Chapter 4: What My Blog Is & Isn't

Chapter 4: What My Blog Is & Isn't

I suppose it might be beneficial to briefly lay out what my blog is and, maybe even more importantly, what my blog is not.

What My Blog Is

My blog is my story and, while I strongly suspect that many of my readers share similar experiences, my story is my own and their stories are their own. I view my blog as a platform for me to share, analyze, wrestle with, and hopefully come to terms and make peace with the most traumatizing experience of my life. It is an extension of my inner thoughts and a key piece to my healing journey.

My blog's audience is not limited to women going through narcissistic abuse and female survivors, but I write from the perspective of a woman who went through narcissistic abuse and is now in the long process of healing and reclaiming her voice. I speak about 'my narcissist' who is a male, but I fully recognize that there are female narcissists, too, and I hope to launch a sister (or brother?) blog about a male friend who continues to be impacted by a female narcissist soon. Really, my blog is for anyone who has been harmed by a narcissist or who wants to learn more about how a narcissist impacts their significant others, their friends, their families, their children, their social circles, and their communities at large. I have often said, “I know no one so willing to ruin his own life, my life, the life of his kids, and the life of his friends, than my narcissist.”

The depth and degree the narcissist will go to drag everyone into their drama, turn people on one another through lies and triangulation, and make life miserable for their victims is unreal. Even the people whom the narcissist recruits as flying monkeys will find their lives in turmoil and disarray as they try to defend someone who doesn’t care about them one inkling and is only using them to revictimize their target.

A sad reality is that much of the time, a narcissist’s flying monkeys eventually realize that the narcissist’s story doesn’t add up. After the narcissist has wooed them and manipulated them into doing their bidding and turning on their victim – typically through sharing relatable stories, giving them attention, and/or pretending to empathize with their struggles (but always turning it around to make it about them) -- their flying monkeys notice that the attention they received at the beginning is dwindling and, in some cases, they are being outright ignored by the narcissist.

For example, my narcissist was great at finding out what his next recruit was going through and then making up a similar, relatable story that made me look like a villain and him the victim. One friend, Jennifer, had been cheated on for years by her husband who followed an online dating lead overseas and, guess, what story my narcissist told her about me? Suddenly, I was sleeping with half the town behind his back. Of course, the story sounded all too familiar to her, so she was able to empathize with him and, in turn, he used her to revictimize me. 

Another friend, Allison, had a bipolar wife, Cathy. Can you guess what my narcissist told Allison about me? Of course, I had severe mental health issues, and he was the sane one who was struggling to care for me (when in reality the exact opposite was true; we were in couples therapy, but it was for his abuse and alcoholism).

In short, he found out the most vulnerable and hurtful part of his recruit’s life and bonded with them through sharing a similar story that made him out to be the victim and me out to be the monster. He targeted women who didn't receive a lot of female attention, gave them the attention they were seeking, and then turned them on me.

But once the recruit is no longer useful to the narcissist, the empathy and attention he bestowed on them slowly (or sometimes quickly) fades away. At this point, the flying monkeys must either admit that they have been fooled or dig their heels deeper into the narcissist's quagmire of lies. I have personally seen people do both. Some have come back to me and apologized, stating that his lies were so convincing that, at first, they believed him, but now they see how they were manipulated and deceived. Conversely, I have seen some of his recruits go along with the narcissist so far into the mud that it cost them their jobs, friends, and reputations. Some of my narcissist’s flying monkeys have exited social life altogether after being made a fool for standing up for the indefensible (see my blog post Chapter 7: The Church: Part 1 which details how he and his first wife, Prissy, convinced friends and fellow congregants to go to the Church Board and encourage -- thankfully unsuccessfully -- the leaders to to kick ME out of the congregation after he assaulted me – no, this is not a joke).

My blog is also an attempt to educate people on what a flying monkey is and how to not become one. There are all types of flying monkeys, and some are more lethal and nefarious than others. In a nutshell, flying monkeys are the people who the narcissist recruits to do their bidding and further traumatize their victims. The narcissist is limited in the harm that they can do, and I have repeatedly said that if everyone would just ignore the narcissist, their hate would only harm their victims minimally and for a short period. It is the flying monkeys who allow the narcissist to do long-term damage to their victims and their entire social circle. Please, please, please, don’t allow yourself to be one.

What My Blog Is Not

My blog is not an attack on my narcissist. I strongly believe that people who are narcissists have little control over it. Hurt people hurt people; broken people break people. Narcissists are hurt and broken people. From my experience, they are unable to feel anything like real love, compassion, empathy, or care. There is a lot of research on what makes someone a narcissist. Here is a short but informative video on where we are right now in understanding how people become narcissists.

There remains some debate over whether all narcissists have NPD (although nearly everyone agrees that all people with NPD are narcissists), and here is an excellent video that discusses it.

