Articles from July 2013

More information on hypnotism used by narcissists

Last night I clicked on one of the search terms used to find my blog, “what to do when ex narcissist smears you; speak up?”  (My blog post “On smear campaigns…” had come up #7.)

One of the other links which came up was Lisa E. Scott’s “Narcspeak.”  From her post:

Remember, Narcissists are not normal. They don’t think like we do. They don’t speak normally either.

Most of what they say is meant to confuse us, throw us off and manipulate us. They use backward-talk, projection, martyrdom and almost ALWAYS provoke us to respond in a manner they can then use against us. They are brilliant manipulators.

NarcSpeak is a huge red flag. If it happens more than once – you need to get out of the relationship – before you end up too brainwashed or too abused to think straight or function.

They often use NLP = NeuroLinguistic Programming – used in sales, marketing, politics and… seduction/ mind control.

Neuro-linguistic Programming Techniques

Entire websites are dedicated to teaching people how to manipulate and control others:


Scary, huh? It is critical you are aware of this tactic so you can recognize when it is occurring.

Then she gives a long list of various things a narc can say to you, and what they really mean, as a “narc decoder” that also demonstrates some of this hypnotic “programming.”  I recommend checking it out; I’ve heard some of those things from narcissists, myself.

But the part about hypnotism and mind control especially interested me, because my ex-narc-best friend Richard used this crap on me.  I still have a printout of an IRC conversation in which he explained it to me, so I know I’m not making it up.

(You have to check that every once in a while with narcs, because they gaslight you and try to make you think you’re imagining things.  But I haven’t had any more e-mails like that from them, not since I reported that e-mail to the police.  It’s on record, though I didn’t have the police take action.)

He told me he used it, when single, to get girls to dance with him, that he learned it from a guy who was a professional hypnotist.  Richard also told me he used to be quite the womanizer, a dog with women, before he got married.

He told me he used it on me because I would occasionally put up blocks while we were talking, so he would break through them using hypnotism, and I would say whatever I didn’t want to tell him.

As you can see when you follow the links up above from Scott’s article, this kind of hypnotism uses eye tricks and words planted into conversation, so you don’t know it’s happening.

It’s the sort of thing used all the time by high pressure salesmen and marketing campaigns.  The kind of hypnotism described to me by Richard, is in this same line.  And I had no idea he’d been doing it.

So this quote from Scott’s article especially interested me:

Narcspeak: “I can change the tone of my voice and convince anyone of anything.”
Decoded: Truth! He’s admitting he hypnotizes, mind controls, uses NLP and does whatever he wants with people’s hearts and minds. And he’s proud of it (can we say SOCIOPATH?)


Struggling to Trust Again After Being Discarded by Loved Ones

Going through my college memoirs for publication on this blog, and adding all sorts of things which I kept private before, has brought something very forceful to mind: the experience of being repeatedly thrown away with disgust by people whom I opened up to and loved in special ways:

1. Shawn: I loved him, opened up to him my deep dark secrets, wrote him long letters over the summertime hoping that revealing my innermost thoughts would inspire him to love me back.

But he kept using my body in various ways, constantly pushing me to do more with him, taking all he could get, then verbally and emotionally abusing me afterwards.

Then he finally tossed me away in disgust and refused to have anything more to do with me for some time, because our religious beliefs told us we were sinners for having sexual relations of any kind outside of marriage.

2. Phil: He got me to forget about Shawn and Peter.  He was the love of my life.  I told him my secrets; we secretly formed a spiritual marriage; we passionately desired each other.

Then he, too, tossed me away because I refused to let him break my spirit and make me an obedient wife who did everything he wanted no matter how painful, degrading or disgusting, and refused to let him verbally and emotionally abuse me without my fighting back.

3. Richard: Because we were both already married, this was friendship and platonic love, no sexual elements at all.  But it was a deep, emotional and intellectual connection: my spiritual mentor, my best platonic friend, a roommate for a time, so I told him very personal things, all my secrets.  Those secrets included details about my exes and religious struggles.  I trusted him and called him my brother.

Then his own dark secrets began coming to light: physical violence, manipulation, child abuse, vindictiveness.

After seeing with horror just how violent he could become with his own best friends over misunderstandings, because his wife forced him to do her bidding and abuse his own best friends (my husband, me, and at least one other friend), my husband and I broke off the friendship–only to receive no attempts at all from Richard to reconcile.

