My daughter was given driving lessons by her Narcissistic father as one of many (many) gifts from him over the holidays. He registered her for the classes in advance, no communication with me, with some classes occurring during my parenting time.
Surprise? The gift, Yes. The lack of communication and/or coordination with me on this milestone of an event in our daughter’s life? No. I would expect nothing other from him at this point.
My daughter was sooooo excited for driving classes, and is now soooo excited to be at this glorious almost-ready-for-her-permit eager teen age.
I’m very excited for my daughter too. Driving? Yeah, I’m a little nervous. Ok, a lot. I probably would have recommended we hold off on the lessons – until summer at least – but, well, I wasn’t asked.
The ExN wants the glory of being the cool Disney dad who gives his daughter driving lessons first, despite any recommendations “her mother” could ever think or suggest.
Three weekends of completed driving lessons for the teen are now over. Check.
And then this conversation occurred:
“Mom, dad said he is going to buy me a car, the really cool one that I want.”
“Really honey? That’s very thoughtful of your father. And very lucky for you too.”
“Yeah, he said he will buy me a car, but it can only be driven at his house. It’s not allowed at your house.”
“I’m sorry, What??”
“Dad said I can only drive the car he gets me when I’m with him. When I’m with you the car has to stay at his home. If I drive it to school I will have to take it back to his home first, and he will bring me back to yours if I’m with you that night. He said I’ll never be allowed to have the car he buys me around you at all.”
Seriously. I was dumbstruck.
I looked my daughter in the eyes and told her that plan was the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. (I don’t know if I should have said that out loud to her or not, but the words came out of my mouth faster than I could control at that moment.)
I told her it would seem to make more sense if her father and I worked something out so she would have ONE car that she could drive to either home, or wherever she needed to go, since it was going to be HER car after-all.
She replied, “Mom, you know that would never happen with dad, so why even waste your time thinking about it.”
She is 100% correct. My daughter is a very smart young woman.
I know her father’s twisted Narcissistic way of thinking far too well: His brand new shiny fun gift of a car is going to look a heck of a lot better to our daughter than the century-old one she is going to have to work to pay half for at my home when the time comes….
And then he’ll think: Maybe, by giving our daughter another expensive new “thing” at his home, she will want to live with him full time!… and then he can quit paying child support!… and maybe our daughter will forget she even has “a mother” and he will never have to deal with me again… ever!!…!!
I can hear his twisted thoughts in my head right now.
And I believe his Narcissistic way of thinking on this one is going to prove him wrong. Even though you could certainly never tell him that.
My counselors throughout the years have consistently told me that my kids “will eventually understand” all of this someday. It may be when they are in their mid-20’s, or even early-30’s or later, but someday, they will understand.
It hasn’t always been an easy road for my kids since the divorce, and in fact, it’s been downright horrible for them at times, especially when I hit my lowest points while still trying to maintain balance and the strength from within myself to keep the conflict to a minimum and shield them from the toxic situation.
Would my daughter like to pick out a fun new car for her 16th birthday? Of course she would. Who wouldn’t at that age.
But I also know, that she knows, and is truly beginning to understand, the differences between her father’s home versus mine. I am not claiming that things are all “right” at one home, and all “wrong” at the other; but there are certainly a lot of distinctions in lifestyles, and parenting styles, when you are a child of divorce, being raised by one Narcissistic parent.
I know because I was that child once also.
It’s taken me many years “to eventually understand” throughout my own journey in this long post-divorce process.
For instance, I now know that dazzling Disney dad isn’t necessarily always going to come out ahead in the end like he thinks he might.
~LLS~ Lucy K.
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