The Divorce Mediation

The day of my divorce mediation (six months ago), I was a bundle of nerves. I anticipated a big waste of time. I had to drive six hours that day, three hours there and back with my Dad, my rock. When I walked into the door, I had little to no expectations. I figured that my narcissist would want to draw out our divorce as long as humanly possible. I could not have been prepared for what was about to happen. We never saw each other at the mediation, we were in separate rooms the whole time. So, I never even caught a glimpse of him, which I was thankful for. In that room, my attorney explained that if we did not come to an agreement and wanted to let a judge decide our marital asset split, that it could be six months till we even got a court date! That was a scary thought for me because I was anxious to end this and move on with my life. I was exhausted of the unknown, I was terrified of what the narcissist had up his sleeve. Up till that point, he would threaten to call his attorney over the smallest detail, thus racking up MY attorney fees that I was responsible for paying for.

To my surprise, we reached an agreement that day. It was not what I felt was totally fair, but I was thankful to get it over with, plus I was going to be getting something from the mediation, which is better than nothing. I contemplated at the signing of our settlement agreement…why? Why is he coming to any agreement when he said that he wanted to go to court at one point after I filed for divorce? I thought that maybe the reason he was unusually agreeable was because he wanted to marry his Ukrainian live in au pair/girlfriend. Maybe that was it? I thought I may have some bargaining power because of that possibility.

Anyways, the moment the papers were signed, my attorney said I should leave first and my ex would be cued to leave after I had gotten to my car. So we would not have to undergo the hurtful, awkward moments of the end of our relationship when it was still raw. So, when dad and I got to my car, we drove away and my heart was racing because I really did not want to accidentally run into my narcissist. Then when the coast was clear, we had a very long drive back home. My Dad and I sat in silence for the most of the ride.

The past 5 hours of the mediation were echoing through my mind. Then I had a vision of my ex, walking out of the mediation building, alone… to his car. I pictured him, driving alone…back to his house, feeling defeated and depleted. I remember feeling overwhelming guilt and shame at that moment. I felt terrible that our relationship had come to this. I felt that even though he was a horrible husband, and abusive in many ways, I felt terrible that my leaving him would cause him any hurt or pain. I felt responsible at that moment for any distress and I couldn’t help but to burst into tears. I never want anyone that I care for or use to care for to suffer, even if they do bring it on themselves. I can’t explain it any other way than that I am an empath.

However, I did not know it yet, but the reality of the situation was so far left of anything that I could have pictured. Because five months later, I find out that at that time, end of December 2016, my narcissist went home to his two months pregnant girlfriend, happy that he stuck it to me.

So, in reality, I was wasting more of my time feeling sorry for my narcissist ex-husband. I was making the common mistake of thinking that he had any human-like emotion. Here I was feeling bad that he was sad and alone, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. One of my work colleges made the comment about my ex in saying that, “He has plenty of empathy…for himself.” That is so true. Narcissists care only about themselves, the fact that we empaths ever put them first is the biggest mistake of all.

We must remember that narcissists are not normal, they are hardwired to look out for number one, they don’t care about you. My narcissist left the mediation happy, he was thrilled because he already had secured his next victim, the 25 year old Ukrainian that he had knocked up in order to trap her so she can serve up his narcissistic supply. Knowing all of this now makes me sad, not because he did this, but that I feel bad for ever feeling bad about leaving him in the first place.

Image is everything to the Narcissist

Narcissists are extremely aware of their outward appearances as well as their supply’s appearance. They are overly sensitive to how others view them. They want to be perceived a certain way at all times, usually powerful, successful, and attractive. My narcissist ex-husband (we are divorced now) was so finicky about what he would wear, that it was laughable. He would fret about his clothes all the time, however, it was comical because he would usually be torn between two similar pairs of khaki pants and Ralph Lauren polo shirts. I would try to be sympathetic, but then it would get ridiculous and I would think, “Just pick one, throw it on and be done with it already!” But I could never actually say that or else he would be insulted and make me suffer his wrath.

