Don’t want to take responsibility? Get amnesia!

forgiveHi everyone! Sorry it has been so long since my last post. We had a rough time over the holiday break when Harley was visiting. I started a blog post but never finished it, I will get it finished soon and post it. Things have been quite on the narcissist front. Cruella seems to have gotten busy with her life. Right before New Year’s she showed up at the house, unannounced and certainly uninvited, and managed to surprise Sebastian when he was out taking the Christmas lights down. We had our lawyer send her a letter stating that she was not to come to our home and if she did we would call the police and his letter would serve as proof she knew that she was not to come here. After that, she got quiet. No angry emails, no phone calls or texts, a week or two ago I started getting kind of anxious. It has been long enough that you start to feel like maybe everything will be normal and we can all move on with our lives but if you have a narcissist or a sociopath in your life, you know that’s not how it works. They strike when you least expect it, and it is never over.

mjaxmi0yotkxzdc2ztu5nwy2ztdlBruce just had his birthday and of course there was nothing from Cruella – no call, no card, of course no present. She claimed that she was going to get him a Christmas gift but it never showed up. No surprise there, that would mean spending her money on someone besides herself. Because we are all from the same area, we have a lot of mutual acquaintances. I think I have mentioned before, she never bothered to unfriend many of Sebastian’s relatives on facebook, I was shocked to learn that she’s still facebook friends with his lawyer! So we do hear things from various people. On Bruce’s birthday, a friend sent me a picture of what Cruella had posted, a bunch of pictures of him and things like “If you are ever free to be in my life again, I pray that you break free…” making it sound like we are keeping Bruce from her which of course we are not but she loves playing the sad, abused ex. Bruce had recently become facebook friends with her, not that he uses it much because teenagers all seem to think it’s lame, but I mentioned it to him and he looked at it. In hindsight, maybe I should not have said anything because it made him angry.

After a couple weeks of stewing, he decided that he would send Cruella an email trying to explain yet again why he is not in her life – it is not that Sebastian is keeping him from seeing her, he is still angry that she lied about having cancer and told him she hated him since he was a young child. Pretty blatant things! Today he received 4 email responses, for some reason she always sends multiple rambling messages, I’m not sure if it’s an attempt to throw him off or if she just likes to hear herself talk or both. The kicker to 4 very long emails, in addition to saying she refuses to discuss Sebastian and then badmouthing Sebastian, was to say that she’s sure that she’s sorry for doing the things that Bruce says that she did but she has no memory of any of it because she has lost her memory. Let that one sink in. She says basically the last two years “are all dark” except of course things Sebastian has “done to her” that she somehow remembers when everything else is “a complete blank.” She says “Harley told me that I was very out of line so I believe her, I can’t apologize for specific things because I don’t know what they were and I don’t even have that email address anymore so I can’t go back and read the emails.”

That’s a new one for me. I guess nothing should surprise me. It’s like a normal brain can’t possibly comprehend how a narcissist’s brain works. Never in a million years would I have guessed that she was going to try to avoid responsibility by claiming to have amnesia. I guess we are living in a daytime soap. Maybe she lost her memory when she was being held in a dungeon by Sebastian’s evil twin! Seriously, I am just so WTF.

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When you cut off your mom, society judges you

1811496873-9771dd3f7fe1e6c3e27417e1ce971207As I mentioned in a previous post since Cruella has returned to our state, she has been trying more and more to force Bruce to interact with her. Sebastian and I have always respected Bruce as a human being, and allowed him to make his own decision on contact with his mother. As I said last weekend as we were discussing it out on the back deck, Cruella makes snide statements to Sebastian like “You would think a good father would want his son to have a relationship with his mother,” but truthfully, a good parents protects his/her child, even if it is from the other parent. Bruce will be in college next year, (he’s graduating high school a year early) he’s basically grown. Bruce sent Cruella a pleasant, calm reply on “Our family wizard” which she has not responded to, unsurprisingly, because he upheld his boundaries. What is tough is that when you make the decision to cut off a parent, especially a mother, society typically judges you for it. They ask what is wrong with you, not what she did to deserve it, because we have a damaging view of motherhood in our society, that says that all mothers love and they don’t all love their children.

