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Am I the only one who still gets blindsided?

Old 06-05-2013, 08:01 AM
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Am I the only one who still gets blindsided?

I think this is far less and alcoholic issue and much more a narcissist issue but regardless, I am astounded that I still, on occasion get blindsided by xAH's selfishness and find myself upset.

I got a text from him a few days ago asking me my "plans" for our girls on fathers day. Already a weird approach I thought.

I responded and said that that was his day with them and my plans were for them to enjoy being with their dad and he could do whatever he liked with them as he already knew.

Response: (verbatim complete with insane teen text lingo)

"u know i have plans 4 months 4 a end of year party w ____________ (guys from work) on the 15th. u r a selfish b*itch 2 make 16th b my day. if it was reversed i'd tell u to do whatever you wanted all weekend cuz its your day. i have no friends but these guys at work and u cant stand to c me have any fun. you can bet your a$$ when u have plans w friends i will f*ck them up"

This reaction is about my assumption he would WANT to see his kids on fathers day.

I wanted to throw up when I read it. I was pretty upset for a bit then realized he's being who he is and there's no reason I should be shocked.

It's just become more and more blatant in recent months how little he cares for the girls and he has no idea how much he hurts and confuses them which is what breaks my heart.

He's created this situation where the girls LONG for him, look forward to seeing him, even enjoy limited time with him and he leaves them constantly hoping and wanting for more. He could be more involved but chooses not to be. So they are left wanting him much more than he wants them. And it literally breaks my heart to see.

My interpretation of this insane text is this: I want to be drunk all day Sat (it is a day time party on Sat btw) and free to sleep off the hangover on Sun. How dare it be fathers day that Sunday. I don't give two hoots about the girls but will focus on blaming you WTBH for taking away my fun because that's easer than saying honestly that I don't want to see my kids on fathers day.

The reason this is all stirred up in me today is that this morning at breakfast my girls were talking all about the projects they are doing at school for fathers day and how excited they are to give their dad their gifts.

DD7 is doing a poem and these are some of the qualities she's writing about in it that she shared (obviously wishful hopes and not reality)
-my dad is always here for me (not true)
-he rubs my arm at night and tucks me in (not true)
-my dad loves me and my sister (?)
-my dad plays catch with me everyday and makes the best pancakes (not true)

I need to take up kickboxing again and find something to punch because the anger I feel right now toward him for being such a dirtbag of a father and hearing my kids talk about him in ways they WISH he'd be vs how he is makes me feel like punching something... Not healthy I know.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:30 AM
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WTBH,

I sent you a PM because I lost the long reply I had on the thread.
Needless to say, he is disturbingly, disgustingly malignantly hateful.
I hope you can find a way, any way to get those precious girls away from him.

Beth
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:37 AM
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The parenting plan says the parent whose "holiday" it is "gets" the kids that day so I have no choice but to stick around fathers day weekend and let them be hurt/disappointed.

There is a set time for him to visit so if he chooses not to show to get them from me you can bet that I will have a great back up plan and we will go away that day and have a girls day.

He's just not worthy of being a father and it would do the girls and I all so much good if he just disappeared permanently.

All I see in their future are issues with trusting men thanks to their "father" and constant disappointment from a man who will surely see DD7's poem as a testament to how amazing he is and not realize it's all a figment of her imagination...

It's causing me to fight back tears to think about this morning.... It does't get much more innocent than little kids making their daddy gifts for fathers day and yet their gifts are just a screaming testament to their hurt that is caused by the man whose sperm contributed to their existance.

He doesn't deserve the title of father.

What sane parent RESENTS it being fathers day????????

I should text him and say "feel free to have the day to yourself" and let him have what he wants.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:40 AM
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From what I understand of Narcissism, this is classic. According to my and my children's therapists...my STBXAH also has NPD.

You are not the only one. I also get blindsided by his crap and actually thinking that of course he would love to see his children.

Instead my STBXAH makes a vague request for visitation (Will you let me see them sometime?), when I try to clarify when and where, I get no response. After the weekend has passed, he calls the children and says "I asked your mom if I could see you last weekend, but as per usual she didn't let you see me."
Each time I hope that it'll be different, and each time I'm horribly disappointed.

Gotta love NPD. Me me me me me....that's all my poor kids get to hear about when they are with him. All the fabulous things he does instead of seeing them. He is a class act as is yours I can tell!

Best advice is to keep your life busy. I have as little contact with him as possible. I let my lawyer handle most everything other than visitation. Which (thank goodness) he wants very little of.

Keep your chin up!
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:41 AM
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For me, it's the venom that blows me away. When you get some distance, you will feel a little knowing humor in what an ass he is. This is classic NPD stuff.

My suggested response to him: "Another time then. Thanks!"

