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Tag Archives: Verbal Abuse

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 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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The Narc and walking the dog

Disclaimer: I am not speaking of all Narcissists, only the one I lived with for 11.5 years. Any resemblance to an abusive person in your life is pure coincidence and I mean no offense. I have no scientific credentials, only my own powers of observation and memory. This is not intended to be a diagnosis, only a conversation piece and a way to let my readers know that they are not alone.

Our subject for today comes from Lee Woofenden:

The thing is, for people whose lives revolve around themselves, there is no objective standard of right and wrong. “Right” is whatever they think is right at the moment, and “wrong” is whatever you think and whatever you want to do. Even if two seconds earlier they would have thought something is fine, like walking the dog now instead of later, as soon as you mention it, it will be instantly wrong–and they will instantly have a million reasons *why* it is wrong. The only “standard” of right and wrong with people who are wrapped up in themselves is: “I’m right. You’re wrong.”

Speaking of dogs and picking a subject:

Walking the dog.

Let’s address the first part of Lee’s comment before getting to the subject at hand. Lee makes a very good observation: Narcissists (and their brethren Psychopaths and Sociopaths) really do believe that they are the center of the Universe. I don’t think they have any concept of other living beings as anything but tools or toys that will be discarded when broken or no longer useful. There is a vital part of them missing. Once you are able to accept that fact, the game changes and that’s where things get interesting.

So. Walking the dog. Dog Discipline. Oh, yes, the Narc had plenty to say about dogs. First, let me remind you that the Narc is disabled. He can’t walk long distances, it’s just impossible. Oh, he can build boats and ride 100 miles on a bicycle, but he is not able to just go out and walk a dog that needs a lot of exercise. Fine. That duty fell to me and it was a relief to be able to head out the door and get some peace with the dogs away from his watchful gaze.

Neither dog was able to be out in the yard unsupervised. Sabu had a cable run behind the house, but Old Dog had to be taken out and closely supervised. Building a fence was out of the question because the Narc “hated the idea of fences.” Tying a dog up on a rope was acceptable, but a fence was not. Whatever.

Because of his disabilities, the Narc can’t hop out of bed and take the dogs out. He can’t get up in the night if a dog (or cat) decides to puke on the floor. He can’t get up if the cat brings in a mouse or squirrel. Those duties fell to me and if I didn’t get up quick enough a lecture would follow the clean-up and I could forget about sleeping the rest of the night. But I digress.

I took the dogs out first thing in the morning before doing anything else. I brought them back in and fed them and then took them out again after taking a shower. The morning dog chores generally didn’t provoke comments unless one of the dogs looked like she had gained half a pound – then the lecture would start about maintaining a healthy weight and how if I can’t feed them the proper measured amount of food he would take over and ration the food out until he was happy with their weight and by the way aren’t I looking a bit heavier these days…and so on.

During the day I took the dogs out several times, but was instructed to stay in the back part of the yard so the neighbors wouldn’t stop to chat and “waste [my] time.”He could not take time out from his projects to do anything for or with the dogs.

The last walk of the night was between 10:00 and 10:30 PM. He insisted that it be late enough that no neighbors were out to incite Sabu to bark, no matter how tired I was. On a couple of occasions he volunteered to walk them; he then complained about how hard it was for him, how the dogs don’t mind and I’ve “let discipline go by the board” and it’s “obvious that [he] needs to step back in and set things straight again.”

If Sabu barked at a dog going by he would beat her. Old Dog never barked, so she was spared that particular torture. If Sabu barked in the house, he beat her. If Sabu growled at him because he was standing over her being threatening, he beat her. He ruled the dogs with an iron fist between bouts of affection. If he was mad at me, he beat my dog. On many occasions he provoked her into Bad Behavior so he could beat her. Thankfully Sabu is a strong, young dog and he never seriously injured her. I hate him for what he did and I expect I always will.

