It is quite possible to not be a malignant narcissist and still find yourself trying to control other people. If you recognize that you can be controlling then it is time to rein yourself in. I would recommend other people to see it as a red flag in your behavior too regardless of the fact that you don't demonstrate yourself to be a malignant narcissist. Trying to control other autonomous human beings is weakness not strength. It always lends itself toward evil outcomes. It is morally wrong.
In contrast with the evil who try to control everyone (and everything) in their sphere is that of the person with self-control. When you observe how someone interacts with you do you see them exerting consistent self-control in their own lives? Or are they mostly focused on controlling their external world including you? Those with genuine self-control do not try to control others.
There are some who make some high profession of having self-control yet who are actually very controlling of others. What gives with that? How can you know if it is a red flag in that person?
I'll make my case by using my own mother as an example. We'll call this, "The Time My Mother Got it Right".
One of my mother's soundtracks which she implanted in my head at a young age, so young that I don't know exactly when I started hearing it, goes like this, "If you find yourself controlling others then you know who is controlling you." This was the opening line for her little sermonette on how it is the devil who is the one controlling you if you are a person who enjoys controlling others as it is his nature to control. Wow. She got that one right. Who better to know "the devil made me do it" than a handmistress of the devil himself! If you don't believe in a being such as the devil then all you have to do is insert the word 'evil' where you see the word 'who' and you get the same result. "If you find yourself controlling others then you know evil is controlling you."
My mother lectured on this subject very often. Not just to her own children but to anyone who happened to be under her control at the time. This leads us into the very first red flag of eight for narcissism listed by Kathy Krajco which I promised I was going to re-post here on my blog. Here we go.
Since narcissists are such expert con artists, how do you spot them? By not judging by appearances. Or reputation.
A specific behavior, such as being haughty, inconsiderate, or ignoring someone, can occur in widely varying contexts. So, it can be done for many reasons, not just narcissistic reasons. Nonetheless, there are few behaviors so unique to persons suffering from NPD that they should serve as red flags.
Here are eight red flags:
- puts on a conspicuous display of goodness and kindness
- damages the images of most others
- has a history of past upheavals
- is hated for mysterious reasons by people close to them
- exhibits unnatural and perplexing behavior -- backwards reactions to things
- is a control freak, trampling privacy/boundaries
- is extremely self-absorbed
- has a hostile reaction to attention and credit given others
I interrupt Kathy here to point out that she doesn't claim that this list of red flags is exhaustive. But a short list is quite helpful if you're trying to avoid the malignantly narcissistic people you may run into in your life. She doesn't call them "THE eight red flags". She says, "Here are eight red flags". Yes, there are others. But having this short list in the forefront of your mind will help you weed out 99.9% of narcissists.
Now, Kathy elaborates a bit on the first red flag she has listed and the one I want to call to your attention.
**************************************Shows Off Goodness and Kindness
I used to give people who made a show of religiousness, kindness, caring, or any other goodness the benefit of the doubt. I am really sorry I didn't listen to my common sense that doing things to be seen doing them is fraud, not just adultery. I don't expect you to take my word for it, but this is what my life has taught me: anyone putting on the goody-two-shoes act a little too thick I get away from, because I know they're just using it as make-up to cover a zit.
In other words, they're dis-simulating their true selves. The aim is to carve out a false image that is the antithesis -- negative -- of their true selves. It's a work of art, not the real thing.
The truly good, kind, and caring do good to do it, not to be seen doing it. And the difference between them and show-offs is obvious. "What Makes Narcissists Tick" page 75
Back to my controlling mother preaching against being controlling. Here is what I now see was going on. Preaching against being controlling was the "goodness" she was slathering onto herself to throw off suspicion about her own controlling behaviors especially since she always put this lecture in a religious context. It was part of her profession of being "above all that" by lecturing frequently on the evils of being controlling. It was very effective. She would also very often say to me, "I'm the least controlling person I know." !!! This was usually stated when there was some overt evidence of her being controlling. She reserved the right to redefine reality for everyone so when she'd say this we'd all go along because it was easier than not going along. We'd been taught to deny reality because she had established herself as the only one really able to define it. All children of narcissists understand what I just said. They've lived it.
Another thing going on with my mother was her insistence on having no competition. She was reserving to herself the right to be controlling and didn't want to have to deal with her underlings getting uppity and trying to control her. Which happened anyway. Her youngest daughter became an adept at manipulating and controlling our mother. The power struggle was fierce between them. But if my mother could convince her underlings that being controlling was evil then she'd have a much more free reign to be the one in ascendency. She was trying to control us by convincing us to not use control of others for ourselves. It was not a sermon based on true conviction in her own soul that being controlling of others is wrong. It was a sermon designed to make sure she was the only one putting the screws to people! No competition allowed! Yet another example of how a narcissist tries to control other people by using their consciences.
My mother's understanding of the most basic characteristic of evil -- that of being controlling of others -- was the knowledge she acquired by practice of the same. Also, she knows enough about Bible truth to condemn herself to all to hell. How is she going to plead ignorance before the Almighty when He asks her why she didn't practice what she preached? We are especially condemned when we know to do right and refuse to. "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." James 4:17 NIV
Again, I want you to look at the contrast of a person who is controlling of others and the person who is self-controlled. The Bible exhortations for self-control are many. Paul listed self-control as one of the evidences of God's spirit working in your life. Peter had something to say on it too, "Knowing God leads to self-control..." 2 Peter 1:5. So, my mother was right. If someone demonstrates a pattern of consistent behavior of being controlling of others it means that a spirit altogether opposite of God's spirit is actuating them.
Christians would do well to remember this because far too often Christians can justify to themselves that controlling others for some higher cause is right and good. Being a Christian gives you no license to control others. You have enough to do in just controlling yourself. If you let yourself become distracted from the internal work of self-control you will, inevitably, try to control others. Just because you see yourself as a Christian in no way diminishes the evil that proceeds from trying to force your way onto others. Even if your intentions are good. Even if you have a Bible injunction to wave in their faces. It is one thing to instruct others in truth and another thing altogether to try to force them into doing what you want or what you think is right. Don't confuse a preacher's good work of "instruction in righteousness" with being controlling. The two are not synonymous. Instruction is a world apart from trying to force the will of another through deception, manipulation, punishment, etc.
It is fair to state that the less self-control a person exerts in their own life the more likely it is that person will try to control their world by controlling YOU. We all yearn for control. It is a natural bent of human nature to try to control our external world. This includes circumstances, people and even material things. This need to control our environment often leads to trying to control others because it is easier than controlling oneself. The hardest thing of all is self-control. Look at the narcissist for proof of that. I have asserted in another blog post that the evil course is the easy course. The path of least resistance is the downward course that our selfish desires take. Self-control is like paddling upstream against our very nature. The narcissist is determined to take the luge run to hell which means you see very little self-control exerted by them. As I've stated in yet another, and more recent, post -- they only exert enough self-control to keep from getting caught in their crimes. Though they can get careless and forget to control themselves when they should in order to keep their evil from being perceived. This limited use of self-control is unworthy of praise or commendation.
Let me point out at this juncture that my mother demonstrates a few compulsive behaviors that resemble OCD. In her case, and I will assert that in ALL cases of narcissism, this is an extension of the desire to control her world. Her external world. It is not an extreme version of self-control. It is an extreme version of trying to control the external world. Don't be fooled by the narcissist's OCD as being some manifestion of rigorous self-control. It is not. My mother actually uses her compulsive behaviors as some kind of proof of her being self-controlled. Like a grand act of self-flaggellation equals the quiet act of self-control. Austerity doesn't necessarily equate to self-control. It is usually a substitute for it. OCD in the narcissist is an outgrowth of their fear and is the attempt to convince themselves they are in control of their world.
You get a two-fer today. Two red flags of narcissism. Number one: Being controlling of others is a central hallmark of the evil and must be considered a red flag even in someone you would not necessarily think is a narcissist. Number two: Slathering on a high profession of goodness is a sign of someone hiding the opposite. In my mother's case the two behaviors coincide in a most interesting manner. She used the one to hide the other to great effect on me (and others) for many, many years. I finally had to stop believing the high profession because it was constantly clashing with her consistent behaviors.
If you can give yourself permission to always believe the actions over the words you will save yourself so much trouble. It is a piece of hard-earned advice that I give on this blog many times over which, if people only took that one piece to heart, would save themselves a world of hurt.
"Preaching against being controlling was the "goodness" she was slathering onto herself to throw off suspicion about her own controlling behaviors especially since she always put this lecture in a religious context."
This was a common problem with the narcissist cult leader we escaped from recently. He would frequently point out to the congregation things like...there is no pecking order in this church when he was clearly at the top of it and making sure everyone else was below him. Or, he would tell us that there was so much love in this place, how could anyone say there wasn't whilst destroying people's families and forcing married couples apart.
