Narcissists are insidious

If you’ve read anything about narcissists and recovering from narcissistic abuse, you know that the best thing to do when you’re trying to get away from a narcissist is zero contact. The reason for this is that a narcissist is insidious.

narcissists are insidiousI’m a big fan of horror movies. Even if you’re not, you’ve probably heard of the movie Insidious, it’s had a lot of sequels. (I’ll try to keep this spoiler free!) I started thinking about how in Insidious, the little boy is haunted by an evil ghost. In photos, his mother noticed that the woman in a black veil kept getting closer and closer to him. It’s one of the creepiest parts of the movie. Little by little, the ghost is getting close enough to touch the little boy. So slowly and imperceptibly to the naked eye! You can only see the ghost in the photos.

Obviously the little boy’s mother was scared. Is there an evil ghost in a veil stalking her son?! Finally, in the very last photo, the scary old woman’s hand is nearly grabbing the boy’s shoulder. His mother stopped taking photos after that.

The word insidious means: “Proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with harmful effects” and “treacherous or crafty.” Nothing describes a narcissist more perfectly. When you start to have even the slightest bit of contact with the narcissist, it might seem harmless at first – in fact, like any cycle of abuse they are usually extra nice when they’re trying to trick you into letting your guard down. Some might even apologize for what you’ve told them they have done to you, although it’s just a trick. The narcissistic personality does nothing wrong, and they have no problem pacifying you. They likely don’t remember or don’t care what they’ve done to hurt you in the past, the point is to get what they want.

a narcissist tricks you into trusting again If you have found the strength to go no contact with the narcissist, the the ultimate prize in this game is YOU. Even if he or she threw you away, called you horrible names, devalued you, divorced you, told everyone you were a horrible person, it doesn’t matter. As soon as it is your choice to not speak to them, they simply have to be in your life again. They can move on – you cannot. This is why you have to avoid returning calls, text messages, block them all social media, and never let your guard down. If you only do it 99 times out of 100, just like the little boy in Insidious, the narcissist will grab you from behind, latch on, and mess with your head until you start to think you were wrong about all that emotional abuse that you used to be so sure that they subjected you too. Maybe you overreacted, maybe you’re being unfair, everyone makes mistakes right? They wouldn’t want you back in their life if they didn’t care!

InsidiousWRONG. Back away from the phone. A narcissist cares about three things: themselves, their reputation/the way they are perceived by others, and winning. As soon as they have control over you again, they’ll stop wanting you.

Unfortunately it’s a lot harder to go no contact with a parent than it is to go no contact with your abusive ex-spouse. And that brings us to where we are today. The evil woman in the veil (aka Cruella) has got her claws back in her son, Bruce. After over a year of little contact with her and zero one on one contact, just two weeks after his therapist thought he was doing well enough that he didn’t need to come any more, he agreed to have brunch with her.

It’s hard not to just go, WTF kid?! Are you doing too well you have to go and mess it up for yourself?

But I understand. I have a parent who is very self centered and never empathized with me as a kid and just like Charlie Brown, you always go to kick that damned football and they always pull it away at the last moment. Every single time, you are surprised. Even if you’ve done it hundreds of times before. We are hard-wired to trust our parents, I think it must be biological.

We can’t stop him from spending time with her. He starts college in a week, his mistakes are his to make. It just makes me so angry because just a couple months ago, she posted a photo on facebook from many years ago. In it, she had a giant bruise on her arm that she had gotten during fitness bootcamp. She wrote this long, completely false story about how Sebastian had “beat” her for the last time the day she got that. She said all these things that were completely untrue, even lying about what she and the kids had done that day. She lies about everything, even inconsequential things! Supposedly their neighbor had witnessed it but did nothing. Sebastian hadn’t even gone over to her house that night (this incident allegedly happened after they separated.) So we of course get sent it, by more than two people actually, and even Bruce was like “what the hell, that never happened!” It’s hard for me to understand how he can look past that. So a couple Saturdays ago, Bruce left the house and spent over EIGHT HOURS with his mother. Just his mother, not even his mother and his sister. He didn’t tell Sebastian much about what happened, just that “she kind of took responsibility for everything she had said and done.” It’s just a trick though. Sadly I know that, and Sebastian knows that, but Bruce can’t or won’t see it.

It’s hard for me to understand, even knowing we are programmed to trust our parents, that he can just let her off the hook for lying about Sebastian beating her, just a couple months ago! How can he just look past that? He lives with this father, he loves his father, he knows that his father never beat his mother, yet he has apparently forgiven her for posting on facebook that Sebastian physically abused her!

The saddest part about it, if you have been hit by a loved on or spouse, you know that you don’t proudly take photos with your bruises prominently displayed, grinning like you think you are the hottest person in the room! You hide them, you cover them up with makeup, scarfs, and sweaters even in the summer – you are ashamed. You are terrified that someone might see and figure it out. It’s just another example of how this vile, disgusting creature lies and portrays herself as a victim in order to get attention. All she cares about is people on facebook, her so-called “friends,” telling her how brave and strong she is, how proud they are that she got out. It’s despicable, given that she actually hit Sebastian many times and also disgraceful because there are so many people that die every day because of spousal abuse. But there’s nothing this woman will not say or do to get attention. There’s no lie she won’t tell. She will throw anyone under the bus if it means that people will praise her. It makes me sick that Bruce is opening himself up to this evil woman again and it makes me even sicker that there’s not a damn thing we can do about it.

