Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Red Flag: Vandalizes Others' Images

Next on Kathy Krajco's list of eight red flags of narcissism is this one which you're all very aware of if you've been dealing with a narcissist, "vandalizes other's images". I'll reproduce the majority of Kathy's commentary on this red flag from her book, "What Makes Narcissists Tick" pages 76-78:

Then there is the other side of the coin, which is an even more menacing sign of bad faith -- what narcissists do to the images of others. Consumed with pathological envy, they make themselves look good the bogus way, by making others look bad.

Overall, individuals high in narcissism displayed amplified responses to social comparison information, experiencing greater positive affect from downward comparisons and greater hostile affect from upward comparisons.

--Bogart, L.M., Benotsh, E.G. and Pavlovic, J.D. (2004), Feeling Superior but Threatened: The Relation of Narcissism to Social Comparison, Basic and Applied Social Psychology, Vol. 26, Iss.1, pp. 35-44

In other words, malignant narcissists feel that praiseworthy information about you diminishes them, and they feel that denigrating information about you elevates them. Hence, like the raptor, narcissists must tear their betters "down off that pedestal" by maligning them. Therefore "malignant" is a good name for malignant narcissists, because every malignant narcissist's middle name is Malign.

Narcissistic rage, character assassination and projection are some of the overt ways in which the narcissist expresses himself. For example, she may envy a work colleague's beauty, and project her feelings into her colleague by accusing her of being envious.

-- Winning Teams: Can You Recognize a Narcissist? online at
http://www.winning-teams.com/recognizenarcissist.html

Whom do narcissists malign? Almost everyone. If you suspect someone of being a narcissist, praise a person who obviously deserves it to him or her and observe their reaction. It shows.

Malignant narcissists speak well of very few others. Only their narcissistic parent (when no longer vulnerable to that parent) and anyone they can aggrandize themselves by association with at others' expense.

For example, if you don't get along with someone, the narcissist will say, "I get along with him fine." He will have nothing but praise for that person. Likewise, if you got bad service at a restaurant, the narcissist will say, "They gave me excellent service." The narcissist praises the other because it reflects badly on you and well on him.

Similarly, the narcissist with a trophy wife goes around praising her beauty. He's aggrandizing himself by association with her. And at the expense of everyone not good enough to win a trophy wife like his. He'll likewise aggrandize himself by association with some important person he knows, praising that person everywhere he goes to name-drop.

But such special cases are the only ones you hear a good word about from a narcissist. In fact, a narcissist will stubbornly refuse to admit any fault in them at all. They are ideal, perfect in his or her eyes.

But the rest of humanity get the opposite. Often, narcissists glibly sneak bad ideas about others into your head. They do this by chipping away at that person's image subtly and relentlessly every time they mention him or her. Often perfuming the bad offering to cover up its smell.

An example is the man who never spoke of his wife except when talking about something else and laughing that, "Yeah, and the wife got pretty shook up about it."

That doesn't sound so bad, does it? But often this was pure fiction. More important, is that the way you'd like to hear yourself spoken of? Is that the way you'd talk about someone you want others to like? What type of picture does that paint of her? Is his talk of her tending to make people think well of her and respect her? Does it endear her to them?

That narcissist would have blown a gasket if anyone had ever described him as easily shook up. Yet for forty years he relentlessly chipped away at his wife's image with little vandalizing remarks like that, never saying anything about her that made you tend to like and admire her. Always characterizing her in a way that diminished her.

In fact, this "shook up" thing is almost cultural, used by many men on women. So, ladies, here's a bazooka: Beat him to the punch in saying it -- tell him not to get "shook up," and watch the stunned look on his face. He suddenly will see offense in that remark.

However subtle the vandalism may be, you never hear a narcissist say anything about anyone that you would like to hear said about you.

Worse, narcissists are gossips. They eagerly listen to and spread slander. They are self-righteous finger-pointers, pulling the same stunt Lucifer did in the old Gnostic myth about Lucifer coming before God everyday and accusing the other angels of being bad. The result was "war in high places" until the good angels, lead by St. Michael the Archangel, cast down Lucifer (now called "Satan," that is, "the slanderer") to the status they deserve.

Narcissists can make it sound like a virtue, but giving others a bad name isn't a good deed. Even if the report is true, it cannot possibly be done in the spirit of goodwill unless it is done in true witness -- that is, responsible witness, on the record, not behind the back. Just because the badmouth perfumes his speech with words like love and Christian and concern and for the sake of our children (always the justification when there is no justification) and sports a halo does not change the spirit in which slander is done...

...If you know that narcissists are inveterate character assassins, it's easy to spot them. A narcissist has a trail of trashed good names and careers in his wake. He will even have told you strange and terrible lies about the people in his own immediate family.

If you know the person he is telling you something strange about, compare the accusation with your own observations. A narcissist will have ignored that person's real faults and smeared one of his or her virtues as a vice! And, if you know the narcissist, you'll find the narcissist himself is guilty of the very thing he's accusing this other person of.

******************************

It is rather disturbing to see how "okay" other people can be when they witness someone's image being vandalized and complacently go along with it. When the victim of the vandalizing protests then the victim is only providing some kind of "proof" of the false characterization of themselves. Shocking, really, to see how much people enjoy seeing other people's efforts and image get vandalized.

My dear ol' Ma was guilty of this little game after I had restricted her contact with me to only the written word in the wake of her disastrous visit to my home Thanksgiving 2002. In the two and a half years that followed this event I was still in contact with people who were in direct contact with my mother (as well as being still in contact by letter with my mother). This was unfortunate for her because I kept finding out what she was saying behind my back which, of course, was quite different than what she was willing to say to me directly.

For the first time in my life I had taken a very strong stand against her. Yes, many times before I had quietly bucked her, but now I wasn't pulling any punches with her. I clearly spelled out my objections to her behavior in my home and demanded accountability. What does she do? While mouthing artistic non-apologies to me she was singing a different song to the people around her. Here it was that the vandalism to my character began and here is how it went.

"Anna is having a hard time right now. I know that I have not been a perfect mother and this has made life very hard for Anna. She is battling with some issues from her childhood. It is so hard to see her struggling with this right now."

Oh, my freaking goodness. My mother at this time was terrified of me because I was showing real strength. She was cowering and simpering while trying to placate me. But behind my back she tries to look like the concerned mother who is watching her daughter's mental health deteriorate. So she smears my virtue (strength of character) with its opposite, weakness. She portrays me to others as being stuck in my "childhood issues" and as acting out against her because of my brokenness. I had finally grown up and was acting from principle where she was concerned and she would tell others that I was retrograding into a helpless child battling old demons. This was not said in a spirit of good will. This was intentional slander.

To say the least, I was infuriated by her perfidy. Especially since she had not even hinted to me any of this angle. It was totally and completely a concoction for her friends to smear me and thereby portray herself as a poor mother who has made a few mistakes and was therefore having to endure the heartbreak of watching a dear child decompensate mentally and emotionally.

All this vandalism was done with the soft tones of a broken-hearted mother. I'm sure her audiences pitied her grief on my behalf. I'm also sure they tried to hearten her with their deprecations of my ungrateful treatment of her.

I'm still disgusted with her for this. So underhanded. So utterly false. And it was a lie. She knew it was a lie. Yet again, in yet another way, she sacrificed one of her children on the altar of her self-worship. The child must die so the mother can live.

The slander and gossip can be done in such a way that it looks like the narcissist is filled with compassion for you. But like Kathy said, "However subtle the vandalism may be, you never hear a narcissist say anything about anyone that you would like to hear said about you."

There is a nasty tendency among all humanity to enjoy hearing nasty crap told about someone else. This gives the narcissists a real edge in life. Too often their hearers credit their slander and gossip with being truthful. If you don't already, rein in your credulity when confronted with some subtle or overt assault on another person's character. Change your knee-jerk response from looking askance at the person being gossiped about to looking askance at the person in front of you saying things that ding another person's character. Unless, like Kathy says, "it is done in true witness -- that is, responsible witness, on the record, not behind the back."

It occurs to me that some may accuse me of doing this very thing to my mother on my blog. I don't show my real name in order to hide the real names of my family, and my mother doesn't know of the existence of this blog. Doesn't that make me into the one who is slandering her behind her back? To that I simply say that I've put it all on the record with my mother. I have the paperwork to prove it. I've said nothing here that I haven't already dealt with her on. I'm on the record with my mother, father and sister. Names are changed here to protect the guilty, not the innocent. There is nothing here on this blog that I would be ashamed to have any of them read. I know it's the truth and so would they.

It is the restraining influence of my husband that has prevented me from sending them links to these pages. A very large part of me would love for them to read every word here. I agree with my husband, though, that it would be better that they found it on their own because otherwise they would accuse me of being unnecessarily unkind by forcing the knowledge that this blog exists onto them. It would support their accusations that I was doing this out of vindictiveness toward them. And since that is in no way true I will not do something to help them support that kind of accusation. I am motivated by compassion not revenge. Compassion for the victims of narcissism...not misplaced compassion for the narcissists nor some petty revenge. There are much better ways to get revenge than this if I was so inclined.

There are other good points Kathy has made in this section that I haven't commented or elaborated on. Ya'll can do that yourselves in the comments section.

145 comments:

Anonymous said...

So true!!!

I love the description of "superior but threatened", and "amplified responses to social comparison information". Boy, that's something they try to hide and can't quite pull off!! You can see that sharp little moment of quickly disguised pain when confronted with perceiving someone else's success or good fortune, or the unusual spike of interest or quickly hidden delight in seeing someone else make even a tiny little slip or mistake. They delight in ANYTHING, no matter how small or stupid, as long as they can get some NS off it. And they are threatened by anything, no matter how small because even miniscule things threaten them. An N can get NS or a N wound from ANYTHING, whether it is discussing salad dressing or buying socks.

Superior but threatened, yes - they live like a scared hunted animal at the same time that they hunt others. Speaking of animal analogies, N's seem to love pecking orders. I've noticed many N's have an "alpha" friend or two, who they place above them for contact superiority, and actually seem a bit cowed by and subservient to. But the vast majority are victims or audience to provide a counterpoint to make them look good or to watch the N show. No peers, no equals. No actual intimacy with anyone ever. Everyone has an assigned role in the show.

A thing I've noticed with N's slander is that they will go out of their way to convince me how awful someone is, or how terribly someone has wronged them, only to do a 360 with the actual slander victim in front of me real life. Then, I will see them act super friendly to the person as if nothing is wrong! Once I was treated to a long diatribe about how awful a specific person was, then the N invited that very same person out with us!! She acted like they were old pals. When I called her on it later, she went right back to slandering him, to prove she was "right" in everything she said he had done to victimize her. She then claimed she invited him out only because she "felt sorry" for him.

Anna Valerious said...

They delight in ANYTHING, no matter how small or stupid, as long as they can get some NS off it. And they are threatened by anything, no matter how small because even miniscule things threaten them. An N can get NS or a N wound from ANYTHING, whether it is discussing salad dressing or buying socks.

This is absolutely true and very well stated. Great comment from beginning to end.

Writer in Washington said...

Ah, the two-faced N. My n-stepson does this ALL the time. Periodically, he sends an e-mail or responds to the Christmas e-card we send and goes on about how much he loves us and wants to get together with us. Then, he flip-flops with his church friends and goes right back into the character assassination that he's been doing for the past 9 years. All very spiritual sounding, of course, but slander nonetheless.

Same thing with N-stepdaughter for a very long time. She would send all these "I love you Dad" cards and letters, all the while shredding his back with false allegations. Her major problem: My husband adopted my daughter and she is no longer his "only" daughter. "Dad chose R over her and she will never forgive that!" as we've been told by others. I think that all of the slander campaign begin in the pathological envy that a MN possesses. They simply can't stand to see anyone that won't let them control their life be happy or successful. Drives the mad! They can't just let it go, like normal people, and move on with their life. BTW, I agree that there is something evil in the nature of all human beings that makes them want to believe slander against someone else.

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

One way to kill slander is to question the person being talked about.

One of my high school classmates did that when someone tried to spread rumors about another person. She said, and I quote because I haven't forgotten it, "Instead of just automatically believing it, I went to the person being talked about, asked what was going on, and formed my own opinion".

Rumor mongers don't like that very much.

Anonymous said...

The "alpha friend": classic!

Steph said...

I must ask - how did you deal with this with those who were hearing the negative garbage?

Yet again, I find that narcissists all have the same handbook, and I'm on a path you've already trod.

Help?

Anonymous said...

Years ago, I made the fatal error of getting my unemployed ex-NF a job at my company. Of course I didn't understand what he was at the time. I was very good at my job and highly respected, so naturally this drove him crazy. He went about the business of quietly dismantling my reputation with lies and cruel gossip. When layoff time came around, I was one of the casualties. He dodged the bullet. I didn't figure out what he had done until he did it to another woman a couple of years later. I had a ring side seat to the smear campaign, because he didn't think I would be smart enough to make the connection. I called up some former coworkers who confirmed my suspicions. I have to wonder why none of them spoke up when it was happening. At least the ex-NF was let go shortly afterword, so that's some satisfaction.

Ciara said...

"It is rather disturbing to see how "okay" other people can be when they witness someone's image being vandalized and complacently go along with it. When the victim of the vandalizing protests then the victim is only providing some kind of "proof" of the false characterization of themselves. Shocking, really, to see how much people enjoy seeing other people's efforts and image get vandalized."

Oh my! The most accurate description of my family (especially mother) that I've ever seen!

If it's okay, I would also like to comment on what went on at the "other place." I was following sojourner kate's heartbreaking story over there when the roof fell in. No way was I going to stand by and not say my piece about what was done to her. Despicable! I determined to myself at that time that I would remove myself from that place because of the cruelty I saw there.

As I was reading all comments here last night, I saw a mention of a post there regarding your blog and it sure sounded like something happened. So I went and read that post. To say that I was shocked, disgusted, and purple with fury is a gross understatement! Never again will I enter that place. It's rancid to me now.

Anna, I don't believe it's possible that you could have even the teeniest idea of what an anchor you are! I know that the comments made over there had to hurt you deeply. I wish we could apologize for other people, but we can't. All I can say is to consider the source of those comments. Roaches live in the dark and scurry and run when the light comes on. They hate the light that can expose them. There are a lot of people (too many) like that too.

Some seemed very offended that N-ism was treated so harshly. In my opinion...tough noogies!! You can't coddle a narc...they will eat you! They don't deserve the concern and "understanding" that some try to give them. No! Those things should be reserved exclusively for their shredded and damaged victims!

Why is this so backwards to some? I don't get that, at all! But I sure do understand the dynamic, thanks to the Ns I grew up with! Particularly my mother...she stood on the side of other abusers 100% of the time. She was their greatest cheerleader...and they were hers. As for their unfortunate targets? Well, they must have "done something" to deserve it and, of course, it was their fault for "letting themselves be hurt." Huh yeah, let's give these evil beasts a hug and a cupcake with sprinkles on top!

I'm still new at this horrid N thing (4 months NC with mother now) but I will press on even though it's incredibly painful! I want to hear the ugly truth and not have it sugar-coated and diluted to make it go down easier. This should NOT go down easily! It SHOULD be bitter and vile, so we don't forget!

I just want you to know, Anna, that I want to be educated by those who genuinely get it....the whole ugly bitter truth, and nothing but! Because it's the truth that will set us free! My education will be here in your living room and at Luke's place. That's all I need!

Bless you,dear Anna!

Billie said...

My N-father has always assassinated the character of anyone who a) couldn't defend themselves, b) anyone who was truly kind, and c) anyone who has any physical item he wished he had. In some cases, all three of these conditions co-existed to create such a knot in his panties that he almost couldn't pretend to be nice to the individual to their face, as he often did. There is a couple who was a friend of the family - probably mostly because they liked my mother more than my father - but they were always kind and generous people who never said a bad word about anyone. After they would make an out-of-the-way trip to pay a nice visit to mom, Nfather would have to start talking to us kids about how the lazy bastard shouldn't have retired at 65; he should have kept working JUST LIKE Ndad, who was so much the harder worker in his opinion. They should never have gotten pinstripe tattoos on their car because it was excessive. They sure think their "shit don't stink" (one of his favorite slurs) with the different house they moved into once they retired. I know, WHAT??? This is but one example of the way he's treated people who really were better people than he is, and a big fat novel could be written about the miserable things he still does to the very few people who stay in contact with him. What a sad freakin' existence.

Writer in Washington said...

Its too bad that most "Christians" aren't an alpha friend! It would stop a lot of the maligning if they were.

Anonymous said...

You are talking about reality and your experiences in order to instruct and convey insight.

That is so different from a narcissist vaunting themselves through slandering others.

And a difference I appreciate keenly!

-E-

Anna Valerious said...

Ciara, thank you.

Writer in Washington said...

I took an extended break away from Anna's site, and others, because I found that I was becoming too concerned about the "others". :-) I certainly don't want to obsess about them! Anyway, when I came back I noticed that although many of the voices have changed, they are all saying the same things that everyone has said before them. This makes me wonder why on earth no (outside the victims here) is listening? Why is that society in general is blithely unaware of this problem? It can't be that everyone in the media is a MN, can it? I just don't get why most people are so uneducated about MN narcissism.

Katherine Gunn said...

"Anna is having a hard time right now. I know that I have not been a perfect mother and this has made life very hard for Anna. She is battling with some issues from her childhood. It is so hard to see her struggling with this right now."

Wow. That is almost verbatim what both of my parents have said about me.

Character assassination. There is another aspect to this issue. They will assassinate the character of others - family and friends - to their primary supply source to prevent that source from talking to anyone else and finding that all is not as they say. My mother did this to me from early so that I would not want to get close. Kept me close to her - constantly supplying...

Kathleen said...

I want to thank you all for allowing me to vent and rant about the same situation over and over -- how the ILs behaved when DH was dying.

For 15 years I knew them --and they were always abusive. But I have the hardest time with how they acted at the end of his life. I'm very grateful to be able to post here. I'm aware I may sound like a broken record.

It is this vandalizing of others' reputations and good names that has pissed me off the most. I had never before met a family like DH's before -- I never once heard any of them say one single nice thing about the other and often heard the backstabbing about each other. It was so very disturbing to me.

Like all of us, DH grew up thinking his family was the norm -- until he got out on his own and started really looking around. All my friends tease me that I'm from the damn Cleaver family, or the Waltons!! And I really am -- and no, it's not disgustingly sweet at all. There is good-natured kidding and teasing and there are serious disagreements, but rare crossing of boundaries.

And my DH wanted that and he wanted it with his own FOO. We raised our chidren more like I was raised than he was.

He really tried. He invited them places, called them, reached out to them, was the only brother who attended his sister's wedding (yeah, the family that is so close).

And NOT ONE OF THEM ever reached back to him or me or the kids. Not even his parents. My children NEVER even got a phone call on their birthdays.

And this pisses me off the most. He tried. He had integrity and character -- and he LOVED them. He WANTED what I had with my siblings (and he did have it with my siblings).

And they did take his offers. And then SPIT ON HIS MEMORY after he was gone.

Excuse me one second.

FUCKING ASSHOLES>

Now I feel a bit better.
Thank you.

- Kathleen

Miriam said...

