The Narcissism Game

Right now I am in a narcissistic game of tug of war. I’ve been working with my best friend for months on building up his self esteem so that he can see he has value and build trust with people. That was taken away from him over 30 years ago. You see, I am his wife’s ONLY “friend” although lately, I have been mainly viewed by her as the enemy.

Once my best friend discovered his wife has no doubtedly, narcissistic personality disorder, I began doing a lot of research. Since I am pursing a nursing degree and was in Abnormal Psychology, I was able to ask a lot of questions from my professor. At first she blew the situation off as if it could be something else. That was, until I started thoroughly describing behaviors and then her jaw dropped.

I have been learned to play this narcissism game and let me tell you, her true self has reared its head. Just last week my best friend seen a side of his wife he didn’t expect to see although he was somewhat aware of the possibility it would happen. One of the things I have been working on in myself, since I too became a “victim” of this narcissistic vampire has been to stand up for myself.

You see, for years I allowed things to be in her court. I had tried in the past to reason with her, argue my point, defend others (especially her husband) and even help her when she asked for it. All of that was in vain and usually she was the “winner.” I always felt like an object to her anyways. I mean one day I was her best friend in the world, the next day it was if I didn’t exist, mean a thing to her at all whatsoever.

Even before the discovery of NPD I had pretty much started to detach myself from her. She would ask her husband why I would only come out to the house when he was there or why I wouldn’t text or call her like I used to. Well, it’s because I got sick and tired of being treated like a doormat for her to clean her boots off with.

It’s taken a lot longer for my best friend to realize how deeply serious this situation is. After all, he has been sucked into this vampirish nightmare for over 30 years. I am proud of him though for realizing that he has to be the one to take control of his life again. For years he left the ball in her court, for her to make the decision to leave or stay. There were times she would threaten to leave but never would. It was just a few years ago he finally let her know he no longer wanted to be married to her. And of course she felt like she was nothing anymore since he no longer “wanted” her.  As typical as it is with her, in a day or two it was if nothing had ever happened.

Stuff like that has driven my best friend and I nuts. Her being aware of something one day and the next day it was as if a reset button had been pushed. Lately though things have been taken up a notch with her saying off the wall things. It was almost two weeks ago when I had gone to Wal-Mart to have my prescription medications filled and had seen her driving into the parking lot. I had text her but heard nothing back for about an hour. Then she calls me and asks me which vehicle did I see her in?

Okay, here is the deal: she only drives ONE vehicle and that is her Jeep. Everyone who knows her knows her Jeep and how she is about it.

Apparently that same day my best friend said that she asked him if he had driven his car…ummm the car is parked next to her Jeep in the garage, so if she made a trip to Wal-Mart she would have noticed the car was still in the garage.

Another bizarre incident happened around that time when she and I had gone to get lunch one day. She made this odd ball comment about me being just a few months older than her niece. The thing is, that is not true. It is true that her oldest son is just a few months older than his cousin, but I am Nine years older than the two of them!

I still find myself being underminded by her as I am gritting my teeth ready to put my hands around her neck. Every time I am around her of course she starts her bragging about this or that. Usually I am rolling my eyes and trying to tune her out. My teenage daughter has even become aware of the situation, often asking me questions about things. Of course, she knows why I continue to stick around.

Why am I still around her? There are a lot of reasons why. Some are deeply personal. Two main reasons: I am pretty much the ONLY person who is completely aware of the situation and the person who is the support of my best friend.

I saved him in the nick of time, from committing suicide years ago. He was ready to end it all because he felt useless, as if no one cared or even appreciated him and his worth. My best friend is an amazing person who is adored by many around us. He is incredibly talented, smart, savvy, and also extremely caring. The latter one is his biggest weakness. I have watched him become the doormat to several people which has at times caused strain between the two of us.

In the case of his wife though, he is fully aware that I am at the point I will not back down, I will be aggressive and I will be doing a lot of speaking out. I have already been doing these things with some interesting results.

That of course has begun to irk his wife. And her true self is being revealed.