You see, he believed that he had to be Top Dog; leader of the pack; that the dogs wouldn’t respect him if he wasn’t brutal when he “had to be.” It was clear that he was talking about more than the dogs and I got his message loud and clear. When he beat the dog, he always lectured me about how she “made [him] do it.” How if she would just “show some respect” he could love on her like she wanted him to. And on and on. He was daring me to step over the line in his mind that would make it necessary to beat me, too, and we both knew it. Oh, sure, he’ll go to his grave denying that last sentence, but we both know that it’s true.

The dogs were my responsibility if we went anywhere. I packed their food, water, bowls, etc. and made sure they had leashes, collars, stake-out stuff, toys, bones, blankets whatever. I was responsible for them every minute of the trip, walking, feeding, cleaning up after them, keeping them quiet so no one would be “offended at our wild dogs,” everything. I think he liked the notion of the three of us staying “over there” so as not to offend but coming when he called us over to show us off.

No matter what I did in relation to the dogs, he had something to say about it, yes, contradicting himself at every turn. I never did anything as well as he would have done it, but he would never do it himself, preferring to ridicule and berate me for doing it “wrong,” whatever his definition of “wrong” was at the moment.

God he’s a dick!

Suffice to say that Sabu and I are much happier now (Old Dog having crossed the Rainbow Bridge before I moved out) that we have organically found our own routine and redefined what “discipline” means. My rules (if you can call them that) are much looser than the Narc’s ever were, but I think Sabu is a happier and more well behaved dog because I let her think and reason and most of the time she makes the right decision. Punishment is never beating and I try to reward and distract whenever I can. She still has a couple of strange behaviors that we’re struggling to overcome and I have faith that in time she will be a Good Dog all the time instead of just most of the time 🙂

 

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The Latest Narc Crap

Last week he said that he wanted Thursdays to be “our day.” He wants me to come out there and take care of the bunnies and he will cook me a meal and we can work on getting back to the good stuff that he wants me to believe we had in the beginning. Thing is, we never had Good Times. It was all a lie. I see through his mask and I remember how it really was and I’m not going back there ever again.

So he sends me an e-mail asking if I’ll be paying his cell phone bill this month. I replied that I would be paying it in return for his caring for the rabbits, as we agreed – very business-like. And then he sent this:

I was thinking I could BBQ a burger for you or a sausage, or maybe both. You have to eat sometime! It could be early or late. If you’d like to do that and I know about what time you’d be there, I could have it ready as soon as you’d looked at the bunnies so it wouldn’t take a bunch of extra time.

We’ve just begun on the food you got, there is still a pile of old shavings. They have started eating hay, which they didn’t all winter. I’m giving them the long stalks of bolted kale, which they love. I don’t think there is anything needed right now but some of your special attention.

Apparently Larry bought three new guitars (of course they are very valuable and collectable) so he bought Pat one too, I imagine as a panacea. She had time to tell me she was learning to play and had trouble with the size of the fretboard and then Larry took over. Twice in our conversation she tried to interject something and he pretty much told her to shut up, he was talking.

I just stopped at Wallyworld to pick up prescriptions and they have bags of composted manure for $1.38. I think 20 bags should do for this year. Are you interested? If so, I’d like some help loading, unloading and spreading. The garden is ready to plant otherwise. 

Uh-huh. So the rabbits are fine, he wants to cook for me, he saw a couple that we’ve met a few times (more on that in a minute – it will relate) and he wants me to commit to working on the garden this year. Got it.

I didn’t respond because I have too much on my plate right now to care about his plans and I just couldn’t be arsed to muster the energy. I figured I would call when I was on the way, blast in and out again and that would be that. You know a Narc can’t let anything get out of his control, so he called last night and I picked up so I could tell him I would not be coming out today. Or any time in the near future 🙂

I told him that I had heard from The Boss and he wanted me to work a miracle (my specialty, actually) and that there was more on the way from The Other Boss and I would be booked for at least another week. He pretended to be happy for me that I have some work. Made all the appropriate noises and then veered off into his favorite subject – himself.

Blah, blah, blah about last weekend’s boat show, blah, blah, blah. Gave examples of how he could have “taken control” of situations but he stood back and let the people involved fuck up and blah, blah, blah, hasn’t he grown? Yeeeaaaahhhh.

