Category Archives: What S/he Says

The Power of Words

Words have power, even after their sounds have long dissipated in the air.

Recently, I saw a post on a Facebook group that prompted NPD survivors to share the favourite words and phrases their narcs used. Responses included “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” “That’s just your opinion,” “You can’t change the past,” and the perennial narc favourite “You’re crazy.”

Some were so familiar I could hear them in my ex’s voice, others were new and I was grateful I’d never heard them spoken to me.

This morning, at work, a disgruntled former client posted scathing posts on my organization’s Facebook page that ended with “Lame.” This is a word she used frequently when rules were enforced that she didn’t like. Once when I’d had to sit in on a mediation with her, she had used this word often. Every time she’d said it I had felt irritated, but I’d been so focused on the situation I didn’t give it much thought.

Until today.

Today, after being triggered by a movie last night, and after 9 months of No Contact,when I saw her comment ending with “Lame” I felt absolute rage toward her; rage that was disproportionate to what she had done, so I knew I was being triggered.

It’s all coming together.

“Lame” was one of my narc’s favourite ways of shutting me down. Whenever I was happy about something, he would call it (or me) lame. If I made a joke, he just replied “lame.” If I proposed an idea I was excited about, of course it was “lame.” Every ounce of confidence and happiness was drained out of me with a door-slamming, soul-deflating “lame.” Over and over and over again.

And today, after 9 months of healing and growing, that one single word still has this much power over me.

It reminds me to be careful with my words when I am speaking with others, and it also reminds me not to have any tolerance for people who aren’t careful with their words with me. We’re all old enough to know better – those who don’t can go learn it on their own time.

words

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Certified Narc-Spotter

Even though I’m done with online dating, there is one small online dating site from which I haven’t bothered deleting my profile. Every once in a while I go back on to read messages that have been sent to me in order to practise my narc-spotting skills. After all, we know online dating sites are their favourite feeding ground so where better to hone our skills?

Today I went on after a long time and read the following message:

“So, how do I get you to say hi? Humor? Wit? Romance? gimme a hint, and I’ll do the rest”

Sure, DurhamChad. I’d be more than happy to train you upfront on how to best lovebomb me and pretend to be the man of my dreams.

But hey, maybe I’m being too hard on the guy. Let’s take a look at his profile to see if maybe he does a little better there:

“Never really know what to say here … Im a single dad with 3 amazing kids, I have joint custody 50/50.
Ask me whatever you wish I’m an open book… I’ll fill out more if I think of something funny n witty to throw in here :)”

Mr. Single Never Married has 3 amazing kids. Um, ok.

But isn’t it great that he’s an open book? It’s just too bad there are no words in his book because apparently in his quest for his future partner he can’t think of anything to say (conveniently leaving all his options open to move in whatever direction his unsuspecting prey should choose).

That’s a pretty familiar profile, wouldn’t you say? I remember my narc writing something similar in his last profile – not knowing what to say, wanting to say something funny, and coming back later to write more. Yeah right.

In the past, I gave guys the benefit of the doubt and a chance to explain their way out of little red flags that caught my eye. Not anymore.

To me, this dude is a perfect example of a narc fishing online. Buddy, you’re busted!

certified narc spotter

His Confession

This morning, I was reminded of a conversation with my narc in Fall 2010 during which he explicitly told me about his inability to love, his manipulation, and his lack of remorse. It was his confession.

It came about after he accidentally pocket dialed my work and left me a long voicemail of a conversation between him and his apparent girlfriend planning a trip to Cuba. Since I was cutting him off anyway and had told him to “F* off and die”, I guess he figured he had nothing left to lose and he could bare his soul.

I typed out and saved the entire conversation because I wanted to make sure I’d never forget what a horrible person he was. You’d think it would have been enough to get me to stay away forever, but the following April I resumed contact… I couldn’t get him out of my mind. I guess I just wasn’t ready to accept that real evil existed in the world yet, and I wasn’t ready to do all the work on myself that I needed to do.

