Narcissists are Bigots, Sexist & Racist & their Intolerance of others will put your Life in Turmoil.

   When I was living with my narcissist husband, every day was a struggle.  As soon as I finished unpacking boxes and setting up our home, we were on the move again.  We lived a turbulent life together, never being able to settle in one place for long because he could not maintain a job due to his narcissistic personality disorder.  His odd quarks and profound paranoia of others baffled me.  I kept thinking that something was so off about him, but I just chalked it up to him being a doctor.  I found him to be a bit insecure because I felt that he overcompensated.  He saw himself as a renaissance man who deserved all the finer things in life.  He acted entitled and as an intellectual.  But I did not see him that way.  He grew up in a home with his father always unemployed because he never liked “being told what to do” by anyone, and his mother was a nurse who was hardly ever home.  Yet, he acted as if he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  I figured him out to be a fraud. 

   I find a man who is capable and kind to be very attractive, and not a man who is inept and vindictive. I admire a man who is there to fix things if they break, and not jump to pay someone else to do it.  A real man will listen to both sides of an argument, and not just point the finger at everyone else.  I realized quickly after we were married that I ended up with a man who was the latter. In looking at the DSM V, narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, entitlement and lack of empathy. There is no doubt about it, narcissists are intolerant individuals because anyone different from them are seen as inferior.  And trying to share your life with someone like this is bound to make yours a misery. The narcissist will reign over what company you keep and will treat others around you like dirt.  You will find that you are constantly instructing a grown person about the “Golden Rule.”  But your efforts to try to help your narcissist co-exist peacefully with others will be in vain.  

    I once asked my ex the hypothetical question, what would happen if our son turned out to be gay one day?  Boy!  That was a big mistake!  My ex was horrified and responded “That will never happen” and that I “better not try to make our son gay.” As if I could just wave a magical wand and change the sexual preference of our son.   I could see right then and there that our children better conform to his ideals of what he thinks they should be or else they will be shut out of his life.  Whereas I just want my children to grow up to be happy and confident individuals.

   My narcissist hated homosexuals and before our marriage, he made me promise to stop seeing my gay friends. He said that he “did not want our future children to be surrounded by “those kinds of people.”   He seemed to think that the “gayness” may rub off on our children somehow.  I was in disbelief when he made those statements.  He is a doctor after all, and supposed to be educated and not such an ignorant ass!  Then when I tried to talk some sense into him and protested about him insisting I stop hanging out with my male gay friend, my ex asked me, “how do you know he is really gay?  He is probably just faking it to get close to you.”  I told him that he was imagining things and that it was not possible because I had known my friend for years. But there was no convincing my ex.  He did not want me to have friends of the opposite sex. Actually, he did not even want me having friends of the same sex.  As soon as we got married, he went to straight work to isolate me from any of my friends and my family, (a huge red flag of narcissistic behavior). 

My narcissist hated people of color. I will never forget the day I brought home a book from the library about a little boy riding an inner city bus for the first time and gets to meet a lot of people who appear very different from him. He encounters guys covered in tattoos and people of different races. It was an uplifting and inspiring book that encourages kindness and acceptance of other people, who at first glance look different but are in fact the same as you. I thought it was a great book! At bedtime, when my ex sat down to read to the children, he picked up that book, thumbed through it and said, “Don’t you ever look through the books you bring home for the kids? This is terrible! Why would you ever get this one? I don’t want our kids to think that hanging out with these kids of people is ok.” I was horrified. I felt a burn of hate well up inside me when he said that. I just shook my head and said, well there is nothing wrong with it in my eyes.

   Male narcissists hate women.  For example, my ex is an anesthesiologist.  He works in hospitals full of female doctors, nurses and the dreaded CNRA.  He despised any female in the same position as him, but he really hated the female CNRA.  This was a certified registered nurse anesthesiologist. Which means, they do pretty much the same thing as doctor anesthesiologists do but without the time spent at medical school, and they work for less money.  My ex was so threatened by these CNRAs, as he felt that they were always undermining him at work and that the hospitals gave them preferential treatment.  This is untrue of course.  However, my paranoid ex thought CNRAs were a conspiracy created by the medical profession to get rid of anesthesiologist positions.  He was usually placed in supervisory positions over the CNRAs and that always ended poorly because of his demeaning and micromanaging manner.  I remember hearing that he made one woman cry because he was so nasty to her.  

