Smitten with Him

grown-up stuff happens here sometimes

The Uncommonly Common Narcissist

My theory:

Narcissists are becoming more and more common because –

… care….

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My Psychotic Break (Part 2)

To read Part 1, click HERE

After all that bullshit, we didn’t have another interaction for 6 days.

And it’s the 5th week of barely any contact…

On that Friday afternoon, he sent me a text. “You won’t believe it, but I hyperextended my knee playing basketball last night.”

He was right. I didn’t believe it…

“Oh, that’s terrible,” I answered.

There were a few more trite comments where I tried to be nice and pretend like I gave a shit.

Then our chat was over.

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Crazy Times

The last two years have been all over the place.

More bad than good, sadly.

You know, sometimes, no matter how positive you are (or try to be), life is just shit?

I moved across Denver a little over 2 years ago.

A week after that, my car was stolen. Presumably by an ex-boyfriend.

Last summer (2017) I finally lost my real estate accounting job with the crazy girl and the incompetent upper management.

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Word of the Day: Gaslighting (revisited)


Do you know what it is?

Wikipedia says:

Gaslighting or gas-lighting[1] is a form of mental abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt her or his own memory, perception, and sanity.[2] Instances may range simply from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.
The term owes its origin to the play Gas Light and its film adaptations, after which it was coined popularly. Now the term even is used in clinical and research literature.

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Word of the Day: Gaslighting


Do you know what it is?

Wikipedia says:

Gaslighting or gas-lighting[1] is a form of mental abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt her or his own memory, perception, and sanity.[2] Instances may range simply from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.
The term owes its origin to the play Gas Light and its film adaptations, after which it was coined popularly. Now the term even is used in clinical and research literature.

The Urban Dictionary says:

A more psychological definition of gaslighting is “an increasing frequency of systematically withholding factual information from, and/or providing false information to, the victim – having the gradual effect of making them anxious, confused, and less able to trust their own memory and perception.”

Your spouse begins telling you things that never really happened. For instance, he says that last week he told you he was going to go to the bar with his buddies this Monday night, but you never remember him telling you that.

Or maybe your boss gets angry because you didn’t prepare the report he asked you to. When you remind him that he usually prepares that particular report, he snaps that he told you to take care of it a few days ago because he was too busy. However, you know he never asked you to do so.

Both of these could be considered gaslighting.

by Your Reality Check, May 31, 2009

Dr. Sam Vaknin, author of Toxic Relationships – Abuse and its Aftermath says:

Ambient abuse is the stealth, subtle, underground currents of maltreatment that sometimes go unnoticed even by the victims themselves, until it is too late. Ambient abuse penetrates and permeates everything – but is difficult to pinpoint and identify. It is ambiguous, atmospheric, diffuse. Hence its insidious and pernicious effects. It is by far the most dangerous kind of abuse there is.

It is the outcome of fear – fear of violence, fear of the unknown, fear of the unpredictable, the capricious, and the arbitrary. It is perpetrated by dropping subtle hints, by disorienting, by constant – and unnecessary – lying, by persistent doubting and demeaning, and by inspiring an air of unmitigated gloom and doom (“gaslighting”).

Ambient abuse, therefore, is the fostering, propagation, and enhancement of an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, instability, unpredictability and irritation. There are no acts of traceable explicit abuse, nor any manipulative settings of control. Yet, the irksome feeling remains, a disagreeable foreboding, a premonition, a bad omen.

In the long term, such an environment erodes the victim’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Self-confidence is shaken badly. Often, the victim adopts a paranoid or schizoid stance and thus renders himself or herself exposed even more to criticism and judgment. The roles are thus reversed: the victim is considered mentally deranged and the abuser – the suffering soul.

