Monthly Archives: July 2013

Decoding Exercise

I “missed” a call from the Narc either last night or early this morning. The little phone icon was going ’round and ’round on the phone display, the words “Narc X” shining up to let me know just who had called. You might recall that I set “his” ringtone to None. I did not listen to the message, just cleared the icon off the phone so I wouldn’t have to see a reminder. After a little flash of anger, I just felt Meh. Whatever.

I opened my email when I got to the office and found this little gem waiting. The subject reads “Stuff” –

To the love of my life,

Have you moved away from the coast? Just a feeling…

I still have quite a few of your things and I’m wondering what to do with them. The house is emptying and will be ready to put up on the market soon.

I miss you so very much. I’ve never loved anyone as much a[s] you, absolutely no one. I would do anything to see you again. I swear to you, the beast has left and only your loving man remains.

with all my heart,


Let’s break this one down and decode it, shall we?

To the love of my life,

“To the chump who let me feed off of her emotionally, financially and physically for so many years,”

Have you moved away from the coast? Just a feeling…

“Hey! I’ve been stalking your known hang-outs and can’t seem to find you. No one knows where you are or if they do they aren’t telling me. I can’t control you if I don’t know where you are. I’ll toss in something about “feelings” because I know you like that kind of shit and it’s worked before. Tell me where you are so I can Hoover you back in…”

I still have quite a few of your things and I’m wondering what to do with them. The house is emptying and will be ready to put up on the market soon.

“Your crap is still sitting around here where you left it when you abandoned me and now I have to Deal With It, which you know is something I hate to do, so come over here and pick it up before I do something rash. I haven’t been able to find someone else to leech off of, so I’m selling the house I never wanted in the first place in order to get enough money to live on because I am “too disabled” to get a Real Job like all the Little People who have to work for a living.”

I miss you so very much. I’ve never loved anyone as much a[s] you, absolutely no one. I would do anything to see you again. I swear to you, the beast has left and only your loving man remains.

“Waaahhhh! I’m not getting any Ego Kibbles* and I’m starving over here all by myself! I miss all of the things you always took care of for me. I miss your warm body that was mine to command. I miss the money you brought into our lives. I miss yelling at you and treating you like crap and making you feel small enough that I could crush you under my heel. I miss making you cry. I miss lying to you and playing sadistic emotional games. I miss pitting my mind against yours for no reason at all.

“I want to see you again face to face so I can try out my new Hoovering skills. I’ve been working very hard on my mask, repairing the chinks, plastering over the holes where my black soul peeked through and I think you’ll be surprised at how attractive it looks. I’ve got a whole new arsenal of compliments, buzzwords and platitudes that I want to use to get you back.

“I promise to be the loving man you thought you met in the beginning. Until you piss me off and “force” me to correct you with threatening words and gestures. I won’t do that until I’m financially stable again, though.”

with all my heart,


“I don’t have a heart, but women like to read that shit, so here it is. I sign with a lower-case m because it makes me seem humble and women like that, too. A capital m is too pretentious for my purposes here, best to look as if I’ve learned something these last months – makes it more likely you’ll believe this bullshit and call or write so I can work on getting you back.”

Whew! I wonder how long he spent composing that little gem? Whatever.

* Have you seen Chump Lady yet? Do check out that link. Substitute “Narc/Socio/Psycho” where she writes “cheater” and the message is the same. These assholes all read from the same script!


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The Narc and Male Friends

To continue the series of The Narc And…we have a suggestion from Twindaddy

Then tell me about having male friends…

Simple answer: I was not allowed to have friends, male friends in particular. I blogged about the Facebook Incident, the Camping Incident and the Phone Call, all prime examples of the Narc’s opinion about what I was allowed to say to men and how I was allowed to act around them.

What I haven’t related are the daily questions and demands for information that he subjected me to. I work in a male dominated industry (engineering) where the majority of my co-workers are male. Sometimes the person who answers the phones is female, but the people I work the most with are male. This was a problem for the Narc from the beginning.