One of the best, most validating blogs I have found is another one on PsychCentral called Knotted, the Mother-Daughter Relationship” by Peg Streep. In her post “Toxic Mom? Going No Contact? 5 Things You Must Realize” Peg talks about how society doesn’t accept that mothers can be unloving:

“Culturally, we are sympathetic when a mother cuts a daughter out of her life because we assume the mother has done her very best and left no stone unturned to salvage the relationship, and we sigh with sympathy. People say, “It’s a pity but some kids just turn out bad, no matter how hard you try.”

No such leeway is ever granted to a child who initiates the break. Why is that? My guess is that people so want to believe in one kind of love that’s immutable—a mother’s love—in a world where love is hard to find and harder to hang on to, that the story of the unloving mother is personally threatening. That’s why they don’t want to hear you out.” [emphasis is the author’s]

tumblr_nf8w5q5fxc1r5wmgdo1_500 Please visit the article to read the whole thing, it’s very insightful. Peg shares her own experience with cutting off her toxic mother. I’m proud of how well Bruce has stuck to his boundaries. As I told Sebastian, I gave my own mother chance after chance, for 30 years, to hurt me over and over, believing – even though she never apologized – that when she was nice to me that it was for good. Of course, like every abusive pattern the “honeymoon” phase never lasted and before too long she would be saying horrible things to me, tearing me down, emotionally abusing me, then gaslighting me, saying she had never said or done those things if I even bothered to confront her. I’m ashamed of how many times I opened myself up to her negativity and criticism, because I wanted so desperately for her to love me in the way that society tells you a mother should love. I felt that there was something wrong with me for so many years. I never had the strength that he has at the age of 16. I expected that when she showed up at the school event, he would cave, as I did to my own mother so many times. I am glad for him that he didn’t. Years of dashed hopes have left wounds that I know will never heal. I hope for him that he doesn’t begin a cycle with his mother like I had with mine. I’m glad he’s not second-guessing himself, one of the things that Peg talks about in her article and something I know I did way too many times.

I guess that we are able to do is what we are already doing – supporting him, believing him, not shaming him for protecting himself, and listening when he needs to vent. I wish that we could do more but at the same time, I wish I had anyone that would have validated my feelings back when I was a teenager! Maybe I wouldn’t have been lost for so many years.

Narcissistic Mother Quiz

I found this survey, “Are You a Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother? Take This Brief Survey to Find Out” and sent it to Bruce. He took it, and got 28/33. It is by Karyl McBride, the author of the book “Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing The Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers.”
Here are the questions:

good-enough-book-cover-290x441(Check all those that apply to your relationship with your mother)

1. When you discuss your life issues with your mother, does she divert the discussion to talk about herself?

2. When you discuss your feelings with your mother, does she try to top the feeling with her own?

3. Does your mother act jealous of you?

4. Does your mother lack empathy for your feelings?

5. Does your mother only support those things you do that reflect on her as a “good mother”?

6. Have you consistently felt a lack of emotional closeness with your mother?

7. Have you consistently questioned whether or not your mother likes you or loves you?

8. Does your mother only do things for you when others can see?

9. When something happens in your life (accident, illness, divorce) does your mother react with how it will affect her rather than how you feel?

10. Is or was your mother overly conscious of what others think (neighbors, friends, family, co-workers)?

11. Does your mother deny her own feelings?

12. Does your mother blame things on you or others rather than own responsibility for her feelings or actions?

13. Is or was your mother hurt easily and then carried a grudge for a long time without resolving the problem?

14. Do you feel you were a slave to your mother?

15. Do you feel you were responsible for your mother’s ailments or sickness (headaches, stress, illness)?

16. Did you have to take care of your mother’s physical needs as a child?

17. Do you feel unaccepted by your mother?

18. Do you feel your mother was critical of you?

19. Do you feel helpless in the presence of your mother?

20. Are you shamed often by your mother?

21. Do you feel your mother knows the real you?

22. Does your mother act like the world should revolve around her?

23. Do you find it difficult to be a separate person from your mother?

24. Does your mother appear phony to you?

25. Does your mother want to control your choices?

26. Does your mother swing from egotistical to a depressed mood?

27. Did you feel you had to take care of your mother’s emotional needs as a child?

28. Do you feel manipulated in the presence of your mother?

29. Do you feel valued by mother for what you do rather than who you are?

30. Is your mother controlling, acting like a victim or martyr?

31. Does your mother make you act different from how you really feel?

32. Does your mother compete with you?

33. Does your mother always have to have things her way?

Note: All of these questions relate to narcissistic traits. The more questions you checked, the more likely your mother has narcissistic traits and this has caused some difficulty for you as a growing daughter and adult.

