The Path Forward Virtual Retreat Febuary 2021!



Damned if you do, damned if you don't

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#1 Sep 16 - 1PM
hooklineandsinker
hooklineandsinker's picture

Damned if you do, damned if you don't

What does everyone think of my theory that you can't win with a narc, because if you have a confident, cheerful, upbeat, loving, supportive personality they will be jealous of you and try and break you, and if you have a needy, clingy, insecure, fawning personality they will despise you for it? Is it true that either way you will get D&D-ed?

Also, I read in an article someone posted a link to on here that they are especially drawn to bright, confident, happy, bubbly, intelligent women because they want to absorb those qualities for themselves - suck them out of you and incorporate them into their own empty shells of personalities? Not that it ever works, or else they would only do it once and then be "fixed" for ever more - they wouldn't need to keep feeding after that. But initially they see you as an extension of themselves so they imagine they are getting all these qualities for themselves, along with a GF. What a weird world.

What are your thoughts?

Sep 24 - 8AM
CarolKittyGale (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

I think their personalities

I think their personalities are such that they are jealous of bright, happy, bubbly, intelligent, kind, caring people that glow and they are drawn to that type to suck it out of them and make them unhappy. It irritates them after a while. They are not happy if you are happy, especially if you are popular, because they can never have these sort of qualities, not genuinely anyway. Once they have abused and depressed you and turned you into a needy bitch who no longer trusts your own judgement there work there is done and it makes them feel better about them self some how, it sort of justifies the void they have inside. Then they move on to the next bright,happy, bubbly, intelligent, kind, caring glowy person, unless of course you can be of some use and they need you for something then they will turn on the charm and hoover you back in and get what they want and then it's offski again. That's my experience of my N's and I don't take it personally any more because they are like it with friends as well and I've seen it first hand.
Sep 24 - 12AM
sweetsamm
sweetsamm's picture

omg funsize.........i love

omg funsize.........i love this topic...i was sooo confident,bubbly,outgoing,and my ex played the shy guy..i thought it was sweet.....STUPID! I feel like i was a stallion that he tried to break....he was jealous because people were drawn to me,i was carefree,guys looked my direction...he did a great job of TRYING to break me,but,lucky for me....i look better in my 40's than i ever have....so,hahaha,it didn't work,i've gotten my confidence back(took a year),my personality back(took a year), and just plain SAMM back(also,took a year),but,i'm better than ever,and loving life!..........
Sep 24 - 8AM (Reply to #109)
desprathousewife
desprathousewife's picture

sweetsamm

Me too with everything you said ...apart from it's only been 7 weeks. Only 45 more to go...YAY :)
Sep 23 - 3PM
helldweller
helldweller's picture

better off and morty

better off, yes, I just actually JOINED ACOA on the advice of my therapist, who also said this behavior is very symptomatic of children of addicts: trying to please the unpleaseable person. In my mind, with the narc, it was this thought: 'He's a hardass and he's afraid of love, but I'm going to break through with tons of endless love and affection' and they totally encourage that, you know? WE have the feelings of "I'm smothering him; this CAN'T be appealing or attractive," etc. but for them it IS attractive but it's never, ever enough. They tell us, "You don't love me, you don't love me," and we jump through the hoops to show them we do. And for women it's awesome because we love doing all this lovey dovey stuff, but then one day you realize that it's not the love or the stuff they want, but the control over your emotions, your time, your life, your attention. They don't want your emotions, your time, your life or your attention, just the control. Morty, My thearapist talked to me for a long time yesterday about planning way ahead for the triggering events, to make sure you are so completely occupied it's not an issue. So I have already planned to be out of town with my daughters for my birthday next month, to have my blinds shut the week he goes to Las Vegas (October 2) and leaves his child with the neighbor, who will be walking him to school every day and otherwise driving me to insane text messaging nonstop for a week. And to leave the house at 8am on Halloween, spend the day at a pumpkin patch, go trick or treating in another neighborhood and spend the night at my mom's (because we always trick or treated together and then had a big cookout at my place)to completely avoid our block altogether this year. We have also planned Thanksgiving already: to spend the night at a hotel downtown the night before (to take a walk for a nice dinner and to see the Christmas lights), and to go straight to my cousin's house for dinner the next day and stay very late. Forewarned is forearmed. We know what's coming. Yes, the anniversaries, the birthdays, etc are really important to them, because I think they are the anniversaries of their failures to live normal lives. My ex husband, not a narc but with tendencies, would worship the anniversaries of his mother's , father's and other family members' deaths, for example. I always knew they were coming up because he would go into this huge depression, even twenty years later.
Sep 23 - 6PM (Reply to #104)
anonymous
anonymous's picture

