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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Living With a Narcissist

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

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

What it feels like to live with someone with NPD

Contributed by Aames

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

Emotional Constipation. NPD? Maybe.

How long can a narcissist keep the  mask from slipping?  The longest I’ve seen is about 4 months, but there are moments during that time when I’ve thought I saw part of his face twitch and slide a bit.  Yup, turns out I’ve got myself someone who seems to fit  many of the diagnostic criteria for NPD.  

I’m not certain about it and I don’t want to “label” just yet, and besides, I’m no psychiatrist, but there are signs and have been signs for months.  I’ve been seeing this person for 15 months.  When we met, he told me he’d been separated for a year and was planning to file for divorce at the end of 2012. 

As a hard and fast rule, I have never dated any man who was simply “separated.”  He had to be divorced.  For more than 2 years.  I broke my rule.  I’d heard from mutual acquaintances how great this guy is, how horrible his marriage (24 years) had been and what a douche his wife is.  I was told I “couldn’t do better.”  

For the first 4 months, I believed these statements.  He was kind, loving, giving but he was also smothering me.  We had our first date on a Sunday and were supposed to go hiking.  When we got to the mountains, I find out he doesn’t hike.  So we walked around the lake, talking, etc.  I did notice he wasn’t much of a nature boy.  I’m a nature girl.  Still, I figured I could work with that – and I could and can. 

On Monday, I left work, came home and started cleaning the bathroom fan filter.  I get a call that says:  “I’m 20 min away.  Whatcha want for supper?”  I freaked.  On the phone.  His response was to simply say:  “My car just pointed itself in this direction.  No worries.  I’ll bring supper.”  We’d made no plans for Monday, he’d said nothing to me, and I’d counted on an evening alone.  Yup – I let him come over.  New relationship and all that.  RED FLAG! He just assumed I’d be okay with it.  I wasn’t okay with it but I didn’t say anything.  My bad.  So, every day thereafter, with the exception of Wednesdays, he did the same thing.  Came over, brought food, gave me grocery gift cards (I was trying to make ends meet on a low-paying temp job), gas cards, killed all the weeds outside, painted my bathroom, painted my kitchen, cleaned, did laundry, and was all-around wonderful.  Only he never asked me if it was okay and I thought I’d won the lottery and felt as though I’d have the money taken away if I challenged him on his ever-presence.  So I stayed mum.  I’m not so healed from NPD after all, am I?  I don’t seem to recognize the red flags when they’re ON my face, smothering me!

Fast forward to the end of 2012.  No divorce papers filed.  Can’t get an answer from him as to why not.  That’s when I find out he’s moved back into the family home, but she’s supposedly moved in with her elderly mother who needs care.  He’d moved back in 2 months prior and hadn’t told me.  I have no clue when she moved out.  Even now, I don’t know. 

When I asked him about the divorce he would get angry and withdraw.  He’d stare straight ahead, drum his fingers on the arm of whatever piece of furniture, and say something like:  “I’ve answered that question a thousand times already and I’m not answering it again!”  Well, no, he hadn’t answered it even once.  He’d tap danced around it, ducked and weaved, side-stepped, and changed subjects with lightning alacrity.  

The “discussions” begin – but they weren’t really discussions.  I’d talk and he’d get pissed off.  He’d tell me to get off his back.  He’d throw out some reason or another why he hadn’t filed for divorce yet.  His final reply about it was:  “I’m afraid to, okay?  You happy now? You just emasculated me!” 

Um, no, I didn’t.  I deserved an answer and that answer isn’t and wasn’t good enough.  By this time, I’d become dependent upon him for financial help.  I’d been laid off again and unemployment wasn’t paying enough to  pay bills.  He would make my car payment, pay my electric bill, pay my phone bill and buy food.  I’d do the rest with my UE check.  

Life begins to hammer me.  Lots of crap happened – temp job started; temp job ended.  Was told I’d be hired at one job after leaving on a friday and by monday I was unemployed. Unemployment screwed up my benefits and I didn’t get paid anything for almost 2 months.  Nothing.  Dept of welfare screwed up food stamps and those were a month late. They cut me off for July stating they never received “appropriate” documentation of my income.  Yeah they did.  My state is staffed with incompetent idiots.  They received it more than once. I gave up on them. 

Then my timing belt broke and took out a lot of engine parts.  New engine to the tune of $1,824.  There I was, totally dependent up on this man – no money, no food, no transportation.  Do you think he offered to help pay for my vehicle repair?  Nope.  I was totally dependent upon him for transportation.  Why would he help me become independent again?  He would bring food, but nothing healthy.  Even after telling him I can’t eat certain foods, he ignored me.  Just brought what HE wanted. 

