Why Can’t We Just Lock Them Up?

domestic-violence-md-newI was asked the following question in a comment the other day.

“didn’t these people get placed in psych hospitals in the past, so they couldn’t do the damage in society? Now they wander free among us…devouring all that they can.”

I understand what you are saying, Why should they run around destroying people’s lives without any consequences for their actions and the victim is left trying to pick up the pieces of their lives. On top of trying to put their lives back together they also have to be strong enough to remain no contact because the narcissist doesn’t leave them alone. But it isn’t that easy.

They used to burn witches at the stake also and lock people in stockades in the centre of town or behead them. In many third world countries they still stone women for infidelity, or cut off a robber’s hand for stealing.

Unfortunately, the “civilized” world in it’s attempts to be fair and not punish an innocent person; has swung too far the other way in many cases and has made it easier for a narcissist to do what they do. Unfortunately, if we locked up narcissists for hurting people; we would have a lot of victim’s behind bars because the narcissist almost always accuses the victim of the exact crimes he/ she committed. Much of the damage they do is a case of “he said/she said”, and they are careful to cover their tracks because they have a criminal mind and know what they are going to do so plot it very well. The victim is unaware of what the narcissist is doing so does nothing to protect themselves, they are not collecting evidence to prove their innocence whereas the narcissist is building his case the minute he meets the victim.

If we are going to lock a person up because they act crazy, for sure it would be the victim that gets locked up because a narcissist can act the victim and appear sane better than the true victim.

Who would we assign the responsibility of discerning who is lying and who is the victim? While with James I often felt I was living in a courtroom and he was the lawyer defending himself and all he had to do was instill “reasonable doubt” in the jury to be proven innocent. I have often wondered how defense lawyers live with themselves when they know a person is guilty but they get them off on a technicality but I see why the laws have to be that way otherwise we would have to take someone’s word for the fact that the person did what they did with malice and intent to harm. And then one of the big traits of a narcissist is lack of remorse but they can put on an academy performance of being remorseful and guilt ridden.

They can be the epitome of calm and rational, the definition of sanity while the victim is emotional, irrational and appearing the definition of insane. Who do you think they are going to lock up? 

Yes I know we can do brain scans to determine if a person is a psychopath but do we make a law stating that all people must submit to a brain scan and if they have the brain abnormalities of a psychopath do we just lock them up, sterilize them so they can’t reproduce or leave them to rot on a deserted island or in prison? For one thing we don’t have enough prisons to house them all and where do we draw the line? Until there is a crime committed how can we lock people up? Then, if we start to lock up narcissists where does it end? It leaves it wide open for a Hitler type holocaust.

Sure I would love to see them all herded up and put on an island to kill each other off but it isn’t reasonable or civilized. Our prisons are already full of narcissists and it is a huge cost to society to keep them alive in prison but I certainly would not want the responsibility of decided who should live and who should die, Would we kill all narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths? There are people out there who are admitted psychopaths, like Sam Vaknin and James Fallon; who are admitted psychopaths but doing a lot towards educating people about psychopaths. Not all psychopaths are murderers, yes they are born that way but their upbringing does play a major part in how they function in society as an adult.

It is too ambiguous, too atmospheric, too hard to prove. BUT I DO feel the laws need to change.

I feel that if the police are called out for domestic violence the police should be in control of laying the charges and the woman should have no right to drop the charges. Too often the abuser pressures the woman into dropping the charges, with promises that he will change or threats to her, the kids or her family. it is proven that women do not act in the best interest of the children or her well being, so it has to be taken out of her control. I think that the abuser must be sent for evaluation with an expert on psychopathy and a brain scan be done. For one thing if the abuser is a psychopath no amount of anger management is going to help and many normal therapy actually arms the psychopath with more ways to manipulate. The victim needs to receive immediate support from an expert on domestic abuse and psychopaths, if the abuser is determined to be a psychopath the victim needs to be educated that there is no cure. Right now the victim is handed a bunch of pamphlets and left to their own devices, the abuser is out in a few hours and not enough time goes by for the victim to see things clearly.

Not that I think it is the victim’s fault they were abused but I feel they should be required to attend some support group or counseling also and be taught about what they are dealing with. So far there is no forced education and I really don’t think the victim is in the mindset to make wise choices for herself and her children when she is in the midst of domestic abuse.

I think she needs a team of people who not only educate her on psychopaths but also the resources available to them, I think the government has to provide them with education in order to get better jobs, more money than basic welfare so they can provide for their children. They need life skills coaching, help with becoming independent and regaining their self esteem and also to deal with any issues from their past, abusive in their childhood etc.

I also think there should be an international registry for domestic abuser, not just the ones who have been charged but any complaints should be registered. Who can access it is a problem but I am sure some kind of regulations could be devised so it is not a breach of a person’s  right to privacy. A woman might make a false claim of abuse but if a guy has numerous complaints by different women it is pretty obvious he has issues. If when the police attend a call of domestic violence, they run the guy’s name and there is a history of abuse complaints I think they should inform the woman and how the whole situation is handled needs to be ramped up. 

Would it prevent women from phoning the police because she doesn’t want him to get in trouble? I don’t know, maybe.

How does everyone else feel? What solutions do you, as past victims of abuse; see to  the problem of domestic abuse? What would have helped you get out or not get invovled to begin with?

