Gone fishing!

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I got up pretty late again today, and while my son slept (he got home from work around 7 AM) I went to Wal-mart and picked up a few things we needed, including bug spray, and then went down to the apartment complex’s pool for about an hour.   By the time I returned, my son was up and it was nearing 5:00.

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So far, the only damper  on this vacation was what my son told me about my mother.  On the way to pick up his friend Tal (who got my son into fishing),  we talked about her.   Seems she’s been attempting to triangulate against me. Fortunately he’s not in any danger of becoming a flying monkey because he doesn’t like her or the way she talks about people, especially me (he’s very protective of his mama, bless him!)  But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t try!  He said she is very condescending toward him, much like she always was with me. He said she’s negative and judgmental, which is absolutely true.  Apparently she had told him she didn’t like the idea of me visiting him (MY OWN SON!) because I would be a “bad influence” (huh, what?) and tried to get him to tell me not to come.    She also told him he was making bad life choices (he’s doing very well, in fact and is making great choices that make him happy) and should have become a journalist (he’s a good writer, but he doesn’t enjoy it).   She was always on me too about all the bad choices I supposedly made. Now she thinks I’m going to “infect” him with my “loser-ness” or something.  She’s also telling everyone I’m still with my ex and that I’m as bad as he is! These are all just lies. Oh, and she asked him if I was still “writing that thing” (referring to my blog).  Why would she even need to ask him since she can easily get the answer to that question herself?  She stalks my blog.  Welp, that’s narcissist “logic” for you.


The wind picks up as the storm clouds move in.

Now I’m convinced she really is malignant.  Malignant narcissists like my mother love to keep the scapegoat (me in this case) isolated from the rest of the family, even from their own children if they can get away with it.    I felt hurt by the things he told me but he’s on my side and doesn’t want anything to do with her either.   It’s also not as if any of this is news–I already knew she badmouths me to everyone who will listen, but hearing about her attempts to keep me from visiting my own son just really bugged me.    At that point I told him I’d heard enough and I just wanted to have a good time fishing.   He was sympathetic.  My son is definitely not a narcissist!  As an aside though, he told me he was tested recently for personality disorders and he does in fact have one–Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (not the same as OCD). In fact, he scored very low in both narcissism and antisocial traits.

We picked up Tal, stopped at a bait and tackle shop and picked up some bait.  Then headed off to the mangrove park with a fishing area and nice view of the Gulf at the end.

It was rocky, and very buggy, so I was glad we brought the bug spray.  I got bit in a few places anyway.   It was also cloudy and we could hear thunder in the far distance.  Tal’s a weather buff and he said we wouldn’t have to worry about any storms for about 2 hours, so there was plenty of time to fish.   He showed me how to bait the line, and how to operate it, and then had me practice casting without bait for awhile.  The last time I ever fished was when I was at summer camp in the ’70s and we went deep sea fishing.    I caught onto casting pretty quickly, so maybe a part of me remembered how to do it from when I was at camp.

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Practicing casting a line.

It was getting darker, not just because night was coming, but also because the storm seemed to be getting pretty close.  Tal said it was still about a half hour away.   I started throwing some lines with small pieces of shrimp.  Once I got my line caught in a tree, and a few times I threw my line too far over to the right, getting it caught with my son’s and Tal’s.    I didn’t catch any fish (though I almost caught a small pinfish but he let go).  After awhile gave I gave up and decided to sit down ( we had our stuff laid out on a picnic table) and watch them instead.   They weren’t catching anything either.   A piece of shrimp I’d left on the table from earlier was already covered with ants.  it was gross but kind of cool at the same time, so I took a picture of it.

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After watching them for awhile, I noticed the sky had turned a fiery red and decided to walk to the end of the park overlooking the Gulf.  There I saw the most incredible sunset I think I’ve ever seen.  I started taking pictures like a crazy person, before the rain started.

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The storm was moving in fast from behind me.    When it rains in Florida, it REALLY rains.  I shoved my phone back into my purse before it got soaked and ran back to the car as fast as I could get there. There, my son was grinning like a maniac and holding up a fairly big catfish!    I got a quick picture of that.  I asked him where Tal was and he said he was still fishing.  “In this weather?” I asked.  “Oh, yeah, he never lets any kind of weather stop him,” my son said.

A few minutes later, Tal came back with a catfish of his own.   They both decided to release the fish because these weren’t good for eating, apparently.

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Finally the rain died down enough for me to go back and get one last picture of the sunset over the Gulf before dusk fell.

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Pot…kettle…karma!

