Post by Alice:
The problem with being involved with a narcissist is that their emotional and mental abuse is very hard to prove. It takes years of documentation – tracking their manipulation and inconsistencies – but we are almost there! Narcissists are experts at manipulating information, time frames, and words, and using one’s rationality for their own subversive means. They almost seem sophisticated because they use the right jargon and they play the systems well.
You hear your own arguments coming back at you; only decontextualised and warped in some way or another. You find yourself living in a surrealist world where everything is askew, with parameters and boundaries constantly shifting and then being redefined to meet the narcissist’s requirements. Hence, my user name – Alice – here I am, living in a topsy-turvy world.
I am a mum of three kids – S12, D11, D8 who live with me full-time – their father is on the other side of the world. I have been in a relationship with my partner for three and a half years. Both our marriages broke up in 2003 and we spent nearly three years alone in our respective arrangements – me with my three in sole custody and him with his two “sharing 50/50 time” with his ex-wife – a private arrangement. We met in late 2005 and spent a year in each other’s company before deciding to set up a new kind of normal and live together.
However – we have been up to our necks in litigation with his ex over his two kids S12 and D8, ever since our relationship began, and although it has been an extremely stressful time we are hanging on because there is a simpatico, an empathy that we both share that neither of us has found with anyone else.
Why the litigation?
According to the narcissist’s affidavits it was “three years of successful co-parenting” until I came along. The narcissist, henceforth known as FF, painted a picture of amicable relations with my now partner and the co-parenting of the two kids.
Interestingly enough, when I met my now partner he described the situation as ‘superficially amicable’, that is, as long as he did what she demanded, paid whatever she wanted (and boy, did she really push the wallet on that one), and generally bowed and scraped and didn’t rock the boat for his then 50% custody, things were tolerable for him as a single male. He stated that he was envious of my position!!!
As the relationship developed, I started to realise what a tangled web that he lived within. FF would call him at any time, and demand something of him, check that he had done things which were normal routine (like packing the kids lunches for school!), email him at times several times per day again over trivial matters, move custody arrangements regularly to suit her lifestyle (do I mention that she had an affair, blamed my partner for this, and then married this poor guy and yes, this relationship has now broken down)). We asked her to stop calling, to leave us to get on with our new lives, just back off – all to no avail.
We have been accused of child abuse, manipulators, ‘being on a crusade’…wow the abuse has been relentless. Any little request that we may have had, at times, we were afraid to ask because of the ‘difficulties’ that would come back.
We finally have found a solicitor who seems to understand what is happening. This is following a ‘Family assessment’ (psychologist) of both households (ours and FF’s), and although he alluded to her ‘difficult and over involved parenting’, he did not give her ‘a label’, which would help us in our court proceedings – why is it that diagnosis within the ‘personality disorder’ field are so cautiously avoided?
What is our message? Hang in there. It has taken just so much emotional energy, money and frustration, and although we are not through yet, we are on the brink. The web is starting to untangle, but it has taken FF to spin such a big web that it collapses in on itself – one can only lie and manipulate so much before it all falls in on itself.
I’m glad to have found this site. I knew we weren’t alone. I just wanted to let you know that although most NPD’s (narcissistic personality disorder) are male, there is a NPD female in our lives.The issue of NPD is often not spoken about – people are left to deal with their monsters in isolation. NPD is an ugly, scary disorder – so hard to pin the buggers down because they are on the surface seemingly so charming and likable.
Hold on to your sanity. You are not alone.