The Biggest Narcissist-Corporate America

It’s been almost a year since I posted here. Life has been the wildest roller coaster ride I’ve ever experienced. I’m a bit more settled now, so maybe I’ll have more time to post here.

Tonight I want to write about Corporate America. Its just my opinion, but I believe corporate america to be the biggest narcissist. Period. My life has been a series of encounters with narcissistic men, and somehow, I never thought to put the criteria for narcissism to work defining Corporate America. It may seem like a broad statement to make, since I’m sweeping all large (and many small) corporate entities with the same broom. Oh well. They can all bite me.

This post results from more than 30 years experience in corporate environments, as well as anecdotal information I’ve gathered in the four years since I was downsized by…Corporate America.

I started thinking about it after a brief chat with my neighbor this evening as I was carrying groceries toward my home. This individual had worked for the same corporate entity for more than 15 years. She was the go-to person at work, had worked her way up to senior management and then life grabbed her by the tail, swung her around and flung her hard against a wall. She gave a huge portion of her adult life to this company, worked long hours without compensation beyond her designated salary, made it to work during blizzards and hurricanes when few others would venture out and never brought her personal life to work.  Sick leave was an extreme rarity, but she did take her vacation leave annually. She loved her job.

Her job didn’t love her back. Earlier this year, she experienced several of life’s biggest stressors, including the death of a loved one. This woman, who had given so much of herself, her time, energy and LOYALTY, to her work home, found herself placed under the corporate microscope as soon as HR was informed of her bereavement leave. She, the former “wonder woman” was now being micromanaged and her every decision and movement was heavily scrutinized beneath the all-seeing eye of corporate Big Brother.

Instead of extending the hand of compassion to this loyal employee of 15 years, the company she had loved so much took her to task for not being able to give more than she was currently giving. They poured the stress on her, criticized her, and ultimately demanded that she rise immediately back to her level of performance prior to the death of her loved one, just two months prior.

She not only cracked, she broke. In the middle of a work day she simply broke with reality, walked off the job and didn’t return. No one cared. When she called HR to explain what happened the response was affirmative noises, immediate severance of her benefits and a terse comment that when prospective employers called to verify her employment and asked if the company would hire her again, the answer  would be no.

15 years of energetic loyalty got her exactly nothing. Does anyone besides me see the problem with this?

When I started working in 1980, I was a secretary for a global  corporation. The company expected a work/life balance, and provided the means for its employees to practice this balance. If an employee was sick, they were expected to stay home until completely well, for their own health and the health of their coworkers. We were never docked pay for being sick. We also had 15 days sick leave, with more available if it was deemed necessary by a doctor. We had 12 days vacation the FIRST year of hire. We had a lunchroom with a cook and lunch was free and nutritious. Breakfast was also provided for those who came in earlier. Fridays during the summers we were given a paid half day off. The CEO believed that all employees should have the same luxury as the sales team, who all left to play golf each Friday at noon. There was an in-house doctor. There were contented, loyal and secure employees.

Fast forward to the 90s. This was the decade of massive yuppie boom. The economy was fine, everyone was making money, and all of a sudden it became vogue for corporate America to create automatons in its own image. All but senior level management were moved into cubes, ostensibly to make supervisors and mid level management more accessible to the worker bees. Do ya believe that? I drank the kool aid. Did you?

I believe the dehumanization of the American workplace as I knew it began in the 80s when Ronald Reagan hopped into bed with Big Industry. That’s a post of its own.  I was a fairly happy employee until 1994. I was 33 and had been working for 13 years in corporate, white collar environments. In 1994, the company I worked for was bought by a huge conglomerate which promptly divested itself of most of the employees who worked for the company it had just swallowed. I found a new job very quickly and was just as quickly divested of any illusion I had that I could have any kind of work/life balance. I soon learned this new philosophy of corporate entitlement in my life was pandemic.

During my seventh month with this company I wound up with a whopping case of salmonella poisoning. I was hospitalized for a week. When I returned to work I was immediately called into HR and made to understand that I had no business getting so sick I had to miss 5 consecutive days of work, and because I hadn’t planned the time in advance, I was not going to be allowed to use my sick time; rather, I would be docked a weeks pay! No one asked about my health. No concern was shown for anything but the corporate bottom line and I was sent, post HR meeting, directly to the president’s office to be told exactly how much I’d inconvenienced him and how badly I’d made him look during two meetings by being unavailable to him.  Translation: “I have no clue what you do and I don’t want to know. Your job is to make me look good and you failed to do that because you took 5 days unscheduled leave.”

I spent the next five months either looking for new work or trying to get fired for poor performance so I could get away from this awfulness and still file for unemployment.  I succeeded in getting fired when one of  the companies with which I had recently interviewed called my boss, against my expressed LACK of permission to do so, and informed him I was job hunting. I was fired on the spot. Thus began my real education in corporate America. That education had nothing to do with learning or getting ahead. It was all about survival of the fittest. My former employer attempted to block my unemployment claim, but was (thankfully) all but laughed at by the unemployment office. Seems its illegal to deny unemployment to an employee terminated for seeking employment elsewhere.

1994 ended with being fired and 1995 began with a new job and…a drug test. This new employer was ahead of the times. Most employers weren’t yet drug testing new hires. So I was hired and tossed to the wolves in cube land.

Think about cube land for a moment. Walk onto the floor of any major corporation and you will see cubes stretching out toward infinity. It seems an optical illusion to the novice, but it is a very real and dangerous world.

The corporate party line at this company was that cubes “leveled the playing field” and made managers and supervisors accessible to the staff. That’s a lie, and it’s a lie told, with a straight face, to every employee of every large corporation. Newbies believe it unless they’ve been working for a few years.

Cube land is Orwellian by its very nature. All vestiges of privacy are removed, and the leveled playing field is nothing more than corporate double speak for the implementation of total annihilation of individuality. How many of you have been told that the company welcomes innovative thinking and a spirit of initiative? How many believed it? I did, the first time I heard it. I had all kinds of ideas. I articulated them. I got shot down every time, only to look up a month later to find my manager had taken my idea and presented it as his own. I was still so naive at this point that I thought I could actually reason with my manager. Lessons learned: Never put forth a good idea unless you are an executive. All ideas presented by executives are stolen from their staff and no acknowledgement of such theft will ever be forthcoming. Expecting credit for one’s ideas in Big Industry is tantamount to expecting one’s next fart will smell like gardenias.

Fast forward to 2014. Here I am, aged 53, with a killer skill set and no buyers. The first year of rejection confused me. Then I met an HR director who became friendly with me. You know that silly little EEOC law that prohibits corporations from discrimination for, among other things, AGE? Yea, you’re familiar. Well, it turns out that I was doing everything I could to find work, but I was being immediately disqualified because of my age. How can that be??!! Don’t look so shocked. Unfurrow that brow. This is America, land of many loopholes for corporations.

