Wednesday, 17 August 2011

No such thing as normal

So time is going by.

Weekend after weekend of what he wants to do when he wants to do it and how he wants to do it.

Now don't get me wrong I love horses and country music and an occasional watching of the series of 24 but Mr. W. idolised Jack Bauer almost like he was a real person. Any TV show that was military themed and American he viewed like a rabid dog. He said time and again he should have joined the military when he was younger. All I kept thinking was how much worse would he be now if he also had the discipline to follow up all his fruitless endeavours?

Day after day of how awful his work was and how he was going to win all this money from suing them. He had slipped on a stair tread at work aggravating his already damaged achilles tendon so he chose to sue them because, contrary to his constant berating me about being about money, all he wanted was money. Lots of it. Mine was running out so he slowly started to do and say the things to further devalue me. There wasn't a day that didn't go by that he would mention one or two of his exes and how hot they were or they looked like this or that celebrity. I saw pics of these women but they were far from celebrity attractive and mostly were low class non-educated women with children. Very few were like myself who actually had careers. I believe there were 3 out of the couple of dozen of women he would brag about. Most of the decent ones were when he was very young and hadn't perfected his style of Use Abuse and Cast aside.

Mr. W had this dream in his head about going to work on a ranch in Arizona for a month. Now let me tell you we are not talking about a true working ranch where you have to get up at dawn and go out and check on cattle via horseback for 14 hours then come home - we are talking about a RESORT ranch where the only thing you are taking out are people on horseback a few times a day. He went with one of his exes to this ranch and got to know the owners because that is what he does and the owner told him he could come work for a month in exchange for room and board. The owner saw free labor standing there so he said ok. Mr. W acted like they were best buddies but I am sure the owner could care less because Mr. W has said for years he is going but has managed to find a way to not to do it especially if I was involved. 3 times we discussed this - the first time he had his leg in a cast and he couldn't do it then the second time the volcano in iceland stopped flights and he refused to pick another date for us to travel and the third time he said he wanted to go but he didn't want me to go for any part of it. I remember he said "Don't you trust me?" I said "Hell no."

The entire summer of that year went mostly without a hitch but my self esteem was gone and my self worth was in the toilet. He kept going on about how I had to lose weight when I had recently lost 6 stone - he used that crap line of "This is only for your health" and "I am being on honest" line as well. He them began a new thing of telling me that my house was disgusting and I had poor personal hygiene. Let's see I don't have time to clean my flat as I was catering to his every whim and errand and making sure I wouldn't say or do anything to start a rage or childish tirade where he doesn't answer his phone or says he may not wake up in the morning and I can have his horse.

Months go by of his making more and more comments and his talking to more and more females. He's back on FB and flirting with women but won't let me see his page. He continues to lie to his exes and never tell them he has a partner. He said, again we would move in together so I gave my expensive bed to charity only for it not to happen again. My accounts are empty but I am looking forward to seeing my family at Thanksgiving and, once again, he won't be with me because, coincidentally, his second surgery is scheduled so he can't go. How convenient.

Not once did Mr. W ask about my family or how any of them were doing. He would ask me how my day was but within minutes the conversation would turn to hm and his needs and wants and what a victim he is. It was all about feeding his desperate need for attention.

At this point no engagement ring, we haven't moved in together and his belittling of me and my life continues and his verbal and emotional abuse escalates when he realises that my bank accounts are empty.

I need out and I have concluded it is time to go. In my head I have begun to detach from this horrible man. As much as I love him I don't deserve to be treated like this - my depression has taken hold but the only way out is to rid myself of him. Maybe there is a way to salvage this but I will see how I feel after I get back from my family holiday.

Monday, 15 August 2011

On it goes

So after catching him on singles sites thing kind of reached a strange level of normalcy. There were no huge outbursts but, looking back I can see where I just lost the will to fight back or pull myself together. I noticed how he would text someone but not tell me who it was but I blanked it and he seemed to have these outbursts at the yard of how much he loved and needed me.

