My boss of 4 years was a narcissist, too, and wound up in jail

Checking CCAP to see if people I know are on there, is not something I normally do.  Most people I know are normal, law-abiding citizens, and I have no interest in poking around in their divorce or parking ticket information.  But now that I’m aware of this resource, there are people in my past with questionable characters whom I wonder about.

A while ago, I checked to see if my abusive and malignant narcissist ex-fiancé, Phil, had ever done anything that got the attention of the law.  Turns out he did, back when he was married.  There are no details, but there was some sort of disorderly conduct in 2003.  There was a victim who gave an “impact statement.”  He had to fulfill a deferred prosecution agreement, which then got the charges dismissed a year later.

Then I thought, You know, my former boss, an insurance agent, did have questionable character, and lately I’ve been thinking he was probably a narcissist.  He wasn’t my main boss, but gave me supplemental income with 2-5 hours a week if I would do his changes and filing.

I considered him a friend, liked him, chatted with him sometimes, thought he was funny–but he could also be an ass at times.  (No, there was no boss-secretary hanky panky going on; it was strictly platonic.  But, as I told my main boss, he was my “favorite person” at the office.)

One day, the office secretary told me he was in the hospital.  I was horrified, but it turned out to be something involving an ear infection that went bad.  It was probably something like mastoiditis or malignant otitis, not your typical ear infection, very serious but the doctors got it under control.

The office secretary said they were not going to send him flowers or a card, so I got the information from her and sent him a get-well card.  It included a little note about how boring the office was without him talking about nose hair etc. (referring to something he had recently said).  It was sweet, and I later saw it in his office, which told me that it meant enough to him to bring with him as a keepsake.

I did my best to get his files in order, which was quite a feat because they were a huge mess before I started working for him.  He had no secretary for a while, since his wife no longer wanted to do it for him, and he just threw papers into files without any regard for how home office wanted them organized, making it horrible to try to keep up with the policies properly.

I updated the computer, did his changes and applications, stamped and processed the mail from home office, even remembered to update his no contact list along with my main boss’s (the home office sent this list to all agents after the state No Contact List was established for telemarketers and business owners).

And I did all this in an office which was perpetually a disaster area, papers and things strewn all over the place.  He was amazed at how well I fixed up the files, and he’d tell me and clients about our little “team,” “You’re the brains and I’m the face.”

One year, he gave me a little Christmas present, a Santa candy jar.  I told him Santa “has a big ole’ butt,” and he laughed.  I still use that candy jar, and my son likes it.  When he was gone while I worked, I’d play Radio Free Abattoir, a Goth music webstream; when he was there, he’d assault my ears with blues or AC/DC played excessively loud, which annoyed the nearby secretaries as well.

But he also had a wacky sense of humor which nobody but me seemed to “get,” so I’d be chuckling while the other secretaries chided him (like when he complained about people with long nose hairs).  He was always running late, so his friends (who were also clients) would tell us they always told him an earlier time than they actually wanted him to be there.

Sure he had a temper, which got on my nerves occasionally, but I thought he was harmless, just an unmotivated goof.

But on the other hand, he was difficult to deal with, rarely paid me on time, kept docking my hours, occasionally yelled at me for nothing, made me clean his office.

Because he kept docking my hours, I often had a backlog of filing to do along with all his changes, which often didn’t have enough information, so I’d have to call him on his cell because he’d gone off again.  Because of the backlog in filing, the files themselves often did not have updated information.

But when I asked for more hours, he wouldn’t give them to me, saying they cost too much–even though he was only paying me $7/hour for two to five hours a week.

There were complaints from some of his clients about how they should’ve known better than to do business with a friend.  He had so little business that the office secretaries wondered how he paid his bills, and wished he would work harder to get more clients.  And he kept arguing with one of the underwriters, a lady who he felt had it in for him.

But it got even worse after he spent time in the hospital for an ear infection, and his temper seemed to turn foul, so that for months he was nothing like the fun-loving guy he’d been before.  He complained of constant headaches.  The ear infection was early in 2002.

I recall overhearing, probably in late 2002 or early 2003, sometimes while in his office and sometimes while out of his office, as he yelled and screamed on the phone at people in the home office.  I recall as he screamed “Merry Christmas” at some guy.

One day (whether before or after the ear infection I can no longer remember), he was trying to deal with a credit card company, but because it was under his wife’s name and not his, they wouldn’t let him do anything.  He actually asked me to impersonate his wife and talk to them.

