I had sessions with two pre-teens – male and female. I did emotional evaluation and also counseled them on some specific stuff.
I asked the boy his basic needs, and he said “food, shelter and clothing.” So I added quality education and love. I asked him if he was getting them all and he said yes, his mother has been providing all his needs.
I asked him if he missed his dad and he said yes.
Me: What do you miss about your dad?
Him: I miss the way he used to play with me and my sister, when we were little.
Me: Would you want to be like your dad when you grow up?
Him: (pause) errrmm! No! He is very violent.
Me: Do you think it is okay to hit a woman?
Him: No, that is what led to my parent’s divorce. My father was always hitting my mother.
Then I talked with the girl.
How do you feel about your parent’s divorce?
Her: I am angry.
Me: Are you angry at the divorce or at your parents?
Her: I’m angry at my dad.
Her: Because he was always beating my mother.
Me: Do you miss him?
Me: Do you want him back in your life?
Her: No. He has married another woman. I don’t want him in our lives.
Me: Do you think your mother is an excellent mother?
Her: Yes, she provides all our needs. But sometimes I feel my brother needs our dad.
Me: Why do you feel so?
Her: He is a man and my brother needs a man to show him how to be a man.
Me: Do you believe your father is the right example of what a man should be?
Me: Would you want your brother to be like your dad?
Me: Do you still believe your brother needs your dad to show him how to be a man?
Her: I don’t think so.
We had a very interesting session and there was so much to learn, unlearn and relearn.
Parents, don’t just leave your children and assume they are fine. As you seek healing for yourself, make sure you do same for them.
Don’t just walk away from an abusive marriage, go for healing therapy and also get some for your children.
You can lose your children to your divorce. The divorce experience can ruin them for life. Don’t assume that all is well. You need to know how the divorce has affected them and how to help them deal with it.
Another client of mine found out her adolescent son was experiencing shock while trying to reconcile his idea of his father and the realities his mother was revealing to him.
Her: Son, how do you feel about my separation from your dad?
Him: I want my father to come back. I want us to live together as a family.
Her: You know I cannot live in the same house with your father because he has hurt me so much.
Him: Don’t worry mom, he will change. I will talk to him and he will change.
Her: It is not possible for him to change. He has been like that for more than 10 years and didn’t change. He beat me up so many times, that I didn’t know I would survive. He refused to be financially involved in your education and he has done too many things to hurt me too.
Him: Mummy can I call him and ask him?
Her: Yes, you can do that.
He went on to call his father.
Him: Hello dad, I want to ask you something and I want you to tell me the truth.
His father: Okay my son.
Him: Did you ever beat my mom?
His father: No. I couldn’t have done that.
Him: Is it true that you never paid my fees?
His father: You should answer that question yourself. Was I not paying your fees?
Him: I don’t know what to believe again. He ended up even more confused.
The issue was that while this woman was going through physical and financial abuse, she never allowed him to see his father for who he truly was. She felt she was shielding him, but she was actually living a lie.
When you are dealing with a narcissist, don’t cover up for him. If he is not contributing towards their upkeep, let them know. Hiding these things means you are setting yourself up and will have to prove to them beyond reasonable doubts, that you are not the problem in the marriage that led to the divorce.
After all, you have always presented him as a wonderful husband and father. It will cause your children serious shock when they come face to face with the true reality of your marriage.
You need to also know that saying things as they are in your relationship is not demonization. Demonization is when you fabricate lies just to paint your partner as the devil.
Save yourself and your children by telling them the truth. Don’t let them build a false sense of security where there shouldn’t be any.
Let them know the truth about your marriage, else your non disclosure could be used against you by your narcissistic partner. Protect yourself and your children.
Written by Victor Ibeh