A very un-merry Christmas

shutterstock_22424299-280x186The holiday visit with Harley was tough. As I mentioned in my last post, it’s become clear that she lies, a LOT. That is, when she is in the room with us. She spent most of the visit locked in the guest room/Sebastian’s office, binge-watching Law & Order S.V.U. on Netflix. I would question whether or not this was appropriate for a 12 year old girl to watch but I know that she watches it with her mom 24/7 and also if you recall, her mother watched 50 Shades Of Grey with her and her brother when she was TEN years old. But let’s all remember what a bad parent Sebastian is. She’s been interacting with us as little as possible. She barely eats, but I know that her mother seems to be purposely trying to give her an eating disorder, so it’s not surprising she doesn’t eat meals with us but there’s candy wrappers left everywhere in her room because she’s secretly eating candy. We had guests the first week of January who found candy wrappers stuck everywhere around the guest room.

173a039bf55caefff353ce92a4ffa44dWe tried our best but she’s like a stone wall. I try to tell myself that a lot of this is typical pre-teen/teen behavior, I didn’t love interacting with my parents at that age either, but she seems so unhappy that it’s heartbreaking. So like the kid she still is, she wanted to open presents ASAP. It actually made me feel really good, like, yes! Normal kid behavior! Maybe there is hope. She tore open all the presents and she was excited about a couple of them. All in all, she got nearly $500 worth of cash, gift cards, presents, etc, not a bad haul for a 12 year old. What was tough was how she acted afterward. She didn’t say thank you, which is I’m sure typical for a kid, but she shut herself up in her grandmother’s (where we opened presents) guest room and wanted nothing to do with any of us again! So when she was asked to come out, I was sitting in a chair with a stack of my and Sebastian’s presents in front of me, and she acted like she was going to kick them. I looked at her and she said “Don’t you ever just want to do something like that? Kick something or break something?” I said “No, not really.”

She proceeded to tell me that sometimes when she’s holding a baby, she wants to drop it on purpose. She specifically said “a 3 month old baby” and I was thinking, “OMG this is horrifying! Is she trying to get attention or does she actually have urges to smash people’s Christmas gifts and drop a 3 month old baby on the floor????” She laughed and walked away and I was speechless. It made me really afraid that being raised by a narcissist is making her into a narcissist or sociopath herself. Even if it was a joke, that’s a really messed up joke. It was a really hard week for me personally. Sebastian says that he has given up on having a good relationship with Harley because he knows that there’s no way to fight against Cruella constantly bad-mouthing him and actively trying to turn Harley against him. I think on some level I was hoping that if she came into a normal, loving home that she might see that it’s not always the way it is with her mother, that it is not normal in her home. We have lost her though, it was really clear she doesn’t want anything to do with us, not even Bruce. He tried so hard to spend time with her and she rejected him, it really hurt him. Harley is learning that selfishness is normal, that everyone just wants to get what they want from people and then tosses them aside. She is learning that it’s ok to be nice to everyone when there’s a gift on the line but as soon as she has it she can go back to YouTube and texting her friends, what she really wants to do. She’s not learning that other people have feelings that we, as human beings, need to respect.

She’s being raised by a narcissist to be a narcissist.

It’s so scary but it finally hit me in the face – we are helpless. There’s nothing we can do. We tried to get custody, we failed, we lost her. She’s going to have such a hard life, just like her mother has, expecting everyone to give her attention and presents and do things for her 24/7 but never giving anything back and never being satisfied. I don’t know that I knew your heart could break in such a way for another person. I don’t even know how to end this post, on some level I’m still devastated by what has been done to this poor child. No one will help her. No one will help us help her. How is that ok?

Lies are all a narcissist knows

426db393d87a412f69ccef58534b6deeIf you have a narcissist or someone with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) in your life, the one thing that you have likely learned – probably the hard way – is that they lie. They lie all the time; about everything; sometimes for no apparent reason; lies are like their air.

As adults, when we catch someone in a lie, we learn to question what they say or do after that, because they have proven themselves to be someone that lies. With children, it’s not so cut and dry. Our children believe what we tell them, because for the first part of their lives, we are the only thing that is keeping them alive. They have to trust us because they have no other choice. Mom/dad/parent/caregiver = life. Our children trust us absolutely. If you tell your young child an outrageous lie, like a man that lives at the North Pole flies all around the world in one night in a sleigh pulled by reindeer and leaves presents for all the good children for example, they will believe you. To a child, what comes out of  their parents’ mouth is as good as gold. As children age, they learn how to be people by watching those around them. We have all witnessed or heard funny stories of a child learning to talk saying a curse word because they’ve heard their parents say it. brttibocaaa_vxxThere was a whole episode of “Modern Family” where a child keeps saying f***; and another where she emulates her aunt’s snarky responses “want me to call you a wambulance? wah, wah.” It’s even a meme. In the episode, her parents blame themselves and each other for her rude behavior but it turns out, she’s just saying what she has heard her aunt say to other people.

Children learn how to behave from us.

But what happens when the child’s primary caregiver is a narcissist..?

