What I would want my kids to know
Yesterday I wrote about a post I made soon after my divorce, when I learned that my ex-husband’s new girlfriend had manipulated him into spending our kids’ college savings on a new house that she then refused to take any financial responsibility for. (That’s based on his account to me, and his admission that he had compromised the childrens’ college fund during this deal.)
I was persuaded to take the post down after he got lawyers involved (yet another type of abuse he loves, legal abuse, hand in hand with financial abuse).
My (then) lawyer asked me, “Do you want your kids to see that?”
I guess the answer was supposed to be, “no.”
And at the time, it maybe was the answer. But since then, my ex has built a house of lies that at least one of my kids believes (the other has more sense and discernment; plus, as the scapegoat child of my narcissistic ex, he sees a bit more of the reality of what my ex, is, instead of the person he tries to present to the world.
But now I’m in the position of thinking, what would I want my kids to know?
I would want them to know, that I was in love. Silly, crazy, loopy love. Love that couldn’t see anything wrong for the longest time. Love that would not see the abuse, that glossed over the abuse, that denied the emotional and psychological scarring, that made excuses and justified his behavior, like most abused partners do.
I would want them to know that at the same time I was in love with him, the narcissist, he had quickly tired of me, and I was at a loss to explain it. From telling me I was his best friend sometime around 2005, to refusing to talk about anything related to his day and saying , circa 2007 “You don’t know anything about me. You don’t know me at all,” (and in the years that followed, saying it repeatedly), it was a really short time span, all things considered.
I still find myself trying to figure out where I went wrong. But where I went wrong, guys, and I hate saying this like anything, was that I committed the ultimate sin for the wife of a narcissist.
I had you.
You guys are my life, my heart. When you came along, I was all in. I knew I would give my life for you. I wanted to spend time with you, take pictures of you, watch you learn and grow, see you discover the world. I wanted to soak it all in. I wanted to take you on hikes, and to the zoo, and the park, and just in the back yard to enjoy the planes flying overhead. And I did.
He was jealous. Note the date above, when he first threw in my face, “You don’t know me.” Charlie, you’ll notice that was the year you were born. He was jealous. Of you. Of the fact that you took my attention away from him. I promise you, he still is. He has made a concerted, relentless effort, both before and after the divorce to destroy my relationship with you, because he was jealous. OF YOU.
It’s not your fault; he’s a narcissist. If you need to blame someone, blame his parents, who failed to raise him with empathy and compassion. Blame him, for not realizing his destructive personality and getting help.
But I want you to know this, not because I want you to dislike him … I want you to know this because I want you to be on guard against his attempts to destroy our relationship.
I want you to know some more things:
- I’m still recovering from the emotional, verbal and psychological abuse. I’m still experiencing the financial and legal abuse. Your dad doesn’t love very well, but he hates like a pro.
- It’s because of your dad, and his refusal to comply with the laws on the books of the state of Arkansas regarding child support, that I can’t afford many of the things that he, and you, have criticized me for not buying: a new car for you. New clothes for the beginning of the school year.
- It’s also because of the threat of financial/legal abuse: when there’s any hint that I might be making money from my business, he threatens to come after ME for child support.
- Your (now) step mom did a big con artist move at the beginning of the relationship. I don’t know all the details, but it resulted in him compromising your futures by spending what should have been your college savings, on the house. She chose the house. He paid for the house, is still paying for it. She made sure that she wasn’t financially responsible for any of this, and even broke up with him to ensure that.
- She’s perfectly capable of being a con artist again should the occasion arise … say, if he were to dare to divorce her and thus threaten the gold mine that she married.
- I have never had access to any college savings, or, indeed, knowledge of such.
- When I was married to your dad, he refused to let me see bank statements, bank receipts, or to have a checkbook for the checking account until about a year before we divorced. That was after banking apps came along, where he could daily monitor the bank balance. Up until that time I had a credit card, which he monitored and criticized, making me terrified to spend anything unless it was absolutely necessary.
- I have no doubt, having now run the numbers, that he was planning for a divorce and had money hidden away; that’s likely the reason he didn’t want me having access to the bank accounts.
- He asked for a divorce four months before I did. He asked for a divorce via email.
- He admitted to involving the two of you, telling you that mom and dad were having problems and would likely be getting a divorce. HE DID ALL OF THIS BEFORE SPEAKING TO ME. I knew nothing of it until I got the aforementioned email.
- I tried to keep us together. I suffered for four months, during which time he got more and more cruel and demanding.
- And, finally, all of this is because: He’s a narcissist. He doesn’t have any clue how to have real relationships. I should have realized it sooner, gotten you guys out, asked for primary custody, kept you away from him. Now he’s turning you, Charlie, into the golden child, running the risk that you will become a narcissist in your turn and find yourself in exactly the same position he’s in some day. And Nate, you’re the scapegoat, the one who doesn’t conform to his demands, so you get all the bile and anger piled on you. It’s not fair to either of you, and it’s going to affect your future life and relationships. I will do, am doing, what I can to mitigate it, but you would be well advised to seek therapy on into adulthood.