My son is 19 now. When he was 12 years old I finally got divorced from a very abusive violent marriage. The judge ordered my husband to have no contact with me or my son again (the order was only valid on my son until he turned 18.). At our trial a psychologist testified that my husband had a narcissistic personality diorder and that he has no empathy or a conscience. He had been in very bad legal trouble (burning his businesses and staging a burglary to collect insurance money) and I myself had gotten in trouble because he committed some of the crimes in my name (insurance frauds). My marriage was a living hell of fear, abuse, and terror. He's from Iran and is a Moslem, but truly has a personality disorder - he thinks he is God's messenger and has a "prophet-mentality". But he's extremely cruel and abusve and is a tyrant. My son witnessed and experienced so much of his dad's abuse., but he and I were always extrememly close. He was my life, my whole world, and I loved him more than I ever loved anyone. After the divorce I crashed finacially. My husband got everything because he put all his businesses and our house in his family's name in Iran.So my son and I lived alot more humbly but he had everything he wanted or needed. I loved him so much and lived for being his mother. I admit that I rarely said "no" to him because it broke my heart to do so, and he became very demanding - many of our homework sessions ended with me doing the entire assignment for him.But we were so close and he was my joy. A year ago my exhusband contacted my son, and everything just went to hell. My son moved out and was very enticed by his dad's big house, cash flow, and even bought my son a car. Of course his dad talks horrible about me and has made my son hate me. My exhusband is a very convincing person and rave for hours. But still, never in a million years did I think anyone could ever make my son not love me, but it has happened. My son is very ADHD and learning disabled, so he is very vulnerable, but he also has really changed. He's become cruel and cusses me out everytime he talks to me. It has shattered my heart into a million pieces. A video of my exhusband abusing my son when he was 7 years old that was shown in court has been posted on youtube. My son's dad accuses me because I'm the one who brought it into court during our trial. Because my exhusband has written books on Islam and has done talk shows, he's a sort-of public figure, and the video made it to youtube. Now he has recently had my son make a video tape saying terrible things about me and even accusing me of driving my son to attempt suicide. (After 3 accidents and a speeding ticket, I had taken my son's car keys and he threatened to kill himself over it. I called the police for help and he was taken to the hospital, but, the night ended with me giving him back the keys because when he got home from the hospital he started to threaten suicide again and I was so exhausted.) I am in so much agony over it because my son was my life and I lived for being his mom for 18 years. I worry there may be genetic issues because his dad was dianosed with a personality disorder which the psychologist said there's really no cure for. I am so hurt and feel I have nothing to live for. I even gave up my teaching job to move my son to a location of his choice when he was 15. Now I have no steady employment (there's no teaching jobs around here), I'm all alone in life, and I don't have the love or respect of my once darling son anymore. I feel God hates me and is punishing me because this is all too cruel.
I am so sorry for all you are enduring. Bad things happen to good people, I don't know why, they just do. Your son has been enticed by your ex husbands ability to buy his love and attention. But soon the newness of all this will wear off, and your son will remember all you did for him, the love and life you shared. God isn't punishing you, I think it may just be a lesson for your son. He knows what his dad did, and how you were always there for him, our children never forget these things. He will enjoy the good life for awhile, but then his thoughts will turn to you and all your sacrifices for his sake. I truly feel this is temporary, and you need to just be patient with it all and especially yourself. Maybe God wants you to start finding a life for yourself, do the things you enjoy, you will rebuild your life while your son matures. This will all come together at some point. Stay away from youtube and regardless of the situation....never allow your son to disrespect you! Give him some time and space, he will see the light. I hope this helps, and don't be too hard on yourself.
I don't know what to tell you about your son, other than he sounds like he needs some therapy (I'm a big believer in therapy IF you can find a good therapist). As far as you are concerned, I wanted you to know that you are not alone. I was married to narcissistic abusive man and we had two children. When we divorced I was given custody of the children. Several years later during a visitation (yes, somehow he managed to get visitation) he filed a complaint in a different county of false allegations and to make a long story short, even with his abusive history of our oldest daughter and his LONG history of violence the court terminated my parental rights and gave him my children. I dread the garbage that him and his family must spew about me. So, if you ever need someone to listen, I will. My children were 4 & 6 when they left for that visitation... they are now 9 and soon to be 13. I haven't seen or been able to hear from them in a really long time. I'll be here to listen.
My heart goes out to you.
I posted my first question here yesterday afternoon, was looking to see if anyone had responded, and came across your post.