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50 thoughts on “Why Can’t We Just Lock Them Up?

  1. Army of Angels

    I have fantasized about the island of psychopaths and an active volcano. Remember the movie, “Girl, Interrupted”? The main character was placed in a mental hospital for borderline personality disorder…you’re right, though…it’s another civilized situation where a psychopath isn’t made to be held accountable until people are murdered or some other horrendous culminating act occurs. In the case of my ex – he did murder – he got away with it – he profited from it….he was allowed to go on in life and further abuse three women, including myself…reducing the first two to the point of complete nervous breakdowns. Now the kids – another opportunity to torture humans emotionally…
    I really like your thoughts on ways that change could be used to educate, assist, and hold abusers accountable. You are onto something. Your ideas sound like they would not be hard or costly to implement.
    I have been reading a book called “Foolproofing Your Life”. and actually, in Biblical times, these people existed – they were referred to as “fools”…

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      army of Angels, my God he actually killed someone for profit? how did you find out and how did he get away with it?
      It is so sad the lives they destroy, that is why I would like to get into the schools before people start dating and make them aware these parasites exist.
      Much better to prevent it if possible, before the damage is done because some victims don’t survive it.
      So sad Glad you are out of it.
      Big hugs
      xxoo Carrie

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      1. Army of Angels

        Oh…God works in mysterious ways. At the first meeting of my divorce recovery group at church (and there are only 3 ladies and the leader), one of the other two ladies knew the entire story, and in fact, was witness to the set up on the end of the victim! The dad and his mother actually lured the man-having him violate an order of protection to go to their home. My friend witnessed that phone call. The man was shot in the back and the front…soon after, the grandma died (they were a wealthy family). My ex inherited his fathers portion-having to go to court and fight for it, because the family didn’t want him to profit from a murder. When I met the dad, he NEVER shared any of this-said his dad died from heart attack. There were shrine like areas in our home with pictures of his father. He claimed self defense-his mom (whom I would also say is a psychopath) backed him. There were suspicions that she actually pulled the trigger…no one knows. It doesn’t seem that it was even investigated-just taken for the lies. This is why I am very vigilant-I would not put it past them to try another set up.
        I so agree about teaching kids about this…they bring in the sex education/abstinence education when kids are about 12, along with a suicide prevention program. Why not have a domestic violence education program….

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        1. Carrie Reimer Post author

          Army of Angels, wow! that was quite a chilling revelation I bet! Certainly give you just cause to be very leary and remain vigilant about your safety. I will pray God keeps you safe. I often wonder how many victims are murdered and it is never discovered that they were actually murdered and the case is deemed to be an accidental death or suicide. I know James had wanted me to die or be seriously injured in a car accident because there was no life insurance but if it was an accident the insurance company could be sued.
          You know his mom wouldn’t have to be psycho she could be just that abused and manipulated by him that she can’t do anything else but go along with it. I am sure James’s mother hates lying for him but she feels trapped, torn between what is right and her loyalty to him. When his dad was alive James toed the line a lot more, after his dad died there was nothing to stop him, he could manipulate his mother into doing anything. As far as she was concerned the sun rose and set on James. and her view of him was that “God has a very special plan for James because he has saved James life so many times”
          His lack of emotion only shows how sensitive he is and how resilient he is.
          and people just have to accept James for James. with that one I asked, “And when does James have to accept that people DON’T have to accept James?” She couldn’t answer that.
          I feel sorry for the parents of an N but I truly believe I would not lie for my son, never have so far.
          Thanks so much for sharing Army of Angels
          xxxoo

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          1. Army of Angels

            I love your line about James accepting that people don’t have to accept him! Made me smile…It was chilling…I knew some of it prior to saying the “yes” that took me to hell…enough to know that he was capable of hurting me if I didn’t do what he wanted me to. His mom shared the bone chilling, distant stare…and conversations always revolved around her…geez…I was ignorant! I always wanted to please these people, when to them, I was no more than a vessel for children/grandchildren. I don’t lie for my children either…the truth is valued highly-I am grabbing hold of your ideas…I do suspect that there are more DV murders than are known. I personally know several women who have committed to fight for justice in the event one of us dies at the hands of the narc/path exes…they can be sneaky and covert…

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            1. Carrie Reimer Post author

              that is smart to make a pact with other women to fight for justice. If he was successful in killing me at least I want him to pay for it. My son would track him down, I have no doubt, but I don’t want that for my son either.
              I have told James straight to his face that if something ever happens to me he will be their first suspect and he knows it. I think he is so egotistical that he thinks he would get away with it but I know he doesn’t want to go to jail.
              We had a case not that many years ago in Vancouver where the ex wife kept telling the police her husband was going to kill her. She kept calling the police and they didn’t do anything, did n’t believe her and sure enough the ex husband shot her, her parents and the kids.
              Do you have a safety plan and secured your place of residence as best you can?
              they can be very sneaky and very patient when they want to be.
              Hugs

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              1. Army of Angels

                I do have a safety plan. Since these people keep replaying the same moves, I also have a pretty good idea of how he and his mom may try to trick me like they tricked his dad….I have picked up on two attempts to outright lure me so far. It is definitely not a fun feeling to live with knowing there is someone plotting against you- The conclusion I keep drawing is that safety planning is the best thing we can do to protect ourselves-police don’t help until it is too late-neither do the courts. It’s like a “defensive vigilante”..taking matters into our own hands to protect ourselves. I am not scared-oh I was….but that was no way to live. I am so with you on sharing information and standing together to educate and encourage women to be proactive and vigilant….there are stories like the one you shared, all around where I live…all the time. There was just a woman and daughter who filed rape charges against the husband-but he is a police officer…the women were jailed for making a false report….I question this-I read a lot into it….an example of why victims don’t report. In my case, when I finally got up the courage to report, it never even went to court, as his attorney outright threatened to take the kids from me and have them in the sole custody of the dad if I didn’t drop the charges….Justice is a joke.

