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? 😦

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Projecting, what is it and why do narcissists do it?

77141-67838Projection is a defense mechanism, there are many different ones and everyone employs some of them at one point or another. There are some that people with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) seem to favor and projection is one of them. In an article on Lifescript, Jennifer Beaumann writes: Psychological projection involves projecting undesirable feelings or emotions onto someone else, rather than admitting to or dealing with the unwanted feelings. The article has several good examples that help explain what psychological projecting is. If we cannot own our negative feelings or admit our negative character traits to ourselves, we may project them onto others, meaning that we assign those negative feelings and character traits to that other person. For example, I may judge an acquaintance harshly for “being judgmental.” I would say something like, “Oh I can’t stand how Jane is always judging everyone! She thinks she is so much better than everyone, always looking down on them. It’s such an unattractive habit.” Yet I’m judging and looking down on Jane, exactly what I say that I hate.

This short article on GoodTherapy.org also explains it well. It gives the example: A person with narcissistic traits who does not respect their partner may say to the partner, “You don’t respect me or see my true worth.” I have seen that Cruella takes this a step further; she doesn’t just assign her negative feelings to other people, she flat out begins to believe that other people have done the horrible things she has done or said the awful things that she herself has said. I believe this is a combination of projection and gaslighting that is not uncommon with narcissists. (I will write a future blog post about gaslighting but you can read more about it now on Narcissistic Behavior Net.)

Cruella will do something and then months later, she will say that Sebastian or Bruce actually did or said the thing that she has done. So not only is she gaslighting by denying that it took place, she turns the tables and blames them for what she actually did or said. Here is a great example of an actual recent event. Over the weekend, Cruella sent a message to Sebastian, in which she accused him of refusing to give her our new address when we all moved in together, which she claims she asked for. In actual reality, Sebastian tried to find out where Cruella and Harley moved to and Harley told him she “would get in trouble” if she told him where they were living. For several weeks, we had no idea what state or city they were in. Sebastian, on the other hand, emailed Cruella our new address because that’s what the divorce papers state each parent is supposed to do within two weeks of moving. This has been a slow progression toward eventually projecting her bad behavior onto him. First, she claims she asked a month before we moved. She both did not ask, and also we had not moved so we weren’t obligated to provide the address until after Bruce was residing there. She said “you knew where it was going to be before you moved.” Ok, but still not sending her the new address prior to moving is not the same as refusing to tell her. (This is typical of narcissistic reasoning though, I didn’t do what I legitimately was supposed to do based on some sketchy pretty much unrelated thing that you did or didn’t do. The narcissist’s actions are always YOUR fault.) Now, she’s flat out claiming that Sebastian refused to give her the address when she asked AFTER we moved, a complete and total lie, but it’s what she did. Projection and gaslighting: what actually happened didn’t happen, and what I did you, actually did.

transitoProjection also allows a narcissist to protect themselves from the consequences of their own actions and behaviors. From around a month after she sent The Letter, Cruella began insisting that Bruce wanted to talk to her but Sebastian was actively preventing it. In spite of the fact that over the last year Bruce has told her: on the phone, in writing, and face-to-face that he does not want any contact with her, because she is incapable of admitting she could do or say anything wrong, she defaults back to this “you are keeping my son from me/influencing his behavior/alienating him from me/actively keeping him from talking to me.” In spite of the fact that she showed up at a school function two weeks ago and he completely ignored her she is still insisting that he wants to talk to her and we are stopping him. So yet again the poor kid had to send her another message telling her he doesn’t want to see or talk to her and the only reason for that is HER and HER BEHAVIOR. Of course, the way she projects, this likely means she is keeping Harley from talking to her father as well as actively turning her against him. Which we know she has done in the past.

