So many questions about relationships are out there, but this is one I have personally had over the years, especially after dealing with a Psychopath in my life, and then a Narcissist. Am I being unreasonable? Is my “narc-dar” so fine-tuned that I am actually “labeling” someone, unjustly?
That’s one end of the spectrum…
Lets imagine that my Narcissist radar IS fine tuned, yet (as I have already done) I STILL fall for another one of “them”. Yes, my senses are keen to attributes that people show, which are Narcissistic or Psychopathic… as long as I’m not personally involved with that person in one way or another. That doesn’t mean that I still didn’t see those characteristics. I was battling with the question I posed above. “Maybe I was being unreasonable.” and, “I know the tell-tale red-flags… but I haven’t given things enough time. Maybe I was imagining things…” Maybe I was “un” labeling them, when they SHOULD have been labeled. I was calling them “nice” when I should have called “ass-hole!”.
Do you see the confusion? The unwavering question/answer sessions? I’m going to try to clear this up for all of us. Of course as new survivors, you need to go through purging and processing periods. You NEED to learn to see characteristics in people that DO make your intuition yell. You will become a bit paranoid for a while, just for the sole purpose of never allowing yourself to go through that experience again. After all of the purging and processing, you’ll find yourselves being tested on your “skills” and newly placed (or reaffirmed) boundaries. Ready or not. Much of the time, your first testing will come only when you THINK you are ready and can face any demons that come your way, only to find out that you weren’t as strong as you thought. Trust me, been there, done that, myself.
Lets talk about the “jerks” out there.
When I think of a jerk, I think of a man whose view of women, in general, is skewed by upbringing or personal experiences. To some of them, women are only there to cook, clean, do yard work and bear children. Seen and not heard. Some think they are god’s gift to women, and set out to prove it… in spades. The jerks are out to get as many notches on their belts as humanly possible. To sleep with many women, then brag to their friends, is a glorious, pride-filled accomplishment. The jerks have no self-control, nor do they want any. They cannot control their tempers or their boyish drive. They are out for themselves, without regard for the women (or people in general) who will be hurt by them along the way. Does this make them Narcissistic? Psychopathic? Sometimes, yes, but not always. It ALWAYS, ALWAYS makes them jerks. Will they change in time? Probably, but not always. I personally know of a few “jerks” that became wonderful people as they got a little older. This is NOT the case with Narcissists or Psychopaths.
How can you tell them apart, in the beginning stages of a relationship?
You really can’t tell the nice guys from the jerks or Psychopaths, initially. They always put their best foot forward and their sweetest face on, when pursuing you. They are always nice, considerate, there for you and attentive. Always. The ones with the dark side, don’t want you to see that side of themselves. If they did, then they wouldn’t get the notch on their belt (for the jerks), or solidify their current choice of Narcissistic supply (for the Narc or Psych). The nice guys are in there, too… showing you their nice face, smile, empathy and compassion for others. These good attributes can be mimicked skillfully by the other types. The difference in seeing them for who they are, is in the time you spend getting to KNOW THEM! The ones who are putting on a false front, cannot hold onto that for long. In time, they will become comfortable or haughty. They will become confident that they’ve ensnared their chosen “beloved”, and will let their masks slip. It’s arrogance that will be their down fall, as well as pride and feeling comfortable enough to be themselves.
There are no grand epiphanies or treatments out there that will change the personalities or characteristics of the disordered. Psychopaths will remain psychopaths. Narcissists will always be Narcissists. There’s no “waiting” it out or fixing them. There’s no “loving” them or being “patient” enough, to show them the errors of their ways. What they are, will always be what they are. The only thing you can do to protect yourselves in the long run is by being aware of the base red-flags, which should NEVER be ignored.
The first and biggest red-flag you should be aware of, has nothing really to do with them. It has to do with US! How fast are you falling for the niceties, and allowing your hearts to swoon? Are your boundaries slipping rather quickly, when you KNOW BETTER? Are you falling for someone who hasn’t proven they are who they portray themselves to be? Has it only been a week? A month?
You are in danger, when you let your heart “go” too early. It’s difficult at times, to keep your head on straight and your heart in check. If you do “fall”, all too often you will find yourself in an abusive situation. In the very least, you will be used as another “notch” or momentary gratification for the jerks. There is a lot to be said for allowing things to be “tried by fire”. We want to believe the best in others. Once our hearts have won the argument, if it happens too early, we have to be right about them at any cost. If abuse starts to show, the internal dialogue shows up, “He’s just had a bad day..”, “I KNOW he’s not like that! He did [this and that] for me..”. Too many times there will be damage done, if you haven’t paid attention early on. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but rarely.
Is he telling you, “you are the one!” and “Soul mate“, within just a couple of weeks or a month of dating? How about “I love you!”?
