Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.
It is always so difficult to deal with custody issues, especially when one side is successfully manipulative using the courts, or bribery, o sugar-coated treachery to get and maintain control.
The best way to handle it, if this is your son's choice, to never make it an issue, never discuss what goes on in the father's home, be only positive, and make your time with you son a very special and festive occasion when you can, so that he looks forward to the visits.
If you complain or make it an issue, he will feel responsible and instead of trying to change things, he will withdraw from you more.
You cannot control her overbearing nature. Treat her as you are supposed to treat a wild animal to prevent them from attacking you. Show you do not fear her one bit, but do not provoke her.
She gains ground only when you react to her. Lack of reaction means that she does not not what you are thinking or what you will do.
Dominate the situation with a calm demeanor. Tolerate her as you would tolerate a growling dog. Then you will manage her. If you react, even with body language (angry look, grimace) then she has manipulated you. Calm yourself and she will lose her power to intimidate. I understand that you do not like her one bit. However, tolerate her as you would a little kid having a tantrum.
She only does this for the reaction. Don't react and she will look like the fool.
Let me recommend two great books that will add weapons and ammo to whatever wisdom you already posess:
and one more because this is also in my top three
I urge you to be only positive and not reactive. Let your son see the differences.
Please get these books and learn how to turn the tables on these controlling people and come up smelling like roses.
You have been a great mom and deserve to get some more rewards back. Stick with this approach and YOU WILL.
I shall keep you in my prayers.
Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
I would like thank you for your response. I will take your advice and hold it dearly. The reading you suggested I will look into and ad into my life at tools for strength for I have my son's father and his father's mother who have the same demeanor as the women I mentioned.
Thank you and God Bless.
Diagnostic criteria for 301.81 Narcissistic Personality Disorder
(DSM IV - TR)
A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
(1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
(2) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
(3) believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
(4) requires excessive admiration
(5) has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
(6) is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
(7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
(8) is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
(9) shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
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