Coparenting With a Narcissist

Coparenting with a Narcissist
Coparenting With a Narcissist

You will see many blog-posts from me on co-parenting issues with a narcissist. My biggest concern (as with most of you reading this blog) is my daughter and her physical and emotional well-being. I read a lot about coparenting with a narcissist/sociopath/psychopath. My conclusion: I will do my best but it’s frustrating knowing that there is little I can do to prevent it. I, like most parents, want to protect my daughter from this man, even though it is her father. I stayed longer than I should have with my N-ex because I thought I could protect her from him. I thought as long as I was with her, that I could protect her and shield her from him. What I didn’t realize was that, while I thought I was protecting her, she has also been protecting me.

My daughter was only 2 when I left my N-ex. From the moment that she could respond, when we had an argument in front of her (despite my trying to redirect it to a better time, when our daughter wasn’t present, you KNOW there’s no stopping a narcissist!) he would yell at me, whether I engaged or not. After these arguments, or during, our daughter would not go to her dad. She always “sided” with me. Perhaps she sensed that I was the one being attacked. I was the underdog. She would be angry with her dad for yelling at me and she wouldn’t want anything to do with him. He, of course, would “make me” tell her everything was okay and that it was safe to go to him. This makes me angry to this day! Now that I’m out, I can’t imagine why I stayed and put our daughter through this, but it’s easier said than done, as most of you unfortunately know. Many of you reading this may still be struggling to get out. To those, I wish you strength. I’m happy to help in whatever way I can with advice and support. I know how hard it is. My biggest concern is: will my N-ex abandon our daughter when she falls from his graces? How will she handle that? What can I do to help? She’s four years old now. She still adores her daddy (or pretends to, as she tells me. She doesn’t want to hurt his feelings). She tries to make him happy. Will he start to degrade her too when she develops her own opinion more and more? Is he already degrading her? I know there’s not much I can do in court. Is there anything else I can do?

If you are wondering if your spouse, boyfriend, ex is a narcissist, you may want to check out this Narcissistic Personality Inventory on http://psychcentral.com/quizzes/narcissistic.htm . Here, you can read the questions and assess whether the person in your life falls into this category. Chances are, if you THINK they are, they are, but this narcissistic personality inventory will help. The narcissistic personality inventory is a commonly-used test by psychologists. The Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI), is included in the book, The Mirror Effect.

As you can see, I have many reasons to be concerned with co parenting with a narcissist. I recently read, on http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/relationshipwithyourex/a/Co-Parenting-With-A-Narcissist.htm about the 10 Commandments of a Narcissistic mother or father. It didn’t click with me at first, until I read the author’s contributions. Some of them really hit home and offered new insight for me. First of all, please read the 10 Commandments of the narcissistic parent (below).

The Ten Commandments of the Narcissistic Parent:

  1. I am who I tell you I am.
  2. You will tell me things I want to hear or you will not be heard.
  3. You will feel the way I want you to feel or you will be forsaken.
  4. Love is conditional upon the aforementioned.
  5. Intimacy is vulnerability, and thus, death.
  6. There is only one road in and out of here.
  7. Children are like toys that become useless when they break, which is why they must be replaced with better toys.
  8. Parents are really one person in two bodies. When they individuate, they die.
  9. Conversely, siblings are really one person in several bodies. When one individuates, that person shall be hunted down and slaughtered for the greater good.
  10. Narcissism is a myth.

As the author said, most of your time is spent attempting to undo the damage a narcissist can do to his/her children when coparenting with a narcissist. I definitely agree with this statement. The narcissist isn’t capable of “normal” maternal or paternal instincts. They view their children as objects meant to fulfill their own needs, instead of the other way around. It is not always easy to combat narcissistic behavior.

1.       I am who I tell you I am:

Since the N’s (narcissist’s) children are people who know he is not who he tells them he is, he chooses to surround himself with people who will believe he is who he tells them he is. I wonder if our daughter has figured this one out yet. I hope she is smarter than I was! Of course, she’ll have me to help, but I’m not quite sure how to do that. I don’t want to alienate her from her father, but I wait until she brings a problem up before I address it, usually. It is a work in progress, I guess. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated! We’re here to help each other. Please help!

2.       You will tell me things I want to hear or you will not be heard:

My N-ex has always ignored what he didn’t want to hear. If our daughter isn’t talking to him when she makes the “required” calls on the phone, he ignores her.

3.        You will feel the way I want you to feel or you will be forsaken:

This is the one that does the most damage. The N puts no value on his/her children’s feelings. In the author’s example, she wrote: “When we don’t value other people’s feelings our actions can do irreparable damage to those people. Our son was upset over something his father wrote him in an email. He responded and told his father, “Dad, when you say things like that, it hurts my feelings.”

His father responded and told our son, “I am not responsible for your feelings.” And then he went on to explain to the child just how unreasonable it was for his son to expect him to care about his feelings. You can’t tell a child in one voice, “I love you” and then tell them “If your feelings got hurt it is your fault” in the next and expect that child to not be emotionally damaged.” This hits home to me because, while my daughter was barely able to communicate when I last lived with her dad, he would say to me that he wasn’t responsible for how I “take things.” He’d try to say that I misunderstood, but he’d never succeed at explaining what he “truly” meant, or he’d say that he wasn’t responsible for my feelings. He actually said the words, “if your feelings got hurt it’s your fault”. Am I naïve to hope that there’s a chance that he won’t do it to our daughter? After all, he tells her damaging (and false) things such as: your mother doesn’t love you, your mom isn’t capable of love, your grandma doesn’t love you, etc., etc., etc. my hope is that if she falls from his good graces, he’ll just leave for someone who will give him more attention. That sounds terrible to say but I think that would be best for her.

4.       Love is conditional upon the aforementioned:

Who doesn’t want to be love conditionally? Sadly, if a child refuses to feel the way the narcissistic parent needs them to feel, then love, attention, caring, concern, etc. will be withheld. Wondering how my daughter will handle this, I found comfort in this article, where the author wrote: “The bad news for the narcissist, children eventually adjust and move on. That old saying, “out of sight, out of mind” works against the narcissist. I can, thankfully say that as adults our children rarely think about or mention their father. When you withdraw your love from someone they will eventually “let go” of their love for you.” This gives me hope that one day, he will just fade out of her life without irreparable damage. I know she’s a strong little girl, I just hate to see her have to go through this. While he’s telling her that I don’t love her, it is he who is incapable of love. Also of note: One thing I’ve realized when dealing with the narcissist is that whatever he is accusing you of is very often what he is guilty of. Perhaps HE is incapable of love and he is incapable of loving her as a parent should. Maybe deep down he realizes this and he reflects it back onto me.