I quickly learned not to talk about my co-workers at home. One of the men I worked with was going through a horrible divorce and being kept away from his kids, which made the whole atmosphere in the office oppressive and gloomy. I mentioned to the Narc how hard it must be for said dude to be going through that kind of ordeal and still have to show up at work every day. The Narc accused me of sleeping with the soon-to-be-divorced co-worker. I was chastised for expressing my sympathy for him and told in no uncertain terms how inappropriate my behavior was. Bear in mind, it was just a few offhand comments over the course of a week or so, what any Normal Person might say about a person they like who was going through a rough time.

The Narc demanded my presence at Events showcasing his interests (mostly events attended by wooden boat builders) where I was to play the Perfect Hostess. My performance was later critiqued. If the Narc felt that I spent too much time talking to/listening to another man, he would accuse me of making a pass at that man. If I laughed at something another man said loud enough for the Narc to hear, he accused me of flirting and lectured me about how inappropriate my behavior was. He would demand that I recreate the conversation for his analysis because I was too stupid to know if a man was making a pass at me, and that was the only reason a man would even bother to talk to me – he was looking to get lucky. No man would ever listen to anything I had to say because I was too stupid and ignorant to be interesting.

I was allowed to talk to both members of a couple, so long as I included the Narc in the conversation in some way. I was allowed to talk with women, but not Over There and I could not outwardly show that I was enjoying myself. If I spent any time with any single woman the Narc would ask me if I was attracted to her. If I planned to go somewhere with or meet at an Event with another woman I was questioned about my feelings for her, whether I was contemplating a relationship with her. He would say things like, “you two sound just like a couple!” when I would tell him my plans for meeting with a friend for lunch, an Event, whatever.

When I worked at the ice cream shop he questioned me about the customers, which ones were regulars, who flirted with me, etc. I just stopped talking about work at all. When a young man was hired the Narc just about went through the roof! Only my explaining that he and I would not be working together calmed the Narc down. He accused me of sleeping with The Boss, or wanting to, of planning an affair, blah, blah, blah. If I was able to repeat a conversation with another man he accused me of wanting to sleep with him, but at the same time he wanted to know everything that was said so he could analyze it for his future lectures.

I learned to just smile vacantly and answer with monosyllables whenever the Narc and I were in public. I agreed with whatever he said, supported him when he gave me my cues, basically danced on the end of the leash he kept tightly in his fist. I did it to avoid The Ride Home Lecture. I did it to avoid accusations. I did it so he wouldn’t tell me (again and again and again) how ignorant/stupid/naive I was.

The Narc, OTOH, had his own set of rules. He was allowed to flirt with any woman he took a liking to. He was allowed to comment on how much he appreciated whatever trait about them he approved of. He was allowed to expound upon their virtues and compare me unfavorably to them whenever he wanted to. I was not allowed to contradict him or express hurt feelings. I was not allowed to say I thought he “stepped over the line.” About anything.

At Events the Narc would walk away from me, expecting me to follow in his wake, notebook in hand, listening to his conversations and taking notes and pictures for his blog posts. I was expected to photograph anything of interest to him, even though he refused to tell me what about a particular boat he wanted to post about. My photos were later critiqued and mostly rejected in favor of his own.

Basically, if a person had a penis I was to avoid all contact. Except for his, of course, that penis I was supposed to worship…


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Guest Posting

Daan Vandenbergh saw my post on Deliberate Donkey and asked me to write a guest post on his blog about the Power of Stuff. Go take a look and see what you think about this other side of me –


Many thanks to Daan and Melanie for giving me these wonderful opportunities to rant on the ‘net 🙂


Posted by on July 24, 2013 in Stuff



Starting Over

Thank you all so much for your advice about whether or not I should unmask and continue with my other blogs. The, “what the hell are you thinking?” from Mom was the final decider 🙂

Yes, I really would like to give the Narc the finger by posting to my old blogs about all the fabulous stuff that’s going on right now, but as Awana pointed out, I’m not that far away from him (physically speaking) and he could cause all sorts of problems for me if he chose to. I confess I hadn’t even considered that he could sue me for slander – he’s just the kind of asshole to do it, too!