   Well due to his intolerance and paranoia, we moved 6-7 times in as many years and he had many jobs with different work structures.  One hospital, he worked on his own, no CNRAs to supervise, and he preferred that model as he was master of his own universe.  However, the boss of his anesthesia group happened to be an older female.  That job lasted only seven months before we had to move again, all this with a 2 year old in tow.  Before everything fell apart at that location, he called me from work in a panic because he said that he just sent me a hateful text message regarding his boss and he accidentally texted it to her instead of me!!! Oh boy.  These are just a few examples of how his disorder made my life impossible to find peace and joy.

   So, in my experience, a narcissist’s behavior towards others is just as damaging as it is towards you.  Their intolerance, nastiness and hateful beliefs of others will impact and dramatically affect your life.  All I ever wanted was a nurturing and happy home for my children, and no matter how hard I tried, I could not accomplish that being married to a man of madness.  There is no fixing a narcissist, they will continue to see the world through hateful eyes and there is nothing you can do to change that.  The only thing you can do to salvage the situation is to save yourself and leave.  That is what I did, and not a day goes where I am not grateful that I made that decision.  My children and I do not have to live under his destructful reign anymore.

Narcissists Control you in Life and even after they are Dead, if you let them…

When we were together for seven years, my narcissist controlled every aspect of my life. He isolated me from my family and friends. He told me what I should be wearing, how I should be parenting the kids, etc.. He even told me how I should be thinking and feeling, and that I should be happy all the time. I had no control over my own mind or emotions because of him and his constant gas lighting. The amount of abuse is all consuming and if you don’t go through it, it is almost impossible to understand it.

My narcissist also abused me financially. He controlled the credit cards, he never put my name on the checking account, I could never get cash back if I was fortunate enough to go to the grocery store without him. He was the one who went to the store, I believe it was because he was so afraid I would meet someone and cheat, as if. He was a medical professional making more money than I could ever dream of making myself.
He frequently made statements to me, that “I am worth more alive than dead, so you better hope I live a long life.” He did not want to structure his financial plan after death that would in any way allow me to have any say in how to use the funds. We had two children together, and you would think that he would want to make sure we were taken care of if he were to die.

Instead, he made a trust, appointing his brother as trustee, who happens to ALSO be a narcissist.  So, after his death, he would be effectively still be controlling me though a legal document and his own narcissist brother that I could not stand.  My narcissist had numerous rental properties and made it so that I would have no ability to sell them, even if there was a natural disaster. He was so afraid that I would somehow benefit from his success and he was determined not to leave me and the children in a better off place in case of his death. Instead, he had us merely getting enough money each month off of his investments that we would be barely getting by. And that was only if all was going well in the real estate market, leaving no room for any property to be vacant, or allowing money for repairs. I had no say in any of it.

He viewed himself as an omnipotent hero, a viking warrior of some sort.  And he gave me specific instructions that when he died, he would want a huge monument for his grave, which would cost at least $50,000-100,000 to complete.  He instructed me that he wanted a large viking sitting on a throne for a tomb stone. He wanted it to have big horns on its head and even be phallic in nature. I thought he was joking, but in fact, he was dead serious.  I once told him that I would not be able to make that happen since he was not planning on leaving me money that I had any say on how to spend.

He refused to acknowledge my concerns about the children’s and my future regarding financial security.  Instead, he just focused on thinking about what HE wanted.  I just kept thinking, well at this rate, he will be burying me first anyways, despite him being nine years older than me.  He was depleting all of my energy, joy and health in the time I spent with him.  Now looking back, I am so grateful that I don’t have to wake up to that controlling, micromanaging monster anymore.  I believe that I received more money in my divorce settlement combined with child support than he ever would have left to me in case of his passing.  Ironically, I got back what he was stealing from me.  I reclaimed my freedom and now he has no choice but to give up some of his financial control over to me and his children.  Not a bad outcome.

In looking back, this is exactly what my narcissist would be deserving of for a tombstone, a monster on his toilet throne!  It even resembles him, true story!

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Narcissists Demand their Children Look Perfect in Every Way.

When my 7 year old little girl finally lost her two front teeth at the same time, I was excited for her yet sad that it was another sign of her growing up. However, it was also adorable and heart warming when she opened up her mouth and smiled at me. I couldn’t get enough of her little gap-toothed pixie grin! I was taking photos and videos all over the place, trying to document this precious and fleeting time of her life, just as any parent would. Well, almost any parent. The narcissist is excluded in this, of course.