Mirroring comes into play, here, when you are dealing with narcissists or Psychopaths. Is he everything you have ever wanted or needed? Is he saying “just the right thing” at “just the right time”? Is he saying or doing those things that no one could possibly know about? Do they instantaneously tug at your heart-strings? This is planned. He’s watched and took note of areas that you need. He’s an ACTOR filling a ROLE for one purpose only. He wants YOU as his personal TOY! NO ONE is that perfect!! Listen to him, when he talks about himself. Do you EVER hear about HIS mistakes in relationships? Or is his ex-wife, girlfriend, etc. “crazy”? They are ALWAYS superficial, when showing you they “care”. It’s always to “do” and “be” what you need at any given time. “Johnny-on-the-spot”. Have they showed you anything that says they care about your heart, other than just words? I don’t mean buying you flowers. What has he done to show you he cares for you as a person or cherishes your heart? If all he does is superficial, self-centered, etc. please get away from them. This is the point when they start throwing exclamations of “love” and “soul-mate”, which is after they are certain you have been ‘caught’ and their supply is secured. You are dealing with someone who is needing a source of supply. Get away quick!
At the very least, he’s showing signs of being insecure. If he is insecure, you will see he cares about you…too much. He will show his “love for you” by being self-sacrificial, almost martyr-ish. This still isn’t a good thing. You might be opening yourself up for a whole lot of jealousy and obsessiveness. No fun, and never, ever good.
“But I trusted him!” Yeah, welcome to the club.
The only way you can protect yourself, is, to give things plenty of time. That is, only if they are showing you “good”, and not anything that would alert you to possibly being narcissistic or psychopathic, such as “mirroring” behaviors, superficiality, self-centeredness, and so-on. Not to worry, soon they will show their “true” colors. The disordered can’t hold their facade for much more than a few weeks. You will begin to see behaviors that are intended to bait you into reactions, no matter how small. Once instance should be questioned but allowed only after speaking up about it. Twice, is a character flaw or outright abusive personality, and you need to get away from that relationship.
If they have proven themselves to be decent and normal human beings, still give things more time. That person might not be right for you. Have you seen their temper yet? I suggest waiting until you, at least, see them irritated. You want to know if their temper is one that will still protect YOU!
You are worth the time it takes to get to know someone. You are important, too. We have only one life. One heart. One psyche. Please pay attention…
This will be short…
Over the holidays, it is generally, socially acceptable and accepted to show good will toward others, including enemies. There’s really no social distinction separating anyone from that cordiality. We were raised to be polite and caring over the holidays, especially. Does that include our Narcissistic ex’s? Psychopaths? Any kind of abuser? NOOOO!!
Since Narcissists are so good at projecting a caring, warm, sincere persona to everyone, the choice not to return the well-wishes, or initiate them, will seem as though you are over-reacting or being rude, to others who are watching. You might feel pressured to return the wishes, just because of the guilt associated with NOT returning them. For your sake, do NOT initiate or return ANY thoughtful gesture or well-wishes over the holidays. They are counting on your polite and caring nature to guilt you into responding (reacting). If you do break ‘no-contact’ to be polite, what will happen? Chances are, you’ve already been there and know the abuse that follows, even months down the road. You will become ensnared again, and the abuse always, ALWAYS comes.
The monsters will try to use the Holidays to bait you into reacting. It’s THAT action, and the impending mental/emotional barrage that will follow as a result, which is the whole reason that you should NEVER EVER break no-contact, even over the holidays!!
If you are being successful in staying ‘no-contact’, congratulations!!! If it’s only been 3 days… CONGRATULATIONS!! Give yourselves a pat on the back, and a favorite chocolate bar!! You’re doing well Don’t break ‘no-contact’ for any reason. Ever.
I’ll delve into this subject a little deeper, later.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
I understand that going “no-contact” is the desired response when ending a toxic relationship, whether it was you or they who were “ousted”. It’s the healthiest thing to avoid talking to that person, spending time with that person and so-on. It’s also the most recommended avenue in healing yourself.
I understand the guilt associated, when going “no-contact” is difficult. You may go back to that relationship several times, before being able to walk away entirely. There is such a thing as ‘trauma bonding‘. Folks, this is a REAL PROBLEM, though it exists for so many survivors, in the aftermath of an abusive relationship! It’s what creates the overwhelming “need” to get back in touch with the Psychopath or Narcissist. It’s what is left when you are devalued and discarded, after you have tried SO HARD TO END THE ABUSE, by coddling him, loving or being understanding about the abuse. “He has been through a lot. He’s just having a hard time trusting due to the pain he still has”.. or what-have you. You continue to call, email, show up at work, etc. hoping to MAKE HIM SEE HOW HE’S HURTING YOU, as if you will create an “ah-HAH!” moment for him, and he’ll find that ever illusive conscience and beg for your forgiveness. This is the struggle we face during the initial break up. After you have fed your heart to him on a silver platter, only to get that platter back, in the end, with nothing but grains.. It’s what comes from being unable to settle your spirit, or to be ok with knowing you were hurt and abused, by a man who showed so much “love” and understanding in the beginning. The confusion is also the battle between heart and mind. You know what you know, but your heart cannot fathom it, nor understand.