How many of you have filled out an application for employment that required the date you graduated high school? If you’ve filled out any in the past ten years, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Yes, it is illegal in America to discriminate against someone seeking employment because you feel they are too old or too young. It happens many times a day, despite the legalities involved. That little enforced year of high school graduation field on the application tells them all they need to know about your age, and if you graduated prior to a year they have secretly specified, you are guaranteed not to be considered for the position. Why do you think that is?

It’s because people of a certain age have been deemed undesirable not only because their benefit packages might be more expensive than for a younger individual, but also because once you’ve reached a certain age bracket, thus changing your demographic, the odds are very good that you understand corporate speak, that you know how to translate it for the younger set, and it has been deemed that we of a certain age will not be a good and positive influence on the new corporate hatchlings.

What does all this have to do with narcissism ? Connect the dots. It’s pretty obvious. Corporate America wants a workforce comprised of well-programmed mirrors. Stop reflecting what you are told to reflect and you are immediately devalued. Do it again, or fail to toe the corporate line again, at all, and you will be immediately discarded. Next morning you will wake up and find you have become the latest addition to the corporate slag heap, and you may spend much time wondering what you did to deserve this. Odds are very good you didn’t deserve it and did nothing wrong. You simply got sick of the lies, manipulation, grandiosity, and deflection of accountability.

Corporate America is allowed to ruin the lives of Americans with impunity. They are rarely held accountable, and the few times they are taken to task, the immediate response is denial and deflection.

Amen. I’m going to bed. It’s Sunday already!

Not About Narcissism; Not Really

I love this poem.  I loved it when I first read it in 1994, and I still love it today.  Some things resonate so loudly they can’t be denied:

(With gratitude to Sandra Cisneros for writing this poem. It’s all over the web, so I hope I’m not committing a copyright violation)

Loose Woman

They say I’m a beast.
And feast on it. When all along
I thought that’s what a woman was.

They say I’m a bitch.
Or witch. I’ve claimed
the same and never winced.

They say I’m a macha, hell on wheels,
viva-la-vulva, fire and brimstone,
man-hating, devastating,
boogey-woman lesbian.
Not necessarily,
but I like the compliment.

The mob arrives with stones and sticks
to maim and lame and do me in.
All the same, when I open my mouth,
they wobble like gin.

Diamonds and pearls
tumble from my tongue.
Or toads and serpents.
Depending on the mood I’m in.

I like the itch I provoke.
The rustle of rumor
like crinoline.

I am the woman of myth and bullshit.
(True. I authored some of it.)
I built my little house of ill repute.
Brick by brick. Labored,
loved and masoned it.

I live like so.
Heart as sail, ballast, rudder, bow.
Rowdy. Indulgent to excess.
My sin and success–
I think of me to gluttony.

By all accounts I am
a danger to society.
I’m Pancha Villa.
I break laws,
upset the natural order,
anguish the Pope and make fathers cry.
I am beyond the jaw of law.
I’m la desperada, most-wanted public enemy.
My happy picture grinning from the wall.

I strike terror among the men.
I can’t be bothered what they think.
¡Que se vayan a la ching chang chong!
For this, the cross, the calvary.
In other words, I’m anarchy.

I’m an aim-well,
shoot-sharp,
sharp-tongued,
sharp-thinking,
fast-speaking,
foot-loose,
loose-tongued,
let-loose,
woman-on-the-loose
loose woman.
Beware, honey.

I’m Bitch. Beast. Macha.
¡Wáchale!
Ping! Ping! Ping!
I break things.

Musings On Drama Kings

Ever notice that drama is addictive? Drama is a force to be reckoned with. It is so compelling to some people that they cannot live their lives without it.  Drama is exciting; it boosts adrenaline, and it can actually provide those who are addicted to it with the same kind of rush a drug addict receives from his/her drug of choice. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about drama lately because I’ve known someone for almost 10 years who has been chased by the drama hounds the entire time I’ve known him.  I’ve watched and listened as he’s gone through one destructive relationship after another.  I’ve been there when he’s needed to cry the blues about women who use him; who make selfish and greedy demands upon him; who emotionally abuse him, call him names, and accuse him of behaviors I could never imagine him exhibiting.

A little backstory here.  I dated this man briefly in 2005, and when I say briefly, I mean 2 dates.  Two.  The first date convince me I’d met Prince Charming.  Handsome, well-groomed, incredibly well-educated, culturally literate, affluent, and he brought me a dozen of the most gorgeous silvery-mauve roses on our first date.  We ate French-Vietnamese that night at the only French restaurant in town.  I was petrified, after finding out he is Parisian, and listening to him talk about what American’s see as “true” french cuisine, that he would be terribly disappointed in this restaurant.  Still, it was the only one in town, so tough – off we went.  He loved it.  Naturally.  It was so expensive that I couldn’t even walk on the same side of the street where it was located for fear I’d be charged simply for the wonderful scents emanating from the place each time the door opened. 

The wait staff was virtually invisible.  He ordered in French, and I, being an incurable romantic and in love with the language, fell instantly in excited infatuation with him.  We took a long walk afterward, drank excellent wine and ended the evening with me being dropped off at my front door and a simple good-night kiss.  Nothing more – but oh, it was SOO much!  (are you laughing yet?)

Date two:  I was invited to come spend the weekend at his home, 50 miles away.  Nothing hinky – just him cooking for me, a movie, good conversation and to bed in separate bedrooms.  Well, it happened that way – only his 15 year old son was our chaperone…

Then he disappeared.  Just evaporated.  For two weeks I couldn’t get ahold of him and I finally sent him a flamer of an email.  Well, it seems he’d been in a car accident, hurt his back and had just got home from a doctor appointment.  He got angry with me for flaming him and I immediately defended by telling him I could have had absolutely no idea about the accident and he needed to back down, regardless his stress level, because if he’d thought to have someone notify me, he’d never have been flamed.  Period.  Oh.  He never thought of that.  Hmm.  Is that a red flag?  You bet.  You have two dates with a woman, there is conversation indicating that you are entirely interested and your brain has been thoroughly engaged, and then you evaporate, get angry when the woman you dated flames you for non-communication and then admit to not even thinking about having someone notify her that you’d had a bad accident that totaled your car and put you in the hospital?  He wasn’t in a coma, he was kept in the hospital for a couple of days but he’d been home and working the rest of the time.  Not a word.

That was when I realized he steeps himself in himself.  He didn’t need me – didn’t need a woman to inject drama – he had enough right then, and so he’d turtled up. So I backed away – took many steps backwards, actually. We’ve always been excellent friends and I’ve been secretly in love with him for most of the time I’ve known him.  That said, not becoming involved with him was the one smart move I made with regard to men.

