Tag Archives: Torture

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 🙂 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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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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Gaslighting and the Narc

I just read a post over at One Mom’s Battle that describes what a Socio/Psycho/Narc does to their victim better than I ever could –

Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Gaslighting

This is it, exactly! This quote from Sam Vaknin is the method (one of five that Sam details) that the Narc used most often on me (bold mine):

Shared Psychosis: The abuser creates a fantasy world, inhabited by the victim and himself, and besieged by imaginary enemies. He allocates to the abused the role of defending this invented and unreal Universe. She must swear to secrecy, stand by her abuser no matter what, lie, fight, pretend, obfuscate and do whatever else it takes to preserve this oasis of inanity. Her membership in the abuser’s “kingdom” is cast as a privilege and a prize. It is not to be taken for granted. She has to work hard to earn her continued affiliation. She is constantly being tested and evaluated. Inevitably, this interminable stress reduces the victim’s resistance and her ability to “see straight”.

I was always being tested and always found wanting.

Why couldn’t I take a shower and wash my hair without counting the seconds or asking him if he wanted a shower or making sure he was not getting ready to go into the bathroom? Because he had something nasty to say about every minute I spent in the shower, every drop of water I used, every imagined “delay” that I “caused” him.

I know, it sounds crazy, and that’s what it’s meant to do: convince you all that I’m crazy if I try to tell how it was. There are a million other “rules” that I had to live by, and describing them makes me sound insane, just as he planned.

Today I got in the shower twice, once early this morning, and again this evening to shave my legs (TMI? A nine minute shower does not allow enough time to both wash hair and shave legs, so now you know 🙂 ) and I didn’t feel one second of guilt or anxiety. Fuck him and his rules. It’s all about ME now, and I don’t have any rules.

Maybe one: get enough sleep on school nights 🙂

Now I really am getting offline. The post about my fabulous weekend will have to wait until tomorrow…

No more blog reading tonight! No more blog reading tonight! No more blog reading tonight!



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The 13 Commandments

Last year I printed up what I call M’s 13 Commandments –


I kept the list taped to the inside of my planner, looking at it most days, trying to internalize the contents. M was so adamant that if I could only master these things our relationship would be Perfect. If only I would bend and not be so stubborn, he could love me. If only I would do these trifling things, I would be worthy to share his life. If only I would grow up and see that Real People live by these rules and are so much better than I could ever be – these are things to aspire to! Tenets that he lives his life by that I should adopt in the hope of improving my life and our relationship.

Let’s take a closer look, shall we? I abbreviated on the typed list, so I’ll expound here –

1. Symbiosis/Partnership – this means that we should operate as one unit – two bodies, one soul, always in sync, always in tune and working together. The problem is, HE is in control and what he really wants is for me to follow along in his wake, keeping things tidy and picking up the slack of HIS projects and adventures. All this with no instruction, warning, assistance, praise, thanks or gratitude. I am supposed to fit myself seamlessly into his life with no thought about who or what I was before him. My inability to do this is one of the biggest problems in our relationship.

2. Being able to receive and give gifts graciously – I’ve written about this before. I never get it right.

3. Give budget to receive itinerary – M refuses to tell me when and where he is going unless I give him a detailed budget.  It’s a totally bullshit exercise he uses to control me that was posted here and here.

4. Communication/Connectivity/Compromise – This is the category that means I should tell him everything that goes on in my head so he can better control me. I should be totally connected to his needs, moods and desires and compromise my own principles to keep him happy, no matter the cost.

5. Share something (sailing) and work towards that goal – this is where I take on his favorite hobby/lifestyle and adopt it as my own philosophy. He does not have to reciprocate in any way – it is a one way street.

6. Show interest and mean it. Retain info. Do private research – I should devote myself to his hobbies, remember everything he tells me (even if he contradicts himself constantly) about those hobbies and do independent research to fill in the gaps that he just doesn’t have the time or patience to share with me. He claims that he can’t even remember what it’s like to be a total beginner at anything and he just can’t lower himself to my level to explain something that he learned at his Grandfather’s knee. Nor should he have to – it is my responsibility to research and learn everything I can on my own so his precious time is never wasted.

7. Plans for the future & relationship – this is where I constantly update my 20-year plan and have a separate plan for each and every eventuality that may occur from freak storms to hangnails. I should have a set amount of money in the bank and three back-up options for anything that could possibly go wrong. I have been instructed to include him in my plans as if he is unable to do anything for himself and as if I could lose everything at any minute. It’s a ploy to keep me in a state of low level panic every minute of every day so that he can better control me.

8. Get first job done – too many commitments – If I have a project that I want to do for myself, it must be done as quickly as possible with minimum disturbance for him. I should be ready at an moment to begin, resume or finish a project that is for him, regardless of what else I might be doing at the time. I should be “on call” for him 24/7 because his needs are more important than my own.

