I am writing today while channeling my funny bone. Humor can be the best medicine. We’ve all seen the game show, “Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?” Lately I feel like I am stuck in an offshoot of that show called, “Are you Smarter than a 2nd Grader?”
I hear stories from other men and women on my site and often I am left feeling thankful that my own personal narcissist isn’t as intelligent as the ones that I read about. For many years, Seth led me to believe that he was the cream of the crop- above average SAT scores, IQ, etc. I drank the sparkly pink kool-aid and was in awe of him. I am still in awe of him but in a much different way. I am often left wondering, “Did he really just put that in writing?!” or “Did he really just do that or say that?!” The answer is always the same: yes, he really just did that.
Children are amazingly intelligent and perceptive– even at the ages of 6 and 8. My daughters are already aware of their father’s manipulations. Here are just a few of the things that have come up lately:
- “Dad bought us ice cream yesterday and then said, ‘I buy you way more treats that your mom buys you.’ ” She relayed this conversation with inflection in her voice. She knows that he is trying to manipulate- and she is in 2nd grade.
- “Dad bought us Monster High Dolls and said that he doesn’t see a problem with them. I know he buys them because you don’t like them”
- “Dad said that he calls every night and that you block his calls. I know that you don’t do that and that he is lying.”
- “Mom, dad always promises us on the phone that we are going to have playdates and do fun things but we never do. He is just saying that to make us excited about going to his house. We never have playdates at his house.”
Last night Seth called and spoke to my oldest daughter. I watched her personality change as she spoke to him. At the end of the call he told her that he loved her and missed her. “OK” was her response. That obviously didn’t sit well with him. He then said, “Don’t you have any enthusiasm? You are supposed to say, ‘I love you and miss you, dad!’ ” I think that section is covered on page 834 of the Narcissist handbook- you MUST tell the narcissist that you love them and miss them despite their ongoing harmful actions.
Like with anything, Glenn and I are careful about how we respond. We practice the art of listening and never add fuel to the tiny little flames that are appearing with every visit. I don’t have to say a word because they already know. One of my favorite sayings is, “Your actions speak so loud that I can’t hear what you are saying.” Seth is teaching our daughters this life lesson at every visit.
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