Before I met my narcissist, I had been known to run out of the house with no make-up, my hair in a messy bun, and a pair of baggy sweatpants on to run an impromptu errand. I didn’t intentionally try to look like shit, but it happened sometimes, and I didn’t feel bad about it! However, that all changed after I married my narcissist. He always had something to say regarding my clothing choices. This was especially the case when we were going out in public, however, even the inside of our own home was not off limits.
If we were going out to dinner, he would want me to get really dressed up every time, even though I would be more comfortable with the type of crowd just wearing jeans. Honestly, who dresses up to go to casual restaurants? He would rather we be more dressed up than under-dressed. I like to look nice too, but there was never a let down, I had to be on the mark at all times. It became exhausting.

Even in our own home, he controlled the clothes I wore. There were so many arguments over me wearing my juicy couture sweatpants. Don’t get me wrong, he liked when I wore them, but I dare not wear them around anyone else. Whenever we were set to have housework done, or a plumber or painter scheduled to come to the house, my narc would tell me that I needed to put on some other pants because my sweatpants were “too revealing.” At first, I laughed at him because I didn’t think that he could actually be serious! I mean, my other pants fit much tighter and were more revealing than my juicy pants. What the hell? Well, that was the standard rule, I couldn’t go to the store or even go running in those pants according to his standards. It was ludicrous!  If I protested, he would then accuse me of wanting to be provocative in order to attract other men. How could I win an argument with a person whose mind was twisted enough to even think those kinds of thoughts? You cannot argue with crazy.

Then every Christmas we would get into huge arguments over what we were going to wear for the family photo Christmas card. He would make nasty comments when I would make suggestions on what we could wear. Regrettably, one time I dared to suggest that we could do what most people do and have a casual Christmas photo where we all wore jeans and he hit the roof! He said that “We weren’t white trash, but knows that I would rather look like that.” He intended to cut to my core with his nasty comments, scaring me silent.  Then the photos would have everyone looking awkward and nervous because of the tense environment he created during the photo-shoot. So every time I look at a past Christmas photo, I remember the fight that ensued before taking the photo. It is sad.  That was also the case for most of our family photos.  I look at past photo albums and see so many great pictures but all I remember about that day was the fight that took place over some stupid thing the narcissist was unhappy about.  It is a shame really. Narcissists are superior at sucking the joy from your life. They make everything about them.

Also, my narcissist would insult me if he thought I was not dressed appropriately to see his family. He would first make a hint, saying, “Oh, you are wearing that?” Then if I chose not to regard his hint, he would then skip being settle and would ask me to change. I once made the mistake of standing my ground and saying that I liked what I was wearing and he got insulted and irritated in a split second and said that “I looked like a hippie and he couldn’t understand why I would not want to try to even look nice for his family.” I was so upset to hear his comment, because I was wearing one of my favorite knit sweaters from free people and believed that I did look great, but he hated my boho style.

So, even the mundane decisions of what clothing choices you make could be propelled into an argument in the wild world of a narcissistic relationship. It was too much for me, every day was a struggle to get by peacefully. What a person chooses to wear should be their choice, not anyone else’s. At the time, I thought that placating him was just a compromise, but when a compromise turns into something that takes your free-will to a place of no, then it is not a compromise. This was yet another warning sign that I was in a controlling narcissistic relationship.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Narcissists are extremely concerned about outward appearances. They want to portray a certain image to the world, and if they don’t think you measure up to the image that they want to project, they will make sure you conform. Since the moment I left my narcissist and have moved on, I live each day on my terms. Now, even the smallest decisions I make give me great happiness.  I am free to be me, with no apologies. After I left, one of the first things I did was to get a family photo taken of me with my two children, and guess what??? We all wore jeans! Those photos are the best ones we ever had taken together because both of my children and I were relaxed and happy and full of hope for the future!

