My 20-Odd-Year Story
I have been so blessed to have found this site, and over the past few months have been reading everyone’s stories to find validation in my situation.
First I have to start by telling you my N was never a romantic partner, but a family member. My husband’s brother to be exact, so my story is different in that aspect, but the same in so many other ways, which really was shocking to me. I guess the biggest surprise is how much alike these people are and I never expected to encounter up close and personal such true evil nature.
I grew up in a small town where my family owns a well known, successful business. My parents instilled very strong core values in me and my siblings. I saw them start and build a business from nothing and work very hard. They were able to send us all to college and we are each still married to our spouses and we are in healthy, normal relationships to this day. We had the benefit of having everything we needed growing up, were fortunate to have a lot of positive life experiences with proper personal boundaries. Boundaries are something that I had always been able to maintain pretty successfully in the past. I have always tried to be my own person, and have pretty much lived my well thought out, planned life.
My husbands upbringing was very different. His parents divorced when he was young, his dad did not pay child support, and he and his siblings suffered to have their basic needs met. My husband however, is not a “victim” of his circumstance, and has had a lot of therapy over the years, unlike most of his other family members. He is well educated (they are not) is a professional (they work menial jobs & live hand to mouth), and he has great motivation to overcome the obstacles he had previously by addressing them and facing them. Because of the way he grew up, he (and I) have so much compassion for those less fortunate. We have motivated, smart kids that are able to go to the best schools (due to them earning scholarships ), have traveled a bit, and volunteer on a regular basis in the community. We have worked hard to maintain our stability and raise good, honest kids in a big city environment. We do love each other and get along well. We know we are lucky, but it's from hard work, not through magic, or luck of any sort.
The N in our lives is his brother, or so I thought. Now I know it is all of them (I have stories about them all for later). Thankfully none of them live close to us now, which makes it a little easier to avoid them face to face, but they do still hoover when they want something, usually money. They never come out straightforward and ask for anything - ever. That would be too normal, instead they use manipulation tactics. They try to guilt us into giving them what they want. It never works - we have never let them "borrow" anything (they still haven’t learned that we are on to their ways). But his brother is the worst. My husband had told me ages ago that he had blocked out most of his childhood (thankfully) and he has been in therapy for his issues for many years. We never would have worked out our marriage together if he hadn’t been committed to working on himself and getting past his past. Actually we have done it together, just from perseverance and commitment to ourselves.
Anyway, his brother really scares me. He goes beyond narcissistic. He's more like psychopathic. We have always tried to avoid him over the years but he would always have ways to try and “get in” with us. Why??? That was always a question. I could always see that he was jealous of my husband. I think that is what still drives him to this day. A few years ago his sister told me that N had sexually abused her when she was little. That is when everything clicked into place. I was completely shocked, but I believed her. Suddenly our lives were in turmoil, my husbands childhood started coming back to him in pieces and we knew she was telling the truth. The things I found out about the N were horrific. His N mother was one to tell me a lot more about him. She knew he did this to another family member as well, and did nothing about him, just excusing that as “yes, I always knew there was something wrong with him”. Oblivious. His dad had said the same thing too. But that is not all he had done. When they were kids, he would beat and threaten his siblings (my husband in particular), and also had killed a couple of their pets in front of them to torture them. He is truly a sick individual. When I first met him when I was dating my husband, he was a drug user with no job sponging off of his dad. Sponging off of friends and family members is something that he has done pretty much all of his life. My husband and I dated for three years before we set a wedding date. When we did , N suddenly started showing up wherever we happened to be. Suddenly he acted like he wanted to be our best friend. At that time, I didn’t know any of the particulars about him. Just that he used drugs, would brag about that, never worked, hadn’t even had a girlfriend that we knew of EVER (weird for a guy his age), and lived with his dad (the enabler) in a cramped dirty apartment. I told my husband, I didn’t feel comfortable around him and was turned off by his nonchalance about using drugs. We always tried to avoid him, but somehow he was always just “there”. When we were planning our wedding, he would make a point of showing up at his mom’s house when we were discussing our plans and including her in them. I remember he made a big discussion during one of these times about how he just found a job and there was this girl that liked him. She was ugly (he said), and was making fun of her and laughing about it, also describing the way she looked in detail, in a very vulgar way. We were disgusted by his behavior and told him so. We figured he was trying to get attention, even negative was good for him (still is). Anyway the next wedding planning session at his mom’s, we walk into her house and we see N on is mom’s couch on top of some girl making out. Talk about disgusting. Suddenly they see us standing there, he sits up and introduces us to the girl he had described graphically to us before. When we realized she was the one from his job he had made such disgusting description of, we were dumbfounded and really didn’t know what to think. Again, we just try to ignore him and move on with our plans. We were so busy with our jobs and wedding stuff, he was the least of our concerns. Well, shortly after