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  2. Constance

    In my state it is up to the police and district attorneys office to press domestic violence charges, for many reasons. They took the responsibility off of the victim. I don’t know the statistics on how effective it has been since they changed that.

    For my last relationshit, the abuse started out so subtly, that it was going on for months (hardcore) before I even realized what it was. That was before he hit me, and I still stayed another month after the second time he hit me. I’m not sure what anyone could have told me, or shown me, that would have changed anything. When HIS friend told me it was a toxic relationship in August, I gave him a puzzled look, proceeded to give up my apartment two months later to live with the narcopath. I’d been in a physically abusive relationship once before, and I still didn’t realize what was going on before he turned into Mr. Hyde, nearly fulltime.

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Constance, I was a slow learner myself. I was in it for 5 years before I even went looking for answers and I can’t count how many times I got punched in the head and stayed.
      I think part of my problem was that I didn’t think I would ever be in an abusive relationship, I had made it to my 40′ s and thought i was homefree. It seemed abusive but I would never put up with being abused so it must be something else. LOL or some other lie I told myself.
      Hugs
      Carrie

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  3. Kate

    I have been on a roller coaster with my sons father who is abusive and not yet diagnosed but I think I’m safe in saying is a psychopath. The thought alone of relaying ething he has done to me over the years is exhausting. However at every new turn I continue to be reluctant to call the police. I did that once and he went to jail for 5 months. I know I have to continue to deal w him for my sons sake going fwd but truly the only peaceful time is when I can go long stretches w/o seeing him. I agree women in abusive situations are similar to brainwashed captors . They are being manipulated, abused and kept down. These women myself included need support not judgment . I found through my experience sadly that for all the new efforts taken by those in the legal system there still is a vast amount of ignorance when it comes to the dangers of these psychopaths and the hold they have on their partners or ex partners . It truly is Stockholm syndrome at play and so many don’t understand it. It will continue to be an uphill struggle for the victims I feel for a long time.

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Kate I eliminated your last name on your comment. If your husband Googled your name trying to find out info on you it is possible that your comment could come up. With just your first name he would never find you. Please be careful about erasing your history on the computer in case he checks where you have been. it sound like he could be the type who would flip out if he knew you were looking up psychopaths etc.
      Have you checked out my free download for a Safety Plan?
      I am not sure if you are still with him or separated now. Depending on the age of your sons you could still go no contact and get someone else to do the communicating or they can do it themselves. No contact is very important to healing and as long as you have any contact whatsoever he will take every opportunity to hurt he can.
      Welcome, I hope to see you again, you are not alone in this struggle we all understand and have been there.
      Hugs
      Carrie

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  4. Ann

    Very thought provoking post. Many a times I asked myself how did I end up with a narcissistic Abuser. What helped me to get out was educating myself on the tactics of abusers. He was emotionally abusive then physically abusive. I did not always know that there was such a thing called emotional abuse. I knew that I felt horrible around my abuser. He was critical, controlling, and manipulative. My needs were never met. Any issue or grievance I bought up was always turned around on me with me to blame. I thought if I tried harder to please him, we could be happy. That would never be the case. It wasn’t until one night where he told me that he would kick me out of our home if I did not do something that he ordered me to do, that I realized something was terribly wrong with this marriage and it was not my fault. I began to go online a read any article I could find on control issues in marriage. My research led me to finally realize that what I was experiencing was emotional abuse and that my husband was a narcissist. By this time he had become physically abusive and I left soon after. I still had hope that he would change and sought marriage counseling but of course that didn’t work. Because of all the research I did, I was able to see though his words and look closely at his actions. I never returned and divorced after two years of marriage. Some victims don’t even realize they are being mistreated, and when they finally do, they think that they can change the abuser. If victims could realize that abusers rarely, if ever change. They do not feel as we do, they are not normal, and they do not care if we cry or are hurt, they actually take pleasure in our pain. If victims could realize that abusers will do anything and say anything to get you to stay but they do not mean it. They will continue to abuse you and it will get worse. The only way to do this is to educate ourselves on the tactics, the lingo of abusers. If victims could see though the BS and understand that the abuser will not change, perhaps when they leave the abuser, they will not return. Easier said then done. I know.

    Now what would have helped me to have not gotten involved with him in the first place? I still dont know. I didn’t see the signs. We dated for 3 years prior to marriage and I was happy. As soon as he put the ring on my finger, I became his property. I look back and realize there were subtle signs. I think that perhaps they should teach it in school. Perhaps if they taught about the signs of abuse( even the subtle ones), and unhealthy relationship dynamics, the same way they teach sex ed, maybe we would be more prepared. I would also say that parents should teach their children but often victims of abuse, come from abusive families to begin with. I do know that because of what I have been through, I vow to continually talk to my children, and especially my daughters, about control in relationships, about signs of narcissism and abuse.