Fast forward to the present.  I became his sounding board, his ear, a wheel of “why can’t I find a good woman?” cheese to his whine. For years we bounced our respective love life issues off each other.  Sometimes we’d go months without speaking and then one day up would pop an email, or a phone would ring and there we’d be, talking for hours, and at the end, telling each other how much we love each other.

My relationships have involved narcissists.  His have involved those with Borderline Personality Disorder.  Very close cousins.  His last relationship totally blew me away.  It has boggled my mind to the point of wondering where my friend’s sense of self and reality went.  He has been a member of one online dating site or another for the entire time I’ve known him.  That’s how I met him.  His last relationship, though, sounded like it was something from the mind of Stephen King.  Now, I know how excitable and hyper my friend is, and I know enough to run things through my filters, and even taking those things into consideration, this was a horrifying situation and I was horrified that he’d allowed it to not only happen, but to escalate.

See, he met this woman online.  She was lovely to look at.  He, being male and very lonely, fell head over heels.  She was quite kind to him at first – sheesh, what woman in her right mind wouldn’t be kind to him?  He’s handsome, affluent, brings roses on almost every date, pays for everything, has exquisite manners, is well-educated and is genuinely and sincerely KIND.  He can dance, cook, and he does his own cleaning.  So my friend believes he’s found “the one.”  He moves quickly and moves her into his home.  She gets comfortable and the emotional and verbal abuse start.  True to character, my friend reacted to this in one of two ways:  he either knee-jerked or he stuffed.  There was no in-between, because he’s spent his entire adult life with abusive women. 

A year into this, she has a massive heart attack that affects her health so drastically she is now, three years later, given 6 months to live.  Yes, I have compassion for her.  No, I don’t pity her.  She would have much longer to live if she wasn’t so obsessed with having my friend dance attendance on her that she refuses to quit smoking, take her doctor’s advice for specialized treatment (that my friend would pay for), thus prolonging her life.  No, this woman would rather deliberately make herself ill when she felt my friend wasn’t paying enough attention to her, wind up in the hospital and then her doctor would call my friend and tell him he needed to “be there” for this woman.  Meanwhile, she’s on her cell phone telling him what a rotten piece of shit he is for “making” her get sick again.  So off he goes to sit by her bedside, only he brought the wrong book, brought flowers in a color she didn’t want, brought the wrong nightgown, didn’t wear the right clothes, and in general, didn’t grovel himself into a pancake-flat doormat so she could wipe her blackened soul on him. 

Finally, he’s had enough.  He can’t take it anymore.  She suggests to him that she wants to live in another state.  YES!  Here is his way out!  “Sure honey.  I’ll buy a house there.”  So he buys her a house there, they pack up her belongings, and she’s so self-involved; so certain she can control him completely, that she doesn’t notice that  HIS belongings aren’t being packed – and doesn’t realize it until they are half way to the house he bought her.  He moved her in, drove 13 hours back home…

And spent the next year being abused in email, listening to her rail at him on the phone, and being thrown into panic phase several times when she would call and say she was having another heart attack, heading to the hospital and he needed to get there FAST, if he wanted to say “goodbye.”  Off he’d go to find she’d lied.  He’d get angry, she’d scream at him for neglecting her (he bought her a house and pays all her bills for pete’s sake!), he’d get defensive, she’d scream some more, denigrate his manhood, and finally, he would cave because he couldn’t take it any more and apologize for things he’d never done, never caused and never existed outside this psycho bitch’s head.

And now, her doctors tell him this woman has 6 months to live.  He believes he loves her.  He doesn’t.  He’s addicted to the drama she creates.  He tells me he will be a basket case when she’s gone.  I offered to help him clear out her house, but no, he has to do it all alone.  Of course he’ll be a basket case.  He won’t have her injecting chaos; he won’t have anyone left to “fix.”  He won’t get the “feel good” of believing he’s doing something life-changing for another human being. His life will resemble something close to normal for the first time in his life and he won’t know how to act.  He will be a lost boy.  At 61, he will be like a lost child, sunk in a morass of despair, an exquisite several months of pain that will be one of his best works of art.  He won’t allow anyone to help him – mostly because deep down, he knows he created the monster. 

He says he hates drama but he knows he’s addicted to it.  Hmm.  To me that sounds like a heroin addict saying they hate heroin.  I’ve known a few heroin addicts and they all LOVE their heroin, even though they know it’s killing them. 

This is why I say that choosing to be this mans friend rather than his partner was one of the smartest moves I ever made, and I’ve made some really stupid ones with regard to my romantic life.  I truly do love him very deeply but this is proof positive that love will never be enough.  I have my own drama, but it’s definitely not enough to keep my friend’s addiction happy. Actually, if I allowed myself to become involved with him, my drama would disappear, since mine is centered around finances.  And then I’d have Big Drama, because he would become bored.  He would find a crisis where there wasn’t one.  He would inject chaos where there was peace.  

I believe I know why he does this.  It has much to do with being made to feel responsible for the well-being of others at a very young age; for being provided a misguided definition of honor, and never being told it was okay to honor himself.  He still hasn’t learned how to do that. 

I love him.  I can’t fix him.  I’m not even going to try.  The one man I’ve met who isn’t a full-blown narcissist and his other issues are so big that my capacity to love, which is huge, isn’t big enough to hold back the destructive force of his addiction.

Sometimes, when I look at him, I wonder “why me, Lord?  Really?  You made this lovely man, who is so kind and good to me, with whom I would love to have a healthy relationship and then, just as you break the mold you turn and say ‘oh, by the way, he’s got issues you ain’t gonna be able to deal with. So sorry.'”  REALLY???? 

Really.  And those are my thoughts today on addiction to drama and the Drama King in my life.  He and I are living proof that it’s possible to love someone infinitely and not ever be able to live with that person.  Ever.

I’ve stopped looking.  I’m convinced I’ll be alone the rest of my life.  With that in mind, I’m taking steps so I won’t need to depend upon anyone to take care of me.  There won’t be anyone.  The rest of my life is up to me – I do not believe there is a man of my generation (and even older!) who knows how to have a healthy, interdependent relationship with a woman, and I’m done investing my heart. I don’t like watching it squeeze through some man’s fist as he winds up to fling it hard against a wall.  The splat sound is just too much anymore…

I Met The Wife…

…and she is an amazingly kind, generous and loving human being.  I spent months in thrall to a man who was abusing not just one woman, but two.  Have you ever met someone who you know is just plain good to their core?  That’s what Mrs. N was and is.  She’s an amazing human being.

Put aside everything the N did to me.  I was only with him for 15 months.  Mrs. N has been married to him for 26 years.  She has weathered storms I can’t begin to imagine.  TWENTY EFFING SIX YEARS WITH THIS MAN!!!

Just a couple of the storms she has weathered:  About 8 years ago she was finishing up her degree, and had a weekend workshop.  Since she was in remission from cancer at the time, she stopped by the lab on her way to the workshop to have blood drawn and then went merrily on her way down to her class.