They learn that you lie. You say whatever you need to say in order to get what you want or to get yourself out of trouble. Lying is ok, lying is what we do. They don’t question whether or not it is ok or good to tell lies, just like Lily from Modern Family didn’t question whether or not it was ok to make fun of people’s feelings by going “wah wah.” They don’t have the ability to take a step back and look critically at behavior, they only know that the people they trust are doing it so it must be ok. Frightening isn’t it? The problem is, if that’s all a child sees and knows, they start to behave like the narcissist.

i-hate-liars-hypocrites-and-peopleWe realized that Harley was lying, a lot, in huge ways, and to manipulate, over the summer when she visited. She concocted a wild story that in hindsight should have been a red flag, but at the time we had no reason to disbelieve her. She said that her mother was forcing her to change who she is to conform with what her mother wanted her to be – she was forcing her to change her appearance and her personality. Seeing as her mother is a narcissist who cares more about how she appears to those around her than anything else, it made perfect sense that it could happening. At 12, Harley is beginning to be her own person and no longer the perfect little Barbie doll that her mother can mold into the blond, thin, gymnastics-doing, better than everyone else, hugely popular junior “mean girl” that her mother had wished she herself was as a child. It was not a stretch of the imagination to believe that Cruella would respond to Harley’s natural, age-appropriate differentiation and trying to figure out who she is by demanding that she stay who Cruella wants her to be. It caused Sebastian and I a significant amount of distress which culminated in him actually having a phone conversation with Cruella – something he refuses to do 99.9% of the time, unless it’s a legitimate emergency. After questioning from both parents and Cruella’s denial that she was doing anything of the sort, Harley admitted that she had lied about it, on purpose, in an attempt to cause her parents to fight. Then Harley announced that the truth, which she as supposed to discuss with her father but never brought up, was that she supposedly wanted to change her last name from her father’s name to her mother’s maiden name. She was afraid to tell him and so she made up a story about her mother oppressing her in order to distract everyone.

39ebfeaa96d1d84efb17b155618bf690Now, she is visiting for the Christmas break, and we have caught her in several lies over the last four days. First, she told me a story about getting frostbite two years ago, one that I was fairly certain was not true, given that she has not lost any fingers or toes and I was sure I’d remember hearing about that. It would have been a pretty big deal! She showed me her pinky finger would not bend to touch her palm and said that was due to frostbite. That seemed pretty iffy to me but I just let it go. Then, she was telling us all stories about how she “calls out” her teachers because she knows more than they do so she’s always telling them that they are wrong and correcting them in class. Clearly the 12 year old knows everything… I wonder where she picked THAT up?! She claimed that she has never gotten into trouble for talking back all the time, which cannot possibly be true. If she was constantly telling her teachers they are wrong and arguing with them in class, she would have been at least sent to the office a few times.

Last, it came to a head last night in an incident that was clearly and elaborate, obvious lie. She heard Bruce ask me if he could eat the starburst candy that was sitting in the kitchen. I told him yes, but to please leave me the individual sized sour patch kids bag. Harley immediately pipes up with a very unnecessarily detailed story. She said: Oh, you know I am using a purse that I don’t usually use, only for special occasions. The last time I used it was on Halloween. Last night when you were asleep, I dropped it on the kitchen floor and everything spilled out. I bet I picked it up by accident thinking it was mine from Halloween. 

Um, really? That is an extremely detailed story! She said “I will go check in my room for it.” (The guest room, where she is sleeping, is also Sebastian’s home office.) I told her it was not a big deal, not to worry, but she insisted on going and looking for it. Like 30 seconds later she came out and said “I found it in dad’s desk drawer! Dad, why were their sour patch kids in YOUR desk drawer?”

Bruce said, “Oh come on! You took those!”

Harley was insistent that she had not. “NO! They were in dad’s desk drawer!”

Obviously, a 12 year old child is not as skilled a liar as a 45 year old narcissist, so it was blatantly obvious that her story was fake. Her weird sense of urgency when I said it was ok; the long story about spilling the purse which obviously didn’t happen; finding it “in a desk drawer” after 30 seconds of going to “look for it;” blaming her dad; it all adds up to a really stupid lie. Sebastian was just going to let it drop but when she left the room I asked him to address it. I wasn’t upset with her taking the candy but lying about it was not ok. I know she has likely learned that you lie to get out of trouble, you like to get what you want, you lie to have something to talk about, you like to make yourself sound better than you are, you lie, you lie, you lie, because that’s what she sees from her mother. But lying about everything isn’t ok! Sebastian told her “Harley, we aren’t mad at you and you aren’t in trouble, but it’s not ok to lie about taking the candy.” She said “Okkkkkkkkkay…” all drawn out in a tone of voice like “why are you saying this to me when I didn’t take the candy?” And that was that. Honestly, I feel like I will start to question everything she says now. Not just because of the candy, but because most of what I have heard her say on this trip has been an obvious lie. The worst part is that we are helpless to do anything. A couple weeks a year with us is not going to make a difference. She has learned that lying is what you do, and she will probably always be a liar.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Hey everyone, I haven’t been updating as much because I have been adjusting to a new shift at work! I do plan to get back to blogging though because a lot has been going on, unfortunately. When you have a narcissist in your life, you want things to be quiet because otherwise it means non-stop drama. With the holidays approaching, one thing has become more and more clear – Harley and Cruella seem to be morphing into the same person. It’s scary, and it’s really concerning and most importantly, there’s not a damn thing we can do about it. I know I’ve mentioned that recently Harley has become more and more emotionally and verbally abusive to Sebastian when she talks to him. She has sounded a lot like Cruella, in that their voices sound very similar on the phone, but now she even talks like her – the things she says are dismissive, selfish, and thoughtlessly cruel.

