Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Live A Short Time, And Fail Miserably - re: my narcissistic ex husband

*Title of this post is a play on the Vulcan greeting "Live Long and Prosper"
...which is the opposite of what I wanted my ex husband to do.*

I had the following same arguments over and over and over with my first husband.  These days, I see them for what they are - his attempts to narc me.  I was relationship-stupid, but I wasn't going to fall for that crap.  From this distance, I am giving myself a high-five and a 'hellz yeah!'

1.  I told him many times not to tickle me [I have given bloody noses to people who tickle me.  It's not fun, or funny.  It's invasive and torture and I hate it.]  So he would walk behind me and *poke* me in the ribs to startle me, to tickle me.  I would get FURIOUS and then he would get mad at me!  So I would say:  "I ask you specifically and frequently NOT to do a thing.  Then you do that thing.  Then I get upset, and then YOU GET MAD AT ME!?  What in the fuck is that all about??" and he would just huff and walk away.  He had no answer to my logic.  This happened in varying ways several times.

2.  We were fighting (surprise) and he said something, a factual statement that differed completely from his last stance (he went to the store after work vs. he worked late, or something).  So I asked (YELLED AT) him "last week you said A.  Now you are saying B.  So, were you lying THEN, or are you lying NOW!?"  Oh, he hated that.  I have an almost perfect memory for conversations (hello scapegoat narc syndrome) and I could repeat VERBATIM what he had said the first time.  His attempts to gaslight me were laughable, but his reaction when I held his hand to the fire?  He couldn't THINK.  He would mutter something '...well that was...' and I would repeat "were you lying then?  or are you lying NOW?  it's an easy question asshole!  just man up and tell me which time was the lie??"  He would walk away.

Har.  They HATE being caught in lies.  And he wasn't particulary quick on his mental feet.  I'm GOOD in a fight.  Better than good.  Mike's dad has called me a 'verbal ninja' - and I can get behind that description.

I was still low-self-esteemy enough to stay with this disgusting creep for over 2-years.  But his attempts to give me the full on narc treatment were deflected every time.  There is so much more about this guy, that's another post.  But it was my use of Spock-like logic that drove him nuts.  He could not refute me!

OH!  He was driving my little SUV, we had bought a brand new van that I drove (on MY good credit, goodbye good credit!) and every day I would yell at him for smoking in the SUV.  He would try to tell me he wasn't.  Like you can't smell cigarette smoke EVERYWHERE, not to mention one of my super powers is my sense of smell.  One day I took him out to the car and showed him the line of ash on the outside driver door and back panel.  He muttered and stumbled and said 'well, IF i smoke I have the window down' <--if.  IF I SMOKE.  I was completely laughing at him, pointing at him and laughing (I am SUCH a bitch in a fight, you do not want to fight me when I know I'm right) and I was yelling at him "so you ARE smoking in the car!  I TOLD YOU I KNEW IT!  The car smells like cigarette smoke you asshole!  YOU AREN'T FOOLING ANYONE!

Oh, he hated that logic I used.  He hated that he couldn't get one past me.  (I married him, let's not get all egotistical about how smart I am)

He was never physically abusive, but it was going in that direction. 

(Mike, you have said you didn't realize he was that bad.  You were about 3, 4, 5-years old at the time.  I hid EVERYTHING bad from you.  It was my job as a mom to make sure you felt safe.  I'm glad you didn't know how bad it was.  But, uh, I MARRIED SOMEONE I felt I needed to keep you safe from.  MY child abuse was still ringing in my ears, I was still making bad decisions based on my childhood.  I thank every god there could ever be [like that guy from The Mummy] that I had the sense to keep you out of it.  JEEBUS it's like I almost let you get hit by a bus.)


  1. sigh. In my young years I got involved in A relationship that *did* turn physically abusive so at least you had the sense to get out before it got (predictably) worse. And you got Mike so all things considered, you took the best and left the rest. It took me about, ah, several years after that to be fit for human consumption.
    I'm not surprised at all many of us have crappy "Starter" relationships/marriages. Look at the template provided and as Bill Maher says, "The shit doesn't fall far from the bat." I was runnin' a Manure Farm back then-untold acres and acres of the stuff ;)

    1. Ahahaha! My sis, her husband and I have taken to calling the narc 1/2 sis "Batshit." The Maher quotation made me giggle at the appropriateness.

