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.

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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.  

So My Latest Narcissist…

…oh lord, what do I say?  The signs were all there.  He charmed me from the beginning; he was “perfect.”  He was too perfect.  He did everything for me.  Only…something was always not quite right with him and I knew it.  I chose to ignore it.  I was in a financial bind and he showed up at the right time after inveigling a way to actually meet me.

We worked at the same company for 5 months.  I went in as a temp, knowing that the assignment wouldn’t go permanent.  He noticed me from the beginning, or so he says, but waited four days to actually manipulate things so he could come sit and get to know me.  When i think back on that conversation, it was all about him.  He didn’t ask a word about me.

He was charming.  He invited himself on our first date.  I was going hiking and he just invited himself along.  He was so obvious and so “sweet” that I said:  “well, why don’t you come along.”  Turns out he doesn’t hike.  He strolls.  Slowly.  I didn’t find that out until we were at our destination. So we strolled.  He was separated, he said – had been for more than a year, and was filing for divorce by the end of the year.  He promised.  He swore.  He said he couldn’t envision himself back with her.

I believed him.  I wanted to.  I’d been told by all who knew him (and they were all co-workers) that he was a great guy and I couldn’t do any better.  I had a cardinal rule at the time:  Never date a married man, separated or not.  I broke it.  We had a great time.  I suggested we get together again sometime soon. I didn’t expect it to be the next day – which was a monday.

I got home before he left work and next thing I know he’s texting me saying he is 20 min away and bringing supper.  I was very taken aback.  We hadn’t discussed this.  But I thought it was kinda cute (red flags are NEVER cute) and so I told him to come on.  For the next 15 months I had no evening to myself other than Wednesdays when he was “paying bills.”  With his wife.  I questioned it and got a glib response to the effect that they were both still responsible for the expenses…

Uh huh.  I swallowed it.  For around four or five months he was able to keep the mask from slipping, although I saw it go a little cockeyed a couple of times when I asked about his plans for filing for divorce.  He would tap dance around it, tell me he hadn’t thought about it, anything to just shut me up.

He told me he and his wife had lived separate lives for years prior to him telling her he wanted to divorce.  While they lived beneath the same roof, they didn’t share a bed.  Just expenses.  Co-workers corroborated this.  Of course they did – that’s what he told them. I still don’t know the truth of it, but I suspect it.

Each day, after work, he’d come over, spend a couple hours but was always home by 9.  That must have been just before his wife came home.  She worked a strange schedule.  Then he started spending saturday nights at my house, and when I thought to ask, he said he just told her he was out with friends, and when it got late, he just crashed at whatever friend would take him at their house.  Lie.  Big lie.

He was supporting me, financially.  Groceries, gas, paying bills I couldn’t pay and I had no clue where his money was coming from, until he told me he’d taken a loan from his 401K – and since it went into the joint account (notice he didn’t give it to me to use as I saw fit, even though it was supposedly for ME), and he told his wife it was for a person at work who was in need.  Well, I saw about $500 of the $5,000 loan he took.  His wife spent the rest.  No apologies to me, just anger when I asked him why he’d done that instead of putting it in his own account.  Seems he didn’t have his own account – yet he’d been “separated” for more than a year.

January I caught him in a whopper of a lie.  Big one.  He denied it until I pushed so hard he had to admit it and then it became my fault.  You know how that goes.

That’s when he started withdrawing, stonewalling and gaslighting.  He grew cold and distant and any emotional support I thought i was getting went away.  In reality, there was no emotional support.  HE can’t empathize.  The only feelings he can feel are his own and those are all about how right, good and wonderful he is, so naturally I should have no problem with him.

I won’t go into the gory details, but suffice it to say that he discarded me when he realized I was way too close to the truth about him.  My niece had just died, and this man couldn’t even ask how I was holding up.  When I told him about it (stupid me) he replied “sorry – sucks.”

The following saturday, even though he knew I was dealing with my niece’s death, learning a new job, my mother’s illness, and some other pretty heavy stuff, he texts me:  “I bought a Hyundai.  Here’s the link so you can see it.”