5.       Intimacy is vulnerability, and thus, death:

True intimacy with another person means allowing yourself to become vulnerable, emotionally dependent. Vulnerability and dependency are the kiss of death to the narcissist. Your child will love the narcissistic parent; the narcissistic parent is only able to love what the child can do for him/her. I never felt that my N-ex ever really knew me. I felt that he had a version of me but he was incapable of seeing who I really AM. Most people that know me would say that I am honest, trustworthy, and giving. He constantly accused me of lying, and being selfish. I never felt “close” to him. He was never vulnerable. He never admitted anything he was ashamed of, unless it was an underhanded way to brag (ie., he always felt bad about beating up all of those people who picked fights with him (hmm, wonder why?!) No matter how much bigger than him they were, he always felt sorry for them afterward. Supposedly. And, why was he getting in so many fights? I’ve never found myself in a physical fight, except the one  scuffle with my sister as teenagers… Anyway, I can relate to this one.

6.       There is only one road in and out of here:

I’m not exactly sure what the author of this list meant for this one but what I get out of it is: It’s MY (the N’s) way or the highway, and I control the highway!


7.       Children are like toys that become useless when they break, which is why they must be replaced with better toys:

Sad but true, children of N’s are replaced. Be it with a step-daughter or step-son, or a new son or daughter. He/she will forever be the recipient of his goodness, that is, until she questions a behavior or, disagrees with a belief of his. (Oh, and by “forever”, I mean, “for as long as it lasts”.)

8.       Parents are really one person in two bodies. When they individuate, they die:

Similar to the author, when my ex and I divorced in his mind I was no longer important. I was no longer an object of any use to him. Any feelings, needs or desires I had had become of no consequence to him. He likewise expected our daughter to view me as someone who was unimportant.

9.       Conversely, siblings are really one person in several bodies. When one individuates, that person shall be hunted down and slaughtered for the greater good:

I don’t have any experience of my own in this regard since our daughter is only 4, and it’s just her. I’ll leave the original author’s comments as it helped me:

“When we divorced our children were 14 and 7 years old. The older child was quick to call his father out for hurtful behavior. The younger child made excuses and did whatever he could to keep his father happy. All the younger child cared about was spending time with his Dad. Due to that he detached himself from the emotional pain and focused on pleasing his father.

Our older child individuated, became separate from his brother and had to be done away with emotionally. Our older son in now 28 years old. His father has rarely acknowledged him since the divorce. He came to his high school graduation after 4 years of never attending a parent/teacher meeting, extracurricular activity, regular visitation and refusing to enter into counseling. That is the only time since our divorce that he has shown interest in our older child.

His child was “hunted down” and “slaughtered” emotionally.”

10.   Narcissism is a myth:

I believe that a narcissist knows they are different. They realize there is something wrong but they can’t admit that THEY have anything wrong. Therefore, it must be YOU. They don’t have a character flaw. It’s how you’re taking it. My ex would bring in “proof” that I was crazy by putting words in other peoples’ mouths. “Just ask the neighbor. She said (insert something that “proved his point” here).”

Keep your expectations low. Narcissists can’t or won’t put themselves aside to focus on a child, even if it IS their own. Be diligent in cleaning up the emotional messes caused by narcissistic behavior and get your children into therapy. I know this is little consolation, and I’m not always sure how to clean up those messes. It leaves me feeling hopeless and depressed, but not as hopeless and depressed as I would have been keeping my family in that situation! Life isn’t easy, ESPECIALLY when dealing with narcissistic behavior. There are always going to be challenges. If you keep being the awesome, loving parent that you are, your child will be fine. Tell them often that you love them. Show them that you care and think about them often. If the N is the custodial parent, your job will be harder. Love and prayers! Keep reading. Knowledge is power. We can help each other. Comments, suggestions, please! Thanks! Coparenting With a Narcissist Coparenting With a Narcissist Coparenting With a Narcissist Coparenting With a Narcissist Coparenting With a Narcissist Coparenting With a Narcissist

 

P.S.- As I mentioned, there will be many more articles about co-parenting on this website. I wish I had more advice, but I’m learning just as you are. Best wishes!

Co-parenting with a Narcissist
Coparenting with a Narcissist

Codependance and the Co Dependent Relationship

Codependance and the Codependant Relationship


What is codependency? Wikipedia defines codependency as “a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (typically narcissism or drug addiction); and in broader terms, it refers to the dependence on the needs of, or control of, another.[1] It also often involves placing a lower priority on your own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others.[2] Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships.[2] Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, or control  patterns.[2] Narcissists are considered to be natural magnets for the codependent.”

Codependance
Codependance

After reading this, I was angry with myself for being so stupid to be drawn to someone like my narcissist. But then, I realized that I was most likely repeating patterns that I learned through childhood. I learned that codependancy is treatable. I know I will be a better person for recognizing this flaw in myself and working on it. Without this narcissistic experience, I wouldn’t have grown as I have and am continuing to do as I reflect on this sometimes-traumatic time of my life.

Codependency is often applied to the families, especially spouses of alcoholics. My father was an alcoholic. I am happy to say that he hasn’t had a drink in well over 20 years. However, that experience could possibly have an effect on me in some way that I need to recognize. I never felt that his drinking harmed me. I never knew much about it for the most part, except for walking in on him drinking a few times. I knew my mom didn’t like it but she knew about it. We told her a few times, probably not always, but it only happened a few. We tried to be loud and announce our presence. He hid his drinking. He kept his alcohol in a secret place. We kids stumbled upon it a few times, but I never really felt it had much of an effect on me. Still, it is something I will keep in the back of my mind while studying this phenomenon with you.

Some symptoms of codependance are:

