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Old 08-25-2016, 12:53 PM
  # 101 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ring View Post
Hi Yours Truly, thanks! I will continue as I do to share anything that I think will add value to moving forward and if not I will tend to just read. Have a lovely night. Ring
I wanted to tell you that I added a couple of books you suggested to my Amazon wish list. There are more that I might find useful down the road.

There are a couple of other cheapie Kindle books I picked up which are short reads and were written by a bonafide narcissist. I have to admit, there's just something twisted about giving money to a narcissist who's profiting off the targets of narcissists! Talk about a vicious cycle, lol. There's no doubt that he is what he says he is - he just knows way too much. I couldn't get any closer to thinking like a sociopath I guess. His name is H.G. Tudor and judging by all the extensive "U's" in his vocabulary I believe he's a Brit.

;-)

When I responded to my Dad's initial email, I panicked afterward thinking I was locked in right then and there. I looked at your book list again and was thinking that none of them pertained to me anymore since most of them were geared toward moving on. Then I realized that I could still maintain as far a distance as I need to. My Dad being a narcissist, and according to Mr. Tudor, I don't expect that he will continue to pursue me forever anyway. Interesting stuff.

The book I'm reading now is titled Escape: How to Beat the Narcissist. It's a prequel to Departure Imminent: Preparing for No Contact to Beat the Narcissist. There's even another book after that and he has written many more. I don't care for the words "beat" in the titles since they imply aggression which is really not what these books are about. They more or less prepare the reader on what to expect when he/she prepares for no contact and how the narcissist uses all types of manipulation to defeat boundaries (which the author instructs the reader how to construct). He refers to anything you feed the narcissist as "fuel". It makes me wonder if what I "fed" my Dad in my recent emails was too much. . . . .

It's so sad that I'm no longer able to show how much I care about them. At the same time, I'm really appreciative of my ability to detach and view the situation for what it is (like from the outside looking in). Still, sometimes it even seems like this is the kind of thing that happens to other people, like it's a documentary or something, or that it's not even really happening. But it's real. These are REAL PEOPLE. Even higher-functioning people than me in many respects.

It's hard to understand how people without any real depth of feeling are able to function at normal capacity out in the community. The author of this book says it's pointless to try to understand why narcissists are the way they are. He's right as far as trying to patch things up. It's a waste of time and energy. I'm still curious though.
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Old 08-25-2016, 10:47 PM
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I think it's important to delve more into the importance of resolving my anger issues as they pertain to constructing and preserving my boundaries.

My Dad knows I'm taking anger management classes. He knows it's a vulnerability point, and he might just use that to manipulate me in some way. It's something he can get from me. It's a form of attention, even if it's negative.

I forgot to mention that I did ask our group therapist whether or not anger was a useless emotion. She said something to the effect that it serves as some kind of signal similar to a fight or flight response if one feels threatened. Without having the time to ask her to elaborate further I didn't find her comment either convincing or very memorable. I wish I'd jotted it down, because maybe I would have been able to reflect on it more. I still don't see how anger serves much purpose. Well, I guess if one doesn't have the option to hightail it, then anger has a place somewhere. I guess that makes sense if it serves the purpose of saving our lives. We just don't want to misdirect that anger.

I think that because of the "nature of the beast" that is my Dad, I have done pretty well in restraining myself from lashing out many times (at least at him). Having said that, I wonder how many times I have misdirected that anger or how many times I have lost sleep over it. That needs to be dealt with, because he will provoke me again.

Tudor's book gets into provocation, and as I go through it I will post some useful quotes. There is one entry in particular I read tonight that precipitated the thoughts I have written and which I found useful:

"Healthy people in essence go through a four-stage process when making a decision. Firstly, they see the situation in front of them. Then they will assess the situation to ascertain precisely what is happening. Next they will identify the courses of action available to them before finally making a decision as to what they will do. I do not ordinarily engage in this process. I see a situation and then act or react. I am programmed to be this way because my responses are invariably based on certain triggers. I am like a vending machine; press a button and something happens without any need for consideration or assessment.