The Scars of Emotional Abuse

Someone suffering from emotional abuse will not always been seen on the surface. If you have ever been there and done that you know that it can take time before one realizes what damage has been done. Many experts have said that emotional abuse is just as bad, if not worse than physical abuse.

As my aunt recently said, I would rather be beaten than to be beaten down with hurtful words that can destroy me.  Physical abuse may leave lasting physical scars, but scars from emotional abuse can last a lifetime while destroying a persons self-esteem, friendships, relationships, cause depression as well as suicide.

My closest friend I adore, has been emotionally abused for the last 31 years. His wife and children have treated him like a doormat and a punching bag on a daily basis. It has taken place for so long that he either cannot see that it is abuse or that he has been in it for so long it scares him to know that things can be better for him if he left.

His wife is an excessive spender. His severance package/retirement fund from his job that ended in 2003 was gone by the beginning of this year. He does not and never has had a mortgage because he built his own house on the 26 acres he has. He has never had a car payment, always paid cash for his vehicles. In 2009 his wife had possession of two credit cards, both were maxed out in two years to the tune of about $32K. She had to file bankruptcy.

Yet he continued to stand by her while she has continuously abused him and their marriage. He has asked her numerous times to stop spending. He has sat down with her to work on a budget countless times only for her to forget about it and do her own thing.

Six months ago their youngest son who is 21 graduated from college with honors. He has never had a job in his life. He had to move back in with them. His mom had mentioned there would be guidelines, which were never implemented. Typically he is sleeping while mom or dad is mowing the yard, taking the garbage out, washing clothes, grocery shopping, Paying the Bills.

My friend continues to be a doormat, believing he is the one expected to be responsible for everyone else, even though they are grown, able bodied adults. In the meantime, his health is declining. Two months ago he broke out in shingles, an obvious sign he is severely stressed. His wife laughs about it.

Eight months ago he found out his wife has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Basically, his marriage has been a lie. She has never and will never have the true capacity to love anyone else but herself. Yet he continues to be at the hands of her control.

Thanksgiving Day this year, he was in excruciating pain from his back. He had worked on her vehicle under the dash, had to take out the seat to work on things. He had been cramped in there for so long that he strained his back. He could barely walk and it was nearly impossible for him to feel comfortable whether sitting, walking or laying down even with strong pain medicine. He did not want to go. She insisted he go with her even though he was not feeling very well and was in pain. He did stand up to her and tell her he was not spending the night at her mother’s house three hours away. The whole entire time he slept. She made him drive home. The next day she had the nerve to tell me he was falling asleep at the wheel on the way home, was weaving.

One Christmas she threatened to shoot both him and her son if they did not go with her at the same time to her parents house.

His wife does not see anything wrong with her behavior. What happens to her is everyone else’s fault. Of course her husband is the main target. He gets blamed for everything, including her massive heart attack in 2010. He has told her he does not want to be married to her anymore. For a few days she will be depressed and claiming her life is useless. A few days later it is if a switch has been flipped and nothing ever happened.

My friend goes through constant periods of depression. I saved him from suicide.

It has been a challenge to pull him away from this dangerous, toxic, negative relationship. He says he feels so responsible. He is afraid of what others will say or think about him if he made her and their son move out. He would be the villain.

He is choosing to kill himself  slowly for the sake of two people who do not care, appreciate or truly love him. Everyday that he goes home he is a doormat. It is dangerous in that his narcissistic wife is like a vampire, sucking the life out of him and he cannot free himself from her clutches.

As a friend, it is like tug of war. I get him away long enough for him to recuperate and then he goes back to emotionally beaten up more.

Emotional abuse can and will kill those that cannot cut themselves out of the ropes of entanglement. They cannot do it alone. Support from family and friends are vital to one recovering from the scars of emotional abuse.

A Friend with Narcissistic Personality

Early in the Spring of this year my best friend approached me about reading a section of the book he had downloaded on his Kindle. He asked me to read it and then comment on who I thought it described. I read beyond what he had asked me to because I was so intrigued and at the same time I felt some questions had been answered.

