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Category Archives: Narcissist

Defining the Abuse

Here’s a little essay that’s been sitting in my Draft folder for a long time. Someone close to me is suffering at the hands of an ex and perhaps this short list will help enable some emotional distance for them –

Being able to label your abuser’s disorder is a valuable tool, but not nearly as valuable as being able to label the specific abuse that s/he dishes out. Because of my personal experience, I’ll use masculine pronouns, but remember that abusers come in all shapes, sizes and genders.

Just saying, “he’s mean to me,” is not enough – if you tell others they will want specifics (if they even believe you) or they tell you to be nicer to him, and if you’re struggling to identify within your own mind just what the hell is going on, “mean” is much too vague. Chances are, once you learn the names of the abuses you are faced with every day you will be able to better see just what is going on and make a decision as to whether or not you can live with it. It can be very helpful to write down incidents soon after they happen (if it’s safe for you to do so) because so many abusers alternate between bouts of extremely abusive behavior and bouts of “loving” or at least less abusive episodes, which keeps their victim off balance and confused as to who the “real” person is, akin to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of the famous story. They may even convince you an episode never happened, causing you to question your perception and even your sanity. Rest assured, it’s all part of the abuser’s plan to keep you quiet and in their control.

The following are definitions with examples as they applied to my personal situation – your mileage may vary. Definitions from Out of the FOG, a wonderful repository of information for those who are involved in some way with people with personality disorders. They have a forum, too, if you want to get support from others in the same boat. Many thanks to JetGirl for the link.

Baiting and picking fights: Starting an argument for no reason, or making an accusation about one thing while maneuvering you into making an admission or concession about something else. With M, this usually meant he was wanting me to give permission for some sort of behavior that he knew I didn’t approve of by getting me to admit that I’ve done something similar in the past, or he wanted me to do something that I didn’t agree with and would hound me until I agreed just to get him to leave me alone. The property tax fight is a good example. Also the whole Facebook thing. And everything from where to store the dog food to when to take a shower – it was all about winning battles for him and he would stop at nothing to make me admit defeat, whatever that meant for him at the moment.

Belittling: A passive/aggressive method of establishing superiority. M did this with just about everyone and it took me a long time to figure out that his offers of “help” were nothing more than put-downs cleverly disguised – I couldn’t really get upset because he was “helping” me and I was taking his “advice” the wrong way if I protested his interference.

Bullying: Physically towards the dog, emotional towards me. Something new every day.

Catastrophizing: Inflating some incident or state of circumstances into a “worst case scenario.” Property taxes. Toilet seal. Old Dog dying. My FB friends. The list goes on and on and was designed to take attention away from whatever issue I was protesting against.

Chaos Manufacture: The practice of unnecessarily creating an environment of confusion. When the first words out of M’s mouth after two weeks away from home were, “I was hoping you would have mowed the lawn,” before any type of greeting were a clue that he was going to make the next few days hell. He would begin a conversation immediately upon my arriving home from work that was designed to put me instantly on guard or to make me angry, just to get a reaction. He then accused me of being a Drama Queen. I never knew what to expect when I picked up the phone or saw him – he would attack out of the blue over nothing to keep me off balance.

Circular Conversations: Obvious what this is – a conversation without end designed, in M’s case, to exhaust me and force me to agree with whatever his agenda was on any particular day. Of course, his stance on any disagreement can and would change whenever he felt whimsical, making it even more difficult maintain a stance on anything.

Denial: When his lies didn’t work, M would simply deny that he said or did something hurtful – when confronted with his e-mail correspondence with an old lover, he denied it. When told that I knew he was lying he Deflected, changing the subject so that it turned back on me.

Emotional Abuse: “Any pattern of behavior directed at one individual by another which promotes in them a destructive sense of Fear, Obligation or Guilt (FOG).” This one covers a wide range of behaviors and was the first “official” term I learned. Pretty much every post here details the emotional abuse I suffered, so no links on this subject ๐Ÿ™‚ It bears repeating that the abuser uses the non-disordered person’s natural empathy against them to keep them from leaving – if you’re so concerned about how leaving will make you look to others, or you are overwhelmed with feelings of guilt, it’s that much harder to even think of how to get out of the relationship.

Gaslighting: I experienced A LOT of gaslighting at the hands of M. Looking back it was maybe the most powerful tool he used – oh, he didn’t want to convince me I was crazy, just that I didn’t see reality like “normal” people do and I needed his guidance in order to “make something” of my life. In the end, it did make me feel like I was losing my mind.

