Toxic Shame — Or Just Being a Jerk?

TimidCheaterOn yesterday’s “Enough Divorce Shame” post, UniquelyMe posted a quote from Brene Brown:

For those who find out I am divorced and judge me, I always think of Brene Brown’s line in her book:

“…research tells us that we judge people in areas where we’re vulnerable to shame, especially picking folks who are doing worse than we’re doing. If I feel good about my parenting, I have no interest in judging other people’s choices. If I feel good about my body, I don’t go around making fun of other people’s weight or appearance. We’re hard on each other because we’re using each other as a launching pad out of our own perceived shaming deficiency.”

Now, from what I’ve seen of Brene Brown on TED talks, I like. But I have to say I disagree with her on this one. Or at least as a generality.

I do think that people who are insecure go on the offensive with others because it detracts from their own inadequacies. Or as Brown explains it, those actions arise from feelings of “shame” about their vulnerability. However, I think other people are just assholes. They are mean for the joyful spite of it, for the power trip.

It’s an important distinction, one that chumps fail to make at their peril.

If you read over at Dr. George Simon, you’ll see he’s pretty skeptical of this whole idea of “toxic shame” being a motivator for bad behavior. In Simon’s parlance, not everyone is a “neurotic” full of insecurities. Some people really do believe they are that splendid. We have zero evidence of toxic shame, and he argues that we project what we think we would feel (shame) on to others. If I did that, I’d feel terrible! So somewhere, deep down, YOU must feel terrible about that!

That shit keeps chumps hooked. Keeps us untangling the cheater skein of fuckupedness.

Folks, if someone is being an asshole to you, it’s not your job to figure out WHY they’re being an asshole, it’s your job to have a boundary. It’s not okay to treat me like shit. Why they treat you like shit, whether that’s judging you for being a chump, or cheating on you, or saying your hair looks funny — that’s not for you to puzzle out. That’s for you to get away from.

It’s a popular notion that narcissists have deep-down issues with vulnerability and shame. That they overcompensate. They put on airs because somewhere inside, they feel small.

Okay. Maybe. I don’t know Brene Brown’s feelings on this.

I think it’s more likely that they actually DO think they are superior to you and feel entitled to do as they please.

That’s a much scarier notion than Cheaters Are Timid Forest Creatures. It’s not that they’re sad sausages who struggle with inadequacy, and they’re acting that out, and feel very vulnerable when you call them on their shit — it’s simply that they’re PLAYING you. They like the one-up position. They truly, without hesitation or self reflection, ENJOY cake. What you see is what you get. That person who has no remorse? It really isn’t there! It’s not hiding under a bushel of shame and vulnerability — it DOES NOT EXIST.

At the end of the day, arguing about whether or not jerks feel shame is like arguing about how many cheaters can dance on the head of a pin. Pointless. If someone’s treatment of you is unacceptable? What are YOU going to do about it?

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Jeepin4me
Jeepin4me
9 years ago

It has been my experience that they actually DO feel superior and entitled to do as they please…regardless of who is hurt by their actions.

Remorseless cake eaters need to be banished from your life…or they become your life. Self respect and boundaries! Hold your head up and walk away! Take the fork!!!!!

Mighty Mite
Mighty Mite
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeepin4me

My stbx used to yell at me all the time “I’M PERFECT! YOU WILL NEVER FIND ANYTHING WRONG WITH ME!”
So, yeah…I’d call his view of himself pretty f*****g superior!

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Mighty Mite

Mighty Mite–that is hysterical!! I am amazed these cheaters can have their head so far up their asses that they think they are the best thing since sliced bread. Did you laugh at the time? I’m sure the only reason mine didn’t say that out loud was because he knows I would have rolled around on the floor in uncontrollable laughter.

willowchumpx30
willowchumpx30
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeepin4me

I agree they DO believe they are better, entitled, smarter. You name it and they are more superior. For the 30 + yrs I ave been married that’s all I heard. “I deserve better… I am smarter, man am I good looking, I deserve better, they are wrong, it was your fault, it was their fault, I am perfect etc” . Never realized what a master at blame shifting he was and still is. NOTHING was his fault ever. Not in his professional life nor his private life. Never apologized for anything ever.

kraft
kraft
9 years ago
Reply to  willowchumpx30

Yes, this is narcissism 101: blame shift, sense of entitlement. I still see in everyday life.

The hard part for the general unaware public who aren’t aware of these narcissistic creeps, is the false image of wholesome goodness portrayed, to make them look like the’re the victim. We’re all well aware of this stuff. We’ve learnt the hard way. But when I see one of those creeps do “their thing” in everyday life, whether it be work, shopping , in the media, I find myself thinking “Noooo! Don’t buy that bullshit!”

Does anyone else find that?

malbecrioja
malbecrioja
9 years ago
Reply to  kraft

Even before D Day, I had started becoming disgusted with the way my STBX would “portray” himself in public and with family.I remember saying once, “You are the fakest person I have ever known.” And you know what? He thought it was a compliment. “Why thank you,” he said. Anyway, that “image” is alive and well still for him, as I understand in his newly acquired involuntary transfer position at work, he is charming the socks off everyone and boy do they feel sorry for him all he endured. And isn’t it so sad how he’s lost all that weight, and he can’t sleep at night, and his wife was so mean to him. He has taken to telling the neighbors I verbally and emotionally abused him so much that he became ill. Oh brother. Sorry is as sorry does and he’s a sorry dude.

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  malbecrioja

xmr said something similar to me, how he could absolutely look someone he hates (he was raging at me that he hates EVERYBODY) and that they wouldn’t even know that he hated them cause he can hide it so well (guess he can hide lots of stuff real well)…anyway he absolutely hates my sister in law – always has called her the c word (I hate that word! …it became the only way he addressed me after I found out about OWs…ugh…immature disordered asshole)…so yeah…if my sister in law only knew what he thinks about her…well…I’m sure he thinks that about most mortals !!!!

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeep

@ Jeep “well…I’m sure he thinks that about most mortals !!!!” LMAO…. you got that right…. stupid assholes really do think they’re “special” don’t they??? Such ASSHOLES, seriously wtf??

NCstevie729
NCstevie729
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

THAT was hilarious Jeep, thanks for sharing 😀 :

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  NCstevie729

Welcome 🙂

I hope you are having a great day!

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

Oh my!!! Have you guys seen these? They are too funny!!!! And you know this is exactly how flippin juvenile their tryst were!!!! LOL!

https://soulmateshmoopies.wordpress.com/2010/11/06/part-1/

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

LOL!!! Yes they do!!!! Assholes!!!

My little lawyer…little blond bombshell bout all of 4 feet tall relieved xmr of his balls at the contempt hearing (he filed contempt on me for filing my taxes single…?????) …he was amazing to watch…he hates women anyway (else how could he use and abuse them so easily????) I am seriously thinkin of getting her a little pink ‘wife beater’ tee shirt with ‘I kick little cake eater’s asses!’ on it!!!! LOL!

I SO appreciated seeing him leveled!!!!! Cowardly asshole!

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago
Reply to  kraft

kraft, I remember watching the whole Tiger Woods’ marriage blow-up thing a few years ago, and people talking about his sincere apology and his sex addiction ….. Yeah, nah. Narc, narc, narc all the way. Entitlement, fake remorse, the whole bundle.

And he had seemed like such a nice man prior. Sigh. Just another asshole.

hurt1
hurt1
9 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

The night the Tigers Woods marriage blow up came on the television I was sitting with my now-ex. I remember saying it appears as if he was a dirty dog & people who cheat are awful. If I trace back the timeline, ex was in early days of pursuing OW at that very moment.

Kraft
Kraft
9 years ago
Reply to  hurt1

Yes Karen. Tiger woods is a good example. I remember reading Lance Armstrong’s first novel, the classic best seller where he survived cancer and went on to win Tour de France. The part of the book where he and his wife “decided ” to separate, was brushed over so smoothly, like it was this amicable separation on good terms.

Well, no. He was a cheating arsehole, and he she dumped his cheating narcissistic arse! Funny, that never appeared in the book!

Drew
Drew
9 years ago
Reply to  Kraft

Kristin Armstrong had a book out after her marriage blew up, Happily Ever After, Walking with Peace And Courage Through A Year of Divorce. I am pretty sure she viewed her divorce as a blessing.

tflan386
tflan386
9 years ago
Reply to  Kraft

Interestingly, Tiger’s game fell apart after his family crisis. I remember telling my husband, who’s an avid golfer, and religiously follows the PGA that Tiger’s time at the top of his game would be over post family debacle. Golf professionals claim that his physical ailments keep him from playing well, but I think that’s bullshit. Tiger’s ailments reside between the ears at this point. He lost his mojo – his brain was fried after all the negative press.

When he #1 golfer, his home life was taken care of by his lovely wife. No worries, while he was away on the pro tour, Elin would take care of the kids and warm the house fires in his absence. Now a divorced man, he gets the kids, at least part time – no more free weekends to practise golf. And they’re little kids who require tons of energy. Tiger’s mind is cluttered with single dad thoughts – less time to ponder his swing.

On the other hand, he does have a new woman in his life, professional skier Lindsay Vonn. Curious that she’s hooked up with him – just the thought of Tiger makes me shudder. I think it’s a narc/narc relationship. We’ll see how long it lasts.

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago
Reply to  Kraft

So many people who saw Lance Armstrong’s TV interview where he finally admitted to doping and lying called me to tell me that he so reminded them of my ex. It must have happened shortly after my D-Day. Same way of speaking, same body language. I watched it after that and it was stunningly similar.

kraft
kraft
9 years ago
Reply to  Kraft

Tempest. Those books would probably make great firewood at a campsite. Like “bullshit” , the aroma of the smoke would keep the mosquitoes away

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Kraft

Kraft–I am laughing. I live in Austin (Lance territory), and was at a half-price book store the other day checking out the $1-$3 bargains. There were TONS of Lance Armstrong bios. I told the checkout clerk they should really reduce those from $3 to “free” as you just can’t give them away now.

That man has an ego as big as Manhattan. A**hole.

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  willowchumpx30

Mine either. Everything was my fault…and I now realize all that xmr accused me of was exactly what he was doing. That realization neither helped nor hurt me…it just helped my resolve that I was doing the right thing and had to keep pluggin on tryin to get to meh…for my own well being…

hurt1
hurt1
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeep

Nothing was really my fault in the marriage until ex decided he deserved the OW. Then all shit broke out about how his life was my fault

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  hurt1

Yep…same here…right down to him wonderin what great things he would have done had he not married me…??? Kind of invalidated my life in one sentence. He was doing exactly what he is doing right now when I met him…drinking, chasing women…only now he has a real job.

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeep

I was told that she had missed out on too many things because she knew I wouldn’t enjoy them. In the last year I said no to a lot of things due to money concerns, but previously I always encouraged her to do anything she wanted (Hell, at one point I was going to pay for her and her sister to go the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – I knew her sister was a big fan as well, so she’d have more fun that way. This would have cost thousands of dollars).

As she was leaving it was suddenly my fault that she didn’t do things. I should have never physically restrained her or guilt-tripped her about wanting to have fun. Oh, wait, those things never happened.

horsesrcumin
horsesrcumin
9 years ago

Hmmm, I was always up for an adventure in the twenty plus years before he cheated. When “in recovery” I didn’t want to do anything or go anywhere with him – I was too humiliated (other than the hysterical bonding phase where we were going to kick this shit’s arse!) I still don’t like to go out anywhere where anyone knows me. This is not who I used to be. Taking a long time to lick my wounds here…

Jeepin4me
Jeepin4me
9 years ago

Same here…he has been telling people that I wouldn’t leave the house…he is neglecting to tell them the only place he wanted to go was a bar…so, yeah, I didn’t want to go to a bar…no…the only vacations he wanted to take me on were to see his family…not to spend the time with me…alone…we both worked constantly…no alone time…before the insanity that is him now struck we took camping / fishing trips all the time and had a great time…alone… Hell, I don’t know what happened…I quit tryin to figure it out cause his only explanation was that it was all my fault.