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Ann, I think education is the key, get kids in high school before they start dating. An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure in the case of narcissists.
      I was in such deep denial and he was such a bastard. But I didn’t even know what a narcissist was or what to look for and I had gone my whole life never being in an abusive relationship i didn’t think it was possible. I didn’t know they could hit you in the morning and pretend like nothing happened at noon. I was really ignorant about abuse. I had to eat a lot of words.
      Thanks for your great comment.
      Hugs
      Carrie

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  5. Carrie Reimer Post author

    O. I keep thinking about that article. James had a tracking device on my truck and my phone, stalked me, etc it would be pure justice for the roles to be reversed and he would have been tracked and monitored.

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  6. O.

    Hi Carrie (and everyone reading),

    Good Goddess! I’d just thought my ex was an alcoholic with no patience and a bad temper. He’d blame me for his rage and I learned to think it was my fault. Oh yes, if I just could only learn what not to do to trigger his anger we could have peace… now I understand it wasn’t me, it wasn’t anything I did or didn’t do. Now I realize that it wasn’t my fault at all; I was his kick-toy. I can’t yet type out the details of my own story – it’s still too intense for me emotionally. The short summation is that I’ve been put through hell. 6 terrifying years of being his victim, only 2 months since I told him I couldn’t take it anymore and to leave me the F alone.

    I found a couple more articles from an area in California on a campaign that pertains to protecting the victims and holding the abusers accountable for their atrocious behavior.

    Here are the links ~

    http://stopabusecampaign.com/feature/what-is-quincy-solution

    http://stopabusecampaign.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=6e8eba5a0fc4361ac0085c52d&id=9ec2b9e514

    My deepest thanks to everyone here for sharing your stories. Your honesty is helping me get clear on what has happened to me and what I need to do to heal.

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      O. once again excellent articles i have signed up to receive updates. I am already planning my letter to my premier. You got me all excited about change being possible.
      O. I too thought if I could, “just say it in a way he would understand” then her would stop hurting me. If I could anticipate his needs and what set him off I could avoid his anger, or if I just stopped reacting and crying he would want to be home more. If I wasn’t so needy, if I was bigger busted, if I was better in bed and like he said “gave him head more” he would stop looking elsewhere when in actual fact if I knew where his c**k had been I would have been more apt to give him head.
      My saving grace was in one year his son came to live with us and James was abusive with him and I had to ship the boy home to his mother to save him from his dad’s beating the crap out of him and then James’s sister came to live with us and he started treating her like he treated me and I saw how she was reacting and realized it wasn’t just me. She hasn’t talked to him in 2 years and won’t.
      If they had not come to stay with us I would have continued to blame myself and God knows if I ever would have left.
      Sharing our stories helps other victims know they are not alone and that is the biggest step in recovery there is. To know others have gone through what you have and there is nothing wrong with you.
      Hugs
      Carrie

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  7. Tifa

    Excellent post Carrie. I definitely feel that education could provide a stepping stone towards providing greater awareness of domestic abuse. I certainly never knew the full extent of it until I was in the situation myself. And sadly even when the knowledge came to surface, it was still an uphill battle to truly comprehend what I was dealing with. I believe your website and blog was the first place I found! And that came about searching something like “am I being emotionally abused?” Yet even with the obvious flashing before my eyes, I feel that I was so traumatically bonded to him and the situation that it took many more months to see the light. Maybe if I had had greater knowledge from early on I wouldn’t have been so masked myself by what was going on? I didn’t want to believe that his behaviour and treatment of me matched to practically everything that defines narcissists, and even were he just an absolute shit and not neurologically screwed up, such was my own desperation and hopefulness that it would go back to what it was in the beginning meant I stayed longer than I should have. Granted if it weren’t for your guidance and experiencing being shared, I suspect I would have been with him for that much longer.
    Then again you’re right about the legal system and how it is us, the victims, who would possibly be palmed off as being “crazy”, and so I doubt I would have lasted much longer with him anyway what with MY DRAMA as he so fondly placed as reasoning for the break up etc. Haha yeah I guess I was a bit of a fruit loop; packing my jeep every other week, crying randomly, refusing to eat etc. I can appreciate I was hardly a catch lol. But getting the message across that such behaviours have come about because of the abusers evil and manipulative behaviour would hopefully lead to more profound support for victims.
    Locking them up I appreciate would not occur easily. And for some reason I suspect the sick losers that they are would somehow even make that situation beneficial for them! 😉
    Love and hugs from across the puddle. 🙂 x x x x x x

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Thanks Tifa, I hope to do something to change things in Canada so that there is education in the schools. i know there will be opposition from parents etc because there is that mentality of what we don’t know can’t hurt us. Like with sex education in the schools, parents thought if it was taught in school kids would be more apt to have sex which is crazy.
      There is the argument too that it should not be taught in school and that sort of thing doesn’t belong in school and should be taught at home but with domestic violence if you haven’t been there you can’t teach about it, where else would a young person learn about it? if not in school then by personal experience and the cost of that is so high.
      I have so many things I want to do I get overwhelmed some times, what with trying to go back to school myself but it is something I really want to do, more than help victims get back on their feet, which is hugely important; I think prevention is more important and the only answer to the main problem. Thanks for your input. You are a great addition to the site!
      ooxxxx Carrie

