Co-Parenting with a Narcissist and New Relationships during Recovery

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Hello everyone, this is my first post. In fact, I'm very new to CPTSD. I didn't even know what it was, let alone that I had it until a few weeks ago. My therapist diagnosed me and has suggested I go on antidepressants, which I have not purchased yet. Allow me to tell you my story.

I was in an emotionally abusive relationship for 5 years with a narcissist. He broke me. Destroyed my trust, made me crazy, and manipulated me almost to the point of suicide. About this time of year in 2015 - I found that I was bearing his child. Of course, him being a narc was incredibly hard to cooperate through the pregnancy and through a few months time he was already putting me through *. I was under too much stress and it was not healthy for my pregnancy, this was when I put my foot down and escaped him. He was gone for half of my pregnancy and until our daughter was 1 month old. He was not there for her birth, and did not make any effort in being involved whatsoever. I made the mistake of contacting him (though he had made it so I needed to gain closure - telling some people he wanted to be a father and telling others he did not).

However, I have been with someone new for quite some time now. He was there for me through the pregnancy, the birth of my daughter, and he helps me through my moments of relapse and CPTSD terrors. He is a wonderful father to my daughter. I sometimes feel like I am not good enough for him, because I sometimes find myself fantasizing over my ex and having flashbacks of his emotional manipulation... I feel like I do not deserve to be treated well because of what my ex made me think I deserve. Being with me is an immense challenge and it is very hard for me to not leave him because I feel that I cannot fully recover with anyone in my life. I often try to push him away, though he will not cave. He is wonderful.

Now, my daughter is 4 months old. My ex the narc has met our daughter twice and has not offered to help pay for anything with her, and did not even think to get her a gift for her first Christmas. We have both attended "For the Sake of the Children" classes and are awaiting mediation to help us decide whether co-parenting is an option for us or what we should do. I am dead set on going into that session soon and claiming all the reasons I do not want him involved:

1. My daughter has a father. One who will not abuse her. It isn't as if she is missing out on having two healthy parents.
2. Narcissists are incapable of loving their children. They view them as accomplishments.
3. Co-parenting with a narcissist is pointless according to many psychologists.
4. I do not want his negativity around my family for I know it will only hurt my little girl and I will protect her at all costs.

...among many other reasons.

My questions for my fellow over-comers of the storm...
Should I make an effort to co-parent with the Narc?
Even though I am still in recovery, is my relationship healthy or should I be alone?
Has anyone gone through this? Please tell me your story!



Dutch Uncle

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Re: Co-Parenting with a Narcissist and New Relationships during Recovery
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2016, 11:09:11 AM »
Hi Auraclemom  :wave:

Welcome to Out of the Storm. Let me first congratulate you on your daughter.  :thumbup:

Quite a history you have had, very stressful indeed and very triggering for cPTSD. :( You are in a tough spot regarding the biological father of your child. I understand you ask for advice, but such advise is not easily given. So many factors are in play, and only you can be the judge of them. So I'll refrain from giving any direct advise.
I want to inform you about an associated site to OOTS called Out of the FOG:
Out of the FOG is an information site and support group offering help to family members and loved-ones of people who suffer from personality disorders.
Since you have mentioned some mental health issues in the biological father, visiting that board might be of aid to you too.
They have a special section/forum on Co-parenting and Secondary Relationships. There will be many members there who are in a similar situation as you. You can read on their experiences, past and present, and I think this will be an excellent peer-group for you.
In addition to talking these things over with your therapist, but I assume you've come here to get some other input/reflection besides that.  :thumbup:
Perhaps the Toolbox they have there may be useful in your situation as well.

Now, I don't want to scare you away  ;) ,but for the particular subject of Co-parenting (or not) with the abusive narcissist that site and community will probably serve your interest better.
At OOTS, we welcome people who are dealing with cPTSD through a variety of life's events that befell us, and for that part you've arrived at the right place.
Welcome.  :hug:

In the cPTSD Glossary you may find a lot that may resonate with your experiences. A few highlights to start your journey with:
On Boundaries

In this section of this board we focus on how cPTSD affects our relationships with others, and so you're more than welcome to share how your cPTSD presents itself in your relationships with your ex, your new partner and/or your kid, or anybody else.
There's no need to be very vigilant in posting what on what site, with you they are intertwined by default, I just want to point out that for yourself you may find one specific event/situation more apt for one site and another more for this.

I think you have posted some excellent questions regarding co-parenting, and they show you are pretty aware about the pro's and con's. Apart from your own deliberations and decisions you might also get to deal with legal matters, it may not be your decision alone.
I think that in any case the The 50% rule will help you whatever the outcome of co-parenting, or not, will be.

Welcome again, I hope and wish this place and community will give you comfort and be of aid on your journey through cPTSD, our Guidelines for All Members and Guests may help you in keeping this a safe environment for you and to get an idea of the community we create with each other.

Dutch Uncle.