Narcissists treat you like a child

When I was a little girl, I remember thinking that “I cannot wait until I grow up because then I can make my own decisions without always being told what to do!” Well, now that I am a woman in my mid thirties, you would think I had been living the childhood dream of ultimate freedom. However, up until one year ago, I was not. I finally put my finger on it! My narcissist treated me like a child at all times. He continuously questioned my choices, making me overly cautious and dependent upon his opinions. I felt like he knew better, not just because he persistently said that he did, but also because I was always wrong in his eyes. When narcissists continuously abuse you to think that you cannot even make the smallest decisions without their input, your confidence and sense of self is stripped away and your inner voice becomes childlike.

When I was married to my narcissist, I lived in a state of constant frustration. I was frustrated at not being heard, I was frustrated at never being right, I was frustrated that I could not make a normal, healthy choice about my life without his “permission.” He had overwhelming control over every aspect of my life. I even had to ask him for his consent to visit my parents, or go to the store, or even to the bathroom. If I didn’t, and I started to walk out of the room, he would shout at me “Where are you going Mommy?” Then I would get irritated after being so micromanaged in every instance that I wanted to scream!

The reason that the narcissist treats you like a child is because s/he is threatened by you. You outshine them in every way and they know it deep down because narcissists have low self esteem despite the fact that most display an overabundance of confidence. It is just for show. The narcissist chose you to be their victim because they thought that you were a valuable asset to their image. They were so impressed by your amazing qualities, they wanted to capture you and bottle you up in order to keep you all to themselves. Then they chip away at all those qualities that drew them to you in the first place because they are intimidated by you. You are their property now.

Looking back, I still remember the sick, sinking feeling I endured when I knew my narcissist was displeased with me. Which was a daily occurrence. I felt like a child who was in trouble with it’s parent and was awaiting the punishment that was sure to follow. I wouldn’t treat my own two children like he treated me, I respect and trust my children and love them for the wonderful individuals that they are. That is how love should be, unwavering and forgiving. It is sad but true, if you are involved in a toxic narcissistic relationship, get out! They will suffocate your soul and reduce you to a fraction of yourself.

Narcissists Cannot Stand You Having Friends

A narcissist is greedy in all facets of life. He or she must have complete access to all of your love, your time, your money and your attention. He or she feels immediately threatened if you were to try to maintain control over any of these aspects of your own life. In my case, he had all of the money tied up in investment properties, I didn’t work because we agreed I would stay home with the kids. He never added me to the checking account and I had no ability to use a debit card to even get cash back at a grocery store. All purchases I made were by a credit card that he permitted me to use. Then each and every night, he perused the credit card purchases online, he justified doing so “to make sure there were no fraudulent purchases.” However, now I can see that he was just keeping track of every move I made. This is a clear example of financial abuse, he figured that since he made all the money, he could determine how it was spent. I knew better than to argue, because of his irritated answers in the past when I would question his reasons for keeping me off the checking account.

A narcissist is greedy with your time. They must have all of it. If you go somewhere, they want to go. If they have to go to a work function, they want you to go along too. They are afraid you might get away if they leave you to yourself for any length of time. I hardly ever was permitted to go anywhere alone. If I left the house, he made me take the kids, a 3 and 5 year old, how much fun is that? It was so hard to take little ones anywhere, that it was easier for me to just stay home. He did most of the grocery shopping. He knew that it would frustrate me to the point of just hunkering down and not even trying to go anywhere. Then he would proclaim, “I am not a babysitter, I don’t want to stay home and watch the kids while you go out with your friends or visit your family.” The narcissist must have you all to himself. He or she cannot stand the thought of you having a life that doesn’t involve them somehow.

One of the many instances showing how limiting my narcissist was happened when we moved to a new town and I had a 2 ½ year old and a 6 month old baby girl. I had barely seen the light of day because I had been breast feeding my daughter for those first 6 months and hadn’t slept much, not to mention getting to socialize with anybody but my narcissist. One day, when we were at the park together, I ran into a woman who had a little boy the sane age as my son and I hit it off with her, despite the fact that my narcissist was there with me. It was so refreshing to talk to another human being and I would catch glimpses of how life should be, lighthearted and understood. She knew what I was going through with motherhood and we bonded. Then she asked me if I wanted to get away from the house and go for a walk around the neighborhood one evening and she would bring along another mommy friend of hers. It was going to be a nice stress relieving “girls walk.” Immediately, asked my hubby if it was “OK with him” and he hesitated and said “yes, but don’t be too long, I am on call tonight.” I was overjoyed that my leash was lengthened for a moment. I thought for an instance that maybe my husband was “lightening up” and that maybe I would be aloud to have friends that he wouldn’t be jealous of.

