The effects take their toll on the children
I had never heard of the term narcissism until I met my current loving and supportive husband. I am thankful for him. To tell the full impact that a narcissist can have I will have to go full circle with my story. The disease/pattern can be passed on from one generation to the next.
I met my X in 1984. We planned our wedding for December 1985. The plans included confirmation in the Episcopal Church along with counselling by the Minister. We had a grand wedding in the same Episcopal Church that my Mother and Father were married in. My Uncle played the same organ that my Grandfather used to play. My Father sent us to the Grand Caymen Island for our Honeymoon. That is when the lies started to be revealed. On the honeymoon I leaned about his four year relationship with his male college roommate.
The first year of our marriage I learned about his addiction (didn’t know there was such a thing) to pornography that he and his brother shared. I was frequently replaced by it. Which is how I got pregnant the second year of our marriage. I used a diaphragm which he felt inhibited his spontaneity and I would be shut out of the bedroom by a locked door only to hear the TV and a sex video playing. I ditched the diaphragm and of course got pregnant. My mistake! So now I am expecting and he is really unhappy. He became jealous of the attention I received as an expectant mother and resentful of the new responsibilities (financial) that went along with it. I was determined that I could make him happy and I still felt obligated to make the marriage successful for my parents. Second mistake. So we have a baby along with suite cases full of pornographic videos and magazines which he stored in our closet. We did seek counselling for his sexual addiction. Along with his addiction he had other behavioural problems. He would talk violently to himself, lock himself in the spare bedroom for long periods. I could hear him talking and referencing to me about how I was a horrible wife and mother. But I kept trying to make it work and make him happy. I felt responsible for it. Again, my mistake which only fuelled his behaviour. But we managed to have another child along with the continued sexual problems and the strange talking to himself in outbursts etc. About a year after the second child was born he decided that he no longer wanted to go to church with the family and that he was an atheist. He began mocking me in front of the children (two daughters) especially if it involved prayers at dinner or bedtime. This mocking, reducible, condescending, putting down of me has continued to this day. I could never do anything good enough. I finally sought counselling for myself. That is when I learned that I was not responsible for his happiness. A weight was lifted off my shoulders. But that was the beginning of the end too. So I began a slow process of preparing for the day when I would return to work after the girls were grown up. I wanted to return to what I had grown up doing as a hobby into a business and career. Training horses. As I began to gain some independence and confidence his behaviour worsened. The girls also got to an age that they too were aware. But the damage to them had been done as I later found out. Anyway, I worked off and on part time throughout their childhood to keep a sense of self worth. Nothing was ever good enough and was always met with ridicule and in front of the girls. By the time they entered middle school I had started my business and worked while they were in school. Again, this only fuelled his anger. We once again sought counselling. This time our counsellor told my X that he was possibly suffering from Disassociative Disorder. So his behaviour now had a name. His uncontrolled out burst, talking to himself in public etc had a name. Once again I thought we might survive as a family. But with counselling for almost five years he never displayed the behaviour in front of the counsellor (control) Along with his sexual addiction to pornography which he now had to pursue outside the house with teenage girls he started to spend a lot of money on it. Which lead to trying to control any spending I might do. As it all spiralled out of his control he became more and more angry with me, trying to find ways to control me, reducible and mocking me in front of the girls etc. Finally after 15 years of marriage he sued me for divorce and full custody of the children on the terms that I would not be able to provide financial support for them outside of the marriage. I was served the papers at my front door with my children standing behind me. I was scared! He drained the bank accounts. I sought out an attorney too. But I wasn’t ready for a divorce and once again tried even harder to meet his demands. We were still in counselling at this time but he continued to see our regular person along with a psychiatrist who put him on antidepressants. Once he was on medication he was a different person. He was wonderful. We got back together and talked about the future. He was so happy. It lasted only about a year until he decided he no longer needed the medicine and he stopped. His behaviour returned. I learned through our counselling the term “raising the bar”. Every time I tried to meet his demands he would just raise the bar to prove I failed once again. I finally gave up inside me. I focused on my career to become financially independent. I prepared and researched attorneys along with meeting my now present husband. I sued for divorce after 18 years of marriage. The court put him under the care of a councillor. He dragged it out as long as he could to keep control. He wanted to make sure that it cost a lot. I was awarded full custody of our children, he had visitation rights, child support to pay along with alimony during the divorce process. He tried to ruin my business, but failed. I won, so I thought. I won the battle but have lost the war. I tried to have very little to do with him or ever speak with him again. I feared him!
