Was Betty Broderick actually a victim of narcissistic abuse?

Originally posted on September 27, 2016

thebrodericks
Dan and Betty Broderick at their wedding, 1969

Sometimes the delineation between being a narcissistic abuser and having been a victim of narcissistic abuse is not very clear.    A famous example is Betty Broderick,  the jilted wife who broke into the home of her ex-husband, Dan Broderick, and his new wife, Linda Kolkena, and shot them both to death as they slept.

The entire story is documented in Bella Stumbo’s excellent true crime book, Until The Twelfth of Never, which I read a number of years ago. The story of this tragedy haunted me for weeks, but Dan’s treatment of Betty prior to the murders haunted me even more.  In fact, it downright bugged the bejeezus out of me.

Betty was eventually prosecuted and her appeal for parole was denied.   She will probably spend the rest of her life in prison.

Did Betty murder in cold blood?  Absolutely.   Did she ever admit guilt or show any remorse for her actions? No, she did not.  Was she manipulative and did she show self-centered behaviors?  Yes.  Did she use her children as pawns in her one-woman crusade against her cheating ex husband?  Again, yes.  Was the diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder she was given by the prosecuting psychiatrist correct?  Very likely. (She was also diagnosed with Histrionic Personality Disorder).

I’m not defending what Betty Broderick did.   She is a pre-meditated murderer who killed in cold blood as her victims slept and showed no remorse for her crime.   She used her children as pawns against her ex in their hostile, drawn out divorce, not thinking or seeming to care about their needs, only her own.   Two of her four children don’t speak to her and one has written a book against her and testified against her in court.

But even taking all this into account, I always had a huge problem not seeing Betty as the real victim, in spite of her heinous crime.   From their marriage in 1969 until 1983, when her husband’s affair (which he had lied to her about) came out in the open (and the shit hit the proverbial fan),  Betty was by all accounts a loyal and faithful wife, very much bound by her strict Catholic religious upbringing (and probably, how she appeared to others).   She was a typical 1950s-early 1960s-style housewife, whose main interests in life seemed to be marriage and family.    She wasn’t a go-getting feminist or a a dissatisfied wife who longed for a career or an outside life; she was perfectly happy taking care of the house and playing second fiddle to her successful attorney husband Dan (who had both a law and medical degree), proud of being seen with him at the many functions he attended, and dutifully raising four children (a fifth one died shortly after birth).   If she really had NPD, perhaps much of her perfect-wife persona was for show or to be well regarded in the community, but Stumbo’s true-crime book described a woman who, if anything, was doing everything she thought she had to do to be a good wife and mother,  who never cheated on her husband or showed any interest in expanding her interests outside their family.   Granted, she was never easy to live with, and could be very demanding, needy, and high maintenance, but I wouldn’t say she was malignant, at least not in the beginning.  If she was a narcissist, she was a covert one with a lot of borderline traits.

I think it was her husband who was a much more grandiose and obvious (if not more malignant) narcissist.   He was charming, overly concerned with his image and status, wildly successful, cold and unfeeling to his wife and children, and seemed to lack any empathy for his wife’s many emotional needs.  She did seem to be the more emotionally unstable of the two of them, but such is often the case with the partner who is being victimized–especially if the abuser has flying monkeys (and Dan had a whole community of them due to his power and reputation).

thebrodericks2
Dan Broderick and Linda Kolkena, circa 1983

When Betty was in her 40s, she had gained some weight (as many women do around that age) and Dan began to show how little he valued his wife and their marriage, now that she was no longer young and beautiful.  He started an affair with an attractive young woman in his office named Linda Kolkena, who he promoted to his personal assistant.  He spent less and less time at home and even took his new assistant on vacation (saying it was a business trip).  Betty suspected something was going on and asked Dan about it.  He lied to her and said there was nothing and she was imagining things (sound familiar)?     Eventually the truth could no longer be hidden and he admitted he’d been having an affair with Linda all along.  But it didn’t stop there.  He also told Betty he had fallen in love with Linda and wanted to marry her, and told Betty coldly that he wanted a divorce.  Shortly after he left her, Linda fell pregnant.  They flaunted their happiness cruelly in front of Betty, who always had self esteem issues.

The divorce was drawn out, dramatic, and ugly.   Betty became increasingly deranged, and showed stalking behaviors and began to involve her children in her one-woman crusade against her cheating ex.   But Dan and Linda also ganged up against Betty and made fun of her, leaving abusive phone messages where they could be heard laughing together and making fun of Betty’s age, weight and intelligence.    Such a thing would certainly make ME see red!  For Betty, an insecure woman whose entire identity had been tied up with being Dan Broderick’s wife and the mother of his children, his cruel and malicious behavior must have been unbearable and something eventually snapped.

