I query you this riddle: if trained professionals like counselors, psychologists, protective services, judges and magistrates, etc. cannot see through the smoke and mirrors that define a covert narcissist, how can you expect lay people to?
“Charming, isn’t he.” She said with a smile. I’m sure the dumbfounded look on my face spoke volumes. “Who? Him!?! I don’t see him as charming in the least. He’s a real asshole!” I said bluntly. My wasband had stepped out to take a call in the middle of the counseling session (narcissists, they are very important people you know). It was becoming increasingly clear to me that this woman was pretty biased and it wasn’t in my favor. She took a hard look at me, my eye contact never wavering. Finally she broke the silence and said rather firmly as my wasband walked back into the room, “You realize that you have brought this all on yourself, Jessica.” The stern tone in her voice didn’t faze me. I’d already had enough of these sessions where I found myself teamed up against and kicked around. I could feel my blood, that had been simmering up to that point, hit a rolling boil. I looked at her, at my wasband, and then again at her and said calmly, “You can go fuck yourself.” And I walked out. As I got in my sexy dually pick up, pushed in the clutch and slammed it into gear it occurred to me precisely why my wasband was so hell bent on seeing this particular counselor … she was sweet on him! We’d seen several others who were “fired” when they called my wasband out on his behavior, diagnosing him as being an extreme narcissist as well as exhibiting sociopathic tendencies. This woman, however, he had successfully manipulated and set the stage so that all she was able to see was his role as the victim rather than the aggressor. It was the last time I set foot in her office. She contacted me once, claiming that God wouldn’t appreciate me dropping the “f” bomb on her and that I must repent and return to counseling to save my marriage. BARF!!!
This counselor wasn’t the only one blinded and charmed by this covert narcissist. I found myself in the same position when a PRE (parental evaluator) was appointed to our case at the demanding of my wasband. Much like the counselor, she was played like a cheap trick. Even the magistrate assigned to overseeing the “little” skirmishes in our case, saw him as a victim bending to his demands in court. Narcissists are experts in self-presentation. They are ALWAYS the victim and the truth isn’t just relative, it’s optional in their playbook! They have no concern with committing perjury in court if it’s beneficial to their cause. Narcissists malign their prey in everything from court documents to friends and family.
My wasband had begun spinning his web long before I left and there were times I unwittingly played into his hand. When I finally bolted, he’d already laid the foundation for all the lies and juicy gossip he planned to build himself up from. The easy thing for me to do, would have been and would be, to run around defending myself, telling the truth whether or not anyone wanted to hear it, force feeding it to them with a giant spoon. I chose the high road and instead forged on ahead all the while listening to the whispers behind my back.
This framework he’d built around himself, the completely well fabricated lies that he spun in order to gain ground on me within the community worked. To this day, six years later, anytime I sit at a football game to watch my son or a softball game to watch my daughter, go to the local bar and grill for a burger or the damned gas station, the judgmental glances and whispers follow. If you can conjure it up, he has told it and embellished it, and retold it with greater embellishment, and spun it some more…you get the idea. And those within the community, surrounding areas and 1,000 miles away savor the flavor of what he has simmered in his cauldron.
You would think after six years people would move on. They don’t. I had trash thrown at my pick up at the kids track meet a month ago. And yes, it was intentional. I was sitting in the pick up thawing out (it was trying to snow) between events and this person walked by, made eye contact and threw his garbage at the hood of my pick up. I was shocked and then again, I wasn’t. After all, I sit alone at all of the kid’s sports events be it football, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, track, softball, etc. I find my seat and the seats surrounding me remain empty, even in a packed gym. My armor is well worn.
I suppose I share this only to say, you are not alone. Beautiful warrior, the path isn’t easy. You may find yourself covered in gooey, sticky, disgusting, smelly mud that’s been slung at you with a supersized catapult meant to chunk a punkin’ the size of a house. Wipe it off, straighten your crown and soldier on like a boss. Those who are worth your time and energy, will seek the truth from you.
“You are powerful, beautiful, brilliant & brave”