that he suddenly moves in with her and her friend. We at this point are a couple of months away from our wedding. Then, one day he announces that THEY are also getting married. The WEEK BEFORE our wedding! (Ours of which was planned a year in advance). We were so upset about that, I can’t even begin to describe what I felt. Of course, he did that to try and upset us, but we didn’t give him the satisfaction. So their “wedding” was the week before ours, we also had our beautiful wedding on our scheduled date and we moved forward with our lives. I to this day have so much animosity just about the wedding dates. I just can’t believe he was sooo jealous that he suddenly found someone to marry him so fast and do it a week before ours. It was obvious to us then I still can’t believe we never confronted him about it and let him get away with that crap. We continued trying to stay away from them, but since they were also “newlyweds” he used that as a way to try and get us to sort of “hang out” with them, always calling us. THAT didn’t happen since we were into our careers and were always busy. Well, of course he then lost his job, she had quit hers to be a housewife I guess, and suddenly they were going to be homeless. They then moved out of state to live with her family. Again, the only way for him to live is by sponging off of someone. That didn’t last long, a couple of years later they divorced (yes she was the B from Hell who cheated on him AND a drug addict to boot, heard all about that!) and he moved back to our city – to live with his mom and her then-husband. Of course he had no job, and she let him come live with her (enabler) because according to her words “that was what family does”. No boundaries there. I tell you what, MY parents would have NEVER let me or my siblings get away with anything like that. Well soon that goes sour when mom finds explicit photos of him in a group sex scenario (yes we heard all about that as well). At that point we were on very limited contact and really tried to separate ourselves from his whole family. We were in the process of buying a house and had money saved for the down payment and closing costs, and they were all in the process of continually trying to get us to give our money to them for stuff. What I have told you so far is only a small portion of the things the N has done, by the way. If I wrote everything, it would have to be a book.
Well now fast forward to just about 10 years ago. Suddenly the N had found Jesus! This comes conveniently after mom kicks him out for the sex pics. Mom at this time by the way has already left her Catholic faith to be protestant. My husband and I were married in a protestant church and were (and still are) active in our faith. Anyway, N has found religion, and this was his way back in with his mom. He was good as gold. He then gets very involved in a large mega-church, then they actually employ him in one of their areas of ministry. Wow, now he has a job and he thinks he is big time. Suddenly he has tons of supply, jackpot! He also was counseling people in the church voluntary drug rehab/support (a bonus since he got to talk about all of his druggie days). Supposedly his story was that he was cured of his addiction by God ( no rehab for him!) He is a walking, talking miracle and they believe him. Now I do as a Christian belive God can do these things, BUT my gut tells me he in particular, is a liar. My gut also tells me he probably still does drugs, but he is really good at hiding it. In our experience with him, the more we let him know about the stuff WE KNOW, the better he gets at faking normal. That seems to be an underlying theme with the NPD types. So, everyone at that church (we know a lot of people that go to that one) thinks he is just the greatest. By the way, I don’t think they checked his arrest record before hiring him. He had been arrested for a number of things, but we found out the records had been sealed, so aside from law enforcement no one can see what he was arrested for. Meanwhile we knew this was the longest he had ever kept a job, probably because it was so easy for him, although his salary was pennies. Again, since he sponged off friends, he didn’t care about his salary, just supply! Well, I guess we were a little fooled by him for a while too. We had hope he had improved himself, so we allowed him contact with us, but we tried to limit that. However, he would just sometimes “show up” at our house after we told him not to stop by (would not take “no” for an answer basically). Or he would also try and show up at a restaurant or an activity (like our kids sports) if he knew what our schedule was. Suddenly he seemed everywhere we were (once again repeating history). So once we gave him an inch, he took a mile. It was around that time that I started wondering if he had somehow tapped my phone. More than once, he would stop by our house (yes, we let him in not to seem rude) and he had brought up a topic that I had spoken to a friend about over the phone, or he would make a similar statement that I had said confidentially to my best friend. I thought I was being paranoid, or that something was wrong with ME. My inner alarms were going off to the point the hair on my arms would stand up when I was around him. I had always made it a point to never be alone with him because he would give me the creeps so bad. Now I was really freaked out. I NEVER allowed him to be around my kids alone, or around me without my husband. Of course I told my husband about my concerns (not that I thought he tapped the phone, just that he made me uncomfortable). I have since figured out how he did it, though, but I can’t prove it. He had been in the military when he was 18 and was trained a little in communications. That was before he was discharged for (you guessed it) he was caught doing drugs. He was given an honorable discharge (lucky for him) because his superior didn’t want to ruin his life. Well, ironically (go figure) I had a static problem with my phone line and had the phone company come out to fix it and they put in new fiber optic lines for me and secured it to be tamper proof supposedly. Around the same time I thought he tapped my phone, my line had been crossed with one of my neighbors phone numbersand I would get their phone calls. The whole thing was just really weird. I guess I didn’t know at the time it was him. Just too many strange things at once to not be connected. Now in hindsight, I can connect the dots.