Dan was able to convince everyone that Betty was insane–not to mention fat, stupid and old.   He was expert in gaslighting and triangulation, turning most of their friends and even their own children against her.

What Betty did was wrong.  There’s no way around that.    She was spiteful, manipulative, and completely out of control.  She lied in court.   She didn’t seem to have much, if any, empathy for their children (by that point, I would completely understand if she had no empathy for her ex and his new wife, given their shabby treatment of her during the divorce proceedings).

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Betty Broderick during the trial.

But I wonder how much she may have been driven to act as she did.   Dan seemed cold-hearted and emotionless from the get-go, almost psychopathic.   For 14 years, Betty put up with this b*stard and obediently played the role of the trophy wife that he wanted.  When she was too old, he unceremoniously dumped her for another woman.

In my opinion, Betty Broderick was a victim of narcissistic abuse who was driven to become a narcissist.  Even if she was already a narcissist, I don’t think she was malignant or that she would have gone to the extremes that she did on that horrible day in 1983 had she not been driven to to the brink of insanity by her arrogant, compassionless, egotistical cheater of a husband.

This case has always fascinated me, in part because I think so much was brushed under the rug during the divorce proceedings and the trial. I always felt a bit of sympathy for her, in spite of her horrible crime. Here’s another article I found in defense of Betty Broderick.  Betty was certainly no angel, but I don’t think Dan Broderick was as good a guy as the press and popular media liked to make him out to be — not even close.

Betty Broderick: Victim or Victimizer

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I think Melania Trump is an abused woman.

I think Melania Trump is showing signs of PTSD.  Watch the way she flinches and looks uncomfortable when her husband passes her and touches her arm, before she starts to recite the Lord’s Prayer at the Trump rally in Florida last week.  Also watch the smug expression on her husband’s face after he passes her.

Melania has admitted she hates the position of being First Lady (because she is apparently an introverted, shy person — and English is not her first language), but I wonder if there is something more going on than just natural reticence and a dislike of being in the public eye.     I find it strange that she has rarely been seen in public with Donald, and seems to prefer to remain in New York with Barron, meeting up with her husband only rarely.   Whenever she is with him, she looks miserable and scared, and her smile is VERY fake.   When he does touch her, she always seems to stiffen, if not outright flinch.  She seems either disgusted by, or afraid of him, and possibly both.

There is also this video of Trump and Melania attending a worship service.   Melania is either moved by the song (which is very spiritual) or is just feeling sad and miserable, and toward the end she is wiping away tears, but Donald just sits there, with his arms folded, not offering her a hand on the shoulder or a hug or even a word of comfort.   He never shows any affection or love toward his wife, and appears to treat her like an object or a prop, just like the extreme narcissist he is.

Most of us also remember that viral video of Melania’s reaction to SOMETHING Trump apparently said to her during the inauguration proceedings (he smile disappears and face falls as if he just broke her soul).  This video also shows other evidence of Trump’s and Melania’s body language, that seems to indicate to me she is being abused.

Donald seems to ignore her or walk in front of her whenever they are in public, as if he’s ashamed to be seen with her or just oblivious to her presence.   During his inauguration, he just walked ahead of her, and Obama and Michelle had to lead Melania up the steps instead.   In contrast, Obama always acknowledges his own wife’s presence and seems to treat her respectfully and affectionately when they are together in public.

Some cynics criticize her for being a gold digger and says she got what she deserved.  Personally, I don’t care why she might have married him.   Maybe it was for his money, or maybe she really did love him, or maybe she’s a codependent type of person who is attracted to narcissistic men.   Donald probably lied to her  and swept her off her feet, the same way he is lying to an entire nation and appears to have swept at least some of his supporters off their feet.  I feel sorry for Melania. I think she is a quiet, sensitive person who is being slowly destroyed by this man. She’s smart to stay behind in New York with Barron.   She needs to leave him.  He may not be physically abusive of her (though the flinching makes me suspect he probably is) but he is clearly at least emotionally abusive and she seems miserable.  Melania Trump is literally a prisoner in a gilded cage.

This post is just my opinion.  I have no proof that he is abusing her, but I think there’s a good case to be made that he is.

Is Donald Trump Abusing His Wife Melania?

What we’re all thinking.  That poor woman looks terrified whenever she’s with him.   She probably has C-PTSD.

