Thursday, January 31, 2008

How to Communicate with a Narcissist...If You Must

Sometimes it isn't possible to avoid a narcissist. My advice has consistently been to cut off contact with narcissists because of the futility of trying to have a relationship with these debauched and predatory types with the wizened soul of a demon. Unfortunately, sometimes you can't avoid dealing with a narcissist. This is often the case when you work for one. If the narcissist is a family member, perhaps you aren't willing to cut them completely off because you have successfully minimized contact. Fact is, we sometimes have to find ways to get along with a narcissist while still trying to maintain some boundaries. To successfully accomplish this one needs some tools. These tools come from recognizing the primary motivations and world view of the narcissist.

Here is a link to a PDF article by Steve Becker, LCSW, CHT...a psychotherapist. The article is titled, "Communicating with Narcissistic Personalities".

Another interesting article at his site is here and is titled "Differentiating Narcissists and Psychopaths". Both articles seem right on to me.

A thought I have about differentiating between narcissists and psychopaths runs along this line. The fact that we need some help to tell the difference tells me that the differences are small. In practical reality, the effects of the behaviors of the two are essentially the same. It matters not whether you are dealing with one or the other...both will wreak the same types of destruction in the lives around them. So what if the narcissist has a need for validation and some remnant of a conscience left when the psychopath doesn't? When it comes down to the nuts and bolts of living life, the fact that you can't usually tell between the narcissist's and the psychopath's underlying motivations because their outward behaviors are essentially identical tells me all I need to know. I would never knowingly keep a psychopath in my life because they are dangerous. A narcissist is rarely any less dangerous to life, health and wealth. Said another and simpler way: both are personifications of evil. Both are dangerous.

The fact that we need a primer on how to tell the difference between two types of evil tells us we would be wise to distance ourselves from either form. One is not less evil than the other. They are simply variations on a theme. Two points on a continuum.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree! They are just different degrees of the same thing. This is why I call the N in my life "the worse kind of N: a P". There's only an "O" separating these two. "O", as in "omigod".

Naive No Longer said...

In reading the first link on "Communicating with the Narcissist" I thought to myself: WAY, WAY too much work. Much easier to go No Contact.

I think at this point I would rather die than compliment or validate ANYTHING with my narcissistic mother. I really feel for those who don't have the choice to cut off from a narcissist (as in a co-worker, etc).

krl said...

Yeah...'funny' how I suffer from PTSD and all the other tics and twitches and disorders that trauma victims suffer...(without the beatings, or sexual abuse etc.) Hmmm. Yeah....'the effects are the same'. No doubt. Ns are BadNews.

krl

Anonymous said...

I agree that for those of us who have experienced the utterly unhuman behaviors of either type, there is little of relevent difference between a naricissist and psychopath.

I'm sure my former N is like many others. On some level, I think they're aware that their unfeeling and unempathetic responses to others are socially reprehensible. They realize this fact somewhere within their black souls, so they do all they can to convince others, after they do themselves, that they're not being cruel, but rather responding with righteous anger, or are justifianbly upset, etc...

However, only the N and a select few truly know the score. What is being called "anger," "sadness," "indignation," is really sociopathic indifference.

I think on some level this truth is too aweful for the N to accept. Intellectually, they know how vile and unhuman it is to feel nothing for anyone, notably those that were closest to them.

In a strange act of torturous alchemy, the N tries to transform cold, detached, indifference, into justifiable emotional responses. For what it's worth, I don't think a psychopath undergoes this process because they feel nothing for either themselves or the victim. While an N does know, their behavior results in the same pain and destruction.

So, in the end, I agree with you completely. I feel safe in definining a narcissist as the same as a sociopath/pyschopath. Both groups are literally walking cesspools emptiness.

Anna Valerious said...

Wow. I agree with your analysis on the indifference of Ns taking cover under acceptable emotional responses. Very well said. I think you make a viable case for what is going on.

Anonymous said...