1bdf5ec20473c55370be043f12ffefcfI think this has probably been a long time coming, even though it feels like it happened overnight. We have known and been afraid of Harley learning to be selfish and self-centered because kids emulate what they see. You learn how to be a person by observing the people around you and if they are sick and messed up, you become sick and messed up. In the absence of her father and then her brother, Harley has gone from having a narcissist and two normal people in her life to having only a narcissist. Observing Cruella, she is learning that only your feelings matter, no one else’s; that you can say whatever you want and if someone else is hurt that is their problem not yours; and that nothing matters but you. As she gets closer and closer to her teen years, which are inherently selfish, Harley seems to be morphing into her mother. She has also stopped resisting (if she ever did) abusing her father and brother on her mother’s behalf. She now calls to communicate Cruella’s agenda, rather than to just talk to them. In the months that they have been back in our state, she has spent only an hour with Sebastian – supervised by her mother – and she has never been in our home. Sebastian asked if she would be allowed to come to a therapy appointment with him, so that she could talk to his therapist about any issues she has with him and get any questions she has answered, but Cruella said that the only way she would allow that is if she can be right there with her. 6cea25a06528b099541f0eefc0fa14e4She has become so controlling of Harley, she barely lets her out of her sight! Sebastian’s therapist has met Cruella, back when they were in couple’s counseling and individual counseling with two therapists in the same practice, and she knows how sick and twisted Cruella is. To the point where Sebastian’s therapist says she will not be in the same room with Cruella ever again. That’s how sick this woman is! A therapist is afraid of her toxicness. So we are at an impasse.

I don’t know how Sebastian does it. If it were my child, I would probably cry every day. He says that he has grieved the loss of his child. What a horrible thing for a parent to have to do! Harley is purposely cruel when they talk on the phone, which isn’t often. She wanted to see Bruce over Thanksgiving break, and he was out of town. Sebastian asked her if she wanted to ride in the car with him to pick Bruce up, and Harley said “I don’t feel comfortable being in the car with you for hours.” I asked him why and he said he didn’t ask her. He says he actually doesn’t want to talk to her anymore, because all she does is attack him and say hurtful things. I don’t blame him, but at the same time my heart breaks for him. She told him she will visit at Christmas only because “the court says I have to and WE obey the law.” A dig at Sebastian not forcing Bruce to go visit Cruella. Cruella and Harley have become a “WE.” Sebastian says he will tell her she doesn’t have to visit if she doesn’t want to, which means she probably won’t come. I think we will all be relieved. f9c4b053e39d111d4b839049bc25d761She’s so mean and horrible, the thought of having her in our home for a week makes me sick to my stomach. He said if she does want to come he is going to talk to her about her attitude and let her know that we won’t tolerate her being a b**** to everyone. I doubt it will be an issue though, she won’t want to come unless Cruella tells her to come and spy on us. It’s so sad that it has come to this. There’s nothing we can do. The court has failed us and more importantly, Harley. $25,000 completely thrown away. We would have done better burning it in a fire out in the yard. Nothing has changed, and now our worst fears have come true, Cruella has turned her daughter into a tiny version of her – not just a narcissistic image where she is everything Cruella wanted to be but wasn’t (which is how she has always treated her) but now putting her words into Harley’s mouth, her thoughts into Harley’s head, controlling literally every aspect of her and her personality.

A couple years ago, one of Cruella’s sisters sent Sebastian a message on facebook telling him that he should try to get custody of Harley, because she looked so unhappy in all the pictures Cruella posted of her on facebook. That’s how bad it has been. I know Harley is miserable and she’s probably just doing what she needs to do to make her mother “love” her. If only society would catch up and realize that mothers are not always healthy, that some should not be allowed access to their children because their abuse is so all-encompassing and terrible. It’s too late for Harley I’m afraid. I wonder what the next ten years will be like? 😦

Narcissists can’t admit they are not perfect

Cruella shared on social media a photo of herself reading a book by Brene Brown. (Remember, we don’t “stalk” her like she does us, she’s purposely never unfriended Sebastian’s relatives. I’m sure it’s to bait them so they will tell us the horrible things she says about us.) At the time, I found this incredibly ironic, and still do, because Brene Brown writes books about being vulnerable and accepting our imperfections. Two things that narcissists absolutely do not and will not do.