"Superior but threatened"--I LOVE IT! This is my N mom, to a tee. In fact, this week she sent me an email deprecating the narcissistic behavior of 2 women she knows (& pretends to be friends with). It was glorified gossip (an issue I think was very accurately pointed out as a favorite of N's), but my N mom wants to write a book dealing with these issues. I could have laughed and cried at the same time seeing her ability to identify these behaviors in others and not see her own N behavior. It was particularly significant to me that she took the opportunity to gloat over these people while at the same time she is intimidated by their talents in their respective fields. The examples she cited seemed trivial compared to her own behavior: discouraging me from ending a horribly abusive relationship b/c she enjoyed the social prominence that resulted from the connection to my abuser's family. And this man was a sexual sadist and sociopath. Here's a news flash, Mom, you are far worse than the people you criticize!

Anonymous said...

Vandalizes others’ images
Yep, MNMom does loads of that. As soon as someone’s left the room, she’s putting them down with a haughty expression and then moves onto how brilliant she is. Blah Blah Blah.

The weird thing is: I discovered MNmom was a dangerous, self serving bitch by her doing the exact opposite of vandalizing.
When I was 11 years old and in my final year at primary school, I was a straight A student and House Captain at my school. I was also on the debate team and had many other accomplishments that were obviously me trying to get her approval.
Anyway, she would always, every day, tell me I was stupid, dumb, a waste of space, a drip, a ridiculous dreamer, worse than a wet week. I would hand her my straight A report card and she’d throw it on the floor telling me not to bother her. In every way possible, she let me know I was unimportant and very stupid.
She’d say she was always concerned why such a smart woman like her could have such a dumb daughter like me.
I was confused, why couldn’t she work out that I was smart? How could I be dumb if I was achieving so much, and the teachers were telling me I was smart?
Anyway, that year (age 11), NM and MF were having a dinner party. I was supposed to be in bed, but I snuck into the kitchen and eavesdropped. Fun listening to adult conversation. (I was not very obedient)
What I heard NM say made my legs drop out from under me and I fell down. She was BRAGGING about what a wonderful, smart daughter I was. She was telling her dinner guests how proud she was of me being voted House Captain and on the debate team. She went on and on and on, hogging all the conversation about how great and smart I was.
She wasn’t vandalizing me, she was bragging about me!!
That was the moment I began to hate her.
My grades went waaaay down after that night. And I quit the debate team.

Years later when I was face to face telling her I never wanted to see her again, she said (among other freaky things) “but I was always so proud of you”. I just laughed.
K

Katherine Gunn said...

K,
Hmm... it reminds me of an incident last year with a jobs counselor I had. I was just in the first stages of breaking free of MNmom and still with Ndad and went to vocation rehab to get help getting a job.

The job counselor was very condescending... blah, blah, blah, I think social work attracts Ns... but after and hour of grilling me about why I was needing their help and what kind of abuse did I claim (none of which was even relevant to the interview), we simultaneously realized that she had worked with my dad, who is a counselor.

Here is the thing that really got me. She said, "But when I worked with him, he always used to talk about how smart you were and how proud he was of you." My response than - and now - "It would be nice if he would have told me that!"

Anonymous said...

Katherine G,

Sorry you had to go through that too. It’s a giant kick in the guts.

The N’s aren’t really proud of us. Never were. They’re just using us as an extension of themselves. Makes them look good to have smart children. Puffs them up good and proper.
Then, when we finally reject them with No Contact, they continue the game, trying to make themselves look good by vandalizing our image to others.

After we go No Contact they’re not running around saying how smart and clever we are anymore. Only how mentally unstable we've become to do such a cruel thing to them. Poor Wittle N's...
(The "Pity Party" red flag goes really well with the "Vandalize others'image" Perfect harmony for the N.)

PS: Praying for all the scared and brave folk in Victoria, Australia. It's a horrible time with more fires out of control and another hot weekend coming up. Stories of human kindness coming from this terrifying time, gives me faith in human beings.

K

GraFXGrl said...

"They will assassinate the character of others - family and friends - to their primary supply source to prevent that source from talking to anyone else and finding that all is not as they say. My mother did this to me from early so that I would not want to get close. Kept me close to her - constantly supplying..."


Wow, sadly that is so familiar. That's how NM kept everyone in the family but especially me so secluded from everyone. Tried to convence me everyone around me was a fiend - talk about projecting!!

Anonymous said...

"Change your knee-jerk response from looking askance at the person being gossiped about to looking askance at the person in front of you saying things that ding another person's character."

Amen Anna! It has become an almost subconscious reaction for me to rub that big, ragged, painful, yet invisible scar when another person is contemplating out loud someone else's "weirdness."

On a separate note, other than proceeding with caution, what does one do when NMom's alpha friend comes calling? She got the Nvengence and has been NC for a year, but not of her own choosing. Alpha friend called during the holidays and emphasized that she still has no idea what she did wrong. NMom verbally trashed alpha friend to alpha friend's brother, mother, father, me, and I'm guessing anyone else who was willing to listen. I'll admit it, I'm paranoid...I don't know if former alpha friend is a minion or a victim. I stayed vague, didn't offer more than a sympathetic ear, received a X-Mas card, and all is quiet on that front.

JR

Anna Valerious said...

I must ask - how did you deal with this with those who were hearing the negative garbage? ... Help?

I contacted those I fervently hoped and had reason to think would listen to my side of the story. I didn't hope in vain as I had a pretty good idea that those I contacted had experienced enough of my mother to know she was a treacherous hag. As quickly as I had contacted these two people I found my mother had already gotten to them and had given her lie-filled piece of self-pity and damnable lies to them.

As for the rest? I consigned them all to exile post-haste. I didn't contact anyone whom I knew to be more her friend than mine. The fact that they never tried to contact me to find out another side to my mother's stories told me everything I needed to know. They were worthless and needed to be thrown out with the rest of the trash. I've never spoken or in any way contacted any of them again. Gone. They were gone before my own mother was gone from my life. These were people who had known me for all my life in some instances, others who had known me most of my life. They, too, knew my mother and had had their fall-outs with her themselves. So, I figured that regardless of knowing me if they could just believe my mother then they deserved to have my mother in their lives...not me.

I have a zero tolerance for those who happily swallow the lies of narcissists. I consider them dangerous to my well-being because they can be used to most any end by the narcissist. They are so gone. And without a moment's remorse by me. I do not mourn having to cast aside those who eat gossip and slander for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They'll have to dine on someone else's quivering flesh. It won't be mine or those I love.

The happy consequence of all this is that I've not been in any contact with anyone who is in contact with my mother. My mother has no way to know what I'm doing, how I am, where I am. As Martha Stewart says, "It's a good thing."

Anonymous said...

My late-husband's step-mother was an equal-opportunity abuser. She would not only slam us one by one behind our backs, but did it right in front of us at family gatherings. She reduced my late-husband to tears during the last family gathering we attended although he was dying of cancer. His crime: giving our 2 year old daughter a slice of cheese from her carefully arranged deli tray before lunchtime officially started.
My husband's father died 2 days before he passed away. "Nanna" acts surprised that neither of her remaining step-sons have spoken to her since their father's memorial service. She doesn't acknowledge my daughters' birthdays or Christmas, yet sends notes & leaves messages asking me to bring them by for a visit.
ame in tn

Sister Renee said...

Interesting angle from your Nmother. Yeah, you're "battling with an issue from your childhood"- HER!
I cannot believe how many of my ex-relatives I see in this blog- Nfather, Nmother, Nsister, Ncousins,Ngrandmother, FIL, SIL. Holy cow. Smearing not just me, but everybody else, including each other. I need to try and be more alert to this in the future with new people I meet. It'll help me avoid getting involved with more Ns, now that I pretty much got them all out of my life. Thanks again for a great topic and your terrific insight! VERY helpful, as always.

Anonymous said...

Anna, it has been a great source of bitterness to me, that relatives I was incredibly close to, and friends of my parents who KNEW me, and also knew how volatile and dramatic and mendacious my mother was, chose to believe her and take her side.

As soon as I began to set boundaries with my mother, the reaction was atomic. I was cut off, disinherited in the matter of three weeks, and my reputtion in town and in my extended family was destroyed. (Not to mention my poor husband's.) I was accused of insane things, with no evidence, and much of it was contradictory.

But my so-called "family" chose to believe her, and no one ever contacted me to ask if any of it was true.

This sounds bizarre, but it annoys me that after all I'd given and done and spent on my mother and father, they didn't even bother to "stalk" me. I was thrown out like the garbage.

Now all they want is contact with my two young children, with me completely cut out of the loop. No freakin' way.

I have to remind myself constantly how many good people are out there, or my view of humanity would be pretty grim. I don't know why people are so easily convinced with lies.

As always, Anna, you and your blog are a blessing, and you keep me sane. Thank you.

--L.E.

Anonymous said...

My N-friend was a master of this. His friend M's husband cheated on her with her much younger cousin. But M stayed in the marriage for the sake of her child. Five years later, the husband had a girlfriend that he would wisk away on weekend trips, leaving his wife at home. When the daughter became a teenager, she became addicted to drugs. Each time he would divulge yet another tale of woe about what was going on in the soap operatic life of his friend M, he would always add, "and she's such a great person, I'm so worried about her." He made her seem to be pathetic and needy, while making himself look like a sincere, caring friend. I doubt that any of these stories about her are true.

Sometimes he would shift the blame of gossip on to an unsuspecting person. For example, N told me that his sister adopted a baby because she was afraid to give birth. Some time later, he said that his brother confided that their sister and her husband had a sexless marriage, thus the adoption. Worse yet, the brother-in-law had his needs satisfied by a prostitute. Even if this were true, why would you tell anyone this about your own family?

Then there was the coworker friend whose wife was a lesbian. (He was only staying with her for the sake of their children.) The "children" are now in college, and they are still together.

There was an "evil" coworker who rubbed my N-friend the wrong way. He made sure the boss knew (in a caring way) every mistake she made, real or imagined. He even admitted to deleting some of her work files one day, when she left early for a doctor's appointment. This eventually led to her getting demoted, and she took a job at another company.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Creepy how he would put on the "good guy" act while ripping his friends and family to shreds.

Anna Valerious said...

L.E.

Your situation and that of others who find themselves the victims of a narcissist's smear campaign is admittedly much more difficult than the situation I found myself in.

I had, thankfully, managed to move quite a long distance away from all the drama in the city of my mother's residence...the city where I spent much of my time growing up and then quite a few years afterward into my adulthood. I didn't have to see any of these people ever again. Their gossip about me couldn't touch me because they couldn't touch my reputation with those people who were now in my life. The two worlds were entirely separate which is why I felt no pain at cutting the whole of their dead weight lose into flotsam on the great Pacific. I freely admit that if anyone has the misfortune of occupying the same neighborhood or city and social circle with the narcissist the potential for damage is infinitely greater. I can certainly understand how much greater it would be. I don't pretend it would be easy to endure in this circumstance.

I can say that moving away would take care of nearly all of it all at once. Moving is hard. But living in the same social circle with the narcissist and his or her enablers is much harder than moving. I am not intimidated by what is hard when it comes to gaining freedom from the treacheries and influence of the narcissist. Any effort is worth freedom in my book.

I can also say from experience that moving say three hundred miles away isn't far enough. It is a helpful distance but not enough to really gain complete freedom. If you or they only have to travel by car less than a day's journey then it is still too close. Once I got a full eight hour drive away from the family I found much more insulation from them. It got even better once I moved even further than that from them. I am happy that I am not worth their effort to come so far to see me. I am happy to be kicked to the curb. I find no insult in being despised and hated by the despicable and hateful.

I'm sorry you feel badly about being no more valued than garbage as soon as you quite toeing their line. Although I can understand how you could feel that way I can also be happy for you that they have let you off so easily. The far worse circumstance is when they stalk you and fight no contact tooth and nail. My own parents discarded me with alacrity too. I was never so grateful for anything in my life. Such peace. Such relief. Such freedom. I was absolutely sincere in my desire to never see them again and to find them cooperating so fully with my wishes only fills me with great satisfaction.

Never let the narcissist's devaluation of you be any kind of measurement of your worth. They only discard the best, the most precious of gems of people...not the worst. They keep fellow abusers, fellow gossips and kind yet misguided lackeys close. They utterly despise the strong, the principled, the decent and honest. So their discarding of you is the highest commendation of your worth that you'll ever get from them!

Writer in Washington said...

I must ask - how did you deal with this with those who were hearing the negative garbage? ... Help?

Like Anna, we've pretty much gone no contact with them. They are minions of the MN, even if they don't know if. From my perspective, the "christians" are the worst but that is where I've had most of my life's experiences. My viewpoint may be skewed. Anyway, the MN ex-wife has managed, through her family, to influence an huge number of people that were formerly my husband's friends. They have NEVER asked us our side, NEVER!

"Proverbs 18:5 It is not good to be partial to the wicked
or to deprive the innocent of justice." and again "Proverbs 17:1 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." My viewpoint is and always has been that anyone who will listen to slander against you, is not your friend. Anyone who does not contact you and ask you about what they've heard is not your friend. Anyone who repeats and spreads slander about you is not your friend.

Anna Valerious said...

Very well said, WiW. I see it exactly as you do. No true friend does those things. I was happy to find out who my friends weren't! It was valuable information going forward.

I don't think your analysis of "Christians" being the worst of the MN's minions is wrong. I heartily agree. The so-called Christian has so many more handles wherewith to torture you. They have a whole body of other people they can use to try to pressure you into compliance along with their misuse of the spiritual handles. Once you bring spiritual pressures into the picture then it is a whole new ball game. A game where they can pretend that if you don't do things their way you will lose your soul in addition to your place in society and good name. It really doesn't get any worse than that.

Anonymous said...

Talk about character assassination! My MN mother (human waste) actually said to my dear son that she was a perfect mother who did, get this, "NOTHING WRONG" and it's just too bad that her two children aren't sane! Imagine a mother wanting her children to feel that they are mentally ill! She stood by and watched me take tranquillizers, prozac, sleeping pills and she ENJOYED watching me go downhill. Is this a human being, I ask? Wanting her children to suffer so.

She also said wretched things about my husband behind his back, of course. He was kind and helpful to her; yet she still managed to hate him, too. Of course she hates him because he loves me and is a decent person. She maligned my father, her sisters, her mother. Always maligning and hating. ALWAYS. It was a way of life for her. AND COMPLAINING. ALWAYS COMPLAINING about everyone and everything and SHE HAD IT GOOD. Life was HELL with her...really hell.
It's about 16 months of NO CONTACT with this twisted beast and I just want to let you know that it gets easier with time. And I feel so much stronger and have so much more respect for myself. The betrayal of such a mother is horrendous; but we can recover.

What helps me feel better when I think about the past and fill with rage is that their treatment of us is not personal. They treat most other people the same way. It's just that we had the bad luck of being born to an MN. We are good people becoming stronger. And those that don't support us are not our friends. They don't understand or they don't care to understand.

It's was the hardest thing I've ever had to do to go no contact at the beginning; but it is the best decision I ever made. Peace...I finally have PEACE. It's so much easier than having to deal with such a miserable mother. Very sad, but better to live in REALITY. I've lost my family of origin including an enabling goody-two-shoes SIL and an MN brother but that is a GOOD THING. Amzing how these MNs find enablers...amazing how they can continue to manipulate, lie, cheat, gossip, hate, envy, etc., and get away with it with others.

But there can be justice, yes justice. My MN has ended up in a foster home just like my father did. Actually, she put him in one and didn't give a damn about him. Just turned her back on him and he was a good guy. Never asked for a thing just for his shaver. And he was the one with the money who supported her all her miserable life. So you see, what goes around comes around...it really does. She also has no money...my MN brother stole it from her. She was stupid enough to give the selfish beast power of attorney. (He's just lie her..an MN.) She knew he hated her, but she still gave him power of attorney. Idiot!

Hang in there, fellow acons. You can do it. I did! And I'm not the one that's mentally ill....I know that now.

What a shame. Tragic for sure to spend so much time in despair. Get rid of them...I can't express enough that you must get rid of them...out of your life into the GARBAGE. YOUR HEALTH AND WELL BEING are on the line. The older I get, the wiser I get. Thank goodness for that. I wish the same for you all, too. THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU...JUST ABOUT THEMSELVES. THEY PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT YOU. THEY COULDN'T GIVE A .... ABOUT YOU. They fool you by their great acting job of caring for you.

Thanks, again, Anna. You are the best. Your blog keeps me grounded. You are so intelligent and so with it and you express malignant narcissism so so well. Keep up the good work. We all need each other.

I, too, am amazed about how little is known about MN. Most people that I mention it to have absolutely no knowledge of this character disorder. I don't discuss my mother with most people; just those closest to me.

Scary! I always seemed to have compassion for my MN mother; never any for myself. It was all in their training. We don't count...only they do.

I could go on and on. I've been rambling on a bit. There is so much water underneath the tragic bridge. But we're survivors! We know...we finally have the answer. We know what we have to do. PROTECT OURSELVES.

And yet I sometimes have compassion for her...I feel sorry for her and all that she has lost. They are, indeed, their own worst enemy. And to think my son used to discuss me with her like I was the problem. How could they fix me!!!!

Talk about character assassination. Every day it gets clearer and clearer.

That's it for now...I'm rambling. Have to go do something pleasant...a warm bath sounds good. Do something nice for yourselves...not for the evil MN.

Anonymous said...

My two narcissistic parents did nothing but talk about people and rip them down 24/7. Everyone at the office was a druggie, a cheat, dressed badly and was stupid according to them. They acted like and the still living one acts like they are PERFECTION PERSONIFIED. They would brag about us kids too for NS but rip us down in person. What is scary is seeing that my sister has become an exact replica of mother. That scares me. With N abuser husband, everyone else has done him wrong, the world is against him, ad nauseaum. I once told the jerk, even by the chances of statistics, you would have had at least ONE nice boss.
He is either ripping people down or playing them up if they make his status higher.

Anonymous said...

LE: One thing with the narcissists and your discarding by your family...I have been discarded by my entire family. Many live in fear and subservience to the dominant high functioning narcissists [and the wealthier they are the worse this is]. This is why I do not even have ONE ally among extended relatives and in my case have been left to fend for myself as a disabled woman with few resources trying to escape an abusive N husband.

So I feel for where you are at...:(BE happy your children will be spared their posion!

Anonymous said...

"The far worse circumstance is when they stalk you and fight no contact tooth and nail."

Yup, especially if they have near infinite resources and willing to use them all to come after you. It tends to be Ex-spouses that do this, but it's not likely family can't/won't.

I actually envy those who are discarded and then forgotten about. Most of these people realize that they were LUCKY and are much happier without the toxic people in their lives(well, as long as the TP people don't know that). I know all too often those who are not so lucky. :/

Kimberley said...

Anna,

What was your purpose in creating this blog? Pardon me, but I think I know:

First, you wanted to keep a journal expressing your emotionally painful, frustrating and infuriating experiences with your NM and NS as a way to release these feelings in a productive way, using your formidable logic, rationale, and practicality.

Second, you are a compassionate, concerned woman and by sharing these experiences and your proceeding healing, recovery, and restoration from them, you are giving a wonderful gift to all of us who have been victimized by the MNs.

There is a huge difference between her selfish designs in slandering others and your altruistic goals in sharing your experiences with us.

She does what she does only for herself. You, being a loving and kind woman, continue writing in your blog for who? Us. The readers and commentors on your site.

Your friends who care for you just as you care for us.