…sigh…this loneliness is crushing…but…as I said, I was alone with him here…

kar marie
kar marie
9 years ago
Reply to  hurt1

Same here hurt1. Same here. I was the best wife ever till OW. everything he loved about suddenly was all wrong. Screw him. We both deserve better. Big hugs!!!!!!

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  kar marie

hurt1 & kar marie…….wow! must be a pattern! I was so great too in his eyes (or at least he bullshited that the whole time), then OW stripper and IHaveHate was NO GOOD. Nothing I said or did that he USED to laugh at or like did he laugh at or like anymore. Everything was irritating to him. Fucking asshole! I hate his guts!

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  IHaveHate

Meant to say then OW stripper came along and IHH was NO GOOD.

kim
kim
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeepin4me

Walk just as fast AWAY from those apologistic ,asshole, blame shifting & quick to give an alibi mother fucking in laws too.

With Brave Wings
With Brave Wings
9 years ago
Reply to  kim

“The sooner you realize that you caused this too, the better off you will be” – ex father in law who happens to be a member of the CLERGY! Never mind those pesky Ten Commandments, those laws don’t apply when it’s your kid who fucked another woman.

kim
kim
9 years ago

Yep mine said “Well you must not have been all that and a bag of chips or he wouldn’t have left” Bunch of fucked up assholes!

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  kim

Absolutely no remorse…and truckloads of entitlement.

…unbelievable…all of em!

PAPrincess
PAPrincess
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeep

My Inlaws entertain Bishops and Cardinals of the Catholic Church, yet they argue that my ex husband, their brother and son, “has a right to happiness and that blood is thicker than water.” Excuse me but aren’t our three broken hearted children BLOOD? For the past five years, before the cheating began, to my knowledge, I was asking for counseling for better communication during our mid life issues. He said we didn’t need it and now he is with a woman 22 years his younger. My kids hate his sin and they are repulsed by her. 50% of my in laws, who refuse to enable him, are the ones I now call my In-Loves. The rest enable because it is easier and they are entitled cowards. Their problem….not mine. My kids are sticking up for themselves beautifully, despite the faux- christian relatives.

horsesrcumin
horsesrcumin
9 years ago
Reply to  PAPrincess

Great. If it wasn’t your life, Irish. You couldn’t write this shit, and if you read it you’d think someone had been at the communion wine!

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  PAPrincess

Irish……of course, it was your fault!!! Darn you! He woulda stopped!

NOT!!!!!!!

Irish
Irish
9 years ago
Reply to  PAPrincess

IDK. I do know I dragged his ass to the church, while 8 months pregnant (for those who know my story, this was child #4, DDay# can’t remember, not my first DDay when I was pregnant with #3)
I made him tell the priest what he was doing. Mind you, this was the third time I dragged his ass to the priest! The priest said, well Mr. XXX, you need to stop doing this. And you should do some penance and cold showers and fasting. And no, Mrs. XXX, STRICTLY SPEAKING THIS IS NOT ADULTERY. It is immoral, yes. He should do whatever it takes to stop. But not adultery.

So Fr. XXX, why does this feel like adultery???? Answer me that! Why do I feel like my heart has been torn from my chest for the umpteenth time? No answer. Just fingers steepled and a sad, concerned look while slowly shaking his head.

I can promise you, none of that freaking worked. But asshole did make a point that had I kneeled down and prayed with him, he could have stopped. But because of my stubborn pride, I would not do this ONE thing that would have cured him of this horrible affliction: LUST for teenage girls.

What a crock of horseshit.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in Christ, and his forgiveness. And in the power of prayer. But I could barely look at this horror that was my husband, never mind joining hands and praying with him. Not. Happening.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  PAPrincess

Hey Irish…..do you really think he had the guts to confess to the priest that he wacked off to teen porn?!! Wow, Wow!!!

Irish
Irish
9 years ago
Reply to  PAPrincess

Nope, he never gave up his meat!! LOL.

We gave up meat EVERY Friday during the year. During Lent, fasting 40 days, meat only once a day, but none on Wednesday’s or Fridays. He never missed a Holy Day of Obligation either. And went to Confession weekly.

He also had a beautiful picture of Mary above his computer monitor. He is unbelievable.

Irish
Irish
9 years ago
Reply to  PAPrincess

Traditional Catholic Latin mass here. No help from priests of the church I attended for 9 years. Only one person called me to see why I wasn’t attending mass. Stbx is so pious. Did all the rituals called for. Required children to be perfect little Catholics, with the threat of losing God’s grace and going to hell. But, at home, a pervert who whacked off to teen porn, even during Lent. Of course he is forgiven with every confession, and has a clean slate with which to sin again. Arghhhhhh. What a crock of horseshit. As soon as I kicked his stupid ass out, I cut my hair, got a nice pair of jeans and found a Catholic church that taught God’s love for us, not that He hated Levi’s.

His mom is an ostrich. Happy to have her big diamond rings, And pretend to be a Franciscan. And her husband predilection for molesting young girls? Including her own granddaughters? Well, we must forgive. God says so. And if you don’t, well then you are not a good Catholic. Divorce her son?!?! For constant porn surfing, financial malfeasance and neglect of family? You will go to hell. Sure thing. Arghhhhhhhhhhhhh! Makes me want to scream. And hit something.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

Irish–you should hit something, you deserve it. With hope, your loser will suffer collateral damage from the swing.

I have to ask though, when your STBX was jerking off to teen porn during Lent, did he give up his meat on Fridays ; ) ?

kim
kim
9 years ago
Reply to  PAPrincess

This ^^
What part of blood is their grandchild, niece ? Life is too short for HIS unhappiness. So he abandoned us on our only daughters sweet 16th birthday. But that’s OK after all” she’s almost grown.”
ASSHOLES !!

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  PAPrincess

Lots of parallels here too…catholic…in laws support xmr…wow…

I am 2 years old and 1 month divorced and on my knees grateful for this chance to feel the sun!

TheClip
TheClip
9 years ago
Reply to  kim

” alibi fucking in laws” … Welcome to my world.

kim
kim
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

You too Clip ?

nic
nic
9 years ago
Reply to  kim

Mother (fucking) in law. Yes.

kim
kim
9 years ago
Reply to  nic

Nic, I still want to catch MIL hair on fire. I know I need to stop….

nic
nic
9 years ago
Reply to  kim

I’ve gone nc with her – and as a Narc, she is losing her mind about this. She’s the victim, of course. I really detest her. And she’s very young, and her people live entirely too long. Maybe an awkwardly placed candle might precipitate your desired outcome….?

chapterphoenix
chapterphoenix
9 years ago

Yep another post I need to tattoo to the insides of my eyelids. Chumplady you are just the best.

Sasanka
Sasanka
9 years ago
Reply to  chapterphoenix

LOL!!!!!!

Phi Slama Jama Mama
Phi Slama Jama Mama
9 years ago

Ahhh, it’s probably some of both. I think the scariest combo is being arrogant and insecure, all at the same time. And probably some are one, some the other.

Here’s the thing–it doesn’t matter. Their behaviors matter. If they act like assholes, they’re assholes. Most probably compartmentalize, even if they feel badly, and they don’t feel badly about you, but about themselves. I think my STBXH is terribly ashamed, but it didn’t change anything, caused him to behave badly toward me, trying to tear me down, and ultimately doesn’t matter. And at some level, they feed off the drama.

After you spend years nurturing and protecting your family, including your wayward partner, it is hard to shift toward putting that energy into a different form of productive. I figure it’s like exercise–baby steps, do a little every day. You get better and stronger…

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago

PhiSJM–well-put. Their actions wreak havoc on people and families (and sometimes finances, and health, etc.).

And I agree, many of them are addicted to the drama. I noticed about that about my X when we first started dating–he was addicted to the fight + makeup afterwards. I just felt exhausted by it. I guess once I threatened to leave enough because of the drama, he took it underground and got his drama by seducing and screwing other people. The deception was a stand-in for the drama.

Drew
Drew
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

My ex took it underground. Whenever I wanted to pursue something he wouldn’t outright tell me NO but would subtly sabatoge me. For example, taking a few college classes. He would volunteer to take care of our kids and then halfway through the semester his work became the priority. I was a classic Chump, isolated and far from family. I did everything by myself and was content with crumbs tossed my way. One time the kids and I journeyed south to visit my parents and my ex paid someone to finish my tile project. On the day we married he went and partied with our friends and left me at the hotel suite with our new baby. WTF, right?!? Who does stuff like this!?! Yes, signs of his crap behavior were there, I was just naive, raised by an alcoholic and used to making excuses. I find it hilarious that he’s married to his AP. That right there, Karma.

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  Drew

My lawyer called xmr a ‘drama queen’ 🙂

onthehill
onthehill
9 years ago

I would go along with you, CL, on not quite agreeing with that generalized statement. Although I know myself enough to know that when I see people do things that I do that bother me? It definitely irritates me.

In my own experience with my Narc X, his vulnerabilities came out more in demonstrated hypocrisy.

Looking back into my journal, when he was having his EA, he was accusing me of having affairs. Whenever I decided to go get in shape, he was convinced I was doing it for “other” reasons than just being healthy. I could never understand why he “went there”. In fact, one day I was working in our home office. Around 10 am, he burst into the house and ran back into the bedroom. I was wondering “what the hell is he doing!!” I heard the closet doors fling open and slam shut. As he was leaving the house, I said, “Hey honey, you OK?” He just said a deflated, “Yeah”, and left. It dawned on me he was looking to “catch” me in something.

When he would get on his soap-box in a more vehement way about how someone was doing something, or, an opinion that someone had, it was not too long I would notice him doing or saying something similar.

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
9 years ago
Reply to  onthehill

The ex accused me of cheating on him several times in our relationship. One time he even left our children home alone after 11PM (they were 8 and 11 at the time) to “catch me” cheating at work. He tore into the parking lot where he found me with 3 other women gossiping on a Friday night after a hellish work week. We were all wild sitting on that picnic table drinking water!

He would routinely go through my purse to find ‘evidence’ of me cheating and as soon as cell phones came on the scene if someone called my number accidentally he would call it back and ask them why they were calling me.

I put up with that for a long time, mostly because I was dependent on him financially. As soon as that was no longer the case, I put my foot down and told him it stopped immediately or I was out.

For the longest time, I thought it was because he was so insecure but I now I realize without a doubt it’s because he was most likely cheating all that time. He was projecting the behavior he assumed everyone had. I kind of giggle when I think he’s hitched his wagon to another cheater. If I wasn’t so comfortably on the road to meh, I’d be almost interested in getting out the popcorn to watch that shit show unfold!

Free2b1
Free2b1
9 years ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

I never wanted to believe that the cheating went back before we were married, but I too used to wonder at my ex’s “insecure” behavior. I was a flight attendant. After almost every trip he’d say, “did anyone try to pick up on you?”, “did anyone try to get your number?” ” did you meet any rich cute guys?” I wish I would have known about projection back then 🙁

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  onthehill

I found myself ‘projecting’ how I would feel if I were the one in his shoes…I wouldn’t be able to hold my head up…I would be forever trying to make it right with him…it only served to keep me stuck for another year of horrible abuse…xmr had no remorse other than his ‘image’ and assets…he didn’t want his image tarnished or his assets divided! To hell with me and my crushed emotional state! He just surrounded himself with new people and changed the story to fit his actions – that I was the reason he had to move on cause I was ‘crazy’ and depressed and…wow… They have no remorse…tis true…

stevie729
stevie729
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeep

Mine left and never looked back, not a tear in his eye…. I think the asshole skipped to his SUV. He is living his life…. meeting new peeps at the gym…. being the super awesome muscly super bodybuilder trainer dude…. every day… “training” at 4:00 PM sharp. Traveling…. competitions…. fitness expo’s…… any function that has ANY thing to do with stupid fucking bodybuilding. If you ask him?? “My life isn’t all peaches and roses like you think it is… that has always been your misconception.” Really asshole?? I thought I, me alone, was the root of ALL that is “negative” and evil in your world…. squashing your mojo……I have been eliminated (“you ARE the weakest link”) and therefore YOU should be “HAPPY”….. oh…. wait…. your life still sucks poor little sausage….. I thought the selfish twat-waffle was going to make it all fabulous?? Not so? Isn’t that just too bad eh? Pretentious f*ckwit!!