Beyond Highbrow - Robert Lindsay

I would say that he treats her like dirt, shit, crap, garbage, whatever metaphor you prefer. He barely even acknowledges her presence. He walks ahead of her in public – this, according to my mother, is a telltale sign of contempt and it is a very bad thing. Ladies any time you are with a man who keeps walking ahead of you, get rid of him. He is doing this because he is embarrassed to be seen with you!

I agree that she displays all of the behavior of an abused woman. He seems to treat her roughly, twisting her finger and apparently ordering her around. He often appears terrified of him. When dancing with him, she looks tense, stiff and fake. But when dancing with a soldier, she comes alive and shows her humanity is yet intact.

Their body language when they are together speaks volumes. It seems like…

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Sometimes I miss him.

cat_lady

My ex husband was and is a malignant narcissist who actually has an NPD/ASPD (and Bipolar) diagnosis.  He almost destroyed me and my sanity with his constant gaslighting, verbal abuse, projection, lies, insults, mean sarcasm, threats, and refusal to lift a finger around the house or even work for the last few years we were together. He stole from me, ran up my credit cards (ruining my credit rating, which sucks to this day), tried (and almost succeeded) in turning our two children against me, invaded by boundaries, and once even threatened me with murder-suicide after I threatened to leave.  He still badmouths me to everyone he can, telling them how crazy and stupid I am (even though to my face, he always called me the most intelligent person he’d ever known). .

And yet, and yet….

WTF?

Sometimes I miss him.

I miss the way sometimes he could be so sweet and loving (usually when he wanted something).  I miss our long, intellectual conversations about politics, science, God, the universe, art, music, movies, and everything else under the sun.   I miss having a companion who would accompany me no matter what I was doing.   I miss having someone to spend the holidays with.   I even sometimes miss his unfunny jokes (which were often directed against me).

He had a few genuinely nice qualities.  His intelligence made him an interesting conversation partner.  He also loved animals and loved to cook.  I miss his cooking (even though he always overseasoned everything).  But these things weren’t enough to make me want to stay with someone who was so abusive to me and our kids.

I guess what I really miss isn’t him at all, but just that I miss being part of a couple, because I was absolutely miserable almost every moment I spent with him.  I know I will never go back, and have no love left for him, but I do pray for him and don’t hate him, in spite of the evil, horrible things he did to me when we were married and for the several years after the divorce that we stayed together.

I look around and practically everyone of my age is part of a couple. If they aren’t part of a couple, they have extended family or a large circle of close friends, or a fulfilling career.  I have none of those things.  I don’t wallow in self pity over that, but these are the facts.   I am fortunate to have a good relationship with my grown children.   I am fortunate to be fairly healthy and employed.  I don’t hate my life, exactly, but I am lonely.

Although I look young for my age, and am in fairly good shape, I don’t look THAT young.   I feel old, way too old to attract a mate.   I’m self conscious about my rather advanced age, and the toll it’s beginning to take on my appearance.  I wish I could turn back the clock, but I can’t.

loneliness

The idea of starting over again, with someone new, is just too daunting, and frankly, way too scary.   I still have too many issues connecting with real life people because of the trauma I suffered.  I have no idea where I’d meet someone.   I hear the online dating services can be quite predatory and I don’t want to spend the little money I have on something like that anyway.

I’ve also become set in my ways.  I’m way too selfish to want to change my lifestyle or compromise that in order to adapt to someone else.   I don’t know if I could do that now.  I like my time by myself, doing what I like to do, thinking my own thoughts, not having to take someone else’s wishes or wants or needs into account.   I have cats instead, so I guess that makes me one of those crazy cat ladies.  Well, so be it then.

At the end of the day, I think I just prefer to remain alone.   I’m really not interested in dating, I just sometimes wish I had the companionship that other women my age seem to all have.    I wish there was another person I was growing old with so I wouldn’t have to die alone.

Was Betty Broderick really a victim of narcissistic abuse?

thebrodericks
Dan and Betty Broderick at their wedding, 1969

Sometimes the delineation between being a narcissistic abuser and having been a victim of narcissistic abuse is not very clear.    A famous example is Betty Broderick,  the jilted wife who broke into the home of her ex-husband, Dan Broderick, and his new wife, Linda Kolkena, and shot them both to death as they slept.

The entire story is documented in Bella Stumbo’s excellent true crime book, Until The Twelfth of Never, which I read a number of years ago. The story of this tragedy haunted me for weeks, but Dan’s treatment of Betty prior to the murders haunted me even more.  In fact, it downright bugged the bejeezus out of me.

Betty was eventually prosecuted and her appeal for parole was denied.   She will probably spend the rest of her life in prison.