Thanks for Sharing Helldweller

This is great advice. I'm going to be in Disney with my daughter and brother's family on the anniversary of the dumping so got that trigger event covered well. =) I'll have to think of one for 10/2 - his b-day (let's not even get started about how that is coincidentally a trigger day for you!!). I'll bet you're 42 too? hahahaha
Sep 23 - 11PM (Reply to #105)
helldweller
helldweller's picture

morty

I'll be 42 on October 16th. There are a lot of 41 and 42 year olds here. I think that a lot of people on this board had the narc come on the scene during the sort of "last chance for love" phase, meaning the last chance for the fairy tale ending: marriage and children together, and that the narcs stole that from us, stole our chance to make it happen with someone good.
Sep 23 - 11PM (Reply to #106)
loveofmylife
loveofmylife's picture

42

my narc starting majorly luring me in when I was 42 - and like you all, I felt it was my last chance at love - that was 5 years ago.
Sep 24 - 4PM (Reply to #107)
Alive
Alive's picture

OMG

This is so true...i am 39 soon and i did say to him in the end that i felt i was wasting my time as he never truly wanted to be part of a family,even though i have a kid with him! he went running for the hills, he knew that i wanted to be settled etc etc, that when he ran. He never loved me, he does not know what that word means.
Sep 23 - 6PM (Reply to #101)
hooklineandsinker
hooklineandsinker's picture

Interesting. Mine was nuts

Interesting. Mine was nuts about Christmas and his (broken) family would spend huge amounts of money on presents for each other. Then his sister would spend the holidays ignoring him and finally last Christmas they fell out altogether. Now they don't talk at all.
Sep 23 - 7PM (Reply to #102)
better off
better off's picture

hmm, huge amounts of money

hmm, huge amounts of money on presents, yet broken relationships. Another example of being all show.
Sep 23 - 8PM (Reply to #103)
WiserNow30
WiserNow30's picture

Same story

Oh my gosh, my ex N was the exact same way for Christmas. His family would spend truck loads of money on each other with piles of Christmas gifts. It was the weirdest thing I've ever seen. They would talk about Christmas for weeks beforehand, and not because of the time and memories made with loved ones, but because of the damn presents. Merry Christmas! ;)
Sep 23 - 4PM (Reply to #85)
better off
better off's picture

ACOA

Ohhhhh!!!! Hugs and kisses!!! I really really do think it will help you, more than you know. And the 12 step thing is a miracle when you need something to ground you in the here and now, one day at a time. Even if you don't like it at first (I loved it from day one, but I've heard other people say it was hard at the beginning) please keep going and give it a chance to slowly undo the poison in your system. I think you WILL like it because it's like the board. It's like, ohhh, all these people feel like I do. I'm not crazy. Well, I'm crazy, but I'm curable, lol. And you know, this death anniversary thing is just a big bullshit hoax. How convenient and horrifyingly narc-lika to honor someone who's DEAD. Since they can't honor or celebrate anyone that's living, that has a heartbeat. But a dead person, hey, they can just make a big ole show of that, and people think it means they're SENSITIVE! hahahaha They can't relate to someone unless it's a dead person. Dead like them.
Sep 23 - 6PM (Reply to #87)
anonymous
anonymous's picture

Death Anniversary Thing

Excellent point Better Off. The most hurtful thing of all that he did to me was take me to my father's grave, stand on it with me, tell me how proud my dad would have been of me, tell me that he wanted to take me back to his homestate and visit his dad's grave together. And then he dumped me 3 weeks later. This is one awful, insensitive thing that I will never forgive him for. Using my dad's death as a way to fake sensitivity. How low can a person get? Whatever - he did it; he's the sicko and all I can do it try to forget about it. But it sure is hard. =(
Sep 23 - 11PM (Reply to #95)
helldweller
helldweller's picture

death anniversary

My narc would never take me to his parents' grave, but he took his foster child every fucking weekend, even though I begged him to take me so we could connect on it. I swear to God I can't believe I am not in a mental institution.
Sep 24 - 8AM (Reply to #96)
better off
better off's picture

