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Posts Tagged ‘Co-Workers’

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When do Narcissists lie….when don’t they?

This Frequently Asked Question is easily one of my favorites.  I am so glad you asked.

When I dredge up the memories of the N that I have buried deep in my sub conscious, I don’t think there was a conversation…correction, a speech of the N’s that wasn’t filled with lies. 

Once again, I correct myself when using the word “conversation” since it is really not possible to have a conversation with a narcissist.  They do all the talking and if the “conversation” ever deviates from the Narcissist himself, he will either get sullen or get sullen and leave. 
Him leaving is the very best of options. 
Just changing the subject (being about him) during a “conversation” can result in D & D. 

The N lies about everything.  Education, job experience(s), relationships, family, friendships, feelings…the N doesn’t have any feelings except the ones he mirrors from others.  Oh, and the stories that he hears from “normal “people…his sources of Narcissistic supply…those become his stories too. 
He did those things. 
He’ll tell you all about them….in fabulous, colorful detail…because that’s the way they were told to him.   When you respond in awe at his fantastic tall tales of courage, valor and bravery (think Paul Bunyan) it will possibly earn you an even higher level position in the Pyramid of narcissistic supply. 

No entry level position for you.  Nope.
Don’t we all want to move from Primary source of supply to the all important Secondary source of supply? 
(Sarcasm.)
I know.
It’s twisted.  I’m just reporting what I’ve read and researched.  This really should be the other way around…but…
Primary supply givers are those that provide sustenance to the Narcissist on a random/casual basis. 
I just love that word…”casual.”  I just casually lost my self esteem to the narcissist. 

Secondary sources of supply are those in a “relationship” (notice those quotation marks!) with the narcissist.  Those that provide supply on a regular basis….a spouse…(God help her)…friends, (oops…remember the narcissist really doesn’t have any)…co-workers/colleagues, business partners…(get out while you can) teachers…(so sorry) neighbors…(you could always move…) 

Sorry…brief tangent….

In looking back, I remember how the N lied so convincingly. 
Would he have passed a lie detector test?
I don’t know.  The N believed his ‘own press’ to the point that the lies became truth. 
He was a legend in his own mind. 

Have you ever heard that when a person lies they often look to the left… and they don’t look you in the eye? 
The N demonstrated this several times.  If I had not been so throughly indoctrinated by the Narcissist,  I would have stood up and said “Liar!” 
Doing this would have been appropriate, as that is what the N is….A Liar. 

…(Seated on the floor of the Senate and shouting out “Liar” is really bad manners, no matter what your party affiliation…)

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On a weekly, sometimes daily basis, my “newly” Americanized friend gives me, or should I say attempts to give me the latest updates on the N. 
In my “Karma’s a ^#*^!”  post and “Karma:  Where does she work?”  I talk about my friend telling me the latest news re: the N and me teaching my friend, a new American word: Karma. 

Truthfully, I can say that I don’t really care to know what’s the latest and “greatest” in the N’s mind/life.  I’m just glad he’s gone.  I have absolutely no emotional pain anymore…and boy was that a long time in coming.  I do however, find that he is great fodder for my NPD posts!  (Hey, I looked up ‘fodder’ and it seemed like a good choice….maybe not…but there’s no way to be sure…my editor is in London.)

Unfortunately, the N was a learning experience that I had to suffer through. 
What was I supposed to have learned?  
“Four…Three…double hockey sticks”… if I know. 
When N’s name is mentioned the thought that goes through my head these days is “that A** H***?  What now?” 
I don’t actually say it out loud, I am too proper for that. 
As my friend Jan says, “Too bad you have such a “G” rated family persona….you might become a folk hero otherwise.”  Oh well. 
Folk Hero…Paul Bunyan?….Johnny Appleseed?…. Hmmm not me. 

Last week my friend Jack, there, I’ve told you his name…launched in on the latest dirt regarding the N. 
I looked at Jack and as sweet as I could be…I said in my nicest voice,  “Jack – Picture. Me. Not. Caring!” 
Jack laughed.  “Ohh!  Don’t mess with the woman.” 

Good.  ‘Bout time someone figured that out.

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There was an extra chair at the conference table today. 
Empty. 
No Narcissist in sight
No reason given for the absence. 
I’m filled with gratitude.

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595777cup-of-coffee-by-various-foreign-newspapers-postersI have to attend a meeting this week. 
In and of itself, that’s not a bad thing. 
Hot coffee, a comfortable chair, maybe some chocolates scattered on the conference table for sampling…..