Leave the make-up time up to him. Don't help him out on that front, don't engage, don't let him see this rattled you.

Then explain to the girls that their dad needed to postpone the Father's Day celebrations. They can save their gifts for another date, if it ever comes. On Father's day, have something special and elaborate to do with the girls: family bike ride and picnic in a nearby park? hunker down for a marathon movie session with popcorn and cuddles? huge art project that requires their expertise? You'll think of something.

I found that the three C's applied to my ex's NPD as much as it applied to my AH. Can't change him, just lower your expectations and it might stop being so surprising and disappointing.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
My suggested response to him: "Another time then. Thanks!"
My thoughts exactly. As long as you continue to react emotionally, he wins (in his mind).

Simply tell him the choice is his and let it be. Don't respond to anything further. And don't take it personally toward you or your daughters. This isn't about you at all.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:06 AM
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WOW......I don't even have kids, and this infuriates me, WTBH. I'm sorry, but what an *******!!!!! I agree with the advice above - respond calmly and then have something fun planned for you and your girls. And you know what? THAT is what they'll remember years down the road, the time their Dad was so concerned about getting wasted with his friends that he didn't even want to see them for Father's Day, but their amazing Mom still found a way to make the day special for them! Sending hugs to you and your girls!!
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:08 AM
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I don't react emotionally to him at all... Guess I did not make that clear... My response simply was that he could be with the girls per the parenting plan on father's day.

The emotions I feel are just being shared here-- not shared with the girls and certainly not expressed to him...

If that wasn't clear I apologize...

And yes, I should know it's nothing personal toward the girls but as a human being with emotions and a mother who hates to see her kids hurt, I guess I have not yet mastered the art of not having it make me sad to see the girls be disappointed...

It used to be that it was mostly me who was let down. That I haven't cared about for a long time.

Now he's moved on to hurting the girls and that DOES hurt. I certainly won't argue that point with him or let on, and sometimes I shrug it off but the enthusiasm from my girls this morning and the obvious longing for a dad who they do not have just pulls at my heartstrings...
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:22 AM
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But you are reacting emotionally right now. It doesn't matter if its in front of him or not. He can still get you, and he knows it. That's the point we are making.

Of course it hurts. Although my girls' Dad is not a narcissist or an addict, he is still emotionally unavailable to my girls and that hurts too. They are 16 and 19 now and believe me, they know who the real hands-on parent is. They know who to turn to if they need anything aside from money.

Thing is - acceptance to what is is all anyone is trying to communicate here. You can't change this...and as much as it sucks...this is your reality and your girls reality. It is one of the reasons I've talked about moving...I found it best to be away from the source of pain so I moved and have no regrets about it. The girls see him during times that are convenient to him and he can make short-term efforts easily. Long-term is a whole 'nother story, so why even bother was my thinking. I have them 90% of the time. His 10% is quality, thankfully, but that is the best he can do. My girls know this now. They've known it for a long time, to be honest.

Lastly, I would humbly remind you that Father's Day hasn't happened yet, and if there is one thing you can count on from this guy - it him changing things up whenever he feels like it. Try not to future-trip this. He may actually come through with something nice for the girls, or he may be completely absent. Either way, you are a great Mom, and you will handle this brilliantly with your girls.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:30 AM
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Dear WantTobehealthy, sounds just like the crap my children's father used to pull---SO, I completely understand the absolutely homicidal fantasies!!! It is not sick----On the contrary, it is very healthy to get the anger out of your body--in s constructive way. I can remember being so angry that I could hardly think straight--felt like exploding fro the frustration--So, I went to the edge of the woods and screamed every vile thing--every vile name; every mean thing I wanted to say to him. I did it until it hurt my voice--tears and snot streaming down. It calmed me down. I still hated him, but I was able to be calm and rational.

I suggest not responding to him in any kind of emotional way--and, if it were me--I wouldn't let him off the hook. I would expect him to pick up the girls; like it or not. As a m other, I am sure that you give up a lot of opportunities for entertainment for the sake of your girls!!!!

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Old 06-05-2013, 09:40 AM
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I don't react emotionally to him at all... Guess I did not make that clear... My response simply was that he could be with the girls per the parenting plan on father's day.

The emotions I feel are just being shared here-- not shared with the girls and certainly not expressed to him...

If that wasn't clear I apologize...

And yes, I should know it's nothing personal toward the girls but as a human being with emotions and a mother who hates to see her kids hurt, I guess I have not yet mastered the art of not having it make me sad to see the girls be disappointed...
I think it's more than "don't let him see you sweat" -- I think it's "don't sweat".