Then he went on to describe (I was sitting at the computer drawing as quietly as I could because he hates to be ignored. I need to get  headset) seeing Larry and Pat and how Larry is a Piece of Work and blah, blah, blah. He then asked me if he behaved the same way as Larry (a Narc for sure, likely a Socio as well. He has (figuratively) beaten Pat down so far that it radiates off her in waves and I saw it clearly before I left M.)

My reply? “Not in public.” Long silence on the other end.

He asked me why I never pointed it out to him (!!!) and that he really regrets that I see our relationship that way. He’s a changed man, now, and wouldn’t dream of treating me that way, blah, blah, blah. By this time I was getting bored and, message delivered, was not concerned with what he thinks.

I gave him the truth about Larry and Pat’s relationship (I’ve spoken to her alone, he has not. I am confident that I have a clear picture of what her life is like and it’s an ugly one, painted in shades of gray and despair) and then I told him that he treated me the same way.

That hurt, so he changed the subject and asked me to compare him to the men we both know that are real assholes. Yep, that was edifying for him. I gave examples of how he does the very same things that he claims to dislike about them. On and on. God, I was a bitch.

He tried another tactic, questioning me about TB and TOB and the work they sent over and asking how far down on my list he is. I told him that spending time with him was much less valuable than the $30 per hour they were paying me and that I would let him know when there was room on my list of Important Things To Do 🙂

Blah, blah, blah, whining, more blah, blah.

I told  him that making money in my career field is the most important thing in my life right now and that I can’t even consider turning it down.

“You could always tell someone ‘no’,” he whined.

“I’m telling you no,” I replied.

Oh, he did not like that one bit. Too fucking bad, though, that’s the way things are. I did not tell him that I will be moving Towanda over to the Valley ASAP. He doesn’t know about Towanda and he won’t hear about it from me. I will be good and gone and come back for the rabbits and we will be officially OVER.

His last words to me were about how he wants to hold my naked body some time real soon. Couldn’t have a conversation without reminding me of my Primary Duty. Asshole.

 

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Add a little Passive/Aggressive to the mix…

…on top of the freezing stares, obligation, guilt and gaslighting, shake well and pour out over my head. That describes my evening yesterday.

I arrive home to more of the same – he’s sitting on the couch, cat and book in lap, not saying a word. I ask if he would like some hash browns and eggs for dinner. Nope, he’s not hungry.

“Are you going to cook?” he asks.

“I’m thinking about it,” I reply. After a few minutes, I got up and started preparing the packaged hash browns. He called me into the living room.

“Are you going to offer me any or are you going to eat the whole package?”

Srsly? I told him that I was about to offer him some and if he would like, I would make him a couple of eggs and an English muffin, too. That made him happy.

So the food is done, I set his plate on the table, poke my head around the corner and tell him that the food is ready.

“Can I be served?” He asks, gesturing to the cat on his lap. Sure. Whatever. He very rarely eats in the living room – it’s bad for Dog Discipline and if the dog were to beg it would be the end  of the world – I’ve heard all about it for years.

I ate my dinner in the kitchen at the table, made a cup of tea and sat on the couch.

“TV?” he asks. I put on a movie that turned out to be rather violent and was in the process of choosing something else when he got up and started getting ready for bed. I know that violent movies are a trigger for him, so I turned it off as fast as I could, but that wasn’t fast enough for him. And we’re off.

He said something to me from the bedroom that I couldn’t hear  – deliberately so that I would have to get up and stand in front of him like a child being punished – one of his favorite tactics. Turns out he had cleaned himself up to make himself “sexy” in the hope that I would join him.

I said that I was doing something else and would join him later. “You’re never going to fuck me again, are you?” he says in a plaintive voice.

I saw red. I went back into the bedroom and told him that I was not feeling it, that I had a right to be angry with him after he told me to go fuck myself and lectured me for using “incorrect language” when he knew full well what I was saying and that I do not have to put up with that kind of disrespect. If he thinks that sex is going to solve our problems he is wrong and I refuse to let him make me feel obligated. I asked him how long I had a right to be angry and he said, “what about MY anger? I’ve been angry for years!” Everything I said he had to trump – his pain is so much worse than mine. Always has been, always will be.

