Your Day In Court ~ Surviving a Narcissist

Surviving twenty-years of marriage to a narcissist and taking the high road during a divorce from one is next to impossible. Those accomplishments alone should bear high standing in the court of moral justice. For better or worse (pun intended), my spouse was a “sociopathic narcissist,” which made the experience all the more indigestible.

The most revealing trait about my narcissist was their favorite adage and how often they repeated it, “What good is a friend if you can’t use them.” Mine derived such gratification from saying it, like a joke only they got, he’d chuckle aloud every time. I never understood the humor in it – I do now. There are many red flags in loving a narcissist, but you keep excusing them, unbelieving any human being could possibly be as morally corrupt as their subtly leaked inferences imply.

A narcissist’s goal, from the beginning of “loving” you, is to convert your life energy into something useful for themselves. If you tag along for the ride of how they use your life, all the better, it’s one less prey they have to (re)groom. When they think they’ve exhausted all there is of you you’re no more valuable than their last discarded wad of toilet paper. That’s no exaggeration – that’s just a fact.

Of course you don’t accept this until it’s way too late, but coming to the understanding is important no matter how late you do it. They are keen at confusing with manipulative ploys intended to keep you around until nothing is left. They want it all, every last drop. Their biggest dread is someone else benefitting from what’s left of you, because that means they’ve lost something, they’ve calculated wrong. And narcissists cannot be wrong. They’re too smart they think. How “smart” they really are depends on your value system.

Understanding this helps explain what you find so hard to understand in one of these relationships. It offers comfort in finally settling your love-tormented soul. It wasn’t you. It wouldn’t have mattered what you did or didn’t do. The moment your existence stopped feeding their increasingly selfish demands they ceased needing you.

Narcissists are incapable of regret, being just as keenly apt at excusing or justifying their abusive behaviors. It’s as playing a video game where pleading forgiveness is just one essential level of getting farther in it. They feign your life values as bait on a hook but their rules keep changing based on what’s best for them at any given moment. They convince you that their momentary needs are all that’s reasonable so you keep changing your values trying to keep up only to find those change again when their needs change – again.

It’s never about love. Love for self is all they know. It’s never about you. Pretense of love is the ruse they polished early in learning to snare prey, much as a pedophile grooms and snares victimized children. Anyone with a value they can steal would’ve fit the bill. You were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. You kept dismissing the red flags.

Depending on the stage of the relationship – whether you’re still buying into them; beginning to question them; or you’ve figured them out – when caught red-handed they respond, respectively, with erupting temper tantrums, consoling calm or tearful pity-me regret, or powerfully silent, ridiculing smirks that say without saying a word, “See how wonderfully sly and manipulative I am, you fool of fools.”

When it comes to the dirty work of divorce narcissists haven’t the personal wherewithal to initiate it. They’re weak that way, maybe lazy is a better word. Their game is to progress abuse until you do it for them, in the process sucking every ounce of what’s left and making it easy on themselves. Why do the hard work when you can coerce someone else to do it for you. They think that keeps their hands clean for continuing to disparage your character, further elevating their own illusion of good standing (“leveling”). They’re so self-righteous they’re oblivious to others who already see what they are.

They have no sincere shame or humility – none. Only if you survive through the last phase do you see their glaring void of moral character, a stripped façade revealing the vile being that is them underneath. The charade was only necessary when you believed it. The truth of who they are is so unrecognizable you would never have figured it out on your own had they not taken such demented pride in putting their manipulative genius on display. To them it’s merely the end game that proves their superiority. That is their pleasure, their delight. The gloves are off and only they know how to play this dirty – come and get it if you dare.

Early in this late-life divorce my Father, a man who knew my naturally feisty, rebellious spirit best, expressed bewilderment at why I was being so uncharacteristically timid. The mere impact of Dad expressing his dismay caused me to recognize just what effect this narcissist had had on my life, on who I was versus who I had become

It dawned on me that what seemed to happen all of the sudden had actually transpired over the course of 20-years. It was cunningly piece-mealed as a poison, in doses almost too slight to notice … but my narcissist knew exactly what he was doing. My easy, generous and want-to-please nature made it all the easier for him to do. I own that. I laugh now at how foolish I was, it being so genuinely naïve for a woman of my age and intellect.

When this was unfolding – from subtle daily degrading and unrelenting nagging whisked in a brew of inexplicable, violent verbal rampages and insatiable needs for attention to what were clear bouts of faking real tears – I kept making empathetic excuses. I kept believing that because I was strong enough to see the façades, I knew the differences. I convinced myself that as long as I recognized those things then I was in an okay place.

