Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Cavity

IMGP0510The memory is isolated from context, age or other circumstances. The best I can do is narrow it down to a period between the ages of 9 and 15 because I moved into this particular house when I was about to turn 9 and moved out on my 15th birthday, but I digress.

I had just noticed a rather large black spot between my two front teeth. I had tried to remove it only to find that it was what was left of the teeth in that spot. I had not paid a lot of attention to my teeth. Brushing your teeth does not become a habit when you don’t have a tooth brush.

The first time that I felt the absence of a tooth brush in my life was at a camp. My mother often sent us to camps and Sunday schools and evening activities. It did not matter if we wanted to go, she did not want us around. There was a bus that would pick us up on Sunday morning and take us to Sunday school and bring us home and she was delighted to have Sunday morning “off” each week. Long story short, I spent a lot of time places other than at home.

At this particular camp, they had a speaker one day talking about dental hygiene. The highlight of the presentation was that he had brought these little red pills. He explained that we were all to go and brush our teeth and then we would chew these pills and it would turn all of the plaque on our teeth red. This thrilled my friends and they were all going to prove how clean they got their teeth.

We were sent to our cabins to grab our tooth brushes. We were then supposed to brush our teeth and return. At that point, our success would be judged by the red tablet. I had not brought a toothbrush. I did not own a tooth brush. Instead of going back to the cabin, I took off into the trees next to the camp. I was hopeful that no one would notice that I was missing. I walked along a creek until I got tired and then I went back in time for dinner. No one seemed to be the wiser.

So, now I was examining another casualty of my upbringing in the mirror in the washroom. I had no idea what to do about it. I tried shoving toilet paper into the hole so that it would be whitish instead of black, but it was still obvious. I decided to just be careful when I smiled so that no one could tell.

The Narcissist Survival Guide now available

Leaving-page-001In this book, Martha Beck examines the truly pathologic relationship she had with her parents and how she managed to get out from under it.

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Drive

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Fax

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Interview

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Call

Narcissism–Scenes From the Front Line — The Funeral

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Pants

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Trailer

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — Biking

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Doctor

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — New Job

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Pants

IMGP4598Tomato red pants were the only thing that we could find given the parameters of our shopping trip. We were in a hurry. There were things that my mother would rather be doing. Unfortunately for her, I was not yet capable of going shopping for myself.

I had been wearing the same pair of pants to school everyday for as long as I can remember. This is a pattern that lasted until I went to high school and got my own job and my own money. At that point, I could buy my own clothing and dress however I could afford. I was not there yet.

I was about ten or eleven years of age and the demands of having children were just too inconvenient for my mother. Clothing shopping, well any shopping for that matter, was just not her idea of a good time, so she did as little as possible. When she did shop, she would let us know how expensive we were and how inconvenient we were, but I digress.

On this particular day she had other plans. She always had other plans. I had ripped the only pair of pants that I had. I probably had outgrown them. But, I had ripped them to the point that I could no longer wear them. My mother had been angry. First, she was angry because I had ruined my clothing. Second she was angry because now she had to take me shopping. Third, she was angry because buying me clothing was going to be expensive and finally she was angry because, as she let us know, she would’ve been an opera singer if she had not had children.

So we had hurriedly gone shopping. There was not enough time allotted for us to go to several stores and the department store that we were in did not have a lot of selection in my size. In hind sight, this is hard to believe and I now wonder whether or not she was trying to buy from the children’s department only because they have less expensive items, but I have no way of knowing. If she was, I was probably at the high end and that would explain the limited selection.

Unfortunately for me, a red pair fit. They were hideous. They were unacceptable. They were purchased. I was concerned about going to school in these red pants. I did not want to be seen.

My mother said, “Your ass looks like a big red tomato in those pants.” Nice.

Read the entire book, now available
Read the entire book, now available

I wrote my first book above, before I knew my mother was a narcissist.

