Category Archives: Dishonesty

How dishonesty affects others

The Tools Of A Narcissist

Imagine if you will; you’ve been on your own for almost a year, or maybe it’s even been a couple of years; however long it’s been since you left the narcissist who feasted on your heart and you are finally whole.

You’ve done alot of hard work putting the pieces of your life together, you have found a new you under all the pain and confusion. You are feeling stronger and you’ve set new healthy boundaries, no man is ever going to have that control over you again.

You’ve been dating, nothing too serious and you doubt you will ever meet another man who will stir up the passion you had with the narcissist. But that’s ok because it was that passion that brought you to your knees and made you sacrifice everything.

Life is ok and you are ok with just ok. No passion, but no emotional roller coaster either.

Then, the phone rings. You check call display, it’s become a habit, he hasn’t called in months, a year? You used to count the hours, days, since you last talked to him but it’s been so long you’ve lost count. Your heart stops, it’s him. You stare at the phone, your mind races; you wonder why he’s calling now, what could he possibly say now, remember; “curiosity killed the cat”.

Oh but damn, it’s so hard to put that phone down and walk away. You’re stronger now, you just want to see what he has to say, you think this is your chance to tell him what you really think of him, you’re on to his games, he won’t be able to suck you back into his web of bullshit this time. You know what you are dealing with this time. And……you answer.

Hello?

Him in his soft, I couldn’t hurt a fly, soaked in honey voice,”Baby, I was afraid you wouldn’t answer. I don’t know if I should call or not, I just wanted to hear your voice. I need to know if you are ok.”

You, “You shouldn’t have called.”

Him, “Sorry. But it is really good to hear your voice.” he laughs nervously. “Are you doing ok?”

You’re forcing yourself to not smile. (He said it was good to hear your voice!! Heart get out of my throat) “I am doing good, no thanks to you! You really hurt me, left me with nothing but your shit and bills to clean up.”

Him in an even softer voice, “I know, and I am SO sorry. I will pay you back, that’s partly why I am calling. I’m finally making some decent money and you’re the first person I felt guilty about, I HAVE to try to make things right. I can’t live with myself knowing I hurt you……..I know I didn’t tell you enough, but you are the only woman I’ve ever loved.”

You are thrown off guard. He just admitted he did you wrong, he just basically apologized, he never admitted fault before! What’s going on?

He continues, “Look, I know you have every reason to not believe me and I don’t expect anything from you. I don’t want to disrupt your life, I know I screwed it up and I have to live with my mistakes and the fact that it’s my fault I lost the only woman who ever really loved me and understood me, my soul mate. I just want the opportunity to at least pay you back.”

You, “I guess that would be ok. But I am seeing someone and have a new life now.”

Him, “I understand. You have found someone else. As long as you are happy, you deserve to be happy. I hope he treats you like the queen you are.”

You, “He’s a nice guy.”

Him, “Can I call you again?”

You, “I guess.”

Him with a sigh of relief, “Thank you Babe, that’s all I can ask of you. Thank you!”

You, “No biggie”. You are struggling to keep calm and sound indifferent but your mind is screaming, “What the hell is going on??!”

You, “Ok, well I should probably go.”

Him, “of course. I’m sorry to babble. I’ve missed you.”

You, “I used to miss you too.”

Him, “Babe?.”

You, “Yeah.”

Him, “There’s a song that always makes me think of you, Do You Drink About Me, just wanted you to know, it’s probably silly, forget I said anything. Sorry. I’ll let you go.” And in a barely audible whisper you think you hear him say, “I love you….”

*Click*

You, “Alexa? Play  Do You Drink About Me.

DON’T GO DOWN THAT RABBIT HOLE!!!

He has accomplished exactly what he set out to do. 

1. Get you thinking about him, wondering why he called now, what does he want, did he really say “I love you”, is he really sorry, has he changed??!!

2. Make you doubt yourself. 

3. Remind you that it wasn’t all bad.

4. Remind you of the passion and connection you had in the beginning.

5. Open the door, even a crack so he can slither back into your life.

And slither he will, just like the snake that he is. Once he is back in your life it won’t take long before you will be right back where you were. 

He’ll leave you alone for a few days, maybe send a text saying how good it was to hear your voice.

Then the next day, another text. “Have you listened to our song yet? I just heard it and thought of you.” (Notice now it is our song)

That night, “Still drinking of you. Goodnight Babe. Sweet dreams. I’ll be dreaming of you.”

Oh you would have to be a hard hearted Hannah to not start to weaken.

This is why No Contact is so vitally important. 

My next post. What To Do When The Narcissist Says All The Right Things.

 

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Lowering Your Standards Does Not Raise Your Self Worth

When we “settle” for less than we deserve, whether we realize it or not; our self-worth suffers.

When we met the narcissist we thought he was a high quality person, someone with principles and high standards, someone in line with our high standards and morals. As we got to know him better we started to witness things that hinted he was not as moral as he pretends to be. A questionable business deal, a friendship destroyed by some disloyalty of his, accusations of wrong doing. You might not be able to identify anything specific but your gut is telling you something is off.

You don’t want to falsely accuse him so you don’t confront him at first or if you do, you are careful to not sound accusatory.

With my ex it was when a neighbor offered to let him buy a motorcycle really cheap because it wasn’t running. My ex didn’t have the $400 so the guy said he could pay over time but the bike would stay with him until it was paid for.

My ex immediately started checking Craigslist for Swap/Trade Ads and found one where a guy wanted to trade a BWM for a motorcycle.