Huh?  Why do I care about his car?  Well, it turns out he felt he “failed me because he couldn’t fix my financial situation.’  (God complex.)  Instead of being a normal person and accepting failure and moving forward or trying a different tack, he just dumped me.  It was an excuse – he wanted me gone – that way I wasn’t a drain on his finances and he could buy a shiny new car.

That night, I was under great duress and I emailed his wife a letter that stated this man had been having an affair with me for 15 months and it included things she probably needed to know if she wanted to make intelligent decisions about her life.  I doubt she heeded them.  He read her email before she did and blew my phone up, frantically attempting to get ahold of me to beg me not to tell her – you see, I’d also said I was mailing a hard copy in case her husband read her email and deleted it.  He rang my phone and texted so much that I had to silence it.  He even drove by my house to see if I was up.  His last text said “Now that you have me at your mercy, I’m begging you to let me tell her myself..”

Yeah. Right.  Like that would ever happen.  So I sent another one, snail mail, to her mother’s address, which is where she’s living.  I have heard nothing since then, and while I’m thankful for the silence, I think the other shoe will fall, in time.  I’m watching my back carefully.

I loathe him; I despise him; he’s a liar, a cheat and a fraud, and I know enough about NPD to know I need to have no contact with this man.  Maybe telling his wife was the wrong thing to do, but at the time, I felt a helluva lot better!  I dunno now.  Hey – maybe it will serve to get them back together (as if they were ever really apart!) and then he won’t be out there hurting other victims.  Who knows – he’s a Narcissist and they always find their supply.

He’ll tell his wife whatever she wants to hear right now – because he stands to lose a ton of money if she divorces him.  She was hoping – for almost three years now – for a reconciliation.  So apparently he wasn’t as “separated” as he said he was.  It’s just that her schedule was wonky and he exploited it to get his supply.

He hurt me badly.  It started in january – maybe before.  I still didn’t see the signs.  I thought he was depressed, I wondered if I was going crazy, I tried to work with the stonewalling and would confront him on the gaslighting.  None of that works.  He’s a narcissist.  I know all this.

Lesson learned:  You can still get caught in the trap.  There’s a lot more to the story, but I won’t tell it.  It’s not worth telling.  He’s a liar, a cheat and a fraud and if his wife has any sense (and I don’t believe she does) she will divorce him.  My guess is, though, that she’ll take him back because he’ll be so contrite after being caught.  Things will roll along very well for a few months and then the monster will be back for her.

At least he’s out of my life.

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Site

Narcissism and Relationships Blog

I’ve linked you guys to a great blog, full of REAL recovery advice, how to handle “no contact” how to get OUT of an N abusive relationship and much much more.  I stumbled on her blog while doing a search myself.  She’s also got a Facebook page.  If you’re a facebooker and you are in need of a community of support, please like her page.  You can do that from her site.

She’s well worth the continued read.  Sign up for her newsletter – it’s full of great advice.  I’m needing it myself right now!

If You Feel Stupid…

…and were involved with a Narcissist, know that stupid is exactly  how the N wants you to feel.  Know that and allow yourself the luxury of mourning what might have been, had the individual been different; mourn the illusion, but then dry your eyes, know you’re NOT stupid and move on.

When you feel stupid and naive, it’s because that’s how the N has set things up.  You were never “good enough” for him or her.  You were nothing more than a mirror and at some point you start reflecting his or her poor qualities.  You didn’t act your part, you bad mirror.  What happens to mirrors that don’t reflect correctly?

They get discarded.  They get thrown away.

Keep your eye open.  Don’t give your heart to someone until you have dated them (not slept with them, not made out with them, not played house with them) for months.  Watch the person.  Be alert for behaviors that seem odd.  Be alert for all the characteristics inherent in NPD.

Remember this, as you date:  All of us exhibit some qualities of narcissism, but it’s not a way of life for us.  True narcissists use, abuse and live their narcissism.  Don’t ever forget that as you journey through the murky waters of the dating pool.  🙂

Narcissism In The Work Place – Redux

I see a lot of search terms in my stats that include “narcissim in the work place”  and “how to spot narcissism in the work place.”

The first and best bit of advice I can provide is this:  It’s just as difficult to spot it, initially, as it is in personal interactions.  Narcissists abound, within and without the workplace.  So be aware; prepare not only for the technical aspects of your interview, but have a small list of characteristics beneath your note-taking page to remind you what to look for.

