What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.
~Richard Bach

Musings on a journey of recovery from NPD Abuse…


In September of 2010, and maybe even a bit before that, I had no idea who I was. I owe my recovery, serenity and sanity to many in the NPD/Domestic Violence awareness movement who have selflessly given of themselves, their time, shared their experiences as well as their expertise and unwavering support in order to help those like me, new to the realization that what we were dealing with was an NPD relationship own that we were not “Crazy.”

I thank each and every one of the pioneers in this crusade for helping me to understand, learn how to articulate, refuse to accept blame and recover. Betty Laluna is an alias.  It is my belief that victims should not have to stand naked in judgement and need a safe place to express themselves in anonymity.  We allow substance abusers to do this without question. There is no reason why anyone should be forced to disclose their identity in such a public forum, safety is a primary reason but so is the right to privacy and to share without fear of professional or personal repercussions.   The EXPERIENCE is valid.  Compromising one’s identity is not required.  I am not a licensed mental health professional, the opinions shared on this blog are my own based on my personal experiences, reading and research in an attempt to arrive at some explanation as the psychological effects immediately following the devalue and discard were overwhelming and I had no point of reference as to why my reactions and emotions were so extreme.  At the time, the mental health professionals I attempted to establish a relationship with seemed just as clueless and instinctively I realized I was barking up the wrong tree(s).  There was something with my own intuition even in the midst of great confusion, distress and devastation.

In case you’ve never heard of  the term Narcissistic Personality Disorder – Narcissistic Personality disorder is classified as a Cluster B Disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders also known as the DSM. The DSM is the manual used by the American Psychiatric Association, worldwide there are other sources that are used to rate or measure various mental illnesses. For the purposes of brevity, I won’t go into each and every one of them; however, they all more or less agree on the characteristics of this devastating personality disorder.

Many are not aware of this personality disorder. Nonetheless, I can testify it is devastating, not so much for the individual “suffering” with the disorder, but for those who interact with the individual with NPD – and please note, it appears these individuals are not ‘suffering’ as they do not connect emotionally and even if we wish to embark on a philosophical debate of suffering I’d place my wager that the victims who have been abused are the ones who really suffer if we’re going to engage in applying ‘suffering’ labels. Leave the philosophy and analysis for later, get off the floor first.   What is so difficult about Narcissistic Personality Disorder and by default the abuse when one is involved with such a person is that the abuse is stealth and you will have to use every ounce of energy you have left (now that you are depleted) to recover. When we first encounter a narcissist, usually in a ‘romantic partnership” the narcissist presents as charming, understanding, and supportive but this is not at all what he or she is.

There are many theories as to what causes Narcissistic Personality Disorder; however, the cause is not what is important from the perspective of a victim trying to heal. What is important is understanding and owning that this individual is dangerous to your mental health, in some cases physical health and most certainly harmful to your emotional well being. In the severest of cases, this form of abuse can result in fatal consequences. Sometimes due to the abuser’s lack of remorse and uncontrollable rage – homicide occurs, or the victim not fully understanding the dynamics falls so deep into the rabbit hole, they end up viewing suicide as the only option.

According to actor Patrick Stewart who is an ambassador for Amnesty International and a platform speaker for Domestic Violence – in the UK alone, ten victims will commit suicide as a result of domestic violence PER WEEK. That statistic is limited to the UK, and personally I suspect the number is much higher for those who have been victimized by a Narcissist or Psychopath if only because of the stealth nature of the abuse, and the emotional distress given that it is covert. Sandra Brown, author of “Women Who Love Psychopaths” has offered the statistic that there are an estimated 6 million psychopaths in the United States and they will have a collective reach of 60 million victims. Victims of NPD abuse to date have no verifiable statistics.

