Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Whose version would you trust? The narcissist's or the 4-year-old's?

This was a serious dilemma for me yesterday. I'll explain, but I feel obliged to issue a warning first:

Kids, DO NOT try this at home! NEVER leave your child alone with a narcissist!

Not even for a minute to go into another room, which is what I did yesterday. I handed my father the cranky baby and went into the kitchen to prepare dinner for my kids. My husband was out at the moment, so I had no other recourse.

My older daughter, aged 4, came to me, crying, several minutes later. She said grandpa kept her closed in the bedroom and she couldn't get out. I confronted him about it. He said "I was trying to soothe the baby and Older Girl was noisy, so I just left the room and closed the door behind me. The door must have got stuck or something."


I realized, with some sadness, that I really don't know whose version of the incident I can trust.

Both the narcissist and the 4yo have been known to skew the truth in order to look better, both have been known to play the victim, both have been known to exaggerate. Both are, sadly, on the same emotional level.

But the 4yo will grow out of it.

So I just hugged my daughter and said "I'm sorry."


  1. I think your response was the only right one. I'm sure you will avoid situations like this in the future. On reading this, my thoughts are that Narcissist locked Daughter in the room. His explanation sounds too artificially detailed for his claims to be true, and Daughter too genuinely upset.

  2. My wake-up call was when I left my 9-year-old with my parent for AN HOUR. The plan was to drop off a gift with a friend who'd just had a baby, then return and take the whole family out to dinner. I arrived back at my parents' house...and they weren't there. Wouldn't pick up the cellphone either. Long story short, they had taken my son out and proceeded to bad-mouth me to him for "abandoning" him. At that point I realized the Nparents had no right to ever be around my child.

  3. Anon, how incredibly creepy!

    Good thing it only had to happen ONCE before you were onto them. Good for you!

    I can REALLY relate to that! My wake-up call also happened after an hour and a half of babysitting my father did in an emergency, the first (and last) time he ever babysat our daughter. After this, he was the only one who understood and loved her, and we were neglectful, evil parents.

    That's how I found out about NPD.

  4. WAB, thank you. The door doesn't lock, and he would have had to hold it shut while holding a baby, which is the only reason I'm still not sure what exactly happened.

    I'll definitely never do that again. I still have thoughts like "What could POSSIBLY happen in 5 minutes with me several steps away?" How naive.

    I also heard him whispering to her.

  5. Pron, I shared my story with you because you figured out so much more quickly than I did that you simply can't trust narcissists with your children. Good for you for realizing this. I'm sure your experiences growing up will make you a great mother, because you've seen firsthand exactly what NOT to do!


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