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In 1996 and again in 1997 I was hospitalized for episodes of clinical depression and near-psychotic, self destructive behavior.   For several years I’d had severe mood swings, shifting from near-mania to near-catatonic depression.  During these depressions I’d sleep all day, not even bothering to eat some days.   I was sure I had Bipolar Disorder, but it turned out I didn’t have that.    The first hospital stay was where I first got my BPD diagnosis.  I was also diagnosed with Major Depression, alcohol abuse (not alcoholism), and PTSD.

My sociopathic MN ex loved to use these diagnoses against me, especially the BPD one.  I guess he already knew BPD had a terrible reputation.   He used this diagnosis to demean me and discount anything I said, and also used it to turn our friends against me.   He’d always say things like:

“No one will take you seriously because you’re certifiably crazy, even the doctors say you are crazy!”

“You have BPD and we all know all Borderlines lie and can’t tell the truth more than they can tell their mouth from their a-hole”

“You’re a Borderline which means everything you say is a delusion and a lie.”

“No one believes you because you’re batshit crazy and even have the BPD diagnosis to prove it.”

Years later, after being arrested for domestic violence and public drunkenness (he had a pillhead girlfriend at this time), he was diagnosed with both NPD and ASPD, which makes him a certified Malignant Narcissist.   I find the irony of that pretty funny.  I wouldn’t trade my BPD diagnosis for his in a million years.

Narcissistic abuse: who is the real victim?

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Narcissistic abusers are great at charming people they want to impress, or those people they want to get on their side. When they have targeted an individual for abuse, they will stop at nothing to turn their friends, colleagues, even their families against them–and it’s not at all uncommon for them to claim that THEY are the ones being abused.   The process of using malicious gossip and lies to turn people against the victim is called triangulation and is well known in the narcissistic abuse community. Most of us who have been targeted by narcissistic abusers know all too well about triangulation and its close cousin, gaslighting. Both will be used in conjunction with each other to turn the victim’s potential allies against them, effectively isolating them and ripping away any support systems they could use later.

Those who have been turned against the victim by the narcissist are called flying monkeys. They may or may not be narcissists themselves, but they are duped and misled by the narcissist’s convincing lies and charm into believing the narcissist is the real victim and that the victim is the abuser. You can’t really blame them for siding with the abuser, since the abuser can be so convincing and often has a glibness that the real victim lacks. Complicating the situation further is the likelihood that the real victim indeed acts “crazier” or more irrationally than the abuser, usually because they have been driven half-mad by the abuse, which can be so easily hidden, even from those who are witnesses to it.

The good news is, there is a way the real victim can be discerned in an abuse situation, even if the narcissist complains loudly about how THEY are being abused. This isn’t something I thought of myself; it’s been described already by other writers and bloggers. Still, I think it’s something that isn’t given a lot of attention, so I want to describe in detail how this works because it may be the only way you can extract the truth in the evil mental clusterf*ck set up by a narcissistic abuser.

Isolating the victim.

In any abuse situation, there is almost always more than just two people involved. At the core are the victim and the abuser, of course, but chances are good the abuser has convinced other people–including friends and family members of the victim–that the victim is the real abuser, and recruited others as flying monkeys that collectively condemn and mob the victim. The abuser may have even convinced a mental health professional or pastor (or anyone else who works closely with a family) that the real victim is the real abuser, effectively turning everyone against the victim, so only the narcissist appears to have allies and the victim has no one.

This happened to me, when I was still married to my sociopathic MN ex. My ex was always more socially adept than me. He was always better at making friends and giving a good first impression than I was. He was very glib and could spread the lies on as thick and convincingly as a trial lawyer. In fact, I used to joke that he should have been a lawyer (no offense to any lawyers who may be reading this!)

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It wasn’t a joke anymore when he decided I was an easy target for abuse. We had several friends–mostly other couples–who suddenly seemed to want nothing to do with me, but still talked to him and seemed to like him. When I questioned my ex about why all our friends had cooled toward me, he said things like, “So-and-so doesn’t like you; I really don’t know why!” or “The Joneses told me they think you act kind of crazy and they don’t feel comfortable around you.”  I was even told our friends were “afraid of me.”  Even our children–who were middle schoolers at the time–had turned chilly toward me, as had several other family members. (It turned out later he was telling the kids I didn’t love them and wished they’d go away–of course, this was an utter lie). Meanwhile he had convinced our friends I was insane. If I questioned him about his treatment or if I seemed to be getting at the truth, suddenly I was called paranoid or too sensitive or even crazy. Or I’d get a non-answer like, “No wonder no one likes you. You’re so selfish. Everything is always about YOU.” He was projecting his own narcissism onto me, but I didn’t know it back then. I began to think there must be something very wrong with me that everyone else could see but I couldn’t.

