I don’t need your damn fake apologies.

I’m still not taking any of their crap. It’s time to roll this ball out of the back of the closet and toss it around again.

Lucky Otters Haven

narc_apologies

My sociopathic ex was never sorry for anything. Oh, yes, he “apologized” sometimes, but it was only to get me to shut up or because he knew he’d already lost the argument or knew I was right (but he wasn’t really sorry.) It was insulting how stupid he must have thought I was to believe these “apologies” were sincere.

Unless they are incredibly good actors and are hoovering you (trying to reel you back in, like a Hoover vacuum sucks up dirt) or love-bombing you (stalking you as prey), no apology coming out of a narc’s mouth is going to sound sincere. Of course, it’s easy to fall for those “sincere” apologies when they’re feeling needy, but there are always other red flags you can look for, such as crowding you, moving too fast, or trash-talking all their exes (make no mistake, he or she will eventually trash-talk you too).

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I’m pretty sure I just got gaslighted.

My daughter doesn’t have NPD (for awhile I thought she did) but she does have BPD and PTSD like I do and some narcissistic traits (what 22 year old doesn’t, though?)    In general her behavior’s gotten a lot better the past two years,  but I just got off the phone with her and think she gaslighted me.

I had called her this morning to make sure she got home from work safely last night (because the roads are very icy due to all the snow we had, which is now mostly melted).   She just called me back but was in the middle of having a conversation with a friend at the same time.   I don’t care for phones, and I HATE when someone is talking to someone else instead of talking to me if they’re on the phone with me.   It’s incredibly rude.  She kept saying “Wait, Mom,” while she was listening to her friend tell her a joke.  I sighed impatiently and told her I thought she was being rude.  Instead of apologizing or stopping to give her attention to me, she said to her friend, “My mother doesn’t know how to talk on the phone,” which is sort of true because I’ve always hated phones and am awkward on them, but in this case, she was just wrong and I told her so.   Sarcastically she said, “FINE, Mom,” at which point I thanked her for letting me know she was okay but that I had nothing else to say until she was ready to stop conversing with her friend.  I told her I was hanging up and I hung up.    UGH, I’m annoyed at her right now.   She mostly does that when she’s with her friends.  I guess she thinks it makes her look cool. 🙄

Five types of gaslighting narcissists.

Gaslight-2

I haven’t written an original narcissism article in awhile, and I was thinking about gaslighting today, so I thought I’d write a post about it.

Gaslighting is a defense mechanism commonly used by narcissists in order to diminish their victims and make them doubt and question their own reality.  The term comes from the 1942 movie “Gaslight,” in which a young wife is abused in this manner by her husband, who almost succeeds in driving her insane by telling her she is imagining the gaslights in their house going on and off, even though he has been secretly playing with the gaslights himself to make her think she’s going insane.  Gaslighting is one of the most sinister and crazymaking things a narcissist can do, and over time your self esteem and even your grip on what is real and what isn’t begins to erode.   Dealing with a gaslighting narcissist is like looking into an endless hall of mirrors.  It’s common for victims of such mindf*ckery to develop PTSD or complex PTSD.

Here are five common types of gaslighters, with examples that show what these darlings do to make us feel like we’re going crazy.

1.  The “You’re Insane” gaslighter.

maybe_your_crazy

This type of gaslighter, when confronted with the truth about their disgusting and unacceptable behavior, accuses you of insanity, stupidity, or (in the case of women) your terrible PMS (gaslighting with a little misogyny thrown in for good measure).

You:  I don’t think you should have told all our friends that you think I’m cheating on you, especially because I’m not.

Gaslighter:  You’re imagining things as usual.  Have you taken your meds today?

You:  I hate it when you use that tone of voice.

Gaslighter:  Oh, please, not this again.   You must be on your period.

 

2. The “I never said that” gaslighter:

never_said_that

This type of narcissist is so far into their lies and denial he/she would sell you down that river in Egypt.

You:  Why did you tell my mother I can’t keep a job?

Gaslighter:   I never said that.  This may be followed by a “you’re insane” elaboration to drive home their case that you’re the deluded one.

You: You promised me I could have some money to buy the kids new school clothes.

Gaslighter:  No, I never agreed to that.  I told you I don’t have the money.  What part of “I don’t have the money” did you not understand?

 

3.  The “Everyone’s Against You” gaslighter:

nobody_likes_you

This  is an especially mindfucking type of gaslighting, in which the narcissist draws other people into their attack on you, which may in fact not be the case but they can definitely convince you no one is on your side.  If actual flying monkeys are being used, then a different tactic, triangulation, has become part of their arsenal of weapons they use against you.

You:  Why do you always talk to me like you hate me?

Gaslighter:  That’s just your overactive imagination again, but to be honest, I was talking to [names of friends, associates, or family members] the other day, and they all told me they think you’re very difficult to be around [or insane, stupid, etc], so put that in your pipe and smoke it.

This type of abuse can also be very subtle:

You:  You are driving me crazy!

Gaslighter:  Well, I wasn’t going to tell you this, but [name of friend, family member or associate] and I were talking, and we are all very concerned about you (“I’m/we’re concerned” is narc-ese for “I/we think you’re batshit crazy.”)