Did Betty murder in cold blood?  Absolutely.   Did she ever admit guilt or show any remorse for her actions? No, she did not.  Was she manipulative and did she show self-centered behaviors?  Yes.  Did she use her children as pawns in her one-woman crusade against her cheating ex husband?  Again, yes.  Was the diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder she was given by the prosecuting psychiatrist correct?  Very likely. (She was also diagnosed with Histrionic Personality Disorder).

I’m not defending what Betty Broderick did.   She is a pre-meditated murderer who killed in cold blood as her victims slept and showed no remorse for her crime.   She used her children as pawns against her ex in their hostile, drawn out divorce, not thinking or seeming to care about their needs, only her own.   Two of her four children don’t speak to her and one has written a book against her and testified against her in court.

But even taking all this into account, I always had a huge problem not seeing Betty as the real victim, in spite of her heinous crime.   From their marriage in 1969 until 1983, when her husband’s affair (which he had lied to her about) came out in the open (and the shit hit the proverbial fan),  Betty was by all accounts a loyal and faithful wife, very much bound by her strict Catholic religious upbringing (and probably, how she appeared to others).   She was a typical 1950s-early 1960s-style housewife, whose main interests in life seemed to be marriage and family.    She wasn’t a go-getting feminist or a a dissatisfied wife who longed for a career or an outside life; she was perfectly happy taking care of the house and playing second fiddle to her successful attorney husband Dan (who had both a law and medical degree), proud of being seen with him at the many functions he attended, and dutifully raising four children (a fifth one died shortly after birth).   If she really had NPD, perhaps much of this was for show or to be well regarded in the community, but Stumbo’s true-crime book described a woman who, if anything, was doing everything she thought she had to do to be a good wife and mother,  who never cheated on her husband or showed any interest in expanding her interests outside their family.   Granted, she was never easy to live with, and could be very demanding, needy, and high maintenance, but I wouldn’t say she was malignant, at least not in the beginning.  If she was a narcissist, she was a covert one with a lot of borderline traits.

I think it was her husband who was a much more grandiose and obvious (if not more malignant) narcissist.   He was charming, overly concerned with his image and status, wildly successful, cold and unfeeling to his wife and children, and seemed to lack any empathy for his wife’s many emotional needs.  She did seem to be the more emotionally unstable of the two of them, but such is often the case with the partner who is being victimized–especially if the abuser has flying monkeys (and Dan had a whole community of them due to his power and reputation).

thebrodericks2
Dan Broderick and Linda Kolkena, circa 1983

When Betty was in her 40s, she had gained some weight (as many women do around that age) and Dan began to show how little he valued his wife and their marriage, now that she was no longer young and beautiful.  He started an affair with an attractive young woman in his office named Linda Kolkena, who he promoted to his personal assistant.  He spent less and less time at home and even took his new assistant on vacation (saying it was a business trip).  Betty suspected something was going on and asked Dan about it.  He lied to her and said there was nothing and she was imagining things (sound familiar)?     Eventually the truth could no longer be hidden and he admitted he’d been having an affair with Linda all along.  But it didn’t stop there.  He also told Betty he had fallen in love with Linda and wanted to marry her, and told Betty coldly that he wanted a divorce.  Shortly after he left her, Linda fell pregnant.  They flaunted their happiness cruelly in front of Betty, who always had self esteem issues.

The divorce was drawn out, dramatic, and ugly.   Betty became increasingly deranged, and showed stalking behaviors and began to involve her children in her one-woman crusade against her cheating ex.   But Dan and Linda also ganged up against Betty and made fun of her, leaving abusive phone messages where they could be heard laughing together and making fun of Betty’s age, weight and intelligence.    Such a thing would certainly make ME see red!  For Betty, an insecure woman whose entire identity had been tied up with being Dan Broderick’s wife and the mother of his children, his cruel and malicious behavior must have been unbearable and something eventually snapped.

Dan was able to convince everyone that Betty was insane–not to mention fat, stupid and old.   He was expert in gaslighting and triangulation, turning most of their friends and even their own children against her.

What Betty did was wrong.  There’s no way around that.    She was spiteful, manipulative, and completely out of control.  She lied in court.   She didn’t seem to have much, if any, empathy for their children (by that point, I would completely understand if she had no empathy for her ex and his new wife, given their shabby treatment of her during the divorce proceedings).

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Betty Broderick during the trial.

But I wonder how much she may have been driven to act as she did.   Dan seemed cold-hearted and emotionless from the get-go, almost psychopathic.   For 14 years, Betty put up with this b*stard and obediently played the role of the trophy wife that he wanted.  When she was too old, he unceremoniously dumped her for another woman.