Well, I would soon be disappointed again. The evening my friends met to walk, we roamed a bit further than I felt comfortable with because I remember the warning my narcissist gave me, but I was outnumbered. The girls wanted to keep walking a bit farther and I was having a great time just getting a bit of time away for myself, which I felt that I deserved after never getting any help with the kids. I was back maybe 15 minutes later that I had hoped, and all hell broke loose when I walked through the door.

When I entered the house, I saw my narcissist sitting in the armchair with a sleeping baby in his arms. He had a scornful look on his face. Next, I witnessed my two year old little boy sitting on the couch, with a book in his lap sleeping in the upright position.  Suddenly, a chill went through me, I knew in that instant that I was in trouble. In our house, the narcissist always read to the two year old before bed, he could have easily done so here, instead of letting our son sit on the couch to fall asleep. It did not matter so much at that point that I was not there for the bedtime routine (for the first time ever), however, the narcissist wanted to set the stage and create a show for me to make it seem like I “shirked my duties as a wife and mother.” I asked him why he did not just read to our boy and put him to bed, but he said that it wasn’t his job and that I “should have been here and not out with my friends.” He went on to say that I “disappointed our son and him as well.” He made me feel like a terrible mother when in fact, I had not done one thing for myself in those first 2 ½ years!  The tension in the house was unbearable for the rest of the evening, he wanted to teach me a lesson.  The narcissist could have put the sleeping baby in her crib, and have read to our little boy and put him to bed, but no, he laid in wait, like a malicious spider just waiting to entangle me in his sick web of madness.

From that moment on, I turned down future invites for evening walks and any event that would “infringe” upon my narcissist’s time because after all, my world had to revolve around him to avoid run-ins like this one. Looking back, his emotional abuse of me is so apparent, but at the time, I felt that I didn’t deserve to do things for myself. He always turned it around on me to make me look like I was selfish or ungrateful when in fact, that couldn’t be any further from the truth. It was awful to live with the narcissist, a living nightmare in fact. I am so very thankful that it is in my past now, and I must never forget the torment and abuses I suffered at his hand so that I will never fall prey to an unobtrusive spider ever again.

Narcissists Offer Faint Glimpses of Human-like Behavior to Keep You Holding On.

When in a relationship with a narcissist, you quickly learn the predictability of his or her reactions to certain circumstances. That is why you walk on eggshells, so that you don’t accidentally trip one of those hair triggers and set off an explosion. (Even though you are NOT at fault.) You tiptoe around as to not make them upset somehow because you know the awful reaction that would happen if you do, but every once in a while the narcissist will withhold that terrible predictable reaction and you are shocked and feel instant relief. You even feel gratefulness to your abuser that you had been spared his or her fury.

Subsequently, you then see a faint glimmer of hope that the narcissist has potential to change his or her nasty ways and slowly transform into a human. However, that is part of their great deception. Narcissists are incapable of change, incapable of having empathy, incapable of truly loving another person. So, narcissists throw you a bone once in a while to confuse you and keep you off track to think that all of their previous overreactions were just misunderstandings or “in your head.” These fake-outs keep you dangling by a thread.

Those very limited instances where the narcissist doesn’t rage at you when you were certain that he or she would because they commonly did in the past, confuse you greatly and help you maintain hope for the relationship. But this hope is futile. See the narcissist for what he or she really is, a soulless monster. No amount of abuse, whether be it emotional, physical, spiritual, financial, sexual, etc. is worth putting up with because a good person who truly loves you would never attempt to abuse you in any way.

Being Over-Protective is a way to Control and is a Big Sign of a Narcissistic Partner.

