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The 20-Wants List: A Powerful Tool

The 20-Wants List: A Powerful Tool

Our Focus Matters as Moms Dealing with a Narcissist
We need to focus more on the solutions than all the problems that the narcissist causes and the drama they create, which is designed to throw everyone off emotionally. This is why we need to draft an ordered, numbered, clear list of what we want/need in this co-parenting situation (For example, a court-ordered and approved co-parenting app, set days of a parenting schedule, a solid, rotating holiday schedule, reimbursement of the child’s expenses done within 30 days or an interest penalty applied and more). When we are bogged down with problems, we can’t find solutions.

We need to sit down and think about what our children need now and in the future. Then, we search for the words of something to ask for—that gives it a voice and structure. For each and every problem that we encounter, we can use wisdom and create a coinciding solution that we then ask for at mediation, negotiations, conciliation, hearings, a judge, or in a summary for judgment after a trial. By making this list in advance, we keep professionals focused and on track. Listing things can help us remain child-focused, and this helps others view us as the healthier parent, and we don’t get lumped in as a high-conflict party. When we lead with what we want rather than our emotional rantings and list of complaints that we have about what the narcissist is doing or not doing—we stand a chance at getting solutions implemented.

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The Grief We Face – Dealing with a Narcissist

The Grief We Face – Dealing with a Narcissist

Narcissists Cause Problems and More Pain

When it comes to co-parenting with a narcissist, there’s often tremendous grief and loads of problems. At times, we are purposely tormented by the narcissist. Other times, our own pesky trauma bonds tug on our minds and hearts. The immense grief we feel can become overwhelming when we watch our children suffer, too. In addition to this, we have to face all the losses and failures of our divorce, break-up, separation, pain, and shame. We fall into fits of anger directed at ourselves asking; “What was wrong with us!? Why didn’t we foresee that he would be such an awful parent?” But we can’t go back in time. We are here now, “in it.” And sadly, so are our dear children. 

We learn lessons. We learn about us as much as we learn about them. We learn our weaknesses. We learn our strengths. We learn that appearances matter. For onlookers, we strive to look “put together,” yet allow our grief to process and validate our reality. We do self-work to process the pain and make space for our feelings and souls. We feel our feelings and seek compassionate people to hold a psychologically safe space for us. We are dealing with a crazy man and an insane situation. We connect with others and find helpful communities. We find our reasons. We check our motives. We make our mantras like “I am doing this for my child.” We don’t just adopt the age-old motto: “Keep busy and keep on.” We are not soldiers, we are moms. 

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How-To Prepare for Family Court When Dealing with a Narcissist

How-To Prepare for Family Court When Dealing with a Narcissist

he stress of family court can mentally, emotionally and physically exhaust us caring moms trying to protect young, vulnerable children from narcissistic abuse. (Read my FREE Best Tips Blog) Typically, we moms are not lawyers, paralegals, or in a “fighting profession” of society. But rather, we are nurses, caregivers, teachers, and other helpers. We want protection, peace, and purpose. We want to be cooperative co-parents while loving and mothering our children—helping them grow into healthy, happy, whole, and functional adults. Generally, we don’t want to fight and go to court, unless it's to fight for our children’s well-being and/or safety.
So when faced with family court battles, motions, pre-trials, hearings, investigations, psych-evals, and court trials, we are like fish out of water. It’s definitely not our happy place! Family court is not a healthy place for us to be in regularly, but if we are forced to co-parent with a narcissist, it tends to be a place we visit often—to our dismay, but sometimes to our hope.  Sometimes, in some cases, we feel relieved that we can go to court and ask the judge for protections for our children. To endure this, we can learn strategies to cope, as well as, prepare and plan for the stresses of family court. We can learn tools and get some creative ideas to make this easier for us and our lawyers to deal with our custody case.

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25 Best Tips for Dealing with Narcissists as Co-Parents

25 Best Tips for Dealing with Narcissists as Co-Parents

Narcissists Make Terrible Co-Parents!

Narcissists are manipulative and highly skilled at deception. Very often, when narcissists are backed into a corner of truth or feel threatened, they can be downright nasty. They have many tricks, tactics, and traps to victimize and re-victimize moms with narcissistic abuse, even after separation. Because of this unfortunate dynamic, we, as moms, must acquire the understanding, skills, and strategies to deal with these individuals as seamlessly as possible. Plus, we need to stay sane—-for the sake of ourselves, our children, and our custody case. However, remaining level-headed while dealing with the narcissist’s insanity is no easy feat. 

To cope with the situation rationally, we need a plan in place. To help other moms endure this experience and preserve the hope to overcome it, I offer tips, tools, and strategies in my books and blogs. I write specifically for mothers who are struggling to co-parent with a narcissist and suffering what I call “Co-Parenting Abuse”—which is really a continuation of narcissistic abuse, known as post-separation abuse. The bottom line is that narcissists can abuse us while we try to co-parent with them. In fact, the narcissist will use their continued access to us as an opportunity to exert their abusive tactics whenever possible.

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Phrases That Can Neutralize The Narcissist

Phrases That Can Neutralize The Narcissist

We Need to Somewhat “Know” the Narcissist 

Sure – a narcissist will have tricks, tactics, and traps set with all sorts of manipulations and games. But we, on the other hand, must be the mature ones (because they can’t be). With a personality disorder such as narcissism, we can expect disorder—even in communication and conversation. On the other hand, we need strategies and skills to maintain our sanity. We also need to know our opponent and understand what motivates, drives, and triggers him. 