I am a 56 year old female, alone all of my life, and my father was very similiar to your ex. He was probably never evaluated sufficiently, but in 20 + years of my seeing psychologists and family couselors to fight my own depression, I was told that he fit the criteria for Borderline Narcisistic Psychosis, and "personality disorder" is probably not very different.
My mother told me that their marriage counseIors would tell her "he probably isn't going to get any better". I recently had a boss, I believe of the same cultural background as your ex, that literally amazed me as being the most accomplished and talented at perpetuating his own sickness and manipulating and conquering the minds of others that I had ever come across.
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL, AND WHAT I SAY HERE IS FROM MY OWN UNDERSTANDING. I have, however, spent my life saturating myself with information, therapy, and recovery work, and I think I can make some helpful suggestions.
I know we both could write a book about what it's like to live with such a person, and I have a lot to tell you, so I will try to keep to some major points:
First, you must understand and believe that YOU are the most important here. I think that your current isolation from others and 20 year dependence on the love of your son has everything to do with what your ex designed for you. You have likely developed habits of dealing that work against you in order to survive being in that situation. Men like these engage in a form of mental and emotional abuse that goes beyond the normal conception.
They demonstrate to you on a daily basis that no amount of truth or reason will offer you a way out, that nothing you are founded on or believe will save you. To survive this, most of us crumble into a state of mind that stops trying. Our minds shut down in areas that are
basic and crucial to our ability to function as human beings.
Find SUPPORT. If you are not seeing a Marriage and Family Counselor (MFCC), please start. Find people who will listen to you talk, and VALIDATE you. These are most likely NOT going to be friends or family members. If you feel like you are being ignored or told that it's your fault, FIND SOMEONE ELSE to talk to. Look for support groups in your area. Find situations where there are other women who feel the way you do, but in a format that includes the overseeing of a trained professional. There are many off-shoots of the original "AA" 12-step program. I myself joined "Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families", which followed the 12-step program. Some are led by professionals, but I think most are still led by rotating the reading a handful of publications at every meeting that constitute the "rules" and appropriate conduct of the meetings. Their main premise is to give you a place to speak and not be interrupted or evaluated, except to applaud you for your courage. It is a place to listen, and realize that you are not as alone as you think. (Also, many participants go for coffee or something after a meeting.) It is a place where everyone is reminded to try to be honest with themselves as much as possible, and to keep the attention on your feelings and experiences rather than finding blame. Most people discover feelings they never knew they had (like anger, which can be a major turning point in the healing process). There are exercises (mostly in written form, and only if you want to), that can help illuminate hidden or repressed information. All of these things help create recovery, which may be an overused word, but simply means that living with the way you feel and the memories you have is easier to do.
The feelings and actions of your son and your husband ARE OUT OF YOUR CONTROL.
You didn't cause them, and you will never be able to change them. The only thing you can have any effect on is how you go forward with the rest of your life, and how much suffering you have to live with on a daily basis. Most people don't realize just how much they are secretly hoping to change the person who hurt or is still hurting them so badly, so that they can fix the way they feel. Especially in your ex's case, and whether it's genetic or learned or both, your son's as well, you must LET GO of that wish. It's hanging on to that hope which maintains your status as "victim", which keeps you tied to and a prisoner of their very, very sick universe. It is a very hard thing to do. Give your self plenty of permission to cry, for days even, without thinking there is something wrong with you or feeling ashamed.
PRACTICE MAKE "BETTER" You are to be commended for reaching out. Simple acts that may not seem like much at the time, especially if they are repeated, can actually begin to repair areas of the personality/brain/psyche (if I'm not mistaken) that have been so badly damaged. The more you actually EXPERIENCE that YOU are valuable, and that what you went through WAS NOT RIGHT, AND SHOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED TO YOU, the more the devastation you feel because of your son's behavior toward you will come into a better balance. The better that gets, the more naturally receptive you will be to the new information you encounter, which will help you develop new ways of understanding what happened, and what you need to do for youself now.
If you are from the same CULTURAL background as your ex, it may be a tougher battle. I am not well educated in this but if you come from a long line of families in which the "Man" is given "carte blanche" (can do whatever he wants) no matter how horrible, how absolutely evil, your own family most likely taught you as a young girl, beliefs about yourself that may make it harder to grasp (hopefully not) just how much your self esteem, YOUR VIEW OF YOURSELF AS A HUMAN BEING, has been intentionally twisted toward your acceptance of helplessness. I sincerely hope none of this has offended you.
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