His Mother blamed me too the first time I caught him… asshole chump that I am…. I blamed myself too. Glad I pulled my head out of my ass this time. Good Grief!!

As for questions…. I’ve asked many…. I get the same response….. you hear that chumps???? Yes… that… that big BLANK space of nothing…… that’s what I get…. nada….nothing…..zip. NOT. ONE. WORD. He couldn’t possibly be a more callous asshole if he applied more effort, he is a perfect asshole already.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  stevie729

Stevie729…….I hear ya on the nada, nothing, zilch etc…… Me too! I can’t tell you how many verbal talks before split and emails/texts after split of me just practically begging for some kind of answer and to this moment got nothing too! Yes, back in the really foggy days!
Now days…….Hate hate and more hate for him. I wonder when this will end?!!!

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  IHaveHate

THAT shit is all about control…. it’s just another way for them to say “F*CK YOU” to us. Pure unadulterated mindfuckery!! Who does that?? as CL said last week “Assholes. Vile people. People with shit for character. Cowards.”

I’ve heard it said that the opposite of love is indifference. I believe that. That is when it will end, when you have finished wading through the shit and the muck and worked it all out in your head and your heart and you no longer “feel” pain about the demise or the asshole…. chumps here call it “Meh”.

Jeepin4me
Jeepin4me
9 years ago
Reply to  stevie729

STEVIE!!! LOL!!! That was the first belly laugh I have had all day!!! THANK YOU! LOL!!!

…crap…MY asshole said the same thing about his life!!! Just workin, workin out and comin home and workin more…no bed of roses here!!! LOL!

My lawyer advised me to meet with that asshole and try to work out the particulars so we could get the divorce over with…that asshole actually wanted to sit and complain about this ows!!!! WHAT! AND he cried! Tears! …they didn’t quite fall down his cheeks but…there they were! I was AMAZED! He said he wanted to move home if I could let it go cause he is too old to start over…WHAT!!!! …I asked him if the shoe was on the other foot if he would take me back…he just hung his head and said no…asshole…ugh!

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeepin4me

Glad you got a giggle 😀 those are my favorite…. I just LOVE it here!! I look forward to reading all the comments because some of these posts are priceless!! So glad to see that so many of us can still have a sense of humor in the midst of such anguish and horrible circumstances.

My asshole hasn’t given ANY hint….not even a morsel… that he might be regretting what he has done (he has only been gone 3+ months). He SAID he is “sorry for everything I have ever done to you” and “I know I did everything the wrong way”… but his EGO would never allow him to admit that he f*cked everything up. He will NEVER admit to being a LIAR and a CHEATER and he will follow this ride straight into hell before he would EVER jump off and admit he was WRONG.

That bodybuilding bullshit is a recipe for destruction, it became his new addiction. He truly just stopped caring about everything else, every single moment of every day revolves around that shit. No matter WHERE we were or WHAT the conversation was about…. he would always find a way to start talking about his “training” or his “dieting”. It was SO obvious to everyone but him… that nobody gave ONE SHIT about hearing it over and over and over. I don’t know HOW they can all stand to be around each other…. have you ever been to a competition?? They have a thing called a “pose down” where they are all posing and stepping in front of each other to show off for the judges…. reminds me of a bunch of kindergarteners trying to push in front of each other at the drinking fountain. Simulates their existence in life too…. always pushing everyone else out of the way to be the attention whore…. look at me…. look at me….. aren’t I amazing???

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

Stevie, mine got into his body too. He was buying some kind of diet supplement from OW that kept him with the runs all the time. He was in the bathroom so much and I was so sick of cleaning up after him. He got thinner than I’d ever seen him, but kept saying he’d never felt better. He got even thinner than he was as a teenager and to me he looked awful. Everyone in our community noticed too, I seriously thought he had some kind of brain cancer or horrible disease but he refused to go to the doctor. It seemed to me he was trying to turn back into a teenager.

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

The similarities with these disordered assholes is endless… even the crap they say… they all say the same crap…. think the same crap…. act the same.

I swear… if I ever get involved with another man… I’m checking references…

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

xmr is an attention whore too…his penis…the day I saw that…I just got up and left…

The beauty of life, the wonders of nature, the amazing feeling of being truly loved by others…these disordered assholes have no idea what they are missing!

…THEY would be SO jealous if they even FELT 1 second of what WE KNOW, FEEL, SEE AND ENJOY!

Don’t waste another minute of this WONDERFUL LIFE on them! As CL says GO BE AWESOME!

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
9 years ago
Reply to  stevie729

The last time I saw my ex, a week after she left me (surprise!) she was happier than I had ever seen her. I mean, she was down right giddy. So, I was left with the idea that escaping me was true freedom, that she was elated to be rid of me.

You mentioned him practically skipping to his SUV. Did you take that personally? If not, I’m jealous! If so, did you eventually get over it? How?

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago

Not sure how my name got posted wrong… but stevie729 is me…. anyway….

@WhichWayDidSheGo 😀 Don’t be jealous…. I don’t know if I actually took it personally, but I was completely devastated by the entire destruction of what I thought we had. He carried on with his affair, while living in our home, for 3 months after D-Day. It was torturous living like that, him sitting there texting…knowing he was talking to her… then he’d leave the house every night to go call her. When he finally left, it was hard…. but it was also a relief. I’ve shared in previous posts that he left 6 days after I was diagnosed with breast cancer…. so I had a LOT going on besides just him. At one point I told the heartless asshole that he ripped my f*cking heart out and then got pissed off at me for bleeding!!

As for that “happy” face, it is all bullshit…. fake as f*ck… just another of the many masks they wear in their little game of “Look At Me”. He and most of his family are all a bunch of enabling & pretentious assholes. They all PRETEND he is absolutely perfect……. his life is in the toilet and I’m the only one that knows the 100% truth, well he knows it but pretends not to (magical thinking) and sooner or later (probably sooner) it is all going to come crashing down… on him and only him.

Funny thing…. I was thinking today… his grown kids and his parents actually KNOW the truth and they care more about just bumbling along and not confronting him with his own bullshit. How SAD is it…. that the people who are supposed to LOVE you and be HONEST with you about yourself…. would stand by and watch you go down in flames rather than ruffle your feathers or rock the boat? And he tells me I’M the one who is f*cked up.

I don’t know if I’m “over” it…… or “over” him completely….. I love, or loved him very much (the person I thought I knew). There is just SO much damage… so much pain….. so the hurt is still there but he has just done so much that it feels different… irreparable. In my heart I just know that he is not redeemable, not without an act of God of some sort… and it would have to be a miracle in comparison to the resurrection of Jesus Christ to scare the asshole out of him.

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

Stevie…oh Honey. I didn’t know…I hope you are well…I hope you have loving caring people around you! Do you have enough support and help?

…what a cowardly asshole! What a WORTHLESS MAN! He just left you while you are dealing with breast cancer! Oh Honey! I hope you are getting better now!

…these people are monsters…cowardly, hide in the dark monsters…

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeep

No worries Jeep, I am ONE tough piece of work 😀 and I am doing well as a matter of fact, thank you. I had 2 surgeries, one in December (one month to the date that he left) and the other was last Wednesday (my final reconstruction). I could have gone another route… but I wanted to take the route that would best insure no recurrence since I have a young son to think about. I opted for the double mastectomy & reconstruction. I am one of the lucky ones, my results came back low risk… no radiation or chemo… just meds for the next 5 years. There was some previous discussion about this in yesterday’s comments.

They are most definitely cowards. Zero integrity.

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

I am so glad to hear you are well! Oh!!! Thank goodness!

Yes…integrity…compassion…

Oh Honey I am so glad you are ok!

We are all Blessed with such miracles!!!! Like when those cowards walked away! 😀

I am so glad you are okay!

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago

WWDSG, my ex actually smirked at me as I stumbled around in confusion and bewilderment after the revelations of D-Day. When I told him to get out and not come back, in my mind, his shiny dress shoes skittered on the hardwood floor like in a cartoon, so happy was he to leave.. After that, in the few interactions we had to have, he’d try to act superior, calm, benevolent and polite, like a distant uncle with whom I’d somehow managed to have 3 children. He never explained why he had cheated and lead a double life for at least 15 years (we were married 25). He admitted that he was planning to marry one of his AP’s within days of him leaving. It was mind blowing and impossible to digest since he had acted like he adored me and told me he loved me every single day up to that point.

You get over it by realizing that you will never understand it, that there is no explaining it, and that they are profoundly disordered. You realize that your mind will keep trying to figure it out, but you never will. I also realized at some point that I would probably go to my grave stunned by what he did. I accepted that.

I also decided that I’d be damned if that was going to be the last story in my romantic life. I did not know whether I would find anyone I wanted to date, let alone marry, and frankly thought that was not in the cards for me again, but I was going to give it a try. And so I decided to move on and started dating pretty early after the divorce. I am now remarried to a much better man and cannot believe what I hadn’t know I was missing in the 25 years of my first marriage.

So I think my recommendation is accept that you will never understand, and move on as best you can and in the best way possible for you.

Ex is marrying AP this summer, but I will never wish him happiness after he abandoned me and our 3 children. Our children do not speak to him, and he is persona non grata to our family and community, and he moved away with AP. Whether he knows it or not, and whether he cares or not, karma has visited him already.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

I think the smirking is his way of Charlie Sheen “winning!” Obviously Charlie Sheen did not win the escalation of sins that cost him his job. But he took to the Internet and pretended he did. It’s a defend your ego thing.

I am guessing your ex wasn’t happy to be caught being a sleeze, so he pretended he was winning.

tflan386
tflan386
9 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

Superior, calm, benevolent, polite, like a distant uncle with whom I’d somehow managed to have 3 children – Wow, perhaps your cheater ex is a long lost twin of my cheater ex, because those words so accurately describe mine as he was making his exit. It was beyond scary to be treated in that neutral, dispassionate way in a volatile emotional context. Talk about cognitive dissonance. Like you, Kelly, I also remarried a better man. They did us a favour by leaving – we were free to enter a new, healthier relationship.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  tflan386

Within a week mine had all kinds of young grad students hanging around, and had died his mustache from gray to dark brown. He couldn’t wait to be free of me. He acted like a complete stranger, like he’d been let out of his cage. E

I agree with Kelly that you will never understand it. It doesn’t make sense to chumps. Eventually you come to accept it’s just the way they are. It gets easier as your build your own life. I’ve been NC with my ex for 3 years. I’m sure if I saw him in person it would be harder to deal with, but luckily no one ever tells me anything about him, and I never look him up on social media. It’s like he’s dead to me. That’s the only way I know how to deal with it. Things might change when our grandchildren enter the picture because I’ll most likely see him more often, I don’t know.

It’s really strange when your heart recognizes this person a source of comfort, but your head knows he’s the one who almost destroyed you. Very dissonant experience.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  tflan386

Kelly and Tflan…….feeling a lil envious of both of you getting a fresh, better start. I won’t; not with an STD X bastard gave me. So sad to be alone; never wanted to be, I like having a significant other. ;(

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
9 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

Exactly, the karma bus has already run him over.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeep

Once during the 6 mos before I went NC, Ex said to me in a text: “what would you do, re you, if you were me?” First off, the phrase “re you” made me sick to my stomach, to be so objectified as if I were just a problem of his to be solved. I answered, “I can’t answer that because never in a billion years could I ever have done to you what you did to me.” His answer? “ok.”

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Muse, I told my ex I could never have done to him what he did to me either. Here’s a good quote I found: “If I wouldn’t do it to you, I won’t take it from you.” I think those are good words to live by going forward…

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Muse, our twin exes strike again! Narc was trying to get my sympathy and help after he neglected the kids so badly that they started to refuse to see him. He said ‘put yourself in my shoes, how would you feel?’. For a moment I almost bit that hook, but I managed to think for a moment and reply ‘I would NEVER be in the situation you’re in’. At least he looked sheepish and didn’t push it or rage, that time. Knew it was true. (Later of course I got the accusations of being ‘harsh’ and having ‘no compassion’.)