After my daughter came home from visiting her father right after she had lost her two front teeth, she and her brother told me that their dad kept telling her to “keep her mouth shut” because he did not want her missing teeth to show in the pictures he was taking.  His new wife (who I suspect is also a narcissist) even told my sweet daughter that she “looked scary” because of her missing teeth.  My ex narcissist is famous for taking tons of photos of his “new perfect family” with our shared two children, and his new wife and their two babies.  I have seen many of the pictures, and my children always look strained and have fake smiles. Both of my children have exasperatedly told me many times that their dad “always takes a lot of photos when they visit” and that he wants them “to look like movie stars” in the pictures.

I was horrified that he was so caught up in looking perfect, he told our beautiful little girl to her to keep her mouth closed because he did not want her “imperfect” smile to ruin his “perfect family” pics taken on his iphone.  A few weeks later, as my daughter’s front teeth were coming in, he saw her smile and said, “Oh, that looks so much better.”  Ugh!

Narcissists are wretched human beings and also huge hypocrites. It is sad really, because her father has a gap toothed grin himself, and he is in his mid 40’s. If portraying a perfect image is so important to him, then he should have taken himself to the orthodontist 20 years ago and got his own teeth fixed. But no, he feels that he is the ideal of what a man should look like and cannot be honest with what he sees in the mirror. But that is just a narcissist for you.  I remember that he would make lots of comments about his 5 year old daughter from another relationship and he felt that she was “getting fat.”  I told him that he was being too hard on her and that she was a healthy weight and still growing.  I told him “don’t you dare tell a little girl that!!! You will scar her for life.”  Good thing he has alienated her from his new life and she is free from his emotional abuse now.  However, we are not so lucky.

Due to the fact that image is everything to a narcissist, they want to appear to the world as having it all together, and that includes their family.  Narcissists dress up their children like dolls, and expect them to always smile and look perfect all the time. It is exhausting!  My son says he loves that he can wear his comfy clothes like sweatpants and tee shirts when he is home with me because at his father’s, he has to dress up for everything, even going to the zoo.  His dad threatens me with throwing away the clothes I have sent with the kids because he doesn’t like the pattern on my daughter’s pants, or there is a small amount of wear on the knees. I think it is ridiculous because the kids just go to the park, who wants to send formal attire for that?

When he has the children on his visitation, my narcissist is notorious for wasting loads of time that he should be spending with the kids, texting and emailing me awful messages about the  clothes and shoes I sent.  Nothing is ever good enough.  For a day and a half visit, I send 3-4 pairs of pants, and dresses and shorts.  He wastes his time with the kids verbally battering me over nonsense.   Many instances he told me not to send certain clothes back the next time because he thinks they are ugly.  This is unfounded because I always send cute, good quality clothing from Gymboree or similar brands.

If the kids shoes ever have any kind of wear, he tells me to throw them away because he “pays me too much money” and I should be spending it on the kids. Well, my daughter’s brand new shoes look worn after just one week because she is an infamous toe-dragger. It cannot be helped.

He would even threaten me and say that he emailed pictures of the kid’s shoes to his attorney and would claim that I was neglecting the children, which couldn’t be further from the truth. If only you could see their gorgeous closets filled with wonderful wardrobes. He just needs something to hang his hat on, something to make him feel good, his narcissistic supply. Which unfortunately means that he needs to try to get a reaction out of me, so he picks at me regarding the children constantly.

What my narcissist does not understand is that I don’t care anymore. I just laugh at him when he starts on his latest tirade. I let him roll around in the muck all by himself. As if there was anything I could do to actually please him anyway? If you find that you are in similar circumstances, just shake your head and let it go.

Narcissistic fathers and their children

Narcissists are extremely jealous of their children for numerous reasons.  First, because children take their mother’s time away from focusing solely on the narcissist.  Second, narcissists have the demented belief that their offspring purely are extensions of themselves. And as soon as the children begin to demonstrate their own minds that will happen to differ with what the narcissist believes, the narcissist acts out by demeaning them and telling them that they are wrong. He will tell them that they better not think that way, or better not pursue professions that he does not approve of, etc… Interestingly, anything that the narcissist sees the children doing or saying that he does not like, he blames the mother for it.  When I left my ex, I remembered he called me with anger and told me that he should be number one, and the kids number two. Well, I beg to differ.

