The One-Track Mind

The majority of decent (dare I say “normal”) human beings are driven by a complex mixture of emotion and necessity. We do the things we do for the good of not only ourselves, but of those we love. We work because we need to support our children/families and want to contribute to society. We play because we need balance and want to see the smiles on our kids faces. We love because we crave emotional intimacy and have a responsibility to teach our children compassion, empathy, and acceptance. These things all come naturally to us – we do not do them because we have a hidden agenda or ulterior motives. We aren’t calculating some master plan here – we are genuinely living and loving because it feels right.

Bring on the narcissists…. Narcissists lack the ability to feel true emotions and are therefore driven by the need for power and control. Whether it’s in the workplace or their own home, their decisions are based on what is best for them – how they can achieve status over those around them. And when their master plans backfire (as they often do when their masks slip and they are seen for what they really are), things can get ugly. When this happens, it will be the fault of everyone around them, of course.

Over six years ago, my ex took a job out of state. In a matter of weeks, it was as if he had developed amnesia, completely forgetting he had left a wife and three children behind. He stopped visiting, stopped calling, stopped caring altogether – his only focus was impressing his boss, climbing that ladder at work, making the big money. Troubles at home? He couldn’t be bothered to pull his head out of his boss’s ass long enough to help resolve them. The kids missed their dad? Well, he couldn’t take a week off to see them or he may not get that supervisor position. His only concern was work and putting in the hours to prove he was the best worker, to achieve a higher status than his coworkers, to be the most valuable to his boss.

In the meantime, I was doing everything myself. I was taking care of three kids, a big house and it’s maintenance, doing the yard work, the grocery shopping, making sure the bills were paid, helping the kids with their homework and meeting with their teachers, making sure everyone was happy and healthy, while writing my first novel. I was even wasting my time trying to defend his actions, assuring the kids their dad still loved them, he just had other “obligations”. I think that was the most exhausting part of it all – convincing them of something I myself no longer believed.

After four years of this nonsense, I was over it. He had proven to me that we were no longer a priority and we would never be able to compete with the power-trip he got from being a “boss”. The minute I told him I’d had enough, the switch flipped. Me leaving him??? No way, that couldn’t happen. Not because he loved me and wanted to save our marriage, but because he had no idea how to proceed in life without controlling my every move and decision. In an instant, his focus switched from his job (where he had already established his power) to me (where he was losing his power).

When narcissists feel you are slipping through their fingers and are no longer willing to be their puppets, they employ a little tactic known as “love-bombing.” They will send relentless messages proclaiming their “love” for you, full of insincere (nauseatingly fake) apologies, begging you to give them another chance. And another. And another…. My ex has been in the love-bombing stage for so long that it is almost laughable. All those words and not a hint of action to back them up. Thankfully, I’m a fairly intelligent individual and I see what he is doing for what it really is – trying to regain control. Not happening.

While he has been so encompassed in trying to get me back under his thumb, he has seemed to completely forget about the three things he should be focusing on – the children. While he drunk-texts me almost daily in a pathetic attempt to reel me back in, he hasn’t seen his own kids in nearly six months. He has been “too busy”. He will give every excuse in the book for why he has so sickeningly neglected his parenting duties, but what it boils down to is this – they are pawns, and at this point in the game they can’t help him win. Several months ago, I made it clear to him that he was more than welcome to come home (to what is now my home) and spend time with the children, but I would not be present. I would be staying with friends in the event he were under my roof. In his mind, spending time with his kids no longer meant weaseling his way back into my life – it meant giving me a few days of freedom to do as I pleased without the responsibility of Mom-ing. If he came to see the kids, he would have no control over what I did during that time. And to him, it wasn’t worth it.

So, here we are. Six months of no contact with his children. I’m curious as to how he is going to try to turn this into my fault when he finally comes to the realization that those divorce papers were real and he has no chance of ever regaining an inch of control over me. I know the kids are going to be his next love-bombing victims. Maybe if he can somehow regain control over them, it will trickle down to me in some way? (I can guarantee it won’t!)

The point of this rambling post is this: when dealing with a narcissist (or, more importantly, when attempting to break free from one) it is sooooo very important to educate yourself in order to be immune to their games and realize what their true intentions are. Know that “I love you” means “I need to be your puppet master,” and decide if you’re willing to play that part. Find the courage to leave them in the dust, wallowing in their own self-created misery that is not your responsibility to fix.

Be your own person. Create your own happiness. Live and love and work and play because you are driven by healthy emotions and the desire to achieve your goals. Never be a puppet. Cut the strings and do your own dance. You are more than worth it.

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When I started my blog a few weeks ago, I intended for it to be a type of therapeutic journal that may have a couple of followers who are going through similar situations, most likely people I know from Minnesota. I never thought it would be reaching people in Sweden, India, Japan, Australia, Greece…this is so cool!!!

If you are reading this, where are you from? How did you come across my blog? Say hello!

Oh How I Tried. Oh How I Cried, Until the Day he Broke Me. Life with a Sociopathic Love Rat | No 2 Abuse

Oh How I Tried. Oh How I Cried, Until the Day he Broke Me. Life with a Sociopathic Love Rat | No 2 Abuse
— Read on www.no2abuse.com/index.php/articles/comments/oh-how-i-tried.-oh-how-i-cried-until-the-day-he-broke-me.-life-with-a-socio

No More Chances

If your relationship with a narcissistic partner went anything like mine, you found yourself wasting far too much time trying to not only explain your feelings, but also trying to get the narcissist to understand. Or maybe even to care about the way you felt (haha). You would send endless texts baring your soul, suggesting ways to fix the relationship, attempting to address all the issues that needed to be discussed. You would send links to articles you felt could be beneficial to your relationship. You tried to coax them into couples therapy. You tried everything, talking until you were blue in the face, frantic to find a solution to fix this relationship.