My response was that reading the section on Narcissistic Personality Disorder described her to a T. In fact, I continued to do research online, purchasing books and reviewing forums. The more I read the more I was intrigued and at the same time, sad.

This person that I thought I knew for the last six years was someone who is incapable of ever being a true friend. Things were explained so much yet still trying to deal with her has been an absolute challenge. Currently I am reading the book Narcissism: Denial of the True Self by Alexander Lowen, M. D. it has been by far, the best book I have read on Narcissism and the most helpful.

I have been questioned about the “diagnosis”  of my close friend until I start to explain things. About a year and a half ago we gave her the nickname the “queen” because she always wants to be in control of things. When her husband started to stand up for himself and say no or in fact just ignore it then she started to whine, pout or argue.

He has asked her numerous times to stop spending money. In 2008 she opened up two credit cards and within two years she maxed both of them out , $32K worth of debt which at the end of 2010 she had to file for bankruptcy which resulted in him losing his long time credit card he had for over 20 years with perfect credit that was now gone.

Her attitude after the bankruptcy was that she could get another credit card because she wiped out her debt. Well, when she tried applying for one because I had applied and been granted a small one to rebuild my credit, she was declined.

A long time ago she would tell me she wishes she could be like me. I never understood that comment until I started reading about Narcissism.  Then that worried me. I noticed all of the time, in fact every time I ever had a conversation with her husband she would always pipe in as if she was him and knew the stuff he knew or did. It is very annoying. Well, I learned through research that is how a Narcissistic person is. They act like the person whom they are attached to. And not only has that attachment been her husband, now it is also me.

Years ago before I even knew the two of them, both were involved in affairs. From listening to both sides, she was the one who explored first, but if you listen to her tell you the stories she blames him. She blames him because he didn’t tell her before he had his affair so he was the bad one while she continued to be with this person and that person. What she was doing was fine and what he was doing was wrong?

Lately I have had to deal with what I consider a serious issue with her. At least four times in the last six months she has shown up unannounced at my apartment. No phone calls, texts, emails, nothing. Yesterdays incident I predicted. The others I had not and they had taken me back. The first time she did it her husband had come along and realized I had a strange look on my face. When I explained to him I had no idea they were coming over and he had asked me if she had called, text or anything and I answered no, he was just as shocked as me.

Often she will do quirky things. One day she’ll be your “best” friend and the next day or two or three you won’t hear from her. Some days if we are all going together for a ride in the mountains, to go hiking, on a picnic or to an event she’ll let me sit up in the front seat of the vehicle. Other days I have to ask.

The craziest issue by far has to be who likes ME and who doesn’t. I have been told as has her husband, that I am not liked by his parents or hers. Interesting because:

Quite often his mother will ask how I and my kids are doing, whenever I go over there she usually gives me little trinkets and toys to give to my kids and recently she asked if I could come over and fix her computer, which she paid me for. Her mom will ask how I and my kids are doing too. In January of this year her father passed away. My youngest son, which her mother adores went with me on the 3 hour trip to Middle TN. Her mother hugged me and my son and thanked us for coming. Afterwards we were invited over to her house and eventually invited to go eat with them at Cracker Barrel. I am pretty sure if someone didn’t like me they wouldn’t be so nice!

There have been so many times conversations with her have caused wedges between me and people we know. Since discovering she has a narcissistic personality I am learning to not take everything she says with a grain of salt. It’s not always easy because there are times she does tell the truth you just never know what is being twisted until you talk to the other party.

I am sure some would question me being friends with someone who has a narcissistic personality. I don’t “unfriend” someone easily. This person has done a lot for me and my family, yet every thing I have read tells me it is not genuine and that hurts. It is sad enough that from everything I have studied about Narcissistic Personality Disorder there is no cure, medicine or treatment that helps. The biggest issue I have found is that the person with NPD has to acknowledge they have problems. Knowing my friend for almost seven years now, I know she won’t admit to that. Everyone in her mind has problems, but she does not.