How many times do we get to see the Stanley Cup during the hockey season? Not much really. They bring it out for special occasions and nearing the end of the season. That’s pretty much it. And for the finals. When a team is finally crowned the champion, then Stanley gets to be paraded all over the court and then the team’s hometown. Then Stanley goes into hibernation until it’s time to take her out again. Well, that’s pretty much what happens to my daughter when it comes to her father. I could have as well named her Stanley, just like the NHL cup.
My husband took our daughter out today to some event he had. While it was not an adults-only event, it was not an event for a 3-year old, either. That got me thinking and I realized that so far, he has not taken her to any event tailored to children and only to places where he has to spend zero money.
First of all, he never really took her anywhere before filing for divorce. All of a sudden and after that, he started to take her out. However, and as I have already said, he has taken her to places he wanted to go. I think he took her once to a playground near his parents’. But that was it and I think it was mostly to kill time while waiting for his parents to get back home.
Because like mother like son, those two have to do what they want, when they want. Everybody else has to dance at their tune.
For most part, my husband takes her to his parents’ and that’s pretty much it. (And now that I recall, I had to fight this tendency with me. He always wanted to go to his parents’ over the weekend. It was so difficult to get him to do something else for a change. And now, he’s doing the same thing to our daughter.) Ultimately, I have nothing against children seeing their grandparents. But normal grandparents. Every time my daughter has been there, she has come back distraught, hungry, thirsty, and exhausted after clearly having been crying for most of the time. But I don’t want to repeat myself. I know I’ve mentioned how it is like over there before.
Anyway, I think he takes her to his parents as a way of saying “Mom! Look at me!” His brother has always been the favourite son. Now that his brother has been living many states away with his own family and for almost a decade, his mother has finally and somewhat remembered that she has another son. She still doesn’t pay as much attention to my husband as she did her eldest; however, the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced my husband is still seeking his mother’s approval and acceptance and he will take anything he can get, even the crumbs.
It is actually sad if you stop to think about it. A full grown-up man still seeking mom’s approval, acceptance, and ultimately love. Unfortunately, that’s something he will never get since his mother is also a narcissist.
No matter how many times she says ‘I love you,‘ it will never be enough. I came to the conclusion it is not a sincere I love you. I doubt my mother-in-law knows the true meaning of love. No wonder why my husband has not learnt that, either. How could he? He never stood a chance. His mother is always a victim and her sons, husband (my father-in-law,) and grandchildren are nothing but an extension of herself. Nothing else. I read somewhere that this is actually common with many narcissistic mothers. They want to show off her seemingly perfect family. And my mother-in-law cannot stop talking about her family and extended family.
Going back to Stanley the trophy, taking our daughter over there to her paternal grandparents’ is another way for her father to get the attention he craves. Once he gets that, our daughter gets relegated to the background.
Same goes for all the other places he goes to. He’s basically parading her to prove how great a daddy he is (and his ability to reproduce, which in my opinion doesn’t require any special talents, but, oh, well.) Just like the Stanley Cup, my daughter is brought out in the open when there is an audience. Once he has paraded her enough, he puts her away until the next season. And he doesn’t take into consideration her needs or if it is appropriate for him to take such a young kid to the event or place, or if the event is even acceptable for a young child. He once even forced me to take her to a funeral. A relative of his had died and he insisted in taking her. She was not even 1-yr old, yet.
I felt embarrassed at times. There we were, at a funeral, people crying over the death of this person (whom I had never met,) and my husband is walking around with her in his arms, with a big smile as if it had been her first birthday party. I remember looking at him and I couldn’t help but think that he looked like a 2nd grader who had just won some school contest and was walking around showing everybody his award.
This has also made me realized that he did exactly the same things with me. I remember Christmastime the first year we were together, he decided to hand all of his Christmas cards instead of mailing them. He went knocking on every door on his never-ending list while dragging me from place to place. It was a typical, cold winter day in the upper Midwest. It was snowing at times. The roads were dirty in slushy snow mixed up with salt and dirt from vehicles. It was gray and gloomy and we were getting in and out of his small compact, 2-door GM car what seemed to me like every 5 minutes or 2 blocks. I guess I was so in love at the time that I didn’t figure out what was actually going on until recently when I noticed the pattern with our daughter and I remembered playing postman with him.
Concerning events he wants to attend or places he wants to go or not, he did the same to me. Therefore, our daughter is no different. I would ask to go camping to a different place and he would insist on going to the one and only place he liked. I would ask to go do something I liked doing, he would either talk me out of it, or come and be so bored that he could have as well been in another planet, that little company he actually kept me. So why would take our daughter to a kids’ event or place would be of his liking or even intentional?
I remember we took her to go see Thomas The Engine around her second birthday. She was delighted with the cheeky, blue engine in real life. He was delighted with his cellphone. Thomas would beep and she would get excited. Her father’s cellphone would beep and he would be excited somewhere else while still being physically there. I don’t think he smiled once when seeing her so happy to see Thomas. I was enjoying every minute of it, laughing with her, dancing to the songs with her. He was dancing to the rhythm of his Samsung Galaxy.
I’m sure that there were many other parents there who probably didn’t care one bit about Thomas. However, they were there because they cared about their children. Narcissists, on the other hand, don’t care about anything but themselves.
Anyway, I made my point several paragraphs ago. I don’t know whether to feel sad about it or not. But I do know that I feel bad for our daughter. It is not fair to her.
In closing, what a lousy way of living. Always bored. Always looking for a way to control others so as to feel alive and better about oneself. Not being able to feel with others, feel sympathy. Not able to understand or relate to other human beings because empathy and compassion are foreign concepts. Never satisfied with life and always disappointed at others and oneself. What a lonely way of existing. And I used to feel embarrassed over crying while reading a book, an article, or watching a film. At least, it meant I am capable of feelings. I prefer that type of embarrassment than being embarrassed about myself because nothing is ever enough and deep inside of me knowing that I’m a failure. Because I cannot believe that narcissists don’t know they are ultimately failures. They can say whatever they want about their supposed successes, qualities, and talents. But deep inside, they have to know the truth about themselves and they can’t tolerate the embarrassment or the loneliness. It is indeed a pity.
Well, it is too late and Stanley needs to go to bed and so do I, especially since I never know what Stanley’s dad could come up with. Being on a constant state of alert is exhausting. My last thoughts, don’t let the narc in your life turn you, your children, or both, into his or her personal Stanley Cup. Good night!