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeep

I actually tried to picture myself in cheater’s shoes, too–having a sweet young thing attracted to me, meeting for coffee, etc., heading back to her apartment for a shag on the twin bed….and that is when it hit me–NO WAY I could have gone through with that knowing I had a spouse back home. Putting myself in his shoes mentally was the final straw in trusting that he sucks.

When I asked him, at any point did you have a pang of conscience and think, “I can’t do this, I have a wife?” he said no, the lust just took over. Remorseless narcissist. He sucks and sucks BIG.

MrsVain
MrsVain
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

i am right with you on that. i had many good looking guys hit on me when i was married. and Hell YES i was flattered but not once did i ever think to actually kiss or fuck one of them. i had made my choice and he was at home waiting for me (or at least at home sleeping). i could never bring myself to take it to that next level with other men after i was married.

i never asked boyman that question. i already know what he would say, his excuse would be “of course i was thinking of you. but i thought you didnt want/love/need me anymore by the way you been acting. i thought we were getting divorced and it hurt me so much that is why i had to be with her, to help me feel not so bad because you were leaving/divorcing me”

he will NEVER own up to his actions that lead me to kicking him out on new’s years day and that lead me to fill out the divorce papers. he pushes to the point that i have to do something then he will blame me for doing that one thing instead of all the things he did that drove me to that point. he plays the victim very very well.

onthehill
onthehill
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Unfortunately with men – and maybe this is why cheaters tend to be men more than women – they can compartmentalize things in their brain. We don’t typically do that. It’s natural with them.

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago
Reply to  onthehill

Certainly not all men, fortunately! Only the assholes!

Thankful
Thankful
9 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

Yes only the assholes!!!!

And if they can compartmentalise their cheating, they can compartmentalise us when we no longer meet their needs. I don’t think they even realise there is a problem with their actions, which is why they so quickly see themselves as the victim.
In there thinking our reactions do not corilate with their actions.
Stay strong chumps.

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  onthehill

…wow onthehill…xmr did the same thing to me…??? I never thought about that was why…wow…I guess that would make what he was doing okay in his messed up mind…

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
9 years ago

I like Brene Brown’s work. And I think Dr. Simon has some good points as well. It is likely a case of both/and as opposed to either/or. It depends on the cheater. However, as CL boils it down, the behavior tells you what you need to know. Can you live with it? If not, then it is time to leave. If you decide to stay, then figuring out whether it is shame or something else becomes very important.

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago

I’m with Dr. Simon and CL on this. Their personalities are not a function of low self esteen, insecurity, self-loathing…..their problem is there focus on self and complete lack of empathy. When I finally ‘got’ that, I got out. Believing there was a forgivable reason for that kind of behavior just kept me stuck.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago

Yes indeed–whether a person is abusing you out of their shame or because of their narcissism, it’s still abuse.

lisahaight1969
lisahaight1969
9 years ago

After being married to a very opinionated and controlling man who was also PA and probably a narc, I can say that I am changing how I live the second half if my life.

I no longer try to view people in the best possible light or give them the benifit of a doubt.

If it looks like a dick, acts like a dick, and talks like a dick – it’s most likely a dick or an asshole.

People who insult me, are rude and nasty and act like bad people are BAD PEOPLE!!!

No need to figure them out.

I was a minister’s wife, so I used to try to find the good in everyone.

Nope – it’s just not there.

I am going into this half of my life with my eyes wide open! B

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  lisahaight1969

I feel the exact same way Lisa. I feel like I’ve lost my innocence at 43 years old because I thought almost everyone was a generally good person. I thought the bad people were in prison or living on the fringes of society and everyone else was basically good. My elder of our church, abandoning cheaterpants opened my eyes to the secondary evil that is hidden behind good appearances. Dr. George Simon opened my eyes to judge people’s actions, not words . I, too, will be skeptical of all people from this point on. This is a great article about overlooked red flags that show bad character: http://www.infidelityhelpgroup.com/2014/09/30/affair-fog-character-change/ .

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  Nicole S

One thing I’ve noticed after surviving infidelity is that NOTHING surprises me any more. For instance, I used to would have been shocked when I heard the allegations about Bill Cosby, but now I just shrug. It doesn’t surprise me to find out our idols have feet of clay.

TheClip
TheClip
9 years ago

I like a lot of Bene Browns too. I can’t identify with that particular statement. I would side more on the asshole trait.
I have mentioned before that my Idiots favorite book is ” 48 Laws of Power. ” He coveted that book. He hilighted points that he identified with and put into practice a lot of the “rules.” I initially thought it was due to the nature of his work… Undercover Narc … but a lot of the lingo and traits began to ooze into our lives. He was always very good at the duplicity and seemlessly moved from our family life into street hood…. hanging with prostitutes gang members and punks. There were times when he told me we couldnt be seen in public together. ( I now questions a lot of those motives) I had a private cell number and our address and other identifiers were off the grid. Strange world… But I supported him through it. Even endured a drive by shooting at our house because his UC car was parked in front. He was marked by a local gang and soon had to abandon post.
And thats when our lives took a turn… He took a regular post… But somehow the clandestine lifestyle was still hanging on… And thats when my suspsicions grew. My own detective work outed his affair and the rest is history as they say…
When I started asking questions and calling him out on his double talk is when he became hostile, agressive and finally violent toward me.
Most days I feel like I have been duped for most of my marriage by a man who can and does live duplicitiously. And i try not to sit and unravel the skein… I often wonder WTF happened? Wired differently…dangerously.
No shame in his game.

Irish
Irish
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

Clip, my stbx was an undercover narc too! I think it takes a special kind of pathological liar to be a sleazy drug guy, and a family man at the same time. The whole worry of being made, and he would never sit with his back to any door. He drove a fancy car, and dressed the part. Trolled all the sleazy parts of town late at night. Crazy way to live. Even had an alias. Then he went to beast officer. DWI enforcement. Great. Drunk women he pulled over, and had to deal with, I shudder to think of what he was doing to them. He used to find a lot of underage teens and would drive them home. Hmmm.

Before he met me, and I know y’all are going to ask how stupid could I be, he told me that the girl living with him made him mad while he was getting ready for work. So he handcuffed her to the refrigerator and left her there. For an hour. Till he had one of his buddies go by to uncuff her. At the time, I told him that was horrible! But he said it was a joke and she wasn’t mad. She didn’t leave him, she stayed. *Facepalm*. Just typing this makes me feel so stupid. WTF was I thinking. And what is wrong with me that I did not run like hell away from him.

Rereading this, I almost did not post it. It made me so angry with myself and feel like I must be either incredibly stupid or incredibly damaged to not have seen that for what it was. I deserve this hell because I’m an idiot.
But if this helps one single woman snap out of it and pay attention to her gut, run like hell away from the crazy, and for God’s sake don’t have kids with these psychos, then I’ll put this out there.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

Irish–I’m glad you posted that. I struggle with feeling stupid everyday for not connecting the dots of my X’s fuckedupedness (or fuckupedness?). I even had a well-meaning friend ask, “Didn’t you suspect anything?” which I translated as “Everyone else has known for 8 years that your H banged a grad student and flirts ostentatiously at parties. How did you miss this?”

I used to interrogate kids in a drug rehab center about their misbehavior (and I was good at it), but still didn’t detect even a fraction of my X’s duplicity.

The only way to explain why we intelligent people miss the signs for so long is “schema.” It’s a term from cognitive psych to explain how we organize small pieces of information into a larger, more coherent representation. Our schemata were stuck on “trusting.” As pieces of information would come in, we just explained them away and incorporated them into our schema. Not until switches started flipping do we alter our schemata and then start to see deceptive acts for what they are.

What was the alternative? Go into marriage with a non-trusting schema? Then you risk interpreting every ambiguous act as deception, and may ruin a perfectly good marriage with accusations. And who wants to live not trusting the people closest to you.

We need to let ourselves off the hook. But, I know, we still feel stupid. I told my daughter that it’s as if I was some innocent toddler skipping merrily through dangerous territory.

Irish
Irish
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Truth. I always questioned things, but brushed them off as being too untrusting. And could be charming, helpful, kind. As a person who grew up in an abusive alcoholic home, ending up being taken away by thre state for abuse And cruelty by both parents, and growing up inthe foster care system, I was so fucking grateful for crumbs. I thought I was so LOVED by him. Not so. I believe you are right about our schema. Spot on again ,Tempest.

Irish
Irish
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

This is so true, Donna. On one hand, I realize this was not my fault. But a large part of me feels like a huge idiot. I mean, really? I look back, and it’s all there. Easy to see now. And earlier I meant HE could be charming, helpful and kind. I am trying so hard not to regret, because I feel it is a useless emotion. But it drags me down. I feel suffocated by the hot mess I find myself in. And so trapped. Like an animal.. I’m to the point of chewing my own damn leg off to get away.

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

…I am feeling the same way right now Irish…crap…so lonely…but…I was alone even when he was here…sigh…

…what I tried to say before is I am 2 years OUT (not old) and divorced a month and I still keep feeling this way every now and again…I guess it is the intense loneliness…

I need a vacation…if I could afford it I would go see Regina and snorkel the reef!! LOL!!

NCstevie729
NCstevie729
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeep

But of course there are IHH, although this one lives outside of Springfield, MO….they “met” there.

Cheater Assholes & Whores…. no shortage of those anywhere unfortunately. Just like a f*cking cockroach infestation or some kind of epidemic.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeep

NC Stevie…..yep, unfortunately there are whores here in KC too! lol
Jeep…….STL= St. Louis

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeep

Ha ha… too funny…. assholes first rendezvous with the whore was in Kansas City and he is on his way to Ohio for the Arnold Classic. I’m in good old STL.

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

What is STL?

LOL! I lost what I was going to post…guess you got part of it…Grapes of Wrath…Wizard of Oz…Kansas Wow!!!

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeep

Tempest…..love the idea! I’m in Kansas City. Anyone out here?!!!

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeep

Jeep–say where your general area is and some other chumps might be interested in meeting up for coffee (I’d say use the forums but not everyone reads those). By setting up a new “CL” gmail account, I could post it anonymously here. It was helpful to me to meet up with one person nearby over New years, and we have plans to meet up again.

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest that would be wonderful! I am in Ohio…how do I set up a CL gmail account?

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeep

I just set up a new gmail account incorporating my CL moniker (e.g. tempest.ariel2014@gmail.com). You could post it in the forums under “Ohio chumps” and see if anyone was interested in a get together.

Jeepin4me
Jeepin4me
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I set it up under Ohio Chumps in Forum 🙂

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Thank you! I guess you are not close huh?

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

I was so overwhelmed when I realized I spent a total of 41 years with a disturbed man. The paralysis, self loathing , and emptiness consumed many months following the final discard. I felt so fucking stupid. At the four month point I understood how narcs prey on loving, selfless, forgiving partners. Chumps are not stupid. They are tolerant. We struggle to row the boat through the storm as they sit across from us making shit sandwiches and ask us to pass the mayo. They are in fact idiots.

Roberta
Roberta
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

Donna, I also had almost 41 years invested in my marriage and I feel totally used by my ex! I wonder how I could have been so duped! I feel totally used! These fuckers use is for nearly our entire lives then want is to just “suck it up” and move on! Well, okay fuck face, I am sucking it up! The divorce is all but done and is aged to get everything! I feel that is just compensation for devoting entire life to eating his shit sandwiches!! Screw him and his Schmoopie!!

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

Donna, I remember telling my ex on D-day that I felt like the biggest fool in the universe. It was like I’d put all my money in the stock market just to have is crash right before retirement. I think forgiving myself for sacrificing so much to someone who didn’t understand or care was the hardest part. Some days I still struggle with that.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

Donna…..first off, 41 years!!! wow. just wow.
When you said we’re not dumb…….we’re not and it brought to mind what I posted a few days ago on my facebook. It says:
Soft hearted people are not fools. They know what people did to them, but they forgive again and again because they have beautiful hearts.

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

“Chumps are not stupid. They are tolerant. We struggle to row the boat through the storm as they sit across from us making shit sandwiches and ask us to pass the mayo. They are in fact idiots.”