9. Pride in home ownership – the grass must be cut as soon as it’s 1/2″ taller than he likes, the yard constantly maintained, nothing out of place that could cause the neighbors to gossip in a negative way. The outward facade must be perfect at all costs. Letting any outside job get “out of hand” is a sure sign that there is something fundamentally wrong with my wiring – that I don’t jump at the first sign of a drooping limb on a bush outside is a symptom of my “renter’s mentality” and we all know that Renters are the lowest form of life on the planet.

10. Listen to and remember the important stuff – this is basically anything that comes out of his mouth. Unless it contradicts what he’s saying right now. Or if it proves a point that I’m trying to make. Or it exposes his lies. Or he later says he never said it. This one is a moving target.

11. Notice personal changes/Pride in appearance – I should Dress to Impress. Him, not anyone else. If I leave the house in clothes that he considers “nice” I must be going to meet another man. If I wear grubby clothes to work in the yard, well, I’m just being a slob and he complains that I’m not wearing nice clothes for him. My dress is always inappropriate to the task at hand. The fact that I refuse to wear makeup or spend an hour styling my hair is an insult aimed at him because, after all, he is the one who has to look at me all day! I should notice if he shaves the second he steps out of the bathroom. I should notice that he cut his hair and it’s now 1/16″ shorter than it was yesterday, even if he’s wearing a hat. He wants daily praise about his appearance – he acts like a 16-year-old girl about it some days.

12. Have an opinion/Share feelings – he wants me to express what I feel, to tell him my opinions, but he then pokes holes in any independent thought that I share and uses my feelings against me. This rule is only about giving him more ammunition to hurt me – it has nothing to do with helping me become a more mature person, as he claims.

13. Money talk does not have to be emotional – for him. He will berate, criticize, lecture, and demean me in any way he sees fit over money matters while protesting that a Responsible Adult can talk about money without emotion and I need to grow up and learn to be Responsible.

I tossed the list into the garbage after finishing this post. There will be no more rules for me except those that I write!


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How to Survive a Narcissist

I have come to the conclusion that there are three ways to have a relationship with a narcissist. I wonder if you concur?

1. Be his doormat. Drink his kool-aid and do everything for him. Totally subjugating yourself to his every whim. Oh, sure, you’ll lose your soul, maybe even your will to live, but you will be able to bask in his glory for as long as he finds you useful, and that’s better than being alone, right? He will tell you that you are nothing without him, he is your only source of happiness and you better take his abuse and Improve Your Ways if you want to continue to benefit from his superior…well…everything. You are nothing. You will never be right. You will never be “better” in any way. You will never be Good Enough. You will never even be Enough. Don’t fight, don’t try to maintain any identity of your own because it’s a hopeless battle that the Narc is determined to win no matter the cost. Breaking you is his only joy in life. But at least you can make someone happy, right?

2. Stand up to him. Mirror his aggressive behavior right back at him – yell when he yells, cry when he cries and learn to switch moods every second. Become just like him – it will make him crazy. Of course, in the process you will be falling into the Narc’s second most valuable trap – becoming a Mini-Narc. Then the blame can be smeared around equally during those inevitable disagreements that crop up every time the Narc is feeling lonely or sad. Since the Narc hates himself, he will be gratified to make you hate yourself equally and you can continue the cycle of abuse forever.

3. Leave. As fast as you can. Don’t look back. The Narc does not deserve your sympathy. You owe him NOTHING for the years of hell he has put you through. Are you leaving him in a financial bind? Bummer for him. Maybe he should have thought about the consequences of all those times he was telling you that you are a selfish bitch for wanting to do something like, oh, read a book for an hour rather than mow the lawn on a blustery Autumn day. Or that time you wanted to have toast and tea for supper because it was late and you weren’t really hungry but he forced you to cook a “proper” meal while telling you that you were behaving like a petulant child.

I’ve already tried #1 (for years) and #2 (for a couple of soul-wrenching weeks) and now it’s time to give #3 a go.


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The Budget Exercise

Last night I organized my Tax folder. It needed to be done, so I didn’t really feel a lot of stress about it. As I was getting started, M walked into the room and said, “Obviously nothing that I have done has been successful, so this is just a lesson in futility and has no meaning. I don’t want to force you to do it, so just drop it if you want to. If you have any suggestions about how we should live our lives I’m all ears.”

Right. Whatever.

