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Dealing with Manipulative Ex with Narcisstic qualities

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  • #377606
    lindsey
    Participant

    (Anita- I don’t know if you remember me but I hope you are well)

    OK so I don’t even know where to start with my ex and all of the things that are currently happening so someone just ask a question to get me started.

    Either way I’ve come a long way and have a long way to go.  I feel like I’m going crazy emotionally with his antics that go on and on all the time with no relief.  I guess that’s part of the issue.  they never stop

    I know how to cope and deal but it’s very hard to apply. Help please

    #377625
    anita
    Participant

    Dear lindsey:

    Welcome back, lindsey, it just so happens that I thought about you a few days ago!

    A recap: you first posted March 2019, over two years ago. At the time you were living in the same house with your estranged husband and two children, ages 6 and 7, and were in the process of separating from him, following him abusing you for six years of the 11 years of marriage.

    You shared that you suffered from anxiety, panic attacks, and were diagnosed with a bipolar disorder. You were two weeks away from moving into your own apartment and having joint custody of your children, having them stay with you part time.

    At the time of your first post, a 3-month long relationship with M,  a male co-worker, team manager (not your direct manager) ended abruptly, and you were very upset, particularly about his behavior toward you and how you acted desperately,  pursuing him at the beginning and then begging him to not break up with you, at the end.

    On April 4, 2019, you moved to your new apartment (“It was really nice waking up by myself and getting ready in peace”, April 4, 2019), but you were soon enough anxious and irritable (“maybe I’m used to chaos and yelling and there is  only silence. I have to take meds each night because around 8 pm the panic really starts”, April 7, 2019).

    On April 29 2019, you listed your struggles and needs as a preparation to two appointments, one with a psychiatrist and another with a psychologist: “1. Constant worry that others are talking about me or judging me all the time, 2. Obsessive thoughts and worries… Feeling antsy, claustrophobic in my apartment, not able to sit down and read or nap, 3. Getting hyper focused on one thing- usually a man, 4. Not able to sleep. Waking up several times during the night. Feeling panic around 7 pm.. , 5. Turning a small thing into a catastrophe.., 6. Specific counseling around emotional abuse and sexual coercion, 7. Learning to like/ love myself”.

    On May 5 2019, you shared for the first time about another man at work, K, 10 years younger: “He’s younger, only 30. Cute”. You and K became friends, watching Games of Thrones together, and you enjoyed your time with him, hoping for a romantic relationship.

    On May 17 2019, you posted: “I’m sleeping through the night without any medication and my anxiety is down about 50%. Everything is going well with K”. Two weeks later, May 30: “Everyday usually around 3-4 pm my anxiety is the worst”. You were anxious about K no longer texting you, waiting for his next text, and the next, being hyper-focused on him. At times you felt calmer, such as when at the pool on weekends, with your kids, or with a friend, and at times when you spent time by yourself.

    August 6 2019: “This back and forth with K is very emotionally draining. I saw him this morning and it’s like every time I see him I’m looking for some type of sign from him that like he’s still here, still interested.. I spoke with him this morning and he barely made eye contact and it makes me feel bad about myself. I’m very conflicted, very confused, mostly hurt”.

    During September, the dynamic with K continued: you exhibiting an Anxious Attachment Style while he exhibited an Avoidant Attachment Style. Your anxiety was significantly helped at the time by Rules of Behavior that you and I came up with, rules for your behavior that would cut down on your anxiety and overthinking in regard the frequency of him texting you and the content of his texts, which was sometimes flirtatious. The first rule was about you not initiating a text to him, and if he texts you, then you respond with only one text, not sending a 2nd text unless he replies to the first.

    September 24 2019,  you had the first out of two divorce mediation sessions regarding finances.  The following October 9, was the second session and you were very stressed before that session.

    October 29 2019, you were feeling better: “Continuing to enjoy time to myself more and more… I continue to keep my rules and seem to be getting more and more comfortable with K as a friend without expectations”. But on November 1, you broke one of the rules and messaged K, feeling annoyed with yourself and a bit ashamed.

    In November 2019, you filed for your divorce in the courthouse. On the night of November 7 2019, you told K: “I was done and to leave me alone”. November 14 2019, you wrote: “Stopping all communication with K has increased my self esteem and self worth.. Focusing on work and  my kids. We are doing good and ready for the holidays and a cold winter”.

    But K reached out to you at work, talked to you and called you. On December 4, he called, and following an ugly conversation, as you termed it, you told him to leave you alone, and blocked him from your phone and social media.

    On January 2020, you mentioned a third man, J, whom you dated back in college for a short time. You’ve been communicating with him for a few months, he expressed interest in you and offered twice to fly you to his state, Mississippi, for a visit. You considered it but declined.