    2. Yeah, seems I did the classic thing of trying to date my dad over and over so I could resolve that relationship.

      Luckily for me I woke up and abandoned MY manure farm.

  2. Jeez! I have one of those word perfect memories too! A great asset when you take university courses and listen to the prof drone on but it pisses the hell outta lying narcs.

    My darling mum used to say, "You and your bloody memory!" (Yes, that is word for word what the old bitch said!) Must have been a fuckin nightmare for my lying parents but they actually convinced me that while my memory got me on the honour roll they considered it a liability.

    This "liability" of mine is well-known by my NFOO, yet they would still try to gaslight me. When I wrote posts about the interactions I USED to have with my NPs I would just close my eyes and recall every word and gesture. Still, I'd question myself to make sure what I wrote was the EXACT truth. In retrospect this is all pretty funny because my lurking brother accused me of lying anyway!

    As for the smoking thing, I'm convinced all smokers lie just like alcoholics! My late husband was anything but a narc but he'd swear he didn't smoke in my car even though there were ashes everywhere. Then there's the famous, "I only had one." Yeah right, just like I only had one drink but I can't walk straight!

    1. Smokers *are* liars. My NFOO all smoke (I don't--I was the wild rebel). When I used to have contact with them, they would just *reek* of smoke...then brag about how they hadn't had a cigarette in MONTHS and MONTHS. They thought you couldn't smell it.

    2. I wish I had learned to use my Super Memory for school or something useful. Turns out I trained myself to memorize conversations like arguments, not general stuff. The booze and other recreational activities certainly didn't help to strengthen that muscle.

  3. For some reason this post excites me (in a mentally-stimulating kind of way that is.) I'm reading it like, "YEAH! YEAH!" The part about being a verbal, yes. I like it. I kind of wish you were with me all those times I had to deal with NMIL or EFIL and L. I rather feel that I'm pretty good at word slinging myself, so the two of us together would be pretty fucking amazing.

    On to the content of the post - I read about abusive guys like your ex and I am always immediately reminded of MY ex. The lies, the types of lies, what they lie about, the lack of logic. It's all the same.

    Mike left a comment over at DH's place about a girl he dated who manipulated him for a while and I mentioned in response about how most people who end up dating abusers were abused at some point themselves. (Obviously, not in all cases. I wasn't. Mike wasn't.) But anyway, after reading this post of yours I was kind of like, hmm. Mom was married to a lying sack of shit. Even though she did a good job of hiding the ugliness from baby Mike, he had to have picked up on some of it, right? Maybe that factors in to some of Mike's choices about people later in life, you know?

    I've been thinking about my self-esteem issues in my late teens/early twenties as potentially having something to do with my father. Anyway, I think there are links somewhere. The important thing of course is how we fight the dysfunctions...but I just wanted to share with you some of the possibilities I came up with.

    1. That was kind of rambly of me. Does it even make any sense?

    2. Yeah, you absolutely make sense.

    3. Hey Jonsi - YES, you made sense. I think it's like throwing a rock into a pond - the ripples go on forever. I was abused, so I learned reactions to stress. Mike saw my reactions and thought they were NORMAL, so he learned them too. So he has the same 'fleas' as they say, but didn't come by them through abuse.

      It's a subject worth thinking about! It's worth a post on its own I think. The ripple affect of abuse through generations.

      Man, just when I think I couldn't be more glad that my dad is dead, there's another reason I'd like to dig him up and kill him again.

    4. Gladys, you're a first generation changer. Mike's a second generation changer. Which means that it will at least be a little bit easier for him because you had already started recognizing and changing some things when he was just a bitty baby. So that's good news at least.

    5. And now that I am awake, and aware, and SEEING - I'm helping him to see too. He's never heard these stories before, which is one of the reasons I started writing. He's old enough now, and I want him to begin to digest how many facets a personality can have.

      Not a 'look how great I am' thing, but more of a 'man, this happened and it could happen TO YOU, here's what it looks like so you can watch out for it'.

      And the fact that HE is writing? PURE ICING. He's (you, Hi Mike) are putting thoughts to 'paper', digging into your psyche, figuring things out. Looking for motivations in other people and beginning to not see the world as BLACK/white but all different shades of everything - how the past shapes the present and how you can change your future.

      Blogging is one of the best things to come out of the internet in my opinion. People have always journaled, but not with the ability to get feedback on thoughts, to read other's thoughts on the same path. To share experiences and lessons leaned. This is the second most valuable thing I have ever done with my time, with the first being WIPING YOUR BUTT.

