Mission Accomplished

25 Mar

Bunny food was delivered and Sabu and I got out with hide and spirit intact.

I called M from the feed store to let him know I was on the way. I also told a lie and said that I was running short on time and had to meet Awana so that I could put a time limit on our “visit.”

I put the bunny food away and went inside. Within five minutes he was whining that I had promised him a long conjugal visit and was hurt that I had made other plans. WTF?!? Srsly?!? Uh…Hell No!

The conversation went along the usual lines. He pleaded that he’s been good to me the last two months (really? I haven’t even been there, asshole!) and is so hurt and lonely and can’t afford to keep his house or internet connection, blah, blah, blah.

I told him that he’s not getting it. That his yelling and devaluing my feelings and denying me the right to an opinion and to share that opinion without fear of retaliation is a basic human right that he denies me.

He asked for examples. I gave them. He promptly turned it around so that I was to blame for his behavior. He then started with the crocodile tears and asking me why I came over if I’m just going to “hammer away at” him. Sigh.

Wash, rinse, repeat. He just doesn’t get it. No, he refuses to listen to my actual words – he’s too busy turning them around to suit himself. I pointed out that the problem resides in his brain, but he denies that as well.

We got back around to the Camping Incident and he gave me yet another warped view of events as he remembers them. I called bullshit and told him that the problem wasn’t what he thought happened, but that he felt berating me for three hours was a suitable response.

What I should have said, but didn’t think about until I was a mile away was, “I can’t control what men think about when they look at me or talk to me, but I certainly can control what I think and I’m not picturing any of them naked! You should respect me enough to know that. The fact that you don’t speaks volumes about our “relationship.”

He demanded that we “quit living in the past.” He told me that I need to admit that I hurt him too and bear at least half the responsibility for where we are now. He cried that I never gave him a nickname and that I never say his name. Oh, whatever!

More than anything else I felt disgust. Irritation, too. I can see behind his mask and he doesn’t realize that yet. It’s an interesting experiment, I have to admit, kinda like a train wreck full of crash dummies – no blood or gore, but interesting nonetheless.

Anyway. Sabu and I went to the dog park where over the course of the next hour five dogs came in and ran Sabu into a panting, drooling rag. Yay!

Since the shop has been so busy this week I thought it would earn me some Karma Points if I stopped by to see if The Boss needed some help. Sure enough, and I spent 1.5 hours scooping ice cream. The Boss gave me a nickel an hour raise πŸ™‚ Woo-hoo! It just keeps getting better.

Off to a local cafe for take-out cod fish & chips and Sabu and I are home, warm, well-fed and ready for a nap. Well, Sabu is already napping – she likes to do everything first…


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69 responses to “Mission Accomplished

  1. goldfish

    March 25, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Good for you! Don’t you hate how you always think of the perfect thing to say long after the fact?

    • Sofia Leo

      March 26, 2013 at 8:24 pm

      Grrr…It makes me so mad! I am soooo clever in my head πŸ™‚

  2. behindthemaskofabuse

    March 25, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    yes they will never hear you and talk in circles until you’re exhausted! i’m so glad you see his shit for what it is!! you’ve taken back your power, and he hates it!! Too bad for him!

    Wow a nickle an hr. now you can get to Pepsi’s!! or dinner…lol

    • Sofia Leo

      March 26, 2013 at 8:28 pm

      In this economy, working a minimum wage job, a nickle is a Big Deal, especially since it sits atop a stack of other nickels over minimum wage, earning me Almost Half what I made working in an engineering office just four years ago. Another twenty-four nickels and I’ll make that half-way mark πŸ™‚ Srsly, I do love my job and my Boss is truly a gem. I don’t miss slaving away 45 hours a week and getting no recognition for my hard work (being female I was kept in the back room, away from the clients who thought that only big, strong men could operate computers or understand the complexities of civil engineering. Whatever…) or the constant ache in my hands and wrists. I do miss the money, but ya can’t have everything πŸ™‚

      • behindthemaskofabuse

        March 26, 2013 at 10:08 pm

        ahaha big strong men…computers!