THAT ^^^ Well put Donna. i know I’m not stupid…. but I sure feel stupid. It’s even worse when you know how stupid they are and realize how bad they’ve been getting over on you….. wtf? It really has been such a shitty existence….. can’t wait for “meh”. I’m close.

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

I wasn’t stupid, but I was naive. It never crossed my mind that people like that could exist. Nobody does until they encounter one, and that usually has to be in really close quarters.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

Boy, do I relate to being grateful for crumbs.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

LAJ…..I relate on the crumbs too! Very sad for all! My friend has always pointed the crumb thing out to me, even when I really don’t want to hear it! Yea……thanks friend! 🙁

Solange
Solange
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

Trust schema, crumbs and fear…no more!
Self validation, for me is what I need everyday as my journey has been long.
It started Sept. 1998, the first DdAY and the 2nd Dday Nov. 2014 – I say NO MORE!
I have taken my power and life back!
The opportunity costs that my investment in this 30+ year relationship blows my mind.
My 28th wedding anniversary will come before the divorce.
He took advantage of my loyalty and trust and that is unforgivable!

Gypsy57
Gypsy57
9 years ago

“It’s a popular notion that narcissists have deep down issues with vulnerability and shame. That they overcompensate. They put on airs, because somewhere inside they feel small.

I think it’s more likely that they actually DO think they are superior to you and feel entitled to do as they please.”

Tracy,

I have believed the above for YEARS. My ex-cheater was heavily into self-help, especially when it came to abusive relationships. In fact, we met on a forum for abuse ‘victims’, and he claimed that his ex-girlfriend was an abusive narcissist.

I think at some point he suspected that HE was the actual narcissist. At one point, he even asked me out-of-the-blue, if I believed that narcissists have a “core of shame”.

I said, “No.”

He didn’t like that.

I went on to explain what I quoted above. Some people REALLY DO believe that they are superior to others and that they ‘deserve’ whatever they want. They seem to believe this because they either grew up WITH a silver spoon (I have always gotten what I wanted when I was a child, therefore I should CONTINUE to get what I want as an adult) or WITHOUT a silver spoon (I NEVER got what I wanted as a child, so I should ALWAYS get what I want as an adult.)

Just my “2 sense”

Gypsy

moxie
moxie
9 years ago
Reply to  Gypsy57

You all are completely spot on.

STBX talked & cried his way through his core of shame during reconciliation.

All was great…..till DDay#2.

They truly have no shame. They are entitled to whatever they want whenever they want.

And they will play “Cheaper to Keep Her” as long as you will stay in your seat at the table.

Homie don’t play that no more!!!!

lady jane
lady jane
9 years ago
Reply to  moxie

The first time we went to MC cheater cried nearly the whole time. Later I realized he also lied the whole time. It truly was an Oscar winning performance. He said he felt such shame and had to go for a few days to deal with it. But he came back because he promised me he would go to this appointment. Turns out he spent four days with the AP.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  lady jane

Lady jane……ha! of course! Mine told me after DDay 1 that it’s best if we don’t talk on phone, see each other or any of it for 2 weeks and then when we meet again, we can evaluate what we both might want to do. (we saw each other every other weekend faithfully (well, one of us was ‘faithful’ for 10 years).
Sick fuck! I have never used such ugly foul language for someone in my whole life as I have for him!!!
The other day I told my friend that if he was on fire and my spit would put him out, I’d walk right past him. Wow! I’m not a happy camper.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  IHaveHate

Oh sorry, got caught up in it. But meant to continue to say and those 2 weeks he of course was with his stripper!

Irish
Irish
9 years ago
Reply to  moxie

Oh the crying. Constant. Huge racking sobs. I swear he almost rent his shirt.. he would have pulled his hair out if he had any. LOL. Oh and I bought it, the first 2 DDays. After that, it just did not move me. Actually pissed me off. But I still tried to “help” him. I still smoked that hopium believing maybe unicorns are real. Nope. They’re not. But they sure can cry.And look so darn sad. And learn how to not get caught next time……….

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

Irish, same with mine. Weeks of uncontrollable sobbing. So uncharacteristic I thought he was seriously ill. I’d hardly seen him shed a tear in the 36 years I’d known him!

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
9 years ago
Reply to  Gypsy57

Absolutely. My ex is diagnosed NPD. I’ve written this before, but right before leaving the house the morning after Dday, he told me, “I love myself just the way I am and I would never want to change.” That’s a look right into the head of a narc. That’s how they REALLY feel. Bullshit on the “core of shame” or insecurity. They don’t feel those types of emotions.

TwinsDad
TwinsDad
9 years ago

Great topic and insight CL! In general, I try not to generalize (sorry!). In my VERY STBXW’s case (the divorce is imminent), I could see in her face that she felt no shame. On one occasion I lost it and yelled at her about her affairs. This was only one of two times in our 25 years together that I ever yelled at her. I just lost it in response to her saying what was wrong with me (I think she was baiting me now that I think back). During the time I was yelling she was just smiling! No shame at all, in fact she was like a cat that swallowed a canary. It was a turning point for me because I realized that I don’t know this person. She is an alien. Creepy.

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
9 years ago
Reply to  TwinsDad

Once, during bogus reconciliation, ex was ragging on me for moving out of marital home and “wasting” money by renting an apartment. I reminded him that I had moved out due to his telling me he didn’t want to be married to me anymore and because he was cheating. Well, despite the fact that he was driving us down the freeway at 80 mph, he went into a rage like I had never seen before. Screaming in my face, “Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!” Ranting and raving, swerving on the road. I finally got him to calm down enough to drive safely.

Later that night, he told me that the rage was “the most passion he had ever felt for me” and that it was “very exciting.”

I am ashamed that I continued with the bogus reconciliation for several more months after that.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

GIO………poor you 🙁
I feel for ya. So sad.

kraft
kraft
9 years ago
Reply to  TwinsDad

Twins dad, yes I can so relate. Near the end of my divorce withSTBXW also. They do bait to get us angry. I haven’t taken the bait in years. Only in the early confusing post Dday era. My ex would entice with the most horrible comments. And when I responded, she would calmly stand there and smile. She’d portray an image of her being the angel.

I quickly learnt what she was doing and eventually just gave her inert responses. She then accused me of emotional abuse for not engaging in her abuse.

It was only when I discovered material about personality dissorders, narc. and borderline that I felt a huge sense of relief that my instincts were right. That she was a manipulative disturbed person. All our life, I new she had psychological issues, but we’re not psychologists, I didn’t know that. Her over compensating “niceness” for about 30% of the time kept me stuck into thinking she really was a good person who will get past her “problems”.

Thank god for the Internet and sites like Tracy’s CL. And don’t get me started on the psychology profession and its lack of action against these people. Talk about “asleep at the wheel”. In my profession, inaction, where your professional obligation is to do something is called “supervised neglect”.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  kraft

You are so right about the ‘niceness ‘ they display! He would be on the phone with customers and laugh and smile as he spoke with someone. The minute he got off the phone his affect changed. When I called him on it he responded by saying everyone thinks I’m nice except you! He bragged about what a nice guy he considered himself. He would also brag about my job and talk about me with customers as if he was so fortunate. I never got one compliment directed to me personally.

Jeepin4me
Jeepin4me
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

OMG Donna! xmr did the same thing with his clients on the phone…right down to talking bout me and all that I do…ugh…we were all abused by the same person…!

Informal
Informal
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeepin4me

I saw a friend of his within his presence and he told me all the nice things he would say about me. This friend was the single friend who my husband practically lived with for four years. So sickening.my gut told me he was a bullshitter and they had so many secrets. I knew when he made that comment that he probably really said nice things ( I’m a chump so naturally i am pretty nice) it was more of a reflection on how great he was somehow, if that makes sense? I was just a thing. He never said a nice personal thing to me or my kids but when he did speak it was to try to convince us of what a good guy he was and how talented he was. Uuggghhhh this happened years ago and it is burned in my eyeballs.

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  Informal

Ugh huh!!! It baffles me why…but xmr’s comment on how he can smile and play nice even with people he hates (and he said he hates everybody – you would have to to treat people he supposedly loves the way he does!) Tempest is correct…we should all be celebrating that we are free of their deception and emotional abuse!

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  TwinsDad

TwinsDad…..yes, alien and creepy for sure! I know what you’re saying about yelling 2x in 25 yrs. I was with X less that half that time, 10 yrs, and I raised my voice a couple of times ONLY as well. Of course, this was at the end as he continued to lie and lie. It’s sickening and unbelievable…..STILL!!!

patticake
patticake
9 years ago
Reply to  TwinsDad

“During the time I was yelling she was just smiling! No shame at all, in fact she was like a cat that swallowed a canary.”
Wow, TwinsDad, you just put into words my experience with my STBXH. I could never pinpoint what was going on during these episodes. You did that for me. All I can say is it was terribly unsettling. That smile, and the hurt I was exposing to him, just made me stop breathing for a second trying to understand what was happening. I am not going to miss those times. The memories still make my stomach turn upside down.

DoneNow
DoneNow
9 years ago

Some little kids are jerks. And its not because they have toxic shame. Then they grow up to be jerks. Some of its learned, some of its inherited. I don’t think you can claim that every act of meanness comes from shame. For some people, meanness is just a way of life, and they enjoy it. If you pick an area you’re vulnerable to shame in to make someone else feel bad, it might be because you think it gives you a good chance of to land a punch. That’s my two cents! We aren’t all nice people underneath it all.

Gypsy57
Gypsy57
9 years ago
Reply to  DoneNow

“Some little kids are jerks. … Then they grow up to be jerks. Some of its learned, some of its inherited.”

I think this is an important point, DoneNow. We grow up, get married and have children. But I think that too many parents are ill equipped to raise them.

It seems that as a society in general, we have gotten away from actually TEACHING our children about selfishness, ego, self-control, and hurting others. It’s as if some parents expect their children to either learn this stuff on their own, or they should be *born* with that knowledge. We often TELL our children not to be selfish, but we don’t TEACH them. It’s an on-going lesson.

I have wondered if my late husband had received better parenting if he would have STILL turned out to be a narcissist.

Hmmm…

Gypsy

DoneNow
DoneNow
9 years ago
Reply to  Gypsy57

I know that may have sounded harsh, but it’s true! I’ve seen it with my children’s friends, and as a teacher. For the most part, children are good and want to do good. I love them. But then there are a few….and it’s even worse when they have been raised to believe they’re the sun and the moon. Its not because they’re being treated badly at home. They’re mean because they see their family be jerks to everybody else.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  DoneNow

DoneNow……YES to “they have been raised to believe they’re the sun and the moon”. My X mother (I never knew her, only from what he said) thought that of him. Anytime he referred to his mom, he’d use what he thought of as her voice, and speak very soft and sweet. I always thought how sweet that he thought so much of his mom. BUT as time goes, my friend used to point out that she thought that’s where his trouble began! Because mama thought the sun and moon rose and set because of him!
Also, whenever he’d imitate my voice, he’d always make it sound like a mean, hateful person! Very sad because I’m at the other end of the spectrum. I used to point it out to him too and ask him not to make his tone like that when he referred to what I might have said, etc. Did no good; he continued. Sickens me and shocks me.
The damage these people do is atrociously cruel! I’m not sure I’ll ever get through it!!