204153f928267e09dc7334f5a5ebb574Now, the latest thing since she is back in the area is her attempting to bully us all and force us to force Bruce to spend time with her. Which is sick and we would never do! I try not to be bothered by it, but it really pisses me off when she acts like she can force us to do what she wants. She sent a message informing us that she was going to be coming to one of Bruce’s therapy sessions so we had better get ready. Um, no. That’s not how this works! She can’t force his therapist to talk to her or force herself into his session. What’s great is that we were able to get him in to see Cruella’s former therapist, so she knows exactly what kind of a sick person he is dealing with. She wrote a letter to the court about how being forced to spend time with his mother would psychologically damage him! I guess I just have a stubborn personality because unless you’re my boss at work, you’d better not TELL me to do anything because that’s the best way to make sure I won’t do it! She also apparently wants me to be on this “our family wizard” website, probably because I refuse to interact with her and she wants to force me to. The thing that’s sad about narcissists is that once you’re onto them and their games, they’re pathetically obvious. Insidious, but not subtle at all.

Inside the twisted mind of a narcissist


About a year and a half ago, after Bruce came to live with us and told his mom in writing that he didn’t want to talk to her because he was upset that she told him she had cancer when she did not, she wrote “The Letter.” He probably would’ve started talking to her again if she had just left it alone, but she instead decided to write a letter to “apologize” that minimized her emotional abuse of him, attempted to manipulate him and make him feel guilty, put some of the blame for her actions on him, completely changed past events, and finally told him she has hated him for most of his life. In my memory, it was absolutely the worst thing I have ever read. When he initially received it he did not read it, but forwarded it to Sebastian who showed it to me. We all advised him not to read it, his therapist read it and told him not to read it, but he couldn’t help himself.

My original intention with this post was to share parts of The Letter that illustrate how the narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) mind works. I wanted to show the parts that were manipulative, minimizing, blaming her teenage son for her bad behavior, etc. I thought it would be helpful for other people to see how different the mind of a narcissist works from those of people who don’t have personality disorders. As it turns out, even knowing The Letter was the worst thing I had ever read, a year and a half had actually dulled how horrific it is. Upon re-reading it, I realized that it is so horrible and gut-wrenching that even though this blog is anonymous, I cannot publicly share the despicable things his mother said to him. I will instead share the different points of the letter, and then share in her own words, her description of herself.

The Letter

  • It begins by her saying she loves him and that she is sorry that he hates her. She says she understands that it’s because of things she did and she deserves it but that she is heartbroken without him and misses him and doesn’t understand his need to torture her with silence. (Playing the victim, guilt, manipulation, projection.)

 

  • She then shares some happy memories from when he was a baby. She talks about how she was devoted to him and his father was absent (lie, manipulation) but once he was a toddler he started to like his father and because she hated Sebastian so much, she took Bruce’s love for him as him choosing Sebastian over her. (distorted thinking, selfishness) She became resentful of Bruce and started to hate him, even though she wouldn’t realize until years later that it was hatred and resentment that she was feeling.

 

  • Then she tells him that when she got pregnant with his sister, she chose Harley over him and continued to favor her for the next 8 years. She believed Bruce did not love, want, or need her. (distorted thinking, selfishness) When he was 12 and she realized her marriage to Sebastian was over, she decided to try to win back her son’s love by buying him things and spending lots of money on him, and ignoring his sister. (not even sure what this is, distorted views of love and parenting?)

 

  • When Sebastian completely abandoned the three of them and left them to fend for themselves financially (complete and total lie) and Bruce will remember it because he “lived it” she for some reason decided that moving nearly 1000 miles away to be on their own instead of moving to yet a different state to live with her best friend was best for Bruce somehow so she did it for him. (lie, she moved there because she had a male friend there that she knew she could exploit for help, money, and attention, and she did.) Then, Bruce decided to abandon her in this place she didn’t want to be in the first place. (lies, manipulation, guilt.) Also noteworthy that Cruella keeps telling Harley they are moving back to this place she supposedly didn’t want to live.