In my opinion, Betty Broderick was a victim of narcissistic abuse who was driven to become a narcissist.  Even if she was already a narcissist, I don’t think she was malignant or that she would have gone to the extremes that she did on that horrible day in 1983 had she not been driven to to the brink of insanity by her arrogant, compassionless, egotistical cheater of a husband.

This case has always fascinated me, in part because I think so much was brushed under the rug during the divorce proceedings and the trial. I always felt a bit of sympathy for her, in spite of her horrible crime. Here’s another article I found in defense of Betty Broderick.  Betty was certainly no angel, but I don’t think Dan Broderick was as good a guy as the press and popular media liked to make him out to be — not even close.

Betty Broderick: Victim or Victimizer

When the Narcissist uses God Against You

Read all about the way one woman’s narcissistic husband used religion to abuse and control her.  Comments are disabled for this post; please comment on the original post.

Divorcing a Narcissist Blog

Before I met the Narcissist I pretty much identified as Atheist. I grew up being somewhat forced into the Catholic religion because my mom was raised that way. I think she felt like she wanted to give my sister and I a religious experience in life… but it always felt a bit shallow to me. My dad was raised Protestant was not particularly religious (and generally made fun of the “Heathen Catholic” religion.) My sister and I had to go to CCD classes and go through first communion and confirmation. As a family we went to church together at all of the major holidays… but I never felt a connection to God, and the religious experience was very limited to what happened at church.

I was always the kid who asked “why” and “how” in my CCD classes, constantly challenging the norm. I think most of the teachers didn’t know how…

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

This makes me laugh now, but at the time I was doing anything but laughing.

Lucky Otters Haven

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…

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Shattered Dreams Poetry and Book.

A reader of this blog wanted to share some of her poetry with me and I asked her if it was alright to share the poems with my readers because they really resonated for me and I think other readers of this blog who have been married to or divorced narcissistic men could definitely relate to her writings.

Rina Lynn has her own blog of poetry (Shattered Dreams Poetry) about coping with the emotional fallout of narcissistic abuse and divorcing a narcissist. Please take the time to visit her site.

She also has a book, Shattered Dreams: Poetry for Women Divorcing a Narcissist, by Rina Lynn and Kay Gardner, which is $4 on Amazon.

shattered_dreamspoetry

Here are some of her poems.

The Great Escape

There was a chick
Who pecked and chipped
A window in the wall
Scrunched she sat
Tightly packed
Smooshed into a ball

The shell seemed swell
She knew it well
But her heart knew it was time
She peered outside
While hard she tried
To pretend her life was fine

Then cracks began
To rip and span
The whole of the world she knew
She closed her eyes
And tried to hide
Spinning her lies anew

It’d be ok
If she stayed
She’d lived here all her life
Her life was hell
Inside her shell
But she was just a wife

One piece fell
From off her shell
She began to be quite frantic
She tried so hard
To fix the shards
You should have seen her antics

Then with a glance
She saw her chance
And knew it had to be
With one great heave
The halves did cleave
And all at once she’s free

puppet_master

The Puppet Master

He picks his victims carefully
Then reels them in
With hateful glee
Gives them all their heart desires
Inflames their senses…..
…..ignites a fire…..
Tells them all they wish to hear
Then he owns them…..
…..this puppeteer……
He speaks a word
And they try their best
His every whim
To manifest
It becomes a daily thing
Dangling his prey
Upon his strings
Their individuality begins to dim
Disappears into the world of ‘him’
Soon they are just instruments
Who live to make his life content….
……where did their will go?
……why do they stay?
…..why don’t they escape…..
……and leave the fray?

A war of attrition is being fought
They respond…..
…..the way they ‘ought’…..
Doing their best to please another
While their identity is smothered
You can’t see the forest
For the trees
You can’t escape
Till you ‘see’ the strings
And understand it’s just a game
…..to enslave you …..
…..and drive you insane…..
The thrill of the sport…..
…..a manipulative zest….
To prove to him
He is the ‘best’
All you are…..
…..is another conquest…..
Swelling his appetite
…..and selfish greed…..
On hurt and control
…..his evil heart feeds…..
If only his dupes
Could really see
They hold the scissors…..
……to cut the strings…..
Then……they could truly be free…..
Living a life…..free of his deeds

The Feces Inspector

I had a job i did
For fully half my life
I examined feces
In my role as a wife
My husband produced
It freely
It seemed to roll right out
I followed him discretely
Trying not to shout
I knew this wasn’t normal
it couldn’t be ok
I wondered just what caused it
Each and every day
So I began a quest
The origin to explain
I set up a lab
The truth to explicate