This next type of gaslighter is probably the most infamous and well known to most narcissistic abuse survivors:

4. The “You’re Too Sensitive” Gaslighter:

your_too_sensitive

Narcissists love to call out the sensitivity of their victims as if it’s a character defect (and if we were raised by narcissists, we have probably learned to hate and be ashamed of our high sensitivity).   It’s true that many abuse victims are highly sensitive, in fact some of us are HSPs.  Narcissists are drawn to sensitive people because of their high empathy and tendency to become codependent and thereby good sources of narcissistic supply.   At the same time they need us, they also hate and envy those qualities they seem to be so attracted to, and don’t miss an opportunity to take hurtful potshots.  Even if they do or say something that would even hurt the feelings of someone as coolheaded as Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, they somehow make it your fault if you’re bothered by it because you’re just too damned sensitive.”  It’s really just a variation of the “you’re crazy” tactic.

You:  I wish you’d talk to me more respectfully when we’re out in public.

Gaslighter (dramatically rolling eyes):   I do talk to you respectfully (lie).  Your oversensitivity is really getting tiresome.

 

5.  The “I Was Just Joking” Gaslighter.

cant_take_a_joke

Similar to the “You’re Too Sensitive” gaslighter, this one calls your sense of humor (or lack thereof) into question, even when their “joke” is clearly anything but.

Gaslighter: That dress makes you look fat.

You: (looking hurt):  It does? But I’ve been trying to lose weight for you.

Gaslighter:  Jesus, don’t you have any sense of humor?  You can never take a joke.

To rub salt in the wound, they might even toss a little “Everyone’s Against You” into the mix and say something like, “Maybe it’s because you can’t laugh at anything that no one really likes you.”

There’s one more type of gaslighter that’s incredibly dangerous because they manipulate reality itself and then tell you there’s something wrong with you because you noticed.  The abusive husband in “Gaslight” illustrates this well, by manipulating things around the house and then telling his wife she’s unbalanced and imagining things.   This was a favorite technique of my ex, who often deliberately misplaced things I needed, such as my car keys, then when I wasn’t looking, he’d return them to their rightful place and chided me for being “careless.”   He did this for shitz and giggles.

When you’re dealing with a gaslighting narcissist, nothing you do or say is ever right.  They always have to have the upper hand and they always have to make you feel about 3 inches tall, because that’s the only way they know how to keep you weak and in your place so they can continue to prey on you for supply.  They do this because their own egos are so fragile they need to put you down in order to make themselves feel better.    He or she isn’t going to change.   Arguing isn’t going to help, it will only make things worse.  The best way to handle a gaslighting narcissist is to leave and never look back.

Gaslighting therapist.

lion

I was reading a blog about bad or unethical therapists, and there were over 700 replies! Some of the stories told were truly horrifying. While most therapists are probably good people who genuinely want to help, there are a good number of narcissists who go into the profession because being a “guru” feeds their egos. Here’s a somewhat humorous example of an exchange where the narcissistic therapist continually gaslights his patient.

Psy: “I can’t talk to you if you’re aggressive or angry. ”

Me: “But I’m not acting that way, what behaviors do you deem agressive or angry?”

Psy: “Just the agressive ones like you arguing is being aggressive.”

Me: “Well, I’m not arguing”

Psy: “Just letting you know I’m not going to argue with you” (silence for the remainder of my session)

OR the time he actually just outright told me to shut up (you know, the “talk therapy” where the counselor tells you to shut up)

OR another conversation:

Me: “Dr. (blank) I really need to tell you something, could you please listen”…

Psy: “go ahead, I’m listening”

Me: “the other day…(him interrupting me)

Psy: “just letting you know I’m listening”

Me: “well, as I was saying, the other day”… (2 seconds later-him interrupting)

psy: “yes, I’m listening”

Me: “well, the other day” (2 seconds later-him interrupting)

psy: “go ahead”

Me: (silence)

Psy: “go ahead”

Me: (silence)

then my next session a week later he states: “you really need to open up more”
YES, I did report Dr. Douchebag to the ethics board.

The patient went onto say he hoped his therapist would get eaten by a lion. I don’t blame him–that therapist’s behavior is incredibly crazymaking.

How my NPD/ASPD control freak ex used a dog to gaslight me.

jack_russel_puppy

In 2011, when my parasitic MN/ASPD ex was still living on my couch, he decided he wanted a dog.

We already had a dog, Dexter, who was an awesome black lab mix (he lives with my daughter and her fiance now). The house I live in (and lived in then) is tiny. At the time, we had Dexter and 5 cats. Far too many animals for a two bedroom house, but these were pets I cared about, so I wasn’t too bothered by the overpopulation problem in the house.

But oh no, a dog and five cats wasn’t enough for the Parasite (which is his new name as far as I’m concerned so that’s who he’ll be from now on). No, he had to have his OWN dog, one that HE picked. I told him we had no room for another pet, and it was already too expensive feeding and taking care of the ones we had (remember, he contributed nothing financially since he refused to work so all their expenses fell on me) but he couldn’t see reason.
Instead, he whined petulantly, “But Dexter needs a playmate!”
Dexter did not need a playmate. Parasite needed some easy narcissistic supply.

A few weeks passed and Parasite gaslighted me by telling me and everyone else who would listen that “Lauren hates animals” because I put my foot down about getting a new puppy.