When you first interview for a job, you’re usually so excited that you got the interview, and you’re so focused on doing your best in that interview that you don’t notice body language, tones of voice, and/or certain other behaviors that could be dead giveaways that you are interviewing with a narcissist.

Before I discuss that, though, let me say this:  If you are interviewing and/or work in corporate America, you can bet your sweet little bippie that you are surrounded by narcissists.  Perhaps your department isn’t rife with them; perhaps the individual in the cube next to you isn’t one.  You can rest assured, however, that at some point, you WILL run into one.

I suggest you first read this post.  It will open in a new tab.  Read it before you go on an interview.  Read some of the other posts I have here on NPD and Narcissists.  That won’t guarantee you won’t wind up working with a narcissist, but forewarned is forearmed.

As a rule, you don’t recognize a narcissist until they’ve already damaged you.  The average non-NPD simply doesn’t think the same way a narcissist does, and many of us have experienced the devastating fallout that comes from working with a narcissist, to the point of losing our jobs.

Narcissists will win.  Even if you manage to block a move or two, they will manage to tap dance around you, and the abuse will escalate.

Even in these tough times, I advise getting out if you find yourself in a nest of narcissim, or if you are working with one powerful enough to destroy you.  You’ll know, because your stress level will be intolerable, you will find that you are questioning your sanity where you never did prior to working with this individual and you will find that you have become grist for the rumor mill.  You go in as grain and you never come out . You simply keep getting ground.

It is better to be poor and have your self-esteem intact; to be happy with who you are, than to be financially comfortable and in constant fear for your sanity, health (stress will kill you), and miserable.

We all have choices.  Some may seem very painful at first and we don’t like pain.  No one does. Sometimes the most painful choices are the ones that are best for us and our families.

Jus’ sayin!

 

Narcissists ARE Evil.

Narcissists ARE evil.  Reasonable doubt doesn’t enter this picture.  While there are reasons that a narcissist acts the way he or she acts, those reasons do not excuse their CHOICE to act that way.

A narcissist will never do anything that does not benefit him or herself.

A narcissist makes conscious decisions; he or she makes the CHOICE to harm.

If a narcissist and his latest supply walk into a bar and the narcissist gets drunk, and then disorderly and is thrown out of the bar, whose fault is it?  If you answered “the victim’s fault” you answered correctly and this means you understand how a narcissist’s mind works.

I have posted here that I’m not certain whether a narcissist truly knows he or she treats others badly.  The reason I say that is because a narcissist, in choosing to treat another badly, makes the choice believing, in their twisted psyche, that their choice is right, good and moral.  That choice will always contain projection of their own accountability for a situation onto whomever (and sometimes whatever) they find to be their nearest victim.

While sane people KNOW a narcissist treats others badly, and does it on purpose, the narcissist has no knowledge at all.  All he has is a delusional belief system that tells him he is NOT treating others badly.

What a narcissist believes is of no relevance.  A narcissist’s mind is twisted, sick and dangerous.

What a narcissist believes is a delusion; it is a construct within which there can only be one “good” person.  You know who that person is.

A narcissist will always do only what is right for him or herself, and that action, regardless the harm done to any other individual(s), will be justified in the narcissistic mind as right.

A narcissist knows the difference between right and wrong only as it pertains to him or herself.  No one else matters.

None of the above is a justification for the pure EVIL that a narcissist perpetrates on his or her victims.

Narcissists do not and cannot love.

Narcissists do not care about you or anyone else.

Narcissists are very good at hiding all of these things – for short periods of time, usually the length of time it takes to suck in fresh supply.

Narcissists do not have relationships.  With anyone.  Period.

Narcissism is rampant in our society.  It is rampant because our culture not only encourages it, but supports it, through the venue of pop-psychology and the “gotta take care of Number One” mantra.

Narcissists do not want the best for you or anyone other than themselves.

Narcissists do not help anyone unless they can be certain it will be known by as many as possible that they have “helped.”   If you  need an example of this just look at corporate philanthropy.  That’s an entirely different post, though.