The Narcissist Survival Guide now available

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Drive

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Fax

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Interview

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Call

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Cavity

Narcissism–Scenes From the Front Line — The Funeral

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Trailer

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — Biking

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Doctor

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — New Job

Narcissists and the Legal System

http://globerunner.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/gavel-e1376594306977.png
http://globerunner.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/gavel-e1376594306977.png

I swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, yeah right! Anyone that is unfortunate enough to have dealt with a narcissist knows that this is not going to happen.

Unfortunately, this is the tenant upon which our legal system is based. There does not seem to be an understanding that not everyone is honest and this can be a disaster if you happen to need to be in court with a narcissist.

If you are dealing with a legal issue with a narcissist, first of all, my condolences. But the truth is that you are in a precarious situation. The natural adversarial nature of law is like Disney World to most narcissists. They thrive on conflict and they are willing to lie to win on any issue.

In my experience, even producing documents, produced by a narcissist, that contradict each other was not enough “evidence” that at least one of the documents must be in error. There seems to be a lot of leeway given for “errors”, “misinterpretations” and “misrepresentation” as though to err is human but to lie is simply not a consideration.

So what to do…

1. If at all possible, avoid taking legal action against a narcissist. You may be drawn in by them, but never initiate it yourself. This is a goldmine of conflict that feeds the average narcissist and they cannot get enough.

2. If children are involved, you should strongly consider getting them their own lawyer. This, on the face of it, will appear as though it will cost more money, but that is not the case. Once children become pawns in a legal battle with a narcissist, everyone loses. The thought and consideration that most parents would show for the impact on their own children is not felt by a narcissist. The children need separate representation so that issues surrounding them do not become a battle between you and the narcissist.

3. Keep as much “evidence” as you possibly can: take photos, record times and conversations. If you have witnesses, make sure you know how to contact them and how they are likely to respond if called.

4. Be careful how a simple thing that you might do, like leave a note, can be misconstrued and used against you. A note like, “please move your car” can be played out to be unreasonable given the right made up back-story. Keep in mind that you do not know how things can be twisted and used against you.

5. Note that you will be baited as often as possible to try to get you to “act out” when there are witnesses or to encourage you to do something like write a note or send an email that can be used against you.

6. Always fight for something that you do not want. This will allow the narcissist to “win” and for you to find resolution. You didn’t want it anyway, giving it to them as a concession just makes it end sooner — hopefully.

7. Finally, and this is the MOST important point. Never try to win in public. When two people are arguing, it is not possible to tell which one is unreasonable because they are both acting unreasonably. A fight in court for instance will undermine your credibility by making you look crazy.

Best of luck. Stay small, don’t fight back–you can’t win against someone that will lie and cheat to win–and hopefully it will all be over soon.

 

My book, "The Narcissist Survival Guide" is now available.
My book, “The Narcissist Survival Guide” is now available.

Narcissism Navigated

The Perils of Play

IMG_3790Lawyers and insurance companies are ruling the world and they are taking us in the wrong direction. Simply put, there is more to life than avoiding death. We have been sucked in anyway to avoiding risk at all costs. This is especially acute in today’s parents who have coddled this generation of children so much; they are likely to never leave home.

Many of the children have never walked to school, or been unsupervised for any length of time. Their lives are spent in the home or during a scheduled activity or play date. No parent would risk abduction and let their child play outside alone! Lets not forget the perils of having sunshine on unprotected skin or the risk of a fall.

But we have taken it so far the saying, “Better safe than sorry” is no longer a truism. Take the playground issue for instance. After a particularly damning report about the perils of the city’s playgrounds; that actually was written with a view to how things “should” be built in the future, not a comment on the current dangers on the playground, the city of Toronto ripped out all of it’s play equipment from public properties and schools.