What freaks me out, is that I score 24/33 when thinking about my relationship with my own mother. Cruella is undeniably narcissistic and probably borderline, and Bruce only scores four more points than I do. I’m struggling with what that means. I guess that my mother has narcissistic behaviors at the very least… I wonder if that’s why I identify with Harley, and to a lesser extent Bruce, so much. Harley and I do have a lot of things in common, like loving Hello Kitty, liking similar music, both really loving horror movies, never having a very “girly” style but more of an edgier style, but I am wondering now if more and more I’m not seeing how her sense of self is being strangled by her narcissistic mother and she’s rebelling against it. I always felt rejected by my mother, just as any narcissist is rejecting if you will not conform to their ideals and be their source of narcissistic supply.

Over the years I have had to learn to set really strong boundaries, because we had a very abusive cycle. She would hurt me, because of being critical or dismissive or completely invalidating my feelings; I would withdraw; after a time she would reach out to me, acting as though nothing happened, never apologizing, but being nice and loving; I would let my guard down; things would go well for a little while but then she would hurt me, being critical or dismissive or completely invalidating my feelings; so I would withdraw…

That went on for like 32 years.

Every time she came back and was nice to me, I was happy. She would act the way I wanted her to act and it would feel good, to be welcomed and not rejected. I would always let my guard down and then be completely surprised when she clobbered me, even though it had happened dozens and dozens of times. I struggled with self-esteem and feeling like I didn’t deserve to be loved, and on many levels I knew it was because of my volatile relationship with my mother, but I never thought that she might be a narcissist. Although, seeing it in black and white, I wonder how it took me so long to figure it out!! It’s really tough to have something like that dawn on you. It makes it even harder to accept that we cannot protect Harley from Cruella, that she too will probably grow up feeling like she’s not lovable, that she’s not good enough and can never be, no matter how hard she tries. It’s so, so heartbreaking.

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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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.

Family roles and narcissism

via Narcissistic Parents — Blog of a Mad Black Woman

I HAD to reblog this when I saw it. This is exactly what is happening with Harley! She is becoming more and more like her mother. It’s so heartbreaking to watch. She talks to Sebastian like her mother talks to him, she yells at him, even though he is the parent and she is twelve years old. She is dismissive of the feelings of everyone else around her, in the exact same way her mom is. She will be charming and manipulative if she wants something from you but will show her true colors eventually – especially if she does not get what she want.

As I mentioned the other day, she called us after she had moved, demanding to know where her birthday presents were, and then telling Sebastian he hadn’t tried hard enough to find her address – never mind that he had been asking Cruella and Harley and they both refused to even tell him what STATE they were in. In Harley’s mind, which has been twisted by being raised by a narcissist, she shouldn’t have to tell her father her address – if he loved her he would’ve found it and sent her presents. He’s just lazy or stupid for not using “the app that you put in someone’s name and it gives you their address.” Which I’m fairly certain there’s no app that you can put in a (then) 11 year old girl’s name into and get her address, what would it be called “Pedophile helper”?!?!?

I don’t know a lot about family roles (scapegoat, golden child) but I want to read and learn more about them. I know for sure Harley is the golden child and also the conformer, and Bruce is the scapegoat, but I don’t know a lot of other stuff about it. One thing I do know though, is that if Harley continues to become more and more self-centered and narcissistic, she will probably start prioritizing herself over her mom and THAT will be a huge deal for Cruella. Then we will end up with an angry, narcissistic, out of control 16 year old that hates us living in our house, my worst nightmare!! 😦

 

It took a day to hit me…

I have come to love PsychCentral, as you may see from some of my posts. I was reading the latest post on “Knotted the mother and daughter relationship” by Peg Streep. The post is 4 questions every child of an unloving mother asks. It is definitely worth a read, I love that whole blog! The 4 questions are: Why doesn’t my mother love me? Will my mother ever love me? What can I do to make my mother love me? and Will anyone ever love me?
lonely-unloved-ignored That’s when it hit me. A line from The Letter: “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.”