He called the guy and was talking like he had just been out for a ride on the bike and had owned it for a couple of years. He told the guy he would bring the bike down and come look at the car.

He went to the owner of the bike and begged to take the bike home so he could work on it so it would be running when he had it paid for. The owner said OK but he was keeping the registration.

My ex had the bike in his shop less than an hour and had it running. He loaded it on his flat deck and drove out of the park we lived in.

When the owner of the bike got home from work all the neighbors told him my ex had left the park with his bike on the truck. He was furious and I didn’t blame him, I was furious. He couldn’t trade something he hadn’t paid for.

My ex came home with the BMW but the owner of the car wouldn’t give him the registration until he got the registration for the bike.

I was pissed! Now what was he going to do? I knew it!! A person should never lie, it always bites you in the ass. But he was not the least bit concerned. He told me to mind my own business, this is how people do business all the time. I had to let it go but it drove me crazy with worry. What were the neighbors thinking? I was such an honest person.

After a week of the two guys calling him constantly wanting the reggie or money he took the wheels off the BMW and sold them for $400, paid for the bike, got the registration and took it to the owner of the BMW.

He bought the bike owner a bottle of wine and everyone was happy.

I thought maybe I was wrong.

There were other questionable deals and he always told me to shut up and mind my own business, I didn’t know anything about wheeling and dealing. People were always getting upset with him, he was accused of stealing but somehow he always avoided being charged with anything.

I thought perhaps I was being too black and white and maybe there were grey areas of the law. I knew I had always been inflexible when it came to breaking the law, drugs, fidelity.

The more I compromised the more he pushed the boundaries. Life with him was a constant contradiction, praising the Lord one day and stealing the next. Being charitable and kind to others and selfish and mean with me.

He would be so sweet butter would melt in his mouth in front of the neighbors but then every time I walked out of the house by myself the neighbors would come running to complain about how inconsiderate he was. I told them to speak to him directly because I had no control over what he did. I had tried to explain why the neighbors were upset about him working in his shop at 2 am, but it seemed the more I tried to explain the more he did it. He enjoyed pissing people off, yet would try to smooth things over and it always worked.

It was as if he was trying to force me down to his level. At times he used my good reputation to his advantage. People would tend to believe he must be telling the truth because an honest person like me wouldn’t be with someone who wasn’t honest and I always staunchly defended him. I truly thought he was honest just naive. How naive of ME!! I still wonder about some things being the truth or bullshit.

My God, there were so many questionable incidents and for years I gave him the benefit of doubt explaining over and over again that; if you take something that doesn’t belong to you people think you are stealing. I know it sounds crazy to be explaining that to a 40 year old man but he always has some excuse. It was in the garbage so he took it, someone who doesn’t work there any more gave it to him, the boss said he could take it but forgot he said it or changed his mind.

In the 10 years I was with him I had 3 vehicles stolen and he had 3 stolen and totalled one for the insurance money. (I can’t prove it but I know) Six vehicles stolen in 10 years. But I finally did get smart and would keep my registration hidden from him. Now that is a healthy relationship! You hide the registration from the man you love, your soul mate, what does that tell you?

He got fired from every job he ever had. When he had a job he would work 7 days a week. I think because then he would be alone at work and able to steal shit plus he wanted to make sure no one figured out what he was doing. I have never known anyone who went to work one morning and his key no longer fit the lock on the door and he was fired. They were holding his final pay cheque and his tools box was either confiscated or outside the gate.

It happened to him 3 times! And for half of our relationship he was self employed!

I used to insure his truck because I got a 43% discount on my insurance and he had a 43% surcharge added to his. I signed a transfer and tax form in case something happened to me he could sign it over to his name. He told me he had lost it and gave me another one to sign. I was going to fill out the details like the VIN # and he said not to bother, he would fill it in. He kept losing them and I had signed half a dozen of them until one day I ran into a friend. He was on the way to the bank to get money out because he was buying a truck from my ex. I offered to drive him to the bank and I asked which truck he was buying. The blue one parked out front? No the yellow one parked out back.

I argued “No, you can’t be, that’s my truck.”

He insisted that was the truck he was buying, he even had a transfer and tax form with my signature on it!!!

Alarm bells, sirens were ringing, lights were flashing, my own foot came up and kicked me in the ass.

Needless to say, he never bought my truck BUT my truck never ran again either.

* Narcissists do not like to be thwarted.

There were distinct stages of denial I went through until I was in full blown cognitive dissonance before I came full circle to reality again. See if you can relate to any of these.

– At first I truly believed with all my heart he was totally honest and could never break the law or lie. How did I know this-he told me. That’s how. And he said it with such conviction. He had this innocent, country boy, charm going on and I defended him ferociously!

– After he had been accused several times of stealing I still told myself he was stupid. He didn’t mean to steal, it was a misunderstanding. How did I know this? Well, because he told me they misunderstood his motives.

– I eventually got to the stage of telling myself I was not responsible for his actions. I would just turn a blind eye to what he was doing in business, his “deals” and lead my life honestly. I stopped trying to “fix” the messes he created.

– There was one problem with not cleaning up his messes. His messes almost definitely automatically became my messes and I would have to deal with them. If he lost his job, we couldn’t pay the rent, we got evicted, I would have to clean up the mess. Guys he has pissed off run us off the road while I’m driving becomes my problem also. Guys he stole from call me and threaten to come over and stay with me until he shows up and they are drunk and yelling about blood flowing and I end up driving around with my dog afraid to go home; it is now MY problem.

– I started to want to warn new friends he made. Like, how do you casually tell someone “don’t do any business deals with him and you might want to start locking your shop. He tends to have a lot of misunderstandings that will cost you money.”