      Thank you Jonsi - I joke about it but you always make me think, make me dig a little deeper. :)

    6. Blogging has quite literally changed my life. All of the shrinks, counselors and support groups never offered the validation I've received from our little group of blogging buddies. I desperately needed to find people who had been there and done that. People who didn't think I was an idiot for not getting the hell out long ago and understood that my abusers had conditioned me to believe abuse was all I deserved.

      The professionals are too damn careful not to offer advice and instead let you "find" your own way. "Well, HELLO, assholes? If I could have found my own way, I wouldn't need YOU!"

      A telling statistic: After almost 60,000 hits I've had some constructive criticism but only one commenter came after me with negative comments, and that was my own brother!

    7. I have also found the blogging experience to be incredibly validating and helpful. I've had a few negative comments as well, but the great majority have been from people who understand the problems we've gone through/wish to share their own thoughts and experiences/ask me for advice or express questions of their own/start interesting dialogs, etc. It's been an awesome experience so far. Even the discovery of our blogs by the narcs hasn't dimmed the experience.

  4. ^OH yeah! Sure does to me, Jonsi. My "Late Adolescent/Early Adult" years (about 18-25) were absotively cringe-worthy. What "self-esteem?" What "self-respect?" What "boundaries?" I will say I did benefit to some degree from having one half-way sane parent, my Dad. But he was gone a lot with his businesses. And when he divorced Psychobitch when I was 18, I didn't want to "bother" him and his new wife who came on the scene as a widow-and was a lovely woman, role model in every way. (She loved me! She really, really loved me! O.M.G!) They didn't know what was up in my personal life, but if they did I have no doubt that unlike Psychobitch, they would have helped me. Psychobitch, BTW, several years AFTER I left the abusive guy and essentially went into hiding directed him right to my doorstep. They always seem to collude with the abuser. Of course, she failed to even *mention* he had contacted her-how damn convenient. It's just so much fun to sit back and watch your "DDs" life blow up yet again, especially when she's gone back to school, started a new life and is very clearly not coming back to your house, your neighborhood, your zip code etc. as the "geographical cure" kept me moving further and further away from her.
    OK, that's "rambly"!!

  5. I never saw the abuse but i remember the arguments and the bad blood sort of like you hear a loud bass in a car next to you, you cant hear the words but get the feeling. In retrospect I think he wanted to mold me in his image but he never liked me. not like he beat me but there was little love between us and he wasn't great at cutting me down my real dad was much better. But he did try and pull me down. Now though if I saw him in the street i'd probably be on the news. No one hurts my family. i attacked a guy when i was what 4 mom? for hurting you?

    1. "you cant hear the words but get the feeling"

      Children are so bright and insightful. I think people overlook that, or assume that kids aren't listening. But they pick up on so much. I forget that sometimes too with my own kids.

      Mike, you provide a really good example of just how much children do pick up and understand.

    2. Mike, I'm stealing that 'loud bass' line for the title of the next blog about this subject. Just so you know.

      Yeah - it was Greg, ONE of the cops I dated (hey why not date cops? Especially the MARRIED variety! A real narc delight. I was bait for these predators for a LONG time. Like I said in another post, they can smell your submission and aquiesence like a shark smells blood. gah.)

      So we had gotten into some kind of fight and THAT ONE went physical, Mike - you and Wynona were in the living room watching cartoons. You heard me yelling and came running - you saw the guy had my arm and you grabbed his thigh digging in with both little fists actually HURTING him and started yelling 'let my mom go!' IT WAS A SCENE.

      You and me man, we were a team. you really liked that guy, but you were willing to do everything your little 4-year old self could do to take him down.

      I'm SORRY you remember that. I'm just horrified that I put you in that position. But up until that moment, we both felt very safe there. I wasn't equipped enough to KNOW. And no, I never dated that guy again. Scooped you up. got in the car, and drove the fuck home. DONE. Once my baby has to jump in, I've obviously let things go just a touch too far (ya think?).

      OH HELL. This mine vein is just CHOCK full of material. Wish I hadn't started. GLAD i brought it up. Yet another set of demons I need to vanquish and put to rest.

      You guys - does it ever end?? Do they ever stop coming out of the corners?

    3. That makes me feel bad for four year old Mike. Poor little man. He felt like he had to take care of you Gladys. It always makes me sad thinking of little kids being put in that position (even when the parents don't mean to do it).