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      1. anon

        What parents like me objected to is the schools sending a message which condones premarital sex when we are trying to teach about abstinence. In the case of teaching about abuse I’m assuming we are all wanting the schools to teach against abuse…big difference. 😉

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        1. Carrie Reimer Post author

          anon, you would think that parent would want it taught in school but in the context of “education” many parents feel that means reading, math, science and not life skills. But I feel life skills should be taught in school especially in this day and age.
          As far as the sex and young people, I can’t believe how lax many parents have become when it comes to sex. I don’t want to name names to protect privacy but I know of two single mothers of teenage girls who have allowed the boyfriend to move into the house and their daughters bedroom. There is no way on God’s green earth that would be happening in MY house!! My kid had to go out and sneak like every other teenager has since the beginning of time. I don’t mean that in a fictitious way either. I am not going to have my teenage daughter think I condone her having sex by supplying the room and comforts of home. Not only that, when do they get to just be kids? what happened to dating and proms and planning to go out on the weekend, at 16 they are playing house already. what a tragic waste of the few teenage years they have to enjoy themselves.
          Parents have stopped being parents and I think in the case of these two moms it is easier to allow it than to have to set rules and enforce them. This way they know where their kids are and the don’t have to argue or in essence “parent”

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        2. Ann

          Anon
          Yes against abuse but more importantly education about what it is, what it sounds like, what it feels like. Abuse rarely ever starts with a punch in the face. It starts with a condescending or critical comment here and there. If they could teach our youngsters some of the traits to look out for, I think it would make a difference. My narc ex husband used talk all the time while we were dating about how he wished he could control the world. He used to also say how he thought there was something seriously wrong with the thinking of the generation that came after his generation(of which I am a part of). He had such illusions of grandeur and thought he was so superior to everyone else. I used to laugh this off until I married him and realized that he was serious. And after I did research I realized his traits matched exactly with the traits of a narcissist. I wished someone had told me all of these things before. Now I am divorced from him but still have to deal with his abuse because we have a child together.

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  8. O.

    I’m glad you found the links I posted to be of value. Thanks for this site, Carrie. For the past month or so I’ve been hungrily reading everything you’ve posted and I’m only beginning to understand what has happened to me. I signed up for counseling. I’m supposed to write an assignment for the counselor about how I want my life to be different, but I can hardly think straight. I keep having flashbacks on the horrors of the last 6 years. The nightmares are vicious. It’s only been 2 months since Mr ex showed up at my house skunk drunk and threatening me if I left him. That was after he had torn up half my living room floor down to the dirt in an attempt to re-level the sub-flooring. Gah, what I let him do to me and to my house! The scenes were the worst when he’d be in the middle of ‘fixing’ something for me, which was of course when I would be most vulnerable & dependent on him to come through for me, which he rarely was able to do. I’m shaking now as I type… I’m sick with fear of what he is plotting. I’d best stop typing here before I get myself too overwrought.

    Thanks again for everyone’s sharing of their stories. I’ll try to share more of mine as soon as I can better handle it.

    Prayers for peace to us all.

    ps ~ I have to say that I don’t like the weird looking avatar that attaches to my posts here because reminds me of Mr ex. I guess there’s a way to customize/change it? Maybe I should just name it JB after my narcissist and try to laugh at it.

