Let’s Have Some Fun!

Here’s an opportunity for you to post your dating horror story.  I’m working in conjunction with The Wrong Fish to find the best (worst?) dating horror story.

Click here and write your horror story.  This is anonymous, so please change all names in your post.  Don’t reveal your REAL name.

Over the next 30 days we will collect stories and then provide a poll that includes ALL the stories and you can vote for whichever is your favorite.

I’m not sure yet what the prize is, or if there will even be a prize, but hey- you get to unload, and maybe read stories that will make you think yours was a cakewalk.  Or not.  (snort!)

Have a go at it.  Be creative.  Just protect the “innocent.”  We can’t have any libel suits on our hands, yanno!

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Vote!!

I’ve been writing a comprehensive book on personality disorders with an emphasis on NPD.  I’m not a psychiatrist but I know someone who IS psychiatrist in real-life and who specializes in personality disorders.  He has agreed to review this book prior to publication for accuracy of information.  I’m also going to request that he write a forward for it.

This book  will define the term personality disorder, it will provide all the DSM-IV (cited) criteria for NPD, with real-world descriptions of each criteria.  Each criterion will probably be a chapter unto itself, since there is such a massive amount of accurate anecdotal material available.

I will also include chapters on Borderline Personality Disorder since that disorder has so many crossover traits with NPD.  Depending upon how long the NPD book is (I’d like to keep it at 300 pages!) I may have to write another on BPD.   These books are being written with the purpose of helping others recognize these disorders and understand what they can do to better their situations if involved in any way with someone who is one of these disorders.

Please remember that individuals who meet the criteria for NPD and BPD don’t “have” the disorder, they ARE the disorder.  Why?  It’s simple.  To have something implies that one can NOT have it.  For an NPD, the realization that they are a disorder will never come, so they don’t “have” the disorder, they ARE the disorder.  For a BPD, there’s a shred of hope, but in most cases, they, too, do not realize that anything is wrong with them, thus they don’t “have” the disorder, they ARE the disorder.

You will learn methods for recognizing those who are potentially NPD or BPD on the first date, but more importantly you will learn an accurate method for analyzing online dating profiles to determine whether the writer is NPD.  It’s a little more difficult to extrapolate BPD from a dating profile and not always accurate, so I won’t provide that.

The book will also contain a compassionate and common-sense guide to rebuilding emotional health during the aftermath of interacting with an NPD (remember, they don’t have relationships!) and it will provide cited research into the developmental phases of a child who grows up to be an NPD adult.  This will provide a glimpse into the why of an NPD and it will allow you to feel compassion for them, while understanding that pity is wasted and it will also allow you to learn your best method for detaching and distancing – for good.

Additionally, there will be anecdotal information based on my personal experiences, interviews with others who have had similar experiences and between each chapter there will be lined pages for you to make notes if you choose to print the book.  The book will be in PDF format and will be read-only, and you will not be able to do a “save-as” so you can make electronic notes.  Allowing that capability is dangerous for an author.

Please note, since this will be my material, garnered from many long  hours of research, and then the effort put forth to write a book that resonates with truth, REAL help and guidance, it will be copyrighted as my material.  If I provide this book and someone wants to use pieces of it in their own work, they will need permission to use it and any portions of it that are used must be cited (as I am doing with all my research.)  I want to help others, and in doing so, I also want to help myself.  If there is enough interest in this as an e-book, when I am finished writing it, I will post it here as a downloadable book at a price of $9.95  for 30 days prior to allowing my publisher to release it (at a much higher price!)

Vote now!

Narcissists Fold, Spindle and Mutilate: Where and how to get help

I just read a post entitled  No Longer Dead and I knew immediately what this woman was dealing with based on the first half of her post.  My assumption is that the second half is her, telling herself that she will not accept this individual any longer until or unless he acquiesces to her completely legitimate and emotionally healthy demands.

If this woman has been dealing with an NPD, she was dead to him from the beginning.  She never truly existed as a human being worthy of love, respect, dignity and empathy.  She was simply this person’s mirror.  It appears she spent years being devalued and discarded and then finally got sick of it, found her strength and decided to move on.

This is a good post to read.  Many times, when we are the focus of devaluation by a narcissist, we don’t know what the heck is going on.  All we know is that nothing we do seems to be good enough; everything is our fault; we are crazy.  Nothing is wrong with the narcissist and he or she makes it very clear to us that we are the problem.  Still, when we’re in the middle of it, it’s difficult to step outside the fishbowl and peer in.  Objectivity seems to be the lowest on our list of priorities, with survival of a relationship that never was being our top priority.

Even if you’ve been married to an individual for most of your adult life, if you are being treated the way the woman in No Longer Dead was being treated, you haven’t had a relationship.  A relationship takes two people.  A Narcissist absolves themselves from relationship responsibilities before they engage with another individual.  A narcissist doesn’t have relationships; he or she merely has mirrors.  Even if you’ve been married for 30 years to a narcissist, it sadly means that you’ve been a mirror (and nothing more) for 30 years.

Narcissists can’t love another human being.  They don’t love themselves, even though their surface would indicate that they do love themselves – too much.  Scratch that surface and you find nothing.  Narcissists are fragile shells and to keep their shells intact they abuse before they can be abused.  This is why they are hyper-vigilant for the slightest criticism.  They twist and spin words that they believe might be critical (even if they aren’t) and deliberately make them critical so they can set about stomping the purveyor of those words into submission.

Narcissists are emotional vampires and they have memories like elephants.  Those who share emotions, who show they have emotions, who are compassionate and empathetic, are considered weak to a narcissist, ergo; they are FOOD.  A narcissist will suck you dry, and when you finally realize what’s been going on and stand up to the narcissist in your life, they will pull out every emotion you ever shared with them, twist and spin it and fling it back at you with deadly accuracy.  When they see their mirror has gained strength, thus providing the mirror the means of seeing the narcissist for what it truly is, they will move in for the emotional kill.

There is a point at which you, as a mirror can avoid this emotional kill, if you truly see what’s going on.  It’s a nanosecond in the scope of a 30-year marriage, or a many-years-long “relationship” with a narcissist, but if you see it, and flee when you see it, you will have a slightly diminished time frame during which you have to heal and rebuild your emotional health and strength.  If you don’t see it (and many of us don’t, and no one but you can say when that point is) you will be so emotionally crushed that it may be years before you have the strength to bootstrap yourself out of your situation.

If you are experiencing any of the issues described in the first half of No Longer Dead you MUST take a step back, grab your journal if necessary, and start assessing things.  Just start writing, and don’t worry about how things come out.  This will allow you to re-read and identify what’s truly going on.  If you don’t write, see a counselor.  Talk to a trusted friend.  Get an objective view of your situation.  While you’re doing this ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND THAT A NARCISSIST NEVER CHANGES.  THIS IS NOT A RELATIONSHIP; YOU ARE ATTEMPTING TO SAVE YOURSELF, NOT A RELATIONSHIP THAT NEVER WAS. 

I don’t recommend seeing your family pastor or priest.  Why?  A pastor (and especially priests) are trained to keep the marital unit together regardless the circumstances.  If you see a priest you may be told it’s your responsibility (if you’re female) to act in submission with your husband’s will, regardless his will.  Depending upon your denomination, a pastor may tell you the same thing.  Fundamental Christian pastors may tell you (if you’re female) that you’re the one with issues since you’re not acting in accordance with “God’s” will or your husband’s will.  Trust me on this one, I’ve been there.

Most religions don’t recognize personality disorders as an acceptable reason for divorce.  My experience has taught me that when religion enters the picture, it is the woman who pays a huge price when her mate is a narcissist.  If there are children involved, you must get them away from the daily influence of the narcissist or you will have children who grow into damaged adults.

I believe that faith in a higher power is essential.  Many don’t believe that, and I respect their choice. For me, though, if I didn’t have faith in a higher power, I’d never have made it this far in life.   If you don’t have faith in a power greater than yourself, all that’s left to see you through your turmoil is whatever reserve of inner strength you may have.