We expect you to behave in a similar fashion and therefore expect you to always react to what we do rather than carefully processing the behaviour. We do this by relying on a mechanism that means you bypass stages two and three. This mechanism is the fight or flight mode. When you are faced with certain stresses you will rely on deep-seated, rather than reasoned responses. I want that to happen, so that you will just react. One way of achieving this is to put you under pressure by provoking you. The purpose of this provocation is to engage your deep-seated immediate response rather than you considering the situation in a detached and calculated manner. This way we can make you do things, which you will come to regret as you acted very much in the heat of the moment."


This was exactly how I responded after I replied to his initial email. . . .just not toward him.

So between what my therapist said and what the author wrote, the flight or fight concept as applies to anger makes pretty good sense.
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Old 08-26-2016, 10:51 AM
  # 103 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Yours Truly View Post
D, I think you're right. I'm glad I haven't responded to his hateful email. My lack of response will give the old man something to chew on and perhaps teach him some humility.

Though I'm not counting on the humility part.
Hey there - I haven't made it to the end of this thread yet, but wanted to quickly chime in what you're dealing with with a narcissist (N). The best response is NO response with a N. A response from you would be his "supply". It would be his fuel to ignite his (and her) fire on you even more. My sister is a N and I had to go fully No Contact (NC) with her when I learned the dynamics of a N. I highly recommend going NC with both of them unless you want to be continually torn down by them. N's feed off of reactions from others and if they no longer get the reactionary "supply", they'll eventually move on to newer victims. You sound like such a big-hearted and thoughtful person, you don't deserve their trashing and mean-spirited behavior.
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Old 08-26-2016, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Refiner View Post
Hey there - I haven't made it to the end of this thread yet, but wanted to quickly chime in what you're dealing with with a narcissist (N). The best response is NO response with a N. A response from you would be his "supply". It would be his fuel to ignite his (and her) fire on you even more. My sister is a N and I had to go fully No Contact (NC) with her when I learned the dynamics of a N. I highly recommend going NC with both of them unless you want to be continually torn down by them. N's feed off of reactions from others and if they no longer get the reactionary "supply", they'll eventually move on to newer victims. You sound like such a big-hearted and thoughtful person, you don't deserve their trashing and mean-spirited behavior.
Refiner, I was just in the midst of a post when I received an email notification of a new post.

What you just wrote is contained within a book I am currently reading and reiterates exactly what you described to a T.

For a while I was kind of torn between two different directions but leaning more toward pulling away. Although I am now firm in that decision I don't believe that I am fully in the clear, especially once my stepmom has passed away which will be a very difficult time. I will need to have a lot of tools in place.

After she has passed, I think I may still maintain contact with him temporarily but it will be with a be with a very, very learn-ed approach and then slowly withdraw. It will be much more difficult approach than no contact, but I am preparing for that. The book I am reading now instructs the reader on how to deal if no contact is not an option for various different reasons but also prepares for no contact.

I hope that you will stick around, especially if you choose to read the pages further into this thread. I appreciate all opinions and I appreciate the time you have taken to post today. Thanks so much!
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:06 PM
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Oh Gosh I got further in the thread and see how it did blow up on you But I am SO glad to hear how you're educating yourself and learning the tools on how to deal with such people. Prior to going 100% NC, I detached and NEVER reached out to my sister and only responded to anything she said to me in a professionally polite manner. I would NEVER initiate a conversation or opened any doors to a dialogue (or I'd be opening the door to Hell LOL). It wasn't until after my Mom died (our last reason for needing to communicate as family) that I was able to go 100% NC. So you're really going about it in a smart manner. You will still need to somehow deal with him when stepmom dies and your siblings will need to understand and RESPECT your boundaries regarding him. I have only one other sibling, my beloved brother, and he's already disowned her and her anusive ways, so it made it even easier for me. What a sad little miserable life she lives with her Mr. Enabler Husband who's too big for his pants ego-wise and her old friends can't stand him (or her anymore)... I'm talking about my N sister (who's an alcoholic to-boot) in case you got lost on which N I was talking about LOL.
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:45 PM
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I don't remember specifically now what it was that I was posting about, but it was something off-topic. I think it was something related to gardening.