I wrote down the yearly totals on a notepad with plenty of space in between so that I can write in what bills I was paying each year, etc. Remembering where I was and what I was doing year by year has not been easy, but I’ve come to some very valuable conclusions: I made really good money when M and I lived apart. I had a lot of fun doing things that were important to me. I went places and had friends and fun, my creative juices were flowing and I was making all sorts of things. I never had thousands of dollars saved up against a Rainy Day, but I wasn’t stressed about it because my work was steady, rewarding and it paid well. I had no Great Crisis befall me, no disasters, no unexpected huge bills, injuries, or anything that couldn’t be handled as it came up.

I did not worry about next year because it seemed prudent to worry only about tomorrow or next week. Not borrowing trouble, ya know?

I was happy, even raising a teenaged son who was, quite frankly, a nightmare. I think it’s significant that I really want that life back.

I don’t think this little exercise is going the way M intended for it to go…

I finally made him admit that money is the only thing that makes him feel secure. He told the story again about how his grandparents lost a 160 acre farm because they couldn’t pay the property taxes and how that is his worst fear – having to leave his house and getting nothing out of it to live on. All these years I have been  under the impression that they lost the farm when he was a child, that his whole extended family had been out on the street for a time and it was a huge emotional scar for him. Nope. Turns out his grandparents lost the farm during the Great Depression, more than 20 years before M was even born. He never saw the farm, his parents barely saw that farm. And he’s carrying this scar? How absurd is that? Hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people lost everything during the depression. My family was no exception, but I’m not carrying any burden about it. Sure, you can draw parallels between then and now, but really?!?

This is all smoke and mirrors and stinking bullshit. What’s next?


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Sleep Deprivation

Most people don’t realize that sleep deprivation is a very effective method of torture. Srsly. Ask any POW and they will likely talk about their experience with sleep deprivation and what it did to their mind and body.

My first husband used sleep deprivation in order to control me. To this day I do not know if he did it deliberately, but I strongly suspect that he did. He was a tweaker (a person who uses meth) and so would spend days at a time awake and hyper, his thoughts and actions erratic and unpredictable. Since he refused to get or hold a job, it was up to me to make enough money for us to pay rent and eat and enjoy all the modern conveniences that we had become accustomed to, like running water and electricity. To that end, I sometimes worked two jobs to keep body and soul together. In return, he stole money and checks from me and made sure that I was always too tired to fight him.

Every night, I would be swaying on my feet before he would allow me to go to bed. I do mean “allow” – he would physically keep me from laying down while talking a mile a minute and demanding I respond to him. After I fell asleep, usually within minutes, he would find reasons to wake me up, asking me questions, making demands, whatever. He did this every hour or (if I was lucky) two all night long. When morning came, I was more exhausted than when I laid down, stomach in knots, hands shaking, light-headed, a total wreck. I would be a zombie all day at work and then come home to start all over again.

This went on for nearly four years. It came on so slowly that I didn’t realize what was happening. People started to look at me with concern, asking why I was so thin, why the dark circles under my eyes, etc. I had no answer. How could I? I could not form a coherent sentence by the end, constantly worn to a frazzle, unable to object to anything that he wanted if only he would let me take a little nap. I was having hallucinations and became uncertain of what was real and what was not. I became emotionally dead – I just had no energy for anything resembling a rational response to my environment. I see pictures of myself from those days and I don’t recognise the people in them. No memory of them at all. I asked my Sis who some guy was in a picture and she gave me a look of such surprise – he and she had been together for a few years, he had run up her credit card and then left her hanging, etc. etc. I have absolutely no memory of the guy, but there I am in a picture with him.

When I finally got out of that situation, I began to nap. Every.Day.That.I.Could. I mean, seriously nap. And sleep long hours at night. It got to the point where I guarded my sleep against any and all comers, frankly telling anyone who wanted to keep me up late that I was not interested. If I did stay up late and felt tired the next day it brought back memories of that terrible time so strongly that I began to sleep longer to avoid that awful feeling of those days. I may have gone a bit overboard, but my sleep was, and is, very important to me. M does not understand (even though I have spelled it out to him, explicitly – he feels that I “should be over that by now”) that I need more sleep than the average person and that I am unwilling to give up those hours to do something that is important to him, or not important all.

I now refuse to lose weight for M or anyone else. I am not fat, I’m not even close to what passes for “average” in America. I am 5′-8″ tall and weigh about 130. M would prefer that I weigh 120 or less, because then I “would be so hot.” Being too thin does not make me feel “good,” it brings back those awful times again in full force.

All this to say that I’m being awakened several times a night by our geriatric dog who has decided that she needs to go outside during the night. I don’t really begrudge her age-related infirmities, but damn! I’m getting those old feelings of oppression back. Loss of appetite. The constant desire for a nap. And before you ask, no, M can’t take her out – his disability prevents him from getting out of bed fast enough – when the dog has to go, she has to go now!

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Posted by on June 10, 2012 in Today, Torture



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