I wore rubber gloves
To scrutinize his manure
I checked out what I fed him
His routine & DNA
Puzzling perceptions
Grew more enormous
By the day
When digging thru the dung
Looking back it seems
The stench that it created
Stifled all my dreams
I smeared it on the slides
Peered into my microscope
The closer that I looked
The more I lost my hope
The manufactured crap
Continued all the while
When picking thru the pile
It was really hard to smile

So I resigned the job
Gave up my inspector hat
Someone else can have it
I’m not doing more of that
I cleaned up the counter
Swept & mopped the floor
Threw away my samples
Walked out and locked the door
…….then beamed with satisfaction

shattered_dreams_quote

Anger Has Been Banished. It’s Time to Go Away

There’s another person
Who lives inside of me
She’s so very bound
That she can’t get free
Her given name is anger
And she’s very strong
She stands up to deal
With the things that’s wrong
When my voice is silent
Her voice rings out loud
She can speak to bad guys
She truly makes me proud
Others do not like it
When she’s in control
But I gave her permission
To protect my soul
Until she was allowed
My life was filled with pain
I needed her assistance
My self-esteem to gain
Now my life is better
The perpetrator’s gone
But anger just won’t leave me
She feels this is her home
She’s overstayed her welcome
Now she needs to leave
Unfortunately we’re at odds
We’ve really disagreed
I think I can manage
She thinks I’ll be deceived
Serenity won’t visit
If she stays around
She says she’s rude and ugly
And wears a constant frown
I really need the comfort
Of tranquility
Poise, content, composure
And equanimity
They say that she can visit
When there is a need
But for them to live here
Anger must concede
Backbone, strength, and power
Will take her place today
Anger has been banished
Peacefulness can stay
Honor says it’s time
And I will be ok
Anger you must listen
It’s time to go away

The Scapegoat

It’s your fault!
…..from the very first…..
No matter who is punished…..
……yours will be the worst…..
Everyone else is perfect
But.….you are very bad…..
You try your best
To please the rest
But…..somehow you just can’t
You talk too loud
Or not enough
Or leave dishes in the sink
Someone else messed them up
But, it’s your job to see they’re cleaned
You’re too big
Or too small
The opposite of what is best
You work the hardest
Try the most
But never please the rest
Their evil deeds
…..are swept under the rug
…..or simply attributed to you…..
Then you’re screamed at
…..and penalized…..
For what you didn’t do
Chastised, reproved
Castigated, reprimanded
Disciplined each day
The weight of someone else’s deeds
Is placed upon your plate
The lies that are their alibis
Sound grand to all who hear
No sympathy
Will come your way
Only boos, and sneers…..
After all……who would tell…..
….such outrageous things?
No one in their right mind
Could really be so mean
So…..to others….it has a
Truthful ring
Embarrassment…..humiliation
Becomes your garment donned
There’s no way
To convince the audience
That by a NARC they have been conned……
You hang your head
Accept the shame
….while more blame is piled on……
The scapegoat……
…..who bears the sins of the home…..
…..so no one else needs to atone…..

shame

Shame

Shame is that feeling
That you aren’t enough
You feel as if
You should be
Made of stronger stuff
It’s hard to hold
Your head up
It’s like you don’t belong
No matter what you do
It seems to be all wrong
People laugh and whisper
Or.….that’s what you believe…..
To be on equal footing
Is something
You just can’t perceive
But you must remember
We are all alike
Made in God’s image
So stand right up and fight
Most of the time
When shame has held you down
Worn you to a frazzle
Esteem’s been tightly bound
It’s because of something
You’ve taken on yourself
You didn’t even do it
It was done by someone else
Maybe it’s your family
That has done the deed
Maybe it’s somebody
Else’s lifetime creed
You believe that you
Must measure
Yourself by their thoughts
But you can’t accomplish
All the things you ‘ought’
You deem yourself ‘guilty’
Picking up the weight
Shame brings upon you
It seems it is your fate
But look at this whole thing
From a different view
Why must you pay?
For things you didn’t do?
Throw off that fault
Break that felon’s thong
The offense wasn’t yours
You did nothing wrong
Let others stand in their corruption
And shame will slide right off
You didn’t do the crime
You mustn’t pay the cost!

A Little Girl

A little girl
Whose life was hell
Tried to be so good
She washed her face
And combed her hair
And did everything she “should”

And as she grew
Her “oughts” did too
The load grew hard to bear
As others refrained…
She accomplished great things…
So they handed her their cares

She took on blame…
She took on shame…
The people round her knew she would
They used
Abused
And taunted her
Because she was so good

Talented
Proficient
An expert at so much
Alone each day she waited
For a single loving touch

As life passed by
She began to cry
But none had time to listen
The family left
She felt bereft
With tears her eyes did glisten

With deep despair
She combed her hair
And did the daily chores
The song was gone
She carried on
Alone
As each day before

Marriage counseling is another weapon a narcissist can use against you.

marriage_counseling1

If you’re still with your narcissist, you may be tempted to insist they attend marriage or family counseling with you. It’s a common error to believe and hope the counselor or family therapist can help the narcissist understand your point of view and, seeing the light, stop their abuse of you or the children.