So a little bit more time, and then my sister in law tells me what he did to her as a child and she was seeking therapy. I have to give her all the credit in the world for her bravery. I don’t know if I would have the same courage to speak up it that was me. That was the first step in her recovery. My husband at that point had enough. He went to his workplace (at the church, remember?) and confronted him face to face inside his office. That was the safest place to do that since it was private, but somewhat of a public area. There were others around, but not in hearing distance. Looking back, that was really stupid and could have gone really wrong. Anyway, he of course, denied the whole thing, then he admitted it, but blamed his sister (really sick) before changing his story again to “he doesn’t remember”and then to "I never did THAT but I may have done a little THIS". None of his answers made any sense. We cut off contact with him from that point forward. My husband told him NO CONTACT with us at all. No phone, No email, No text. Nothing and threatened him within an inch of his life if he comes anwhere hear me or the kids. So apparantly, he either was fired or he quit his job at the church (we don’t know). Since his dad was the only one with contact with him we were just told that he had moved (a few hours away) and we didn’t think about him.
Until about a year ago, that is. We had a death in the family. Of course he showed up so we had to see him in person. That is when it all started again. Apparantly he got married (brought her to the funeral – “See??? I’m suddenly normal”) . Now get this . He was telling people he is a minister now. He was actually wearing a black and white collarless shirt – like clergy would wear. We were floored. We were so busy greeting other people we didn’t really pay too much attention to them, except when I would be talking to someone and glance around the room, I would seem him standing with his wife, off the the side where they had the best view of the room. The only way I can describe this is that they looked very “Stepford” , robotic, posed. They both had a weird little smile on their faces and just stood there watching everyone else. It was the oddest thing I ever witnessed. Who goes to a funeral (everyone was upset) and stands there and smiles??? It made me think she was very controlled by him. I feel sorry for her.
So fast forward to now. Somehow he got my husbands email and has emailed him (every few months) like there is nothing wrong. He has also texted him a few times. There must be a family member who gave him this info (not everyone knows our personal business where he is concerned). From the verbiage he put in his email he sent my husband, we think he may have even hacked his email account and read personal messages. My husband changed his email account. I swear to you, I feel totally invaded by him to the point there is no escape if he won’t let us. The thing is, he doesn’t put anything, that to other people reading it, would think it was unusual. It just seems innocuous unless you know him like we do. We can’t prove anything, like stalking. We know he is a stalker , but not from a legal standpoint. It is so frustrating. One thing I forgot from earlier was, after the “big confrontation” I happened to answer the phone to a number I didn’t recognize, but I thought it was one of my business clients calling me since it was during the day. It was one of N’s “ church friends” (an innocent party I believe that we also knew casually), who called me “just to say hi”. This person was a quiet, easy going individual who was basically indifferent to us so I don’t have any reason to think this person is conspiring with N on purpose. Very strange, but this person did own a business that I patronized on occasion, so it didn’t alarm me right away in the conversation, but a little part of me thought that N could be on the phone with him listening. THEN this person says “Oh yeah, I just wanted to tell you I saw N the other day, and he mentioned he saw your kids getting on the bus the other day,they're getting so big”. My hair stood on end. I handled it very businesslike, and ended the call. That’s when I knew N had been listening and had told him what to say. There was also a couple of other hoovers after that, by phone, where he actually left a message on my answering service like he was trying to make a lunch date with a friend (whom he addressed by name in the message). Like he dialed my phone by mistake or something. THAT was strange.
So for a few years we thought we were done with him, but he just won’t give up. I never let my guard down. Ever. I know the only thing we can continue to control is OUR behavior where he is concerned and maintaining NO CONTACT from our end. I don’t care what he is up to recently. That feels really good, actually. I know he is mostly just throwing out a line and fishing. It is ridiculous how they just don’t give up. After all, if someone tells us they don’t want to see, speak or hear from us again, why would we? Isn’t it just easier to move on? But, that would be normal.
Thank you for allowing me to post this long story, but as I said it is just the tip of the iceberg. My husbands other family members are very narcissistic as well, so we get it from all angles sometimes, but I’ll save that for another day.
I thank God that I didn't fall in love and marry one of these monsters. I know the saying goes that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, but I can tell you that my husband is not like his family when it comes to entitlement, and non-empathy, and not having boundaries. He has overcome a lot being raised in such a dysfunctional environment. I think that part of the reason why we are targets is because they know we do have empathy and are genuinely concerned for others. I'm just now coming to this realization that not everyone has good in them. They must be really miserable.
Bless you all in your recoveries from these non-human people!