Then we got in a huge fight and he decides not to tell me he’s volunteered for the local fireman’s carnival for three weekends in a row.  We didn’t spend much time together as it was – he was over almost every evening after work, but would always leave by 9 because he had to go home and get his “shit in a pile.”  Yeah, it’s a pile of shit, all right. 

So silly me, I go out and buy a couple of books on male/female communication – give one to him and I read the other one – this was prior to the carnival.  He’s had that book for 3 months and hasn’t cracked the binding.  He SAYS it’s because he doesn’t want to take it in the house since “she” might find it.  WTF???  Excuse me???  

I was still unemployed so I gritted my teeth, knowing I needed this man’s support. I still do – just started working again, but I’m no where near being back on my feet.  I hope to be there within 3 months.  Meanwhile I’m making nice with someone I don’t even want around me anymore,  Luckily for me, I don’t have to make excuses for not wanting to sleep with him.  It’s been too hot to sleep in my bedroom upstairs and so I’m sleeping on the sofa or an air mattress in the a/c in the living room.   He’s noticing something though because he’s trying harder these days to be super nice-man again.  I’m not buying it.  He sees his supply diminishing and knows there is no one else to get it from, so he’s trying to reel me back in.  Keep in mind, and I didn’t say this up front,  this man is extremely inexperienced with women.  He’s spent his adult life married to the same woman and if I wrote his life story here you’d understand why I totally believe him when he says he never cheated on her.  Ever.  Anyone who knows him will back that up – while it hasn’t been impossible for him, he has spent his married life caretaking for a woman who has had illness after illness after illness and once she got better, she refused to work.  He’s spent his adult life working extra jobs to support her and the two kids.  He pays almost all the bills, even though on Jan 1, (she’s working now!) they agreed to split the bills exactly in half. Almost immediately his wife’s mother needed round the clock care and so his wife couldn’t work full time.  So he’s paying everything again.  I tried to explain to him what was going on, but he doesn’t care, won’t listen.  Why?  BECAUSE HE’S NOT GETTING DIVORCED.  EVER.  He hates his wife, and he did finally file, but she’s contesting and he’s just ignoring it.  He won’t ever go through with it. 

So, how stupid am I?  Pretty stupid.  I’m in too deep and I’m attempting to extricate myself. At this point, 15 months later, he tells me he can’t provide me emotional support (yeah, like he ever used to????) because his “tank is empty” from all the time he spent caring for his unappreciative wife.  

I don’t feel sorry for him.  I’m not going to kick myself anymore.  I’m just working toward extrication.  It ain’t easy.  After this, though?  I’m probably done with relationships.  I can’t seem to pick a man who is good for me.  I thought this man was, since after 3 years of not dating and just taking care of ME, we met totally by coincidence.  I wasn’t looking and he wasn’t either.  (so he says.)  

Used to be I could do no wrong.  Now, I’m just another harpy like his wife.  No – he’s never called me that name, but he’s articulated on many occasions that his bad behavior and negative reactions to my needs are due solely to spending “the last 20 years dealing with that shit.”  Uh huh.  And he was a pastor, too.  Oh yeah.  You read that right.  

He says he does what he does because he loves me.  I’m supposed to be totally happy with financial support, food I can’t really eat, and his presence a couple hours a day.  I’m not ever supposed to ask about the progress of his divorce, or anything that might upset him. I’m supposed to just be a good little mistress, sit down, shut up and smile.  Tell him how wonderful he is.  Oh, and I’m also supposed to make him “feel like a man.”  I got told recently that I don’t do that enough.  He told me this in the middle of my most recent layoff, when I was freaking out about money, and was having other issues that I needed help with. He didn’t help with any of them – he simply intimated he wasn’t getting enough sex or home cooked meals.  He hasn’t had any since.  He’s not happy about it. Gosh.  

I’ll get out of it.  I just need to get all my ducks in a row and very coldly and calculatingly use him for what I need until I can move on.  If he won’t talk, won’t be honest, expects me to read his mind, won’t divorce, yet expects me to always be there for him – he can sleep in the bed he’s made for himself.  

Wish I had time to tell the entire story.  It’s a tale.  I don’t have the time,  though.  

And while I do have empathy for anyone who is primary caregiver to an ailing family member, the fact is that it’s not my fault he never sought help; it’s not my problem that he allowed her to drain his “tank” and it’s not my fault that I’m a normal woman who would like a man who interacts on a normal level, emotionally.  This guy is about 14, emotionally.  I already raised one teenaged boy.  Not raising another.  What’s galling about it, and I know better than to write this because it’s normal N behavior:  he would say he’s been nothing but fantastically wonderful to me.  He can’t look in his own mirror.  What he’d see would be too much for him to process.  