Using skillful means is about speaking to the person who is listening at their level so they can comprehend what you are saying, and so you don’t get automatically rejected based on their beliefs. Using skillful means is about explaining factually that the orders/directions are not coming from you but rather from the powers-that-be (the courts) who are in charge and are making rules that you both have to follow. Skillful means help you coexist in peace. Do you want some peace in your life?

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What To Do About a GAL?

What To Do About a GAL?

Are you in a high-conflict battle with a narcissist? Is your ex unwilling to settle, mediate, or negotiate? Typical! Then, you know the frustration of how a custody case can drag on. At some point, you or your lawyer might think getting another professional on the case is a good idea. Or perhaps a judge might order a GAL (guardian ad litem) to investigate the child’s life (and both households) more in-depth and write a report to the courts. However, think again! The truth is that there are various experiences ranging from not helpful to good to horrible for the protective parent. 
What is a GAL? 

A guardian ad litem (GAL) is a professional appointed by a court (or requested and selected by attorneys) to look after and protect the interests of a minor child who cannot care for themselves and/or is legally incompetent due to their age. Their job is to investigate a child’s life and report findings. This means they interview parents, caregivers, and others in the child's life. Often, they’ll interview the child as well. They may request medical records and other information. In their report and testimony in a trial, they usually make recommendations to the court. The investigation, report, and recommendations are supposed to be based on “the best interests of the child.” Sounds good, right? Maybe, maybe not! Please keep reading.

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How Do You Love An Alcoholic WITHOUT Losing Yourself?

How Do You Love An Alcoholic WITHOUT Losing Yourself?

Do you love an alcoholic?

Q:  Are you abandoning yourself to be able to love him?
Each day we have choices—even in love. But, as codependents, we often need daily reminders to make choices that prioritize ourselves. We come to realize it’s our responsibility to help ourselves heal from all we have suffered in an alcoholic-codependent relationship.

Let this book be your guide back to healing and wholeness. Read and wee how self-knowledge is power, and freedom is the gift we give ourselves.

From Grace's survivor wisdom, be inspired to courageously place yourself in the center of your own life.

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Moms Dealing With Narcissists
For Moms Dealing with Narcissists

For Moms Dealing with Narcissists

If you are a mom having to co-parent with a narcissist or a mom in a high-conflict custody battle, you will find yourself having to do many, many things. We learn to become masterful, multi-tasker moms. We are juggling so many balls at once from the moment we wake up that it can feel like having a hundred jobs, all with one name: “mom.” It can be a downright overwhelming challenge, but challenges, stress, and struggle can all make us stronger. We learn to endure, be resilient, and overcome. We don’t just go through this, we grow through this! If we feel maxed out, we can simplify our lives and make different choices to better our, and our children’s, well-being. Choice is our fundamental power and it stems from having a healed mind and healthy self-esteem.

Here is a list of some things we must do as moms in this problematic/difficult situation.

Stay stable (in all ways, especially financially).
Stay sane (amid a narcissist’s insanity, drama, and personality disorder).
Grieve the loss of the relationship and the family we wished we had.
Heal from narcissistic abuse and trauma while watching our children be abused.

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10 Factors To Consider If / When Switching Lawyers

10 Factors To Consider If / When Switching Lawyers

As worried and stressed-out moms, we often run (or rush) to a lawyer and dump all of our concerns, anxieties, complaints, pain, and problems. Most likely we’ve never been in a legal battle since it’s not our nature to fight for fairness or complain to such a degree. We might feel intimidated talking to a lawyer. We might feel ashamed since we are peace-seeking and peace-making, type of people. Typically, us empaths, have accepted unacceptable behavior and are filled with the anger of dealing with injustice and constant unfairness. Our first battle, breaking up with the narcissist, wore us out mentally, emotionally, and physically. Now we have a second legal battle that looms over our heads and haunts us. Can you relate?
We have had to break up with our own codependency, love addiction, and trauma bonds to our ex to recover ourselves and self-esteem. Then, we had to grieve our dreams of a happy family and face the pain of the lies, disappointments, and letdowns. Generally, we are not in good emotional shape when we get to the lawyer. We are heartbroken, scared to lose our children, and narcissistically abused with threats—and other tactics. Now that we left our abuser, he most likely is doing co-parenting abuse tactics that further hurt and destabilize us. How are we supposed to show up strong and confident at a lawyer’s office? What do we even ask the lawyer? We don’t know the law.

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Don’t Allow Yourself To Become Desperate For A Lawyer!

Don’t Allow Yourself To Become Desperate For A Lawyer!

Custody Battles With A Narcissist

As women and moms, we can’t allow ourselves to be (or become) desperate for two major things: 1. Love 2. Lawyers. Being needy, confused, overwhelmed, and full of grief and pain can cause us to reach for anyone who will lend a listening ear and help. Narcissists love to prey on desperate people. As women who were desperate for love and attention, we may have inadvertently attracted a narcissist. The same is true for hiring a lawyer. We have to watch out for making desperate emotional decisions when it comes to hiring a lawyer and going to family court. I am here to share my survivor wisdom with you. (*Disclaimer below)

It's NOT wise to approach our custody cases from a state of desperation. We need to plan.

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