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Coparenting, Divorcing a Narc, Manipulation, Starting Over, Toxic Behaviors

LIFE POST DIVORCE

COPARENTING IS HARD
A narcissist has a special place in their toxic brain for Primary Supply Sources (PSS). As if living with a monster isn’t purgatory enough, if you’re coparenting they just love to mess with your parenting plan, manipulate the rules, miss child support payments, smear campaign you to student’s parents and teachers in your school, skip paying their share of childcare and will even let medical expenses lapse a year or more!”

The Bad Just Keeps Bubbling Up
I’ve mentioned how recovery from narcissistic abuse is a long and slow process, but it’s even more complicated when you are coparenting and still have to interface with your toxic ex. After being free for the last seven years, honestly, nothing surprises me anymore. The longer we are apart, the more bad comes to the surface.

Life with a narcissist post-breakup doesn’t mean the drama is over for those of us who were married and if we were wed a long time, the trail of drama will be a long one. Just think of what two decades of lies looks like. How these abusers can find the time to manage so many details and conceal their dirty facts and mess with you after leaving them-is almost super human! It’s even worse if we are coparents because there are so many fun ways to manipulate and push our buttons.

Learn Your Triggers
Narcissists NEVER change their approach with you. They just assume whatever worked with you when you were together will work with you now. You need to understand and know what triggers you, so you can react differently to their pokes and jabs.

Is it an insult to your character?
Calling you a certain name?
Telling the kids you’re an angry person?
Calling you fat?
Catching the narcissist in a lie?
Responding to a false panic the narcissist has created?

Anything that gets your heart beating faster and your blood boiling is a keen indicator you’ve just been triggered by the narcissist. Start journaling and record what situations are causing your triggers to fire. Then learn how to control them.

Don’t Take the Bait
A narcissist knows how to start something just to get a response or rise out of you. STAY CALM. Learn not to respond immediately, but let the narcissist simmer as they wait for your response. Wait an hour or longer if you can, until you are calm and had ample time to consider the facts and think about your response.

Remove All Emotion
The hardest lesson to learn with a narcissist is they enjoy being yelled at, called names, and your anger and spite as much as they enjoy being praised and adored. Let me repeat that. A narcissist loves your venom and anger. 

It’s a sick dynamic, but it’s a true one. A narcissist will pick a fight with you just to lap up the wonderful negative praise from the moment. Like a dog digging up a favorite bone from a secret burrow, a narcissist digs up old dirt and pokes at your old buttons to eat the supply you’re giving him like a Scooby Snack.

If you are not familiar with the term Gray Rock, you need to be. In a nutshell, it is like the concept of No Contact-but for those of us who have to deal with toxic exes. Gray Rock means, you make your life as boring and uninteresting as possible for the narcissist. You stay emotionless and about as exciting as rock. The plan is the narc will get bored messing with you and go play with another target.

Never Stop Documenting
I keep an online journal and record conversations and situations with our kids. Never stop documenting your interactions and life with the narcissist. Keep a detailed record of their manipulations with your kids, and their missteps and be ready should you ever have the need to repetition the courts for your children.

Coparenting is the Perfect Setup for Game Playing
As the empath in the relationship, you care deeply about your children and the narcissist knows this. The narc knows this is your ultimate panic button and this will be the primary area in your life the narc will mess with and manipulate the most. To coparent with a narcissist means you need to be ready for your A game. Do not give the narcissist the supply they crave. Do not take the bait and do not make them believe their schemes are hurting, bothering, or driving you crazy.

As in all things with minor children, their safety comes first. If the narc is abusing your children, placing them in harmful situations or neglecting them–you need to take action with the property authorities and courts to protect them. In my experience, my narc only ever attempted to manipulate minor situations to annoy and inconvenience me. 

Here are a few tricks they will play with your kids:
– Refusing to care for sick children
– Refusing to watch children for me to travel for work
– Allowing kids to eat junk food nonstop so they come back sick
– Skipping medication for a child who needs regular meds
– Allowing kids to stay up way past their bedtimes so they are tired when they return
– Allowing day-long gaming marathons on weekends (so kids can’t sleep later)
– Attending school meetings with counsellors to show up late then dominate the meeting
– Pretending to be a concerned parent with counsellors then switching the conversation to focus entirely on himself
– Taking kids to expensive doctors, urgent care, etc. not on your insurance plan and then refusing to pay his share of the doctor bill
– Signing kids up for expensive after school activities and not paying his share for uniforms, registration, etc.
– Refusing to pay childcare expenses
– Late with child support, skipping payments or scheduling payments so cash is deposited the last day of the month and funds don’t arrive until the first week of the following month (so your bills are late if you need their money)
– Working with your child on a big class project, then taking all the credit for it with teachers and staff
– Rehearsing and practicing for a school event, to have the narc show up like he’s been the one doing all the work and putting in the time with your child (not you)
– Admitting to not know a child’s doctor only to attend the appointment like he knew them for years
– Manipulating a child to not take or skip meds to convince the child they are unnecessary because having a child who needs meds reflects poorly on the narcissist (child isn’t perfect)
– Allowing children to watch adult movies and films the narc knows you will object to (Mine let my kids watch a show with a burlesque scene so my kids learned what strippers were!)
– Paying for clothing, shoes, winter gear for your children to have the narcissist store them up at their home and not return them
– Allowing children to play with dangerous tools, toys, or sporting gear (think shotguns, bows/arrows, etc.)