The real abuser may act more sane.

It didn’t help any that my behavior around this time did in fact appear more insane than his did. I always seemed to be the one to act out or lose my cool, while he always appeared completely rational, cool and collected. Of course our kids were more likely to take his side–they looked at their dad and saw a calm, rational person who wasn’t raising his voice and who was telling them their mom was both insane and didn’t love them. They looked at me and saw a frazzled, half-mad, emotionally unstable woman who was always yelling, crying or locking herself in her room–and on two occasions had to be hospitalized. Why wouldn’t they believe him? What they–and everyone else–didn’t know was that his crazymaking behavior was driving me insane and I was already suffering PTSD due to the mental and emotional abuse. He always treated me well whenever anyone else was present, so no one would suspect what he was actually doing. If I tried to call him out on his abuse, I was gaslighted: “stop making things up,” or “that just proves how insane and self centered you are.” Everyone we knew believed him and I found myself all alone, with no one I could trust or confide in. He was able to use confirmation bias to his advantage–thereafter, anything I did became “proof” of my “craziness” or “unfitness” or “selfishness” and the more abused I was, the “crazier” I got.

At one point we began to see a marriage counselor at my insistence. My behavior in counseling was more volatile than his, and my ex also began to see the counselor in private. He was able to convince this therapist that I was the problem in the marriage and the less fit parent. Here was one more person who could have been a potential ally, but due to her ignorance of narcissistic abuse (and his attorney-like glibness and charm), became another flying monkey he could use in his smear campaign against me.

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Click chart to enlarge.

I have read and heard about many similar situations described by numerous narc-abuse survivors, whether the narcissist was a parent who turned all their siblings and other relatives against them, or a spouse who turned all their mutual friends against them. It happens in the work world too, and online, and in schools, and anywhere where bullying can take place. In any bullying or abuse situation, there is one ringleader (or main narcissist) who has successfully used triangulation, gaslighting and projection to turn others against the abused person. The real abuse victim, who may lack the charm and glibness and manipulativeness of the abuser, has usually been isolated by the narcissist from anyone who could have been of support.

Identifying the real victim.

It doesn’t matter if the real victim seems “crazier” or more emotionally unstable or even more “abusive” than the abuser; they have become that way due to the abuse.   They may have a history of previous victimization which rendered them vulnerable to becoming an abuser’s prey and they may have pre-existing PTSD.   The real clue here is which person seems to have no one on their side? Which one has no friends or allies?  Who seems to be fighting a losing battle?  Who seems to have more “mental problems?” That person is almost always going to be the actual victim, no matter how much “evidence” the alleged “victim” claims to have.

If you are currently being victimized by an abuser, this knowledge may be the only way to be able to tell that you are actually the abuse victim and not the perpetrator, since chances are, your abuser has convinced everyone (including you!) that you are the one at fault. Hold onto this knowledge and remind yourself of it as you begin to disengage. Hopefully, knowing that you are NOT at fault and the narcissist is just a convincing liar will give you the motivation you need to get away. Or, if you are a bystander witnessing abuse, you may be able to help the real victim by keeping in mind that the one who seems to have no one on their side is the one you should be helping. Don’t let the narcissist’s convincing lies sway you over to their side.

Inside the Mind of the Malignant Narcissist

Narcissist word salad–want oil and vinegar with that?

Comments have been disabled; please comment on the original post.

Art by Rob Goldstein

Art by Rob Goldstein Found on Pinterest

Almost nine months ago I received an email from someone I thought was a friend. I had written her to tell her that I wasn’t feeling well and that I wanted to take a break from social media.

In short…I felt ill.

This is the email that I received in response:

Art by Rob Goldstein July 15th, 2015

I was stunned. She was no longer following my blog and she had told someone neither of us knew the lie that I no longer wanted to be friends with her.

I immediately recognized a triangulation and understood that I was dealing with a narcissist.

I didn’t know that I was dealing with a narcissist that would make my abusive
mother look like an amateur.

I can’t remove her as an administrator from the ‘groups’ part of my Flickr account and she refuses to leave.

I asked her in private to step…

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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

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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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Five types of gaslighting narcissists.

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

The incredible shrinking world of the narcissist’s victim.

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When I was still with my ex, I became a recluse, holed up in my small room when I wasn’t at work, never venturing out even into the living room or kitchen. This was because he had taken over the whole house to the point I dreaded leaving the safety of my room, because of how obnoxious, loud, abusive and demanding he was.