  • Low self-esteem: Comparing yourself to others, feeling that you are not good enough, feelings of guilt, shame, or perfectionism. It is often said that abused people have low self-esteem. I don’t feel that to be true. I don’t feel I have low self-esteem. I do feel that I am aware of myself and my flaws. I don’t feel more flawed than others, actually, I feel pretty good about myself when compared to others. I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to things that I do or make, but I don’t feel guilt or shame on a regular basis. There are times I feel these things but I don’t think that I feel them regularly.
  • Poor boundaries– Allowing others to invade your space such as your personal belongings, money, space, time, body, feelings, thoughts, needs, etc. Codependents have a problem with unclear boundaries, setting and maintaining boundaries, etc.
  • Caretaking– Putting others’ needs above your own and ignoring your own needs and opinions in favor of others. Codependents often try to help others, even when the help is unsolicited.
  • People-pleasing-Feeling an overwhelming need to please others, putting your own needs, opinions, desires on hold in order to make others happy. A normal relationship requires give and take, but when there is an imbalance, trouble can set it.
  • Reactivity– This includes reacting to others opinions without realizing that is just, in fact, an opinion. Some examples would be feeling defensive after someone exerts his/her opinion or changing your mind frequently and thinking that they are right based on their opinion. In short, not having trust in yourself.
  • Denial- I definitely don’t have a problem with this one! (Just kidding.) Denial in this sense refers to not communicating or even KNOWING your needs and wants. Denial of your own feeling and not expressing what you want or like in a healthy way is a sign of codependency. I have definitely seen this pattern in my past relationship with my narcissist. It was there before, but much worse with the narcissist. I seem to know what I want much more now than ever and seem to be carrying into my new relationship. Of course, it helps that my current boyfriend is very interested in what I want and making me happy. After reading this, I believe he has codependent traits as well. I encourage him to express what HE wants. I let him know that what he likes and wants is okay with me and that I enjoy knowing what he thinks.
  • Control- Codependents often need to control those close to them, because they need other people to behave in a certain way to feel okay. In fact, people-pleasing and care-taking can be used to control and manipulate people. Alternatively, those with codependance are bossy and tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. This is a violation of someone else’s boundary.
  • Dysfunctional communication- Those who exhibit codependance traits often have trouble communicating truthfully about what they want. They may be in denial of their feelings or needs. Other times, they know, but won’t own up to the truth. They’re afraid to be truthful, because they don’t want to upset the other person. Instead of disapproving, they might pretend that it’s okay with them. This can cause confusion within the relationship because of their dishonesty.
  • Obsessions- One of the things is denial. Those with codependance can’t see that there’s a problem. I don’t have this problem… just kidding. Codependents deny their feelings and needs and sometimes don’t know what they’re feeling and are focused on what others are feeling and needs. They often pay attention to other people’s needs and not their own. They might be in denial of their need for space and autonomy. Although some codependents seem needy, others act like they’re self-sufficient when it comes to needing help. They won’t reach out and they have trouble receiving. They are in denial of their vulnerability and need for love and intimacy. I can see some of myself in this description. I definitely look to others’ needs more than I do to my own. I deny my own need for space and autonomy. I have a problem asking for help. I give more than I take.
  • Dependency- Codependents need other people to like them to feel okay about themselves. They fear rejection or abandonment. Others need always to be in a relationship. They often feel depressed or lonely when they’re on their own. This trait makes it hard for them to end a relationship, even when the relationship is painful or abusive. They end up feeling trapped. I fell into this category, though I was not afraid of being alone. I was initially afraid that I’d never get married. This was a big factor in ending up with the guy that I did, and once I was involved, I felt bad leaving him based on a bad feeling. I felt sorry for him. I didn’t feel I needed HIM at all. I felt he needed ME.
  • Problems with Intimacy- Because of shame and weak boundaries, you might fear that you’ll be judged, rejected, or left by your partner, parent, etc. I definitely felt this with my ex. He was very intimidating, not asking or caring what I though, only whether I agreed with HIM. You may also fear being smothered in a relationship and “losing yourself”. You might deny your need for closeness and feel that your partner wants too much of your time; your partner complains that you’re unavailable, but he or she is denying his or her need for separateness. I feel this way with my current boyfriend. I feel very inclined to maintain my autonomy. I love being with him but I fear being too close. With him, I feel comfortable being myself, don’t feel I have to explain my decisions, and don’t feel judged. It brings me to a point that just occurred to me:

ARE NARCISSISTS DRAWN TO CODEPENDENTS OR DO NARCISSISTS MAKE IT MORE LIKELY THAT ‘NORMAL’ PEOPLE WILL DEVELOP CODEPENDENT CHARACTERISTICS BECAUSE OF THEIR ENVIRONMENT (LIVING WITH A NARCISSIST)?

  • Painful Emotions:  Shame and low-self-esteem can cause feelings of anxiety, which can fear of being judged, rejected or abandoned. I definitely felt shame from regular everyday activities that I didn’t feel shame from before, even early on in my life with the narcissist. (ie. For liking a particular movie (Old School)) I felt rejected when I didn’t agree with his opinion or when my daily everyday activities didn’t meet his approval (ie. I didn’t clean the house good enough, didn’t cook supper, made it too unhealthy, etc.); and I definitely had feelings of anxiety when confronted with his rage for the first time. I was scared it would “happen” again. It was always because of a small thing, so I’d never know what would set him off. I felt abandoned when he would threaten to leave me if I didn’t sell my animals, stop talking to my mother, etc. This is strengthening my  new theory. Can codependance be cured? I believe it simply takes awareness and a willingness to change. Good luck!

 

Codependance and the codependant relationship


Covert Abuse (AKA:Passive Aggressive Abuse)

Passive Aggressive/Covert Abuse
Covert Abuse(AKA:Passive Aggressive Abuse)

Covert Abuse (AKA:Passive Aggressive Abuse)

We’ve all used passive behavior at some point. We have all used the tactics of pouting, guilt, or given the silent treatment on occasion. When we feel hurt or angry, the child inside us comes out. Families in which honest expression is not permitted ultimately teach their children to deny their true feelings. The children learn to resort to passive aggressive behavior to express pain and frustration.

However, you may have encountered someone in your life who regularly  resorts to passive-aggressive behavior. They have very few skills at healthy communication or dealing with conflict. Every hurt or angry feeling is handled covertly.

 Passive Aggressive behavior is a form of what is called covert abuse. Many narcissists use covert abuse or passive aggressive abuse. Covert abuse is disguised abuse, or abuse that is not readily seen by others. When someone pushes you or hits you, you know that you’ve been abused. It is obvious and easily identified. You can draw a line between physical abuse and normal, loving behavior. Covert abuse is less obvious. It is disguised by actions that appear to be normal, at times even loving and caring. Passive aggressive people are using covert abuse.

Passive aggressive behavior stems from an inability to express anger in a normal, healthy way. A person’s feelings may be so hidden that they don’t even realize they are angry or feeling resentment. They often cannot see the problem and simply feel that others  misunderstand them.

Common Passive Aggressive Behaviors:

    • Making excuses for lack of follow-through or poor performance, blaming others.
    • Creating drama or chaotic situations. These behaviors can quickly ruin your good time without it looking intentional.
    • Procrastinating at the expense of others, especially if the other person is one that has “wronged” the aggressor. (ie. my ex would take extra time getting ready to go somewhere he didn’t want to go with me. When leaving the house for a safer location (a family member’s house) during a tornado watch, he intentionally packed up what he “needed” V-E-R-Y  s–l–o–w–l–y).
    • Being chronically late or forgetting things in order to control or punish. They often think they are more important than others. (See narcissistic personality disorder)
  • Avoiding intimacy. Passive aggressives often avoid intimacy by witholding sex, affection, and attention. He/she may purposely sleep facing away from you to show that he is upset, though he may or may not talk about his/her reasons why he/she is upset or even may deny being upset.
  • Using guilt or sulking to punish or gain attention. See above.
  • Being argumentative, critical, or resentful to punish or get one’s own way.
  • Creating intentional obstructions to punish or get one’s own way.
  • Being unresponsive or non-communicative to avoid discomfort or conflict.
  • Withholding kindness, love, or actions (such as sex or favors) to punish.
  • Sabotaging the efforts or relationships of others, either obviously or insidiously.
  • Forgetfulness: The passive aggressive avoids responsibility by “forgetting.” For example, he/she may forget an anniversary or special event that his/her partner wants to attend. Forgetting is of course only a passive aggressive weapon if it is intentionally used to cause pain in another person.
  • Ambiguity: The best gauge of how a passive aggressive feels about an issue is how they act. Normally they don’t act until after they’ve caused some kind of stress by their ambiguous actions. For example, my ex-husband would often start an argument about my parents in the car on the way to my parents for Christmas, Easter, etc. and would often end up turning around and driving back home if I didn’t agree 100% with his.
  • Blaming: Covert aggressive people are never responsible for their actions. If you aren’t to blame then it is something that happened at work, the drive home, or a co-worker or family member that caused it. The passive aggressive has no faults, it is everyone around him/her who has faults and they must be punished for those faults.
  • Lack of Anger: He/she may never express anger. There are some people who are happy with whatever you want, at least on the outside. The passive aggressive person may have been taught, as a child, that anger is unacceptable. Hence they go through life ignoring their anger, appearing to not care, then sticking it to you in another secretive way when you do what he/she had said was okay.
  • Fear of Dependency: He/she struggles with dependency issues. He/she feels dependent on you but these feelings often scare him. Therefore, he tries to control you.
  • Fear of Intimacy: The passive aggressive often has trust issues. Therefore, they guard themselves against becoming intimately attached to someone. A passive aggressive will have sex with you but they rarely make love to you. If they feel themselves becoming attached, they may punish you by withholding sex.
  • Obstruction: He/she will try to appear to be giving you what you asked for while, in reality, they have no intentions of giving it. He/she wants you to think that what you are asking is too much.
  • Victimization: The passive aggressive feels they are treated unfairly. He/she is always the innocent victim of your unreasonable expectations, a slow driver on the highway, or the the secretary at work.
  • Procrastination: The passive aggressive person believes that deadlines are for everyone but them, especially if they are trying to get back at you for something.