Set Healthy Boundaries
Narcissists know no boundaries. If you’ve been bullied or conned in the past to let the narcissist tear down or overcome your boundaries, this is not the time to cave. Coparenting absolutely must have safe boundaries with a narcissist. Your home, your life, your children must be surrounded by safe boundaries. The narcissist should NEVER be in your new home, should never know who you are with, know your new love, or have any intel about your new life. Boundaries with and about the kids must be clearly drawn.

Knowledge is Power
Learn how to be the stronger/better person in the situation. Understand what drives you crazy and learn to better deal with the situation. Establish strong boundaries and stick with them. Learn about coping strategies and how to apply Gray Rock strategies.

Cheating, Fuel Supply, Sex, Toxic Behaviors

HIGH-RISK SEXUAL BEHAVIOR

FUEL IS FUEL NO MATTER THE GENDER
If you were/are in a relationship with a narc and can’t understand why they’re constantly flirting with members of the same sex. It’s because all women and men are viewed as a potential fuel source victims/targets. The narc may also be gender fluid, which means the narc doesn’t identify male or female. This gender fluidity makes it convenient for them to take fuel from whomever they can–without shame, guilt or dealing with the confusing consequences it creates for their spouses or partners.”

The Non-Binary Abuser
The term non-binary means a man or woman does not identify as being attracted to sexually to a specific gender. Many extreme narcissists on the spectrum can fall into this category. An extreme narcissist is entitled to do, think, feel or say whatever he pleases. The world is simply here to cater to his every whim and desire. Outwardly the narc may say and express gender identity (often heterosexuality), but it is a ruse to conceal the true sexuality of the narcissist. Being gender fluid means more human flesh the narc can consume over a lifetime. Each victim is another notch on a belt of delicious conquests. Each holds a special a mental and physical portion the narcissist consumes again-and-again for years to come in that twisted and toxic mind.

The World is Their Buffet
I’ve written in the past how sex is the ultimate source of fuel and gives the narc the perfect setup to get either positive or negative supply. When given the chance, a narc will seduce any given number of people, of any sex, race or culture to ensure a constant supply of positive or negative praise they must devour from people.

They don’t care about “whom” they are sleeping with (most relationships will involve a sexual encounter at some point) as much as when they can get their fix. I’ve even read studies the narcissist may not even climax, nor is that their aim. Instead, the sexual act is about the narcissist being in full power and control. Yes you read that correctly. The narc gets a bigger thrill from the power trip than the orgasm created by the sexual act itself!

Non-Stop Feedback is as Essential as Breathing
A true narcissist needs a constant flow of positive or negative praise to function. Ignoring a narcissist is pure death in its most evil form. They must constantly be the center of someone’s world or tearing someone’s world apart. It is as essential to their existence as breathing. This need for continuous acknowledgement and attention is what is referred to as narcissistic fuel supply. Taking positive/negative feedback is like a drug addict needing another hit. They simply can’t function or live without it.

You Are Meat to the Narc
To become fuel means the human form is nothing more than something to be used and consumed. The narcissist slyly traverses his relationship with his spouse or long-term partner by keeping them off the trail through a web of elaborate lies. The primary partner is mostly a cover for the truly vile activities the narcissist is up to. While deceiving a primary partner and outwardly appearing to be a fine husband (or wife), the narcissist is carrying on with a number of lovers or fan club of both sexes on the side. All while lapping the the pleasure it gives him to be so clever in deceiving the kind person he’s married to or in a committed relationship. He also enjoys and takes satisfaction in having his other lovers clamoring for his sexual attention. He may even go as far as to triangulate them in public to make them openly compete for his affection.

No matter your status in the relationship with the narcissist, all lovers are nothing more than a meal. A piece of meat on platter to the narc. The narc feels nothing and cares nothing for anyone. Love is a display of weakness. Compassion is for the simple minded. To manipulate, control, conquer, intellectually outwit and callously play with multiple human puppets–is a genius only an experienced extreme narcissist can accomplish. The narc’s only thought and focus is where and by whom the fuel need will be met.

Protect Yourself
If leaving your narcissist is something you can’t do or aren’t ready to do now, you need to know the narcissist’s sexual deviance is a large risk to your health. I would recommend taking precautions to protect yourself immediately. Narcs are not known for having protected sex because it reduces their own sexual pleasure or is an awkward interruption to their bedroom performance. Research has also shown they are not compelled to have protected sex even if they are sexually involved with multiple partners.