This is a mistake. Don’t do it. Don’t drag a narcissist to a marriage counselor or family therapist. I have my own horror story about this, and I’ve heard many similar stories to mine.

My ex, “Michael” (not his real name) and I had not been getting along for some time. I won’t go into the details in this article, because I’ve documented his abuse elsewhere in this blog. Whenever a malignant narcissist (in his case, full-blown ASPD!) pairs up with a Borderline or a low spectrum covert narcissist (I believe I am both), the Borderline or covert N is almost always going to be in the supplicating, codependent, people-pleasing victim role. They will be gaslighted, projected onto, triangulated against, given the silent treatment, insulted, used, taken advantage of, stolen from, lied to, and possibly physically abused as well. A Borderline will rage and lose their composure under such treatment, while a covert N will try to “fight back” using more underhanded means such as passive aggression or the silent treatment. If you’re not disordered, staying around someone who’s doing those things to you long enough, you can actually become a narcissist yourself, or at least pick up a lot of narcissistic traits as well as severe PTSD.

Enraged by Michael’s constant insults, disrespect, and gaslighting using the children as flying monkeys, I’d react by giving him the silent treatment or make sarcastic remarks. Neither of these weak weapons made a dent in the impenetrable armor of this professional malignant narcissist, and the abuse just escalated. As a BPD, another thing I’d do was rage. I’d hold in my anger for days, and finally explode into a mighty dish-smashing, profanity spewing temper tantrum. Of course it was then that Michael told everyone–including our young children–that I was an insane c__t and bitch who should be locked up and the key thrown away.

Sure, we were both disordered, but in that relationship I was definitely the victim. I remember a couple of friends even told me on meeting him that they got “bad vibes” and thought there was something “evil” about him and to be very careful.

At one point I suggested we see a marriage counselor. At first Michael resisted, but he finally relented when a friend of his told him he should go just to get me to STFU. So he agreed to go, on the condition that HE got to pick the therapist we’d be seeing. The therapist he chose was a woman and she did seem very nice. I actually felt comfortable with her, which surprised me.

One of the issues we’d been having was the volume at which Michael played his music. He listened to music I did not enjoy–mostly death metal, thrash, and riot girl punk/metal (this was in the late 1990s). Now I’m an eclectic and open minded music lover, but those particular genres acted like assault weapons on my ears. He also liked to blast this noise late at night when the kids and I were trying to sleep. But whenever I asked him to turn the music down, he’d tell me to shut up and deliberately increase the volume.

So this was one of the topics that came up in marriage counseling. I was the one who brought it up. Michael always seemed calm and reasonable on the surface (he had a lot of charm back in those days which he never showed me when we were alone together) while I always seemed stressed, on edge, a raw nerve about to snap like a violin string (this was in fact the case–his manipulations and cruelty to both me and the kids were systematically driving me insane). After I told the therapist about how loud he played his music whenever we were trying to sleep and refused to turn it down when asked, Michael turned on the charm, smiling and in a very reasonable and calm tone of voice explaining to her that I was a “control freak” and hated music in general. He told her I never let him play anything, even during the day, which was a lie.

The therapist turned to me and told me I needed to stop trying to control my husband and allow him to pursue his interests. I looked over at Michael, wearing his most smug, self-satisfied grin. I wanted to walk over and smack him hard upside the head. I started to shake with rage. I couldn’t hide my frustration and anger the way he could. It took everything I had not to throw something at him or throttle him. I looked down at my clenched fists and my knuckles were so white their bones seemed to have popped through my skin.

marriage_counseling

Back in those days, my BPD symptoms were in full force, and so to the therapist, I probably did seem a little crazy. Michael, in contrast, had the composure of an attorney (I always used to tell him he should have been a lawyer because he always won every argument).

Other things came up too. But it always came back to the same thing–that I was trying to control HIM and he was just a reasonable man confused by my emotional instability and craziness. Michael had that therapist wrapped around his little finger. Once I tried to explain to her the way he acted in our sessions was not the way he acted at home, that he wasn’t showing her his cruel, callous and disrespectful nature. Of course he called me a liar, telling the therapist I had “mental issues.” Once again I got scolded by the therapist for trying to control him and making up stories to make him seem worse than he was. She asked me if I had delusions often.