Revenge is not something I will be able to get, so the next best thing is to start from here, moving forward on my own terms. I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but the Narc gave me the ideas for my blog and email names and up ’til now I’ve been happy to keep them. Time to fuse my online identity with the name I chose, Sofia Leo, dropping what doesn’t work and improving what’s already there. How this will affect people who know me IRL is uncertain.

So. I will be saving some “best of” posts from my fiber blog and posting them to my brand-new WP blog – Starting Over Designs where you will be able to read all about the Fiber Stuff, gardening, food preserving, anachronistic weird shit I get up to and other domestic arts as my interest ebbs and flows. I may or may not just delete the “old” blog so the Narc won’t even be able to see the archives.

I write and sell knitting patterns, so they will all have to be re-written, which gives me a great opportunity to fix some minor things here and there and change fonts and such. New cards will have to be ordered and accounts set up on the ‘net to take the place of the now obsolete identities. The sheer volume of work has me a little freaked out, but how often do we get the chance to totally re-invent ourselves in the image we would have created in the first place if only we had known? I plan to start a business ASAP and start treating my “little hobby” as a sideline with the potential to go Full Time now that no one is around to tell me I can’t or that I’m wasting my time.

I have one other blog that I really want to preserve because it took hours and hours to compile some pretty Good Stuff and I want to continue the projects and stories from there but I’m not sure how to go about it – starting over in the middle of things doesn’t make sense. I compiled a really nice source list for free fiddle tunes on the ‘net that gets about 50 hits a day. Sure, I could just leave it there, but I want to start a new blog here on WP and it’s a nice resource for newbies to have. What do you think about that?

Here we go – Day One of a new adventure!



Posted by on July 23, 2013 in Digging Out



Go ahead and hate me now…

I know! Way behind posting about Current Events, and I’m afraid this post won’t make up for anything in that department, but in the interest of getting something up here before you all die of boredom, here’s last weekend in photos –


Lovely cottage in Yachats where Sabu and I stayed in exchange for doing some website work.


One of many outside sitting areas, but it was too chilly to stay out there for long.


Dogs loose on the beach! Sabu got to run and run and run off leash on the beach for the first time ever with her pal Beignet. She was a very Good Dog.


The perfect Saturday night – a tub full of hot bubbles, a good book and a cup of tea.


That’s right – birthday cake for breakfast Sunday! Toast and tea, too.


This is a dog with NO birthday cake. Such a sad picture.

And then we drove back to the Valley, Sabu passed out flat in the back seat. She ran on the beach, she ran in Beignet’s yard, she worked herself into a frenzy and is still recovering today.

And here we are at Monday again. Lots of things going on in the background today. Post later…


Posted by on July 22, 2013 in Digging Out, Dogs, Friends, I totally Rock!


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Gotta Bounce…

It’s time to get packed for yet another weekend away from Towanda. Now that the Narc is out of the picture, Sabu and I have become quite the Social Butterflies! Knitting pictures over on Travels with Towanda.

I just discovered that Sabu will chase the red laser light. OMG! I’m laughing so hard right now!

Anyway. Tomorrow (Saturday) marks 6 months away from the Narc! I thought it would feel more momentous, but I simply don’t have time to dwell on it any more. I certainly don’t feel sad, or like I made a mistake or am missing out on something. I feel pretty darned happy, actually. All.the.time. Happy, happy, happy. It’s amazing and wonderful and humbling in a way.

I look back and can’t quite believe that was my life. I will continue with the Narc…and posts because I want people to understand what it’s like to live with that kind of constant stress. I want people to be able to recognize a monster when they see one, to get out much sooner than I did, to understand that no one has to live that way – we all deserve so much better!