Whomever the narcissist is having sex with, you are having sex with too. Refuse to be intimate unless he wears a condom and only have protected sex if you suspect your narcissist is having sexual affairs outside your relationship. I also recommend regularly testing for a full panel of sexually transmitted diseases. Many former spouses and long-term victims have been given HPV, vaginal infections, or worse! Get tested if you’re unsure (see links below in the US).

https://www.mylabbox.com/
https://www.privateidna.com/
https://www.everlywell.com/products/

Divorcing a Narc, Healing, Rebuilding, Starting Over

REBUILDING AFTER THE BREAKUP

GET RID OF THE KEEPSAKES
The abuser who once controlled everything is gone. Remove anything that reminds you of your past. Start with a clean slate. Decorate your new home the way you always wanted. You are free now to do whatever makes you happy.”

I’m a handy girl, a fixer-upper who knows how to wire fixtures, fix leaky faucets and paint like a pro. I’m fearless when it comes to decorating. Love art. Love color. Love textures and textiles. Getting a place of my own was absolutely pure bliss after I was free from my toxic ex.

My narc had OCD about our former home together. I had to ask permission to put holes in the walls to hang pictures! Now I hang whatever I want, where I want–and it is absolutely wonderful!

Pitch Keepsakes
The narc will be watching what you take with you in your new life. If you still have contact and are coparenting, the narc will notice if you keep old photos, your wedding dress or a favorite art collection. To the narcissist, it means you are still emotionally attached and that spells an opportunity for you to be Hoovered and suckered back into the relationship you left. It’s best to pitch anything that reminds you of your past with the narcissist.

Light it Up and Let it Go
Some victims find it to be a great release to pile all the keepsakes into a fire pit and watching their past go up in flames. I burned the wedding albums, pawned my diamond, and donated my wedding dress to charity. I tossed art we purchased together in a giant dumpster and threw the wedding china off the back deck to watch it shatter into a million pieces! I felt incredible afterward. Not one wedding photo (or photo of my ex) can be found in my new home today because my new life is no longer about the narcissist. My new life is about peace, happiness, joy and parenting my children on my terms. Living life in the daily moments that make life worth living.

So what are you waiting for? Here are some tips on what to purge.

Set the Right Tone for Your New Life
What you bring into your new home or apartment makes a big difference in making your new place feel warm and welcoming after your toxic breakup. Purge the things that don’t bring you absolute happiness and joy. If you choose to keep an item, switch it up, paint it, or use it in a new way.

Your New Home Should Reflect What You Love
If you love color, PAINT a wall a gorgeously bright or rich color (you can always repaint it if you decided you don’t want it forever). If you’ve always loved shag rugs, BUY one. Do whatever you need to do to build a new home for yourself that makes it feel special and place you want to live and laugh in.

You will find a fun, eclectic collection of art, glass, and paintings in my home. Antiques with new things. Contemporary meets french traditional. Comfy furniture. Soft lighting. You won’t find anything with my ex’s face, any marital mementos, or any objects from my former life. Everything was purged in my departure. That is freedom!

 

 

 

 

Leaving, Manipulation, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Toxic Behaviors

MURDER AND A VIOLENT NARC

A CONCERNING PATTERN
This news story is from a murder/suicide in Utah. A man in his late 30s lied about his age and felony background to college senior,  Lauren McClusky. She found out and ended the relationship. That’s when he turned ugly. Locking herself in her dorm, he attempted to bait her from campus and extorted $1,000 from her to keep sexual photos of her from flooding the internet and tarnishing her track career. He eventually lured her out (having a friend pose as a campus officer) and shot her in the back seat of her own car. THEN proceeded to have another women he met online pick him up from the murder scene to take her on a date! Heartless doesn’t even come close.”

HG Tudor has written about how extreme psychopaths view others as “meat on a hook” or their puppets on a string, but this just got me riled. He’s also written about how extreme malignant narcissists use sex to lure/trap victims and gather blackmail material to further entrap and abuse victims during the devaluation or fury stage. Our killer sounds like a man with experience in targeting and blackmailing women-and his friends were in on the take. I just wonder how many more victims there were before this.

It takes a special mind to kill in cold blood and act like it’s just another ordinary day. If history teaches us anything, it’s that it repeats itself. So how many women have to die before we build a better system to listen, serve and protect victims?! The police failed her. She didn’t have to die.

Let’s Review the Red Flags:
1) Zero remorse. Zero compassion. Extortion. Emotional and physical abuse.

2) He already moved on to his next supply source. He was so calm, he immediately went on another date after killing a young woman without any care in the world!

3) He was dating online. HG Tudor is also very honest about online dating sites and how narcs troll for victims there.

4) He gathered/used blackmail material during the love bombing/infatuation stage.

5) He felt nothing during the devaluation stage (her murder) and simply moved on.

6) His “flying monkeys” were in on his schemes and even helped him lure this woman to her fatal confrontation with him.

