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Category Archives: Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt his or her own memory and perception. It may simply be the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, or it could be the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.

The Lawnmower Incident

When I arrived home after work on Thursday, Walt was mowing in front of Towanda. The grass was too wet to be mowed (but don’t ever try to tell HIM that) and was clumping up into those piles that stick to your shoes, to be carried inside and all over the fucking place no matter what you do, but that’s beside the point.

The smell of the fresh cut grass brought to mind an incident that happened the Spring before I left the narc.

I’ve said before that he lost his left leg below the knee and lost much of the use of his lower right leg. Walking over uneven ground was problematic and the yard was very uneven, making mowing a slow and painful process for him.

Because of all his moaning and belly-aching I took over mowing duties soon after I moved to The Coast. I was never able to do the job to his satisfaction or on his time table. It got worse when I started working and didn’t get home until close to dark – too late to get the job done, IMO, but he was in a lather because it was a fraction of an inch longer than the neighbor’s and that could not be tolerated – Narcland must be well groomed at all times.

On this particular day I had worked an eight hour shift on my feet on a concrete floor. I was tired and not in the mood to mow the lawn. It was close to dark anyway and could have waited another day. But, no. He got the mower out after telling me how painful it was going to be for him and how it was MY responsibility to do this job, blah, blah, blah. I decided to use my time wisely (IE in a way that might not earn me a lecture about how I was sitting on my ass while he was “working”) and was pulling weeds in the garden.

He made the first pass in front of the house, and being an arrogant man, he ran the mower too close to the house and broke off the hose bib that sat next to the front door. Water began to spray everywhere.

He screamed in frustration and ran inside to turn off the supply. While he did that, I moved the lawnmower so it wouldn’t get any more wet than it already was. I knew I was in for a tirade and it wasn’t long in coming.

You see, it was MY fault he ran over the hose bib. My working was a HUGE problem because chores around the house weren’t getting done. The yard “looked like a bunch of renters” were living there, renters being the lowest form of life in the narc’s opinion. Of course, the flip-side was that he was desperate for an income and the only way we could have that income was for me to work, him being too disabled to do Real Work.* I had to take whatever job I could get, and the hours that went along with it, just to get him to shut the fuck up about money. Scratch that. He never shut up about money, just changed his rants.

So now the water is turned off to the house, the narc is in a rage and it’s time for me to start dinner. Great.

The narc went into the back room to rummage for plumbing parts to see if he could find a solution. He could not. I suggested he could drive into town and see if what he needed could be found at Fred Meyer – the only likely source after 5:00 PM.

He came back about an hour later saying he’d had no luck. And now he’s hungry and the lectures begin. I don’t remember what I made for dinner that night, but I do remember being chastised because I hadn’t finished mowing the lawn while he was gone. He reamed me for having put some of my “crap” too near the board on the floor that covered the gaping hole that led to the water shut-off when it was actually HE who put stuff there and it wasn’t even exclusively “mine,” proving once again that narcs and their ilk always read from the same script.

The water was off for two days while he tried to get parts to make the repair (he had “more important” things to do first) and he lectured me on my irresponsibility, slovenly ways, uncaring attitude, whining (that was all him,) and lack of concern for what was A Real Problem.

What would I have done if he hadn’t been there? Feeling bitchy after another morning with no shower I replied, “I wouldn’t have sheared the hose bib off in the first place!” which didn’t win me any points but felt satisfying at the time.

I mean, really. The whole incident was a farce. I have no doubt he deliberately ran the damn thing over to Show Me What Could Go Wrong and “prove” how superior he is.

When he finally got the water back on I said nothing, hoping the incident would just go away and I could unclench my jaw. It came up again when the water bill arrived – MY irresponsibility was the cause of the price hike and he made very sure I understood my role in his little drama. I handed over the extra funds without a word because I was waking up to his games and knew it was only a matter of time before I left for good.

What an asshole. And how depressing that the smell of fresh cut grass should instantly call this memory up from the depths of my brain.

