Divorce is never pleasant. Divorcing a narcissist is traumatic and causes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex PTSD. While every person who enters into a relationship with a narcissist is a victim of abuse, I will use the word, “target.”
The target of a narcissist’s rage is subject to various types of abuse including physical, financial, emotional, sexual and often combinations of them. Divorcing a narcissist brings the abuse to a new level as the narc’s rage and reaction to losing control of the target spirals out of control. The narcissist often uses judicial proceedings as a platform for false allegations typically claiming the target is “a drug addict” or “mentally unstable.” The narcissist receives an abundance of supply in this process whilst prolonging it.
Judicial processes are not designed to extinguish these antics and instead facilitate prolonged proceedings in which numerous agencies and professionals benefit financially. For example, narcissists are infamous for claiming the target’s behavior makes them a poor parent. Judges assign specialists to evaluate the target. In addition to being expensive, these evaluations take time and therefore extend the process. For victims of financial abuse, these allegations can result in the target being burnt out of the process. If the target cannot pay the specialists, they can lose rights to parenting or even being in their children’s lives.
Narcissists often use the strategy of financially exhausting the target so they “win” by default. Children are then deprived of that parent being in their lives. Protective mothers lose custody of their children to abusive, narcissistic fathers frequently. Over fifty-eight thousand children globally are court ordered to live with the abusive parent (most often the father) annually. This tragic situation is now under investigation around the world.
There are some things that you cannot control. There are some things that you can. By managing what you can control, you will preserve your strength for this process and continue to thrive in the wake of chaos and destruction these folks cause. You can make it through the storm, and you will if you take these simple steps in managing your reactions to the predictable behaviors of narcissists.