Blah, blah, blah along the usual lines from him, how I have no compassion for him, how I never “give in” and just give him a hug and a kiss and tell him that everything will be alright – all he wants from me is compassion, and intimacy is part of that  – he needs it!

Once again, because I was so pissed off I could hardly see, I told him that I will not be giving him sex after he deliberately pushes all my hot buttons and makes me feel like shit. It’s not right, it’s not fair and I don’t have to.

“That’s what you do to me!” he screamed, “you push all my buttons and then I get mad and we end up here.”

“You’re twisting the situation, putting words in my mouth, hurting me and then denying you’re hurting me, using your “pain” as an excuse to batter me with words. You are aggressive, threatening and unreasonable and you do it on purpose to hurt me. I refuse to reward you with sex to fix this problem.”

I walked away. He dressed and got back up, but didn’t say a word to me. I walked the dog and undressed and got into bed. He followed. He asked me to put on some pajamas.* I put on panties and a T-shirt and got back into bed.

“Why don’t you sleep on the couch,” he said. Fine. I got up, added leggings and was on my way out the door when he started back in. Round and round. I stuck to my guns about respect and that he was not getting sex.

He changed tacks and started whining about how he needed me – how would he get along without me? Why can’t we just do some stuff together? Why do [I] have to be this way? Can’t I see how much pain he’s in? Where is [my] compassion? Am I planning on leaving him? Am I sleeping with someone else? Am I planning on sleeping with someone else?

He denies that he discounts my feelings. He denies that he pushes my buttons. He thinks it’s unfair that he has to “change” when I am the one who pisses him off and causes all this unwanted behavior.

It went on until about 1:00 AM, but I tuned out long before then. Finally he cites an example of how much he’s changed – he didn’t tell his friend D the actual steps to complete a boat repair, he “just” made one small recommendation about materials. See? He can control himself. Ummm…right. 400 miles away from the person who matters. What kind of “good” is that?

This morning he’s all calm and quiet, smiling and making small talk. Asshole.

* I don’t own any pajamas because they are for “children and old people” and he insisted on having Full Access early in our relationship. Because I was driven by lust, I agreed even though I am a flannel nightgown sorta gal. I no longer own any pajamas. Note to self – buy a nice, soft flannel sleep shirt ASAP!

 

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That was…Interesting

I stuck to my guns yesterday – no b-day greeting, no gift, no acknowledgement in any way that it was M’s Special Day.

I left for work and he went to the next town over to help a friend move a boat. While there he invited said friend and others over to his boat for a little celebratory b-day drink. He called me at 7:35 to let me know he was on his way home. He was slurring his words and I asked if he was okay to drive.* He said of course, “I can remember what it’s like to drive sober, so I just have to do what I know how to do,” which I’ve heard before. I’ll probably go to hell for thinking it, but my very first thought was, “if he wraps that truck around a bridge abutment my problems will be over…”** Just don’t let him take out anyone else…***

Of course he brought up my “forgetting” his Special Day. I asked him if he remembered my last b-day, which of course he did not. The next two hours traveled along our usual track – I am a selfish, self-centered bitch who obviously “did something” to cause his harsh words on my last b-day, but since I couldn’t remember exactly what I had done, I had no right to be angry 6 months later. I am a vengeful bitch for “seeking revenge” and hurting him this way. I got what I deserved. He is the injured party, blah, blah, blah. If I would be nicer to him, he would be nicer to me, I have to give before I get anything, and on and on. He has only ever acted in my best interests, unselfishly, totally giving in to me, letting me take the lead, blah, blah.

I finally said that I understand perfectly that my behavior has landed us here****. Big nods of his head as if I’m saying what he believes to be true. I said that I had made mistakes and that I truly regret them now.

I said that I think he likes the idea of me, but has no interest or liking for the person that I actually am, and that is not Love. He insists that I accept him just as he is, but I don’t get the same consideration or respect. I said that he wouldn’t speak to another woman the way he speaks to me – he would never talk to a female friend or co-worker the way he speaks to me, and that I find that significant and telling.