Anna, Your post and links hit the target again for me. I am still in contact with N spouse as go through divorce, and because co-parent. It is constantly unnerving, like being on constant "red alert" because I can't trust him and I learned the very hard way what he is capable of. The 3:44pm Anonymous comment sounds like my own thoughts! For (wasted) years, I kept thinking and saying that his actions reflected a cold emptiness, and that he was pinning his agression on me. The puppet strings he used for years to control me were like bridge cables - but they finally snapped. However, the damage is still there. I agree with anon that the N knows his ice cold heart of stone is "not right" - in fact, I saw a look on his face one day that showed he was running like crazy from himself. I think they do know inside that they are broken, but they choose (have to?) to blame us for the every blemish and the ever present scent of rage. "jewel"

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the compliment Anna. I'm doing much better as of late in dealing with my former N, but haven't quite gotten my emotions to parallel what I know intellectually!

My theory (I'm sure you and others have said the same thing here as well) is that these empty shells realize that their overnight-induced indifference would be deemed grossly socially unacceptable, causing their little group of admirers to perhaps pause and take a hard look at them. So, they simply tell themselves, then others, that their refusal to act like a human being is really because of anger or that they're really just doing the "moral" thing in ignoring a person, etc...

An example from my own life occurred towards the end of last summer. This person and I had been together as best friends and as a couple for three years. I had to move a few hours away, but we still planned to keep things the same, or at least talk. This person used to wax eloquent about how easy it was for them to either move away themselves or experience others leaving due to her childhood and family life. The hints were all there, but like a cult member, refused to take a hint!

So, one would have thought that this person would have had no problem in demonstrating the most basic of acknowledgements towards me on my way out of town. Plus, we had agreed to keep things the same as much as possible. Who knows, it probably wouldn't have worked out for an assortment of reasons. However, this person went from hot to cold the day of my departure. They were completely detached and alien-like.

Now, that could have been a defense mechanism, as others had tried to tell me. However, regardless, it's example of them putting their ego and emotional sense of self-preservation above mine and others, time and again!

However, I told them how uncomfortable I was with how they were handling this. They kept it up. So, in my new city for three weeks, I still hadn't heard from them at all. I sent a rather strong email message to them telling them of how I didn't appreciate their behavior, etc...

I have been absolutely cut off from them. They refused to acknowledge the situation for four months, whereby they responded with a fairly shallow "Yeah, I should have handled things better, but you didn't need to accuse me of being this and that." They continued to dodge my requests that we talk and such. Keep in mind that this was a person that I was intimate with and very close to through thick and thin for years.

We had fought many times and always made time to work things out. Now, this person is acting as if my anger towards them was so out of line that they just "can't handle you possibly yelling at me or accusing me of malicious intentions."

That's where my thoughts have come from. This person has utterly and willingly overlooked our past history and is now using what they and most people would think of as legitimate feelings and emotions to disguise what I firmly believe at the end of the day is PATHOLOGICAL INDIFFERENCE.

Again, I intellectually grasp that my entire worth to this person, physically and emotionally, rested on me being in the same town with them. I believe their rudness the day of my move was a preliminary shot at the devaluation of me. My email to them only gave them the cloak (anger, outrage, hurt) to go and tell everyone that I was a bad person with the problem, and that's why I have been thrown away like a broken toy.

Lastly, like most everyone here, there were signs that something was always a little off about this person. When we fought, it was always me that had to go and apologize, regardless of guilt. Plus, I felt like I was being forced to apologize for even having insinuated that they could ever conceivably do anything wrong or cruel. In their words, "I know that I am a good person and care for others." I don't know about you, but when someone has to robotically say shit like that, chances are that they're actually the exact opposite and know it. That's like a hotel calling itself the Classy Inn. It costs 40 bucks a night and is anything but Classy!

They've turned a blind eye to my outpouring of feelings expressed to them these many months, using the word alchemy: Indifference is magically turned into anger, sadness, "not wanting drama", etc...

That all said, I do know that I am on the road to recovering from this poisonous creature. Every now and them, it's hard not to fall back into futile thoughts of "how could they act like this, what were they thinking, was I really just a toy to be thrown away, etc... However, my sense of reality has slowly crept back, allowing for me to begin purging this person from my heart and mind.

Thanks for another allowance of my rambling. I wanted to ask you though. Just from my explanation of things above, do you think I'm on the right assessment track in evaluating the situation? Or is me labeling this person a N a little too hasty at this point.? Again, I realize no one but myself knows this person and their history. Thanks.

Anna Valerious said...

I don't see anything "hasty" about your suspicion you were dealing with a narcissist. You are talking about someone you had a long-term relationship with. These events occurred, not minutes ago, but weeks or maybe months ago. Your relationship occurred over years. Where, exactly, is the "hasty" part?