!!!!

I said NO.

He said, “Nyssa, come on, please!” and acted like I was being unreasonable.

NO!

Then he called up the card company again, and began speaking in a falsetto voice, impersonating his wife himself!  And they bought it!

Also, after he’d been at war with an underwriter for weeks, in early 2003 she came to audit his files, and they weren’t complete because–even though I did my part and gave him all the information he needed to get his own work done, such as cost estimators and pictures of the various properties that were missing–he had not done his part.

I wasn’t there at the time, since I only worked a few hours a day and hadn’t come in yet.  But I was told there was quite a blowup, with him raging all over the office and finally quitting in a huff.

I gave him a note to try to get him to change his mind, but it was made up.  He was also in the doghouse with his wife over it, but one of the other secretaries told me that if he hadn’t quit, the office manager was going to fire him anyway because of things he’d been doing lately.

As for the note, it was an e-mail I sent to his work computer, but it had already been locked; he had no e-mail at home.  So I printed up the e-mail and brought it to work.  When he came back to pack up his office, I gave him the e-mail.

I’d have to dig it up to recall what all it said, but I remember something about considering him a friend and wishing he would reconsider quitting.  From the way he acted, he seemed pleasantly surprised, had no idea I felt that way.

He thought it was sweet and said he would miss me, too, said I should be his secretary if he set up his own office.  (I made sure when I wrote it that it was worded so his wife would not object to anything in it, in case she saw it.  It was platonic.)

The office secretary did not like him at all.  She claimed to be a good judge of character as she told another secretary why she did not like him.  I thought she was too hard on him, while I was more willing to see him as a good person underneath his gruffness.

She was always arguing with him, and when he left, she wondered if he would violate the contract he had signed, which had something to do with not getting a job with a competitor.

But I did like him, and was so upset that I cried when he quit.  I was so miserable that for months afterwards, I would see his empty office and sigh.  I was also miserable because I had fun working for him (except when he was being an ass), and now all I could get to supplement my income was a couple of hours of just filing.  No changes, no fixing files, because the other agent already had another secretary; just filing.

That whole period was very distressing, because a couple of months later, our church terminated the youth pastor position for financial reasons, the youth group disbanded, and my wonderful time being a helper in the youth group was suddenly over.

I did contact my former boss on occasion during the following year, but I didn’t hear anything from him after that.  The first year, 2003, and maybe 2004, he and his wife sent us a Christmas card, as did my main boss and his wife.

But there was nothing after that, and I wondered if it was because, with the baby, I had gotten too busy to send Christmas cards, and you know how people will cut you off their list if you don’t send cards.

I wondered why he didn’t contact me, but I was too busy with my little boy to worry about such things too much.  I had since moved on from the disappointment of his quitting in 2003–especially since I didn’t work there anymore, either, since my other boss retired and I was now a stay-at-home mother.

I did occasionally check social networking sites such as Facebook to see if he was there, like I do with all my old friends (including my other boss), but he wasn’t.

Now I find that in 2005, his wife complained of domestic abuse and harassment! filed a restraining order! divorced him!  There’s a note that the court found him to be unemployed in 2006 because of his own conduct; I remember how he had trouble finding and keeping jobs after he quit.  There was a psychological evaluation; there are suggestions of child abuse, because he could only see the kids with supervision.

During the long, drawn-out divorce, he got into even more trouble through some sort of violent domestic disturbance that involved spousal and, possibly, child abuse, even broken lights of a detention center, and damages to a car and his ex’s residence and, apparently, even the children’s school, leading to multiple charges, a few convictions, and jail time!  So, of course, his ex got sole custody of the kids.

Some more searching in the archives of his hometown newspaper, revealed that one night, he left several threatening messages for his wife, who had recently filed for divorce and a restraining order because of domestic violence. 

Then he drove the car into their house, causing extensive damage to the kitchen and totaling the car

–the same car that he used to drive to work every day, the same car I’d look for in the parking lot to see if he was going to be there while I worked for him, the same car I think he used once or twice to give me a ride home on a stormy day because I walked to work.

Then he came to the door, and while his wife tried to call 911, he confronted her.  Eventually, she was able to call 911 from a neighbor’s house.  He resisted arrest; kicked one officer in the groin several times; had to be dragged to the squad car.  He even broke lights at the detention center.