Read More Here:
https://www-m.cnn.com/…/26/us/utah-student-kill…/index.html…

Evil, Manipulation, Physical Abuse, Toxic Behaviors

EVIL SCHEMES

A NARCISSIST INFLICTS COVERT PAIN
When my malignant narcissist realized I wouldn’t receive any inheritance for forty years, he became focused on acquiring multi million dollar life insurance policies. Then things began to get strange. A carbon monoxide incident happened, he put me thru extreme emotional strain, and pressed me for sex after a hysterectomy. I started questioning every interaction with him. Was I ever safe? When the plots to hurt me failed, he resorted to open threats and ramped up the violence. He was furious when I finally fled with our kids.”

The Love Bombed Target (1993)
I met my ex when I attended college as an undergraduate. A chance meeting through another friend, he love bombed me to the point I felt I was living in a fairytale dream. He was so polite, considerate, sweet, brought me flowers all the time and enjoyed doing ALL the things I enjoyed doing. I thought I had met my prince charming.

Six months into our dating relationship, he triangulated me by inviting a woman he had a romantic affair with overseas to the stay with us in the US. For weeks he flaunted her in my face. Then he took a job out of state and left me to care for our apartment in our hometown four states away. Before he left for his internship, he left photos of this woman on the walls in our bedroom (just another way to rub salt into the wound). I was a virgin when I met him and he was the only lover I knew. Growing up with strict Christian grandparents, I was taught you marry the man you give your virginity to. . .so I clung to that monster like he was the man I was intended to be with for my lifetime.

A few months later he asked me to marry him in the most unromantic and insincere proposal. Like an idiot, I let him get away with it and accepted (with a ring I paid my grandmother for). The wedding went by quickly and soon after, the love bombing stopped and I felt like the sky had fallen out of my ceiling.

The Mask Came Off (1996)
What used to be sweet, sweet language of love and passion–changed to words of hate, shame, and disgust. I was too fat, too thin, too pretty, too ugly, stupid, boring and he just couldn’t stand me. Again, falling back into my “good Christian wife” routine: I refused to let my new marriage collapse or give up without “fixing” what was wrong. So, I focused on changing the things that annoyed him. I lost weight, rose to the head of my college, and decided to spice things up in the bedroom because I was so inexperienced.

Years drug on and I was living a rollercoaster life with a man I barely knew. I knew only the persona he created. He played the role of “husband” people knew outside our home, and I loved that fake husband personality so much, I would have given anything to have him be that man privately behind closed doors. That good/fake husband only existed in public. Only came out around friends, family, clients, and people he wanted to impress. The real husband was something much more sinister. The real husband secretly hated women and his personal mission was to make me suffer for the women who inflicted pain in his life before me (his mother, ex girlfriend in high school, ex fiancee in college, etc.). He was like living with a darker version of Jekyll and Hyde. . only the man I ever got was the psycho.

The Obsession with Life Insurance (1997-2000)
I am the daughter of a wealthier family in the midwest. We’re no Rockefellers’ by any means, but in the small county where I grew up, we had significant assets. I believe I was love bombed by my ex because he got wind my family had money. I believe he married me because he believed I would inherit money during our marriage and he could exploit me to use my fortune as he saw fit. What he didn’t know is I wouldn’t receive anything until I was in my 60s. When he realized that his plan failed, he became obsessed with life insurance and insisted we both get $1M+ policies to protect each other “if anything should happen”.

Reproductive Illness and Countless Procedures (2003-2007)
Flat broke (and with me making more money a year than him), we purchased a little fixer upper bungalow in a historic part of town. It needed some work, but nothing a man trained in construction couldn’t handle. We lived in the home for nearly 10 years and I lived with that man constantly tearing me down, building me up, then tearing me down again. He sabotaged work events, my volunteer activities, and derailed and tore down everything that was a threat to him as a man. In 2003, I became ill, was in extraordinary pain, and couldn’t eat.

In 2004, I learned I had a reproductive disorder that behaved like cancer and treatment took nearly three years and meant living through excruciating pain. He was my caregiver after a surgery that left me hospitalized for over a week and home recovering for nearly a month! And he was abusive and brutal.

Covert CO Poisoning During My First Pregnancy (2007)
After completing therapy, I was sick and in pain again. My doctor was ready to go back for surgery, but insisted I take a pregnancy test before scheduling the procedure. A less than 10% chance of ever having children, I believed the test was a cruel joke–but it turned out I was pregnant.

My pregnancy was the most wonderful time of my life, but my ex was not on board. He HATED I was pregnant. Hated I was getting all sorts of attention from friends and family and he wasn’t the center of their attention and adoration. He ignored the pregnancy most of the time and I worked/traveled until my 7th month (until my doctor threatened to put me on bed rest). I remember calling him from my hotel the night I felt our baby move. He simply responded, “That’s nice. I gotta go. I’m busy.”. I now know he was busy with the affair he was carrying on. His latest source of narcissistic fuel (and there would be many more lovers to come).

We never replaced the furnace in the old home we purchased. In my third trimester I started to feel dizzy and lightheaded. I felt woozy when I got out of bed and kept smelling gas in the house. I reported all this to my ex, who ignored it. “I don’t smell anything.”, he would casually say. We would walk down to the furnace and there would be no smell. He’d declare I was crazy and give everything the all-clear.