My best advice for getting free of a narcissist (and you are with a narcissist if  all or most of the first half of No Longer Dead applies to you) is to seek secular help.  Prayer works, regardless your form of worship or faith.  Positive thinking works, but getting there is difficult.   Narcissists have many crossover traits to alcoholism, as well as to Borderline Personality Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder.

Even if the narcissist in your life doesn’t drink, that doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t have alcoholic traits.  It’s very easy for someone to believe they are not an alcoholic simply because they don’t drink.  Alcoholism is defined not only by the consumption and need for alcohol, but by a very clear set of behavior patterns and those behavior patterns align with the way I’ve seen narcissists act.

If you are with a narcissist who does not drink, the odds are good you have a dry drunk on your hands.  Al-Anon is a great place to get the help and support you need in dealing with a dry drunk and/or a narcissist.  Please open the link for dry drunk to read the characteristics.  You will see that they align clearly with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

If the narcissist in your life drinks, it’s very important to get help through Al-Anon.  There are meetings everywhere and while some view it as a betrayal to the person with whom they are involved, that is simply misplaced loyalty.  Most of us who wind up with a narcissist in our lives have had prior experience with some form of emotional dysfunction in our lives, probably during childhood, when we are most malleable and taught to accept behaviors that are truly self-damaging.  Regardless your faith, if you believe in a higher power you must ask yourself if your higher power would find your situation acceptable, and would that higher power believe it to be something that is good, healthy and uplifting for you?

Remember this:  Martyrdom is not the glorification of God or any other higher power.  It is the glorification of EGO.  Many times, we have our egos too invested in who we are; that which we allow to provide us our criteria for life is our ego, not our SELF, which involves listening to the still, small voice and acting from within a higher level of knowledge with regard to self.  If we act from within the self, and not the ego, martyrdom to the cause of a narcissist becomes anathema to us.  In martyring ourselves to another’s abuse of us, we deny that which has been universally given to us:  love, in all its forms. Martyrdom is not love.  It is the glorification of our own egos, and that is not a good thing.

If you are with a narcissist, and you have sublimated yourself to that individual’s monstrously sick manipulation, you are martyring yourself.  STOP NOW!  

If you don’t stop the madness now, you may find yourself dealing with a massive case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Trust me on that one, too.   PTSD can result from recurring, consistent emotional abuse.  Couple that with the physical abuse that some experience when with a narcissist and you’ll wind up with a full-blown case of PTSD.

Pink Blinders

I hear so many people, fresh out of relationships, blaming their ex-partner for the entire debacle.  I hear (mostly women, but some men) casting blame like boulders.  I would say there’s probably only one instance when the demise of a relationship truly is NOT at least partially your fault, regardless your behavior, and that’s when you’re involved with an NPD. They’re an entirely different breed of monster and I’m not addressing them further in this post.  To learn more about them, read my other posts categorized under NPD.

Aside from that instance, I don’t think any of us can be totally absolved of fault in the demise of a relationship.  When we enter a relationship we make a choice to do so.  Some of us engage far too quickly when we think we’ve found the person of our dreams.  There are several issues with that:

1.  Sometimes what we think we want isn’t what we really want.

2.  Sometimes what we think we need isn’t at all what we need.

3.  Sometimes we are engaging simply to assuage the pain of a recently broken heart, thinking that having a new “love” interest will distract us.  It will.  It will also distract us from learning what went wrong in the preceding relationship and learning from our mistakes.

4.  Engaging too quickly, which means becoming physically involved, or taking ourselves off the dating scene after just a few dates with someone, usually spells disaster.  It’s essential to take the time to get to know the person, instead of attempting to force the individual to fit our ideals.

There are reasons that young women used to be chaperoned when they “walked out” with “gentlemen callers.”  First, these women were still girls, usually not out of their teens.  Even if they were older, their experience with men was usually limited to that of father, brother, uncle and/or elderly neighbors.  Cousins?  These women (girls) were chaperoned with their male cousins because cousins used to marry.  Here we are, in the 21st century, with a 50% or higher divorce rate, and a whole bunch of adult humans who can’t or won’t engage with a new potential partner in an emotionally healthy fashion.

Chaperoning provided a few benefits, regardless how stifling or old-fashioned it may seem. First, the chaperon would usually be someone older (but not always) and could observe interactions.  They would watch body language between the couple and listen to the verbal interaction.  Back then, because society was so “polite” people learned how to read body language and interpret language that we might, today, simply allow to pass us by because we think we have so much better information upon which to rely. We can do a background search on a potential partner.  Hey – I did that and he came up clean.  First date, he asked me for my panties AND since I wouldn’t oblige, asked me if I’d follow him home and lock him in a male chastity device.  The N I dated came up clean.  His divorce records were public, so I read them.  I didn’t read carefully enough.  PINK BLINDERS.

While I’m not advocating that you engage a chaperon for six months, I AM advocating that you watch and listen.  Pay attention to body language and if you aren’t well-versed in it, research it.  There’s a tool for that.  It’s called “the internet.”  If you found this post, you can find many on body language.  🙂   Listen, and I mean really HEAR what the other person is saying.  Over time, you will hear what you need to hear to know whether this person is right for you.

Observe how this person interacts with others.  If the way s/he interacts with others doesn’t jive with the way s/he is interacting with you, you should then ask yourself why there is a difference.  Ask the person why there is a difference and listen to the answer.

All of us have ideals and the danger of an “instant relationship” is that we don’t give ourselves time to get to know someone before jumping in, heart-first.  We meet someone who appears to fit our ideal for the right partner and because we’re human, ergo imperfect, we don’t remove the “Turbo-Charged Romance-Driven and Comes in Ten Shades of Pink to Coordinate With Every Ideal You Have Blinders!” (as seen on TV, and $19.99 will get you two pair, in different shades)

What if…and here’s a revolutionary new idea…WHAT IF you chose (because life is about choices) to take things slowly?  What if you chose to tell your prospective ideal partner that you’re willing to date him or her, but want to take the time for both of you to get to know each other prior to taking dating to the relationship stage?   What if you kept your options wide open?  What if you chose to do the emotionally healthy thing?  What if you decide to put yourself in control, as opposed to immediately handing that control to someone you barely know and have dated only a few times?

Fearful question, the “What if.”  Lots of things could happen, but ALL of them would be positive, even though they may not feel like it at the time.  Below are a few of the fears that prevent people from taking things slowly and empowering themselves by remaining in control of themselves and their relationships, with the upside of that fear in bold italics:

1.  If you don’t jump right in the man/woman of your dreams might get away.  If the man/woman of your dreams won’t wait for you, after you’ve expressed a desire to take your time about it, the odds are excellent that this isn’t the individual of your dreams.  Move on. Bullet dodged. Take the Pink Blinders off. 

2.  You’re lonely and feel as though you’ll never find someone else, so when you do meet someone with whom you click, you believe it’s your last chance for love so you’d better grab it now.  there is never a last chance for love.  The feeling that you’ll never find someone else is the hole in yourself that you are seeking to fill with the presence of another human being.  Fill it yourself.  That’s a huge burden to place upon another person, and the odds are good that if you place that burden upon them, you’ll be in another of those “I’m never gonna find someone to love me” situations very soon. Take the Pink Blinders off.

3.  You’re lonely, financially burdened, need help, and this individual presents a way out.  You convince yourself that they are the right person for you because you’re desperate for someone to take care of you and you feel overwhelmed at the thought of digging out alone.  Being lonely isn’t a good enough reason to jump at an instant relationship.  Learn to like spending time with yourself . Get a dog.  Borrow a dog.  Read a book.  Go to a mall and say hi to strangers.  If you are financially burdened and feel overwhelmed at the thought of having to take care of yourself for another moment, step back and assess the reasons why you feel that way.  If you’re in over your head, adding a partner is going to make it worse, not better.  If you feel you can’t take care of yourself, no one, and I mean NO ONE is going to be able to do that for you.  Learn to take care of yourself and you will be immeasurably more attractive to potential partners. Take the Pink Blinders off.