– I started to not tell people he was my boyfriend, especially customers. The voices in my head kept saying, “How can you love someone you are ashamed to admit is your boyfriend?

– I would make deals with myself. If he gets arrested: I am out of here. When I had dumped him one time he came to me saying he had volunteered to go on a missionary trip to Sudan Africa. I thought, “If he actually goes and does this, I will give him another chance.” It took me years to get the truth about what happened in Sudan and it was anything but charitable.

– Finally I could not deny it any longer and could not rationalize it any more. There were no more excuses, I could not turn a blind eye, could not teach him right from wrong, was ashamed to be seen with him, couldn’t trust him to not destroy my truck (in fact I knew without a doubt he WAS sabotaging my truck). I refused to haul anything for him because I was afraid it was stolen. I broke up with him but I made a crucial mistake; I didn’t go no contact.

Any access a narcissist has to you is a bad thing for you!

Miraculously I had managed to retain my good reputation; a person has nothing without their reputation. I was proud of that.

I did not realize how a narcissist operates, well to be honest I didn’t know what I was dealing with at that time. But I have since found out that a narcissist will totally turn the tables on the victim. What he did to you he will say you did to him. The only reason he stole stuff was cuz I drove him to it with my demands for more. I sat my lazy ass on the couch all day drinking, eating bon bons and cracking the whip. He just could not make me happy.

The only reason he screwed around was because I was a suspicious psycho bitch.

He purposely sabotaged my work truck so I couldn’t pay my debts. And he called all my customers with anonymous complaints and then spread the “fake news” so it became fact that I could not be trusted. He called employers as a “concerned citizen”. I figured out what he was doing when I found his blog where he was talking about how a concerned citizen had called my boss. Funny thing is I had purposely not told a soul so if he knew he had to be the one who made the call.

But, having to defend yourself, constantly doing damage control, and wondering who he has talked to, all wears you down. Your self esteem, already low due to his gas lighting and abuse; melts through the cracks.

It makes it so much harder to recover. You either get sick like me and just give up or you move away.

The very best thing you can do? Avoid the whole shit show in the first place! What a novel idea!!

– Don’t trust someone just because they say they are honest – wait and see how they operate over time.

– When you see that their values don’t align with yours. Walk!! Immediately! It is not your job to teach anyone else how to be a good person. If they are over the age of 6 and are lying and stealing it’s too late to change them.

Remember- who you hang out with IS a reflection on you. Are you proud of who you are with? Do you feel perfectly comfortable telling anyone what goes on behind closed doors? Would you want your best friend or daughter dating this guy?

My ex used to say I made him look like an asshole when I talked to people about our relationship. My reply was, “If telling the truth makes you look like an asshole, maybe you should stop acting like an asshole.”

You should never have to lie or cover for your partner. Sure there are things you don’t talk about, like your sex life but you should never have to lie or make excuses for the person you love.

Knowing Your Worth

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Ocassionally I have a woman come into the blog thinking the man they are in love with is a narcissist because he won’t commit. I have to tell them that just because a man won’t commit does not make them a narcissist. For one thing a narcissist is not that honest. There is nothing wrong with a man for not wanting a commitment. Maybe he should stop seeing a woman who he knows wants a commitment but if he is honest and the woman keeps coming around, screwing him, cooking for him etc even after he has repeatedly told her he will never commit, can you really blame him for taking what she is giving? She obviously doesn’t respect herself or her own boundaries, is it up to him to do it for her? I suppose he should but in reality very few men will. She would call him a narcissist and be angry either way for rejected her.
News flash!! Not everyone is going to love you.
The following is my reply to a woman asking me how she can break away from a man she has been seeing for 3 years who won’t commit and never pretended he ever would commit.

Jane, I am not a trained professional therapist so I am not qualified to counsel you, I can only give you my personal opinion. Plus, I know absolutely nothing about you, your past or how your personal relationships are and have been in the past.
I am guessing this is a pattern in your life, with all people; not just in romantic relationships.
I would guess that one or both your parents were critical or distant and no matter how hard you tried you were never able to win their love and approval, you were never “good enough”.
You were the “people pleaser”, the “fixer”, always doing for others and derived your self worth from the praise of others. Sacrificing your own well being, being a martyr, all in the name of being “loved”. But never learning that you were being used and taken advantage of, not loved.
Most narcissists are not as honest as this man, they profess total commitment but lead a double life, often having many women at one time, all believing he is committed to them and that is where the victim gets sucked in. If the narc would have been honest they would have left the relationship.
The fact that you stay knowing the truth tells me that you rely on other people to give you value.
It is human nature to want to be liked, in fact we tend to try harder to please people who don’t seen to like us. No one likes rejection.
But most people wont stick around to be rejected time and time again. You do not love this man, you have made him your “value gauge”. If you can make him commit then you have value, you are worthy, enough, loved.
The truth is; what he thinks of you has absolutely nothing to do with your value, worth or whether you are loveable.
He has every right to not want to commit, and he shouldn’t continue to sleep with you knowing you want a commitment but most men don’t do the right thing and if he tells you he will never commit and you keep coming around he’s going to take what you keep giving.
You are not the victim of a narcissist, you are a victim of your own inability to defend your boundaries.
You want to be loved and have worth but you have attached your self worth to being loved. Your value has absolutely NOTHING to do with who loves you. You are willing to give up your boundaries, what you stand for; in order to be loved and have value. But you fail to realize that in order to be loved you must be loved for who you are, not the pretzel you contort yourself into, not for the things you are willing to give up but for the things you stand up for. If you don’t respect yourself and who you are (boundaries define who you are) you won’t be respected by others. Respect is essential in any loving relationship, in any relationship period. If you don’t have boundaries and defend them how do you ever feel loved for who you are? How do you ever trust yourself to not be disrespected and used?
Loved based on how much you are willing to sacrifice is never real love, it is never secure and you never feel fulfilled and empowered. You always doubt it.
The way to ensure you don’t get involved with a narcissist is to stop dating until you stop deriving your self worth from a man and know your value without being told you have value. When you love yourself, for all your perceived “flaws”, and are willing to walk away from any man who doesn’t appreciate you for who you are, you will continue to get hurt.
I suggest you stop trying to figure out what the man wants, stop trying to be the woman you think the man wants and start looking at men from the perspective of; is this the type of man I want? Is this man worthy of MY love, is this man’s values in line with MY values? I think you need to find a good therapist who can help you do that.
I know it is scary to let go of this guy and be alone but until you can be comfortable alone and truly enjoy your own company you will repeat history.