Already at this point females had been telling me that Mr. W kept approaching them and one even stated that he had given them his number "in case they needed anything". She was married and a disgusted by the obvious innuendo. I find it interesting that as much as there a lot of women with no morals or ethics there were many who thought I was a nice enough person to tell me what he was doing and to say without using direct words, that he wasn't worth my time and I was better then him. The hard part is he had succeeded in isolating me and he had my mind so confused with his doubletalk and lies that I wasn't sure anymore what the truth was and what the lies were. He went for weeks of being so loving but he would go on and on about his exGF and how "Spunkbucket" was gonna have her life ruined. He focused on his ex saying she was nuts and how she "never let him rest and forced his every night to be physical with him" and that she beat her kids and her horse so he was gonna make sure she was ruined. I watched as he sent photos of her without her walking stick to the Benefits office and called them again and again to make sure they saw her as a benefit thief. Eventually they took her benefits away and she has had to put her horse on loan. Was she really a benefit thief? Did she beat her kids? I don't know but the way he went about things, including his sister in it all, was frightening to watch. Even if she was all he said she was - I felt sorry for her because I was truly seeing how unbalanced he was - it started that little spark in the back of my mind that this man was just not right in the head.

As I said previously. Mr. W's sister fed his addictions - drugs and shopping. Weeks before his 50th birthday she metioned that she found this watch that the character Jack Bauer wore in 24 and showed it to him - of course he wanted it and as he gets everything he wants she bought it for him. It wasn't cheap and he was grateful but like a 15 year old he just accepted it like he deserved it. Meanwhile for his big birthday I had professional portraits done. It cost me a lot of money to not only have the pictures taken but to have them framed and instead of saying that this was lovely all he did was criticize that I should have used the photographer he knew and then stated he would have done them all differently. Further he noticed that we used a local historic hotel and we were in one of its rooms so he intimated that there was more going on then just the photos. In essence he knew better and the photos were horrible and somewhere in there I cheated on him. Mr. W is a mediocre photographer at best and was an ungrateful wretch when it came to what I had done.

As the time passed I noticed that he was chatting with some exes and when I asked him if they knew he had a partner he said no and when I asked why he hadn't told them he said why should he and I said because you are in a relationship and it's wrong he went on about how I am controlling and all about money and food. He always did this - he would turn it around so it was about me being jealous or find fault and twist it so he was never to blame.

When we first me he went on and on about he didn't believe in celebrating birthdays or holidays as he, and his family, gave gifts whenever they felt like it so they didn't need a particularly day to do this. What this really meant was he was a cheap bastard and only gave gifts when he needed to impress or was about to lose his supply. When my birthday came around a month after his I didn't expect anything. After all he had yet to take me on a real date or buy anything significant of quality. In the first few months he bought me a pair of cowboy boots and a riding helmet. Both I needed and were of some expense but after that he spent all his money on himself and bought me cheap tat that seemed nice on the surface but was crap afterwards. Once he bought me a couple of watches that I liked but both fell apart within weeks. Nothing like I would have truly bought for myself. I still have them and wear them now and then but it makes my stomach turn to hold them to be truthful. Like him they were tacky and over the top - no class. For my birthday he actually did buy me a framed wonder woman comic poster. I was taken by surprise especially as it's something that I truly do like - as I am a comic book geek. I only found out much later his sister paid for it. Sigh. So much for putting me first.

It was soon after this that the walls of our relationship began to fall. We were in a tack shop when I heard his phone go and went to stand with him and saw a female had texted him. I waited till we were in the car and asked him who that was and he lied to my face and said it was a male friend. I watched him as he looked me in the eye and lied to me. We got back to his flat and he put his smartphone on charge. I asked to look at it as I had never used one. Subconsciously I think I wanted to see this text but I didn't think about that at first. He actually said it was ok to look at his phone. I pressed every symbol to see what they all did and I touched the envelope and up popped the message "Hey gorgeous your text almost got me in trouble will text later" - I just about lost it. He bullshit his way through it and then told me who it was. It was the married with kids ex that had been texting him 8 months before with the good morning good night messages that I asked him to cut off because that is not appropriate. He said he had but the truth is he lied and hid her from me. To top it off he had lunch with her and didn't tell me. I knew then and there I had to get out but didn't know how....