In a relationship it is inevitable that you will find yourself questioning the other person’s intentions at some point or another. And if you are involved with a narcissist, you certainly will on countless issues. In the beginning of my relationship, I often found myself wondering if he really cared about my safety or if he was really just paranoid and mistrustful of me? For instance, my husband wouldn’t let me get the door for the UPS or mailman if he wasn’t home. If we were staying in a hotel, he wouldn’t let me walk down to the hotel lobby by myself. He wanted to escort me to my car, or to a certain building for work if he was available, etc. He masked his concern as “loving” and “for my safety.” However, I begin to wonder if it could be something else.

I used to think that it was cute that he seemed to worry about my safety so much. But looking back from a safe distance, I can now easily see that it was all about control. He needed to know my exact whereabouts at all times. He made constant calls and inundated me with texts veiled as “just saying hi” or “I am just making sure you are ok.”

This “concern” is merely a ruse for the narcissist to keep you on a short leash. Narcissists are extremely suspicious and jealous of anyone who you spend time with. Yes, even your own family! If you work outside the house, they are suspicious of your co-workers. If you are gone too long at a hair appointment, they may accuse you of meeting someone at the salon. If you take too long at the grocery store, they bombard you with questions and act like you are guilty of something.

The bottom line, the narcissist suspects the worst from you even if you have never given them any cause to worry. Therefore, you find yourself walking on eggshells trying extra hard to reassure them that they are “the most important person in your life.” All I know is that I am a fiercely loyal individual, I have never even thought of betraying my partner. I am not a suspicious person. I had never even considered the grim possibility (until now) that he may have cheated on me, despite the fact that he was the one who had ample opportunity. Please be aware that true, selfless, trusting individuals are the types of people that narcissists latch onto and suck the life out of, like a leach. The narcissist then isolates you far away from family and friends and you begin to feel like you are a caged bird, held within walls higher than you can ever see over.

It has taken me a lot of time to learn about the incurable mental illness called Narcissist Personality Disorder. The more I discover, the more everything else makes sense. My ex’s extreme and groundless suspicions about me says a lot about his character, and loyalty and mental disorder. He projects his awful, despicable thoughts outward onto me as if I was guilty of his very thoughts or actions. Thus, I have deduced that 9 times out of 10, the person who is cheating is the one who accuses the other of adultery.

If you find that your partner is being “overly protective” and “controlling” watch out. A narcissist may be lurking underneath.

Narcissists Create a Parallel Paranoid Universe to Supplement their Pathetic Existence

In the doomed relationship with my narcissist, I noticed that I couldn’t help but feel like I was stuck living in a made-up fantasy world of his own creation. But that was before I learned about narcissistic personality disorder, I had no idea at that time that narcissists straddle two different worlds. First, there is the “real world” and then there is “his world.” But I learned quickly that I could not remind him of the “real world” or else he would claim that I was just like “everyone else” who were conspiring against him. (Yes, it was as crazy as that sounds!)

My narcissist husband honestly believed that the world outside of our “family” was full of people out to get him by being “passive aggressive” or through outright attempts to destroy our “happiness.” (For example: He would say that his problems at work were the fault of other people or co-workers.) He would blame his parents for “causing trouble” for him or his work because he believed they were in co-hoots with his ex-wife, and many times he would even cast the blame directly at my parents. I would be so upset that he would feel that way that it would make me sick to my stomach. I could not believe that he could blame my amazingly supportive parents of ever trying to cause trouble for him at his workplace. They don’t even know his co-workers, they lived in another state for God’s sake! Nonetheless, he tried very hard to get me to buy into that delusion that all of his problems were the cause of other people who were dead set to see him unhappy.

Looking back, it was as if he created this parallel universe in which he played the omnipotent victim. He wove a web of deceit that would make him seem like the lord of his kingdom. He seemed so smug about other people and would even proclaim to have a superior knowledge of how to get people on his side. He always felt that he knew people better than they knew themselves. I thought that strange because he never knew what I was thinking, he seemed clueless. I would refer to him “Captain Oblivious” privately to my parents. In yet, he acted like he had an insider knowledge of how the outside world worked. He referenced a book called “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie. He would tell me that I needed to read it if I ever wanted to get people to do what I wanted. I thought that a really strange comment. I never had problems making friends in the past and I did not use them as minions to do things for me.

