Narcissist: The Nanny
I am Sarah, the nanny to the Hovenier Family.
I have been working for them for a couple of years. I took over from the previous nanny, Bryony, I understand she went away to university so the Hoveniers needed to replace her. I had hoped that she would have been able to do a handover with me, you know, tell me what to expect and the ins and outs, but that did not happen. Mrs Hovenier, Ashleigh said that Bryony had not stood by her notice period.
I started off looking after their daughter Amelia. I would need to be at the house at 7:30 am. Fortunately I do not live too far away, so that is easy enough and I was there to take Amelia to her school because her parents needed to be at work and did not really have the time to take her. The traffic to the school can be problematic heading into town and they both work in directions away from the town, so it made sense not to drive into town only to get stuck. Whilst Amelia was in school, Ashleigh would then use me like a personal assistant. She would be texting me asking me to pick dry cleaning up for her, nip to the delicatessen to purchase something or select flowers from the florist. I thought I would have been given the time to prepare for after school activities for Amelia, since I would be the one who would pick her up from school and be with her, to feed her and entertain her etc, until whenever her parents would arrive back from work which was rarely before 6:30 pm and often as late as 10pm, but instead Ashleigh preferred to have me running around for her. Not quite what I expected, but she is the boss and believe me, she is the boss.
Mr Hovenier, Peter, does not really have much to do with the household. He is always been fine with me, never really says much to me actually, just the usual “good morning” if he is there when I am, there are times when he has already left for his work and asking how Amelia´s behaviour has been. He is not a warm person; I cannot work out if he is shy or stand offish. He is difficult to read.
It is Ashleigh who gives me my instructions. I think she takes too much on and I can kind of understand why Peter gets annoyed with her. I do not think I have known anybody so unpunctual. She never turns up when she says she will. There have been occasions where Peter has had me stay with Amelia whilst he has been on the phone to his wife asking where she is because they are due to a dinner party or such like. He always calls her from the study, but I still hear him shouting at her. Sometimes I have had to actually stay at the house with Amelia whilst Peter has driven off somewhere to find her.
Amelia acts far older than her 8 years of age. She is a chip off the block that is Ashleigh, talks like her and has the same mannerisms. She is a bright girl and very sweet. There is something about her that I cannot put my finger on though, at times she does not react to certain things in a way that a child would, it is as if she thinks “Ah this again” and she just gets on with reading or drawing a picture.
More recently, I have been more involved because of Christopher’s arrival. That means I have to be at the house at 7am to look after him. Ashleigh has started to take Amelia to school a little more often or arranges for another of the mothers from the school to give her a lift. I then spend all day with Christopher and then collect Amelia from school and deal with them both until Peter and Ashleigh return. He sometimes comes back and explains he has work to do and disappears into the study, so I have to stay with the children. Those can be long days. He seems very hard working and rather obsessed with his work.
Ashleigh is far friendlier, often putting the kettle on for a pot of tea and asking me to stay so we can chat whilst the children play together. It is odd though because although she is always polite and friendly, I never feel like there is any warmth from her. I grew up in a very close family, I still live with my parents and the Hovenier household often feels like four people who all just happen to live there and do not really connect with one another. I mean, Christopher is too young obviously, but Amelia and her parents behave as if they are in their own worlds at times and they see and hear one another in the same house but do not really engage with one another. I don´t really know how to explain it, there is something a little odd about the household almost as if it is fake and there is something else going on which nobody is allowed to know about.
When I have a conversation with Ashleigh, I also feel like am being quizzed, asking me what I think of Peter, asking me if he had been back at the house whilst she has been away at work and so on. I started to wonder if she thought there was something going on between me and him, no way! Urgghh, he is way too old and I am not attracted to him in the slightest. Maybe she thinks he has been eyeing me up or something because I am a young girl and the cliché about the master of the house sleeping with the help. If he has been eyeing me up, I have never noticed.
Talking about other things going on, of course there has been the recent upheaval with the pair of them splitting up and Peter moving out. They have both spoken to me separately about this, no joint approach which is unsurprising. Peter explained that his wife has had another of her meltdowns and has been conducting another affair behind his back which has meant for the sake of his sanity he needed to move out. He apologised for the additional workload this would place on me and explained that he would pay me an extra one hundred pounds a week to make up for the inconvenience and asked that I keep him informed about comings and goings at the house. I had no idea what he was referring to until one evening I was introduced to this man called Ian Wynne. I thought he was just a friend of Ashleigh´s somebody she knew from work, but it turns out that she has been having an affair with him. I have had very little to do with him, he is polite and friendly, in fact I think at times he has felt a bit awkward being there, but Ashleigh was perfectly happy acting as if he had been part of the furniture for ages.
Ashleigh told me that she had had enough of Peter´s behaviour and that she needed him to leave. I did not ask what she meant by his “behaviour”, I mean I have heard them rowing and there are times where they talk to one another through me, which makes me feel uneasy, but beyond that I am unsure what she meant. Of course, I am not there all the time (although I am at that house more than they are funnily enough!) so who knows what goes on really, but I am more concerned about the children in all of this, I worry what the effect of the split will have on them. So far, Amelia does not seem bothered at all and of course Christopher, bless him, is too young to know what is going on. Of course, they have both been angling for me to go and nanny exclusively for one another and they keep asking if “he” or “she” has asked me to do the same for them and that leaves me caught in the middle.
I adore the children, but it might be time for me to move on because I cannot see things improving between Ashleigh and Peter.
Do you know who the narcissist is?
Listen Narcissist : Seduction
Listen Narcissist: Ensnared