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This is a quote from Brene: “Those who have a strong sense of love and belonging have the courage to be imperfect.” Because they cannot empathize with others, those with NPD have no sense of belonging, it’s “every man for himself.” Someone with narcissistic personality disorder is the type of person who will sabotage you, even if you are on their team! Narcissists either win or lose, there’s no second place, they’re either the best or they’re nothing. The book that she took a picture with (no telling if she actually purchased it or read it) was “Rising Strong” a book about picking yourself up and becoming stronger – which perfectly plays into Cruella’s “unfaltering, resilient victim/survivor” persona. I’ve started noticing a difference between the way women with NPD and men with NPD seem to view themselves and allow others to see them. I may write a post about that soon. While a male narcissist would want to project only power and strength, a female narcissist knows that everyone loves the underdog. By portraying herself like the heroine of a Lifetime Original Movie: victorious over an abusive husband, never giving up in spite of being abandoned with no money or job, fighting to keep herself and her children afloat even though her son has been brainwashed by his father, rising from the ashes of a marriage she was always too good for – Cruella paints herself as a strong survivor. Every bad thing that happened is absolutely not her fault but hardships she survives because she is so strong! What an inspiration to the world!

bbShe rewrites history in order to make herself not only sound better but to show more and more “abusers” who were out to get her. She didn’t tell Sebastian that she didn’t want to be married to him anymore in hopes of manipulating him into acting how she wanted, she courageously left an abusive husband after having her will beat down for 20 years – he was never able to break her! Wow! Or, she rose from the ashes, moving her kids almost a thousand miles away after her husband abandoned her and the kids, penniless. The story changes depending on who she’s trying to manipulate.

She didn’t get fired because she was irresponsible and couldn’t get along with her boss and her coworkers, she was forced to quit her job because she had breast cancer, and move in with her best friend for help and support! She didn’t have to move back in with her parents because she was fired from yet another job, in a new state, after just a few months there – she came back to save money, a responsible choice! Look at Cruella, always fighting to keep her head above water, tirelessly facing whatever life throws her way with grace and humility. Don’t you admire her strength? How she never gives up? How she’s always saying inspirational things about her victories against the odds on facebook?

That is how she gets her narcissistic supply, her attention, her admiration. This is the persona she has adopted for herself. It’s not imperfection though. She never talks about being less than perfect, about how she choose this supposedly abusive man and stayed with him for 20 years.  She is the perfect victim/survivor. With the perfect children. Denied the perfect marriage she deserves by a cruel world, a world she shakes her tired fist at and says “you haven’t got the best of me! Oh no! I will survive. As God is my witness, I will never be hungry again!” Narcissists cannot and will not ever be vulnerable, because to do so would be to drop their armor that says they are blameless, perfect, always right, never to be questioned, always having a retort to show you how wrong you are and right they are. Be on the lookout for other female narcissists who won’t admit they do anything wrong, even as they paint themselves to be victim/survivors. I suspect this isn’t an original manipulation that only Cruella has figured out.

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How do you co-parent with someone completely irrational?

I was reading this great article on Psych Central Ten Rules for Effective Co-Parenting. It’s a great article, and it makes it clear that the new title of my blog is an oxymoron because it is impossible to actually co-parent with a narcissist!

It’s a great article, here are some of the points and why it doesn’t work/can’t work with Cruella, or any person with Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

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1. It’s all about the kid’s best interest.
The end. End of story. When you are dealing with a narcissist, it’s NEVER about anyone else, it’s only ever about them. If they have children, the children exist to bring them validation, praise, attention, etc. They exist to reflect well upon the narcissist. Their needs must be the needs of the narcissist, they must want what the narcissist wants. Literally nothing Cruella has done in the last 3 years have been about Harley or her best interest – none of the moves, attempting to alienate her from her father, nothing. The problem with young children is that they don’t have the ability to understand that their needs can be different from those of a parent. They rightfully assume that the parent always wants what is best for them, but that is not the case when your parent has a personality disorder.

2. The rules should be the same.
This one doesn’t even apply WITHIN the narcissist’s household. The rules are ever changing, there is no continuity. There may be different rules for different children, if one is liked and the other is not. The rules change based on the narcissists wants and whims. Children (and adults too!) must constantly walk on eggshells, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

4. Communicate via internet
We are actually working on this one now. Cruella for some reason wants to use a co-parenting website that you message through that limits “abusive” language. Which is so funny because Sebastian is never abusive to her but she is constantly sarcastic and negative. She doesn’t yell at him anymore but I think that is only because he refuses to talk to her on the phone. He has told her that once they pay for this site he will not communicate with her in any other way, no text or email, but narcissists HATE feeling like they are not in control so I imagine that the texts will continue. She likes to send 10-15 text messages back to back, ranting about things.

5. Keep kids out of the middle.
The article mentions parents can “unintentionally” put kids in the middle, but Cruella puts Harley in the middle on purpose. She manipulates her to make Harley feel and think what Cruella wants her to feel and think. She tells her things to say, and it’s easy to tell because she uses words she wouldn’t normally use like “disparage.” What’s sad is that Harley is still too young to be able to take a step back and see how her mother is manipulating and using her. I only hope that, like Bruce, she will come to see Cruella for who she really is – but Cruella’s abuse of Harley is much more subtle and insidious.

7. Be honest
Honestly is not a tool in the narcissist’s wheelhouse. If Sebastian is honest with Harley about the things her mom says and does, Harley accuses him of “disparaging her mother.” Not a 12 year old word, as I mentioned above. How simply saying what Cruella did is belittling, I do not know. Cruella is not capable of being honest, because she believes all her lies. Even those that directly contradict things she said before. Such as, Sebastian “abandoned her and the kids” and then a week later saying he “was abusive and she escaped a marriage of torture.” You cannot both leave someone and be abandoned by them.

10. Act like an adult
Does wordpress have emojiis? I want to put a whole line of laughing face emojiis here. Narcissists are at the heart of their personalities, overgrown petulant children. The part of them that empathizes with others has never developed, so it’s like dealing with a toddler.

