It seems like many moons ago (2010) when my X and I were going through the court-ordered custody evaluation.  We were instructed by the evaluator not to say, “I am going to miss you” to the girls when they were going with the other parent.  She stated that it made the girls worry about the parent that they wouldn’t be with.  She suggested that we say things like, “I love you and I hope you have a great time“.   I am careful in my choice of words whenever the girls leave for a visit as I don’t want them to feel torn in any way.

Unfortunately, Narcissists are master manipulators and they don’t care about making a child feel torn.  They thrive on manipulations.  Enter stage left, my X.  He has not made an effort to see the girls since the ex parte hearing.  I made contact with the company assigned to supervise the visits right after the hearing to get the process started.  His supervised visits are ordered to be one time per week for one hour each visit.  There hasn’t been a single visit and my assumption is that he has never contacted the company.

He called last night to tell the girls about his triathlon.  He wants to talk about himself and how far he swam, rode and ran.  They are 5 and 7 years old- they just don’t understand or care at this age.  It would be like me sitting them down and expecting them to be enthused about what I did at work on that particular day.  He explained that a 15-year old girl participated in the triathlon and that in a few years they too could participate.  He doesn’t think to ask what they are interested it.  He expects them to want to do a triathlon someday because that is what he wants them to do.

He wants them to be his puppet just like I was for so many years.

He ends each call with the manipulation turned up to high.  “This was supposed to be Daddy’s weekend to see you but….well….Daddy can’t see you for a while and that makes me sad.  We would have went swimming together and had a lot of fun.  Daddy will be able to see you soon– I hope I will get to see you this summer“.  He is hoping to evoke some response from them yet he doesn’t get the response he wanted.  He then switches to using his mom’s visit this summer as bait saying that he hopes that their Noni will get to see them also.  I have already let his mother know that she is welcome to see the girls anytime this summer at our home.  The girls know that their grandma is welcome in our home while she is here visiting from Saudi Arabia so this trick doesn’t work either.

Without saying a word to them, I can already tell that the girls see through their dad.  Today I am thankful to their therapist of the past year for helping them to understand that we can’t control other people or their decisions.  I am thankful that they are intuitive and know what is normal and what is contrived.  I am thankful that they have a voice.  I am thankful that they don’t move on cue when the puppet strings try to control them.

After reading stories from other mothers over the past week, I am thankful that while my X is manipulative; he hasn’t been able to manipulate the courts.  In his own mind, he feels highly intelligent and superior yet what is written in emails and said out loud appears scattered and rambling.  I am thankful that the courts see through him.

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