Is Honesty Always The Best Policy?

I have always believed honesty is the best policy.  No matter what, when it comes right down to it, if you don’t know what to do; go with honesty and let the pieces fall where they may. Lying only perpetuates more lying and almost invariably it will back fire in your face. Lying about other people is a real sore spot with me, mainly because I have been the victim of a smear campaign and dealt with people who chose to believe the lies and refuse to even entertain the idea that they are believing lies. I have had to end friendship’s with people who believed the lies even though they professed to not be taking sides. Sometimes there is no choice, people have to choose sides because if they don’t they are condoning or agreeing with the lies or behavior. 

I really hate dealing with conflict and have always preferred to keep the peace at all cost but I have found since the narcissist I have anxiety attacks at the first sign of dishonesty or if I hear slander or gossip. 

I suppose that’s because while with my ex the honesty line got blurred from black and white to a solid grey and eventually the narcissistic fog obliterated it from sight all together.

My ex was forever being accused of stealing and every job he ever had was lost due to being “falsely” accused of stealing. He lied about cheating on me, about how much money he made, he lied about having 6 months to live for God sake!

He lied when he didn’t even have to lie. It got to the point I just automatically assumed he was lying and was pleasantly surprised when he wasn’t. 

In the beginning I would bring him up on it if I caught him lying. (*hint. If you have to teach a full grown man about the virtues of honesty. Run!!) 

I thought the lying was a rare thing and due to low self confidence or out of fear of losing me. Haha. Rather ironic, I believed he lied about inconsequencial things because he had lied to me about how all the women in his life had screwed him over and left him. I was going to show him what real love was all about. Gawd! Thinking back I was SO naive!

 As time went on I realized his lies weren’t always so innocent and I would try to tell him it was wrong to lie. (If you find yourself trying to teach a grown man how to be a responsible adult, run!)  

I struggled with his lies; I was embarrassed by them, it went against my values and it bothered me.  

Cognitive dissonance had me telling myself that his actions weren’t a reflection on me. I was not responsible for his actions as long as I remained honest. It was not my position to act as judge and jury. 

But it doesn’t work that way. If you live with a liar you are assumed to also be a liar. If you are an honest person and you know your significant other is scamming someone is it your responsibility to warn them? 

Does it depend on the severity of the crime? If you are the wife of a man who sexually abuses under-age girls and you know. As long as you don’t participate in it are you responsible for ensuring he doesn’t abuse any more girls? Should you be punished for turning a blind eye?

As we are seeing now with various celebrities bring accused of molesting women; are the people who knew about it and didn’t say anything also guilty?

As much as I told myself his actions weren’t a reflection on me, I noticed I had become very cautious about who I told he was my boyfriend. I started wanting to warn people, I was not proud to be his girlfriend.   

After losing a 3rd job for being falsely accused of stealing, I found myself explaining to him that when you take things that don’t belong to you people tend to think you are stealing. People are funny that way. (*hint. If anyone is over the age of 3 and doesn’t know this. Run!!)

I had to ask myself why I was with someone I was ashamed to admit I was with? But by that time I was in so deep I didn’t see a way out. He had sabotaged my truck to the point it was only running maybe a 1/3 of the time. The repairs kept me broke, I was fighting a losing battle. 

He started to not come home at night and I didn’t even lose sleep. I knew to get angry was useless. I had gotten really good at suppressing my emotions. If I cried I heard, “That’s all you ever do is cry”. If I got angry I heard, “This is exactly why I don’t come home. You’re always angry!” If I was suspicious I was called jealous and paranoid. I started keeping track of every time I cried or got angry on a calendar. 

But I never left. So I just prayed he would tell me a good enough lie that I could lie to myself. I knew he was lying, that wasn’t the point; I didn’t believe anything he said anyway. But as long as he was lying I didn’t have to face reality. As long as he was lying he still “cared” and I still had a glimmer of hope that maybe he wasn’t lying this time and he really did love me. 

All victims of a narcissist live on hope and that is the hardest thing to lose. The victim knows he abuses her and treats her like shit, she knows he is cheating, she knows he is lying but she has hope. Hope is a big thing, without hope it’s hard to find a reason to go on. 

* NOTE * He is not the only one playing mind games, the worst ones are the games we play on ourselves!

I kept hearing this voice in my head saying, “How can you be with someone you are ashamed of and don’t respect?