One day I came home from work and found Parasite slumped on the couch that had a huge valley in the center from his constant inert and hateful presence, and in his arms was a puppy. A Jack Russell puppy.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with Jack Russells, they’re a cute beagle-like breed of hunting dog but they have serious ADHD and need to be able to run as much as they want. They bark a lot and are just extremely hyper. They are difficult to train because they’re so stubborn. They may be fine for a family with kids who lives on a farm or has acres of land for the dog to run, but they are definitely NOT the kind of dog that would do well in a small apartment or house with only a smallish unfenced yard. They are not the kind of dog to have if you live in a suburban development where the neighbors are no more than 40 feet away.

I hate Jack Russells. (But I love dogs).

But it looked like we had one, at least for the moment.
I told him to take it back wherever he got it.
“Oh, but he’s so cuuuuuuuuuute! Look at him!” (said in low-register baby talk)
I roll my eyes. “Yes, he’s very cute, but we have too many pets already, and I can’t afford to feed him too.”
“Oh, he won’t be expensive to feed. Dexter needs a friend!” He shoves the the puppy up in my face. “LOOOOOOOK at him, he LOOOOOVES you. Isn’t he CUUUUUTE?”
I see red. He isn’t listening. Again. He never listens. He never cares about anyone but himself. I tell him this.

He projects and gaslights. “No, YOU’RE the one who only thinks about yourself. You don’t care about animals. You only think about YOU! You don’t care about MEEEE. I have diabetes and mental problems and a bad knee and I have to live here on your couch and don’t have my own home and it’s always too hot or cold in here and you buy crappy food and now you’re telling me I can’t have a dog who won’t be any bother to you at all.”
I stare daggers at him. I can feel the lava of BPD rage boiling in my gut. I try to stay calm. I count to ten.
“I want you to take him back.”
“No.”
Maybe pleasantry might help. “Please take the puppy back.”
“No, and if you dare try to take him to the shelter, I’ll kill myself and make it look like a murder.”

The BPD volcano erupts. “YOU’RE A F&%KING ASSHOLE! TAKE THAT GODDAM DOG BACK TOMORROW, YOU STUPID FREAK!”
“What will you do if I don’t?” He’s baiting me. He has me on the spot. There’s nothing I could do or would do, and he knows it. He’s in complete control.
“Uh…I don’t know….But I’LL FIND SOMETHING!”
“You’d probably have Barnaby (he already picked a name) put to sleep,” he says, fake pouting. “You hate animals, you have no compassion or you’d let me keep him.”
I give up and leave the room, but out of the corner of my eye see Parasite holding Barnaby up to his face and telling him in that infuriating fake-masculine baby talk what a “meanie” I am.

control_freak

So Barnaby stayed. For two years. I never hated a dog before, but I hated this one. He chewed everything, the furniture, the rugs, important papers, my favorite book. Once he ate an entire pack of cigarettes and vomited them up all over the chewed up and shredded rugs. He pissed and shat everywhere, up until he was a year old. Parasite kept making excuses for him such as “but he’s only a PUPPEEE!” or shifting the blame to me–“you’re so impatient!” Not only did I hate him because he was so out of control, I hated him because Parasite refused to train him and that dog represented to me everything bad about the Parasite himself. Every time I saw that dog, it reminded me of how controlled, intimidated and powerless I had become.

Barnaby barked and howled nonstop. Morning, noon and night. Once he got a taste of the great outdoors, he decided this was something he couldn’t live without, so running away for hours at a time was a weekly occurrence, and eventuall a daily occurrence.
But running away wasn’t all he did. Oh, no. If he’d run away and never returned there’d be no love lost.

But he’d run into neighbors’ backyards. He’d devour their gardens, then sit there and howl for hours. You’d go try to catch him, and the little demon would run. It was a game to him. He’d run, then sit down and look at you, waiting for you to make a move. You’d lunge after him, and he’d bound off again, then sit down and look at you, teasing you and daring you. He was too fast, I could never catch him. And Parasite wouldn’t try. It was up to me to get him to come back. And I never could.
I’d go to bed and hear him howling somewhere nearby and wonder what the hell I was going to do.

Soon the neighbors were mad at us for allowing our out of control dog to keep them up all night and ruin their yards. Animal Control was called twice. The second time, I answered the door when they came, and when they told me there’d be a fine if it happened again, I told them they were free to take him, I couldn’t handle him. But Parasite was home, and intercepted, promising he’d be good and it wouldn’t happen again. Animal Control left. Barnaby stayed.

The next night, Barnaby ran off and howled in another neighbor’s yard. Animal control came and took him away. Parasite was inconsolable at first, then his grief morphed into rage. He threatened me: “You go get that dog back tomorrow.”
“I don’t have the money.”
“You’re lying. Do it or I’ll kill myself. And make it look like you did it.”
I used my week’s entire paycheck to go retrieve Demon Dog from the shelter, leaving us without food that week (which Parasite of course complained about).

This time, Parasite actually had the presence of mind to build a makeshift fence from steel beams where Barnaby could be confined. So although he continued to chew everything in sight and bark too much (and still seemed to have problems containing his bowels) he seemed calmer in his grassy kingdom and the howling ceased.