Narcissists are the embodiment of all we have been taught is morally wrong; EVIL; and they are excellent at cloaking their behavior in the guise of goodwill and self-sacrifice.

I just wanted to make that clear, in case anyone was wondering where I stand on this issue.

Narcissism in the Workplace: Moral Compass Malfunction?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be a paradox.  Maybe.  If we think about what it means to have a moral compass, or a moral agent, we can come up with at least two logical philosophies.  The first is Immanuel Kant‘s philosophy that states one must be rational to engage in morality.  The second is a philosophy put forth by the Utilitarian philosophers that states morality cannot be tied to a rational thought process; rather, that it is tied more to the avoidance of suffering.

I tend to align myself with the second philosophy for a number of reasons, the most prominent being that a Narcissist is programmed to avoid suffering at all costs.  A Narcissist’s actions will have a direct correlation to the amount of discomfort he might feel in any situation.

I’ve worked in corporate America most of my adult life.  No one warned me about narcissism in the workplace, because 30 years ago, no one knew to do such a thing.  Instead, people would tell me to stay away from so-and-so; never to get on the “wrong side” of someone else, and with one particular supervisor, to make certain that I place a copy of each of my completed projects on his boss’ desk at the same time I placed a copy on his desk.  The reasoning behind this was simple.  I was told if I wanted credit for my work, I could not just hand it over to my supervisor, because at the next staff meeting, all my work would be presented as his.

If someone in the work place tells you this about someone else, lend credence to it.  Assess the co-worker who is telling you this, watch how they interact with others and if your gut tells you they are on the level, listen to them.  I have experience with not heeding such advice and in one instance, during the early 80’s, was actually fired because I spoke up for myself in a meeting, stating the work being presented was mine and pulled out evidence to prove it.  I was fired that afternoon and no one said a word.

Narcissists in the work place are just as bad as they are outside the work place.  Have you ever had any of the following happen to you?

1.  Your work is presented, at a meeting to which you were not invited, and you found out later that your contribution to the effort was either not mentioned, or was stolen from you and presented as someone else’s work?

2.  You are provided direction for a task or process, you write down all instructions provided, and once completed, it’s determined by your supervisor’s boss that something is wrong.  You are called in to explain why you proceeded as you did, and you explain that you took direction from your supervisor, and oh-by-the-way, here are the detailed instructions, that you wrote down.  You are then told that you wrote the instructions wrong – your supervisor will read them, immediately see where he or she screwed up and rather than own accountability, will deflect blame to you, stating YOU misunderstood and your notes are wrong.

3.  It feels as though you are constantly being thrown under the bus by a co-worker, but you are never able to actually prove it.

4.  Several co-workers are also thrown under the bus and they have the same issue.  When you compare notes it all points to one person, but there is no real proof.

5.  You find, when comparing notes with co-workers, that the extremely vicious statement made by someone with regard to someone else was also made about you, and then you all realize that the same person has been setting each of you against the other.

6.  You are working in a group, and you make certain that everyone in the group is included in all communications, but you continually get emails or correspondence from one person in that group; the communication from this person seems to target you in some devaluing fashion, and the rest of the group has not been party to it.

7.  You are working in a group, and when you ask a particular individual who is hyper-critical of your efforts to please send his or her thoughts via email, they refuse.  No paper trail, no proof.

8.  You know you are doing your job well and correctly.  You are never late, you don’t take sick days, you work late when you know it’s necessary, because for some reason, the work isn’t getting done, and it’s not your piece that’s not getting done,  you are a team player, yet your direct supervisor, who arrives at work later than you do, who you know is very tight with one particular co-worker, suddenly requests a meeting and writes you up for being late, chastises you for not working smart or fast enough and shoots down your statement that your extra time has been used to complete tasks that were part of the group goal and weren’t being finished.  Then you are written up for not meeting the group goal in a “timely fashion.”

9.  You notice that a co-worker is getting preferential treatment, and getting it consistently.

10.  You’ve been “reported” for breaking “rules” and even though you can prove you did not break “rules” your supervisor tosses the proof aside and states that he or she has “evidence” that you’re at fault.

