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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

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5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments for Her Irregularities

Comments:  Her Irregularities

Material posted here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos   Copyrightę 1998-2003. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

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Wednesday May 07, 2003
09:01 AM

Mark, Sounds VERY much like my ordeal, but mine was seasoned with physical violence from her and then a week of 'I promise to do better.' What crap! Our arguments were JUST like yours - No logic at all other than she wanted ATTENTION. If a child is raised where it does not get any attention other than when it is REALLY BAD or REALLY GOOD, all it grows up to know is that in order to feel loved, they must act in a provocative way to manipulate men, boast about their accomplishments, or pick a fight to be bad thereby feeling loved. BIZARRE IS IT NOT? This woman is either a Narcissist, or Histonic or both. See 'Brawny-Guy's' story. Pick yourself up, learn that YOU did this to yourself, because YOU allowed yourself to be compromised irregardless of what problems the other person has. You deserve better! Forget about her and move on.

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Wednesday May 07, 2003
08:12 PM

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Thursday May 08, 2003
05:56 PM

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Thursday May 08, 2003
06:09 PM

Thanks 'Steven'. You made a very interesting comment there about her picking a fight to feel loved. You have given me a whole new perspective. Now I think of it, that is spot on. It makes so much sense. This is why she would storm off and cry. I was supposed to follow her every time. Emotional blackmail to an extreme. That would explain why the enormous smile would fill her face in the middle of her crying when I went back to attempt peace yet again. Oh dear oh dear! What a messed up girl she is! I couldn't understand why she would cry real tears when I really hadn't done a thing to upset her. They weren't so much crocodile tears; they were the tears of a child, deeply wounded inside. Thanks.

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Friday May 09, 2003
08:37 AM

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Saturday May 10, 2003
05:30 AM

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Saturday May 10, 2003
05:31 AM

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Saturday May 10, 2003
06:48 PM

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Tuesday May 13, 2003
04:16 AM

Mark, Whoa! I read that and was transported to my own personal hell from 3 years ago. The person you described sounded very much like Lee, a narcissistic personality I fell deeply in love with shortly after I became separated and had moved to a new state, not knowing anybody there. I was flattered by her attention, and we became what I thought was close friends, and then lovers, even though she was still married. I thought she'd leave him... she told me as much...but in the end the only thing I witnessed was her continuing to build her life with her husband while I sat there wasting a couple years of my life waiting for her. I thought she was experiencing the same thing in her marriage that I had experienced in mine...but really what happened is that she was opportunistic in getting my attention in whatever way she could...making it sound as good as possible. It took me a long time to break free, and your quote below about missing her especially touches a chord in me, because even now I occasionally feel strong pangs for her...for what COULD have been. For the promise that she kept dangling in front of me.... but because I wasn't strong enough to stand up for myself and not compromise my values to be with her...I fell so hard. The good news is that I did a lot of work, realizing that I had become love-addicted to her. I invested in myself both in and outside of work, and I surrounded myself with quality people. A woman I'd met while I was still hopelessly devoted to Lee became my best friend...only this time, our relationship was built on true honesty, respect and compassion. The personal growth we both experienced as a result of our friendship amazed us both, and our friendship deepened into a deep and respectful love that has blossomed into a very happy 16-month engagement, and will culminate in marriage this September. I couldn't be happier with any human being...she is truly my soulmate...and even with that happiness, I sometimes feel a pang of wanting Lee... wanting to get closer to her...wanting what I couldn't have. I need to realize it for what it is, and do the equivalent of running like hell from that feeling!!! :) Thanks for your post...there's OUTSTANDING information and lessons to be gleaned there. Most of all, I second the notion about listening to that inner voice and what your body is telling you. Tune in to that...and you'll never get into the same situation again. I know I won't! Regards, Alan "If I miss anything, it’s the idea of what I thought I had. I miss the image, because that’s all it was. Now that time and distance have helped to clear my head, and I’ve learnt to respect myself more, I find it difficult to believe that I put up with what I did. I’m angry at myself. I so wanted a pretty girlfriend, someone to spend time with, and was prepared to give up so much of myself to have her."