He was sleeping on the living room couch (I was “nice” enough to let the parasitic loser crash there for almost 7 years–but that’s a whole ‘nother story) and he was extremely messy, loud and dirty–overflowing ashtrays, trash all over the table, plates left crusted with food or day old coffee, crumbs on the furniture and floor, and he never, ever cleaned anything. His idea of washing the dishes was letting them soak in soapy water and they’d sit there until they began to stink or someone else (usually me) washed them. He also talked loud, discussed inappropriate things with my daughter’s young friends (she was living here too at that time), and blasted his death metal and riot girl music (which he knew I couldn’t stand) just because he knew it would piss me off. Whenever I complained or even politely asked him to stop or turn the music down, he told me (in front of his friends and my daughter and her friends) that I was “crazy.” He’d announce to everyone things like, “oh, well you know Lauren’s a BORDERLINE, so that’s why she acts that way.” He also was deliberately loud when I needed to sleep. I was the only one working at the time, and had to be up early. You think he cared? Ha! Not when he yelled at me for being “emotionally unstable” or “selfish” because I wanted quiet at night when I was trying to sleep.

I couldn’t stand leaving my room because he seemed to be everywhere in that small house. I was too depressed to go out, and didn’t have anyplace to go anyway. See, another thing that happens when you live with a narcissist is that you may not have any money. Some narcissists hide all the money from you, keeping it tucked away in their bank accounts where you don’t have access to it. If you work, they may demand you hand over most or all of your paycheck. Or they simply grind down your confidence in your abilities to the point where you only take jobs that are far beneath your actual ability. Or, in some cases, the narcissist simply refuses to work, while racking up the bills and then expects others to pay. This last type was what my ex was.

For seven years he didn’t work, but freeloaded off my good will and codependency. He was the worst kind of parasite. Yes, I enabled him so that was my fault. But in me, he saw an easy “mark,” someone who was a people-pleaser who could be easily taken advantage of. In the winter, he’d turned the heat register to the highest temperature, so the living room felt like an oven. If I tried to call him on that and remind him that I couldn’t afford to pay a high electric bill, he’d deny it was him. He’d blame his daughter, or even say I was turning the heat up myself and didn’t remember (this was gaslighting of course). I knew he was lying but couldn’t prove he was, because he’d crank up the heat when I wasn’t around. Another thing he did was order movies, sometimes porn, without my knowing and these charges sometimes almost doubled the cable bill. Of course I wound up having to scrape together the money to pay it. When I confronted him about the movies he’d ordered, he denied responsibility, saying it must have been our daughter (she was never home and barely watched TV at all so I knew he was lying).

He did get food stamps, but that was the only way he contributed, and the amount he was getting wasn’t very much. He’d complain about the groceries I bought because they didn’t include expensive steaks, legs of lamb, and condiments that he needed “for his diabetes.” I was trying to stretch the budget, and that meant buying inexpensive foods. These were not to his high standards though. You get the idea.

My job was low paying (and still is). So of course after taking care of all his needs and paying gigantic electric bills thanks to him, and never having anything to eat because he’d eat all the food himself, there was never any money. So I couldn’t go anywhere. Hell, I couldn’t even afford a movie or the $3.00 fee for the community pool, never mind ever being able to get away for the weekend to the beach.

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I also had no friends. He’d convinced me I was so unlikeable and socially inept that I had stopped even trying to make friends. People who approached me in friendship I kept at arms’ length and never accepted their invitations or phone calls. I was afraid if they got to know me, they wouldn’t like me. Being avoidant and terribly shy anyway, socializing was never something that came naturally to me. So any fun activities or getaways I might have gotten involved with through a friend just didn’t happen, because I didn’t allow myself to have friends. I was also too embarrassed to let anyone come to the house because of its filthy and disheveled condition (thanks to him) and the fact there was never any food to eat, not to mention the certainty that this parasitic loser would say something embarrassing or inappropriate in front of any friend I might have brought over. Also, never having enough money to do anything fun, made getting together with friends difficult. I certainly couldn’t expect them to always pay my way!

Some narcissists won’t let their victims have friends. They either forbid it, or manage to turn the victims’ friends against them with their charming triangulating. Mine never actually forbade it, but just made it so uncomfortable and impossible for me to have friends that I gave up on having any.