No apologies, just the expectation that all apologies and changed behavior would come from me and me alone.  And, a couple of years later, the beginning of a year-long campaign of intimidation and stalking which continues to this day.

They just don’t want to face the fact that we broke off the friendship not because of me doing anything “wrong,” but because my husband and I both see them as abusive, histrionic, deceptive and manipulative.

Once I got out of the FOG during the process of writing about this, it was much easier to trace the lies and manipulations and put them all together, to recognize how they tried to gaslight me from the very beginning and still tried as recently as last year.

For them to admit that their own actions led to the breakup, would shatter their delusions and make them admit they behaved badly and wrongly.

I feel once again discarded with disgust by someone to whom I had opened up and shared my life story and secrets, to whom I told all the musings which my introverted mind usually keeps locked up for its own use.

I am quiet, shy, introverted, and have NVLD/Asperger tendencies.  Making friends has never been easy, finding dates was never easy, and for many years I’ve lived far away from family and the people I grew up with.

So while I have made many good friends over the years, some of whom I still keep up with, I have been through many periods of loneliness.

Outgoing people tell shy people to just “be more social” and “talk to people” as if it were something everyone can just do and if you’re not doing it you’re just being stubborn.  That isn’t the case at all.

Introverted brains work differently in social situations than extroverted brains do, and if shy people could just flick a switch and stop being shy, then they would never be shy in the first place.

When I open up to someone, and especially if I love him/her in some way, it’s because that person makes me feel safe emotionally.  My quietness ends as I begin pouring out my innermost thoughts in long letters/e-mails to that person, whether it’s a lover or a friend, male or female.  In person, the two of us can talk for hours.

When that person turns around and discards me with disgust, I feel that something about me is deeply unlovable, that the innermost thoughts people say they want to hear, must be bad somehow.  Then the next time, it’s even harder to open myself up to someone else, for fear that it will happen again.  I grow even quieter, even more reserved.

Extroverts and outgoing people should take note that these things do happen, that maybe that shy/quiet person is still like that because opening up to others keeps leading to pain and heartache.

This is why it’s been even harder after Richard’s discard of me, to move on to a new best friend.  The more pain you get from opening up to people, the harder it is to open up to someone new.  But I have opened up to three new people in the last year and a half, who have not discarded me.  I think I can trust them.

I need to focus on the ones who have not discarded me: My husband knows me intimately in every way, yet has not discarded me after 18 years.

My best friends from college are still there for me.  Mike still loves to hear from me.  Sharon still loves to visit me.  Catherine made it very clear on July 4 that she still loves me.

Old friends are still very kind on Facebook even though we have lived in separate states for many years.  Friends nearby with whom I lost touch, are there for me again.

I need to realize that the ones who discarded me, are abusive and probably narcissists as well.  That it is not a reflection on me, and does not make me unlovable in the least.  I just need to be more careful whom I care about.

You will find that you have changed during the course of the relationship with a narcissist. You will walk away completely far removed from the beautiful woman you were when you entered it.

You may have gone from soft, sweet and feminine to hardened and bitter. From trusting, open and receptive to suspicious and untrusting. From self-assured and confident to being full of self-doubt and insecurities.

It will take some hard work on your part to let this damaged part of you go and find your old self again.


For most of us breaking up with a narcissist can leave us feeling confused, devastated, and untrusting of all men in the future.

Usually, when a relationship ends both parties grieve some, both parties have regrets and both parties have done things that they feel remorseful for.

But not a narcissist! He walks away from you with a cold, callous disregard. He feels nothing.

……A narcissist can turn from loving you to discarding you almost abruptly as it took for him to ‘idolize’ you after his first meeting you. Uh, what was that? About one date would you say?…….

Truth is, you didn’t exist to the narcissist. He is so totally and completely self-centered to the point of his being the only person in his life – ever.

You simply were a temporary ego-boost. A narcissist supplier (an enforcer and validation of his self-love). His mirror.

You were taken in by his phony charm simply because you trusted men. And now you are left with doubts, insecurities, questions, and extreme hurt that one you cared for could so easily ‘dismiss you’ and then walk away completely unmoved and untouched by the experience.

You want him to hurt, too. To show sorrow. To feel remorse.

So that you can feel important again. Like you mattered.

But you didn’t. And it has nothing to do with you. He simply is unable to care for anyone other than himself, no matter whom they are.

And deep inside you know that you have just wasted years of your life on someone who is an empty fraud. It’s like you imagined everything; nothing was real.