Dealing with the Passive Aggressive:
The passive aggressive desires, at least sub-consciously, a relationship with someone who can be the object of his or her hostility. They need someone whose expectations and demands he/she can resist. The person who displays passive-aggressive tendencies often is drawn to co-dependents, those with low self-esteem and those who find it easy to make excuses for others.

The biggest frustration in being with a passive aggressive is that they never follow through on agreements and promises. He/she will shirk responsibility for anything in the relationship while at the same time making it look as if he/she is pulling his/her own weight and is a very loving partner. The sad thing is, you may believe that you are loved and adored by a person who is completely unable to form an emotional connection with anyone.

passive aggression
The Passive Aggressive Relationship

The passive aggressive ignores problems in the relationship, at least the ones that YOU bring up. He/she sees things through their own warped sense of reality and, if forced to deal with problems, they will completely withdraw from you. They will deny any evidence of wrong doing, distort what you know to be real, minimize their behaviors or lie so that their view of what is real seems more logical to you. Divorcing the passive-aggressive leads to a high conflict situation with long-term negative consequences for all involved. See also divorcing a narcissist, as many of these traits overlap.Covert Abuse (AKA:Passive Aggressive Abuse)

The passive aggressive will often say one thing but do another. Then, he/she will deny ever saying the first thing. They don’t communicate their needs in a clear manner, expecting their significant other to read their mind and meet their needs. They expect their spouse to just naturally know what they needed or want.

Some pointers for dealing with passive aggressive behavior:

  • Recognize and understand passive-aggressive behavior when you see it. Sometimes it is so insidious that you can feel confused or at fault, especially when you are blamed by the aggressor, but once you recognize a pattern of this behavior, accept that you are not to blame.
  • Create healthy boundaries for yourself so you aren’t manipulated by a passive-aggressive person. If you notice disrespect, do not allow it to continue.
  • Brush up on your own communication skills so that you can respond to passive-aggressive behavior with maturity and honesty.
  • Calmly communicate your need for truthful behavior and ask your partner to work on a new way of dealing with conflict.
  • Be understanding of the circumstances that created the passive-aggressive behavior. Most of it is based in emotional pain and misplaced anger, but do not let that excuse the behavior.

Confronting the Passive Aggressive:

Beware, if you confront the passive aggressive, it will most likely not be well received. He/she will most likely pout, withdraw, give you the silent treatment, or completely walk away.

There are two theoretical reasons for confronting the passive aggressive. One, if done correctly you may be able to help him/her gain insight into the negative consequences of their behaviors. Two, even if that doesn't happen, it will at least give you the opportunity to talk to him/her about how his/her behavior affects you. However, if your passive aggressive is a narcissist, you will most likely get nowhere. In this case, it is probably best to NOT confront the issue and get out if you still can. If you think you are dating someone with narcissistic personality disorder, read as much as you can on how to deal with him/her. See also my list of resources on the right side of my web page.

Inside the Passive Aggressive:

The passive aggressive has a real desire to have an emotional connection with you, but their fear of that connection causes them to engage in self-destructive behaviors. He/she will be secretive in his actions and it will only move him/her further from his/her desired relationship with you.

The passive aggressive never looks internally to examine his role in a relationship problem. They live in denial of their self-destructive behaviors, the consequences of those behaviors and the choices they make that cause others so much pain.

The passive aggressive objectifies the person of their desires to be used as a means to an end. Your only purpose is to feed his/her own emotional needs. You are not a person with feelings and needs but as an extension of him/her. When you no longer fulfill their needs, you are likely to be discarded, especially if you are involved with someone with NPD (narcissistic personality disorder).

The passive aggressive wants the attention and attachment that comes with loving someone but fears losing his/her independence and sense of self to you. You have to be kept at arms length and if there is an emotional attachment it is sporadic. With my ex, he'd claim we would have a love that songs were written about, be over-the-top in his affections toward me, then completely withdraw all affection for weeks on end over a small disagreement. It was very perplexing.

The only hope for change in the way they deal with relationship issues is if they will acknowledge their mistakes and contributions to the marital problems. Facing childhood wounds, looking internally instead of externally to find the cause of problems in their life will help them form deeper emotional attachments with a higher sense of emotional safety. If the person is willing and able to see his/her faults, he/she may be able/willing to change. If not, don't walk. RUN!!!

The information from this article was taken from : http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/abusiverelationships/a/Pass_Agg.htm. It is a very informative website that you may want to check out.

 

Covert Abuse (AKA:Passive Aggressive Abuse)

Covert Abuse (AKA:Passive Aggressive Abuse)

Covert Abuse (AKA:Passive Aggressive Abuse)

Covert Abuse (AKA:Passive Aggressive Abuse)

Wizard of Oz-The Man Behind the Curtain

Narcissism Parallels The Wizard of Oz
Narcissists seem to see themselves as great and powerful.

“I am Oz! The great and powerful!”

When I was married to my husband, more particularly when things got increasingly rougher, I felt like Dorothea Gale in the land of Oz. Things didn’t make sense, as if I was living in a dream, or nightmare, rather. My daughter was “Toto”. I kept her close-by for her protection. I rarely left her alone with him. He rarely ever wanted me to.

Remember in The Wizard of Oz when the wizard is exposed by Toto, who pulls the curtain back, showing the wizard at the controls of his microphone/projector? I often felt like saying “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” when he’d throw one of his fits and expose his true nature. I didn’t of course. That wouldn’t have gone over well.