If you're at all like me, you experience PTSD symptoms from dealing with the explosive, venomous lashings out and attacks on my character. I had to get real about my mental health and make it a priority -- i.e. reserve the time and money to pay for therapy and medication regardless of the challenges -- before I saw a difference. By the time I got in there, I was so, so, so raw. Every time we interacted I experienced fight or flight mode, fluttery chest, anxious, circular thinking going over and over his wrongs and how to react and what ifs. Even though he's an awful person and all the moral things I thought were on point, my reactions were unhealthy and held me back in my life. Something primitive in me was ruling my reactions -- adrenaline? my innate sense of danger? protective something or other? -- and I had to get it recalibrated so I wasn't retraumatized with every text and email.

It makes me sad that my son is disappointed with his dad, but we talk about it openly, we talk about expectations and what healthy relationships look like, and I make it a point to keep myself on an even keel and keep our home safe and happy. Sometimes when he expresses frustration or disappointment, I validate his feelings. It's been an important transformation in my household. But first I had to figure out how to help myself.

If it doesn't apply to you, it's okay. This was just my experience.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:46 AM
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Wow you brought back a memory I didn't even know I had. Writing about father's day, which was then shared with the class. I remember wanting to have my dad be as wonderful as anybody else's, which added to the need to embellish. Peer pressure. May or may not be true for your daughter. Just remember they also live in a world which we are not part of--school.
Your daughter knows the truth. If while young she needs this imaginary version of her dad to help her get through life, so be it. Doesn't change her reality with him, and she knows that too.
If he fails to see them, and that note she wrote is never given to him, keep it put away somewhere for her. One day she might as an adult want to discuss the past with you.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:12 AM
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Yeah I guess I am letting him occupy emotional space... I needed to just vent today-- I was sad for the girls at breakfast and then dealt with nonsense at work first thing and was feeling very raw...

Sometimes just being able to get it out and write it out helps and it did in this case-- so, thanks for letting me gripe...

And so true TG that he is, if nothing else, unpredictable so by the 16th who knows what he will do.

I do know this for sure-- where drinking is involved I know to expect him to keep no obligations at all. So, I think that preparing myself to have him bail is wisest-- if he shows up I will be pleasantly surprised, but that to me is a better approach than being surprised when he doesn't show up.

He has shown who he is and that's what I will expect. I think this is the first time he has so blatantly shown how little the girls matter to him-- to him fathers day is about being drunk and about him being alone-- that is just stunning to me... If I were to not be with my kids for mothers day I would be torn up...him? he resents that he has kids who will infringe on his drinking plans... Wow.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:16 AM
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If you're at all like me, you experience PTSD symptoms from dealing with the explosive, venomous lashings out and attacks on my character. I had to get real about my mental health and make it a priority -- i.e. reserve the time and money to pay for therapy and medication regardless of the challenges -- before I saw a difference. By the time I got in there, I was so, so, so raw. Every time we interacted I experienced fight or flight mode, fluttery chest, anxious, circular thinking going over and over his wrongs and how to react and what ifs. Even though he's an awful person and all the moral things I thought were on point, my reactions were unhealthy and held me back in my life. Something primitive in me was ruling my reactions -- adrenaline? my innate sense of danger? protective something or other? -- and I had to get it recalibrated so I wasn't retraumatized with every text and email.

It makes me sad that my son is disappointed with his dad, but we talk about it openly, we talk about expectations and what healthy relationships look like, and I make it a point to keep myself on an even keel and keep our home safe and happy. Sometimes when he expresses frustration or disappointment, I validate his feelings. It's been an important transformation in my household. But first I had to figure out how to help myself.

If it doesn't apply to you, it's okay. This was just my experience.
Yup to all of this. It all resonates. I am in therapy and have been on medication for anxiety (courtesy of ptsd created by the environment with him) though am not now.

It helps to be able to talk here about this stuff bc my friends while great really really don't get it. And my family is more toxic than xAH so I don't talk to them at all about anything deeper than the weather.

So, sometimes it is just comforting to be able to say at his antics and get it out and that alone takes away a lot of the upset... Does that make sense?
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:24 AM
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Yes, WTBH--it makes absolute sense!! Please refer to my above post regarding my ven tilation at the edge of the woods.

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Old 06-05-2013, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
Dear WantTobehealthy, sounds just like the crap my children's father used to pull---SO, I completely understand the absolutely homicidal fantasies!!! It is not sick----On the contrary, it is very healthy to get the anger out of your body--in s constructive way. I can remember being so angry that I could hardly think straight--felt like exploding fro the frustration--So, I went to the edge of the woods and screamed every vile thing--every vile name; every mean thing I wanted to say to him. I did it until it hurt my voice--tears and snot streaming down. It calmed me down. I still hated him, but I was able to be calm and rational.