Shortly after she got back on the road, sans cell phone, since there wasn’t money for one (at least not one for HER), her doctor called the house and talked to the N. He was told that he needed to contact the facility where his wife was staying, have them gently sit her down and tell her not to move until her husband got there to take her to the hospital.  Why?   She had no platelets.  None.  One bump, bruise or cut and she could bleed to death.

What did hubby do?  Why, nothing, of course.  Mrs. N spent the weekend (thankfully!) not bumping into anything or cutting herself.  She made hit home fine, walked into her house and saw a note on the dining room table.  It read:

“Doc called.  No platelets.”

Mrs. N, who was studying to be a nurse, sat down very gingerly, dialed 911 and waited for the EMTs to show up.

How many different ways can you spell malicious negligence?  There are many more instances of situations very similar to this one, and it wasn’t until Mrs. N met me – at her request, after receiving the letter I sent her – that she began to figure out what her husband really was.

Currently she is being tested for cancer – seems she may have come out of remission.  She has a biopsy scheduled for 4 days before Christmas.  She has an elderly mother who is on a rapid decline and needs 24/7 care.  Guess who provides that care? She has two grown children who are young adults (very early 20’s) who hate their father but who don’t understand why Mom can’t just “leave his dumb ass and just have  FUN, Mom!”  Mom’s dependent upon the N.  She has no income, has been declared disabled by the state…and…

here’s a real kicker for you folks…

While I was involved with the N, I thought his wife was awful.  I swallowed everything he told me about her.  I was being spoon fed.  Turns out the N emotionally bludgeoned his DISABLED wife (who is also eplileptic) into going out to work, FIFTY HOURS A WEEK, so he could support ME.

There’s so much more – and so much more horrifying than what I’ve recounted here.  I’ve decided I’m writing a book.  I’m also going to put a fundraiser online for Mrs. N, once I can figure out how to do it and keep my name out of it.  Her children have been hurt enough – they would have huge issues having ME involved with anything.  I don’t blame them.

If you think you’d donate to the medical and “freedom from narcissism” cause of this woman, could you please post a comment here.  A simple yes or no will be helpful.  Doesn’t appear to be a poll option on this theme. 

Anyway, I’m writing this from work, which I shouldn’t be doing, and if there are typos, please blame my keyboard as we all know I am not responsible for any of my own actions…wait – no – that’s the N.  Sorry.  Return to your regularly scheduled programming…

And while you’re doing it, please have a Narcissist Free Day.  That’s NFD.  LOL.

A Departure from NPD – Happy Stuff!

I decided a change from angst was needed, so I’m posting some photos I’ve taken over the years.  Some have been heavily edited in Photoshop to create “art” and others have been left as-is, because they were perfect to my eye when taken.  I hope you like them.  (I’m not sure why there’s so much space after the fire hydrant, but I can’t figure out how to take it out, so it stays. )

This is a garden gate, taken on a walk along a creek.

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Fire Hydrant in my old neighborhood in Baltimore

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Bales of Hay in Chadd’s Ford, PA

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Fence Perspective, Chadd’s Ford, PA

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Sunrise at Buckroe Beach, VA

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Keyhole in the door to the basement in my old apartment in Baltimore

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My old buddy, Jake, the best dog ever.  He went over the doggy rainbow in 2010. Jake was so beloved by all that he would even be invited to dinner parties.  He was sweet, loving, loyal, polite and protective.  I adored him. RIP, Jakey!

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Rollercoaster at Wildwood, NJ.  I thought the colors were amazing!

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Happy accident with my camera!

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Healing From Narcissistic Abuse

Actually, this post is to myself.  You’re welcome to read it and comment upon it, which is why I’m posting it on my blog.  :)

This evening, as I made my simple dinner, which consisted of cracked black pepper turkey, banana peppers, and an orange pepper from my garden on a whole grain sandwich thin, it occurred to me that every single ingredient in this sandwich, down to the pepper plant in my garden, had been purchased and provided by my ex Narcissist.

I looked around and saw the grill he had bought for me, the toaster oven, the electric can-opener (because my hand-crank one wasn’t good enough, apparently), the stand mixer, the microwave, the vacuum cleaner, the case of Yuengling beer that I’ll never drink, all the boxed and unhealthy pre-packaged meals in the pantry, every bit of “phude” in my freezer – all but the chicken does not qualify as real food to me – was purchased by this man.

I saw the third “mondo” fan in my living room that he’d purchased because two weren’t enough.  I saw the Pampered Chef apple corer and peeler, complete with stand, that he’d purchased, saying I could re-engineer it into something to use with my jewelry-making business.  A wire twister (which I already have), perhaps.

On my drive home from work, I saw my ultra-bright headlights – special ones – that he’d bought and installed, saying I needed them, even though I drive a small SUV that sits me up higher than most sedans and that already had perfectly good lights.  As I was getting out of my car, I saw the two, now emptied, $50 gas cards he’d bought me in early May.  I tossed them in the trash can on the way in.

On the way up my steps, my raised garden, which he “surprised” me with on his day off by working all day in the hot sun to have ready for me when I got home that evening, stared me in the face.   As I entered my home, the bag of rock salt in the corner of the foyer grinned up at me – it’s been there since winter – he bought it. There was the tray of Kentucky Coffee Bean Tree seeds that he’d collected and brought over to give to me thinking I could incorporate them into jewelry. The list goes on and on and on.

I never asked for these things.  The garden I simply mentioned, in passing.  Last April, I’d said I was going to have some soil brought in and build a raised garden out front because I love to garden.  I was going to do it.  I wanted the satisfaction of knowing I’d done it myself.  

This is what he did.  I asked him to stop, repeatedly, and he wouldn’t, citing as a reason “it’s what I do.  I see a need and I fill it.”

I started to feel as though perhaps I’d misjudged him and then I backed myself up.  Whoa.  Reality check.

While the food I ate tonight was healthy enough, the majority of the food he brought in here, against my protestation, was unhealthy, full of additives and chemicals, and high-calorie.  I remember coming home one Wednesday, early in our relationship, before he had a key to my home, to find bags of groceries spread out on a table in my basement.  Not only had he bought groceries, he’d brought a table to lay them out on. I opened each bag to find it was full of things I wasn’t supposed to eat.  I’d told him on our first date, when I’d made bruschetta, which I’d told him about beforehand, and to which he never replied that he didn’t like tomatoes, that this was the way I ate.  I ate as many whole foods as I could, and I tried never to eat anything that was processed or pre-packaged.

I remember dishing out the bruschetta and as I did so, he said, “Hmm.  I don’t usually eat tomatoes – don’t like them, but this looks different.  I’ll give it a try.”  I remember thinking “why didn’t he tell me he didn’t like tomatoes?”  I’d described the dish to him, so he knew what was in it.