When you are in the initial stages of “no contact”, you are still in a whirlwind from the traumatic relationship. When you call, email, text or directly contact the abuser, it doesn’t help at ALL!! On a side note though, doing so can also give you the emotional tools to be able to hold the scum-bag in complete and utter disdain and in turn, be able to go ‘no-contact’. If this is the case, be sure you are asking very pointed questions of the abuser. YOU control the conversation. Look for things in his response that show acceptance of responsibility (you will never see him accept real responsibility) and/or awareness of the instances of baiting for a reaction. His responses will be subtle, but if you know what you are looking for, you will see a total dis-regard for you! He will continue to blame-shift and throw fake apologies. When you finally get the admission, and can see a total dis-regard for you or your well-being, then walk away and enjoy your FREEDOM! I wanted an admission, so I baited HIM into reacting in such a way that I GOT one. I actually got it, disguised as a fake apology and blame-shifting. He admitted to how many instances of baiting, and still suggested that I took a joke wrong (Since when is baiting for a reaction a joke? Especially when the abuser keeps up the badgering for days or even months, before they are satisfied that they got the desired reaction?) Definitely do this through text so you can review what was said, and avoid the direct emotional attacks, which are designed to confuse you or get you to..again..REACT. Do NOT talk with the individual in any other way! With that being said, if you are a strong, determined individual, you could struggle but still be able to maintain the desired “no-contact” just out of sheer determination. If this is YOU, then congratulations! You are already leaps and bounds beyond the majority of survivors. For the rest of those who are still in an emotional, psychological tailspin, It’s a daily fight. Many will continue to email the perpetrator, trying to get him to see the error of his ways, or find some reason to see for ourselves that we are over-reacting. What happens next? He has the where-with-all to continue to abuse us! Not only that, but he is also still getting the desired reactions from us without having to do a THING! We are willing participants in his disordered game, when we habitually contact the abuser. It’s what the entire purpose for his abuse was, throughout the entire time we were in the relationship.
There is no shame associated with trauma-bonding. There is no shame to feel the need to contact the abuser. Please recognize, however, that in doing so, you are just acting as a momentary meal. It doesn’t change the status of your relationship, nor will he have some life-altering epiphany. The only one who will continue to be hurt, abused or have those deepest emotions picked at, is YOU!! You are still giving him his “fix”. You and your reactions! It’s hard NOT to react. I get that. In the case of dealing with a Psychopath/Sociopath or Narcissist, its IMPERATIVE that you understand this!
Going “no contact” can be compared to a drug addict, trying to kick the habit. Or a smoker. You will most likely fail in several attempts, before finally being able to stick to it. No shame, no guilt. But be prepared to cut ties completely, when you finally see him as scum. Remind yourself about why it’s best to stay away from him. If you have been able to be free of him for a few days, only to go back to “talk” to him, be aware of your emotions. How did you feel when you weren’t talking to him? How did you feel, after you talked again? Does he guilt you into talking again, only to have it work and “voila! You’re calling, texting, reassuring the asswipe that you don’t “hate” him? You are still reacting, and he’s STILL baiting you, even under the “niceties”.
Sweet heart, for your own sakes…
Don’t play the game!
- How to Recognize a Toxic Relationship, and What to Do (business2community.com)
- Emotional Abuse is Heart and Soul Mutilation (codependentrecoveryexpertrobertburney.wordpress.com)
- Emotional, Mental, and Physical Abuse in dating relationships: Help yourself or those you know in this situation (fashionavenue4you.wordpress.com)
- Reclaiming My Power (Or At Least Trying To) (iamdiophena.wordpress.com)
- Why Frame Abuse as Betrayal? (psychologytoday.com)
- The Narcissist Stalker: Missing You or Mentally Unstable? (stalkingviolates.wordpress.com)
- It’s Not Your Fault (firstsanctuary.wordpress.com)
- CPTSD; guilt and shame (cptsd2013.wordpress.com)
- Recognizing and severing toxic relationships (gentwenty.com)
- The can’t win game, because the rules always change! (dragonflywomanblog.wordpress.com)
The saying, “Never judge a book by it’s cover”, has been around longer than I know. When phrases become “cliche’” and “an old saying”, folks tend to put them on the back burner, viewing them as old, worn out ideals, that don’t apply to ‘modern’ times. We ignore them, much of the time. This particular one has become another one of the ‘cliche’s’ but is, non-the-less, very true. In the realm of a new relationship, or potential there-of, it’s imperative to listen.
Unfortunately, there are some of us who put too much stock in “first impressions”. We do it when meeting someone new. We do it when someone is ‘handsome’ or ‘pretty’. “Awww… he seems nice.” or “Man, what an ASS!”. When we get an impression of someone’s character or whether that person is nice or not, we cling to that ideal. We think it, therefore we are right. Right? Many times, we find out we couldn’t have been more WRONG! As it pertains to a new romance or friendship, giving things time to pan out is very important.
When we first meet ANYONE, that person is usually on their best behavior, especially when its a cordial meeting. Not so much with a chance meeting of your husband’s mistress. When it’s a cordial ‘meet and greet’ session, we smile, shake hands, exchange pleasant banter and move on. If there is some sort of ‘connection’, we may even exchange phone numbers. Unfortunately, some place a measure of trust in that person, right then and THERE. I can’t begin to tell you just how DANGEROUS THIS IS!
