Category Archives: Narcissism

Divorcing a Narcissist

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This week, Narcissistic Personality Disorder has been in the spotlight when Christie Brinkley said a handful of simple words on the Today Show, “Google: Divorcing a Narcissist”.  While the interview itself still angers me to my very core, I am thankful that people across the world are learning about this topic and becoming educated on Narcissism.  I thank Christie Brinkley for bringing this issue forward with such class and strength.

This blog has given me so much healing and I am happy that it has begun to help other people.  In the words of my little brother, “It’s so amazing how God can turn such a crazy situation into such a blessing for others”.  I receive many emails from women around the world who find themselves in the midst of this battle (divorcing a narcissist).  I’ve had the privileged to meet with several from my own area and it is such an honor to be able to encourage them in their own journey.  Due to this topic receiving such great attention over the past week, I have even received emails from women in other countries.  Once such email came through this morning from the United Kingdom and was especially touching for me to read.  While I can’t share the email, I can share my response to the writer because it actually applies to anyone who is trying to stay sane while divorcing a narcissist.

Dear __(Fill in Your Name)___,

Originally, my blog was created as a way for me to heal.  The same type of healing and peace that “journaling” gives a person.  It has served its purpose ten-fold and has healed me more in four months than I received in two years of therapy.  I have been able to re-live the experiences and the emotions – and then let them go.  I have received insight into my own role and the confidence that I will never repeat this pattern. 

At this point, much of my own healing is done and I continue the blog because of emails just like yours.  Living with a Narcissist makes one question their own sanity and I know this from personal experience.  It took two therapists to say the word, “Narcissist” for me to actually research this disorder.  Being able to accept my reality and understand it rather than playing the constant victim was incredibly empowering.  It also allows me to stay ahead of him because I know what is right around the corner the majority of the time.  I can predict his emails, text messages and behavior in advance which helps tremendously.  My goal is to give other women hope and to let them know—you aren’t the problem; he is.   

It isn’t an easy journey and I encourage you to arm yourself with knowledge.  The more you know and understand, the easier it is to deal with.  Thank you SO much for reaching out to me!  

Praying for you and sending you love– Tina     

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My advice to you:

  • Arm yourself with knowledge.
  • Stay safe and cautious – you are in battle with a scary person.
  • Get help- for yourself and your children.
  • Surround yourself with positive people and family members who can be your support system.
  • Do NOT engage.  At all.  Keep all correspondence very business-like: zero emotions.
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The Today Show: Narcissism has a Poster Child named Peter Cook

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Narcissism has a new poster child by the name of Peter Cook.  He has actually been diagnosed with NPD and admits that he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Those of us who are familiar with the personality disorder or have been victims of this disorder already knew this.

A few things have stirred me while watching Peter’s  interview:

1. First and foremost, I hate that Peter Cook is receiving publicity because that is what he lives for and thrives on. This is feeding his sick mind.

2. A typical narcissistic ploy is to “Muddy the Waters”.  I have seen this played out in my own case and luckily, the courts saw through it.  He is a liar so he says she is a liar to muddy the water.  She just “wants peace” so ironically, he just wants peace also.  My favorite part, he is an absolute diagnosed narcissist so (being smarter than a psychologist in his own mind) has now taken it upon himself to diagnose her as a Narcissist.  My own X has diagnosed me with Lupus because he is smarter than my doctor who graduated from Harvard.  It’s almost unbelievable.

Three words: Muddying. The. Waters.  Three more words: Typical. Narcissistic. Strategy.

3. Crocodile tears.  A narcissist doesn’t understand emotions nor do they feel emotions.  Emotions are a sign of weakness and make a Narcissist extremely uncomfortable.  ANY tears are crocodile tears to someone with NPD.  I saw this in my ow marriage when my mother died.  My X didn’t understand why I was crying.  He literally said, “You weren’t even close with her– I don’t know why you are so upset”.  It was my mother.