Comparing your mother's diabolical actions with your benevolent ones is...really not a comparison at all, now is it?

Of course, you don't need me to say this, cuz you already know!

Again, expressing my appreciation as that's what I do best...haha.

Anna Valerious said...

Kimberley,

As for the idea I started this blog as a way to keep a journal ... nope. Nothing that well-formed was in my mind. I just did it on a lark one day. I felt like I had something to say on the subject, but I wasn't sure how it would all take shape. My purpose in having my say on the subject was based on having come out the other side with my mind and happiness intact. I thought maybe I might be able to put together my thoughts well enough that it could help someone else cut short their route out of hell. I didn't do this because I needed anything like "healing" or "closure" or whatever. I was in one piece already with a firm grasp on what I'd been dealing with all my life. I thought maybe if someone out there had access to a clear voice on the subject, the voice of someone who'd been there done that, perhaps they could get out of a bad situation whereas now they couldn't see the way out. This really was and is a purely altruistic endeavor.

And for those who would insinuate that ads up on my site means I'm getting rich and am now only motivated by the Almighty Dollar -- you only display your total ignorance of how these things are. If I was to break down the amount of revenue this blog has generated into an hourly wage it would mean that I have made fractions of a penny an hour for my work. If that much. I'm hardly getting rich off of this. A few widgets and ads on my blog pages doesn't negate the altruistic motivation that drives this blog. Someone recently commented on the ads like it somehow was detracting from my efforts and/or quality of the blog and with best wishes for the money that is rollin' in. Just sayin'.

I know that most of you can see that I'm doing this for others. It just occurred to me while writing this post that the sloppy thinkers would likely come along and try to accuse me of being no better than the narcissist because I don't have positive things to say about my family of origin. I just felt like addressing that argument before someone decided to launch that particular salvo.

Thank you for your very gracious compliments of my efforts, Kimberley. You have the gift of encouragement and I thank you for that.

K said...

Anonymous (with the tranquilizers and Prozak),
Yours is exactly the story that causes me still to have some compassion for one SIL. It is so obvious that she's striving to get her Daddy's approval even when it conflicts with what she KNOWS is right.

She's so loyal to him there is no loyalty left for herself.

She drinks to excess (how many people really believe a bedside vigil is BYOB?). She drops everything, even taking DAYS off from work, when Daddy tells her to, to drive him to doctor appts. or 13 hours to my home. She's married and her other sister lives closer to the parents, but he wouldn't ask the NSIL to do a thing.

She's a people-please ad nauseum. She came to my house with a cooler (so I wouldn't have to make room in my fridge for her wine) and no food. DH was on disability. She did that twice. But when EVERYONE was here, she said in front of her audience "Would you like to me to go get cold cuts?" I said NO. I wasn't about to let her feed her starving ego that way.

her sister was married 2x, and parents bought her a wedding dress. This SIL only married once and had to wear her younger sister's hand-me-down. Pathetic.

She pulled a stunt at 16 years old that her parents most def'ly should have interfered in. And they didn't. How many of you would find out your 16 year old quit school and forged your permission and DO NOTHING??? And then over the years BLAME HER for not getting educated until she was in her 30s??

Her marriage? MULTIPLE, MULTIPLE, MULTIPLE red flags. How many of you would marry someone who LITERALLY said to your face "But don't take me away from my mom and dad"????

Yes, she's a minion. Yes, she's the epitome of a very racist slur -- hope I don't offend anyone here -- she's white trailer trash.

But she's a person. She was born a perfectly healthy little baby girl. And her parents, especially her father, warped what could have been.

I still feel a LOT of compassion for her (not pity). I think she could really be a wonderful person. I pray for her often. Sometimes I think about breaking NC and just calling and screaming at this almost 50-year-old woman:

WHEN WILL YOU BE LOYAL TO YOURSELF???

But I know what she'd do. She'd run and tell her daddy I had the NERVE to tell her I don't think her parents did their job. She would do that hoping Daddy would pat her on the back. But he wouldn't.

- K

Anonymous said...

"Creepy how he would put on the "good guy" act while ripping his friends and family to shreds."

My ex-NF would often begin one of his character assassination riffs with "I don't want to tell tales out of school..." then proceed to take an axe to his victim's reputation. All under the guise of being "really worried" or "concerned" or "feels really sorry for...". An innocent person branded as damaged goods so the N could feel momentarily better about himself.

What a waste of perfectly good carbon these freaks are. They are useless, pointless creatures; a drain on humanity's time and resources.

Kimberley said...

Ok, I have a few examples of my own to share regarding the immensely childish slandering of MNs:

I was "involved" with an MN for 3 months, 2 years ago. (his retarded behavior caused me to seek answers and that's when I found Anna's brilliant website. TA-DA!)

This man-child was 40 years old at the time of our involvement. In the beginning (the idealizing phase) he seemed to be in awe of my deep intellect and spirituality, remarking on it constantly.

I was no way trying to impress him as I don't consider myself all that brilliant but I am aware that I have some depth in intelligence/spirituality.

I was SHARING with him, at least I thought I was.

I became suspicious of his character when he began cruelly ridiculing people, his siblings, a few women he dated and strangers on the street.

All of his nasty words pissed me off, but one such incident caused my blood to boil. We were driving down the street, and a 12-13 yr old child was walking on the sidewalk.

He quickly started picking on her about her weight, calling her "a fatty" and other disparaging remarks. Well, I jumped on him super fast and said.."Do you think you're so perfect that you can pick on a little girl? Look in the mirror, dude! You ain't!"

He shut up real fast, but that was the beginning of the end for our stupid "involvement".

The final straw, the one that disgusted and infuriated me was when I looked at his emails to a woman who supposedly dumped him 4 times in six months, but stayed in contact with him because he fed her ego...(another N?hmmm...I wonder)

When he was chatting with me in real space, he was trying to be sweet and it was creeping me out because he wasn't a nice, decent fella at all. I became uneasy by his behavior, hence reading his emails.

Oh boy, the shit he had written about me to his "friend", was some of the most bogus, cruel shit I'd ever heard said about me.

You know what pissed me off the most? Is the fact that he didn't have the courage to confront me head on with how he REALLY felt about me.

I loathe gossips and back stabbers with a searing fury the power of 10,000 suns! They make me sick to my stomach and righteously furious.

Nothing but yellow-bellied cowards, the lot of them.

Aren't they just repulsive to the max? sheesh...

btw--the MN dude called me 2 weeks after I split (I never loved him and by the end, despised him)acting like nothing happened.

Like, I had magically forgotten his duplicity and would behave as superficial and shallow as he does.

Boy hidey, did it feel tremendously wonderful ripping his fragile, delicate, warped ego to shreds. I did it, yes I did and I have no regrets because he was just wrong, wrong, wrong in how he treated me and especially how he treated others.

That was the first time I had ever confronted a person I suspected of being malignant and I let into him, refreshing his memory by giving a detailed list of his disturbed actions/words.

He sputtered denial but I was not letting him speak as I was talking right over him. When I was finished, I hung up on him.

I was so done with him. Now, I'm glad I met him as it led me to Anna's site and other beneficial ones that enlightened me about the character/personality traits of MNs.

The Lord moves in mysterious ways, don't HE? And they are always the hard lessons we need to know in order to preserve our welfare, safety and sanity.

Thank you, Jesus!

Aravis said...

The constant maligning of others, and assigning them evil motives so the MNs can vilify them even more...brrrr....my parents did this CONSTANTLY. I remember being about four years old and wondering why my Nfather hated EVERYONE, and why the entire world was out to get him, to hear the Nparents talk. To this day, Ndad thinks the only people in the entire world who experience discrimination and ill treatment are sixty-something, retired, middle-class heterosexual white men who live in the Midwest, are republicans, own guns, like to hunt, with thinning hair who require bifocals. The only part which changes is the age of the group. He probably has it coned down even further than that but I have so little contact with him now I'd never know. He had his own pity party constantly because my Nmom would go about constantly validating how awful his employers/coworkes/clients/etc. were and how poor, noble Ndad toiled valiantly; unrecognized, unappreciated by all the scavengers who benefitted so richly from his continued exceptional and thankless service. He changed jobs about every 3 years, in retrospect probably just before he would have been "let go" because he just could not maintain his facade around coworkers for any longer than that. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina decimated the gulf Coast and New Orleans, my DH was deployed down there to help with the rescue, and Ndad, who was retired but kept up his email circle of former co-workers as well as relatives and friends (or source of NS I guess)- anyway Ndad sent out an email basically saying that "oh well, too bad about the storm and New Orleans had previously had some good seafood restaurants which were now gone but no big loss, because he (Ndad) could always go to Boston or Charleston and get shrimp"

He then went on to say that essentially New Orleans deserved this and the only people who were suffering were criminals and minorities and the like.

Ndad even included my DH on his email distribution list. And yes, Ndad knew DH *had been deployed to New Orleans* I am glad DH had no access to email (or running water, or air conditioning, or electricity) so he didn't see that abomination until after he returned home. Yest despite this amazing and public gloating about the misfortune of dead people, Ndad STILL had enablers defending him "he didn't mean it" or my favorite, Ndad's life-long pass, "well he had a terrible childhood". What a freak.

Kimberley said...

Anna,

Please accept my apology for my presumption on why you created your blog.

I got a little excited and was visualizing your most excellent contributions through my eyes, my perspective.

And I appreciate you responding to me on where you were, mentally-emotionally-spiritually at the time of it's inception.

Thanks!!

Peace, Love and Joy forever....:)

Aravis said...

I cannot believe anyone thinks you'd ever get rich off this blog, Anna. For criminy's sakes, the previous post on evil being contagious, just the background work to find biblical passages to illustrate your points must have taken days. I have to write a lot as part of my job and do research, and if I had to turn out something like that post (only in my field of study which religion is decidedly not :) it would most probably have taken me about 20 hours. More if I had to make it web-based. Some people are such idiots, I swear.

Anna Valerious said...

Kimberley,

No apologies necessary! Believe me, I totally understood the enthusiasm and goodwill behind your assumptions! But because you brought it up I used it an another opportunity to again explain what moves me. Cheers, dear lady. You're about as sweet as they come. :o)

Anonymous said...

Kimberley, I enjoyed your post about the guy you had the involvement with, really enjoyed your spunk!

Here's what my N sister did. She was constantly having rages at my dad or brother, who she lived with. It was her God-given right to scream at them anytime she wanted, even though my dad supported her, she lived in his house, he bought her food and always did things for her, as did my brother. She was always bad-mouthing them to everyone.

So, one day, after my dad died, I was there and she started raging at me and I'd had enough and started yelling back. After calling the cops on me, she then told everyone I'd had a psychotic break.

That was the end of her for me, NC. What a loser she is, I was the only one left who could financially help her. Idiot.

Not too long before that, my brother had had enough and started raging back and she then told everyone he was demon possessed. Talk about projection. He's now in counseling, partly because of this evil monster.

Anonymous said...

I have been getting flashbacks since reading this post yesterday: the massive amount of slandering that went on in my NFOO.

We had friends who spent certain holidays with us several times per year, and they would be barely out of the driveway when the trash talk would begin. One single holiday could provide material for us roasting and criticizing them for months, and some incidents would achieve legendary status and get talked about with manic relish for years, literally. I actually don't recall a single nice thing said about these particular folks, or anyone expressing any kind of need for restraint. Yet I do recall the very same people being invited again and again, AS IF completely talking trash behind peoples back and then inviting them over all the time and being nice to their face was perfectly normal. The jokes and criticisms would start building up before they arrived, and completely explode the moment they left. As a kid, I never questioned this. I had NO idea that normal and healthy people would find it appallingly immature, hypocritical and disgustingly cowardly, let alone cruelly exploitive and just simply incomprehensible. Not only was it wrong to be so critical, but also - who in the world would repeatedly invite people over that they didn't seem to like or respect?

We had a relation in the area that was also permanent joke material. Same exact MO, nice to her face, then rake her over the coals relentlessly and gleefully, the very moment she was out the door. My NFOO and hers once rented lake cabins together for a vacation. My NM basically treated the view of her cabin like a reality tv show broadcasting around the clock idiocy for her to delight in gloating over. By this time, I was old enough to start "getting" the fact that something substantial wasn't exactly right in our little universe. So I had it one day, and told the NM if she had a problem with her, then why not go and tell her and quit discussing it endlessly behind her back? It was one of the few times I saw her fly into a really openly crazed rage of hatred for me [she was the picture of smarmy control usually].

Sorry for the long comment, I just can't get over remembering this stuff. I never really thought of this aspect of it, how huge a role mundane and repetitive slander feeds them, and how they go out of their way to KEEP someone in their lives, [invitations, shared plans, etc] that they constantly trash.

Kimberley said...

Lovely Anna--awww...backatcha! **hugs**

Anon at 5:09:00 PM--I'm spunky! You're spunky! We're all spunky us new & improved ex-victims of MNs!!...YaY!

Just like the Venerable Popeye, who after maintaining his patience, his self-control dealing with all the bullshit his nemesis, the MN Brutus, inflicted upon him, blew his gasket by saying.."I've had all I can stanz and I can't stanz no more!!"

Then he slurped down some icky spinach and grew musclely and strong, giving Brutus his comeuppance in a most poetic and justified BEAT DOWN!

Popeye got tired of the shit and so have we!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:58 PM-

"My ex-NF would often begin one of his character assassination riffs with "I don't want to tell tales out of school..." then proceed to take an axe to his victim's reputation."

I swear we're talking about the same person!
My N-friend used to begin sentences with, "I don't want to tell tales out of school..." Boy, I just got a major case of the creeps!

Barbara said...

oh yeah.... Late N-Mom was SCARED SH*TLESS of me when I moved out, became successful on my own, was still single and doing well... and boy did she LIE LIE LIE about me to the people she could back home - including my brother (who caught her in so many lies he stopped counting)

And my last psychopath relationship, we he just posted slander about me all over the net until I slapped him with a cease and desist & posted the truth about him (sent him through the roof) though he still refuses to take down a hate site he made about me until I remove the truth about him from my site. Heh, we'll see about that.

As Kathy said, stand up to them. Vandalizing your image is not NOTHING. It's depraved. Don't confront them directly but don't be afraid to tell people the truth and let them CHECK FOR THEMSELVES. Don't take it lying down thinking there's nothing you can do.

It's even sicker, as Anna points out, when one of our PARENTS does it. It's depraved indifference in my book and yup - a major red flag.

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

"He's now in counseling, partly because of this evil monster."

If that evil monster dealt with people who REALLY had psychotic breaks, she'd be the first to flee and would even be too scared to call the police out of fear of retribution.

If your brother is in counseling, then I hope helped get rid of HER. Some Ns don't like people going into therapy because they know that it helps people get rid of undesirables, so to speak.

From the sound of your post though, she probably isn't smart enough to figure that out.

Kathleen said...

I'm an idiot. A complete fool.
Haven't I digested ANYTHING here?

I posted that I felt compassion for SIL, who drinks to excess, is self-destructive, and craves Daddy's approval.

That's all true. Her daddy has treated her like shit.

But her brother (my DH) did NOT treat her like shit -- she says he did because when he was 23 and she 19 he didn't take her out drinking with him and his buddies. That's it. Her biggest complaint. Daddy doesn't give a damn if she quits school at 16, drinks, and marries someone tied to his mommy and daddy.

Her brother invited her to our home, invited her to a vacation, helped her move, sent me to buy her a wedding shower gift when he was weak and shouldn't have even been left alone.

She pushed my kids out of their beds, swam in my pool as DH was dying, never comforted my children. Drank in her car at her brother's repast -- and it was NOON.

And I have compassion for HER???

I think I have to start from scratch and read Anna's blogs all over again.

Is there hope I'll "get it" some day? LOL

- Kathleen

Anonymous said...

For So, what IS in a heart?:

My brother went NC with her about when I did, a year or so ago. She has tried her best to get back in touch with us, he tells me he has no sister, other than me, of course. He felt guilty for some time, even almost called her this past Christmas, he's such an empathetic guy, but he didn't.

And she's no slacker in the brains department, she knows counseling is dangerous territory for her to lose control over her victims, when her daughter started, she told her to be wary of false memories planted by the therapist. Problem with that theory is that my niece had the memories BEFORE she ever started seeing a therapist.

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

Good for your brother. It's nice to see people get away from such evil.

"And she's no slacker in the brains department"

But...but...you called her an idiot and a loser. Heheheheheh. Then again, even geniuses have been known to make very foolish decisions.

"Problem with that theory is that my niece had the memories BEFORE she ever started seeing a therapist."

Someone else implanted them! Yea, that's it!

Aravis said...

Anon said: "she knows counseling is dangerous territory for her to lose control over her victims, when her daughter started, she told her to be wary of false memories planted by the therapist"

That is exactly what happened to me. My Nparents did the "our poor daughter, she is having such a hard time, her memory of the past is very odd, none of us "remember" this" and the fake concern all because I was no longer under their control. Then they also claimed I had false memory syndrome - WTF ?? I went to the therapist because of memories I'd had since pre-school.

"The jokes and criticisms would start building up before they arrived, and completely explode the moment they left. As a kid, I never questioned this. I had NO idea that normal and healthy people would find it appallingly immature, hypocritical and disgustingly cowardly, let alone cruelly exploitive and just simply incomprehensible"

wow, yeah, my family EXACTLY. I was in my mid twenties and at the time married to a MN/sociopath (now ex) who did the same thing when one day MN was doing the trash-talk about some really good, decent people, and it out of the clear blue sky I realized how wrong it was. These MNs are so very mean-spirited, petty, vindictive and vicious. My MN-ex STILL attempts to slander me to this very day despite being divorced since the mid-nineties. MNs not only vilify people, they do it forever, relentlessly, and some NEVER let go.

Anonymous said...

"MNs not only vilify people, they do it forever, relentlessly, and some NEVER let go."

Kind of sad, eh?

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day yesterday, I was listening to the account managers complain as usual about one of the partner representatives that had done ‘em wrong yet again. Sometimes their voices dropped to whispers and I was straining to hear if they were saying anything about me. I started to panic and then thought I cannot keep doing this. While I understand that these mistakes must be explained to the client the way they verbally shred people is really appalling to hear. They do tend to blow things grossly out of proportion. I know that I cannot allow these people to affect me in this way. When I hear them shredding people I know that’s the way they complain about me and I’m extremely sensitive to criticism. Anyway I started to think about how I wasn’t friends with those people even though I kind of wanted to be. And then I asked myself: why the hell would you want that? Why the F*ck would you want to be friends with the piranhas? I think I was hoping that if I was friends with them then they would go easy on me. Stinkin’ thinkin’. M talked crap about K who is now on mat leave. M and K would verbally shred the partner reps and that didn’t spare her. Granted I’ve only heard her do it once but its niggled at me since. I think its disloyal

Anyway I went over to talk to F about it and he said that he’s overheard them doing the same thing to him and that it drives him nuts and that he cannot stand them and that he’s glad he’s not the only one who feels that way.

What disturbs me about my response:
Its still really easy to make me spiral. I understand that they behaved in a way that is triggering for me. I don’t know that they are N’s, actually I think that two of the four have serious red flags and they other two have leaped on the bandwagon cause it sure is fun to tear people down.