And then I said this – “The only solution here is for me to move out so that you can sell this house and go live your Dream.”

Whoa! He did such a quick about-face that his head almost snapped off! It was something to see.

All of a sudden it’s his aggressive behavior (that he just can’t control, sob, sob) that has damaged our relationship. He knows that he’s over the top sometimes (but isn’t that in my “best interest?” – which conversation were we having again?) and needs me to be understanding. I’ve been so patient and loving to him, so tolerant, so willing to love him in spite of his faults and now I just want to chuck it all out the window?

And the next second he was back to pointing out my faults and demanding that I “take responsibility” for my part in the breakdown of our relationship. And then back to begging for mercy. Then pissed off and making up the futon couch in the back room while yelling at me that he’s “being kicked out of my own home for the THIRD time” since we’ve been together.

It was back and forth until almost 2:00 AM. Fun times!

This morning he crawled into the bedroom and said that he finally had some clarity about “our situation.” Seems that when I say something that he doesn’t agree with, he gets angry and aggressive and has to “go to war” over the subject and his views – he just can’t help it. (Ya think?) But now he recognizes the pattern and wants to try to change. He is ashamed of how he treats me and how he talks to me. I am his All, his Life, and if I left him he would be devastated.

He can’t afford to keep the house if I leave and take my job with me. The house won’t sell in the current market, at least not this Winter, so he needs me to keep things afloat. He is willing to live on his boat if I feel we are Over and I can rent the house from him, or buy it on contract if I wish. He would be very unhappy if he knew I took “something substandard because that’s all [I] could afford.” He would, of course, still need access to the house until he could “clean up [his] mess.”

Seems that I have his attention. Now what?

* I had no intention of going to pick him up – I was going to suggest he sleep on the boat – that’s his Dream, after all, right?

** By the time, “shit! I could just call him in as a drunk driver and that would be something he wouldn’t soon forget!” ran through my mind he was almost home. That won’t happen again.

*** I have a real problem with people who drive while impaired. I don’t drive after even one drink and I don’t ride with anyone who has been drinking. I think it’s an evil thing to do and there is no way I will ever change my mind about it. Aggressive, drunk men are also a trigger for me, so even before he arrived home I was very nervous and apprehensive.

**** If I hadn’t been such a doormat in the first place I would have dumped him four months into our relationship and had a torrid affair with a guy at work who made it very clear that people who have expectations about how others should feel are not good for relationships. He was hot, too. Really hot. But I said no. Idiot!

 

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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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Mean

The first time I heard this song on the radio it struck a chord in my gut. Really, why? What is the point? I just don’t get it. I don’t have it in me to treat others with the hatred that I face every day – it just doesn’t compute with me, and I want to believe the best of others but, like so many women, I have been lied to and fooled into falling for these assholes that seem to live to beat others down.

Today I’m getting the Silent Treatment. I figure there will be plenty of “Oh, woe is me! I am such an evil person! I can’t even express my honest opinion without you going off or freaking out so I guess I’ll just sit over here and type away on my computer* until I’m tired and then go to bed. Without dinner, since you don’t want to do any little thing for me after I’ve worked hard all day**. Sigh. Poor me,” but I don’t care.

I spent half the day running errands, you know, the usual, changing the oil in my car, buying cat litter and rum, looking at rental ads in the local paper. The ordinary things that make up a day off.

UPDATE: Oh, he’s in fine form tonight! After a rum & pepsi (and plenty of Silent Treatment and turned back from M) I made hamburgers for dinner. I did not finish mine, but left a portion on my plate. M usually asks if he can finish any food that I have left (“wasting” food is a Big Issue for him) but tonight he left the room without so much as a Thank You for the meal. I fed the leftovers to the dog. A little while later he said something about “good food” going to the dog and I replied that he left the room, so he must not have wanted it. Rather than toss it out I fed it to the dog. Win-win, right? Got a little mini-blow-up with him saying (volume rising as the sentences went on) “I thought it would be rude to ask for your food. Since everything I do is rude, I’m trying not to do anything. Giving food to the dog that I would have eaten is rude,” blah, blah. I’m afraid I tuned out. Whatever. Poor him. So mis-understood. Boo-hoo.