I also feel pretty strongly that I need to unmask, share my real identity with my readers here. I have a whole Other Life and it’s starting to overlap here. It’s confusing to talk to people who know me IRL, because I’m not sure what stories I’ve told and what they know about me. There are very few people who know me IRL and who read here, everyone else is out of one loop or the other and I’m having trouble keeping track 🙂

Of course, if I reveal my identity here, it means unmasking the Narc as well. It means putting up a post on my other blogs explaining my long absence and the Narc has those blogs in his live feed so he will know when I post. If I link from there to here it means the Narc will follow and know what I did, when I planned everything and how I live now. I just don’t know how to approach the subject.

What say you?


Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Annaversaries, Happy, Today


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What Makes Someone Chase a Narcissist?

Lynette over at In the Net! Stories of Life and Narcissistic Survival posted back in March about the types of people who “chase” narcs. She defines four categories (although there can be a lot of cross-over): The Savior Complex (my relationship with Mark), The Agenda Driven (my time with Dale), The Minimizer/Rationalizer (my relationship with M) and the person with no boundaries (me with all three of them) that explain to those who have never had this type of experience just what’s going on when a person gets involved with a Narc and doesn’t seem to see what those on the outside looking in can see. A very informative read!

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Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


Gone Knittin’

For all my brave talk here you might think I’m an outgoing, confident person, but the reality is that I am uncomfortable with groups of people I don’t know. I resent clique-y groups where they all stare and ask pointed questions and judge before they know the new person. I refuse to play political or one-up games and that makes me feel unwelcome in some gatherings.

Fiber people are generally very friendly and accepting, but there are exceptions and I have encountered a few women who I would cheerfully throttle just to get them to stop expounding on a subject it’s clear they know very little about, especially when they are insulting the very people they are expounding to. It’s a bit of a hot button for me so I try to keep my mouth shut.

So. The local fiber shop (Knitty Gritty, recently opened, located half a block from the office) started up a regular Wednesday night knitting circle last night. I mustered my courage and went, not knowing what to expect. Would this be a friendly group, or a well-established clique that does not welcome newcomers?

Thankfully it was the former and the seven of us had a great time.

Towanda is still in a state of mild uproar after the move (what can I say – I’ve been napping as Sabu and I adjust to the new schedule, not organizing as I should have been) and there was no new project waiting in its bag by the door so I purchased yarn and needles when I arrived at the shop. If you’re in the area and looking for bamboo knitting needles at a really great price, do stop by!

The owner of the shop raises alpaca, sheep and goats and there were bags and bags of the stuff sitting around. She sells it at a very good price as-is for spinning as well as plenty of finished yarn in all weights. That won’t mean much to most of you, but trust me, if you’re looking for alpaca and alpaca blends for knitting or spinning, she has just what you want.

Whew! I was prepared for disappointment if the group turned out to be closed and so relieved when they proved to be a tribe of my People. I was so energized by the meeting that I went home and did laundry and practiced a few fiddle tunes 🙂

Life is good!


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The Narc and TV

DISCLAIMER: I speak here of my Narc, not all Narcs. Your mileage may vary. Also, I am not a therapist and do not claim to have any special knowledge other than that of the chump who got taken advantage of by a true asshole.

Our first Narc and…subject comes from Laura:

I’ve got one: television viewing. Is it possible he could’ve had an opinion/rules about the shows you watched? Perish the thought. I say this tongue in cheek because knowing my narc, and reading your posts about yours, I believe the two may have been cut from the same cloth. I’m interested to see if you had a similar experiences in regard to television.

Oh, boy! The Narc did indeed have rules about TV watching.

When we met, he would come over to my apartment and we would watch Star Trek: The Next Generation because my routine was to watch an hour or two of TV while knitting to unwind and he was still putting me on a pedestal so he went along. We even had conversations about the show (and others) that were far-ranging. It was like TV was a jumping-off point to talk about everything under the sun. It was fun and stimulating and I thought he “got” me.