I used to trust everyone, until they proved they couldn’t or shouldn’t be trusted. Even then, I still explained and ‘poo-poo’d’ away certain unpleasantries, like; if someone was angry or spiteful toward me, with no perceivable reason, I attributed it to, “he/she is just having a bad day.”. Most times I was right, but there were times I was wrong. I always, ALWAYS believed the best about others. The last 2 years, looking back, I can clearly see subtleties that should have alerted me to a looming threat or even danger, when dealing with some of those people I trusted. I was too busy ‘trusting‘ and ‘believing’ to see it.
Time went on, trusting these people with my secrets, dreams and even my family. These people talked with me, asking questions about this or that, or even joining me when I was discontent or angry with someone who had “done me wrong”. They would say, “I would hurt him if he ever came around you again” or “What a bitch”. They ALWAYS agree with you!!!! These same people are ‘johnny on the spot’ if you need or want anything. Even if you don’t want them to drive 2 hours to be by your side during an emotional time, they are there for you. They will sit and have coffee with you, and buy you surprise “thinking of you” gifts. They are ALWAYS, ALWAYS full of complements about how ‘beautiful’ you are, nice you are, and so on. Those of us who enjoy the attention, affection and smiles, are quick to think “best friend” or even, “soul-mate”.
Some people are sincere in SOME of the gestures. Others are trying to woo you into believing they are “wonderful”, “friend” and even, “soul-mate” on the outside, while inside they are plotting…something. Thieves will do this, to gain access into your home, or to gain information about whatever they want to defile. Narcissists and Psychopaths do this, to insure their newly found meal will stick around a while… It’s easier to conquer a kingdom from the inside. After all, the guards are watching outside the perimeter. Most wouldn’t think to watch those “friends” on the inside, with our families.
This is a rule I used to follow, and for whatever reason, it got put on the back-burner. If someone is OVERLY COMPLEMENTARY, IT IS BEST TO AVOID THAT PERSON… Nine times out of 10, that person is someone you shouldn’t trust. They are trying to woo you into trusting them, for another reason. The same applies, if someone agrees with you about EVERYTHING, be cautious or even just walk away entirely. NO 2 PEOPLE HAVE THE EXACT SAME VIEWS ON EVERYTHING!
I knew a man, once, who was exactly like this. He was constantly telling me just how wonderful I was to help by watching his daughter, and so on. He would complement my looks, my home, everything. It wasn’t the nice, heartfelt, occasional complement. It was to the point that I thought within myself, “God, would you STOP already?!”. It made me uncomfortable, and not because I was embarrassed. My skin literally crawled. One day, after 2 weeks of watching his daughter and not hearing from him at all, he finally showed up at my apartment to pick her up. I was cleaning my bathroom when he showed up and, as usual, I had taken my wedding ring off and placed it on the cabinet. He rang the doorbell, and I answered. He asked to use my bathroom and, without waiting for the ‘ok’, he dove in. After a considerable amount of time, he finally came out and left in a hurry… never to be seen again. It didn’t take me long to realize, “I didn’t hear anything… NOTHING”. I didn’t hear the usual sounds that came from a bathroom, when you are only 10-15 feet away. No ‘tinkle’, no flush, no running water. I felt very uneasy about my ring, but he didn’t give me any time to retrieve it before he dove in. Sure enough, my ring was gone…
You can meet people dressed in designer clothes, complete with perfectly pasted smiles. He could be a banker or a sales professional, full of smiles, and charismatic charm. He could also be the poor single dad who is fighting to stay afloat, for his childrens’ sake, doing what it takes to get by. He’s dirty and doesn’t smell very good, due to working in the heat. Lets pretend that you don’t know any details about either…
Enter the charismatic well dressed person. He might be a business professional. You have never met this person, but you like their suit very much. This person greets you with sincerity, shaking your hand and smiling a smile that would melt polar ice-caps. Directly behind the first, comes a very dirty man whose eyes never leave the floor’s sight. He is missing an incisor or two, never speaking a word. As he comes into the room, he quietly finds a seat, still never speaking to anyone, and comes to rest sitting away from others…
Here’s your chance to choose who you can trust… You only have a minute or two, to decide. Business-man? Or unkempt man? If you are like most people, you would choose to trust the one who is more visually appealing, or who appeals to your base human need to be addressed and noticed. The business person. Here’s the name of the Business man:
After graduating from UW in 1972 Bundy joined Governor Daniel J. Evans‘s reelection campaign. Posing as a college student, he shadowed Evans’s opponent, former governor Albert Rosellini, recording his stump speeches for analysis by Evans’s team. After Evans’s reelection he was hired as an assistant to Ross Davis, Chairman of the Washington State Republican Party. Davis thought well of Bundy, describing him as “smart, aggressive … and a believer in the system.” In early 1973, despite mediocre Law School Admission Test scores, Bundy was accepted into the law schools of UPS and the University of Utah on the strength of letters of recommendation from Evans, Davis, and several UW psychology professors.