Until I thought it through I wanted to join them as a way of protecting myself ( its cowardly, incredibly selfish, just downright sh*tty to savage other people with no provocation as a means of saving yourself.)
There was a time when I would have run over there and apologized profusely and promised not to make mistakes to annoy or inconvenience them again. (I didn’t)
There is a part of me that wants to befriend and soothe. I’ve done it for so long I actually have to remind myself not to do it.
I have to remind myself not to make the mistake of trying to bond with any of them and not to get caught up in their petty dramas.
I have to remind myself that if you are friends with someone it implies that at some level you approve of them, approve of their behavior.
I keep having to remind myself that the people who don’t care for this behavior, normal people will stay far, far away from me if I do hang out with the piranhas thereby ruining any chance for normal work relationships.
I keep having to remind myself that its impossible to be part of a gang and not get your hands dirty.
I have to remind myself that just going with it requires: swallowing your pride, engaging in group think, castrating yourself (which is really crazy)

I have to remind myself that it doesn’t work. It never has


Thank you for reminding me Anna, you are absolutely right, people who savage others reputations, people who go defend the narcissist or agree with the narcissist are despicable. Its something that I’ve been guilty of and now feel really ashamed of. I chose to say: We’ll she’s nice to me so…., please just do it its not so bad, that’s just the way she is, please don’t make her angry, I don’t know I didn’t see, we have to do what she says

You are absolutely right to despise the pleasers and minions. Even if they have no desire to protect you or no interest in being piggy in the middle, they should at least have the backbone to speak their minds and make their own decisions and not be told how and what to think. If you are willing to feed someone else to the sharks to protect yourself , to beat some one down because you were told to join in - then you’re just sh*tty sh*tty sh*tty sh*tty and not deserving of anyone’s respect or love.

That aside, I’ve engaged in this behavior with my mother and it didn’t stop her from turning around sometimes only a few minutes later and smacking me down too. The narcissist and any witnesses will despise you for it and it won’t stop the narcissist from hurting you when they feel like it. I think my mother would do that just to show me that no matter how low I stooped I’d never be safe.

Seamstress

Anna Valerious said...

Seamstress,

Thank you for your profoundly honest and therefore profoundly insightful comment. You've cut down to the heart of it. In the process, you've demonstrated yourself to be a quality human being. I'm glad you're here!

Sister Renee said...

****"Never let the narcissist's devaluation of you be any kind of measurement of your worth. They only discard the best, the most precious of gems of people...not the worst. They keep fellow abusers, fellow gossips and kind yet misguided lackeys close. They utterly despise the strong, the principled, the decent and honest. So their discarding of you is the highest commendation of your worth that you'll ever get from them!"****

I am printing this out and framing it. So many people need to hear this. Thank you SO much.

Sister Renee said...

***"Yet I do recall the very same people being invited again and again, AS IF completely talking trash behind peoples back and then inviting them over all the time and being nice to their face was perfectly normal. The jokes and criticisms would start building up before they arrived, and completely explode the moment they left."***

Every good hostess plans some entertainment, along with the dinner, the background music and the centerpiece, at least according to all the 50 year old etiquette books. Your Nfamily's unfortunate guests are merely the evening's entertainment. Like charades. They're not really PEOPLE, with feelings. How cruel. I hope you're having much more pleasant holidays now.

K said...

"Yet for forty years he relentlessly chipped away at his wife's image with little vandalizing remarks like that, never saying anything about her that made you tend to like and admire her. Always characterizing her in a way that diminished her."

Yes. yes, yes! My sister is a "covert narcissist" and it took me 40 years to discover her sly tactics. Now I finally understand why f ex her friends over time treated me so badly (even if they liked me so much in the beginning), although my sister SWORE she always said nice things about me... She is the master of saying things while not saying them... I was always so confused about how people in her circle turned on me, could not understand the dynamics (I am a fairly well-liked person).

So subtle. Once it was her birthday and she got in a fight with the rest of the family & told me she had banned them from coming and had TOLD THEM OFF (and a story about how they had been sooo mean). I felt really bad and rushed over with flowers, presents and a cake to make her birthday worth-while.

While in the car I get a call from my other sister, who is furious that I'm going although my sister had called the whole thing off, saying she was upset with noone, but would save it for another day. My sister had pleaded to come anyway, but had been denied.

Today, I understand that she set me up in the most devilish manner - so I would look like someone who betrayed the rest of the family. She had even turned off her phone, so they could not get a hold of her after the first call, knowing they would call me up.

I cannoy even convey the story clearly, because there were so many manipulations and blame-shiftings along the way. And of course I was the "bad guy" in the end!!

Well, now that I have virtually no contact with them, I am happy to be the bad guy. They can bad-mouth me all they want, I have made sure our circles don't intersect.

Kimberley said...

Kathleen,

I totally disagree with you being an idiot, a fool. No way, no how.

What and who you innately are is a big hearted, loving, mentally healthy, wonderful woman.

You having compassion for your SIL is paramount evidence of your goodness.

Don't beat yourself up, sweety. It's a GOOD thang, not a bad thang.

From what you've written, your SIL is a seriously damaged person, lost and hurting. But that does not in any way excuse her apathetic behavior when your DH was dying. Uh-uh...

You are facing, accepting and embracing the truth, the reality of the maliciousness of humanoid parasites. In doing so, it WILL make you stronger and less tolerant of any bullcrap.

You have been exposed to a segment of the population (your DH's FOO) that were maybe unknown to you before, at least in a personal aspect.

I do realize it's been a very painful, disorienting, disturbing revelation for you, but learning the truth must be truly enlightening for you.

It was for me when I sought answers 4 years ago concerning the flat out evil behavior of my bio P-father.

I HAD to know what the hell was wrong with him. I ordered the classic book by O'Hare.."Without Conscience..." and read it in a day!

So much was finally clear to me, so much of a burden was lifted off my shoulders in learning a definitive term to his abhorrent behavior.

Then, I met the X MN 2 years ago, and that set me on another quest for answers and I discovered Kathy's and Anna's sites which shed a blinding light upon another personality disorder that I was still fundamentally clueless about.

The wisdom I have gained from Anna's and Kathy's brilliant blogs is that I should always reserve my compassion, my concern, my love, my support and encouragement for those who really deserve and/or appreciate it.

A great quote that is imbedded in my mind is..."have compassion for the abused child but not the monster they grow up to be"....

That nugget of wisdom has saved me, time and time again from fruitlessly trying to help those you don't really want my help, but just want to ruthlessly suck the life force from me.

As if I have so much to spare! I don't. My energy is precious and finite as is yours.

Let's share it with the good, the decent, the righteous because in doing so, the combination of these energies is so positive, so joyful to behold!

Don't you agree?.....:)

Anonymous said...

"have compassion for the abused child but not the monster they grow up to be"....

Great quote! I am so sick of people turning the topic away from someones current adult misbehaviors and then getting "special voice" and speculating on what they imagine "must have happened" to the poor things in childhood. Barf.

Anonymous said...

I realized something when I read this again. MIL had always whined about having a hard life whenever she was caught doing something wrong. "Well, I've had a hard life, you know."

Then she started saying this about me, to others. Then it started coming out of my husband's mouth. No, I have not had a hard life...until MIL came into it.

Finally, her true intentions became apparent. "She's mentally unstable," said MIL to my H, who conveyed her statement to me. And then came a series of accusations of things I had supposedly done, none of which were true: I'd given my child something to make him have vomiting spells for several months (actually multiple food allergies), I'd committed elder abuse, etc.

So now I see that first statement revealed her plan of attack. It was said in such a way to appear compassionate, but was false. MIL knew nothing about me, or my life. She had no right nor reason to make that statement.

Be wary. These Ns foreshadow their plans. It's all a kind of projection. They have done what they accuse others of doing.

Now it makes sense why her father-in-law despised her: she accused me of elder abuse. She lived with her FIL. It was MIL who committed elder abuse.

Kathleen said...

Kimberly,
You're very kind. Thank you. And I love that quote " have compassion for the abused child but not the monster they grow up to be".... That's great!

But I did forget something important -- that the minions and enablers are not stupid. They are aware, but they avert their eyes. They want to be loved by the N, or at least mitigate their own pain, and hence the pecking order. My SIL is a poor, hurting, lost, lonely soul -- who knew damn well my DH had told her and his parents NOT TO COME at certain times. But she looked me in the eye and said "But MOM wanted....and DAD said...." She may as well have said "We don't DO boundaries." She's old enough to behave appropriately. My children are better behaved then she.

I'm hoping this post doesn't get too long. I'll leave it to Anna's discretion. I've decided to post the one thing that N SIL said that has totally turned my stomach, but some background is needed. Anna, it's your call.

DH -- when I met him my daughter was 3 1/2. Her bio dad was just a voice on a phone. She was very attached to me and wanted me to herself. When we knew we were serious, DH had a wonderful talk with her, asking her if she would allow her mommy to share her with him. She adored him and said yes! Then he asked if she would share her mommy with him....ummm. she was hesitant, but said yes. Then they talked about us all sharing each other. He was a gem.

He bought me an engagement ring and her one too! Got down on one knee, asked him to be his little girl. Danced with her at the wedding, while I danced with my dad, to Daddy's Little Girl.

We brought her on part of our honeymoon --and and jumped into bed with me. He just smiled and went to sleep - alone - in the other bed in the hotel!! LOL We had never slept together while we were dating if she was with us.

Took thousands out of his 401(k) and fought alongside me against her bio dad. DH adopted DD when she was 12.

We had our own daughter. He let her set his hair and put make-up on him. And he had tea parties with her, picker her up from school on his motorcycle so her friends could see how "cool" she was! LOL

His sister lost her job, had no education. He helped her pack, loaded up his truck, and brought all her stuff to her parents' home where she moved. 13 hours one way, took a nap, came home.

Bought a timeshare so his family could vacation with us.

The list oculd go longer.

Integrity. Honorable. Character.

But he loved soccer! He had one ticket for 3 different games during the World Cup in 1993. He had them for TWO YEARS. He was so excited. Then N SIL puts her wedding date on the day he wanted to go the most. Ireland was playing. BIL1 never RSVP'd to her. BIL2 was furious. He had a ticket to that game and he refused to go to the wedding. She could have changed the date -- she knew they had tickets for years, and her church is small, reception at the church hall. No problem changing it.

DH? DH was torn. He was mad at her -- BUT. She had been a single mom and he was so happy that she found someone to love her son -- the way his own wife found someone to love her daughter. He wanted to show "solidarity" and told his sister that, as I did too.

We went to the wedding. I was 5 months pregnant and it was over 100 degrees and a 13 hour car trip -- with a 5 year old too. He gave up that precious ticket. We were broke, but stayed at a hotel and he even had to rent a tux because her groom didn't have enough ushers. Honorable? I think so.

Fast forward. He's dying. She never calls and then when she did she told me that she couldn't think of ANYTHING he had ever done FOR HER (and I could list LOTS of things). When I lit into the other SIL for bashing him, I mentioned the soccer ticket in an email. There was no reaction to it.....until MONTHS later. This is copied and pasted:

You have always been about what YOU wanted. I just found out that (DH) had SEMI-FINAL WORLD CUP TICKETS. He said "Even if (SIL) wasn't getting married, Kathy wouldn't let me go." How is that being a loving wife? YOU KNEW how much our family loved soccer. His most overly used phrase was "Whatever you want Kathy". And now you don't have that anymore and you are bitter.


I have never felt the urge to give my DH permission to "go out and play." He wasn't my child; he was my husband.

When I think back to why he did what he did for her I am totally disgusted with her. This maligning of something he did to HONOR HER is below despicable.

And I'm sure FIL made up the bullshit of what he supposedly said.

She will NEVER BE FORGIVEN for how she spit on that act of kindness, generosity, and love he did for her. NEVER.

- Kathleen

Lesley said...

Thank you Anna, for bringing up this interesting topic. As I delve deeper into therapy to deal with my life and the after affects of my Nmom, I am realizing what this characteristic of narcissism can do.

I have come to realize that she has single handedly torn down every friendship I have ever had, and prevented me from having relationships with my aunt, my grandmother, my brothers, my sister-in-law, even my own father; all of this by carefully worded character assassination of everyone close to me. It's amazing the subtleties with which this has happened. Her tactics were rarely blatant attacks, but rather sly: "confiding" in me a story about this person, blaming them for things that they I could never believe they would do, telling me how "concerned" she is about them because of ... , And then singing their praises to their face to get the attention as a wonderful person. Vomit.

I swallowed it down whole, because why would my mother lie? When she says people are out to get her, then well, it must be true. Ugghh, I can't stand that I believed it all for so long.

But I have found out her little secret. I have discovered her truth. That everything she says and does is for the betterment of herself, AND to the detriment of others (including financially, emotionally and psychologically disabling my brothers so they are dependent on her), and especially to her "independent" daughter (me). 30 years of my life have been controlled and destroyed by her, but no more.

I am trying to get stronger every day, and this blog helps tremendously. You write things in the raw way in which I need to see them. As a harsh truth, that cuts to the heart, yet bears wisdom and love that heals. Thank you again. There are days that I am suffocated by her voice in my head, and on those days, I turn here, pull up a post and remind myself of the poison that she carries, and the reasons I need to steer clear. I am not strong enough yet to cut off contact, but I dream of the day that I will move far away and do it. Whenever you all talk about the freedom, the relief, the peace, I feel hopeful that one day I can do it too.

Zydia said...

This is so familiar to me. I grew up listening to my "Christian" mother maligning almost everyone in the congregation - with great vehemence and authority, as if she just KNEW what she was talking about.

When it came to me, though, her piousness backfired because when I compared what I was learning to what she was doing, it didn't fit and I knew it. I was about ten or eleven when we learned about how important it was to NOT speak negatively of others. When she started tearing into someone's reputation at home one time, I piped up with, "We just learned that we have to be positive about others," which I guess is a pretty nervy thing for an 11-year-old to say to her 49-year-old mother (I was a late child), but I knew I was right - she'd just TAKEN me to the place where I'd learned it!

From then on, she would STILL do exactly the same thing, and once she got all her venom for that day out of her system, she would sneeringly turned to me and say, "But we have to TRY to be more POSITIVE."

I had the misfortune of being in her presence recently and she did exactly the same thing. She is now 76.

Never changes, does it?

sojourner kate said...

Kathleen, Thank you for the last post that you wrote about DH. Your story brought tears to my eyes. What a prince of a man..truly a man of integrity and kindness.
Your sister's behavior is incomprehensible. There is only one word for it..evil.
I always gain so much from your comments. Please continue to share without censoring yourself. Some of us out here are soaking up every word as we are learning from those of you who have been on this path longer than we have. I read daily on several forums but Anna's blog cuts through the side issues and gets to the heart of the matter. The comments section for each blog post always contains additional truth that I need to read and to absorb and then to apply to my life. Many of you here are a great inspiration to me.

Thank you.

krl said...

Ugh....Great post, as usual. Yes...all of what everyone wrote....right down to the N being the 'exempt' one after preaching that we 'shouldn't malign others'.

Ok...here comes a tough 'confession' from me. Early in the 'game', I seem to have been 'gifted' with a quick wit and humour....a bit of a 'ham'. Ok...great. (It DID get me in trouble from time to time. Keep that in mind.) How did I use it? Well....I learned pretty early that it was one of the ways I could 'belong' and get a 'positive' response from my parents. I could make them LAUGH....and it would deflect away from their usual picking on me, making me do too much. I could 'ape' and 'charicaturize' a lot of behaviours and actions of other people....Of course, I had to be careful not to roast the wrong people (them in particular)....and I did have my own conscience about the elderly and the handicapped etc. But, if it was someone Nmom was pissed about....I could sure join in! Ugh....makes me sick to think about it now. Boo. Shame on me.

So....I have been in the process of overhauling myself....working on weeding out some of my learned behaviours....many of which I developed for survival, no doubt....but there is no excuse. I sure won't make Nmom a better person in all this....but I sure can be.

Thanks....just had to get this out there....and off my chest. I no longer want to 'entertain' ANYONE at someone else's expense....EVEN IF IT SEEMS 'HUMOUROUS'. BadBehaviour. Period.

Katrina said...

To all my friends,

Bad bad plane crash in my hometown.
Only a few miles away from us.

Waiting for the death list to come out.Everyone in our fair city is somehow connected to everyone else.
So much pain. So much loss.

Please pray for our people who need it in The City of Good Neighbors.

Thank you,
Katrina

Katrina said...

Kathleen,

"You have always been about what YOU wanted. I just found out that (DH) had SEMI-FINAL WORLD CUP TICKETS. He said "Even if (SIL) wasn't getting married, Kathy wouldn't let me go." How is that being a loving wife? YOU KNEW how much our family loved soccer. His most overly used phrase was "Whatever you want Kathy". And now you don't have that anymore and you are bitter."

History revision at its finest.

Is this the person you feel sorry for? Cut her loose. From your mind.

Your late DH sounds like a fine man. Their spiteful telling you that you no longer have him couldn't be more wrong. He will live in you & your children forever. Not only in your memories. As another who tragically lost my husband at a very young age, I know there are times he's right there beside me.

Katrina

GraFXGrl said...

"I have come to realize that she has single handedly torn down every friendship I have ever had, and prevented me from having relationships with my aunt, my grandmother, my brothers, my sister-in-law, even my own father; all of this by carefully worded character assassination of everyone close to me."

Lesley,
I swear I thought you were writing my story when I read your whole post! My NM started early w/ me too - planting sly seeds of mistrust for everyone. Stopping would-be friendships in their tracks as well. I hope for your sake you will go NC, I did and I have not regreted it. It can be a hassle at first but if you stay the course I cannot express the peace you will have - her voice gone from your head. I am almost thirty myself and never in all those years EVER felt the calm that I have felt this last year going NC. It is not easy but it is worth it.

K said...

Writer in Washington wrote: "Why is that society in general is blithely unaware of this problem? It can't be that everyone in the media is a MN, can it? I just don't get why most people are so uneducated about MN narcissism."

This is an interesting question and it may have to do with that many persons in power have plenty of narcissistic traits (and thus try to shush the whole thing).

I feel that our world is at its height of narcissism at the moment - kind of a dark age of sorts.

What also scares me is that it is usually the biggest narcissists that get the most media attention (Madonna, Jolie, Beckhams, Cruise etc). Why is this? Do people buy their fake, larger than life personas or are they attracted to them because they do not want to see their own narcissistic side?
These people will do anything to get attention and may profess to be peacelovers one moment and star in hyperviolent movies the next.

I wonder how many promising and gifted non-narcissists have been destroyed and trampled upon by narcissists? I know from my own experience that my good traits (I am attractive, smart and with a good heart) have made me a target for narcissists all my life - they can sniff you out from miles away and especially if you see through them, you're DONE.

Is it so that society's winners of today. are actually the losers? Is the narcissistic Donald Trump really a "successful" man or the bottom-of-the-barrel??

Something to ponder...

Anonymous said...

When I was in my mid-twenties, I dated a great guy. He was handsome and fun to be with-for the first six months anyway. He took me out to dinner, we both liked museums, had the same taste in movies, it seemed perfect.

Then he began to complain how much he was spending in restaurants, so we would split the check. Sometimes we'd eat at a diner, other times I would cook. If I made chicken, his last girlfriend made terrific chicken, if I made filet mignon, his mother always made a bearnaise sauce to go on his filet. Everything I did, he seemed to come up with a little suggestion of how it could be improved. Nothing was ever good enough.