* Funny how he could work on his projects all day, though – outside in all weather, long hours bent over a boat, sanding and painting, or carting materials up and down the yard, hoisting things onto and off of trailers and a long list of other things. The problem was that he was unable to take direction from anyone else because he believes there is no one on earth more intelligent or capable than he is. How dare anyone tell him what to do! He just can’t stomach it. Not even for money.

 
 

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One Year Ago – Part 5

The past year has zoomed by at an amazing rate. It’s hard to believe the life I had a year ago. The memories are becoming fuzzy, less distinct and painful.

The narc claimed to have started on the medication his doctor recommended and he was cured! Even his allergies were clearing up! At last he saw the light and totally understood how I could be angry with him, but he was a New Man and I could come back and we could start over! As if. Meanwhile, Sabu started taking Doggy Prozac and my life became a whole lot easier 🙂

March started out with a conversation that left me infuriated. That he expected me to come over to his house for a conjugal visit after the way he treated me kept me angry for days. He did convince me to house sit for him for a week or so, and I’m sure he thought that as soon as I saw what I was missing I would beg to be taken back, but that didn’t happen, I just moved more of my stuff out of his house. In fact, no matter how many times I told him exactly what was wrong with our relationship, he always pointed his finger at me as the cause of his unhappiness and subsequent abusive behaviors. Sigh. He just didn’t get it and I was beginning to believe he never would.

Being the stubborn sort, there was no going back. Oh, I was interested in watching the narc implode, but going back never entered my mind and that has led to all kinds of wonderful things happening, things that would not have been possible were I still with the narc.

Today I’m very busy. The Fiber Thing is taking off in new, unexpected directions – I met up with the owner of my “old” LYS (Local Yarn Shop) (sadly now closed) and she needs help getting her crochet patterns online for sale. It seems I’ve become the local Computer Expert – Wool Division. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, but I don’t think I know all that much, really, and now there are people who want to pay me for my time? Too good to be true!

In my quest for seven streams of income, doing computer work to get other people online is #5. Not bad for the third month of 2014 🙂

 

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Narc in the New Year

Well, that didn’t take long. This was in my inbox this morning:

I don’t know if you are getting my messages. Hope so. I still hold out that we might be able to at least talk again someday. Despite all the heartbreak of the last year, I still miss your loving kisses and sharp wit. I love you.

I’m getting counseling which has helped identify destructive character traits – the hard part to swallow is how simple it is to change from a critical, destructive path to a compassionate one. If only…………

I’m practicing meditation, which I have always been skeptical of. Once again, if only……. But the main tenet of meditation is to not get hung up on the past, nor worry about the future. As you might imagine, I have a harder time with that part. It’s very effective for sharpening your mind and relaxing your body.

I have you to thank for getting me here, though I wish with all my heart it could have been different. I think of you everyday, You are everything I ever wanted in a mate and I have only myself to blame.

I wish you the best. No doubt you will prosper, you are a survivor, one of the things I love about you the most. I think about my attitude, the hurtful things I’ve said and done and I am humiliated. So very sorry to have hurt you.

A note from you would be very nice.

Your lover forever,

michelangelo 

Oh, pah-leeze! I don’t even know what to say about this steaming pile of shit. He’s a new man now, eh? He’s meditating and getting counseling? He now understands how easy it is to go from Mr. Hyde back to Dr. Jekyll? He thinks of me every day? How sweet. He knows that I’m a survivor and will go on? Fuck yes, I’m a survivor! And I have already moved on to a much happier, more prosperous and fulfilling life than he can even imagine.

It just makes me tired. I don’t even feel outrage that Gmail can’t reliably block his bullshit.

I’m in the process of updating everyone with my new address and cancelling all of my old accounts. I put up a single post on the old blog saying that my readers don’t know the whole story and inviting them to drop me a note. I left the post up for 24 hours and then deleted the whole blog. I knew it would come up on his live feed because he refused to take my blog links down even after I asked him to. I got two responses. Guess that proves without a doubt that his story about why I left is good enough to ensure his friends stay loyal. Whatever.