He did not even have any friends other than two college buddies that lived across the country that he only saw once a year. I was not impressed with them either. One was a crazy Russian doctor who would fly across the ocean to bring back a series of young girlfriends who were only interested in getting a green card. Enough said. Perhaps he is the one who encouraged my ex to get a 25 year old Ukrainian “au pair” to live with him and take care of the kids on the two weekends a month that he does see them.

Now that I have left my narcissist, I have happily reentered the “real world.” It was smothering to live in his carefully crafted world that centered around him and his warped beliefs and entitlements. If you feel like you are stuck between two worlds while in your relationship, be careful! You are being dragged into the dark, dank, delusional hell of the narcissist where nothing makes sense. Gather up your strength, get someone who will listen to you and run to the light!  The sooner you plan you escape, the better.

How to Save Your Children from a Narcissistic Parent?

When you are involved with a narcissist, the effects on you are bad enough, but when you have children with one, it is truly a sad situation. This is the case because the children will eventually suffer the same abuse that you do as soon as they develop their own thoughts and opinions on life. So if you decide stay involved in a relationship or marriage with a narcissist, you must become aware of the harsh reality that your children will become the sacrificial lambs.

Whilst they are still young, the narcissist views the children as little extensions of him or herself and their image. The children are a grand source of narcissistic supply because whilst young, they idolize that parent. During this stage, there is no difference in views or clash of opinions. However, as soon as they grow and become little independent thinkers, all bets are off! The narcissist parent pushes his or her views onto them and expects the children think and behave exactly they way he or she does. If the narcissist does not value a particular sport or activity, the child will not get to play or engage in it. If the narcissist has certain beliefs of what job that child should have someday, he or she expects the child to pursue no other career.

The narcissistic parent will often try to have the children team up with them to abuse the other parent. They put false notions into the children’s impressionable minds that the other parent is lacking in some way. In my case, my narcissist would try to make me out to be “no fun” to the children, which couldn’t be further from the truth. He would repeatedly try to make me out to be the “bad guy” so that the children would see him as the “good guy.” The burden of the disciplinarian was always put upon my shoulders.  When I tried to have any kind of order, he found it hilarious to try to create chaos just to rattle me.  Then he would turn around and blame me for the very chaos he cheerfully created.  He hardly ever was on my side and usually let the kids get away with bad behavior because he wanted to be the “fun dad.”  Then when I would try to get the kids to behave, he would say that I was being too harsh.  He didn’t back me up, which is what good team parenting should always do.

The narcissist wants the children to “love them more” and to act as his or her minions. The narcissist is so insecure that s/he is desperate for validation and needs to feel like the children needs them more. However, the children frequently find themselves struggling to identify with that parent because of the strings-attached love.

I could see that my little ones often felt unheard and inconsequential, and tense in the presence of their narcissist father. My six-year-old son would try to tell his daddy something about his day and the narcissist would just say “Uh huh, that’s great” without actually hearing what my son was telling him. My narcissist would not even try to really listen to the children, then he would talk over them. He always interrupted them and me. I could never get a word in edge wise. It drove me to the brink daily. Finally, I just stopped trying to even talk anymore, because it was just easier not to.

While staying in a relationship with a narcissist, the children will inevitably pick up on the abuse you suffer even if they are not yet the targets. It is unavoidable that the children will notice subtle hints of your suffering, no matter how hard you attempt to hide it. They will witness you walking on eggshells, they will see how you strive to avoid conflicts with Daddy or Mommy. They will learn how to play the game. Those eager little learners will eventually observe how they have to “perform” in order to reduce the negative reactions of the narcissist parent. And even more tragically, they may also learn from the narcissist parent how to manipulate others to bow down to their will. Regardless, the result of staying in a narcissistic relationship has terrible consequences to the children. Either they will be taught how to become the perfect victim for narcissistic abuse or they will become narcissistic abusers themselves.