At age 45, i noticed I was living like an 80 year old, pretty much confined to the house, and dutifully going to my job (which I hated) every day. I had no life at all, no interests, no hobbies, no money, no friends. All I had was TV, my computer and books. So I holed myself up in my little room and read and slept a lot. I didn’t even have the motivation to do something creative, like start a blog. I just vegetated in there, pigging out on junk food and snacks and growing fatter every day. I slept a lot during the day. Not long ago I posted a photo of what I used to look like. I can’t believe the difference–I don’t look like the same person.

That’s what living with a narcissist will do to you: destroy your looks, your motivation, your self esteem, your interest in anything, your pride in your own body and mind, eventually your sanity. I actually thought I had lost all my creativity and intelligence. I thought I had nothing left to offer to anyone, and my sole purpose in life was having to put up with the narc in the house who was sucking me dry like a vampire. He reminded me every day it was his right, and that I had no choice because if I tried to make him leave, he would kill himself and possibly take me with him. I was terrified of that possibility, but I now know he was full of doggy doodoo and just said that to manipulate me because he knew I’d fall for it. That man would never kill himself. That I know. If he was going to, he already would have.

Oh, there was more, so much more, but I’ll stop here before this turns into a book.

Don’t let a narcissist shrink your world and reduce you to living in a self-imposed prison. You deserve better than that. I know if I hadn’t gone No Contact with him last year, I would very likely be dead or very ill by now. They may not kill bodies, but they kill souls, and you die a slow and painful death which could eventually destroy your body too.

Narcissists are so %$&# annoying.

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I can’t deny it anymore. My roommate, a woman I found on Craigslist back in September to share my house with me and help pay the bills, is another G.D. narcissist. She is one of he most annoying people I’ve ever known, outside my ex who was probably a little more so.

At first she seemed very nice. She gave a good impression. She has some health issues, including near-deafness, so she receives disability. She has one cat who gets along well with mine. She seemed almost too helpful and accommodating in the beginning. She actually wanted to pay me more than the rent I was asking, and kept offering to buy me things or do me favors I didn’t need or want.

She’s still paying her rent on time and hasn’t done anything really horrible, like set fires to the curtains or steal my things, so for now I’m allowing her to stay, until I figure out what else I can do to earn enough money to not have to share my home (which I would prefer), or find another roommate (who could be worse than she is, especially if I find them on Craiglist).

But she’s become almost intolerable to live with. Her personality repels me. I’m at the point where I just want to leave the room if she’s in it. Her voice and even looking at her annoys me.

That is precisely the way I felt about my ex husband before I kicked him out a year ago. I couldn’t stand the sight of him and his voice and everything he did was like nails on a chalkboard. Even the sound of his breathing bothered me. And listening to him eat made me want to puke.

I hated him and everything he did so much there were times I could completely understand how someone could be driven to kill. I never entertained that thought of course, but I could understand why some people could. I also realized I no longer even cared what happened to him. In fact, I kind of wanted him to die, if truth be told. I feel like I’m a horrible person for ever feeling that way, but it’s the truth.

It’s a bad sign when you’re having these kinds of ugly thoughts and feelings about someone you’re living with. The thing about narcs is they turn you just as mean as they are eventually. During the last months I lived with my ex, I was downright nasty to him. It wasn’t right, but it felt like some sort of justice before I worked up the courage to make him leave.

My roommate has gradually shed the “nice” act–that was just the love bombing phase. I knew there was something a little fishy about her over the top displays of affection and insistence on doing things for me I didn’t need or want. I should have paid attention to those red flags.

After awhile, she started guilt tripping me if I didn’t profusely thank her for these unasked-for favors. For instance she liked to clean the house, which I appreciated, since she doesn’t work and really doesn’t do anything all day. I’m too tired when I get home to clean anything and just want to write. I certainly wasn’t going to tell her not to do it (and she probably would have been insulted if I had).

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She’s very needy and entitled. She accused me of not being appreciative enough: “I spent all day cleaning the house FOR YOU (emphasis mine) even with my bad back. I didn’t have to do this FOR YOU, all I want is a little gratitude.” I’d already THANKED HER about ten times, for the love of God. Every time she does me a favor, no matter how small, or buys me something (which I don’t ask for), she gets all angry and butthurt if I don’t act like she’s Jesus Christ Incarnate for doing it. She keeps repeating herself over and over, announcing all the wonderful and kind things she does, to make sure you notice how perfect and wonderful she is.

Lately she’s been attempting to triangulate and gaslight using my daughter. But my daughter tells me everything, has read this blog (and knows a lot about narcissists now) and she told me what my roommate has been saying to her. The games aren’t working, and my roommmate’s getting mad. My daughter even told me she thought we were dealing with a narcissist. I was proud of her for that.