        A raise is a raise and that’s great and what’s more priceless is a great boss and a job you enjoy!! xo

      • Sofia Leo

        March 27, 2013 at 11:02 pm

        You know a little feeble-minded woman could never understand the complex theory that water runs downhill, much less how to use those fancy machines for anything more complicated than Facebook. Proved ’em wrong many times πŸ™‚

      • behindthemaskofabuse

        March 28, 2013 at 8:13 am

        that’s so funny! i can’t believe people still think that way!

      • Jenny

        March 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm

        Good I am happy that you are not overworked and enjoying some fun time now days

  3. Lee

    March 25, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    As distasteful as it is to keep reading about these encounters with the guy (I’m sure not as distasteful as it is to *have* those encounters!), it certainly does confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt that he hasn’t changed at all, and that the decision you made to leave was the right one.

    • Sofia Leo

      March 26, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      It does confirm many things, and that is quite fulfilling, but I must admit that I’m getting bored. His song and dance remains the same while I meet a hundred (or more) people each day who are more entertaining (even licking the ice cream case is entertaining in a sick, twisted way) and interesting than he will ever be, and I don’t have to see any of them naked πŸ™‚

      • Jenny

        March 28, 2013 at 9:35 pm

        Isn’t it amazing how others are around you, funny how everyone else enjoys you and you enjoy them but M doesn’t , my husband was like that too and I finally said ” You know what, I think I’d rather be with the other people than YOU, at least they appreciate and respect me!”. Once he was out of the picture it was so much easier and as broke as I was I still lived much better than when I was married!!

  4. JackieP

    March 25, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    so reminds me of my ex. where he heard only what he wanted and turned everything around so I was still at fault. but you did amazing and I am so proud of you! getting stronger every time! yea you!

    • Sofia Leo

      March 26, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      Thank you! Still working on my NO button, but it gets easier each time.

  5. frantichippie

    March 25, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    So do these guys learn this stuff at Asshole University? It’s like it’s from a textbook. Your conversations are so similar to mine it’s scary. They all just run us in the same damn circle huh? Frustrating!

    I’m so thankful I’m finally seeing the pattern. Although for the forseeable future, I’m a “penis free zone”! I am completely unwilling to give my time to pretty much anyone right now, much less some dumb guy trying to get in my pants. I have 27 wasted years to make up for and I plan to have some fun and experience life again!

    • Sofia Leo

      March 26, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      “Why does he do that? Inside the minds of angry and controlling men” by Lundy Bancroft has all your answers about Narcs and how and why they do what they do and the end of the book is all about how they Will Not Change. Period.

      It is a truly exceptional Narc (etc.) who will take honest stock of himself and turn his life into something to be proud of. And the only reason they do it is because of outside forces – consequences in the form of jail time, loss of their children or a spouse leaving and refusing to come back unless they make changes. This means that the spouse must be On Guard 24/7 to squash any tiny attempt by the Narc to backslide, for the rest of their life. Not something I want to put myself through.

      Wasted years, is right, my count is 25 and I’m getting more and more angry about it as time goes by.

      • frantichippie

        March 26, 2013 at 11:58 pm

        I can’t do it. I don’t want to do it. I’m not gonna do it. If one ounce of his being meant one thing he’s said to me, he will get help and work on his next relationship so it can last. And I hope he does. Likely, he’ll find another doormat and do the same thing again, that would be much easier. Apparently there are plenty of us!

        I’m working on not allowing myself to live with regrets. It’s difficult though! So many years. It makes me angry too. I just keep telling myself, I can’t change my past, no point fretting over it. Just work on now. Still spending too much of my time dwelling on stuff, but it’s going away slowly. Just trying to let things run their course and not force my emotions. I figure I need to feel a lot of different things before any of this is going to really go away.

      • Lee

        March 27, 2013 at 11:13 am

        In the highly, extremely unlikely event that a narc / abuser actually does truly reform, it’s still highly, extremely unlikely that the former narc / abuser can have a healthy relationship with any previous partner from the active narc / abuser period. He (or she) will need to form a new relationship with someone s/he hasn’t previously abused. Ideally (but perhaps unlikely), it will be with someone who simply won’t put up with that @#$%, so that any backsliding means the end of *that* relationship.

        Unfortunately, “reforming” does not mean “wiping the slate clean.” It means pushing the former destructive desires, attitudes, words, and actions more and more to the side, as they are displaced more and more by the better, reformed ways of living and being. The former evils (I don’t mind calling them that) are never entirely gone. They’re just pushed away from the center toward the sides. And that means that they can come roaring back any time the former narc / abuser’s defenses are down.