This was a big reason why I chose to leave. I had to save my children from being groomed to be future victims of narcissists, or becoming narcissists themselves. I realized that leaving my narcissist was the only option if I wanted to save my children. At least they will spend the majority of their time with healthy, unconditionally loving relationships, which will help make up for the little amount of time that they have to spend with their soul sucking, emotionally absent father.

How to go NO CONTACT with a Narcissist When You Have Children with One

It is a widely known rehabilitative step to go “no contact” with a narcissist partner. This means to stop all forms of communication. No phone calls, no visits, give back all gift attempts or mail, cut all ties with that person completely. It is truly the only solid way to break free from the narcissistic emotional abuse and begin on the long, twisty path to healing. I sure wish I could, but you see… I have children with my narcissist.

I have to abide by certain laws of the court, maintaining just the minimum amount of contact as possible. It is a difficult situation, definitely not for the weak and weary. However, coming out of a seven year roller coaster relationship with a narcissist, I am nothing but weak and weary. So what do I do? What does anyone do? I take it one day at a time while building up my defenses.

First, you must find a support system. I am so fortunate to have my amazing parents and my brother to look to. Also, I am so lucky to have good, true friends that were always there but on the sidelines just waiting for me to come back. I lean on them to listen to my tales of woe. Just talking and writing about it has helped me so much. I find that when I speak or write about what I have gone through, somehow it is released into the atmosphere and weights are lifted off of me. I know that I will get through this, and you will too. Daily I am unearthing shreds of hope and strength that simmer under the surface for my two beautiful children. I cannot afford to fall apart. They need me…I need me. We deserve to get through this and live a life that is good and pure and full of possibilities once again.

Second, cut as many ties with your narcissist as humanly possible while staying within the bounds of the court’s requirements. But because of the children, I cannot just change my phone number, or move away. I have a chain that still binds me to my narcissist. However, I have lengthened it as much as possible. It is ironic that when we were together and my narcissist was gone for a week at a time for his work, he would never ask to speak to the children on the phone. Even when I would try to put him on the phone with the children he would say “No, they don’t make any sense when they are put on the phone anyway.” However, now that we have left him, he INSISTS to talk to the children EVERY single day. Interesting that he never cared before, but now that he has lost his power over me, he struggles to hold onto any bit of control he can grasp. He knows that it puts a crimp in my day to have to be available to put the children on the phone. He never says anything different to them, it is always “I miss you, I want to hug and kiss you.” Same old sayings the conversations lasts about 30 seconds. Then when the children do try to speak, he just talks over the them and they get frustrated. They want to get away from him on the phone as fast as possible. It is sad and ridiculous.

Third, go through an intermediary as much as possible. Anyone who was once involved with a narcissist knows how disrupting their communications can be whether text, email or phone. So, it is greatly recommended that you use any means possible to limit these stressful interactions. One resource out there that is helpful regarding child visitation schedules is an online calendar. These are nice so that you don’t have to have gratuitous contact with your narcissist when setting up visitation. A few examples of online calendars include Custody Junction, and Our Family Wizard. In addition, it can be used as a tool to help keep track of your narcissists actions and in-actions.

Fourth, stop caring about what the narcissist says. Easier said than done, I know. But now that I am equipped with knowledge of how a narcissist operates, I am much more resilient to his disparaging comments. I don’t play into his petty, pathetic hands anymore. If he gets out of line when calling to talk to the children, I just say something cryptic like “I am not going to hear this, this doesn’t concern the children” and I hang up the phone. It is actually quite liberating!

In a nutshell, going no contact with your narcissist is not a luxury afforded to those who have children with one. However, there are numerous ways to limit that contact by elongating that chain that binds us to them. With a few changes, a cast iron spirit and a strong support system, facing our future free of emotional abuse is a beautiful prospect. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

The Narcissist’s First Impressions & Typical Grandiosity

The narcissist knows how to make a great first impression. That is how they begin their grand deception. They will put on the charm, ooze intelligence and seem so considerate that you just can’t help but feel like the luckiest girl in the world. You ask yourself how you could have landed the “last good man” to have walked this earth. However, if he seems to good to be true, then he most likely is.

