolled now you can go see the different workshops that are available to recorded and they're very inexpensive. We are recently focused on the legal area. So we started a legal abuse support group. You can see it right on our homepage, there's a little red button, you can learn all about it there. And we're also getting into the area of high conflict divorce coaching. So that's where we feel like we can have the biggest impact. That's where custody decisions are made, that's where a lot of financial decisions are made as well. But one thing that we forgot to say is that separate from all of this chris recently put together this thing we call our wall of hope And we've had people from all over the world. All different types of people do a 32nd-1 minute video. And it's a response to the question, how has your life visibly improved since getting out of a toxic relationship? So where everyone who's still in it are struggling. It just shows you a couple of couples have done it, but mostly just individuals, men and women, mostly women, but men too about how much better it is on the other side, just to give that hope to people who feel like we once did like this, is it like this is all I'm ever going to get. It's not true. I love that. Well, thank you so much presently for joining us and...

...please check out their website at been there got out dot com. Thanks so much for having us Christine. Thank you. Thanks for listening to understanding today's narcissist with Christine Hammond brought to you in part by psych central dot com. For more information, visit grow with Christine dot com.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (91)