Dr. Robin Stern of Psychology Today says (really you should click on the link and read the entire article, it was very good):

How do you know if you are being gaslighted? If any of the following warning signs ring true, you may be dancing the Gaslight Tango. Take care of yourself by taking another look at your relationship, talking to a trusted friend; and, begin to think about changing the dynamic of your relationship . Here are the signs:

  1. You are constantly second-guessing yourself
  2. You ask yourself, “Am I too sensitive?” a dozen times a day.
  3. You often feel confused and even crazy at work.
  4. You’re always apologizing to your mother, father, boyfriend,, boss.
  5. You can’t understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren’t happier.
  6. You frequently make excuses for your partner’s behavior to friends and family.
  7. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.
  8. You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself.
  9. You start lying to avoid the put downs and reality twists.
  10. You have trouble making simple decisions.
  11. You have the sense that you used to be a very different person – more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.
  12. You feel hopeless and joyless.
  13. You feel as though you can’t do anything right.
  14. You wonder if you are a “good enough” girlfriend/ wife/employee/ friend; daughter.
  15. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.

Remember, there is good news about identifying the Gaslight Effect. The good news is that knowledge is power. Once you can name this all too insidious dynamic, you can work towards changing the dynamic, or getting out — take back your reality, and, get more enjoyment from your life and your relationship!

 My father and husband have been doing this to me all my life. My father would tell me that ‘being emotional’ was a weakness and that having cry-baby feelings like mine would get me nowhere in life.

I used to think that I was crazy, that I was hallucinating things. On numerous occasions, I have said to Doom-n-Gloom, “I must be going crazy, because nothing ever is how I remember it with you.”

We would have arguments, and when I would ‘call him out’ on a mistake he would tell me that isn’t how it happened and relate some strange story that didn’t happen in the real world.

In fact, I frequently gaslight myself: telling myself that I am overreacting, that it really can’t be how it seems. I doubt myself and my feelings. I tell myself that my feelings don’t matter, that they are too intense and irrational.

Do you have a ‘gaslighter’ in your life?


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Foul and Moody Do Not a Good Foundation Make

Saturday grocery shopping is getting harder and harder to do. Every weekend (because the husband allegedly refuses to get a driver’s license) I get to drive Mr. Doom-n-Gloom and Thing #2 around to do the weekly shopping.

I don’t really know what I’m trying to say here. When it comes to Mr. Doom-n-Gloom I can never pin down what I mean… With him it’s a deep emotional manipulation that he’s been playing for years. I get lost in it because he completely uses my emotions. He plays off of pity (he acts truly pathetic and, at this point, I think he only does it so I will let him stay here with me out of pity).

When I try to actually bring up some kind of problem that I have with him he turns it back onto me; if that doesn’t work, he starts to play the martyr (pathetic) card, and when that doesn’t work he gets petulant. He acts like a dog who I have beaten too much and he just gets so pathetic that I have given up trying with him because I know, at this point, no problem/s can truly be dealt with (and, because of his lovely behavior, NEVER will!).

He’s so foul and moody all the time. All his conversations are negative. I can’t remember if it was always this way, or if I just started realizing it now that I am trying to practice more gratitude (I wish he would try a little bit of that!!!). His complaining is starting to rub off on Thing #2 and I would like to “nip this thing in the bud”. My conversations with her about gratitude fall on completely deaf ears as she watches her father reflect on the Pitiful Heaviness of Being.

Here is an example:
Every single morning he complains about the guy that drives him to/from work. Every single morning I ask him why he keeps riding with this guy if he hates him so much. Mr. Doom-n-Gloom’s response, every single morning is, “He’s a reliable ride.” But every single morning we have that same, exact conversation… What I think is: after all this time, this dude is the only one at his job that can actually tolerate being alone with Mr. Doom-n-Gloom for longer than 5 minutes. Meanwhile, this ENTIRE getting-driven-to-work situation could be prevented if the muther-f##ker would just get his muther-f##king driver’s license!!!!

