Today’s blog is not as easy as I thought it would be to type out. That is because I am looking at this new issue at an angle, not from my own personal feelings and opinions, but from the perspective of Zander.
How must he be feeling? What must he be thinking?
As the basis of this blog implies, this is all about my son’s international abduction from his habitual residence. He’s been back home since September, 8 months total. When I first picked Zander up, completely unprompted, he apologized to me. Before I arrived in Malta to pick him up, Zander had lost the excitement of being in Malta, because he had finally been told toward the end that he may never come home again, which is absolutely not what Zander had wanted when he initially said he wanted to remain in Malta for a year.
So yes, there was most definitely resentment against You-Know-Who because of that. Zander knew he had been lied to. After a few months of being back, it began to disappear from the forefront of his mind. He was able to be what he wanted, do what he wanted, without the “issue” thrown in his face at every opportunity. He started warming back up to You-Know-Who, although it was sporadic at best. I could tell it was improving at the very least.
Then January came around, and my attorney filed for sole custody and modification. You-Know-Who, as he is wont to do, became obsessed. He was all about repeating the lies and accusations directed at me. The responses that he wrote were quite a doozy. During the hearing on April 12, my attorney asked the Judge if she had read the Defendant’s responses. She rolled her eyes and said, “Yep”, clearly realizing how ridiculous it all was.
The point of this is, You-Know-Who began changing the direction of how he talked to Zander. It was very covert at first. He began talking more about Zander going to Malta. About all the fun things they had done in Malta. All with the expectation of a desired response from Zander. If Zander gave that response, all was good. If he did not, then the whining, the exaggerated sighs, the “what about me” responses started.
Then came the final decision. The courts granted me everything.
It has only been TWO conversations. I’m honestly floored. Whip-lashing shocked. The first one was my last blog, There’s a Difference . You-Know-Who went on and on about Mother’s Day. Despite the false assumptions on my parenting, and the threats against me from You-Know-Who’s very own mother, I absolutely wanted Zander to speak to his grandmother on Mother’s Day.
You-Know-Who did not have his mother speak to Zander.
I made Zander sit in front of the computer. He typed on Skype, “do not call me”, “From Zander”. I reprimanded Zander. You-Know-Who called and immediately whined, “What do you mean, don’t call you?”
He continued, “Zander you realize I only get these phone calls twice a week right? I only get to talk to you. I don’t get to see you, I don’t get pictures. All I get is to hear your voice twice a week. That’s all I get. You realize that?”
(He does get pictures.)
Z: “No *whining*”
A: Well try to think a bit on how I feel. I can only hear your voice twice a week.
Z: Leave me alone. I want to play my game and I’m tired and grumpy.
A: How can you be tired already? It’s only 5pm there. *pause*
Or basically do you not want to hear from me ever again? Should I disappear from your life? Is that what you want? Hmm?
(Zander didn’t say anything. I didn’t even come in the room and look at what Zander had done until You-Know-Who’s response, which I didn’t understand at the time. Zander sent applauding emoji.)
Oh….you’re sarcastically applauding. That’s nice. Am I that boring?
I’m not going to go into the entire conversation, but Zander also told You-Know-Who, “You’re always in my business.”
I’ll be frank. I’m worried. Zander is being super rude. I’m not saying this man, after all he has done, does not deserve it. However, from Zander’s perspective, I’m worried. Zander has not wanted much to do with You-Know-Who for a couple of months now. I suspect Zander is psychologically being pulled back to the time of his abduction and that negativity, and he does not wish to be there.
You-Know-Who is being belittling, condescending, and rude to Zander, who has begun to fight back. I haven’t talked to Zander about it. I’ll let him know I’m here if he does want to talk, but the counselor needs to be brought in pronto.
She needs to hear these talks.
- They are absolutely inappropriate
- This is clearly emotional abuse
- Despite everything, this has to hurt Zander, being talked to like that by
someone he cared about
It’s a common phenomenon with narcissistic personalities. “Why don’t you want to talk to me?”, they whine. “Don’t you love me?” An emotionally manipulative narc’s language is all about me, me, me, it’s all about me and my feelings. It’s all about what I get. It’s all about what I want.
And when they don’t get what they want, they express the narc rage.
This “narc rage” can be loud and violent, it can be covert and manipulative, but it still remains obvious. They slip. It manifests in passive-aggressive sighs, withdrawals, threats, and “all I do for you” rants.
You-Know-Who is clearly there. It was more covert before, but now it’s obvious. It’s clear. It’s a slap in the face, not to me, but to Zander. “I only get this. I only get that. Do you want me to disappear?”
To me and my Mom, this is not the first time You-Know-Who has threatened to disappear. He had a life and wanted to move on. We still have that handwritten letter. But…to say that to your child??
That is clearly emotionally abusive and unfair to Zander. Be an adult, swallow the bitter pill of your own unlawful actions, and simply talk to him. Try to bond with him as best you can. I know it’s hard. I only had difficulties with Zander during the court hearings in Malta I was unaware of. After that, I didn’t have difficulties with Zander. We had conversations of upwards of 3 hours. Zander was happy the entire time. He whined when he was told to get off. Yeah, not all conversations were like that, but the majority were. I’m not telling Zander to get off. I’m not dragging him all over the State every single-loving day like he was in Malta. There’s no stress on him. There’s no pressure.
Narcissistic parents command an unreasonable worshipful behavior from their children. You-Know-Who does not have that. He does not receive that. Zander refuses to give him that which he wants.
You-Know-Who does not like that, and he will whine and belittle him all the way because of it. These children, like Zander, are punished for showing they are their own person. They have their own emotional needs that do not fall in line with the narc parent.
I can’t help but realize that Zander is being punished. Punished for showing emotional self-sufficiency. For having his own mind and thoughts and desires. For not being upset over You-Know-Who’s loss.
I find myself replaying the conversations over and over in my mind. Why is he doing this to Zander? Why is he saying these things? What is he doing?
It’s clear by anyone who reads the transcript that
- He doesn’t care about Zander. He cares about hurting me
- Zander is not interested in You-Know-Who
- You-Know-Who is self-centered
It finally hit me.
You-Know-Who has nothing left to lose.
In his mind, he lost everything. There’s nothing left. Narcs want control. From day one, it has always been about control. He no longer has that. Not even an ounce. From these talks, he has shown that he no longer has any interest in coming to America to visit Zander. He’s more content placing the lack of in-person visitation on me than actually spending money on something other than winning in court.
He is now threatening to “disappear”. The severity of what he is talking to Zander about is so concerning that I’ve already left a message with the NCMEC referred therapist.
Without control, without power, You-Know-Who is not seeing that he does have something to lose. And that is Zander’s love.
Zander is not an object to emotionally manipulate. He is a person.
He may be developmentally behind, but he’s still a 10 year old boy who can hear what he is being said to him. He is fighting back. He is rebelling.
I’m here to pick up the potential broken pieces. I have to make sure he handles this situation. This child should not be made to feel like he is responsible for any of this.