I had wholly underestimated the magnitude of living those permeating evils year after year for 20-years.

Late in the marriage my narcissist relayed a whimsical quote as being attributable to his grandfather. In 20-years I’d heard all the stories so imagine my surprise when he suddenly attributed a well-known quip of my grandfather’s as being his own personal experience. This was no mistake, no lapse in memory, no misspeak. This was a glaring example of how easily-manipulated he’d come to view me and how wholly irrelevant even bold-faced truths had become. It was self-indulgent stroking of how far he believed his ‘genius’ could push the envelope.

At that moment I realized to what ludicrous degree narcissists steal from others – even their personal experiences. He liked my family’s story; he wanted it; he took it. As if money transferred between bank accounts, now it was his. He’d argue with condescending insult anyone saying otherwise. Truth, even though he knew it, had no place interfering. The transaction was done and he wasn’t giving it back.

During a divorce hearing he viciously lashed-out at me as if I had wholly victimized him. He was so convincing I felt guilty regardless that I couldn’t make sense of what he was saying. Later I learned what he’d accused was a consequence of his illegal tax filing after separation, having absolutely nothing to do with me. But he was so convincing at feigning justified rage he’d convinced even me I must deserve it.

These examples demonstrate how self-serving narcissists are in taking what they want. Narcissists have no presence of mind of other people or truthful events, past or present. They only know meeting their own wants and needs and they do that with intense tunnel vision. They know exactly what they’re doing. They do believe their own lies while they’re telling them. That’s how they get away with being so convincing. To them it’s survival and they will not hesitate to sacrifice you for their own slightest gain. They must have it all. Anything less and they’ve lost and they cannot lose.

By the time Dad posed his question of timidity to me, I had come to believe I was incapable of fighting against such a perverted power of evil and, in many ways, I was. I still hadn’t come to accept the truly despicable nature of narcissism; and I had no comparable resources within me to fall back on. “Fighting fire with fire” wasn’t even a viable option.

All I had was truth, which narcissists spend all of their time and expertise dispelling. After all, that is their life’s work and they’re good at it. Twisting an “all about me” perception into someone else’s rational reality is what they do. They’ve remolded your own truth about yourself to you, so distorting an outsider’s vision of that is like kindergarten hopscotch.

As could be expected the divorce itself offered little consolation for all the years of my investment, financial and otherwise. I just wanted out from under his diabolical control. In the end that was satisfaction enough.

For a while I was angry about it. But I knew the unbecoming cancer of bitterness and I did court2not want that for myself more than any consequence I might’ve wanted for him. It’s almost a year since divorce and I am only now removed enough, settled enough, to write of it. Now vengeance is in God’s hands and that’s nothing to be taken lightly. No amount of embellished story-telling or self-serving genius can help. Personally, I don’t find that “smart” at all.

We will know them by their fruits” and “beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.” I came out of this considerably better financially and more content than in all of the twenty miserable years living in his world; and certainly smarter than in all the years before living in mine.

The lessons taken are the value of the pain in having lived them.

As the horse thief said before they hung him, ‘I’ll never do that again’.

 

Post Script: Below is an EXCELLENT article found after writing this blog, which describes my experience perfectly and provides links to research & support groups. In part,

Before ending a relationship with someone who suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder or any type of Cluster B Disorder, I advise you to seek a therapist who is knowledgeable on this topic.  I have discovered that the only thing worse than being married to these individuals is to divorce someone with a personality disorder.

From “Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Gaslighting.” A must read.

 

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26 thoughts on “Your Day In Court ~ Surviving a Narcissist

  1. Love the way you wrote it and yes, how smug they are and the fool of fools are them because no matter how harshly or horrific, we have endured and ask nothing in return for being there for others experiencing the world of the narcissist. They are as removed from the one purpose in life that we can continue to foster and develop. I dare say they would have no idea how to grasp that comment, nor would care to analyse. Very sorry for the pain and suffering you have experienced does not come from the mouths of narcissists unless to buy their way once again into some innocents persons life with only one thing on their mind- to corrode and corrupt, dissect and eject.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your compassion, Purple Ribbon. I’m sorry, as well, if you had to go through the experience. It is a painful disappointment in mankind that I would not wish on anyone. There is comfort in knowing others understand the depth of these unconscionable consequences.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you I have addressed a file of over two years that will be sent to me to support my evidence and testimony toward the perpetrator and will ask for the reopening of a police application where I was under threat of further harm if the perpetrator was given time in prison. Thank you for your compassion and system in Australia has failed me and it is way overdue for the full truth to be revealed. I don’t expect to heal with the years grated by grace left however I will press the criminal offenses that have left me in horrendous pain that was inflicted upon me as a proxy or extension of a dark triad personality. His double life will be exposed as my raw wounds were enabled and fully encouraged by his followers including hiss family who are inn denial and will remain that way no matter a life destroyed.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It seems the one thing victims of narcissism need to heal is the one thing that’s impossible to attain, because of what they are by virtue of being a narcissist: we want some satisfaction in them feeling regret, shame or remorse. Those are the very personal qualities of which they are incapable. I wish you well in your endeavors and would be pleased to hear they offered value in your healing. Please proceed with caution.