WiserToday
WiserToday
9 years ago
Reply to  IHaveHate

Ah, yes. THE VOICE. The whining sneering hate-filled voice that they attribute to you. I hated it almost as much as the screechy, Edith Bunkerish voice he would use to make fun of me when I sang. I finally figured it out – he didn’t like me when I was mad, he didn’t like me when I was happy. He just didn’t like me.

missdeltagirl65
missdeltagirl65
9 years ago

This post beautifully illustrates the point of how important it is for chumps to take a step back (or hold ourselves back!) from “untangling the skein” as Tracy puts it. Sadly for me, Chumplady wasn’t around for my divorce almost a decade ago. (You newer chumps just don’t know how lucky you are!) But thankfully, somewhere along the way I noticed that the more I tried to figure STBX out, the sicker I felt. It may have been that I was doing (and still do) some spiritual work using a dumbed-down version of St. Ignatius’ practice of the nightly examen (ie: what one thing today brought me closest to God? What one thing today took me furthest from God? — For the nonreligious, “God” could be substituted with “Health” or “Truth” or “peace” or “Sanity” etc.) Over time, the pattern that emerged for me was anytime I tried to “understand” my loved one the more confused, crazier and physically ill I became – almost like the evil was infiltrating and poisoning me. I came to a point where for my own health (and the health of my newborn son and pre-school age daughter) I had to pull back. I remember telling my therapist “I realize now I don’t have to understand him. I just have to accept that this is how he is.” My old fashioned version of “Trust That They Suck.” Whatever the issues of the Person In Question – whether it be a cheating partner, a toxic sibling (got one of those too), a “friend,” etc — it is not for me to figure out or even to help them through it. It is up to that person and their therapist if the person chooses to work on him or herself. Good for them if they get help! But it is not my business. My job is to avoid bringing people like that into my life/family, and to minimize any involvement with those whom I might be “stuck” with occasional contact due to family matters. It is just amazing the difference this makes in my energy level, my outlook on life, not to mention the great example it sets for my kids.

expatChump
expatChump
9 years ago

I have been doing something similar lately. STBX is dragging things out, and keep us entangled, so I’m going with that. In the meantime, I am continuing to live my life, doing what I do: living in my house, using the joint credit card, and money from the joint account, etc. We should have a court date in a couple of months, and until then, This is what I’ll do. Continue to live my life, with as little reference to him and as NC as possible (have young kids together).

And though his bad behavior continues, I have decided to stop letting him see any reaction/emotion. He feeds on it. Time to stop feeding the animal.

PAPrincess
PAPrincess
9 years ago

My. Father’s name was Ignatius. I am going to follow your lead. Thank you for sharing your faith and experience.

missdeltagirl65
missdeltagirl65
9 years ago
Reply to  PAPrincess

Dear Princess, check out Margaret Silf’s book Inner Compass — she takes St. Ignatius’ ancient Spiritual Exercises and makes them easy to understand and implement in today’s world. Also, a really great and very short book — especially if you have children — is Sleeping with Bread: Holding What Gives You Life by Dennis, Sheila and Matthew Linn. It focuses more just on the daily examen. These practices stem from the Christian faith but can be implemented by those in any faith and also the non-religious. Wonderful, gentle way of looking within ourselves for the truths already there and that have been with us all along. A traumatic time such as divorce is an excellent time to take up this practice. It sustained me and my children through my divorce almost a decade ago and hardly a night has passed since that we haven’t practiced the examen together as a family, through good times and bad. My current hubby (the good one) is working in another state right now and he joins the children and me via speaker phone every night at bedtime to share this practice. Blessings to you, Princess, on your journey.

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago

Love this, CL! I think it’s especially important, because if we believe in the whole ‘toxic shame’ and ‘deep insecurities’ stuff, we ALSO believe that by showing love, support, consistent caring and appreciation, and perhaps encouraging them to read or get professional help, we can help this person become happier and more secure, and therefore less difficult to get along with.

THERE’s the problem, to me. I think my ex does have deep insecurities (no shame at all, though!). But the important thing that I had to learn was that he totally felt entitled to all that love, support, caring, etc, without giving much of anything in return, and that all that good stuff had ZERO impact on his insecurity and unhappiness, and that he was NOT interested in doing anything to get better himself, because it was much more enjoyable to him to just blame others for everything and for every bad thing he felt, and to keep taking with both hands.

The whole idea of ‘shame’ or addiction or FOO issues or whatever tugs on our compassion strings, feeds hopium and can keep us stuck in toxic relationships for a long time.

In the end, we have to know what our boundaries are, and recognize that in general, people don’t change. Only strong motivation and willingness to put in the hard work long term leads to personal change, and these people show us very quickly that they have neither.

And THAT is what makes them assholes. They see the damage their behavior causes, and the DON’T CARE.

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

Brilliant!

Chumpguy
Chumpguy
9 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

Agree, KarenE. W has some real insecurities, and hence her constant need to flirt, to be the center of attention, to have new and different men tell her how hot she is, etc., etc. She also has some diagnosed, objective mental problems.

But none of that excuses infidelity. And truth is, she has no desire to change. The cake tastes good. So what if it blasted apart a loving family who had been nothing but good to her and supportive of her. And so what if she leaves, as therapist aptly put it, a debris trail behind her. Ehh, whatever, fair trade from her point of view.

MrsVain
MrsVain
9 years ago
Reply to  Chumpguy

well said karen. and chumpguy.

“and so what if she leaves, as therapist aptly put it, a debris trail behind her” boyman apparently doesnt look behind him and there is ALWAYS someone who wants to “make him feel better”

With Brave Wings
With Brave Wings
9 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

you win all the claps with that response! SPOT ON.

Vegan Chump
Vegan Chump
9 years ago

Well said CL – well said!

I used to be stuck in that trap – believing that underneath all the shitty things my EXH-The Cheating Narc did to me, that he truly was a good person making bad decisions.

WRONG!

He felt zero remorse about lying and swindling me — ZERO. He got off on having the upper-hand all the while leaving me in the dark.

MrsVain
MrsVain
9 years ago
Reply to  Vegan Chump

add me to that club…..i alway thought better of him then what he really was…..

poor little boyman, doesnt really know or understand how much he is hurting me and the kids. he is just making a REALLY bad decision (AGAIN)……

barf.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  MrsVain

MrsVain…..isn’t it amazing what happens when the ‘fog’ lifts?!!

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  Vegan Chump

Vegan…….Yep! That’s what they do!!

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago

The work on toxic shame has helped me, as a child raised in a household with addiction and massive dysfunction, to begin understand the “perfectionism” and codependency that made life so painful for me in my 20s and 30s. This work provides interesting ways to look at how children take on roles in such families–the “hero” kid, or the kid who acts out, etc. It was the first time I thought that my drive to be perfect and bullet-proof might be part of my problem. It explained, in part, why it never occurred to me to tell anyone what went on in our home until I was in my thirties. It was a helpful theory but not a complete explanation; it didn’t help me identify the narcissistic behavior of my mother or the reason I was afraid of her, for example.

I don’t think there’s any doubt that shame drives many peoples’ choices. My thought is that shame is a hidden factor in chumpiness, making us vulnerable to the kind of thinking that keeps us stuck with cheaters. The notion that people should stay in marriages or relationships to avoid the stigma of divorce of failure is a shame-based idea, whether fueled by religious belief or fear of what others will think or perfectionism. People keep terrible secrets of being abused because of shame or the fear of being shamed. In regard to what others have to say, I like Brown’s point that unless someone is willing to get down in the arena with us, to get dirty and bloody helping us fight our battles, we shouldn’t be interested in their feedback about our decisions.

I think that criticizing other people always comes from a place that puts the criticized person “one-down.” And I say that as a former “problem-solver” who used to always know what other folks should do, even as my own life was less than perfect. I see that behavior in my life as (1) arrogant (not necessarily narcissistic), (2) intended as helpful but misguided, and (3) shame-based, a kind of stance that keeps the gaze moving outward to critique others rather than inward to solve my own issues. Even here, I have to rein in my tendency to “know” what a fellow chump ought to do or to think that my solution and timetable is better than someone else’s. I also see that the behaviors were modeled by my narcissist mother, who ladled out critique and advice with a full serving of judgment and shaming. So in my view, this is a complex and thorny issue. But I come back to what a fellow chump mentioned the other day in another thread–how we get to a point where we can stand outside and see our behavior somewhat objectively and then change it.

Perhaps the most important thing I learned when I did reading about family systems and shame is that relationships are dynamic. That, for example, to be in a relationship with a narcissist is to be in a position where shame will be used against you and where we might internalize that shame and the paralysis it produces. For me, it comes down to paying attention to what I’m feeling and doing in relationships and trying to keep that healthy.

NCstevie729
NCstevie729
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

I have known for quite some time that I am somewhat “broken”, I knew the antics and behaviors of my dysfunctional upbringing had left an imprint on my life. My Father was an alcoholic, he was verbally & physically abusive, a serial cheater… he was just a mean, drunk asshole for the better part of his life (his father, from what I understand was the same, maybe worse). My Mother divorced him before my 4th birthday… but she quickly found a new alcholic, sex-addicted Narc…. and I got a little sister. The 2nd one was such a bastard that one day when we arrived home (after school, work for Mom) we saw tire tracks in the yard…. he had moved out… EVERYTHING while we were gone…. So, co-dependent Mother…. alcoholic Narcissistic Father…. years of living in the middle of dysfunction…. and here I am 😀

I can remember beginning to start questioning things in my early 20’s, I KNEW this shit was affecting my life. I understood that my Father was broken… disordered…. but it didn’t undo the damage that his neglect inflicted on the little girl I once was. I can remember wondering … WHAT was wrong with me that my Dad didn’t come visit me or spend time with me…. at that age I just didn’t understand that he was just drunk off his ass every night. I finally let go of the anger towards him, and the injustice of it all…. because I was the only one that was still feeling shitty about it and I accepted that I couldn’t change it.

As for shame…. I’m more guilty of the opposite… oversharing…. not to humiliate anyone but just because it doesn’t BOTHER me if people know. I have to live with it…. I don’t really give a shit if other people can’t. As for being able to look at our “issues” objectively… this is something my daughter and I have talked about many times recently….. it all boils down to character and empathy. WE, or I at least, have the ability to reflect on the things that other people might say “to” or “about” me and ADMIT that there might be some truth in it…. OWN my SHIT so to speak…. to accept that I am “flawed” and that it is okay…. think about WHAT part I play in the dysfunction and where and how I might be able to improve my life, and indirectly the lives of those I love…. because THAT is what good people, loving people do.

You toss a stick of dynamite over your shoulder on your way out the door with both middle fingers in the air when WHAT you are blowing up is the only thing that REALLY matters in this shitty world…. your LOVED ones…. especially your children.

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
9 years ago
Reply to  NCstevie729

Within the last few years I’ve converted from living in the shadows to over sharing. I really need to find a happy medium; I’m sure people I’ve come into brief contact with don’t care about my enmeshment or OCD issues.

NCstevie729
NCstevie729
9 years ago

Me too WWDSG, I think that some of it…. at least when we are SO overwhelmed in the beginning is in some part a necessary release….. to keep us from imploding!!! The mindfuckery causes us to question our own judgement & sanity (at least for me) and I absolutely NEEDED someone to confirm that I was not a lunatic…. that he was. And, in some part… I just want people to know what an asshole he is… I WISH someone had warned me… or told me the f*cking TRUTH when I asked. Amazes me how people play ostrich… they truly just don’t give a shit if it doesn’t affect them.

When the pain subsides… the oversharing probably will too. Had I found CL sooner…. I might not have needed to confide in any others…. all the support we need is right here 😀 OORAH!!

NCstevie729
NCstevie729
9 years ago
Reply to  NCstevie729

Oops…. I meant “DON’T” …. you don’t toss a stick of dynamite….. blah blah blah

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

“…to be in a relationship with a narcissist is to be in a position where shame will be used against you and where we might internalize that shame and the paralysis it produces.”

Thank you for these words. LAJ. I raise my hand to this. Yes, this is me.

Jeep
Jeep
9 years ago
Reply to  CalamityJane

Amen…this is me too…

Assholes…there otta be a law…

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I think we are in agreement here. I do know that Jackass never felt a moment of shame, even when he told me about car theft in his youth. (Oh, those pesky red flags…)

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I completely agree–shame is specific to chumps, and we simply project morality and shame onto the cheaters. When cheaters do “shame” it is for effect and typically faux shame–to win back something that they have lost, for impression management, etc.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that they are remorseful or they will simply use it for manipulation.

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

LovedAJackass, I really wish my post immediately below yours had been in reply to yours, but I didn’t see yours until after I posted. Follow that? I’m not sure I did.