With NPD abuse, the predator’s first line of attack was the victim’s psyche. The end result, the victim’s mind has been turned inside out via gas lighting (ambient abuse) and the slow building up in a campaign of crazy making. In my experience, I have not met one victim to date who has not shared in the early stages of awareness and recovery expressing anything other than they felt as if they were losing their mind and had gone completely insane. Early in my recovery and towards the tail end of the experience when the narcissist was going full throttle with his “Devalue and Discard” routine, I had never felt such strong emotions, and such cycling – it really did seem as if suddenly I had become bipolar as the extreme fluctuations were difficult to contend with – sadness – anger – rage – complete and utter despair all at once, and of course, he did everything he could to brainwash me that I was crazy. In hindsight looking at his history, it is blatantly clear he knew this scene and the script well. He was a master manipulator and fraud on top of a number of other choice words. It was difficult in the beginning to articulate exactly what the feelings were moment by moment, much less what my thoughts were they were so scattered and when in the dark unaware of what NPD was, this state of distress was only exacerbated further by the fact I in a sense felt mute simply because I did not possess the understanding of this illness and what was happening. I can only liken it to the frustration a mute must feel when in the depths of deep emotion who is struggling to be heard in a room of people who don’t know sign language. It is frustrating, maddening and frightening and it is further complicated by the inability of anyone else being able to pin point, identify, suggest or advise what might be a possible cause for having suddenly lost touch with sanity.

It is impossible to “Get it out” when you don’t know the words, or have an understanding – and that is why I am committed to helping those new to this – I’ve walked that walk – I know what it’s like to be in the depths of that deep dark rabbit hole, a thread shy of insanity. I personally considered having myself committed to an institution, the wound and the temporary insanity was that severe; however, something inside was nagging at me that there had to be an answer – that I wasn’t crazy and that committing myself would only intensify my distress – so I held on in the midst of the storm and desperately searched high and low for answers and eventually I found them.

As mentioned, Narcissists are not only psychological abusers but can engage in physical violence as well. In my interacting first as victim, then a moderator for a particular support forum that I believe over time grew due to my working on the sidelines promoting it, along with the efforts of others, they eventually were able to secure bragging rights to ultimately reaching 4 million hits a month. I mention this not to draw attention to myself, but more to highlight the sheer number of individuals who are either affected or suspect they are in a damaging relationship. Pathology as a whole is on the rise and there are many reasons for this. During my tenure as moderator, many victims shared that eventually the mental abuse escalated to physical violence. It can be concluded that in a majority of cases, the narcissist’s campaign was first initiated with an attack on your psyche. This IS emotional rape.

A Narcissist engages in various abuse tactics: Gas lighting, Manipulation, Brainwashing, Intermittent Reinforcement, Passive Aggression, amongst many other stealth tactics to break you down. It is important to understand, the Narcissist suffers from extreme low self esteem. While on the surface Narcissists seem to exhibit very “grandiose” ideas of him or herself, the at the core of every narcissist is a fragile ego which needs constant stroking. This is called Narcissistic Supply. In order for a Narcissists to feel whole, they “feed off of others” in order to feed themselves.

Narcissists are predators, hunters – they target individuals in order to get what they want…status, money, image, emotional comfort, sex – whatever it is the narcissist wants or needs, he or she will target an individual to get their needs met. Narcissists are chameleons; they will become whatever they need to become in order to hook you. Narcissists study their victims very carefully before they go in for the kill. During courtship, they are listening very carefully to cues; they are sizing up where your weaknesses are so they know exactly what they need to become in order to convince you that they are the “answer to your prayers”

The problem is, in a sense, Narcissists are addicts – some are addicts in the literal sense, but even if substance abuse is not part of the equation, narcissists have a compulsive need to constantly have a source of supply. Narcissists cannot love, nor do they attach to anyone and so supply is a very important resource to them essentially in order to “survive” without supply they suffer from very deep dark voids and so, the narcissist is always on the hunt for new supply. They recycle supply, and accrue new supply in order to ensure that they avoid falling into the pit – the “Black Hole.”