A few weeks later I was in the basement doing laundry and smelled gas again. The dog was more sleepy than usual and our goldfish had died, but I knew I was smelling something off. One thing a pregnant woman has is an incredible sense of smell! This time I was determined to find where the smell was coming from. I followed it to the furnace and put my hand up to see if I could feel anything unusual. I could feel heat venting into the laundry room! I found the leak! I went upstairs to shut it off and called my ex. I was standing outside talking to the neighbor when he arrived. He called the furnace company and they promptly ran tests, declared I was lucky to be alive, then removed the old unit and threw it in a dumpster!

I don’t have proof, but I believe wholeheartedly that man tried to poison me and our unborn child with carbon monoxide. I believe he tampered with the vent pipe to have the furnace vent into our house when he was gone and fixed it when he was home (why we couldn’t smell gas when we went down to check it together). When he saw me talking to our neighbor, he was forced to deal with the situation because I had mentioned it to someone outside our home (if he didn’t fix it they would know something was up). I believe his plan was to quietly make us sick so he could collect on a large life insurance policy he was so adamant we have years before. He was simply waiting for the right time to set the perfect plot and collect.

Extreme Emotional Strain Post-Surgery (2010)
A few years went by and we purchased a newer home, another fixer upper that needed tons of work. We hired my twenty-something cousin to watch our kids (we now had a baby daughter) while we worked on the house during the day. I was now a stay-at-home mom (our son has Autism and required a lot of therapy, etc. that made it challenging to work and manage his needs). My ex and I worked on our new home during the day and went home to our babies at night. My cousin slept in the basement of the new home (because it was supposedly free of mold).

For months I would go home to our babies, while he stayed behind to greet my cousin and work later on the house. Were they having an affair? I believe so and our living arrangement gave him the perfect setup to triangulate me with a younger family member he was having an affair with. While we were working on our home, I started feeling ill again and my pain had returned as strong as before.

We finished the house, my cousin moved out and we had a German exchange student move in with us the following fall. I went in for a hysterectomy and another procedure and was hospitalized when she arrived. My ex visited the hospital once during my procedure. . .to the extent the nurses asked me if we were separated! When I returned home to recover, I was taking some pretty serious medications and was still wearing a catheter. My ex had his mother come and stay and during that time, she completely ignored any of the scheduling needs and routines for my Autistic son. I could hear him having tantrums and sensory breakdowns through my bedroom door–while she scolded him for being naughty. It reached a place where I could hear her being cruel and I forced myself out of bed to confront her. My ex was home and got wind of the conversation and made me out to be the bad guy. Grabbed my arm so hard he left a bruise, and drug me to the front room. Proceeded to scream at me and how nasty of a person I was and told me to get upstairs and back to bed before he made me.

For weeks while I was taking meds, my ex told him how crazy I was, how easy things would be if I just wasn’t around. How horrible I was and how he hated me. How I starved him of sex during all my procedures and he was getting ready to find it somewhere else. As I started feeling better, I invited him to have sex while still taking pain meds. He’d leave and say cruel things, like “That was such a waste of my time,” then slam the door behind him. One day he left the bedroom and said, “Remember to take your pills”. It was then I realized he was pushing my fragile state to make me feel hopeless so I would voluntarily overdose on my medications. I was more determined than ever to get well and get out of that bed. While recovering, I plotted my exit strategy to leave that monster for good.

Increased Aggression & Violence Ramp Up (2010-2011)
Three months before I finally left, my ex approached me in our kitchen and said the following words to me in the coldest manner, “I fucking hate you. I want to beat your ugly fucking face in.” I was shocked, but I collected myself. I knew things had escalated to the point of no return for me. I told him he needed to think about what he just said, kicked him out of my kitchen, and told him he better have an answer for me in the morning. When I approached him the next morning and asked what that comment was about last night, he said matter-of-factly,”I dunno. You had just pissed me off and I was mad at you.”. I realized then, I needed to speed up my departure and get me and our kids out of there and free from the man who was getting more and more violent with our Autistic son.

We Fled Quickly
I left my ex. Left him without giving him a chance to devalue and discard me because the safety of myself and our children was at stake. When a psychopath tells you he wants to hurt you without feeling an ounce of guilt or remorse for it, it’s a big clue he’s ready to act on his words. . .but in hindsight, I believe my ex had been planning a more sinister demise for me years into our relationship. Sometimes looking back, I wonder how I ever survived my marriage. I believe I narrowly escaped plot-after-plot.

I don’t have proof of his plans or attempts (it is incredibly difficult to track a covert narc’s underhanded schemes), but knowing what I know today. . .I sometimes lose sleep wondering what else he attempted when I was oblivious to his schemes. Perhaps the times I had the flu wasn’t really the flu at all. What if he had been successful? What if I had given up tracking the source of the gas smell in our house?

Are you are in a similar situation? Stop ignoring the red flags and go! Run far and run fast! Save yourself.