11.  One co-worker, or supervisory figure is praised for his or her work, you look around the meeting table and you see your other co-workers grimacing, because they know what you know:  that this person stole your work, lied about you, curried favor, threw you under the bus numerous times, and everyone knows that no one can truly prove it.

Those are some of my experiences.  I’m sure you’ve got others.  Narcissists in the work place function exactly as they do outside of the work place.  They curry favor with those they feel can be of benefit to them, they have no moral compass when it comes to the good of the group versus their own good.  It’s not a case of a moral compass malfunctioning.  It’s a case of having no moral compass at all.  They work very hard – at making you look bad so they can look good.  They gaslight in the same manner they would gaslight anyone else.

Many times a work place narcissist will target one person; they will target the person they have deemed the weakest.  That would be the individual who displays accountability, who works hard, doesn’t break the rules, and has an exceptional work ethic.  A work place narcissist can’t abide anyone working with them who might appear to be better at anything than they are, so they set about devaluing this individual to other co-workers and to management.

They are insidious about this process.  They don’t run to management with an issue about the person, rather; they simply sow seeds of doubt, seemingly at random.  They’ll do it at a company gathering; they’ll do it over lunch, or while chatting in the hallway.  They will cause seeds of doubt regarding the individual’s character to germinate.

They will drop a casual remark-in one instance that I witnessed, it was regarding the fact that a co-worker always wore black to work.  I heard the comment:  “I wonder why she always wears black.  I’ve never seen her in anything but black, even her mascara is really black.  Did you notice that?”

I was at the lunch table when this was said, in the presence of 9 other people, but presumably it was said to only one individual.  Heh.  Hardly.

A month later, I found that the “woman in black” who I worked with closely, had suddenly turned into a departmental pariah, rumors were flying about her personal life, and the narcissist who had started it all had even searched for her online and found that she was a member of a motorcycle club.

No one would ever say that it was the narcissist of the group who found the online information but I knew it.  No one else cared until she started her insidious devaluation of this co-worker.

Naturally, this must mean “the woman in black” is a bad person.  It must mean she does terrible, immoral things.  It must mean she cheats on her husband and is an unfit mother to her children.  It must also mean that she’s a poor reflection (like that word?) for the company, and it must also mean that she’s got personal issues.  Stands to reason, right?  She wears black, she’s part of a motorcycle club so it naturally follows that she’s a sleaze bag mom who is unfit to raise her children and the by-product of that is that she’s unfit to work for the company, even though she is one of the best workers they’ve got.

What it really meant is that the narcissist found this woman’s presence intolerable, went searching for something that she perceived as a weakness; something that could be manipulated and spun, and proceeded to infect 7 co-workers and our supervisor with her poison in an effort to get the person fired.  It worked.  Only two people didn’t buy into it.  One of those people was yours truly.  The other was the “woman in black.”

All it took was two months and a woman who had worked for this company for 11 years was fired; she was fired based on lies, a deliberate devaluing of her character based on speculation and the seed of doubt that this woman was doing the great job that everyone else thought she was doing. This was done by an individual who was transferred into the department at the beginning of those two months.

In two months, a woman who had 11 years with the company, in the same department, was fired, and since the state in which we worked was an “at will” state, the only reason she was given was “you’re not a good fit.”

The narcissist wasn’t finished though.  She’d managed to get rid of one mirror that wouldn’t reflect well for her, so she began watching for others.  I was next in line.  By this time, I knew the importance of documenting everything with regard to this woman; from the time she came in to work, to what she said in every meeting, to what I overheard her saying to others.  I refused to interact with her in any way that didn’t have a paper trail.  So how did she get me?  Easy.

I’m one who doesn’t bring my personal life to work.  No one knew much about me, other than that I was a single mom with a teenage son.  They didn’t know who I dated or if I dated.  They didn’t know if I was involved with anyone.  What they did know was my name and my son’s name.  They knew where he went to school – the usual stuff that co-workers share.  I never shared anything I didn’t feel couldn’t be printed on a bulletin board.

All it took was one comment from me, empathizing with another co-worker at lunch, who was going through the terrible teens with her child.  Just ONE comment, stating that I truly understood, and offering information about a program that was available for troubled teens.  My son wasn’t troubled – not like this woman’s was.  My son was a relatively normal and rebellious teenage boy who did the normal stuff teenage boys do.