For victims, this is a very hard concept to grasp…and facing the reality of what a Narcissist truly is – coming face to face with the fact that you’ve shared your heart, your soul, your vulnerabilities, planned your life around someone who never attached or loved you is devastating – coming face to face with the fact that you’ve been caught up in an illusion is shocking and depending upon how deeply you’ve connected to the narcissist – when you come face to face with this realization – that you’ve essentially been psychologically raped – many come to realize they’ve got a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

There is no closure with a narcissist…this was a relationship based upon control – but you never knew it – they played a role so well, you are left in shock. There are many articles and resources on the internet and there are psychiatric journals, there are a plethora of resources out there which attempt to explain what this is; however, many report, and I myself have experienced firsthand that there are very few legitimate resources for help for victims that have suffered from this form of abuse. The therapists don’t get it and there are so many different theories, it is hard to reach a conclusive answer as to the cause – what we do know is how it’s affected us as victims, and when we first come out of this, we are in very bad emotional shape. We are in various degrees of trauma. If childhood abuse is part of the package, then it might be a case of (C)PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

I’ve noted that because there are a lot of misconceptions, lack of awareness, and even in some cases conflicting information, friends and family don’t quite “get it” which serves to lead us as victims to feel isolated. Essentially, the therapists throw their hands up with narcissists – the general consensus is they are incurable – and so the mental health establishment does not put forth a lot of effort in treating them. This is a disservice to us as victims, as without proper study and research, how best can they serve us as victims? Adding further insult to injury, it seems more and more with Big Pharma controlling the industry, the solution seems to place less emphasis on talk therapy, and more on medicating the patient, which in intense psychological distress isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but medications historically served to temporarily take the edge off while the patient worked the issues out – unfortunately, the latter is no longer as commonplace as we’d like to imagine.

In my experience interacting with perhaps thousands of victims, on a few different online forums, it is commonplace to encounter an individual in the early stages of trying to process who will post a very common statement: “The narc I’m with is more a sociopath rather than a psychopath,” or they wonder what the difference is between a narcissist and a psychopath and this confusion again I believe leads to a lack of concrete evidence and study.

From as best as I can research here is what I have gathered. Please keep in mind, the DSM is revised every few years, so the terms and criteria change:

A Sociopath is the OLD term used to describe what we now call a PSYCHOPATH.

A Psychopath lacks empathy. Not all psychopath’s kill but it is their lack of empathy and ability to attach and/or love that makes them so dangerous.

Not all Narcissists are psychopaths, but all psychopath’s most dangerous trait is the lack of empathy and ability to attach and/or love…essentially, narcissism is the psychopath’s most dangerous trait. All psychopaths display narcissistic traits…

Recently, there was buzz about the American Psychiatric Association, also known as the APA considering removal of Narcissistic Personality disorder from the DSM – this does not mean that Narcissistic Personality Disorder would have ceased to exist – what it meant at the time is that they considered modifying where it stood within the framework of diagnosing. As it stands today, January 2012 – NPD will remain; however, they have deviated from their old model of diagnosis which was that an individual must have 5 of 9 traits indicated. The revised model follows a rubric. In reviewing that rubric, I remain unconvinced that there will be any improvements with identification, diagnosis or understanding, and to the contrary it is my personal belief that more will fall through the cracks, the few that actually seek diagnosis and evade the label simply due to the lack of skill and information a majority of therapists seem to have in this area. Many are duped which is why they prefer to stay away from those who are psychopaths/sociopaths/ and NPD…there is a high incidence of ‘compassion’ fatigue to put it nicely – to be blunt…these are blood, life and brain suckers, the therapists definitely get that and so perhaps they reason it is counterproductive for them to waste time on an individual whom no matter what interventions they try will remain as science, medicine and psychology define it are Incurable. Regardless of the APA and/or the mental health industry’s position, it is important to remain informed, as if we are going to heal, we need to know what we’re dealing with.