* Is he organizing his new life? Talking to a new or former lover? He sure is closing tabs and hiding his e-mail screen, typing furiously. Maybe he’s chatting? Who the fuck cares?

** He’s outside in the sunshine putting paint on a boat. He got up late and is not moving very quickly. Let him try scooping ice cream for sweaty tourists for 7 straight hours while standing on a concrete floor! Asshole.

 

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There We Go!

A bit behind schedule, but M blew up last night. What was it this time? He claims he asked me a simple question about tuning the cello (it’s a long story.) He said that he feels intimidated by the instrument and has handed her off to me in the past for tuning. Fine and dandy. His question* was whether or not it could be tuned lower or the strings changed to make the sound deeper as that is the sound he loves the most.

Seems pretty simple, right? I looked online to see what the next string down would be (sorry if this seems unrelated, but it will make sense in a minute) and how much it would cost, and what others might have done, you know, a bit of “independent research**” before discussing options. While I did this he was madly typing on his computer and claims he did not hear any of my comments to him about strings and tuning.***

A few minutes later he was playing along with YouTube videos and having a great time. He asked what the order was for tuning and I reached down to demonstrate, which was the wrong thing to do. He had no intention of re-tuning the instrument, or of stopping his playing. He just wanted a “one sentence explanation” of the procedure. Of course, after our discussion of just a few minutes earlier (which he had heard and participated in, despite his denials) I had a very different impression of what he wanted and he was off!

He thrust the cello at me (which he denied ten minutes later) and stomped from the room (again, he denies that he was stomping) to gather up some paperwork and bring back to his desk to sort. So here I am left with the cello in my hands, not knowing what he wants, but knowing very clearly that he’s pissed off and I’m about to get reamed.

After much snapping on his part (again denied minutes later) I finally managed to answer his original question, which was, “What is the order of turning these knobs to change the pitch of the strings?” At no time did he actually say that, but he insists that he did, and his insistence got more and more vehement as the lecture went on. That’s right – I was treated to a 1.5 hour lecture on how I never answer his questions, how I always answer some other question that I decide in my fantasy mind to answer.

He insists that I am stubborn and evasive and not “normal,” so he has to correct me and it wears him down. The fact that he has to drag something so stupid out to such lengths goes to show how abusive he is.

It can’t be a tactic that he uses to beat me down – he’s not that kind of person, he says.

It’s not a verbal trap, creating another excuse to yell at me – that’s my paranoia talking, he says.

It’s not a set up that leads to one more chance for him to go on and on and lecture me about the way I try to manipulate him and destroy our relationship – that was some other guy and he is tired of paying the price for all the men I should be over by now.

He claims that he has been trying very hard to “keep his mouth shut” because he never knows what might “set me off.” Whatever.

The truth is that he says hurtful things in order to get a reaction out of me and “open a dialogue” so that he can let me know (yet again) how deficient I am, so he can force me to accept the blame for his own lack of control.

His condescending tone and little barbs make me hate him.

More of the same this morning after a nearly sleepless night (he snored all night, but claims that he didn’t sleep a bit. Wish I had recorded that!) He wants me to “accept the blame” for being difficult, evasive and manipulative. He wants me to acknowledge that I have a temper that is set off by he doesn’t even know what and he is the innocent victim, just doing what he can to support me and keep the house in good order so that I can sit down and relax when I get home from work (WTF?!?)

When I state in plain English something like, “when you snap at me it hurts my feelings and causes me to freeze up and I can’t go on with the conversation,” he claims not to know what I’m talking about. When pressed, he will tell me that I MAKE him snap at me when I don’t answer his questions. I FORCE him to raise his voice to make his opinion understood. My feelings are brushed aside and it’s all about him once more. As always. He says that I should get a grip and be able to defend myself. I don’t want to be at war.