Reading this confession now, it’s kind of amazing to me how clearly he was able to articulate what he was doing. For anyone who ever wonders if narcissists are consciously scheming and manipulating – they are. Do they know they can’t love you, even though they say the words ‘i love you’? Yes, they know. Do they care? No, it’s all about them, all the time.

In the conversation below, he’s J, I’m L, his ex-wife is K, and his girlfriend is C. I’ve highlighted the most obvious “I’m a narc” statements.

November 30, 2010
J (6:03) – L. Can’t we just have a conversation for closure?

L (6:05) – No. I don’t believe anything you say anymore.

J (6:08) – What if I promised to be honest with you? Don’t I owe you that. I’m not trying to weasel my way out of stuff. I just feel gross inside. I can’t imagine you feel good about stuff. Please L?

L (6:10) – You are gross inside. You’ve owed me honesty since day 1. Too late.

J (6:12) – You’re right. I would still want to talk to you. I’m not expecting you to like me after. In fact you probably would hate me more after. But I don’t know. You play piano great and I was so flattered that you liked me that’s the truth.

J (6:15) – Well it would be a load off to get everything off my chest.
J (6:33) – I wish you didn’t say you wish I would die though.

L (6:43) – I mean it. Now leave me alone and go ruin someone else’s life. It’s what you do best. K was right.

J (6:44) – You actually wish I was dead?
J (6:47) – You lie then too. You made it sound like you were sooooo worried about me and my drinking. And then you hear me talking to a girl about planning a trip to cuba and you wish I was dead? You were never genuine either then.
J (6:52) – I didn’t ruin your life though.

L (6:52) – Fuck off. We both know this isn’t about Cuba. It’s about a history of lying and manipulating to suit yourself. Get the fuck out of my life.

J (6:56) – That’s not true. I didn’t want anything from you. If this isn’t about Cuba then why are you basing everything on the conversation that you heard. Did I say I was some angel? Fuck. Can’t we just discuss this?
(J – unanswered phone call)
J (7:05) – Sorry I keep bothering you but I hate this.

L (7:08) – Please leave me alone. I don’t want to be friends with you.

J (7:10) – Ok I’m sorry. I am. I wasn’t trying to make you be my friend I was just trying to talk with you. Just to let you know what was going on. I’m sorry I am.
J (7:16) – I’ll leave you alone after but are you sure you wouldn’t have a conversation with me before?

L (7:19) – I’m tired of being hurt by you. I don’t want to hear anything from you anymore.

J (7:21) – Well what we would have talked about wouldn’t have hurt you I’m sure. It might have explained a lot thought.

L (7:25) – I don’t know if you have any idea what hurts me. A decent person would just say what he’s thinking instead of manipulating for a convo

J (7:28) – Firstly. I’m not a decent person. Well I think I am but have been acting indecently. And I feel like if I ever told anyone the truth inside me that everyone would hate me. My whole life is a lie. It’s a lonely feeling. Sorry I’m not trying for sympathy. I just need to talk to you. Can you do me that one last favour maybe?

L (7:28) – No
L (7:29) – It’s bullshit that now after 8 months you want to be honest, when it suits you. Fuck that. I deserved honesty every fucking day.

J (7:30) – Do you want to know? Or are you thinking I’m just going to lie again?
J (7:38) – Can I say one thing to you now that is the absolute truth?

L (7:40) – What

J (7:42) – Because I know you hate me now I feel like I can unload all this charade I have been living. I have to lie to everyone else because they think I’m a nice person and I don’t want to ruin that.

J (7:44) – I guess I’m saying I felt like I had to lie cuz I knew what I was doing was despicable
J (7:47) – You have no idea what I’ve done L

L (7:49) – Tell me

J (7:51) – I want to. But it’s a lot. Too much to type. That’s why i wanted to call.

L (7:52) – Have you done anything that will endanger me? eg AIDS

J (7:53) – No I haven’t.
J (7:56) – I haven’t “slept around”. That’s not what I’m talkin about at all.