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder really?

I thought is best that somewhere I post what is Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I am going to cut and paste from another website - I will sight it when I remember where I got it from - this is the best I could find in plain language. I hope it helps people understand.

This is something posted by a woman on a forum I am on for victims of Narcissists. Sadly as you further and further into this it is EXACTLY what has happened to me. I know I will move on but seeing it in black and white sadly really hits home. If you can read it all the way through you may understand a bit of what myself, and many others have been through.

In normal relationships partners are able to genuinely appreciate the others separateness having mutual regard for each others boundaries, feelings and needs. Hotchkiss explains the "Fusion Delusion" that occurs in relationships with Narcissists. When "two such lovers connect, the goal for one - and often enough for the other as well - is complete and total merger, the obliteration of one partner's autonomy in the service of the other's narcissism." (pg. 122) A power struggle ensues to see which one can bend the other to meet their needs.

Narcissists can be experts in manipulation and seduction of the opposite sex. Lowen defines seduction as a "false statement or promise to get another person to do what he or she would not otherwise do. The promise can be explicitly stated, or it can be implied. Psychopathic swindlers openly promise something they have no intention of giving. But most seductive ploys involve promises that are not clearly stated." For a Narcissist seducing someone in to having sex with them reinforces their view of themselves as special and powerful - they have won control over the "object".

He explains that "Narcissists use sex as a substitute for love and intimacy". Some are very good at knowing how to pleasure their partner e.g. being able to maintain an erection for as long as is required for their partner to orgasm. They've spent time learning the techniques they use because the better they get the more narcissistic supplies they are bound to secure, the more powerful they feel.

Narcissists tend to make poor lovers long term. To them it is a mechanical act; it doesn't really require true intimacy just physical closeness. Usually in order for a partner to experience "mind blowing" orgasms they need to feel connected to their lovers own sexual excitement and feelings of love. Narcissist's don't have these passionate feelings they've spent so much effort repressing them. They essentially masturbate with the "object's" body. A Narcissists orgasms are not intense as a result. Some even prefer pornography and masturbation to sex.

To Narcissists commitment is akin to castration. They don't want intimacy because that leads to people knowing their faults and insecurities. On the other hand they will be keen to show that they are capable of living a normal life and having a relationship with someone but this will depend on the person. "His own self-image requires that other people also see the love object in an idealized way. Toward that end, he must select someone who is beautiful, intelligent, accomplished, or otherwise widely recognized as exceptional. The Narcissist hopes to commandeer those admirable qualities that he or she lacks, acquiring "guilt" by association." Hotchkiss (pg. 124)

Narcissists demand adulation and respect from their partner. They have a belief in their absolute uniqueness and as such they want to be the only important thing to the person they "love". Even if they have had children Narcissists often expect their partners to choose them above their offspring. They can be extremely competitive with their children who they see as challengers for their partner's attention.

If you're in love with a Narcissist you might have heard them say "You don't really love me" and on some level they're right because THE PERSON YOU FEEL IN LOVE WITH IS A FALSE SELF. NOT REAL. To love them would mean you have to love all of them good and bad. To love them is to accept that the Narcissist does NOT know the meaning of love which comes as a result of not being loved by their parents for who they truly are. For this reason they don't know how to receive love or how to give love - they MERELY act it out to get the narcissistic supplies they need. They see love as twisted and they don't want it from you, they want your admiration and respect. Their relationships are filled with conflicts as a result. No, they can not love.

Nobody likes to think they give love to receive love but for a person to be in love with a Narcissist it is necessary to deny their own feelings and to accept that they can never have that which they defiantly seek to give the Narcissist - love. Denial of feeling is the road to insanity.