Thing #1 doesn’t even like to be around him any more. She avoids interacting with him when at all possible — it’s sad that she doesn’t want to have anything to do with her father. She is frequently hurt by Mr. Doom-n-Gloom’s behavior towards her and the things he says. At one point he told her that he probably wasn’t going to live to see her graduate high school — that devastated her. (I told him one day that I felt that was a COMPLETELY inappropriate thing to say to his underage child!!! He simply said, “It’s probably the truth. She needed to know” and that was the end of it.) She pulled back from their relationship and, ever since then, has been very distant toward him — in turn, he treats her even more negatively. Making no attempts at repairing the damaged relationship with his oldest daughter — knowing full-well that she turns 18 in 2 months and will probably be moving out of his life soon. She feels the favoritism that he has towards Thing #2, it’s obvious, he doesn’t try to hide it in any way (at times I think he does it intentionally — emotional manipulation…) but he says that it’s Thing #1’s fault. I say, who gives a flying fuck whose fault it is?! You are the adult and the father. BE THOSE THINGS!!

It is pointless for anyone to talk to him about it. He just acts butt-hurt and slams doors for an indeterminate amount of days. In the end it boils down to what appears to be a lack of respect and consideration for any other physical beings outside of himself. All he can think of is himself and how miserable everything is for him all the time. I have tried to tell him that feeling a little gratitude for the little things might help his foul outlook on everything else.

The man obviously needs therapy, if just to learn how to act towards other people… Because I am not going to tolerate his childish behavior forever — I have told him as much. It doesn’t seem to matter to him (probably because I have never left him and I am still here). Even therapy seems pointless because we would have to go together in order to get him to go and that would be under the false pretense that I want to make our marriage work again (our marriage never worked. I didn’t know what a functional relationship was supposed to be like. It was always broken like this, I just didn’t see it until 5 years ago) — it would just be he two of us “fighting with supervision”. Mr. Doom-n-Gloom thinks he’s a totally wonderful person and that everyone else has the problem.

Here are a few examples of how he acts; in private, in public, on the phone, with strangers, etc… I am guessing that this could be why people aren’t his “friend” for more than a few months before they stop talking to him (or stop giving him rides to work).

  1. He interrupts individuals mid-sentence so he can correct them
  2. When someone talks about something positive he brings up why it’s so negative.
  3. UNLESS his illness (his kidneys are functioning at 35% because of his prolonged, untreated high blood pressure) is the topic of conversation, then the words are always great! He likes to put a positive spin on this one so he can rationalize that “it isn’t that bad” — but he’s still drinking 64 ounces (NO SHIT! Two full pots a day — cream and sugar and everything) of coffee a day and eating like food will be extinct tomorrow (but no fruits or veggies! Oh, No! Only the processed chemical-filled demi-food is good enough for his sick belly)… He will lie talk about his progress with you for hours… I think he’s delusional…
  4. He hears someone (anyone) talking and has to become a part of the conversation — sometimes when I’m/they’re talking on the phone — most of the times to correct what’s being said (is that a superiority or inferiority complex?!)
  5. When I try to talk to him about something, like cleaning up a mess he made (example: leaving the remnants of raw chicken just sitting on a cutting board in the kitchen after dinner has been cooked and eaten — he just leaves the entire mess on the counter. I strongly believe in cleaning things up while they’re still “fresh”) or how I don’t appreciate it when he interrupts, he gets very upset and, no matter how calm the situation is, he totally freaks out and slams his bedroom door and then proceeds to ignore me and/or huff at me for at least 2 more days. I don’t condone this behavior but when I try to tell him that a 44-year-old man doesn’t act like that, he does it again! So I don’t talk to him about it — incidentally, this is how Thing #2 acts as well.
  6. I think his favorite is how he likes to complain about other people’s behavior and comment, under his breath, how much he hates it when others display the same exact behavior he demonstrates on an almost ritualistic basis.
  7. He does all this in front of (and to) our daughters as if this is acceptable social behavior.

I don’t know, it seems like it could be, but I need someone on the outside to tell me:
Do you think Mr. Doom-n-Gloom truly is a Narcissistic Sociopath? Am I in denial that his emotional condition is that degraded? Or am I completely exaggerating the situation because I am too melodramatic and intolerant? Do you think that *I* am a narcissistic sociopath?