Control, Manipulation, Sex, Sexual Abuse

SEXUAL ABUSE

MY STORY WITH A NARCISSIST
I’ve really been thinking about this topic for some time. Narcs ease you into the perverse where sex becomes vile.”

A Narc Waiting to Pounce
I met my narc a few months before when I was 18. He was friend of one of my guy friends. We all talked about getting a place together and me moving out of the crazy home I was in. The narc gave me a key to his place, “If things get really bad, here’s a key. Just come stay here. Nobody will find you here.”. Things DID get bad at home.

Mom’s boyfriend beat me up in one of his rages. He threw me up over the kitchen counter, drug me by my hair into the living room, raised me me up by my arms and pushed me against the wall so he could raise me to eye level. I felt something warm and wet dripping from my right arm. In his fury, he pushed me up against a window air conditioner and cut my right arm. I knew what would come next if I didn’t get strong and brave. I’d seen him beat the tar out of my mom then close the bedroom door. I got brave! I told him to put me down or I was calling the cops. He wouldn’t touch me, because if he did, my dad would have him thrown in jail in a heartbeat. He dropped me. I moved out the next day.

My narc LOVED feeling like my superhero and rescuer (we were just friends at this point). He ate up all that positive fuel I gave him by thanking him for the key to his place. He smiled the most delicious smile when he heard me retell the argument and how I got away to his apartment. He lapped up every word. I slept on his couch for week. My other friend was preparing to move out of his place and we were all looking at apartments together. Just before signing a lease, my other friend dropped out and decided he couldn’t afford to move out. Shrugging, I decided to follow thru with the plan of moving in with the narc (I often wonder if he talked our other friend out of moving in so he could have me alone and to himself).

We got one of the nastiest apartments I had ever lived in. Roach infested and a real dump! We had separate rooms, but he was love bombing me like crazy since day 1. He used being my room mate to gather intel on me. Learn about my likes/dislikes, hobbies, friends, what I loved to do. It wasn’t long before he was like my carbon copy: eating the same foods I enjoy, listening to the same music, watching the same TV shows, etc. He was a master at gathering fuel from everyone, and he wasn’t even that good looking.

When I first met my narc, he was a total geek! Long, greasy hair with coke bottle glasses, and clothes from the 1980s. He was a super dork. He asked me to give him a makeover and help him update his look and I kindly took him shopping because I couldn’t bare to be seen with a man/friend who looked like a hired hit man. He was also 25 when we met and in grad school.

The Relentless Narc
Months rolled on and he tried to seduce me, followed me to outings with my friends, until he had every single person convinced he was just the “nicest” guy. He was a wolf disguised in sheeps clothing. That summer, he invited a woman he met when he studied abroad the year before and took great pleasure in telling me how they met on a train and had sex in nearly every stop along the way. She arrived and he did everything possible to triangulate us. At first, I paid them no attention. I was busy with my job and own friends. They left for a week-long tour of the US and I waved them goodbye, finally happy to have the place to myself.

After he got back from his trip, he realized his game failed and ramped up the love bombing to a new level. Soon, he would be “just passing” my college as I got out of class or he was always hungry for the thing I wanted to eat.
In a narc’s world, a virgin is the ULTIMATE prize. We are on the top of the list like winning the lottery, because we are rare, pure and innocent in their eyes. I escaped years of harassment, only to end up with a man who was even more devious than the lot of them together.

We soon started dating after he attended a family reunion with me and family convinced me I should give him a chance (of course he charmed my family). He wasted no time triangulating me his ex love affair from overseas. He left her letters open on the table, her picture up on his walls, and continued to take her calls when we were dating. I should have known what he was up to then, but I had no experience dealing with someone like him before. Instead of telling him to piss off, I fell into the traps he set for me. Before I knew what happened, I agreed to marry him.

Marriage
I paid for my own wedding ring and the bastard didn’t even get down on one knee and refused when I asked him to do so. I let him get away with that sorry proposal and lapped it up as funny and unique. In a few months we were married. The night before the wedding, I was the one up doing wedding flowers and final preparations for our big day. Guess who went to bed?

Marriage to my ex narc was the ticket to have free reign over my mind, body and soul. That little gold band on my hand meant he had complete and total permission to do with me whatever he liked.

He was Verbally and Physically Abusive First
He didn’t start out sexually abusing me, he worked his way there. As a newlywed, it started with verbal attacks on my weight, my appearance, and who I was as a person. I was 19 then, a size 6, and under 110 pounds. People told me I looked like Julia Roberts because I had big curly, long hair like hers in Pretty Woman.

When he realized I would put up with his verbal abuse, he started getting handsy. Soft touch transitioned to rough touch. Soft sex transitioned to rough sex. Early in our relationship, sex felt different. He touched me, caressed me, touched me softly. He regressed to a physical language that became more dark, withdrawn, rough, and distant.