    On January 14 2020, you wrote: “Things really do come full circle.  On Saturday M texted me asking how I was… I was dumbstruck when I realized who it is. We chatted for a bit, he has a new job in a different state closer to his kids. I did call him  out on his behaviors.. He stated he liked me.. but (he told you) ‘you were volatile and it scared me’… Trying real hard here to stay on track. My close friend feels like he is fishing”.

    On January 19 2020, following a couple of months of shopping for a condo, you bought one. On that same night you got a text from your ex-husband saying that he had a girlfriend in the last two months and had her meet your kids when they stayed with him. You were very upset about it for a long time.

    On February 1-2, 2020, you shared in regard to having been upset about your ex-husband’s girlfriend: “Apparently looking back, I was having a bit of my bi polar version of mania: reactive, decreased cognitive abilities (concentration, poor attention to detail, over tired, irritable), it happens every 3-4 months I think…I’ve found through research that every person with bipolar has their own unique symptoms. Most also have anxiety, OCD, ADHD, etc. It can be very difficult to diagnose due to overlapping disorders. I do not have any of the classic mania symptoms”. By classic symptoms, you were referring to hallucinations, delusions of grandiosity and euphoria.

    You also wrote at the time: “I’m terrified of either losing my job or getting poor ratings… my impulsivity and mood swings are causing havoc to my work and relationships.. I’m sick of the roller coaster ride.. I’m really down and worried I’m going to end up losing my job.. I can’t sustain a sharp mind and attention to detail”.

    By March 3 2020, you were still very upset about your ex-husband having a girlfriend, the interactions with him on the topic were hostile, and you did the following: “I had uploaded a dating app awhile ago and was looking on it while I was so angry at my ex”.

    March 24, 2020 was your last post on your 58-page previous thread. You wrote to me that you were working from home, that you moved into your condo three days earlier, on March 21 2020, that you were very busy with the move, that you met a man, George, on the dating app a month before, yet to meet him in person. You wrote that he is “pretty amazing so far. A very good man”, and that you felt like “a new person… doing very good”.

    Fast forward over a year, to today, April 13, 2021, you shared that you’ve “come a long way and have a long way to go”, that things are currently happening in regard to your ex, and that you feel like you’re “going crazy emotionally with his antics that go on and on all the time with no relief. You invited me/ the reader to ask a question. My question: which ex is it- your ex husband, M, or someone else?

    anita

     

     

    #377673
    lindsey
    Participant

    Anita,

    Since last March I have started a mood stabilizer called Lamtrogine that has really improved my mental and emotional health.  I am doing great at work and have been in a healthy relationship for the past 6 months.  My outbursts and how I handle the situation with my ex husband has improved.

    I’m not sure how to explain my  toxic situation with him because there are so many stories/examples/arguments.  I think the best thing to do is give you 2 examples.  the first deals with how he treats me now that he is in a serious relationship.  The relationship started last January. This incident occurred last summer – July? not sure.

    Ex stated to me that he needed to pick up our daughter early to take her to an end of the season softball party with the other players.  Because of COVID  no parents can attend, just coaches and players.  I arrive with the kids to our drop location.  His girlfriend and her son are in the vehicle.  I ask him what’s going on since he said no one else can attend the party.  He stated “it’s for family only. So Amy and I are taking the kids.”

    The 2nd example occurred the beginning of this week.  We only communicate via email which was my idea. I found out that he is going away on vacation for 10 days in May.  I inquired about this and the kids since he will be gone.  He stated that his girlfriend, we can refer to her as “A” is keeping the kids.  I stated that is not acceptable.  If one custodial parents is gone on vacation etc, the other parent has the children.  He kept saying that it was too much for me, she was fine to watch them, she knew their schedule. He stated they already had this set up.  I stated that I will keep them 2  additional days and “A” can keep them the remaining 2 days.  I stated in the future they will stay with me if he is gone.  I did not receive a reply from him.

    #377679
    anita
    Participant

    Dear lindsey:

    I am not sure that I understand first example: are you saying that the ex lied and told you that parents are not allowed at the party because he didn’t want you to attend the party, but in truth parents/ families were allowed, and he attended the party with his girlfriend and her son?

    Regarding the second, recent example, isn’t the custody spelled out in legal papers by the court, including who gets to have the kids when one is on vacation, and whether one of the parents can leave the kids with one’s boyfriend/ girlfriend over night?

    anita

    #377686
    lindsey
    Participant

    Anita,

    Yes he lied about parents not allowed to the party and took his girlfriend and her son.