I trust your instincts. Having been immersed in the relationship over a significant period of time, having observed certain behaviors time and again repeated...I think that makes you the professional on this. Trust your informed instincts. You know some considerable amount about narcissism. Trust what you know. Knowing what you know, both objectively about NPD and subjectively from your personal experience, if you think you were involved with a narcissist you are very likely to be right about that.

My experience with narcissists is that they operate on "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"...as the saying goes. Also, "out of sight, out of mind". A narcissist needs to have their quarry within sight for the quarry to matter. Once you move out of their sight and their reach you are immediately devalued. They need the eye to eye contact, the real-time feedback, the immediate gratification of getting what they want when they want it. Moving away from them is always taken as an affront, but like you suspect, the truth is...they just don't give a damn. You are worth nothing if you are not at their immediate disposal for whatever use they employ you for. I'm not surprised you experienced the coolness on moving day. You were discarded that day. It just took you awhile to admit that to yourself.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your thoughtful response. Yeah, I know the truth at this point, deep down in the marrow of my bones. We all know how difficult the process of expunging an N from our lives is as well. I feel that this person acted as a kind of slow-acting virus. Coupled with my own refusal to follow my gut during those times where I just knew something was off, it sucks. I feel pretty stupid at time.

You know, while perusing the internet yesterday, I came across a profile of a "typical" narcissist (I'll to go back to and see who it was by and where it's located). I was suprised to see that N's supposedly have instances where they let the truth of what they've done and how they've treated others sink in. At some point or occasionally, while all alone, they'll break down and cry and loath themselves. However, this temporary allowance of humanity is almost instantaneously eradicated and again replaced with their usual N persona. Now, if only that lightning bolt could last for a significant period of time!

It's funny, I am not a psychology major but feel like I've learned an awful lot about personality disorders and other abnormal behaviors! It's sort of disheartning and simultaneiously liberating to learn that Narcissism is thought to be incurable. It's sad because you cared so profoundly for someone and shared so much that it's a damning prognosis for those of us that want to believe in hope.

On the other hand, it's becoming somewhat liberating in that this isn't my fault and isn't just about me or some flaw within. In a sense, I can breath deeply again, for there is nothing at all more I can do. To try and continue to get them to act like a human being would be masochistically pointless.

So, while I am learning and have learned something about narcissism and other personality disorders, the ongoing process is to apply this knowledge to my own situation, which is going steadly now.

Okay, last question! In your own traumatic experience with an N, do you find that they eventually self-implode at some point? I mean, does the bullshit that so ensnares people eventually become obvious to those around them? This person is extremely adept at disparaging other's chracters to the point where they have been able to ruin other people's reputations. While my own is just fine, a small part of me would take a perverse delight in seeing this person be found out on a large scale.

Anonymous said...

Hi
I too have experienced PATHOLOGICAL INDIFFERENCE. They seem to have a switch where they just turn you off when they want - you are dismissed, no longer required, no longer necessary for their purpose so every vibe, body language message you receive is to 'p off' out of their space. I used to call it 'turning on and off like a tap' - one minute they want you, and are totally into you, the next they want you to just disappear as you have served your purpose and they want you out of the way. Hot/cold. He would do this to me, dismiss me. And then not contact me for 3 or 4 days, ready for the next weekend when we would do stuff together again. The other thing was to act like you didn't exist, when you were actually physically next to them or in the room. They just wouldn't acknowledge your presence. Touch deprivation and affection withdrawal.

I wrote this song a year into our relationship, (we have been together now 14 years with 4 children and never married.)


WHY
Why do you do this to me
Why does it cut so deeply
It's like you've severed the light there
Why does it have to be so
acid and angry
What has happened to the love that was there?

Your face, it looks so clouded
and your eyes are shrowded with disdain
(or is that pain?)
I suppose I've been a fool then
to think you really meant it when you said you cared.
(well do you blame me?)

You've been only playing with me
I'm just a toy, I see
Cause you don't really want me around
But a toy has no real worth
Just a passing infatuation
And when you tire of it you throw it away
like a child,
like a child

I suppose I've been a fool then
to think you really meant it when you said you cared.
(well do you blame me?)

