When my 7 year old little girl finally lost her two front teeth at the same time, I was excited for her yet sad that it was another sign of her growing up. However, it was also adorable and heart warming when she opened up her mouth and smiled at me. I couldn’t get enough of her little gap-toothed pixie grin! I was taking photos and videos all over the place, trying to document this precious and fleeting time of her life, just as any parent would. Well, almost any parent. The narcissist is excluded in this, of course.
After my daughter came home from visiting her father right after she had lost her two front teeth, she and her brother told me that their dad kept telling her to “keep her mouth shut” because he did not want her missing teeth to show in the pictures he was taking. His new wife (who I suspect is also a narcissist) even told my sweet daughter that she “looked scary” because of her missing teeth. My ex narcissist is famous for taking tons of photos of his “new perfect family” with our shared two children, and his new wife and their two babies. I have seen many of the pictures, and my children always look strained and have fake smiles. Both of my children have exasperatedly told me many times that their dad “always takes a lot of photos when they visit” and that he wants them “to look like movie stars” in the pictures.
I was horrified that he was so caught up in looking perfect, he told our beautiful little girl to her to keep her mouth closed because he did not want her “imperfect” smile to ruin his “perfect family” pics taken on his iphone. A few weeks later, as my daughter’s front teeth were coming in, he saw her smile and said, “Oh, that looks so much better.” Ugh!
Narcissists are wretched human beings and also huge hypocrites. It is sad really, because her father has a gap toothed grin himself, and he is in his mid 40’s. If portraying a perfect image is so important to him, then he should have taken himself to the orthodontist 20 years ago and got his own teeth fixed. But no, he feels that he is the ideal of what a man should look like and cannot be honest with what he sees in the mirror. But that is just a narcissist for you. I remember that he would make lots of comments about his 5 year old daughter from another relationship and he felt that she was “getting fat.” I told him that he was being too hard on her and that she was a healthy weight and still growing. I told him “don’t you dare tell a little girl that!!! You will scar her for life.” Good thing he has alienated her from his new life and she is free from his emotional abuse now. However, we are not so lucky.
Due to the fact that image is everything to a narcissist, they want to appear to the world as having it all together, and that includes their family. Narcissists dress up their children like dolls, and expect them to always smile and look perfect all the time. It is exhausting! My son says he loves that he can wear his comfy clothes like sweatpants and tee shirts when he is home with me because at his father’s, he has to dress up for everything, even going to the zoo. His dad threatens me with throwing away the clothes I have sent with the kids because he doesn’t like the pattern on my daughter’s pants, or there is a small amount of wear on the knees. I think it is ridiculous because the kids just go to the park, who wants to send formal attire for that?
When he has the children on his visitation, my narcissist is notorious for wasting loads of time that he should be spending with the kids, texting and emailing me awful messages about the clothes and shoes I sent. Nothing is ever good enough. For a day and a half visit, I send 3-4 pairs of pants, and dresses and shorts. He wastes his time with the kids verbally battering me over nonsense. Many instances he told me not to send certain clothes back the next time because he thinks they are ugly. This is unfounded because I always send cute, good quality clothing from Gymboree or similar brands.
If the kids shoes ever have any kind of wear, he tells me to throw them away because he “pays me too much money” and I should be spending it on the kids. Well, my daughter’s brand new shoes look worn after just one week because she is an infamous toe-dragger. It cannot be helped.
He would even threaten me and say that he emailed pictures of the kid’s shoes to his attorney and would claim that I was neglecting the children, which couldn’t be further from the truth. If only you could see their gorgeous closets filled with wonderful wardrobes. He just needs something to hang his hat on, something to make him feel good, his narcissistic supply. Which unfortunately means that he needs to try to get a reaction out of me, so he picks at me regarding the children constantly.
What my narcissist does not understand is that I don’t care anymore. I just laugh at him when he starts on his latest tirade. I let him roll around in the muck all by himself. As if there was anything I could do to actually please him anyway? If you find that you are in similar circumstances, just shake your head and let it go.