What feelings do they have?

Shame - for their weaknesses. When their weaknesses are brought to their attention it shatters their grand illusions of themselves. Sometimes they rage when exposed.

Envy - for others who have what they don't, who are skilled at what they are not, who can feel what they don't, who are happy just being themselves.

Entitlement - to special treatment and having all their needs and wants met at the instant they need them to be met.

Any good feelings they have are linked to how others perceive them. Without an audience to play to they can become bored and despondent. It's almost as if they cannot bear to spend time on their own for fear of their own thoughts betraying their omnipotence.

What does the false self look like in action?

Narcissistic people will do whatever they can to ensure people see them as they see themselves i.e. special. Some focus on materialistic things ensuring they are seen in the best clothes at the right places and driving new or expensive cars etc. even if they can't afford to live that way. Some Narcissists in particular will focus on the perfection of their bodies.They will want to impress others with stories of their accomplishments; new jobs, wage rises, expensive holidays, their sexual conquests etc. (Sometimes it may be apparent that these accomplishments are not as substantial as they have been made out to be or are not attributable to their own efforts. Lies and distortions of the truth are not unusual from the lips of a Narcissist.)

On a personal interaction level they may offer to put themselves out to help you in your work, treat you like a Princess/Prince, taking you out and buying you gifts, complimenting you, making seemingly creative one off gestures to show they care or have thought about what you would like, treating you as a valued friend, spending lots of time with you etc. They make you feel special and at this point you are special to them, not for who you are but because they see you as an extension of themselves. This view of you is known as "Inflation". (On the part of the Narcissist all these lovely gestures are usually undertaken on a shallow level and if you are emotionally invested it is unlikely that you are going to notice until it's too late - even if they have given you good warning that they're not always this nice).

Narcissistic people do not make these gestures selflessly; they behave this way to feel good about themselves which is accomplished through how you feel about them. The positive feelings (and at times negative ones) that they are in essence trying to extract from you are a bid to confirm that they are important or special. These feelings they extract from you are known as narcissistic supplies. A source of these narcissistic supplies termed a "Narcissistic Supply Source" (NSS).

The Narcissist doesn't have the emotional reserves to pull off this facade indefinitely - it is hard work.

What happens when the false self starts to crack?

A Narcissists charming behaviour lasts as long as they get what they want from you i.e. that you provide evidence to confirm their view of themselves as special. In any relationship where people spend a lot of time together it is normal for the parties involved to notice the others bad habits and behaviours. To some degree it is normal behaviour for people to point these bad habits and behaviours out to the other person in order to try and improve the relationship. Narcissists do not react kindly to this, they see it as an attack on their perfection. As a result of this their behaviour starts to change. The lovely person you know will start to disappear as the damaged part of them emerges, the things they do to impress you will become fewer and farther between, you will start to feel less and less special to them as they start to treat you badly and show their frustrations (overtly or covertly) at your inability to meet their needs more frequently. This is known as your "Devaluation".

During periods of frustration which are brought about as a result of their needs not being met narcissistic people will certainly make you aware of your inability to meet these needs. They will either do so overtly; raging, abandoning, publicly humiliating you, belittling your abilities and possibly becoming abusive. Or they will do it covertly; giving you the silent treatment, sulking, discussing things that they know will upset you or behaving in ways they know you find hurtful regardless of if they are related to the frustration you have "caused" or not.

If their frustration stems from their own inability to meet their wants and needs e.g. not getting a promotion, loosing at sport, receiving criticism for work they have done etc. the frustration is usually transferred onto the people they interact with (often their nearest and dearest) or it is channeled into harmful activities such as excessive drinking, drugs, gambling, driving fast etc. In "transference" what the Narcissist is in effect doing is taking their feelings of "I'm bad/inadequate/guilty" and passing them on to you because they don't want to cope with anything that shatters their good image.