        For the abused spouse or partner, 99.99 % of the time the best thing to do, both for the abuser and for him- or herself, is to leave and never return.

      • Sofia Leo

        March 28, 2013 at 9:09 am

        I’m having a lot of trouble with what M calls “living in the past” – he wants to start all over from today forward but I can’t forget that he’s said that before and it changes nothing. I’m just supposed to forgive and forget and let him abuse me some more? We’ve already been down this road and frankly he isn’t a good enough catch to bother staying for πŸ™‚ Let him find someone else to kick around.

      • Lee

        March 28, 2013 at 9:57 am

        Ooh, the whole “forgive and forget” thing. My ex used to throw that one at my constantly–and still would, if I gave her the chance. The fact is, I do forgive her. (Maybe I’m just stupid that way πŸ˜• ) But forget? Not a chance. Not as long as every chance she gets she continues to treat me in the same verbally abusive way that she did before. Not as long as she will never admit that she did anything wrong, and continues to say that it’s all because I fail as a human being. Forgiveness is a two-way street. And the other direction is the other person NOT BEING AN ASSHOLE ANYMORE. (Please pardon my French.) I’ve got a post in me for my blog on forgiveness, because there’s so much dreck out there on the subject. Whenever I finally get around to writing it, I’ll drop you a line. πŸ™‚

      • Sofia Leo

        March 28, 2013 at 10:10 am

        I have a problem with the word “forgiveness.” I do not forgive the horrible transgressions that men have made against me. I do choose to take my power back and not let their actions influence mine today, but there is no way in hell that I would ever be in the same room with any of them again if it were in my power not to be.

        I will not have a relationship with my father, for instance, because he is an evil man who does not deserve my presence in his life. He gets no more chances.

        To have a relationship with someone as if they hadn’t torn your soul in two is insanity, IMHO, and I’m not gonna buy into that one! If it means that I go to hell, so be it. Forgiveness seems to me to be a tool to take the burden of guilt off of the perpetrator while it does nothing for the victim.

        I look forward to reading your post.

      • Lee

        March 28, 2013 at 10:26 am

        I agree that “forgiveness” is often used as a tool to shift the responsibility and guilt from perpetrator to victim. But that is a false view of forgiveness. I guess I’ll have to write that post some time soon! πŸ˜‰

  6. Jenny

    March 25, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    I am SO Proud of you!!! You stayed strong and did not give in to the jerk, he really is trying to have a pity party isn’t he. I still think you are wasting your time even talking to him because he is not listening to you. Will be glad when you get the bunnies out of there and then have no contact at all with him. He will not get it till you cut him off for good .

    • Sofia Leo

      March 26, 2013 at 8:44 pm

      He may never get it, but I’m not sure I give a shit any more. Yesterday left a bad taste in my mouth and I think I’m about to cut him off for good.

  7. Jenny

    March 25, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I hate it when I always think of the perfect thing to say -later…drives me nuts! You don’t owe him anything and he is acting like a big baby

  8. Jenny

    March 25, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    You turned it all back on him and giving him a dose of his own creepy self and he’s too dumb to realize it! Glad you are back home safe and like Lee said ” M hasn’t changed one bit and never will” I think the nickel raise is a insult but you never know he likes you alot and could raise it more and give you more hours. I am SO GLAD you are on your own, you are too sweet to put up with all this crap. Glad you fibbed to get you out of there quick, good plan!!!
    I remember my X-hubbys wife was not a happy camper when I told her I was glad she took my husband because then the abuse stopped and I found a better husband who does not call me names or hurts me and she’s stuck with him. The X actually told me she was jealous of me because I have it all… I said what goes around …comes around…you sleep with a dog you get fleas! LOL

    • Sofia Leo

      March 26, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      The nickel is fine, not an insult πŸ™‚ I make enough money to live a life I’m very happy with and I have the time to work on some other ventures that seem to be heating up. The ice cream shop is a Very Small Business and it’s not owned by a rich man – every dollar really does count for The Boss and I know it. His success is my success and I’m totally okay with that.