I was fortunate enough to find recovery and get past the symptoms that emerged in some form of Traumatic Stress Disorder without therapy and/or medication. It was a very rough journey and I am not suggesting this for everyone. I am not a mental health professional; we all need to do what we need to do in order to recover. In my case, traditional therapy failed simply due to the fact that the three therapists I tried were misinformed and uneducated on this type of abuse. Moreover, because of my lack of knowledge, I could not articulate exactly what the problem was…I was able to secure a diagnosis of trauma but there were very few resources out there – many equate PTSD with WAR VETS. I was acting out, I was angry and terribly sad at the same time, this was a wound; I really thought I was going insane, I felt insane and had lost all control. Those who have not suffered this form of abuse don’t understand at all. In my case the narcissist never laid a hand on me…to me he was not an abuser, at least not the picture I had in my mind of what an abuser was – I did not realize all the mixed messages, signals, gas lighting, brainwashing, intermittent reinforcement…I could not articulate WHAT HE DID that was abusive…I couldn’t say he hit me, I couldn’t say he blatantly verbally abused me – he didn’t…it was a slow calculated campaign aimed at destruction, it was mind games, it was pushing buttons, it was what we call word salad, it was insanity disguised as sanity. It was the bottom of the rabbit hole and I spent four years there having no idea of the dance I was engaged in…my demise was slow but little by little I just started sinking and on the surface, everything seemed okay but it wasn’t…it was sick.

Narcissists mirror off of you…and so this relationship in a sense is symbiotic in that their sickness begins to infiltrate you without you knowing it…you begin to walk on eggshells, you are slowly trained not to make waves, you are invalidated, you are told when there is an issue that you are too sensitive, they know how to turn the tables on you they begin to make you feel like you are being unreasonable. They know how to get you to doubt yourself, this has nothing to do with low self esteem. This is brainwashing. Some are masters at NLP which is Neurolinguistic Programming it is a way of brainwashing people. They get you to believe they have your best interests at heart. Most of them are intelligent, charming, and glib and so you begin to believe that you are over reacting – but you’re not…you are reacting to a violation that is taking place but one you can’t pinpoint!

In order to heal you will need to find support by connecting with people who understand and who “get it.” There are many forums dedicated to helping individuals recover from this form of abuse; however, I do caution you to tread carefully and be cautious of whom you choose to follow.

As a result of my journey, and all that I have learned, I remain in shock over the lack of resources for victims who are struggling with this form of abuse, as well as the lack of understanding within the domestic violence and the mental health community. My path required a ton of research and proactive efforts in connecting with others in order to share and obtain validation that I wasn’t crazy…the thousands of stories I personally read demonstrated to me that I could not possibly be crazy…and even more validating, were the chilling similarities in each of our stories.

After a few hiccups, I am pleased to report that the original Narc Raiders page that was created two years ago is back up and running.  You will find the link to that page on the right hand panel of this website.  It serves as a  Face Book point of contact for anyone who may need assistance or information on NPD abuse and recovery.  From time to time I post articles and resources that may be of help to those who don’t know where to turn; however, most of my ‘awareness’ activity is centered more around blogging.  It is my feeling today that the best method of helping is simply getting the information out there rather than soliciting discussion online as I have learned that while the internet is a useful tool for information and communication, it really is no substitute for authentic face to face communication, and so I rather engage in helping someone understand so that they may then have the ability to ‘articulate’ and find the professional help they need in order to overcome the devastation, rather than possibly encourage they place their hope, faith and trust in an online entity who could potentially be a predator as well.

My philosophy is simple: It takes a village, and each one teaches one. I would have to be incredibly narcissistic and ego driven to think that ANYone who is in the middle of this journey will stick to one particular forum. Victims are on a desperate search for answers, validation, support, and healing. I too was a support forum junkie in the early stages. It is what I needed to do, and so I understand that but I simply caution individuals to be very careful with whom you share intimate details.  NO ONE’S SECURITY in cyberspace, is 100 percent guaranteed – evil exists and it has an easier time of it behind a computer I have learned.