After I left him I felt hopeless and of course he took every opportunity to make me feel hopeless. I felt totally broken and I didn’t have a clue how to put me back together, I could not ever get my innocence back. I have compared it to feeling like a puzzle someone dumped on the floor. But pieces were missing and pieces from another puzzle were mixed in. I was overwhelmed to the point of immobility. 

I knew in order to be happy I had to live according to my moral standards and if I was living with someone who was consistently dishonest I wasn’t living true to my core self.

How was I going to put myself back together and ever find my core self, who was I? 

I started the process the same way I would start putting a puzzle together; one piece at a time.

I looked at every horrible thing he told me I was. I owned what was true about me and I threw out what wasn’t. The things that were true but I didn’t like; I vowed to change.

This analysis of myself took me back to when I was a child and things I was told about myself when I was growing up. I had always been told I was “too sensitive”, I was a “flake”, I was never good enough, skinny enough, out going enough. Without even realizing it I had spent most of my life feeling like an impostor who could be exposed at any minute because I was trying to be what other people told me I should be.

When you are not living true to your core self it is impossible to have inner peace and it is very easy for a narcissist to make you feel “less than”.

Somehow I knew that if I could figure out who I was at the core and liked me that was going to be 1/2 the battle of protecting myself from another narcissist.

It has gotten easier over time, (7 years) to not succumb to the pressure from my ego. Our ego gets us in big trouble you know. My mother has a technique that my ex used also. They want you to do something or agree with them that someone else is wrong so they say something like, “You would never do something like that.” Or “You always help me, not like so and so.” My ex would say something like, “you are nothing like my ex’s, I can talk to you. You are calm and rational. All my ex’s were psycho bitches.”  It makes you better, favorable.  

* Later when he was calling ME a psycho bitch I said.

” I would be concerned if I was you.”

He grinned and snorted, “and why is that?”

Me: “Well, all your exs were psycho bitches and now you are calling me a psycho bitch.”

Him: “Yeah. So.”

Me: “Well. I’ve been thinking. Either you are attracted to psycho bitches, or you turn women into psycho bitches. Either way; you have a real problem.”

It is human nature to want to compare favorably to others, to be the “best” and it’s a very subtle way of getting someone to comply.

I have had a dilemma lately where someone I know has been lying a lot about other people and being vengeful to make herself look better. Privately I have brought her up on it. I have been trying to not play into their drama and pity party stating outright I refused to get pulled into the dysfunction. I thought I had it under control, but then they lied before I had a chance to run interference and I exposed them. 

They went on a tearful campaign proclaiming their innocence and I was made to look like the bad guy and now everyone is angry with me.

With a relationship with a narcissist I always advise going no contact but sometimes that is not possible or not easy, say; with a parent or sibling. 

I have had people come into the blog asking what they can do about the sibling who constantly makes trouble and lie’s about them or a parent that causes drama but always comes away smelling like a rose. I never know what to say and these recent events reminded me what a helpless feeling it is to deal with these toxic people. 

They won’t kill you and are not as blatant as most narcissists but damaging none the less. If it is a family member, to go no contact means you lose your whole family. You sit at home for Christmas, you are the one who is made to feel the pariah. 

It’s not so easy to live true to your core self and set boundaries when you face losing your whole family.

Have you ever dealt with a toxic family member? How did you handle it? Did you turn a blind eye or speak out? What was the outcome? 

17 Tips For Fighting The Narcissist In Court

In Quora today someone asked for helpful tips for going to court against an abuser.

I was able to come up with 17.

1. I always tell victims of abuse to keep a journal, if they don’t think they have time or are not “writers”, then simply get a day planner and make notes each day. We all think we will remember events, especially negative ones but the truth is, when in an abusive relationship there is so much drama and trauma, events get forgotten or days all run in together. Judges like facts; standing up in court saying he did this or that ends up being a “he said/she said” situation and an abuser (usually a narcissist) is very good at playing the victim and at lying. Besides, how many times has the narcissist been able to make you doubt your own eyes or argued so convincingly that you did something that you are sure you didn’t, that you begin to doubt your sanity? Best to write things down.

If the victim can flip through a journal or calendar and give dates and times to events it is much more believable. It also helps the victim stay calm and not get flustered.

So often in court the victim is justifiably emotional, the abuser is calm, rational and usually lying. If the victim has notes they can refer to it helps them to remain calm and to confidently rebuttal the lies. Unfortunately the judicial system views emotional people as being out of control or lying. The old says “thou protesteth too much” comes to mind. If you have the facts right in front of you there is no need to try to defend yourself, you simply state facts.

Pictures speak a thousand words is also very true in court.

  • Note of warning. Make dang sure the abuser does not know you are keeping a journal or have pictures because he/she will go to any length to find and destroy them, including killing the victim.
  • There is also a tendency for the victim to be too honest. They tell the abuser they have evidence of abuse in hopes it will make the abuse stop. This could be extremely dangerous.

2. Keep any threatening emails, texts, voice messages that the abuser leaves/sends and if it can be done safely, record any interactions where he/she is threatening the victim.

* Again, I repeat, make sure the abuser never finds out. Have a trusted friend keep the evidence if possible.

I remember watching a true story about a woman who was murdered. They couldn’t nail anyone with the murder until they found a shoe box in her closet with pictures and her journals. Unfortunately it didn’t save her life but at least the killer (her fiance ) was made to pay for the crime. (BTW he killed her after she agreed to meet with him to celebrate their anniversary, he bought her a beautiful gift, they had dinner and then he killed her. )

3. I also strongly advise to have your support system with you. In Canada we have advocates who will go to court with the victim, but a good friend who can remain calm and keep the victim calm is always advisable.