I'm not a big fan of violent movies, suddenly those were the only ones he was interested in going to. My friends, who he adored in the beginning, were avoided. He invented reasons not to like them, one friend had no respect for me, another he insisted said something mean spirited about me behind my back. He did the same with his own friends,"B is a great guy but he'll never amount to anything" or "I really like S, but he drinks too much and sleeps around on his girlfriend, not that it matters, she's too dumb to figure it out."

We had plans to go to a party one Friday night. He was going biking on trails in the woods with his friends after work, and would pick me up at eight. He left a message on my machine at ten thirty, apologized that he lost track of the time, and promised to make it up to me the following day. I had gone to the party without him. The next day he invited me to his place for take out sushi from our favorite restaurant. He was being really sweet, apologized again, and bought me flowers. We sat down to eat, and it was just like the old days. Then he pulls out the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated and tells me that he wants me to look like the girl on the cover! I was stunned. It's not like he had six pack abs, and I knew I'd never be 5'11" and weigh 98 pounds. I also knew that I wanted to get as far away from this jerk as I could, so I left. I didn't return his calls.

Three months later I was dating the man I eventually married, and my N-ex called to go out to dinner. I told him that I was dating someone else, but he insisted. Not knowing that he was an N at the time, I thought that he wanted to apologize for being such a jerk. Turns out, he wanted to know if the guy I was dating was my boyfriend, because he wanted us to get back together.

Unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

KRL, my 2¢ on joking and appropriateness:

I don't think making fun of people is always wrong in and of itself. Sometimes teasing is truly good natured. People who trust one another often engage in gentle teasing that is not meant to hurt and doesn't hurt. It all depends on how something is said, and the underlying motivations and goals.

And sometimes jokes and imitations in some situations are, well - a bit deserved. It is a great way for people to let off steam about people who are truly ridiculous and offensive. I LOVE shows like Monty Python, and that is all about making light of people's behavior. There is an over-the-top N in my very small town that frankly most people [including myself] can do a pretty spot on imitation of, because she is so dramatically pretentiousness and unbelievable and has offended almost everyone. Most everyone tries to avoid her, except for a few people under the spell of her cheesy "charisma". I can't say that I think mocking her is wrong. [ LOL, I can't help saying it, she is so bad she practically MAKES people mock her! Even old ladies do it!]

The N's mean spirited humor is different. It is not defensive, it is offensive. Like everything else, N's hijack "humor" for their own uses, and use it to try to appear "innocent" and "normal" when they are really being evil and self-serving. Jokes for them are used as covers to humiliate and hurt, or to get NS from feeling superior, not to entertain and provide laughter and fun. Just like "honesty" is used by N's to hurt and harm, not inform, or "advice" is used to humiliate or control, not to help, and so on.

I wrote the long comment above about my NFOO relentlessly mocking our invited guests and friends, and relations we made vacation plans with. Here is the essence of the problem as I see it: these were our GUESTS, and what we did was predatory and unbalanced. WE invited THEM over - again and again. We SOUGHT their company, and trashed them. They were basically nice folks with admittedly maybe a little more then the usual share of quirks - but they were sincere and kindhearted. They did not deserve or invite our or anyone else's mockery, not a bit. We didn't occasionally giggle over or discuss their quirks which is natural and human: we engaged in relentless, egregiously disproportionate and utterly self serving roasting. We did it so we could feel superior to our own friends. Period. And we took action [invites etc] to KEEP them in our lives so we'd always have material.

Just saying [and it is longer then I meant to be!], from someone else who grew up in a situation where my joking abilities were co-opted into the group N serving ends, I don't think all kinds of imitations are necessarily wrong.

Anonymous said...

How do you not dwell on what the ns have done? I don`t dwell all the time but I do have my days were I just want to get justice and tell them off.Especially to those "professing Christians" who were so unjust with their words but that think that they are still right with God.

GraFXGrl said...

"How do you not dwell on what the ns have done? I don`t dwell all the time but I do have my days were I just want to get justice and tell them off.Especially to those "professing Christians" who were so unjust with their words but that think that they are still right with God."

I second this - sometimes I have a hard time with being denied justice. Especally with a smear campaign that everyone believes. Although sometimes I think it has helped because I would rather know people's real charactor and these events HAVE showed me that. That's something I guess.

Kimberley said...

K at 10:30:00 AM,

I can't remember the exact website I visited (one of a bagillion I have checked out over the years) but the highly informed, insightful author suggested, nay adamantly declared, that this era of civilization is in the cyclic Dark Ages.

Kinda scary, pessimistic, and morbid to believe but....the evidence of evil deeds, in the past 100 years speaks truth to me that he might be onto something.

I am thankful that with the advent of the computer age, the generation of information, has allowed me the ability to discover many sites specifically created to alert people of the destructiveness, the devastating hazards and damage perpetrated by PDIs (aka...the evil ones).

Like, Kathy's and Anna's blogs which truly are, lighthouse beacons shining forth for all us lost, confused, fearful ships longing for a safe harbor to rest.

A safe harbor to collect ourselves. A safe harbor to learn how to vigilantly protect ourselves from being preyed upon by the nastiest of nasties.

I doubt I will ever find the most succinct words to express my sincerest gratitude to the Lovely Anna, the cherished Kathy, and all the other concerned, compassionate, and loving men and women who's only desire, only hope in creating their websites, is to help those hurting folks who need and deserve it so very much.

They are our Earth Angels, sent by a benevolent Creator to shepherd the lost sheep back into that warm safe secure pasture.

There is a spiritual war going on and I think it's been happening since the beginning of humanity.

Just seems more dire today as we are living it, exposed daily to the corruption, the greed, the selfishness, the violence of evil thanks to mass media and the internet super-highway.

But being the optimistic realist, or realistic optimist, I CHOOSE to see the wondrous beauty that beckons me to nurture, cherish and love.

I will never relinquish my child-like wonder, my excitement over the tiniest of miracles; a little industrious ant scurrying on her busy way, the intricate veins on a leaf, the soft, luxurious fur of my 2 spoiled posh felines, the winter sun blazing it's glory upon my face..(finally!..haha)

These miracles, these beauties of nature cozy up next to my heart and give me blissful joy.

And with this joy, as the Holy Spirit resides within me, I share it with the wonderful people I meet & greet daily.

Oh, they are infected with my good cheer, my positive energy, my loving spirit as I am with theirs.

And so...the benevolent chain of goodness, of real joy is transmitted to others causing a dominoe effect that literally crumbles the influence of evil.

We will kick those demons to the curb! You know the ones I'm talking about: those pernacious demons who whisper in our ears that we aren't worthy enough to be loved and cared for as we love and care for others. Who relentlessly whisper in our ears that fear is our best and only friend in the world.

Hah! What LIES they spout! Rip those myths up into tiny pieces and scatter them to the four corners of the world, because that's exactly what they are: MYTHS & LIES to keep you under the thumb of evil dudes, frightened and subservient to their deviant will.

You can do it!...haha.

Peace, Love and Joy forever...amen.

Anonymous said...

I want to offer you a virtual hug, Kathleen.

That is pure evil, and yet typical N behavior. They twist things, believe their own lies, and try to make your loss about them. You can't even have peace in your grief, because they won't allow it.

And you can be sure SIL is busy convincing others of this lie. Stop communicating with her completely, if you haven't already.

Anonymous said...

my husband found this blog while trying to come to grips with my narcissist mother. quite frankly, i'm shocked her picture isn't right there on the front page! i'm an acon and every word and incident resonates with me.

high among the list of so many of the despicable incidents i've tolerated throughout my life, she cheated on my dad for years (and often shared her sexual conquests with me, her youngest daughter, while my poor father was still alive. divisiveness was and still is her specialty) i waited until he was gone to hit the ground running and i must say, i've never felt so free in my life.

some of the more 'pleasant' mother memories i have... after my father passed, she asked me... "what have YOU lost?" none of us were allowed to grieve-- it was all about her. well, i contracted shingles from the stress of it all, and when i informed her of that, she proclaimed "i feel like your competing with me!" she and my oldest brother sat clacking away on the laptop, composing my father's obituary WHILE HE WAS STILL ALIVE, struggling for his life in hospice. that was the final straw. i ran and never looked back. i'm the youngest of 4 children and i'm the only one who escaped, thanks to the support of my amazing AMAZING husband and children.

this site is a godsend to me... it's oddly comforting knowing i'm not the only one with such a horrific, dysfunctional family. (everyone who knows my mother is convinced i was adopted...) it's very tough coming to grips with the fact that your own mother doesn't love you. in fact, she's still trying to break up my marriage! we just celebrated 27 incredible years together and raised 3 beautiful, bright and loving children-- go figure. she never even asks about her grandchildren's well being. my sibs are so conditioned to her evil ways that they don't even see it.

the incident that sealed my heart from them forever was that i had a huge professional accomplishment-- i was given a vendor number by a major upscale department store, which was no easy feat. she found out via my site, called every branch store in california inquiring about me (i was in the las vegas store) and when each store could not confirm i was there, she told everyone-- and i mean EVERYONE-- i was a liar and a failure. of course, when she eventually found out where i actually was placed, she never corrected the accusation to anyone. she just kept it to herself. but as i'm sure you are well aware, these incidents are just the tip of the iceberg. i could write a book.

thank you for ALWAYS showing such insight. you rock, anna.

Kathleen said...

Thank you Kimberly, Sojourner Kate, Katrina, and Anonymous. I really appreciate your words.

Katrina, I'm sorry you lost your beloved too. Being a widow sucks, doesn't it??

No, I have no contact at all with that Mega N SIL. She's not the one I have any compassion for.

One of the things I did for DH at the end was plan a surprise wedding vow renewal. It was held where were originally got married. Everyone knew not to tell him and that maybe the whole thing would be called off -- I was monitoring his condition. Would he even be able to attend? So I knew on Valentine's Day 2007 that yes, he would be able to attend (a week away!) and gave him the invitation in his Valentine's Day card.
All the ILs came (free food!! Yee-haw!) And NOT ONE EVEN BROUGHT A CARD! I paid for 8 of them, and Mega N SIL didn't RSVP to me -- she RSVP'ed to DADDY and he got HUFFY with ME when I said that I didn't know she was coming! He said "Well, she told ME." Jerk.

In this portin of an email she is practically screaming I AM A NARCISSIST:

The only issue you have with me is I didn't bring a card to the vow renewal. I was told that YOU wanted it to be a suprise. But you know what, I was there for MY BROTHER not you. My dying brother was THRILLED that I was there. I even said to him that I didn't bring a card and he said "You just being here is enough."


Oh. I'm sure he said that to her. He would never say "Go home, Bitch, and get me a card." LOL

When you get discouraged, when you feel lonely, when you feel the sting of their cruelty and injustice, LOOK AT THEIR LIVES. No, God doesn't need us to "save" them -- nor does He need us to bring them down. Their houses WILL NOT STAND.

YOU have integrity, character. YOU can get better BECAUSE you recognize what has happened to you, what ails you. They can't get better!

Count your blessings. Compare how you're raising your children and what they have compaared to the children of the minions.

My ILs have 3 grandchildren. Two of them are my children! The other is the son of Mega N. She gave no thought to his education (but she has surround-sound in her home!), and he toils away at a low-paying job. He's 21. My daughter is 20 and me and DH were involved, loving parents. She attends a school in Williamsburg, Va. (can you guess which one?? I'm SO PROUD!). And no one handed it to my DD. We instilled values and kept plugging away at parenthood. SIL stuffed her face with microwavable mac & cheese and lived on credit cards. No money for son's schooling.

YOU have stopped the cycle. You may not see how healthy your children's marriages will be, you may not see your grandchildren -- but the builders of the great cathedrals never saw the finished work either.

Just keep plugging away doing the RIGHT thing. Nothing escapes the notice of God.

- Kathleen

Anonymous said...

I don’t care how much the N Foo’s trash my image to each other and their minions.
Over a year of NC with them. My friends, DH and all my IL’s are well aware without me saying anything, what dangerous, lying N’s they are.
When I went NC, all my friends were so happy for me that I finally woke up and left all the games behind me. Two friends said “so, you won’t be making excuses for them anymore?” another friend cried and said she and her DH and been praying for years that I would be able to be free of the N’s. (Yes their behaviour is that obvious and dangerous, I never told anyone how bad they really are, it was in their behaviours for all to see.)
I hung in there for a too long trying to help the odd minion, but no more.

Here’s the thing: even after moving to another state (big upheaval for DH and I, who miss his family very much), I am afraid of the N’s slander entering and destroying our new life. I was given a golden opportunity recently for a very high profile position, one I have worked towards for a long time. I was initially thrilled, then reality hit and I sadly turned it down. Afraid it wasn’t worth sticking my head up because the N’s would love to tear me down. Slander me to people in my new job who don’t know what they are. Evil.
Now I’m despondent. Am not working towards anything at all. Why bother? I know the N’s are just waiting and watching, hoping I’ll give them a chance to lop off my head with their lies.

It’s all very well to move and keep a low profile. But that precludes many great opportunities from my life. How can I keep a low, safe profile and live my life fully, taking opportunities that carry a high profile? How do I ever live a life with no fear? NOT FAIR !! SOOO NOT FAIR!!

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

"Afraid it wasn’t worth sticking my head up because the N’s would love to tear me down."

Keep living that way and you remain their victims. They're going to slander you anyway, so you might as well do what you dream of doing.

If you're concerned about slander, then "take away the stick" by speaking to others first about your own family wanting to destroy you through lies. Also, the best way to deal with slander is to basically say, "That's what they've been saying? HAHAH! Do you believe them?" That sort of thing.

By staying "down" and being "despondant", not only will it not stop them, you'd be playing against a stacked deck while they harm you anyway.

Famous people deal with similar things all the time and sometimes worse. It hasn't stopped them, so why let Ns stop you?

Debbie Downer said...

The thing is that when you are dealing with a narcissist, if they haven't been bad to you yet, you just haven't been around long enough. Because the narcissist needs people to abuse and will gradually work through their circle of friends and it doesn't matter how long you've been around or how loyal you've been, the beast must be fed.

Barbara said...

I am afraid of the N’s slander entering and destroying our new life.

As long as you are afraid - THEY STILL CONTROL YOU.

Stop being afraid, know they will slander you and LAUGH at anyone who repeats it to you and cut off anyone who believes it.

sojourner kate said...

Hi friends,

I recently got a letter from NM in response to the boundary letter that I sent. It is the usual for her...a surface compliance with my stated boundaries with obvious undertones of contempt, minimization and one sentence that is turning out to have some disturbing implications.

She writes, "I've been a bit concerned that you have brought my granddaughters into your difficulties with me."

This immediately created anger in me. I thought to myself, "You mean MY DAUGHTERS?" In the letter I sent, I told her that I did not want to participate in gossip with her because I do not gossip about other people and don't want to listen when she does it.

Apparently that was not good enough and she is asking for additional reassurance. That is what I THOUGHT that line meant. It turns out that she is basically telling me here what her plans are regarding *her granddaughters*.

I would also like to mention that I have two grown sons. NM has virtually no relationship with them and can not even remember my older son's daughter's name...my little granddaughter who lives in Minnesota. The granddaughters that NM mentions are my four daughters(two sets of twins ages 33 and 21).

NM has been closer to the older twins(they are 33).In the past her relationship with them has been minimal...emails once every couple of months...a visit every three or four years. Her contact with DH and my younger girls(they are 21)has always been through DH and I and she has never shown any interest in having a personal relationship with them.

I just found out that she has been persistently emailing daughter#3 who lives about 1 1/2 hours away from NM. She has now invited my daughter for a visit. I talked to my daughter today and she is absolutely clueless that she is being played by NM. This is my daughter with BDD and social anxiety. She told me that she wants to try to have a closer relationship with her Grandma. This daughter and I are close and I don't think that NM could replace me, but I am afraid that is exactly what she is going to attempt based on NMs past behavior.This daughter has the kind of personality that would make her vulnerable to manipulation. She has had past abusive relationships with boyfriends. I know how wonderful NM can be when she is *love-bombing* someone in order to entangle them in her web.

It hurts to think that NM is using my daughters to either fill up her empty life or to attempt to create an estrangement and hurt me.

Some of you have heard my story that NM tried this tactic with daughter#1 when daughter#1 was in college and living close to NM. It was a nightmare. I had to fly up and talk to my oldest daughter for hours in order for her to see what was happening. I then confronted NM and after a lengthy battle she finally *conceded* to me in a bizarre phone call.

NM has not been able to contact daughter#4...this daughter has been living in England, since daughter#4 has not had a working computer. Since daughter#4 is flying back to the States today, we've been talking to her husband, our son-in-law. A letter for daughter#4 from NM came in their mail today. He didn't want to open the letter without our daughter's permission so I don't know what the letter said.Fortunately, this daughter and son-in-law totally get it. They are on to NMs tricks and see her clearly.

Daughter #2 is unlikely to be hijacked by NM since she is very grounded and also too busy to have much contact.

Daughter #1 is still unaware that NM is not a nice person. She is an innocent in many ways and not a good judge of character. She also has a few N qualities herself, which worries me quite a bit.

NM has little interest in my two sons. Her rejection of them has always hurt and saddened me. Now I am looking on it as a blessing that they are not her target.

I want to also add that my younger twins were kidnapped by my psychopath ex-husband(and taken across country) when they were babies(along with my two sons) so I am very hyper reactive when it comes to feeling like someone is trying to take away my children. The kidnapping and getting my children back was the catalyst for me to develop the stress related illnesses that I still suffer from. I have had a lot of trauma and loss in my life and have PTSD from these events. I don't feel like I could cope with the loss of one of my children to this manipulative and evil woman.

I feel like I am seeing what an utterly selfish user my mother is. She is not trying to be closer to *her granddaughters* for their benefit. This is all about her needs and about trying to hurt me.

I feel like somebody punched me in the stomach. NC seemed so ideal. I didn't think about the fact that she would continue her evil machinations and that there would be even more fall out to contend with.

Any wisdom would be much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Here's the beautiful thing about moving AND going no contact. I see it like a witness protection program. You disappear and disconnect, so that you can recover and regroup.

Then, the sun starts shining again, and you have strength to carry on. You can walk the streets without looking over your shoulder. You can pick up the phone without wondering which one of the N's agents is calling to threaten or harass you.

After a while, it doesn't matter if you pass them on the street, because they have no power over you any more. You've tasted freedom, done your personal work, and there's no going back.

If you get stuck in this recovery, it is not shameful to get help. Reaching out is the recovery, but reaching out in the right direction.

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

SK, it's pretty transparent to me. She can't get to you, so she's going after others. The best you can do is warn them, but beyond that, let them make their own mistakes. "Hold on loosely, but don't let go". Be there for them when they need you and make it clear that you will do that. Beyond that, they have to dig themselves out of whatever they got themselves into.

She's only interested in those she can use.

Remain NC, obviously. As others have said, it's not easy, but worth it.

Anonymous said...

You are so right guys!
I am still a victim and they do still control me while I remain in fear.
I need to grow some balls (and I'm a woman) and just get on with things.

I suppose I was enjoying the peace and quiet so much this past year. And happy for DH having a break from all the pain they cause him. (I'm the one who brought them into his life)
So there's guilt in there as well as fear.
Kathleen's posts have helped with the guilt. Her love and admiration for her husband despite his NFOO helps me believe my DH when he tells me I'm not like the N's and he loves me. I doubted DH's love could last through all this, until Kathleen's insightful posts.
Keep posting Kathleen!! you've no idea how much you help not just me, but so many of us with N Foo's feeling guilty for what we've exposed our loving partners to. They cop the abuse like you did, and I am so terribly sorry for bringing that evil into his life.