The drive to engage in the endeavors I did was born out of a passion to raise awareness of this stealth form of abuse because I experienced firsthand the devastation it causes, and as a result of that experience recognized how little support and understanding exists within society. This continues to be very much a peer support movement and until the Mental Health professionals get on board, we only have the few crusaders who have walked the path to lead us to knowledge and empowerment and each other.

Efforts in awareness remain very much an “underground movement”  and what we do hear in the ‘mainstream media’ is grossly inaccurate.  Whatever you can do to spread awareness is one more step in the right direction in terms of helping the plight of victims everywhere who to this day remain misunderstood, misdiagnosed and misrepresented. It is my hope that once you find healing, you will continue along your journey, and play some part in raising awareness.  If I can help get you off the floor, then I think I’ve done a good job.  If something resonates with you, please feel free to leave a comment, as that also helps others in terms of breaking down the cognitive dissonance.  Others’ comments helps validate that they are not alone, especially for someone new to this awareness who may doubt the reality or has been so brainwashed they are second guessing their own intuition.

Finally, it is my wish that as a result of healing, you will become empowered and find that inner gypsy that leads you to peace and serenity. Every day, I still find myself on some leg of the journey, but I no longer feel pain, and I’m at a place where I am willing, able and most eager to lend a helping hand. Thank you for the opportunity to share with you. I wish you a serene and prosperous journey.

SEE ALSO:  http://n-continuum.blogspot.com/2010/03/choosing-safe-cyber-community.html

All the best,


28 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Hi Betty,

    Thank you for your inspiring post. While I am trying to recover from Narc abuse by my sister which has resulted in me suffering from PTSD, several emotions and traits explained are the same. The confusion, the helplessness, the wondering if it was all my fault.

    Most of the blogs that I have come across regarding Narc abuse revolves around marital relationships. I am wondering if there are any blogs that you have come across that provide help with other Narc abuse – eg. parents, siblings.

    • Hi Firenice,
      Thank you for your kind words. I have noted many of us who have found ourselves in the failed Romance department in this very specific realm also have had experience with Toxic family dynamics. There does seem to be an overabundance of Love Relationship blogs and not many on the family relationship spectrum. I found myself at times dabbling on various forums, I did some research on bipolar, borderlines (especially since in that case the traits overlap with NPD). It might be a little harder to land upon but slowly you will find things here and there. Darlene Ouimet does some good work and I happened upon another Blog “Lights House” that had some good articles there…Eqi.Org on also had a lot of material I found helpful…below are some links for your perusal. I wish you well on your healing journey…http://www.lightshouse.org/#axzz3AXl0PHFd

      Darlene Ouimet: http://emergingfrombroken.com/


      Having provided these resources Firenice, I wish to underscore that healing and your journey is a process that is unique to you and only you. Many in great emotional anguish are vulnerable and very open to ‘suggestion.’ Where the recently wounded roam, so do manipulators. With that in mind, I caution you and it’s a code I live by…always make a firm commitment to take what applies and leave the rest. No one is an authority on anything…as you travel along, you will put the pieces to your unique puzzle together…some things will resonate, some things won’t and that’s okay. Don’t ever be swayed by anyone who tells you you’re doing it wrong.
      Peace, Love and Light…

  2. Its comforting to know I wasn’t insane when I realized I didn’t like the person id become it was the end for me.the most hurtful part was the rejection as a woman I now know I couldn’t fix him no one can fill the void a narc has .I’m grateful for the support I have as I try and salvage my security through the courts and try and make amends with old friends

  3. Betty, watching the videos on “Divorcing a Jerk,” I’m reminded of my own personal ordeal. I could not find any attorney willing to work with me because I was left for dead financially. Her ideas on keeping your own consel, I think are sound.

    The reason your blog is utterly amazing and useful beyond words is that so many of us are caught in a barren landscape of “limbo” – we simply are in shock over the sunami of events revealed. After all, many of us have tried desperately to follow our social, family culture, and religious belief paradigms to “make the marriage/relationship work.”