We have all heard this argument. “Now that there is a report saying that the playground is potentially dangerous we are exposed legally.” Again, with the lawyers and the insurance companies. If a child was hurt and the parents decided to go for a windfall of cash, the city would be liable. There was no way to take the risk. Rip out the playgrounds.

The post-game analysis done by the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ),
showed a great improvement in safety citing 550 less injuries on playgrounds. Now, an injury is described as any time a form is filled out and “includes injuries attended to by teachers or school staff, as well as those in which the child went home or to a health facility”. Funny thing that the CMAJ article made no mention of how this lack of activity affected the children, their ability to concentrate, their weights or their happiness, to name a few undiscussed variables. The study focused entirely on the reduced risk of injury.

Now with funding the way that it always is — tight, the city did not have a plan to replace all of the equipment with the recommended “safer” equipment. The wealthier neighbourhoods did fundraising and refurbished the playgrounds but after 9 years many of the playgrounds remain barren. So now we also have an economic split. The poorer children are more likely to have no way to be engaged and active during the school day and become higher risk for being named a troublemaker.

In other cities, the rules have become so strict that normal games like tag are not allowed because it requires “touching”. Throwing things can be hazardous. Boisterous play can result in someone getting hurt. In other words, we are asking our children not to play because it is dangerous.

So an entire cohort of children is not being allowed normal physical activity. This same group of children is the fattest, most out of shape generation of children North America has ever seen. The way that we are dealing with this lack of exercise is to take away play. Interesting.

Children that cannot make the adjustment to this lack of exercise can become troublemakers because they will have difficulty concentrating or paying attention. These children may be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and medicated. For that matter, in 2011 one in ten children were diagnosed with ADHD in the US. If children cannot sit still, they are given a pharmacopeia of drugs to help them calm down. So let me summarize, many of our children are driven to school and then they are not allowed to play all day and we medicate them to keep them from being too restless. There is no way to over state this.

A particularly nonconformist principal in New Zealand decided to get rid of all of the rules on his playground at school and yes, there were a few injuries, but many of the other “bad behaviours” decreased. In fact, the students focused better in class. Bullying, tattling and vandalism all decreased and fewer children were getting hurt. Perhaps, just perhaps, kids need to be able to play to stimulate themselves and well, be normal children.

Now the question becomes, how do we deal with the lawyers and the insurance companies that are salivating at the thought of a child breaking her arm on the playground? Until we address that issue, we are putting all of our children at real risk, not just the normal childhood risk of a scraped knee or a bruise.

 

How to Lead a Low Drama Life

Master Coach Lori Race is ready to share with you her secrets on how to create a more Zen-like existence. 

Beautiful, Bodacious, Boundaries

Learn How to Say No.

Inventing Mother

IMG_0164I have done a little reading about how to mend a broken heart; when it was broken by the absence of parents, and there does not seem to be much available. One book gave strict guidelines that you were not supposed to make your other relationships fill this hole in your heart. You have to accept that you did not get the love and are not entitled to get it now.

But there has been little comfort and support. Now, I understand that I may not have the correct search terms. You can tell by the way many people write about their relationships that they didn’t know that their problem was with a narcissist at all. So, it would’ve been hard for them to find ways to read about that particular problem before they knew the search term. But I find myself without any fruitful results from my own searches, so I’ve started to explore my own possibilities.

Not knowing the search term has been a problem for me in the past. I was searching for a company that would install an automated sprinkling system in my yard. I searched: sprinklers, lawn, watering, landscaping, gardening, grass and got no results, bar one.

The company I found was out of town and he serviced my area, but it was a drive for him. After he installed the system, he mentioned that I should find a local company to deal with the winter maintenance. I did not know how to find one. I called a guy in a related industry and he said, I don’t do that work, but there are a lot of guys that do. Check irrigation in the phone book. Irrigation Every person that worked in that industry had made the same assumption. They thought people looking for their services would use that word and that word only. It’s only common sense…

Once it’s occurred to you.