All of my old blogs are now gone and my website will be down soon, too – still need to copy some stuff off it for future use. There are many login IDs to be changed and mailing lists to update, but I expect it will all be done within a week, including closing the irritating Gmail account. New Year, New Me 🙂

 

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One Year Ago Part Three

Last December was a very bad month for me. The narc was amping up his abuses because I finally had a handle on his tactics, a look behind his mask, and he was not happy at all.

November ended with a fight about moving some plywood, of all things. He got mad that I didn’t jump up from my desk where I was doing paying work to help him before he needed to ask. The argument went round and round until I just didn’t care any more and shut down, refusing to respond to him at all. He pretended to “make an effort to change” which I knew was just another tactic to bring me back in line.

Because of my wonderful readers and lots of internet research, by December I knew I was dealing with a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and that there was no cure, no hope, and no reason to say with the asshole. I started to turn his conversational beatings around on him, refusing to play his games. I admit I found it thrilling, like poking the tiger in the cage at the zoo. Now that I was no longer emotionally invested in the relationship, I didn’t care if I made him mad and said what I really felt with no regard to what he might think. It was Sofia Uncensored. He hated it. I reveled in his hate. His anger and switching tactics only fueled my own anger and determination to get the hell out.

When he could no longer move me to tears or talk me into submission he changed his approach: suddenly he was helpless, unable to keep his finances in order, broke, sick, depressed, unable to remember a host of little things from one day to the next. He became a toddler again and he expected me to pick up his slack and take care of all his needs.

I had money in my bank account and a plan for the next time he left town, but he seemed determined to not leave me alone. I tried my best to keep from rocking the boat while standing up for myself – not an easy task. I didn’t want him to kick me out before I was ready to go, but I had a backup plan just in case.

And then Christmas was upon us, and he did his usual gift thing. I bought him clothes, careful to choose exactly what he said he wanted. He took back some clothes that he had given to me and whined constantly about how he felt like he’d been taken advantage of all these years by “everyone,” including me and that was why he wasn’t where he wanted to be in his life and why he could not be happy and treat me well. He was laying the guilt on thick at every opportunity.

I was angry. So very angry. I was very impatiently waiting for him to go out of town again so I could put my escape plan into motion. I was keeping many secrets from him and I felt justified in doing so because of his lies and manipulations. I no longer loved him. I did hate him with a red hot fiery passion and I knew that hatred was the primary force keeping my head above water, paddling slowly forward, looking for an opening to get away.

In less than a month I would be free. That last month was the hardest to endure, but I made it and have been narc free for almost a year!

Thank you all for traveling along with me on this journey.

 

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One Year Ago Part 2

Tomorrow is the narc’s birthday. The Big 6-0. I wrote last year how he feels about birthdays and what his gift to me was. We had just returned from yet another of his Boating Trips and I was furious over what happened on the drive home. He had upped his criticism of me to a degree that I’m sure was noticed by outsiders because I was starting to speak my mind, disregarding his poor, injured ego. The day before his b-day he was lamenting how his “decent into poverty” was all my fault.

On his Big Day I did not acknowledge his birthday. I got him no gift, did not wish him happy day or in any way let him know that I knew the date. He went to his boat and got drunk with friends and then drove home. My stomach was already in knots with worry about how he was going to punish me for “forgetting” his day, so I wasn’t fast enough to call the police to have him arrested for drunk driving. I still regret that…

It was the first time I voiced the thought that I should move out and quit holding him back so he could sell his house and go live his dream on his boat. It was the first time I told him that I thought he liked the idea of me, but not the actual person that I am and that he never had really liked me. It was liberating and terrifying at the same time.

At that point I had no clear idea of how I was going to get away from him, but I knew it was going to have to happen soon or I would snap. I had received word that I would soon have access to a retirement account that I had all but forgotten and visions of freedom were dancing in my head.

Fast forward to this year and my biggest “problem” is how to keep my water hose from freezing up – foam insulation, heat tape or a combination of the two? Fill the fresh water tank and use the inside pump for shower/toilet/sink, unhook the hose until more water is needed and avoid the problem altogether?