Dr. Ramani makes the compelling argument that “we don’t get to diagnose someone just because we don’t like them” and explains that a narcissist could just be a jerk. I would love to hear your thoughts on narcissists and NPD, as I am still undecided as to what I believe regarding their relationship. I do often wonder if we tend to diagnose someone with a personality disorder when, in reality, two decades ago we would have called them a jerk. Several people have asked me, 'Are you sure that your ex is a narcissist?' Does he have NPD?' In short, I am not a clinician, so I cannot diagnose him. What I can tell you is that he displays narcissistic characteristics and traits consistently throughout his life and in all situations as far as I can tell. I will write a blog post later describing in greater detail why it is fair to say that he has narcissistic traits, at a minimum, and probably does qualify as a narcissist.

Narcissists form superficial relationships. I remember my narcissist had incredibly hurtful names for his ‘best friends.’ Now, it is not unusual to have nicknames for the people closest to us, but these names we typically don’t mind calling the person to their face because they are not hurtful. My narcissist would create a nickname for his friends that would only be shared with me behind closed doors and would be based on something they could not control and was, undoubtedly, incredibly painful.

Let me give you some examples. 

His one friend, Amara, who had a cleft pallet, he called “Harelip” behind her back.

He referred to his current male best friend, Gasper, as a “narcissist” (oh the irony) as well as his former best friend who lived in his home state some 1500 miles away.

A woman who was our mutual friend before she became one of his flying monkeys, Jennifer, was often a topic of discussion for him. He called her “Desperate” and always told me that if we broke up, he might try to date Jennifer because she would be “grateful to have him due to her large size and his large penis.” 

In fact, he would often see a conventionally unattractive woman and tell me "I'll bet she would be grateful to sleep with me...and appreciative."

He had a friend whose wife was bipolar whom he referred to as “Crazy Cathy.” And the list goes on and on.

These people loved my narcissist and, sadly, all turned into his flying monkeys. But he had not one feeling of love or compassion for them as far as I could see in our six years together. I, on the other hand, would often defend them in the privacy of our home and encourage him to think about how his words were hurtful. How sad a life this must be that you have zero qualms about calling your closest friends horrendous names. Now, does he have NPD or is he ‘just a jerk' with narcissistic traits? I don’t honestly know, and I think it is dangerous to armchair diagnose someone. 

Even with his children, he never demonstrated real love towards them. His love only extended as far as their accomplishments made him proud and gave him a reason to boast. His one son, Jonathan, was athletic but only of average intellect. If he was not the best soccer player on the team, my narcissist would express his disappointment, sometimes going into outrageous fits and throwing tantrums. In my state, we have a program called Gifted and Enriched for students with an above-average IQ (I went through this program as a child and, in my experience, it is just a way of funneling already limited resources to the kids who need the extra support the least; thereby taking precious limited resources from the kids who need the extra support the most). Jonathan was tested but did not make the cutoff, and that was a source of great shame for my narcissist. I could feel his disappointment, and I am sure Jonathan could as well. It is no surprise that the child was prematurely diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and engaged in severe cutting and other forms of self-harm before, at my urging, we got him into intensive therapy. I think about him often and hope he is doing well.

His younger son, Harry, was intellectually gifted and did make it into the Gifted and Enriched program but had the athletic prowess of a slug. My 5-year-old daughter, Lulu, could outrun him at double her age. Harry, who was discarded when he was younger because he was not athletic and more of a gentle child, was later made to be his favorite due to his high IQ score which won him many awards at school, with my narcissist’s main hope being to have his son doing calculus in 7th grade -- he was all about the bragging rights.

He never showed one ounce of love or compassion for either of my kids (or anyone else’s children for that matter), despite being in their lives from the time they were ages 1 and 2 until they were 6 and 7. I never once saw him show any care or consideration for their needs. In fact, he seemed to get joy out of tormenting my neurodivergent son, Oscar, (to which I quickly put the pings to and threatened to throw him out of our home if he did not stop it as any good mama would -- I had no problem standing up to my narcissist, which likely is why I was physically assaulted in addition to other forms of abuse while his first wife, who was less confrontational, was abused in other ways).

Moreover, this blog is not professional advice on narcissism, personality disorders, or any other psychological condition. My degrees are in Spanish, Religious Studies, Ancient Near Eastern and Semitic Studies, and 20th Century US Intervention in Latin America. I have zero training in psychology, psychiatry, social work, sociology, anthropology, human behavior, etc. I am not a therapist, counselor, psychiatrist, social worker, or psychologist. I am Ekho -- an everyday person who was in a six-year relationship with someone who displayed narcissistic traits and is trying to make sense out of my experience and heal. Please take this into account when reading my blog.

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