I didn’t need the grill.  I never even thought about having one.  HE used it – not me.  It’s a dust catcher now.  I didn’t want a toaster oven.  I wanted a TOASTER.  I’d mentioned I was going to go to the local discounter and pick one up for $9.  I don’t toast that much, but when I wanted toast, I wanted toast.  In he came with a shiny new toaster oven.  I don’t use it much.  HE used it.

I had a microwave – but apparently it wasn’t good enough.  It was good enough for ME – all I ever used it for was quick-thawing and occasionally making whipped eggs for egg sandwiches.  In came a brand new microwave.

I didn’t have a “normal” vacuum cleaner.  I used a shop vac.  I live in a converted church that is very old, has the original wood floors and drops a thin layer of dust daily.  So I would shop vac everything.  It was quick, powerful and easy.  In came a “normal” vacuum cleaner that’s cheap, doesn’t hold much dust or fur (I have two cats that shed mightily), and needs to be emptied before half a room is finished.  He insisted it was too much for me to carry the shop vac up and down stairs and that I use his “normal” vacuum.  There went that form of exercise.

I didn’t need the apple corer/peeler.  I don’t core or peel my apples – and I rarely make apple pie or any kind of sweet with apples.  I certainly wasn’t going to re-engineer it to twist wire since I had a perfectly good wire-twister, which he’d already seen me use.

What I realized, during my reality check, was that this man had insinuated himself into my home, set it up the way HE wanted it, and in doing so, intimated that the way I was functioning wasn’t good enough for him (or anyone, apparently).

Last June, he brought me an a/c window unit that he casually told me he’d removed from his attic, since it wasn’t needed there.  I was grateful, until he dumped me, when he informed me that he’d taken the cooling source from his young adult children’s rec-room and the attic, where the pool table and all the gaming equipment lived, was now too hot for anyone to use, and he wanted it back.  No dice.  Sorry.  It’s mine now.

I have other items that he “stole” from his family home.  A dehumidifier.  A humidifier.  The “mondo” fan.  The stand mixer!  I read recently that domicile theft is a not-widely-known characteristic of those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

At one point, when I had asked him some questions about things I’d read in the Bible, (he was actually a pastor for many years!), he said he’d bring a bible over and we could go over them.  Next day, he shows up with two bibles – one for him and one for me.  He handed me “mine” and I opened it up to find it inscribed to his wife from her mother!  I immediately handed it back to him and told him it was inappropriate and “bible study” could wait.  He got snarky about it and attempted to shrug it off by saying “well, she doesn’t use it – she has tons of them.”

Excuse me?  Did the inappropriateness of his gesture totally escape him?  Yes, it did. He saw nothing inappropriate about stealing from his wife to give to me.

So much for thinking I’d misjudged him.

This was my evening after work tonight.  A lesson.  Just because someone does things that seem nice, it does not mean that the person is doing those things from a kind and pure heart, and for the sole purpose of “filling a need” when the “need” is seen.

I spent the first four to five months of this relationship in pure bliss, thinking I’d finally found Mr. Right.  The red flags were waving at me like a toreador dancing around a bull.  It’s not that I chose not to see them.  I flat out DID NOT see them.  Not until about the middle of month five and definitely month six.

I’m a private person who enjoys living alone and likes having quite a bit of “me” time, yet I allowed this man to take over my life almost every day of each week for 15 months.

I truly enjoy coming through my front door now, knowing that I don’t have to scramble to clean the kitchen, vacuum, cook dinner and be all “beautiful” in the 45 minutes before he would show up.  I enjoy walking through my door into my home, putting my handbag and shoes where I want, gliding into my CLEAN kitchen (because it’s not full of dishes he left the night before), feeding my kitties, preparing a simple and HEALTHY meal for myself, sitting down at my table to read my email and eat, and then going into my living room to make jewelry or read or DO WHATEVER THE HELL I WANT TO DO WITHOUT FEAR OF CRITICISM.

Don’t ever allow someone to take over your life and your home.  I won’t do that again. Ever.  If you see it happening, take a deep breath, step back and try to view it objectively, even if you are head-over-heels for the person who is doing it. Even if you think you LOVE that this person is taking such “good” care of you.  Stop and think and assess.  Ask yourself why this is being done.  Ask it many times.

Living With a Narcissist

I found a wealth of information here:  Out Of The Fog

The bit below has been copied and pasted from that blog and I encourage you to click the link and browse the blog.  There is so much good information there.  This bit describes what it feels like to live with someone who has NPD.  I found I could relate  very well!  I hope it helps you!

What it feels like to live with someone with NPD

Contributed by Aames

Living with or being involved with a narcissist can be mentally and emotionally exhausting.

It can feel like you have to perform “mental gymnastics” from dealing with the lying (even when confronted with undeniable proof ), the gaslighting, the triangulation, the projection, the constant contradictions, the manipulation, blame-shifting, the charm they lay on, the inflated sense of self – even subtle forms of torture, such as sleep deprivation, these people inflict on their victims – appears to be conscious and calculated to push the target of their “affections” past their limits, into surrender – and ultimately into total compliance – as a source of Narcissistic Supply. 

Children, spouses, friends, lovers – those closest to the Narcissist – are not considered individuals in their own right by the Narcissist – but rather extensions or, in the worst cases, the property of the Narcissist.

Even after finding out that you are dealing with a mental disorder, if you don’t protect or remove yourself from the situation, you may find yourself entering into a state of mind where you instinctively try to fix or fight the narcissist’s illogical attitudes and behaviors.

You may find yourself becoming hyper-vigilant, trying to second guess them, trip them up, lay down ultimatums, call them on their lies, or constantly trying to stay one-step ahead of their ever-changing rule-book. You may even find yourself trying to mirror their behaviors to some extent in order to manipulate them, as they have manipulated you. This can be both futile and attractive to the narcissist, as they often relish the challenge.

If you ever do manage to get “one-up” on a narcissist, it is likely to be a hollow “victory” at best. They may rage, play the victim, or disappear. None of these outcomes gives the victim any true satisfaction.

More than any other disorder on the PD spectrum, narcissists are like psychological vampires, attaching themselves to you in a way that drains you of your resources (emotional, mental and financial) and leaves you questioning your own worth and sanity.

Often, narcissists are able to imitate or approximate caring about others when it is convenient for them to do so. However, they typically do not perceive that anything outside of their own sphere of wants and needs matters. It simply doesn’t occur to them to consider the needs of anyone else, or the long-term consequences of their own behaviors.

Narcissists can be highly intelligent, witty, talented, likable, and fun to be around. They can also elicit sympathy like nobody’s business.

Narcissists are opportunistic. They can make a show of being “generous” but their generosity usually has strings attached.

