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…