He was a masterful actor when he was getting his ego fed; but now that he is not getting his narcissistic supply from you anymore he simply – and completely – has totally erased you from his life.

It is important to remember that narcissists are ‘plotters’ and he has been plotting the destruction of the relationship since the very first moment his charming, but fake persona met you.

Expect your world to fall apart whereas his world will remain unscathed – as will his emotions. OOPS, pardon me, I made a mistake! Make that “his ‘lack of’ emotions”.

Narcissistic men haven’t any empathy for others, and will never take any direct responsibility for any pain they may have caused. They will never acknowledge their wrongdoings, or apologize to you, because they truly believe themselves to be perfect.

They project all their faults and flaws onto you, accusing you of the very things that they, themselves, are guilty of.

In fact, throughout your entire relationship, you probably were lead to believe that you were the problem when in actuality it was their narcissism that was at fault. You have subconsciously learned to take his attacks personally, because he is so very good at manipulating the people around him….

Yet, the narcissistic ex continually acts in abusive, bewildering and confusing ways. He is not above committing destructive acts. When the breakup becomes a reality, it is likely that his ‘false persona’ will completely disappear all together and you will most likely experience the most hurtful of behavior from him.

He is completely lacking in empathy, and – since he is not receiving any admiration from you anymore – he will dismiss you and discard you as worthless to him, consequently dropping any fake front that he use to put up in order to keep you in the relationship. –SexandMiami’s How falling in love with a narcissist has changed me forever

The above quoted post applies in various ways to all my ex-relationships with probable narcs, both boyfriends and friends.

The same goes for friends. A Narc likes friends that are shiny and new. That are entertaining or amusing.

That are reliable, even though he won’t be reliable when they call for him, or if he is, it’s because he is trying to keep them staying loyal to him, not because he cares about them, but because of the benefits they bring to his life.

Also, the Narcissist will immediately size up his friends as either capable or incapable of dominating. The Narc is always aware of whether he is in the dominant or submissive role in his relationships and friendships.

This is instinct to the Narcissist, who understands only power, not love or empathy. –Comment in thread How are narcissists with their friends?


Yeah, don’t go around thinking everyone’s a Narcissist just because they’re putting their needs and wants above yours. So much of Narcissism occurs in the Narc’s own mind that it’s hard to pick them out.

Some clues: do they live a transient lifestyle, move from place to place, or from job to job? Do they dump friends a lot?

Do they think very highly of themselves without an objective reason to do so (i.e., do they think they’re smarter or more attractive than they are, or do they pride themselves in whatever ability they really do have to an unhealthy, egotistical extent)?

Do they have trouble getting close to people? Do they seem controlling or manipulative? Do they have trouble with boundaries being set between them and other people? Do they fear intimacy?

Do they start a new relationship by building the other person up and acting like they’re perfect, only to tear them down over time and then dump them? Do they get offended when you criticize them for even minor reasons? –Comment in thread How are narcissists with their friends?

Yep.  These last two quotes apply.


Controversy over Alisa Valdes; Why I Share My Life Publicly; Signs of Abuse; Women Abusing Men

Tonight I stumbled on the controversy over Alisa Valdes’ latest book, a memoir of how a cowboy got her to stop being militantly feminist, and start being more submissive.

The cowboy turned out to be an abuser, which got feminist tongues tsking, while relational conservatives (is that a term?) loved the idea of women being more submissive.

Because she exposed the abuse in a blog post but then removed it immediately, people began to wonder why she was hiding it.

From Valdes’ blog posts, I see that she is neither “patriarchal” nor deceptive; it’s more complicated than that.  I link to her blog below, so you can see for yourself.  As for the controversy, read:

Alisa Valdes: Anti-feminist romance not so romantic

The Feminist and the Abusive Asshole

How One Writer Tried to Defy Her Publisher and Reveal the Abusive Relationship Hidden in Her Romantic Memoir

Her story is on her blog, here and here.  She doesn’t go into the detail that’s in the deleted post, and I could not find the deleted post even in cached form.  But it is clear that “the cowboy” was abusive, even though most of the time he acted normally, and that she is not trying to hide that.

[UPDATE 7/4/15: Back when I wrote this, I was not aware of the Wayback Machine.  The deleted post describing the abuse is right here.]

I love this paragraph by Valdes, because it’s another writer explaining why people like me share our lives on public blogs and in books instead of hiding it in diaries and private e-mails:

I heard from a man last night who told me he was grateful for me sharing my story, because it made him feel a little less alone, and that is rather the point of my writing career in a nutshell.