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Tuesday May 13, 2003
04:20 AM

Mark, Whoa! I read that and was transported to my own personal hell from 3 years ago. The person you described sounded very much like Lee, a narcissistic personality I fell deeply in love with shortly after I became separated and had moved to a new state, not knowing anybody there. I was flattered by her attention, and we became what I thought was close friends, and then lovers, even though she was still married. I thought she'd leave him... she told me as much...but in the end the only thing I witnessed was her continuing to build her life with her husband while I sat there wasting a couple years of my life waiting for her. I thought she was experiencing the same thing in her marriage that I had experienced in mine...but really what happened is that she was opportunistic in getting my attention in whatever way she could...making it sound as good as possible. It took me a long time to break free, and your quote below about missing her especially touches a chord in me, because even now I occasionally feel strong pangs for her...for what COULD have been. For the promise that she kept dangling in front of me.... but because I wasn't strong enough to stand up for myself and not compromise my values to be with her...I fell so hard. The good news is that I did a lot of work, realizing that I had become love-addicted to her. I invested in myself both in and outside of work, and I surrounded myself with quality people. A woman I'd met while I was still hopelessly devoted to Lee became my best friend...only this time, our relationship was built on true honesty, respect and compassion. The personal growth we both experienced as a result of our friendship amazed us both, and our friendship deepened into a deep and respectful love that has blossomed into a very happy 16-month engagement, and will culminate in marriage this September. I couldn't be happier with any human being...she is truly my soulmate...and even with that happiness, I sometimes feel a pang of wanting Lee... wanting to get closer to her...wanting what I couldn't have. I need to realize it for what it is, and do the equivalent of running like hell from that feeling!!! :) Thanks for your post...there's OUTSTANDING information and lessons to be gleaned there. Most of all, I second the notion about listening to that inner voice and what your body is telling you. Tune in to that...and you'll never get into the same situation again. I know I won't! Regards, Alan "If I miss anything, it’s the idea of what I thought I had. I miss the image, because that’s all it was. Now that time and distance have helped to clear my head, and I’ve learnt to respect myself more, I find it difficult to believe that I put up with what I did. I’m angry at myself. I so wanted a pretty girlfriend, someone to spend time with, and was prepared to give up so much of myself to have her."

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Tuesday May 13, 2003
01:53 PM

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Tuesday May 13, 2003
09:08 PM

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Wednesday May 14, 2003
11:21 AM

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Wednesday May 14, 2003
11:22 AM

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Friday May 16, 2003
05:03 PM

Mark, I can relate to much of this but something that really caught my attention is where at first your GF was coming at you with alot of irrational arguments as well as illogical, at first you used to laugh them off but after awhile you took it seriously. i did the same and am really curious when and why that change takes place.It has always stumped me as to how I totally suspended my own logic, perhaps i was after the emotional, but as you well know those needs don't get met either. BTW I did tape record those circular conversations and what became the apperent pattrn to me is that he wore me down. I could be worn down because I was feeling it, for him it was sport. I also found myself appologizing for his behavior, just to mend fences and stop the madness. I am very glad that you have shared this part of you life, I think alot of people will benifit. I hope you are on the mends and getting very strong. Do you take any of HER behavior as personal, I found out for myself that it was not personal, it is just who he is. All my best, Ilish

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Friday May 16, 2003
09:43 PM

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Friday May 16, 2003
11:01 PM

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Saturday May 17, 2003
12:41 PM