Within a week, rumors got back to me that my son was in this program.  Then more rumors that my son was in the program because he’d been caught dealing drugs at school.  When I heard about the rumors, from someone in a totally different department, with whom I was friendly, my reaction was a completely flabbergasted:  “HUH???”

Then I got popped for a random drug test.  I came up clean, as I knew I would, but bells were clanging in my brain.  Two weeks later, I got a call from my son at 1:00 in the afternoon.  He’d been in a bad car accident,  and was part of a four-car pile up in the westbound tunnel of the area where we lived.  He was fine, car was totaled.  I raced out of the office.

That was a Thursday.  When I came in on Friday everyone wanted to know what happened.  I was cautious with details – none of it was my son’s fault – but I just don’t give out a lot of details at work.

The following Monday, I heard a rumor that my son had been arrested for DUI as a result of that accident.  Not true.  You can’t quash a rumor like that.  It bred on itself.  Over the next two months, my son’s accident went from “thank GOD he’s okay” to “her son caused a four-car pile up in the tunnel because he was stoned and he almost killed 3 other people.”

During the next month, I found out that some work I’d done on a project, that was housed in a location where everyone could access it, because they HAD to access it, was all cabbaged up. I found this out because my boss emailed me that he was getting corrupt data when he used the database involved.   I sent an email to everyone in the department stating that they were not to use the database on a particular server until I’d fixed it; that something had gone wrong causing relationships and table links to disappear.

I always kept a clean copy on my laptop, which I backed up daily.  I overwrote the corrupted database with the clean copy, sent an email less than ten  minutes after being notified, that it was okay to start using the database again.  Situation solved, right?

The next day, I came into work to find my laptop on and that someone had logged in as “admin.”  I questioned everyone.  The narcissist in the group turned around and said:  “Oh, I had to get hubby up here to help run some reports and he used your laptop.  He was a peach to do it, since I knew you’d be too busy today to get to them.”  Her husband was in our IT department.

My head instantly spun like Linda Blair’s.  I calmly thanked her, turned to my laptop to find an IM from a co-worker who sat behind me.  It said:  “check the database on the server – it’s all screwy again.”  I checked.  It was corrupt beyond corrupt.  I IM’d back:  “no problem – I’ll just overwrite it.”  I went to the folder where my clean copy was always kept and it was gone.  I checked my restore point – it had been changed.  I frantically checked the cds where I kept a daily copy (it was a small database, but crucial to operation of the department and company), and an entire 5 days worth of cds were missing.

I couldn’t restore the database with current information.  It was my JOB to be able to do that if it was deemed necessary.  I went to my boss to tell him.  He told me to shut the door and proceeded to tell me that he’d been advised that I was having difficulty concentrating on my work, and that there had been several mistakes found in the database, even when the copy was “clean.”  I asked him who told him this and he refused to tell me who.

I knew who had done it.  He then went on to say that he felt it was in the best interests of the company if my relationship with the company was severed, since it was apparent that my “personal” issues were causing too much pressure on me to be able to function with the accuracy necessary for my position.  He chastised me for it.  He stated that “others” had noticed my “work was slipping” and when I again asked who had noticed, he refused to tell me.

So I asked WHAT personal issues.  Our friendly departmental narcissist had done her job well.  My boss, who knew me to be reliable, productive, knowledgeable and who used me as his go-to person for anything requiring data, told me that my son’s “drug-related car accident” seems to be causing my focus to slip, and that this had been brought to his attention several times over the preceding three months.

He stated that since my service to the company “up to this point” had been exemplary, that he would give me 30 days so that I would have time to find a new job.  I replied to that with:  “If you are going to fire me, please fire me.  I won’t quit; not now, and not in 30 days.”  So he fired me.

Narcissist won.  She got me out of there.

She got one other person out, after she was finished with me.

Guess what?  Two months after she got her last “tarnished mirror” out, she was part of an enterprise-wide downsize.  SHE was given no notice, was told, mid-day, when a security guard came to her desk with her pink slip, stood over her while she packed her personal belongings and then escorted her to her car and watched as she drove off the lot.