One of the many things the cowboy never understood about me was my driving compulsion to write about my own life in a public sphere. He was very private — almost too private, in retrospect.

I, meanwhile, am pretty much an open book. He always thought I was open because I needed attention, but that isn’t it at all.

I am open because I feel like there is a real lack of honesty and genuineness in the world, a lot of people pretending things are okay when they’re not, and I think that does harm to everyone else.

I’ve always been about truth and its capacity to liberate us from injustice and pain, and so I speak my truth and hope that it will connect with someone out there who doesn’t have the voice to put to their own. —Letter FROM My Younger Self

This one rings familiar: 5 Signs Your Man Is An Abuser  I saw these signs in my relationship with my ex Phil, and also in the dynamics between Richard and Tracy.

Also, it can extend to friendships, because Richard is full of the charm and charisma Valdes describes, but he is very manipulative, and by his own admission, he is “easily triggered to physical violence.”

The signs listed are in most abusive checklists, but Valdes also eloquently describes them: jealousy and possessiveness, controlling behavior, isolation, holds very rigid gender roles.

This one goes along with my own cause, which I started passionately posting about because, as they both told me, and as I witnessed with Richard, Richard and his friend Chris are both abused by their wives, who also abuse their child(ren):

What I learned from my own abuser is that boys who grow up to hurt women are almost always victims of earlier abuse by their moms. He certainly was.

This doesn’t excuse what he did. I mention it to underscore the need to stop blaming only men for domestic violence. In truth, it’s a whole-family cycle that involves men and women, boys and girls.

Until we stop blaming only men and assuming that it is somehow in their “nature” to harm women, until we stop thinking the solution is to “teach” males that women are human,

until we stop this nonsense about needing to somehow civilize the brutes that are men, until we hold mothers, girlfriends and wives just as accountable for their abusiveness,

the cycle will continue unabated and perhaps even get worse. After all, you cannot convince anyone of your own humanity whilst simultaneously stereotyping, degrading and willingly IGNORING their own. —We Can’t Fix Domestic Violence If We Keep Pretending 40 Percent of the Victims (men) Aren’t There


Sentencing of Madison Mother Who Starved Her Child

The stepmother of a 15-year-old girl who ran away from home starved and vastly underweight was sentenced Friday to five years in prison on reckless endangerment and mental harm convictions.

Melinda Drabek-Chritton, 43, of Madison, had a role in the neglect of a girl who badly needed professional help to cope with lifelong emotional issues.

But although she initially tried, those issues were not addressed between 2008 and Feb. 6, 2012, when the girl ran away from home barefoot and dressed in pajamas and was found by a passer-by who called police.

……Genovese said that Drabek-Chritton and the girl’s father, Chad Chritton, initially did try to help the girl when they brought her to Wisconsin from Texas in 2006, where she had been living with her birth mother and her mother’s husband, who was a sex offender.

The girl initially claimed that the man had sexually abused her, then denied it, but Dane County Human Services investigators found there was ample evidence to show that she had been sexually abused.

After the girl’s last medical appointment in 2008, Genovese said, Chritton and Drabek-Chritton decided that they “didn’t want to be bothered with her problems and gave up.”

When the girl was found she weighed only 68 pounds. She told police that she had been confined to the basement of the family home, starved and was not allowed to use the bathroom upstairs.

She said Drabek-Chritton abused her and encouraged the girl’s younger half-brothers to treat her badly as well.

Chad Chritton, 42, was convicted in March of felony child neglect but a jury deadlocked on other charges. Prosecutors will re-try him in November.

Drabek-Chritton’s son, Joshua Drabek, 19, is scheduled to stand trial in February on sexual assault and child abuse charges. –Ed Treleven, Stepmom of girl in abuse case Sentenced to five years in prison

This statement from the above article is one reason why I fear the system may fail Richard and Tracy‘s kids (another is the slap on the wrist he got for choking his kid, and other cases I’ve read about in our state in the past several years, of kids being killed after CPS did not do its job):

But he said there is lots of blame to go around. Despite near-constant intervention with the family by Dane County Human Services, nobody helped the girl. “This case is a system failure,” Ozanne said.

CPS was called seven times on the Chrittons, but kept closing the cases as “unsubstantiated.”  Even probation agents didn’t catch it.

Reading about this case is also when I first came across this information about food hoarding.

This raised new red flags about Richard and Tracy, because they once told me their kids were hoarding lunchmeat.