Not being able to find what I need on-line, I’ve decided to try inserting a mother into my bad memories. Let me explain this double speak. I know that I did not have a mother caring for me. When I remember a bad childhood experience, I am going to insert another mother into the void. So, even though I did not have a mother there, I’m going to add a woman into all of the memories. I will change the outcome in each memory and see how I feel.

I have already pictured this woman. She is large, fat and has dark brown, almost black hair that she wears short and smoothed from curls. So, for instance, I have a rather intense memory of watching television, knowing that I was not allowed to wake my mother. I was hungry so I stole some butterscotch chocolate chips and ate them (they were disgusting) until my stomach hurt.

Now, instead, I am watching television, knowing that I am not allowed to wake my mother and this fat brunette walks in from the front hall. She bends down and picks me up into her arms and walks me into the kitchen. After setting me down on a kitchen chair, she asks what she can prepare for me.

IMG_0377I am super hungry, so I ask for the big breakfast with bacon and eggs and buttered toast with jam. We spend an eternity sitting together in the kitchen while she makes me breakfast and while I eat and she is talking to me the entire time.

How’s that? I’m thinking that the worst this type of pretending could do is make me delusional. I have this imaginary friend as a child, who I didn’t make up until I was an adult.

As I wrote that last piece, a calm warmth spread over me. Instead of reliving the pain of loneliness and the discomfort of an upset stomach, I had breakfast with a woman that loved me. I will always know the truth, but I prefer to remember it my way.

Let’s try another. For a very, very, long time I was plagued with pinworms. Those crawly centimetre long pests that come out at night to lay their eggs. My mother told me a story, when I complained about the discomfort.  She said that she had heard of a man whose worms crawled out through his skin. Nice.

Add in some fiberglass curtains that were washed with the underwear and you live through a day of hell. I was disgusted by the thought of worms coming out through my skin and the fiberglass from the curtains was keeping my skin prickly and itchy all day. Every time that I comforted myself that there were not worms trying to pierce my skin from the inside, the fiberglass would get too itchy to ignore.

Now, instead, when I complained about the discomfort, the big fat brunette helps me dress. We make an emergency trip to the drug store where she lets me pick out a magazine and some gum. We go home together. She is not stupid enough to wash fiberglass curtains with clothing, so that whole day is removed. I see a visual of her pulling me away from looking at that memory. “I won’t let you feel that way again”, she comforts.

So, my plan is to insert a new and improved version of each bad memory as it surfaces and to choose to remember it that way instead.

Read the entire book, now available
Writing this book helped me make sense of what had happened to me as a child and the choices I made as an adult.

Influences in my Youth

IMG_2942I was watching a series of Ted Talks on storytelling and a common theme, or rather a common element, is that each of the speakers have mentioned a strong influence when they were young. One woman spoke about being brought up in a chauvinistic household and being beat for not following the rules that she was supposed to follow. Another man spoke about how his grandfather ignited his imagination by deconstructing things for him at an early age, taking apart phones and radios. Another man spoke about his mother taking him to the movies when he was a young boy and on and on it goes.

I look back at my early life and recognize that I was neglected. I don’t have any strong role models, people introducing me to things or gifts of insight. I learned how to look out for myself, which I realize is valuable, but it is not being brought up. I can probably relate more to children that have been lost in the woods and survived, except that I lived in a city, amongst humans, not wild creatures.

This knowledge makes me feel a longing for something that I never knew and never had. I remembered my girlfriends being in love with Donny Osmond, how they idolized him and wanted to meet him and I never understood that. There were no celebrities that I had a crush on or felt any connection to. I did not look outside of myself for people to bring things in and offer opportunities.