Maybe at this point you will try to work harder to make them happier; you will start to question the things that you have done wrong to bring this change about and try and make amends. Maybe they will start to manipulate your emotions to extract more narcissistic supplies from you even if that's through intimidation and fear. They may even tell you the truth, tell you that they are no good for you and how badly they behave. Maybe you'll jump to their defence telling them they are valuable with renewed hope that there is something alive/good inside them. Before long you won't know what's real/the truth and what's not. Years may pass and you will wonder when the person you first met is going to come back. If you are prone to loosing yourself in relationships it's likely that by the time you've decided you've had enough (or you've been dumped by the Narcissist as a NSS) you will already have lost sight of the best parts of yourself and taken on a few of their more interesting character traits.

When the end comes it doesn't arrive quickly. The Narcissist may come back for more when other NSSs aren't in ready supply or not doing their jobs properly. They may even enlist the aid of their friends to bring you back to the fold or intimidate you. Or maybe you will try to go back to them because you miss their presence in your life (which is usually the result of a loss of adrenaline that was previously generated by the highs and lows that interactions with Narcissists bring). You're unlikely to get any closure on the basis that you to and fro or because there isn't going to be a happy ending where you're going to get the answers you need to feel happy about what happened in order to be able to put a lid on it.

There are a few things you can console yourself with, firstly, and most importantly you will have people you can turn to. Your friends, your family (if they're not part of the reason that you've accepted this type of Narcissistic behaviour for so long) and your Doctor or a Counsellor. Even people who cry in the street are asked "Are you ok?" if they stand still for long enough, I've seen it (not that I suggest you trust any stranger you meet - choose your confidants wisely -- I made a mistake or two myself).

Secondly, the Narcissist isn't going to be spending time worrying about how you're feeling or analysing their part in what went wrong in your "relationship". This is because they won't think they've done anything wrong and they don't like to dwell on any negative emotions. In fact it's likely they will feel a sense of relief that they no longer have to work so hard at keeping up appearances. They'll just go and find another NSS to replace you, if they're good looking or successful it won't take them long so rest easy for them. Talk about it out loud, analyse it till you're blue in the face, anything that helps you to process what's happened and learn from it.

So try not to be too hard on yourself if you've taken all you can stand.

Finally, things will get better. It may not be quick in fact it may be hell on earth for some time but like any loss or death of a loved one it will get easier for you to cope and you'll start to feel good about yourself again.

His Sister

Hmmmm - where to begin. Mr. Wonderful has a sister. Though he is the oldest she is the one that actually understands the meaning of responsibility and, in her own way, respect and loyalty.

We became friends during the first couple of weeks of mine and her brother's relationship. Mr. W had the first of two surgeries on his leg after we met and I had taken time off for a year so I visited him each day in the hospital. She was about my height, 5' 7", but an average sized woman. Mr. W used to tell me she needed at least an hour and a half before leaving the house as she was so concerned by her looks. I saw a bleached blonde woman with way too much makeup on but she obviously loved her brother and appeared somewhat level headed.

She expressed to me that I was the first "normal" female her brother had dated in decades as well as probably the best looking. It became an almost daily occurence that she and I would talk on the phone for a few minutes or an hour. It seemed that she lived her life via the telephone or Facebook.

I found out that even though she was a trained beautician and assisted her husband, now and then, on his rounds as a medical professional, she rarely left the house and lived on the phone and on Facebook. Her entire life revolved around the false personas and stories she created with her bizarre friends on FB. She collected bodybuilders as friends on FB and then would spend hours on the phone with any number of these men no matter where they were in the world.

On a daily basis we would chat about her weird goings on on FB and about her brother's habits and the things he did that she seemed to feel were normal and acceptable. I soon realised that the reason she found his abusive and manipulative behaviour acceptable is because she herself had been a victim of a long term abusive relationship with a man that used to be best friends with her brother. I always found it interesting that Mr. W wanted to "kill" this ex of hers when he found out he hit her but when hearing the mental and emotional crap he did Mr. W never saw anything wrong with it. The fact that Mr. W was good friends with this man and used to swap women with him suddenly made sense. In fact Mr. W would repeat the behaviour and comment on his sister under the guise of "just being honest"

That phrase just killed me - "I'm just being honest" was used to cover the fact that he was about to or had just made a comment that was belittling, horrible, cruel or rascist. It made me sick actually. The sister validated and enabled Mr. W's behaviours and she herself exhibited alot of the same traits.