Narcissists love to be admired and feared. Would we fear the wizard without the booming voice, the giant projected head and the thunder? It reminds me that the narcissist is just a little man hiding behind a curtain projecting a different (in their eyes, “better” version) of themselves to others. They want to be seen in a light of authority, of esteem, of wisdom. They want to know all, or been seen as knowing  all. They are, of course, just the man behind the curtain, but they do anything they can to not let others see that, no matter who gets hurt in the process. I’m not entirely sure they even realize consciously that they are doing it. I remember my ex saying to our marriage counselor that he didn’t know how I could just apologize so easily. I’m not sure if he was admitting a fault or keeping up an “I’m trying” image.

narcissism
“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” Narcissists like to distract from the truth.

He, of course, was the wicked witch of the story in my eyes; though, unlike the witch, whose intentions were never kept secret, his were insidious. He tried to look like a good guy while doing bad things. He justified his bad behavior. I always said he could justify anything: a $10,000 purchase for the house when we had very, very little money, for example. More relevantly, he justified his actions because I “made him have to act that way. If you hadn’t done X, I wouldn’t have had to do Y.” (ie. If you had thought of making my favorite meal for dinner, I wouldn’t have had to yell at you and degrade you.”

Narcissism
Being involved with a narcissist is like living in the land of Oz… bizarre.

On getting out:  As the wizard says, “You, my friend, (to the cowardly lion) are a victim of disorganized thinking. You are under the unfortunate impression that just because you run away you have no courage; you’re confusing courage with wisdom.” This is a good thing for many of us to consider, I think. I felt guilty for leaving, especially in the way that I did. I didn’t announce it on the way out the door. I couldn’t have gotten out

narcissists and sociopaths
Divorcing a Narcissist or Sociopath is much like navigating the creepy forest of Oz.

with our daughter if I had and I wasn’t going to leave her with an unstable man, whose wife had just left him. I had already been held hostage in my own home and had just regained a little bit of freedom. The cards were stacked in my favor that day and I’m SO glad I got out when I did. I can’t go into details of how I got out, as I wish to remain as anonymous as possible for my family’s privacy and safety.

And “if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard; because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.” The narcissist, or any socio- or psychopath, can make it difficult to hold on to your self-worth and life ambitions. It’s easy to feel beaten-down. Remember that they can’t MAKE you feel this way. Always hold on to yourself. It know what it’s like to walk on eggshells with someone, to give up your plans for theirs, to sacrifice yourself for their happiness so that you can then be happy. I know what it’s like to put yourself last. But remember, YOU are Oz, the great and powerful! You control your life.

My Husband is a Jerk

Help! My husband is a jerk. I’m sure you can relate:

Never in a million years did I think I’d be getting a divorce. I’m sure most of you can relate. For years, I knew that my husband was a jerk. Our relationship progressed rather rapidly, as many in this situation do. Having been acquaintances before, I quickly moved in with him after a few months of a long-distance relationship. I had just
broken up with someone I’d been with for 3 years. Within just a few months of living together, he asked me to marry him, (which is another bizarre story in and of itself) I said yes, though I had my doubts already. We were married a year later, only a year and 3 months after really getting to know each other. I had my doubts, as I stated before, but we had already bought a house together and had combined all of our money (another sign, in retrospect). He had agreed to move back to be closer to my family. (I had just broken up with a man who had been unwilling to move away from his family so that I could be close to mine, which is understandable; however, my now-ex used this knowledge of my weakness as part of his plan to snag me. He knew I was so happy he was willing to move wherever I wanted to go, that I’d be more willing to accept some of his bad traits. And I was. He was very loving to me, at times. Other times, he was a jerk, but it started out so slowly that I learned to accept his bad times. He always put on a good front to others and I was isolated in a state 350 miles from my family and friends. Though I had made friends down there, they were all mutual friends, actually, they were all friends of his first, so it was hard to confide in anyone without fear that it would get back to my fiancé at the time. I had a neighbor that was bold enough to suggest that he get a job, and ask “is he even looking for a job?” I however, took up for him with the phrase that he told me, that he was helping me get my business started. He wasn’t, however, I wasn’t really working much yet either, so I didn’t feel I had the right to judge. Looking back, I think that neighbor, had I confided in her, could have been a valuable asset. She was a strong woman and put up with emotional abuse at home. Her husband was a jerk too, only more obviously so. He didn’t try to hide it. He was also an alcoholic. He’d drink 24 beers a night some nights (or ever night?)  It didn’t seem to shake her but looking back, I’m sure it did.

Difficult marriage help, narcissists, sociopath
10 Lifesaving principles for women in difficult marriages

It was during this time that I started to see things, especially while he was drinking. He had drunk heavily in the past, even bragged about it to me. He drank moderately to heavy at times while we were together, barely any toward the end. But, in the beginning, it seemed that when he was drunk, he’d let his guard down a little and “things” would slip out. For instance, one of the first fights we had, shortly after I had moved down, he got offended because while the two of us were cleaning the house (yes, he did this in the beginning) I wore headphones and listened to my music. He thought that it was rude that I was listening to music that HE couldn’t hear and wasn’t talking to him. Ok, this, in-and-of-itself is not such a big issue. Couples have issues like this all the time. The issue came in the manner in which it was handled. When he brought it up, he was clearly angry. His reaction was out-of-proportion to the “crime” committed. He was yelling about how inconsiderate I was and how he didn’t see “how

marriage, narcissism, boundaries
Create healthy boundaries in marriage

anyone wouldn’t see that this was offensive!” and “How could you be so selfish as to think that this was right?!” and on and on. I apologized. I hadn’t meant to hurt his feelings, as I clearly had. However, the apology got me nowhere. He went on and on about it. He withdrew his affection and attention from me for days. This seemed like very strange behavior. He was “different”, not the loving, doting man that I had known. However, after a few days, he seemed to forget about it. I was so confused about what had happened. In fact, that’s a phrase that I found myself repeating for the next several years. “What just happened?” There were more incidents. One involved me “not being ready to go when I said I was ready.” I used the bathroom (#1) before leaving the house. It was a quick trip. I didn’t stop to do my hair or anything. I’d say 1-2 minutes, tops. He was already in the car and came storming back in irate because I had “taken so long after I said I was ready.” He then refused to go wherever we had planned to go and was miserable for days. What the …?! But, a few days later, he was back to his “old” self. These types of incidents happened more and more often. I’m sure all of you reading this have some similar stories.

marriage
Save you marriage before it starts

But most times were good. He’d cuddle with me on the couch at night, play in my hair, which always put me to sleep, and even build me up at times. Even toward the end, we often had nice nights of cuddling. It was so relaxing and comfortable. Then, he was the man that I married. Of course, as many of you in this situation are, I was scared of his temper, of his anger. I don’t know how I stumbled on the subject of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). I think it was from a podcast I heard a few years before our divorce. From the moment I learned about NPD, I realized that, as I had suspected, our marriage wasn’t salvageable. Still, it took me years to get out. I know I knew it !) From this definition, I went from thinking “my husband is a jerk” to realizing there was an actual personality disorder, more specifically narcissism, going on. If you are also thinking “my husband is a jerk”, it would be wise for you to look into narcissistic personality disorder, or NPD, and arm yourself with information. Narcissistic personality disorder treatment is not deemed to be very successful. If you must leave, which you most likely will, you will need all the information you can get about how to safely leave, your children’s safety while leaving, and the court battle ahead. Divorcing a narcissist can be daunting. Family courts often don’t recognize narcissistic