My wiring has been all about being self sufficient, learning what my needs were and how to meet them myself. This of course, set me up for a marriage to a man that had no obligation to meet my needs or provide any sort of support or encouragement. I hadn’t had it in the past, why would I look for it now? I probably wouldn’t have even noticed if he had not also been cruel and mean. But, in the final tally of it all, I realized that there was no reason to stay and serve this man because he was not a partner, not a friend and certainly not a lover. He was, by this time, however, the father of my children, so I have no choice but to continue to deal with him, but I digress.

I did not have the mentors, the unconditional love and the insights of an adult in my life while I was growing up. This sent me in a particular direction. How could I possibly get people to like me? Good grades in school, excelling at sports and being nice to people were the keys to who I became. Now, in the second half of my life, I am faced with the question of where to go from here. Despite my past, this is my present. What type of future do I want to create?

What I would like to leave for the world is my understanding of what it is like to be allowed to grow up instead of being raised. To be able to explain how to identify the children who are in danger of being neglected and overlooked by those that are supposed to love them and care for them and to offer hope to the people that have survived this lack of upbringing. I would like to help them become all that they can be and live a satisfying life of joy. A few Ted Talks will do that to me.

Read the entire book, now available
My entire story about how I grew up.
A quick summary of everything I learned first hand in how to deal with narcissists

Inventing Mother

IMG_0164I have done a little reading about how to mend a broken heart; when it was broken by the absence of parents, and there does not seem to be much available. One book gave strict guidelines that you were not supposed to make your other relationships fill this hole in your heart. You have to accept that you did not get the love and are not entitled to get it now.

But there has been little comfort and support. Now, I understand that I may not have the correct search terms. You can tell by the way many people write about their relationships that they didn’t know that their problem was with a narcissist at all. So, it would’ve been hard for them to find ways to read about that particular problem before they knew the search term. But I find myself without any fruitful results from my own searches, so I’ve started to explore my own possibilities.

Not knowing the search term has been a problem for me in the past. I was searching for a company that would install an automated sprinkling system in my yard. I searched: sprinklers, lawn, watering, landscaping, gardening, grass and got no results, bar one.

The company I found was out of town and he serviced my area, but it was a drive for him. After he installed the system, he mentioned that I should find a local company to deal with the winter maintenance. I did not know how to find one. I called a guy in a related industry and he said, I don’t do that work, but there are a lot of guys that do. Check irrigation in the phone book. Irrigation Every person that worked in that industry had made the same assumption. They thought people looking for their services would use that word and that word only. It’s only common sense…

Once it’s occurred to you.

So, I’ve decided to try inserting a mother into my bad memories. Let me explain this double speak. I know that I did not have a mother caring for me. When I remember a bad childhood experience, I am going to insert another mother into the void. So, even though I did not have a mother there, I’m going to add a woman into all of the memories. I will change the outcome in each memory and see how I feel.

I have already pictured this woman. She is large, fat and has dark brown, almost black hair that she wears short and smoothed from curls. So, for instance, I have a rather intense memory of watching television, knowing that I was not allowed to wake my mother. I was hungry so I stole some butterscotch chocolate chips and ate them (they were disgusting) until my stomach hurt.

Now, instead, I am watching television, knowing that I am not allowed to wake my mother and this fat brunette walks in from the front hall. She bends down and picks me up into her arms and walks me into the kitchen. After setting me down on a kitchen chair, she asks what she can prepare for me.

IMG_0377I am super hungry, so I ask for the big breakfast with bacon and eggs and buttered toast with jam. We spend an eternity sitting together in the kitchen while she makes me breakfast and while I eat and she is talking to me the entire time.

How’s that? I’m thinking that the worst this type of pretending could do is make me delusional. I have this imaginary friend as a child, who I didn’t make up until I was an adult.

As I wrote that last piece, a calm warmth spread over me. Instead of reliving the pain of loneliness and the discomfort of an upset stomach, I had breakfast with a woman that loved me. I will always know the truth, but I prefer to remember it my way.