Two weeks ago my roommate’s car broke down. A couple weeks before that, she had allowed me to drive her car for two days while my transmission was being rebuilt. That was because she was too tired and sick to drive me to work (I never asked to borrow her car, although I preferred that to having to ride with her). Now she’s acting pissy and hateful because I won’t drive her all over town, even at night (I don’t see well on the road at night). A few days ago, she actually had the gall to suggest I call in late to work so I could take her to the doctor. I refused to do it. I don’t let narcs push me around anymore. I told her about the bus lines, but of course she made excuses why she couldn’t take a bus.

She is getting more hateful, telling my daughter how selfish I am. It’s almost funny, how obvious it is that she’s projecting her own narcissism on to me. It really creeps me out that my ex behaved THIS EXACT SAME WAY and said THE VERY SAME THING. She’s gaslighting me and attempting to use my daughter as a flying monkey. It’s really incredible. It’s like they all read from the same script. They probably do.

She whines nonstop about how generous and kind she was to me when she let me drive her car for two days (when she herself didn’t want to drive me), implying that I never do anything for HER.

She’s extremely nosy and butts into conversations I am having with my daughter or other people, as well as asking me constantly what I’m doing online. Like it’s any of her business. She needs constant attention and validation.

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If I buy takeout for myself and my daughter, my narc roommate gets upset that we didn’t get anything for HER. She’s 52 years old, but she acts like she’s 3. She also whines constantly that no one likes her here, and we aren’t nice to her, which is a total lie. But it’s becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. I no longer like this woman, and neither does my daughter.

Last night we finally got into it. She said I wasn’t a nice person. I reminded her that I have only been as nice to her as she’s been to me, and furthermore that she ought to not act so entitled because I was giving her a really good deal with the very cheap rent I am charging. I challenged her to try and find something as cheap as the room I rent to her somewhere else. Asheville and Buncombe County in general is expensive. I guarantee she won’t be able to find as sweet a deal.

She started crying because she thought I was kicking her out. Complete with rubbing her eyes with her fists like a three year old who dropped her lollipop. I tried to be nice and not roll my eyes or sigh in frustration. (It’s getting harder to be nice.) I assured her I was not kicking her out but just letting her know how I felt–how entitled I think she acts, and that her gaslighting, triangulating, projecting, whining, wheedling self pity, negativity, nosiness, and absolute absence of any respect for anyone’s boundaries was annoying and crazymaking.

She makes fun of things I like. She puts down my interests (she has never seen this blog, as far as I know and probably wouldn’t read it, even as nosy as she is). I told her one time I was going out to buy orange juice and for some odd reason she found this extremely funny, and to this day keeps making jokes about my “obsession” with orange juice. It’s not funny. It’s damned annoying. I can’t explain it, but it’s that nails on a chalkboard thing, like the way I felt about my ex’s breathing and eating sounds.

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I know this can’t turn out good. I know at some point I will have to ask her to leave, but right now I really need the money and don’t feel like taking out another damn ad in the paper. I’ve had worse roommates than her in the past–at least she pays her rent on time and doesn’t do hard drugs (as far as I know).

I know it must be difficult for her to be disabled and have a car that isn’t running (she can’t afford to have it fixed) and be pretty much housebound. That would drive me crazy too. So I can understand a little grumpiness or depression.

But what I’m seeing isn’t just a bored and stir crazy person taking out their frustrations and anger on me. What I’m seeing is pure, unadulterated, 100% genuine, 200 proof NARC.

This post is intended to open a discussion about narcissists and narcissistic roommates, etc. I don’t want or need advice to get rid of her. I already know that. I’m willing to wait things out for awhile because the extra income is worth it–for the moment.

If I ever feel like she’s starting to have a negative effect on my growth or my healing, then she’s out. If she starts finding reasons not to pay her rent, she’s out. For now, she’s just incredibly annoying. Narcs can irritate the living shit out of you.
But I can live with that, at least for now.

Why do they always find me? They’re only 1% of the population, but it seems like they’re everywhere.

Scrambled eggs for brains.

eggs
This is my brain on drugs psychopathic mindfuckery.

I am not going to make this long. Frankly, I’m tired of writing about the saga of my daughter’s recent troubles. And more than a little exhausted. But I owe it to my readers to fill them in on the final chapter of this horrible saga.

My daughter is fine. The other day I posted a request for prayers because I thought (well, I was told by her recent boyfriend who she is no longer with) that she got addicted to meth in jail and was taken off in a van by methheads and heroin addicts and was living in a meth cooker’s house.