I will stay with the peace and quiet for now, while DH and I rest and heal. And I'll work on growing some balls to cope with the inevitable when I pop my head up.
Watch out world here I come!!
I should get my head out of my ass and realise I'm not the only one, if others cope, so can DH and I.
(I'll give him a bit longer of peace though, before I do pop my head up)
Thanks for your help guys!! I feel those balls dropping already!!

Sojourner Kate
My heart almost broke reading what your bitch NM is doing. Sounds like she is capable of way worse than you even imagined.
I have no children myself, so i can't think of any proper advice I'm sorry. Do you have any support around you to help with the battle that lies ahead?
I do know from experience that going NC makes some N's even more crazy and very dangerous. (I had death threats from them) NC is only the beginning of a tough battle, not the end. Be strong, get ready and plan ahead. Anticipate the worst, and beat your NM to the punch.
NC was tricky and dramatic for us and we don't even have kids.
(This is probably terrible advice: I was going through the PTSD and ended up rushed by ambulance to the cardiac ward for heart problems due to the stress of the N games while I was insisting on NC. So I got a prescription for pills to calm me down. Don't want to sound like a drug pusher, just that those little pills helped me get through that horrible time. I was able to think rationally and stop the panic. They helped soooo much, I'm off them now. Maybe a doctor can help you deal with the physical distress and help you get through this time?)
Good luck Kate. God Bless.

Kathleen said...

Sojouner Kate,
Your post really shook me. Your daughter has BDD -- is that body dysmorphic disorder? Am I understanding that correctly - she obsesses over perceived physical flaws? My heart goes out to you. She MAY be so vulnerable.

I can only share with you what I did my own DD1 with her bio dad. Granted, she was MUCH younger. But I never said a bad word about HIM. That would have made her defensive. Instead, I subtley attacked what he SAID and pointed out how nonsensical it was.
For example, she said "Daddy M said I can't call Daddy D's parents grandma and grandpa because they're not and if I do, then he can call a telephone pole a tree. Mommy, it's not the same thing but he won't listen."

She was 4.

My response? "Honey, if he said he is going to call a telephone pole a tree he is admitting to you he KNOWS it's a telephone pole. But you know what? If he says that, you can say 'Go ahead and call the pole a tree. And I'll call Daddy D's mom and dad grandma and grandpa." So she did!! LOL

I know your daughter is much older than 4, but the principle is the same. Point out in a non-threatening way, not putting her grandmother down, the fault in whatever logic your M is using. Keep the lines of communication open. Say "She said that? Wow. I'm surprised she doesn't remember what really happend was....." I think you get the idea. Attack the logic, not the person.

Anonymous, if your husband says he loves you and you're not like your NFOO -- BELIEVE HIM!!! I ADORED my husband. He brought those idiots into my life and there's not one bit of me that blames him for the family he was born into!! He was not at all like them. Somewhere out there is another family with a N child who don't know where they got such a jerk. They must have been switched at birth!

I love my DH. I always will. And he didn't like the way his family treated me one bit -- but I know we never knew what NPD was. If he had known they would have been cut off ages ago.

Your DH loves you. It must be true you're not like them. (((hugs)))

- Kathleen

Anonymous said...

Your DH loves you. It must be true you're not like them. (((hugs)))

Thanks so much Kathleen.
I still can’t imagine how or why I ended up with such a wonderful DH. Twelve wonderful years together. His actions support his words of love every single day.
You, DH and others like you are like Angels. Beautiful, forgiving Angels who are happy to love us ACONs through even through all the Ncrap we bring into your lives. What special people you are. DH thanks me every night for loving him. Even after all the shit my NFOO put him through, he thanks me for my love. AMAZING. You and others like you are very close to God I’m sure.

You saying I’m not like “them” touches my heart so much because that is my biggest fear of all. That is the major reason I’m not yet a parent. I was too terrified that deep down I am like the N’s and I could potentially harm an innocent child like they do. I could never take the risk.
Wish that years ago, I had Anna’s wisdom and all you wonderful people who post and who are proof to me that it is possible to be an ACON and a loving parent at the same time. Makes me sad I wasted my best childbearing years in fear I could be an N. Most of all sad DH isn’t a Dad (luckily he has nine God Children and loads of nieces and nephews from his wonderful family who keep us busy and happy).

If I had the knowledge years ago this wonderful blog and you wonderful people have blessed me with, I would have trusted myself more that I wasn’t like the N’s. I just didn’t know that many people were going through the same torments. I didn’t know there was a way out. I didn’t know there was a chance I could be fully human.
Through the education I’ve received here the past couple of years (just reading, but being too nervous to post) I have literally sobbed while DH held me. Sobbed with relief and joy that there’s the possibility I’m not an N.

Thanks to you guys, I am beginning to trust I am a human being. Not an N. I now (almost fully) trust I’m worth loving.
Anna, Kathleen, everyone, you are truly doing God’s work! (I didn’t even fully trust there was a God, but now I’m starting too).

Kathleen said...

Anonymous,
My FOO would laugh at what I'm about to say:
I AM SPEECHLESS.

I'm so grateful that I'm even here being I'm not from a N family. My stories are NOTHING compared to what I've read here!

How absolutely horrific that your fear of being like THEM kept you childless. The influence of Ns is much, much worse than I ever imagined. I'm so very sorry for your pain.

Ns are not NATURAL. It is innate in every culture around the world to care for one's child, to try to protect one's child, to nurture one's child. When that doesn't happen, there is something seriously warped in that parent. Your instincts would have kicked in. Don't you love loving your DH? Don't you just love picking out that special present or making that special dinner? It's INNATE.

I'm so in shock that you have denied yourself because of your fear of being an N. Your FOO is NOT the norm. Ns are a minority in the general population.

You sound so much like my DH!! He used to say all the time "I'm the lukiest guy in the world" and "Why is your family always so nice to me?" and "I can't believe I have YOU."

HUH??? I thought I was the luckiest!!! He was a BABE (completely unbiased opinion). Sometimes I thought he ovre-reacted to love and kindness, and I just chalked it up to him being mushy at first, then realized he really didn't have much attention growing up. It was like 2 adults and 5 short people living in the same home, but no guidance, no attention, no encouragement. I just thought they were weird, clueless, socially inept, and ferral. I never saw a family so loosely-knit, yet claiming to be close, as his family -- or a family so obviously clamoring to be center stage.

Yes, there is a GOD!!! We ALL have our doubts at times. That's normal. But I really, really do see how the Ns have built their houses on shifting sands (whatever their agenda is at the moment), and those houses are FALLING. How sad it is that my ILs have 3 grandchildren, and 2 of them want nothing to do with their grandparents?? How sad it is that my ILs have never taught their children basic financial principles, and NOT because of the economy one had to be rescued from bankruptcy?? And her husband is an accountant! How sad it is when they are parents who find out their daughter quit highschool by forging their permission and then sigh and say "well, nothing we can do it about it now"!!! I would have marched her fat ass right back and SAT on her if I had to -- but she would have finished school.

These parents didn't give a damn about the children they brought into the world. THEY are the ones who are NOT NATURAL.

Learn God's principles. Apply them. Keep PLUGGING AWAY because it can get tough at times. But when you turn around and look behind you, you WILL see His "goodness and mercy following me all the days of my life."

And your DH is a blessed man. Too many women are attached to mommy and daddy and run to them over bullshit like how their husbands squeeze the toothpaste tube. You have separated from your FOO and have become one with your husband. He is as blessed as you are.

(((HUGS)))

- Kathleen

Sister Renee said...

Sojourner Kate,
My head is spinning from your story. I am keeping you and all your children in prayer. We can do all we can to counteract the devious tactics of the Ns, but sometimes we have to rely on God to reveal their true motives and evil to others who don't see it yet. I'm praying your NM will trip up and God will show your daughter what she's really dealing with. And for protection for all of you, and all of us.

EastCoastGirl said...

Anna, your most recent post reminded me of my alcoholic N-mother, who is dead now. I believe my mother was a narcisssist, even without alcoholism. Most of our conversations weren’t real conversations. They were her slandering someone, with me the captive audience because I didn’t know how to end the conversation. This was over 20 years ago. I didn’t even know what a narcissist was. Toxic relationships hadn’t been invented yet.

Out of the blue, when I least expected it, she would ask me how one friend of mine or another was doing. I, being clueless, thought she was really interested and would give a real answer that usually included praise of or sympathy for the friend. N-mother’s spite-laden response: “You’re prettier" (or talented, smarter, or better, depending on what I had said). That short, simple statement would shut me down. I had no idea how to respond. I was confused. Was it a compliment to me? If it was, why didn’t I feel good? And how did it match up with this person who made it clear throughout my life that my looks, my personality, my intelligence, and my everything were a disappointment to her? Her other reaction to any discussion about my friends was: “Watch out for her; she’s a liar, sneaky, or two-faced.”

When I was reading your blog, I had an epiphany. It was all a setup! She knew what she was doing. She frequently sat around brooding over other people's betrayal of her or on everything that was wrong with them. And not just people she had direct contact with, but my friends, too. After all, I was an extension of her. I had no identity apart from her. So, my thinking well of my friends or even having friends was a threat to her. She didn’t ask me how they were doing out of concern or interest. She asked so she could have an opportunity to shoot them down.

I recently ended a relationship with yet another N-friend. It has been a blessing because this was the one that made the light bulb come on. It has forced me to reevaluate my relationships with my mother and my N-sister and all of my relationships in light of narcissism. I actually think I’m finally breaking free of the hold my mother had on me, even in death! And you, Anna, have played an important role in my escape! Thank you!

sojourner kate said...

Thank you for the validation and support. I realized yesterday that I had gone back into that place where I feel like NM is bigger and more powerful than anything else. She at times feels like on of the *giants* that the children of Israel faced when they were entering into the promised land.

I need to remember and be in the mindset that she is a grasshopper compared to the mightiness of the God that we worship.

Once again, I'm on my knees. It's a good thing. I've spent many years parenting my six. NM has been a distant figure in their lives. It is important that I don't fall back into that childish mindset where I am afraid of her. Sober-minded, where I see her clearly and understand the depth of her depravity, yes. Quaking in my boots, no.

I'm not sure what I'm going to say to my daughter. Kathleen, BDD is body dysmorphic disorder. Although I am an empathetic and encouraging mother to my kids, I also was by example, a model of someone who let herself be victimized by others and who had a poor self concept. During those years I just thought I was being a forgiving and kind person when I was actually tolerating and enabling abuse. Some of the lessons on this journey have been painful ones.

I do have good, open communication with this daughter and we talk/email multiple times a week. All NM has to offer is a kind of *love* that is not love at all because it is completely self-serving. It's like cotton candy...no substance and it makes your teeth hurt when you bite into it. Ultimately, it will make you sick.

So the answer for me in this is to pray and listen...to ask for support...and to be honest with my daughter. She also has a good relationship with her twin sister who sees NM for what she is. This daughter is like me, the family truth teller. She is a radical truth teller...like our Anna. The world needs many more people like that!

Thank you again, for the support and for holding my hand during this scary part of the movie...

SK

Writer in Washington said...

DH's ex MN is not above using his reputation to establish herself though. On a website for a former church youth group (who is planning a reunion) she had no hesitation in mentioning that she was "formerly" his wife. He was a pastor at that particular church so it is an "in" for her socially there. Pretty funny, considering how she has blackened his name all over the country but can flip-flop when its convenient. What stupid people they must be at that church though, not to see through her since many of the personally knew her in the past!

Anonymous said...

SK

“I need to remember and be in the mindset that she is a grasshopper compared to the mightiness of the God that we worship.”
What a wonderful metaphor/image! (plus it’s the truth) So glad for you to have come up with a path through this that works for you.

“During those years I just thought I was being a forgiving and kind person when I was actually tolerating and enabling abuse.”
That’s very profound. Made me stop and think and think and think.
I have done the same thing. Thinking that my endless forgiveness of evil that was never apologised for was me being kind. Like you so perceptively write: I was actually tolerating and ENABLING abuse.
No wonder the N’s go crazy when we go NC! All that yummy supply we’ve given them over the years is gone! How dare we!
I will keep reflecting on your quote. Making sure I never let it happen again.
Love those bible quotes from Anna and Sister Renee’s site about proper forgiveness. So very enlightening. We only enable and become a minion of evil if we tolerate and enable. Feeling very foolish for playing that role for so many years.
Now I need to forgive myself.

SK. Sounds like you’ve found your strength! You Go Girl!!!

Anonymous said...

Anna
This is not really relevant to your wonderful post, but I wanted to show this to you. I read it online and it has chilled me to the bone! This person’s words prove they are NOT SAFE.
You may not want to publish this in your blog posts, I just thought it was a chilling insight into the mind of one sociopath. If any of us here, are not yet NC, this person’s online words might be enough to help someone finally go NC. (just clarifying, not my words, a post I found online by a sociopath, truly terrifying stuff) Would be very interested in your take on the words of this sicko.
Here ‘tis:

“Sociopaths, though born that way, are people too. To avoid an entire group of people is absurd. That's like saying, "Since these people have dark skin, everyone should completely avert themselves from them." I am a moderate sociopath, and though part of me doesn't want to change, another does. Many times it is really entertaining to see how stupid people can be, especially when they're so gullible as to believe every word that mellifluously flows from my lips. Yes, I am parasitic, but even so, there are some people I would like to stop hurting. I can't find any websites that can provide a way to help my sociopathy. Maybe people like you should stop your self-victimisation and start trying to actually help people like me! I knew I was a sociopath before the age of ten but have only recently had it officially diagnosed. I am eighteen years old now, and I have been lying and destroying others' sanity for a long time. So, please post some helpful tidbits that might help sociopaths resist the sweet urges we get when we encounter weak human beings. When you cut us, do we not bleed? When you kill us, do we not die? Do you honestly think that you're being lied to and manipulated when we sincerely ask for help. Listen to yourselves! This is the internet; ergo, you're safe from our fortified mental grasp.”

Anonymous said...

anon 11:54 - ewwww.... that is so creepy, but good to know. Thanks. So chilling, presenting himself as a 'victim"!!

I read an article recently about a "serial impostor", a con man who in part got away with what he did so often because people almost never suspected someone of conning others for purely emotional motives only. He figured out a perfect angle to win instant sympathy and special attention. Pure N all the way, utter selfishness, disregard, bottomless neediness, extreme cunning and drive, and no moral compass. One of the more bizarre true crimes I've read about ever.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/08/11/080811fa_fact_grann

Anonymous said...

Dear Sociopath,
I think you're trolling for new online conquests. I also think you are looking for new ideas on how to manipulate your victims. If you were really interested in changing, you would seek professional help instead of posting on the internet. And finally, yes I do honestly think that I'm being lied to and manipulated when you ask for help, because I'm not so gullible as to believe every word that mellifluously flows from your lips.

Sincerely,
Been There, Done That

Sister Renee said...

“Sociopaths, though born that way, are people too. "

No, they're not. They are lacking the one thing that defines humans- a conscience. I don't mean to come across as disrespectful to anyone who takes this nonsense seriously, but I had a good laugh over the poor little sociopath's plight. His whole post is textbook. We certainly don't owe a sociopath any help. And yes, it makes perfect sense to avoid a whole group of people, oops, I mean, things. Would you not avoid a whole hive of hornets or a whole patch of poison ivy in your yard? How about a whole nest of rattlesnakes? What if there's one "good" hornet or one "good" poison ivy plant or one "good" rattlesnake that feels outcast and wants you to help it change? Would you?

Wasn't there some old fable about a horse that gave a snake a ride on his back across a flooded river, and when they got on the other side, the snake bit him anyway? As he was dying, the horse asked why he did that after he saved him, and the snake said, "Hey, you knew I was a snake...." I might not be remembering it exactly but you get the picture.

Writer in Washington said...

Ick! That comment from the sociopath reminds me of my MN stepson! Sub-human but we are supposed to pity him for his manipulativeness? I googled that quote, there's a whole bunch of those monsters on that site. God help us!

Kathleen said...

Question for all of you, please? I've read different websites, blogs, etc., and I really am not sure about the general consensus about EXPOSURE.

I just read something on it at Luke 173 Ministries, but now I can't find what I'm looking for.

So many of you have said that you've talked to non-N family members, etc., and laid out your side. Some believed you; some were really minions.

Part of me is of the mindset that although I listed to each one of DH's NFOO what they exactly DID (not who they are) that upset me and told them it called for an apology. Not one has apologized. I assume from that they are not sorry and that they are not sorry because they believe they are right and are/were entitled to do what they did/are doing.

IF they really believe they are right, then they shouldn't be embarrassed if what they did was made known to others, right? If their hateful emails were forwarded to others, they should be able to stand tall and proud and say Yes, Those Are My Words.

Is exposure a good thing or not??
Has it ever worked for you, or ever backfired??

Really need advice.
Thanks.

- Kathleen

(and FIL, if you are reading this, hey, how ya' been?)

Anonymous said...

Kathleen
I’ve always experienced that forwarding the N’s hateful emails and other correspondence was playing into a drama would drag me down down down.

Some N’s in my FOO do this to eachother (and there’s some sick twisted shit in those emails! Including death threats!).
Although DH and I are officially NC with them, for some reason, one N in the family keeps cc’ing the NFOOs crap to us on email. And we keep these on file in case we need legal protection.

In the past, if there was an innocent I wanted to try to protect, I would sometimes forward them some correspondence from NFOO as a warning to them. But after years of trying to protect people from the N’s it never has paid off, and ALWAYS has ended up with me being dragged into another N drama. The act of me passing on info, just invited the NRage into my life.
Now I stay away!!

Now, the only way I use the hateful emails, is as blackmail against the Ns. I have said to various NFOOs that if they don’t keep away from DH and I, I will forward the emails out to people as revenge. Not a very charitable thing, but so far it’s mostly worked and I’m kept out of their sick MN loop.
(I know this doesn’t keep me safe from their lies and vandalism of my image behind my back, that still scares me and I’m working on being stronger)

In one instance, DH and I had enough hateful emails and admissions to give to our lawyer. Our lawyer said we had enough evidence to file a sexual assault suit against MNfather and we got it in writing. We sent lawyers letter to MNfather (who is dying of cancer and so, wants contact again), and said we would not press charges if he leaves us alone. If he contacts us again, we will take him to court and the whole world will know what he is. He’s obviously scared enough that he’s back to NC with us. The blackmail shut him and his wife up very quickly!

What I’m trying to say, is, their hateful emails have worked for DH and I to use as blackmail to keep most of the N’s away from us for now. So, I’m sure none of them are particularly proud of what they have written. And that to me is proof they know full well they are in the wrong!! (especially when a lawyer says so too)

Any other forwarding of emails to prove to the world how crap they are, has ended up in crap N drama in the past. (Major backfire) I figure the minions will stay minions and the rest of the people will see the truth eventually in their own time.

Had an instance a few months ago. Heard Nbrother had captured another prey/girlfriend. Really wanted to warn her how dangerous he is, but past experience taught me the girls won’t listen or believe me (how can I prove the email is really from N?) So, I felt bad for her, but knew N’s well rehearsed, brilliant charm would quickly fade away. It did, now she has a protection order against him. She’s okay. And I was saved his (dangerous) rage which I would have copped had I forwarded anything to her.