But this didn’t last. Barnaby was smart. One night Barnaby dug his way out from under the pen and I heard the distant howling.
I couldn’t do this anymore. I remembered Parasite’s threat. But sometimes frustration or anger can override fear, and I reasoned that it was probably an empty threat anyway, since he rarely had followed through on any of his past threats.
I was going to place an ad on Craigslist.
But Parasite had an announcement of his own.
“I don’t want Barnaby anymore,” he said.
I just stared at him stupidly.

A week later Barnaby went to live with a family that answered our ad on Craigslist. The man who came to get him said he had five acres of land and 4 kids, and they’d always wanted a Jack Russell.

I don’t need your damn fake apologies.

narc_apologies

My sociopathic ex was never sorry for anything. Oh, yes, he “apologized” sometimes, but it was only to get me to shut up or because he knew he’d already lost the argument or knew I was right (but he wasn’t really sorry.) It was insulting how stupid he must have thought I was to believe these “apologies” were sincere.

Unless they are incredibly good actors and are hoovering you (trying to reel you back in, like a Hoover vacuum sucks up dirt) or love-bombing you (stalking you as prey), no apology coming out of a narc’s mouth is going to sound sincere. Of course, it’s easy to fall for those “sincere” apologies when they’re feeling needy, but there are always other red flags you can look for, such as crowding you, moving too fast, or trash-talking all their exes (make no mistake, he or she will eventually trash-talk you too).

Once they have you trapped in their web of deception, a narcissist’s “apologies” are going to sound more like the following (if they even bother to apologize for anything at all). Some of them are actual “apologies” I got from my MN ex.

Gaslighting, projection and devaluation/invalidation are embedded in almost every narcissistic “apology,” as is lack of empathy. The “shut up” apology or the “I will not take responsibility for my actions” apologies are common too. All of them are represented here. So, without further ado, here’s a list of what you might hear.

Narcissist “Apologies”

bullshit

1. “I’m sorry, but you always get so hormonal and overreact to everything when you’re on the rag.” (invalidation; devaluation)

2. “I’m sorry you have no sense of humor.” (projection and gaslighting)

3. ” I’m sorry you overreact to everything I say.” (projection and gaslighting; devaluation)

4. “I’m sorry your family gave you such horrible examples of how to be a compassionate person and made you so self-centered and narcissistic.” (it’s true about my FOO but this is blatant projection!)

5. “I’m sorry, but I always talk loudly and you just take it the wrong way.” (denial of truth–it wasn’t that he was “too loud,” but that he was saying hateful things in an angry tone of voice).

6. “It’s your responsibility you feel hurt by that.” (a favorite of my mother’s)

7. “Your feelings are not my responsibility.” (this gives them carte blanche to say whatever they want)

8. “I’m sorry, but you are driving everyone here crazy with your constant whining.” (projection, gaslighting, possible triangulation)

9. “I’m sorry you are mentally unstable and can’t understand what I said.” (projection and gaslighting; there may be veiled sarcasm there too.)

10. “Alright, fine. I’m SORRY!!!!!!” (said sarcastically or in an angry tone of voice–this is the classic “shut up” apology)

11. “(HUGE sigh) I’m sorry. Are you happy now?” (another version of the “shut up” apology)

12. “I’m sorry but it’s not my problem.” (lack of empathy; taking no responsibility)

13. “I already apologized.” (said when they didn’t). Gaslighting and denying the truth.

14. “I’m sorry about arguing with you, BUT you started it.” (this may or may not be true, but they always have to take a jab at you anyway. Their apology feels hollow.)

15. “I’m sorry I forgot your birthday, BUT I had to be at that meeting. You know how important my job is.” (that job is more important than you, and he or she wants you to be aware of that).

16. “I’m sorry I hit you, BUT you deserved it.” (why even bother saying you’re sorry, asshat?)

17. “I’m sorry I got drunk and threw up all over you, BUT I told you to not let me have any more drinks.” (dead if you do, dead if you don’t–he would have handed you your head if you had actually told him not to have another drink).

18. “Apologies are for wusses, but whatever, fine, I’m sorry if that makes you happy.” (another “shut up” apology)

19. “I’m sorry you think I’m such a horrible person.” (guilt-tripping, possible projection)

20. “I’m sorry you hate everything I ever do for you.” (see #19)

21. I have no idea what I did to upset you, but whatever it was, I’m sorry. (They know damn well what they did and are trying to play “innocent” or “dumb.”)

22. “I’m sorry. Now get over it.” (a shut up apology)

23. “I’m sorry, but nobody’s perfect.” (this is just a cop-out apology; they are not taking responsbility)

I think we’ve heard enough of these. I feel kind of sick now. Their fake apologies are just another weapon narcissists can use to hurt you.

sincere_apologies
See the difference?

The “saintly” narcissist.

old-peasant-woman-by-paukla-modersohn-becker-1905
Old Peasant Woman by Paula Modersohn-Becker

Not all narcissists are aggressive. Some are covert, and some use their “goodness” as a weapon. This type of narcissist is usually a woman, often a mother. You know the drill: guilt tripping, “look at everything I’ve done for you,” “look what a wonderful person I am” (implying that you are not), ad nauseam.

