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.

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? 😦

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.

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.

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.

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. 😦

Parenting Fails – 50 Shades of Grey

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We found out last night that Sebastian’s ex-wife watched “50 Shades of Grey” with his fifteen year old son and ten year old daughter. Yes, the rated R, sexually explicit, BDSM film. Super appropriate, no? Remind me how he’s the bad parent?

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.