Those of us that have experienced a Narcissist in our life, know it is really hard to explain what it is these humans do exactly. Especially, when you need to explain yourself to your lawyer, therapist, family therapist, the court/judge, and/or a custody evaluator. I am entering in my third year of a high conflict divorce with the high conflict person. I will tell you, I have been through the therapist with the custody evaluation, co-parenting counselor, three seperate family therapist with the perpetrator and my boys. I can say, it can bee hard to sound articulate, when you meet with these professionals to explain your narcissist, your high conflict person, and your toxic ex. We assume a professional will see through the charisma of this toxic human in your life. Trying to explain, defend yourself from the blatant non truths can be worse than sticking pencils in your eyes.
I know I struggle so hard to explain “the look” and how scary it is, or the rage that comes from no where. It is hard to get words out to describe how scared you are of this person or how scared you are with this person and your kids. My toxic, high conflict, and narcissist is articulate and knows how to showcase his “advanced degree” and his vocabulary. His ability to charm those he needs to is uncanny. I’ve struggled so hard to get what has happened to my boys and I, in words. I am unable to always be articulate as there is so much emotion, pain, and triggering episodes that encircle my mind when I begin to speak.
So I had to sit down. I had to figure this out and make it simple. My ex and I are ordered to use Our Family Wizard to communicate. I am very lucky and so grateful temporarily and for the last two plus years, I have full legal and physical custody of my two boys. It seems every week there is an emergency with some sort of declaration, ex parte’ emergency order, contempt charges, and my ex refusals to follow financial or any orders. His third attorney enables him to act badly and use the court system to continue to be abusive. He is the definition of coercive control and he does it financially, verbally, manipulatively, and some times direct.
Trying to explain the narcissist and how they are gas-lighting or using word salad or just faces to completely throw you off is not simple. Realizing this I had to try and simplify. I have to simplify so I can explain to others and leave no holes for him to justify his behavior or minimize my feelings.
I came up with three (3) rules to measure, understand, and be able to explain how your narcissist bullied you or someone you need to protect. The best news is it is working. I follow my checklist and am able to explain much easier his bad behavior. I hope you find this useful for you too If you are suffering through a brutal high conflict divorce.
Bottom line is you are bullying someone if you are not doing the following . 1. Curious 2. Calling Actions Names 3. Having constructive conversations in private.
- Curiosity – Humans are curious by nature and give the benefit of the doubt instead of expecting the worst. When you suspect someone of doing something but are not sure, you have to be curious before you can be accusatory. One human being to another cannot say to someone, “You purposely did not let our son talk to me” when he is not there to know the facts. or “you are sharing court documents with our kids”, or “I know you eaves dropped on our conversation when you should not have been” See normal people don’t expect the worst so when they feel like someone might have done something they do not understand, they ask questions first. Normal humans are curious. They ask questions first. People that do not have an agenda, will make sure you did something before they make an accusation. Bullies accuse you and try to be convincing with their non emotional words that you are bad. They want you and others to know you are to blame without having all the facts. They do not care about facts. Bullies, narcissist, and toxic people are not curious. They assume and inside their minds they are right. This leads me to my first test question… Did that person ask me questions to make sure I did what they said I did?
- Toxic, High Conflict, and Bullies call you names, The difference is most people will call out an action that they see as negative. Good humans do not call you a name over an action you committed. For example if you did not do the dishes and you said you would. A healthy person will state, those dishes should be done, you said you would do them and the fact that you did not was an irresponsible action. Or my favorite, the bully says, “you are a lazy fuck” Instead of, I feel like you had a lazy day, because you did not clean the bathrooms and do the dishes like you promised you would. The second question to ask is did this person call you a name or did they call out the action, your poor choice or lack of action a name? A bully calls you a name. A healthy person calls your action a name.
- Lastly, a healthy person will always address their feelings about what they are thinking with you directly and privately. They will address things with calm confidence which enables you to respond and have healthy communication. A toxic person will call you names, demean you, and accuse you of something they do not have the facts for in front of others.
We can go into so many reasons these things happen. Control, demeaning, they want to destroy you. However for the person that is on the receiving side of these accusations, name calling and public display, you do not need to go into the reasons why. All you need to do is ask these three questions. Write them down.
- Was this person curious before they accused?
- Did this person call out my action or did they call me a name?
- Did this person accuse, call me names, demean me, or condescend me in front of others?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, this person acted unreasonably. Their actions were intrusive. They are being high conflict. After writing this down it makes it easier to explain how, when, and why this person is stating what they are. The facts become much easier to explain how this person is being very unreasonable.
I also feel this is a great lesson for me. Having PTSD from my abuser, I get triggered and I need to make sure I follow the three simple rules of being a kind asset to society. Am I being curious. Am I calling out actions not people, and am I addressing things in private?
Remember, accusations without questions, calling you names, and doing these things in front of others, are all high conflict toxic actions and if they are habitual these people are bullies, narcissist personalities and toxic people that you and everyone need to steer clear of.
Keep this simple for yourself. This will help me start to explain my NPD. I hope it will help you too. Love to hear your comments…