Narcissists never think they have done anything wrong. They are always the victim and never responsible for their current circumstances—unless life is going well, then it is ALL them. Anything and everything GOOD that happens to a narcissist is directly related to his own actions. Any hardships they face are always due to someone else, however. They never feel as if they are culpable for anything.
When he left, I didn’t like how he handled his exit from our marriage. However, I never thought of myself as a victim. There were things I could have done better and many things I did wrong that contributed to the breakdown of our marriage. I will never tell anyone that I was blameless. I didn’t handle the stress, losses or hospitalizations as well as I should. I fully admit that. We both did and said horrible things during arguments. My faults do not excuse him from the things he did as he exited nor do they excuse him from his attempts to destroy me personally and financially.
Throughout the marriage, he was passive-aggressive. He got plenty angry but didn’t yell frequently. He held a grudge forever–and I mean forever. After he left, we spoke on the phone once and he brought up things he was still angry over from 23 years previous. He never saw himself as doing anything wrong simply because he didn’t yell much. Instead, he quietly disabled things, hid things and made snarky, hurtful comments with a smile. I, on the other hand, yelled when I’d had enough. Neither of our behaviors was healthy.
For several years prior to his leaving, he would provoke me and then videotape me. This was so common, that when he would do things repeatedly and pull out his company issued iPhone, I would look at the camera and say, “Videotape this, you rat bastard,” or something similar. Every once in a while he would ask me questions and then video tape my replies. Sometimes, instead of asking me questions, he would make random, psycho statements and videotape my response. Once, while sitting on the sofa, he stated, “I caught you masturbating in a hotel one time.” WHAT? I went off as he videotaped my response, “What the eff are you talking about? Are you insane?” He stayed just as calm as he always was and said something like, “Yes, we were staying in a hotel room with the boys and I walked in to find you masturbating.” Y’all, normal people do NOT say and do $h*t like this. It is unconscionable. Of course I was freaking out and screaming, who wouldn’t react that way to such asinine statements?
I have always admitted that I was distraught after we buried Thomas and the twins. I was also depressed after miscarriages, too. IT IS NORMAL. Especially after 19! One time, he said, “So, tell me about the holes you punched in the bathroom wall.” I looked at the camera and stated in a matter-of-fact tone, “Do you remember after one of my miscarriages when you kept belittling me because I was depressed? And you stood over me and said, ‘you choose how you feel. Do you want to be this unhappy? YOU MUST WANT TO BE UNHAPPY, PATTIE! YOU can be happy if you want to, it is a choice!’ and when I told you that my being depressed over losing babies wasn’t a choice, you replied something like, ‘I just want to help you. If you listen to me and do what I say, you’ll be happy’? I lost my $h*t, locked myself in the bathroom and punched holes in the wall because I couldn’t take it anymore.” He calmly replied, “That isn’t what I remember happening, why don’t you tell the truth?” Of course, I started yelling at him and he has the video to prove that much. Narcissists always have a perfect memory and blame any discrepancies between your memory and theirs on YOU.
He is a classic narcissist from his gaslighting techniques to telling the other party he’s not the crazy one, THEY ARE. Doing these things made him feel justified in all of his words and deeds. Narcissists also believe that if you do everything just as they instruct you, then life will be pure bliss! I spoke to my counselor on many occasions about the videos and the episode where I punched holes in the bathroom wall. Was my reaction healthy? No, absolutely not. Was my reaction normal? Yes, especially for someone who had been dealing with narcissistic abuse for years and years. I admit to punching holes in the bathroom wall, and like my counselor pointed out to me, I removed myself from everyone, I didn’t go crazy and beat people or attack people. Nope, exhausted, depressed and just run down by the constant belittling, I started crying, went into the bathroom where I just completely fell apart and punched holes in the wall. I was screaming at the top of my lungs–so tired of being made to feel as if there was something wrong with me because I was sad over losing children! Anyone who has ever lost a pregnancy knows the devastation that lies in the wake of such losses. It isn’t always possible just to “snap yourself out of it”, as the ex was fond of telling me to do.
In mediation, the mediating lawyer came into the room again and sat down in front of me. She said, “So, he says that you are crazy. He says that he has a video of you lying in the driveway in the rain. Is it true? Did you lie down in the rain in the driveway?” I retorted, “Yes, it is true. Did he happen to tell you WHY I did that?” “No,” she replied.