Finally, sick of the two of them ganging up on me and blaming me for everything wrong in our marriage, I walked out in the middle of a session, which only convinced that therapist I wasn’t “serious about counseling” and should seek psychotherapy for myself (this is what Michael told me later).

I’ve heard this sort of thing happening to so many victims of narcissistic abuse. They go to marriage or family counseling, thinking it might help, and instead, the therapist gets turned into a flying monkey siding with the abuser and joining in the gaslighting and projection against the abused.

Malignant narcissists and psychopaths like Michael are good at convincing people they are perfectly sane and they will lie very convincingly. The real victim, probably suffering from PTSD and high stress levels, is more likely to “lose it” or act out, making it seem as if they are the one causing the problems with the relationship.

Based on this experience and those I’ve heard from others, I don’t recommend marriage counseling if your spouse or partner is a narcissist. But if you do decide to try it, make sure YOU choose the therapist, and pick one who has a background in Cluster B personality disorders and has a working knowledge of the way narcissists operate.

Even better, if it’s at all possible, lose the narc who’s making your life such a hell.

For more on this subject, please read my article, Narcs Who Use Therapy to Gaslight Their Victims.

For another blatant example of the type of gaslighting my ex liked to use against me (and get his way at the same time), see my article How My ASPD Control Freak Ex Used a Dog to Gaslight Me

“An Open Letter to My Abusive Husband”

divorcing_abusive_husband

A very courageous woman named Samantha wrote this “open letter” to her abusive, narcissistic husband which appears on her blog The Narcissist’s Wife, which I recommend for anyone trying to divorce or leave a narcissist.

Her “open letter” had me on the edge of my seat because it’s so triggering and fits right in with the article I just posted about “Daniel.” Narcissists all follow the same rulebook: Idealization and promising you the world, followed by The Devaluation and finally straight up abuse.

I am only posting the first part; to read the whole article there is a link to read the rest on her blog.

An Open Letter To My Abusive Husband…
By Samantha Matthews / July 22, 2015

Things were bad right from the start, but I was too young and naive to see it. That’s why you picked me, isn’t it? I was so trusting, and innocent. I had no idea you were broken, no idea our relationship wasn’t normal. I believed you when you told me I was messing up, and I didn’t question you. You could control me, keep me at arms length, and enjoy all the effort I gave into making our “relationship” a success.

And then, one day, I started to notice. Notice how controlling you are, how you turned everything I had issues with back on me, and how you never admitted you were wrong. I notice how you never listened to me on anything, and would later tell me the same truth after you heard it from another source. I noticed how you discounted my opinions and called me a hypochondriac whenever I felt sick. I noticed how you kept me separate from your friends and your social life, and resisted any efforts on my part to make couple friends we could hang out with together.

I noticed how you left me to grieve my grandfathers death alone, and didn’t give me so much as a hug. I noticed how you hid my engagement ring and let me search frantically for an hour before you told me you had it, and how you thought that was funny even though I was in tears.

I noticed how you lied to your friends, your boss, and your family, easily and without a good reason, just because you didn’t feel like doing something. I noticed when you told me about the drugs you did for the entire time we were dating/engaged, how you changed when you stopped doing them. I noticed that I never even knew you had been lying to me then. And how you thought that that revelation shouldn’t change a single thing in our marriage.

I noticed when you complained about how boring the hospital is while I was recovering from having our first child and pushed me to rush us home, and how you discounted all my pain and discomfort during my second pregnancy even while I was working 6 days a week at our business and taking care of a four year old.

I noticed how you never helped me in our business, even as you yelled and raged at me for how poorly things were being run (in your opinion) and how I needed to do more at the shop. I noticed how even when you committed to doing something, I ended up being the one to take care of it. And I noticed how you took and took and took money without contributing at all. To the extent that we ended up having to close the doors. I noticed how you blamed me for that too.

I noticed how you have discounted, dismissed, and mocked all of my accomplishments over the last 13 years. How you tell me the things I’ve done don’t count because they weren’t as good as what someone else did. You tell me I don’t follow through with anything, but you sabotage my efforts and make me feel horrible, and then throw it in my face if I do anything different than what you would do.

I notice how you talk about people behind their backs and say horrible, judgmental things about them. And I checked your phone, I saw how you say those same things about me too. How you mock me and only refer to me as the wife, as though I am not anything more. I notice how you put me down in public and deliberately humiliate me in front of our friends, in order to tell a story or try and make yourself look good.

Read the rest of her article here:
http://www.narcissistswife.com/an-open-letter-to-my-abusive-husband/