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      O. I have no control over the Avatar but you can change it by creating your own. I believe you can just go to gravatar.com and they will step you through it. I t can be a pic of yourself or a pic of anything you want, a flower, a smiley face. Check it out.
      I am not nuts about some of the faces either that is why I have mine as my gravatar.
      I am not going to second guess what your counselor told you to do but I know there is no way I could have written about my experiences after only 2 months out of the relationship. I could barely get myself dressed and remember to eat let alone write about my feelings. I was oozing feelings out my pores and eye balls.
      So typical of them to create a disaster only they can fix and then treat you like crap knowing you have no other choice but to rely on them. With James it was my truck, but I finally found guys who were willing to help me just to keep him away from me. Do you have friends or family you can call on? They will keep themselves in your life somehow and the only answer is no contact.
      It is very easy to get consumed with thoughts of what they are plotting next because we lived so long waiting for the other shoe to drop, there was always some new trauma or drama. We are programed to think about them 24/7 because they were so unpredictable (yet predictable); it takes a while for that to wear off, the longer you are away from him the more good things start happening in your life. But you MUST be no contact, they bring a black cloud of negativity with them where ever they go and the only way to get free of it is to not even check out their FB. They will post stuff on FB knowing you will be checking or tell friends stuff knowing that it will get back to you. As much as you think you want to know what they are doing or saying, it only brings you down and keeps you a victim. Unless a friend knows something that could be a danger to you, you don’t need to know what he is saying or doing. It serves no purpose to you.
      ***Just out of curiosity what does the J in JB stand for?
      You have to feel your emotions in order to heal, if you don’t they will sneak up on you later when you least expect it. It is scary to feel emotions that intense but they won’t kill you and they can be cleansing. I used to allow myself a good 1/2 hour or even an hour cry every morning before I put my makeup on and then I would tell myself I had to work and after work I could cry again. I admit there were days I was sobbing at stop lights but for the most part I could make it through the day.
      Do you work?
      – If not I suggest you find something to do that will take you out of the house for a while each day. Volunteer work is always great because it takes your mind off your own problems and you feel good about yourself because you are helping someone else. It may seem too overwhelming but even
      – Take a walk, no one knows you, you can cry if you want but you are getting fresh air, seeing life around you, breath deep and hold your head up, really feel the sun on your face, feel the cool fall wind, really absorb your surroundings, watch people and children, or dogs playing and
      – realize this is only a glitch in the big picture of your life. You WILL survive it and you will find peace and serenity like you have never had before once you work through it.
      – Journal every day, even just a sentence or two, it is great to look back and see how far you have come, it helps sort through what you are feeling, make it point form if that is easier but make note of what you ate, if you had a nightmare, if he contacts you and what happened (then you evidence if you have to go to court or whatever, journaling is the one more important thing all victims of abuse should do) You may think you will remember dates etc but we never do, if you have it written down you don’t have to remember.
      – Keep a tape recorder with you or a notebook and jot down memories when they come to you for your counselor, that way you don’t have to sit down and drudge up memories and only write a sentence or two and then leave it until you have another memory.
      – Remind yourself that you WERE a victim, you are not a victim any more, you are survivor now. You can only be a victim if you allow yourself to be one, you are taking back control of your life bit by bit, baby step by baby step, one breath at a time.
      – Challenge yourself to do something you would have never done before, even something like going for something to eat alone, or colour your hair or something, say hi to strangers you pass in the street, take a neighbors flowers for no reason, write a thank you card to a friend who has been good to you. Anything you have thought about doing and haven’t for whatever reason. It gets you thinking about yourself and not about the ex. It is doing something that will make you feel good about yourself and the bonus is it makes someone else feel good about themselves and you! win win!!
      Let me know how you are doing I care
      Hugs
      Carrie

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      1. O.

        Thank you for your kind words, Carrie. I will endeavor to follow your suggestions. I actually live not too far down the highway from where you are, although I am on the U.S. side of the line.

        No, I don’t work. I live alone. JB (Jonathan is his name) showed up as an electrician when I first moved here 6 years back. He responded to a service call I requested from the company he worked for at the time and upon arriving informed me that he could fix just about everything else that needed repair in this house I purchased. Oh, yeah, he sure ‘fixed’ things here, fixed them to be so f’d up that not one system is intact, appliances that I bought new were left in their original boxes past the 5 year extended warranties and what he tore apart and left undone is so so weird that only he knew what was what and now no professional wants to pick up where he left off. And of course, I have no savings left as he got me to pay all his bills and buy whatever supplies were needed by him & his boys. And sadly, I have to admit that I don’t really have friends in this area, mostly because JB badmouthed everyone I said seemed to be nice. Whenever I would chance to give my number to someone and if they would call he was usually here and would get right up in my face as I answered the phone, loudly saying rude things so that they would beg off and not phone again. Alienate & isolate, right? I did get a new puppy last month to keep me company as my 14 year old dog passed away this last Spring, and I plan to get another pup soon to keep him company. I do walk in the forest, and I have been jotting down the horrid memories when they come up… gah, the pain of what I let him do to me makes my soul ache for how normal & well-adjusted I used to be; remembering when I used to wake up happy, do my sun salutations and would put on music and dance. I admit that now I do cry often, and when I really let it out the sadness lingers in my heart and I feel like I have a knife stuck in my back too, the heavy lead-filled kind of sadness that makes me just want to stay in bed.

        Thanks for the insistence that I keep no contact. I did send cards to the N and his younger son recently; a Get Well Soon card to the N, hahaha, and a Thinking Of You card to the 14 y.o. boy. The N doesn’t have a FB account so no worries there, but I find that when I have to drive into town to get supplies or if I have appts I get so anxious thinking I may run into him that I want to drive by his place just to know that his car is parked in his driveway so I don’t have to feel on edge as I go about my business, fearfully watching for him to show up and startle me as he would often do if I had told him where I had planned to be going. I have tried to ask a couple people how his 14 year old is doing as I was that child’s 3rd mother figure and the only honest adult who advocated for him and made sure his basic needs were met while his dad indulged himself with whatever bs fed his ego. I’m crying now as I think of how badly his dad treated him, the poor sweetling, as I miss that kid with all my being and I know he was quite fond of me. He’s just began his first year of high school last week and no one I can make contact with (not his dentist, nor his older brother’s friends nor he himself thru email) seems willing to tell me if he is still with JB or if he’s staying with someone else, which concerns me as much as the fear of what JB may be planning against me for cutting him out of my life. How cruel to alienate the boy from someone who gave him motherly love and care, so purely selfish of the N, but I understand it’s part of the N’s control trip. Oh well.

        Say, are you aware that domestic violence is the hot current news topic here in the states as a famous football player was recently caught on videotape slugging his fiancee’ in her face and knocking her unconscious, then dragging her out of the elevator by her hair? She went on to marry him and is now making statements defending him while the NFL has since viewed the videotape, fired him and now all his sponsors have dropped him like a hot potato? Ray & Janay Rice are their names if you want to learn more about what’s gone on. It’s brought on a lot of discussion on domestic abuse and also started a viral Twitter campaign hashtag of #whyIstayed. I am thankful the topic is being focused on in the mainstream media, even though it’s amplifying my own pain as I process the abuse I’ve endured.