Now you are smiling at me
You appear to really want me
Does this mean that all's been forgotten?
I can't help but hope it's all okay
That maybe we will be someday
What I sometimes dream of

So what am I to do
am I to continue to trust your intentions when you change your mind
I know I love you

You've got my heart there's nothing I can do now
Just hope that you'll respect it and not lead me on

Like a child
Like a child
I'll just hope you won't lead me on
Like a child.

Anonymous said...

This made me think about the N/P in my life. I recounted here how she sobbed (without tears) and shuddered in a display of emotion about her life...which quickly ended when she peeked up to see no reaction. Suddenly chipper, she did an instant turnabout, onto another, completely unrelated, trivial conversational topic. This is the equivalent of, "Sob, sob, my life is so hard and unbearable. Say, did you watch TV last night? I saw an old politician on the news." This is the turning point when I decided she was definitely a P.

The gentleman makes a point of distinction between N and P: the N has feelings for himself only, whereas the P has feelings for no one, including himself. Since the N and the P are so very good at play-acting and manipulation, they are able to imitate real feelings without the actual feelings. They can act out their own feelings without feeling anything. So, this distinction seems to be a red herring.

For me, the realization came not with the ability to show emotion (for which she could win an Academy Award), but the lack of ability to express emotion genuinely. I have never once heard her laugh, nor seen her smile (she smirks), nor cry, nor express any spontaneous human emotion. She's a two-dimensional cutout, a paper doll Chuckie.

So, what IS in a heart? said...

(Also, "out of sight, out of mind".)

They say that about Borderlines too. Only problem is that the majority of stalkers ARE BPD sufferers.

To be honest though, I think that's a good thing, because like I said before, someone with that mentality is the least likely to do much of anything once the relationship ends. It's usually for the best.

Anonymous said...

"For me, the realization came not with the ability to show emotion (for which she could win an Academy Award), but the lack of ability to express emotion genuinely."

This is an extremely important observation, which fits my situation perfectly. "The lack of ability to express emotion genuinely" is definitely something that I have noticed time and again.

I recally instances where I was in a fight with my former N and they'd choke or tear up for a second. If I didn't immediately retreat from my stance, they were right back to their robot state!

I also think N's try and disguise cold, empty indifference towards their former supply sources under the facade of anger, outrage, hurt feelings, nervousness, etc... If that's true for a N, I don't think a psychopath would waste their time in this sort of play-acting.

Also, I wanted to ask some of you whether or not your former N's ever are found out on a large scale. Does their unhuman behavior eventually catch up to them, or are individual people doomed to have to experience them over and and over, even after they've been warned about them?

Anna Valerious said...

"Okay, last question! In your own traumatic experience with an N, do you find that they eventually self-implode at some point? I mean, does the bullshit that so ensnares people eventually become obvious to those around them?"

The news here isn't probably what you want to hear. If you want to see the bad guy get it in the end...you'll have to watch a movie.

Yes, it is possible that eventually, someday waaaay down the line, likely when they are old and have lost their physical attraction that the turkeys will come home to roost for them. Don't expect their comeuppance to arrive anytime soon though. There are too many people out there to manipulate, charm and fool for the N to suddenly find themselves without supply, without support, without their illusions firmly in place. As long as there are suckers, there will be a fat and happy narcissist. Well, not happy. Fed would be a better word.

From my observation, it appears that the more full exposure of the N doesn't usually happen until the N is advanced into old age. Even then, they can usually tap into at least one source of supply. And as long as there is someone around to sing their praises and be their whipping boy the N is able to mostly ignore the destruction of their grandiosity bubble...that gap between reality and the fantasy world of the N. So even when their house of cards has mostly come down around their ears, the N is busily working to remain oblivious to that fact. Said another way, even when the shit hits the fan, the narcissist is usually able to find a way to deny that fact.

You'll have to find satisfaction in some other way. The best vengeance is to simply not be there to offer up a vein to these blood suckers. Living your life well, sans narcissists, is the best revenge against all narcissists...past and present.

I wish I could promise you the eventual surety of the N's destruction, but I can't. Death is the only one who gets the last laugh over the N. Narcissists fear death more viscerally than normal people do. Their fear of death is as pathological as everything else about the narcissist. So, really, the last laugh can only be had by the Grim Reaper. He, in the end, gets the winning hand over the N.

So, what IS in a heart? said...