The audacity of this sort of behaviour makes your jaw drop. But then it is the sort of thing that power addicts all over the world have done for centuries. The corollory of this is that only the most intuitive and intelligent people will agree that the Narcissist is a wonderful and good person. Everyone of course follows the Narcissist's lead because to do otherwise would insinuate that you were just a troublemaker.
To see through the dissimulation means that you are defective. It's the weaver's scam from the Emperors New Clothes.
O boyo boyo BOY! Right on, Anna! Yup...ol' Nmom had me buttoned up tight as a tick with her OneLineWarnings and quotes from the Bible and little proverbs ad nauseum. She totally controlled the home by being 'helpless'....and we each were her little servants. I bore the brunt of the household duties...but I can see now how each of my siblings had to maintain one of her functions. Bah! Makes me sick to even THEENK of having someone 'cater' to ME! Much less using up dozens of lives to create and image of myself that was a sham and a lie. Revolting.
Oh...but MyOMy....she always said I 'had no shame' because I led a pretty tough life as an adult...You know: 'Drank, smoked, and chewed...and ran with boys who do'....scenarios. (Those are HER words...ya think?) But SHE never did! SHE was 'disciplined'....and 'not given over to her lower nature'. Bullshit. Pisses me off to no end. Yeah....and that word, 'shame'....Who gave HER the right to define SHAME? She should be ashamed of herself. I sure as hell am ashamed of her.
Good post, Anna.....
BTW.....check out this website and see how many of these little quotes you have been 'controlled' and 'tortured' by. Good Lord. I feel like an idiot now.....I think I 'danced' to just about every other one!
So, your mother was saying the right things for the wrong reasons. Figures.
Great post, as usual!
Oy! The CONTROL!! I used to think it was so weird that my ILs would do things after I made mention NOT to do it or we WOULD do it - but later. It's their reaction that was so bizarre. I used to believe they were just socially clueless. Not any more.
Right after our DD2 was born I invited ILs to come see her, stay 10 days (before Christmas to New Year's). Then i got the call from BIL "Mom says I can come and bring my fiance."
"Um...no. I just had a C-section, not up to too many people"
BUT MOM SAID!!! LOL I was only married a little over year, felt badly for DH because he hadn't seen his family during that time. So I bit my tongue, thought I was being the "bigger person." AARRGGH!!! I waited on them all. DH was working midnight shift and I was up with baby all night. He'd come home, and his mom would say "Oh, you better get right to bed. You've been up all night." What the hell am I, chopped liver??
But I KNOW I said to her that I was going to the store, getting things for hot chocolate and cookies and we'd decorate the tree that night. My oldest DD was 6 and this was our first Christmas as the complete family we would be -- me, DH, and our 2 daughters.
MIL said "That's nice."
I came home from the store and MIL says "Look! We decorated the tree!"
Now what woman doesn't know that is just plain rude???? And I thought she was just deaf.
Other times I've said "no" and was told "But MOM said YOU WOULD ...." and also had my FIL pitch a fit better suited for a 6-year-old.
Control -- and their reaction to being told NO. Should have set boundaries right away, but I didn't.
Oh, and the piety! LOL My ILs gave me addresses to send thank yous to all THEIR friends who sent mass cards (DH and I aren't even Catholic), people who sent these cards because my ILs lost their son, not because I lost a husband. But FIL went to EVERY MASS that was said for my DH -- he wanted to make sure that everyone in his church saw how pious and (sniff, sniff) heartbroken he was.
The man never shed a tear. I guess Ns do have SOME level of self-control!
Hmm... One of my Nmom's frequent comments, said with great superiority, is that, "She doesn't play mind games. And people who play mind games can't figure her out and that is why they stay away from her." She is the biggest mind gamer I know.
She also has always made a big profession, from the time I was small, how this was evil and that was evil and how she had learned to use great self-control. Hmm... So she chose not to drink or smoke. Part of the religious guru image. But my dad recently informed me that she had multiple affairs. Why he put up with that for 25 years is a whole other issue. LOL!
It was quite liberating to realize that she does not nor did she ever much practice what she preached.
Yup, you get a "perfect" mom who has amazing self-control and all that. Totally in control, yup.
She drives you to drink and run with the wrong side of the tracks crowd, then stands back and judges you for it.
Talk about a double bind!
Re: Anonymous-Jan 20, 2009 9:19:00 PM
I believe that you know this....but I just want to make REAL CLEAR to everyone that I don't blame Nmom for what I ultimately did and did not do in my life. I can see the 'set up' for how I was raised....and can see how I made choices bases on nothing more than a kind of circumstantial desperation that would be fairly 'normal' when one leaves the 'closed-system' mentality of home....and launches into the world of 'hard knocks'....not having a clue as to how to go about it. BUT...bottom-line is: I TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY ACTIONS AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF MY ACTIONS OR NON-ACTIONS. This is paramount for Recovery. It was what it was....
One note on my 'ways' ('smoke, chew and run with boys who do...')...yeah....I didn't do everything 'right' by HER standards...but I always worked..raised my kids....took care of my own 'stuff'....but YES...I did smoke and drink and married blue-collar types. HER 'standard' had to do with 'marrying money'...(which would entitle her to not only money but 'position') I didn't. I didn't want to...I wanted to 'do it myself'. So....she always inferred that I was 'trashy'. I WASN'T...and AM NOT. (Worked for years in Bank Management....) So....she's fulloshit.
I am responsible....for both the good and bad/right and wrong choices I made. Period.
Actions speak louder than words. Actions speak for themselves.
This a bit off topic but I really need some advice/help. I am having a hard time getting through all the blame games (and charactor assasination) going on after NC (with NM and eNabler D). NC has been wonderfully peaceful until all the minions have gotten involved, including my ILs. I feel like I have no one on my side (except for you guys! thanks BTW!) not even my husband. He is there when I ask him to be but he is the type- he belives whatever the last person he talked to believes, know what I mean? So after he has been talking to his folks I really feel alone. He has no mind of his own. Has anyone else been through this - how did you cope?
HI Anna, you are awesome! I love reading your essays. They help me bring clarity to the very confusing upbringing I had by N's, many of whom are/were psychologists! Talk about reality/mind bending.
You made so many pertinent observations in your post, that I would be writing for hours if I addressed them all. One that stands out for me is the following:
..."If you find yourself controlling others then you know who is controlling you." This was the opening line for her little sermonette on how it is the devil who is the one controlling you if you are a person who enjoys controlling others as it is his nature to control. Wow.....
Yikes, my head was spinning after just reading that. What craziness when said by an N. It is like a rubics cube and when you solve it you get to be in hell. yay! And to be indoctrinated by this from day one... ugly. The control exerted by an N (I am thinking of my Nmother here) is so varied, but the underlying mantra for my Nmother was: "I get to be me, and you must admire me. I will never see who you are. there is no you, your just a controllable appendage of me."
Your observations on how an N is the only one who gets to define reality....so true. I am 42, been in the NC process with my Nmother for 2 years. Now I know that I will never willingly have contact with her ever again. Why would I? It would just be so she could heap on a bunch of her BS on me. I don't even plan to go to her funeral. Again, she has controlled/skewed reality in such a way, that those who would be there would just see me as the awful, betraying daughter who deprived her mother of her first grandchild. Lots of people fall for her stories and manipulations. That is their problem, not mine. If any of them knew my Nmother like I did, they would know that NC is the most sane and responsible choice there is to her sickness.
I was ready to write off my mother in my 20's. I knew in my gut that she was an albatross around my neck that I was suppose to lovingly take care of. Umm, no thanks. I earnestly explained to her that I couldn't have a "mother-daughter" relationship with her. We were better off as 2 adults relating to each other... You bet she just flipped her lid, in public, no less. I had such incredibly low self-esteem and was SO messed up from all the reality bending I had been hostage to while growing up, that I was not able to stand my ground, at all. I took in the BS, "what's my problem? Look how much I have hurt her etc..", and my "reality" (as defined by her, of course. That was what I was conditioned to) took another nose dive into hell.
I am SO thankful and proud of myself for getting clearer and clearer on what I have been through. I posted once before and you replied to me how psychologists and religious zealots are the biggest mind f&*kers (my words, excuse the french) out there. Yes. Yes. Yes! The self-doubt that I have been saddled with as a result has been enourmous, but slowly I am trusting myself. I love it.
best to you and your fantastic blog. If you wrote a book, I'd buy it... : ) L.V.
I hope you won't take this wrong,
but your post just CRACKED ME UP!!
You keep saying you don't know if you belong here cuz you weren't raised by an N famly. Woman, YOU ARE A BONAFIDE N-FAM SURVIVOR!!!!
NO MORE KIDDING YOURSELF!!!
Initiation---PASSED with flying colors!!!
The tree-decorating incident is classic. Even as young as you were in the family--you knew it was one of those red flags-inappropriate reactions. You thought maybe the woman was DEAF for God's sake!