        Well, I should go distract myself myself from all this for a bit and try to wind down so I can get some rest tonight. Bless you for all your work here, Carrie. Thanks again for caring about how I’m holding up. (((hugs back)))

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        1. Carrie Reimer Post author

          O, I am aware of that DV case and have been following along I think society is finally seeing the light and maybe things will turn around, just because a guy is a celebrity historically he has gotten literally away with murder. Look at OJ!
          I DO care. and it sounds like you are doing what you can and it will just take time. I can relate to being afraid of running into him. I had to stop going to the area where he lived, it was so stressful. I had to go in order to take a course and I was like the possessed person on the Exorcist my head was spinning around so much looking for him. I thought I saw him numerous times and it seemed whenever I did go I would see him. He always used to just pop up where ever I was. I think now that he had a tracking device on my truck but at the time i thought (once again) that it was God’s intervention and we were meant to be together.
          They are all so much alike, James used to start some home reno project and it would never get past the demolition stage. One warehouse we lived in he spray painted the whole warehouse but didn’t cover anything, not the toilet, mirror, TV nothing so simply everything had paint spray on it. What a horrible mess! He was a real slob too, would leave his shit laying every where, he never took care of his things, would leave his tools laying out in the rain, in the driveway, strewn everywhere and I would go around and pick it all up. I forgot how much time I spend cleaning up behind him, it was a full time job. He could make a mess faster than anyone I have ever known.
          I have read that they don’t do a good job or finish projects because they just don’t care, they get bored and find something else to entertain themselves with, much like they are with the women in their life. They aren’t committed to anything, yet will complain bitterly about how much time they invested and how ungrateful the woman is. They are the only people who can be a workaholic and lazy at the same time.
          I just wanted to know what the J stood for because it is getting quite eerie how many of them are named James.
          What town are you in? I wish you weren’t on the other side of the border, I could use a new friend, I lost most of my friends because of James and after almost 15 years of not seeing any of them I really don’t have a lot in common with most of them. I have one girlfriend who I see occasionally but they all live in my old home town and that is an hour away. I have the people who live in the resort with me and I really when I take stella for a walk and just being able to say Hi and make some small talk for a few minutes. I an a loner by nature but even I need some human interaction. I am quite shy actually and I have realized that for the most part of 10 years it was just James and me, he would make friends but the friendships never lasted long and when he first met people he didn’t like me coming along, like he was jealous of me becoming their friend also.
          keep in touch and any time you need to vent or need support we are here.
          Hugs
          Carrie

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          1. O.

            I’m dwelling not far below BeeCee, about half an hour’s drive from the crossing at Wahhhnita (deliberate misspellings as I would hate for JB to try to track me here) near a town I call Cruelville. What a blessing it would be to have a gal pal to spend time with… I moved here from 2 states below where I had a group of many friends that I would visit with regularly, or interact with when working at festivals, and I can’t use enough words to tell you how extremely lonely I’ve been while living here. There’s an upcoming bi-annual Bargain Fair at the little local general store that’s coming up in a couple of weeks that I’m planning to go to and sell off most of my collection of vintage kitchenware to generate some cash, so if you are up for a short drive perhaps we can meet? And YES! I *do* feel like Linda Blair in the Exorcist whenever I am in town, even after I’ve heard that he had to sell his fancy truck, whenever I see a silvery truck drive past me my head turns to see if it’s him! I’ve taken to doing my supply runs at ungodly hours in the hope that he won’t be up at 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. so I won’t run into him while getting groceries. There has only been I one time a few weeks after the F off scene where I saw him in his truck at the traffic circle and he had to give me the right of way, and then I shook the whole time I was in town thinking he would come follow me and there would be a confrontation in one of the stores. Last year in a rare public scene he chased me thru Wallyworld, and strangely, it was one of the rare times he called after me using my name… and I’ve wondered, is that a thing with Ns, that they don’t like to call us by our name because they have multiple relationships going on simultaneously? — he’d usually call me sweetheart or baby and if I’d ask him to call me by my name he’d give me one of his hateful looks. And you are so spot on with the constant mess-making and leaving things in his wake… also the collecting supplies that pile up but don’t get used or installed! I think it was part control trip and part self-reassurance for him to get me to buy the materials to do a project and make himself feel that there would be more opportunities to get my time & my money & for me to feed him or to get me in bed. There were only a few times in the beginning of knowing him that he would fully complete a task, back when he was still married and wooing me, and then he’d make a big deal of showing me how perfectly he’d done every detail right down to the horizontally aligned screws on cover plates. And I think the buying buying buying of materials also gave him legitimacy in the local hardware stores where he’d be able to drone on about how extensive the project was and they’d tell him what a good guy he was to keep trekking out to fix things here… and after 6 years of him helping I’m still washing dishes in my bathroom sink, and the brand new (6 year old) dishwasher is still in it’s position in the half done kitchen not installed. Whatta zero of a hero, eh? He should be locked up for fraud.

            Okay, that’s plenty of rant for first thing in the morning. I promise to do my best to take it easy today and give myself all the care I deserve.

