Helen was distraught. Her adult daughter was negative, critical and demanding as usual. At a family Christmas party, she yelled that Helen had ruined her life and she’d never let Helen see her granddaughter. She loved her father, Helen’s ex, who was at the party with his new, young girlfriend. He always agreed with the daughter and gave her everything she wanted. He slyly encouraged the daughter to blame Helen, whenever she was upset at anything. The daughter hated Helen for divorcing her sweet, loving father.
Helen told me she hadn’t told her daughter about her father’s alcoholism, abuse, beating her and then going after their daughter. That’s when Helen had called the police, who removed her husband before he got to the child. That’s when Helen divorced him. He’d been gone from their lives until Helen’s daughter was 25.
Now, he preened as the center of attention, enjoying his daughter’s love while making sarcastic, demeaning comments to Helen whenever their daughter wasn’t present. He told Helen he’d make sure their daughter hated and discarded her. In public, he pretended to be Helen’s friend; a nice guy and an innocent victim of divorce, full of good advice.
Don’t collude with bullies, narcissists by keeping silent.
Helen had never told her daughter the truth about her father because she didn’t want to interfere with a relationship between a daughter and her father. Helen’s plan had worked.
Her daughter now had a wonderful relationship with a man who’d been her bullying, narcissistic father and hadn’t changed. Her daughter had repressed her memories of what he’d done. Instead, she hated Helen, who’d worked two jobs and paid for her education. Her daughter had been lured by her father’s gifts and swallowed his stories about how Helen had been unfair to him. Now her daughter thought he was wonderful and Helen was the bad person.
What can Helen do now?
Helen wished she’d told her daughter the truth all those years she was growing up. Her job had been to interfere in order to protect a young girl from lies and manipulation by her biological father. She was guilty of stepping aside and allowing her daughter to have a relationship with an abusive narcissist. And she hated having to be polite to him now, pretending that nothing horrible had happened.
But if she made a scene now, she was sure her daughter would hate her for driving a wedge between her and her father. And probably her daughter wouldn’t believe her.
Helen finally decided to speak up; to shine a light.
She decided to make a scene at her daughter’s birthday party, to which her ex had been invited. She began by apologizing to her daughter for never telling her the truth; for allowing her to be in harm’s way with a man who’d been so rotten to her and still wanted to manipulate his daughter. Helen’s ex denied everything. Helen’s daughter was angry at Helen for ruining her party. And she wouldn’t believe any of the cruel and hateful things Helen had said.
That’s when Helen produced the police report and evidence from his trial. She stayed to rebut every new lie her ex tried to tell. She said she’d never again be in the same place with him. Forcing herself to be polite while he pretended to be nice was too offensive to her Soul.
Helen’s daughter now faced a test.
She could cling to her father because he always agreed with her and had dangled the promise of a big inheritance if she adored him. Or she could swallow her pride and apologize for throwing Helen away when she thought Helen would be no use anymore. Her daughter chose wisely.
Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation. The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:
Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.
Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.