Mark, I can so relate to your story and you should be very proud of yourself for the steps you have taken. I also was involved with someone who was as mad as a hatter, but people on the outside couldn't see it. There was no validation from inside or outside. This site has helped me so much to open my eyes. One day the words emotional abuse just popped into my mind. I think a guardian angel whispered to me, and I found this site.I love Dr. Irene's references to the wishful thinking. I heard a line in a movie a year or so ago that just jumped right out at me - "And wishing won't make it so". That's what I did for two years. I had the strength to leave after 9 months. I was all used up and had lost complete track of who and where I was, but like Phoenix rising from the ashes, one day I stood up and packed my things and left. He never thought it would happen. After that he never went away. First he'd talk me into trying again by seeing each other just on the weekends and starting slow. He didn't realize that I had changed and that it couldn't last. I now stood up for myself and told him to leave if he started with the craziness. Then when I wouldn't see him at all anymore, the emails kept going back and forth. It was so hard for me to completely let go of it. I suddenly realized last week that I was just perpetuating the abuse in a different way. He would write to me in a perfectly normal way and he would say nice and soothing things, but within two days he was back to the manipulation in his writing, putting me down and using his little passive aggressive jabs. For the most part, I didn't buy into it, but last week I did and I told him that he was hurting me. The venom and poison that he wrote back was so much like the past and it hurt me again. I thought to myself. "Okay,Colleen, time to take your hand out of the meatgrinder. Time to hop down off the sacrificial cross of being a friend to the bastard and use the wood for the fire. I am finished now. No more notes. Nothing to drain me of self esteem and energy. You should be congratulated for having no contact. That is the only way to get these parisites off your body. Cut off their narcissistic supply tube. That's all they wanted us for anyway. Strength and blessings to all of us, and a positive look at the lessons learned. Colleen

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Saturday May 17, 2003
06:35 PM

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Saturday May 17, 2003
09:38 PM

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Sunday May 18, 2003
09:59 PM

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Sunday May 18, 2003
10:13 PM

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Sunday May 18, 2003
10:16 PM

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Monday May 19, 2003
06:52 PM

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Monday May 19, 2003
10:03 PM

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Tuesday May 20, 2003
05:47 PM

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Wednesday May 21, 2003
10:04 PM

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Thursday May 22, 2003
11:58 PM

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Saturday May 24, 2003
04:16 PM

To Ilish. I’m glad you picked up on that because I think it’s major facet of this whole story. Although the process was gradual, it happened relatively quickly. It’s important to understand that I was desperately trying to make sense of what was happening. If you are completely ignorant to personality disorders and how people with them operate, I as I most definitely was, it never occurs to you that your partner is not looking for mutuality in a relationship, but rather to control. You simply do not conceive of this. Neither does it occur to you that your partner is actually trying to avoid communication. This means that, as far as you’re concerned, there is simply no explanation for why things are going the way they are. There is no explanation as to why your partner is accusing you of so many things that are so clearly not true. If you were accused of one or two incidents of wrongdoing, you could put it down to a misunderstanding of some sort, but she was attacking my character, attacking who I am. I have doubted myself in the past, but have learned to trust myself more as I’ve got older. Nevertheless, that self doubt still hung around me back then, as it probably still does now. As ludicrous as her accusations seemed, having no explanation for her behaviour towards me, I started to think that some of it must have been true, and that, as well as not realising it myself, perhaps other people didn’t accuse me of such things because they felt it better to leave me be. I thought that although she was exaggerating it, she may well have been right. Perhaps these faults of mine were only becoming problematical now that I was in a relationship. This is why I went from laughing at her disproportional reactions to thinking I should start listening and work on correcting what it was I was doing wrong. You could say she had me exactly where she wanted me – confused and subjugated. It still made no sense to me however, hence the asking her to repeat, asking for clarification of a point she was trying to make. I became aware that she herself wasn’t at all sure of what she was talking about. For example, I’d ask her to repeat something I didn’t understand and she would say it again very slowly while listening to her own words coming out of her own mouth, as though she herself were trying to make sense of it. I’d make it clear that it still made no sense and she would launch into something that I thought was an attempt to rephrase the concept, but was actually just more of the same but barely connected with what had gone before. Then it just got enormously frustrating. It kind of went full circle. Towards the end it was clear to me that she was indeed talking complete rubbish, although by now I wasn’t laughing or smiling because I’d suffered it for the last eighteen months, and knew it wasn’t going to stop anytime soon. I made it clear I wasn’t going to listen to anymore of it, and she responded by becoming much more abusive and threatening. And yet, according to her, I was still the cause of the problems. Thanks to all those who have commented.