            Carrie, I’ll send you an email so perhaps we can make a plan to get together? I would be honored to have you as a friend in real life.

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  9. Elisabeth

    What to do if your narcissist is only emotional abusieve?? Mine said: ‘ I am not going to hit you. You want me to, but I don’t. Otherwise you could go to the police and that is what I don’t grant you to do so’.
    I always thought I would die when I became 30 years old. That was the age when I met him. In someway it became the truth.

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    1. Tifa

      Hi Elisabeth, I hope you don’t mind me replying to your comments. My ex N never hit me, but there were moments surfacing when he was becoming a bit too overtly physical in his engagements with me.. For example pulling on my toes until they clicked and hurt.. Wrestling me in what I thought was playful behaviour, when in fact he would deliberately lean on my arm until I cried out with pain, and still continued, laughing at my distress.. I left after a year with him, yet there is no doubt in my mind of what he may have been capable of had I been living with him much longer..
      ..just because your narcissist says he isn’t going to hit you, firstly, there is no guarantee that it won’t happen. Secondly, sure, he knows he has you controlled and what you could potentially do to him (I.e. Call the police) if he were so much to lay a finger on you).. But that in itself is threatening behaviour, and yes, deep emotional abuse. And sadly if he did become physically violent and you did call the police, these arseholes can be masters in the art of manipulation, and so it could turn around as blame being put towards yourself.
      I am not fully aware of your situation, and appreciate it isn’t my business to know, but please stay safe as best as you can. For someone to make empty threats like that towards you is a huge red flag to get the hell out and RUN.
      I strangely always thought I would not live for an old age, I am recently 30 years old myself. But if that is to be my destiny I am at least thankful it wasn’t at the hands of nor control of an unemotional, egotistical freak. You can still map your destiny Elisabeth, and start living your life again. There are many incredible individuals on this site who can do their best to support you with gaining the stepping stones towards that. 🙂
      Much love and hugs from across the puddle. Tifa. X x x x

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      1. Elisabeth

        I don’t mind your comment. it was a very short comment I put in. I am allready out since one and a half year. I was with him for 31 years. The last ten years he changed a lot. In the beginning there were only little red flags and if you are a very tolerant person, you don’t mind, that he is different. But because the first twenty years were not so bad, it took a long time before I left. It is hard, you don’t get closure or any revenge.
        It was strange that I was on my bike yesterday, I was going to cross a street but didn’t do it because I heard a car coming towards me with high speed. I know for sure it was just a coincidence. He drove on. don’t know if he saw me?? I have no contact with him and I know he is very angry because I left, but on the otherhand he found allready a new girlfriend. Still it is strange after 31 years of loving a man, going on no contact and passing by as “ships in the night”. I am glad you are still young and can built a new life. I try very hard, but it is very difficult to do. Thank you for your comment. Elisabeth xxxx

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        1. Tifa

          Bless you Elisabeth. My apologies for not knowing the full picture. But am pleased to learn that you are no longer in that situation, as hard as it is to break free from it all.
          Am sorry you had such a close encounter with him recently. His behaviour seems only a too fragile reminder of just how warped their mindset can be. And yes, it is disturbing how they can still cling on to some individuals all the while seeing someone else/new. My ex N must have been talking to 100s of women behind my back online, and can only imagine some of which he saw in person also. Yet when we split he too got angry.. Why? They don’t like their “game” being stopped unless it is them choosing to stop it. Of course they don’t see it like that.. It’s all our fault etc. I haven’t heard from him now for I guess about a month.. And haven’t seen him for 3 months since he kicked me out. I suspect I am no longer hassled because he has since moved on to someone new. He’s back playing the game so he can have his ego filled up. Maybe when that wears off with new supply I may hear from him again. Then again he is so epically arrogant I doubt he would bother as would settle for anything just so as to fill his needs and control. Unfortunately while they don’t want us they don’t like the idea of anyone else having us either. Plus they become aware that we know exactly what they are; something of course they don’t wish a potential new victim to learn, nor friends/family for fear of no longer coming out on top.
          I hope with all my heart that you keep trying. Yes I may be younger, but age is just a number as far as I’m concerned. 🙂
          As for closure.. I guess we have to find our own with that? The complete cut off from him was something I had never experienced from anyone. But knowing how little I ultimately meant to him, as others before and after me will have the same, makes me strangely feel somewhat better about moving forward in my life. Sure, I am more guarded than I used to be, but better that than wasting anymore time on someone not worth mine.
          Best wishes to you Elisabeth. X x x x x 🙂

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  10. Elisabeth

    Tifa, you are so right that they don’t want us to meat someone else. I have to have contact with him about the mortgage of our home. I wrote him that he has to settle everything. He wrote to me why??? And by the way, I saw you on the internet. I asked what do you mean. He wrote, I saw you on a dating-site. I was there for only two days to learn that it is very dangerous to do. For me it is. But it is nothing of his concern. That I didn’t write back to him. Why should I? Love, Elisabeth

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Elisabeth I find it strange that you were only on a dating site for 2 days and he happened to see you. Do you think he could be hacking into your computer or something? There are so many people on those sites, I have found James because he used my laptop and forgot to sign out and then continued to use the same User Name he always used. Would he know what User Name you would use?

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