All of this turned out to be a colossal and evil lie, told by a man who I was duped into trusting, who my daughter was duped into trusting, a man who gave a very good first impression, seemed like a nice down to earth guy, and lived in a nice house, had a good job, and money.

Due to my daughter’s past escapades with men far beneath her (intellectually challenged basement dwellers who spend all their free time smoking pot and playing video games), I really wanted this relationship to work. So did she.

Oh, there were red flags, alright. Plenty of them. In retrospect I can’t believe I could have been so ignorant or stupid to dismiss them. But when dealing with psychopaths or very malignant narcissists, especially those who are skilled at the charm and putting on a good appearance, we still want to trust them. We want to give them the benefit of the doubt. And because he would have been so perfect for my daughter (had he not been a raging psychopath), I ignored all the red flags.

Here were just some of these red flags that I missed or ignored:
— Moving very fast in a new relationship: Paul was talking about marriage less than one month into their relationship. This is a typical narcissist/psychopathic ploy to trap their prey.
— Wined, dined and gave her gifts until she moved in with him, then that suddenly stopped and he started complaining how much she was costing him.
— When they went to Tampa, Florida prior to her 30 day jail sentence, he refused to let her visit her brother, who lived the next town over (and she hasn’t seen in 8 months). She was very upset about this, but he kept saying he didn’t have the gas money but went to see all his friends and family.
— Extreme jealousy of any of her male friends, ex boyfriends, and even female friends. He wanted her to delete all her Facebook contacts. Because some of her friends *do* have drug problems, and by speaking so “reasonably” to me about this, he was able to convince me that abiding by his wishes would be in her best interests.
— Impatience with her needs or requests. Easily irritated when she wanted something from him, but would also get irritated and annoyed when she didn’t immediately give in to his wishes.
— Leaving the house at odd hours–3 or 4 in the morning and coming back an hour later. My daughter told me he was smoking crack and once she found out about it, he started to become openly abusive toward her, including physically.
— When I was there over Christmas, he acted fine toward me at first, but then began ‘confiding” in me about Molly’s fictional meth addiction and that’s why she was acting so “crazy.” Actually she was acting crazy because she was scared to death of him and no one believed her, not even me. Because she isn’t the most trustworthy person and has had drug problems, and because he did not seem high on anything (crack highs don’t always show), I believed him. I did notice he seemed to have a hair trigger temper though and that concerned me.

Even Molly’s father had problems with him. Of course he’s a psychopath himself, but a much less “charming” one and therefore probably less dangerous than Paul because his illness is more obvious. He has other mental problems too which make people avoid him. Two psychopaths living in the same house are going to wind up hating each other’s guts. Paul’s complaints to me about Michael were probably all true (not washing the dishes, lying on the couch doing nothing all day) because I had experienced all that with him myself. Interesting dynamic there, no?

When Molly left (in a van filled with methheads, according to Paul), he stopped being nice to me and started texting me what a horrible, evil drug addict my daughter was, and that I owed him $200 for Molly breaking his door (he broke the door himself when she tried to leave).

Molly had brought Babycat (who I talked about in an earlier post, “Saying Goodbye to Babycat”) to live with them, and Paul seemed to like the cat fine the few times I was over there, but after Molly left, he texted me that I needed to come get my cat immediately. I told him it would have to be after work, or could he bring the cat to me (since he had a carrier and I didn’t). I didn’t hear back from him and he never answered any of my texts for the rest of the day.

The next day, he finally texted me an address the cat was at–no phone number, no name, just an address. I looked it up online and found out this was an animal shelter. I called the shelter and they said they put the animals to sleep in 2 days. In a panic, I had to arrange to leave work early to go pick Babycat up, but when I called she wasn’t there. I texted Paul and asked where Babycat was. He said he didn’t have time to take her and left her in the woods (AFTER he lied and told me she was already taken to the shelter).

The shelter personnel were kind enough to find her, and within one hour of her “incarceration” at the shelter, Babycat was returned to me–but I had to pay them $85.00 to get her back. Paul was just making me jump through hoops and jeopardizing Babycat’s life because he could. Because he’s a damn psychopath who wants to see others suffer. Of course, it would have been much easier for him to just return her to me, but psychopaths always have to make sure they do things in such a way to make things difficult for everyone, because they get off on it.

Worst of all, he convinced me to hand over $1,600 of my daughter’s settlement from her car accident to HIM–because she was so untrustworthy with money (which she is, but he turned out to be FAR worse). I should have just held onto it. Because neither Molly or I will ever see that money again. He said he didn’t have it when she left, but she remembers him leaving the house shortly after I gave him the envelope of cash, and she thinks he bought crack with it.

