Parallel Co-Parenting With A Narcissist

Season #2

So, this is a very timely episode for Shelby, specifically. Our consistent listeners have gotten to know that Shelby's been divorced for 7 years and that her ex-husband very much fits the definition of a narcissist. What has been surprising since she decided to walk away from her abusive situation, was that her 2 daughters forever keep she and her ex tethered together. And, even though she left her abusive situation...she can never really walk away completely. But, she has grown so strong since she left. And for those of us who find ourselves co-parenting with a narcissist, we have to adopt new skills so that we can make different choices in the way we respond to the continued abuse. This weekend, Shelby's ex sent 29 harassing and threatening texts message and 1 foul rambling voice mail message in <24 hours. Just one after another after another. So, today we question how can someone co-parent with someone who behaves this way? 

In this situation, Shelby just didn't respond. Because THAT is exactly what the narcissist wants. They want you to react! So...simply put, you can't. And the other thing to note is that the narcissist is NOT rational. There is simply no way to reason with them. Which, of course, makes co-parenting super difficult. We all want to do what is right for the children, but the narcissist is only doing what is right for themselves.

Thank goodness for our guest today, Nasanka Wickramarachchi!  She is a Trauma Aware Life Coach and a Holistic Practitioner who helps parents, who parent with a narcissistic partner or ex, to preserve their sanity, take back their life, and support their children. Nisanka speaks from experience after having grown up in a highly narcissistic environment and later being in narcissistic relationships. And THIS led her to resolve her own trauma and Complex-PTSD by healing her inner child wounds and trauma from her narcissistic abuse to build a thriving life for her and her daughter

The tips and tools Nisanka shares with us are game changers and things Shelby says she wishes she'd known 7 years ago when she first was divorced. She comes with a wealth of knowledge and credentials. She worked in the field of education for almost 20 years before becoming a LIfe Coach, Advanced EFT and Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner. She holds a Diploma in NLP, is a practitioner of the personality assessment, DISC, and qualified to work with Narcissism and Domestic Violence.

In this episode, Nisanka teaches us:

  1.  The only way to navigate co-parenting with a narcissistic ex is to "parallel parent". This entails building a relationship with your child that is empathetic, self-reflective, and a space of safety to explore with the child what they are thinking in YOUR home.
  2. In the beginning, children only experience love through your actions. It is a felt experience that you physically provide them. However, giving your child emotional language from a young age so they can express themselves and making it safe for them to do so can be critical to your relationship with them and their confidence.
  3. Don't gaslight your children (unintentionally) by denying their feelings about the other parent or trying to paint the other parent in a positive light, when their experience is contradictory. Instead ask, "what makes you say that?"
  4. It is important to establish boundaries, not only with the other parent, but also with your child.
  5. You best strategy to co-parenting with a narcissist is to ensure you are doing your own work to heal your trauma and regulate your own nervous system so that you are not triggered by your child or the other parent and can remain calm

Download FREE starter kit (eBook on how to communicate + PDF on how to resist baiting)

LinkedIb | @nisanka-wickramarachchi

Facebook Support Group | Co-Parenting with a Narcissist

Facebook Business | @coachingwithnisanka

Instagram | @coparentingwithanarcisst_coach

Whether you are co-parenting with a Narcissist or. have ever experienced any kind of narcissistic relationship or narcissistic abuse, you will find this episode thought provoking. And we want to know your experiences! Share with us your struggles and how this show has revealed to you new ways of thinking. You know, Shelby and I thought we were starting this show because it would be fun...but, we have learned and grown so much from the experience and we want to know how you've been impacted as well. Please leave us a 5-star review to let us know how this show has given you inspiration or support.

And on the topic of support, we are stronger together and that is why Trinity and I have started the Dear Midlife Facebook group. Please join our mission to help women in midlife everywhere navigate this proverbial midlife "crisis" (if you will) with some fucking humor and authenticity! Follow us on Instagram! We want to see you there!