Out of order, I wanted to mention 9. Step-parents are assistant parents.
This is a tough one for me. Bruce is almost 17, so he doesn’t require a lot of parenting. Mostly he just wants someone to listen to him talk, he’s a great kid. He requires minimal reminding to take out the trash and wash the dishes, he’s such a great kid it’s extra sad to me that his mother was so abusive of him. With Harley, she’s so blatantly disrespectful of her dad, I can’t imagine how she would be to me if I tried to tell her what to do. In a post that I never made public a couple years ago, I talked about how she got angry with me on a trip we all took, told me to “shut up” and shoved me because she thought I was agreeing with her brother that her favorite band was stupid. Sebastian and I had our first real fight ever over that, because I believe kids should respect adults, unless given a reason not to, and physical violence is never ok with me. Yes, it was just a shove not a punch but there’s no justification for someone doing that sort of thing, especially not a child to an adult!

I may never have the opportunity to be “assistant parent.” Sebastian has given Harley the choice on whether or not to visit, even when she lived in another state, and she declined to visit once although she did come last Christmas and for three weeks this past summer. You would think that living two hours away we would see more of her, but we have only seen her once since finding out that they had moved to our state. That was only for an hour, when he met her and her mother at a coffee shop to give them some items that she had left over the summer. Given that she’s becoming more and more like her mother: demanding, self-centered, dismissive, invalidating of other people’s feelings, disrespectful to everyone, and has been caught lying excessively in the last few months, I wonder if she will want anything to do with a household that has structure and rules – given the choice.

This is the only way I can fight back

I asked myself earlier “why did you revive this blog?” I started it because I needed a place to vent, and I hoped maybe I could get some feedback from others on how tough it is to be a step-parent. Now, I have no outlet for the things I know, about her and about what it is like to have to deal with someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). I can’t warn people about her. I can’t save Harley from her. I can’t tell the people she spreads lies about Sebastian to that she is lying. I can’t tell people that I’m not being abused like she says I have to be since he is abusive. She goes out of her way to make sure we hear about the things she posts on Facebook, but she can’t be challenged there. I can’t call her a liar in front of all those people, some of whom live in my city, some of whom are people I know! There’s no recourse. This blog, anonymously, is the only way I can fight back.

projectionProjection is a narcissist’s favorite delusion, she takes whatever horrible thing she has done and says that you did it. She takes whatever negative character traits she has, and says that you have them. I will be writing a post about projection, but you can read more about it now on the wonderful blog “Narcissism Meets Normalcy” by Lenora Thompson, who writes about her own experience as a child being raised by narcissists. One way that Cruella projects is to say that Sebastian and I “spy” on her. She will write little snide comments on Facebook posts for us, telling us something or telling our “spy” to tell us something. The funny part is, we don’t cyber-stalk her like she does to me (projecting!) she has actually never unfriended several of Sebastian’s family members on Facebook. They tell us things, because of the vileness she posts there. Lies like Sebastian has never paid child support! Just completely blatant lies! 1000% untruths! We have canceled checks to prove it! But he has learned to let it go, I guess after two decades living with a narcissist you learn how to let things go, but I don’t know how yet. I get angry on his behalf! I want to scan those checks and post them to her Facebook wall angrily saying “yes! here’s the nearly $700 monthly checks he paid you for the FULL CHILDSUPPORT even after Bruce lived here. Where did that money go Cruella? To your shopping fund, most likely. You certainly didn’t give any of it to Bruce. You certainly didn’t care about if Bruce had everything he needed while you continued for four months to get child support for two kids when only one lived with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

See? Angry. I feel righteously angry at her blatant lies. Why does she still have to attempt abuse him? I b85ba79b88f49a8d19dce0bd65ce949fguess because she is sick. I told him once that even if he had ended up never getting sober and homeless on the street, penniless, even then she would not be satisfied. She probably wouldn’t even be satisfied if he were dead. The joke is on her though because we are happy and she is still miserable, sad, and alone, living back with her parents in a state she swore up and down she would never come back to – and it’s not because of Sebastian, it’s not because of her parents, it’s not because people are out to get her, it’s because she’s a horrible, awful person and anyone who sees the real her is sickened by it and wants to get as far away from her as possible. I only wish that Harley was able to. That’s the only place our happiness falters, is in our worry for her. Even Sebastian can’t find a way to have peace and not worry about his child.

I may not be able to tell all her facebook friends what a lying, horrible, abusive person and parent she is, but at least I can say it here. This is how I fight back. Until the day I can finally say, you will never abuse any of us again. Until it is finally safe to show my face and tell the world who she is, because truthfully the abuse is HER shame, not the shame of those she abuses. No one deserves to live with narcissistic abuse.

Delusional disorder – I figured out what’s wrong with her! 

Fed up after the last round of insane attacks directed at Sebastian and myself (most done via the “anonymous” blog but several done via phone calls with Sebastian and Bruce as well) I decided that I absolutely had to figure out what the f*** Sebastian’s ex-wife has. Have I given her a pseudonym yet? I think I’ll just call her “Cruella”. I know a little bit about psychology but I could not for the life of me fit this woman into a diagnosis. She met some of the requirements for something like Schizophrenia but as far as I know she’s never had hallucinations. She could very well have a personality disorder but those don’t usually cause a complete disconnect with reality, according to what I’ve read. Her mother was diagnosed with “Multiple Personality Disorder” when Cruella was a child, even though doctors now widely believe that people don’t actually have different personalities that are unaware of the actions of the other like you’ve seen in the movies. Honestly, Cruella sometimes seems like she has multiple personalities. 

