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Old 05-07-2013, 10:15 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I still believe he is concerned with his image (and hasn't lost his job despite dom viol arrests) far too much in true NPD fashion to seriously hurt me.
This is your power. If you really know this is his concern - saving face, protecting his ego - then work that to your advantage! Everything you are doing is working against this right now. Everything. Now, I understand why, and I know you are trying to follow the letter of the law, but honey, this is war. And the best strategies in a war are to #1. know your enemy and #2 outmaneuver them based on what you know.

How does one outmaneuver a narcissist? Become one (in theory). He has a weakness. Find it, and manipulate it.

Here's a good read from a lawyer who dealt with a narcissistic ex-spouse in court: Content / Mental Health Related Articles / The Narcissist In Court - S.P.A.R.C.

Notice everything written in this article about enraging a narcissist. Do everything opposite of this when dealing with him directly. And for crying out loud - have a witness with you each and every time you have to be in front of him. An adult witness.

The court and legal systems are just as flawed by humans as anything else. Relying solely on the legal system to get what you want could easily backfire. I'm just saying here to be clever, stay on your toes at all times, and keep your eyes wide open for that one little opportunity...and when it presents itself, take it and run.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:16 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Florence it is amazing how eeriely similar our stories are.

My family of origin is, if anything, as abusive as xAH and are of NO support at all.

I am at the moment looking at jobs in Philadelphia at a homelessness organziation I worked for a million years ago.

I am going to focus on trying to get away because that's making me sane right now to think about.

I keep thinking I have okay boundaries and it seems his rage gets worse and worse precisely bc I have and set boundaries.

Any good boundaries you set for your interactions w you NPD ex that you would like to share?
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:07 AM
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The highlights:

* Minimal contact. Finding ways for him to exercise his visitation time that didn't mean contact with me or going through me. We only hash out visitation like three times a year.

* Reasonable expectations. I don't expect him to be on time, to be nice, to be helpful, to remember anything, to take responsibility for anything, etc etc.

* Documenting EVERYTHING. We basically only communicate through email, with few exceptions. We've maybe exchanged ten sentences in person in five years. Seriously.

* The visitation calendar is a shared Google calendar. I edit it with input from him via email (our visitation schedule is pretty clear, state guidelines, but before the calendar he would argue that things were up for interpretation). There are a lot of people copied on it -- his spouse, the two of us, my ex, my mom (need to change some of this) -- so no excuses. If they misread it, sorry. He "approves" it through email after I edit it, and I am sure to be extra responsible about this and don't pull any fast ones. [I found out he takes screenshots of the calendar to try to catch me lying -- ha!]

** Re: email. See also below. I copy him AND his wife on everything. If he responds to me, I copy her again to "keep her in the loop! " Smiley face, just being cooperative.

* Witnesses for everything. Narcissists won't attack with an unfamiliar audience because they're too invested in maintaining their image. Friends don't count -- the witnesses need to be "authority" in some way. My NPD ex is emboldened when he has his friends (perceived, usually) around, but is off-kilter with strangers. At this point it's not too much to ask that exchanges with the children happen at the police station or the state police post.

* My NPD ex has serious woman issues. His favorite partners are "broken birds" but he fears strong mother figures. If at all possible, I become a "strong mother figure" even if it means trying out for an Academy Award.

Here's a good read from a lawyer who dealt with a narcissistic ex-spouse in court: Content / Mental Health Related Articles / The Narcissist In Court - S.P.A.R.C.
* This information is good, but engaging with it kept me a little bit crazy. After awhile there's only so much you can learn, and all the official people basically say that the best way to deal with a narcissist is not to.

* Unfortunately if the kids have to maintain visitation with him, my suggestion is to focus your attention on what was suggested above -- make your home a sanctuary, be the safe parent, take care of yourself, make memories for all of you, do everything you can to get past your FOO B.S. and heal yourself. I think that's all any of us can do. I drove myself crazy with worry.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:15 AM
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Another thing: I used to jump to respond to his accusations and whatnot, but now I let things sit for a day, maybe two, before I go back to him. I keep things short. No JADE going on here. He sees the JADE stuff as opportunities for messing with me.

So much of it is crazy making, but I've had a lot of healing from being able to step back and laugh at some of his insanity. And also having some pity for his wife (glad it ain't me!). Some of his explanations and reasons for things are insane, and it turns out he's not very smart and occasionally shows all his cards and it's kind of hilarious.

Like the screenshots of the calendar. We had a dispute once and he was trying to argue that he was actually entitled to a lot more time than was on the calendar (he wasn't). He sent me a screenshot of the calendar, accusing me of making changes and not telling him, and was so righteous and angry about it. What he didn't realize was that the screenshot of his computer screen showed quite clearly that it was him that made those changes.

