You are replaceable to a Narcissist

First of all, if you have left your narcissist, congratulations! Your life has just begun! It is an incredible journey, that I am only just embarking on, but it is worth it. On the other hand, if you have found that a narcissist has abandoned you, congratulations! Your life has been spared! I will go on more about this later. What I want to discuss in this post is how replaceable we all are to a narcissist. So, no matter what, don’t feel bad that the narcissist is now on his or her own. Because they have no empathy, or real emotional attachments, or even appreciation for us as individuals and what makes us unique and amazing, the narcissist can just move on when it is convenient for them. They will do it quickly, make no mistake about that.

Due to the very nature of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, the narcissist must at all times be in a state of idolization. They need a continuous dose of Narcissistic Supply. They depend on it to boost their insecurity and it allows them to function. Without their supply, the narcissist goes into crisis mode and their whole world shuts down. They are incomplete. The victim is used by the narcissist like a mirror, he projects what he feels onto that person and expects the person to reflect a perfect image back at the narcissist. However, what happens when that mirror does not cast a reflection any longer? Without that false vision and constant reassurance, the narcissist will go to any lengths to replenish his supply. He will look in odd places to scramble and fill the void.

In most cases, the narcissist will look in places closest to him, for example his workplace, at a bar, a commuter train, or online for his quick fix of narcissistic supply. They become hell bent on showing the ex-victim how easily he or she can be replaced. In my case, I spent the past seven years being a superb supportive wife, mother, housekeeper, homeschool teacher, cook and maid. I devoted every waking minute to taking care of our believed children all the while walking on eggshells to make my husband happy to keep the peace and to try to make the house a happy home for my babies.

I was sacrificing my happiness for everyone else’s and I never complained. I packed and unpacked boxes for six moves in six years and decorated each house and made it a home. I was forever putting out fires when my husband got home and he felt he was not getting enough attention. Now, as I have left him and moved myself and my children into my parents house because I have primary physical custody, my ex has decided to cut to my core by showing me just how easy it is to replace me. One month after I left him, he hired a live-in 25 year old au pair that he flew into the country from the Ukraine. Despite the fact that he only has two weekends of visitation a month, he felt the need to hire a woman to help take care of the kids for those select few dates. Unbelievable.

When I have told my friends about this awkward situation, they all say the same thing. He is living all alone with this woman 95% of the time, they must be having a relationship. I hoped that would not be the case and I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, however, I must look at the surrounding facts.

1st – He refused to give me her cell phone number because he said that “he did not want me to mess this up for him.” There is no landline either, so I only wanted to have the ability to contact my children when they are in her care in case of emergency. However, he refused twice. Strike 1.

2nd- Then when I finally got to meet her, I noticed a bouquet of flowers sitting beside her in the car. Both of my children said that “Daddy got the flowers for Irena.” Strike 2.

3rd- Then I was looking at my Kohls membership rewards account online (which he uses) and I accidentally discovered that he had made a purchase for her, including a bra, yoga pants and a camisole top. Strike 3.

To be honest, I have always tried to play fair. I don’t like to jump to conclusions. However, looking at the facts makes it hard for me to see it any other way. He is obviously in stage one of wooing his next victim. Now, I honestly ask myself…Self, does this make you jealous? Me… Not one bit. Then I ask…are you surprised? Me… Not really but the reason I am perturbed is because of the children. They are young and will be confused and don’t deserve to be caught in the tangled web of deceit that their father continuously weaves.

So there you have it, another example of how far a narcissist will go to secure his next vile of narcissistic supply and when that vile is all dried up, you better believe he will look for it elsewhere.

Top 13 Signs that you are in an Abusive Relationship with a Narcissist

1-You find yourself constantly making excuses to friends and family for him and his behavior. That is what I did. When my parents or friends would question me about my narcissist’s statements or actions, I would find myself always trying to explain away the reason behind it. He could never interact in a normal way with my dearest loved ones. He seemed distant, but would be overbearing and dominate the conversations if it was on a topic that he liked. My mom would try to be nice and ask him questions and his eyes would glaze over and he would act if he didn’t hear her and walk away. (If I was not present that is, otherwise he was on good behavior) I found myself saying things like, “Oh he is just sensitive about that topic.” or “He just loves me and wants to spend a lot of time with me.” or even “He works hard and he is worn out, he is stressed.”

