Once I made a vanity from a gun rack...

Some people make mountains out of molehills. I am not really sure I have ever been like this although I can be dramatic, I hate drama. My conversations with my fiance's ex-wife are filled with her projecting on me and me ignoring that. I can be very straightforward and, particularly in writing, I am very articulate.

I used to hide all of this from the kids. I used to swallow all the feelings I had of her nastiness. I used to think shielding them was important. Then I realized that part of why our relationship was so trying was because (1) they were hearing negativity from their mother and then (2) no one was explaining that she was trying to manipulate them and that they do have permission to love us. So my fiance and I started to be more honest with them.

It helps them a lot. They "confess" things to us that she has said and it makes them feel better, our oldest is confident enough to argue with her and shut it down, and I think in some ways it makes them feel validated in their feelings that they love everyone. It can be hard to determine what is too much. However, we just try to answer questions they have and meaningfully help them move forward. We are not reactionary. I have written them letters in my journal and read them to the kids, they have written down their feelings and read them to us.

There will always be guilt when their mother says things like "wouldn't it be great if it was just us and Joe and you never had to go to Dad's house?" or "you can not love her the way you love me". Those things will not go away. They just won't.

However, I take solace in knowing that if through all this, if I can make a gun rack into a vanity for my lotions, jewelry, perfumes, makeup, mirrors, and journals, maybe I can find a way to make a narcissist work with us as parents. The gun rack is still a gun rack and a narcissist is still a narcissist, but my beauty supplies (and the kids) don't need to know that.