My world was rocked at the age of 34 in the summer of 2013 when I realized that enmeshment with my mother was the root of my emotional issues. I had always attributed my failures to a lack of character or willpower on my part. I got extremely angry with my parents and went NC with them for six months to sort out how I felt about my upbringing and the effects it had on me. I went through an intensive outpatient program for cognitive behavioral therapy. Nothing made any sense until I read about toxic shame.

I’m struggling mightily with my sense of loss, as being codependent the loss of my partner has shaken me to my core. I think it was you who commented on another thread that you wouldn’t be dating again until it was for the right reasons – I don’t just understand your words, I feel them. How I’ll ever feel complete within myself is a mystery to me, but I know that I have to find the answer.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago

I deeply know this journey. I was 33 when I understood the codependency–but focused on alcoholic dad instead of narcissist mom. Here I am 30 years later walking the chump journey, too, because I didn’t understand that I had to be a complete person before I got into a relationship. Or as my therapist said yesterday, “You will go about your happy, fulfilled life, and perhaps someone wonderful will come along and you will decide to spend time with that person. Or not.” I am focused on breaking all of that old “you will complete me” stuff. What I do know is that the work we do on this board to help ourselves and each other heal will likely mean that it won’t take you 30 years to dig out. And I also know that the process can be very fulfilling and beautiful.

Survivor
Survivor
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

LAJ, it’s when we are happily independent that we attract others. Mature people value competence and resiliency and fortitude and humor more than fake tits. Take a pass if they don’t interest you, but stay in the driver’s seat in that vehicle that is your life. You never know when someone might pass your intensive screening process and require a second look.

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
9 years ago

Reading Healing the Shame That Binds You was revolutionary for me. I’ve tortured myself for years with understanding why I did some things I did in my early 20s, and this book finally gave me some relief and the room to forgive myself.

That being said, I’ve never been proud of my behavior and vowed even at the time to never act the same way or to take my frustrations out on anyone else – my problem is with me. I built the ex who walked out on me up and made it very clear that my depression and lack of self-esteem had nothing at all to do with her. In fact, what little self-regard I did have came from the codependent need for her to need me. Now that she’s walked out on me, I’m hoping this is rock bottom and I can get my codependency under control.

I guess I’m trying to say that while toxic shame definitely exists, in my case at least it was directed inward after a very early attempt to take it out on others. It’s flabbergasting to me that people much older than I was at the time have yet to figure out that it’s something in them that’s off, not something that punishing the people you love and who love you will resolve. And that it’s ongoing! My one experience was quite enough pain inflicted on people who didn’t deserve it for me to vow never again.

NCstevie729
NCstevie729
9 years ago

That is the self “reflection” that I’m talking about. Being able to look at the big picture and figure out your part of the skein. I know that I have issues with my co-dependency and abandonment…. it isn’t a secret.

Honestly…. not sure what wrecked me more… the affair, and the fact that he wasn’t willing to stop…. or him walking out? There is some comfort in knowing and accepting that he is disordered…. but the heartache is still there. It is still grieving.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago

“However, I think other people are just assholes.”

^^^THIS^^^

Love ya, CL!

Portia
Portia
9 years ago

I’ve heard the argument between nature and nurture all my life, and I think it may be useful for social issues. We cannot walk away from things which act as negative social influences, and which can be improved with education and effort. So we attack poverty, and hunger, and homelessness, and unemployment, and domestic abuse and on and on. That may be our social duty — to try to address issues which we may be able to “fix” as a society. Ultimately, whatever good we can do will improve our society in general. Also, it is impossible to avoid all negative influences and live in the real world, so self preservation dictates that you have to decide how to deal with these negatives.

However, what we are talking about here is an extremely personal choice. Even though I can understand all the negative social and genetic and abusive influences which caused my Dad to develop into the type of abusive jerk he is, that does not make him any less a jerk. He had siblings who experienced the same type of life, and they did not choose to act as he did. So at some point, he made a choice.

My siblings and I were raised with his malignant influence — and all of us have problems we can directly link to the way we were raised. However, none of us developed into the overbearing control freak he is. We made a choice NOT to live that life. So if you, as an individual, can think and observe, and you see things within yourself that you do not like, you can choose to change you. You cannot do that for anyone else. If you find yourself in a relationship with someone who is damaged, and is damaging you, just realize you cannot fix that person. You have to get away from that influence, because that influence can harm you, maybe even kill you. Add children to the mix, and it becomes even more important to get away. Minimize the influence to the extent of your ability.

I know several survivors. The one thing we all have in common is that we regret the amount of time we wasted trying to figure out what was wrong and how to fix it. All of us eventually came to the same conclusion — get away from the jerk. Most of us figured out that the jerk didn’t want to be fixed, and had no intention of ever changing.

The past influences don’t really matter, because you cannot change the past. The choices you make to save yourself, and perhaps your children, are all you can control. Whatever the label is on the bottle, if the contents are poisonous, you don’t need to try to find an antidote so that you can still use the product. You need to dispose of the product in the nearest toxic dump — and get as far away from it as you can.

If I had been able to do this earlier in my life, I may not have been drawn to such a dysfunctional partner in my personal life. It may have seemed weirdly “normal” to me because of the dysfunction that existed in my own family of origin. But figuring out that it was not normal, and that putting up with the behavior was having a further negative effect on me and my children, led me to getting out and getting away. It was a blessed moment of clarity in my thinking. It was MY choice to save me (and my children), and stop worrying about why he was so determined to live a dissolute life. That is HIS choice.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  Portia

This is a wonderful post. I like your metaphor about the poison in the bottle. Perfect! Thanks, Portia

DC
DC
9 years ago

Isn’t it possible–common, even–that both things can be true? That you can be toxically ashamed of yourself AND addicted to a grandiose sense of your inherent awesome? I think for some of us that cognitive dissonance leads to repressing the grandiosity, but in others it leads to repressing the shame. And some of us (many?) flip-flop between them, or repress both at the same time, or even *show and feel* both at the same time.

I’ve related to both sides of the neurotic-vs-narcissism coin so much that I really can’t tell which is which, at least in my own life. I don’t particularly care at the moment that I’m writing this (intellectualizing is a great way to get a breather), but when it comes down to actual ethical considerations and decisions I get very balled up and insecure about whether I’m ‘really a narcissist.’

This isn’t to invalidate anyone’s common sense about boundaries: regardless of why they’re doing it, you need to take action to protect yourself. But I don’t think the underlying situation is as simple as “some people are neurotic and some are just jerks.” It’s totally possible to be both.

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago
Reply to  DC

DC, I don’t think it’s true that people can be both neurotic and jerks. Well, maybe jerks, but not real assholes. (There’s a great book about a ‘Theory of Assholes’ that discusses the difference.) I think neurotic people do want to do right, do care about others, and about how their own behavior impacts others, as well as themselves. They can certainly be misled in how to do that or get off-track. But assholes DO NOT CARE about other people and the impact of their own behavior on others. No real shame, no guilt.

I spent a long time thinking my ex was a neurotic jerk. Finally finally paid real attention to his consistent behaviours, and what he was ACTUALLY saying, rather than what I projected onto him, d realized, nah, he’s just an asshole. Even recent declarations of realizing how badly he had behaved and how he wanted to be a better person and was working towards that were just a result of his not liking the consequences of his asshole behavior, in his own life. While those consequences were entirely born by me and our kids and his mom, he was FINE with that. And while he may never cheat again, his other behaviours now are still very asshole ones.

Survivor
Survivor
9 years ago

Some people really do feel so special, so superior, that they don’t believe rules written for mere mortals apply to them. They are the deeply entitled and have no shame. And yes, they are assholes.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  Survivor

Survivor…….The X always said……well rules are made to be broken (always when it came to what he wanted to do, of course!).

Regina
Regina
9 years ago

I guess it is important to remember that CHEATING IS ABUSE! And the cheating itself is just the beginning of the abuse! Then you have the lies, the blame shifting, the making you think YOU are the crazy one, the talking up of the affair partner, the abandonment emotionally, physically and mentally. Then you have the effect it has on your mind to your ability to move forward and do your day to day chores, job, etc. Then you have the effects on the kids if you have them, being abandoned & YOU are the one left to pick up the pieces for EVERYONE in a state of devastation!!
Then there is the grave disappointment for some having friends and family jump on “Team Cheater” to make sure you don’t have a mindfuckery stone left unturned! And on, and on, and on ad nauseum.
Hey-Maybe CL could make “Team Cheater” T shirts we could send to these people! That would be fun to feel like you are at least getting one jab in. However, they have already cost us too much. It might be worthwhile for the one friend who kept there secret or for a nasty MIL!

atmeh
atmeh
9 years ago
Reply to  Regina

Wow Regina, so true, it is the multiple list of abusive things and when all delineated like you just did it is amazing to see what we go through and survive and ultimately get away from so we can thrive. Mighty indeed!

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago
Reply to  Regina

ooooh, love that! I could send a ‘Team Cheater’ to my ex, one to Schmoopie, to ex’s dad (the king of all cheaters, and king of the assholes too!), one to his mom (68 years old and currently proud to be the OW to a 50 year old man, disgusting!), one to his friend who tried to tell me maybe cheating was just a guy thing that I should put up with ….. Then they could take a group photo with their t-shirts and post it on FaceBook!

Fred
Fred
9 years ago

Narcissist and Bullies are not necessarily the same type of people in my opinion. Bullies are the ones who will put others down based on their own insecurities. They lash out as a means to protecting themselves as they are hurting and feel weak. They feel as long as they are keeping others down no one will catch on to how vulnerable or weak they feel they are. Bullies may actually feel bad about their behavior but are too insecure to own that and make amends. Bullies are not necessarily cheaters.

Narcissists simply lack empathy and remorse. They are MEAN just for the sake of being mean. What hurts a normal person doesn’t even phase them. They don’t lay awake at night feeling guilty about their behavior or anxious about others hurting them. They go through life with an attitude of superiority and zero regard to those they step on.

Your cheater is likely a narcissist. Maybe you heard of Heinrich Himmler? That is the type of personality a Narcissist has. That is NOT the type of person you need in your life.

Vegan Chump
Vegan Chump
9 years ago
Reply to  Fred

@FRED: You should read the book by M. Stout: The Sociopath Next Door. She discuss bullies and in most cases bullies are sociopaths without one shred of conscience. To that end, I am not sure I buy into that Bullies are hurting and feel insecure, maybe some are; however, I think there are some high-functioning bullies who get off on what they do for the sheer pleasure of it… why? Because they can.
🙂

Fred
Fred
9 years ago
Reply to  Vegan Chump

I would probably disagree with M. Stout. It sounds like Stout’s definition of bully is different than mine.

Chumpion
Chumpion
9 years ago

I had the luck and luxury of finding a great therapist after I got massively chumped. He had done years of research work and had interesting things to say about narcissists in general.

I think at one point I asked him if my ex-wife actually had to put extra brain cycles into her lying and blame shifting mental calisthenics. He said that after a certain developmental adult age that if you think that way, it is simply hard wired and is simply how you see the world. Period.

His response really convinced me that I should stop wasting my time trying to “understand” her, this was a gateway to “meh”. In her case it was a five year long affair, not and isolated indiscretion. It was simply her weird way of seeing and operating in the world. She had to have lied to me at least three times a day for five years… about 5,400 lies. Sometimes you can separate the person from the behavior, but in this case she is her toxic behavior and

MrsVain
MrsVain
9 years ago
Reply to  Chumpion

yes. i believe that is the way boyman thinks also. i never could understand “WHY” he would lie about small and stupid and insignificant issues/things. but he just HAD to lie to me. it is almost that if he didnt have something to hide and lie about then he would lie about something that didnt need to be lied about.

my mom told me something at the start of all this (so a year ago) when i was in the “How Could he do this”, “why” and “does he know how much he is hurting me” stages and i was making all sorts of excuses for his behavior. She told me boyman has been with me for almost 15 (14.5) and that by now after all that time, some of my good behavior, some of my love lessons, and talks SHOULD have by now sunk in. If after all this time (longer then he was with his own mom and dad) hasnt changed him in even just the tiniest of ways, then he is never going to change. She also said he was set in his ways, and to old to change who he was now.

i believe that to be true. no matter how much i loved him, this is who and what he really was. he was never going to change because he never could really see how much his decisions and choices where affecting me and his children. he was so selfish that he never did see the needs, emotions, and pain of other people. he will always be toxic.