      I take Sabu to the groomer to make sure I don’t end up with fleas πŸ™‚

  9. Jenny

    March 25, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Gee is Asshole a nickname? Dan would say ” he’s a Richard Cranium” AKA Dick Head!!

    • Sofia Leo

      March 26, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      LOL! You know I’ll be trying to work that into conversation soon!

  10. Awana

    March 25, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    …I need another gin and tonic…Honey Boo-Boo…Jesus H. Christ, good God in Asia…

    • Sofia Leo

      March 26, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Puke! πŸ™‚ I really need to record the next conversation between M and I so Awana can hear it first hand…

  11. El Guapo

    March 26, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Way to go for standing your ground!
    So when you get teh bunnies and cat out and there’s no reason to go back, will you leave him an audio tape highlights reel of his greatest hits, since it seems like he still doesn’t get it?

    • Sofia Leo

      March 26, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      Nope, no audio – the files are too big for sharing, but I just got a brainwave, so let me amend my response to,”Maybe, if I can work out a few kinks…”

      Can’t decide if I want to tell him about this blog. Not the actual address, just the general outline of what has happened here. In my mental conversations (don’t worry, the voices are all mine :-)) I call y’all my Therapy Group. Hope you don’t mind πŸ™‚

  12. lookingforward2012

    March 26, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I don’t want this to seem like I’m discounting or lessening the goodness of a visit where you don’t feel worse about yourself after dealing with him….cause we all know, that’s a great thing!

    But, I wonder, when you call and let him know you’re on your way…why lie about how long you can stay? Why does he get to know what you’re doing? Are you trying to soften the blow of when your visit is over? Trying to help him ready his expectations? You’re not there for him, you’re there for the rabbits.
    In my experience, and this is just my 2 cents, the more you talk, the more you work around his crazy, the more you treat him like a normal person, using logic, reasoning, allowing him to rehash YOUR past as HE remembers it, the longer it will take for him to “get it”.

    I wonder if you could do a bunny care visit and not speak a word to him. Not make eye contact. Not acknowledge his existence in any way….?

    • Becki Duckworth

      March 26, 2013 at 10:32 am

      Its all about him. Good job taking cate of yourself.

      • Sofia Leo

        March 26, 2013 at 8:57 pm

        It’s always all about him. When I told him that he denied it. Typical.

    • Sofia Leo

      March 26, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      I hear you. It’s still left-over conditioning. I knew that if I just showed up he would take issue with it. If I called, he would be warned and might do something to piss me off like be in bed naked and expecting me to fall into his arms. Gag! The lie was to set the ground rules for the “visit” and I know it was totally unnecessary – I answer to no one, so why bother? Again, conditioning that runs deep.

      After much reflection about the visit and the comments here, I feel quite different than I did yesterday. In a way, I want to hammer at him, make him squirm so I can dissect his behavior and use it as blog fodder and to validate my actions and thoughts, but I realize that it’s not all that interesting any more. I’m more irritated at the waste of my time and at my reactions to him than I have ever been and I see that I need to cut him off completely ASAP. Or five hours ago.

      I don’t need closure. I don’t give a fuck if he needs closure. I have too many plans to hatch to bother with him any more the way I have.

      Well, that isn’t very clear, but I’m working on it πŸ™‚

      • frantichippie

        March 27, 2013 at 12:14 am

        I got more validation of my feelings in a few hours of reading your blog than I’ve had in years. That was when I finally realized, “I don’t care if he understands how I feel.” He never has, never will, doesn’t care. He’s just worried about how he’s going to eat, get sex, have clean clothes and who’s paying half the bills.

        To me, that felt like a turning point in my perspective on the whole situation.

      • Sofia Leo

        March 28, 2013 at 9:12 am

        You only had to pay half the bills? You had it better than I did πŸ™‚

      • frantichippie

        March 28, 2013 at 4:20 pm

        Well, in theory. In reality he always figured out how to get much more from me until I had nothing left that would be mine if I ever left him. He came HERE where I lived away from him and by the time it was done everything was his yet again. I don’t even know how the hell it happened cuz I was sure I wouldn’t let myself get into that position again. I already in just two weeks have more money than I’ve had at one time the whole time he’s been here. And I’m paying more than double in “bills” now. All the rest just went to crap to keep him happy, he always needed something!