“Let me tell you why I was sitting in the driveway in the driving rain. Earlier that evening, my husband of over 23 years told me, “I don’t know if I want to be married.” We argued. I was dressed in shorts, t-shirt and was barefoot. I grabbed my purse to go out for a drive to escape the situation. It was raining. By the time I got to my car, I was shaking so badly that I realized it wouldn’t be safe for me to drive in that condition, I could hurt someone. I walked, fully clothed and barefoot that August night in the rain. When I got back to the house, he was still inside and I was not yet ready to come face to face with him. As I was already soaking wet, I sat down in the driveway in the rain. I don’t recall if I laid in the driveway, but it is possible. I have spoken to my therapist about this incident and have been assured that it is normal behavior for a woman who has just been told by her husband that he doesn’t know if he wants to be married. The fact that I was cognizant enough NOT to drive in such a condition shows that I am not crazy,” I said. She had no reply.
Unbeknownst to me on that fateful night, my husband video taped me in the nude. He told the police and the lawyers later that it was to show me to be psycho. However, I believe that men who love their wives and think their wives crazy seek help for their wives, they do not video tape them in the nude. Men who love their wives and feel they are mentally ill seek help and/or go to counseling with said wife. Instead, my husband chose to video tape me in the nude while I was screaming at him. After sitting in the rain, I came into the house, entered the laundry room and stripped my clothes off. My husband confronted me, started talking to me and we argued some more. I began yelling and screaming at him. Hello? He just told me hours earlier he wasn’t sure if he wanted to be married! Did he seriously expect me to be super-sticky-sweet, nice and bubbly? I was distraught.
Over a year and a half later, when he emailed me about a nude video he had of me, I flipped out. He told the police that the nude video he filmed was of me going crazy and yelling the summer before he left. As I could remember no other night where I was naked. Once again, he failed to give any background information. Typical narcissist. Poke the bear. Record the poked bear. Leave out the part about poking the bear when relaying events to others. He actually thought this nude video would be admissible in court.
In the end,, I have no idea how many videos this man has of me. I don’t care. On the day the police showed up to talk to him about the nude video and to inform him there are laws against revenge porn, he told the police the nude video was on a hard drive that had been destroyed. Looking back, I believe he planned his leaving for over a year. He purposefully provoked me so that he could video tape “evidence”.
He wouldn’t negotiate an agreement, so I took him to court. Of course, his version is that I was being unreasonable. I bent and gave up things, he refused to move an inch. As we sat outside the courtroom, he tried small talk. I ignored him. He was incessantly texting — his paramour. I had a friend come with me to court that day, and the entire time she was sitting with me, he was well-behaved. The moment she got up to use the restroom, he got up and moved to sit directly in front of me. He stared me down for a good while then said, “Are you seriously trying to take half my money?” I gave no response. He mumbled under his breath, “Efffing bitch you are trying to take half my money.” I just stared at him with no verbal response. As soon as my friend returned, he returned to his constant texting of the girlfriend (Yes, we were still married at this time!). When the judge made her ruling, my lawyer suggested that we make our way out quickly before he got wind of his loss and further tried to intimidate me. Court round one did not go well for him.
Still, he did not learn that blackmail and bullying do not work. He continued to send emails in attempts to scare me into accepting his less than fair offer. The night before our second court date, he settled out of court at 6pm and took another month to actually hammer out the offer, thinking his bullying and blackmail would work this time. It was a nightmare as he had obviously been lying about agreeing to settle out of court by accepting the last agreement on the table. Finally. We both agreed to sign the agreement!. Wait for it……….
I went in that afternoon and signed! WOOOOOO! It was over. No, it wasn’t. The man did not sign until a few minutes before 5 on the day the agreement took effect. I had already signed and complied with the terms of the legal agreement by that point, y’all. For a narcissist, this is not shocking behavior. He sent several emails to me telling me that he would not go in to sign the agreement unless I agreed to give him more stuff (outside of the agreement). He held out until the last minute in an attempt to fully me into agreeing to his new demands. My lawyer advised me not to respond, as any agreement outside of the legal agreement I had already signed would nullify the actual legal agreement. He was pissed. His emails got hotter and hotter. I said nothing. I wanted to respond, “You dumbass moron! I cannot agree to anything outside of the legal binding agreement I have already signed or else it will nullify the legal agreement! Stop being a fool and consult your lawyer!”
Over $50,000 in legal fees because of his incessant back and forth, add this this time, add that another time, oops–one more thing, drive up the legal fees by doing it piecemeal mentality. On the day he arrived to get all the crap from my house, he didn’t even take it all! Blackmail, exorbitant legal fees and bullying to get everything he wanted plus more and as he drove off, I still had a basement full of his $h*t. Four runs to the dump later and my house was rid of his stuff. Praise the Lord!