Damned if you do, damned if you don't

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September 16, 2010 - 2:04pm
Briseis's picture

Narcs intend for a hostile

Narcs intend for a hostile take over, every single time. If you do not compy, you will be punished. That covers the ones that go after both confident and unconfident types of victim. They cannot tolerate not being in control, of everything. If they are happy and relaxed, it is because they believe they are in perfect control. If they appear to be loving and affectionate and even compromising, it's because they believe they have the upper hand. Always. That's why that once loving sweetie we first met, and want back so badly, is really a lie. He never existed. He had you right where he wanted you. That's why they act as if nothing happened after a huge abusive episode. They satisfied their need to control you, and there you are, nice and controlled alright, sobbing on the floor, or having sex with him, or going along and pretending nothing happened to you. IMO, Narcs are "partial people". They are missing huge chunks of what it means to be a whole human being. So they clamp on to others and feed like a parasite. They give only enough so that you don't take a medication to worm yourself :D .
September 17, 2010 - 2:51am (Reply to #6)
Alibi_10's picture


This is so true about acting as if nothing happened. I am usually very clear about letting someone know if they overstepped the mark, but ibwas afraid to with him and seemed to revert to being a kid just accepting that it was easier not to kick off myself not to antagonise him. Ultimately it didn't work because he dumped me anyway and that has added to lack of self esteem because you can never have the last word with these people. I am feeling a bit low today and not figured out how to get over this x
September 17, 2010 - 6:12am (Reply to #7)
hooklineandsinker's picture

Alibi, I know exactly what

Alibi, I know exactly what you mean. I am the type to bring things up in a relationship as and when they are arising, and I tend to directly confront people with their bullshit (not in an aggressive way, just raising the issue with them). I did this with mine once over sex, in the early months, I think we had only been together a couple of months, so maybe this time last year. It was a Sunday morning and my roommate, who usually went to his home town at weekends, had decided to stay in the city for the weekend. He had gone out for the day however. My N and I lay in bed talking but he didn't seem to want to do anything sexual, which I thought was very unusual for so early in a relationship - usually you can't keep your hands off each other that early on! I said to him "Do you still want to have sex with me?" He said "What a question for a Sunday morning!" Then he pointed out that I had mentioned that I wasn't altogether comfortable having sex in my bedroom while my roommate was still in the apartment (I am pretty strict about privacy where sex is concerned). I had indeed said this but that feeling was wearing off, and I had come to a decision that as regards me and N being together, my roommate (who'd had a crush on me the previous year and whom I didn't want to upset unnecessarily, and who had been very offhand to N when I first introduced them, to the point of rudeness) would just have to like it or lump it. I got out of bed and checked to see that he was out, and indeed he was, so I came back to bed and we had sex. It did feel as if I'd had to talk N into it though. I also had to say to him "We should be able to discuss anything at any time - what's the fact that it's Sunday morning got to do with it?" He agreed (yeah, right). I've been with guys before where there has been a privacy issue (ie, upstairs in someone's parents' house while the parents are in the house, etc) and they are still much more keen on fooling around rather than just lying there doing nothing, risk or no risk! Anyway, by the time the sex drought came around in Feb of 2010, I really did feel as if I just couldn't bring it up with him at all, in contrast to confronting him in the early days. I know exactly what you mean - I just lost the ability completely to bring things up with him. I was sooooo scared of rocking the boat in any way. It's amazingly subtle, the way they control you, isn't it? It's like this silent censorship that you don't even feel creeping up on you. Ugh.
September 18, 2010 - 11:50pm (Reply to #8)
helldweller's picture