You would enjoy story-swapping with some of the women my brothers have married. Especially the ones that married the "Golden Boys"
Boy, were THEY put through the ringer. I tried to fight for them as much as possible. But at that point in my adult life, was basically living a "functional" NC from my NM. I knew it--but she didn't notice. She was so busy furthering her own agenda in society & in her world, that she didn't notice my infrequent appearances in her life. For the first time in my life, I had emancipated myself from her, & was forging ahead with a real life, having a family with my wonderful husband. Unfortunately, my IL sibs had to find out for themselves. Subsequently, they all moved far away from our hometown, & raised my nieces & nephews elsewhere.
The unquestioned control allowed in these pathos illustrates just how pathological it truly is.
So that's the final word on things?!!
Bullshit! Thank God some of us woke up to the wrongness of that!
Just live your life. The way your DH would want you to. I believe HE'S giving you strength against thes vipers now. Your own personal Guardian Angel. I believe this because, I too, was widowed way before our time, & I have my own..
I'm with L.V., I would buy your book in a heartbeat...you have so much insight and have helped me more than I can say.
Thank you for this site...
RE: GraFXGrl said... "I feel like I have no one on my side (except for you guys! thanks BTW!) not even my husband."
Doesn't it just SUCK! Seriously. DumbShits. I DO know the feeling...and the 'treatment' to which you refer. One of the biggest hurdles for me was to come to the place....that ultimately....bottom line: As individuals, WE ARE ALONE! It isn't an easy place to be....and it sure doesn't feel good...and it SUCKS. You HAVE to stand on Truth and Reality alone. (It IS wonderful to have a support group or family who encourages, validates, and empathizes...no doubt.) Whether you have support or not....Truth and Reality never change. My experience has shown me that I find the support I need eventually....but it is a gift...a Godsend...rather than the norm at any given time when going through this crap. Some of us left our 'unsupportive situations and relationships' because it was more of the same-old-same-old that we were trying to get out of. Some have stayed in it (unsupportive situations) and become stronger as individuals. Me? I got the hell out. Tired of the stumbling blocks and undermining....as I was desperately seeking Truth and Reality.
In short: IF/WHEN an individual chooses and seeks Truth and Reality above all else. A 'path' and a 'course of action' in that direction, many times the ensuing 'decisions' are made FOR you. Don't fret the 'aloneness'. Learn to differentiate 'alone' vs. 'lonely'. Don't expect it to feel good. Let it be what it is....and take advantage of the gap being 'alone' provides while you sort out your body, mind, and soul issues. Sometimes the LAST thing someone in Recovery needs is a nitwit's ignorant opinion.
I hear you....hang in there. Keep mulligating and writing and reading. This takes enormous dedication. You got this far...I believe He will see you through.
You hit such a chord on this one!
For all the good you do so many.
I am so very grateful i found your blog 2 yrs ago. Just when I needed it most. You continue to help me stay sane in this crazy N-ightmare.
In just the few comments on here I feel such incredible pain emanating from all these people.All of us at different stages, with differing experiences & circumstances, yet fighting the same EVIL.
Your gift of clearly & succinctly separating the garbage from the bones--& meting out the basic truth--is something that is guiding those of us in your little corner of the world to peace & light. Speaking for myself, & for many of the revelatons & AH HA! moments I see your readers having.
From Meg, seeing GOD'S families torn asunder by this evil Ncult leader.
From Krl, actually understanding the true meaning of SHAME--not being what WE were taught we should be--but being how WE feel about THEM.
From What is in a heart? pointing out the way they REVERSE everything & cram it down our throats as truth.
From Kathleen "getting it". And having the courage to stand up to it.
From Katherine Gunn finally & most blessedly being handed PROOF (as best as hearsay can be)--that SHE wasn't the crazy one. No matter how her NM tried to teach her otherwise.
From Anon 9:19--YUP! They definitely push you over the edge, then tsk tsk that you were so weak that you fell.
From Anon 9:00--that's the bottom line!! In fact, my favorite brother said that to me just this morning. Actions speak louder than words!!!
From Krl again--thank God you realize TRASHY has nothing to do with money. Its about character. We aren't the trashy ones, though they tell us we are !!!!
From L. V., & her clarity of her NC.
So much good you're doing, Anna!
Please, if you possibly can, guide
Gra FX grl to some of your past links that may help her right now. She seems to be in one of the most painful places right now--when the SLANDER & SMEAR campaign starts to snowball. After NC.
Thanks so much for the reply!
I knew going NC that i might lose my family and would definatly be slandered but I had no idea how many would join in the fun! My husband's reaction to all of this has been the biggest hurt of all. He knows everything that my family has done to me but it doesn't seem to bother him that much. That has been soul crushing for me. I knew most of my family was rotten to begin with but he was more of a surprise.
when you discused:
"IF/WHEN an individual chooses and seeks Truth and Reality above all else."
This is hard but I wouldn't have done things any differently. I think when you are arounds Ns all your life and you are drowning in lies all you ever want growing up is the truth! No matter how bad it is at least its real, no confusion. Pain is better than confusion.
I really appreciate your advice- I will solider on because what else can I do? Unlike Ns - I can't and will not ignore the truth.
She reserved the right to redefine reality for everyone so when she'd say this we'd all go along because it was easier than not going along. We'd been taught to deny reality because she had established herself as the only one really able to define it. All children of narcissists understand what I just said. They've lived it.
I hate psychobabble, but this is so validatiing for me. Thank you. I HAVE lived it and still fight the effects.
As for self-control as it relates to Nmom - it is not self-control not to indulge in behaviors which hold no appeal for you. It is not self-control to spew venom about people who indulge in behaviors you deem wrong or vile. Further, one who is perfect in every way and whose only failing is being too kind, too generous, too patient, too virtuous -- has no need for self-control. :)
ROTFLMAO!!! Have to share this with you. This is a continuation of the landlord saga from your previous post when I was having all these qualms about him being an N and I then went NC.
Knock on door, it's my landlord. Haven't talked to him for ages, 4 weeks maybe. No reason to.
Well, he just left me a little "gift."
A stack of papers, computer printouts going back a couple of months, with complete stats about his daily life, weight, how he feels, what he does each day (down to where he eats lunch and what he has, what TV shows he watches, etc.).
He was beaming when he told me he thought I might be interested in this. LOL!!! Ahhh, the proof. What a doofus.
"The narcissist is determined to take the luge run to hell...."
What a great word picture for me!!
Im w/ L.V. !! In a heartbeat!! love jac
Ah, the religious do-gooder cover. Makes me want to vomit still! I'm sorry Gfxgrl, but what you are going through is so very typical. My DH and I have lost about all of our friends due to the lies, religiousity and manipulations of his ex, Ndaughter and Nson. You have to remember one thing: If someone will listen to someone run you down they are NOT your friend and never were. A true friend would cut that stuff off. That's what a friend is supposed to be, loyal. I shudder for you if your husband is that easily manipulated, makes me wonder about him. Anyway, the smear campaign is what should give away a MN to anyone who has half a brain. Unfortunately, as I've said many times already--very few christians use theirs. They seem to hang up their brain and become senseless automatons. Phoney is the best word for it. The smear campaign will let you find out how many phonies you really have known all these years. Hang in there, you don't need them!
As soon as someone says: "I am the most (fill in the blank) you'll ever meet".... I immediately know they are fullofshit, lying and the exact opposite of what they are saying.
They are getting easier to spot every day. hehe Thanks!
-getting smarter :)
Please, if you possibly can, guide Gra FX grl to some of your past links that may help her right now.
I'm not sure what I've written on that subject that would help Grafx grl. I haven't written about what to do when one of the participants in the smear campaign is your own spouse. That is her primary difficulty...the fact she doesn't have a supportive husband even though he knows what her parents have done to her in the past.
I know from experience that having a supportive spouse is enough to outweigh a slew of tongue-clucking bystanders. A supportive spouse is enough to enable a person to get through an entire smear campaign with your sanity and rationality intact. So, that means to me that having an UNsupportive spouse would (for me, at least) make a smear campaign unendurable. My course of action would likely end up in divorce.
When I was a desperate and scared teenager of 17 I married a guy who was 20. We ended up divorced after three and half years largely because I could no longer deal with the fact that he was a momma's boy. He was weak, vacillating, and would always believe whatever his mother told him. She, by the way, was nearly as narcissistic as my own mother. I reached my limit quickly because I didn't need to have to deal with TWO, count 'em, TWO bitch mother figures in my life with an immature male for a husband who had no mind of his own. His mother could convince him of anything. I left him. I was all of 20 years old with a nine month old baby. I was so out of there. That is a decision I have never once regretted. One of the smartest things I ever did.