Sitting in the same room as the Narcissist….?  Not so much. 
I have been NC (No Contact) for so long now, I have lost count of how many months at this point.  And I have been enjoying every moment of it, let me tell you. 

I know it will sound bad, but I am trying to think of ways to NOT go to this meeting. 
Headache, sick child, sick myself, a hang nail…
I don’t want to mention car issues…my car is running great….knock on wood, Formica, Plexiglass….

I really don’t want to see the *%) #*+(, much less be in the same room with him. 

Some of my friends have told me to suck it up, dress up and pretend the *&^ (*) #%^*> doesn’t exist while being in the same room.  This will be a true test of all these months of research, therapy and blogging. 
I’ll let you know how it goes.

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I’ve brought this post forward from 2009 for a time to make the info a bit more accessible…..

This afternoon, a friend brought me the mail from my box.
There were a couple of memos, lots of junk mail, magazines, catalogs,
….the usual things.
At the bottom of the stack was an envelope addressed to the N.

Now if my life were a movie, this would be the moment in the film where the orchestra music would swell with a tense portion of the score…..the strings, the woodwinds, the trumpets, the English horns….the harps….Hey!  This is my horror movie….I want a full orchestra.

But it’s not a movie.  It’s just my boring life, (my life that had an N in it for a while.)  I can visualize a guy with an axe running across the screen from stage left….cue the screams.

Three years ago, seeing that envelope would have made me feel like all the air had been sucked out of my universe.  I wouldn’t have been able to function for the rest of the day, thinking about the loss of my frieNd(ship.)

Three years ago, my obsessive thought…the only thing I would have be able to do….the compulsive desire…would have been to return the envelope to his mailbox.
Or.
Worse yet.  Deliver it to him in person. Big mistake.  Huge.
And I would have felt a constant aching, gaping void.
I know…very dramatic…however true.

Today my response was…
“Huh…Would you look at that?  Somebody screwed up in the mail room.”
I felt nothing.   I sat at my desk.  In my office.
For once it was peacefully quiet…and thought nothing about this piece of correspondence.
A smile spread across my face as I realized that I could honestly say, “Whatever.”

What do you do about missing the “Pretend Guy?”

When I check my blog, sometimes I will look at the Search Engine Terms that people use to find me.  My friend taught me this trick.  When the “Writing Muse” is evasive, I read through the terms and sometimes I get “inspiration”.

There is a phrase that continues to come up in terms that really tugs at my heart.  It brings back painful memories – like a wave of grief washing over me.  I feel raw writing about that period of time, after The N…but if  people are using this term as a search, then I need to share what I’ve learned.
But first I need a glass of wine….talk amongst yourselves for a moment….

This terminology was the perfect description for a man who pretended to be my friend. When the friendship was over after the “last” D & D…during the next four months that I beat myself up…blaming myself for the loss of a friendship that never really was….
I was “Missing Pretend Guy”
(If your N was a female, feel free to change it to Girl…or “Bi**h” if you are still at that point in recovery…I understand.)

When I discovered there was something called Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and that ‘my friend’ the N, had 18 of the 20 characteristics….(actually he probably had all 20.)  I still foolishly thought that the N could be fixed.
I’ll wait for you to stop laughing.

It took more time and more instances of D & D for me to realized that his personality disorder was woven into the very fabric of his ‘being’.  This ugly ‘quilt’ that was his personality could not be changed.  You couldn’t go to the store and buy a new duvet and tuck the ugly quilt in it…something new to make it pretty…  This disordered individual could not be thrown into the washer with Mountain Fresh Tide and an extra cupful of Downy….there was no way to wash away his abnormal way of interacting with people…
Okay, enough of the bed linens analogy.  Hope it helps you understand.

After months of reading…actually it took closer to a year, for me to be able to wrap my mind around the fact that ‘my friend’ was not what he presented himself to be.  He wasn’t Pretend Guy.  Pretend Guy didn’t exist…he never had.  Coming to terms with that made me feel like I was in some weird Twilight Zone movie marathon, and that Rod Sterling was going to walk out from behind the drapes.  Even knowing all that. it still didn’t stop me from missing Pretend Guy.

Everything that my ‘friend’ the N had portrayed himself to be was false.  Pretend Guy was like an imaginary friend…(but not like the one in Sundays at Tiffany’s.)  The person that I thought was my friend, didn’t exist….but the alien who created the illusion did.  The alien was Real – Actual Guy; he was real ugly & really nasty.