I suggest not responding to him in any kind of emotional way--and, if it were me--I wouldn't let him off the hook. I would expect him to pick up the girls; like it or not. As a m other, I am sure that you give up a lot of opportunities for entertainment for the sake of your girls!!!!

dandylion

So, sometimes it is just comforting to be able to say at his antics and get it out and that alone takes away a lot of the upset... Does that make sense?
Yes!
I've done all kinds of silly stuff like this to relieve tension when I'm *that* upset. I've screamed into nothing (like Dandylion describes), hefted rocks & stones into lakes & ponds, pulled all the glass out of the recycling bin & took great pleasure in smashing every bit of it to pieces. (It was hell to clean up, but very satisfying to hear every loud, destructive crack & smash.)

I think you're 1000% correct that expecting nothing from him is the best solution here. Prepare to spend the day with the girls & do something fun. Yes, they'll be disappointed but they'll also remember that you DON'T let them down the way their dad does.

I think this is the first time he has so blatantly shown how little the girls matter to him-- to him fathers day is about being drunk and about him being alone-- that is just stunning to me... If I were to not be with my kids for mothers day I would be torn up...him? he resents that he has kids who will infringe on his drinking plans... Wow.
I'm betting it's only going to get worse from here too.

Sending you & your girls lots of ((((HUGS))))!
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:12 PM
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WTBH,

Try to look at the situation a little differently. You just gained another day with your girls. That was a day he would get with them and now you can go do something with them. Get something in writing from him that he will not be taking them that day, then go enjoy a girls day together. Maybe even respond back to him in that tone, "Great, I have something I was hoping to do with the girls that day!" This throws the psychos more then getting mad or calling them on their crap. Once my councelor helped me to see the skipped visits like this, it helped.

Next, take screen shots of all comments he makes in this tone to you. My attorney loves nothing more than to wave the huge file of screen shots I have of texts and emails in court. The judge seems to really hate when one parent cannot act like a grown up. I got to the point where I told myself, "Yes!" and fist pumped the air, when he sent stuff like this because I just made my case more clear in court.

Yes your kids will be let down for a brief while but they can give their gifts another day when he will want them there and not on the holiday, for the sake of seeing them on the holiday, when he would obviously resent them for being there, and most likely be mean.

Sucks but you just need to start to try to look at things a little differently. How can you make this craziness work for you in your life. Once I start doing this, life got so much better.

Good luck,
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Old 06-05-2013, 04:34 PM
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Is he 12? What adult writes like that? Even in texts? Wow. He is acting like his mom told him he can't go to a party. And I am sure you are the one person in the states who decides when Father's Day is, and did it on purpose to mess up his "boys night"...lol. Sorry, he sounds like a petulant child.

Feel pity for him.

Don't take anything he says to you personally, what he writes is his to own. Don't let it take up that head space of yours. It's not worth it. Have a great day with your girls. Make cookies, see a movie, have a picnic. His life is black and if he would rather be hungover than hang with his kids, well, no offense, kind of really immature.
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:16 AM
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I do understand. I received 9 emails on Monday. Two more today. Meltdown city (him, not me).

My kids are supposed to go there for a week this month. Him and his emails no longer get to me but I wish there wasn't a visit planned. At first I was aggravated because I was looking forward to a week off parenting. I have not had a night away from kids in 3 years. I love them but I'm tired. Now I am just stressed. I don't want them there if he is not stable. It is hard to tell how much is his own little self centered blame game and manipulation (he wants me to stay too, you know to do all the actual parenting and maid service - hahahahaha) and how much is true mental health instability. It is easier for them to not see him in that case.

Apologies for the hijack. You are getting the right reaction, now you just have to get your emotions to follow. Make new 'tapes' in your head. I found that to be really helpful. Every time something like that showed up I forced myself to turn off the old thought pattern and play the new tape in my head and you know what - I finally believed it. It finally worked and I no longer take any of his drivel to heart. You'll get there too.
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:14 AM
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WTBH, I feel for you!! Your XAH sounds like a real piece of work. What an A$$. I can fully understand why you need to vent. I'd need to vent AND break something.

Everyone gave you great advice. I know you feel badly for your girls but they will be okay. I like what Florence said about how she talks to her son about the reality of who his dad is and what he can expect of him. I grew up with an emotionally unavailable father and my mom always made excuses for him, probably because she was in denial about it herself. I think it would have really helped me to be spoken to honestly about him.

My ex was a master of the vitriolic text message. I know how upsetting it is to receive that kind of crap, and how much anxiety it can cause. I also feel like I have PTSD now. He is out of my life but I'm still always waiting for the other shoe to drop--about everything!! When you live with that kind of abusive behavior it reprograms your nervous system or something. .

I hope you have a wonderful June 16th regardless. And hopefully all the positive thoughts and energy from SR will serve as some kind of antedote to your x's extreme negativity.
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