My narcissist ex will take away my children’s accomplishments by one upping them. When my son says, “Hi dad, I played catch today.” My ex then replies with, “Oh that is great! Daddy played catch all the time when I was your age.” And when my son says, “I had a Cub Scouts meeting today,” my ex says “Yes, Daddy was in Cub Scouts too.” There is no other response or inquiry into whatever my son says he achieved, it could be concerning school activities, sports, etc. Which is funny because the entire time I was married to him, he never once mentioned Cub Scouts or playing baseball or soccer, he told me that he only played football. I strongly believe that he never actually did those things. He is just desperately trying to get his son to see him as accomplished, when in fact, he is not. And by stealing our son’s thunder and refocusing the attention on himself, he is killing any potential meaningful relationship with our son. No one likes being one upped all the time.

My children are 7 and 10 now, and he still does baby talk to them. It is disgusting. He just doesn’t know how to effectively communicate with them. He is what I call an “over-talker.” He does not take the time to listen to them, he just keeps talking as they are trying to tell him about their day.  He acts so out of touch with reality. Even though their father rarely sees them now because he moved across the country, he still calls most every night and says the same things to the kids and proceeds to give them the latest “countdown” until they “come to daddy’s house,” as if they were getting ready to blast off into space. However, as far as I am concerned, being shuttled headlong into the vast emptiness of outer space, without vital support and meaningful communication with others, I would imagine that is exactly what a trip to daddy’s house feels like to the children based on their reports to me when they come back home.

Having a narcissist for a father is constantly frustrating for children. They don’t feel heard, they certainly do not feel understood. Children do not feel safe or free to think for themselves and are constantly seeking the narcissist’s approval in all matters. Narcissists have an emotional void in the space where empathy should reside. This lack of empathy is what makes a narcissist. That is also what makes a psychopath and sociopath, truth be told.

Related:  My blog posts on How to Save your Children from a Narcissistic Parent.  and How to go No Contact with a Narcissist when you have Children with one.

How to get Revenge on a Narcissist.

The best revenge you could possibly get on a narcissist is by living well and loving yourself. If you focus inward on what makes you happy, you set the groundwork to find happiness everyday. There is nothing that irritates the narcissist more than to see you content because that is something the narcissist will never be… content. It is impossible to control the actions and thoughts of the narcissist, or anybody else for that matter. However, if you make yourself the center and try not to let them seep into your mind, you will be happier for it.

Narcissists have a massive fear of abandonment, and the fact that you get away from their clutches and control is the worst possible thing you could ever do to them! You have effectively stripped away their narcissistic supply which they require in order to sustain their feelings of superiority. You must realize that the goal of the narcissist is to tear you down so that you become totally dependent on them and less likely to leave them. They accomplish this by implementing multiple methods of abuse, including put-downs, threats, temper tantrums, paranoia, gas-lighting, etc.  You find yourself allowing the abuse because you become an expert at making excuses for their intolerable behavior. In the beginning, they had shown you a glimmer of greatness and you desperately want to believe that goodness will pour out of them again. But in all seriousness, the goodness you saw was the mask, it is not who the narcissist is.

You must take a step back and try to look at your situation as if it was a friend going through it. What would you tell a friend if you saw them suffering like you are in your toxic relationship? Would you tell your best friend to “just live with it?” Of course not, so then why would you ever choose to bear every day being treated so brutally? You are worth it, you are a good person. No one on earth deserves to be demeaned, demoralized and dehumanized on a daily basis. You will never know how wonderful life and love can be if you do not get away.

That said, I do realize it is impossible to physically separate from your narcissist right now because of the circumstances surrounding the world as I write this. Many of us are trapped in a prison under quarantine with our abuser. But, all is not lost, as this too shall pass.  Now is a time where one can begin to plan and prepare for our next step when free. Use this time wisely.  I have a blog on how to survive living with a narcissist while planning your escape.

To those who are separated from the narcissist in your life, but he or she is still around due to shared children, etc. Don’t give them the satisfaction when they make snarky comments to you about this or that. Just say “I am sorry you feel that way” and walk away.  Or if it is a text, just don’t respond. It is that simple. The whole reason narcissists try to upset you with actions or words, is to get a reaction from you because they feed on both positive and negative responses. However, if you do not give them any reaction at all, (called going no contact) you have robbed them of their necessary narcissistic supply and that bothers them more than any comeback you could ever muster!

