Posts Tagged 'divorce'

DIVORCING A NARCISSIST

Parting ways with a narcissist, regardless of whether they left you or you left them, is HELLISH!

It is a hellish and painful experience that leaves one exhausted – mind, body, and soul. They isolate you from all former social circles. Narcissists are charismatic and come across believable, while being adept liars who do so with no guilt or remorse. They tend to enrapture the court to their will.  They will make a false claim that requires you spend hours collating evidence to debunk. Then once you have evidence to debunk, the court will suddenly cease to care about the issue. Issues you raise of a far more serious nature will be ignored by the courts. 

I have had to deal with reports of my children being choked, sat upon, having their nose and mouth covered, and hear them share being called derogatory names.

Meanwhile, you will be attacked about everything. What you feed them. The quality of their poop. If you’re 5-10 minutes late dropping them off when they’re court ordered to pick them up, but don’t.

They will seem to be handed EVERYTHING with ease, and you will have to struggle and be exhausted to just retain the bare minimum.

It will feel insane. It is insane. Your heart will break. Your soul will crack. You will lose friends and be alone, because people will not understand.

They will just think (a) your divorce is just two bitter people who wont forgive  (b) that you just need to move on and ignore your ex – they do not understand that you can’t simply ignore things because of the court system. And that a narcissist ex never forgives and wages a constant and continuous vendetta.

Years after you have parted, when they have a new lover, new house, new car, while you’re struggling to just survive…they will still be attacking.

Years later they will contact or post utterly baseless statements on the walls of facebook friends that were your friends prior to marriage. You will think to yourself “why don’t they simply live their life, instead of focusing on attacking you” – but Narcissists do not know how to forgive. They will NOT be content to simply part ways. They are intent on your ruin. They need you ruined in order to justify their own actions against you.

You see, they view the time with you as lost, or more aptly, stolen by you. And you can’t restore that time to them. Therefore you will NEVER be forgiven by them. Narcissists need to have control (of their environment and those around them).  They also have need of being seen a certain way, and anything or ANYONE who tarnishes their image or puts it to question is immediately painted black.

They will create a version of you that they portray to others, in an attempt to justify their treatment of you. If abusive, the version of you cotinuously and deliberately did things to make them abuse you. It was your fault. If they abandoned you, they will seek your ruin so that they can justify having left you just in time.

Although routinely denigrated by the Narcissist and demeaned and called names, and perhaps even physically abusivr (be it occasional, as my cade, or routinely as in far too many others), the narcissist will attempt to portray you as the abuser and themselves as a victim. Garnering sympathy while simultaneously isolating you further.

NOTE:  Narcissists are instigators.  Don’t let the times they pushed you to react cause you guilt.  (I had to question a past ex, in order to get reinforcement and affirmation that in the year and a half we were together,  i was NEVER like what my dynamic with my Narcissist ex was like, nor what my narc-ex portrayed and claimed me to be like.)

Yes, even you may have done some of the same in retaliation or defense. same You may have shouted back or cussed them out too, (as i did), you may have even responded to physical attacks with the same (something i am grateful that i never did).  There were a few times after an argument that i kicked a trash can or slammed a door – i am not proud of those moments. And you likely are not proud of your moments of failure. 

However, please remember it is very hard to continuously endure such abuse and not be pushed to react on occasion. Especially as often the Narcissists entire goal is to push you to react so they can then swap blame for the situation onto you. That being a common Narcissist strategy, they pick at your bones continuously, starting conflicts over anything and everything. Small inconsequential matters are made into soul crushing criticisms. Then guilt and gas light you once they finally manage to push you to reacting. And most of this will happen in the shadows, happen indoors, not when people are around.

I call it church  door syndrome. My father could be a monster, and the drives to church were often the worst. But once we walked thru that doors the genteel polite helpful disposition was put on for show.  And a narcissist often will make a statement that will seem inconsequential to the others standing around, but will be a sharp stab related to the prior hidden conflict. So when you throw up your arms and exclaim “you’re done, you’ll be in the car” they will look to the others standing and sequester affirmation ” Did I say something horribly wrong? Or did she/he overreact?” And the Narcissist will be told nothing was wrong with their statement. They clearly overreacted. And the public image will be of the Narcissist’s spouse being at issue. Unaware that a subtle game of undermining was orchestrated by the Narcissist and that their seemingly mild words were in fact merely a fuse lit to set off charges they planted earlier. This is how Narcissists and the like work.

Narcissists rarely apologize. When they do, it is often for the sake of dropping the issue at hand. And if you attempt to inquire and discuss their action further, why they did it or how or hurt you, they will blow up on you and decry that their apology wasn’t enough. You quickly realize from the anger that they were not apologetic nor interested in your hurt nor remorseful for their actions, rather they simply wanted the matter dropped. I

Likewise, “Affection”  is meted out in controlled doses to reward, and withheld to show displeasure. Even asking for a kiss goodnight or goodbye can be refused, asking why will blow up into a confrontation. And you’ll be left to go to bed or drive home in a torn mental state having been belittled, criticised, and made to feel a failure. They will give you the silent treatment but not express why they are displeased. They will tell you nothing is wrong, while interacting with you in a way that is cold, harsh, and clearly says something is wrong. Because that enables them to control you, and leave you questioning yourself. You’ll think back to any recent situation in which you made a mistake or let them down. You’ll inquire of that is the issue. Their response “No, i already said there was NO ISSUE! But since you mention it.” (Having manipulated you into searching for and handing them ammo to now assail you.)

And if you think that separating ends these behaviors, you are quite misguided. Regardless of whether you leave them or they abandon you, they will use the divorce system to take as much as they can from you. Their idea of a compromise is, i gave into one thing and you have to give into all of mine. If you give them 90% of what they ask for, they still feel that they only got half of what they asked for, and less than they feel they deserve and are entitled to. And if you have children, you are cursed to 18 – youngest child’s age of being dragged into court and the entire family court system being a club they can wield against you. And since Narcissists tend to have a charismatic presentation, each time you have a new judge or court magistrate (which in my case is nearly every time) entails starting from scratch with the Narcissist immediately swoon them to their favor requiring you to have to spend hours of labor to defend from their accusations and substantiate your claims. The process will leave you feeling like Alice in Wonderland – all their accusations will seem to accepted at face value as truth, and any of your claims will be passed over.  Taking the high road, being passive, seeking an equitable 50/50 are sadly losing strategies when dealing with a Narcissist in family court.

This detail of what it is like to part ways with a Narcissist is based on my personal experiences as well as anecdotal observations of family/friends who have parted ways with a Narcissist. Sadly, i suspect that others who have similarly parted ways will relate to a large portion of what i have described above. 

It is my personal opinion that these behaviors are typical of  Cluster B disorders (Narcissist/BPD/sociopaths).

For those who have parted ways, be it spouse, significant other, parent, or a family member – do your experiences line up with what I have described above?

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December 2022
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