It’s small comfort, because her actions with regard to me, happened in 2009, just after the economy began its downward spiral.  I found a job, moved out of state for it, and it evaporated before I could start.  I was living with family in that state, so at least I didn’t have to worry about how I was going to keep a roof over my head.  Three months later I found a job.  A week into it, I was told that office was closing and my options were an 8 week severance package or a transfer to the city where I now live.  I took the transfer.  A year later, I was downsized.

And here I am, 7 months later, unable to find work.  Would I have been caught in that initial enterprise-wide downsize that the departmental narcissist was caught in?  I don’t know.  The odds are pretty good, I’d have been transferred, or something would have been found for me, as that’s what was done for those who had an exemplary record and seniority within the department.  Had the narcissist not been transferred into my department, I might still be working there.

Might, maybe, what-if?  Who knows.

This is a cautionary tale.  I know of no way to protect oneself against a narcissist in the work place.  I’ve tried.  Documentation doesn’t seem to do any good.  If you are targeted by a workplace Narcissist know this:  They have NO moral compass.  They will steal from you, lie to and about you and if you appear in any way to outshine them, they will set about devaluing you in a most insidious fashion and you won’t realize the bus ran over you until you look down from your out-of-body perch on the ceiling to find the bus didn’t accidentally hit you.

I wish I had answers for you.  I don’t.  Corporate America breeds an environment that is conducive to narcissism.  It breeds an all-or-nothing environment that deliberately places co-workers in competition with one another.  Throw a true NPD into the mix and all bets are on the N coming out on top – at least for the time being.

The carnage will be horrific, and the N will be standing triumphantly over it, beaming beatifically at your former boss, while surreptitiously fingering their fake moral compass that always reads correctly, because that compass is missing the mechanisms that a normal compass would have.   That compass tells the Narcissist that true north points at him or her and since it has no magnet to move the hand, it will always point at him or her.  A Narcissist’s moral compass will always show him the way – and that way is toward his own glory.

The compass doesn’t malfunction.  It is an empty housing, just like the Narcissist.

 

 

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!

Another From Search Terms: Does a Narcissist Know They Treat People Badly?

Yes and no.  How’s that for a contradiction?

A narcissist believes they are good.  They have conditioned themselves to believe that they are ALL good and have no character flaws.  They believe anyone who questions their “goodness” is bad.  They believe, from conditioning, that those who are “bad” must be punished.

So, do they know they treat people badly?  I’d say, that deep down, in that place where they have their emotionally arrested selves hidden, they know.  This will never come to light. Not an inkling of it will be allowed out of the locked drawer where the Narcissist keeps everything he sees as a poor reflection of himself.

If a Narcissist apologizes to you for treating you badly, you’d better read the fine print, which isn’t immediately visible because it is contained between the lines.  Mine did it thus:  (bold and italics are mine)

“I apologize if I hurt your feelings, but you know this is how I am and if you take it personally, that’s your fault.  If I do it again, tell me and I’ll apologize, but know that it’s just how I am and that I will do it again.”  

See what he’s done?  First he declines to admit that he actually DID hurt my feelings.  He states “if.”  This is typical of an NPD.  They’re not going to admit to hurting anyone’s feelings, so they use a qualifier that absolves them of blame and places all blame on you.  What this man said to me in that first sentence is this:  “I’m not apologizing for anything.  The entire issue is immaterial.”

Next, he absolves himself of accountability for his actions by stating “you know this is how I am.”  Because I “knew” this was how he was, I was then simply supposed to accept it, smile, and shrug it off by telling myself:  “oh, that’s just how he is. He didn’t mean anything by it.”  I’m not supposed to feel anything but loving acceptance of his little quirks and because (since he’s already told me this in his apology) he’s accepted “how” he is, then something’s wrong with me that I don’t accept it.  I’m supposed to actually support and encourage his unacceptable behavior, because after all, HE accepts it and encourages it within himself because he sees nothing wrong with it.

After that he tells me it’s MY FAULT my feelings got hurt and it’s my fault because I found “how he is” unacceptable.”  THIS little bit of information will be stored away for future use against me.  A Narcissist won’t tolerate anyone finding anything about them unacceptable.