I started to make a list of what I would like to give him on his Big Day this year, but have deleted it because it makes me sound just a little bit crazy to be wishing so many horrible skin ailments on one person 🙂

Let me just say that my life has improved 1000% since I left the narc. I thought I was having a run of bad luck in the last years with him, but it turns out that he was my bad luck charm and leaving him was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself!

Have a truly awful day, dickhead!

 

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Just like we’re friends or something

Had a new e-mail from the narc when I checked after my second nap Sunday evening:

[his pet name for me,]

Jim has two cats that moved from his neighbor’s to his house. One is a big male and the other is a tiny female. His wife is allergic to cats, so they both live in the garage.

Recently the little female was caught killing a bird in their bird feeder (what do they expect?), so it has been decreed she must go to a shelter. She is the sweetest little thing, so I told him I’d take her rather than send her to the pound.

If you think you might want this kitty, you should contact Jim. I will take her otherwise, though the princess Pookie will not like it one bit. She is coal black and smaller than Pookie.

[Jim’s e-mail address]

love you,

m

Really? I went NC on June 20. He has not heard my voice or received an e-mail reply to anything in over three months and now he’s sending me this? Like I’m just going to forgive and forget?

Oh, sure, I can contact Jim about the poor kitty and leave the narc out of it completely, but WTF is he thinking by even sending me this?

Wait. I know exactly what he’s thinking:

  • Appeal to her soft heart with a sob story about a cat and she’ll open the lines of communication
  • Insert something about poor little Pookie and how unhappy she will be
  • Make sure the message is “from” someone she’s likely to respond to
  • Put in something about the nature of cats and how they’re unfairly demonized
  • Don’t forget to sign it with “love” to let her know all is not lost

What a bunch of crap! I do tend to respond under these conditions, but not to him, and not to someone who might report back to him about me or inadvertently give away information I want to remain private.

Loser! Nice try, but it ain’t gonna happen!

On an unrelated note: took Lil’ Dude in for his procedure. Left Sabu in the car while I took kitty into the vet’s office in his carrier. Got him checked in, signed up and went back out to the car. Sabu was very concerned that I returned without her little buddy. She’s been giving me the stink-eye all day. Except during lunch, when she was begging for bacon! off my panini. Will report back when Lil’ Dude is home and the meds wear off 🙂

 
 

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One Year Ago Part I

A year ago this week I was in a very different place. The Narc was busy with his online affair with the “old lover (that [he] still care[s] for)” and I had just received news that The Old Boss was making changes to the company’s retirement account and I needed to move what turned out to be $12K into a new account where it would be super easy to withdraw any time I wanted to finally Get Out. The Narc was suddenly all smiles and full of ideas about what I should do with my money.

I was still recovering from his latest round of Gaslighting, pissed about bills that I was suddenly expected to pay, trying to keep my mouth shut about his made-up dispute with the neighbors and getting more and more frustrated and angry as I found the language to name his abuses. I was distancing myself in preparation of fleeing for my sanity.

On the weekend, there was a Fiber Event that I wanted to attend. Because I was angry, I did not formally invite the Narc to come along and that led to a six-hour lecture that started out being about how I am an uncaring bitch for not inviting him along and ended with how I am an uncaring bitch for not letting him carry on an internet affair with his old lover. I attended the Event, ranted to poor Awana about what a dick he is and nearly killed myself driving 5 hours to and from on no food. The next day was more of the same.

This year is about as different as it can be and still be my life. The Event is next weekend and I am looking forward to attending, but my feelings are mixed. I hope the Narc hasn’t ruined it for me.

This year the only time constraint I have is Crazy Helper Dog. Absolutely No Dogs are Allowed Anywhere on the Property, so Sabu will have to stay home with Lil’ Dude. Oh, I won’t be gone longer than her bladder can hold out, but she will be sure to let me know that I’ve been gone forever!ohmygod!forever!!!

I plan to take a bunch of pictures and maybe even buy a thing or two. Details next weekend.

Also, I booked an appointment for Lil’ Dude to have his balls cut off and needles stuck into him. Gotta keep him healthy! I’m hoping his Procedure will slow him down for a couple of days so I can get a full night’s sleep.

 

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