  

Finally, absolutely stumped, I googled “How to deal with someone who is not in touch with reality” and discovered “Delusional Disorder.”  I had never heard of it before but it matches up perfectly with her being convinced people said and did things they never said or did and how she rewrites history as she sees fit (sometimes Sebastian “abandoned” her – her term – and other times she left him because he was abusive. It can’t be both ways!!!!) Literally every time I have had contact with the woman she thinks I have said something to her that I did not say. Last time it was completely innocuous, she thought I said “I have to go” before exiting Sebastian’s apartment but actually I just left. All I said to her that day was “hi”, “no problem” and “drive safely.” It’s not a big deal that she thinks that I said that, it’s just an illustration that the woman is batshit crazy. She honestly believes things happened that have NEVER happened, that’s just one tiny example. Here’s what PsychCentral says about Delusional Disorder [Including relevant parts, for the full description please visit PsychCentral]:

Delusional disorder is characterized by the presence of either bizarre or non-bizarre delusions which have persisted for at least one month. Non-bizarre delusions typically are beliefs of something occurring in a person’s life which is not out of the realm of possibility. For example, the person may believe their significant other is cheating on them, that someone close to them is about to die, a friend is really a government agent, etc. All of these situations could be true or possible, but the person suffering from this disorder knows them not to be (e.g., through fact-checking, third-person confirmation, etc.). Delusions are deemed bizarre if they are clearly implausible, not understandable, and not derived from ordinary life experiences (e.g., an individual’s belief that a stranger has removed his or her internal organs and replaced them with someone else’s organs without leaving any wounds or scars) 

People who have this disorder generally don’t experience a marked impairment in their daily functioning in a social, occupational or other important setting. Outward behavior is not noticeably bizarre or objectively characterized as out-of-the-ordinary...

Specific Diagnostic Criteria

1. Delusions lasting for at least 1 month’s duration.
2. Criterion A for Schizophrenia has never been met. (2 or more of the following: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech/incoherence,  grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, affective flattening) 
3. Apart from the impact of the delusion(s) or its ramifications, functioning is not markedly impaired and behavior is not obviously odd or bizarre.
4. If mood episodes have occurred concurrently with delusions, their total duration has been brief relative to the duration of the delusional periods.
5. The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition.
Specify type (the following types are assigned based on the predominant delusional theme):
• Persecutory Type: delusions that the person (or someone to whom the person is close) is being malevolently treated in some way
• Somatic Type: delusions that the person has some physical defect or general medical condition
• Mixed Type: delusions characteristic of more than one of the above types but no one theme predominates
Depending upon whether or not Cruella actually believes she has cancer (which no one can really say, it could just as easily be a flat-out manipulative lie as it could be a delusion) she definitely fits with Persecutory Type Delusional Disorder or Mixed type for both Persecutory and Somatic if she thinks she has cancer.

  

It’s such a relief to know what is wrong with her. We all know she is crazy, even Bruce is very aware that she is crazy; hell even some of her siblings have contacted Sebastian to say “she is really crazy and messed up and needs help” but it’s nice to know that what she has is something that is a legitimate, diagnosable illness

I think it helps a lot now that Cruella and Sebastian are divorced. I think that he and the kids didn’t realize just how sick and in need of help she was until they had some distance. Now there are a lot more people to verify “whoa this behavior is really scary and not the norm!” She’s so invested in Sebastian being the only one that had a problem, as though any relationship ends because of just one person. As though it’s one or the other, like if he has issues it proves she’s not batshit crazy when really both of those things can be true! I am glad that more people around are reminding Bruce and Sebastian, and hopefully some around Harley will begin noticing too, that Cruella and reality just don’t coexist. I’m ready for this whole latest custody saga to be over. Even though Bruce is with Sebastian, has been here for 2 months, has moved all his things here and they’ve moved to a larger place, a judge still has to officially give custody to Sebastian. Even though I know it’s a necessary evil at times, I get so tired of hearing her name and talking about her and thinking about her. Her angry bitter negativity is absolutely toxic. I’m not surprised that Sebastian decided there’s no way he could stay sober (if I haven’t mentioned, he’s a recovering alcoholic) and be with her. The woman is truly rotten inside. While I do feel sorry for her clearly having a very serious mental illness, she’s also just a mean abusive person in addition to being sick. I’m so glad Sebastian and Bruce escaped, I just hope one day we can get Harley out, if it’s not already too late for her. 😦

Ridiculous and sad

1cb5b9aaac97d97aa7d73a3a72f2fff5Well, the b**** ex-wife finally mentioned me on her “anonymous” blog. Yesterday morning, Bruce called Sebastian into his room, I didn’t think anything about it until he pulled me aside looking concerned. I thought something was really wrong but he told me that she was talking about me on the blog. Bruce came in later and said it was brief, she called me “needy”, said I’m “terrified she will steal him from me” and that I’m crazy. I appreciated Bruce being so concerned about my feelings.