These were the Top Nine for me, but your milage may vary. Do check out the other 91 ways an abuser manipulates their victim at Out of the FOG.

For me, once I was able to name the Crazy I was living, I was able to gain some emotional distance and begin to move away from my abuser. Without this emotional distance and the rage that came with finally knowing I was not imagining things I would not have been able to break free.

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Sofia’s Guide to Super Villainy

Once again The Terrible Hook has crashed through my Writer’s Block, this time with a post on how to become a Super Villain. He presupposes that some sort of “accident” has happened, leaving you with superpowers, but your natural penchant for evil leads you towards World Domination rather than doing Good Deeds. He lays out a good argument about the perils and trials of taking over the entire world, and whether or not it would be practical or desirable.

I would like to submit for your perusal, the idea that there are many Super Villains in this world today. I posit that something made them the way they are, but it was an accident of genetics or upbringing (the debate is ever hot over this issue) and that they are now looking around, deciding how to use their newly-discovered “gifts.” These Super Villains are, of course, the psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists already walking among us. Note: I’m using male pronouns solely for ease of typing. Any resemblance to someone you know is purely coincidental. Or is it?

One – Be careful what you wish for:

Who needs World Domination? It’s a fuckload of work and you’ll never keep all the moving parts oiled to your satisfaction. Dream smaller: maybe you take over one person’s life, which will include their entire family group, any offspring you might produce and all of their friends. As a bonus form of entertainment, be a dick at work and any place people gather; just because you can.

  • Micro-manage every aspect of your victim’s life, ensuring that they do everything, up to and including breathing, at your whim and per your specifications.
  • Make up an elaborate set of Rules they must follow and change them at least once a week up to several times a day.
  • Insist that you needย  your “freedom” to prevent them pestering you all day about where you are or what you are doing – it’s none of their damned business and it’s an invasion of your privacy.
  • Spend every waking moment dreaming up elaborate “punishments” designed to break your victim’s spirit and dole them out with abandon once you’ve gotten them softened up to your Rule.
  • Create situations that demand you “punish” your victim. Make them whimsical and arbitrary – that keeps your victim off balance, creating that delicious energy flow directed your way. Chastise your victim for “making” you punish them.
  • Dole out tiny bits of “praise” (be sure that all “compliments” are backhanded to keep your victim constantly striving to please you) judiciously and watch as your victim drools and begs for crumbs of your “affection.”

Two – Money

There’s no need to make any more money than pleases you. If you like working, by all means continue to do so, but don’t neglect to crush your victim with unreasonable demands on their funds, time and resources, while denying them any of your hard earned cash – they don’t deserve it!

It’s especially delicious if you convince your victim that it’s their Duty to make money because you “can’t” for whatever reason, or that it’s your victim’s “turn” to work for you while you “retire.” After all, you fed them a huge pile of lies to make them believe you’ve “done so much” for them and it’s in your best interest to keep that illusion alive so you have time to deal with other business.

Three – Location, location, location

Where do you want to live? This should perhaps be the first decision you make – if you’re happy in an average neighborhood, your next move will be easy, but if you aspire to a mansion, you will have to choose your victim more carefully to meet your goal with the least amount of effort on your part.

The great thing about being you is that you blend right into any situation. You don’t wear a cape or hood, but look like a normal, sane person in public. Your victims never see you coming! They are so stoopid! Oh, sure, there are a few out there who can spot the evil that lives in your soul, but they almost never blow your cover or warn your potential victim – they don’t want to be the subject of a Smear Campaign or have to face your wrath. Don’t give them another thought unless they start to get squirrelly, and then a simple warning to your potential victim that “Suzy said some awful things about you, Sweetheart, I don’t thinkย  you should talk to her any more…” and you’ll be in the clear!

Four – Good “Evil” help is hard to find

Actually, it’s not. You’re not wearing a cape or hood, remember? You’re smarter than everyone around you. You have powers of observation that they can never hope to have. You can instantly see who would be a likely victim, and who to avoid as being too much work. You have honed your interrogation skills for many years on classmates, siblings and other family members. You are in control at work (if you choose to work) and are the center of attention at any public function you deign to attend. The world is your oyster.

Who will you choose? That one over their looks sad. Go talk to her. Oh, her Mom just died. Perfect! Let’s get the questions started and see if you can pry open her defenses with your charming manner.