Let me tell you, this piece of it came out about a month later in a long-winded nasty diatribe where he tells me how horrible I am, how undesirable I am as a partner, and that he doesn’t have “romantic feelings” toward me because I’ve “evinced dissatisfaction” with him.  Poor boy.  Oh dear.  See – this is classic NPD.

What I didn’t know at the time is this:

1.  He’s NPD

2.  NPDs don’t HAVE romantic feelings.

3.  I wasn’t in a relationship.

4.  All the stuff I saw in him that I thought was so wonderful was simply him reflecting MYSELF back to me.  He stole my compassion, empathy and any trait he thought was good and could be used to make himself look good and he reflected it back to me.

5.  At the point where his hyper-sensitive, as-seen-on-TV, get-it-now-for-the-low-low-price-of-$19.99-but-wait-if-you-order-in-the-next-10-minutes-you’ll-get a-second-one-free Little Orphan Annie Imaginary Criticism Decoder Ring  scrambled my communications he pulled out every bit of information his LOAICDR had given him, and using the companion LOAICDR Translation Tool for Narcissists, the free gift that came with the rings if you ordered within the next ten minutes he decoded a message that said “My feelings are hurt” to mean “You are a bad person, you’re stupid, worthless, and will never amount to anything.”  You see,  the LOAICDR is extremely sensitive and the companion Translation Tool for Narcissists has only one translation for anything that’s perceived as criticism. That translation is compatible with all the emotional abuse heaped on the Narcissist prior to age 6.

6.  The Translation Tool for Narcissists does provide instructions for keeping this from happening again, which is to immediately spin the situation, deny accountability and project blame for any and all hurt on the victim.  It then tells the Narcissist to react with vicious devaluation of the victim before the victim has time to sort through all the Narcissist-speak.  It instructs the Narcissist to stomp the victim into submission and do it HARD and if that doesn’t work, to simply throw the victim in the trash and go get a new one.   But I digress.  Let’s get back to the deconstruction of my N’s “apology.”

Then he says:  “If I do it again” meaning that there’s doubt he did it in the first place.  He says to tell him “if” he does it again and he’ll apologize, and then qualifies that with the justification (completely rational to him) that it’s just “how” he is, and then he goes on to tell me he WILL do it again.

It’s classic Narcissist gaslighting.  It’s classic Narcissist-speak for: “You’re crazy, I’m not.  You’re bad, I’m good.  You’re worthless, I’m omnipotent.”

Anyone besides me see an issue with this “apology?”   I hope so.

A Narcissist will defend his or her right to treat you badly, and they will do it using a rationale that is only logical to them.  When a non NPD hears the narcissist explaining WHY he or she did what they did, it will ALWAYS come out as an action they could not control because you MADE them do it.  You won’t have time to process it because it will be followed up with more vitriol.  Remember this:  Every horrible thing a Narcissist does or says to you is a projection of what he KNOWS to be true about himself.  It has nothing to do with you, it is not true about you, and the Narcissist has to convince you that it IS true about you, particularly if you are their only source of supply at the time.  They are desperate to stomp you into a submissive little mirror. 

A Narcissist does not own his or her actions.  If they did, there would be no narcissists.

If you are being treated badly by a Narcissist, the odds are very good that you’re to blame.  Didn’t you know that?  (read sarcasm, please).

If you are being treated badly by a Narcissist (not IF – WHEN) it is because you did not reflect appropriately to them.

When you are being devalued by a Narcissist it is NOT your fault.  It is simply because the Narcissist does not view you as anything other than an object with an expiration date.

If you stay with a Narcissist, beyond the point where you realize what’s going on, you will continue to be treated badly, and then it really WILL be your fault, because you made a choice to stay. 

If you stay with a Narcissist thinking you can fix them, you are DELUDED. Get help NOW.

If you stay with a Narcissist because after you had a deep, heart-felt conversation with them, and things got better, you’d better be prepared for an emotional nuclear warhead to plow through you.

Narcissists don’t HAVE “deep, heart-felt conversations.”  They let YOU talk, and they make assenting noises if they’re at the point where they realize they’re about to lose their current supply and they don’t have any other supply lined up.

So – clear as mud?  A Narcissist is a walking contradiction.