names have been omitted in this post
I set my oversized handbag on my desk along with my car keys and stainless steel cup filled with ice water for my work day. I took a seat in the leather swivel chair and sank into the comfortable black cushion beneath me. Before me were two computer monitors, a keyboard and multiple neon sticky notes reminding me of this and that. Sticky notes are one of the best inventions ever. They must have been invented by someone with ADHD. A phone sat to my right with a rolodex, canister of pens and a stack of file folders. I loved my job but right then, that particular morning I wanted to be curled up in bed. During my divorce I had alot of adrenaline in me to keep me going but in the months after my divorce was final I crashed; I would curl up in a ball in the fetal position in my bed at home... under my Eddie Bauer white down comforter and hide from the world. Depression is such a stealth-like suck. I was in a much better place now thank God. Yet I couldn't stop thinking of the night before. Generally speaking I don't think I've cried but five times the past three years. I think I'm past having the energy for it. So when I'm overwhelmed I just stare into space thinking on on it all and feel numbness encapsulate me like a cardigan. I was functioning professionally on auto-pilot right now... smiling and saying "Good morning", nodding hello to folks as they walked by. I began putting my things away where they belonged before delving into my work for the day... telling myself to get to it... but inside I was thinking I really needed a break from life. You know... where you do nothing. Literally nothing. You lay on a beach with the sand beneath you and the sun above warming your skin and you hold a drink with something intoxicating in one hand and a water in the other for good measure so you don't get dehydrated. And you just lay there. Doing nothing. No doing. No thinking. Nothing. You are walking distance to your hotel so there's no issue of drinking and driving. All is well in the world, good and simple as a perfect shiny penny... as the blue waves roll in a few feet from your toes and the sound lulls you to sleep...
The day before had started innocently enough. My daughter, mother and I had gone shopping that afternoon... we hadn't bought anything but as always we'd had a great time. We'd picked up some tacos on the way home and after eating those for dinner we had some leftover chocolate cake from my birthday. We were discussing what to do next and see if anything interesting was on tv when I realized my ex had called for our daughter. Okay, no biggie. I asked her to call him back. But things started turning weird... she didn't want to. And it wasn't her occasional "Nah, I'm not really in the mood... I'll call him tomorrow" type of casual response. It was more like she was adamant she wasn't calling him. I asked why. She didn't give a response. Dialing the phone, I handed it to her and she relunctantly took it. He presumably answers with his usual cheery tone and then she turns and gives me a quizzical look and so I mouth "What?' at her not knowing what is going on and what he's asking her.
She shrugs her arms like she doesn't understand what he's asking her so I walk toward her and lean in to listen and hear his question. He's asking if she's used her fitbit. Whaaaat? I am so confused by now... "Where is it? It's at his house... right?" I mouth as her. She stares at me without answering. Now I feel dread inside me. Oh, no. No, no, no. I have a bad, bad, very bad sinking feeling now. My cell phone then goes dead and I stare at it... the battery had been low. Then I turn to her. "Where is it?" I ask her with an edge to my voice. "Where is the fitbit? Did you bring it here?" I ask her. She looks panicked and can't seem to get a straight answer out of her mouth. Her words are garbled.
The room is suddenly spinning.
WHAT ON EARTH WAS GOING ON?
"WHERE IS THE FITBIT???! IS IT HERE???!!" I yell.
"No, Mommy! No! I didn't bring it!!! I promise!!!"
"I want to see in your school backpack! Right now!!!"
I exclaim, bringing my volume down.
"No, no, no!!!" She cries.
I point to her room "Go get your backpack right now!
I want to see it!" I urged her.
She runs to her room decorated in turquoise and pink. She grabs the backpack and brings it into the den... unzips it and withdraws a turquoise banded fitbit. It was on and flashing. Son of a biscuit... Fear courses through me. Complete fear, followed by anger and feelings of violation. I had divorced someone who knows how to hack anything. He knows how to put gps on anything. He is by far more technologically savvy than most people. Give him anything and the man can build a computer from scratch, a tracking device to stick on your behind, maybe a time travel machine... who knows what else. She'd returned to me on Friday. It's now Sunday night. I don't know what has been in my house for the past two days... a mere innocent fitbit or a fitbit with who knows what added to it... if that's even possible...