      • lookingforward2012

        March 27, 2013 at 5:16 am

        Oh I get the conditioning. I walked on eggshells, bent over backwards, stood between him and my kids for 13 years. Old habits are hard to break. And on top of that, when I first started this adventure, i had NO idea what I was dealing with, so the advice I’d often get from people was that I needed to keep trying to be accommodating for visitations, i needed to not be so harsh about boundaries, eventually, he’ll get it.
        We all know how THAT worked out.

        The reason for my comment was really just to make the point that while you don’t care, you’re doing things that sort of look like giving a shit…and that is what he’ll hang onto.
        My ex would call, and talk to me about the kids. Then about himself .Then want to know about my personal life. When I finally got wise to the fact he didn’t care about the kids, that just how he sucked me into conversing, and I stopped, he told me I’d strung him along. That if I didn’t want to get back together with him, then why did I talk to him on the phone? Its exhausting.

        Any level of contact besides the very business like “I’ll be there at 9:00” they will twist. They have such skill and pulling you into a conversation by making you explain yourself, and before you know it, he’s back in his comfort zone, making you feel like shit, and everything is your fault.

        He wants you to take half the responsibility for the failure of the relationship? Funny, that is EXACTLY what my ex said to me. I said “If it will get you out of my life, I’ll take full, complete. 100% of the blame for this. Whatever you say.”

        I’ve been divorced 2.5 years. I still struggle with the insanity. And, like you, I find it irritating that I give him any of my time and thought and energy. I’m hoping for you that there will come a time when M isn’t even a blip on your radar, not even occasionally.

      • Sofia Leo

        March 27, 2013 at 11:17 pm

        People think living with a Narc is like training a naughty dog – offer enough treats and eventually they will look at you with love in their eyes and maybe even do what you ask them to. Narcs are a whole different animal – give them treats and they will bite your hand off and then blame you for getting blood on their shoes. That’s why it’s so important for us survivors to speak up and let others know that there ARE monsters out there and they aren’t on the news!

        I hear you about the mixed message I’ve been sending M. Total vanity on my part, wanting to prove to myself (and all you here – it makes excellent Blog Fodder :-)) that I was right and will continue to be right and that I am the stronger/better/smarter one and will win this little war even if he has won all of the battles up ’til now. More fooling myself. I found my mind, though πŸ™‚

      • Lee

        March 27, 2013 at 8:58 am

        In the required (in Massachusetts) parenting class for divorcing parents, there was one, and only one, highly useful piece of information that I actually took with me and used. That was that from the time of the divorce onward my then-soon-too-be-ex and I would be in a “business relationship” until the children became adults. The purpose of that “business relationship” was to make arrangements for the children’s visitation, health care, schooling, and other needs.

        Whenever I deviated from that and got into personal conversations with my ex intended to “resolve issues between us,” the inevitable result was the same type of conflicts we had had when we were married, and the same verbal abuse and name-calling (on her part) . . . only usually not quite so loud. πŸ˜›

        It took a long time–several years, I’m sorry to say–before I finally realized that I had to take that “business relationship” paradigm very literally, and cut off all types of communication that we were not specifically required to have by the provisions of the divorce decree on care of the minor children.

        Aside from the continual agony and frustration of dealing with her, what really pushed me to that conclusion was the colossal WASTE OF MY TIME (hundreds of hours, all told) that dealing with her involved. And while I was wasting my time, she was sucking even more of the lifeblood out of me.

        So now I ignore and do not reply to anything she says except the practical, “business” issues such as scheduling the kids’ time at the two households (which is roughly 50/50), and dealing with their schooling and health care needs.

        For you, I would recommend sticking to a “business relationship” with M for the care of the bunnies until you can get them the @#$% out of there! πŸ˜‰

      • Sofia Leo

        March 27, 2013 at 11:19 pm

        I like the idea of thinking of it as a business relationship. I have had many professional relationships and imposing the rules and protocol on this particular relationship would be a Good Thing.

  13. notwendysdave

    March 26, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    No matter what you say, or do you will always have to take “at least half of the blame”. You will never get through. Narcissists are like that.

    • Sofia Leo

      March 26, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      Right. He still claims that I like to be yelled at. Whatever.