Of course, when I pointed this out he was furious -- how dare I suggest he is stupid! I got a good laugh out of it.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:36 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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One final thing that I've been paying attention to but really came into focus lately (and then I'll quit, I swear). I really pay attention now to the people around me who are always looking for "reasons" why my AH does what he does, or why my exNPD does what he does.

"Reasons" are all fine and good, but it's become a real red flag as a sign of codependency and lack of good boundaries for me. Essentially, whatever the reason, some behavior is unacceptable. Abuse is unacceptable, being verbally berated is unacceptable, hitting is unacceptable. On another thread here recently someone mentioned that her partner was monitoring her without her knowledge. Unacceptable!

It doesn't matter why. It doesn't matter if he has "trust issues" or a "bad childhood" or even "he's an alcoholic." Unacceptable. The people bending over backwards to assign reasons -- not just trying to understand him, but making excuses for his bad behavior -- for why he does what he does are no longer safe for me.

There are ways to understand these diseases, and they don't involve sitting around speculating.

This is where my FOO (and his) comes into play. Their search for "reasons" is really a plea for me to maintain the status quo so no one has to feel uncomfortable or weird or whatever about impending changes. And it's probably also an unconscious wish that there is just one "reason" so they can jump in, fix it, and everything will be okay. Regardless, just like he's not safe for me, THEY are not safe for me. Their Reason Quest is a sign to me that they're looking for a way to make his unacceptable behavior acceptable.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:42 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Babe,

All of this hits way too close to home for me to be able to say anything even remotely helpful and intelligent. Just know that you're in my thoughts and prayers. Ignore neighbors and other unhelpful entities. Focus on saving you and the kids, any which way you can.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:55 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Lillamy- I am really sorry this is reminding you too much of your past.... if you have any advice you want to share about how you got it to all stop (did you move far away?) please do. The fact that I feel intimidated by my neighbors husband in the same way my own xAH intimidated me makes me not want to go home. Not a good feeling.

I think my first order of business when I get the girls today is to have an age appropriate chat with them about all of this.
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I think my first order of business when I get the girls today is to have an age appropriate chat with them about all of this.
Preferably, over an ice cream sundae I suggest.

L
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:45 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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WTBH - i really hope a viable workable solution is found soon. i have no suggestions that would be of any help....unless pack and run is considered helpful.

please take care. lot of wise people have posted some good stuff.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:19 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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WTBH,

I am so sorry you are going through this. I am in a similar spot right now. I just got a restraining order against my STBXAH, temporary for now but I am hoping made permanent on next Tuesday. I am happy to share what has worked for me in dealing with my situation.

First, you may see a change in his behavior now that you have the restraining order. All the court orders in the world did not seem to make a difference to my ex but as soon as the restraining order was put in place, he has all but fallen off the face of the earth. Speaking of that, go as NO CONTACT as you can. I had my attorney put in the order that he can only have peaceful contact with me, and only via email, and only if it is about the kids. Not phone no texting. If he calls for the kids, I have them answer. I had the meeting place changed to a police station in town. When these types of items are followed, your life will feel better.

For your kids, I have my older son in counseling. Not just to talk about things that have happened but to learn how to better deal with how to manage his father. How to stand up to him in a productive way. How to feel like he has some control in all of this. It has been a year but he is now making huge strides...Your kids could talk about losing friends and how to deal with it.

About the neighbors, he is in panic mode. What if you "convince" his wife that she can stand up to him also? I had many of my friends go into the same mode after I left. A therapist told me that the people in my life who do this are not in strong or healthy relationships themselves. My friends who have stayed with me will be lifelong. I know that does not make it any less heartbreaking though. Especially for your kids.....

As for moving. I am stuck where I am for now. I hope if the restraining order goes permanent that the judge will let me relocate. Especially if he moves to the town I live in, as he keeps claiming is going to. For now surround yourself with some new friends if at all possible. I enjoy knowing people who don't know all my skeletons. It has been healing to tell my story and I really believe this saved me but I like to not have that be the first thing someone asks me about. I am more than my situation.

My thoughts are with you. Here I am giving you advice sounding all sure of myself but really my stomach is a mess thinking about going to court and having to see him next week.
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:11 PM
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Of course, when I pointed this out he was furious -- how dare I suggest he is stupid! I got a good laugh out of it.
I enjoyed this too! I have a sister that is at the least borderline personality disorder and leans right into this NPD.
Wow.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:51 AM
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Kids in counseling-check

Changed locks- check

Looking for job out of state- check

Spoke to the girls teachers/schools and gave the schools the copy of the restraining order so that xAH can not show up at school and get them- check

Looking on line and in the paper for short term rental in my area and that way xAH doesn't need to know my address- check

Thanks for all the ideas/advice/support everyone-- my father lives in AZ and has said that the girls and I can go there at the drop of a hat. I don't want to move across the country but I am planning to spend a lot of the summer there with the girls and maybe need to think about job searching there too...