    The passage wasn’t a fairy tale and it’s not that we longed for an easy ride, is it? We just never expected the total shifting sands of insanity.

    I know in looking back that I began to become a genuine SHREW….and in the same breath, a wussy being. Nothing worked as far as rules of behavioral engagement.

    Your blog site serves as much more than inspiration. Your research overflows with logical explanations that can give each of us survivors a leg up in comprehending the “crazy” that fell over us.

    Part of me so wanted to “get back” at my ex and his insane-asylum clan of takers, but something told me this would be all the more detrimental to my own healing. After almost 5 years, I am “better”….but I don’t think I’ll really ever be the same. Maybe that’s OK, too…you hit the mark when stating that we MUST become more aware and educated on this dimension of life.

    I more than applaud you for your courage at embracing “us” and attacking “it.” And, as one who has followed and been aided immensely by you, I know in my gut that this must take a toll on you, as an individual. For that, my cup more than “runneth over” with gratitude.

  4. I had not before watched the video on collaborative law. Unfortunately, it doesn’t operate like the legal system and all documents must be shared. I have the feeling from the video that there must be huge leeway in definitions on what is permitted…what are “documents”…and what confidentiality still exists between attorney and client. I so understand the feeling of fatige that she finds in herself. In a not-haha-funny way, I find that fatige now, too, 5 years out of the ordeal. Because…”justice” may not come. And that is the very worst lesson in all of this. So, closure will not be in any way that many of us have expected. Very poignant video….thank you…

  5. Betty, you have been there for so many of us. I can hardly believe the number of years. “In the Beginning,” this ordeal seemed “rare” – BUT, LOOK! It’s 2014 and the out-of-sync concoctions of the Narcissist seem to be never ending. Stay strong! Your wisdom and huge catelogue of experiences of your own and sharing those of others have made an unbelievable impact! I am not amazed by your abilities and writing aptitude – BUT I am astounded that “the beast” seems to be increasing in scope. God Bless, lady!

    • Thank you Becky. Indeed…I too remember when it seemed so ‘rare’…and yet it seems to rear it’s ugly head all around us. I think education and awareness are important. We all have narcissistic traits…but I think with awareness perhaps even those not full blown might have the insight to check themselves in terms of how even without intending to do so, they too might be engaging in activity which falls under ‘abuse.’ With the rise in bullying and children committing suicide, it is imperative that well rounded education campaigns are developed. What we have now simply is not doing the job. Thanks so much for stopping by Becky. As always, a pleasure.

    • Thank you so much for the honor StrongerSoulSurvivor. I am taking a break, catching up on some much needed rest but will for certain by this Sunday fulfill any/all requirements. Again, thank you so very much for your consideration and recognition.

  6. Hi there and thanks. I’d already figured out for myself the inherent dangers of being the ‘piggy in the middle’ but now that I’ve read up on Karpman Drama I’ve even better informed. It’s a crazy situation but she has not initiated confrontation by emailing me her issues of abuse and copying him on the same email. I’ve done a lengthy ‘Oh My God..” to her and a single sentence “Is this true …?” to him. Now I’m totally in her corner and helping her build a support group with lawyer and psychotherapist. thanks Bettylaluna

    • I wish her well, just be careful…we’re assuming he’s a narc; however, all the traits overlap, he could be anything and anyone interfering can also be subject to his wrath. I understand the need to help someone in a jam but they have to be of sound mind not only for their own personal safety but the safety of others involved. You’re both in my prayers…

  7. Thanks so much Bettylaluma. Now that I’m happily ensconced on your blog, I’m passing on to my very best friend who is in the first and most horrible stage of discovering the truth about her philandering husband. She needs major support right now as she has to ‘play the game’ while she gains time to address the practicalities.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that Jan, I wish her well…I will pray for her clarity, wisdom, strength and protection…the early stage is so very hard…she’s lucky to have a good friend like you for support…if I can help in anyway, please keep me posted. All the best to both of you…