Once you’ve identified yourself as sympathetic, it’s a simple matter to pretend to be interested in her as you continue prying and prying until you know everything about her.

Then, start the wooing. Love bomb her into total submission. Overwhelm all of her senses while separating her from friends and family. Move to another city if you can – it makes controlling her easier.

Once she is firmly enamored, trapped by your sparkle, begin the devaluation. This is the best part! You built her up and now it’s time to start tearing her down, bit by bit until she hates herself so much she wants to die.

While this is going on, be sure to scout around for your next victim – the old one will start to look shabby around the edges; they do seem to wear out, don’t they? Have three or four on the go at the same time – variety is the spice of life, after all, and you crave spice as much as dogs like to lick their butts.

It might not be worthy of a comic book, but it will certainly have a lasting impact on your victim, whether you decide to keep her or move on to a younger, newer model.

Good luck and happy hunting!

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2016 in Humor, Narcissist, Uncategorized

 

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Finally!

For the past year and a half I have been physically free of the narc but every single day I have heard his voice in my head. We argue about everything and I always win. I know, it sounds crazy, but I’ve feared that one day I would see him drive by or he would stop by my office and provoke me into causing a scene. Irrational, I know, but he has been so entrenched in my head that there was not much I could do.

Last week I saw that he had a new blog post up – I visit one of his blog friends and he’s in the sidebar. He was back from his epic sailing trip. I read the post. I visited his flickr page. He has found someone new! Her name is Heather and she can drive the boat – he has a short video to prove it!

As the pictures scrolled by I found myself smiling. Really smiling big. He’s found someone new! He won’t be coming after me, slithering into my life, embarrassing me at work or harassing me on the street! He is now otherwise occupied!

OMG I could not be happier! I fairly bounced out of the office (you don’t think I’d waste precious “spare” time at home with surfing the ‘net, did you?) confident that he was at last gone forever.

And you know what? I haven’t heard his voice in my head since then. Thursday, I think it was. Glorious silence! No internal arguments, no debates, no imaginary scenarios playing out day after day.

I think I’m finally free of him.

That evening I was walking Sabu and spied a new neighbor, Stan, walking his dog, Blue. Yowza! What a hottie!

Whatever, you may say, but I haven’t looked at a man and had any impure thoughts since I left the narc. I almost feel like I have a new lease on life. Hard to describe.

And, no, there is never going to be anything between me and Stan – I’m feeling free, not insane ๐Ÿ™‚

ETA: Jackie wondered what they look like and I’m feeling just bitchy enough to add this picture and a bit of commentary –

14540483858_8b25b6d7d6_zFrom left to right – Chuck (I’ve mentioned him before) Chuck’s new gal, some really tall dude, Heather and the Narc. There’s a better pic online, but I chose this one so I could tell a little story.

The last time I saw her, Chuck’s wife of 30 years was losing her marbles. She was lucid sometimes, but it was clear she was going downhill fast. I’ve searched for her death notice online but did not find it. There are quite a few pictures of this couple (the narc calls she and Heather “crew” for their sailing trip – two boats, one couple on each boat) that show they are much more than just friends. I find this repugnant – if the wife is no longer mentally present in the marriage it’s perfectly OK for a man to take a lover, but let a woman do the same thing and she gets all kinds of crap thrown at her. Loyalty, ’til death do us part and all that. Hypocrites! Anyway. There ya go.

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2014 in I totally Rock!, Narcissist, Narcland

 

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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V-day

Here we are again at the second most commercial American Holiday. For those of you not aware, this is the red hearts holiday, as opposed to the red and white candy cane one.

I’ve always had a problem with V-day. It’s so fake. So contrived. So commercial. So fucking stupid. Even as a kid, I resented having to give everyone in class a cheap little card when mostly I hated them all. Oh, Miss Sofie had no use for the imbeciles she was forced to spend time with every day. If she could have stooped so low as to use curse words, she would have sounded like a sailor describing the wild animals in class.

But this isn’t about childhood trauma. This post is all about that most “romantic” of days – Valentine’s Day.

God I hate the hypocrisy of V-day. Last year was the first V-day in 25 years that I “celebrated” as a single woman. The liberation was as sweet as the darkest fudge brownie, rolling across the palate like a fine Merlot, scenting the air with the fine fragrance of a hot lavender bubble bath.

