Life after a narcissist and co-parenting

I have taken a few months off to reset myself to recharge if you will.  I have watched so much happen in the last few years and am starting to really process it all.  I never thought that my life would end up this way, but I am not looking back either.  I am forever changed by being involved and married to a narcissist and not being able to walk away.  Being bound to an abusive man even after divorcing.  Co-parenting with a narcissist has left this desire in me to be a better mother, but no longer the perfect mother.

I once wanted Landry to grow up with the perfect family where everything had its place, but now I realize that was a fairy tale.  I want Landry to grow up experiencing diversity, but not the kind of abuse I endured.  She already saw enough abuse.  I want Landry to learn what it truly means to be loved and fully love back and enjoy being with someone.  That success is not measured by the house you live in or the career you choose, but by your happiness and compassion.

One of my biggest fears is no longer the bully that reigned over me, but the bully that has the potential to do what happened to him.  That his weakness is exposed to our daughter and that she learns that same weakness.  To not be able to love or feel appropriate emotions and to intentionally hurt someone.  Today my parenting style is even more intentional than before.

Instead of telling Landry right from wrong, I am intentionally leading my child to decipher right from wrong.  I allow my child to use her own critical thinking skills and develop her own thoughts and opinions.  I am there to love her and pick her up if she chooses the wrong decision.  I am there to help her understand and process her wrong decision if she needs to.

I teach her to be spontaneous with purpose, enjoy the little things and most importantly fill her bucket by filling others.  The bucket books were instrumental to help her understand what her father cannot teach her.  She has seen that she can make a difference in this large world and one man’s love or lack of love will not define her.  My parenting has become purposeful and intentional.  I am not perfect and I admit to her when my flaws show through that she can understand that she does not have to be perfect.

Parenting this way can is very tiring especially when the other parent makes it so difficult, but in the end I know this is what she needs.  She needs to help process what she already knows is right or wrong because her dad can’t help her do that.  As exhausting as it is,  I know that I am getting through to her when she apologizes on her own accord.  Not just an I’m sorry 2 minutes after the event, but a heartfelt apology saying what she did wrong and that it wasn’t okay what she did and most importantly an apology initiated by her.

Every time that happens, I am so taken back and reassured.  Reassured for the time being that I know that she is getting this thing called life and love even with a parent in her life that can’t love.  I know that when she fills someone else’s bucket and is so happy about it and smiling ear to ear that she can love others and for the time being my heart is happy because I know she is becoming her own self capable of love and appropriate emotions.

 

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