I don't know and in that moment I really don't care.
That's beside the point.
I know I can't trust him.
You can call it paranoia... you can call it whatever you'd like but I can't trust him further than I can throw him. Those of you who have lived like this know what I'm talking about. I have told him time and time again that zero electronics from him are allowed in my home. Yet in the past three years he's sent them and attempted to. I have told him time and time again that any electronics that come into my home will be destroyed and not returned. Yet he continues to pressure her to bring them. The fitbit is confiscated out of sight and disposed of. Once I return she explains how he pressured her to do it... to bring it. Of course he did. Yet she didn't tell me she had it. She wasn't off the hook. I tell her I'm NOT putting up with her lying. ( I understand her motivation for lying was because she knew when he pressured her to bring it that she was doing something I wouldn't allow and knew it was a bad choice yet did it anyway... she knew I'd be angry... yet her lying is unacceptable even if I'm angry. ) I explain that there will be consequences for her lying to me. That she was told beforehand to not bring the fitbit to my home nor any other electronics from his house and yet she chose to disobey. I explained that his actions had consequences as well... the fitbit was not being returned. I wasn't going to let him override the boundaries I had set for my own home.... if he didn't like them, tough.
She went to bed mad but woke up the next morning understanding of her consequences. No electronics for a week for lying. She admitted she'd made a bad choice, not done what I'd asked and lied. I was able to calmly explain the situation and why I reacted so intensely... she was rational and we seemed to find mutual understanding and hugged despite the mess. But was I tired. I was so freaking tired... and just wanted him to stop. Find a hobby. Find a second job. Find something to do besides finding new ways to cause chaos and uproar. Go spend time with your wife. Go have sex. Go on a trip. Go take a hike. Go do something besides causing problems. I knew he had chosen to pressure her to bring the fitbit to merely cause issues... hoping I'd find out, balk, come down on her and then she'd become resentful at me... ultimately siding with him.
He was trying to cause division between her
and I based on his actions he'd chosen.
He was trying to thwart my authority
and get her to turn against me.
This is what he does.
I'm not insulting the man.
I'm describing him.
People have no idea that when you divorce or get discarded by a personality disordered individual that these types of scenarios as described above are commonplace.
If I had been married to a plumber or a teacher perhaps my radar of concern wouldn't be on as high alert. But personality disordered folks who are in the field of technology, narcs who are cops, who are attorneys... they always present more risk to us... as they are in the perfect positions to abuse their knowledge and the system and use it to their advantage. I was married to someone technologically savvy. I know his abilities are far more advanced than the average Joe. And I know I can't trust him. That creates a potentially dangerous combination. To back down on the fitbit would have been sending my daughter the wrong message. I explained to her that I wasn't against her having a fitbit... that wasn't the issue at all... and before she had made her poor choice to bring it, along with lying to me, I likely would have purchased her one for Christmas to use at my house. But in light of the choices she'd made that wasn't going to happen now. I explained that my issue was her bringing something from his home electronically into mine... that I had my reasons why that made me uncomfortable... and I needed her to respect and trust that decision. She understood. She didn't necessarily like it and I agreed she didn't have to like it. But she understood.
We need to take the time to explain to our children about boundaries and that even though they may not understand the whole picture or our personal reasons for setting them that there is a reason and they are out of love and protection not meanness or control. We need to remind our children that setting boundaries in general is a healthy thing to do and that they are never too young to begin setting them for themselves. We can explain to our children that yes, we may be angry with them for their choices... but we will always love them.
10 Examples of What Narc's Do :
1. Bug your phone
2. Put a gps tracking device on your vehicle
3. Spy on you and your family/friends on
all social media or have others do it for them
4. Have police connections to wipe away any
trace of you having filed a complaint on them
5. Hack and trace your activities on your computer
6. Coerce you or forge your signature
on documents like tax returns, etc
7. Harrass you via text, email, phone calls
even though you've broken up with
them and told them to stop
8. Break into your home
9. Pressure you to allow them to come to your
home for child exchanges versus a public place
10. Stalk you at your place of work, your home,
etc trying to scare you or have interaction