I'm afraid to counsel Grafxgrl for the obvious reason that I know that I myself would not have the patience to stay married to a guy who couldn't find it in him to go against the tide for my sake. Weak, vacillating, first supporting me and then not supporting me... I... just ... would... not... take ...it. I need a real man in full possession of two balls who can defend me if necessary against character assassination and lies. Without that kind of man by my side I'd rather be alone. There are some things worse than being alone; to me that "worse" is being with someone I can't respect or trust. I could never stay married to grafxgrl's husband, as you've all probably deduced by now. But, that being said, I certainly wouldn't condemn someone who can endure. To each their own.
Grafxgrl, why are your IL's making you and your decisions concerning your own parents a topic of conversation with your husband? In other words, what the fuck business is it of theirs? Is your husband willing to respect a request on your part that he refuse to participate in any more discussions on the topic with his parents? All he'd have to say is, "My dear wife has the right to make the decision she has made. It isn't our place to question it. We didn't grow up with them; she did. I have nothing more to say on this and neither do you if you want me to stay and visit with you." Can he reach down and grab his balls and take a stand like that with his parents? If not, then I have no other suggestion for your situation. I don't know what to do with a man who puts mommy and daddy before the wife he took VOWS before God and man to love, cherish and support. I am annoyed and disgusted that your ILs take up the subject of you going NC like it is any of their damned, fucking business. Grrrrrrr! I have NO patience for nosy, gossiping, sermonizing dumbfucks even if they happened to be related to me. Can you tell this gets under my skin? Ugh. I'd love to pinch their head off for you.
Anonymous @ 3:49:00 PM,
Thanks for the very amusing update! Oh, my GOSH!!! It is almost like he sat down and wrote, "I AM A NARCISSIST. ANY DOUBT YOU MAY HAVE HAD ABOUT THAT I WANT TO DISPEL FOREVER AND EVER. AMEN." and then toddled over to you and handed you that note. What a PRICELESS moment! What a incredibly hilarious confirmation of what you already knew. It was so thoughtful of him to remove all doubt forever for you. Good grief. Narcissists are sometimes good for entertainment as long as viewed from a safe distance or when they are behind bars.
All the best!
Writer in Washington,
Yes it has been a real eye opener! It's true that you find out who your true friends are. I knew my ILs was the legalistic type of "religous" but I didn't think they were complete morons (I was wrong!!). God gave us minds he expects us to use them! You would think "devout" "Christians" would understand this- diserment not ring a bell? wisdom anyone? Geez!
Wow! lol. I CAN tell it gets under your skin. =)
My husband is almost 30 - way too old to be mamas boy but yet there he is! I have seriously contiplated divorce and still am. Things are settled at the moment (for JUST a moment) so I am just thinking everything over. The majority of these "discussions" happened over Christmas- while we were visiting the ILs. I got a full plate of "your poor parents" and "you are hurting them" BS and he sat there and did NOTHING. I thought I was going to knock out his front teeth- MERRY CHRSITMAS JERK! but I digress! At a time when him and his family knew I had basically lost my family - I get pelted with guilt bombs. Saved the pity for the abusers. I wanted to cry, it was the longest two days in my life. They haven't said much since but knowing how weak he is and where he stands bothers me terribly. I believe he would do anything to impress or make his family happy. Pitiful. Guess I don't count as family! I have been a good godly wife from the begining and have alway looked out for him. I know I deserve much better. A good man not a spineless man. I am just seeking answer to all this now - I never jump into anything without being sure which is why people who know me should know going NC wasn't for no reason!
Thanks so much for the support everyone - you all mean the world to me!
I don't know of any posts specifically about the smear campaign, but I do think Anna's has a great post about marriage. I believe it is hers (it MAY BE Kathy Krajco's, but I don't think so).
The one I'm thinking of states something to the effect that when a man and woman get married, they are ONE and that the man should leave his parents and cleave unto his wife, and that NO WHERE in the bible are the parents and children ever given that relationship - the oneness. It's a great post
Anna, if you know which one I'm talking about perhaps you know exactly where it is? It's really wonderful.
The Christian and the Fifth Commandment--Part One is the post you're inquiring about.
Hey guys, kinda off the subject-but, ex-N cashed/dep check in the amount of $750. It was issued to both of us, (escrow $ from sale of the house, in which I was responsible to pay for mortgage on my own for 18 mos) long story.. He admits the money is mine, however blabla bla, but states i have to do certain things first.blablacontrolcontrol..etc.Is this fraud?? He did not get my signature and we were divorced Sept 18. the check was sent to him...Could I press charges, should i? Could I? ...I have him on the run for the moment, but he's always looking for a new scheme....
RE: Anonymous 6:43am Jan 22
Banking 101 - You might see what you can find out about the check first. If it was made out to you also, get a copy of the issued check. See how it was made out first. Banks can be in error also. (Tellers are not always careful enough or trained well enough when it comes to the issues of endorsements.) It is possible that your recourse of action is with the Bank who cashed it. It is a place to start...maybe....rather than a war with the ex...who is itching for a rumble. Read on:
Checks with more than one payee often cause problems. The rule in the Uniform Commercial Code is that all payee endorsements are required if the names are joined by either "and" or "&." If they are connected by "or," only one endorsement is required by that law. If the listing of multiple payees is ambiguous -- if symbols like "/" or nothing at all separates the names -- the law says that only one endorsement is needed.
However, some financial institutions may have procedures that require all payees to endorse even if the law only requires one of their signatures. It's always a good idea to check with your financial institution before depositing such a check.
Regarding signature fraud questions and liability: I'm trying to find info that is fairly clear and concise. I found this website regarding fraud that I think is very good. Please read. Though I am no longer in Banking....and am a little rusty...and am not in an advisory position anymore....I can still point you in an informational direction regarding the laws that govern and regulate the industry. No sense walking into this uninformed or ill-informed. Ya know? Hope it helps. Good luck.
One last thing..and then I'll shut up. (I don't collect my thoughts very well...)
IF you can get the bank or financial institute on your ex's ass...as opposed to YOU instigating action against him....that would be great! Nothing would piss him off more than for YOU to get the money owed to you....and to have side-stepped HIM...in the process. The Right Thing is for you to get the money owed to you, however....not to piss him off. But he WOULD be pissed.....and the Regulations regarding Banking won't let him wheedle his way much....and they sure have a lot more resources to back them up for fraud cases. Even if HE gets off the hook by pleading ignorance....you'll still get the money owed to you. Hope so.
Ok....I really am done with this. Off to work....Sorry to have 'clogged the blog'.
In one of my NMIL's more lucid moments, my DH was confronting her and MIL said, "I've never had any problem getting other people to do what I want, but Laura's just too stubborn. She wont let me."
Aside from that, I thought mention of the 'fakeness' was particularly poignant. I'm pretty good at seeing right through people and MIL's 'poor wittle me, everyone's out to get me even though I'm the sweetest, most Christian woman in the whole world'
Please read the post that Anna just referenced, and all the posts that are under the heading of "Christian Issues." Read the webiste Luke 17:3 Ministries. So much great material
If your ILs are truly nice people, truly have faith, what they are doing may be nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to your N/C with your parents. They really don't understand if they haven't been there, done that. But perhaps you can educate your DH and his parents. Abuse is abuse, and the Bible never says it's okay to abuse someone between the time of their childhood and their seniority, but at no other time. That's ridiculous. it's horrible to abuse children and the elderly -- and anyone in between.
As far as the smear campaign, it's a horror. Don't give them anything in writing that can be twisted and used against you.
It is evil. The Bible mentions many times that those who bear false witness, those who lie, those who slander, those who perjure themselves are committing evil acts. We just seem to have an aversion to the word "evil." It's about time we called a spade a spade.
God is not unaware of this evil, the smear campaign. He is so aware He makes numberous references to it (slander, false witness, etc.) In Paul's first letter to Timothy Paul lists liars among the lawless and UNrighteous -- along with murderers and kidnappers. Obviously lying is a serious offense. Rewriting history is a serious offense. Twisting words is a serious offense.
My SIL maligned my DH several months after he died. She wrote an email and stated that she found out that my DH said..... and then listed an outright lie. On its face it's ludicrous. Did she ask me what was the truth? No. Just believed a lie she claimed someone had told her. If that part is true, I'm sure it was my FIL who made up the story -- "made up" sounds so innocent, doesn't it? LIED is the more accurate term.
She has chosen to twist something my husband did FOR HER because he had character and integrity, and instead chose to slander him and make him to be a spineless wimp. She thought she was putting me down, but instead she put him down. And the fool doesn't even see it.
But GOD did see it.
Stand your ground. If you have chosen N/C with your parents, then that is YOUR RIGHT. The smear campaign will die done.
And, if anyone knows that you are right but instead keeps silent just to maintain the peace, tell them to go to Spines R Us and get one.