          Have you heard of or watched videos by Richard Grannon (aka Sparton Life Coach)? He concentrates on the effects of narcissism and in coping & overcoming its damaging effects. One description of a narcissist is operating much as a computer, void of all feelings but constantly scanning their environment so they can mimic others in pulling-off their charades. Understanding the monster I faced was the closest I came to “adjusting.” Others who haven’t experienced a narcissist are incapable of seeing it. It’s next to impossible to explain. Narcissists are keen pretenders & liars, they spend their lives perfecting that.

          My experience, too, was being severely let down by our system, as well as many people who should’ve been closest to me. There is no logic, only facades, and they were all considerably more manipulative thus deceptive than I could ever care to try to be. I settled on the fact that I finally escaped his control. That was the best I could hope for, in moving on with life. I trust in God to handle the rest; and I hope you find return of the loving heart your narcissist took from you.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you SITR your words speak out loud to me with truth and meaning. When speaking with some trauma counsellors overnight, it is clear that they knew how dangerous he is as I have not adjusted or are conditioned to his control mentally, despite my body is showing me that it is as corrosive as being under a revolting robotic leader I can only liken to cult. I here what you settled on and it pains me so that so many women only escape with their torn and ripped up lives whilst these highly functioning manipulators are no more accountable than when they first implemented their strategic warfare over their captives. I love God but recently have been giving him a mouth ful as my body cries out from every cell for healing to save me from the fact that the n x psychopath has even bragged about how he has the ability to change cells. The anger I feel and the rollercoaster ride through the depths of hell on earth, have been a ride that i have got off and been pursued dangerously and I want him to be seen for the monster that he is and I will stand on the roof and shout it loud, with the lords protection for all of the women that are being taken alive and for the women that have lost their lives to these cold hearted triad personalities. Writing, I hold back the nausea and spend alot of time vomiting up the poison because it feels so evil and so foreign yet I should rightfully be very conditioned under the extreme actions he has taken to keep me his property to privately tear to pieces like a rabid dog. Don’t worry I have plenty of love, that he can never kill but yes, I have changed as a result and am very defensive. My body is doing its own thing and the intensity of the abuse has taken it’s toll as i live in constant fight or flight as has been confirmed by the trauma counselor. I hear you about being let down and sometimes by our closest. Unless they are living it they don’t grasp just how damaging it is nor can fathom the psychological warfare experienced. My sleeping habits have been disturbed and short bursts for years now and due to ongoing grief and almost disbelief of the evil I encounter. I go from purging up the evil to tears for my person, for my inner child and for others and their inner child. As I sit with tears rolling like a steady stream it gives me something out of this horror to tell me, I am and will never be him.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. After realizing narcissism was at play and just how bizarrely amoral a narcissist is, I figured I had to make a choice. Either I could vacillate in anger & sorrow and let that eat away at my soul; or I could take steps to put it behind me and, hopefully, come out the other side a renewed individual. I chose the latter – and after three years I am still working on that. I suspect I am considerably older than you. At my late-life age, it was one thing to go through divorce under guises of such hateful, self-serving antics, but it was quite another to let those circumstances turn me into a bitter old woman.

              I strongly suspect, if yours truly is a narcissist, he will merely pleasure in watching you indulge measures against him that you cannot win. That may offer some sense of vindication for you for a short time, but I don’t think it’s the cure for the hurt and angst you do so rightly feel. You have to come to terms with that from the inside out. To me, that starts with understanding everything I can understand about it so I can begin to forgive myself for making such poor decisions. Though our anger is rightly directly at them, mine is really at myself for not acknowledging clear signs I saw and so naively ignored.