      • notwendysdave

        March 27, 2013 at 4:19 am

        You will never change him. They believe the shit they spew.

      • Sofia Leo

        March 27, 2013 at 11:12 pm

        I know, but I still feel like a failure sometimes. I mean, I took three plunges into the (cess)pool of love and got beaten up each time. Surely that should tell me that maybe I’m just not cut out to go through life two-by-two, but I always suspected I would be happier alone. Now is my chance to find out!

      • notwendysdave

        March 28, 2013 at 7:50 am

        Sometimes alone is better. I’m on my 3rd serious relationship (marriage or cohabitation). This one is going well, but I understand. I was never happy alone. Not really.

      • Lee

        March 28, 2013 at 8:57 am

        I’m miserable when I’m alone. But I was even more miserable in a bad relationship. At least when you’re alone, there’s nobody there tearing you down and pushing you *below* the zero point.

        I’ve heard that women generally do better alone than men. Don’t know if that’s true.

      • Sofia Leo

        March 28, 2013 at 9:20 am

        I am at my most peaceful and creative when I’m alone, always have been. It gives me time to process whatever has gone before and I find that the time to unwind and clear out my mind keeps me feeling centered and rested. If I spend too much time around large groups of people I start to get nervous and jumpy, looking for an escape to a quiet place. Too much outside mental energy, I guess.

        Living with a Narc is like living in a small space with a dozen people – you’re never alone, even when he’s gone, because his thoughts are constantly invading your head and his toxic energy is almost visible in a mist covering everything. That’s how I explain it to myself, anyway πŸ™‚

        Towanda is free of negative vibrations and I can close the blinds (curtains coming soon, and why not make them out of silk? I deserve it :-)) and feel cocooned and safe. At the moment there is no traffic in the park and the only sound is the twittering of the birds in the trees right outside. Pretty close to heaven, I think.

      • Jenny

        March 28, 2013 at 9:17 am

        noone likes to be yelled at!!

      • Lee

        March 28, 2013 at 9:36 am

        I also felt like a failure when my long-term marriage crashed and burned in conflict and verbal abuse. But it was a hard way of learning that I still have a lot of work to do on myself.

        My attitude is that abuse is always the fault of the abuser. Even if the abused person *did* “ask for it” (which they didn’t), it is still wrong to dish it out. Abusers must be held accountable for their abuse no matter what the so-called (and usually imaginary) “provocation.”

        However, those who are being abused can either step into the line of fire or take steps to get out of the line of fire. When it comes to being involved in abusive relationships, working on one’s own self in a deep and thorough way is the only way of having some assurance of not continuing to step into the line of fire of one abuser after another. That probably means facing whatever childhood or other personal issues there are that seem to paint a target on one’s back that abusers sniff out and train their guns on.

        I still haven’t entirely figured out what that is. But I think that developing self-confidence and a sense of personal worth and of purpose in life has a lot to do with it. Abusers seem to hone in on those whose sense of self-worth has been broken down, and who are amenable to being controlled rather than being confident in running their own lives.

        As I said in a recent post, I believe that while *finding* the right person is important, being and becoming a person who can be in a healthy relationship is even more important. And that means a lot of work on oneself. Please understand that this does *not* mean the abuse is the fault of the victim. (See the second paragraph above.) Rather, it means–I believe, at least–that it is possible to get to the point where we no longer make ourselves victims to abusers. Although it may be a lot of work, it’s possible to get to the point of being able to be in a healthy and mutually loving relationship. That’s my theory, anyway! πŸ™‚

        The post I’m referring to is:
        “How to Attract the Opposite Sexβ€”and Keep ’Em”
        The first part is a spoof on ads and fads for attracting the opposite sex, so don’t take it too seriously. The rest of the article is not aimed at people in abusive relationships–for which the only solution is almost always to *get out.* And I do think that for some people, remaining single is probably the best option. One good thing: that’s entirely *your* choice!

      • Sofia Leo

        March 28, 2013 at 10:05 am

        I totally agree with you, Lee – I believe that low self-esteem plays a part in how a victim “allows” them self to enter into and stay in a toxic relationship and I also agree that for a former victim to gain a proper perspective about how Normal Relationships work and to be successful in those relationships requires a lot of personal work.