I found this letter from a narcissistic mother on an NPD forum. It was an email sent by the forum member’s mother just before she went No Contact. If you read between the lines, this “nice” letter is actually very toxic. The names included in the letter (other family members) have been removed. I think ____ is a Golden Child sister. The recipient is the scapegoat.

Dear ___

I have never said that I expect you & _____ to pay my credit card after I’m gone.

Don’t know where you get all the wrong information. I want to make it clear to you that I say nice things about _____ to my friends as I talk about how good she is to me, never rags on me, we have so much fun together, like the same things, she finds time to spend with me, she has a kind heart and I love her very, very much!!!

You are my daughter and I love you too, but I don’t like how you have treated me all these years, you go out of your way to find fault with, always looking for things to be angry with.

Hope my friends tell all the nice things I say about you. How I appreciate how generous you have been. Paying for a 3 day cruise, buying a camera, cell phone and paying for it for 2 years, AND MOST OF ALL PAYING FOR THE ADOPTION of little _____.

These are some of the nice things you have done and I appreciate it very much.

You can’t say that you haven’t talked badly about me to your friends and family. Be honest now – I know for a fact you have said things about me, shame on you.

Why at the end of my life are you causing stress on your 85 year mother. If I had a 85 year Mother still alive, living alone, you can bet I would be caring and loving to my mother, but that’s me, not you.

Guess you will be happy when I am gone. You will get your wish some day.

The answers to my email about being embarrassed is a piece of CAKE!!!

You think you are always right and you are so wrong!! Oh well that’s (recipient’s name) for you.

Mom (the only Mom you will ever have)

old_woman_finger

So what do we have here? A nice letter from a sick, dying mother to her beloved daughter? No. We have several other things going on here though. So I’m going to pick this email apart and show you.

1. I have never said that I expect you & _____ to pay my credit card after I’m gone.

Very possibly gaslighting the recipient–denial that she ever asked her and her sister to pay her credit card.

2. Don’t know where you get all the wrong information.

Invalidation and possible gaslighting.

3. I want to make it clear to you that I say nice things about _____ to my friends as I talk about how good she is to me, never rags on me, we have so much fun together, like the same things, she finds time to spend with me, she has a kind heart and I love her very, very much!!!

Implying that the sibling is a better daughter than the recipient. Guilt-tripping.

4. You are my daughter and I love you too, but I don’t like how you have treated me all these years, you go out of your way to find fault with, always looking for things to be angry with.

Generalizing, gaslighting, probable projection of her own traits onto her daughter.

5. Hope my friends tell all the nice things I say about you. How I appreciate how generous you have been. Paying for a 3 day cruise, buying a camera, cell phone and paying for it for 2 years, AND MOST OF ALL PAYING FOR THE ADOPTION of little _____.
These are some of the nice things you have done and I appreciate it very much.

Now we have a little love-bombing or hoovering going on. This is a common ploy in covert narcissists like this woman to retain their source of supply. She is probably lying about telling her friends “nice things” about her daughter though, and she is also lying about “appreciating it.” Narcissists don’t appreciate anything.

6. You can’t say that you haven’t talked badly about me to your friends and family. Be honest now – I know for a fact you have said things about me, shame on you.

Back to the guilt-tripping and the shaming. The adult recipient is also being infantilized, another type of invalidation.

7. Why at the end of my life are you causing stress on your 85 year mother. If I had a 85 year Mother still alive, living alone, you can bet I would be caring and loving to my mother, but that’s me, not you.

Guess you will be happy when I am gone. You will get your wish some day.

She is basically telling her daughter, if I die it is all your fault. Major guilt tripping, which seems to be this mother’s primary M.O. to get what she wants.

8. The answers to my email about being embarrassed is a piece of CAKE!!!

I’m not sure what this means or what it’s referring to.

9. You think you are always right and you are so wrong!! Oh well that’s (recipient’s name) for you.

Projection and put downs.

10. Mom (the only Mom you will ever have)

Blatant guilt tripping. With a mother like this, thank your lucky stars she’s the only one.

What she says…what she really means.

narc_mother_glossary

Here’s a humorous narc-speak dictionary from Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. This is so true! Of course some of these phrases could be used by any narcissist who has their hooks in you, not just your mother, and can be “translated” the same way.

The Narcissistic Mother Dictionary

1. “I love you.”

Narcissistic-mother-ese:
I want to manipulate you.

You’re showing signs of breaking away and I want to suck you back in.

I’ve heard people say this and it seems to get a good reaction.

I command you to love me.

2. “Don’t ever feel like you HAVE to come see me for my birthday.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
If you don’t make the 650 mile pilgrimage to celebrate me, I promise I will do something to make you pay dearly.

3. “Go do something constructive.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
Be gone, I have no interest in my own children.

4. “You were an ‘accident.'”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You are only here because homicide would get me jail time, and I thought you’d be a better slave, so I didn’t opt for adoption.

5. “You go have yourself a good cry!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I resent your emotions, but at least I can use them to hurt you.

6. “I never said that!”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
Damned if I’m going to admit it.

Yes I said that but it doesn’t work in the conversation right now.

I know I said it but it’s so much fun to f*** with your head until you don’t know what is true and you think you really are crazy! Yeah me!!!

7. “It’s been a long time since I talked to you and I just called to see how you were doing.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I am running low on my Narcissistic Supply and need another fix.