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
9 years ago

They way I read this: research tells us that we judge people in areas where we’re vulnerable to shame, especially picking folks who are doing worse than we’re doing. If I feel good about my parenting, I have no interest in judging other people’s choices. If I feel good about my body, I don’t go around making fun of other people’s weight or appearance. We’re hard on each other because we’re using each other as a launching pad out of our own perceived shaming deficiency.”

Toxic shame is about judging… like all of the Divorce shame we were talking about yesterday. My marriage is crappy, so I will attack you on your divorce so I can feel superior about my crappy marriage compared to your certified crappy marriage as defined by the divorce decree.

I don’t see where toxic shame… generates shameful behavior in this line of reasoning… I am insecure about my weight, so I judge you and make unkind comments about your weight… but the toxic shame line of reasoning should lead me to go around stuffing people like a fois gras goose. But what we have going on here, with most of us, is not I feel shameful, in someway, rather I am going out and do something that is so frowned upon in society, and do it flagrantly, something I know will hurt my partner whom I have made romantic commitments if not life commitments and expose my partner and myself to diseases that creates shame… Toxic shame and cheating are apples and rotten oranges.

What we have here are people who do exactly what they want to do no matter the cost and then when caught, wrap it up in so much poor sausage me, they look like a scotch egg, a shit covered scotch egg.

namedforvera
namedforvera
9 years ago

What a great post! I spend a lot of time on this in therapy, and to her everlasting credit, my IC has told me (many, many times) “there are just a lot of terrible people out there.” And then I’m usually crying by then, and she often says something like, “I know it doesn’t feel fair, but they’re just mean. Let’s work on how you can learn to spot them.” Or something. So great!

I do think some people say mean things from time to time without thinking, or out of some kind of reactivity….but that’s not the same thing as the persistent campaigns of cruelty that the “mean” people inflict. When it’s deliberate? I’m with Dr. Simon.

Then, I think, the challenge for for me and other chumps like me (raised by a severely narcissistic parent; hence trained to say, “how high?” when they say, “jump!”) is to learn to identify them, rather than be seduced by the patter; learn how to get away without incurring retribution when possible, or learn how to coexist without becoming a target (as in a work setting) …. yeesh.

NB. My IC has recommended Alice Miller’s book the The Drama of the Gifted Child, which is about how children of narcissistic parents are groomed to fulfill the parent’s warped needs.

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago

I feel in my case my husband’s disorder started in the shame of his father abandoning him and not feeling good enough for him. I think instead of choosing forgiveness and learning from that pain, he covered it with layers and layers of narcissism so shame could never be felt again. I don’t feel sorry for him. Other people have been dealt tough blows in their childhoods and have not gone on to inflict pain on the people around them. I was bullied in junior high a lot and I think it made me a more compassionate person. I think Dr. Simon is brilliant and is right when he says these character disordered individuals choose their behavior and know exactly what they are doing when they manipulate us and treat us badly. My children are learning at an early age not to tolerate bad behavior and to set boundaries, I wished I would have learned it earlier.

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  Nicole S

I agree, because he basically told me he was an asshole. I absolutely believe he knew what he was doing was evil/wrong/nasty and he admitted that he knew what it was doing to me, but it didn’t stop him. It was so F’d up, all interspersed with crying, “I don’t know why I did that”, blame shifting, and cruelty. He is messed up for sure (abandoned by his father and raised by a narcissistic and controlling mother) but in the end he made a choice.

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Yes, our choices define who we are. Mine was raised by a narcissistic mom too and admitted he was not a good person. It’s interesting how evil looks the same once you talk to other people.

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  Nicole S

The scariest part is the further along I get the more I realize he’s just like his mother. Judgmental, controlling, and selfish. I wonder how on earth I missed it. Although to give myself a break it didn’t become completely evident until the discard. The things that came out of his mouth could have come straight from her. Maybe they did. Who knows what was being said behind my back.

Jayne
Jayne
9 years ago

‘The Great I Am’ and his narc sister are both utterly, utterly shameless, but BOTH insist they are ‘timid forest creatures’. More so ‘The Great I Am’ but both, definitely, believe they are ‘special’ and ‘entitled’ to getting whatever they want at whoever’s expense.

In 1999 I finally walked out of the extremely dysfunctional relationship that was my first marriage. In November 2000 I went on a blind date with ‘The Great I Am’. I was still suffering from depression due to the break down of my first marriage and felt certain my ‘picker’ was completely rubbish. In many ways ‘The Great I Am’ was totally unlike anyone I would ever have bonded with prior to meeting him at the age of 37. His right-wing politics (that he insisted were left-wing, but I used to joke must have been so left-wing they were coming right), his shallow and superficial criticisms of other people based on such stupidity as their weight or looks (had I not been so unsure of my own picker, this tendency of his to denigrate people over such triviality would definitely have previously had me consigning him to the ‘shithead’ bin , however, because I’d lost complete faith in my own ability to wheedle out the keepers from the binners, I ‘allowed’ him this despicable tendency), his attitude towards his previous common-law wife and mother of his two children (this attitude bothered me throughout our 15 year relationship, it was utterly alien to how I felt about any of my previous lovers and, despite how dysfunctional my first marriage was, I always thought well of my first husband – a complete passive aggressive, but a good man, just utterly shite at being my husband/life partner)!

There were ‘red flags’ with ‘The Great I Am’ – the problem was, 1) I’d lost faith in my own ability to figure out what a good person was or wasn’t, and 2) I’d never, in my whole life. wasted any time on a person so obviously stunted in their empathy development – so the Right Wing tendencies, the denigration of the Ex, the shallow judgement of his fellow human beings – this was all new to me – I was blessed up until 37 to have met / associated with folks who had more ability to feel shame / empathy / introspection and this was a WHOLE NEW EXPERIENCE for me! What kept me stuck was the expectation that a decent human being would eventually cut through his bullshit!

So, I guess I’ve learned – arseholes are arseholes – that despite having a poor picker that resulted in a failed first marriage – it wasn’t so far off that it deserved being abandoned completely! Sadly, that leaves me now thinking WTF? I either fail because I go for the character I’ve always been attracted to, or I fail for going for the character that is the antithesis to what I was attracted to before! Think I’ll just get a couple of cats 😀

Buddy
Buddy
9 years ago

I’m having a hard time following this part:

“Some people really do believe they are that splendid. We have zero evidence of toxic shame, and he argues that we project what we think we would feel (shame) on to others. If I did that, I’d feel terrible! So somewhere, deep down, YOU must feel terrible about that!”

Do you mean, I, the chump, believe that the cheater really does feel terrible about their actions, so I see them as a wounded, hurt soul with true remorse lurking just below the surface, and thus stay to help them?

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Buddy

Bingo–GladIt’sOver is correct. Cheaters don’t feel remorse; they PLAY ACT at remorse to keep you hooked, because chumps want to help others feel better. Don’t be sucked in. Their vulnerability is a strategy, not a true feeling.

I just got to the page in “The Sociopath Next Door” where the author says the BEST way to spot a sociopath? Use of pity–they use pity to get other people to do what they want (to screw them–“My wife/husband doesn’t understand me (sad face),” or to reconcile with their chump, “I can’t believe I did that or hurt you (sad face).”) Don’t attribute animacy to a robot just because it can talk.

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Yes, yes, a resounding yes to “use of pity”…

Mother fucker.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  CalamityJane

Calamity…….THIS!!! “Mother fucker”.
Love it!

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest, The Sociopath Next Door was my summer reading on holiday last year. (I am such a fun gal.) As she was describing these creatures…all I could think was yada yada yada, how do you figure out who these people are? How to you see them coming? She said one of the first things they will try on you is a pity play. It doesn’t have to be about their ex’s either. My XH was 17 and just about the first thing out of his mouth was that he had been terribly depressed, hated his parents, abusive rotten parents (all very true) and with my Xlover, the first thing out of his mouth was that he was a poor sausage because he had lost his job because he had had a mental breakdown as an attorney… when he told me this… he sort of held his breath… I thought he was waiting to see if I acted with compassion and empathy or not…It never would have occured to me that he was TESTING me for compassion. I am getting so jaded about people… but I will never go down this rabbit hole again.

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
9 years ago
Reply to  Buddy

Yes, you got it. The chump assumes the cheater really feels horrible about hurting them, because the chump WOULD feel bad if the situation was reversed. The chump is projecting onto the cheater. In reality, however, the cheater doesn’t feel remorse at all.

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
9 years ago

“It’s a popular notion that narcissists have deep down issues with vulnerability and shame. That they overcompensate. They put on airs, because somewhere inside they feel small.”

I personally don’t believe the idea that narcs are filled with deep-rooted shame, not at all. Personally, I think if you could open them up psychologically, what you would find is a whole lot of emptiness surrounding a small, hard, inner ball of RAGE. True narcs are nothing more than an empty shell surrounding jealousy and anger. That is why they are like black holes of need…. they are always trying to fill their emptiness, but they never can. It is what they are. Many of them excel at pretending to be good, normal people, but if you get close enough, you will eventually see the inner rage bubble to the surface. Their facade, however, absolutely believes that they are superior to other people, although some also try to hide that under a slick veneer of fake humility or self pity. Stick around a narc, and you will eventually see that as well.

But not every asshole is a diagnosable narc. Many are just assholes. Either way, these people are not going to enhance your life, best to stay away from them both.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

GladIO–you’re right. Know one way to tell? Put down a person or issue a criticism. A narcissist will turn his/her fury on you, and the outcome will not be pleasant (think Donald Trump or Kanye West). A non-narc will be offended, or hurt, or ask for further explanation, without the vengeful behavior.

Survivor
Survivor
9 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

I’ve seen two stripes of narcissist parents. One is competitive with their offspring and will belittle, manipulate and demand servitude from them. The other lives through them and sees them as an extension of their own perfect self. Has anyone else noticed this dichotomy?

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago
Reply to  Survivor

Survivor, some stuff I’ve read about Narc parents says that if they have multiple children, they’ll often chose one or more (often a sensitive/empathic child) to be to be the scapegoats, who are always inadequate and criticized. Then they’ll chose another, often more like them, to be the Golden Child, who is amazing and can do no wrong. The scapegoat provides the contrast to their wonderfulness, while the golden child reflects glory onto the narc parent.

Not surprisingly, kids who are pushed into either of these roles are badly damaged by this, with the scapegoats often drafted into being caregivers for the psychologically abusive parent, while the golden child becomes a narc and the cycle continues. Bergh!

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  Survivor

Yes, in a way. Ex MIL was a combination of both

Survivor
Survivor
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Probably odd to see both in one person unless they treated their children differently or cycled back and forth. I think the first category raises chumps. Accommodating people groomed to avoid conflict and used to having few of their own needs met. The second sort is more likely to raise a full blown sociopath with a built in cheering section as they plow through life exploiting others.

Chumpness in Seattle
Chumpness in Seattle
9 years ago
Reply to  Survivor

Actually, I think my ex MIL is both too. This would possibly explain why my ex, the firstborn, grew up primed to be the Son of God, always spoken of proudly for his business acumen and material success even though his parents did not understand that world , and the fourth of their five children, the sister he molested, is a chump. She has never confronted him, or told her parents as far as I know (and my ex does not know she detailed it all to me) and her husband left her for a three year affair partner after two children and 13 years of marriage.

There’s a lot that my ex MIL did in the 34 years we were married that was despicable and just plain petty , some things even dividing the whole family in their reactions, and I am very thankful to not be dealing with that anymore. Perhaps my ex-I laws cutting me off completely is a little added gift from God, and I am thankful.

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  Survivor

She was very controlling and manipulative but lived vicariously through the children and grandchildren seeing them as extension of herself. All their good qualities came from her and the bad from their father. All the children are terrified of her. My SIL was in her forties and afraid to tell her mother that she was living with her boyfriend.

Survivor
Survivor
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Yikes, Lina! That is a double dose of crazy. What is a swarm of crazy called? A gaggle? A herd? A stampede?