As my body grows increasingly weary of periods, I started developing premenstrual migraines a couple of years ago. I felt one coming on this morning. I'm tired of thinking about my Dad.

The Topamax usually does a pretty good job of keeping the migraines from getting too bad. Sometimes extreme stress brings the migraines on too. My neurologist prescribed Imitrex for anything the Topamax can't take care of but I haven't taken it yet. I don't like taking excessive medications. Usually half of an Excedrin will knock them out - no more than that because I'm caffeine intolerant.

Anyway, yeah. . . .I know when it's time to take a break. I'm sitting on the back patio with my laptop watching my big beautiful bamboo swaying in the wind. It was a scrawny little thing when I picked it up from Walmart this past March in a 1 gallon bucket. It was a whole 15 bucks. I recently transplanted it to a 24" concrete pot. It's humongous.

The monarch butterfly population is dwindling, so earlier this spring I ordered some milkweed plants from livemonarch.com. I received 6 plants. They came in a small flat-rate box, and now they are all big enough to support plenty of caterpillars. A lot of the flowers are in bloom and the hummingbirds are inspecting them for nectar.

Lots and lots of birds in the backyard. I crafted a big bird feeder using a large 18" baking pan that is 3" deep. I drilled 3 holes in the sides and hung it up under a small gazebo that has substituted as a sort of bird sanctuary. All kinds of birds use it and it can fit at least 3 doves and plenty of finches and sparrows all at the same time.

I have a lot of wildflowers. All of the flowers I have I started from seed. At this time of year it's getting tedious dragging the hose around. I plan to do things differently next year. I live on the West Coast now in a drought climate, and so I feel guilty every time I water. It's been a challenge keeping things alive, too. Temps have been in the triple digits for almost two months and plants have been taking a real beating. Wildfires have been raging. About a month ago it was snowing ashes in the backyard.

My sunflowers have had it. I've got to cut those down. Those will start dropping seed and I won't be doing those again next year. They're the branching type and require tons of water.

I have a have a Norfolk Pine that I bought around Christmas of last year and it is my favorite of all. Near the back of the yard there is a tiny woodsy area with a pine tree and a greenman that I attached to it and a little cairn that I constructed and some wind chimes. It's very druidish. My little Norfolk Pine is so happy. It's grown quite a bit, actually, and I guess comes up to my waist now.

I like late 60's, early 70's hippie music which is my favorite genre. Kind of early for my generation. Which generation came before Generation X? Baby boomer? That makes me feel so old already. Well, I like that music and early 90's music which was the peak of my generation and a spinoff of late 60's and early 70's. I recently found a rare, live video on YouTube of Neil Young playing Heart of Gold. I love it so much. I'll post a link and the lyrics too!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh44...FE079&index=70

I want to live,
I want to give
I've been a miner
for a heart of gold
It's these expressions
I never give
That keep me searching
for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old
Keeps me searching
for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old

I've been to Hollywood
I've been to Redwood
I crossed the ocean
for a heart of gold
I've been in my mind,
it's such a fine line
That keeps me searching
for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old
Keeps me searching
for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old

Keep me searching
for a heart of gold
You keep me searching
And I'm growing old
Keep me searching
for a heart of gold
I've been a miner
for a heart of gold
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Old 08-26-2016, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Yours Truly View Post
There are so many contradictions in the above quote I don't even know where to start. I knew it when I posted it but I needed to come up for air.

First of all, if a parent makes a demeaning comment about your appearance, responses such as “Really? I’ll need to pay better attention next time” or making a pleasant comment about the parent’s appearance are not "noncommittal" responses.

And if you act out of annoyance as opposed to outright anger, the above comments are going to come across as sarcastic and the parent WILL know that you are angry.
I totally agree with you here. The best response is to hit the IGNORE button (NO response) so no supply is given. No response IS a response but doesn't open that door giving them something to respond to. They ALWAYS have to have the last nasty word anyway, so that would just draw it out so you'd have to hear MORE nasty words. I also think anyone one the PD Spectrum likely has a mix of them. For instance, my AS, who is a N, lacks both guilt AND empathy so likely also has the sociopath PD going on, too.
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Old 08-26-2016, 02:12 PM
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Not sure what happened to my link there. I didn't try to embed the video or anything. That feature seems rather buggy. Let me try posting the link in a different way.