4.  You’re getting a bit older and you feel like you won’t ever have sex with anyone but yourself, again.  Ever.  In your life.  Ever.  And that thought is unpalatable to you.  Um, do you really want to take on another human being, complete with emotional baggage, engage with them on an emotional level (because you’re smart and you don’t have casual sex), and, as my good friend, Ana, said yesterday: “be willing to put up with a lot of shit…” just so you can ensure you don’t miss out on having sex?  If you’ve been sexually active most of your life to this point, what on earth makes you think you won’t have that again?  And if you don’t, is it really the end of the world?  Would you engage in instant relationship, risking your heart, your emotional well-being, and perhaps even your health, just to be certain you had full naked body contact with another human being?  Take the Pink Blinders off.

Ask yourself an all-important question when you meet the someone you think is the individual of your dreams:  “What am I willing to give up for this person?”  Relationships require sacrifice and if you’re thinking you’re “in love” with someone you barely know, please ask yourself that question, because there’s a chance the price you pay for jumping in with your pink blinders on will be an extremely high price, paid on credit, and with a high interest rate. You’ll pay, emotionally, for quite some time.

So, now you’ve made a choice.  Your choice is to jump in, regardless your intuition, regardless your common sense.  The pink blinders came with super heavy-duty temple adhesive (that the infomercial conveniently “forgot” to mention) and you just can’t seem to take them off.

You’ve spent a few months seeing this person and you thought you were their bestest and only.  You thought they felt the same way about you.  You just KNEW they did, because why else would  they be calling daily, emailing, asking you out?  But wait!  They’re not really doing that.  Check your phone records.  Check your email.  Review past conversations.  Oh no!  In the past month, you’ve  initiated everything and you didn’t realize it.  That’s because you can’t get those damned pink blinders off and it’s your own fault for buying them in the first place.

So, who’s to blame for the failure of your relationship?  Really?  Was there ever a real relationship?  What were you telling yourself that made you think that after a few dates you were in a relationship?  No, you can’t plead temporary insanity in this court.

You are the only person who has control over your relationships.  If you choose to hand that control to someone else, it’s your own fault.  You can’t blame anyone else.  If you see behaviors you don’t like, and allow them to persist, you are merely watering the garden of undesirable behaviors.  If you react to those behaviors with an “eye for an eye” doctrine, you’ve just proved your emotional immaturity to everyone, but yourself, because you’re probably still wearing those pink blinders (although, at this point, they may be sitting a bit askew on your face).

I believe that too many people are in love with romance.  I cringe every time I read a forum post or hear someone say that they are divorcing or leaving a long-term committed relationship because they “just don’t feel the romance and excitement anymore.”  Grow the hell up, people!  Marriage and committed relationships take work, and I pity you if you’ve bought into the pop-psychology that says “if the person is right for you, you won’t have to work at making it work.”  That’s bullshit.  Humans, by our very nature, are fickle and easily distracted creatures.  We want what we want and we’ve been saturated with self-help material that tells us we are entitled to have what we want, and that we can get it just by “thinking” it.  We don’t have to work for it, we don’t have to put forth any effort.  We simply have to think it into existence and et voila! there it is!

I have two ex  husbands who told me post-divorce, that they went into marriage thinking that if they didn’t like it, got bored, or it wasn’t “working” or felt like it was “too much work” that they could just jump out of the marriage.  That’s precisely what they both did.  The first ex has “just jumped out” of two marriages now and I believe he’s getting ready to do it with a third.  The second husband just jumped into a marriage.  He married me because all his buddies were getting married and he didn’t want to be the last man standing.  He jumped out of our marriage for an old HS girlfriend who dumped him a month after he left my son and me.  Karma can be a bitch.  🙂  Approximately two years later, after not dating at all, he met and moved in with a woman who is the best friend of his step-sister.  He lived with her for 3 years and bought a house with her.  He didn’t marry her until two weeks ago, and what I and many others see that he apparently does not see, is that the woman he married resembles me very closely.

Second ex is loaded, and the odds are good that he jumped into this one wearing his pink blinders and then by the time he finally got them off his face, he realized he’d been living with and signed a mortgage with this woman, so he may as well marry her. His family and friends would have expected it and he’s ALL about the expectations of family and friends.  The expectations of a wife don’t matter.  At all.  Second ex learned nothing from the mistakes he made while with me.  How do I know this?  Because HS girlfriend, who he left me for, and who is still “technically” single, just showed up as a friend on his FB page.  She wasn’t there for 3 years.  I know this story and I feel for his wife.

I’m certain she’s been told the same lies I was told about HS girlfriend.  New wife has her pink blinders on and has probably had them on the entire time.  It’s easy to wear them with Second ex.  He’s filthy rich, he’s Cary Grant-Gregory Peck handsome, he’s intelligent, articulate, and oh-so-attentive as long as life is going his way.  He’s also an unmedicated bipolar who relies on daddy to get him out of jams.  My guess is that New Wife hasn’t seen this aspect yet.

Lest you think any of this about Second ex is sour grapes, let me relieve you of that thought.  While I’ve stayed in touch with him over the years, and he showed interest in reconciling, I made certain he understood that I was NOT going there.  EVER.  The emotional damage he did to me can be forgiven, but never forgotten.  The emotional damage he did to my son will never be forgiven OR forgotten.

I was wearing pink blinders when I met him, when I moved in with him and when I got engaged to him.  I wore them up until 4:57 pm on a monday in August of 2004 when he came home and said:  “I didn’t sign up for this, I’m leaving.”   He was gone by 5:04, with just his car keys.  I was blindsided so badly my pink blinders went flying off my face and I saw him, within seconds of that statement, for what he was.

How many ways can you spell A N G R Y?  He told me later that he didn’t dare attempt to get past me when I blocked his path to the stairs leading to our bedroom.  He said he’d never seen me look like that.  Of course he hadn’t because until this point, I’d been wearing my pink blinders and though life was gloriously rose-colored.  I had my little family, I had a lovely home, I had a man who, by his accounting, daily, adored me, I had my every need, want, and desire promptly taken care of.  It’s amazing how fast an individual’s brain can react once the pink blinders have been torn off the face.

I have to own just as much accountability for the demise of my marriage as he holds, though.  I didn’t pay attention.  I didn’t give myself enough time to get to know him.  We moved in with each other within 3 months of meeting.  We got engaged within 9 months of meeting and were married 11 months after that.  Even when his brother attempted to undermine us by having a “secret” phone conversation with Second ex about my son the “problem child” (his brother has children now and one who is waaaaaay more of a “problem child), I didn’t see that as a red flag.

I was angry that Second ex didn’t tell his brother it was none of his business and to stay out of our relationship, and Second ex and I had a grand fight over that, but I allowed it.  That set precedent.  I should have gathered my son, my belongings and my life and moved on, right then.  A man who allows his family to be disrespectful of the woman he’s chosen to marry, and to denigrate that woman’s child is no man at all.

I reacted to bad behavior with equally bad behavior of my own.  I grew passive-aggressive, but no one could have told me that.  I wouldn’t have listened.

Second ex’s parents divorced when he was 5.  His mother raised him in a broken-down trailer, so poor they had to use dish soap for shampoo.  She did this, even though Second ex’s father was and is a multi-millionaire who would have provided.  She blamed her ex for everything, refused to accept any help from him, and raised her two boys in poverty, making them drink “Dad sucks” kool-aid daily.

When I came on the scene, she thought it was grand that I had an adolescent child.  She swung immediately into grandmother mode and my son’s favorite place to be for almost a year was with Second ex’s mother and step dad.

One day my son came back from their house telling me that he’d been disciplined harshly for something minor.  I called and asked about it.  I figured the truth would be in the middle.  It was.  I thought the situation was resolved.

Oh no.  Second ex’s mother called a “family meeting,”  a meeting that excluded me, and decided that if my son could “lie” about that situation (he didn’t lie, he exaggerated, and he admitted to the deed he’d done), then what were the odds he was going to accuse them of child molestation at some point?  WTF??????  To this day I have no clue where that came from!  So without a word to me, they, including Second ex, decided that my son wouldn’t be allowed to visit his favorite place any longer.