By the time we moved in together a couple of years later his views had changed. He claimed to have stopped watching TV at fourteen because “there was nothing good on,” and that he never watched regularly or had owned a TV as an adult. He was fond of lecturing about how much a waste of time it was, blah, blah, blah, only idiots watch TV, etc. etc. etc. He advocated reading The New Yorker and other political mags instead.

By that time I saw his point – it is a huge time suck, but if you are selective about what you watch, there’s some Good Stuff on there, right?

The two years we lived together (the Farm Failure) there was no TV reception at the house. I must have paid for something, but I don’t remember watching, so maybe I didn’t? Anyway, when he sold the house and Harley and I moved into the little duplex I paid for satellite service and H and I watched whatever we wanted to when the Narc wasn’t there. If he was there, the TV was off and all attention had to be directed at the Narc.

Fast forward to three or so years ago. I had moved to the Coast, left a really good job and a house I loved behind to give our relationship one more chance. I sold my TV before moving. The Narc went off one day about how I was a huge downer, “a cloud hangs over your head all the time!” It’s true – I was on the verge of tears every waking moment, but not because I missed watching TV! I had a few bucks in the bank and the Narc insisted I go buy a TV. He lectured me for days about how I “needed” a TV so that I could get my “sense of humor” back. Whatever.

Of course, I gave in and purchased a small flat screen TV. Basic Cable was included with the internet service, so a few channels were available. A DVD player and we could watch movies (that’s another post.)

I started catching up with my favorite series, Gray’s Anatomy, but he made watching it hell. He would sit in the next room while I watched, my jaw clenched because I knew what was coming. He knew when it was on and insisted I watch every week so the scene could play out each time.

While the show was on, he would be silent or play music videos on YouTube loud enough to be disturbing. When the commercials came on, his heckling would start: “you call that acting? They should get some people on that show who can actually deliver their lines!” and on and on. It happened every week, and he insisted on it.

He would criticize every choice I made, even when it was something I thought he would enjoy. The end result is that I secretly paid for a Netflix account so I could watch streaming TV and movies when he wasn’t home. I never talked about what I watched (he would have a fit if he knew I watched Dexter and compared the two of them, unfavorably for the Narc 🙂 ) and denied all knowledge of current shows or movies. I just shut down, refusing to engage about any kind of media at all because it always led to another lecture and/or shouting match. It was totally pointless, a set-up to find me deficient in some way.

Now I watch whatever I want to watch, whenever I want to watch it. I do still feel that there’s not much on regular TV, but my Netflix queue would take me weeks to watch and I get suggestions from friends all the time about movies I should see for one reason or another. I’ve missed out on a lot of quality knitting time and I’m making up for it. I still don’t watch anywhere near the National Average (34 hours a week?) and probably won’t ever watch that much – there are too many fun things to do!

What about you? Did/does your Narc impose limits on your TV viewing? Perhaps they watch but don’t allow you to?


Posted by on July 11, 2013 in Emotional Abuse, Narcissist, Narcland


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Pick a subject…

I got to thinking after I wrote the last post. I know! It’s only Tuesday and here I am blogging and thinking and enjoying life and shit! Who woulda thought!

Everything I do every day feels fresh and new and it occurs to me that it might be helpful to explain why I feel that way, but the post would be so long you would all be asleep long before you reached the end. Also, it would sound insane.

So I would like to open up the subject matter to my readers. Narcs like to control every aspect of their victim’s lives and to do so they impose an impossible list of rules that change from day to day or even from minute to minute. My Narc liked to lecture me on my deficiencies and browbeat me into conforming to his idea of “correct.”

With that in mind, pick a subject and I will do my best to explain the insane rules about said subject that the Narc had. Any subject. Really. He had (has?) rules, opinions and directives about everything under the sun.

Leave a comment. Try to stump me. I promise to keep it real and not make any shit up. Remember that when you read my responses…


Posted by on July 9, 2013 in Narcland

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