Boundaries
Boundaries in marriage

parents and can often overlook the problem. Gather information that may help you, including your important paperwork, even if you have to sneak it out of the house one-by-one to copy. Get your bank information. If you are not an authorized user on the account (I wasn’t), start your own bank account to save money for when you leave. (I didn’t/couldn’t), or give money to a trusted friend/family member for safe-keeping. I DID do that. It was the easiest method and hardest to track. It wasn’t much, as I wasn’t making much at the time, but it helped. If you are worried about being fair, don’t. If he’s a narcissist, he’s not, and if you’re with him, it’s likely that he’s preyed on your sensitivity as mine did to me. And, most importantly, document everything your spouse says/does that shows his instability, whether it be emails, texts, conversations, etc. Also keep a list of witnesses to any encounters, or witnesses that knew who had the kids when. The narcissist will likely use them to get back at you and may try to get custody of the children in order to hurt you (and/or because they need them for narcissistic supple). In retrospect, I know I’m not perfect. I know I have flaws. However, I didn’t deserve the treatment I got. My husband is an asshole! If you’re reading this, it’s very likely that yours is too.

Not all jerks are narcissists, some are just miserable people. However, I’d say that the majority of jerks are narcissists. (See “Is He a Narcissist” to find out if your jerk is a narcissist) If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to first get out safely, if necessary, then to heal from the narcissistic abuse. Healing from narcissistic abuse is no picnic. Neither is getting a divorce. If you have been together for a long time, there are strong bonds to the narcissist. If you have children together, your ride is going to be considerably rougher as this person will likely always be in your life through your child and your jerk is likely going to use your child/children as a pawn while going through a divorce and often after.

For a while, I just thought “my husband is a jerk!” Now I know that there was more to it. I hope that through this website and others like it, that you may find the strength to stand up to the jerk, or at least stand up for yourself as you get out of the toxic relationship and heal and move on. It is taking me a while to heal from the narcissistic covert abuse, as it was in my case (yours may be more blatant), but healing from anything takes time. I wish you strength as you heal what needs to be healed. You should not have to suffer from someone, especially a supposed loved one, degrading you or playing mind games. Trying to decide when to divorce your husband is a very hard decision and should not be made lightly. You should read up on how to divorce your husband before you leave if you can do so safely. Getting a divorce is no easy task, especially when a narcissist is involved. You will likely find that you don’t  need a husband to be happy. In fact, an unhappy marriage in which you’ve tried everything you can to make it work can make you terribly unhappy, but sometimes counseling can do wonders if two people are willing to admit their mistakes and are willing to change.

Best of luck!my husband is a jerk to me my husband is a jerk quotes my husband is a jerk to me quiz

Christmas Mix-up/Manipulation??

angelsDecember 24th. Christmas Eve. We have a crazy holiday schedule this year. Since this is our first Christmas under our parenting plan, we are still working out the bugs. He misunderstood our parenting plan. Then, rather than going back and reading his parenting plan, as I suggested, he tried to talk, or rather guilt, me into giving up my time with her because it was going to be hard on her to have to ride in the car for 30 minutes each way. Secretly, I agreed but it’s easier to go with the plan than to try to change anything with him, especially if I’m the one doing the asking. I texted him the following:

narcissist, sociopath, psychopath
Inside the mind of a con artist

2:11pm me: I know you must be disappointed but I already told her the plans. I think we should stick to the plan as it is written in the parenting plan. You’ll get her tomorrow at 6. Do you plan to bring her back as per the parenting plan?

Phil responds: “Disappointed has nothing to do with it. Any responsible caring parent would know how ridiculous it would be to subject a 4-year-old child to a 2 hr. car ride for a 1 hr. visit. If I made a mistake on the holiday schedule i will give up my new year to make up for it.

3:05pm me: “She’s expecting to come back tonight at 6 and to open presents tomorrow morning. I’ll see you at 6 tonight at [the usual pick up place].”

3:18pm He repeated his previous email. “Disappointed has nothing to do with it. Any responsible caring parent would know how ridiculous it would be to subject a 4-year-old child to a 2 hr. car ride for a 1 hr. visit. If I made a mistake on the holiday schedule i will give up my new year to make up for it.”

me: “I got that text twice. Will you be there at 6?”

4:14pm Phil: “As a caring parent the drive would be ridiculous. you can have new years. Her expecting to return is not valid. She has told me as well as the neighbors 3 different houses that she wants to stay here. Would you like to speak w/her about this? My preference is to keep this civil, mature, and responsible to Avery’s needs.”

4:35pm me: “You will bring her tonight at 6 or I will call the cops as you will be in violation of our court order. Please let me know what you want to do.”

He immediately replied. “I will go into town to get my copy of paperwork to confirm. I want to do what is best for Avery”

“Ok. Me too.”christmas design

5:19 Phil: “I am wrong about the schedule. Although placing Avery in the care again shows extreme disregard for her well being we are on the way.”

me: “Ok :)”

Some commentary: First of all, why didn’t he check his parenting plan as soon as I told him there was a problem? Because he thought I would cave in and give him what he wanted. Why does he keep his parenting plan at the office? Or does he? Did he know as soon as he got home and checked it then the rest was just trying to manipulate me?

I have her for New Year’s this year. He had no New Year’s days to give me.

>His quote: ‘any responsible, caring parent” implied that I’m NOT those things. Forcing her to the ‘ridiculous’ drive of 30 minutes. Well, it was a 30 minute drive last week when I had to drive her to his place but today it’s an hour each way, making it 2 hours… for a 1 hour visit. 2+1=3. Where’s the other hour? Around here, it’s rural. We drive an 30-45 minutes to get anywhere. I drive her 45 minutes when I take her to work with me then turn around and drive home. I don’t feel that’s ridiculous. He just didn’t want to be the one doing the driving, but he chose that before he moved. That wasn’t my decision.

She supposedly told neighbors at 3 different houses that she wanted to stay with him. How does that come up in

conversation while caroling at a neighbor’s house? I’m thinking he’s grossly exaggerating or he’s coached her to say this. She has told me that he doesn’t want her to talk to me. How does she know this? “He gives a mean look when I talk to you.”

Same situation if I speak to Avery while she’s at her Daddy’s house. She’s going to say what she knows he wants to hear. “I want to stay with Daddy.” Of course, when she’s here, it’s a different story. She won’t let me out of her sight. Talking to her on the phone would likely convince him that she wants to stay with him but it won’t convince me. I know the fear and the need to bow down to him.

“Her expecting to return is not valid.” What does that mean? Are her feelings not valid? Not to him. To him, only HIS feelings are valid. He needs her to give him narcissistic supply.

narcissists, psychopaths, sociopath
Fight fire with fire? 🙂

As soon as I mentioned calling the cops and didn’t back down, he started to back down. Then, he finally checked the schedule and brought her, though he still had to get in a few more jabs. He implied that I was showing an “extreme disregard for her well being” by having him fulfill his part of the parenting plan and drive the 30 minutes to bring her back. (I drive 10 minutes.) He was responsible for changing it if he didn’t see that it was going to work. I’ve found that it’s generally not worth it to try and change anything with him. He always wants more than is practical. I tried to keep it short and not give him any more supply than necessary.