Sebastian and I had a good laugh over the “stealing him” thing. Considering the sound of her voice makes him physically ill that’s never been a concern. It’s sad to me that she might actually believe that’s true. More than likely she just wants people to believe that’s true. One thing that does bother me is that she put my real last name on there. Some people she’s given nicknames to and other people she uses their real name for some reason. She apparently believes we can’t see the blog because she blocked Bruce, but he reads it. He’s actually the only one that does. I have chosen not to give her the energy or time and Sebastian just frankly doesn’t care. He prints it off once a week to give copies to his lawyer and therapist but that’s it. Apparently she’s written about her sexual exploits with several men, back when she still had custody of both the kids. Her “boyfriend” was married to someone else and she also talks openly about that.24e12a8111b28244b08d12c123859f7dI don’t judge people’s lifestyles as long as they don’t hurt anyone else but imagine a judge wouldn’t be a fan of those things. What’s really sick is that her 15 year old son is reading all that! We can’t really stop him, but I think I may gently suggest to him that it’s not healthy. The stuff about her “cancer” really upsets him, in part because he’s afraid on one level that it might be true. Sebastian and I don’t think it is, but no matter what a profoundly mentally and emotionally unstable person she is, and no matter how mean and angry and abusive she is to him, he’s her son and he loves her.

An anonymous blog filled with lies…

In a bit of irony, Sebastian’s ex has apparently started an “anonymous” blog. I put anonymous in quotes because she decided to change her name but follow her son Bruce’s blog. The reason it became obvious that it’s her (besides the fact that the basics of the first post match up perfectly although they’re exaggerated and highly dramatized…) is that when Bruce noticed he had a new follower, visited her blog, and liked her post, she blocked him. Even though she had been following him first! The reason I find this extremely ironic is that I would never have started this blog anonymously if she didn’t read my blog. I felt that I couldn’t talk about Sebastian and the kids there and share my heart and fears openly because I knew she would use anything she could to hurt me, Sebastian, and the kids.

the-most-dangerous-liars-are-those-who-think-they-are-telling-the-truth-quote-1The really sad thing is that this “anonymous” blog is filled with exaggerations and lies. The biggest one being that she has “inoperable stage three breast cancer.” This is a complete and total lie, she does not have breast cancer, let alone inoperable stage three breast cancer. She claims on the blog that she’s moving “herself and her daughter from the city they love to another state to live with a friend so she has support while fighting cancer” when the truth is that she was fired from her job because she’s a really awful person and her boss and coworkers didn’t like her because she’s a bitch to everyone around her. She wasn’t able to find a job, not even a much lower paying clerical job; so she’s moving to another state because basically no one likes her. She’s supposedly going to be getting help for her mental health problems but I doubt that, especially given this new blog filled with dramatic claims that are completely untrue. We are going to be watching the blog for a GoFundMe link because I suspect she’s going to start trying to get money from people for her “cancer treatments.”

She also claims to be in an “expensive and difficult custody battle” over Bruce, when the truth is that she told him she didn’t want him to come back home in one of her rages, and he used that excuse to move back home with Sebastian because he just can’t take the emotional and psychological abuse anymore. It’s really not surprising that her blog is filled with really fantastical lies. She’s been making up new and increasingly crazy stories about things Sebastian “did to her” when they were married. The latest is that he “threw a refrigerator at her.” She also claimed Bruce saw this happen and Bruce has absolutely no memory of that or of anything that would have to accompany such an attack such as doctor’s visits, or cleaning up the mess that something like that would cause. She mentioned on the blog that Sebastian “liked to use his fists” so she’s obviously working up to some sort of battered ex-wife lie which is sad because there is so much domestic violence in this country, and so many people who don’t get help or can’t get help, who are legitimately scared for their lives, to lie about it is to slap actual domestic violence survivors in the face. She’s always wanted attention, but I can’t imagine what she thinks this blog will accomplish. Probably she will never even update it again past the first post. She’s not going to get a lot of instant attention unless she shares it with family and friends. It takes work to get traffic to your blog.

I think what frustrates me the most about it is that she continues to paint herself as some sort of a victim, like Sebastian is still “torturing” her after she “escaped” their “horribly abusive” marriage. When the truth is, a year after their divorce, he’s still paying on all her credit card bills that he for some reason agreed to take responsibility for when they divorced. She purposely ran up charges on the Victoria Secret credit card that was in his name after they separated, and then stuck him with the nearly $2,000 bill. Even though he’s taken complete responsibility for Bruce, he’s still paying child support for Harley. He’s not asking his ex-wife for a cent, and he’s the one who has paid the lawyer to draw up the new papers (they used the same lawyer for their divorce.) I’m honestly sometimes surprised he’s not paying to move her to the other state. He basically gives her so much money he often eats ramen, as a grown, professional, 41 year old man. I hate her so much that I wish I could slap her in the face, and I have never been a violent person. She makes me sick, that people like her exist in the world. I don’t see that she gives anything positive to the world or the people around her, she’s just a waste. It’s sad, because I know her childhood must have been really f****** up to make her this sick and mentally ill, but how many people should one person be allowed to hurt and use? It just makes me angry that anyone would believe the lies that she tells, when Sebastian has gone out of his way to be nice and helpful and BEYOND fair to her the entire time they’ve separated and divorced.