I remember this such feeling. I was so excited and proud to have my narcissist over at my parents for the first time. It happened to be Christmas Eve, and he showed up at the door bearing personalized gifts for each of my parents, my grandmother, my brother and his girlfriend. At the time, I thought that it was so considerate and showed amazing generosity. I believed that he really must have liked me to want to win over my family with these thoughtful gifts. Waterford crystal wine goblets for my parents, and a leather men’s grooming dap kit for my brother and honey scented organic lotion gift basket for my grandmother. However, looking back, it was overkill. It was suspicious.

Before the night of the dinner, he told me he was going shopping to buy my family presents and I had told him that it was not necessary, especially since he had not even met any of them yet! But he insisted, he said that he did not want to appear at a Christmas party empty handed. I feel that the need to bring presents for people he had never even met was more about how he felt he appeared, rather than him wanting to be thoughtful and kind. Narcissists are very concerned with appearances and how they are perceived. This is a good example of that. This is also an example of “love bombing.” He was going above and beyond to shower me with oodles of attention with the intention of lulling me into a state of ease so that I would blindly trust him. All this effort was to make it easy for him to manipulate and control me.

I met my narcissist on a popular online dating site, first mistake. We agreed to meet at a Japanese steak house for dinner for our first date. I remember not knowing what to wear on a cold November evening.  I did not want to be overdressed, as I had done once before on a different date in the past and was a bit embarrassed, so I thought I better go more casual. I wore a beautiful knit designer sweater and a pair of great fitting jeans and high heeled leather boots, topping the look off with a fabulous, embroidered swing coat.  The narcissist was wearing a collared shirt and khaki’s (his strict wardrobe). The date went well and I felt safe dressing up a bit more for our second date, showing up wearing a more fancy little black dress and knee high boots, which he loved. He made a point of telling me at that time how he was not so sure of me the first date because of my choice to wear jeans. He laughed out loud and said that he was thrilled that I dressed the part on our second date. I found it odd that he could be so judgmental over something so inconsequential. But I just brushed it off. Next mistake.

Later in our relationship, I discovered that one of his many hatreds was of people who wore jeans. (Which for me was very difficult, because I love mine!) Well, I looked great on our first date despite the jeans, but on that second date he made sure to set the standard for me. After that moment, I knew better than to ever wear jeans when I was out with him on a date in the future. Whenever anyone asked about how we met, my narcissist always made a point to tell them that I was lucky to have gotten a second date with him on the account of me having the audacity to wear jeans on our first date. He was a snob, despite the fact that I come from a much better family background than he. But I strongly believe no one should act as if they are better than anyone. I have friends from all walks of life and am legitimately happy for others when something good goes their way. On the other hand, he does not and is not. It goes to prove another facet of narcissism, being “grandiose.” I always felt belittled for my choices, I simply could not be me. He chipped away pieces of me slowly and steadily for the next 7 years.

He always took longer getting ready to go out than I ever did, but then he acted like I took longer. I would even time myself, to prove it to myself that I was believing correctly. He would fuss over what clothes to wear and I would just throw something on. However, he had no problem letting me know what clothing I should or should not wear. I was not even “aloud” to wear my super comfortable Juicy Couture jogging pants outside the house. And if we had plumbers or other construction workers over for any reason, I was certainly not permitted to wear my juicy’s around them because he felt that those pants were “too revealing.” I thought that this was ludicrous because my regular pants were tighter fitting than those baggy sweat pants. I once tried to argue with him on that and he said that if I wanted to wear those pants (around my own house) when workers were present, it must be because I am wanting to be flirtatious with them. His reasoning was insane!

But then again, he is a narcissist, there is no sense to what they think. All they care about is their image and how their extensions of self (you and any children) help perpetuate that image. They are controlling, manipulative and do not care about your feelings because they have no empathy and are not capable of remorse. The narcissist is a shell of a human being, hollow, void of feeling, an empty vessel.  They truly believe that they are God’s greatest gift to us, but it is simply a belief of a dreadfully deluded mind.