They tend to isolate their victims, sucking up their time and energy, many times robbing their own families, spouses and partners of an external support system.

Narcissists are excellent liars and many prefer to lie even when telling the truth would be more beneficial to them; which suggests that lying is a hallmark of this pathology.

They are often highly competitive and argumentative. They lash out when presented with opinions that contradict their own or when confronted with their own lies or bad behaviors.

They can be calculating and extremely persuasive and susceptible to erratic thinking and impulsive decision making .

Narcissists can be self-destructive as often as they are destructive to others. They have a great deal of trouble accepting responsibility for their own actions, under any circumstance.

Narcissists are addictive personalities and narcissism is commonly co-morbid with addictions to drugs, alcohol, sex, food, spending and gambling. It has been suggested that Narcissists have a higher rate of ADHD than the general population.

Narcissists are rarely alone. They like to feed on the energy of others, and to have an audience to reflect back to them the person they want to see themselves as.

Narcissists are good at pretending, but typically do not feel compassion or empathy or consider the feelings or well-being of others. They tend to be singularly focused on getting their own needs met, at the expense of the needs of others.

While narcissists generally portray a lack of conscience, they typically have an intellectual awareness of what they are doing and how they hurt others. They simply do not care.

Being kind to a Narcissist in the face of their maltreatment is a common approach of family members and partners. However, this can result in further frustration as it is rarely reciprocated and tends to feed their sense of entitlement, opening the door for more abuse.

Here are some other feelings that you may experience when dealing with a narcissist in the home or at work:

  • You may feel like this person readily puts you down just to elevate themselves.
  • You may find yourself avoiding them because trying to communicate with them leaves you feeling confused, put-down, reduced to a lesser status and emptied of all that you know you really are.
  • You may feel overwhelmed, “out-gunned”, tongue-tied or overpowered in the presence of this person.
  • You may feel blown away by their powerful personality, self-assuredness, self-belief and self-confidence.
  • Your own legitimate needs may be taking a back seat to their own frivolous, self-serving ambitions.
  • When receiving a compliment or apology, you may be left feeling patronized, demeaned, brought down to size and even humiliated.
  • You may attempt to compromise with them only to realize later that you are the only one who gave any substantial ground.
  • You may feel like your hard work and contributions are only being used, abused and and distorted to meet the selfish ambitions of another.

Living with a person who has NPD can have a devastating effect on the self-esteem, confidence and quality of life for family members, friends and partners.

People who live with an individual with NPD sometimes feel as though the Narcissist is refusing to ” grow up” or will revert back to childish ways whenever it suits them to do so. The Non-Narcissist often feels used, cheated and taken advantage of by the NPD in their life.

The blog from which I lifted this text has it right on the money.  Those of us who have lived with someone who has NPD tend to become extremely co-dependent, living our lives on the edges of eggshells, wondering what we can do to stop the next round of abuse.  We turn ourselves inside out trying to make life calm and peaceful and become frustrated when our efforts are for nothing.  

We will alter our own behavior; we will become someone we are not, in effort to stop the cycle of Narcissistic abuse.  By the time we’ve come to realize we must escape the torture, it’s usually too late.  We’ve allowed ourselves to become who we are not and the healing process is painful, to say the least.  All that said, once healed, we CAN come out on the other side as the whole human beings we started.  Once burned by a Narcissist doesn’t mean it will never happen to us again.  We need to find what it is in us that draws the Narcissist to us – what is our primary weakness?  Are we lonely?  Needy?  In financial distress?  Are we at an emotional low in our lives for whatever reason when the Narcissist starts “grooming” us to be his/her next victim?  I believe, for myself and for all others, that it is necessary to figure out what traits we exhibit that draw these individuals to us.  There is something they see that they believe they can exploit.  If we can figure this out, heal it, and become strong, whole and “npd smart” people, we won’t allow this to happen again.  We’ll spot the N from a mile away!  And I need to keep that in mind myself!  

Well, I HAD Written a post…

And WordPress ate it.

I was telling y’all what a great two days I’ve had, how my wonderful sister-friend Miss Zala sent me a box full of amazing beads and jewelry making supplies that I received yesterday, including some of the most amazing Onyx I’ve ever seen.  Boy would I like to get into HER bead stash.

I was saying I’ve dropped 26 lbs via the “divorce” diet.   I don’t recommend it, since the weight loss is too fast and the product of too much trauma and stress over the past 3 weeks.

If anyone wants to see what I do in my “spare time, you should go here:  ArgentSol .

I don’t always write about nasty old narcissists.  Sometimes I write about creating lovely things that have no purpose other than to make someone’s eyes light up and bring a smile to their faces.  And I love doing it.  The blog is a mish-mash and contains a rather haphazard collection of things I’ve made, things I’ve tried to make, tutorials, musings, and photographs.

Miss Zala needs to send me more photos to edit, too.  (hint hint).

I am going to spend much of the weekend trying to get a suncatcher made from an aquamarine crystal I dug up at Lucky Lake Mine in VA a few years ago.  My late niece coveted that rock – she collected rocks and I would always bring her something when I visited – and so I want to create a sterling silver “cage” for it that allows light to refract through the many fractures and cleavages in the stone, and then incorporate some Swarovski Crystal into it so that when the light refacts through those and casts rainbows on the wall, my sister will see her daughter in them.

Tonight, I’m going to eat, sit down, finish some viking weave chain I started and watch whatever the heck I want to on Netflix because there is no narcissist in my home holding fast to the remote control.

I am happy today!  I hope all of you are, too!

Group hug all around!

Narcissism Fits Him Like A Glove

I need to remember to read and re-read my own freaking blog.  Taking the characteristics listed below, this is what I saw, but remained blind to (get it?) from the start: They’re not in order of Zamoracatalina’s list, but this is how they played out:

1. Very charismatic and charming at first…

Oh yes.  Oh my oh my.  You know – I thought it odd, that after inviting himself on my hiking trip (which turned into a stroll) as soon as we got out of the car, and started walking, he puts his arm around my shoulders.  I can’t walk that way, and I told him.  He apologized, saying maybe he’d been too forward.  Well, yes, but that’s not what I said.  I said I couldn’t walk that way.  As we were crossing a causeway, he did it again, and I shrugged it off.  He went silent for a bit.  I just toodled along beside him, pointing out all the glorious sites up in the mountains.  He wasn’t the least bit interested.  He didn’t speak again until he got close to the lake and spotted some tadpoles, so naturally, I had to come look.  Good thing I did, huh?  

He showed up at my house, the next day, uninvited, bearing a grocery store gift card for $100 and a gas card for $50.  When I exclaimed that he shouldn’t have done it (and I needed it BADLY – finances have been my weak point and he exploited them), he continued to hold them in front of me – he was standing behind me so his body had to be close to mine and both his arms were around me waving these cards in my face.  So I took them and set them on the counter.  He tapped them and said something to the effect that I wasn’t to forget to use them. I thought it was very kind of him, but at that point, I wasn’t really sure I wanted physical contact.  By the end of the week, he’d charmed me into that, too.  I was smitten.  Totally. 