His sister truly believed that Mr. W and I were meant to be together forever. She worked hard to bring us back together over and over again when he would mess up with his trolling single sites, lying to females, having cybersex with one of her friends. She would say things like "Oh you know how he is" to me so many times that I wanted to slap her. I would scream back "THIS IS NOT NORMAL" and she would agree that it was abusive but she would enable him and support him in his lying/cheating/stealing ways. She would often talk about how they were raised differently then other people because they lived their lives in pubs and clubs that their parents owned so what was normal for others wasn't the same for them. I had never realised that honesty, trust, paying people back and being a responsible adult were for everyone else. I lost count of how many times he would omit details when telling her of incidents between himself and I so he appeared the angel and I appeared nuts - when I would finally point out the missing "bits" she would just get quiet and still take his side.

The sister would provide him with drugs when he ran out of his codeine because of his prescription drug addiction and would give him money when he had overspent on crap he never used. If you her husband ever knew how much of his salary went into the pocket of his brother in law he would have blown up. The truth is without the brother-in-law the entire family would fall apart and it took Mr. W reminding his sister of this fact before she stopped having an emotional affairs with other men.

It is through his sister that I learned about his seven previous engagements; it is through his sister that I learned about how he treated women; it is through his sister that I pieced together that everytime Mr. W messed up as a child and caused havoc where they lived their parents would up sticks and move to another pub. Apparently a woman called up and accused Mr. W of being the father of her daughter's child so their mum said that wasn't possible and then promptly moved home and changed numbers so they could never be found. When I asked Mr. W about this he honestly didn't know or care about the fact that he may have a child in the world. After all he has proudly slept with hundreds of women without a care or a condom.

What always intrigued me was his sister's desperate need to be someone else. She created "false" pages on FB so she could dirty flirt with complete strangers and no one in her husband's extended family would see this. She called these pages her "fun" pages. I called them sad attempts to escape a life she no longer has.The low self esteem and self worth due to her age and that when she was younger she was often mistaken for Claudia Schiffer but now she rarely leaves her home and never puts real pictures of herself on her web pages. Time and again she uses pictures from 20 - 25 years ago but that doesn't surprise me as one of her closest, low class friends doesn't even use pictures of herself - she just puts her face on other, much more attractive women's bodies and then puts them up as if they were pics of herself. Of course this tactic, for both women works to attract men that they lie to about themselves, their interests, and their daily lives and exploits. I pitied the men on the other end.. Meanwhile at home her husband wouldn't sleep with her or didn't want to so she would have emotional affairs calling men as far as Canada to have phone sex while he was out doing his job. I came to realise that she saw this as ok and was in denial that this was cheating on her husband. I began to understand why whatever her brother told her about relationships and the women in his life she would believe without question - it was all about the make believe. I truly believe that she would rather live in a world where her brother was perfect and her marriage was wonderful - in her head - then face the fact the her brother was an addict, a liar, an abuser and a thief and her marriage was falling apart. I truly believe she knew her husband was her meal ticket and without him she would have to go out into the world and get a real job - something she was obviously loathe to do.

Like her brother she left school at 14/15 but she went on to beauty school and, through her modeling, got some semblence of grace and poise. She was fairly literate on the computer and seemed to be able to reason things out well but her life revolved around the dramas of FB.

I have to say there is nothing sadder then someone who tries to fill their life with a life that is all made up and as Mr. W made up his entire personality to cover his emptiness, loneliness and insecurities it was no wonder she did the same.

In the end she took everything we talked about and told her brother - she believed everything and anything he said to her as long as it kept him in that bubble labeled "my perfect big brother" so the knife in my back went pretty deep......