Wow, how fun for the foster

Wow, how fun for the foster child. I'm sure he loves that.
Sep 25 - 10AM (Reply to #100)
sweetsamm
sweetsamm's picture

i can't stop laughing better off......

omg,i'm LMFAO right now.......................the comment about the foster child going to the grave......seriously,what wierdo takes a foster child to their parent's graves,fricking creepy and totally funny at the same time....
Sep 24 - 9AM (Reply to #99)
helldweller
helldweller's picture

better off

I know! Between the cemetery visits and the bar hopping and playing video games while his Papa screws a different girl in her kitchen every night, it's a barrel of monkeys for the little guy.
Sep 24 - 9AM (Reply to #97)
helldweller
helldweller's picture

better off

I know! Between the cemetery visits and the bar hopping and playing video games while his Papa screws a different girl in her kitchen every night, it's a barrel of monkeys for the little guy.
Sep 25 - 10AM (Reply to #98)
sweetsamm
sweetsamm's picture

helldweller

Helldweller..............i have tears running down my face after that comment!!! So funny, Love your way with words.............
Sep 23 - 11PM (Reply to #90)
loveofmylife
loveofmylife's picture

Using death - Morty

Morty, I was just about to respond to you on this and then I saw better offs post. It is totally unreal, and this experience caused me more cognitive dissonance than anything that had happened in the 23 prior years. While my dad was dying, very suddenly - 3 weeks after being diagnosed with cancer in February this year - the N provided me more support than anyone in my life. He took over my job for 4 weeks (although he charged twice his normal rate! nice, huh...I was too stunned to even say anything about it) But then he called me every day while I was in the hospital and we talked for 2 -3 hours every day. We connected at such an incredibly deep level - he was BY FAR my biggest support during that period. In the last hours of my dad's life, he was particularly supportive - and was texting me asking asking "how r u doing"" "pls take care of yourself" "pls be there with your dad as much as possible.". It was incredibly sweet and supportive and I thought that our relationship was going back to "normal" again. On the day I was spreading my dad's ashes, my husband was there, and my husband could provide me absolutely no support - couldn't talk to me at all about it... becuase that has always been the issue in our relationship, no emotional connection at all. And I cried so much that day, in part, because I wanted N there to be with me and support me. I felt so lonely. Mixed in with this incredible support though, N still verbally abused me... and the contrast was just mind blowing. When I asked him how he could possibly say those cruel things to me moments after was had a deeply connected and supportive conversation in the hospital, his response was "I only said that once, yeah, and thank god I didn't do anything for you when your dad was dying!" It was sad so sarcastically and so cruel. Then, suprise, surprise...he started using my dad's death to make himself look better with my banking connections.... three days after my dad died I worked in the office from 8am - 5pm. N worked that day from 9 - 3pm. Well, at 2pm, he sent an email to my VP Banking contact and said (which later got forwarded to me from this VP).... "Dear Bank VP: loveofmylife has been in alot of pain lately, as I'm sure you can imagine. We have been close friends for many moons and I'm sure she would like to join us for lunch. The chatter would be good for her - I know her very well and think this would actually make her feel better. She was only in for a touch today and had to leave because she was hurting so much" Ok, #1 - I worked ALL day that day, not just a "touch". So he wanted to make the bank think that I was incapacitated and he was being such a great guy and taking over my company. Why? because he was looking for more work and this bank was a great contact. #2 - he didn't even talk to me that day, AT ALL, so he didn't even know whether I was in pain or not. #3 - he was making it look like we were still the best of friends, because it would get him what he wanted - a future job. Whereas at the same time, he was trashing me to his bimbos because it would get him what he wanted - pity and obsession. _____ Then, one week after my dad's death, he forced me to hire him for another 6 months. He used emotional blackmail to say that if I didn't hire him, he would tell the bank "exactly why" I couldn't work with him (e.g. scorned woman). Nice. I think he honestly believed that if he didn't help me run the company, it would go under. Because, certainly, I'm not experienced enough. Note: the company has completely thrived since he has left. we have more new product launches in Q4 than the company has had in the last 20 years combined! Na Na Na! ____ Then, two months later, when he was luring me back again, he started it off with telling me how proud my dad would be of me, etc, etc. Getting me all close and connected to him again...only to try to get a job from me again...and then final D&D me days later after I turned him down for the job ____ Puke
Sep 24 - 8AM (Reply to #93)
better off
better off's picture