And still I did nothing but get angry and blame Second ex for being spineless.  Who was spineless?  Me.  I allowed that shit to happen and still didn’t pack my son and myself up and leave.  I indirectly gave permission for this kind of abuse to continue, and continue it did.

Even with all that, during the course of our marriage, I didn’t allow myself to believe that  I was truly seeing was WHO Second ex was.  I chose to believe that at some point he’d stand up for me.  I chose to believe it because I WANTED him to do it.  We don’t always get what we want.

There is more horror that I could write about, but you may be bored by this time, so I won’t.  The entire point of this missive it to simply say:  Stop and think about what you are doing before you do it.  The consequences to yourself (and to others) if you do not think, may be so massive you pay the rest of your life.

Remove the PINK BLINDERS now!

Sorry folks, I suck at brevity.  🙂

I Want to Have Fun – I Like Fun – I Like Hamsters – And Sexual Abuse – And Fun, Naturally

Okay, I just lifted this vid from Buddha The Pig’s blog and it is a delightful look into the dating videos of the 80’s.  Have things really changed?  Nah.  Now you can just put it all online…

 

 

Enjoy!

Deconstruction of a Dating Profile

For those of you who are trying to find love online, here’s an example of a dating profile you should avoid.  I dated this person, and since his profile is public content, there is nothing illegal about re-posting it here.  I will not post his dating-site handle (but I wish I could so women in my area who read this can avoid him) or his name.  I will deconstruct his profile for you.  My commentary is in red.

Most tell me I am warm, giving, knowing, and patient. 

Most of what? Most of whom? If “most” apples in a barrel are good does that mean that ALL apples in a barrel are good? Do you not know whether you are those things? No, you don’t because your entire image of yourself is a construct built upon what others tell you.

Others tell me I have a good sense of humor and am fun to be around.

Here we go again with what YOU say OTHERS say.  You don’t want to actually say that you have these qualities because deep down, you know you don’t really have them, you only present them when you are in the presence of others from whom you can benefit. Presenting these qualities is not the same thing as actually having them.

Many things interest me and I am entertained easily. I love kayaking, skiing, hiking, skating and most of the usual sports but I tend to gravitate toward the arts.

Note that this person places the emphasis on the more “extreme” sports, the ones that require more skill for the average person to engage in them.  There is only a nod toward the “more usual sports” because this person feels the “more usual” is beneath them.

I am emotionally healthy as I am filled with positive feelings and energy most of the time.

Um, okay.  How does that define emotional health?  Notice this person doesn’t say “others” speak to the individual’s emotional health.  This is something this person is CERTAIN of, and even goes so far as to define it for us.

I enjoy talking and listening and sharing emotions.

Be very wary of this kind of phrase in an online profile.  It sounds innocent and it may well be innocent as well as truthful, but I happen to know this person.  I dated him. He does enjoy talking – about himself.  He listens for perceived criticisms and the emotions he shares are thinly disguised rage.  He feeds off YOUR emotions and stores them up to use as ammunition against you. 

I’ve been told I’m old fashioned and I’ve been told I’m eclectic, urban and modern. 

Again, he doesn’t know himself – he tells us what others have told him.  He has no clue what he truly is. 

I think I’m a bit of mix since I strive for balance in most areas.

He doesn’t know what he thinks, since he’s already stated that his opinion of himself is garnered from the opinions of others.  How many people strive for balance in just “most” areas?  This is an individual who doesn’t know anything about balance and probably added the word “most” as a subconscious qualifier.  I doubt he even realizes what he’s said about himself here.

I am honest and loyal and sometimes too trusting.

This is classic NPD in this case.  Again, he  shows us that he hasn’t got a clue.  How can he be honest when he’s already told us that he has no clue what emotional health is and that he only strives for balance in “most” areas?  The part about being loyal and too trusting is a classic set-up from NPD people.  

This is a huge red flag, and it’s already setting his potential victims up to BE victims. He’ll be “loyal” and “trusting” until you evince dissatisfaction with him.  At that point, his entire visage will change, his normal MO will cast off the cloak of charm, warmth and affection and you will be told exactly what a terrible person you are, and any emotions you may have “shared” with him will be brought out and used to decimate you.  You’ll know you are nothing more than a thing to him, that you are disposable and he will attempt to convince you that you have misinterpreted him in all ways.  Any hurt you sustain from your interaction with him is your fault.  To paraphrase another source:  “so sorry that you’re a casualty of my pathology.”

An Optimist-idealist grounded in the practical.

Note he doesn’t state “I am an optimist-idealist grounded in the practical.”  To state that would not allow him to say “I never said I was that way.”  While this may simply be poor grammar on his part, based on the preceding elements of the profile, one could reasonably ask:  “Why is this phrase here?”  

I’ve been known to act like a child and think like an old man, then think like a child and act like an old man.

He’s been “known” to do these things.  Known by whom?  Note that he doesn’t state that HE ACTUALLY DOES THESE THINGS.  He simply invokes the ubiquitous and invisible “others” by use of the word  ‘known’.  

You? You’re easy to talk to and like to talk and laugh. You’re generally happy with yourself In body and spirit. You enjoy the outdoors and appreciate the fruits of the country but also like urban activities and the suburban typical.

First, he’s telling you what you will be if you are going to interact with him.  He’s not stating qualities he appreciates in another, he’s stating WHAT YOU ARE and if you prove not to be these things, you’ll be sorry.  He’s also pompous as hell – “appreciate the fruits of the country?”  What the hell is THAT?  You like to go apple-picking?  His entire profile is written from the perspective of condescending pomposity. What does “generally happy with yourself in body and spirit” mean?  Does this mean he’ll be okay if you’re sometimes not happy that way?  No, in this profile it means you WILL be happy with these things because he has decreed it.

Your open-minded, funny, and can enjoy laughing at yourself. 

He says nothing about compassion, independence, warmth, empathy, loving, giving, etc.  You are to be open-minded, funny and you have to enjoy laughing at yourself.  That is ALL you will be. Note he doesn’t state that you can enjoy laughing at him!

You are understanding and respectful and appreciate those qualities in me.

This time he tells you what you are.  You are understanding and respectful – and you WILL appreciate those qualities in him.  What he left off here is this:  “…as I interpret those qualities.”

This is what he’s currently doing with his life:

Generally: Surfing the curl of the daily experience and picking the next big wave. (Ahh…Escapism through metaphor) Family and Friends are most important. Life is care and devotion to myself and those around me.

Okay, this statement is fraught with issues.  First, he displays how  “intelligent” he is by using metaphor.  He also uses metaphor to escape from having to state what it is he is usually doing, which is trolling dating sites for his next mirror.  That would be “the next big wave.”  

He uses grandiose surfing metaphor to describe what he’s doing with his life, which is precisely NOTHING.  He states that Family and Friends are most important.   I know for fact that he doesn’t get along with his siblings.  His sister moved to Guatemala not too long ago to continue her education through experience, and when I was told about this I got very excited.  I wanted to know how she was, what her experiences were, etc.  

His reply was:  “I don’t know.  She left three months ago.  I haven’t had time to email or call her to find out how she is and what she’s doing.”  

I was stunned.  Had that been MY sister, I’d be emailing her daily, I’d be checking her Facebook to see new photos, I’d send her snail mail so she’d have things from home, cards and little things made and sent with love.  I’d be in constant contact with her.  

He stated his other siblings are “slobs” and had nothing positive to say about them.  Yet Family is most important to him. 

He spoke of his mother in glowing terms.  His mother died in 2007, and she was an excellent surrealist.  When I look at her artwork, I see the emptiness in her.  There is one painting that is scarily desolate.  

It is a depiction of  four humans in the form of trees, and the center “tree” is  obviously an older female who is oblivious to the trees around her.  The other three trees (her children)  surround her and their branches reach toward her.  She stands alone, with clearly defined space around her, space through which her children will never be able to travel.  She is powerful, she has no need of these other trees and in the painting, she is the tree given the most detail.  This painting gave me serious insight to this man’s relationship with his mother.