I don’t care how you’re doing; I really just want to talk about me.

8. “You just aren’t remembering correctly.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
My version of events shows me in a better light, so that’s the official version.

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9. “You never do anything for me!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I know you’ve done a lot for me in the past, but that was then and it no longer counts. What have you done for me today?

10. “It’s time this stops.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
None of my ploys have worked to pull you back so now I will treat you like a child.

11. “I miss you.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I miss having control over you.

I’m lacking my Narcissistic Supply – please provide it pronto.

12. “Who have you been talking to? Who have you been in therapy with? what book did you read? etc, etc, etc….”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I’m not getting the usual emotional response from you and you are too dim-witted to have figured out how to shut me down on your own.

13. “Your brother and sister-in-law took us out to dinner last night. We had such a nice time – I don’t think we have ever been treated that well.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You had better step up your game.

14. “I’m so proud of you”.

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You have made me feel good and/or *I* feel good because of you.

I can take credit for that accomplishment.

15. “Why are you wasting your time on something so silly and that takes you away from your family?”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
Why are you wasting your time on something so silly and that takes you away from me?

16. “I want to help you with your kids.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I plan to interfere in the upbringing of your children by spoiling them, disciplining them differently to your way, and ignoring your decisions and wishes regarding them. I will not acknowledge your position and rights as the mother of these children. I may even steal them from you.

17. “Your father and I think …”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I think …

18. “So how are you?”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I’d better ask, but don’t worry I won’t really be listening. Or as soon as you say a trigger word, which reminds me of something else, I’ll interrupt and be off again!

I’m running out of things to boast to my friends about, so please come up with some accomplishments.

19. “I’m so sorry your beloved 14-year old dog died.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
Sigh … I’d better at least mention it, and let you talk for one, maybe two, sentences about your upset and grief, and then I can talk about myself again.

20. “You were very difficult to raise.”
“You were always my problem child.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You resisted my attempts to violate your boundaries, abuse you and humiliate you.

21. “It’s so sad. I feel so sorry for them.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
It’s so exciting! I love being this close to tragedies!

22. “I’m sorry.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I will, on rare occasion, say the words but never change my behaviour.

Sigh, I’ll say it if it’ll stop you moaning, but don’t worry, I don’t mean it.

23. “Let’s just let go of the past.”
“Let’s just draw a line under it and get back to normal.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
Let’s pretend everything is ok and I’m not a nightmare of a mother so I can continue to torture you and get my Narcissistic Supply.

Let me play my narcissist’s game of never being held accountable for my behaviour.

24. “Your sister-in-law is such a great cook! Simply amazing!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I want to take away any pleasure or pride you have in your own cooking skills.

25. “I just want you to love me.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
All I really want is for you give me my Narcissistic Supply.

26. “What’s wrong with you today? What is your problem?”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I’m pissed that you are denying me my much needed Narcissistic Supply. Damn you!

27. “Honestly, nothing ever pleases you, does it? Sigh.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You have to let me treat you exactly as I please, without ever complaining.

28. “I was only trying to help!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I demand the freedom to interfere in your life any time I want. That is my right!

joan_crawford

29. “What happened to the nice girl I once knew?”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
Why are you no longer the easily manipulated and uncomplaining-of-abuse girl I raised you to be?

30. “After all I’ve done for you! You’ve never appreciated me!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
Wah wah wah I have violated your boundaries most of your life but even so I resent the hell out of your standing your ground and refusing to allow me to interfere, manipulate and control you.

31. “Why are you treating me so badly? What have I done wrong?”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I have the right to interfere in your life and abuse you without any consequences.

32. “Because I’m the Mama, that’s why!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You are really just a child, after all. I’ll never acknowledge that you are now an adult.

33. “I want to give you this because I love you.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
It’s really because you will then be beholden to me and this gives me great leverage to milk you for Narcissistic Supply.

34. “You’re always looking for insult.”
“You are so easily offended.”
“I have to walk on eggshells around you.”
“You’re over-sensitive.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I will not be held accountable for my actions and behaviours!

35. “I never want to be a burden to you.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I will over-run your life and suck the life force from you and your children.

36. “Have you lost some weight?”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I am so glad that I brought that sticky bun with me on this visit.

37. “You take me the wrong way.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I will invalidate your feelings as I have done your whole life.

38. “You’re such a good cook!”
“You’re such a good mother!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You got that from me!

39. “You don’t respect me!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You won’t let me abuse you.

40. “You won’t forgive me!”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You won’t let me away with what I did, nor let me continue to trample all over you.

I expect forgiveness with no apology and no intention of doing differently in future.

41. “You need more time to think about it.”
“Well, have a think about it and get back to me.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I am not accepting your decision/opinion. Keep thinking until you come to the correct conclusion.

42. “I was just joking even if I did say and do that, which I didn’t.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
I did say/do it, and I did mean it, but damned if I’m going to acknowledge that.

43. “You just won’t admit when you’re wrong.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
You defended yourself from my lies!

44. “Here’s a gift.”

Narcissistic Mother-ese:
Here is something, very likely something I have no more use for, that I am officially giving to you. But it is still mine, and therefore I get to say, forever more, what you do with it. And woebetide you don’t appreciate it enough, over and over.