I would call him a pig, only

I would call him a pig, only that wouldn't be fair to pigs. He charged you double? He CHARGED YOU? And that bank email... OMG, what an underhanded snake. To send something like that makes you appear to be some weak woman that can't do her job is totally wrong anyway, but since he was MAKING IT UP it's even worse.
Sep 25 - 11AM (Reply to #94)
Used
Used's picture

money

he charged you.. that fucking arsehole,, i thought you ment he had done it for free, you commend him for doing your job.. why ?if he got paid... i remember reading a posts b/f on forum from you, and you saying how good he had been, and i dont know wether i send my reply. but here is now, if he was supportive and loving ,it was only cos there was something in it for him... and thats b/f i knew he got paid double...yuk yuk.let alone got paid at all.......i had to correct this again, i was such a temper i done some wrong spellings... narc,s first name.. agenda second...narc agenda, thats what they all have got in coming....an agenda.what a dog...
Sep 24 - 8AM (Reply to #91)
anonymous
anonymous's picture

LOML - I Will No Longer Complain Again

Good Lord. I'm really speechless. Other than to say that there are so many parallels. So many common things. I guess the difference is that it sounds like your situation went on longer than mine. But the narc in my life did similar stuff only at a much lower scale. And since he left the company, I won a major award and my team is far more cohesive and successful without his dark, manipulative brooding ass around spoiling all of the good stuff for everyone. LOML - I'm so sorry you went through all of that. Awful, just awful. How are you doing now? How far along are you in the healing process? How long has it been since you had any contact with him? What did you do to get over the trauma of what he put you through? I really think I need to go to my Dad's grave and get this all out. But I can't. I'm so sad. I'm crying right now. I hate him.
Sep 24 - 9AM (Reply to #92)
loveofmylife
loveofmylife's picture

parallels

Probably the one biggest difference is that my was not dark and brooding and did not spoil the good stuff in people around him....he is always happy, cheerful, self effacing, a great leader, charismatic, can motivate people to do amazing things - every loves him because he is so happy and so uplifting for the people who work for him. Which was also a main reason for the CD. I kept asking - "what am I doing wrong to cause this" "why is he only like this with me?" But I saved all of my emails and read them again in the last few days (like the one with the vp at the bank), to remind myself that there is nothing I did...he has just chosen me to manipulate. There is nothing I did to provoke that and no one deserves that. But mine was my knight in shining armor for 22 years. It was "only" one year of hell. I'm ok. pretty sad most of the time. That happiness was keeping me happy in my home life too. My H sees how miserable I am and it has really effected our relationship. He's done. But I don't obsess over N anymore. Its been 2.5 months of no contact and he has already been on match.com again and settled down with someone again. Probably 2 weeks since truly no contact, since he has asked me to "close loops" on work things twice...but of course won't be accountable for anything he did to me and therefore won't talk about it. To get over the trauma? I read here nonstop so that I wouldn't be tempted to contact him. Got into therapy. Threw myself into work (probably not a good idea), and reconnected with some old friends... But I still feel very, very empty and alone..
Sep 23 - 7PM (Reply to #88)
better off
better off's picture

loveofmylife's narc used her

loveofmylife's narc used her dad DYING in the hospital to act all sensitive, and called her and texted her all through it, and then the week of his funeral, told her she OWED him a business contract because he did that for her. Demanded it. Fucking snakes. Whenever she was pulling away, after his numerous D&D's he would pull that card... let's talk about how great your dad is and how much he loved you. NOTHING IS SACRED.
Sep 23 - 7PM (Reply to #89)
anonymous
anonymous's picture

I Missed That

Good lord. I'm speechless.
Sep 23 - 4PM (Reply to #86)
better off
better off's picture