I bet a lot of you are thinking that my advice may be passive and you were looking for a more hands on approach to getting revenge, like turning the tables on them by giving them a dose of their own medicine. But trust me, I tried to do just that a few times on my narcissist by using some of his routines on him and it backfired.  Sure, for a moment it caught him off guard, but then he just ramped upped his abusive tactics and I realized it was futile, because it fed into his narcissistic supply regardless. Believe me when I urge you to cut ties and drain his supply, for a narcissist it is the biggest way to injure their ego.  I have thought long and hard about this for the past four years.  It is punishment in and of itself that a narcissist has to wake up being a miserable human being every day, incapable of love, joy and simple contentment. And the fact that you are finally seeking happiness without the narcissist stealing it, truly is revenge.

So in conclusion, the ways to achieve revenge upon the narcissist is first, by leaving them and taking away their narcissistic supply. Next, by believing in yourself and loving yourself and lastly, by living your best life by being free and unfettered by the narcissist’s control.

What is “Narcissistic Supply” anyway?

After taking a lengthy respite from writing about my experiences with my narcissist, I am now diving headfirst back into the murky waters. Looking through my old posts, I just realized I never wrote an article solely about narcissistic supply. I am glad you are wondering what this common phrase encompasses, because it is essential to understand what it means and what role it plays to the narcissist. It is quite simple but complex at the same time.

As I described in a previous blog post, due to the very nature of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, the narcissist must at all times be in a state of idolization. They achieve this delicate state by absorbing other people’s emotional reactions to what the narcissist either says or does. Narcissistic supply is fundamentally these very emotional responses and feedback the victim gives the narcissist during and oftentimes after their toxic relationship ends.

Supply can be either positive or negative, it does not matter in what form it takes, as long as it is provided. The “supply” is the narcissist’s drug and if they miss a dose, they will go to great lengths to unearth some. Narcissists need a constant stream of narcissistic supply in order to function and boost their insecurity and feelings of ultimate control over other people. Without their supply, the narcissist goes into crisis mode and their whole world shuts down. They are incomplete.

The reason the narcissist needs this form of supply is because narcissists are missing the empathy component. They do not have the ability to really care about another human being’s wants and needs, therefore they are incapable of truly loving anyone other than themselves. The narcissist only cares about what he or she wants and needs. Because they have no ability to have authentic emotional responses, they feed on the emotional responses of others. This strangely resembles the Death Eaters in Harry Potter that sucks the life out of their victims.

If the response is positive, the narcissist soaks it up and revels in the praise and adoration from others. However, if the response is negative, the narcissist still rolls around in it deriving sick pleasure because they see that their actions or words are negatively affecting others. As a result of inflicting torment, the narcissist witnesses his control of those around him. This power goes straight to their ego and they thrive on it, as sick as it sounds. So when you retaliate against a narcissist, you may feel good that you got a jab in at them.  However, to the narcissist, you are feeding them the supply that they crave.  They are not hurt, to the contrary, they love seeing you so upset that you say or do something that they can take and twist and use against you. “See, look at yourself!  You are acting crazy!” In turn, it validates them.

There you have it, narcissist supply is a hell of a drug. Deprive them of it at all costs and they will be quicker to slink away and leave you alone.

 

How to help a friend who is involved with a Narcissist…

I was recently asked by a concerned reader how to help a friend that she was sure was married to a narcissist. Unfortunately, she probably will not like my answer because it is not a quick fix. It is a slow progression of help which I will get into further on, but first a little background into a typical victim’s mindset. These matters are extremely delicate, as the victim in a narcissistic relationship has been brainwashed into believing that they somehow deserve the bad treatment. They believe that everything the narcissist does or says is actually their fault.  As a result, the victim’s sense of self is obliterated, their strength has been sapped to the point that they willingly take the abuse and have normalized it.  They believe it is the best they can expect. Victims are actually fooled into believing that they are lucky to have the abuser! (Like Stockholm Syndrome)

Usually, the relationship between a narcissist and a victim is that of the “pedestal and the pit.” I discussed this tactic in another blog. This is the situation in a relationship where the narc will place his victim on a pedestal and treat her like gold, then the next moment, knock her down into the pit of mistreatment. It disorientates the victim to the point of confusion. This is a vicious cycle that never stops during a narcissist relationship.  After undergoing this dizzying cycle of ups and downs, the feeling of being in the narc’s good graces again and sitting on top of that pedestal feels so relieving to the victim after being in the “pit,” it is addicting.  As a result of this torment, the victim will do anything to please the narcissist.  She will find herself ignoring the bad in the relationship and only focusing on the good in order to pull through day by day.  So, she makes excuses for him, hoping and praying that things are going to be different. But things NEVER change. It is a sad truth. You cannot FIX a Narcissist!