The affect on ones children living with a controlling sick narcissist takes its toll. If I had known the outcome I would have walked out of the marriage a long time ago. Instead I kept trying think it was the right and best thing only to learn it was the worst thing. My oldest daughter was just starting high school when it all came to a head. She was distant, gothic and as the pattern of behaviour continued shunning her Mother. There was nothing I could do that could make her happy. In her eyes I ruined her life. My youngest daughter was in middle school and a mommy’s girl. Always at my side and wanting to help with my equestrian business. But she wouldn’t look other adults in the eye and was always a bit angry. But over time and being around the horses and horse people she began to heal. Not my oldest daughter though. It was hard with no real relationship between us which she replaced with staying close to her Father. I never tried to come between them though. Once she turned 18 and graduated from high school, in a fit of rage she left to go live with her Father. She took with her a car that I had co-signed a loan on and later abandoned it in a parking lot. My Father and I had to tow it back and I returned it to the dealer. But the loan was upside down and I had to pay back the 12k owed. She never spoke to me again for about three years. She did keep in touch with her sister from time to time. My X remarried and I did too along with focusing on building my business. My youngest graduated from high school and we moved her into a college apartment. She lasted about a year and decided she wanted to leave college and work with me and the business. I was thrilled, but concerned about her not having a college degree. But we teamed up anyway. We were a good Mother/Daughter team too. Little did I know or once again realize that a narcissist will always have a target on you. The Mother/Daughter team had to be destroyed. So for a couple years all was good. The calm before what I call The Perfect Storm. My current husband is the manager of the equestrian centre where I have my business. So the three if us where a team. Then my oldest daughter came back into the picture. She wrote me a letter and apologized for her past behaviour. We met at dinner. I could tell she was still angry but wanted to try to start over again. She had married and her husband had a friend that she wanted her sister to meet. As she and her sister rebuilt their relationship, they also built husband and boyfriend relationships. They were now a foursome. I thought was wonderful. We planned our youngest daughter’s wedding to be at our home. My oldest daughter’s husband married them, in our back yard and we had a nice romantic evening party for them. How perfect to have your daughters married to two boys that are best friends! And yes their Father was allowed to be there. But the next day after the wedding everything changed. My oldest stopped talking to me. When she did finally call me it was to request that we start family counselling. At first I didn’t agree, but as time went on and both daughters were acting differently toward me I gave in. The day I said yes we can go to counselling to my oldest, the next phone call I received was from my youngest saying that she was leaving the business to go a few miles down the road to work for a direct competitor. I was crushed, heart broken, shocked. I had given my heart my soul and my livelihood to get my youngest started in the business. A few days later she left with half of my clients. It was a scandal that turned into gossip and an attempt to smear me and ruin me and the business. So where was their father all this time? Behind the scenes pulling the puppet strings. Controlling from behind. Both daughters haven’t contacted me since. Even when my Mother was dying they avoided running into me when visiting their Grandmother. When she passed away I could not bear to go to the service because they and their Father were there. And so you see I lost the war. I have not written all the ugly details but enough. I just hope that you can help by educating people about the destructive behaviour of a narcissist before it is too late for them too and so that the pattern is not passed on through generations.
Thank you for reading this. If I can be of help for your project in any simple way please let me know.