2.  Exaggerates personal achievements

Well, where do I start?  He told me he was a pastor.  Well, he was.  To a congregation of 12.  Now, that’s not an easy job, especially when you have only 12 folks in your congregation and you have to deal with them almost daily.  He talked about performing marriages (found out later he’s not licensed to do so – and he’s not an ordained minister), and performing funerals, and about how oh-so-many years after he left the church, an elderly woman died and wanted “HER” pastor to do her funeral.  He complained that her children were attempting to block it, and he had no idea why.  I bet I know. 

He told me he was a “master” trainer where he works.  He said he was given that title because he “developed” the training program that the company has used for 15 years.  Not true.  He helped with the development but “master trainer” isn’t his title.  It’s just “trainer.” 

He boasted of sitting on a board where he and other deacons doled out available money to indigent folks who came asking for help.  He said that was his “all time favorite job.”  Of course it was.  He had control over these people’s lives.  He said that he would deny help if he thought the individual had “smoked all their money away,” or “if they didn’t seem organized enough to run errands efficiently so they could save gas.  Stupid stuff.  I’m sorry, if a young couple comes in, with a child, and their income can be verified and they need food for the baby and diapers, and one of them happens to smell like cigarette smoke, is it not possible that the smell of smoke was from a cigarette that was bummed from someone, or that they just walked through a bunch of smokers?  Anything is possible – and around here – most people who smoke roll their own, since buying pre-packaged is waaaay too expensive.  He loved to judge others.  Just LOVED it. 

3.  Denies he has issues to work on…

When we met, he told me he and his wife had been separated for more than a year.  He told me that he went to marital counseling with her for 9 months (I think it was probably far less than that) once a week, and finally just stopped because his wife and the therapist would “beat up” on him and he actually said:  “I’m not the one with the problems!  SHE is.  WTF?  It was like I never did anything right and I did everything in my power to make her happy and she damned well knows it!”  Uh huh.  Right down to walking out on her mid-sentence when he sensed a criticism and then giving her the silent treatment for days until she begged for his attention, at which time he would grant it  provided (according to his telling of it) “she’d seen what happens when she turns into a bitch.”  

Nothing was ever his fault, even in the face of irrefutable proof.  He was and is the king of spin.  I could tell him he said something, he’d deny it, I’d pull up the text to prove it, and he’d say that wasn’t proof, because I could have altered it.  Yeah, right.  Okay. 

4.  Exaggerates the truth or blatantly lies. 

OMG.  Where do i start.  He told me he was separated and living with his sister when I met him.  Two months later, he said something that pointed clearly to the fact that he’d moved back home.  When I confronted him with it, he said he’d had to move home because “she” had to spend a month taking care of her mother.  So I asked why he didn’t move back out when “she” moved back home.  He told me his sister didn’t want him there and he didn’t have enough money to live on his own, so he was “stuck” but he rushed to assure me they weren’t sharing a bed.  Uh huh.  Right.  Her schedule was wonky enough that it WAS believable and he told me he was sleeping on the sofa.  Well, one evening he texted me a photo complaining of the “mess” his wife had left in the bedroom.  I asked why he was in the bedroom.  He said:  “We take turns sleeping here, one week she does and the next week I do.”  HUH?  Yeah – I swallowed it. It was that wonky schedule again. 

He promised me his wife was well aware of the separation and that there would be no reconciliation.  Turns out she wasn’t quite as aware of the “no reconciliation” part as he was, since on Jan 1 of this year, she asked him where he saw them this year.  What would make her ask that, I wonder?  Hmmm.  

He started spending Saturday nights at my house.  He started this on my birthday weekend and when I asked him how he was able to do it (at this point, I knew he was deathly afraid of having his wife find out about me), he shrugged and said:  “I told her I’m spending saturday nights out with friends and am going to crash with whatever friend i’m with – I told her it was MY night.”  I should have kicked him out of my bed.  Nope.  Didn’t.  Should have thought “damn, if he lies to HER like this, what are the odds that anything he tells me is true?”  Nope – didn’t let it surface. 

He told me he loved me.  BIG lie.  He told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.  Bigger lie.  See, what he wanted was the ideal of me – the perfect woman, who catered to his every need, who told him he was fabulous – he wanted the static illusion – the fantasy he’d built in his head of what a great relationship would be.  Only…I’m not static.  I’m not a blow up doll.  I’m human.  He didn’t like the human part. Not one bit. 

5.  Does not take criticism well and becomes defensive easily.  Is easily hurt or insulted. 

HAH!  He could dish it out but boy he couldn’t take it.  Once, I actually tried to have a conversation with him about all the lies he was telling his wife and to see if I could move him toward telling her he was involved with someone else.  According to him, she’d asked enough times.  He always told her “no.”  He turned his face away from me, his jaw started working hard, he drummed his fingers on the side of the sofa, picked up the remote and started channel surfing.  I asked him not to do that and to please pay attention, as this was important to me.  He tossed the remote on the table, got up, got his car keys and wallet and left.  Later he texted me that he didn’t want anymore questions like that because he’d told me “at least a thousand times” that he couldn’t tell his wife.  Yeah, but he’d never told me why…

In January, I caught him in a blatant lie.  He received a text from a woman who used to work with him and with whom he admitted he “came close” to having an affair with.  His wife used to babysit her child while she was at work, and this woman had come to pick him up, went in the living room with the N, sat on the sofa and apparently they almost started kissing while his wife was in the other room getting this woman’s child ready to go home.  Why the eff wasn’t this woman helping her???  I know why. 

So when I saw the text pop up, I saw her photo right along with it.  IT was a LONG text.  He immediately hid his phone in his pocket.  I casually said:  “Got a text?”  He replied:  “No.”  My jaw dropped and I said:  “yes you did – I heard it and saw it.”  He said:  “No I didn’t, that wasn’t a text.”  Me: “Yes, it was – and it was from Nicole – I know it was.  I saw her picture.”  Him:  “No – it was from a woman I worked with 15 years ago.” Me:  “I know everyone you associate with.  You’ve talked about them often enough and in not very glowing terms – except for Nicole.  But you’ve never mentioned this woman. It wasn’t some woman who you used to work with – it was Nicole, admit it.”:

So he admitted it and I demanded to read the text.  He deflected by saying:  “she just wanted to know how my day is going.  Friends ask those things, you know.”  I replied:  “That was a very long text – please show it to me.”  He refused.  When we got to my house, I refused to allow him to come in and he got angry with me for that, squealed out of the driveway, and sped up the road.  Later, he said he was angry at himself, but that was only because he knew he’d been caught and he feared losing his supply over his stupidity. 