"Living your life well, sans narcissists, is the best revenge against all narcissists...past and present. "

Yup. Also, indifference kills an N, so that alone is more than enough. And yes, knowing that they're more afraid of dying than anyone else is also more than enough. They generally end worse than others for that reason alone. Should be more than enough for revenge, imo.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the response. I kinda figured that N's are able to continue to trick people time and time again. Some of the people closest to me and my former N seem reluctant to want to know how they've treated (overnight devaluation an discardment) me.

I've heard that ignoring them really gets under their skin as well. However, my case has been the exact opposite, with me being given the long-term silent treatment. I think it's been one of those cases where an N truly sees no possible use of even secondary supply. That's a good thing in the long run, I know!

It seems as if N's use other's own humanity against them in these cases. No one wants to believe that people could be so heartless.

Anonymous said...

Actually there is a super good book that describes different types of evil. the name is "Bold Love by Dan Alendar. what is remarkable about this book, it gives you a guideline about handling evil people. It is a faith principle book that gives you piece of mind that sometimes walking away in the face of evil is the only alternative.

Dustin said...

Thanks, this is the final confirmation. I had doubts...as I started to scroll through the comments....I never read comments! And my stomach got the sinking feeling it was just me....when I saw damn near EXACTLY what I experience described because they wanted to confirm their own exp. as that of a victim of a "n". I couldn't have asked it better myself....I was preparing too!

I lost everything. 5 years and I treated her like a princess. No joke, got up EVERY day @ 5:30 to make her breakfast, rubbed her feet EVERY night after work, never EVER looked at another female. Thought the world of her.

She took it to me. I have nothing now. Lost a biz that I built with sweat and blood from NOTHING to a worth of $60k in inventory alone.

I can't get out of bed most days because of my anxiety and depression, my license got suspended from her withholding my mail from court, no income, back at moms in a new town. I haven't left the house in months. I can't blame her, but she knows about my anxiety and hides behind a phone while doing unspeakable things to get back at me. I had to call her best friend in MA, who hadn't heard from her in AGES......THANK GOD! I called to tell her to tell my ex to pay her part of the phone bill (she said I wasnt responsible enough to have her number and gave up the contract in my name). Well her best friend is an absolute ANGEL. I might even be able to look strangers in the eye again! And also when my ex goes to tell her about my stalking and psycho behavior that is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY not true....ahhh that will be so good. She will try to beat my face... but I will enjoy all of it. She did more than talk to most of my friends. Told me that her best friend called her and told me not to call her ever again...then got put on hold so I could answer a call from the girl. I found a very good friend in MA. It's petty, but it's something.

I pulled in $7k last week after goose eggs for the last eight months, I didn't sleep in bed.... I learn to ease anxiety... I could have earned a BA in something! But I am ok now, I gave her credit for my success before and that really did me in. She resented my biz, but those to weak to follow their dreams will try to snuff yours. Still I miss the girl I fell in love with when we were kids, but it was all a lie.

Back to square one.

jenny said...

"Living your life well, sans narcissists, is the best revenge against all narcissists...past and present."

Amen to that!

I read somewhere on this site that the best way to honor our parents is to live a good life. I think that fits in nicely with what Anna said above.

And I also LOVE the word picture "The best vengeance is to simply not be there to offer up a vein to these blood suckers." It's true. They'll suck you dry and then discard you when they no longer need you.

This will sound mean, but I don't care. Sometimes the thought comes into my mind that if the xyz's knew what I was doing (enjoying my life), they would be angered, jealous, envious, etc. that I was doing well. Me "doing well", whether it's financially, spiritually, emotionally, having fun, etc. is exactly the OPPOSITE of what they really want for me. I try to remind myself that God says that "revenge is Mine!" So, I don't think this is revenge. It's more along the lines of I'm repaying evil with good. I'm trying to live a good life and not a evil life. That is my revenge!

Anna Valerious said...

So, I don't think this is revenge. It's more along the lines of I'm repaying evil with good. I'm trying to live a good life and not a evil life. That is my revenge!

What you describe is the only kind of 'revenge' we can engage in that won't harm our own characters or souls. You are exactly right: it is 'repaying evil with good'. And there ain't nothin' wrong with that!

Sometimes the thought comes into my mind that if the xyz's knew what I was doing (enjoying my life), they would be angered, jealous, envious, etc. that I was doing well. Me "doing well", whether it's financially, spiritually, emotionally, having fun, etc. is exactly the OPPOSITE of what they really want for me.