Our Intimacy Changed
In the 1990s online porn was a new thing. He and a guy friend lapped up every little video and watched it over and over again thru painfully SLOW AOL dialup connections. As the web got faster, so did the porn. They fed each other junk for nearly 10 years, by then, I didn’t even recognize the man who was in my bed anymore.

I felt intimacy was almost a form of punishment. He wasn’t happy until I felt either completely used or like his compliant sex bot. There was no communicating, little kindness or love in his touch–only a sexual act. I didn’t feel more connected to my spouse after sex, I felt physical pain. It wasn’t long before he started asking me to have sex with another man so he could “watch”, asked if I would have sex with another woman so he could see if I liked it, or if I would have a three-some. I said no to every request, until he asked to go to the sex store. That seemed tame compared to what he had been asking and other women I knew were already using toys with their husbands. Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to comply. He picked things off shelves he said that were for me, but were really for him and I survived it unscathed. It was a turning point to the end.

He Enjoyed Pain: Giving & Receiving
My ex narc liked pain so much, at one point, I took painkillers (left over from a surgery I had) to have sex with him. I dressed up in costumes until I realized he was trying to completely erode me in the bedroom. It got to the point he couldn’t climax unless hew as receiving high levels of pain. I refused to do things to further his pain that were risky, questionable and dangerous.

Sex Was About Control and Total Compliance
As a wife of a narc, he believed he was entitled to take whatever, however, whenever he wanted. I was just expected to participate and like everything. If I protested, he’d give me the cold shoulder, disappear or retreat to do whatever he was doing with his harem.
When he would then come back from his absence, he would use it as a way to push my boundaries. “If you want me, this time you have to do x for me.”. In hindsight, I complied to much more than I ever should. I stopped when I realized his sexual fetishes had evolved completely outside my comfort zone and his need for pain was impossible to provide. The day I reached the end was the day I locked myself in the bathroom, vomited, and showered for an hour–so grossed out and disgusted by what he wanted me to do that day.

He Was Always Pushing Boundaries
My ex narc was never satisfied with “normal” sexual experiences. His tastes had moved way beyond regular sex decades prior. He was constantly exploring how to push the edge. What new thing he could do to elevate his orgasm, or increase his pain threshold. I found him masturbating in my master closet in the dark. I turned the light to put away clothes and didn’t see him at first. He gave me quite a scare. When I looked down he had one of the heels of my favorite pair of shoes shoved up his bum. He wanted to be penetrated more than he penetrated me and after a long heart-to-heart with another girlfriend, I realized my ex was not quite right in the bedroom. You have to remember, he was the ONLY sexual partner I had ever known. I had no context to know if I was just the “prude” he kept telling me I was, or he was the one that was off.

He Was Cruel
The last day for me was when he came home during the kids’ nap time to get in a “nooner”. I was just expected to drop everything and rush up to the bedroom like it was the ONLY thing I wanted to do in the entire world at that particular moment, and just turn on desire like the greatest porn star. He constantly expected me to set aside his snide, cruel comments and pretend like I wanted and desired him, when all I wanted was to be left alone.

After he got what he wanted, he turned to me that day and said, “I can always count on you for a reset.” Looking confused, I asked what he meant. “Oh, I thought you would have figured this out by now. Sex with you is nothing more than a hard reset to shut off all the noise in my brain. I needed to concentrate and you were just what I needed to clear out the noise.” Wait, what?! My spouse just told me in the most cold, most matter-of-fact way that my body and our physical relationship was nothing more than a reset button for him! This wife was over and done. Within weeks I was making plans to divorce and leave him for good.

I Had to Relearn Intimacy Is About Feeling Loved
For half of my adult life, the broken, messed up physical life I had with my ex narc was all I had ever known about sex. It was such an emotional and physical drain. It wasn’t that pleasurable and always meant a demeaning and tearing down of myself. It was emotionless and lacked a personal connection or intimacy. My first (and second) sexual experience after my divorce, I literally cried. It didn’t hurt and it was kind, gentle and tender. My ex had never been like that with me, ever! I realized in that moment, my ex was so broken and there was nothing wrong with me. I learned that sex could be and should be enjoyable and even fun. Now in a committed relationship with a great person, intimacy is phenomenal and something we both absolutely look forward to-but it took some time for me to find peace with intimacy.

The Red Flags
There are varying degrees of narcissism and there is one version that is particularly nasty in the bedroom. These narcs have NO BOUNDARIES and will coerce, force, and even rape their partners or spouses. They have even been known to molest minors and are capable of incest. That sounds crazy, I know-but as someone recovering from or in a relationship with a narc you must know what you are dealing with. Remember, narcs are entitled to do, go, and take whatever they like. They follow no rules and could care less about traditional societal norms. The more taboo, the more fuel they lap up.

Intimacy should be another expression of love and emotion in a healthy relationship. For a narc, intimacy is a way to exert control and inflict pain. Most partners are most vulnerable naked and in the moment, and a narc knows this. He/she will seize the opportunity to test what you like in the moment, and push the boundary.