LOL!! Thank you. Yes, I know I have survived a N family, and even an N exH (but that was so long ago, before the word N appeared in psych lit. That doesn't even hurt me anymore). But I am also well aware that having a Christmas tree decorated does not compare with having my room trashed and my treasures destroyed , or my childhood dreams smashed by those who are supposed to raise me, nurture me. Those stories humble me.
Thanks krl, will check w/ bank first. An additional check from homeowners ins. was issued to both of us "and" in between our names. He refused to sign.
He said I probably did the same thing, (cashed or deposited w/o his signature). HA!! I'm not remotely cut from the same cloth as the &%$#-EX-N!!!He'd rather have me lose the money then sign!!What a #$%%^&%
ALL NARCISSIST SUCK!!
Anna, couldn't agree w/ you more @Jan 21 6:04!! I admire your feistiness!!
Control, yes. A waving red flag. Normal people just aren't into it. N's need control for SO many things: access, coercing participation, controlling our image of them, being the authority on our own self image, controlling our perception of our options, and so on.
And it always starts really small with new N's. I met what I thought might be a classic N in a group project situation, and so had my eye on him and his behavior. Among other things, he soon tested me: he put me into an ingeniously improvised situation where he tried to see if he could control my behavior, by making me do something he knew I didn't want to do. It was "small" enough that if I made a big deal I'd look stupid, not him. The situation was classic N double bind: would I cave to his request, or "make a scene" by saying no? Of course, neither was an appealing option, and he knew it: he wanted to see what I would choose. Frustrated and trapped, I went a middle road, I did the request but in an utterly half-assed way, throwing the ball back in his court: would he dare to challenge me? And make a scene himself? No, he focused on others after that. And revealed himself to be a huge N in time.
Speaking of criminals, "testing" or "the interview" is a common tactic of criminals and con artists who need victims for crimes requiring a level of victim participation. I used to cave on "little things" with N types, because it always seemed easier then the alternatives. Now, if I catch on to what is happening, I never do, no matter how little the request or if it makes me look odd to say no. "Little things" are like a "gateway drug" to them, like blood to a shark.
The funny thing to see is how when you DON'T do the "little things", it really frustrates the hell out of them, totally disproportionate to the content of the request. I am sure everyone has seen that. It proves it is all about control. Like when you refuse something very inconsequential, like refuse a drink [you never asked for] even though the N "poured it for you", and you practically see STEAM come out of their ears!!! A total reveal that it is all a bs act, not about the content...and you are enraging them by not playing to the script.
And the creepy thing is when you don't know it is an N, and you say yes to something small, and see the creepy glow of intense satisfaction - TOTALLY disproportionate to the content. I recently saw this at a social event when I tried a food I initially said I wasn't interested in, but then gave it a try after a person cajoled me a bit. I know that a normal person might do that, push someone a bit to try something they initially said no to, but a normal person would NOT look unusually and INTENSELY satisfied when you did! Ewwww..... red flag!!
Re: Anon Jan 22, 2009 11:46:00 AM
Oh, yeah. Reminds me of my NM. Makes me think of this thing she's been into lately. She has decided to decide when I need light shed on my work area. I won't describe all the non-verbal tussles over her determination to dictate when I turn on a light. So, so stupid! If I turn off the light, I'm a defensive, obstinate ingrate. If I leave the light on, I acknowledge I am too lazy or ditzy to turn it on so she must do it. (I trust other ACONs understand that there was no way I was misunderstanding a natural mother's desire to look after her daughter.)
Actually, it won't be happening anymore since my dad died and I won't be staying at home to help, but it left me pinching myself there for awhile.
I was thinking about the OCD stuff and about a "25 things about me" type of thing my MN stepd. recently put on her Facebook. (Why is it that MNs love to do and post those types of polls? Because it gives them a chance to broadcast what a wonderful person they are?) She admitted to being OCD about being "organized"--I guess that means she has all the clutter in neat little piles, went on about how she loved doing home renovations even though they cause stress and fights with her husband because its worth it to have everything the way she wants it, considers herself the world's most stubborn person, said that she and her BF had the "same" stepfather who is basically a wimp (not her words of course) but he is apparently her definition of manly--go figure. Anyway, what really floored my non-N stepson was that she carried on about how close she is to her brothers although she never really expected to be when she was younger. As far as he is concerned, he's not close with her, his Nmom or his brother. How does a MN define closeness?
Anyway, a wimp husband and/or son is part and parcel of the MN's ideal. For example, the stepfather previously mentioned will do whatever MN wife wants because he is avoiding conflict; spends most of his time in his garage, at his mom's, or out in the yard doing projects; sits with his head bowed and keeps his mouth shut when forced to be with "family". He had never been married before he met MN wife and was in his late 40s, you guessed it, a Momma's boy. Really manly, right?
So, when is being controlling, selfish beyond reason (stubborn) and OCD something to be proud of? Why is a wimp her ideal man? These are things to boast about in her twisted reality world. So how does this square with the idea that she is "normal"? Or that her father is the one who has the problems?
She is very clearly letting everyone know that she is a huge RED FLAG MN. But does anyone catch on?
Grfxgrl, I agree with Anna. I don't think I would have stayed a second with my husband if he hadn't made the tough decision to go NC with his daughter and her brother. He's the strongest man that I know, and yeah, he's a pastor, too. He's also one of the most loving people that I know; will do anything he can to help you if you are sincerely trying to improve your life, but he's not going to be anybody's patsy. Not since being married to the MNex and having to deal with all the fall-out of MN children. Yeah, they are _evil_ and yeah, they belong in the deepest pits of hell, I just wish they'd all luge there sooner. (LOL)
PS: If you know that the Ns in your life have websites or other online pages, its a good idea to monitor them occasionally. You can find out all sorts of interesting things and protect yourself from them better. They can't resist bragging about their exploits (or intended exploits) if they don't think they will get caught by you.
About 4 years ago I worked as a Pastor's Assistant for the "Senior Pastor" of a 1,400 member Baptist church. I worked for him and another pastor at the same church for almost 1 1/2 years. After seeing what goes on behind the scenes of the church, I wanted to stay away from churches. Someone put it as, "It's like working in the kitchen of your favorite restuarant, it ruins it." (The church I was a member of and attended regularly was a different church.) I thought working at a church would bring me closer to God, instead it distanced me from God. I didn't have a problem with God, the belief in God or anything else, I just didn't like man's interpretation of the Bible for their use. I didn't want to attend church anymore.
Finally last year, I had a DWI after I left my "church attending, Bible reading, person who used to drink and now is a tea totaller, NHusband". I wasn't required to go to AA from the judge, but my NH is holding on to that as his crowning glory that he is the "best Dad in the world" and is trying to get full custody of our 10 year old daughter. Because of this I go to AA now. I decided that if he said I had a drinking problem I would do whatever neccessary to not drink.
My NH would sit and read the Bible and then yell at us for not reading it daily. He would do anything in the world for the people at church, even ride the bus to pick up kids who needed a ride, but if one of my daughters friends asked for a ride, he complained. A neighbor boy was coming to our house in the mornings b\c his father had left and his mother had to work early in the morning, he also came there is the afternoons. If someone needed a male role model it was him, but my NH didn't even barely talk to him. I'm sure there was no one around to "see" him do it, so he felt no reason to do it.
In AA I have had a spiritual re-awakening. They say in AA to believe in a Higher Power of your own understanding! WOW, what a revelation! Now the Higher Power I believe in is a loving God, who is working in my life each and every moment to bring the best to my situation. He wants me to be the woman He intended me to be when He created me. I have faith again in people and God and I look for miracles everyday, everywhere.
I left my NH a year and a half ago and our divorce is still not final b\c we are still fighting for custody of our 10 year old daughter, Grace. He wants full custody, but says I can have her half the time. Which translates, he doesn't want to pay child support, but I can have her half the time. He won't put it on paper saying I can have her half the time, b\c them he would have to pay some child support. It's also a control issue. He wants to be able to control our daughter and especially me.
My lawyer said for me to go back to the church where my husband and I have attended for almost 8 years to be with Grace and so people at the church would see me with her. So I did, even though I can barely stand to be in the same room with my ex, I did it for Grace. Then I started helping out in her Wednesday night GA class b\c she wanted me to come in there. After a couple weeks of attending the Wednesday night class, the director of the Children's Ministry came in and informed me that I should be teaching in another room, that there was no reason for there to be 3 adults in that room teaching. I said I wasn't in there to teach, only to help out and be with Grace. She said there was an opening in another classroom for a teacher and I should be in there teaching, not in the room with Grace helping out. I said I did not want to teach in another room. She said Grace knows all the kids in there and Grace could go in there with me. The class she wanted me to go into was a younger class and I didn't think it fair for Grace to have to go to a younger class b\c the director wanted me somewhere else. The teachers in Grace's room said they needed me, that didn't matter to her. We ended up yelling at each other and then she said, "I'm not going to do this in God's house, one of us needs to leave". She then stood there and stared at me. I said, "Fine, I will leave." And I turned to walk away. She said very rudely, "GOD BLESS YOU!" Like she wanted to say, "SCREW YOU!" I turned back around and said, "God bless you." She said, "I AM BLESSED!" Rudely again. Thank God the other 2 women were in that room to hear and see her act that way. She said the church has procedures it has to follow and she was sent in there to do her job. I said I had been a pastor's assist for so and so church and she said, "Well, you aren't anymore!" I said, "What I'm trying to say is I understand churches have procedures and I was willing to do whatever it takes to help out in there," She was referring to background checks. She said a Deacon of the Church had sent her in there. I asked who he was and called him that evening.