Since by now we already knew about the abuse and Richard choking one of the children, my husband and I both wondered if there was more going on than we knew about.

This isn’t about kids sneaking away snack food because their parents don’t want them to have it.  This is squirreling away things like lunchmeat and other foods because you don’t know when your next meal will be:

“She said the girl’s behavior in the hospital was consistent with that of a persistently starved person. The girl ordered as many items from the menu as she could, then hoarded the food and tucked some away for later, Knox testified.” —Judge orders trial in Wisconsin starved-teen case


So why does a child hoard food? Often food hoarding is directly connected to significant neglect that the child has experienced in consistently having their basic needs for life sustaining food denied or inadequately met.

As a result, the child is forced to become prematurely self-reliant in meeting their own basic needs. –Charley Joyce, Child Neglect and Hoarding Food


Cracker crumbs found under a pillow.  Moldy food rotting under the bed. A stash of food hidden in a backpack. A child who sits at a table and eats – and eats – and eats, until you are afraid their stomach can handle no more.  Sound familiar?

…Children communicate needs through behavior. On a deeper level, this issue is not about food but about control. The child is not yet ready to trust the adults in his or her life to provide a secure, safe environment.

That trust cannot be won by threats, punishments or shaming behaviors.  This behavior does not come out of a vacuum. Rather, it is an adaptive response to deprivation. It often stems from years of food insecurity. –Lisa Dickson, The Power of Food: Tips for Handling Hoarding


Incidences of food maintenance syndrome have been linked to acute stress, particularly from personal traumas such as abuse or maltreatment.

In many cases, children with food maintenance syndrome have undergone periods of neglect where they did not have access to adequate amounts of food.

The child then develops a heightened survival instinct related to food; whenever the child has an opportunity to consume food, he or she does so in excess and hoards any remaining food.

In situations where food is not consistently available to meet basic needs, overeating and food hoarding are natural reactions to fight off potential future starvation.

However, these habits can continue even when food has become readily available thus causing food maintenance syndrome. The characteristics of this disorder are a sign that the person afflicted still feels insecure about whether his/her basic needs will be met….

Food maintenance syndrome is rare in the general population but there are certain demographics where it is very common.  In particular, foster children are prone to food maintenance syndrome.

Abused or neglected children who are not in foster care also frequently display symptoms of food maintenance syndrome. —Food Maintenance Syndrome

LYING, STEALING, AND HOARDING FOOD: Survival techniques gone wrong

Read more about this case here.


What an age we live in!

[Update 11/20/14: The newspaper just ran a story on the man in this post.  The link is here.]

A few weeks ago, I discovered that my city has installed a system of paved trails for walkers and bicyclists, going around the outskirts of the city.  One leg of it is just a little ways from my house, a short distance from my gym.

We’re on the edge of town, so just a short ways from my house is prairie and farm fields, making the trail beautiful even right next to the highway.  It’s become my new favorite bicycling route.

Today, I saw a guy–probably around retirement age–with no legs, but with a special bike: It was set up so he could use his hands to turn the wheels.

When I was growing up, losing a limb or two meant crutches and wheelchairs.  Now, it means prosthetic limbs (Star Wars finally turned to science fact) and special bicycles.

Even autistic kids who can’t talk, can finally communicate using computers, as we discover that autism does not mean mental retardation as we had thought.

What a miraculous age!

From the newspaper article:

Often accompanied by his two black Labrador dogs, Floyd Freiberg is among the most frequent users of the Loop despite the fact he’s missing his legs. A rare nerve and muscle disease caused him to lose both legs by age 62.

“The prognosis I was given by my doctors in 1999 was that I’d only live about 10 more years,” Freiberg said, noting the disease is killing his muscles and nerves.

Freiberg, 69, who is retired from a cabinetry and home-building supply business that his father started, is still with us because he’s relentless about exercising daily to keep the muscles that he still has.

….”I go too fast a pace for my dogs to keep up,” he says, noting his trail speed averages 12 miles per hour. “I mainly take them with me on errands around town.”

In addition to helping postpone the advancement of his muscle disease, the exercise routine Freiberg maintains has helped him lose 30 pounds and rid his body of the diabetes that he once had.

….”He’s very determined,” he observed. “He’ll go out kayaking no matter what the weather or the waves. He’s fallen out many times and his family members have rescued him many times.

He’s the kindest, most soft-spoken gentleman I know. He’s become a good friend and an inspiration to me.”

He often passes me on my manual bike!