Let’s try another. For a very, very, long time I was plagued with pinworms. Those crawly centimetre long pests that come out at night to lay their eggs. My mother told me a story, when I complained about the discomfort.  She said that she had heard of a man whose worms crawled out through his skin. Nice.

Add in some fiberglass curtains that were washed with the underwear and you live through a day of hell. I was disgusted by the thought of worms coming out through my skin and the fiberglass from the curtains was keeping my skin prickly and itchy all day. Every time that I comforted myself that there were not worms trying to pierce my skin from the inside, the fiberglass would get too itchy to ignore.

Now, instead, when I complained about the discomfort, the big fat brunette helps me dress. We make an emergency trip to the drug store where she lets me pick out a magazine and some gum. We go home together. She is not stupid enough to wash fiberglass curtains with clothing, so that whole day is removed. I see a visual of her pulling me away from looking at that memory. “I won’t let you feel that way again”, she comforts.

So, my plan is to insert a new and improved version of each bad memory as it surfaces and to choose to remember it that way instead.

Read the entire book, now available
Writing this book helped me make sense of what had happened to me as a child and the choices I made as an adult.

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Pants

IMGP4598Tomato red pants were the only thing that we could find given the parameters of our shopping trip. We were in a hurry. There were things that my mother would rather be doing. Unfortunately for her, I was not yet capable of going shopping for myself.

I had been wearing the same pair of pants to school everyday for as long as I can remember. This is a pattern that lasted until I went to high school and got my own job and my own money. At that point, I could buy my own clothing and dress however I could afford. I was not there yet.

I was about ten or eleven years of age and the demands of having children were just too inconvenient for my mother. Clothing shopping, well any shopping for that matter, was just not her idea of a good time, so she did as little as possible. When she did shop, she would let us know how expensive we were and how inconvenient we were, but I digress.

On this particular day she had other plans. She always had other plans. I had ripped the only pair of pants that I had. I probably had outgrown them. But, I had ripped them to the point that I could no longer wear them. My mother had been angry. First, she was angry because I had ruined my clothing. Second she was angry because now she had to take me shopping. Third, she was angry because buying me clothing was going to be expensive and finally she was angry because, as she let us know, she would’ve been an opera singer if she had not had children.

So we had hurriedly gone shopping. There was not enough time allotted for us to go to several stores and the department store that we were in did not have a lot of selection in my size. In hind sight, this is hard to believe and I now wonder whether or not she was trying to buy from the children’s department only because they have less expensive items, but I have no way of knowing. If she was, I was probably at the high end and that would explain the limited selection.

Unfortunately for me, a red pair fit. They were hideous. They were unacceptable. They were purchased. I was concerned about going to school in these red pants. I did not want to be seen.

My mother said, “Your ass looks like a big red tomato in those pants.” Nice.

Read the entire book, now available
Read the entire book, now available

I wrote my first book above, before I knew my mother was a narcissist.

The Narcissist Survival Guide now available

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Drive

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Fax

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Interview

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Call

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Cavity

Narcissism–Scenes From the Front Line — The Funeral

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Trailer

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — Biking

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Doctor

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — New Job

Narcissists and the Legal System

http://globerunner.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/gavel-e1376594306977.png
http://globerunner.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/gavel-e1376594306977.png

I swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, yeah right! Anyone who is unfortunate enough to have dealt with a narcissist knows this is not going to happen.

Unfortunately, this is the tenant upon which our legal system is based. There does not seem to be an understanding that not everyone is honest and this can be a disaster if you happen to need to be in court with a narcissist.

If you are dealing with a legal issue with a narcissist, first of all, my condolences. But the truth is you are in a precarious situation. The natural adversarial nature of law is like Disney World to most narcissists. They thrive on conflict and they are willing to lie to win on any issue.

In my experience, even producing documents, produced by a narcissist, that contradict each other was not enough “evidence” that at least one of the documents must be in error. There seems to be a lot of leeway given for “errors”, “misinterpretations” and “misrepresentation” as though to err is human but to lie is simply not a consideration.