Neil Young - Heart of Gold

If that doesn't work, one might try going to YouTube and try typing in "Neil Young - Heart of Gold." It's worth watching and has nearly 56 million views. It was recorded before a small audience in December of 1969.
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Old 08-26-2016, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Yours Truly View Post

Then I came home to an email from my Dad.

The subject line was: NO SUBJECT.

The body of the email read: "WIG DAY!" And that was it.

Attached were several lovely photos of my stepmom wearing a new wig.

She recently started her 3rd round of chemotherapy treatments and apparently has begun to lose her hair. Otherwise she looked really good.

I have not responded to the email, and I did not receive it without some disappointment, actually. Emotionally, I was already halfway to the outer limits. I was really, really prepared to begin moving on. All things considered - and although I get anxious, depressed, angry, and aggravated at times - I'm relatively happy with where I am emotionally. I'm at a good place to set some boundaries.

But I don't even know what to say or how I should say it. I'm glad to hear from you? Thanks for writing? Stay in touch? I'm a little angry, too. Last time I heard from him he made it seem like she was really, really sick, so I had no idea what kind of condition she has been in all this time. God forbid I should ASK lest I be ostracized. I don't need to be walking on eggshells with this man or have what little of the fragile serenity I have reestablished disrupted, seriously.
Ok, I'm slowly making it thru your thread LOL and am commenting as I go. I should probably read it all the way thru then comment, but this way I can see how much I have learned on how to read ppl and situations. His E-mail is him baiting you. Since you haven't been proactively giving him his supply, he's baiting you into doing so. My N sister would also do this. In fact, my brother and I named it "click BOOM!" (Click = the removal of the pin and all hey how are you doing you look great I'm so happy for you blah blah blah niceties then !BOOM! goes the nasty grenade sending hate shrapnel through you!) I should write a book!
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Old 08-26-2016, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Refiner View Post
Oh Gosh I got further in the thread and see how it did blow up on you But I am SO glad to hear how you're educating yourself and learning the tools on how to deal with such people. Prior to going 100% NC, I detached and NEVER reached out to my sister and only responded to anything she said to me in a professionally polite manner. I would NEVER initiate a conversation or opened any doors to a dialogue (or I'd be opening the door to Hell LOL). It wasn't until after my Mom died (our last reason for needing to communicate as family) that I was able to go 100% NC. So you're really going about it in a smart manner. You will still need to somehow deal with him when stepmom dies and your siblings will need to understand and RESPECT your boundaries regarding him. I have only one other sibling, my beloved brother, and he's already disowned her and her anusive ways, so it made it even easier for me. What a sad little miserable life she lives with her Mr. Enabler Husband who's too big for his pants ego-wise and her old friends can't stand him (or her anymore)... I'm talking about my N sister (who's an alcoholic to-boot) in case you got lost on which N I was talking about LOL.
Hi Refiner. You're a fast reader and quite gifted. I have to reread everything at least twice.

:-)

I'm sorry your sister is so unreachable. My brother is too, but in a different kind of way. We both have narcissistic streaks I think. Coming from abusive, narcissistic households it might be difficult not to pick up some of those traits especially where selfishness is concerned. When a kid isn't getting what he or she needs, I imagine they become kind of selfish themselves.