He still has the Christmas gifts she received from me at his house as well as all her clothing, because he wouldn’t allow her to take anything with her (he was trying to keep her from leaving). But he tells ME she took everything and there is nothing of hers at his house. He is lying. I told Molly to have the police escort her to his house to retrieve her things. If he hasn’t thrown them away or sold them already.

So I’m supposed to be this big expert on psychopathic malignant narcissists and yet, I was taken in by one again–and believed him over my own daughter!

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I should have paid attention to the red flags–because they were all there, waving right in my face the whole time, but my wishful thinking and denial made me ignore them and hurt my daughter and my cat in the process.

My daughter was not staying with a meth cooker–she was staying with the parents of one of her girlfriends. She was picked up in a van by some guys she knew, but all they did was drive her to her friend’s house. She didn’t have any other way to get there.

Molly had a date last night with an old boyfriend of hers–a nice guy who works as an auto mechanic. No, he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he’s honest and doesn’t do drugs or drink, and he’s always been good to my daughter. They stopped by today and Molly cried when she saw Babycat, who ran to her. I apologized for not believing her, and believing a malignant psychopath instead, but she admitted she could understand why I would. She was duped by him too. This guy is good. Not a good person, just a very good psychopath with a Ted Bundy charm.

On Saturday we’re going out to eat and will discuss the possibility of her moving back in with me for awhile–but there are going to be some strict rules this time if she does. The tough love caveat still stands. I thank God she is alright. She said she wants to go to church with me on Sunday. That made my heart sing.

For two days I haven’t written about this, because this whole incredible mindfuck made me so confused and off balance I felt like my brains had been scrambled like a pan full of eggs. When you’re dealing with a daughter who may be a narcissist (or BPD with narc tendencies, at least) AND a malignant psychopath with a lot of charm and intelligence, it’s hard to know what or who to believe. Add in a psychopathic father and you feel like you’re in some demonic house of mirrors. My daughter and I seem to attract the narcs and the paths like shit attracts flies. For the love of God, WHY?

Paul’s triangulation, gaslighting, lies and projections of his own character flaws onto Molly were off the charts. AND I BELIEVED HIM. She is not NEARLY that bad, and I take back everything I said about her being a MALIGNANT narcissist. (I will leave that post though, so people reading the whole insane saga can get an idea of the kind of mindfuckery that was being conducted on me). HE ALMOST SUCCEEDED IN TURNING ME INTO A GODDAMNED FLYING MONKEY AGAINST MY OWN DAUGHTER!

She just texted me, “Mom, I just know 2015 is going to be a much better year for both of us.”
And you know what? I agree.

Moral of this story: NEVER, EVER IGNORE RED FLAGS. If you see them, RUN.

I must be strong.

rosietheriveter

Here’s the latest development in this tragic saga.
Now it seems my daughter is using her MN father to attempt to triangulate against me and gaslight me. She has told him lies about both me and Paul, and now they are both trying to convince me I am an unloving, unsympathetic mother just because I won’t take back my unemployable, narcissistic, pathologically lying, drug addicted drama queen of a daughter. He also told me Paul told him I was a bitch and hated me (I know for a fact this is a lie).

I told that lying MN mooching scumbag I was only going by what I observed while in their home, and that our daughter is in serious need of long term psychiatric care and drug rehab, and there is nothing more I can do to help her. I have seen this pattern in her time and again, and I will not under any circumstances have this unstable young woman with no job or any prospects run off my roommate, who has been nothing but reliable, pays her rent on time, and keeps the house clean. I told the psychopath his daughter has nothing but contempt for any rules or advice I would give her anyway and her staying with me would not help her and only cause a world of trouble for me.

He taught her his games well. She is doing exactly what he always did, and now using HIM as a flying monkey, rather than the other way around. Fine, they can both hate my guts. I must stay strong. This blog is keeping me strong. I won’t back down, no matter what, even if it means I need to get a restraining order against her too.

By the way, she sold the $60.00 bag I bought her in exchange for money to buy drugs. I will never buy her another gift. She appreciates nothing. She has respect for no one’s possessions. She stole Paul’s antique rosary beads to sell for drugs. Like all narcissists, she never learns from her mistakes. Ever.

I love my daughter, but I know enough about malignant narcissism now to know what the red flags are and the evil mind games they play. I’m not going to let them make a fool of me.
She always did love her dad best.

I refuse to be the Cowardly Lion anymore.
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