He gradually and systematically alienated my children against me over many years. In fact since the day they were born they unconsciously learned that I was a valueless nothing to their father. The irony of that is, that I did EVERYTHING, made all the decisions and basically ran his life for him subject to his unspoken and sometimes spoken approval.
He brainwashed my children to devalue me through our married life. They witnessed his demeaning behaviour towards me every single day and this is the way I am treated by my children and have been since they were teenagers i.e. with contempt.
All three of my children are victims of narcissistic abuse by their father and it manifests in different ways. Over the last ten years, since the divorce I have noticed that they have changed their lively and happy personalities to become more negative and reserved young adults.
They think it’s my fault that their ‘mental health’ is suffering which it is in a way because I was stupid and damaged enough to marry him. They have spent time with their father alone since 2006. When we split up he has manipulated situations where he could spend time with them and I have not been there to mediate his toxic behaviour.
It is clear from this texts, e-mails and letters to me exactly what he thinks of me and the language he uses when he communicates is the same language in which he spoke to me.
This video you can learn about the behaviour of a covert malignant narcissist which describes Gordon perfectly.
Throughout our marriage and after the children were born, he verbally abused me in front of the children. This was his default behaviour towards me. He didn’t know how to have a discussion or co-operative discussion. This took numerous forms and took place if I expressed an opinion, gave feedback, had a different view from him, and if I dared to criticise him.
Basically whenever I opened my mouth I received abuse. This took the non-verbal forms of smirking, laughing, mimicking, sighing, ignoring, eyerolling, sniffing and walking away.
Verbal forms are too many to list but as examples he like to call me names such as mad woman. fish wife, battle axe, contradicting me, countering what I said, ridiculing, trivializing and belittling.
It took place if I was enjoying myself, expressing any positive feelings or happiness. That was not allowed.
It took place if he was asked a question because he feared a discussion. This would expose him to perceived criticism.
It took place if he was held to account on anything such as plans made, agreements, and anything he was supposed to do.
It happened because I was simply being ME. He hated everything about me and was only married to me for a source of fuel and for the considerable ‘residual benefits’, he received from me. The residual benefits he received were the day-to-day practical things like food shopping and cooking, housework, laundry, cleaning etc. I did all of that.
He behaved like a child where I was responsible for running our life and he just helped when he wanted to with no accountability. I was blamed for everything.
I had ambition and wanted money so that my children could experience a great lifestyle and opportunities such as music lessons, drama, theatre, concerts, different sporting activities, travel, for example.
That meant I was driven to start businesses to obtain more income. I had the idea of starting a property business which started with renovation of a small house.
I did all the research needed and was the instigator of everything. He contributed ‘hands on work’ and negativity.
When I asked him why he couldn’t envision, structure, plan and organise the projects he said, “Tell me what to do and I’ll do it.”
When I did, he became angry and said, “You can’t tell me what to do!”
When I asked him why he has spent the day helping the plasterer and not working on managing the business he couldn’t understand what the issue was. He would say he saved us £500 by him doing it and ‘alls you do is criticise me.’
His inability to have an idea, a vision, instigate and plan a project drove me mad. All our business aims were achieved in spite of him. If it wasn’t for me, we would have achieved nothing.
Instead of moving the business forward he chose to work as a lecturer for 8 years after my son was born. Him doing this really held us up.
In a gradual and steady was he began using the children as a way of controlling me.
Undermining was one of the ways he did this so he could appear the good guy and me who only wanted the best for the children was portrayed as the mean mother and a mad woman.
Undermining Me – Kumon Maths
One memorable and clear example of this was when he undermined my decision that the children should carry on working on maths when we were on holiday in Crete.
I had enrolled the children on a Kumon Maths course with their father’s agreement. He was always moaning on about them needing to do more maths for some unknown reason only known to a narcissist.
The program only required 10 minutes a day to complete a sequential set of simple arithmetic problems.
When I asked the children to start work he said,
“Oh, you’re not going to MAKE them do it are you? We’re on holiday.”