L (8:02) – I don’t want to talk on the phone with you. If you want to get this off your chest, you can txt or email or let’s just say goodbye for good

J (8:05) – Ok well i really don’t want to text it. But just let me say that I do think you are a great person. I was and am too emotionally fucked up to appreciate and cherish it. I am in a state of such despair that I will use anything and anyone if I think it will help me get through another week.

L (8:08) – You need to get help. I knew you were using me that way. If you had been straight with me I would’ve stuck by you as a friend for years. I feel sorry for you. You were broken as a child. But i hate how you treated me and other girls. It’s not ok no matter how bad you feel. And I’m afraid of what [your son] is going to do to (little?) girls because I don’t believe anyone is going to get him the help he needs.

J (8:12) – And you were right L. I toyed with you. I wanted you to love me. I made you think there was a chance so you would keep loving me. It made me feel like I had value. I mean I didn’t like that I was using you but I was more concerned with my self preservation. I liked that you loved me. I like that someone who played piano and everything loved me. I knew I could never love you or infact anyone back but I craved that love anyways.

J (8:15) – And the sex thing – this is uncomfortable but i think you know that I didn’t use you for sex but i probably shouldn’t have gone there with you but i wanted to keep you “into” me so I knew that would do it. Fuck L. It is so lonely when you lie. Ppl see that I’m upset and I have to constantly make shit up. Fyi, [my son] doesn’t have computer access anymore.
J (8:17) – There is tons of shit I could say.
J (8:18) – Maybe “god” or whatever made me call you that day to blow the lid off the thing.
J (8:20) – Btw. The reason I left that night was because I couldn’t breath. I can’t be around anyone for too long. I can’t keep up my bullshit for that long. It’s fucked. I can’t even explain it.

L (8:20) – I was already on the edge over the weekend. I knew what you were doing with me. I needed you to admit it. That call was a gift for me.

J (8:22) – I felt you slipping away and I hated it. That’s why I tried to get sexy talk going with you that day. And you weren’t having it. I felt like my facade was wearing off.

L (8:26) – Your facade was thin for months. I kept thinking if I showed you I wasn’t going anywhere you’d eventually come clean and I could be a good friend for you. Which it seemed like you could really use.

J (8:29) – I don’t even come clean for myself

L (8:29) – Btw I don’t know that banning computer access is enough from what you told me. I’m genuinely scared of what he’s going to become.

J (8:30) – I am rarely honest with myself let alone other people

L (8:30) – My two cents. You need to quit drinking, get on anti-depressants and get therapy to deal with the shit you went through as a child. And you need to stop dating. It’s so unfair to girls. So unfair to hurt them the way you do, cause that much pain to ppl who don’t deserve it

J (8:32) – The only reason I can look at myself in the mirror is because I know that what I did was me trying to survive. I was legitimately suicidal and the only thing that would distract me for a while was some plenty of fish date or something. I felt guilty at first but after a while I didn’t care anymore.

L (8:34) – Bullshit. There are other ways to get help when you’re suicidal. It’s never ok to treat people that way.

J (8:34) – I know. I don’t have the strength or motivation to do that right thing. I wish I was different.

L (8:35) – I wish I could warn girls about you. It’s not right. At least just use girls from intimate encounters for god sake. Making girls fall for you is just cruel. Horrible and cruel.

J (8:36) – I don’t even want intimate encounters

L (8:37) – I know you don’t but it’s not fair to the others. My friend was a suicidal alcoholic. He has 1 person who cared, took him to rehab and his life turned around. You have options.

J (8:38) – Well I’m not dating now. I am going to try and have a relationship with C.

L (8:39) – I figured. When did you decide that?

J (8:40) – Probably when I realized I had no choice. When I couldn’t pay my bills. When I freaked out and she didn’t seem to care.

L (8:41) – Well if it keeps you away from all the other girls in the world then that’s good news for everyone

J (8:42) – It’s still a lie though

L (8:42) – Well that’s for her to figure out I guess. I hate you for what you did to me over the last 8 months. I’m glad it’s finally over.