This man has also told me that he only has one dream.  It’s a dream where he is around 6, standing in the living room, watching his father chop the decorated christmas tree down with an ax.  His father left the family unit when he was 7.  He states that from that point forward, he never had a relationship with his dad because of what his father “did” to his mother.  My guess is that the N’s mother made certain the children drank the kool-aid with regard to their father. 

Notice in his last sentence above that he states that life is care of himself BEFORE it is care for others.  In my experience, care for oneself comes naturally when one gives of oneself to others.  If I actively nurture my friends and family, as well as the family of mankind, I am, by definition, providing care for myself.  I’m not placing myself ahead of others, I am working in TANDEM with others. 

These are his favorite books, movies and shows:

Most of my reading is done on the web.

Yup, most of it IS done on the web.  On dating sites.  He is a remarkably uninformed individual but if you read his pretentious list below, you’ll likely wind up with the notion that he’s remarkably WELL informed and well-read. 

I used to enjoy really long hair stuff like Proust and really silly stuff like Kurt Vonnegut.

I’ve heard Kurt Vonnegut described as many things, but never as “silly.”  Vonnegut is known for populating his novels with characters who are searching for meaning and order in an inherently meaningless and disorderly universe.  He’s known for his irreverent humor, satire of contemporary society and his focus on the futility of warfare and the human capacity for both irrationality and evil.  And this person finds Kurt Vonnegut SILLY

Pedestrian stuff like Michener and scary stuff like King.

Michener is pedestrian?  No.  Danielle Steel is pedestrian.  John Grisham is pedestrian.  Michener?  He wrote from wartime experience; he wrote from his experience as a world-traveler who immersed himself in various cultures.  He wrote compelling epic portraits of those cultures.  Nothing he wrote is pedestrian, yet he is casually lumped in with Stephen King, who, while being a great teller of scary stories, is rather pedestrian. 

Poetry by Stephen Dunn and tanka (Japanese Poetry Method).

Ahh.  Now we are getting to the meat of it.  Stephen Dunn.  Read Poem for People That Are Understandably Too Busy To Read Poetry .  G’wan.  I dare ya.  It’ll open in a new tab, so you can come back here without having to click “back.”  Read this gem and you will know exactly what an N is.  Until today, I hadn’t investigated Stephen Dunn.  Wow.  If I had researched him before I dated this man, I might not have dated him – or, being into poetry myself, would have thought him quite deep for being able to understand Dunn.  Holy shit on a brick.  Read Biography In The First Person .  Wow.  

Next he states he likes Tanka.  He doesn’t state he likes Haiku, which is characterized by the 5-7-5 syllable rhythm.  Oh no.  He’s special, he prefers Tanka, which most people won’t know anything about, and is characterized by the 5-7-5-7-7 syllable rhythm.  Yet, when I replied to one of his initial emails to me in Tanka he didn’t recognize it.  When I pointed it out to him, he said it wasn’t recognizable to him as Tanka.  Excuse me?  Anyone familiar with Tanka would have recognized it immediately.  Devaluation from the very beginning.

I have a wide range in taste in Movies but would watch an Oliver Stone effort over Ron Howard, Cohen brothers over Cronenburg, Burton over Zemeckis…

How many people take the time to tell the world what movie directors they prefer?  This is simply an effort to prove to potential supply that he’s arts-literate.  It’s grandiose, pompous, condescending and indirectly states:  “If you don’t like Oliver Stone over Ron Howard…(ad nauseum) you need to get with the plan.”  And the funny part about this?  He doesn’t watch films like these with ANY regularity.  He’s got a teenage son who monopolizes the television and they watch teenage-appropriate films.  When I suggested seeing an art film at the local art theater, he turned it down without explanation.  He simply said “no.”  

Shows favorites go more abstract: Salome over Cameron, Carmina Burana over Coppelia, Aspects of Love over Gigi, Circ Du Soleil over Ringling Brothers…

I really wish I’d read his profile more carefully.  He’s confusing opera with cult films, male choral performances with ballet, and it doesn’t surprise me in the least that he prefers Aspects of Love over Gigi.  In Aspects of Love, as Alex, the male lead, traipses through life nonchalantly breaking female hearts and at the end, leaves not one, but two women, in favor of a third, who wonders aloud what the future will bring, to which Alex replies “love changes everything.”  It’s not Alex’s love that changes everything.  Alex has no love.  In Gigi, Gaston marries her, because he understands what Gigi has been saying all along – that the world will perceive her as his mistress and Gaston has a conscience.  He doesn’t want to harm Gigi.  It would not surprise me in the least to find this list is merely a regurgitated reflection from comments he’s heard others make.

Music is a bit too large of a topic in my life for this textbox so I will leave it at, there is no genre that I don’t enjoy some part of. Food? Don’t like Brussels Sprouts unless they don’t taste like Brussels Sprouts. Other than that I go from the usual to the exotic in cuisine.

Wait.  He dumped all kinds of pretentious and pompous crap in about other things, but music is “a bit too large of a topic in his life for this textbox?”  If he loved all types of music, why not just state that?  Why not just state that music holds a huge fascination for him and he gravitates toward many types?  Oh no.  He has to mysteriously let us know that it’s “too large of a topic in his life.”   It’s SO large that it won’t fit in a text box that allows unlimited characters.  It’s infinite.  It’s much larger than YOU or I could EVER understand so he’s going to do us the favor of not expounding on it, because: 

At this point his sick of writing a profile that has to impress potential supply well enough to reel them in, and he believes he’s already done that, so he leaves us with a lame comment about not liking brussels sprouts and the generalization that he goes from the usual to the exotic in “cuisine.”  Not “food.”  “cuisine.”

While this is the deconstruction of my N’s online dating profile, perhaps there are elements of it that will help you deconstruct profiles you encounter that just don’t read “right” to you.  If your intuition is telling you that the person who has contacted you isn’t going to be a good thing for you, heed that intuition.  I did not heed it.  I allowed him to charm away my fears.  I allowed him to talk me into dating him.  Most men, when in receipt of an email that says “thank you, but I’m not interested in dating right now” will simply move on.  Not an N.  That presents a challenge for him and his perceived image of himself dictates that he MUST “conquer” this refusal NOW.  So that’s what my N set about doing, in a sympathetic and charming manner – so much so that I capitulated.  

Never again.  Matter of fact, I learned so well from this that just prior to removing all my dating profiles, I received an email from a guy whose approach was similar to the N’s.  I was on instant alert.  I refused him.  He persisted.  I refused.  He persisted.  I refused.  He sent his phone number, telling me he can’t wait until we talk.  I tell him we aren’t going to talk.  He replies that he’s made reservations for us at a fancy restaurant.  I blocked his ass and took down my last dating profile.  

 

 

 

Trolling Redux

I lifted the text below from planetjan’s  blog.  It is part of her post entitled Narcissistic Game Playing.  It has eerie significance for me because the last sentence echoes something my N said to me.  Read the lifted text and you’ll see some bolded text at the bottom.  I’ll clue you in below that text.

When it comes to relationships, narcissists have two birds to kill. First, because they think very highly of themselves, they use relationships to self enhance not caring whether this involves exploiting others. Think of it as feeding the beast. Although the narcissist desires perfection in a partner, in reality their partners (mere humans) are doomed to come up short. This game is not a cooperative game, but one in which the winner takes all.

But here’s the rub. Relationships are good in that they can provide positive attention and sex, BUT they are bad in that they demand emotional intimacy and prevent the narcissist from receiving attention and sex from other partners. If only they could have it both ways… (The feelings of the other person do not factor into the N’s thinking.)

So the narcissist turns on the charm, using all the extraversion and confidence he can muster to reel in a new partner. But “they would be careful to keep this relationship from becoming too intimate or emotionally close lest they lose control. Finally, narcissists would covertly seek out other potential romantic partners.” So it should come as surprise that the narcissist lacks a sense of real commitment to a relationship and is always on the lookout for an alternative, frequently flirting with others.

In this way, the narcissist maintains power in the relationship and a certain amount of freedom. If things go sour in the relationship, he’s already got his eye on his next target.

“Narcissists’ self-regulatory blueprint involves bringing people in and extracting esteem from them. If that entails being, in turn, charming, exciting, deceptive, controlling, or nasty, so be it.”