The irony is, I’m sure, lost on Cruella, that she is trying to ask for understanding, she was angry and abusive because she was never loved, in a letter where she tells her son she has hated him and resents him.

  Holy crap. “The people who were supposed to love me never did.” Does it make it ok that she says she loved him until he grew up enough to have a personality? Do those two or so years matter enough that the next 15 shouldn’t? That’s the self-focus and self centeredness of the narcissist. She excuses not loving her son by saying she was never loved. Isn’t it a shame she didn’t break that pattern? She says throughout The Letter that she loves him, but she can’t love him and hate and resent him all at the same time. Parents are supposed to protect their children. What does a child do when the person they need protecting from the most is a parent..? 😦

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.

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.

Update, fall 2016

Much has happened since my last post, which was supposed to be published in July 2015. I want to give as much info as possible before I start getting into details because a LOT has changed!

  • Bruce has not seen or talked to Cruella in almost a year, since she sent him a letter that was supposed to be an apology but spent about eight pages saying in a lot of different ways that she “has hated him since the time he was two years old because he loved his father and she hated his father so much that she couldn’t love Bruce if he loved Sebastian.” I’ve read and heard about some pretty awful stuff but to tell your child you hate them and have pretty much all their life is a new low. It’s right down there with lying and telling your child you have cancer when you don’t I guess.
  • Since we are now married, Sebastian, Bruce and I all live together in a new house. In spite of the drama, most of the control Cruella has over us only comes in the form of worrying about Bruce or when I get angry because of how she is hurting Bruce and/or Sebastian.
  • We have spent over $12,000 in legal fees and lawyer bills to do absolutely nothing and nothing has changed really. Sebastian has full physical custody of Bruce and Cruella has full physical custody of Harley, and they still both have joint legal custody.
  • Cruella moved for the THIRD time in three years, putting Harley in yet another school/city/state. Only this time, Cruella decided to pretend she had not moved and told Harley to lie to Sebastian. A lot of time, heartache, and expense went into finding where they are now, which turns out to be 2 hours away. She had to move back to her hometown and in with her parents.
  • Cruella has made it a point to let me know she is still cyber-stalking me, classic narcissistic abuse, she “likes” things I post on Pinterest so I can see that she is looking at my stuff. It makes me very happy I made this blog anonymous. However, her being only 2 hours away worries me that the stalking might escalate to physical, in-person stalking. She also told Harley to mention a trip we recently took that I documented on Instagram, so that we know she also monitors my instagram. I refuse to be driven off social media however, so I’ve started posting things on a delay in case she tries to find us based on those posts. Sort of like celebrities have to do!
  • Cruella hacked into Sebastian’s email and then blamed it on Harley. Luckily no damage was done.
  • Harley has been lying to Sebastian pretty much non-stop. It’s hard to tell what her mother is telling her to say or do and what she comes up with on her own. She is still a kid, but I’m sure that seeing the narcissistic behavior is teaching Harley that it’s “normal” to act the way her mother acts. She has told Bruce she thinks it is “stupid” that he doesn’t want to see their mom. She told her dad that he didn’t try hard enough to find her address because when they moved and refused to say where they were, he could have just gotten an app that you put in someone’s name and it gives you their address. So it was his fault he couldn’t find her, not her mom’s fault for refusing to say where they were or her fault for lying and saying they hadn’t moved. Typical narcissistic behavior which is really scary coming from a kid.

I know it breaks Sebastian’s heart to know that his daughter might grow up to be a narcissist just like her mom, because she doesn’t know any other way to be. As you can imagine, Cruella’s family is pretty sick too, so Harley isn’t getting any other positive behavior to mirror even though they’re living with other people. I’ll be talking about some of this stuff in more detail, I just wanted to give an update since so much time had passed.