Serial provokers.

This is my ex to a T.

serial_provoker

“Reclaiming My Life”– Michelle Mallon’s Story of Healing

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The following is a followup article to the one I linked to in my post After Narcissistic Abuse, in which Michelle Mallon talked about how her psychopathic therapist almost destroyed her life and stole her soul.

This is an important topic, because malignant narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths are so often in the “helping” professions, especially psychotherapy. They prey on vulnerable people who come to them in desperation, hurting and wanting to trust someone. These “mental health” professionals know this. After gaining a patient’s trust, evil-intentioned and sadistic therapists like Michelle’s therapist use the things their client told them in confidence against them, or even use them to threaten or gaslight them.

I’ll only post the first part of the article, which is long. But the journey back to feeling normal from PTSD caused by abuse is sometimes a long and arduous journey. There’s no way to describe this process in just a few words or even a few paragraphs. To read the rest, you will need to click on the link to Michelle’s article, which appears at the end of this post.

Reclaiming My Life
By Michelle Mallon, MSW, LSW
In this article, Michelle Mallon discusses her healing journey following abuse by a psychopathic therapist.

Recovering from therapist abuse is hands-down the most painful experience I have ever gone through in my entire life. Healing was incredibly difficult for so many reasons, some of which make me very angry and some of which have brought me great insight. Because of the impact healing from therapist abuse has had on my life, I find it impossible not to want to reach out to others who have been hurt by mental health professionals. Some people have told me that this is because I am unable to “get over” what happened. I explain to them that there is a difference between “getting over” something terrifying and callously moving on, leaving so many others behind knowing that you were very lucky to have ever healed. (I usually say this right before I tell them what they can go do with themselves.) The reality is that for most of us trying to overcome therapist abuse (regardless of whether it is sexual, emotional, spiritual, etc.), very few other people have any idea what we are going through (even the mental health professionals we finally get up the courage to see after the abusive ones to try and pull ourselves back together). And because of that, healing can be significantly more difficult than it should be.

Just recently, I began reading the Your Stories page on this site. I was immediately reminded of the isolation and fear I felt as I tried to find my way through the aftermath of therapist abuse. I drafted a message for the Your Stories page and then I immediately felt like it was just not enough. I then asked Kristi if I could write a piece that would hopefully reach more survivors. I have found the path to healing. I don’t really know how I ever found it because, looking back, I can see just how carefully hidden the path is. I don’t know if my path to healing will be similar to yours. In the hopes that there will be some similarities, I want to identify the things that helped me find my way through this in case it can help even one survivor.

This time last year, I was just beginning to feel my “old self” returning. I was finally able to leave my house for short periods of time without having panic attacks or near panic attacks. I was beginning to be able to focus on something other than what had happened in the years before. And I have to tell you, I couldn’t have been more relieved. The truth was that for a very long time before this, I wasn’t sure I would EVER recover from what I had been put through. In fact, I truly believed I was broken beyond repair. It was the most frightened I have ever been in my life.

nurse-ratched
Nurse Ratched, the sadistic psychopathic nurse/therapist in the movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

This year, my life is very different. I look back at the woman I was a year ago and I can see tremendous growth. However, I can also see that even as I was beginning to re-find myself under all of the manipulation and destruction I had been through, I still had a long way to go. There were times when I first started out on this journey where I was making progress, but I didn’t realize I was making progress. I would frequently begin to feel stronger only to be dealt a cruel blow of fear and confusion that would set me back for days, sometimes weeks. If I would have known then that this was how the process went, I don’t think the journey would have been nearly as frightening. And perhaps, this time next year, I will look back and see that I have continued to grow, even from this year. It’s impossible to say. This journey to healing has been nothing short of miraculous. Just when I think I have “uncovered” all of the insight this journey has to offer, I am humbled by another incredible phase of insight. I don’t know if this growth and self-discovery will ever stop. Perhaps if I viewed all of this more as a journey and not as simply reaching a destination, I would have found more peace in the whole process. But to be perfectly honest, as I started out on this journey there was nothing peaceful at all about any of this.

The truth is that the very start of my journey, like many of yours, was incredibly painful—almost unbearable at times. I felt completely lost. I really didn’t know how I had gotten to where I was, and I really had no idea how the hell to get back to where I was before. Some of the worst parts of the journey to healing after therapist abuse had to do with trying to make sense out of what happened with the abusive therapist. And because I still missed him, I was convinced there must be something wrong with me. For almost a year after I refused to see him any longer, I replayed everything that happened during the time that I knew him, trying to make sense out of what happened. I tried desperately to understand what I could have done differently to prevent the relationship from crumbling the way it did. I would look at certain aspects of what happened and think, “He must have cared about me and just lost sight of what he was doing.” And I would be at peace with that thought for a few days. And then nagging doubts would creep in, “But if that were true, why did he just leave me to fall apart on my own? Why, after I told him just how much this had harmed me, did he choose to remain silent and not help me find closure?” A person who cares doesn’t leave someone they hurt (even if it was unintentional) to self-destruct in the aftermath. It seemed like no matter which way I looked at what happened, I could not come up with a “reason” for what happened that made any sense at all. And for that reason alone I was doomed to continue to replay the events in my head, searching for an answer I might never ever find. How else could I feel safe against something like this happening again in the future? The only way I could move on was if I understood what happened and why. And the person who needed to help me understand all of that made it very clear that he had no intentions of ever helping me get to that point. And because of that, it felt like he completely controlled my recovery from this.