When I was in the devaluation phase with my N, he sent me the email I’ve pasted below.  First, understand that I’d already broken it off with him.  In a prior email he’d told me if I had something “important” to discuss, to call him, and not tell him in email.  So I called him and left a message letting him know I had something important to talk about.  He didn’t return the call.  So I sent him an email breaking things off with him.  The next day he sends me an email about a photo of me telling me how much he likes it.  I replied with:  “did you get my phone message?”

Below is his reply.  He completely ignores that I sent him an email two days prior telling him that I no longer wanted to be involved with him.   Obviously, nothing regarding me is important enough for a phone call, because he justifies sending what should be an “important” email by stating it’s going to hurt regardless what way he does it.  Devaluation.  I’m not worth a phone call.  At this point, it didn’t matter, except to confirm my growing knowledge that he’s a selfish, manipulative bastard who is incapable of sustaining any sort of intimate relationship.

I tell him I’m breaking it off and that translates to:  “you seem to want more than I can give right now.”

Then he gives me the slam-dunk.  He tells me he may be fooling himself into thinking he can maintain frequent contact with me right now, and in the same set of keystrokes tells me he’s trolling and has intention of spending that time he doesn’t have looking for other women.  The eerie similarity in the bolded text from PlanetJan’s blog text and what is in red and bolded below makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: RE: ops
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2011 12:46:11 +0000
From: The N <the N’s email>
To: ‘Me’ <my email>

I think I’m going to hurt you be it in person or not so this has just got to happen now.

I like talking to you.

I like spending time with you.

But:

From my perspective you seem to want more than I can give right now.

I may be fooling myself into thinking I have enough time to maintain frequent contact with you and I certainly don’t want to give you any illusions.

 I am trying to bring a number of people into my life right now and it has been/will be taking a lot of time.

________________________________

I thought I’d got to the laughing point about this man, but this bit of serendipity made me want to go shower.  It made me shiver in horror at the thought of the monster I’d believed was a wonderful man.  It also confirmed, without any doubt whatsoever, that the man with whom I thought I was involved is a hardcore Narcissist.  There is so much going on in this email that I would emotionally exhaust myself attempting to deconstruct it any more than I have.  It would also cause me to become depressed again, and I’m not going there again.  I’m worth so much more than to allow myself to cycle down into depression again because the man of my nightmares is actually a living, breathing entity who lives 4.5 miles from me.

NPD – Fun With Archaic and Obscure Words: A through I

I was given a clever little gift by someone a couple of years ago.  It’s called:  Reading the OED:  One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages.

The book is by Ammon Shea, who actually sat down and READ the entire Oxford English Dictionary and wrote his own book about the more interesting archaic and obscure words he encountered.  The book is fun, entertaining and, actually, educational.

An N would love this book, since it would provide him/her some truly “empowering” vocabulary.  By “empowering” I mean that it would provide yet another fun way for the N to obfuscate (great word, huh?) and confuse his or her victim.

So I’m going to have fun pulling words from it that actually describe an NPD.  Notice I don’t say someone who has NPD.  An N is their disorder, hence, “an NPD.”

This post contains the letters A through I.  I will continue at a later date with J.

Enjoy!  Have fun!  Add these words to your vocabulary.  Odds are good your N hasn’t heard of them.

A

Abluvion:  Substance or things that are washed away.  Gosh, this could be synonymous with discarding.  Imagine that.

Addubitation:  A suggestion of doubt.  Oh my.  Does anyone know an N who engages in addubitation?  I do!

Aerumnous:  Full of trouble.  Need I explain?

Assy:  Asinine.  Um – yeah, I think it fits.

Astorgy:  A lack of natural affection.  GASP!  Really???  My N is full of astorgy.  How about yours?

B

Backfriend:  A fake friend; a secret enemy.  Well, Ns are always fake and never friends, but they’re only secret enemies until we figure them out.  bwahahahahaha!

Bayard:  A person armed with the self-confidence of ignorance.  Well golly gosh gee whiz!  Slap your N’s face and call him a Bayard!

Beadledom:  The sense of self-importance and officiousness.  How absolutely delicious!

Bed-swerver:  An unfaithful spouse or lover.  Gosh, imagine an N being unfaithful!

Benignant:  Showing warm feelings toward one’s inferiors.   Be prepared for benignance.  Ns believe themselves superior to everyone!

Bowelless:  Having no bowels; lacking in mercy or compassion.  Gee, I don’t know any Ns who qualify.  (snort!)

Bully-scribbler:  A bullying writer.   Gee.  Anyone received any bullying emails from their N lately?

C

Cacozealous:  Ill-affected, or badly imitating.  Oh me.  Oh my.  What do we know about Ns and their “emotions?”

Charientism:  A rhetorical term to describe saying a disagreeable thing in an agreeable way.  Ns practice charientism all the time.

Conspue:  To spit on someone or something with contempt.  This can be used figuratively, you know.  Ns do this all the time.

D

Dapocaginous:  Having a narrow heart.  This is not a medical term.  I bet you can figure it out.

Desiderium:  A yearning, specifically for a thing one once had but has no more.  “My N has a persistent desiderium for a clean mirror.”

Dyspathy:  The antithesis of sympathy.  Does your N display dyspathy?  Mine did.

E

Elozable:  Readily influenced by flattery.  Oh yes, indeed!  Ns are always elozable!

Expalpate:  To get something through flattery.  My goodness!  Did your N engage in sincere-sounding expalpation?

F

Fedity:  Vile or repuslive practices.  What a handy word to describe an Ns behavior!

Frauendienst:  An exaggerated sense of chivalry toward women.  Most male Ns will exhibit frauendienst when they first meet a woman they think can be a good mirror.

G

Hmm. I didn’t find any under G.

H

Hansardize:  To show that a person has previously expressed opinions differing from the ones he or she now holds.   My N attempted to hansardize me all the time.  He wasn’t successful, which is why I’m such a broken little mirror.  Snort.

Heterodogmatize:  To have an opinion different from the one generally held.  My N was so full of heterodogmatization that his eyes were brown (and he had blue eyes!)  In general, it means one is WRONG.

I

Idiorepulsive:  Self-repelling.  Well, if we think about what an N truly is, and what we know about how an N truly feels about him or herself, I think this is apt.

Immutual:  Not mutual.  Any interaction you have with an N will be immutual with regard to equality.

Infelicitate:  to cause to be unhappy.  The irony of this word is that it makes me very happy.  I love it.  My N, however, engaged in this practice daily.

Inspirado:  a person who thinks himself inspired.  Note from the author:  “If someone is describing you with a noun that ends in -o, chances are, they are not paying you a compliment.”  My N is an inspirado.

 

 

 

 

 

Trolling

I have a theory about dating sites and it includes a huge generalization.  You can bash me for generalizing, but I’m going to do it anyway. I think dating sites are, by and large, a clearinghouse for nutcases.  I say this, and I’m a veteran of dating sites.  I’ve also been told by the men I’ve met who have stayed in touch with me as friends, that I’m an anomaly in that I’m sane.  I’m not sure I can agree with that, since I once dated a guy who called me “bat-shit” crazy, but he’s a friend of mine, and he says that while it’s true, it’s in a good way.

I think there are several reasons people use dating sites.  Speaking from the female experience, I can say that there truly was a point when I wasn’t sane.  This was around 5 months after my husband and I separated.  I did what many people do when they’re in relationship pain – I hopped on a dating site in the erroneous belief that getting a new man interested in me would help ease the pain caused by the split with my husband.

I wonder if everyone is as naive as I was when I joined my first dating site.  I actually believed that if a man evinced enough interest in me to see me for more than a month, and see me two or three times a week that he wasn’t seeing anyone else.  I was a serial dater, and I simply assumed everyone else was one, too.

My first experience with a troll came as quite a shock to me.  Here I’d been dating this man for three months, very regularly.  We’d become physically involved and by the end of the third month, he was at my home almost every day.  One day I woke up and realized I hadn’t taken my dating profile down, and since I assumed (silly me) that I was in an exclusive relationship with this man, the right thing to do was to make myself unavailable online.  So I headed out to the dating site…to find my boyfriend’s face staring at me with “online now!” glowing brightly beneath his chin.