In response, your narcissist would stonewall you (my ex’s #1 personal favorite), gaslight you, minimize your feelings, completely dismiss what you said and instead comment on the weather… Their apathy would infuriate you and their control tactics would cause you to question your sanity. The narcissist is loving all the energy and power they are getting out of seeing your misery.

Everything I stated above is why I will never miss my ex. Ever.

A few days ago, he sent me a message asking “When did you become so unhappy with us?” I wanted to throw my phone.

Instead, I laughed. I laughed hard.

Now that I can see his behaviors and tactics for what they are, this was a pathetic attempt at roping me back into the cycle of abuse. “Oh, I never realized you were so unhappy. Let me fix this” probably could have sucked me back in at one point in time, but not anymore.

Now I am in a place where I can call him out on his bullshit. When did I become so unhappy?!?!?Are you kidding me?!?!? If he honestly doesn’t know the answer to that (which I can guarantee he does), then he must be a complete idiot. By asking me that question, he is telling me that he has never listened to one thing I have said in the past few years. That he didn’t read the articles I sent him. That he was ignoring all my attempts at fixing things.

And you know what? Nothing has changed. If I were to fall for this, it would be the same thing. The same issues would still exist, as would his refusal to address any of them.

The more you educate yourself on the tactics of narcissists, the more you can protect yourself from the manipulation.

Do not fall for it.

Remember, you deserve better than that.

Getting Over the Mind Games

Last night was exhausting. My ex decided to get wasted and send me a barrage of text messages implying that he was going to kill himself. He has pulled this crap with me multiple times in the past and it would always end with me listing off all the reasons he is a great person (haha) and how much it would devastate the kids and I to lose him.

Not this time.

You see, I’m too mentally exhausted to engage in his games anymore. I can’t tell him he is a wonderful person and we need him around without vomiting in my mouth a little. I’m not going to stroke his ego and feed him a bunch of lies to stop him from whatever he may (but won’t) do.

So I sent him the number to the Suicide Prevention Hotline and told him that I hope he gets help for the kids sake, but there is nothing else I can do to help him anymore. He sent me one last text saying “F### it!!!!” and I went to bed, no response to him.

This morning I received a text saying “You’re crazy if you think I’m going to kill myself. BYE!!!”

Wow. Now that is one perfect example of gaslighting. He’s going to threaten suicide and then call me crazy?!? See, he’s angry now that I didn’t fall into his trap. He is pissed that I didn’t react in the same way I used to, he didn’t get that ego stroke he was searching for. And since I’m the one who didn’t fall for it, I’m the “bad guy” now.

I know the day is coming where he will find a replacement for me and start sucking the life from some new girl, and then he will no longer have any use for the kids and I. And as sorry as I feel for this unsuspecting victim, I wish she would hurry up and take the focus off me. I want peace in my life, and even from 500 miles away my ex can still find ways to make me miserable.

So here’s to you, “Dirk” – GO THE EFF AWAY, WE DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER THAN YOU!!!!!!

True Colors of the Narcissistic Father

So, you have finally done it. You have found the courage to move on with your life and leave your narcissistic ex behind. This is great, right? No more harassing messages, no more stonewalling, no more lies or gaslighting. They can’t hurt you anymore….or can they?

When you have escaped the clutches of a narcissist and implemented a (very necessary) rule of no contact, just when you are feeling like they can’t touch you or taint your life anymore, what do they do next? They go for the kids. You see, they can’t touch you, but they know the children are an extension of you, and therefore they can mess with you through their interactions with the kids. Relentless bastards, these narcissists are.

In my personal experience, within a week of going full no-contact with my ex he began flooding my kids phones with messages, started FaceTiming them almost every night….you know, acting like a normal dad who was working away from home. This may sound great, but when you take into account the six years I had previously spent begging him to be more involved with the kids, his sudden interest in them was suspicious, to say the very least. The narcissistic cycle of abuse begins with love-bombing, and I realized right away what he was doing to the kids.

Fortunately, my kids aren’t stupid. They are on to him, just as I am. My eleven-year-old flat out said “Dad is just calling me because you won’t talk to him and he wants to know what you’ve been doing.” My response? “Yep, kid! You’re absolutely right!” I’m not going to cover for my ex. Not only that, but I’m proud and happy for my kids that they can identify his behaviors at such a young age. They’ve been bamboozled by this man their entire lives and they’re already over it. Good for you, kiddos!

Needless to say, these messages and phone calls lasted all of a week, and when my ex wasn’t getting the “dirt” on me he was digging for, he stopped contact with them again. They weren’t giving him what he was looking for, so they’re of no use to him. And for the kids and I, that is more than okay.

Whether you’re five or fifty, you will eventually see the narcissist’s true colors after being their victim for too long. And as painful as it is for my kids to see their father for who he is, I am relieved that they are privy to his ways. It gives me hope that my girls will never end up with this kind of man, and my son will never grow up to be this kind of man. I will not tell them their perceptions of him are incorrect – that would be gaslighting, and I refuse to stoop to his level. Instead, I will be there to talk and support them and help them deal with the feelings that come along with being the child of an emotionally devoid father.

As badly as we may want our kids to grow up viewing their father in a positive light, we can’t excuse the narcissistic behaviors or pretend they don’t exist. Be honest with your kids, be there for them always, and let them know their feelings are valid and okay to have. Do this in a way so that you’re not bad-mouthing your ex, rather agreeing with what your child is observing and feeling.

True colors shine bright and sometimes all you can do for your children is help shield the glare a bit.