  • Christie Brinkley agreed to talk about her divorce (briefly) for the first time in four years.  She has remained quiet.  If Christie was a Narcissist, she would have been on every talk show airing her story and defending herself against the Peter Cook Press Machine.  She didn’t do this.  She didn’t go on the show to discuss her divorce — she went on to discuss her new show on Broadway and agreed to talk briefly about her divorce.
  • Christie Brinkley handled herself with class– because that is just who she is and has always been.  Peter Cook sees her success as a threat to him and therefore, he must rain on her parade.  It is a sickness.
  • Christie Brinkley is a true hero to all of us who have been victimized by these men.

While Narcissism has a new poster child, bullying also has a new poster child by the name of Matt Lauer.  I encourage Matt to do a segment on Divorcing a Narcissist and do the research on his own.  If one positive thing can come from this interview, I hope that it brings awareness to the public, the courts and the media.

Click here to watch Christie Brinkley on the Today Show

Click here to watch Peter Cook on the Today Show

Today Show with Christie Brinkley : Narcissism and Divorce

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After watching the Today Show this morning, I have lost all respect for Matt Lauer.   His interview with Christie Brinkley was painful to watch.

There are millions of ignorant people- I understand that.

Someone in Matt Lauer’s position has an obligation to be informed about the topic at hand before he openly crucifies someone.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) should be the next topic of the Today Show and Matt Lauer should be forced to conduct the research for the show.  Please help me by “sharing” this post in an effort to bring awareness to NPD.

My heart goes out to Christie Brinkley as my own battle has been incredibly trying.  I can not imagine how difficult her journey has been given that she is in the public spotlight.  I hope that Christie is able to turn this experience into a positive by using her stardom to educate the public on Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

While I have not followed her career to date, I am cheering her (and her children) on from the sidelines.  I admire her courage and strength.

To watch Matt Lauer’s interview with Christie Brinkley, click here.

Understanding Narcissism: Accepting Reality and Becoming Strong

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I am on a constant quest to understand the disorder that has caused so much turmoil in my life for so many years.  If you are married to an alcoholic, there are a multitude of resources and support services available to help.  If you are married to someone who is physically abusive, there are resources available for that also.  If you are married to someone with a personality disorder, there are not a lot of resources readily available.  It requires digging and weeding out the good from the bad.

For starters, personality disorders are difficult  to prove.  Most people with personality disorders are charming, charismatic and intelligent.  They are so good at manipulation that sometimes they leave you questioning your own sanity.

Educating myself on personality disorders has been empowering.  The more I learn, the more power I have.  It helps me to understand and accept my reality.  In the beginning stages of my divorce, I didn’t have a clue what I was dealing with.  No clue.  I thought that these things were normal to some degree— some people have a difficult time coping with divorce and I thought my X fell into this category.  I kept hearing from people that he would hit rock bottom and move on with his life.  I also hoped that he would pull it together for the sake of our children.  While “pulling it together for the sake of the children” is a driving factor for most people, it isn’t for a Narcissist.

Many times, I felt so alone because I knew how crazy my situation sounded.  I didn’t even know the term, “High Conflict Divorce“.  It’s somewhat awkward to go to coffee with a friend and say, “I started sleeping with a hammer under my pillow last night.  By the way, how are you doing?”.  After a while, I accepted the fact that I wasn’t dealing with a normal man who was going through a rough period of time: I was dealing with a completely unstable person who couldn’t put his children’s best interest first because there is one person who matters: him.

My turning point came when I accepted him for who he is: a narcissist.  I accepted the fact that he wasn’t going to change.  I became realistic.  I stopped playing the victim and saying, “Can you believe he did this?”.  I expected him to do the unbelievable.  I didn’t expect sanity from insanity.  You wouldn’t expect your pet gold fish to take an evening stroll with you and you can’t expect a narcissist to put the best interest of his daughters first.  It is not possible.  Period.

Once I let go of the hope that he would change, something unexpected happened: I changed.  I became stronger.  I became empowered.  It was like playing chess.  I stayed one step ahead of him mentally at all times.  This man who once touted how brilliant he was didn’t seem so brilliant after all.  I watched as all of his court documents came in with ramblings, misspellings and lies.  I watched as he couldn’t control himself and manically rambled in emails and voice mails.  All of these things further helped me to accept my reality.