When a person can say what you did above about family members or 'friends' what you're really describing are people who nurture ill will against you. What is it but ill will to only hope for bad things for you? As I know I pointed out in a post somewhere...one of the dictionary descriptions of the word 'malignant" is "characterized by intense ill will". What really viable choice do we have but to distance ourselves from those who wish the worst for us?

There is no sin in putting miles between these malignant types and ourselves and then setting about living a good life. Nay, it is virtuous to set such a course.

jenny said...

Ill will equals malignant. Wow!

I always thought, no, well KNOWN that some of my 'friends' harbored ill will towards me. It was more along the lines of NEVER being happy for me if anything good came into my life. I had one 'friend' who acted angry and pissed when I told her I was pregnant with my second child (which I ended up miscarrying and sensed she was *happy* that I did miscarry). She never sent a card or anything when either one of my children were born. She never called to say congratulations. She basically ignored the birth of both of my children, but continued to think of us as close friends. I'm sorry, but that's just not normal behavior for girlfriends and it bugged me to all high heaven! But I just put up with it, even though my gut continually told me something was wrong.

Thanks Anna, for pointing out that ill will is malignant behavior. That gives me more encouragement that I'm doing the right thing in regards to cutting off 'friends' that are against me. It's just so nice to see it in black and white.

And another thing. It may seem like I'm paranoid in thinking that 'friends' are against me. And I thought that myself. Like I was expecting too much from friends. But I looked around and watched how 'normal' people interact and how they responded during what you'd consider was a joyous or happy occasion (new baby, new house, new job, etc.). They acted just the OPPOSITE of the way I was consistently being treated by so many 'friends'. So either the 'normal' peoples relationship are unhealthy or mine are unhealthy. It can't be both. I voted on the side on the 'normal' people and my goal is to someday have healthy friendships.

Lady J said...

I just discovered I am involved with an N. I have been involved with him for 7 years..knew things were wrong..never had a title to put to it. I finally feel sane. Here is a poem I wrote about him years ago..before I knew..I think it was prophetic. I am certain you all will relate.


Silently, Silently, Silently
You carve the obsession into my bones
Silently, Silently, Silently,
You gnaw at my soul
Like a rat in a hole

And I watch you
Waltz around
Dripping with Charm
They stand to their feet
And their drawn to you
Like a Flame
Their drawn to you
Like a Fire

Silently, Silently, Silently
You whisper sweet poison into my ears
Silently, Silently, Silently,
You squeeze on my heart
to collect all my tears

And I watch you
Waltz around
Draped in your Charm
They sit at your feet
And their drawn to you
Like a Flame
Their drawn to you
Like a Fire

Silently, Silently, Silently
You pluck off the feathers from my tarnished wings
Silently, Silently, Silently,
You cut out my tongue
So I cannot sing

And I watch you
Waltz around
Cloaked in your Charm
They lay at your feet
And their drawn to you
Like a Flame
Their drawn to you
Like a Fire


Silently, Silently, Silently
Your unspoken threats, they cut like knife
Silently, Silently, Silently,
You nurse on my pain
It’s milk, gives you life

And I watch you
Waltz around
barbed by your charms
I’m a weak bloody heap

I was drawn to you
Like a Flame
But I walked right into the fire
I was drawn to you
Like a Flame
But I walked right into the fire

mhy said...

My (extremely) narcissistic mother has conned me out of a big and substantial part of my inheritance 30 years ago. Now, in a time of need, I´m going to put my foot down and will demand what´s mine. Contact is sporadic, and very complicated to say the least. No way to talk rationally to her on the phone, she´s just an eternal victim of abandonment in her little vicious head. Not really sure how to even approach the subject on a personal level and will probably have to go legal in the long run.Anyway, I´m just mentioning that to show that there are more complicated situations than just having a narcissistic boss or family member. When you have to go up against a narcissistic parent to get what´s yours, that´s when the shot really hits the fan. I´m sort of hoping that it´ll be easy since the legal situation is pretty clear, and in case she attempts to resist my semi-friendly offer and she forces me to go the legal route she may risk even loosing her house and car. Deep down my mother is a coward, and essentially EVERYTHING she does is a variation on avoidance, so I´m hoping for her to bend before it comes to shove. That´s a very surreal thing for me, having to consider to go against my own mother to get what is mine and always has been.