4. Written character references are helpful, the abuser will try to discredit the victim, make them sound unstable, violent or promiscuous; so references from employers, family, long term friends etc who will vouch the victim is honest, loving and rational goes a long way to disputing the abuser’s claims that he was pushed to his limit’s by the victim.

The abuser will often use, “I know it was wrong, I shouldn’t have let her get to me, I should have just walked away. I am not a violent person and I am so ashamed I lost control. She can be relentless.” He can even squeeze out some tears and shaking hands. The worst thing the victim could do is lose it and yell “he’’s lying!!” much better to have the written character references and to remain calm in court.

5. Something many people don’t think of is; how to dress. For women I always advise as follows:

Wear something you are comfortable in and fits well. It doesn’t have to be expensive, preferably it shouldn’t be too expensive anyway. Slacks or skirt with a button up blouse. No cleavage, no mini skirts, no bright colors. Keep it muted colors, not red or black, but grey, beige, soft blue, green, cream. You get the idea.

No dangling bangles, earrings should be simple studs or small hoops, no bracelets that will make noise. The judge finds it distracting and irritating.

Shoes should be comfortable, you might have to walk quite a distance, and you will have to stand in front of the judge. Also they should be “sensible” shoes, only a 3″ heel at most, closed toe, (no thigh high boots).

Hair should be away from the face in a simple up do or clipped back. I tend to play with my hair when I am nervous so any time I go to court I make sure to put my hair up to avoid mindlessly twisting my hair. Once again, it is distracting and makes the victim appear nervous and fidgety.

If a woman is wearing panty hose, please make sure they fit well and bring a spare pair in case you get a run.

Make sure your bra straps won’t show or fall off your shoulder.

Make sure you won’t be fidgeting!!

6. A week or so before court do a practice run. Drive to the courthouse at the same time you will be driving the day of court and make sure you know where to go. Allot extra time for unforseeable delays like road construction, trains, school buses, detours etc on the day of court.

7. If you are going to be at the courthouse anyway, make an appointment to speak to duty counsel, they can prepare you for what to expect.

In Canada, every courthouse has a “duty counsel” lawyer volunteers who give free legal counsel. You can call ahead and make an appointment to speak with one. The more you know about what to expect, where to go etc, the calmer you will be on the day of court.

8. Try on your outfit a week ahead of time and make sure it is clean and pressed. Nothing adds to the stress quite like rushing to get ready and having to iron a blouse or to put something on and find the hem is coming down, it has a stain or a button missing. To be on the safe side it never hurts to have one of those travel sewing kits in your car.

9. Get or borrow a briefcase for your paperwork. Either leave your purse at home or use a shoulder bag so you are not fumbling with papers, dropping papers, dumping your purse on the floor, etc.

10. Days ahead make copies of your evidence (never hand over evidence without making copies) organize your paperwork and pictures so you are not trying to find stuff in court and wasting the judge’s time.

11. The night before: fill the gas tank and check the air in your tires. Leave nothing to chance if possible.

12. Day of court: leave yourself plenty of time to get there. Better to be there early and go for a coffee than to be rushed or worse; late!

13. Stand when the judge enters the court room.

14. Bow when approaching the judge and again when leaving. Address the judge as “Your Honor” or “ Your Lordship “.

15. The narcissist WILL try to: intimidate you, make you look unstable and try to make you jealous by bringing the new woman with him. Please do not play into his game. Even if you are dating someone else please do not bring him to court with you. Do not play into the narc’s game, it is not attractive and won’t win any points with the judge. It just looks dysfunctional. Remember, only a sick person can go straight from a committed relationship with one person to falling madly in love with someone else a week later. A true victim is too busy trying to heal to start dating.

The woman will probably shoot you daggers and be SO loving and supportive you will want to slap her. Either, don’t even look at them or if you can pull it off; shake your head and give her a little knowing grin, its a subtle way of letting her know, you know something she doesn’t. It also shows you have class. Do NOT under any circumstances get into an exchange with him and her. If he approaches you, go immediately to a security guard.

I know of one case where the victim was able to remain so calm that the abuser totally lost it in the hallway outside the courtroom; yelling and threatening her. He was arrested immediately and of course totally blew his case.

16. Just be honest. Don’t try to guess what the narcissist will do or say or what lies he will tell. You know he will lie but you are prepared with facts and the truth. A narcissist relies heavily on intimidation and lies; when he is faced with the truth he starts to fall apart because he won’t have proof and a judge is not going to be intimidated by him. The narcissist is thinking you aren’t even going to show up for court, let alone be calm cool and collected.

17. Take tissues with you, it’s OK to cry, just try to not be a sobbing emotional basket case or a screaming fish wife.

That’s about it. Good luck!

The Narcissist and Addiction

signs-of-cheating-husband

I had a question on the 3 Phases of a Relationship with a Narcissist post asking if narcissists are known to have addiction issues, the person said their partner is an alcoholic and sex addict.

Almost all narcissists have an addiction of some sort and sex is the most common.

Why?

There are several reasons.

1.  Narcissists hate rules. Telling a narcissist not to do something is almost certain to guarantee he will go straight out and do exactly what he has been told not to do. Narcissists are known for breaking rules, societal and marital, cheat on tests, etc and often times operate on the fringes of the law. As children, they are the child that is always disobeying the simplest of family rules. As teens, they are often times in trouble with the police, don’t abide by curfews, disruptive at school, they are always pushing the envelop.