Not sure if this has helped you. It’s just what I’ve experienced. And I am okay using blackmail with the N’s own words used against them, in order to have some peace. They are obviously ashamed of their words and behaviours. And never thought I would use them against themselves.

I go for protection over exposure, because I’ve never had exposure work. Wish I lived in a world where it did! Maybe one day I’ll crusade like Anna, to help get the word out there. Just still healing for the time being.

Anonymous said...

Feb 17, 2009 5:18:00 PM

Kathleen,

Regarding your question on exposure, I do not believe that I am exaggerating when I tell you that even if I had a video of my NMom writing the letter/e-mail/whatever, reading it, and the actualy message in her handwriting she would still deny it, turn in on me, and then use it to gather additional source:

"That is not how it was meant!"
"I wrote what I thought you wanted to hear."
"I tried to help and it's still not good enough!"
"This is so crazy and it's because her husband is controlling her."

Blah, blah, blah...

Exposure to people who already know how dysfunction the family is won't gain you anything.

Exposure to people who are minions won't gain you anything either (except maybe more grief).

Exposure to people who are "on the fence" could just give your Ns more source.

Short of devine intervention, I don't see a way that it won't backfire.

As I read and re-read your post it sounds to me like you're expecting the Ns to react like "normal" people. AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!

Remember, No Contact is like kryptonite to Ns. How you wield it, or not, is entirley up to you.

JR (feelin' a little surly tonight)

Anonymous said...

Kathleen -

My first thought was to pass this along. I keep this list handy, since I need to remind myself of it often:

Victims naturally and rightfully want to:

Destroy
Expose
Threaten
Avenge
Change
Humiliate

But the first initials of the list spell out what we really need to do for ourselves:
D-E-T-A-C-H from these jerks.

You didn't say what your goals were with the exposure though. Are you trying to get something out of them, or prove something to bystanders? If they didn't apologize to you, don't assume anything about what that means. N's lie all the time, to everyone, including to themselves and their very best friends and closest confidantes.

Here are my thoughts - just my opinions and my own style of dealing, so I don't know if they would help:

For myself, I have used 'exposure' successfully in only one type of situation: when my goal is trying to purposely give them an N wound with the goal of causing them to desire to avoid ME too [instead of just me avoiding them]. Once I peg someone an N, I shift my goals to hurrying along the total demise of the so-called "relationship" [with the so-called "person"].

Other then a goal like that, no matter how mad I am and how much I'd like to totally expose what a jerk they are, I personally put my focus into ending all vestiges of anything that can be called a relationship, including any kind of fighting or proving anything or resolution. Fighting can still give them supply. It is extremely difficult, it is SO TEMPTING to want to tell them off, which is why I keep the list handy.

I imagine you hope it will resolve something, because well, it is after all exactly the type of thing that can resolve something with a normal human. Asking them to explain their words. Normal people would do the things you write about [stand behind their words or sincerely apologize etc], and something like exposure could surely get you somewhere. With N's it won't, in my opinion. I don't know what others do, but I've only used exposure to help hasten what to me is the inevitable end, and I've used it carefully - more like showing them I was holding a hand grenade with their name on it. To encourage them to get them to get the hell out of my life.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathleen

Exposure... good question.

I was part of a community once that was slowly, surely taken over by Ns. Disguised, but definitely Ns. Their games varied, but games they were.

I was attacked by gangs of bullies more than once there, and I found that exposure was a very effective defense.

But you mustn't expect the Ns to admit aNythiNg. Exposure was effective because it exposed the Ns as Ns to other participants. And only for that reason.

No apologies were ever forthcoming from any N at any time. In fact 2 particularly egregious Ns made huge productions out of apologizing to everyone except those they actually abused - very, very deliberately.

What finally happened was that the community leader decided to side with the resident bullies, perhaps because it was easier than the high hard road of simple decency. At that point the place just ceased to exist as far as I was concerned - it was of Ns, by Ns, and for Ns.

The place is nearly dead now. The bullies still troll for N supply now and then, but hardly anyone bothers with them. It reminds me of the Cold Lairs in the Jungle Book [the real one by Kipling] - a ruined, empty city, where roving bands of monkeys chatter and scream at the moon.

I think N-exposure had a hand in the demise, but I'll never know for sure.

Aravis said...

Kathleen, SK, your stories about trying to help your children were sad, yet so helpful. I also have a sociopathic MN-ex spouse, who, alas, is the biological father of my DD. From the time she was young, I also never criticized MN-ex but named his behavior (and those of other assorted Ns one meets day-to-day)so she would learn on her own to recognize MN abuse. I also took pains to never excuse the behavior of any N to her. Fortunately, she has largely been raised by me, and DH (since she was 2) and DH told her early on that "families are made by love, not blood". SK, have you considered telling your children that you did indeed spend many years accommodating and excusing MNs in the name of "family" and also tell them that it has been a long, strange trip to bring yourself out of the bubble? My DD, unfortunately, did experience time spend with my Nparents back when I was still drinking the magic kool-aid, and was forced through court-ordered visitation with MN-ex dad to experience first-hand parental MN. I have apologized to her for telling her idiotic things such as "grandpa loves you" when grandpa (my MN-dad) cannot even be trusted to watch a little kid for 5 minutes so s/he doesn't go play in traffic or drink the bottle of bug killer under the sink. I apologized for telling her MN relatives "loved" us, when based on all their abusive behavior, it is obvious they love no one save themselves. In the greater society, women and children are physically, verbally, mentally and emotionally abused and taught to call it LOVE. For example - Chris Rock beats up his girlfriend and the first thing we all hear is how he had an abusive stepfather and how we should all give him a break. OH PLEASE - if he had an abusive stepfather who beat up his mom, he should know better than anyone what it is like, and thus never beat up women. SK, you clearly grew up in a long-term hostage situation, and you did what was necessary to survive. It is very hard to change the patterns that were integral to survival when we were children - and as all of us know too well, we who have chosen to, as Anna put it "Get off the Crazy Bus" are a tiny minority of those raised in MN hell. You can be brutally honest with your kids about your part in exposing them to MNs. It may not work. But you may find that they slowly, over time, find it safe to disclose to you their own experiences. I wish you luck and you have my deepest empathy. Aravis

Anonymous said...

Aravis, You mean Chris Brown, not Chris Rock.

Anna Valerious said...

Kathleen,

Regarding exposure in the way you've described doing it...I'm of the same mind as those who say it will most likely backfire on you. As someone else mentioned -- the Ns are not proud of their words. They run from them, minimize them, excuse them, etc. when confronted by them because they know those words should rightly condemn them.

There were a number of letters exchanged between myself and my mother, father, sister. The only people I let see those letters were a very tight group of us to whom my family were completely exposed to already. These people were also in my family and had personally experienced my FOO themselves and had had their own lives blasted to pieces by my parents and sister. So my sharing letters with them was not exposure. It was proof. Proof in writing of what we all already knew. And, by the way, I shared both MY letters and my FOO's letters, not just the "enemies" letters. I had nothing to hide.

In the meantime, I found out that my mother was reading my letters to people in her circle. Just my letters. Under the pretense of getting their "take" on what I was saying. When I found out about this I was quite pleased! I was not ashamed of one word I had said. I knew that if someone could read my letters and think I was being cruel or unfair then they were just being obtuse or complete tools. My mother's tools. Good riddance.

So, as you may see, it was the Ns in my family distributing my letters in the hope that it would condemn me. I did not do that to them. I never used their letters to "recruit" people to my side or expose my family. Probably because I'm a pretty good judge of character and already knew who could be convinced of reality and who couldn't so I didn't waste any time on those whom I could see were my mother's sycophants.

I do like the idea of using their written words as blackmail to buy peace. I have advised people in email who've asked for advice to hold their knowledge of those things which prove the perfidy of the Ns close their own vest. It is insurance against the future if used strategically and judiciously.

Give up the idea of using exposure as a measure of revenge. If you see that you have proof of their vileness then look at that proof as your leverage to sue for more peace should they make a renewed concerted effort to force themselves back into your life. If you really want "no contact" then the idea of using proof this way is quite appealing. But if you're bent on "justice" then it'll not be so appealing. Which are you looking for? Are you content with "no contact" and looking to make sure that state of things extends to eternity? Or are you finding yourself wanting to jump back into the fray to get a piece of flesh for the sake of "justice"? It seems you struggle off and on with this state of "no contact" like you haven't had opportunity to really smack them good enough so you can be content to walk away from them.

I hope you'll listen to those who've dealt long and deep with narcissists...revenge via trying to hold the narcissist to some account is never satisfying or productive. You'll never get that good feeling you're hoping for. It'll blow back in your face. The best revenge really is to leave them completely to themselves.

There is nothing we can do that will top the message contained in "no contact". It is a perpetual reminder to the narcissist that someone finds them repulsive, disgusting, vile, unsafe for human contact. It is a constant reminder which occurs while you're busy getting on with living your life without thought of them! Hopefully someday you'll really 'get' that this is the best retribution, the best revenge there is. And it is truly the only negative message you can get through to a narcissist that they have a very hard time turning around to others as proof of how bad you are. It is a feeble claim at best. They have to worry that broadcasting that someone has tossed them out of their life will reflect poorly on them...not you. At least, this is so if they try to smear you to someone who is a thinking and decent human being. Who cares what the idiots will think? I sure as hell don't.

"No Contact" is as much a state of mind as it is a condition of living. Until you can let them go, until you can truly not give a flying f**k what they are doing or whether or not they've paid a high enough price for their evil then you are not yet "no contact". "No contact" is as much about freedom from having to think about them as it is freedom from having to deal with their persons.

Here's hoping you'll be going completely no contact soon. Let God handle the full exposure in His way and His time.

Aravis said...

Oops - yes Chris Brown,NOT Chris Rock. Chris Brown is the girlfriend beater, like James Brown. Thanks Anon. I get fired up about the "terrible childhood" excuses in society, got plenty of that with my MN-dad and his co-abusers. Anna, you are so right about going NC. The biggest problem with exposing MNrelatives by showing others the nasty-grams one gets by email, is that email can be easily altered, and the MNs will just say that they DIDN'T write that; you poor, mentally unbalanced person have obviously altered the loving missives they sent you.

I loved the pity party from the sociopath. Lundy Bancroft addresses this very issue in his book "Why Does he Do That - Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men" in his wonderful chapter on how victims can tell if an abuser has really changed. This is a GREAT book - it is written from the standpoint of partner abuse (physical, emotional, verbal, what-have-you) and one of the BIG RED FLAGS that abusers have not changed is if they insist they only can change, or be helped to change if you, the victim, remain with them providing constant affirmation, support, love, etc.

As I was reading the sociopath's plea all I could think was "Gee, how about you just STOP BEING ABUSIVE?" Behaving badly is not an immutable force, like gravity or something. I bet that sociopath manages to behave just fine when he has to; say when he is pulled over for speeding by a heavily armed state trooper on the interstate. Almost no one has a mental disorder that is so bad that they cannot control their behavior when they absolutely have to. The few who do are either dead or in Supermax prison.

But since we cannot change the beast, the only thing to do is GET OUT. As Anna says, physically and as a state-of-mind. Be easy on yourselves as you take on NC. It can take years to fully extricate yourself and be at peace with your decision. Very hard when you were raised to put everyone and their aunt's perceived needs first at all times, no matter the cost to yourself. Be gentle with yourself. You deserve it after decades of indentured servitude.

Anonymous said...

About the practicality of engaging opponents:

I am a martial artist who has studied for many years, taught, and read many books. This may come as a surprise to people outside this area of study, but the literature for all major fighting arts stress GETTING AWAY as the #1 goal of ANY REAL LIFE ALTERCATION WITH A HARMFUL PERSON. Why? The risk to yourself increases exponentially the longer you are engaged in a conflict. Think about it: if two strong tigers fight, the "winner" will still be badly wounded. Is it worth it, even if you "win"? All martial arts books I've read that deal with REAL assault [vs competition which is a valid but sport version of the arts] stress making a very quick move to allow you the space to GET AWAY. They do NOT tell you how to "win" by staying in the fight or how to "teach people lessons" for doing wrong or deal out vigilante punishments in order to "change" people. In dealing with harmful people, the definition of winning is YOUR SAFETY and REMOVING YOURSELF FROM HARM. You are already being made to engage with someone destructive against your will, so make it as brief as possible, and make the contact as limited as possible. And the longer any fight goes on, the more chance you have of being hurt or the tables being turned somehow.


A huge man tried to attack me once, and I did a quick defensive move and successfully got away. This was the best case outcome possible. All my martial artist friends congratulated me on my success. My non-martial arts friends didn't "get it" - they had this fantasy idea that I should be out beating people up and doling out karate chops to bad guy's necks to teach them a lesson. They didn't get that I'd increase risk to myself by engaging any more then I had to to escape. Let alone who knows what will or won't "teach someone a lesson" anyway, that is just idle speculation. My dojo was filed with stories like mine. People who "got away" and lived to tell the tale, with the least engagement possible. It was always considered the best use of our skills: escape from harmful intent with the least contact.

Sorry for the long comment, it is a subject I am passionate about, and it informs my own ideas about how I deal with N's.

Anna Valerious said...

Thank you for an excellent and very practical and tangible line of reasoning on this subject. Disengage, disengage, disengage is the theme of this blog. It can be hard for people to see that as winning. All too often people don't learn it to be so until they get their butts kicked by the narcissist or the bystanders. I guess this is true in the realm of martial arts as well. Great comment, thanks!

Writer in Washington said...

If you can stand another comment about exposing the Ns, it's been my experience that once someone starts vandalizing your reputation its almost impossible to reverse it. Once an accusation has been made any attempt to counteract it by telling the truth will only reinforce what has already been said about you. The accuser is generally believed and the accused is villified without a hearing. Don't waste your time in useless attempts to set the record straight. You will only be considered more guilty than if you just walk away and/or laugh at what is repeated to you. My general response now is: (laugh heartily) "I don't know what's being said and I couldn't care less." Usually people who are repeating it to you have less than pure motives in doing so, and that response stops them dead in their tracks.

Kimberley said...

Hmm, my thoughts on the budding young sociopath:

No, reading what he wrote didn't creep me out. I've read so much of their drivel on the internet that instead of frightening me, I become pissed off and concerned for their present and future victims.

Plus, as Sister Renee so eloquently said it, reading their crap is sooo..same song, same lyrics, like a broken record spouting the most redundant, most infantile, the most grandiose baloney over and over and over....

It always amuses me when I read how they consider a person with a conscience, a person who is decent, loving, caring, compassionate to be......stupid. ROFLMAO!!!

No, WE are not stupid so don't believe it. Not one "stupid" word these humanoids say.

The Sociopath's writing also reveals that they are congnizant of the emotional, psychological, and spiritual damage they inflict upon said.."stupid" people.

Oh yes, dear Anna's readers, they may be impulsive, rash, careless and reckless but they are fundamentally aware, calculating and methodical, when seeking to perpetrate their dastardly deeds upon the good folks of the world.

Sickening, huh? Furthermore, it elicits righteous fury from me. Grrr!!

Even though I no longer ALLOW MNs, Ps, Ss and the whole entire spectrum of personality disorders to prey upon me, I continue my duty of speaking out to others regarding their diabolical, evil behaviors and actions.

If we have the valuable knowledge, we should share it.

Anonymous said...

In 'The Gift of Fear' - a very practical handbook for dealing with all forms of stalkers, sociopaths, Ns, etc. - DO NOT ENGAGE is the mantra. It's all about zero contact. Hang tight on ignore mode until the freak realizes you're a lousy source and moves on to someone who will give them the contact they're after.

Anonymous said...

Very good analogy about martial arts. It's a good one for life, too. If someone wants to harm you, get away! Run for the hills, like the citizens of Tokyo fleeing Godzilla.

Kathleen said...

Thank you, All of You.
Yes, Anna, sometimes I'm still a yo-yo.

I value everyone's opinion. I also spoke this evening with a friend who lost her husband 2 years before I lost mine. She also has little to no contact with her Forner Ils.

I've meant every word I've said. I am so very blessed, I have so very much. My home has withstood storm after storm after storm, and I see the ILs' homes crumbling.

But my friend reminded me of something else, a place I've been too harsh with myself.

Losing my husband is still very, very fresh. There is no such thing as "getting over it" or "closure." I have great days and I know I'm going to be all right. I have overwhelming days with a sick child, work, housework, home maintenance, cooking dinner, etc., and doing it alone.

I can't think of my husband without knowing he's gone. I can't think of him being gone and not think of his last days (although i think often of happier times), and I can't think of his last days without having the memory of how absolutely horrible they were.

My friend told me to just accept that grief is up and down, rollercoaster, and when the sadness and the anger comes, pray, reaad the bible, take a nap, do something for myself.

I have to be kinder to myself at times and not get upset when I'm still hurting or still angry, not expect my emotions to be in perfect order at all times. It's just the way it is.

Thank you all. I really appreciate it.

- Kathleen

Anonymous said...

I second the comment about "The Gift Of Fear" by Gavin de Becker. I bought it years ago after it was featured on Oprah.
I read it at least once a year. It's been of tremendous importance to me, helping me use strategies of no contact and trusting my gut fear. It's a very interesting read for those of us who have dealt with MNs. A very relevent read.

Kathleen, I'm glad you have such a good, wise friend who's been in a similar situation to you. So sorry for your grief and loss. To have the N's as well, is so unfair!
I'm glad you have a strong faith in God, that is a great comfort.
You brought up a very relevent, interesting question for us all. So many great comments shared by posters that helped us all learn even more.
Thankyou and God Bless.

Anonymous said...

How bizzaire? I was the poster who said "I second the comment about "The Gift Of Fear" by Gavin de Becker"
Well, straight after I posted that, I served up lunch and turned on the Oprah Show (I'm in Australia), it was a rerun with guest: Gavin de Becker!!! On Oprah, talking about his book The Gift Of Fear!
Freaky or what???
Guess it's a sign to re read it agian. So Weird....especially since DH and I only 4 days ago had a very threatening email from MNsibling saying they are capable of murdering those they are angry at (us for NC)
(sorry, not really a relevent post, except that God gives signals to keep us safe in mysterious ways...)

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

"Weird....especially since DH and I only 4 days ago had a very threatening email from MNsibling saying they are capable of murdering those they are angry at (us for NC)"

Interesting, isn't it? Why should they care about people they no longer have contact with? One would think they'd just forget. Oh well.

While threats should be taken seriously, the truly dangerous ones aren't talking about it, they are doing it. I hope it doesn't come to that.

K said...

I think there is no one solution to the exposure thing. I had a Narcissist partner and I won't go into detail about the disgusting things he did to me. The final straw was when I discovered he had cheated on me all along with his ex. I called up his ex and we became friends and we SUCCESSFULLY destroyed his reputation in his hometown (we had ample proof). He now has only one psycho friend left.

He has had great difficulty finding new victims, needless to say (then he must move)...

It is good to have fear but it is sometimes also good to have courage. Balance is best and sometimes silence/doing nothing is the same as being silent when abuse goes on.

It all depends on the situation, but sometimes we have to stand up against evil, although we don't know the outcome and feel afraid. Our fear is their strongest weapon to continue doing what they do.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Feb 18, 2009 9:10:00 PM

Coincidence is merely God working anonymously.