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Friday May 30, 2003
03:40 PM

I read this epic tale of NPD - (which is what I think it is). I was involved with one (male) for 7 months a couple of years ago. At the tail end I started to write things down because I thought I was going crazy. He would NEVER take blame. I found Dr. Irene's site and a few other sites that showed the "cycle" of abuse. He was emotionally and verbally abusive and "manhandled" me a lot. I never considered him to have NPD until I started doing more research. I think the thing that NPD's do to have such control is to keep the cycle going. Of course this is a 2-way street and you have to play the victim to keep the cycle going. I started to recognize the pattern continuing and realized that I had a CHOICE to keep putting up with the way he treated me. He intimidated me and toyed with my good nature to the breaking point until he disturbed my neighbors by screaming at my door at 4am, ran off with equipment I financed (duh) and finally pushing me until I snapped and finally returned his manhandling by tackling him one day. Of course I was the abuser to him then... I still have hate/loathing for him and the fact that I allowed myself to continue in the ridiculous cycle that only helped him and hurt me. NPD's will never be wrong, never see how they hurt people and never listen to anyone unless it gratifies them in some way. Mine finally started talking lustily about a new co-worker and I was happy because I knew he had found a new victim. They will suck you dry, leave you confused and at the bottom of your existence, but only if you let them. I still return to this site because I believe my father is one of these (which is probably why I have the issue of codependence/pleasing and why I got pulled in with this loser) NPD is a very tricky thing because as I have read, they don't seek help and will not usually actively participate in therapy. Good luck to all who have experienced a relationship like this...may it be your last.

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Tuesday June 03, 2003
03:10 AM

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Saturday June 07, 2003
08:33 AM

Dear Mark, I'm glad you've survived and found some sources of support. I had a similar experience to you, and I found this book very, very helpful: The Verbally Abusive Relationship - by Patricia Evans Best of luck mate Peter

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Sunday June 08, 2003
09:18 PM

Thanks Peter. I read that book shortly after writing my story, and, as you can imagine, I was amazed at how I could identify with it. The confusion and doubting of your own perceptions is the worst part of a relationship like this, and that book really helped, answering all the questions that I'd pushed to the back of my mind. I'm feeling much better nowadays. Hope you do too. Mark.

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Monday July 28, 2003
09:51 PM

I had a similar experience with a female narcissist. Once revealed, the pattern of insanity appears very consistent, so it is possible to make accurate predictions about the behavior of the narcissist. Wanna discuss? ignis_fatuus@yahoo.com

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Wednesday August 06, 2003
10:22 PM

From what I read I have been in 2 or 3 relationships of that kind. And what kept me going each time (while thinking I was immune, as I knew it was not really love on the other side) was the amazing sex we always had. It seemed to make up for all the crap and insanity. Now I wonder if there is a connection between the sexual abandon and intensity and the insanity?

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Thursday August 07, 2003
06:19 AM

Hi Mark, Just read your story and I think I have been married to her brother for the past year. He left me too, for the more *interesting* new group of people/woman. His last line to me was 'tengo mucha tristeza por nuestra relacion. No puedes reprochar me porque yo te di todo y tu no puedes estar bien conmigo - no puedes' (basically I'm very sad for our relationship, I gave you everything and you can't be ok with me - you can't) I hasten to add, that in our relationship I gave more and more of myself, emotionally, financially, everythingly...supporting him until he got a job, marrying him to help him with immigration issues, finding us somewhere to live....everything. Then when he was sorted and my life was in tatters he jumped ship (right after my dad died)...it has been awful and I'm trying to come to terms with his cheating using ways. I keep thinking that he is a narcissist - but then wonder what right have i to label someone. How did you get over it? How did you come to terms with being (ab)used? love someone who's been there