2. Often times they are adrenalin junkies and from an early age will engage in dangerous activities such as speeding, have a fascination with fire, hurt their siblings or family pets, it seems everything is done to the extreme. * Warning narcissists seem to think they are invincible, superior to mere humans and seldom practice safe sex, so if you are with a narcissist please get tested for STD’s. Many women have come in here with some sexually transmitted disease.

3. They have no boundaries, they don’t respect the boundaries of others and have none of their own. The only time they respect boundaries is if it is in their best interest, I remember telling my mother in law that the neighbours were upset because my ex would stay up all night working in his shop keeping everyone awake. Her reply was, “They are just going to have to accept that’s just the way he is.” I said, “When does he have to accept that people DON’T have to accept him just the way he is?”

4. Narcissist’s brains are wired differently than a normal person’s brain; not only are they unable to feel empathy or guilt, all their feelings are numbed. They are on a constant quest to feel.

5. They need instant gratification, combine their “what ever feels good, do it” attitude with a lack of conscience or guilt and the world is their oyster (or so they think), being faithful to one person is not very likely, if not totally impossible.

6. Narcissists are pathological liars, they lie even when they don’t have to just because they love pulling the wool over someone’s eyes. It’s fun, a game of strategy, and the victim hasn’t a clue they are playing a dangerous game with a mad man.

7. Contrary to how it may look, a narcissist actually hates intimacy. Many victims of a narcissist will tell you that in the beginning the narc was insatiable sexually and was the most attentive lover they have ever had but with time the love making became robotic, lacking any attention to the victims pleasure. If you are with him long enough eventually the sex is practically non-existent unless he is trying to win the partner back.

He is on a high in the beginning, like a drug he is getting off on winning you over, it reaffirms to him that he is irresistible, sexy, and “all that”. He knows he is lying and the simple fact that you don’t, is enough to keep him on his NS high. BUT once he has you the thrill is gone. He has the woman, now what? Because his feelings are so under developed, once the thrill of winning over the target ends, he feels dead inside.

In an ideal romantic relationship the initial infatuation ends and the couple transitions into a more relaxed, realistic  and comfortable relationship. This is when true love grows,  but like a switch going off he is acting like he brought you home from the bar for a one night stand and you are too stupid to know it’s time to go home. It was a horribly confusing time, how had I misread the cues so badly? He asked me to move in, didn’t he? All of a sudden he doesn’t want to do anything together and spends all his time on the internet or at work or his shop. He never wants to talk about anything and if you do talk it ends up in a fight. What happened?

8. Because he is unable to truly love he has no idea how to keep love alive. He is a lie, his whole life is a lie, when it comes to living together day to day he has nothing to give and that is when the discard usually starts. Getting married, moving in together, having a baby, whatever signifies to the narcissist that the target is fully committed. The thrill was sucking the victim in, so the narcissist must create chaos, drama, trauma and suspicion in order to keep the victim on tender hooks.

My ex used to spend hours staring into a fire or working in his shop, anything but spend time with me, he didn’t even come to bed. I used to ask him what he was thinking about and he would say, “Nothing”, of course I didn’t believe him, but now I really think he was thinking about nothing. You see, in order to get by in the world the narcissist has memorized appropriate responses to certain events, he has practiced and perfected certain emotions and he has learned how to mimic someone in love but he has no idea how to grow love, reciprocate healthy love. He only knows the script he has learned, and that is; how to suck a victim in. He watches love movies and gives women their Hollywood romance, but love movies always end with the happy couple going off into the sunset, very seldom do we see the mundane day to day life they live as a married couple. If there is anything a narcissist hates it is being bored.

It may start slow, with personal ads, where he hooks a lot of women, lies about his situation and is satisfied with just leading on a bunch of women he has no intention of meeting. For awhile that will give him the adrenalin rush he needs but like a junkie he builds a tolerance for the high and the victim becomes complacent, so he has to up his game, eventually he WILL cheat and often times have several women going at the same time.

Let me ask you something.

Did you ever find yourself thinking the N in your life was pretty careless, leaving some evidence of his infidelity out where you could find it, forgetting to sign out of his dating app, or dropping a letter to another woman, …… Of course he denied it adamantly and somehow turned the tables on you, accused you of spying on him, being paranoid or whatever.

9. They love the game of cat and mouse, they want to get caught, your pain is proof of his control over you. If I didn’t pick up on his cheating right away he would leave some evidence out for me to “find”.  If you dump him and he convinces you to go back to him, again; it is a source of narcissistic supply for him. He has you right where he wants you, no matter what he does, you will take him back. In his mind you deserve to be hurt for being so gullible to believe his lies.  Once he has you again the honeymoon is shorter and the abuse is worse. As my ex told me, “Whenever you took me back I thought to myself, “Well, I got away with that, what else can I get away with?” “It’s kinda your own fault I hurt you, you kept taking me back.”

Why get married then? For one thing it is a lot of work keeping that mask on plus he can not handle rejection and needs a constant source of narcissistic supply. That is what the wife is for, she is to be sitting at home waiting for him while he is off getting his strokes from other women. He rarely has only one woman in his life, he loves the drama of triangulation, like I said he lives for drama and conflict.

He also finds it most rewarding to steal some other man’s wife, if he can break up a marriage it is proof of his superiority. The narcissist wants every woman, and man for that matter to want him, he will woo the wife and destroy the marriage of his best friend just to say he can and then blame the woman and probably convince his buddy that he was the victim. My ex was having an affair with the older married neighbor lady in small town Saskatchewan when he was 12 yrs old. He has had 4 affairs with married women that I know of and broke up several dating type relationships.