So, back to the question of “How to help a friend who is involved with a narcissist?”

First, you can help your friend the most by sitting down with her and explaining your concerns and why you are worried about her.

However, after being married to a Narcissist for 7 years myself, I am aware of how proficient your friend will be at making excuses for her husband’s bad behavior.  I was, I go into that topic more in this blog post.  I covered for his bad behavior for numerous reasons. One of those was because I began to believe I didn’t deserve better (as I mentioned above). Also, I wanted to live in the fantasy that our marriage was grand, I didn’t want others to know what he was really like.  I was afraid of casting a light on his horrible behavior and that would mean that I needed to finally do something about it. (Which I knew would be the most challenging task of my life.)  Additionally, I made excuses because I shared children with him, and in my mind, I used to believe that divorce was the worst thing you could do to a child.  However, now I realize that staying in a terrible, abusive marriage only teaches your children to become apathetic and perfect victims, or it teaches them to become narcissistic abusers themselves.

Second, after showing your friend some material on narcissist behavior, you must tell your friend that because you care about her, no matter what, you will be there to support and encourage her whenever she is ready to seek help.
What helped me was when my narc had a earth shattering tantrum in front of my parents that I couldn’t cover up, and I had no possible excuses for.  That moment, my concerned parents offered to take me and my children 3 hours home with them that day. I declined out of fear.  But it got the wheels turning in my mind, and when my mother told me that she thought my husband was a Narcissist.  I began to google everything I could on the disorder because I had no idea what that really was.  In my research, I discovered that my husband had all the markers of it and it changed my mindset.  Learning about narcissism opened my eyes to seeing how I was living day to day and forced me to take a good look at how I permitted him to control my life.  In another blog, I discuss these 13 big signs that proved I was in a relationship with a narcissist.  It was like a blanket of darkness finally lifted and I began to see him for what he really was. I had started figuring out what had been nagging me our whole marriage.  But, the point is, I had to figure it out myself.  My Mother planted the seed, she tried to pull me out of this relationship, but I was not ready to go. I needed it to be MY choice, on MY time. Then one day after endless research online and in books, I finally hit a point, where my fear of staying outweighed my fear of leaving.

Third, you must be patient with your friend.

It will take time, but you cannot just rip her away from a bad relationship. It will backfire and she will end up going back to him and cutting all ties with you.  If you plant the seed, it will begin to grow in her mind and she needs to learn the truth herself.  Looking back, what mattered the most to me during my revelation was knowing that my Mom and Dad were there to support me and to help when I was ready to leave.  I am very thankful for that.

In summary, there is no magic bullet to getting a friend away from a narcissistic relationship.  It is a process that they alone have to be ready to undergo.  The victim must be armored with knowledge about the narcissist’s tactics before they begin to walk through that door.  That is where you come in, be there for them, and they will never forget it, even if they seem to ignore your concerns at this point.  I discuss how I made my escape in this blog post.  To an outsider, it can be hard to understand why someone would stay in a toxic relationship, but unless you go through it, it is impossible to understand it.    Just try to be sympathetic with your friend because it is such a drastic undertaking to break away from an abusive relationship that the victim must be in a fully committed state of mind to make it happen.  If they are only “sort of” ready to leave, that wont be enough to succeed in escaping.

If they understand that they have people in their life who love them and will be there to support them, that can make all the difference.

The Show Must Go On…

We have all heard the phrase, “the show must go on.” But the ones who really understand it are those people who lived it by being stuck in a toxic relationship with a Narcissist. When you find that you need to put on a show whenever your partner is around, that is big sign that you are being controlled by a narcissist.

I am now three years removed from being submerged in a suffocating marriage with a narcissist, however, when I think back to what I went through and how I felt, I had an epiphany. I distinctly remember whenever my ex walked through the door, I had to prepare my 3 year old and 6 year old to treat their father a certain way in order to stall their father’s bad moods, suspicious antics or lecturing behavior.