That's where I am at as of this morning. I'm trying to deal wth this one hour at a time bc even one day at a time feels too daunting right now.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:05 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Dear wanttobehealthy, It sounds like you are really standing up under very difficult circumstances. That is as much as anyone can do!! Be proud of yourself.

Remind yourself (every day) that this all has a purpose; a direction; that life will not always be like this (short-term pain for long-term-gain).

sincerely, dandylion
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:16 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Az is lovely, wtbh.

'bout that neighbor bully- without any violence or threatening, it makes me wanna say to him, "Git off'n my land!"
Bullies usually pick on the weak. Puff up like a puffer fish, girl, and tell him to pick up his chicken bully azz, and get the He!! outta there before you call a real cop.

sorry, but this guy pizzes me off, in a big way.

you seem to be moving in good direction, take good care of you and the girls. I wish you the best.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:25 AM
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I'm rooting for you.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:44 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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sending out lots of pink thoughts of strength courage and wisdom for you & your girls

pink hugs
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:46 AM
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I'm with Chicory on this one! Stand tall!

A group of scientists studied gorilla behavior in the jungle. The dominant male gorilla who headed the pack was usually the biggest, meanest, toughest. In this pack of gorillas, there was a smaller younger male gorilla who had been watching the people at the base camp. He must have picked up idea that tools make your arms appear longer.

So they photographed him with huge branches in his hands, waving them about madly making a huge amount of fierce noises as he made his approach to take on the larger gorilla and win dominance.

I don't know if that small gorilla won or not, but he sure scared the h*ll out of the scientists

Good luck to you, your check-list is great. I would think that time on "summer vacation" with your kids in AZ would be a great idea, especially if you keep a residence where you are currently living so that no one can say you took the kids away.

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Old 05-08-2013, 07:25 AM
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by Florence View Post
This is your ex's drinking buddy and fellow abuser acting in fear that his wife will figure out his ******** and call the cops herself.
Damn, those are some wise words. I thought the neighbor was just being an a-hole, now I see that he's a selfish coward worried about himself. Thanks for the enlightenment.

I admire your strength & determination wtbh. You're digging yourself out of this hole, while he's still digging his hole deeper.

Last edited by Mad4Chaos; 05-08-2013 at 07:37 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:02 AM
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Hi, wtbh,

Wow, lots going on--I just got back from a week out of the country and am only now catching up. Sorry you were hit again, but glad you were not seriously hurt and that you got the RO!!

Just take it a step at a time. You are handling things well. A history of abuse MAY provide the court with sufficient grounds for you to move out of state. Keep documenting, and do NOT forget, when you go for the hearing for the final, to testify about each and every prior incident that has occurred--including the ones where he had you arrested or threatened to. This last incident is only the very tip of the iceberg and the prior incidents put the whole thing into context. Generally, past history, reported or not, is highly relevant to your need for protection (and the danger to the children). Also, the fact that he hit you in the presence of the children is highly relevant and should be stressed. Be sure to describe how upset they were. I would contact the prosecutor's office about the possibility of adding a charge of endangering their welfare since he hit you in front of them. VERY damaging to children's emotional welfare, not to mention the possibility of their being physically injured if they got caught in the middle.

With the order in place, stick to the letter of it meticulously. Do not allow him to "bend" it for the sake of placating him. ANY violation, report, report, report.

Many hugs--I can hear the relief you are feeling. Stay strong. And as far as the neighbors are concerned, everyone else is right on. The husband is feeling threatened, and the wife has no choice but to back him up. Don't expect any different. If you ever get a private moment with the wife, you can let her know that you are someone she can trust if she ever needs help (if you feel comfortable doing that). What other people do or say does not matter. Your safety and the kids' safety and security is what you need to keep in focus. No doubt this will be a rough time for the kids. But like all of us, sometimes they need to go through some temporary hardships to get to a better place in the long run. Keep the big picture in mind. Hurt feelings now do not trump a safe future.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:54 PM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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I'm sorry that you and your kids are going through this. It's a shame when you're the victim and end up looking like the guilty one. They weren't friends. Also record him if possible. It might not legally hold up in some states (as far as evidence), but I don't think it's illegal for "friends" to hear it. Hang in there!
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