 

  • Then, oddly, she begins to talk about me. She characterizes Sebastian beginning to date as: “brutal and violent and abusive. I was sick for weeks. Throwing up, unbearable headaches, insomnia, exhaustion I was a mess.” (really distorted thinking, guilt, manipulation) By then Bruce had started acting like his father (cold, distant, dismissive) and decided to live with him and Cruella was so overcome with it all that she had to quit her job and then move to another state to live with her best friend. (irrational blame, guilt, manipulation) What’s oddest about this is that her story for why she moved is constantly changing. She has said on her now-deleted blog that it was “to begin cancer treatments,” she told Sebastian it was “to get help for her mental illness,” now she’s telling Bruce that it was because of him. Also noteworthy that she was fired from her job because she couldn’t get along with her boss and was irresponsible, she didn’t quit. She says: “I gave you everything you wanted, at great personal cost and you still treated me like shit.” She also notes that her anger and hatred toward her son has continued to grow and grow.

 

  • She then tells him that she lied to him about having cancer due to finding out he had read her blog when she “had not slept in almost 3 days, alertness was no longer sustainable with caffeine and I honestly remember almost nothing. All of that anger came out. I was scared, I was angry, I felt threatened, I felt violated, I was in complete panic.” She then goes on to say that because she came from an abusive family and had been in an abusive marriage, lying is what came naturally to her so that is what she did. It’s funny that she says she remembers “almost nothing” yet can give so much detail about how she felt. She’s inadvertently being honest – lying is what she does, lying is who she is. (lies, minimizing, excuses, manipulation.)

 

Now, because I feel that it is not a violation of Bruce to share this, here is Cruella describing herself in her own words (probably the most honest she has ever been about or with herself):

I have a god awful vindictive streak that is my absolute worse personality trait. I despise nothing about myself the way I utterly despise this trait. When I am alert and have all my faculties and I feel threatened, I spend every ounce of grit I have keeping that viciousness silent. You have seen me get angry and silent before, well when that happens all my energy is focused on not saying the most hurtful thing I can find about a person. When I get so angry I get cold all of a sudden I can see exactly how, to hurt and destroy the individual in front of me. I am not proud of this trait and it has earned me a well-deserved reputation as a vicious bitch in the past.

I never use it, not even with your father. (lie) I made myself a promise years ago not to do it again, and I have kept that promise. But when my faculties are impaired the wounded attack animal shows up without restraint. My faculties were down that night and the horrible part is I am quite positive I just wanted to strike back. I am sorry more than you know, although I don’t know how to apologize for that one. None of what I told you justifies my betrayal. I only wanted to tell you exactly how I failed you. That night when your father told me I couldn’t see you, I lost it. All the rage and anger I have been harboring for years came out. It was truly ugly, I was broken, devastated. I was a screaming, crying lump on the floor. I have never cried like that in my life. I had lost you forever and my heart finished breaking. By the time your email came I was numb. I tried to answer your questions but I was barely able to read them, I had to get help to answer them. At the heart of it is the fact that all the people who were supposed to love me never did, being deemed unlovable can carry some huge rage. So now, I also have to fill the hole it left and that is a really big hole. I have spent a lot of time feeling empty and my mind wanders in bizarre places without my old friend anger.

This is probably the most insight I have ever read from a person with narcissistic personality disorder and the most honesty that one will ever express about themselves and their disease/disorder. I decided to call this post “inside the twisted mind of a narcissist” because these paragraphs are a window into the mind of a very sick person, desperately in need of help. It’s sad that during lucid moments she realizes how sick she is and doesn’t seek help. I have read that the feeling of a hole inside and feeling unlovable are traits of Borderline Personality Disorder which is why I also think she might have BPD. It is possible to have BPD and NPD. Where she mentions about being able to figure out what to say or do to “destroy the individual in front of me” is something that several personality disorders have, the ability to find what makes a person tick and their fears and exploit them is what makes people with NPD such good manipulators. They know the buttons to press. This is also true of sociopaths. I don’t think she’s a sociopath, because I think she does love her kids, as much as she is able to, in her own sick twisted way. She just doesn’t have the ability to empathize or care beyond how it affects her and her feelings.

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.