I found myself telling my children that “Daddy’s going to be coming home soon and they better smile, and give him a big hug” and I would plead with them to be on their best behavior. I quickly learned that we had to go through this role playing because in the past, if my narcissist were to come home and we were all doing something other than waiting there to greet him with smiles on our faces and our full attention, he would be offended and feel that we “did not appreciate him.” He would then go on a pity trip and lecture us, scold us and say that we did not love him, etc. It was ridiculous, but true. It would put a dampener on the rest of the evening and we all walked on eggshells.

So, I would find myself trying to prepare my little actors to put on a show for Daddy. A show that would hopefully, delay the narcissist’s antics for a later time. But it was never for long. The children and I were always in survival mode, just waiting for the next little thing to set him off.

During the marriage, I didn’t actually see what I was doing, or how his behavior truly affected us because when you are living it, it can be difficult to see through it. However, now that I am safely away from my narcissist and in a healthy relationship full of mutual respect and adoration, I can easily see what lengths I went to in order to try to protect my children from their narcissistic father.

If you find that you need to be anyone other than your true self when your partner is around, that is not a good sign. Be aware that all of life is not a stage, or at least it shouldn’t have to be. My advice as someone who has lived through it, lower the curtain and walk away and it is best to ignore the curtain call, let the narcissist get the bows he craves from someone other than you or your children.

Realizing You Have Become Stronger After Enduring Narcissist Abuse…

Now that I am safely divorced and apart from my narcissist, I feel more invigorated by the day. I am on a path of discovery that I couldn’t comprehend one year ago. It is somewhat true what they say about “time healing all wounds.” Although time does help, it does not heal if you do not look within yourself to discover how deep your wounds have been inflicted.

It was shocking when I put some time and distance between the painful experiences I endured to recognize just how miserable and controlled I was living day to day. I was not living, I was merely surviving at best. I was incredibly altered when I married that man. Every day was a torment. He never asked me how I was sincerely, nor did he care. I had to repeat myself like a parrot because he never listened to what I had to say, unless he realized that he could save it up and twist it somehow to use against me later. A narcissist has no interest in you or anything you care about, because all their minds can wrap around is their own. They have no capacity to truly love, they are merely an empty shell of a human being.

Now that I am done with that part of my life, I have been focusing on my wants and my needs for the first time in almost a decade and it feels so wonderful! I hardly ever think of him, unless it is to remember he is calling to talk to the kids. I don’t waste my thoughts on him if I can help it, he does not control me anymore. But it is interesting how his abuse can still haunt me over the simple things I do now.

When I find my mind jumping to a moment where he would abuse me in the past, I experience a great wave of appreciation that I don’t have to endure it anymore. It hits me like a jolt, then I try to push it to the side and move on. I used to hate when these moments jostled me, however, now I take a second to be grateful for them because I no longer have to live under his rule. These moments solidify my fortitude.
I almost relish it when he tries to upset me know, because I just laugh and shake it off. He has lost his power over me and he knows it. He has not tried to upset me as much either because he knows he doesn’t have the same effect on me that he used to. One time at the pick up of the kids, he was talking to me about something that upset him and I looked at him and casually threw my head back and laughed. He looked at me stunned and confused. I wish I could have taken a picture of his reaction because it was priceless.

What I am trying to say is that the longer you are away from your narcissist and go “no contact” as much as possible, the better you will begin to feel.  As the days and moments slowly pass after you have left, only then can the wounds finally have a real chance to start the healing process. With this distance, you will be able to look deep into yourself and figure out what parts are missing and what parts you need to repair.  With time, you will get to the point where the narcissist’s actions annoy you rather than upset you. You will be annoyed that you didn’t see through his or her antics sooner, you will become irritated that you used to let it bother you so much in the past. When you get to this point, you will realize how much stronger you are now. It is a wonderful and powerful place to be! This is YOUR time, relish it!

 

 

My little birdie…

After spending seven years stuck in a marriage to a narcissist, I got used to being in the dark. After all, he never would tell me about his past life before me. He would just tell me the bare minimum and gloss over the details. I always thought that it was strange, as I am an open book. I enjoy talking about the past, it helps me see how far I have come in my life. I am a huge fan of reminiscing. I am a scrapbooker for goodness sake! While I would have jumped at the idea of looking at baby pictures or embarrassing junior high photos of my ex, he never wanted to even show me. Also, he could care less about looking at mine. I figured that maybe he was just not a sentimental guy. Why else would he not care, or else strive to conceal his past?