6.  Shows no remorse or guilt for mistakes or hurt he dishes out. 

The only real apology I ever got from him was when he saw the email I’d sent to his wife and where I’d told her I was sending her a copy snail mail.  Then he was all over me in apology.  He specifically said:  

“now that you have me at your mercy, I’m begging you not to send that letter.  At least leave the paragraph about Nicole out of it if you feel you must send it.  I haven’t talked to her in over a year.  I don’t want her life ruined, too. I’m everything you said I was, and I’m so sorry I’ve ruined your life (he has the power to RUIN my life!!!!), and I’m going to tell “her” (his wife) tomorrow and ask her, since she can’t get health insurance on her own, if we can just stay married in name only and be free to see who we want. Please please please give me a few minutes of your time so we can talk?”

Stupidly, I took the call.  He immediately began accusing me, and then backed off when he saw I was dead serious.  Then he says:  “I’m going to tell her in a couple of weeks about the staying married bit – but not tomorrow because she’s had a lot to deal with lately and I don’t want to add to it.”  

Excuse the eff outta ME?  He showed ME no such consideration when he dumped all kinds of abuse on ME earlier in the week.  

So I sent it snail mail and restricted delivery to recipient only.   Mean old me.  I probably “ruined” his life, you know.  That was the ONLY time he ever apologized and he didn’t mean it.  He was sorry he was going to get caught.  Asshole. 

7.  Frequently humiliates or abuses others although he doesn’t see it as abuse. Considers most others in the world “idiots.” 

Yup.  The “idiots’ he interviewed.  The “idiots” he works with.  The “stupid cunt” and “worthless bitch” he was married to.  The “jackass at radio shack who sold him his new phone.  

8.  Sulks when he doesn’t get his way. 

OMG.  OMFG!  Yes.  Toward the end – back in June, he’d started withdrawing – getting even more distant and cold.  Typical.  He was getting ready to discard me if I didn’t fall into line.  I asked him to  PLEASE tell me what was wrong.  This is what he said:  “My tank is empty.  I’d like a toe-curling kiss and a home cooked meal from you.”  That’s not such a terrible request – only he said it when he knew I was freaking over money, he was withholding financial support, I’d gone 6 weeks without income because my state couldn’t seem to figure out how to file a combined state wage unemployment claim and my food stamps got screwed up.  He said it when I was sleep-deprived and he knew it, and when he knew I was extremely vulnerable and when I told him I understood how he might feel neglected because at that point I was taking care of MY business and not him, and that I felt it was kind of bad timing on his part, he blasted me.  “See?  See what happens when I Tell you how I feel?   You just use it against me.” He may as well have added “you bitch” to it.  I know he was thinking it. 

When we finally broke up – I’d told him I felt we needed a break and I didn’t think I wanted to see him any more.  He had to have the last word.  He “dumped” me in text by saying “I can’t do the boyfriend thing anymore – my tank is empty.  I failed you by not fixing your financial situation (huh????) and my bills are too much as it is.”  He did this the day my niece committed suicide.  

He did it the one time I really COULD have used his support.  He just tells me I’m a financial burden etc.  Oh, and he also told me earlier in the year that he’d taken a loan from his 401K so I wouldn’t have so much to struggle with.  5000K.  I saw maybe 500 of it, in the form of HIM paying things.  He never actually GAVE me any of it to use as I saw fit.  During one conversation he told me he’d cashed out insurance policies to support me.  I think that’s a lie.  Still, I included it in the letter I sent his wife, along with the info about the 5 grand.  

9.  Is unable to demonstrate or understand empathy or compassion/lacks conscience. 

Oh yeah.  My feelings never counted.  Once, I asked him if he would PLEASE just sit down and allow me to talk about my feelings without jumping in and attempting to fix things and/or make the conversation all about him.  He replied:  “I’m not that emotional guy.  I don’t get it.  If you want emotion, I’m not that guy.”  

He never once offered condolences regarding my niece; never asked how I was holding up, yet last saturday, he thought it was appropriate to text me a photo of the new car he’d just bought.  

Yup.  Mr. Financial Issues, just bought a brand new shiny car.  See – he got rid of me, so now he can afford something REALLY nice. 

Oh hell – I’m tired and I think you get the picture.  I could cite many examples of each of the criteria, but I feel like I’m beating a dead horse.  Literally.  The man is dead inside.  No spark of real life.  Just what he’s culled from his supply over the years.  He has no idea how to be human – and this guy was a pastor.  

Part of me hopes he goes back to his wife, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the women out there are safe.  He told me he never cheated on her but I don’t believe it.  He told me I was only the second woman he’d ever been with, sexually, in his life.  He married very young.  I don’t believe him.  He wasn’t THAT naive in bed – for a man who said he only had sex 3 times a year – on Christmas, his birthday and his anniversary, and then it was always missionary and over in 2 minutes.  He admitted to watching a lot of porn “to make up for the sex she withheld.”  

I’m sure he’s back having sex with his favorite two-dimensional porn stars now, cuz he sure ain’t having sex with me.  Maybe Nicole (who is married, btw) is servicing him now.  Who knows.  I don’t care.  I hope he rots in hell.  REally.  That’s not anger – that’s a genuine wish, ROFL.  

Narcissistic Traits – Just in Case You (I) Forget…

This is from zamoracatalina .  I copied and pasted it here.  She’s dead on and I was blind, blind, blind.  From the git-go.  It can still happen, even when you’ve done your research.  You’re lonely, or have been alone for awhile, a charming person steps up to bat, and BOOM, you’re knocked out of the park by the Narcissistic bat – which, I might add, does NOT feel very good at all!

 

• Exaggerates personal achievements
• Very charismatic or charming at first, but can quickly switch from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde without apparent cause
• Is unable to demonstrate or understand empathy or compassion lacks conscience
• Does not seem to feel real happiness or positive emotions
• Quick to anger/rage or feel insulted or slighted inflicts “silent treatment”
• Denies he/she has issues to work on – sees himself/herself as nearly perfect nothing is ever his/her fault
• Frequently humiliates or abuses others, although he/she doesn’t see it as abuse. Considers most others in the world “idiots”
• Sulks when he/she doesn’t get his/her way
• Exaggerates the truth or blatantly lies
• Does not take criticism well and becomes defensive easily. Is easily hurt and insulted
• Shows no feelings of remorse or guilt for his/her mistakes or the hurts he/she dishes out
• Blames others for all his/her problems or bad luck
• His/her attitude is generally haughty or arrogant
• Hates to stand in line – he/she shouldn’t have to, as his/her time is more valuable than others. Driving is difficult especially in traffic.
• Unable to deal with his responsibilities, this is called a runner. Will run rather than face consequences.
• May ignore you or be indifferent to you for no reason
• Leaves others feeling as though they need to “walk on eggshells” around him