    I read your second response and thought about it.  I just sent my ex an email stating I will keep the kids the entire time he is on vacation.  Our mediation paperwork lists “First right of refusal” stating the off duty parent will be given the first right to keep their children if the on duty parent is unable to directly care for the children. (he will be on vacation)

    #377689
    anita
    Participant

    Dear lindsey:

    The first example indicates that your ex-husband is still rude and crude and cruel to you,  and that you need legal papers to spell out any and every possible issue relating to co-parenting. If something is not spelled out in the legal documents you have, see an attorney and add whatever needs to be added, so that there are no grey areas.

    anita

    #377695
    lindsey
    Participant

    Anita,

    I agree.  Attorney cost would be around 5k as a rough estimate which I do not have currently. I am saving but it will take awhile.

    Do you have any insight on how to properly handle my stress and anxiety when dealing with him?  I feel like I am focusing on the negative with my response behavior towards  him versus focus on all the good things I have going on in my life.  I do well for awhile and then get upset with him and go down the rabbit hole, then feel bad about my behavior.

    So it makes me feel helpless.

    Lindsey

    #377698
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lindsey:

    You listened at one time to Mark Williams Mindfulness guided meditation that I recommended to you, remember? He has a whole series of mindfulness meditation audios, available online free of charge.

    Mindfulness is a huge movement in psychotherapy, there are magazines on it, workbooks, online resources, even on the home page of this website. Get into the daily practice of mindfulness- it will help!

    anita

    #377704
    lindsey
    Participant

    Anita-

    I remember and I will look into the guided mediation.  I feel like I’ve exhausted most of my efforts at this point.

    So how are you? did you survive COVID?

    Also, do I seem better or see it hard to tell?

     

    #377708
    anita
    Participant

    Dear lindsey:

    I am fine, thank you. I am fully vaccinated and that feels good. I hope you get vaccinated as well, if you haven’t so far.

    You asked if you seem better or it’s hard to tell- I would say it’s hard to tell. You definitely want it to appear that you are better. I figure that at one point before March 24 2020, your last post in your previous thread, you felt embarrassed by some of what you shared on your thread, maybe I posted something to you that made you feel uncomfortable (?)

    anita

     

    #377715
    lindsey
    Participant

    Anita,

    No I definitely did not feel embarrassed by anything I said or you said in the previous threads from before March 24th, 2020.  I just feel that I was not well and struggling…struggling a good bit.

    I am very hard on myself about certain things and forget that everything comes full circle; things end up working out in the end.  For example after all the issues with “K” he texted me about 2 months ago and came over basically crying and wanting someone to talk to because his live-in girlfriend of a year broke up with him.  He stated he realized he had no friends and I had always been a good friend to him.  I gave what advice I could to someone who doesn’t take advice.

    So I really do not know what to think with the ex.  I don’t understand why this is happening to me. It’s a lot of why’s I guess you could say.  I don’t feel like I deserve any of the things he does.  But that’s life I guess.

    Lindsey

    #377719
    anita
    Participant

    Dear lindsey:

    You were struggling a good bit, true, but you never lost your sense of humor, your cool vibe, and pleasant attitude all through our communication. My impression of you has never been of a woman who is weak, but a woman who is strong and resourceful.

    Regarding the ex-husband (” really do not know what to think with the ex.. .. why this is happening to me”)- what is happening to you may be that he is an ass*** ? How is he as a father???

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #377721
    lindsey
    Participant

    Anita,

    Here is the crazy part to my situation.  My ex is on the school board committee where our kids go to elementary school.  He coaches all of their sports and does baseball/softball coaching on the side.  He is a manager at State Farm with good standing at his job.  His facebook reads like he has the perfect life. (as social media does)  They have family pictures all over the walls of their house (I went there for Christmas morning.  My idea to do it- I can elaborate it’s worth hearing (maybe). He has bought a ton of expensive items for the house and kids and totally redid the house.

    He is actually a pretty good dad? He’s decent/good.  His girlfriend is extremely strict and not very maternal.  My kids are not fans of her rules.  But overall? It could be a lot worse.

    Now I know who he really is but no one else does.  He takes out a lot of his frustration on me still.  Do I think it’s not like that behind closed doors? no.

    The thing is I don’t want to know or care about any of this.  I’m climbing a wall and it’s slick and my feet keep slipping.  the rope burns my hands and my arms are shaking.  I’m getting to the top it’s just very slowly.

    #377726
    anita
    Participant

    Dear lindsey:

    He may be most comfortable targeting his ass****-ness against you because he knows of the bi-polar diagnosis that you received, which he might be misusing to justify his crude and rude behavior when it comes to you. I am sorry, lindsey, It would anger me to be targeted this way while the whole world things he is the bees’ knees.

    * I will be away from the computer for a couple of hours.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #377775
    lindsey
    Participant

    Anita:

    I do believe he uses my mental health for manipulation.  He justifies his behavior by pointing out things I am doing wrong.  That I am to blame for the unhealthy situation we are in as ex spouses trying to co parent.   He refuses to discuss any wrong doing on his part or apologize.

    So to move on I’ve got to figure it out I guess. For me.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 27 total)

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