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Wednesday August 13, 2003
01:28 AM

Hi Mark, It is extremely late but I was compelled to read your whole story.You come across as a real genuine,sensitive guy. Any gal should be lucky to be with you.Point blank, you have been through hell.The good part about hitting the bottom, the only place left to go is up. I have been brought up in a household with these type of people. I will be turning 36, and I cut the strings 5 yrs ago to the whole messed up bunch. I thought that was the end of it but apparently I also have residual effects from being around these type. I find myself trying to prove "something to narcissistic types that I meet. I am in a nursing program now and I got involved with a professor that is this type to the tee. I was hurt, but now I am well over it. I know he is not all there, We have to address why we put ourselves through this and work from there. Yes, I can understand why you have suspicisions but they will become less dramatic over time. It is a chapter in your life that had to happen for some reason. Believe me you will be better for it in the long run. One thing that your ex said that was true was that you have to love yourself before you can be in a viable relationship.You were not being true to yourself. You were a gentlemen throughout the ordeal, that's what it was, an ordeal. I feel for you, I can actually feel for you, and I know how much it hurts when you find out that someone you truly care about really doesn't give a hoot for you. We can't understand it because that is not in our makeup. Hang tough Mark, you're a gent. You will meet up with that special someone.You'll know when you are not walking on eggshells, when you truly believe in your "gut" that they love you too, and when you can look in the mirror and be proud of the person in front of it and not think you are compromising yourself. NEVER compromise yourself. Understanding ear in Pennsylvania,USA, Belinda

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Tuesday August 19, 2003
10:39 PM

Mark, I have recently obtained a legal separation from my husband of 28 years and will be soon getting a divorce. My mother was a narcisstic person, so it is not suprising that I would become attached to another one. I enjoyed reading your post and got many insights from it. It took me a long time to see my husband as he really is because he is very passive agressive and manipulative although he was easily angered and I was forced to "walk on eggshells"most of the time. He would portray the image of a loving partner and father in public and everyone thought we had one of theose perfect marriages. Even me!!! I can really see now how my desire to "will" him into the person I fanticized about kept me working on the relationship for so long. When I finally dropped my denial, it was like watching a monster crawl out of the man I had loved for so long---I have dropped the victim mode and am trying to recreate my life after have been sucked dry. Thank you for your story. Karyn

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Wednesday August 20, 2003
07:57 PM

Belinda. You are right in so many ways. Yes it was an ordeal. Yes it was something that needed to happen - for more reasons than one. And you are dead right when you say thay we can't understand because it's not in our makeup. I wrote the exact same thing somewhere. Thanks for the comments. All the best. Mark. Karyn. A couple of things you wrote: trying to will him into being the person you wanted kept you working on the relationship. I know what you mean. Our needs just aren't met in a relationship like this. We are starved, so we feed on the fantasy. I don't mean the fantasy of a perfect partner, but often one who simply reciprocates. The line between our fantasy and reality then becomes blurred. Reality isn't clearly defined; it's out of focus, and our optimism and inability to see the truth keeps us around. I don't know if I'm making sense there but anyway, the malignant optimism is a common factor in every relationship like this. And understanding that answers the common question 'Well, why did you stay?' As you say, when you finally drop the denial, you see them for who they really are. Hope you are healing. Mark.

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Wednesday August 20, 2003
11:15 PM

Mark, Yes, I realized that I was like a starving puppy, waiting for a scrap of affection or recognition to be thrown my way. My husband kept me calm by occasionally giving me what I came to call " a tiny dose of kindness". It was enough to keep me hanging in there. I now understand that my days were spent in service and constant attentiveness, trying to be good enough, worthy enough for him to give me a compliment or a kind word. If I "failed' to do what he expected, then I would be "punished" by further withdrawal and coldness. Finally his injections no longer worked on me and I understood that he was lying to me and that he did not care at all but just wanted to contine using me. I am glad that I became heathy enough to see the truth. Karyn

 

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