If there is one thing I have learned, it is how cowardly Narcissists are. They are cowards with empty souls.
At one point my narcissist went to his brother and sister-in-law and told them he thought I was gambling or buying drugs because the measly amount of money he gave me to take care of the house per month wasn’t lasting. He couldn’t fathom how 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 adults, 2 kids and a snake and a gecko, could go through that much money in a month. I tried to show him receipts. He refused to look at them. He would bring it up again and I would again try to show him receipts. I offered to let him shop. He wouldn’t. So, in his cowardice way, he went to them one night, laid my “demons” on the table and started to build his army. He made up this whole big, dramatic falsehood. It was easier than admitting he needed to give me more and wasn’t providing. The big man was failing so he wanted the attention off of him and on me.
Thing is, he would not sit and talk about all that needed to be bought in a month. Groceries for the kid’s lunches, feminine products, crickets for the gecko, mice for the snake, food for the dogs and cats. Regular dinner food which ran, because he ate A LOT, close to $15-20 per dinner, just because of the amount of meat I had to buy. Instead of cutting out his snacks at night, or all the meat he had to have, it was easier for him to make up the grandiose idea that I was on drugs, gay or gambling.
I would make a grocery list and ask, “Is there anything special you want for dinner?” “no” Is there anything you need? “You know what I need.” I would come home after grocery shopping, carry them all in by myself and put them all away by myself to then hear that I did not get what he wanted. “I asked you.” “I didn’t think you were that stupid to buy Cheetos again. I wanted chips.” He wasn’t a heavy person. He could eat anything he wanted and he believed that he deserved steak and potatoes on a hamburger, green bean budget. There was a time when I loved to shop and organize my kitchen but by then I just hated it. Resented having to put it all away by myself and resented the fact that I knew there would be complaints. There were always complaints.
It’s funny. Once we divorced and he started feeding the kids twice a week, they would come home hungry because he limited their food due to cost. He would sit up at night eating snacks after they were in bed and refuse to let them have any. If they wanted a sandwich in between lunch and dinner (more than 5 hours was my rule), they were not allowed and yet he had been freely able to do this in our marital home. He started realizing how much food costs and starting setting out a budget for himself and our kids, which meant the kids went without eating even though he had the money and it would come out in cowardly ways. “You don’t need to eat right now…you eat too much…remember the size pants we bought you last time we were shopping?” He would try to shame them into saving him money. It got so bad at one point that I would send healthy snacks with them. They were frightened he would find out about the snacks and make their life hell! They always came home wanting to eat because he starved them.
Ahh, but me, I was having a gay affair, gambling our money away and possibly doing drugs. He had found a way to cowardly abuse our children in his home. It’s a big part of why they don’t see their Dad in his home now at 17 and 20. They don’t like their every move watched. They don’t like him analyzing what they are eating or telling them he can have 2 cheeseburgers while they get one. I was with him at our son’s age. He ate enough for 2 grown men. Obviously, he doesn’t remember me cooking a full pound of spaghetti with meat sauce. Me having a cup and him finishing the rest with garlic bread. We rarely had leftovers.
This weekend, he did another cowardly thing. I had asked him to pick up our son from his cast party because I had taken him to dinner with the cast and waited late both nights for him to be done. He waited for my friend to leave the play and then cowardly verbally assaulted me at the play. Attacking what I was saying and twisting things around. I stood my ground. I told him what I knew. Plans had changed unbeknownst to me, and he tried to blame it on me. He walked out pissed off. I told our son to text his Dad. If Dad doesn’t get you, let me know. And then I called the narcissist, left a message and said, “You are on pick up duty tonight. I don’t care if you think I am lying or not. I am not in charge of what is going on. If you don’t pick him up, then you can answer to the parents when he has to wake me up and they have to wait.” I stood my ground with the coward and you know what? He got our son. Why? Because I told our son Dad would pick him up. I left him out of the drama and just made it seem like this was the plan. Once my son knew to contact his Dad, the narcissist had a choice to make and I made sure I was available if he made the wrong one.
One thing about a coward is once you realize their game, you can stand up to them because YOU ARE NOT A COWARD. You may have been intimidated. You may have been caught off guard, but you are not a coward looking to seek your needs by derailing others. Stand your ground against the coward. Look at it this way. All you are doing is delegating the parental responsibilities. So be in charge. Delegate. Let the coward know, you will not be meeting his narcissistic needs and he has responsibilities he cannot coward his way out of. As a side note: It looks like the girlfriend I was so worried about has broken things off with him. I hope so. Good for her. I was worried about her safety and sanity. I now know why he has amped things up with me. I say this because she has gone to the past 2 plays and he sat alone all three nights. Not even his brother and sister came. I had my parents, step parents and my bff Laurie there. Each coming a different night. There is a lot of light right now in my life. It took some time but there is light and unconditional love and safety.
Stand your ground. You are brave because we as victims are still looking for an opportunity in a difficult situation. We stand with pure hearts wanting to make things better.