I just leave my brother alone and he leaves me alone. His behavior got really out of line when I flew out to visit last year. He issued an apology recently which I accepted and I haven't had any more contact with him. I am fine with that as he is damaging to me. I keep my heart open to him because his issues are very complex and deeply disturbing; however, he is not a full-blown narcissist. He is not as receptive to seeking help as I am so I have let him know that I am available to him and have left it at that. So yeah, I can relate to your approach as far as the way you have decided not to initiate contact with your sister. I might send my brother a text once in a while to say "Hi brother" or something but that's about the extent of it.
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Old 08-26-2016, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Refiner View Post
I totally agree with you here. The best response is to hit the IGNORE button (NO response) so no supply is given. No response IS a response but doesn't open that door giving them something to respond to. They ALWAYS have to have the last nasty word anyway, so that would just draw it out so you'd have to hear MORE nasty words. I also think anyone one the PD Spectrum likely has a mix of them. For instance, my AS, who is a N, lacks both guilt AND empathy so likely also has the sociopath PD going on, too.
Yes, I agree. Other than emails from my Dad that somehow require a response (which I will carefully compose regardless of how long it takes), I'm not going out of my way to initiate any emails to my Dad except for the bird video I sent. But I have an out on that one - it was forwarded to me and the message on the video screen said to share it with EVERYONE, lol. And I didn't write a personal message to go with it. If he wanted my stepmom to see it, that was his call.

:-D

Thanks for your post.

:-)
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Old 08-26-2016, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Refiner View Post
Ok, I'm slowly making it thru your thread LOL and am commenting as I go. I should probably read it all the way thru then comment, but this way I can see how much I have learned on how to read ppl and situations. His E-mail is him baiting you. Since you haven't been proactively giving him his supply, he's baiting you into doing so. My N sister would also do this. In fact, my brother and I named it "click BOOM!" (Click = the removal of the pin and all hey how are you doing you look great I'm so happy for you blah blah blah niceties then !BOOM! goes the nasty grenade sending hate shrapnel through you!) I should write a book!
Indeed you should write a book. You're way ahead of yourself, lol. Thanks for your post and for reading my thread.

;-)
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Old 08-26-2016, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Yours Truly View Post
Another thing that I failed to mention is that after all these threats of disowning me again, just about a week before he dropped "the bomb" about my stepmom's 2nd round of treatments failing, he told me "I'll always be here for you." I realized then that those gestures were not sincere and that he was looking for a tradeoff.
:
Yep - classic come here and go away behavior is to be expected. Also to be expected with these people is that ANY sign of being nice, generous, and the like has an angle of "what's in it for them". Every. Single. Time.
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Old 08-26-2016, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Refiner View Post
Yep - classic come here and go away behavior is to be expected. Also to be expected with these people is that ANY sign of being nice, generous, and the like has an angle of "what's in it for them". Every. Single. Time.
That was very disheartening for me and a rotten thing for him to do. I'm on a very limited income, and I don't care about his will and whether there's anything left of it or not. It's nothing worth putting up with him for the next 20 or 30 years anyway.

Refiner, what's your take on triangulation? I don't have a clear understanding. Thanks again for posting.
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Old 08-26-2016, 03:50 PM
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I'm not going to go out of my way to Google it today.
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Old 08-26-2016, 05:08 PM
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I couldn't just continue to slouch in front of my blank computer screen with a 50-yard catatonic stare so I looked it up.

Vic, hand me the remote.
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Old 08-26-2016, 06:04 PM
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Hi YT, just popped on for a sec. this may answer question around triangulation.

Triangulation—the narcissist’s secret weapon



“Triangulation” can be defined as indirect communication where one person acts as messenger between two others, often times altering or fabricating the message to suit the tale bearer’s objective. Triangulation is a common tool of the narcissist and it goes hand in glove with “gaslighting”and “projection”

In the psychology of dysfunctional families, triangulation may take two forms: “[It] is most commonly used to express a situation in which one family member will not communicate directly with another family member, but will communicate with a third family member, forcing the third family member to then be part of the triangle.

“Triangulation can also be used as a label for a form of “splitting” in which one person plays the third family member against one that he or she is upset about. This is playing the two people against each other, but usually the person doing the splitting, will also engage in character assassination…”
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Old 08-26-2016, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ring View Post
Hi YT, just popped on for a sec. this may answer question around triangulation.

Triangulation—the narcissist’s secret weapon



“Triangulation” can be defined as indirect communication where one person acts as messenger between two others, often times altering or fabricating the message to suit the tale bearer’s objective. Triangulation is a common tool of the narcissist and it goes hand in glove with “gaslighting”and “projection”

In the psychology of dysfunctional families, triangulation may take two forms: “[It] is most commonly used to express a situation in which one family member will not communicate directly with another family member, but will communicate with a third family member, forcing the third family member to then be part of the triangle.