He used it a way of controlling me and obtaining fuel from my emotional reactions. At the time I reacted badly because I was stunned by his lack of caring about the children’s education. I did not know that he was a narcissist.
It was an important and in-built factor of the program that work was done every day. Little and often was the way in which it worked. We had been making great progress and I really wanted to keep up the momentum. So, I tried to get him to see reason.
That was a huge mistake. He smirked and laughed at me and called me mad woman.
I remember the children huddled round him, looking at me while he laughed and raised his eyes. There I was behaving like a mad woman again!
Now I would have said something like, well kids, your father doesn’t think that it is important for you do your maths but I do because I care about you and your education. That would have turned it back on him I removed his control.
It is disgusting the way he used the children in this. He didn’t care a jot about their education. He also knew how important their education was to me so even better for him to hurt me by using the children.
The most important thing in this was desire to control me.
Countering by the Narcissist
Everything I said was questioned or countered by Gordon. It is the most crazy making behaviour and stops dead any form of meaningful interaction.
He took the opposite stance on everything I said. It is different to disagreeing. He didn’t disagree and then offer his opinion so we could have a discussion and productive dialogue to achieve and aim.
He would say things like, ‘no it’s not’ or ‘no that’s not black isn’t more of a grey colour. I would say for example, ‘Raisins go really well in apple pie.’ And he would say, ‘No they don’t. Your wrong.’
Sometimes I would forget myself and try to involving him in the children’s activities and set myself up for abuse.
I showed him the children’s paintings when they were toddlers and the interaction would go something like this.
Me: “Look Dom has made a great painting! Isn’t that a lovely colour red he has use?”
Gordon; “It’s not red its more orange.”
Me: Well, I really like this it’s so colourful and bright!”
Gordon: “That’s lovely Dom, but time I’d use different colours next time because they are not quite write
Another example is when he even countered his daughter.
When she was about six she made star shaped Christmas biscuits. She spent a long time decorating them with colourful edible baubles and icing.
She gave one to Gordon and he said to her,
“Next time could you leave the baubles off because they stick in my teeth.”
I was physically pained by this comment. She had carefully arranged the decorations and he thought nothing of devaluing all her efforts. I was so perplexed that a father could say that to his six year old. But he does not know love.
On another occasion my cousin asked her what music she liked. She replied that she liked Beyonce.
Gordon piped up, “No she doesn’t. She likes Muse.” At the time I thought he was just plain weird! But it is narcissistic control in action.
One Christmas when the children were young, I tried to include him in decorating the Christmas Tree. The children and I were excited and involved in the festive fun. This gave Gordon so much opportunity for countering and devaluing. Me and the children were enthusiastically picking decorations as putting them on the tree. Gordon hated us having fun so he had to spoil it. He was not capable to joining in due to his narcissism. I never saw him genuinely happy
Each time I picked a decoration and said to the children, “ I like this lovely silver one.” He would say something like, “I don’t and its gold anyway.”
If I said, “This one will look nice!” he replied, “No it won’t”
He kept the countering up the entire time. The effect on the children’s opinion of me was to learn to devalue me, my opinions, and everything I did.
Gordon like to belittle me by using the phrase, “Alls you do is.”
This was followed by the activity that I was doing at the time.
He used the word ‘alls’ because he is from Liverpool and that is how he talks.
If I was reading a book he would say, “Alls you do is read books.”
If I bought a dress he would say, “Alls you do is buy frocks.”
If I was working on the PC he would say, “Alls you do is tippy tap on that computer all day.”
It became quite laughable.
During a counselling session at Relate I raised this with the counsellor and explained that I didn’t like him belittling me.
He jumped straight to lying – the narcissists best defence.
I gave her the example of him saying that very morning, that ‘alls’ I did was file my nails. He replied that he didn’t even know I filed my nails.
He would not accept accountability for anything.
The children heard this opinion of me daily. He tried to portray me as a shallow person who spent my day’s filing my nails for example,
It is amusing in some ways as ‘alls’ I did was a whole range of things, which if that was all I did meant I a full and varied life.