When the N dropped his mask after D & D’s, too numerous to count,  it was truly rare for me to see Pretend Guy.
If I was unfortunate enough to witness a performance of Pretend Guy, his ‘warmth and caring’ was always directed to some other person.  When I would witness this charade, every fiber in my being wanted to scream out…I wanted to shake the receiver of his kindness.  “Don’t you see?  He is not the professional, charming, kind, human being you think he is!  He’s not even human!”  Watching these scenes made me nauseated.

While I was recovering from the loss, not a day went by that I didn’t miss Pretend Guy.  Some days were worse than others.  I would stay busy, but inevitably, a quiet moment of the day would come.  Sometimes the memory would sneak up on me.  Perhaps it was the time of day that was sometimes spent in the company of the N.   Whatever the reason, the pain would come to me fresh and raw.
I learned to accept it; you could almost say that I embraced it.  At least feeling the pain let me know I was still breathing. I was still alive.  Unlike the N, I was human and capable of feeling loss.

I would often talk about him to my close friends like he was dead because well, he was.
I gave myself permission to grieve Pretend Guy.
Give yourself permission too.
I would tell some of the funny stories he had told me…who knows if they were lies or the truth.  I would use some of his phrases when talking to those who knew of his ‘demise’.  For all intensive purposes, it was like having a memorial service for Pretend Guy.
(Just the other day a friend of mine mentioned THE funniest thing I think I ever heard the N say in response to a fellow colleague.  I wish that I could tell you…but like they say, you really had to be there.  Anyway, I laughed so hard I cried, and then we  intermittently giggled from time to time the rest of the day. )

I wish I could present you with an easy step by step guide for getting over the phase of “Missing Pretend Guy”.  I don’t have a book to sell you.  Unfortunately, I don’t think there is an easy fix.
Time really did help.
I won’t say that “Time heals all wounds” because frankly that is the biggest load of BS ever written.  Whoever coined that phrase should be slapped; they never met this Narcissist.

NC = (No Contact) was and still is the BEST thing, EVER.
No Contact is simply that.  No Contact!   No phone calls, no text messages, no emails, no notes, no letters, no post-it notes, no memos, no waves, no polite greetings…Nothing.
Pretend Guy can’t answer the phone, email, write or wave.
Real guy could do those things if he was human or cared, but he’s not and he doesn’t.
And no, you can’t have a friend /relative /acquaintance get a message to him.  Don’t play that game.  The N is far better at playing games than you are.  And, you must ask yourself….Do you really want to play his sick games any longer?
Do you want to be the game piece in his never-ending board game of Devalue and Discard?
No, I didn’t think that you did, it is just that we have been on the park merry-go-round for so long, we don’t know how to make the ride stop.

I know for people with children by a Narcissistic partner, NC is difficult, but still necessary, and hopefully communication can be carried out for the most part through your attorney or solicitor.
For those of us where the N was a friend, NC is amazing!  It feels so good to turn the tables and give his behavior back to him.  The victims/targets of the N feel so helpless at times; to be able to direct the “ignoring” behavior back at him (to use a phrase of his) “is simply grand.”

After I had grieved for a time, his name, the stories and his stupid clichés were banned from my office.  We declared it a “N – Free Zone.”  The office has been sanitized for my protection.

I hope that hearing about my experiences has at least given you the comfort in knowing that there is “light at the end of the tunnel.”  Here I am, 3 years later – I survived.  Sure, there are flaws, marks that were not there before; but I’d like to think that they have added character and depth.  (With a little spackle, I can fill them right in.)
Can I look back on those two years we were “friends” and laugh?
No.  I’ll let you know if, and when, that ever happens.

Are you wondering about that envelope that found its way to my mail box?
Don’t worry – I didn’t open it and I didn’t deliver it to him.  I dropped it in the outgoing mail bag.
Just like Karma… IT will find him, eventually.

 Postscript:
The phrase Pretend Guy was one that I found early during my research of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  I went back through reams of paper….most of them being yellow highlighted.  The good news is,  I found the article and here is the link.  The author’s name is Alexandra Nouri.  The article I found was called “Missing the Narcissist.” 

http://thepsychopath.freeforums.org/so-you-re-in-love-with-a-narcissist-by-alexandra-nouri-t993.html

If the link does not work, you can also Google – “Missing The Narcissist.”  You can find Alex’s writings there too.  Sadly, Alex’s web site is not to be found.  But fortunately someone at:
http://thepsychopath.freeforums.org  cared enough to save Alex’s posts. 