“Triangulation can also be used as a label for a form of “splitting” in which one person plays the third family member against one that he or she is upset about. This is playing the two people against each other, but usually the person doing the splitting, will also engage in character assassination…”
I think I saw a very similar entry on Wikipedia! Thanks very much for digging that up and posting it though. It gets pretty complicated.

A lot of things started making sense to me after I started reading more about triangulation, Ring. When I replied to the "wig" email and thought I might have been giving him too much by saying she looked nice (and sincerely meant it), it was actually the opposite of what he was looking for. He was trying to provoke a jealous reaction. I wish I could find the original article now so I could elaborate more on that.

Even though I have always known what he was, it's kind of been like looking at a book and just reading the title. As I have opened the book and started reading more and more, I'm like, "Yes. . . .he does this and this and this and this and that too!!!!" He's a classic textbook example of a narcissist. When I was a teenager, a therapist once told me he was a flat-out sociopath. That stuck with me, but I didn't pursue it any further.

There was something you mentioned a couple of weeks ago about self-coupling. I googled "self coupling codependency" and "self coupling psychology" with no results. The closest thing I could find was along the lines of electrical transducers and quantum physics, and I'm no Lawrence Krauss. :-) Can you kindly explain this one to me? Thanks a bunch.
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Old 08-27-2016, 12:18 AM
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So it occurred to me that I really don't expect much in the way of hateful emails on behalf of my Dad anymore. Our primary form of communication is via email. We live 2500 miles apart and don't have physical contact. Aside from not being much of a "phone person", I avoid speaking with him like the plague unless I want to hear him pontificate about politics for two hours.

Since the tone of my emails has changed, he probably has a pretty good clue that I'm onto him and as everything is in writing, he's going to be exercising caution. I'm fairly certain that he doesn't perceive my boyfriend as a threat. D (my boyfriend) has remained very, very neutral and has voiced very few opinions about anything regarding my relationship with my Dad, even from the reestablishment of my relationship with him during the "honeymoon period" early last year. He's super diplomatic. My Dad doesn't know much about him other than very casual information and I have given him no information about any of the opinions D has expressed one way or another. D is a peace-lover who is very averse to conflict and my Dad does know that. My overall impression is that my Dad knows that where D and I are concerned is that I have a mind of my own and he is correct. So D does not pose a threat to him. The last time my Dad and I any meaningful communication he knew that I was having a hard time securing regular therapy sessions. So he doesn't know if there is a therapist waiting in the wings.

I am considering all of this in anticipation of his next move.

On a scale of 1-10, I place the chance of verbal threats/abuse around 3. If he's going to stop communicating there will be no more warnings - he'll just stop. I've already stated my position to him regarding his threats of severing communications. He will also not threaten me with violence. So if there are any threats it will be in the form of verbal abuse which I place around 3. There is a chance that he might though, as he knows how sensitive I am. It was one of these written attacks that precipitated the comment by the therapist who told me he was a sociopath. So I'll bump that up to a 5.

Let's see what else is in his arsenal. Well, he already knows I don't want his money, so that tactic places around 2 on the scale unless he's sitting on a half-billion dollars I don't know about. He'll pull my ho card on that one.

Emotional manipulation. Ding ding ding ding ding! 8!

I love it. Tell me how wonderful you are, Daddio. One false move, and. . . .checkmate!

Where's my scepter?
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Old 08-27-2016, 12:34 AM
  # 120 (permalink)  
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In other thoughts - and this is interesting - over the past 5 weeks or so I have developed a very casual bond with a guy in my group therapy sessions. We gravitated toward each other almost immediately. It turns out that he is in a 12-step program which I have known all along. I have not said anything to him about it. He does not know that I was previously addicted to alcohol. He does know that I do not have any spiritual beliefs. We sit next to one another during group and just kind of look at one another and smile a lot. He is married and his wife just had a new baby last week.

There's something really special about the way we kind of just connected and I thought I would share that.

:-)
Yours Truly is offline  

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