2-You don’t see friends and family much anymore because it is easier not to, since he will ruin your time with them anyway. So you stop going to avoid his guilt trips, or he sucks the fun out of it if you do go. My narcissist would make if feel like he was sacrificing so much by going to visit my parents, a few times a year if that. He would give me glaring faces if he felt annoyed there. He would give me the silent treatment when we were alone in a room together when there, or he would accuse me or my family of making statements to “upset him.” He would ask me things like “Why did you mom say so many nice things about your cousin‘s husband? I think she likes him more than me, maybe your parents would rather you be with him instead.” Crazy talk!!! Then I would have to spend the rest of the trip there trying to reassure him that my parents did like him, and that he was reading into their statements too much. They were nothing but wonderful to him, my mom would even spend hours cooking fancy meals just because my narcissist liked particular dishes. But he still saw them as an enemy. They just wanted to spend some time with me, and he resented that. He wanted me all to himself.

3-You find that you are becoming a super sleuth. You are hungry for information on why your partner is behaving so erratically. You research online, go to the library for books on personality disorders, reading people’s blogs for clues that could help you understand what you are dealing with. In my case, I could not put my finger on it until one phone conversation with my mom. She said she thought my partner was a narcissist. I did not even know that that meant, besides loving oneself too much. Boy, the next thing I did was Google Narcissist Personality Disorder, and my life was changed forever. I finally discovered what it was that was so vile in my relationship. It saved my life.

4-You find yourself constantly questioning yourself “What did I do that offended him so badly? Am I really such a bad person?”

5-You are shocked and rendered tongue tied during arguments with your partner because he turns it around on you and he always ends up the victim and you apologizing to him. Narcissists are so good at this manipulation because they remember every little thing you tell them and store it in a mental tally and use it when they need to get one over you. It is not a way to play fair, but it is what they excel at.

6-Your “gut” doesn’t feel right. Something about him doesn’t set right with you but you cannot put your finger on it because he has too many other good traits that you weigh more heavily in his favor. This is because you are an “empath” a person with highly empathetic tendencies, you give people second chances or figure that he will “get better” the longer you are together. However, it never gets better, it just gets worse. Mistrust is embedded in the narcissists code. I swear, my narcissist also had the markers of Paranoid Personality Disorder.

7-You feel like maybe you are too “negative” or not “grateful” or that maybe the problem in your relationship is actually you! This is a hallmark of how narcissists make their victim feel. Because the narcissist honestly believes he is the superior, perfect mate, how could anything be his fault? Therefore, it must be yours. Don’t fall for it.

8-You keep thinking to yourself that things will get better if… you just move to a different house, state, job. These are all just distractions.

9-You hide (or lose) parts of yourself that they don’t approve of. Over time you find that you have lost so much of yourself that you don’t even recognize yourself and feel empty inside. You lose confidence to make even the smallest decision without their input.

10-You walk on eggshells (more like shards of glass) that are littered with landmines. No matter how carefully you tiptoe, you are bound to trigger an explosion sooner or later, usually when you least expect it.

11-You have been absorbed by your partner. Your partner wants you to be his family, his friend, his lover his everything, but does not want to share you with anyone. You have become so isolated from friends and family and hobbies and yourself that you cannot function happily. Even when we visited my family, if I did not sit next to him on the couch he became indignant and furious with me when we went to bed that night. He was so upset by it and couldn’t understand why my parents would want to sit next to me instead of him. I told him that he was crazy. I only see my parents a few times a year because my husband moved me so far away from them. He expects unreasonable closeness in all circumstances. It is suffocating.

12-You become anxious and nervous in the presence of others while around him. You don’t want other people to see him for what a vile person he is, so you overcompensate with attention towards him in the presence of others to keep him under control. Because if he feels like he is not the center of your attention, he will either act out, whether people are around or not. Or he will make your life a living hell with silent treatment or rages when you are finally alone together.

13-You can’t do anything right. You never win an argument. You are always the loser in the blame game. When he loses something, it is your fault, when anything does not go his way, it is your fault. Need I elaborate?

So, if you are experiencing any of these feelings, please open you eyes and trust your gut and leave your narcissist relationship. It is not healthy. It does kill you slowly, body and soul. Gather strength, knowledge and courage and save yourself. I am so thankful that I did. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, and I am still in the process of a divorce with children, but I have faith and hope that I will make it… one day at a time.

What are the signs of NPD?

There are varying degrees of narcissism. Everyone at one time or another will exhibit narcissistic qualities and behavior. That is to be human. However, the difference between healthy and unhealthy narcissism is that it is so extreme and all-consuming that it adversely affects the relationships this person has with the outside world, especially those closest to him or her.  I want to shed some light on what helped me to discover my narcissist.  So, what are the signs of NPD?  According to Sam Vaknin, self professed and clinically diagnosed narcissist and psychopath, these are the following traits of people suffering with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Grandiose feelings of being self-important, all knowing. Strong belief that one is truly unique and can only be understood by, should only have dealings with or associate with other special or unique, or important people.