… Theodore Robert “Ted” Bundy (born Theodore Robert Cowell; November 24, 1946 – January 24, 1989) was an American serial killer, rapist, kidnapper, and necrophile who assaulted and murdered numerous young women and girls during the 1970s and possibly earlier. After more than a decade of denials, he confessed shortly before his execution to 30 homicides committed in seven states between 1974 and 1978; the true total remains unknown, and could be much higher. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Bundy)
You could meet 2 people from 2 very different walks of life. One, dressed in all black, sporting a full head of dread-locks…the other in a suit and tie, who drives a very nice car. One is kept to himself, and won’t look you in the eye… while the other pranced around as though everyone already knows and loves him. Due to appearances, we might gravitate toward the one who is friendly and charismatic, over the one who has dingy black clothes, and dread-locks. Why? One is more socially appealing. The other causes you to question his motives, by his dropped gaze. One of the two is a threat to your well-being. The other is not. Who would you choose to be the one you should trust?
It’s important to give ourselves time to get to know ANYONE we meet, no matter who that person is. A first impression has no business being the final impression. You never know who wrongfully deserves and gains your trust, while the person you were meant to meet is walking out the back door… We are too busy being “coddled” and pleased by what our eyes perceive, to give any thought to what really matters during the coming days and months. Give it time. If the person is sporting a fake facade, they won’t be able to hold the false face for long. Most begin to show true nature within the first 6 months. Some within a matter of a week, others might take longer. Patience…
You deserve to be patient. You’re worth it…
Does anyone understand this phrase? Unfortunately, it hits home for me. I have been the fly. Entirely. What is his reason for the torment? “I wanted to get a rise out of you..” Why does the little boy pull the wings off of flies? Why does the Narcissist knowingly say and/or do things that will hurt you? Repeatedly?? To see your reaction. To get a rise out of you. It’s amusing. The hurt that he or she causes is of no consequence, and when you DO respond out of pain or anger, it quickly becomes your fault… “God, can’t you take a fucking JOKE?!” and, “I’m sorry YOU took that wrong.” My god… it’s ALWAYS our fault!
The newest addition to my “disordered” play-list (I’m sorry, it just fits), is a narcissist… 100% and has done this the entire time we were “together”, even when I tried to keep an amicable friendship with him. His latest stunt took the torment to a whole new level. I won’t go into the details, but he, knowing my past with jealous/abusive men, decided to act like one, out of the blue, complete with the relentless badgering. It’s a HUGE trigger for me. One that causes fear, trembling, and crying. It’s one that ALWAYS ended with physical abuse. He really hurt me. I was supposed to be OK with it because it was just a “joke”, that I was supposed to “…fucking take”, for the sole purpose of wanting to get a “rise” out of me.
Those of us who have lived through any time with a narcissist, know this game all too well. For the people who have never been “there”, I am going to list and define a few terms that are a favorite of many Narcissists. Definitely my own… There are 3: 2 phrases, and one word.
Lets start with the word, (or phrase) “Rise”, as in; ‘get a rise out of…’
Rise: as in; ’get a rise out of’: A reaction. To rial. To irritate, momentarily torment, upset, as to play a trick on someone for amusement.
In order to rial someone up, you need to intentionally irritate them. This is solely for the purpose of getting a reaction. Used by normal individuals, this will rarely incur any damage, other than the swift kick delivered to the instigator. It’s meant to be funny for both parties. NEVER TO HARM, HURT OR DAMAGE!!! In the hands of the Narcissist or Psychopath, their SOLE intent is to cause harm. They intentionally anger, hurt, and upset beyond return, JUST to get the reaction. It is done repetitively, intentionally, and is torturous in nature. The reaction that is incurred, is ALWAYS expressed out of pain, grief and/or anger. This is what the Narcissist or Psychopath wants. It’s amusing. It’s a game. It’s cruel, totally and completely cruel. AKA: Narcissistic supply.
After time, this will cause lasting psychological and emotional damage to the victim, esp. when coupled with fake remorse; including tears, self-loathing, threats of suicide due to “hurting you” and the like. It’s an ACT!
I will list the two phrases together;
“Can’t you take a [f'ing] joke?!” and, “I’m sorry you took that wrong.” What is the common thread of both phrases? BLAME-SHIFTING!!
1) “Can’t you take…” is intended to make the victim or target feel stupid, because they didn’t catch onto the humor. They are made to feel stupid for getting so upset over a “harmless” joke, and insinuating that the target has no sense of humor. When the “joke” is intended to hurt you, it’s not a joke. It’s an attack. The only humor in that, is seen by the disordered one. It’s not funny, and it’s entirely cruel. It’s painful and meant to be so.
2) “I’m sorry you took…” (Not: “I’m sorry. You took that wrong.”) is designed to “appear“ as a legitimate apology. “I’m sorry you took that wrong”… Look at that sentence a little closer, said just as it’s written. No pause, break, or hesitation between supposed or proposed exclamations. It is one exclamation… YOU TOOK “THAT” WRONG. The “I’m sorry” is designed to make you believe it is an actual apology. “I’m sorry you took that wrong…” could be re-written as; “I’m sorry you were too stupid to catch on.” Not an apology. It’s intended to cause you to carry the blame for THEIR cruelty.