His IM was open, so I IMd him asking why he was “online now!”  His reply made me want to shower, immediately.  He said:  “Because I’m looking for dates.”  It was  nonchalant, in my face, and I felt used, dirty, angry, hurt, and above all – STUPID.

I sat there, stunned for a bit, and then replied back:  “How long have you been doing this?”  He replied: “what do you mean?  I’ve had this account for almost a year.”  Well, that told me what I needed to know.  I broke it off with him in IM.  I simply said: “Oh.  So the entire time you’ve been practically living at my house, eating my food, taking me out and about and sleeping in my bed, you’ve been seeing other women?  He replied: “yup.”  Clearly no remorse there.  He even had a key to my house.  I replied:  “Okay.  You can have the other women, I don’t want sloppy seconds.  Bye.  Locks are changed today.”

Three years later, I get an email from the same man, on a different site,  introducing himself to me.  I obviously made a huge impression on him.  Sure, my photos weren’t the same as they’d been three years earlier, but it was still me and I hadn’t changed the way I looked.  He didn’t remember me – AT ALL.  That was established  when he replied my email that said  “what, you don’t remember me?”  with: “No, should I?”

It’s so nice to know I’m not the least bit unique.  (snort!) I replied:  “Ahh.  It’s nice to know I’m not the only stupid woman out there.  Obviously there are plenty who will allow a dumbfuck shit like you to practically live with them for three months.”  He didn’t even have the good sense not to reply.  Instead he whines:  “I don’t see why you have to call me names.”  Yeah, whatever.

I took my profile off all sites and gave myself a break from online dating for a year.  During that year I got leered at by toothless 80-year-old men and groped at a gas station by a 20-something.  I was asked out by a gorgeous podiatrist who was a regular at the coffeeshop where I was a regular.  He gave great foot massages – until I found out he was married.  My next date was a guy I met at the local fine arts museum.  He SAID he was single.  He APPEARED to be single.  He very obviously didn’t share his apartment with anyone else.  Turns out “single” to him meant having an 11 year affair with a married woman who, when she found out about me, started stalking me.

So I gave up.  I spent another year just being by myself.  I still went to museums and lectures but I turned down all dates.  I couldn’t trust men at that point.  I couldn’t trust myself to be able to tell if a man was a GOOD man.  Then I re-upped on the dating site.  The emails came pouring in.  I had more date offers than I could accept.  This time, I watched each man I dated.  Each one of them evinced “serious” interest in me, lavished me with attention, and every night, I’d hop online, hide my profile in a flash, and go looking.  There they were – all of them – each man who was “serious” about me – trolling.

I recently asked a male friend why men continue trolling even after they’ve become involved with a woman to the point where they’re having sex and are spending most of their time with her.  He said it’s because dating sites create the illusion that there’s always something “better” around the corner.  He also said that his circle of single male friends, all of whom were on dating sites, were there simply because the pickings were so easy.  They could have sex with a different woman every night of the week if they wanted to.  Some were in “committed” relationships with two or three women and their rationale for this behavior was that they were entitled to do that, because what if they dumped the others in favor of just one and that one turned out to be “crazy?”

Dating sites perpetuate the myth that the grass is always greener elsewhere.  My N is still out there trolling.  I keep an eye on him because when he stops trolling I know he’s fallen into self-pity mode and will soon be contacting me.  I like to be prepared and since his profiles are all public, I don’t have to belong to any site to see them.  My N, by the way, has been trolling dating sites for just over seven years now, and he trolled his way through a six year “relationship” with the victim prior to me.  I’m really glad I never became physically involved with him – God knows what STDs he has.

It’s the trolls and my experience with my N that sent me running screaming from online dating for good.  Why should I invest any time in a man who is obviously only seeing me until he finds something “better?”

See, that’s the problem with online dating.  People seem to think that if they don’t continue trolling they might be “settling” in some way. Pop-psychology, and all sorts of relationship self-help books would have us believe that we are entitled to have everything we want and that there is ONE person out there who will magically have every quality we’ve ever idealized about, and that ONE person is just around the dating site corner.

I’m now convinced that online dating is just a relationship disaster waiting to happen.

I’m also convinced that if you’re on a dating site, and you’re fit for human consumption, you will figure out, sooner rather than later, that dating sites are Darwin’s waiting room.  Those who are fit leave and survive by getting REAL lives.  Those who remain (the ones whose profiles show them as being members for more than 6 months, and always show as having been online within 24 hours) are doomed to the emotional stasis found in chasing shiny objects across the universe.

If you find your date “online now!” directly after a date with you, dump that idiot and move on, otherwise YOU are the idiot.  If you date someone who has been a member of a dating site for more than 6 months and you’ve seen that person is online daily, YOU are the idiot. That’s my opinion.  Feel free to disagree, but don’t come posting here when the door to Darwin’s waiting room opens and your name is called.  That’s not mean, it’s common sense.

Of course, if all you’re looking for is a one-night stand or a quick heart-break,  have at it.  There are trolls a’plenty hidin’ under them there dating site bridges!

 

 

Recovery: Staying Off the Rollercoaster

This post is written from the position of remaining free from your recently ended relationship with an NPD, but you can use these methods for healing yourself from almost any unhealthy relationship. 

So you’re free.  It may have been your choice, or you may have been permanently discarded.  Either way, you’re FREE.  Janis Joplin sang:  “Freedom’s just another word for nuthin’ left to lose…”

The aftermath of a relationship with a narcissist leaves you in an emotional state where you might feel you really don’t have anything left to lose.  Good.  If you have nothing left to lose (because the narcissist took it all from you), then you can start rebuilding your emotional strength.  Remember:  there’s a silver lining everywhere.  If you can do it, reach down and find that reserve of strength – think of your strength bank like your gas tank.  When the gas light in your car comes on, it means you’re on empty, according to the vehicle’s sensors.  You’re not on empty, though, because you can still drive at least far enough to get to a gas station and gas up, right?

It’s the same situation with your emotional strength.  When you feel you’re on empty, there’s always a teeny bit left.  There is just enough to get you to the strength bank so you can refill.

Narcissists attempt to totally destroy a person before discarding.  It’s a torturous path because the devaluation begins with your first meeting.  It’s insidious.  You won’t recognize that you’re being devalued until you’ve spent a significant amount of time with this individual.  One day it will all seem too much for you.  You won’t know what this person wants.  You’ll do something right today and tomorrow it will be wrong.  You’ll be criticized for things you weren’t aware you did and you’ll turn yourself inside out attempting to right imaginary wrongs, because by the time the criticism escalates to this point, the N has brainwashed you into believing that there truly is something wrong with you.

1.  Tell yourself, over and over, even if you don’t yet believe it that nothing is wrong with you.

2.  Find some way to channel the negative emotional energy.   For me, it’s writing.  For others it may be exercise, therapy, cleaning, taking up a new hobby.  Do whatever you can do to NOT sit around and castigate yourself for “screwing it up,” because the N will have quite definitively told you that the reason the two of you are no longer together is your fault.

3.  If at all possible do not maintain any contact with this person. You may continue to receive phone calls and emails from the N, but those are simply attempts to either devalue you even more or entice you back into the pairing (it’s not a relationship), so the N can begin the cycle again.  Ns hate to lose their narcissistic supply, even after they’ve   used, abused and discarded you.  They go looking for new supply, and if they can’t find it, they’ll come back to you.

4.  In my case, writing emails THAT WERE NEVER SENT was incredible therapy for me.  I would pull up a random email from my N, hit “reply” and remove his email address from the “to:” field.  Then I’d begin deconstructing what he’d said in the email and I’d write my reply to his bullshit.  I’d slam his ass against the wall, pick up my figurative steel pipe and bludgeon him until he was bleeding and crushed, slithering down the wall, like the squashed insect he is.  Then, so I could track my healing progress, I’d save the email to my drafts.  I never clicked “send.”  Don’t ever send an N your emotions.  You will find them being used against you with more brutality than you knew existed.