He said he did not "send" her in there. And said there wasn't anything in place stating that I could not be in there. This was about 4 months ago when it started. He asked me to not go to the Wed. mtg's until he had prayed about it and would get back with me. He never got back with me. I called and left a couple messages, never returned. So I called the Children Director and apologized for my behavior that original evening. (Since I am in AA and want to take respobsibilty for my part in the situation.) I said that in getting a divorce my emotions sometimes run high, she said she understood, that she has been divorced before, a long time ago, but understood. She then said, "What can I do for you?" Not an utterance of apology to me. I asked her what were we going to do to resolve this situation. She said she didn't know, would talk to the deacon and get back with me. After several weeks of not hearing from either one I started attending the Wed class again, at the request of the teachers in that room. They told me they needed my help and I was welcome anytime. That was during the holidays.
Well, now I have received a certified letter from the Deacon Body stating that I am not to attend those mtgs on Wed night even if my child attends until such a time as I have been recommended by the head of the department, (Being the woman I am talking about), gone through the nominating committee and been voted on by the church. Prior to applying for this position, I must fill out an application and meet all seven of the requirements set out in their policy. It also states that they hope I will see fit to abide by these policies and NOT present myself at any more of these mtgs. without having gone through all the procedural requirements as set out above. If I choose to ignore the letter and present myself at any mtgs in the future without complying with the church policies I will be asked to remove myself from the mtg. They hope that this will not become necessary and that I will avoid placing myself in a potentially embarrassing position.
CAN YOU BELIEVE SUCH FUCKIN' CRAP?!! It's not that she didn't want me to teach, she wanted me to teach in another class room. NOW there ARE policies put in place. So she made sure polocies were put in place, had the deacon body write this letter to me. As I said I have faithfully attended this church for at least 7 years and am still a member there, but had only quit going b\c of my husband and my divorce. I was a member several years there before this woman was even attending any church, much less attending there! I was even in her Director Position a couple years before her! I am just astounded at this whole ordeal. I'm trying to get a divorce from a NPD man, I go back to my old church to do the right thing for my daughter and I get hit with this in the middle of all this. Not once has she thought about Grace going throug this divorce, what Grace needs! It is all about where she wanted me to be. Which, by the way, she had recently quit teaching that class she wanted me in, b\c she has so many positions in the church, she couldn't handle them all.
I had also called the church secretary about a month after it happened and told her to do the background check and she still hasn't done it. I called her again and explained the urgency and importance of her doing this. She has been the secretary there since April of last year and hasn't done one yet. So I questioned if the Director has had one done. She said she didn't know. I said if I have to do one, then everyone should have to abide by these rules and it should be public knowledge if it has been done. So she is checking on that also.
My mother suggested I not ever set foot in that church again. I cannot do that, b\c I cannot let her get away with this evil. People have asked, "What does the pastor say?" The last pastor left there almost 2 years ago and they have only been having interim pastors filling in. No wonder they can't find a pastor, it is a SICK church!
I do know from reading this blog to never deal with her alone. I will always have a witness any time I have to deal with her. The 2 teachers that were in that room that night know that she said she wanted me to teach in another room. I am so thankful for that. And if I have to I will have a mtg with her and the "Deacon Body" present. Not alone with her. I can not let this evil continue. In AA on their 24 hour desire to quit drinking chip it says, "To thine own self be true." Not only do I owe it to myself, I owe it to my daughter to show her to not lay down and be treated like this from someone in a church. When I was drinking I would have felt vicitmized by this situation, I would have felt shame, but by the GRACE of GOD, AA supporters, and this blog, I am going to handle this sober, with maturity, and confidence. Not re-acting, but acting. This director shows all 8 red flags to the T! And I can see this so clearly now after reading this blog, identifying it in my NDad whom I have gone NC, in my NHusband whom I'm getting a divorce from and oh so clearly in her now.
We cannot always go NC b\c people are like this every where, we just have to be able to identify these people, go NC if we can, and act with full knowledge when we can't.
Thank you Anna, for this blog. I printed it out to study and have knowledge when and if I have to talk to her and the Deacon Body\church.
I read recently that intuition basically always works quite well, superbly well in fact, except there is ONE situation where it can get "jammed": when it has been overwhelmed by false information.
Um, HELLO N's, and this post's "red flag #2".
The consistent slathering on of an image of "goodness"? If that isn't systems being overwhelmed by misinformation, what is?
Wow. That's horroendous. I'm hoping what I did will be of help to you.
When my ExH wanted to "reconcile" he used Christianity as his weapon. He claimed to be a Christian (within 24 hours of finding out I was dating after 2 1/2 years of separation.) It got VERY UGLY.
He told everyone in his church I was an adulterous. This was a church where I had many friends, but was not my home church. The pastor there and I had had a friendly relationship -- until ExH showed up. My own pastor, who alsmot 3 years earlier had told me "if the non-believer wants out, then let him go. You're not bound" was now vacilliating. He was "unsure" now that DH seemed so "sincere." He asked why I never had gotten a legal divorce. I was pissed and I said "Well, I prayed about it. I asked God should I pay an attorney or feed my child. And Goe said 'Don't ask me stupid questions'." I never got child support, which to the church meant NOTHING. My pastor refused to speak to the other pastor about the slander my ExH was spreading about me. I actually did tell my pastor to "Go to Spines R Us and get one."
So - what I did. I didn't attend either church and I refused to get involved in that garbage. Instead I concentrated on MY DAUGHTER'S MIND. She was being indoctrinate and had been having nightmares about "being washed in the blood." She was 4 years old. Her bio dad had told her that "moommy has a boyfriend and she's married, so she's going to fire land after she dies."
That's what I responded to -- not the church. I had no desire to change THEIR position, only to correct what she wsa being told in an age-appropriate manner.
Her bio dad told her that God says you're not allowed to have a stepfather. He knew that because he was reading the bible. I told her "Silly man. he didn't get to the end yet. Jesus comes along and He's the main character and HE HAD A STEPFATHER!"
She told me that daddy had shown her our wedding video and I promised "till death do we part" and I told a lie and was going to fire land because I have a boyfriend.
I said "Do you know what a deal is? Let's say I said you can't have dessert unless you eat your peas. If you don't eat your peas do I have to give you dessert?"
"Well, that's called a deal. If you break the deal first, I don't have to do the deal. Daddy broke the deal first. He said till death do we part too and he left to live in another state. Do I have to do the deal now?"
"No, mommy, you don't."
Of course, your Grace is a bit older than my DD was at the time. But I think you're getting the drift. Keep it age-appropriate, don't put him down (you'll look better to HER), and save HER MIND, not the church's stupid policies that Jesus couldn't even meet.
BTW, my DD is now 20 and was adopted finally at the age of 12. I never put her father down -- she figured it out herself. Nor did I defend him. When she started really thinking and mentioning his nonsense, I just affirmed her opinions. She's well-adjusted and attends college and just attended the inauguration (she was invited back in Feb. regardless of who won). She recieved a package recently from her bio dad after 7 years of silence. She took the contents and never responded.
Her mind is intact.
I hope this was helpful and gives you some ideas on how to handle this.
And pray, pray, pray for Grace.
I have no idea what sort of church you are attending but--well, I wouldn't. I understand the situation with your daughter but to be honest, I would have my atty write them a letter and request a copy of their bylaws and constitution. Any church that is that controlling has some serious problems. By challenging them legally, they will most likely back down. BTW, in my state the Law makes me responsible for everything that concerns my minor child, they may be able to keep you from helping in that class, but they cannot keep you OUT of that class so long as your daughter is there. If you have to sit on the sidelines and watch, then do so. But get your atty involved if you can, its really the best way to fight fire with fire.
PS: The is a long humorous story regarding religious Ns, I'll shorten it for you. A MN dies and goes to heaven. There is a long line before her and she stands there listening as each person goes up to God. He asks them "Why should I let you into Heaven." Each person gives the reasons they feel they should be let into paradise. Finally its the MNs turn, as she approaches the Throne she looks up at God and says, "Excuse me, but I believe you are sitting in MY chair!" That's why religious Ns think they can control everything in the church and everybody in the church.