Ridicule and Mockery
Ridiculing is an effective way to devaluing someone whilst making yourself seem superior. It is also a controlling behaviour and the narcissist obtains fuel from the emotional reaction of the victim.
Gordon can be seen in action ridiculing his mother here. He did this to me too. You can see in the video that his father was also an abuser.
As they were growing up the children witnessed this disrespectful behaviour towards me all the time
During the time we were living together he taught the children how to treat me with contempt, disrespect and entitlement.
He taught them to devalue me by mocking me. He mocked me by mimicking my laugh, the way I used my hands, my facial expressions, the way I said things. I walked on egg shells around him to protect myself from an attack.
Brainwashing After He Left
When Gordon left, on the first day he texted my eldest daughter, “I miss you.” He kept this up until I found her phone and told him to stop.
This emotional manipulation was the shape of things to come.
The divorce process was hell. Being an unaware narcissist, he doesn’t know that his nasty behaviour is on default. It’s a programmed defence mechanism from childhood trauma. He can’t help but be confrontational, hostile and obstructive.
He now had plenty of time to work on the children when I wasn’t there to see what he was saying and doing to them.
Having already prepared the groundwork, that I was a mad woman, a fish wife, ‘up the pole’ I made everyone’s life a misery, and to be treated with contempt and disrespect, it was easier for him to continue the devaluation of me and to make them think I was a bad mother,
Gordon took every opportunity to use the children to this aim
Narcissists know no boundaries and this was demonstrated by the way he expected me to be at his beck and call. He behaved like a baby sitter, a child care facility rather than a responsible father. He told me he did them favours, big favours, all the time.
He expected me to be ‘on call’ even when he was with the children. He expected me to be at home in case they needed thing that he wasn’t going to provide for them as they had ‘perfectly good ones at home’.
He changed the contact times whenever he liked because he had a delivery, a meeting, was helping his ‘friend’ (girlfriend), or whatever. I was expected to be flexible and at home to suit his plans, even at short notice.
He made arrangements on my behalf involving the children without asking me and expected me to ‘fall in’ with his plans.
The children played in badminton tournaments and he would ‘volunteer’ me for lifts etc. without asking me. He simply expected me to do it.
When I wasn’t ‘on call’ he let the children know it was because I was a bad mother.
Getting the Children On Their Own To Tell Them About Me
Gordon was desperate for money and in order to gain a larger percentage of the money he said he wanted 50/50 care of the children and then wanted full custody.
With hindsight I should have called his bluff and taken the children to this girlfriends house and said there you are try it!. She had three children of her own. So that would have been a bit crowded.
There is no way he could have looked after them. He had work as a ‘gardener’ and needed to be on site early and available at irregular times for deliveries etc. He had a low income, and she lived half and hour from the children’s school. He had already complained about wasting time ‘the school run’ when it was his weekends with them.
His emails and texts are full of examples where he is telling the children what I am like, and the kids know what you’re like and even the kids agree your mad.
When I met a man and began a relationship Gordon really lost the plot,
He came round to my house to berate us!
He sent a tirade of texts and emails accusing me of teaching the children how sexual, relationships work.
He told me he couldn’t wait to get my daughter alone so he could tell her about my what he calls sexual relationships.
Triangulation to Reinforce His Sense of Superiority.
In this email he shows he is triangulating the children and talking about me with them when I am not there. The irony is, is that it was HIM who was using the children to get more money from the settlement.
First he wanted 50:50 and then he wanted full custody of them. In this email he pretends that he is so keen to see the children that he will get an emergency court order yet in another email is complains about not having enough time to himself and accuses me of ‘foiling’ every attempts he has made to himself!
First he wants the children………..
Then he doesn’t……………….
In thie text he says that the kids will grow to hate me if I turn then against him. In fact he has done that to me. This email explains EXACTLY what he was doing to me and it is a perfect example of narcissistic projection. It is full of a abuse using insult, demands, lies, denial, triangulation of the children and my family.
It shows his sense of entitlement and grandiosity. I am not doing what he wants and he can’t control me so he is overcome with fury and espresses his hate towards me in this text.