After the damage has been done and you are left sobbing… the Narcissist begins to show “remorse”, by admitting that he hurt you (often not of his own accord, but only after you ’teach’ him and/or tell him how badly he hurt you)… immediately following this, is when he pulls out “I’m sorry you took that wrong.” to transfer guilt to you. He might cry tears, speak in a self-loathing way, “I’m such a piece of Sh**!”, as well as threaten or sound suicidal for hurting you. This is also part of the game. He wants you to feel bad for HIM, in the end. He has to “one-up” you, by hurting worse than you. It transfers the guilt to YOU for the fact that YOU are hurting, which was his intention to begin with! By hurting and crying, you are supposedly hurting him WORSE! Does this make sense? Of course, I’m talking about the game of the Narcissist, as applied to his target.
Of course, after a while you start to quit caring… or you will feel actual guilt, as dictated by the over-the-top expressions of the Narcissist boyfriend. It’s all in how you choose to respond, and how you perceive everything. If you see yourself as the “horrible” woman, for “hurting him” by misunderstanding his intentions and ultimately causing his horrendous “pain”, this will eat you alive completely. Of course, this cycle is never ending. You will have days or weeks when things seem like they used to be…in the beginning…when things were wonderful. What you will see next, is another out-of-the-blue attack, designed to hurt you just for the reaction it gives. Again, you will be manipulated into carrying the guilt that is NOT nor has NEVER BEEN yours to carry! It’ll happen again, and again, and again…. without end. That is, until YOU are through being the blind patsy for his benefit.
How do you know that the remorse they are showing is fake? What happens in the coming days? Does that person repeat the behavior, knowing that it hurts you? Does a cycle become apparent, even after he shows tears for hurting you? Or even threatens suicide? After all of the pomp and circumstance, does he continue to blame-shift? If all of these fit your situation, you are dealing with fake remorse. You are dealing with someone who gets strength from your pain.
If you happen to fall for this game, please don’t beat yourself up. It’s done so sweetly much of the time, that you aren’t aware of what is happening til it’s too late. The shock has already been dealt to you, and you are writhing with pain. We all know what it’s like. The fact that you fell for a “fake” persona is difficult to accept. You love them deeply, and it’s hard to believe that you have been a toy. They torment you and hurt you as part of a cruel game. It might take some time to fully believe what is actually going on. It goes completely against what you thought and believed about this person. The fact that you fell in love, makes it all that harder.
If you are a survivor of previous psychological abuse, and as a result were able to see the tactics early on, count your blessings. It doesn’t erase the pain, or the fact that, regardless of fore-knowledge, you continued to believe in the individual and your relationship. The facts just hadn’t hit “home” yet, though you knew and understood. It’s hard to believe this “sweet” person is actually a damaging Narcissist. The “jokes” become more painful and pointed in time. They become more damaging. You become more and more hurt.
I have to tell you, however… One of the tactics used after you try to break it off with the person is that they will COME BACK, ever so slowly, desensitizing you to their advances. A little at a time until you are almost hooked again. You get to the point of having to remind yourself just WHY you broke up in the first place. You have to remind yourself of the pain that person caused, repetitively. They break you down a little at a time until you start to believe the lie all over again. Once you begin to feel “at ease” with the Narc again, the cycle will begin again. It’s progressive, incessant and intentional. It’s good to give it a little time to be sure of what you’re dealing with, before making a final judgement. Sometimes you have to go back a few times, before your heart finally understands what your head already knew. When you finally “get it” and your heart follows…
GET OUT! STAY OUT! Don’t entertain a friendship of any kind. No contact means no contact. It’s hard at first, but remember to tell yourself, “Why would I want a repeat?!” You don’t want this person as an ally, or for any support at all. You are strong, and have others you can depend on. Cling to them and stay OUT of a relationship for a while
Peace… sweet peace…
It’s yours when you accept it.
- Trauma Bonding-When it isn’t Love (ladywithatruck.com)
- A joke that’s not funny… (behindthemaskofabuse.com)
- Narcissistic Rage and Narcissistic Injury: What You Need to Know (projectblissful.com)
- It Was Just a Joke (allthepageswereoutoforder.wordpress.com)
- Narcissists Lack Empathy (and how to counteract his influence with my children) (livingtransparently.wordpress.com)
- You are in a Relationship with a Narcissist, Now What? (narcissistadvice.wordpress.com)
I began this blog in the hopes that I could, #1, find some “kindred spirits” SOME where… also, I wanted to document my journey, so others who might be going through the beginning of their own, might find some validation for their own situations… Unfortunately, not every day is going to be full of smiles, rainbows and abounding strength.
Since breaking up with my last man-friend, I have been entirely depressed. I have had good days… but only when I don’t think about him. Unfortunately, those days don’t come very often. The rest of the time, I have been beside myself with crying, and endless ruminating… I am still in “recovery” from the Psychopath of 2 years ago. Now, enter the effects of an unadulterated Narcissist, and I am in a world of hurt. Today, this entry finds me in the midst of a road-block. Be that as it may, I know I did the right thing. That doesn’t mean this doesn’t hurt like hell… Yeah, I broke up with him. So, why am I crying?