There was

extensive damage to the kitchen area, including water running from broken pipes, kitchen cabinets strewn throughout the kitchen and dining room, water pouring into the basement and the front end of the car lodged in the siding of the house.

He faced extensive charges, $50,000 bail, even 22 years of jail time and thousands of dollars in fines if he’d been convicted on all counts, but as there often are, there were plea bargains and other deals which lessened the sentence.

The District Attorney said, “My biggest concern was the protection of the public.  And there are a lot of incentives built in for him to get his behavior back to normal.”  He said the purpose of the deferred prosecution agreement was “that I’ll have more control over him rather than if he had just pled to the felonies.”

My former boss was ordered to stay on his medication, take domestic violence and anger management counseling, and was even sentenced to nine months in jail and three years probation.

I didn’t really know his wife, only seeing her on occasion, such as at office Christmas parties.  But she seemed like a nice person.

Neither of the wives of my bosses showed any sign of jealousy about their husbands’ secretary, and seemed like nice people.  When I told this boss, a few months after he quit, that my husband and I were finally going to have a baby after trying for a while, he told his wife, and said, “She couldn’t believe it!” and how happy she was for us.

I know he had occasional issues with her, but they seemed like nothing more than normal marital tiffs.  But I do recall saying to my husband on occasion, “I’m glad I’m not married to [my boss],” because of something he’d say (like, part of the whole point of going to a bachelor party was to not behave himself), or that I overheard him saying to a friend (complaining that women are great at spending too much money).  So I can’t imagine her doing anything to deserve this kind of behavior from him.

The office secretary was right about him!  And why do I keep liking people who turn out to be abusive narcissists?

Most of my friends are normal, but my ex Phil was an abusive narcissist, the guy Shawn whom I loved but used me, was probably a narcissist, my favorite boss was an abusive narcissist, and now my best friend of five years, Richard, turned out to be an abusive narcissist!

How do I keep attracting these people?  And why do I find myself drawn to them?

 

Whether and when to forgive an abuser

Wednesday night, All-Merciful Saviour Monastery posted a link on Facebook: The Morning Offering.  They were referring to the blog for Tuesday, February 28, 2012, “Rejected: When People Don’t Forgive.”  [Also on their new site here.] 

I need to print this out because it refers to abusive people who live their lives with a chip on their shoulders, taking it out on you–but neither do they forgive you for your “offenses” against them, whether real or imagined, but they refuse to apologize themselves.

Apparently three of the things I did were correct according to the Church, even though counselors may disagree:

  1. apologizing for what offended Tracy, even though it was only in her own head and she was the actual abuser
  2. walking away when she not only did not forgive (at least, not without an ultimatum that required me to submit to even more of her abuse and control), but did not apologize for her own abusive behavior
  3. and praying that she come to repentance.

The thing I haven’t done yet is forgive.  It’s a lot harder to do that without an apology, and I’ve still been using anger to distance myself from her and Richard so it doesn’t hurt as much to give up Richard’s friendship.

I still keep wishing he would apologize and we would be friends again, and this disturbs me because I know very well now that he has a violent, scary side.

I don’t intend to go forever without forgiving.  But I have also come across blogs and blog commenters who have been abused, and say that forgiveness is impossible until you’ve healed; otherwise, it’s premature and false forgiveness.  But I do want to come to forgiveness eventually.

This monk’s blog says that if I forgive the abuser, I will be justified before God, and I am only responsible for my own response, not the abuser’s.  It also says that forgiveness is only possible through Christ: It’s not something humans just naturally do.

Reconciliation is a different thing from forgiveness, and is only possible if Richard and Tracy apologize and end their abusive and violent ways–not just to me, but to each other, the children and other people as well.

Currently, I’m going through this blog and its many comments, when I have time: Forgive the Abusers: A Bit of a Rant

I keep going back and forth about whether or not to blog about these things publicly.  But I see all sorts of other blogs on the Net about personal abuse stories.  It’s one way people are using these days to deal with it.  It’s part of that “if you’re silent, the abusers will get away with it” way of thinking.

And songwriters and poets have always done this in their own way as well (i.e., Linkin Park, Adele, Eminem, Carly Simon, Alannis Morissette, etc.).

I do like reading such blogs and finding I’m not alone, whether it’s reading a story of a narcissistic friend, or a note about how hard it is to forgive any kind of abuser, or forum posts about seeing the abuser again at a restaurant or in family get-togethers.  It’s far more real than, say, reading some magazine article about what you’re supposed to do to forgive/get over abuse.