Angela, phew!! The N-ex takes our 5 yr old to church almost every other weekend. Gag. He informed me that it was HIS church and that I had no business to continue attending, since "he was there first." prior to the split we did christian counseling, w/ a certified clinician and attendee of "our" church. She just thought the world of him and kept asking me why I was SO ANGRY!!!double gag.
She thought he had ADHD!! Spent $3000 out of pocket to test the fool!! Guess what? No ADHD!! He could only shrug his shoulders!!
Could go on and on and on....(Couldn't WE ALL!!) Anyways, pastor has never attempted to call me, and only one lovely christian wom- make that 2 women have reached out to me!! Screw the rest of them!! They don't have a clue about that damn sheep in wolves clothing!!
Angela, I give you TONS of credit for stepping foot back into that church!! I know I could not and would not!! gag gag gag!!
My prayers are with you and Grace!!
BTW "christian counselor" and hubby got "kicked out" for not coming under authority........mmmmm
If clarification is needed: "christian counselor and HER hubby"
God knows N-Ex is never referred to as "hubby"!!!!!NEVER NEVER NEVER!!!
I'm going out on a limb here because I have a feeling most will not agree with me.
Angela, choose your battles wisely. IMHO, the issue is not the churh -- it's your daughter and what's best for her. I played a completely "hands-off" card when it came to the churches -- yes, I was angry and hurt and wanted to stick it to them, but I didn't feel that was in the best interest of my child.
Well, DH played the religion card and he doesn't believe in divorce and a pastor wrote to the judge stating I was committing adultery, blah, blah, blah.
The judge actually called both attorneys into his chambers and said "I don't want to hear all this bible mumbo-jumbo in my courtroom."
Courtrooms are secular. All the judge will care about is what's in the best interest of the child --- they don't give a shit about some woman hurting your feelings or being an N.
Just protect your child. Love your child. Un-indoctrinate her to whatever crap your Ex is throwing at her. Took me years and patience and counseling -- BUT God was faithful. He opened some doors and I walked right thru them, did some legal manuevering, and he VOLUNTARILY surrendered his parental rights. God did such a beautiful job!! It was incredible!!! And every legal paper states that my Ex did it on his own.
Actually, God backed him into a corner.
That's another story, and I'm afraid I may talk here too much, but if you wanted to know how God worked, I'd post it and let Anna decide.
I'm going to pray for Grace tonight.
My comment on your story is coming from the standpoint of a 20+ yr AA
Have you talked to your sponsor about this? If not, that's the next thing you need to do.
As you know, as recovering alchoholics, we must bring to the tables the topics that trouble us,
or we may find ourselves with a drink in our hand, wondering how it got there.
We must work the steps on these issues. Seeing what we have no control over- especially other peoples behaviours.
I know I have to remove myself from toxic situations. Its not running away. Its facing reality & practicing sane behaviour.
Please raise the topic in a meeting today.
Don't drink,say a prayer ,* get to a meeting.
Another Friend of Bill W.
Do you have an attorney yet? Has he/she explained to you there is no such thing as "custody"? There is joint custody, sole custody, and physical custody, but not just "custody."
Custody refers to who has responsibility for making medical, religious, educational decisions for the child, not where the child lives. Physical custody pertains to where the child lives. Because of a lot of good and bad studies, joint custody is almost a given nowadays. Both parents jointly make decisions for the child. It's a hard barrier to overcome.
I hsd sole custody; he had liberal visitation. He had NO SAY in decisions I made for her. Keep your focus on your child.
he doesn't want to pay child support? Don't get emotional about that. He doesn't have a say at all - it's the judge. The child has a legal right to be supported in a lifestyle of both parents' incomes combined. Tough shit on your Ex. Don't let him pull you into arguments over somthing neither of you will really decide on.
Physical custody -- can you stay in the same house, give your daughter the same room, same school, same friends, same after school care program? Really would go a long way in getting physcial custody.
Your husband gave you a weapon -- use it. MONEY. Every state has a guideline on how much child support will be paid. That's based on income and reasonable expenses. Find out how much your Ex would have to contribute based on your state's guidelines. This is how I won SOLE custody.
Ex had no rent, no mortgage. He owned his house outright. According to the tables, based on his income and having little expenses, he would have to pay in the neighborhood of $850 per month. MONEY is his God. Both attorneys, me and Ex were in the courthouse hallway. His attorney was trying again to explain to me that NO JUDGE would grant me sole custody (decision-making responsibility). I just looked at her, then said to my EX "Guidlines say you'll be paying $800 monthly. Tell you what -- I'll agre to $350 if I have sole custody and you get lots of visitation."
He said "You got a deal."
You should have seen the look on his attorney's face!!!! I thought she would vomit. My Ex just sold his daughter right in front of her! I rarely saw a dime, but this was step one. Makung sure I took away CONTROL from him for this baby. I would say black, he would say white REGARDLESS of what was in her best interest.
AA -- well, if I read your post correctly you were not ordered to go. Are you an alcoholic? Be honest. If not, you have to UNDO the image you created by attending meetings. Not so hard at all. Go on the OFFENSIVE. Don't wait for him to accuse you of being an alcoholic. In your motions/papers for divorce, tell the Court that you, one time, dealt with stress by drinking and then driving. Be honest. Tell the Court that scared you and you are no better than anyone else. You wanted to nip any problem in the bud and attend AA because AA gives you coping strategies so that you NEVER will do that again. If you are alcoholic, skew that differently. You recognize, blah, blah, blah.
He won't put things in writing? What are you waiting for? You do it. You get the ball rolling.
Very important that you don't get overly-emotional in court. Family court judges hear tears and yelling and threats all the time. They're tired. They don't care about your feelings -- they care about the child. Stay focused on the CHILD. Stay calm. If your Ex becomes emotional, document every nonsensical thing he says -- especially about Grace and her support. Do not give him ammunition. Get a mantra "Okay. We'll see what the judge says." Don't respond in any other way.
Katrina will understand what I mean by "dry drunk." That's my Ex. Years ago no one used the word N. Now, in retrospect, I realize that he is an N. They told me at his rehab there was "something else underlying his drinking" but they weren't sure what it was. No one had heard of N as a diagnosis.
Now I know why and how I missed the signs with my ILs. I put the label "alcoholic" on my Ex and knew no other label. My ILs are not alcoholic and I missed the behavior patterns because it didn't fit the "label." DUH.
I prayed a long time for Grace last night. I have def'ly been where you are. it's a tightrope.
You may want to read The Dance of Anger.
GraFXGrl, I've learned that there are people who will always put their family of origin ahead of everyone else, including their own spouses and children. There are a lot of them. They are not suitable parners, but many people find themselves married to them. We are always told we can judge a man by how he treats his mother. We see them behave lovingly toward mom and think we have a prize.
They see themselves as peacekeepers but they are spineless wimps and often passive aggressive. They have to come from some very dysfuntional place. I've only ever seen these people have very controlling, selfish mothers. They cannot be counted on for support, so it is important to seek support elsewhere. You have to do a kind of emotional limited contact with your own spouse. Great, isn't it?
I don't know what could be more frustrating than dealing with N family and unsupportive spouse but I've been there.
Yeah....Anna's feisty, all right.
She's also strong, resilient, liberated, intolerant of BS, rational, logical and practical.
A super role model for us former "nice girls" aka doormats.
Once upon a time, I was one of those people pleasing, insecure, shy, doormat "nice girls".
Now?...not so much.
I was actually, pleasantly surprised to be referred to as a.."bitch"...by two very controlling, immature, spineless males in the last six months. (possibly Ns, didn't wait to find out)
My immediate response was to laugh my butt off and to thank them profusely!
Why would I have such a shocking reaction? Well, proof positive that I have become a die-hard reality oriented woman and will not allow anyone to treat me like dirt ever again! YaY!
Anna and her blog rock the internet, spreading truth, wisdom, knowledge and a fiery warrior spirit against the diabolical tyranny that is Malignant Narcissism.
Anna Valerious said @ Jan 21, 2009 6:12:00 PM
> Narcissists are sometimes good for entertainment as long as viewed from a safe distance or when they are behind bars. <
I've got the robust, sardonic sense of humour that is typical for someone who grew up under N parents, but no thanks.
For the past few years I've tolerated a bullying N flatmate in my life because he helped reconstructing the fragmented memories of my bullying N father.
Mission accomplished, now he can eff off. I can't stand this walking brick, this _varelse_ in my life anymore. Should I send him over? In a box? With ribbons?
All the best.
I've commented on Barbara's site, adbusesantuary.com and enjoy her prose. I viewed this site and I feel you have experienced every possible angle of a narsissistic personality. I give more creedance to those that have lived through it than those who simply are educated in the psyche. I am one that has lived through it as well. Quite the opposite though, as I am a male that lived through female abusivness. To top it off, coupled with narsissitic personality, she is a lawyer specializing in family law and litigates in court 5 days a week. Believe me, there are psych profiles and info out there on female litigators and their inability to see reality, grandiose perceptions of themselves, etc. This particular woman though, had problems with Nar long before she went to law school.