Is it an addiction? more a compulsion or insatiable need, addiction carries the connotation that it can be overcome or fixed, a narcissist can not ever be fixed.

 

I’m Rubber, You Are Glue

trump-glue

Remember back in grade school some smart ass kid that made your life hell and when you told him what you thought of him, he would sing, “I’m rubber and you are glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.” or another favorite was, “I know you are but what am I?”

As a young child you would get angry, perhaps cry,maybe even hit the other child and defend yourself. But no matter what you said nothing fazed the kid, he always had a come back, laugh, and when you tried the same lines, they just didn’t work for you, his words still hurt.

Fortunately most kids grow up and develop empathy and communication skills. We certainly aren’t expecting to have to deal with that kind of childish taunting as an adult but we found ourselves feeling just like we did as a child in the playground, frustrated, helpless to defend ourselves, crying, with our tormentor laughing at us, taunting us.

If you are still with the narcissist you probably haven’t figured out that; trying to reason with a narcissist, defending ourselves, or trying to make a narcissist admit any fault in the relationship is futile and will result in it bouncing off him and sticking to you. You accuse him of cheating, eventually he will accuse you, tell him he is a narcissist and he will research it and accuse you of all the traits of a narcissist; you may not believe it now because you are still thinking he/she is a normal person and eventually you will get through to them.

Trust me that you are not thinking clearly right now. This kind of gaslighting will drive the most sane person crazy. I can’t say I blame you because there is no way anyone could have convinced me he would turn against me the way my ex did. Deep down, through it all I truly felt there was a deep love for me buried inside him that he was terrified to admit or at the very least he had a conscience and could never lie about me so blatantly. I admit I felt superior to him because I was faithful and honest; he was the one screwing up the relationship, there was no way I could be blamed for the relationship failing.

Then came the day when he told me he’d had enough and it was over.

I said, “YOU’VE had enough??? enough what?”

He looked at me with disgust and said, “This”

I was furious, “You’ve had enough of this????? I have been faithful, I have been honest, you are the one who screwed around, you are the one who didn’t come home at night, who lied…….not me!”

He looked at me over his glasses and sneered when he asked, “And what did you do????”

Looking him right in the eyes, I was indignant, “I stayed.”

He spit out “Exactly” before he went back to reading his magazine and I stood there trying to absorb the enormity of three words. “I stayed” and “Exactly“.

It took a few months before I finally moved out, even though my ex said, “I don’t want you to be homeless so you can stay.” For whatever reason my biggest fear had always been being homeless and of course he knew that but I also knew that if I stayed it would be the death of me.

I had suspected he was cutting me down to his work mates but I had always conducted myself with class, honesty, hard work and wasn’t concerned with what he told his buddies. What I had not counted on and sadly underestimated was his vindictiveness and his ability to lie straight faced and be believed. He knew that all he had to do was put doubt into people’s minds, make a few anonymous phone calls, and act like an unwilling victim. It made me sick how he could play the victim, I had seen him do it with me about other people and now I knew he was doing it about me.

It took me a painfully long time to figure out that any one who decided they were going to “remain neutral” was not a friend of mine. I had never had a relationship where friends had to choose, I had never had a relationship end where I couldn’t remain friendly with my ex and I didn’t want to appear unkind or vindictive but I was constantly being put in the position of defending myself. What worked against me was the fact that I had remained loyal to him and not told people what was going on behind closed doors so when I defended myself to his accusations it all sounded like sour grapes. He had already told everyone I was a liar and crazy and I had stayed for 10 years and not said a word, so of course no one believed me. If it was that bad why did I stay, why didn’t I complain to anyone about him? call the police, go back time after time?

I kept thinking, he stole my identity! he had totally reversed roles and taken mine! He even used my own lines on me! Lines like:

“I can’t just shut off my feelings after we have a fight an pretend nothing happened.”

“Try putting yourself in the new girlfriend’s position, how would you like it if I was seeing an ex girlfriend?”

“She kept saying no one would love me like she did.”

“I am afraid of what you are going to do next.”

“She is trying to ruin my life, get me fired, destroy me.”

“She keeps trying to cause trouble in my life, destroying property, stealing from me etc”

It was infuriating to be accused of exactly what he was doing to me! but I knew the more I denied it the guiltier I looked. It was like entering the twilight zone. I had a couple of “friends” who insisted on telling me how happy he was with his new woman and all the things he was saying about me and what I was doing. It didn’t matter that I told them I didn’t want to hear it, they wanted to hear my explanation or defense against what he was saying, and I did play the game for awhile, until I realized that I didn’t need a friend who doubted my character and would listen to the shit my ex was spreading. I knew he was using them as a pawn to hurt me and to destroy my good reputation. Something I learned from being with my ex is; if a lie is told enough times to the right people, it becomes a fact in people’s minds. It’s a rather interesting phenomenon witnessed during the Trump campaign

That is when I decided the only thing I could control was how I conducted my life, I couldn’t anticipate what he would do next, I could only live honestly and true to my morals and principles AND cut all toxic  people from my life and keep trying to be the best version of me I can be.

When I started looking for answers about 2 years into the relationship there wasn’t a lot of information out there. In fact 6 years ago when I started the blog there still wasn’t much information out there, I did a lot of research and from sharing my own experiences and listening to the stories of thousands of women and men, I consider myself to be a bit of a layman expert and I will continue to spread the word about narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths, or whatever label you want to give these soul sucking vampires. I am here to tell you that any attempt to make the narcissist admit his mistreatment of you or feel any morsel of guilt or remorse, is not going to happen. In fact, anything you say will bounce off him and stick to you.