And if such a writer can talk about some horrible abuse story and how she was able to get through the pain and forgive her abuser, then I know it’s possible for anyone.

Because while the anger is necessary for a time, if you hold onto it for too long, it can begin to twist you into an abuser yourself.

There’s no way I want to be like Tracy.  I DO NOT WANT TO BE ANOTHER TRACY.  I must not let her poison work its way through my system until I become like her. 

I want to continue keeping my husband happy, and help my son grow up healthy and happy. 

And I want that salvation that leads to eternity going from one level of bliss to another, getting ever closer to God–not an eternity of self-imposed darkness as the bitterness consumes me.

As you can see from reading my posts on Richard and Tracy, I have a lot of crap to get out of my system and deal with.

It’s a lot harder when the perpetrators act like their treatment of you was somehow deserved by you, that you just need to “GROW UP” and “stop feeling hurt over the consequences of YOUR behavior.”

When one of the perpetrators even posted on her Facebook wall that she was having a “GREAT day” because she was yelling and screaming at you.

When these perpetrators occasionally show up at your church and, instead of trying to make peace with you and apologize as you had hoped, they freeze you out as if you were scum who still needs to “GROW UP” and apologize to them, and then leave without saying a word of kindness or apology to you.

When one of them was a very close, very dear friend whom you trusted with your darkest secrets.

It doesn’t just go away, and I fear the pain that would grip me if I let go of the anger too soon.

Certain religions, cults and spiritual practices encourage you to avoid emotions, particularly anger. They stress forgiveness and are not likely to support you in confronting your abuser.

These attitudes do not promote healing. If you are involved in a practice that denies your needs as a survivor in an active healing process, you are not helping yourself. —What AA Does for Survivors of Abuse or Trauma

Therapy for abuse survivors will guide them to experience feelings which are 180 degrees the opposite of the ones promoted by the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. (namely anger & rage to name a few) As an example, here’s a checklist of healing stages for survivors of sexual abuse. Note how many feelings run counter to the AA way!

  • anger
  • rage
  • discarding the wrongful belief that the abuse was somehow the survivors fault (instead of “looking at one’s part! -which is entirely inappropriate!)
  • confronting the abuser (if the survivor wishes to); holding the abuser accountable for his/her behavior
  • forgiveness at the END of the healing process (NOT the beginning!), and as an option rather than a requirement! Note that forgiveness makes sense in cases where perpetrators have made restitution, have expressed remorse and have demonstrated rehabilitation, otherwise, forgiveness simply excuses perpetrators for harms done. An exception, in the absence of these criteria, is if s/he is dead.

For battered women (or men) who need to break the cycle of domestic violence, counselors will advise them to feel these “forbidden” feelings, which will impel them to leave the dangerous scenario.  Acceptance is the WORST advice they could be getting.

They will be guided to feel angry at the abuse and to work toward “rebellion” which will be the motivator for leaving. These feelings and behaviors are temporary, and they serve to HEAL FROM OR TO GET THE INDIVIDUAL OUT OF THE PATTERN OF ABUSE.

Only after s/he has worked through the abuse, or has gotten out of the pattern itself, can a more relaxed personality can be adopted.

It is those individuals who do not respond to mistreatment with the “forbidden feelings” that act in a psychologically unsound way. Sadly, this is the ideal set before the recovering alcoholic by the program itself.  Deviation from this ideal is regarded as “not working the program”. —Anger, Rebelliousness and Other Forbidden Feelings

I don’t think those people who tried to sell me forgiveness were trying to hurt me. I’m sure they were only trying to help and were speaking from their own fears. They may not have intended harm, but it was harmful.

Forgiveness is a personal issue and one of the most sensitive in dealing with abuse. Forgiving my parents was one product of my healing, not the means to it. –Christina Enevoldsen, What About Forgiveness?

This post is about discussing the issues of forgiveness within the context of abuse. There is no need to define the type of abuse because all forms of abuse cause the same issues and damage.

It also discusses forgiveness within the contexts of no confession; no repentance; no admission of fault; betrayal; defiance; lies; denials and injustice….

As a victim of crime and a survivor of the most appalling sexual, physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and religious abuse I find myself grappling with issues to do with deliberate cruelty, betrayal, lies, denial, play-acting, justice, injustice, defiance and forgiveness.