I do have a question though for those that have extensive experience with female Nar's and their children. For my own edification, what is the general relationship (in this case an only child) of a Nar with their children? I have observed with my former Nar, she seems very attentive, she spends time with him and nurtures his intelligence. In my relatioship with him, during the course of 5 years,as he is 10 now, I have been kicked in the balls (this happened often during activity in the pool.ages 5 to 6. and his mom believed I lied), generally he is not interested in anything I have to say. He has been disrepectful towards me and mom did nothing about it. If her and I were showing affection, he would push me out totally and command/monopolize his space with her, looking back at me with an expression, that he had prevailed. As well, when he doesn't follow instruction and angers her, he ignores her anger, manipulates her with the "I'm so sweet you can't resist me" card, and she then succumbs to his desires. On rare occasions she would stand fast to implore him to abide, he would shift into a mode whereby he would make her feel bad, guiltyn eve and she would eventually succumb. From what I have read, not much is available on such situations, yet, it's like the "apple doesn't fall far from the tree". He is a very intelligent child and is very perceptive, almost to an adult degree. Is it possible to emulate his mother so early? I mean he has used these methods since he was 5 and has evolved progressively with age. Her main objective in life is two-fold. For her son to be well educated,secondly, she wishes him to respect a woman, to treat a woman unlike she was treated by her x-husband. Which by the way, deems her as a master manipulator and a liar. I concur with his assessment. What do you make of this? I do not see the typical Nar's being so close and involved with their children as this woman is? What do you make of the "apple not falling far from the tree" theory? Any input is greatly appreciated.
Anonymous with questions about children. Women Ns are very enmeshed with their children. If you've read any of my comments you will know that my DH's ex is a very malignant N. She controls and manipulates two of his three children. You are right, its much easier for children to emulate the N than to resist her. Anna once wrote that choosing to be an N is easier than choosing to not be for kids of MNs and I've found that to be very true. BE CAREFUL, and do NOT trust the child too much.
"Don't be fooled by the narcissist's OCD as being some manifestion of rigorous self-control. It is not. My mother actually uses her compulsive behaviors as some kind of proof of her being self-controlled."
I find this really interesting and it brings to mind a different way I've seen a N use OCD to benefit herself.
My boyfriend (ACO MNmother who is working towards NC) developed severe (and debilitating) OCD around 7 or 8 yrs old. He believes it was his brain's effort to insert control and stability into the world his Nmother raised him in, which had no reliable cause and effect system. (That's to put it lightly!) This theory makes perfect sense to me, especially knowing his beast of a Nmother.
As he got older, his symptoms went from being overt compulsions (touching, tapping, licking) & extreme self doubt in childhood, to extreme self doubt that controlled his thoughts in adulthood (trickier to cope with because OCD thoughts sound the same in his head as his own thoughts). As I watch him in his process of learning how his Nmom "ticks" and working towards NC, I have come to believe that his remaining OCD symptoms (namely self doubting thoughts& beliefs), are purely his Nmother's leftover words that he has not yet cleared out. What I mean is that these "OCD" beliefs have pretty much turned out to all trace back to something limiting Nshe told him about himself at some point, all untrue and crazy. Crazy, of course, is how it makes him feel, but NOT what he is.
On top of this, it served her that he had this "crazy" doubting disease ("he suffers so and all I do is try to help him"-how hard for her). She could count on him to believe his problems were all in his head.
To further convince me of Nher culpability in his OCD is my own experience with her Nabuse. For two years, we saw her as often, sometimes, as every day (makes me cringe to think about). In that time, my own self doubt (which I understand now made me an attractive target to her) sky rocketed to the point that I felt like I would have a nervous break down. While searching for how to explain what I believed she was doing to control and covertly abuse her adult son, my self doubt began to somehow lighten. The more I've learned, the stronger and clearer I've become, just like everyone seems to describe through their own stories. In my case, the knowledge has even allowed me to avoid pharmaceutical treatment, because the OCD is "going away".
It's amazing to me how MN abuse invaded our minds under the convenient psych diagnosis of OCD (a problem with the brain chemicals of the patient w/out any medically known cause). It's no wonder 15 years of prozac did little to treat my bf's OCD-taking pills can't get rid of his Nmother!! But he will with NC:)
ps I am not implying that OCD isn't a real disorder, nor that it isn't debilitating, nor saying it's always caused by MN abuse, just speaking about our experiences.
I am new here and newly regaining strength after escaping an N relationship. When I read the quote:
"Preaching against being controlling was the "goodness" she was slathering onto herself to throw off suspicion about her own controlling behaviors..."
All I could think of was his favorite line which was "...and I would never exploit you..."
He said it constantly and it had become truth to me...completely brainwashed by it I felt he was such a good guy and would NEVER exploit me - in fact I went so far as to feel pity for him feeling that someone must have exploited HIM pretty badly to have to keep reaffirming such a thing.
I too have come to the conclusion that DUH - his actions didn't match his words! So I am intent to exercise my observational abilities as far as ACTIONS as a protection.
Although, the words are like a soft melody that lulls you into a trance, you hear words you have waited so long to hear and start thinking - wow - everything's gonna be alright! UNTIL YOUR RUDE AWAKENING!
Re the subject of control, I have a young colleague who I suspect is N. I often say No when her requests don't make sense to me workwise, and she has now taken to sending me emails giving me all options (like 'here are two invoices I need a cheque for. You can give me 1 cheque, or you can give me 2, it's up to you'. Or 'you can brainstorm with me or not, it's up to you' - so whatever I choose to do, I have done what she suggested, and no matter what I choose, it has this whiff of being unreasonable - I could have done the other, and the big mindfuck starts. Did I mention she is 22, in her first job, and I'm 42 and in a senior role? It took me nearly a year to figure out what was going on (other little mindfucks as well), and only recently did I realise what was going on, keep my distance now (I was primed by my N parents). There's hope that she'll change jobs, seeing that this is her first one, until then I 'study the beast in controlled conditions', like the near manic energy happening when customers come in she can bs into feeding her need for admiration, or the very amusing bit, where we had a N-visitor and they started playing each other, and after being through several hours of this, he turned to her and said 'what was your name again?' I had some difficulty in keeping a straight face. At least he didn't try his shtick on me, must mean I start sending out the 'no feed here' vibes :)
On another note, a big thank you to Anna and everyone else here for posting, I have started to read this blog a few weeks ago and am now much more at ease with my NC decision regarding my Nparents - it helps that I'm as far away from them as possible on planet Earth, with the possible exception of living in Antarctica.
My wife is a narcissist and i have known this much of our 37 year marriage but it recently came into focus with her affair. She is very controlling and solicits admiration in very obvious ways. I am a psychologist by profession and have discovered that the only way to deal with her is to lavish praise and admiration upon her and minimize anything that could be construed as criticism. She is so damaged inside i see now since doing many interactions from a marriage seminar. So i will see how it goes but see huge limitations in our relationship and wonder how i have tolerated it so long. She is bright and does have a since of morality but has a poor since of boundaries.
I remember reading thru the bible as a child-getting to proverbs-thinking that I should be learning this from my parents.
At the age of 6 I realized that my parents did not know right from wrong.
At the age of 8 I realized that my "Christian" parents were without God's wisdom
So I turned away from them and to God's Word. Over the years I have stumbled many times but God keeps bringing me back. Truly He is the only Source of truth and righteousness -even for those who grew up in N-families like mine...There is Hope
So true about how Nmother is enmeshed with her children. Last year I went NC with my sister ....my brother rides the fence. His wife figured out that my mom is N....I can't thank her enough for speaking truth into my life.
Now my mom is trying to pull my daughter into her sick drama triangle.
I told my daughter to direct their questions about me to me.
I confronted my mother for lying, she hung up on me.
Best book for Parental Alienation Syndrome is titled: Divorce Poison
Btw- thanks Anna for giving me confirmation that I haven't found anywhere else.
I sure have learned a lot from your blog. I was raised to be feed for these vampires, it was terrible.
One, a friend, put on such an air of goodness, I swear I had to get away from her sometimes because I could not stand it. I know I'm bad sometimes. But she made me feel like the most nasty person on the planet.
But, she was gossiping about everyone she can. This made her look good, and because of my MN mothers training, well I thought she was good. She fed on my pain and others like me. She gossiped and fed, and was mean to her overweight daughter, but her self-righteousness made everything look good.
Now I get it. Thank you Anna
Anna - I just want to high five you and hug you. You are crystallizing so many profound truths in this blog. Just found it today, and now I'm binge reading it. Absolutely awesome. Thank you!!
thanks for sharing, nice post
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