Well, after I divorced him, there were so many unanswered questions lingering about who he really was. The man I thought I was marrying was not at all who he turned out to be, he transformed into a stranger on our honeymoon. That is a story for a later time. Well, it is funny how fate can intervene when you least expect it to help give you closure. While I was attending a conference for my work, a new colleague (who I will rename, Brad) sat down next to me and we began chatting. He asked me about my divorce and if it was amicable? I then told him a little bit about my divorce and how my ex was only amicable at the mediation because he had a new girlfriend who he already had impregnated. Brad couldn’t believe it and then he asked me if my ex was a foreigner.  I laughed and said no, and explained that my ex was from a nearby town. Well, then Brad asked what my ex’s last name was and when I told him, he was floored. He then said “Oh my God! Your ex is a relative of mine!”

I was embarrassed at first and thought well… I am sorry if you are offended that I have something unflattering to say about your relative. But before I could say that, Brad spoke up and told me that he is only a second cousin of my ex and that he always stayed away from that side of the family because he thought that my ex, as well as my ex’s Mom, Dad and other three brothers were very strange. Brad stated that my ex was always condescending and an asshole at family reunions. He said that he always thought of my ex as someone who would get a mail-order bride someday. I couldn’t believe everything he was telling me about my ex. It was awesome! Brad then asked me what I though about my ex getting dishonorably discharged from the military? I shockingly said, what??? My ex never told me that! He told me that he got out of the military after he finished up his time. But Brad said that my ex was definitely dishonorably discharged for some reason that he was not aware of.

When I think about it, I remember that my ex was married to his first wife during his three year service in Okinawa, Japan and I wouldn’t doubt that he cheated on his wife while she was staying back in America to finish up school. That makes more sense to me, he always said that SHE cheated on him while he was overseas, but I do know that the military will dishonorably discharge an officer for that kind of behavior. It does fit the narcissist m.o., whereby they claim others are guilty of the very conduct that they are guilty of. I would bet money on it that he cheated on her, not the other way around. Then he lies to me and hides his shady past and wants me to pity him and see him as a dutiful soldier. What a pack of lies!

But wait, it gets better… Brad then asks me what I thought about the first girl that my ex knocked up? I knew that my ex got his high school girlfriend pregnant, which that child is all grown up now. The boy is in his 20’s and changed his last name to his mother’s maiden name because of some reason I never knew. My ex really did not have anything to do with this boy, as my ex always blamed the mother for “turning his son against him.” Anyways, my ex never went into details about that boo boo. He blamed her for “getting pregnant on purpose to prevent him from going to West Point.” He then said that she was a “crazy manipulator.” Well, Brad went on to reveal the next shocker, he said that the family gossip was that my ex actually raped her. Well, that blew my mind! It all makes sense now! That explains why there is strained relations there, also it explains why he never wanted to tell me details. They were too horrible. Brad thinks it was a rape because she was underage and my ex pressured her into it, not actually with physical force. But that is bad enough in my eyes. I remember that my ex pushed me into sex before I was ready, much too soon, so I can easily see him doing that to others.

My little birdie unveiled several other tidbits about my ex’s strange family and their schemes. I told Brad that all I ever wanted was to fit in to the family of whoever I married. But that I never could fit in with them, I was always an outsider to them. Brad then quickly said, “It’s a good thing that you never fit in with them, they are all crazy! It shows that you are a good person.” That made me laugh out loud! We even had lunch together so he could fill me in on other details. Another scary thing Brad told me was that he could see my ex as being one of those fathers that abducts their children and runs away to another country. I must say that scares me to death, especially since my two very level headed parents have been saying that is one of their fears too.

At the end of the day, I thanked Brad profusely for being more honest with me in the span of an afternoon than I got from my ex in all of seven years. Brad said that he felt bad that he was having to tell me the dirt on my ex, and said that he felt like he was betraying his own family a little bit in revealing this to me. But then he said that out of all the divorces that he has seen, that mine was the most troubling and that he was so happy that I was able to get away from such an awful man.

When you come out of a relationship with a narcissist, you will inevitably wind up alone, in the dark, and full of questions. Just when I had stopped looking for answers and was living my life, some answers found their way to me. What is important is not all of the details as to why you were lied to, but that you got away. I still wont know everything and that is OK with me. I am just so thankful that I saw my chance to run and I took advantage of it.