So what to do…

1. If at all possible, avoid taking legal action against a narcissist. You may be drawn in by them, but never initiate it yourself. This is a goldmine of conflict that feeds the average narcissist and they cannot get enough.

2. If children are involved, you should strongly consider getting them their own lawyer. This, on the face of it, will appear as though it will cost more money, but that is not the case. Once children become pawns in a legal battle with a narcissist, everyone loses. The thought and consideration most parents would show for the impact on their own children is not felt by a narcissist. The children need separate representation so issues surrounding them do not become a battle between you and the narcissist.

3. Keep as much “evidence” as you possibly can: take photos, record times and conversations. If you have witnesses, make sure you know how to contact them and how they are likely to respond if called.

4. Be careful how a simple thing you might do, like leave a note, can be misconstrued and used against you. A note like, “please move your car” can be played out to be unreasonable given the right made up back-story. Keep in mind you do not know how things can be twisted and used against you.

5. Note that you will be baited as often as possible to try to get you to “act out” when there are witnesses or to encourage you to do something like write a note or send an email that can be used against you.

6. Always fight for something that you do not want. This will allow the narcissist to “win” and for you to find resolution. You didn’t want it anyway, giving it to them as a concession just makes it end sooner — hopefully.

7. Finally, and this is the MOST important point. Never try to win in public. When two people are arguing, it is not possible to tell which one is unreasonable because they are both acting unreasonably. A fight in court for instance will undermine your credibility by making you look crazy.

Best of luck. Stay small, don’t fight back–you can’t win against someone that will lie and cheat to win–and hopefully it will all be over soon.

My book,
My book, “The Narcissist Survival Guide” is now available.

Narcissism Navigated

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Cavity

IMGP0510The memory is isolated from context, age or other circumstances. The best I can do is narrow it down to a period between the ages of 9 and 15 because I moved into this particular house when I was about to turn 9 and moved out on my 15th birthday, but I digress.

I had just noticed a rather large black spot between my two front teeth. I had tried to remove it only to find that it was what was left of the teeth in that spot. I had not paid a lot of attention to my teeth. Brushing your teeth does not become a habit when you don’t have a tooth brush.

The first time that I felt the absence of a tooth brush in my life was at a camp. My mother often sent us to camps and Sunday schools and evening activities. It did not matter if we wanted to go, she did not want us around. There was a bus that would pick us up on Sunday morning and take us to Sunday school and bring us home and she was delighted to have Sunday morning “off” each week. Long story short, I spent a lot of time places other than at home.

At this particular camp, they had a speaker one day talking about dental hygiene. The highlight of the presentation was that he had brought these little red pills. He explained that we were all to go and brush our teeth and then we would chew these pills and it would turn all of the plaque on our teeth red. This thrilled my friends and they were all going to prove how clean they got their teeth.

We were sent to our cabins to grab our tooth brushes. We were then supposed to brush our teeth and return. At that point, our success would be judged by the red tablet. I had not brought a toothbrush. I did not own a tooth brush. Instead of going back to the cabin, I took off into the trees next to the camp. I was hopeful that no one would notice that I was missing. I walked along a creek until I got tired and then I went back in time for dinner. No one seemed to be the wiser.

So, now I was examining another casualty of my upbringing in the mirror in the washroom. I had no idea what to do about it. I tried shoving toilet paper into the hole so that it would be whitish instead of black, but it was still obvious. I decided to just be careful when I smiled so that no one could tell.

The Narcissist Survival Guide now available

Leaving-page-001In this book, Martha Beck examines the truly pathologic relationship she had with her parents and how she managed to get out from under it.

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Drive

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Fax

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Interview

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Call

Narcissism–Scenes From the Front Line — The Funeral

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Pants

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Trailer

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — Biking

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — The Doctor

Narcissism-Scenes From the Front Line — New Job