J (8:45) – It’s fucked up but I feel like I am more at ease with the role of being hated. It’s like I don’t know.
J (8:47) – L. If you’d have lived near me I probably would have moved in with you or something crazy like that. Maybe it was a convenience thing. I don’t know. It wasn’t all lies. I enjoyed our time together and our discussions and stuff

L (8:51) – Was your relationship with K based on lies too? Or did this start after her

J (8:53) – I loved K more than anything in the world and I still do. Nobody matters to me except her. – and I hate that.

L (8:53) – But you treated her like crap too

J (8:54) – Yes. Well the drinking and stuff didn’t help. And I was controlling. I didn’t realize what I was doing to her til it was too late.
J (8:55) – But I don’t want to be alone. I’m terrified of that. And of being abandoned.

L (8:56) – Everything you do, all the choices you’re making, are setting you up for a lifetime of that. I knew quickly you had abandonment fears. You need help.
L (8:58) – Thank you for finally coming clean. I know you did it for you, but I needed it. I’m going to go now. Good luck with your life.

J (8:59) – I know you hate me. But just so you know I wasn’t taking pleasure in hurting you. I wasn’t trying to hurt you – the dickish thing about me was I just didn’t consider anyone else’s feelings when I acted.

He speaks…

I’ve been waffling about whether or not to post this, but finally decided I would because I always find it interesting to read what other narcissists sound like, so maybe it would be interesting to someone to read what mine sounds like in this latest email from him. This is narc being on good behaviour, since it has been 9 weeks of No Contact.

I wanted to write you this email to let you know what has happened.  I know you said no contact and true to form I am not respecting that wish.  I am sorry I just can’t not contact you no matter how hard I try.  I accept all the labels you want to put on me because of it.  I understand that you can’t respond to me because its bad for you. I hate it but I understand.  I think I do.

Firstly my drinking: I went a month without so much as a drop but I suffered a set back recently on that front.  I was in Vancouver for a week for a trade show and ended up having wine with dinner.  and since then I have had a few drinks here and there.  It’s just something I am always going to struggle with. I think I am up to the task though.

Anyway I wanted to let you know what is happening with [my son].

He broke up with his girlfriend and moved back home. there was a fight and he ended up getting charged with assault. to make matters worse his phone was off and he didn’t know the police were looking for him.  He finally went to his moms and planned on staying there for a couple days but [his mom]’s boyfriend ended up freaking out and strangling [his mom] and punching [my son] in the face. (he was then arrested too)  so [my son] left there and came home

Then [my son] was just moping around the house for a couple weeks  I was getting frustrated with him.  He met some crazy girl on the internet and brought her to the house to have sex.  I told him not to do that anymore.  I was very upset.  Especially  cuz the girl looked very young and had some emotional problems of her own.

Then [my son] was getting even more depressed.  He took one of the cat insulin needles and injected himself with poison (some kind of rubbing alcohol)  then he took a bunch of pills (I think they were my old antidepressants)  then he fell asleep for a while  when he woke up he was still super depressed.  He went on the street near [my ex-girlfriend]’s bar and jumped in front of a bus.  the bus windsheild was smashed and [my son] flew across the road but was relativity uninjured except for some bruising and scratches

He was admitted to the Mental ward at the hospital.  He was in there for a couple weeks.  I was hoping they would keep him in until after my vancouver trip but they didn’t.  They let him out right before I left.  He seemed a bit better for a bit.  but it was short lived.  He was still doing the same thing as before.  I guess it was naive of me to think any real progress could have been made in 2 weeks.  the gave him a bunch of anti depressant pills.

We had a big fight before I left for BC.  He was going to some girls place, showing no motivation to do anything, he racked up 300 bucks on his phone, etc..   He left before I went to BC and I didn’t know where he was

[My ex-girlfriend] was taking care of the cats while I was gone and she said he had been home a couple times. so that made me feel a bit better.    anyway when I finally came home last Monday [my son] was no where to be found.  I was thinking he was at his friends.   I finally got a call on Wednesday from the hospital saying they were looking for me.  Apparently [my son] was in there since the previous Friday.  He had taken all the pills that they gave him and was currently in a coma.  I went to the hospital and told me that his kidneys weren’t functioning and he was on dialysis His heart had suffered cardiac trauma and his lungs were full of fluid so he was on a ventilator.