Alibi and funsize

That was one of the things he deliberately trained me to do: NOT bring up anything. Very early on he made it clear that if I upset him he would walk out and never speak to me again, but I never knew what would upset him, and I never knew when he would just leave me hanging, no matter what our plans were. We had a few incidents where he literally did get up and leave and not talk to me for several days, and here are the things that happened on each occasion that precipitated his leaving: 1. On his fifty-second birthday, while he was over, I laughed and said, lightly, "It's funny. I dated a 52-year-old man briefly when I was twenty-five. I'm glad the age gap is closing a bit in my relationships." I had just opened a sixty dollar bottle of champagne and he got up and left. 2. He goes to Las Vegas three times a year with his brothers for a week at a time. We have never gone anywhere together even overnight. After three years, I told him I was taking my daughters to Las Vegas for three days. Not in a mean way, just matter of factly. We were talking on the phone and he hung up on me. 3. I invited him to a Halloween party which was to be held in an historic courthouse that I thought he'd like to see. I bought him a costume that he agreed to wear, talked about and planned for it every day for a month, then he said, the morning of the party, that he wasn't going. No reason. I was devastated but tried to make the best of it. I got all dressed up in my sexy witch costume, my friends all came over who were driving with me, and I asked him to stop by and see our costumes. He took one look at me and turned and left. He spent the evening by himself at home. 4. We were all having dinner at my place one evening, and sitting around talking after dinner. My ex husband called to find out what time our daughter's parent teacher conference was the next day, and the narc walked out while I was on the phone for one single minute. He didn't talk to me for another week and I later found out that my conversation was "an insult to us." There are about fifty more incidents just like these. I swear, I didn't know which way was up. I couldn't say or do anything at all. We went to dinner once and he sighed, rolled his eyes and slammed down his glass when I asked him how his day was. "Are you going to be talking a lot tonight?" is what he said. I ended up walking home in the snow. As far as actually talking about anything important, it just wasn't acceptable. When I was pregnant, I went over to his house to tell him and he had his brother lie to me that he wasn't home. So I called him and told him over the phone, and he hung up on me because I didn't tell him in person. He punished me by not talking to me for a week, and even went on vacation with his foster child because he was "upset" by the news. When I found out he'd visited a woman on his California trip and slept in the same bed as her, he punished ME for finding out about it and being upset. We were supposed to go to a mutual friend's wedding the day I found out and he refused to go with me. He took his brother instead. Of course, I was the picture of understanding and patience. I sat down with him and held his hands and asked him to talk to me about it truthfully. Well, that is the worst thing you can do to a narc: be wiser, be more sensible, take the higher road. They kill you after that. I remember very clearly thinking, "Don't upset him; he'll leave." I remember that distinctly very early on. It was three years before I realized that nothing I could say could make him leave. It was just him trying to control me.
September 19, 2010 - 5:08pm (Reply to #10)
hooklineandsinker's picture

Utter and complete psycho.

Utter and complete psycho. I'm sorry you had the misfortune to meet him.
September 19, 2010 - 11:20am (Reply to #9)
kiwi10's picture


what a freaking nightmare!!!!! Did you end the relationship ultimately? good god, thats sounds worse (in some ways) than mine! Mine totally did the leaving and not talking to me thing, though. Also, the punishment for finding out about his cheating or porn episodes.
September 16, 2010 - 2:12pm (Reply to #2)
almostlydia's picture

They are the kind of

They are the kind of parasite that kills its host and has to find another to feed on. almostlydia


September 16, 2010 - 2:47pm (Reply to #3)
Briseis's picture

Only if you let them!

Only if you let them! Unless they tie you up and put you in a dungeon, literally, you have choices :) The one thing we can do, unless we are literally imprisoned, is change ourselves so that we don't host parasites. That means seeing ourselves as valuable enough that we don't have to put up with parasites.
September 17, 2010 - 2:17am (Reply to #4)
girlfriday's picture

Changing so we don't host

Changing so we don't host parasites is so correct and it is working for me already. I will no longer tolerate bad behavior or being suspicious all the time, or entitlement, or confusion or criticism or going Hot and Cold for no reason. Or a lot of other things I used to tolerate. I will not be hosting any of that anymore. And it feels great to have boundaries :-)
September 18, 2010 - 1:00am (Reply to #5)
M's picture


I have found through the comments, advice & experiences of the folks on this site.... I have regained the strength to stand up to my xNH. He threatened to sue me for trying to enroll our daughter in a school sponsored councelling program. My old reaction would have been fear-- now it's "bring it on". I am ready to prove how nuts he is. My job is excelling...I have reconnected with respected leaders that kept their distance because of who I had married. His business is failing, he is losing his csr---yet he promises my daughter trips to Alaska, Colorado...and a convertible car. please. Perservere. You will rise above this. Remember we have the ability to learn & grow---they don't. My only sadness is that he will use our daughter--she is young & I pray she will get it & not let him bring her down too.