I couldn’t watch the “50 Shades of Gray” movies. These films glorify sexual narcissistic traits and habits as sexy and appealing, when forced sex without consent, were a little too close to home for me. Changing things up in the bedroom can be exciting, but dedicating a room to sadistic sexual behaviors, pushing boundaries, and forcing sex on an unwilling partner: is a giant red flag and something that shouldn’t be celebrated as a sexual awakening-but for what it is: ASSAULT.

Warning Signs:
– Receiving Physical Harm (cuts, scratches, burns, bites, shock, whippings, beatings)
– Injury to Genitals
– Penetration Without Permission (while sleeping, etc.)
– Threat to Withdraw Resources (no access to money, free time, food, etc.)
– Threat to Sleep Around If You Refuse (girlfriend, boyfriend, porn, etc.)
– Being Helpless to Defend Yourself (tied up, bound, locked in a room, etc.)
– Excessive Use of Porn (on all devices, always watching in free time, etc.)
– Need for Extraordinary Pain to Climax
– Giving You Pain Without Consent
– Emotional Disconnect with Sex
– Special Sex “Toys” Used to Inflict Pain
– Excessive Masturbation
– Verbal Devaluation During Intimacy (size, weight, shape, etc.)
– Rejection During or After Intimacy (leaves, excuse to go, refusal to cuddle, etc.)
– Role Play (dressing up, hiding your real identity, playing a whore, etc.)

Hoovering, Leaving, Lovebombing, Survivor

MY SURVIVOR STORY

I’VE WALKED 20 YEARS IN YOUR SHOES
I spent the majority of my young adult life married to grand elite narcissist. He was very charming and seemed to know everything about me. We met when I was 18 and I married him when I was barely 20, because I believed I met my prince charming. Soon the fairytale became my nightmare. For nearly two decades, photos of us together looked forced. A fake smile to hide the evil Jekyll and Hyde person I felt chained to.

The emotional, financial, physical, and other forms of abuse was intense and unrelenting. Giving up a successful career to care for a child with Autism, he had me where he wanted me. Stuck in a circa-1950’s completely submissive marriage, in deep isolation from friends and family, he controlled and manipulated me till I felt I was being suffocated. Being with a narc for so many years nearly destroyed everything I was as a person. It was a constant stripping of my values, my boundaries, my thoughts, my emotions, and I felt completely alone and consumed. In my constant pursuit to change myself to make my narc happy (which is impossible)–I lost sight of who I was. The day decided to leave with my two children, was the turning point I started to get my life back.”

He Charmed My Family and Friends
Early in the relationship he presented his best self to my friends and family. He kept up the charade long enough everyone fell for the fake persona he’d created. It was intentional and part of the entrapment he planned for me. When I tried to tell people what he was doing to me, they thought I was crazy and wouldn’t believe me.

He “Smear Campaigned” Me Even When We Were Married
My ex narc told my friends and family I was emotional, had anger issues, was the whore, and mentally insane. He was actually projecting on to me what HE WAS DOING TO ME. This was an intentional tactic to erode my credibility, so when I did try to speak out about the abuse, nobody would believe me. I was isolated and stuck.

Leaving Was Hard
I left without a job, but I had cashed several 401K’s to support myself and my two children. He refused to leave our suburban home and forced us out. I had no job, our son was taking expensive medications and therapies for his Autism, and he refused to help support our kids during our separation. . .but I stayed strong. His plan was to financially destroy me so I would beg to come back. He wanted to squeeze me financially so I would crawl on my hands and knees asking him to forgive me (narcs are never in the wrong or responsible for failure). He wanted the balance of power restored after I left. It didn’t work.

He “Hoovered” Me
Six months into our separation (after months of harassing texts, emails and stalking my apartment) and the day our daughter was having surgery–he asked me to come back. Not with flowers begging for forgiveness, but through a cell phone call that was insincere and disingenuous at best. He hoped to catch me at a time my guard was down or I was at a weak point. He was raging mad when I left, you see, he had not quite selected my replacement and he didn’t get to lap up the fuel in abusing and discarding me before I walked out. I beat him to the punchline and left him hanging without a primary source of narcissistic fuel! When I left, I went “No Contact” and I was unrelenting with it. Asking me back was about him winning back his position of power again, but his former charm had lost it’s shine. No longer captive and exercising my free will, I told him to take a hike!

I am Free
I left that relationship 7 years ago with two small children. Now in my 40s, I’m able to share my life with others and am in a healthy relationship with a kind man I deeply care about. My narc is squarely in my past (where he belongs), but we share custody of our children. If you have children with a narc, there is rarely a full escape, but using NO CONTACT strategies is incredibly helpful in coparenting. I often write about our interactions with the narc.

**NOTE** I am not a licensed therapist, nor do I claim to be one. Advice or information shared here is meant to educate and inform. If you choose to take action to change your circumstances, that is purely your decision. I can only share with you my experiences in hopes it will give you courage and help you feel supported in your journey. By providing you a forum here, I also hope you will find other men and women going through your same challenges. You are not alone and this community is here to build you up.