Oh – and when he and his wife were splitting up he agreed to counselling. He says he went to 9 sessions and walked out on the last one because each session was all about what he was doing wrong and how he’d treated her like shit.  Well, if you’re close enough to smell that it’s shit…(and I am!)

 

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!

 

I’ll Say It One More Time (for now)

If you are an employee working for a large corporate entity please understand the following:

1.  You are of zero value to the company beyond what THEY deem valuable.  The definition of “value” changes daily.

2.  You are not a person.  You are a number.

3.  Your boss is NOT your friend, regardless how much you might suck up, or how much he or she may provide you special treatment.  At some point your boss’ job will be threatened and if he/she needs to step on you to save their job, you can be assured you will be gone before you can take your next breath.

4.  Telling staff they are being downsized “ahead of time” is not a display of integrity.  It is simply the result of a group of executive minions getting together and deciding the best way to keep you guys working and give you the illusion of hope that maybe things will change and they won’t downsize you after all.

5.  You have no job security.

6.  Your loyalty and hard work will never be repaid.  It will be abused.  It will appear to be appreciated until it is deemed that your salary is cutting into the big guys “competitive compensation.”

7.  Corporate executives do what is good for them, not what is good for you.

8.  THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR NEEDS, OR WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU ONCE YOU ARE CUT LOOSE.  THEY WILL FORGET ABOUT YOU.  Their lives will continue in the same vein as always, complete with luxury vacations, great medical care, plenty of food on the table, spending sprees, and conspicuous consumption while you plead with your landlord to give you another week to scrape together the back rent before you are evicted.

Don’t ever forget any of this.

Keep your resume updated and on Careerbuilder, Dice, Monster, Linked In, and any other place you can think of.  Keep it in front of every headhunter, placement agency, and hiring manager you can.  Network.  If you do this you might have a chance at finding a new job.  Right now, with our economy spinning out of control, the odds aren’t good, but there’s always a chance.  Keep that thought of a chance in front of you and get your resume together and OUT THERE NOW!

Executive Leadership – A Narcissist’s Dream

In my post  “Hey Bill Foote…” one of my readers commented that I know exactly how Mr. Chairman sleeps at night, because 99% of executive leadership is NPD.

She’s right.  I’ve had more than enough experience with these guys to know they care about nothing and no one but themselves.  They rise to the top level not because they are cream, but because they are oil, and they sit there, on top of the ever-flowing water of staff, and smother all the life out of them.

Oh yeah, Miss Tracy, you are dead on.

I know how Bill Foote sleeps at night.  He could give a flying rip about how his actions affect the worker-bees just as long as he gets what he wants.  He needs to please the shareholders, at least those with majority shares, and let me tell you what I know about shareholders.  Those who have the money to own enough stock to count for something, vote. Those who don’t, pay no attention to the materials they get regarding voting on issues.

I know this because I’ve been a minority shareholder in a company and my vote counted for zilch.  I would read that material every time I got it and if I didn’t like what they were planning to do, I’d vote no.  I’d try to rally the ranks to get them to vote, but my efforts were greeted with the same apathy as political elections (okay, except when we were voting Bush out of office!).  The answer would always be:  “What can I do?  I’m just one person.  My vote doesn’t count. ”   Yes, your vote counts as long as ALL the shareholders get up off their asses and VOTE.

The problem is, that when you have someone like Warren Buffet owning 15% of the stock in a company, and you have a million other people holding tiny blocks of stock, and believing their vote won’t count, whose vote will get the most weight?

NPDs rise to the top by doing exactly what Bill Foote is doing to USG.  They get there by trampling on others, by disregarding the needs of others, by smooth prevarication and obfuscation of the REAL issues.  It’s all about them and their money.  Never is it about what the majority needs.

Do I think, even for a minute, that Mr. Chairman of USG will squeeze one little penny from his own pocket to help those he’s trampling in this latest move?  I’m not that naive.  He’ll be out golfing, or yachting, or basking in the glow of praise from all his other NPD corporate minions while REAL people get shoved out the door into poverty, and perhaps even death, if they can’t get the healthcare they  need.

He’ll be drinking by the fireplace over the holidays while those he’s ruined cross holidays off their to-do list and push survival to the top of that list.

He won’t spare a single thought for those he’s harmed.  He’s done his D&D quite well.  And for those of you who don’t know what D&D is, that stands for “Devaluation and Discard.”  That’s what he’s done to his AMERICAN workers while standing beneath a corporate logo that has the words UNITED STATES in it.