I remember the day…pretty early on… when I felt my heart run to him. Up until that point, I was entirely closed off, but hoping that there was still some life left in the remnants of my psyche and heart. I wouldn’t be disappointed… yet… I adored this man. I felt safe with him and around him, prior to ever going out with him. I trusted someone who hadn’t proven to be trustworthy. I gave him blind trust . This was after the text-book “love bombing” and mirroring. I saw the love-bombing and attempts to move the relationship way too fast; ie: getting me to move in/marry him immediately (within the first couple of months). At the very least, I’m glad I stood my ground, there. I knew time hadn’t proven things between us, and I hadn’t seen his “other” side. Unfortunately, I still fell head-over-heels for this man. I fell HARD!
The end came just as quickly as everything else, though I gave him endless chances to “earn my trust” again. regardless of his apologies, begging and tears, as well as my bending to try to save our once wonderful “God ordained” relationship, it was over once his lying problem became apparent. Once I fell hard and was in his trance (forgive the analogy, please… that’s just how it feels, now), the lying started. Actually, I found out he lied to me from the beginning, but by the time I realized, I was already too far “gone”. With every plea he had, as to his supposed “remorse” for hurting me; each time I gave him a chance to “earn my trust”, he countered with another scheme… another stunt to embarrass me, set me up for a fall, or used me to gain approval with the masses. He loves his audience most of all.
When I finally got away from the Psychopath, I wasn’t left with any sort of mourning for a lost love. I mourned the ME that I lost, during that time. It was relatively easy to put each foot in step, in the process of healing. Now, it’s not so easy. Even though I broke up with my latest boyfriend, I AM mourning… entirely.
I found love when I didn’t believe it was possible. My heart ran to a man who I believed in. I fell for a Narcissist. After a few months, this fact rang loud and clear… but I was and am still full of “love” with no-where for it to rest or go. I can’t say I still love this man, though he is the subject. I fell for a lie, pure and simple. Everything he said to me was an attempt to gain favor with me. It worked. Since everything was a lie, I can’t say I loved him…even though for all intents and purposes, I did and still do. In the middle of the best part of our relationship, when I believed whole-heartedly that I FINALLY found my soul-mate, the world fell out from under me. It was just that fast. I am stuck grasping at straws, now. I mourn the relationship we had. I miss the man I thought I knew. But most of all, the “coming out” of my heart was wasted, entirely, on another man who has/had no respect for women…much less, me.
My best friend (only friend in this town) is getting ready to move 2 states away, in 4 more days. I have no one, now, to lean on. It’s just me, and I’m a mess. I’ve tried to talk to her, only to hear in response about her “happy’s”. She can’t hear me. I’m in a job that was all but destroyed because of my x-psychopath. I can’t talk to anyone at work. No one likes me at work, and I’m not being overly dramatic, here. It’s a fact. The only appease I have is, when I spend time with my Mom, or when poking fun with customers. When I come home, I am hit with every memory of a time that was heavenly, only to have to give up on it for “my own benefit”. It was what had to be done in spite of the pain I’m in.
The other side of recovery that I speak of, is when you are at your wits end, when everything seems to fall apart around you, and again… suicide seems like a plausible way out. Somewhere deep inside of me, still, is the fight to make it. I’m clinging onto that small spark, now. It’s very difficult. I’m trying to find a way to get some help. There’s no shame in that, I know. I just didn’t want to have to resort to this.
Please, if you don’t hear anything else from this post, understand that our hearts CAN deceive us..especially when they are fragile from endless abuses. I was fragile, but I didn’t want to admit it.
The cool thing about that is that I don’t think it will be as long or as grueling a process. Its all a matter of knowing what needs to be done and then applying it. The difficulty is in the application.
It’s easy to go No Contact , when you already dislike (understatement from hell) the person. How about when you actually adore that person? When you know what you are seeing and have experienced directly, yet it still goes against what you believed about that person all along, it’s hard to see them in a negative light, really. I mean to actually feel disdain over hurt, is something that doesn’t exist, doesn’t exist in this particular case. You hurt, yet you don’t hold them in disdain. You lash out when you see the true level of their “love” for you is nothing but superficial. It’s frustrating beyond belief, when you still want to believe everything will be and is ok, yet that same person is using reflection against you, when you try to talk to them about their behavior and treatment of you. Analytical people are prone to going into mental and emotional tail-spins because of this type of thing.
For me, falling for a man at all, was a miracle. I didn’t want to have to see that fact as nothing more than being placed into a type of testing scenario. But I have been tested.