Stay safe and well,
JR

Anna Valerious said...

I think there is no one solution to the exposure thing...It all depends on the situation, but sometimes we have to stand up against evil, although we don't know the outcome and feel afraid.

I agree. There is rarely ever only one solution to a problem. I also don't over-emphasize fear on this blog. I emphasize being smart. Most times the smart thing to do is to just sever all ties and completely abandon the narcissist. Exposing them is most times not an option because you need overwhelming proof to make a success of that. If you have that kind of proof then more power to ya. Excellent. It is better for everyone when a narcissist gets their mask ripped off. My point is that having a few emails in ones hand doesn't constitute overwhelming proof.

By overwhelming proof I mean the kind of proof that is indisputable by rational human beings. The irrational I don't give a damn about. I wouldn't advise someone to wait until they had the kind of proof that would convince even the stupid and irrational. There is no such kind of proof.

Congrats on your successful exposure of the narcissist.

krl said...

I've been in kind of a 'holding pattern' for a bit....trying to hear what is being said....making applications in my own life....and sorting out what I think are 'thoughts and observations' since going NC...(a bit over a year now).

One of the most obvious for me is the minimization of DRAMA in my life. That horrible neverending soap opera type drama that seemed to surround my Nmom. Most all of it based on hearsay (HERsay....that is!) and embellished and dramatized by none other than EmptyMom who has no life of her own. She could weave and interweave a 'drama' out of nothing...and do it so quickly I thought I must not have heard her the first time. And worse yet...I was 'addicted' to this bullshit! It doesn't matter if that was 'always the way it was so what else could I do'.....I went back for more...time and time again.... Dammitall.

So....now that I KNOW what is going on....dumped what was going on....rejected the lies....I can't believe how utterly 'simple' and 'straight forward' life and relationship CAN be. How on earth...(rather...How in HELL...) could this woman make even a complex situation COMPLICATED!? I'm finding that human beings ARE complex....but it is the lying, cheating, bullying, dishonest, lazy, etc that make it COMPLICATED! It seems that a 'complex situation' can be sorted out by facts and the truth. To even entertain resolving a 'complicated' one is moronic because I think there is dishonesty and fabrication involved.

For a while (after going NC)...I thought "What now?" It had been like leaning against the wind and the falling over when it quit blowing. I thought maybe I has over reacted to the situation. Certain aspects of my life (uh...MOST of them) were pretty 'quiet' and 'still'....and it kind of scared me?! Hmmmm.

Well....you got it. NOW, I CRAVE the 'quiet' and the 'still'....Never had that before. Never had my own time...my own energy....my own choice. Out of the loop. I LOVE it. Yeah....the Rat quit Racing...and is no longer gnawing. Thank God.

Bless all of you....

Aravis said...

Anna said: "Most times the smart thing to do is to just sever all ties and completely abandon the narcissist. Exposing them is most times not an option because you need overwhelming proof to make a success of that. If you have that kind of proof then more power to ya."

Very true ! NC is really the only solution for escaping FOO MN groups. That setting is akin to the violent street gangs who never let go of members. Exposure can be effective in in more formalized settings, such as the workplace. I have terminated a few employees who were MNs - based on their behavior (you just cannot write "this employee is a petty and vindictive psychotic freak " in a termination action, sadly). The checking out of romantic interests through previous partners can be very effective. But even in the case of "friendship" - well, like many Nfamilies, they look okay enough to the outside world that being unavailable is best. The Gift of Fear is a great book. Anyone know if there is an updated version planned? I think it is about 20 years old, and there are now new and improved ways of stalking, such as in cyberspace. It especially sucks when you have minor children with a sociopathic ex. I have a MN-ex spouse who will continue to stalk and harass my DH and kids until DD turns 18 (3 more years, ackkkkkk). I'd love to hear tips and advice from any of you who are / have been in the stalker ex situation where you cannot go NC. DH and I have spent close to 70K in the past 13 years trying to protect DD from crazy-ex, who thinks the Family Court system was put there for his sole use to address any grievance, real or imagined. Where I live, you do not usually get the same judge so they have not figured out that MN-ex is sociopath. Plus anyone can dress in a suit and sound reasonable for 45 minutes on the stand. Esp. MNs who can lie without batting an eye.

Kimberley said...

Excellent advice...K and Anna,

Yeah, I'm not the least bit afraid with confronting would-be predators, bullies and such.

I'll be damned if I will let another human being try to terrify me into submission. Ain't gonna happen.

When you are self confident, self possessed, healthily assertive these kinds of folks usually realize you're a fighter and will desist trying to manipulate and terrify you.

Trust me, I know. I have seen it in action many times over the last few years. I may be furious at their evil behavior, but I maintain my control, no tears of rage or yelling, utilizing my logic and rationale and the parasites strive to get in last parting nasty comments (doesn't phase me a bit) then they split.

I have proven I am no easy target and you wonderful men and women can do it to! Just takes practice and oodles of confidence and a staunch belief in what you think is right, just, and fair.

You're winners, proven by your loving and gentle spirits, but you are also warriors so don't forget it!

You all have proven by your writing that you are immensely strong, immensely wise and good so standing up to evil, after you are healed (sometimes even while you are healing, which is awesome) will eventually be your saving grace and solid proof of your own personal power in the world.

Defy, denounce, and disabuse the most vile, the most evil of people from thinking you're a vulnerable, fragile target!

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

"I'd love to hear tips and advice from any of you who are / have been in the stalker ex situation where you cannot go NC."

As low of contact as possible. A place called thepsychoexwife.com has tips there, but here's another link that can help:

This place is an enormous help too.

Anonymous said...

My N-Sister would bully, scream, threaten, manipulate, lie, and was prone to physical violence. Even after I distanced myself from her, she would find ways of verbally attacking me when we saw each other on holidays.

I was treated like her personal maid:
"Go get me another cup of coffee",
"Hurry up and wash the dishes, I want you to drive me to the store",
"I'm hungry, when are you going to make lunch?"

If I didn't immediately drop what I was doing to fulfill her request, she would start screaming at me and accuse me of deliberately ignoring her demands just to be mean. Usually this was when I was doing laundry or changing a diaper or feeding my toddler. If my mother intervened, my N-Sister would justify her bad behavior by tearfully making up a tall tale about how "They're (my husband and I) always yelling at me." Of course, it wasn't even remotely true, we barely spoke to her. But making us look like the bad guys, helped deflect her hissy fit.

The last holiday she began to pull one of her crazy stunts, I didn't react. I ignored her, I said nothing to her, I didn't as much as glance at her, all the while keeping a robotic blank look on my face. And it worked like a charm! She began to cry (that's what she does when all else fails) and accused me of trying to ruin her holiday. Now I see that not reacting to her dramatics, trying to explain myself, not attempting to be nice and get along with her works. I am no longer her supply, I am more like a broken lamp that she has no more use for.

Aravis said...

So What's In a Heart - THANK YOU so much - that is a great site too.

Anonymous said...

This topic just jogged a memory of my ex N friend, who would on occasion attend AA meetings and talk about the various other people he knew there.

He would describe blackouts and name individuals, "You know the guy that owns the restaurant." It's supposed to be anonymous I would tell him, and he would reply that it's not that big of a deal....

Sometimes I think he would only go to stock up on gossip. Creep.

GraFXGrl said...

"She began to cry (that's what she does when all else fails) and accused me of trying to ruin her holiday."

Kind of like watching a toddler have a temper tantrum isn't it? I wish they knew how completley foolish they look to the rest of the world. Ns tantrums are almost laughable at times. You just want to laugh at them and say "are you serious?" I think I'm being punk'd!

Anonymous said...

"I am no longer her supply, I am more like a broken lamp that she has no more use for."

Love the analogy! I just LOVE the idea that I'm a broken lamp to the Ns who are no longer in my life. Being a broken lamp to them allows me to light up the lives of the people in my life who treat me with love and respect.
Marie

Anonymous said...

Anna

Kathy Krajco's wonderful site is gone! I went there to get all the red flags of N to give to a friend who needs them.
(She's interviewing potential employees for a position that she sacked an N from. In 6 months the N almost destroyed the small business and all involved are still extremely stressed and sick from the experience. Don't want her to make the same mistake again - hiring an N)
Do you know if anyone has saved the content from Kathy's blog (especially the red flags) and if there is access to her blog content?
I am still upset by Kathy's death, now with her blog gone, it makes the death seem even more real and sad.

Anonymous said...

Anna,

please,could you give me apiece of advice? I need your help. Really.
First of all, I apologize for any grammr mistake as English is not my mother tongue. I am writing from Italy. I thank you so much for your blog, it is so exhaustive and clear and complete.

In this very moment, I am so angry and scared. Anna please, let me know what else I can do.
I had this 11 month story with this man. To make a long story short, after 4|5 months he started showing his true colours. A lot of grief......a lot, Anna. Last August, after his last humiliation-in his opinion I did not clean the dishes enough well- I left his home without a word. I had a suspect already in my mind and I had my pc checked He worked as an informatic counselor for many big firms and banks here in Italy. Well, I found out that he had put two different kinds of spy software in my pc, he knew everything and controlle everything: emails, bank, phone calls, everything....everything, my past, my diary, everything.
I confronted him on this issue and on many others. He laughed in my face and told he just did not know "what sort of websites" did I visit to get these spyware ( but the technical has told me these programs MUST be installed an are not spywares) and that I was not worth of pronouncing the name of his daughters ( who he was spying too......now I am recollecting a lot of details).
So i reported him to the police and you know, time of justice here in Itly are quite long.......so I went on with my life, God only knows how much strength I needed but I just made it. But now we are again! From the last 1st of February I am no more able to log in my email account. After a long procedurewith my solicitor I discovered that he had changed all my data on the account, he put his date of birth in place of mine-what a stupid- and the name of his new girlfriend in my name's place. He also blocked all my accounts connceted to my email, including Facebook, and from my profile on FB he is having a lot of fun using my account. He is ruining my friendships and reputation. Now I am atmy third police report, added to the one of the email provider whose server was forced by him. But what puzzles me is.....WHY. I had gone completely No contact with him! He has another girlfriend.....wat does he want from me? And what should I do now? Who gives me back my reputation? I read the title of your post and I had to write to you. Please help if you can......

Anonymous from Italy

Anonymous said...

GraFXGrl,

Yes, her behavior is much like a toddler's. We were at my parent's house for Thanksgiving. I was making an apple pie, and she was making a pumpkin. I had premixed cinnamon, cloves, and ginger in a ziplock for her pie because my parents didn't have any cloves or ginger at their place. I had also made a mix of sugar and cinnamon for my pie, and had labeled hers so I wouldn't mix them up.

N-Sister is starting to make her pie and I mentioned that I brought the pie spice for her and it was on the counter. When she found out there were cloves in the mix, she got hysterical. "I hate cloves, I hate cloves! I hate the way they smell, you did this on purpose!" She opened the bag and stuck her nose in it, and told me how gross it smelled. First of all, I never knew about her aversion to cloves, and second when I asked her what recipe she used for her pie, she told me that she used the recipe on the can label (which had cloves).

As disgusting as it smelled, she used it anyway and popped her pie in the oven. As she was putting her dishes in the sink, she saw another ziplock bag on the counter. "What's this?" she said. I picked up the bag, turned it over, and there was the label that said "Pumpkin Pie Spice". I said, "That was the pumpkin pie spice I mixed for you." She said, "Well then, what did I just use?" I smiled and said, "THAT was the cinnamon and sugar mixture I had leftover from the pie I made, the one where you could smell the phantom cloves."

And that's what happens when you try to do something nice. She finds fault with whatever you do, accuses you of something ridiculous, and when it turns out that she has been proven dead wrong, she doesn't acknowledge the fact nor does she apologize. Yep, her behavior is very much like a toddler, it would almost be funny except for the fact that she's a grown woman in her 40s.

Katrina said...

Aravis,


" NC is really the only solution for escaping FOO MN groups. That setting is akin to the violent street gangs who never let go of members."

Wow, is that ever true!!

That's what I still suffer from.
They just won't quit. And in MY case, there are SO MANY of them.
All in a feeding frenzy--feeding each other any little tidbit they can glean on me & mine. I find myself saying, " I f---ing hate them" several times a day, as things come up in our lives. And as a Christian, I HATE to say that to myself. But the truth is, I don't HATE them so much as I LOATHE them. I loathe their sick & sinful behaviour, as it pertains to ME & MINE. I loathe that they have, in some cases successfully,
managed to turn that all around, to make it out that I AM the one with the sick & sinful behaviour, to many many people. Irrevocable.
Unfortunately, having found myself in a position of trust & care for our aging parents-they have managed AS A UNITED MOB--to influence a lot of people to BELIEVE their BS. SOMEDAY, our parents will be gone, & we'll be free of this MOB. I just have to sustain until that time is here. And trust that God has us all in HIS loving & faithful hands.

Katrina

Anonymous said...

Anna, I`m just wondering if it is typical of a ns to purposly take what you, just had said to them the wrong way(and get offensive).It usually(not always) was not about them but something else.I use to think that it was me but now I`m starting to wonder if it`s the ns because it`s happened to many times.I`ve had to clarify to them what I was saying.These were people that I had years of relationships with.

GraFXGrl said...

"Yep, her behavior is very much like a toddler, it would almost be funny except for the fact that she's a grown woman in her 40s."

Reminds me of NM. Last "mother's" day we took her out to eat. She would not pick a place or type of food, just "I don't care, where-ever" but every sugestion was the wrong one, no don't want this, don't want that. Til we had covered every food/type of resturant imaginable! I finaly said - well we are going here. She huffed and puffed the whole night! My niece is three and she's not that bad at the dinner table! It's so pitiful.

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

"Anonymous from Italy"

You'll first need your computer to be professionally cleaned or take out all important data and get a new computer.

Beyond that, you'll need to hacker proof it as much as possible. Use FireFox as a browser as they have additions that can improve security(KeyScambler is a good one for fooling keyloggers), use strong, hard to guess passwords, do the same with questions and password hints, use the best scanners.

This might have some help too.

If you used a technician before, ask him, and ask the cybercrimes division at the Police Department.

I'm sure others here can help too.

Aravis said...

Katrina-
I know what you mean, and I think the "Christians should never hate anyone" thing is just a crock. It leads to more people being trapped in guilt and shame because they believe that hate is the Devil or something. Do you hate the crazy religious fanatics who flew airplanes into the World Trade center and the Pentagon? (yeah I sure do)

You can call it hate, or loathe, or whatever, and that IS NOT A SIN. Acting on hate might be, but your feelings of loathing towards people who were purely awful and abusive to you, who have no remorse, and if you got near them would do it again and again and again, is normal. Normal, and life-saving and probably the reason you have achieved what most of those raised in the rat warren of MN families NEVER do - to call MN what it is, and to break free. I have gotten pretty far down the NC thing with my FOO and am at indifference most of the time. Except the MN-ex, because he is still stalking and harassing my DH, DS, and DD any way he can, and will until DD is 18. If you are not personality-disordered, hate or loathing is telling you something - GET OUT or if you are out, get with people who understand (that would be us :) My Christian therapist in all the years I saw here, never once told me I could not hate those who had systematically abused me for decades. She also told me that most people raised in MN families either become MNs or MN-enablers, so Congratulations! You are amongst the 10% or so of people who courageously work to free themselves.

That is also why moving far away makes this much easier. Anna had a great post on how far away you had to get to make this work best. I occasionally attempt to get DH to consider Australia, but so far no luck. 1200 miles has been good, except for crazy MN-ex - who FOLLOWED me, can you believe it?

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

This is Kathy's Blog. Her final post has info on how to protect your computer from scum:

http://narc-attack.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Anna,
first I want to ask you if the desire to have your mother read this indicates you still need to prove yourself to her? I find this the hardest part of my seperation from my n-mother. I endured the beating and verbal abuse you describe and this weird competition. I am now a grandmother. She doesn't acknowledge these children as her own ggrandchildren as well, but instead she competes with trying to prove HER grandchildren, my siblings' children are better than MY grandchildren and she completely ignores my children as well. Meanwhile, she has convinced her coven (my siblings, and other family) that I am breaking her heart. I so badly want to prove her wrong, make them see what she has done to me, make her see what she has done to me. But I've finally realized that there is no point in this and that it only feeds her N further. So I avoid all contact with her and only answer her calls when I feel strong enough to deal with her. I just listen, give her very little information, and completely refrain from reacting to her. My sister did once call me and ask me to stop this, because she had become Mom's new victim. While reading your blog, I started experiencing the physical reactins I had to my mother as a chld, nervousness, stomach upset, headache, etc. Then I suddenly realized that as I was feeling this I was thinking about my ex-husband and realized he is actually a worse N than my mother. Do victims of narcissists tend to get into relationships with other Narcissists?

Anna Valerious said...

first I want to ask you if the desire to have your mother read this indicates you still need to prove yourself to her?

Hell. No. I have NO desire to prove myself to her. What I'd love to see is that look of shame and horror at her finding out her full exposure to my eyes. She has worked all my life to hide who she really is. I know that one of the worst things she could experience is to see how utterly exposed to me that she now is. THAT is the reason I'd be quite pleased should she read what I've written here.

That being said, I don't spend any kind of time wishing for that outcome. But if it happened I'd be more than cool with that. Prove myself? I can't even imagine feeling the need to prove myself to her ever again. No, if anything, I'd want her to see that she's proven herself to me. She's weighed in the balances and has been found wanting. To quote the book of Daniel...God's words to Belteshazzar.

Do victims of narcissists tend to get into relationships with other Narcissists?

Yes, they do tend to get into relationships with narcissists. I have talked about this some place on my blog. This is especially true of people raised by narcissists. We are trained to put up with mountains of crap and think it is normal. Our bullshit meters are severely malfunctioning. Especially when we're younger. We ignore red flags because those behaviors feel familiar, like an old sweater. We are comfortable with what we know. If raised in the perverted system of a N, then it is very likely you may find yourself attracted to a narcissist because we tend to be attracted to what feels familiar. Even if familiar is painful.

Jo said...

Thank you for bringing up this old Kathy post because it's SO TRUE. Every Socio/Narc/Psychopath that i've run into ( 2 in my life ) NEVER has anything nice to say when i bring up praiseworthy information about myself. Even in the beginning! There's sarcasm, there's acting as if you didn't say anything at all... but never genuine acknowledgement. It's Me me me me me me me me me or nothing.

Amy said...

In my experience the trouble is that Ns slander you so subtly and secretly that it takes you ages to find out about it.
I learned of a big lie my mother had told a mutual acquaintance only when I was almost thirty. From then on I discovered similar things, too, but only few. Most people took her side, believed her every word. They hardly would report her smearing campaigns to me, it would destroy their love of gossip...

I sincerely hope you never sent the link to this blog to either your mother or sister, or informed them about it in any other way. In my experience, these people use all they can get for their own advantage - all you can do is keep away so they won't get any more ammunition.

You can't "win" over Ns. You can only win your own desire to convince them or take revenge. As for them, they were defeated already long, long ago by their own childish desires. Just leave them to their petty, unhappy little lives! They're punished enough with having to be the way they are.

Anna Valerious said...

I have never, and will never, point my parents or sister to this blog. This isn't for them. It is for people like me who have to deal with people like them.

Amy said...

Uff, I really am relieved to hear that. :-)