Forgiveness is hard at the best of times, but is certainly easier if the person admits their fault, confesses and repents, maybe even apologises.

Forgiveness becomes virtually impossible when the guilty are faced with the truth, faced with the legal consequences, but do not respond with humility but with defiance, denials, play-acting and lies.

By doing so they evaded justice. By doing so they evaded exposure of their crimes. By doing so they stuck 2-fingers in front of my face and in front of the face of God. By doing so they showed no comprehension of the way their actions, lies and denials when confronted with the truth tore my life apart.

I’m left wondering how on earth can I forgive when my abusers deny any wrongdoing, carry on their lives hard faced, glorying in their win, going about as if cruelty is normal and as if it is normal to have nothing to do with your daughter?

I’m left wondering how God who hates injustice can allow such injustice to happen on top of all the injustices of all the other abuses. I’m left feeling that my life is just injustice piled on injustice until there is nothing left but injustice and devastation….

Speaking the truth of what they did helps to put the blame and guilt where it lies and that is on the shoulders of the person who did the wrong not on the person who is struggling to forgive and honestly grappling with the hurt and lack of closure. …

It’s very hard when people are deliberately and defiantly non repentant and hard faced – turning up in church as if nothing is wrong and nothing has happened.

Having to cope with your abusers turning up in church whilst deliberately sticking 2 fingers up at God is beyond the capacity of describe.

Having to cope with your abusers continuing to use the church as their cover story is beyond awful and beyond hypocrisy. Having them do all of that on that back of having lied and denied to prevent justice and to prevent exposure is disgusting and distasteful at the very least.

It is utterly appalling for me as a victim, for those who gave evidence against them to the police and for the church leadership who now know the truth about them. It’s totally ghastly and repulsive to be brutally honest.

It is as if they have no conscience at all. Sometimes when people have lied and denied for long enough they actually believe their lies and denials to be absolute truth regardless of evidence to the contrary. Thus they worm their way out of it and can be incredibly and frighteningly convincing in their true lies…

Without confession, repentance, admission of guilt or other things which lead to closure surely it will always be there at the back of your mind.

Having to watch your abusers behaving as if nothing untoward happened and all is normal fuels the fire. When people have been so deliberately cruel to you and are so defiant when faced with the truth where can you go?

How can such defiance be coped with, processed and gotten out of your mind. It is in reality and in all truth extremely difficult.

It’s almost impossible to forgive cruel people who lie, pretend all is normal and do all they can legally to silence you and keep their evil deeds secret. –Princess Fi, BETRAYAL, DEFIANCE, LIES, DENIAL, INJUSTICE, FORGIVENESS ISSUES

Why is it that so many Christians don’t get that you can be a Christian and be in such a mess. Why is that?

Instead of coming alongside me, giving me space to tell my story and helping, it was oh just forgive, forget, move on, it happened so long ago, stop harping on about it, stop dragging it up from the past. WHY IS THAT?

How can I ever forget 20 years of abuse and torture? It may have happened a long time ago, but I live with it every minute I’m awake and then in my nightmares when I do sleep. For me it’s not in the past but very much in the present.

How can I forgive when my abusers deny anything ever happened? How can I forgive when my abusers say anything bad that ‘might’ have happened was because I such a bad person, they did nothing wrong?

Why are churches and so many Christians so closed minded about the realities of living with past sexual abuse? Why are churches and so many Christians so closed minded about the realities of the deep damage of childhood abuse and the complexities of the healing processes?

Why do so many churches have systems in place to prevent abuse happening, but provide little or no support to REALLY help victims heal? Why is it that so many Christians tell you that as you are a Christian, you are a new person so your past is gone, so all the stuff from your past abuse should be gone too?

Why is it that so many Christians tell you that you are doing something wrong if you aren’t healing from the damage of the abuse or if you don’t have joy etc?

Why do so many Christians tell you that if you read your bible enough and pray enough you should be fine? Thereby implying that you cannot be reading your bible or praying enough because you are a screwed up mess!

Why is it that so many Christians think you don’t need counseling or anything; you just need to get over it, forgive your abusers and forget it? WHY IS THAT?” –Princess Fi, Spiritual + Religious Abuse

Also see: What About Forgiveness?
Forgiveness: Some of My Conclusions
Blogs That Helped Me As I’ve Grappled With Forgiveness
A Thought On Forgiveness

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