Example: My narcissist never wanted to hang out with my friends husbands. He felt that he had “nothing in common” with them. He had not made one friend in the seven years that we were together. I, on the other hand, was always blessed to meet some wonderful mommies to proudly call friends. But by that time I got comfortable in my new city, and started to have consistent play dates for our children, we had to pack up and move yet again. He resented any time that I had with my mommy friends while he was at work. And he forbid me to get together with my friends when he was home, or on the weekends because he said that it was “family time.” He said that he was not a babysitter and that I have responsibilities as a mother and cannot just have a life outside of our marriage. He justified it by saying that he did not have any guy buddies to hang out with, so I should not be hanging out with my girlfriends and neglecting my family duties. As if!

Obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, great power or omnipotence, supreme brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion.

Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation – or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious. This attention is the drug they crave and are addicted to known as “narcissistic supply.” If they don’t have it, they will go to any extent to unearth it from those people who surround them.

Example: If I did not dish out the compliments on his appearance or his ideas on a frequent basis, he would get needy and clingy and make me feel like I was ignoring him, which could not be further than the truth. Then he would ask me straight out how he looked or what I thought. After I dispensed with the much needed compliment, he would then go back and forth talking to himself as if I was not there, agreeing. I felt like when he walked into the room, there was someone standing behind him with a cue card calling for “compliment” or “attention.” Suffice it to say, that when he was around, I was exhausted because the real world stopped in his presence and it became all about him and his “happiness.”

Entitlement. Expects unreasonable or favorable preferential treatment.  Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her expectations.

Example: Narcissist will ask for a manager in many instances to handle their problem, instead of just dealing with the subordinate employee/waitress/telemarketer, etc. He believes that no one else is sufficient enough to be of service to him, unless they are the superior in that circumstances.

Manipulative. Uses others to achieve his or her own ends. Will expect others to do work for him, because he believes that it is a privilege that he allows them to do things for him.

Example: After each of our six moves in six years, my parents were the only ones who helped us. My mother would also help clean each house at the move in and out. He was always somewhat nice when my parents were doing his cleaning and cooking, etc. but then he would become nasty and make jibes when he felt they were not being useful enough to him.

Un-emphatic. Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others. Incapable of showing realistic sympathy for another’s pain or unfortunate circumstance. Narcissists looks at the homeless with disdain, has hatred of overweight individuals, and sick children. Also, narcissists will go on and on about their smallest of ailments expecting to be babied, but will refuse to acknowledge or minimize any real complaint or illness that you may have.

Example: I will never forget when I had a stomach bug and my narcissist looked at me with annoyance when I was sick throwing up in the bathroom at 3 a.m. It was the first time I was sick during our six year marriage. He was angry with me and said that I needed to be quiet because I was keeping him up, and that he felt I was not being considerate of him because he has an important job and needs sleep!

Envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her. Cannot be happy for other people’s success or happiness.

*Paranoid behavior. Feels that people are out to cause harm, or “out to get him,” or deprive him of happiness, or steal from him, etc. Will read into innocent statements and draw out insults where there are none.

Example: My narcissist always blamed my parents, or his parents, or his ex wife for any problems he had at any one of his jobs. He felt that they were somehow calling his workplace and spreading rumors about him. Insane! And if anyone at his work ever asked him where his wife was from, he would come home and interrogate me asking if his co-workers were trying to insinuate that we should move back to my hometown. He even accused me of putting those ideas into his co-workers heads! This is ludicrous because I had never even met any of those people. I told him that he was reading into people’s innocent questions and that those are common conversation starters when you begin a new job in a new town, which we did many times over six years. Talking him down from his paranoid perceptions of other people’s comments was a common occurrence for me.

Arrogant, haughty behavior or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted. Overly sensitive to any perceived criticism. Quick to order people around.

Example: My narcissist acted shocked and offended when I asked him, very nicely, to please pick up the pillow that he threw on the floor, or place his dirty dish into the dishwasher. He would react indignantly when I asked him to pick up after himself, then he would tell me to do it, because that it was “my job” since I stayed at home. Also, he was never shy about telling me to get this or that for the kids, when he was perfectly capable of doing so himself. Even if I was busy doing laundry, or making dinner, he would call me into the room to order me to fetch something for the children or him. I was expected to cheerfully stop whatever I was doing in order to cater to his every whim. This was “mommy’s job” according to him. Therefore, when he was home, I would become overwhelmed and anxious and felt like I had three kids instead of just the two.

So there you have it, the multitude of alarming traits that narcissists commonly display.   I hope this post helps you to see your narcissist in a brighter light and begin to reveal the deeply deformed emotional, and warped psychological distortions of their condition.

Narcissists use many forms of abuse to control their victims but that is a topic for a later post.

 

 

 

***Much of the above criteria for NPD comes from American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition, Text Revision (DSM IV-TR). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association as well as Sam Vaknin.