evil_inside

And then it happened. Driven by a relentless desire to understand WHY, I had searched tirelessly online for something that would help me understand what the hell happened. I had been seeing a new therapist for about nine months (and I have to tell you, doing that took all of the courage I had in my body!). There were so many times that she seemed just as confused as I was about what happened with the abusive therapist. I was trapped in a cycle of reliving everything that happened over and over again, searching for answers. It was driving me to the point of insanity. As I learned more and more about this thing called “Narcissistic abuse” I began to realize that there was a reason why I had been spinning my wheels trying to understand what happened. There are people who exist who lack any ability or desire to feel any empathy or remorse. Even worse, they lack a conscience. They can cruelly destroy people who are loving, caring and honest and not feel a bit guilt or sorrow for having done so. In fact, in many ways they appear to be “annoyed” by the fact that the people they have hurt are making such a big deal out of what happened. Even worse, they are masters at making themselves out to be victims. Oftentimes, people like these leave behind them a trail of broken bodies and wounded souls as they continue on their destructive paths.

I began to learn new words—words like grooming, gaslighting, trauma bonding and soul murder. These were words that I either had never heard before or had never truly understood until I lived them. These words—words that described things that I experienced but couldn’t put into my own words—were a vital part of my healing. Suddenly I felt a lot less alone. I knew that if someone came up with these words and the definitions that explained my story, somebody, somewhere understood.

But learning these words and reading about Narcissistic abuse was really just the start of my journey. Taking all of it in was a different story. I would frequently find myself wanting to read as much as I could about Narcissistic abuse and then I would experience times where I didn’t want to look at anything at all about it. At first I would get angry at myself because I thought I needed to go through this process a specific way and it was not always the same way that I was feeling. I would get so frustrated with myself as I would read pieces that helped me begin to move forward in my understanding of what happened, but then feel like I was moving backwards. I remember thinking that maybe I was just making myself believe that I was feeling better and that I was really not making any progress at all.

It turns out that understanding and reprocessing what I had been through happened in phases. This wasn’t like any learning I had done before. In the past, if I wanted to understand something I would read about it and integrate it into my way of seeing things. With Narcissistic abuse, there were so many “layers” of understanding that were essential to my healing that this linear process of learning that had worked for me in the past was ineffective with this. There were many times where I would read an article or a book about healing from Narcissistic abuse and feel as if I had taken all of the important insight that the piece had to offer. And then later, I would stumble upon the work again and be shocked that there was insight in it that I hadn’t noticed before. It wasn’t that the piece had been edited. It was because my brain was allowing me to take in more of the picture of what I had been through. That brain of mine, that part of me that I thought had surely been destroyed in the abuse, was actually guiding me carefully through the process of slowly taking in what I could handle. In fact, I can remember times where my brain would almost “compel” me to read more about Narcissistic abuse and times where it would want to do anything other than reading about Narcissistic abuse. I slowly learned to listen to my brain and do what it seemed to be urging me to do whenever it would do this.

And there was another aspect to understanding what I had been through. As I began to understand what my abusive therapist had put me through I began to realize that I had seen this kind of abuse before in my life. In fact, many adult survivors of Narcissistic abuse eventually come to learn (if they can find the path to healing) that they have been primed by previous Narcissistic abuse to tolerate later Narcissistic abuse. For me, like so many other survivors of this type of abuse, I found myself not only healing from one emotionally destructive relationship, but several. The grief was overwhelming.

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From 50 Warning Signs of Questionable Therapy or Counseling.

Perhaps one of the more difficult aspects of the abuse that I had tried to understand was where in the relationship with the abusive therapist that things went wrong. For a while, I believed that the therapist had somehow changed, since he seemed so competent for a long time before the abuse actively began. And I found myself searching for some point in time where I should have stopped trusting him. I think I believed that knowing this was important so I could have understood at what point my “screaming gut” was right. It wasn’t until a good friend of mine pointed something out to me that I hadn’t thought of before. He told me that there wasn’t any point in time when I should have trusted the abusive therapist. He said to me, “Michelle, he’s a predator. The only reason why he seemed so competent and trustworthy for so long at first was to gain your trust so he could effectively lure you away from your comfort zone. Tell me, would you have allowed him to say many of the things he said to you if he had started the relationship out doing that? No, your inner alarm bells would have been going off like crazy.” This was a pivotal moment for me because I had not given any thought at all to this possibility. I would never imagine hurting someone like that. It was finally starting to click in my head that I didn’t understand what happened for a reason. In fact, I never saw any of it coming because I never imagined anyone would ever treat another human being like this. My own profound compassion and deep empathy for others was something I assumed everyone else had. I am finding that many survivors of this type of abuse “suffer” from the same naiveté because of their own inner compassion and empathy.

Read the rest of Michelle’s story here: http://www.survivingtherapistabuse.com/2015/03/reclaiming-my-life/

Also, please read this article: 50 Warning Signs of Questionable Therapy or Counseling.
If your therapist does any of these things, they are red flags. Be wary or find another therapist.