        After reading “Why does he do that?” I am fully convinced that a victim never “asks for it” unless they are into pain and suffering, but that speaks of a disordered mind and is a whole other can of worms πŸ™‚ A “normal” person never asks for it and in fact may do anything they can think of to avoid the Narc’s abuse (as I did) but since what is “good behavior” on any given day is a moving target with the Narc, a victim can never be successful and will always incur the wrath of the Narc. Lundy Bancroft writes of the point where the abuser “gives himself permission” to blow-up at his victim and how they are perfectly aware of that decision and perfectly in control of it. That reeks of evil to me.

        My problem is not so much low self-esteem as it is that I am a people pleaser – always have been. I’m a perfectionist who had it very easy through school. I was top of all of my classes without even breaking a sweat. I was successful in my career in what is traditionally a man’s field – engineering. I pride myself on being able to do anything, solve any problem (especially if the solution is to leave things alone – if it ain’t broke, don’t worry about it) take something apart and make it right again.

        And that’s what got me in trouble in the first place. This should probably be a blog post πŸ™‚ Anyway, ex#1 was broken and I thought I could fix him. I was wrong. I failed. And that failure started me on this road where I was determined to stick it out and emerge from the fire of ex#2’s baggage and M’s rage victorious.

        What I have learned is that some “projects” are not worth doing. Ex#1 promised that my love would heal him. He tried to strangle me instead. Ex#2 promised that he had his shit together and wanted a mature, honest relationship. He lied and cheated on me and then tossed me and my son aside like so much garbage. M promised to be my Prince Charming, supporting my fiber adventures and helping me to grow a business and be successful. You know how that went.

        Throughout all of this, the only person that I allowed (yes, I fully own that I allowed them to hurt me) to abuse me was the man who was supposed to be my partner. I did not allow abusive behavior from anyone else, not bosses, not co-workers, not friends or acquaintances. No one. The question that I have to answer is “why?” Why did I feel it was okay for this one man to heap abuse onto me? When I can answer that question truthfully, then I will be healed.

      • Lee

        March 28, 2013 at 10:15 am

        I think that in romantic and marriage relationships, deeper parts of ourselves get opened up than in any other kind of relationship. That includes deeper insecurities. Much deeper work is required to face and deal with the parts of ourselves that get opened up and exposed in romantic and marriage relationships.

      • Sofia Leo

        March 28, 2013 at 10:19 am

        I agree, and having a partner who sees your warts, supports and loves you in spite of them, and is there to help you grow and change (while you are there for them, too) is a treasure to hold forever.

        Unfortunately, I seem to attract the kinds of partners who are ready with a sharp lance to strike the killing blow at the first hint of a chink in my armor πŸ™‚ Not their problem – totally mine for believing their lies.

        I want to support a partner, to be there through the pain and growth, but it has to go both ways and so far I haven’t found that. Maybe some day. Until then I remain (to quote another commenter) a “penis-free zone” πŸ™‚

  14. Jenny

    March 26, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    very true what Notwendysdave said, I allowed things to happen rather than stand my ground and fight back. I see now that living with a Narc is crazy but with the knowledge I have now and the knowledge of Dr. Phils new book Life Code I realize I was just as at fault but now that I am aware of “what” a Narc is and how they think I am much more aware and it will never happen again because Narcs do not play by the same rules you play.

    • Sofia Leo

      March 26, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      Being a doormat was my biggest mistake, but I never “asked” for his abuse. You can bet it won’t happen again!

  15. Jenny

    March 27, 2013 at 2:30 am

    My parents never made me feel good about myself, in fact when I was 15 I kicked a guy in the balls because he wanted to have sex with me and I didn’t and I remember my dad got mad at me for kicking the guy in the balls….years later I reminded my dad where was his support and loyalty to me when someone was trying to rape me and he only cared about the guys balls! Dad said he was sorry and did not realize he was not protecting me. When I married the first husband I did not realize what a Narc was and the parents did not warn me…I did get a note in the mailbox warning me NOT to marry him. I went thru 13 yrs of misery because I did not stand up and make it clear you hurt me you’re toast!!

    • Sofia Leo

      March 27, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      How awful that your dad was upset at how you defended yourself! Do you know who sent the note?