      And holy shit. I'm guessing that could be a part of why he sort of stepped into that role for his ex & his ex's mother. Crazy patterns.

      Again, the good thing is that you guys talk about it. I really think there is a direct link between willingness to talk honestly about our dsyfunctions and our ability to fix them. And bravo to you Gladys, for not letting that shit continue! Having your four year old baby step in to help fight your abuser had to be a ridiculous eye-opening experience.

    4. Oh my lord Jonsi - I cannot imagine anyone putting their kids in that kind of situation, and yet, there I was.

      After that incident, (I can gladly say) I never put Mike in a situation of violence again. That's why I left my first husband - things were getting hinky and weird (seriously, his personality changed, it was...ODD) so I grabbed Mike and bugged out.

      I can blame my childhood abuse till the cows come home, but the actual bare truth of the matter is I MADE BAD DECISIONS. How fucked up was I at that point. And yes, I think you're right, that set him up to be a rescuer. Mike was always what I call 'the defender of the defenceless', even as a little 2-year old he had such a big heart. It wasn't a far stretch for my actions to stretch the shape of that heart.

      Please don't think (if you are) that you are pointing fingers or telling me things I hadn't realized, I'm GLAD to share these stories of my off-trackedness in a way. Caution tape and warning signs...

      I wish the stories of the good stuff was as tintillating. We lived a very nice life, Mike and I. He didn't know any of the hardships or worries I had. We had lotsa books and bike rides at the beach and mini-golf, movies and Legos and laughing, all the damned time LAUGHING.

      Even though it was a 'moving around all over the place' life, I think it was a very happy secure life. And the proof is in the pudding, so to speak! Looka my son, so GOOD!

    5. I admire Mike - he seems bright and intrigued by what makes people tick, which is important. I don't want to come off sounding like I am criticizing you (Gladys), just calling it as I see it, which could be inaccurate. Mostly I'm just throwing out guesses, possible reasons for behaviors later in life. Ya know, stuff like that.

      It's all about owning our own dysfunctions and not pawning them off on anyone else. We all have to face it eventually. (Or not. Hello, narcs).

  6. Great post Glady's and there is a good discusion in these comments. I am a parent of youngsters and have gone NC w/ my MN parents and some inlaw MN's. This is something I have really realised w/ open eyes the "rippling effect" . It has made me sooooo ANGRY that my kids have picked up my stress and PTSD and it has gone into their personality, subliminally or like Mike said hearing the bass. I think when I came face to face with that fact it gave me the courage and determination that I was not going to carry on the sick Narc behavior trauma. It was a real moment of truth for me. It is helpful to know with each generation the effects of this abuse will go away, die, burst into burning flames and happily turn to ash and blow away. Slowly, but it will happen because we will teach our kids about narcs and how to be reflective and honest with themselves and other people. To value the truth and life and themselves!!!!! Thank you for sharing your experiences. It is good to hear other parents and (adult)kids talk about their experiences. Nothing freaks the Narcs out worse than an honest discussion about mistakes we may have made(because we were raised in a extreme, neglectfull, abusive etc. enviroment) or abuse that needs to be ended for the sake of children. Go Verbal Ninja's!!! U guys are a Narcs worst nightmare:) MG

  7. Mom you raised me bad ass so stop fretting.

    I picked up the "Ripples" all over the place, I spent a lot of time at my mother's sister's house and that place is full of the after effects of abuse and some other craziness. Don't get wrong love my aunt and her family but holy control freak. Also My dad's parents definitely deserve coal from Santa for the rest of there lives

    But it always residual pickups like hearing noises in your dream. its there but without a reason or rhyme. You see people coping with things and acting a certain way without context, its only now in retrospect that i understand it.

    Yes me and mom had a great time though i always felt i could swim farther in the ocean then she let me, It wasnt till i turned around 10 or 11 i even got in real trouble and i did some things back then that could have really hurt me but me and her have always been tight (YO), I still talk to her about my problems.

    I learned very early from all the NARC survivors in my life. They taught me how to survive

    1. Whut up, YO. I was always worried about SHARKS. I couldn't let you go as far as you wanted to because as a parent it's my JOB to fither about waves and sharks and busses and paper cuts. That part of my job SUCKED, btw, and I was glad to hand it over to you! Love you. Mean it. I need to do a ripple post.