And then the narc started in with his bullshit. I did my best to ignore it, celebrating Galentine’s Day with Awana instead, but the narc was persistent. When I failed to respond to his offers of love, he got mad. And then I got mad. I quit being civil and started telling him what I really thought of him. I had to explain to people why I wasn’t broken up over the ending of my relationship because everyone thought I was nuts for not being miserable to be spending V-day alone.

Ha! You know, I can’t recall a happy V-day. A box of chocolates (cheap, stale chocolates, usually) and/or an impersonal card do not a happy day make. It’s like the men in my life felt obligated to get these things for me but there was never any sincerity behind their actions. It was so obvious to me at the time, but I ignored my gut and thanked them. What a chump I was!

I could go on and on about how if two people love each other, every day should be romantic and loving, but fuck that shit. Being single rocks! I have everything I need with none of the obligations and pleasing another person to contend with. It’s all about ME now and I’m still loving it.

I don’t miss having someone to cuddle on this “most romantic” of days because I know there won’t be any obligatory sex on the agenda either.

I don’t miss being chastised for my lack of romance or abysmal gift-giving skills.

I sure don’t miss being told “it would take eight of you to keep me entertained.

Fuck all that shit. I’m sorry for you singletons out there who are unhappy about your relationship state – I can’t relate, but I do want everyone to be happy ๐Ÿ™‚

On this day, go forth and love the one you’re with, even if it’s just you…

And quit being influenced by the media hype over this stupid day – it’s all bullshit designed to make you feel Less Than whatever the current trend is.

 

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One Year Ago Part Four

A year ago I was posting about how I hate curry (one of the top posts on this here blog, strangely enough) and pissed off at the narc’s efforts to pry every penny he could out of my bleeding corpse.

I was fighting the narc’s indoctrination, the voice in my head that dictated my every move based on what would or would not please the narc on any given day. He was making preparations to go work on his boat, leaving me alone for a few days and I had planned my escape. I was tied in knots, anxious not about my escape plan, but about how he would react and the possible consequences.

That Thursday, Awana and I traveled over to The Valley and found my home and had her hauled back to The Coast where I set about making modifications and moving in. The narc was due to be back some time between Sunday and Wednesday, but I knew it would be sooner because he was always hoping to catch me doing something he didn’t approve of, and that was pretty much everything.

Everything that could be fit into Awana’s van and my car was moved out of the narc’s house on January 20, 2013 and of course the narc had to try to make a scene when he came home to find my Fuck You note, but I handled it okay and was able to spend my first night in my very own space with not too much stress. I didn’t die or have a heart attack or have to explain a nasty public scene or any of the other horrible things the narc had trained me to worry about.

So much has happened in the past year, and all of it has been good. Or at least a Learning Experience ๐Ÿ™‚ No catastrophes, I’m not living under a bridge or starving or in some kind of danger as the narc told me would happen if I ever didn’t have him to “carry” me through life. I have a good job, a warm place to live where everything is just the way I like it, I eat what I want, watch TV, spin & knit, go to the dog park, anything I want to do, any time I want to do it. I can talk on the phone with anyone I choose to with no interrogation afterwards. If a friend invites me out to do something I can go with no worries about narc consequences. I can visit friends and family at any time, even staying overnight with no worries that I’ll have to pay a price when I get home. No one is forcing me to eat or do anything that makes me unhappy. No one is laying guilt trips on me or beating me with words or denying me basic comforts like heat in the Winter. No one is beating my dog or threatening me.

I woke up today (again) with an indescribable feeling of unreality. As I looked around the dim room (it was not even 0630, damn you, Revy!) it felt like a dream and I was afraid I would soon wake and find myself back in that narc-made hell. But, no! This is my life now and it is fabulous! Can’t say that enough!

There was a Big Storm on Saturday, making travel unpleasant so Awana came over on Sunday to stay for a couple of nights. We went thrift shopping, out to eat, watched part of Dexter Season 6 (LOVE me some Dexter!) cooked, and generally amused ourselves doing what we like to do. And you know what? I can do it again today, or tomorrow, or next week. It might not sound like much to those of you have never lived in the shadow of a narc or similarly disordered person, but just being able to cook a meal of my choosing at a time of my choosing, letting the dog lick up the drips, listening to my choice of program on the radio, it’s all still a bit unreal and feels like an amazing luxury.

On Monday I deleted the old email account and changed every name and login for every account I’ve accumulated over the past 10+ years. My old ID is gone from the internetz.

Life is good!

 

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