 Below is an example of what I did with one of his emails to me.  This never got sent:

On 7/30/2011 2:10 PM, Narcissistic Bastard wrote:

Your prior email and phone calls had and have elements of anger, damming analysis and insulting conjecture of my character. It is disturbing if you cannot see it.

I imagine it IS disturbing to you, asshole.  Guess what?  I “cannot see it.”  I notice you say “it is disturbing” rather than “I am disturbed…”  That’s quite telling.  You’ve just projected on me again.  Translation:  “You’re a disturbed individual because you refuse to accept my indictment of you as your own reality.”   Oh, btw, your selective memory is showing.  My “prior phone calls” (which I’m assuming are calls you believe happened within the past week) consisted of ONE phone call that YOU made, while you were drunk, where you unleashed enormous amounts of vitriol on me in what you probably considered was a charming and light-hearted manner.  

 When I detect this type of anger and criticism, I retract rather than argue which is why I did not want to (and still do not) talk to you personally about it.

When I detect a control freak, I run like hell.  I’m not going to talk about it.  I dumped your controlling ass, or have you forgotten?  Oh wait, it doesn’t count if I dump you.  You have to dump me for the “relationship” to be over.  Silly me.  I pity the woman who falls for you and stays with you.

 As far as I knew we were friends and I tried to make that clear repeatedly. Something is making you angry and it is now feeding on itself. The below said clearly that you were and are angry (insults are a pretty good indicator) and are very dissatisfied with me as a person in now many many cited ways both in your phone messages and email.

Insults?  Phone messages? WTF kind of drugs are you ON, idiot? “Something” is making me very angry and it is feeding on itself?  Snort.  I told you what made me angry.  It’s not feeding on itself.  You can’t stand that I found you lacking in any way, and it makes you angry that I would dare to tell you about it.  Sorry bub, that’s the way life goes.  You’re gonna be one lonely man.  

I do not care to have these things keep appearing from you.

What things?  The drugs must be good.  Are you like Alice, with the “drink me” bottles?  Oh, I now I see.  You have issues with math.  One email telling you how I feel translates into several “things” onto which you project your own anger and lack of self.  That’s right.  You’re incapable of empathy.  Even your rage and control are copies – you copied them from mommy.   When you look in a mirror you see nothing, that’s why you need people.  A static object reflects emptiness to you, but a warm-blooded, vital, confident and loving woman translates to feeding time for you.  

I have tried now on several occasions to ask you to stop sending these angry things but you will not.

When?  What things?  Oh geez, I’m a stupid woman again, aren’t I?  I’m such a bad mirror.  I keep forgetting that YOUR reality is the only one that exists and you make it up as you go along.  And look!  There you go with multiplication again.  I’m guessing you sucked at word problems in grade school, because the word problem:  “if my human mirror sends me one email expressing emotions I don’t want to hear about, how many emails expressing these emotions have I received?” got answered in the plural.   You failed, li’l buckaroo.  Miserably.  Wait.  That’s what you do.  You only appear successful because you’ve stolen that appearance from other people. 

I will ask for one more email from you.

It will contain only one thing.

 An agreement that you will take the next three weeks of quiet to cool.

And we can maybe try contact again if your anger has settled.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. OMG.  You’re serious.  Come to me pathetic insect, so I can squash you beneath my steel-toed boot, thus freeing your airspace for others, who are of worth, to breathe. 

 This is the last email from me that will have any content from me for at least three weeks or longer if you so desire.

You think this email had “content?”  What, you’re going to send me MORE emails without “content?”  Sweet bleeding Jesus, man, step away from the keyboard and shackle yourself to your crawlspace.  Better yet, take your inflatable kayak out into some class 5 rapids.  That way the stench of your decomposition won’t create issues for your neighbors.  Oh darn, I forgot again.  You only TALK about shooting class 5 rapids in your inflatable.  You tried to convince me that information from one of the top kayakers in the world is all wrong, because you know everything. 

I wrote this but did not send it.  I have a million other replies to this particular email, because after spending much time deconstructing it, I realized it encapsulated the horror that is this monster.  He showed himself to me; he showed his complete alignment with the DSM-IV criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.    Try it.  It might just help you.

5. At first, you will still be on the rollercoaster and you’ll have to take it at your own pace.  You might feel strong and empowered for 15 minutes and then feel like you’re the worst person on the planet for the next 3 hours.  When this happens, force yourself to remember the horrible things this person did to you.  Remember the kindness, love and compassion you gave this person and how those gifts were treated.

6.  You’ll spend a bit of time checking your email and phone to see if your N has contacted you.  If that person has contacted you, please, please, please heed this advice:  DO NOT REPLY IN ANY FASHION if at all possible.  If you are divorcing an N, and there are children involved, you may have to reply.  Check with your attorney first and if you can, have your attorney reply.  If you feel your children are in danger, do what you have to do to get them away from this person.  Contact your attorney, first, to make certain that everything you do is legal, because if it’s not, your N will delight in using your actions against you.

7.  Reach out to your support network.  If you don’t have one, and you might not have one at this point, because Ns love to manipulate their victims into withdrawing from their support system, get one.  Call all those people with whom you may have lost contact during your prison sentence with the N, explain the situation. Those who are truly friends will always be there for you.

8.  Seek group counseling.  If you can find a Co-Dependants Anonymous meeting near you, please do.  Here’s the link to their home page:  CoDA .   I know they don’t have a lot of meetings, but they do have online groups.

Something I’ve noticed in my journey:  Many of us who fall victim to Narcissists fall into a group I like to call Adult Children of Dysfunctional Parents.  I’m an adult child of alcoholics, and if you are familiar with the behavioral issues inherent in alcoholism, you will recognize that they are crossover traits to NPD.  Many alcoholics display Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Disorder traits.  Regardless the category in which our parents or other authority figures in our lives are placed, the odds are excellent that we experienced such horrendous emotional (and sometimes physical) abuse at their hands that we left home emotionally paralyzed, with poor self-esteem, and we engage in self-sabotage by setting goals for ourselves that are well above our reach.  This is typical, since our parents or authority figures did that for us – we were well-trained.

It’s going to be tough, but you will have to re-invent yourself.  This is not a superficial process t that is grounded in image.  This is a very deep and painful process that is grounded in SELF.  If you’ve been involved with a narcissist, particularly for an extended period, you have been emotionally damaged.  It’s now time to heal and deal.  The first step is to acknowledge the abuse and allow yourself to FEEL your feelings, regardless how painful they are.  Don’t dwell on them, simply allow them to come, feel them, cry, scream, go run a mile at top speed, punch pillows – do whatever you need to do to let them go.  You cannot hold onto these feelings.  They MUST go.  Do something that will allow you to feel good about yourself.  If your N said you were incapable of doing something, and you believed it, go DO that something.  Whether you succeed or fail is of no importance because what the N was truly saying to you is that you don’t have the guts to TRY.

You may go through a period of deep depression.  I did.  I elected not to take anti-depressants.  I’m very familiar with depression, and I know when I’m cycling too far down to be functional.  I allowed myself to be depressed; I allowed myself to feel the feelings and then I’d say “enough.  now DO something.”  Then I’d get up and do whatever made me feel good about myself.  That feeling would last until the next round of pain washed over me.  I’d feel it, sometimes wallow in it, and for me, I’d write it.  Writing is my therapy; it clears my head and releases pain I didn’t know I had.  Do whatever allows you to release pain.  If you don’t know how, just go take a brisk walk.  That’s a great start – exercise releases “feel good” endorphins.

Whatever you choose to do to heal yourself, do NOT – I repeat – DO NOT – let your N know you’re doing these things.  Do not send “I’m healing from you” emails.  DO NOT make angry phone calls to that person just to make yourself feel better.  You want this person out of your life for good.  Treat them as though they do not exist.  Regardless how close they may live to you, make that distance a universe.

You can do it.  You’re free now.  That means you have been given the gift of life.  Being with a narcissist is the death of Self.

Three deep breaths.  1. 2. 3. GO!