My boyfriend, an ex-cop came with me. I hadn’t planned on them meeting yet. We’ve been dating for 6 months but I think my ex seeing him will only make him jealous and may make things worse. I’ve made the poor guy sit at a gas station while I deliver Avery a few times, just so I don’t stir up any trouble. He’s been very agreeable, but it’s time. There was no choice. I wanted someone with me after today’s problem, and he’s bigger than my ex. It went smoothly. Not a word was spoken to each other. I’m sure, had the bf not been there, Phil would have had something to say. Just another day when “co-parenting” (and I use the term loosely) with a narcissist/psychopath.

Why I Stayed

Even today, having been out for almost 2 years, I still find it hard to believe that I was played. He seemed so sincere. Even looking back over the last 2 years, he’d talk to me and tell me something and I totally believed him. I’m not naive. I’m not an idiot. Of course, by then, I knew not to believe it, even when I DID believe it. I’d wait it out, put off the decision or answer he was seeking. Inevitable, when I DID believe him, he was lying, or plotting something against me (like a lawsuit, for example). Now I know that when he is being nice, he is up to something. He’s either trying to get me to do something for him or he’s doing something bad to me. Now I know and I can almost always stay one step ahead of him because I know his games and his moves. I know what he will try because I know how he thinks in regards to what he can get and I know how to keep him from getting it. The truth, and proof of it, is my weapon. He triumphs in the grey areas, but loves black and white. He is an extremist that walks a fine line of breaking the law, just inches away from being caught. He breaks the parenting plan agreement by telling my daughter lies about me. (Mommy doesn’t love you. Mommy says she loves you then feeds you candy. Mommy doesn’t love you because Grandma didn’t hug her as a child and she can’t love you. Daddy took Mommy and Grandma to the cops. The list goes on.) He knows the parenting plan is hard to enforce because it’s hard to prove he has said these things. I know he said them. Our daughter knows. He knows. I know because he told me some of the things he’s now telling her when we were still together. She was only 2 at the time we separated. I never told these things to anyone. She’d have no way of knowing if he hadn’t told her. When my mother told me what my daughter had said, I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that he had in fact said them to her. A 4-year-old wouldn’t be able to make this stuff up. I couldn’t make it up. I try to remain neutral to her. I don’t want her to see that I’m upset by what she tells me. I don’t want her to stop talking about it and keep it in, or worse, wonder if I love her and if what her Daddy says is true. What kind of sick moron TRIES to cause emotional harm to the child that they profess to love more than anything? I believe he loves her, at least, as much as he is able, but how can he not see what he is doing to her?

After a local child welfare agency had been called after our physical altercation, and we were informed about it, he stated that the only people that could have called the agency were me or my mother. He went on to say, “Don’t you think whoever did this should be made to never do this again?” I asked what he meant by that. He never would say for sure. He always liked to keep up appearances of being a good guy in his own eyes. He liked to say without saying. but judging from the look in his eyes, I thought he meant that they should be murdered or severely beat up. I said, “No. If someone thinks we are doing harm to our child, I’m glad there’s someone out there looking out for her. We didn’t do anything wrong, so what’s to worry about?” I, of course, was worried, not that they would take her away from me, but that he would find out that I was the one who inadvertently caused this call to be made. I hadn’t made the call. It never even crossed my mind that it was relevant. Our daughter was not physically harmed, though I never dreamed she would have to go through something like that. I had reported it to someone who did, and it was NOT my mother. I went to the police. They sent me to talk to someone. So, it was my report that had caused the call to be made. And I was scared as hell when I had to tell him that they wanted to speak with us. He took it okay at first. As it festered, his anger grew. When I asked him “Who is going to make them never do it again?” He replied that he “knew people.” He had bragged about his late father’s possible mob connections. I’m assuming this is what he  was talking about. He mentioned again that the only people that could have said anything were me or my mother. Is he going to try to have me killed? If he never “wins” the custody that he wants, is that my “fate”? Was this a scare tactic all along?

But, how can I look into his eyes and still see the good after all of this? When I look at him, I see a poor, pathetic man with a wounded soul. I see pain and hurt. Not the pain that he has caused me but the pain that he lives in. I stayed for a long time because I saw his pain and I wanted to help him; and for a while, I did… some. I still feel sorry for him. I still try to spare his feelings. Not for the pain that he will undoubtably  cause me when he feels it and tries to get even and hurt me back, but for the pain that I know he is feeling. No amount of hatred can overcome that feeling of guilt. Guilt that I didn’t stay, that I couldn’t take it, that I abandoned him in his pain, even though he was causing me much pain and taking my soul. I chose to be with him and I abandoned him. And I’m glad I did. I feel really guilty about that.

I added the second paragraph a while after writing this article when I was reminded of an incident that I thought was a good example of his walking the line of saying anything that could be used against him. Grey area, I call it. I was struck by the contrast between that and the third paragraph that was part of the original blog post. (The part about my perception of his pain). This is perhaps the best explanation of why I have labeled this blog “Torn”. For years I felt torn between these two emotions, even before the last stages which were increasingly more fearful. Looking back, I remember the feelings of that day after child welfare services was called, and the 3-day-weekend I spent as his prisoner. But just moments before, I had been remembering the feelings of pity for the man I once loved.

Why We Fall for Narcissists and Psychopaths

The following comes from a website dedicated to helping the victims of both narcissists and psychopathshttp://friedgreentomatoes.org/index.php I included this section of their welcome page because it summed up, in my mind, what I’ve been trying to express for so long. I felt stupid for falling for someone like this. When others said that they saw it in the beginning, it didn’t help to ease my wounded confidence on my ability to read people. The website has many helpful articles. I just discovered it myself. In a selfish way, it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who has fallen for it.

You met someone who was charming, talented and eloquent who most likely made you feel like a million bucks. And then, suddenly, at some point (usually beginning at the first moment you disagreed with him or her), you were made to feel like week-old garbage.

Hoping to restore the purity of that paradise you thought you were living in, you try everything you can think of to make it work, including closing your eyes and mind to the often vicious behavior of that person who is no longer the person you knew.  You just want the original person back; you believe that he or she is there, buried inside, behind some wall of hurt that only you can heal.  You may even see this original person from time to time, when you’ve had just enough to push you away for good – for just long enough to get you to stay and try again.

Little by little, you have to admit to yourself that what you are experiencing cannot be explained away by someone who is acting out of hurt; that what you are experiencing is just pure evil.

Charming, seductive and eloquent they are, and they use all those abilities when lying, manipulating and betraying. Psychopaths and narcissists can slash a path of human misery through lives of dozens, or hundreds, and even thousands, of people. They bring pain and suffering to nearly everyone they touch. And yet, somehow, they manage to convince their victims that it is they who are being wronged.

There is a reason for that: they actually do feel that they are victims because somewhere inside, they know that they are not like the majority of the human population, and this knowledge is coupled with a fundamental need to be in control, to be in charge. That they – a minority – cannot be in charge of the majority appears to them as a great injustice, one that they will fight to the death to right!