Several people have recently pointed out that he sounds like he suffers from anti social personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).  I agree with those people– a God-like ego and zero regard or feelings for other people.  That is who I am dealing with.

Here are a few great resources if you are dealing with someone who is NPD:

Long Term Damage

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I was over at the “Divorce” section of the Huffington Post and came across an article by Melani Robinson titled, “Why I could still kill him“.

Our stories are similar — a horrible divorce with a selfish, twisted ex-husband and a court system that finally saw through him.  Her story gave me hope and also made me sad.

It gave me hope that my own “monster” would finally fade off into the distance and stop harming my daughters.  I am coming to terms that “he is who he is”.  This isn’t just divorce craziness.  This is his craziness.  This is a man who is so miserable and selfish on the inside that he can never and will never put his daughters first.  That is our reality- mine and the girls’.

It made me sad because the author is still dealing with the ramifications of her monster years later.  Her daughters are in their 20’s and are still affected by this selfish man and his actions.  He didn’t change.  He found a new family and a new life where he could carry on the facade that he is a good person.  They see through him yet there is still pain.

I want to believe that I can enrich my daughters’ lives so much that they don’t feel this pain as adults.  That is a big weight to carry.

I am still searching for that bubble to place them in for protection.

Looks Can Be Deceiving

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By all outward appearances, he was normal.  His appearance and the image that he portrays has been the biggest challenge through this court process.

About a year ago, I was sitting in Starbucks working on my laptop.  There were three older men at the table next to me shooting the breeze– they were talking about their wives, the stock market and whatever else older men talk about over coffee.  One of the men mentioned his wife’s shoe addiction and what he would do with all of the shoes if she died.  I laughed because it was funny.  At that point, they included me in their conversation.

While talking to these men about “life”, one noticed that I wasn’t wearing a wedding ring and made mention of his observation.  I explained that I was a single mother going through a hellish divorce.  I didn’t go into details about my story but explained that I didn’t have an attorney and was representing myself.  We continued talking about the divorce and marriage in general– about the fact that you can be married for years but never really know the person.  I told them that there was extreme debt, huge lies and that I didn’t even know who I was married to.

I live in a small town– everyone knows everyone.  I didn’t quite realize how small my town was until that day.

One of the gentleman said, “we should introduce you to a fellow named (X) who comes in here often.  He is also going through a horrible divorce and has even hired people to follow his x-wife.  She’s sleeping with everyone and is just a mess.  I feel bad for the guy.  His daughters are as cute as buttons– they could be child models”.

My jaw dropped.  He was talking about my X.  He was talking about my daughters.

The other gentleman joined in by saying, “Poor guy– he has a lot of money and was Pre-Med before shifting his course.  He is pretty tore up about the whole situation.  Found out through friends that she was cheating on him”.

I just stared at them.  I opened my mouth and the following words came out, “You are talking about my X-husband.  The only thing I can say is that you can’t believe everything you hear”.

Silence.  Awkwardness.

They couldn’t believe it.  This nice girl sitting in front of them was the harlot that they had been hearing about.  The monster that they have conversed about for a year over decaf coffee.  They mumbled.  They asked questions.  They couldn’t believe that this “nice young man” who told them tales of almost becoming a doctor, tales of his fortune and his woes was my X.  I could see it in their eyes– they felt incredibly bad and didn’t even know what to say.  What can you say?  They too had been conned by him.

Truth be told–

  • My X wanted to be a doctor but confessed while intoxicated one night that he changed his course after being caught cheating on an exam in college.
  • I never cheated on him although I was so starved for affection by the end of our marriage that an innocent stranger offering me a simple hug could have been my target.
  • He didn’t have money- he didn’t even have a car at that point.  He drove a company mini-van because all of our vehicles had been repossessed.  Ironically, just a few weeks prior I watched a tow truck drive through town carrying our Toyota Tundra as I ate my lunch.

I left the coffee shop and these kind gentleman wished me well.  They went on about their day.  I went on with mine.