              If I ever get through to the other side I’ll let you know :). It is not an easy passage. I strongly urge you to watch Richard Grannon’s earlier videos. They can be embracing, comforting and mending in knowing we’re not as alone and used as we feel. It is the narcissist’s sickness. Not ours. But we made huge mistakes in enabling them. Especially if you’re younger, it’s important to know how to not repeat those mistakes.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Thank you for your reply and your carefully chosen words of wisdom. I would like to copy a reply I have just sent to wordpress user in response to her asking if I can get away from his presence. I hope you can read between the lines, as this is most complex.

                I am classified as high risk throughout gov’t agencies, trauma counselors. There is a highly manipulative (I fully believe psychopath and it is a shocking, most triggering and deeply torturous and traumatising perpetrator). I know what you are thinking, that if he is so evil, why is he not behind bars? He is highly manipulative and an ace at turning things around to play the innocent, using a pawn to double up at all times to take over and cover for him (my own son). Avoid his presence, after he uses multiple shock tactics, intimidation, screaming thunderous profanity and defiance, rage as large as a bushfire and evil as they come. Their is some access he has to gov’t departments and I cannot say much more on that, but as I am gathering a shitload of evidence, that will be what is necessary to fully open the eyes of the systems that have failed me, he shall be prosecuted, or if he is not- I am going right through the chain to the top. Going by your name are you Australian at all? If you are you will understand the epidemic we face particularly in my region, the recent Gable Tostee case where prosecutors are being outsmarted by these narcissistic personalities, mine is one of them, there is so much to consider and I must do this carefully. In recent times due to the depth and negligence of my story I have had counselors transfer as the facts are not easy to digest, leaving a large inquiry open for the government to answer to and professionals get quite spooked due to the implications.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. This is complex. It sounds like you are putting tremendous energy into this effort. I hope the outcomes are as they should be.

                  I am the last who wants to be discouraging to someone with so much invested, but it feels like this could be an endless battle if not a lifelong one? Narcissists have an innate talent for turning one’s own passions against themselves, in feigning their victims as the real culprits. I don’t know that devoting years of one’s life to this kind of intense struggle is a real solution? I don’t know the age of your son and I do understand how easily a narcissist wins others’ affections, but it seems your life would be better spent in more positive ways, if only for sake of you & your son’s future relationship. If you hold steady eradicating the N’s affects on Your life, and give him time to expose himself, the day will eventually come when your son sees that too.

                  Whatever your course, I do wish you well.

                  Liked by 1 person

                2. The abuse has been shocking and i hear you and i know how I must heal, it has been a tremendous military/warfare of physical and mental mindbending abuse and the only way I can heal is through releasing the truth. I must do this for others as well because we are failing as a society by the way they are enabled even when we leave and we have an enormous amount of casualties with lifelong injuries and harm and our system needs to urgently address the underbelly of why the abuse is propagated by the systems that are in place fro our protection.

                  Liked by 1 person

      2. Australia is complicit in their sweet ignorance of the unconscionable acts that are ruining the lives of their countries people. Our key players- the political agenda treats our animals without mercy, without compassion and therefore what for our people.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry you’ve been through this all, but it is admirable that your eyes were eventually opened to the abuse and you were able to make the move, get through the divorce and begin a new ‘real’ life.

    I love this post, it could have been written about my narcissistic husband. I’ve never before in my life been exposed to such harsh narcissism, and it is still hard for me to believe that my husband fed me this crap for eight full years – and that I took it. I also consider myself fairly intelligent and a good people’s person, and yet, I had absolutely no suspicion or realisation of what he really is. Until now. They are indeed amazing manipulators, liars, morally and emotionally absolutely hollow shells.

    I am glad I came across your blog – I wish you strength for the healing journey and the start of your brand new life!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank You! I am flattered to know my realities might help another move a step forward out of their own. God bless you. Going through this is a really tough process and even tougher if you’ve endured it for a good portion of your life.

      Getting back to ourselves after this experience is like growing up all over again in a fraction of the time. We do have a lot of anger at ourselves, but that’s self destructive and we have to find ways to direct it into an okay place to be so we can move up & on. Moving on in happiness does happen. That is the best revenge ;).

      Thanks for your comment. I too am sorry you went through yours but it is a star on your lapel in demonstrating what a good & giving person you are. Don’t ever forget that.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you SITR – I love your take on this, and I would like to believe that this was allowed to happen to me, to you, to all the other wonderful women I came across here, because of that: that we are good and giving. Plus, we are infinitely stronger than we thought we were.

        Liked by 1 person

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