You know, Norman Bates

You know, Norman Bates really loved his dead mother.
Sep 23 - 3PM
helldweller
helldweller's picture

better off and morty

better off, yes, I just actually JOINED ACOA on the advice of my therapist, who also said this behavior is very symptomatic of children of addicts: trying to please the unpleaseable person. In my mind, with the narc, it was this thought: 'He's a hardass and he's afraid of love, but I'm going to break through with tons of endless love and affection' and they totally encourage that, you know? WE have the feelings of "I'm smothering him; this CAN'T be appealing or attractive," etc. but for them it IS attractive but it's never, ever enough. They tell us, "You don't love me, you don't love me," and we jump through the hoops to show them we do. And for women it's awesome because we love doing all this lovey dovey stuff, but then one day you realize that it's not the love or the stuff they want, but the control over your emotions, your time, your life, your attention. They don't want your emotions, your time, your life or your attention, just the control. Morty, My thearapist talked to me for a long time yesterday about planning way ahead for the triggering events, to make sure you are so completely occupied it's not an issue. So I have already planned to be out of town with my daughters for my birthday next month, to have my blinds shut the week he goes to Las Vegas (October 2) and leaves his child with the neighbor, who will be walking him to school every day and otherwise driving me to insane text messaging nonstop for a week. And to leave the house at 8am on Halloween, spend the day at a pumpkin patch, go trick or treating in another neighborhood and spend the night at my mom's (because we always trick or treated together and then had a big cookout at my place)to completely avoid our block altogether this year. We have also planned Thanksgiving already: to spend the night at a hotel downtown the night before (to take a walk for a nice dinner and to see the Christmas lights), and to go straight to my cousin's house for dinner the next day and stay very late. Forewarned is forearmed. We know what's coming. Yes, the anniversaries, the birthdays, etc are really important to them, because I think they are the anniversaries of their failures to live normal lives. My ex husband, not a narc but with tendencies, would worship the anniversaries of his mother's , father's and other family members' deaths, for example. I always knew they were coming up because he would go into this huge depression, even twenty years later.
Sep 23 - 3PM
helldweller
helldweller's picture

better off and morty

better off, yes, I just actually JOINED ACOA on the advice of my therapist, who also said this behavior is very symptomatic of children of addicts: trying to please the unpleaseable person. In my mind, with the narc, it was this thought: 'He's a hardass and he's afraid of love, but I'm going to break through with tons of endless love and affection' and they totally encourage that, you know? WE have the feelings of "I'm smothering him; this CAN'T be appealing or attractive," etc. but for them it IS attractive but it's never, ever enough. They tell us, "You don't love me, you don't love me," and we jump through the hoops to show them we do. And for women it's awesome because we love doing all this lovey dovey stuff, but then one day you realize that it's not the love or the stuff they want, but the control over your emotions, your time, your life, your attention. They don't want your emotions, your time, your life or your attention, just the control. Morty, My thearapist talked to me for a long time yesterday about planning way ahead for the triggering events, to make sure you are so completely occupied it's not an issue. So I have already planned to be out of town with my daughters for my birthday next month, to have my blinds shut the week he goes to Las Vegas (October 2) and leaves his child with the neighbor, who will be walking him to school every day and otherwise driving me to insane text messaging nonstop for a week. And to leave the house at 8am on Halloween, spend the day at a pumpkin patch, go trick or treating in another neighborhood and spend the night at my mom's (because we always trick or treated together and then had a big cookout at my place)to completely avoid our block altogether this year. We have also planned Thanksgiving already: to spend the night at a hotel downtown the night before (to take a walk for a nice dinner and to see the Christmas lights), and to go straight to my cousin's house for dinner the next day and stay very late. Forewarned is forearmed. We know what's coming. Yes, the anniversaries, the birthdays, etc are really important to them, because I think they are the anniversaries of their failures to live normal lives. My ex husband, not a narc but with tendencies, would worship the anniversaries of his mother's , father's and other family members' deaths, for example. I always knew they were coming up because he would go into this huge depression, even twenty years later.
Sep 19 - 5PM
fooled no longer
fooled no longer's picture

The more I read your stories

The more I read your stories the more I see how we have all had one or more of the same experiences! N in front of my friends when they asked him if he had read my book said "I wrote the book" ( I asked him to check the translation of some words, about 2 pages in total). He later said to me he was just joking. They are all F ing B s. And Im leaning fast to build up my life in secret, and get on with it, on my terms. I made a deal with him today. If he shouts at me once he will clean the whole house from top to toe twice a week for a month. My part is that I wont take things personaly. My GOD am I learning. I'm gonna roast his ass.