I left for work in tears, no tea, no breakfast, exhausted by the effort to try to make sense of this crazy person in my life. The fact is, it makes no sense at all. There is no purpose for his bullshit but to make me miserable. It is deliberate, I’m convinced of it, and he has no desire to change a thing. Really, why should he change? There are a million other women out there who would appreciate his love and support, who would value him as I do not. Good luck, Pal!

This is so sad and pointless.

 

UPDATE: He just showed up at the shop with a sandwich from Subway. Asked for a knife to cut it in half to share with me. The gesture is a nice one, but here’s where the true point shows – in all the years he has known me I only order one kind of sandwhich at ANY sub place, and that is ham and cheese on wheat bread. Add tomatoes and lettuce, a bit of oil, and that is it. The sandwich he brought? Some sort of turkey breast (heated) with cheese, tomato, lettuce and bell peppers (which I NEVER eat.) No mayo, thank all that’s holy, but nothing like what he knows I would have ordered. Is this another message? Maybe he really does want me to spice up my palate? The sandwich is really for him (what about our money troubles?) and he was driving by and had a guilt attack? Is it poisoned? Were the situation reversed, I would have delivered exactly what he likes the most – a Club with everything, lots of mayo, not heated, not toasted. And he says I don’t know him. Asshole.

* As I remember it, but my memory can’t be trusted, according to M – I live in a fantasy of my own making where no one else is allowed. Yeah, WTF?!?

** One of M’s favorite terms. It means that whatever question I’ve asked is too simple for him to bother answering and that I need to have at least an elementary grasp of the subject before he will deign to speak about it. Let me do some “independent research” to back up my opinion about something he disagrees with and then it becomes “a weapon to beat [him] with” – his words about the whole Al Gore thing. Yet another Double Standard.

*** Whenever I’m at my computer, especially if I am working, he will talk to me, very quietly, asking questions or making comments about nothing that matters to me at the moment, just out of my range of hearing. He does it deliberately to make me turn around and ask him to repeat himself, which he hates to do. He then berates me for “being absent” and not paying attention to him.

 

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The Bill of Goods Speech

Tonight was another installment of what I call the Bill of Goods Speech. It consists of M telling me, at not quite yelling volume, how very disappointed he is with “what I have become.”

It starts with him reminding me that he fell in love with a very different woman, one who was riding her bike to work every day, had a very strong sex drive, was not smoking, who seemed devoted to getting into racing shape. He says that I was “less fat” and ate better then. He goes on and on about how I’ve changed “for the worse” and how he feels cheated by “what I’ve become.” He says over and over again how unfair it is that I’m not the exact same person he fell in love with and that he is the same and feels that it’s wrong to sell someone a Bill of Goods that is false.

Let’s take a look at reality, shall we?

The only truth to his speech is that I was riding my bike to work every day. I actually weighed more and was still smoking, just not where he could witness it. I ate crap food every day, which made my complexion bad and my body considerably more flabby than it is today. I was not working outside in the yard, nor was I making a point of getting any exercise whatsoever – it was against my religion, actually. I did not do housework if I could avoid it, nor did I keep my car clean. I was much more outspoken, happy, and convinced that I had some talent in the fiber arts arena. I had a horse that I loved, a huge stash of materials for my art, a group of friends that I met with regularly to knit and chat with, a well-paying job that I loved, and seemingly endless inspiration.

Today the picture is quite different, it’s true. Now I do not ride my bike because there is no safe place to do it unless I load it onto the car and drive some place, which kind of negates the whole point of riding, doesn’t it? I quit riding when M made it into an endless competition – he was a long-distance rider and wanted a partner who could keep up with him, so he began to set goals for me – each day I should have a faster time on my 6-mile ride to work, and my average speed should be greater. I should leave earlier and add a couple of miles to the ride for “training” etc. He began to criticize me for taking a day off and for not improving as fast as he thought I should. It became so painful to report to him that I just quit. I couldn’t take it any more. I had my own goals, but they were never good enough for M, and so he criticized me for “setting the bar too low.” I just felt crushed by the pressure to meet his expectations. I should have broken it off with him right then, but I stupidly stayed on for more punishment.