      • Jenny

        March 28, 2013 at 9:16 am

        No I never figured out who wrote the note, I thought it might have been from another admirer but noone ever came up and said ” See I told you not to marry him” so to this day I do not know who wrote the note.

      • Sofia Leo

        March 28, 2013 at 9:23 am

        It would be hard to admit to writing such a note after what you went through. There are a couple of schools of thought about telling the new partner of a Narc the truth. One says to do it so they are warned, but that can have brutal consequences for you and your whole family and circle of friends. The other favors saying nothing but being there to tell the truth if the new “love” comes seeking support or validation, but again, that’s a fine line and could go so wrong so quickly.

        I think I’m in favor of just being glad the Narc is focused on someone else and moving on…

  16. Jenny

    March 27, 2013 at 2:44 am

    I was always made to feel like I wasn’t good enough and then when he flaunted an affair in my face while I was very pregnant and then lost my little girl in my 8th month I came unglued and filed for divorce. The split torn my kids up, son blamed himself and he really had a hard time growing up. He became much like his dad not respecting women and as hard as I tried to reason with him he would not listen so I have pretty much stayed away from him. I will not be verbally & emotionally abused. Through Sofia I have learned this shit can’t be a secret and it has to be talked out and we have to have a voice to stop any form of abuse towards us! I’m one of the lucky ones, 8 yrs later I remarried to a great guy who never calls me names or hurts me. He listens, he’s calm ( In fact he is a RV Driving instructor and everyone loves how he is so patient with them!) and he does not swear!! Dan has heard me canter over and over what the first husband used to say to me and just shakes his head. The X does not want me speaking to his side of the family because he does not want anyone to know the truth because he has never said he is sorry. Well I know the truth and so does God and Karma will bite his ass some day and I still have all the paper work of proof how shitty he was so someday the kids will ask and I’ll just say ” I think you need to read this.

  17. Jenny

    March 27, 2013 at 2:55 am

    I am so glad I wake up and know it’s going to be a good day and not have fear in my life!

    • Sofia Leo

      March 27, 2013 at 11:10 pm

      You and me both!

      I told him that no one else ever yells at me and treats me like he does and his reply was, “you don’t hurt anyone else like you hurt me!” WTF?

      So happy to be away from that crap.

  18. Jenny

    March 28, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Having my husband take off with his best friends wife ( who no longer was his best friend and now has passed away!) was indeed a sign from God to get me out of a horrible abusive relationship. No longer was I screamed at to my face and called filthy names over and over. He tried to keep controlling me after the divorce but when the law stepped in and lawyer not putting up with his crap and me remarrying he finally left me alone. Now his wife HATES to be anywhere near me because I went on to have a better life with a better husband and she hates that she did not destroy me. She is still lying to my kids and grandkids to make herself look good in their eyes but kids are smart and they will get the picture soon enough what she is all about.

    • Jenny

      March 28, 2013 at 10:48 am

      sad part is the kids thought being controlling and abusive is “Normal” and for me to be defending myself I am just being a bitch towards their dad

  19. frantichippie

    March 28, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Wow, fascinating conversation! And dangit Sofia, you and I are so much alike and our experiences are so much alike. Even the determination you had in your last relationship, I was so there with ya! I too believe my biggest problem is that I am a people pleaser. I’ve read a lot about it and that fits me. All kinds of other mental issues come up for me when I’m in a bad relationship, but they also don’t exist outside the relationship for me. Although I think it’ll take me awhile of being on my own to fully recover from the negative effects of the relationship(s).

    Tons of stuff in the comments I wanted to chime in on, but the forgiveness one for sure. I read a blog article about that, they said instead of using the word forgive, try using accept. Because forgive conjures up thoughts that what the abuser did was “ok”, but just accepting what they did and moving on from it can get you the same results in your healing. That concept helped me to get through most of the anger and resentments I had. I also had to accept the part I played in all of this, much like you all were talking about.

    Great conversation today! This has been so helpful for me, thank you all πŸ™‚

    • Jenny

      March 28, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      Wow “accept” sounds better to me too because I will go to my grave probably never forgiving my X-husband and his bitchy wife and I’m really having a hard time forgiving the kids being shits to me, they are Narcs too!! I just wished I believed in myself more THEN so I am not hurting NOW but I now realize these people are Narcs and I will never hear them say they are sorry for hurting me!!


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