What you – a normal person – need now more than anything else is knowledge of what you are going through, or have been through, and an understanding of exactly what you are dealing with, in order to make sense of it all.

Psychopathy and narcissism are just two of several related and often overlapping conditions that afflict a portion of the population. These people are, effectively, human beings that are intraspecies predators; they look human, but they operate on a foundation that is more akin to that of an animal than a human.

Since all creatures seek survival, these pseudo-humans learn very early what behaviors get them what they want and need, including pretense to normal human emotions and empathy. Many of them can maintain this pretense – this “Mask of Sanity” – for a very long time; others let the mask slip sooner, or more often.

psychopaths
Learn how to deal with narcissists and psychopaths

What they want varies by individual, but the most persistent need seems to be control and those things that give them control. For the brighter members of this taxon (for that is what it surely is), that means power and money; for the lazier and less driven members, it can mean other things: control over a spouse, children, a family, or the maintenance of a parasitic lifestyle at your expense. In extreme cases, this urge for control can be expressed in murder.” From: http://friedgreentomatoes.org/index.php

sociopath, narcissist
A look inside the (scary) mind of a narcissist/sociopath.

My ex was over-the-top in the beginning on everything positive and loving. It was hard not to fall for him. He made big promises of “love that songs are written about”, love that is better than other peoples’, lives that are superior to others, yada, yada, yada. It sounded good in the beginning. I think I always knew there was something off but it felt too good to let go just because of a feeling. Seemed there was no “reason” to end it, just a feeling that it was “off”. I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure it out. He has always been over-enthusiastic about things he was involved with since I’ve known him. His profession, his motorcycle, his chosen style of healthy eating, etc. I’m sure you can relate with your own stories. Please share them!

Narcissism Defined

Narcissism Defined

Narcissism Defined
Narcissism Defined

Narcissism can be described as excessive preoccupation with one’s self and lack of empathy for others. The narcissistic personality tends to exaggerate his/her own importance and abilities. People with these characteristics believe themselves to be highly gifted and often engage in delusions of success, fame and/or power. Narcissists are often arrogant. They don’t hesitate to ask and expect special favors from others. Counter-intuitively, these individuals are often insecure and in reality have very low self-esteem. They require frequent admiration from others and find it very difficult to cope with criticism. Adversity or criticism may cause the narcissistic person to either attack in anger or isolate himself from that person. Narcissists cannot handle failure and therefore often avoid risks and situations in which failure is possible.

Another common trait of narcissists is jealousy of others (family members, spouse or spouses family members, friends, most often those that the narcissist is closest to). The narcissist is self-absorbed and lacks empathy for others. They expect others to be devoted to them but have no desire to reciprocate. Narcissistic people often enter into relationships based on what other people can do for them.

It is common for persons with this disorder to compare themselves to famous people of achievement and to express surprise when others do not make the same judgments. They feel entitled to great praise, attention, and special treatment by others, and have difficulty understanding or acknowledging the needs of others. They envy others and imagine that others are envious of them. The person with narcissistic personality disorder has no patience for others, and quickly strays from situations where he or she is not the center of attention and conversation. This attention from others is referred to as narcissistic supply and may be positive (praise or a compliment made to him)or negative (a fight with a spouse). Either are acceptable forms of attention. He may use his spouse, children, siblings, friends, etc. for narcissistic supply. Others are often confused by sudden outbursts of anger or attacks to their character, not understanding where they came from. Inwardly, the narcissist needs attention (whether positive or negative) and any confrontation will do, therefore fights over trivial matters are sure to ensue. If you are involved with someone you believe to be a narcissist, please read as much as you can on the subject to empower you for the battles to come. If it is practical to leave this person, it is usually considered best to do so. If it is a family member, read as much as you can on protecting yourself and not engaging, and therefore becoming a source of narcissistic supply for the narcissist. Narcissists tend to feed off of others and have been referred to as “vampires” by some. Having lived with one for many years, I can speak to the truth of this feeling. (See blog posts) Best of luck!!

Narcissism Defined Narcissism Defined Narcissism Defined

Co-parenting with a Narcissist or Psychopath

Co-parenting with a Narcissist or Psychopath

Co-parenting with a Narcissist or Psychopath
Co-parenting with a Narcissist or Psychopath

Co-parenting with a narcissist or psychopath is never easy! The challenges of dealing with a sociopathic narcissist are never-ending. I often wonder how a father (or mother) cannot see that he is harming his child by his comments. Yesterday, in front of a friend, my daughter (4 years old) said “Mommy, Daddy says he took you and Grandma somewhere? Did he?”

“What do you mean? Where?”

“Like, to the cops? He said he took you and Grandma to the cops. Did he?”

“No, he didn’t.”

“Well, he SAID he did.”

“He didn’t.”

“He’s a liar! Tell him he’s a liar! He’s lying, isn’t he?!”

“Well, he’s not telling the truth if that’s what he told you.”

I explained that it would not help to talk to him about it. What I didn’t tell her was, if I tell him, it’s most likely going to fall back on her. He’s most likely going to say something like, “Raya, why did you tell Mommy that I said ______________ ?” and then brain-wash her until she says SHE was lying about saying it. I’ve seen this happen before when I confront him about something he has said. It’s sickening. She doesn’t see that coming. It’s been a long time, over a year, since I’ve been naive enough to confront him on anything he’s said.  Having known him for years, I can almost predict his reactions. I’m not going to put her through that, especially since it won’t help anything but will instead give him narcissistic supply. He uses our daughter for narcissistic supply regularly.

Her father will not communicate about what happens at his house. If she’s sick, he doesn’t tell me. He took her to the doctor before and didn’t tell me. I caught wind by accident and had to go in and fill out paperwork so that her records could be released to me so that I would know what he had taken her in for and what was wrong with her. This was of course, before the final divorce order so there was nothing stating that he had to inform me of trips to the doctor, etc. If he does it now, he’ll be in contempt of court, not that that means much, at least in this state.

narcissist, psychopath, sociopath
Co-Parenting Help: 

Co-parenting with a Narcissist or Psychopath

Last week, my daughter told me that she had been vomiting at her Daddy’s house. I asked him about it by text. He did verify that she was sick. He said she said her belly hurt when he picked her up and vomited that night and two nights later. “That’s why I sent the juice and applesauce with her.” I wondered why he handed me juice and applesauce when I picked her up, but he said nothing about her being sick. I am so frustrated!! How can we co-parent if I have no idea that she has even been sick on the 5 days that he has her!? The court system fails people in my situation and it is so frustrating! (Please visit One Mom’s Battle for a letter that you can send to your representative! Every letter helps!) If Raya has ever been sick, according to Phil, she always has it when he picks her up. Apparently she can’t get sick at his house. He has a germ-free environment there. You can’t get sick if you isolate yourself and your family from society forever, and there are no germs at his church or library. I’m being sarcastic of course. And, yes, in my opinion, he uses church as a mask and a source of narcissistic supply. Anyone have a solution?