Alex:
I hope you are well and safe.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom with the world.  I am speaking for ALL of us when I say that we are grateful.
Peace.

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Last fall I was treating myself to lunch at a restaurant that the “long – dead to me Narcissist” and I used to frequent.  What do they say?  You need to  “de-sensitize”?  To get over the phobia, one must continue to have exposure to the dreaded thing/situation/place?  Well, I did give myself a break and I didn’t eat at the one in his neighborhood….. I never go there. 

I pulled into the parking lot next to a Honda 4-door sedan.  As I got out, it was REALLY hard not to notice the car.  It was filled with papers, trash, mail, video cassettes, CD’s, fast food wrappers, you name it.  The back seat was piled as high as the back window.  Only the head rest of the passenger’s seat could be seen.  There was debris piled up to the passenger’s window.  If the windows were manual, you would not have been able to find the knob.  Truly, it was fascinating. 

When my sister was in grad school….her car looked pretty bad too…she was driving a minimum of 150 miles a day…while still being a mommy.  Most of her “accessories” were text books and coffee cups…pre-Starbucks. 

The car also reminded me of a man that I worked with, probably in 2003.  His car looked worse than the one parked next to me.  He was a lovely person, he was just a pack rat.  He lived alone, had a nice home, only moderately cluttered.  But his car?  We used to say that if there was a file missing in the office, all we needed to do was check his car. 

Finally, several of us who were quite concerned about him, had an intervention.  (Having kids, I am flashing back to the scene from the Disney movie Nemo with Bruce the Shark….”INTERVENTION!!!  Fish are friends!  NOT FOOD!!”)   Our friend and office buddy took it well.  Maybe he just needed the encouragement.  We cleaned out his car….for hours…22 black garbage bags later, it was spotless.  We even chipped in and had the car detailed. 

As far as his home went, with a little help and a few phone calls, I found a very nice lady who would come in and clean for him twice a week.  Last I heard, they were dating.

Having had three pre-schoolers at one time….I am not one to judge.  The floor of my car used to be covered with Hot Wheels, fishy crackers and Cheerios.  There was usually someone’s sippy cup with mold growing in it, in a cup holder. 

With a smile I shrugged off the memory and hurried into the restaurant. An Orange County Fire Authority truck had just pulled up.  I got my place in line before the hunky and hungry firemen did.  Granted, the view behind them in line would have been delightful, but I was in a hurry and it is not polite to drool in public. 

I placed my order and got my drink. 

I am going to let you in on a little secret.  This was probably THE ONLY positive thing….no wait, it WAS the only positive thing… I learned from the Narcissist. 

Here it comes….I know you are waiting with baited breath…..wait for it…

When you get fast food, whether walk-in or drive-thru, have a sip of your drink before you leave the restaurant.  That way if the drink is too syrupy, not enough carbonation, you’ll know BEFORE you leave.  Seriously, it was the ONLY worthwhile thing I learned from him.  Trust me…it was not worth the grief.  And certainly wasn’t something that I couldn’t have figured out on my own. 

I got my order and left the restaurant…passing some of the cutest firemen….all except for the one who reminded me of my ex-brother-in-law.  Oh well, they all can’t be eye candy. 

As I walked back to my car, I noticed two guys looking at the pack rat car with looks that were a combination of disbelief and awe.  As I neared them I said, “Yeah, that was my reaction too.”  They both turned to look at me and one of them almost dropped his lunch.  They turned white as a sheet and one of them blushed. 

I did not understand their discomfort, so I said, “I used to know someone whose car looked a little bit like this…” 

They both let out sighs of relief.  “OMG!” they said together, “We thought this was your car!” 

We laughed together.  As I left the lot I called to them, “I am so going to blog about this!”

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forget-me-nots-524365-sw    

Do Narcissists really forget you? 

Sadly. 
Yes. 

     If the narcissist was in the same room with me, there would not be a flicker of recognition on his face….he has the “dead to me” concept down to an art form. 

     Six months ago, we were in the same room…less than 12 inches away from each other…breathing the same cubic square foot of oxygen…and there was not one iota of acknowledgement on his part that I even existed.  It boggles my mind that people like him even exist on our planet. 

     It was just a further reminder that he is an alien life form. 

     I have a wealth of compassion for women who were deceived by men like this and then married; thinking that “Happily Ever After” lay ahead of them.  Instead it was nothing but grief & torment.

(Photo…Forget me nots…National Geographic)

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