I later found out that he was being kept in sedation to keep him calm during all this treatment.  so it wasn’t like he had just fallen in to a coma.   The doctor said that his kidneys should heal since he is so young but its not guaranteed   Right now we just have to wait.   So that’s how its been since last week.

Its been really difficult to try and stay positive here but I am doing it.  the no drinking couldn’t have come at a better time because I don’t think I would have been equipped to deal with this if I was drinking in a big way.  The running has helped too.  (I did the around the bay again)

Anyway, I hope you are well.  I have read a couple of your blog posts and you seem to be happy.  I would love to hear from you but if it will be a set back for you or make you sad I guess you shouldn’t

wish you well though

My observations:

  1. Firstly the obvious: it’s all about him (of course)
  2. ” I am sorry I just can’t not contact you no matter how hard I try.” As usual, he’s not trying, and he’s not sorry.
  3. He’s lying about running Around the Bay. I checked the finisher results, he’s not listed. What a weird lie. I bet if I poked he’d say he bought/used someone else’s bib, but I doubt that would be true either.
  4. He just had to make sure to slip in references about his ex-girlfriend – trying hard to keep the triangulation alive.
  5. I bet he just loves having all this drama to talk about.  It’s so typically narcy of him that it’s all so cold and factual considering the circumstances. Wouldn’t a normal parent be saying how worried sick they are about their child?
  6. The reference to my blog is a stretch. He’s referring to my other blog (he doesn’t know about this one). The last 2 posts were end of January (when we broke up) and early February (about my first weekend alone since the breakup), so he obviously didn’t pay close attention to what he was reading, but thanks for the tip that you’re  checking on that blog. I’ll make sure to continue NOT posting in it!

It’s still a bit of an exercise to overcome the emotional surge when I see his name pop up in my inbox, and then to intellectually dissect the communication within the framework of narcissism, rather than falling into the old pattern of caring about ‘that poor guy who’s struggling so hard to make it in this world’. That ‘poor guy’ doesn’t care about anyone but himself, and when I look at his email objectively, it’s actually not all that hard to see.

Memorable quotes from my Narc

“I don’t want to be a partner, I want to be a just dictator.” (The next day, this was followed by “I knew you’d throw that in my face. I didn’t mean that. I never want you to mention it again.”)

“Those people who just stare each other in the eyes and say how much they love each other.. that’s boring. I would never want that. You need push and pull in a relationship.”

“You’re crazy.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You’re super needy.”

“I don’t understand why you do things that you know hurt me.” (After I stop talking to him in response to repeated abuse.)

“I didn’t do whatever you think I did.”

“I love a nice name call. Very satisfying. Like scratching a mosquito bite.”

“I’m sad that I used to have a girlfriend that played piano so good but I don’t have her anymore.” (My value was never about who I was as a person, it was about things he decided were important, that were bragworthy and made him look good.)

“Women always say they want 50/50 but for women 50/50 is more like 70/30.” (His response when I asked for him to put in some effort, like staying over at my place once in a while.)

“You have so many more desirable qualities than [his ex].”

“Why can’t you just let me be the man.” (This anytime I wanted to have input into any kind of planning, especially trips.)

“Either I get to yell at you or I get to call you a bitch. Pick one.” (When I asked him not to yell at me when he’s angry.)

“That’s not what we’re talking about right now.” (Whenever I tried to clarify something in an argument.)

“I only tell you you’re fat because it’s so ridiculous because you’re obviously not fat.”

“You’re not sick. You don’t even know what you’re feeling.”

“You think there’s some perfect guy out there for you.” (Said with contempt when I would say that normal couples don’t fight like this etc.)

“I’m trying to be nice. I just need more time.”

“Nothing is wrong with us if you don’t want there to be. ”

“You are a rare person.”

“We’re like two peas in a pod.”

“The girl you need to be worried about [me cheating with] is the one I don’t talk about.”

“I wish you would just chill out.”

“I wasn’t making you believe anything you didn’t want to believe. “