I weigh less and have much less flab because I live with the Food Police who monitor every bite of food that goes into my mouth, constantly reminding me that I’m “getting heavy” or digging my grave with my teeth* but that’s another post for another day. I very rarely eat junk food, and in fact no longer have a tolerance for it – one order of McD’s fries and I have an upset stomach for the next two days.

I have no sex drive because I am being told every day how disappointing I am in every way to the man who professed to love me, who told me he would make my dreams come true, who told me he had spent his entire adult life learning “what NOT to do in relationships,” and how to treat women with love and respect. He yells at me almost every day. He insults my intelligence and personal appearance nearly every day. He criticizes something about me every single day. He makes me feel useless, stupid, ugly, fat, lazy, slovenly, provincial, and uneducated. Not exactly a recipe for romance.

I work outside in the yard, all year ’round, gardening and growing food, mowing the lawn, chopping wood for the stove, etc. I’m outside every damned day, rain or shine.

I do housework every day because M suffers from allergies and if the floors aren’t vacuumed several times a week he has a runny nose and sneezes constantly. I do not vacuum when he is in the house because the dust it stirs up makes him sneeze, so he is under the impression that it never gets done. I am constantly picking up my stuff because he complains bitterly about what a slob I am and he hates the fact that I have so much stuff, again a post for another day.

I keep my car washed and vacuumed because I can’t stand to hear about how I have no Pride in Ownership one.more.damned.time.

I have no friends, nor do I go anywhere to sit and chat and knit with others. I am not a part of any group of any kind. I am alone with him.

I am working TWO part-time minimum wage jobs to make ends (almost) meet. M is not able to work a regular job** (another post, another day) so any income that comes in has to be made by me.

I am not inspired to do anything with my fiber arts. I still have some stash but it has become a burden because M begrudges me every square inch that I occupy in “his” house. He enclosed a car port when he moved into the house*** to make a work space for himself. When I moved in he said that the room was mine to turn into a studio and that he expected the bulk of my stuff to live there. Fine. Except that it has to be kept neat, with nothing blocking this corner, a clear path three feet wide all the way through, oh, and the dogs and their kennels have to live in the room, too, and we have to have access to the futon bed if company comes, etc. etc. It’s not really “my” room, any more than any other space here is – it’s all his, paid for with his savings, and I am only tolerated because…Hmmm…Why, really? I’m so fucking imperfect that he can’t stand anything about me and says that “pussy isn’t worth it” several times a week, so why am I still here? Oh, yeah, I don’t have the means to leave right now.

A healthy relationship does not look like this.

* The changes to my diet since we’ve lived together bear mentioning – M is a nazi about food – it must be Real Food, which means cooking from scratch using only fresh ingredients, very little meat, very little oil, dairy, etc. When I moved in with him most recently (3 years ago) he declared that he had lost his enthusiasm for cooking. I took over cooking and food shopping and have caught hell ever since. We actually eat quite healthy, but it’s never enough. His latest obsession is for me to go in for a complete blood panel to “prove” that I don’t need to watch every single calorie that goes into my mouth.

** When he’s feeling particularly cranky he likes to say, “When we first moved in together I had $200,000 in the bank. Now, ten years later, I have nothing. Now…I’m not blaming you for anything, but it’s quite a coincidence, isn’t it? That’s $20,000 per year to “keep” you. Doesn’t seem like much of a bargain…” and other things along those lines. What he is forever forgetting is that he hasn’t worked a regular job in those almost 11 years, nor has he tried to create an income stream that would allow him to work from home. He owns a home, two cars, many boats, etc. etc. so it’s not like he’s living in a tent somewhere (but we will be if I don’t start making some “real” money! is the constant threat) It’s maddening! For the record, I worked most of those years and supported myself and my son. M did put the down payment on a house, but only because he couldn’t bear visiting the tiny duplex we were living in at the time (which was totally within my budget, which is why we were there) because it wasn’t up to HIS standards of living. Yeah, it does sound crazy.

*** Oh, that’s a long post for another day. Still fuming about that!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 27, 2012 in Today, Verbal Abuse

 

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