I’m still grasping at straws, even though I’m the one who called things off. I wasn’t nice about it at all. Actually almost sounded out of control. I know I have to stay “no contact”, even though I still want things back to the way we were, before everything changed. I have caught him a couple of attempts of a ‘set-up’ against me. He’s tried to tell me that I took things wrong, when he would interrupt me when someone asked me a question, and answered for me, telling the other person what I would do. He decided for me, when I was sitting right there. Didn’t let me speak at all. “I didn’t realize that was so important to you”, referring lying or subtle attempts to control me. He also said, when I tried to talk to him about it, “You took that wrong. That’s not how I meant it. It was meant as a suggestion.” Really? Since when is “Go wash your hands”, or, “Stand up straight” A suggestion? An opinion (as he also said)? He told me that I never said anything about it, and he didn’t know it was important. As if I was over the top, being unreasonable. Nope. The fact remains that I’m 46…FORTY SIX YEARS OLD! This was never a relationship comparable to father and daughter interaction. It’s natural to expect and anticipate a certain level of decency in a relationship. I shouldn’t have had to say, “Don’t boss me around or treat me like I’m 10 years old. Don’t control my thoughts, speech, stance or decisions.” It should just be understood. Its the same with blatant lying and sneaking around. If the guy is making ridiculous excuses for his behavior, and trying to convince you that he’s naive about that, it’s BULL-SHIT! When he tries to convince you that it didn’t really happen “that way”, blaming your supposed misconceptions, for the pain you feel due to his mistreatment of you, and not owning it for himself… That’s also bull-shit. Blame shifting. Gas-lighting. Controlling behavior, no matter how subtle. Lying and sneaking, obviously and blatantly, or covert and subtle. It’s still wrong. It’s still psychologically abusive and very damaging.
Sorry. I got off track a bit.
No contact. It has to be done. I know the this side of the variable script.
The person I fell for, doesn’t exist. It was an act. It was a game where my heart was the hockey-puck.
No contact. Who do I talk to, now, to keep from texting him or calling? That’s another problem I have. It’s important to have someone to fall back on, in order to keep from talking to the person.
The fact remains; I wasn’t destroyed. Just shaken. I hurt but I don’t have to reaffirm who I am to myself this time. Even though I got off track in my recovery process, I’m still ok. Just dented and dinged.
Sucks if you let it.
I’m thankful for my Mom. I’ve been in quite the tale-spin lately, followed by a shitty day yesterday. All day at work, I was choking back tears. People either thought my blood-shot eyes were from too much partying the night before, allergies or no sleep. Well, the ‘no sleep’ scenario isn’t too far off base. Such is the case, obviously, tonight. I slept for about 3 hours, woke up because of the rain and realized my windows were down in my car. Since I have a long trip ahead tomorrow with my granddaughter, I didn’t want to spend it with a wet butt. I got up and am still awake. I talked to my Mom last night, who’s pearls of wisdom consisted of, “I know it hurts. I’m happy you didn’t move in with him! Oh my god, could you imagine what life would be like for you? Now, be strong. You walked away from him, because you saw everything that was going on. Stop crying.” Lots of wisdom, there.
He’s not worth my tears, as he so painstakingly proved.
I understand now, why people have a hard time letting go of a Narcissist. I went from escaping a Psychopath about 2 years ago, to dating a full-blown Narcissist. It’s amazing how many tactics are used, similarly, by both personalities. He’ll smear me to his closest friends. I have no doubt. The fact that I’m not close to anyone at work, will enable him to say what he wants without one person standing by my side.
Been there. Done that.
When I refer to Narcs and Psych’s as different personalities, I am looking at it from that standpoint that; not all Narcissists are Psychopaths, but ALL psychopaths are Narcissists. One shows some empathy (from what I see). The other would rather nail Bambi to a wall, with a smirk.
The fact that I’ve already lived through each tactic, previously, has allowed me to catch each attempt this time. I didn’t miss a beat, when I shut down his attempts. Some, however, were pretty subtle and hard to define as what they really were. It was a mistake for me to allow for the love-bombing in the first place. I didn’t call things “done” the first time he tried to set me up for a fall. (ie: badgering me into drinking that second drink because it was bought FOR me, then turning it around as though it was my fault and I should be grateful that he wasn’t mad at me. Then, “You know, you were really stupid to let yourself get that drunk”: That ladies and gentlemen, is a set up for a future smear campaign). I should have been strong enough in my own boundaries to end it, then and there. I KNEW it was a set up, but still fell into the trap of second guessing…”HE wouldn’t do THAT! He loves me!” If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck…
I couldn’t stand the thought that I just might have walked into another one of those situations. But, in reality, I DID! I should have nipped it in the bud, immediately. Instead, I fell into the same old pattern of “give it time”. He begged for me to give him another chance, to earn my trust. In reality, he was just wanting more time to look good, so he could turn things around on me.
His first wife became an alcoholic while with him. Yes, she was predisposed to having the addiction eventually, because of family history, but she WASN’T, then. He claims that was the reason he divorced her. But there’s the other woman, who was waiting and had already been chosen and groomed, waiting to move in. I can compare my experience to what I know of his first ex-wife… He PUSHED ME TO DRINK! Then, when I complied to allow HIM to save face, he turned it around on me. What do you think happened with his first ex-wife? She didn’t just magically become an alcoholic. I believe he created that. She was just too weak in that area, while wanting to make him happy, and allowed him to dictate who she was to become. She’s still stuck in “jilted wife” mode. Drinking heavily. It’s been five years since their divorce. I don’t hold her current condition against her. I have seen first hand, what he does. My heart goes out to her.
Where to go from here? Eh, hem…”Day one, step one” Process. Heal. Take care of me.
Gawd! Can I call for a “do-over”?
One day at a time, one step at a time. Breathe in, Breathe out.