It would have been at least somewhat pleasurable, despite the memories this and all holidays now instill in me due to the narcissistic abuse I suffered for a decade. I got to spend some time with my little one, and even though I have an extremely limited income (most going to my abuser, more salt in the wound twice a month, and a reminder of how little justice there is in our court system), I managed to get a fair collection of presents for my daughter. She was delighted to get them, and I enjoyed watching her open her gifts, one of the few pleasures I have left in this world. Had I been left alone, the holiday would have at least have had some moments untarnished by the effects I live with every day.
But of course, one of the many trademark behaviors of a narcissist is that they cannot let holidays or other special occasions pass without attempting to control the emotional reactions of their former and present victims. This behavior can range from the obvious, to the very subtle and sublime. In the case of my ex-wife, it takes the form of the latter, usually disguised as ‘friendly communication’, texts that are sent to your phone intended for ‘someone else’, and other actions that would appear innocent to those who are ignorant of narcissists, or of the particular person in question. I get to deal with both, and know the true purpose behind such – reminders of the pain, of the discard, and the ghetto rat my family was torn apart for.
Case in point, when they send you ‘innocent’ pictures of holiday gatherings, with subtle or not so subtle objects in the background. To an outside observer, this may seem accidental, but make no mistake: the narc knows exactly what they are doing. I know I should expect such behavior, and do what I can to avoid it by not engaging, but I cannot completely avoid contact, as we share a child. Even after three years, such things stab deep, and bring with it all the normal reactions I have when faced with betrayal, cowardice, and a complete lack of honor or even common sense. After all this time, the wounds still feel fresh, and likely will for as long as I continue to feel the effects, physical, emotional, and financial, that was inflicted on me by a such a creature. This will in all likelihood be for the remainder of my time here on earth, and I cannot stress to anyone dealing with these sociopaths the importance of getting out while there is still time, for the damage can be severe, even life-altering. Should they gain a foothold to the point where you become a victim, nothing and nowhere is safe. Nothing is sacred, from the vows of marriage, to the smallest of traditions or pleasures. Do yourself a favor, and get them out of your life.
Otherwise, your life could be tainted forever.