  8. Last night I printed out 52 pages under the heading ‘Narcissists, Marrige, The Other Woman and Misconceptions’ and read right through to the end. You have all knocked my socks off. Congratulations to all those women who have achieved their breakthrough: courage and endurance to those who are still stuck. I come from a background of being a narcissistic victim – from early childhood right through some really ugly relationships, one short marriage and a long bitter business partnership – to emerge as a sane, happy and creative human being. It took me six decades or more. wish for all of you it could happen overnight. It won’t and it shouldn’t because that period of endurance is where you identify your strengths and build on them. Please may I join this blog? Jenifer-Jane

    • Jennifer-Jane,

      Welcome. Thank you so much for such a testimony of not only strength but also your message of encouragement for others, especially…

      “Wish for all of you it could happen overnight. It won’t and it shouldn’t because that period of endurance is where you identify your strengths and build on them.”

      I am so happy to learn that despite your challenges dating back to childhood you have been able to still emerge sane, happy and creative. I have tried to encourage so many to dive into the creative it has been so therapeutic for me…I encourage this even IF one doesn’t think they’re creative. For me, it’s more of a soul thing…I’d be the first to admit I suck at it but it’s not so much creating for anything other than helping to discover what’s inside. Hard to explain, but I so hear what you are sharing on many different levels.

      Jennifer-Jane, thank you so much for your kind words and your encouraging words and your validation. There are many out there who maintain blogs in an effort to help others, but I am of the opinion the real help comes when others who have gone through it, survived it share they’ve made it through and are in a good place – because it’s hard sometimes in the midst to believe that…until you also hear the voices of those who have survived. You contribution is always welcome, no need to ask permission to join the blog…you’re here!…
      So nice to meet you. Peace, love and continued blessings…

      • URGENT HELP NEEDED. Betty, a huge problem has arisen and I need advise. My friend, married to her the philandering narcissistic husband for 23 years, has just put on an Oscar-winning performance while he returned ‘home’ to her and the children for about 10 days.
        She has irrefutable proof that he is ‘married’ to another woman
        who is due to have her second child by this man any day now.
        My friend confronted him verbally about this but of course he denied it saying this woman was a trouble maker and the wife of a friend of his.
        My friend also found condoms in his suitcase and pornography on the IPad belonging to her 10-year-old. He made various excuses.
        The emotional constraints she made to keep her children unaware of his philandering and other ‘marriage’ has cost her so dearly that her hurt, anger and desperate unhappiness is causing her to lose sight of our planned strategy in dealing with him: that of gaining time until she herself has achieved specific objectives.
        It ‘seems’ like he is willing to act nice to me – obviously I’m useful in some way to him and continue to ‘applaud’ his grandiose schemes – while being extraordinarily emotionally abusive to her. In response to my recent emails to him, he suggested setting up a string email between him, my friend and me. At first I was reluctant, then thought possibly it was a good idea because, between us we could confuse him and keep him off balance.
        Now, her anger is such that she wants full-on confrontation with him. But, instead of responding to the innocuous ‘string’ I started, she wants me to confront him by forwarding to him her email to me in which she lays out her hurt and accusations. Not all of them, but some of them. Enough to initiate full-on confrontation.
        I am torn between wanting to help alleviate my friend’s anger by doing immediately what she asks, but my common sense tells me it’s the wrong method of attack – for many reasons..
        I advise patience and no confrontation until the time is right. My friend says she cannot stand it any longer – not one month, not six months, not one year.
        I need some guidance so I can make better decisions to help my friend.
        She lives in Europe. I live in Africa. He is a ‘travelling’ businessman whose ‘home’ visitations have been more telling in their absence.
        Over the last week or so he has ‘played nice’ promising great holidays, purchase of a new house. He’s just provided a brand new $115,000 car. And when I told him to be kind and respectful to her he responded by telling me about the material things he provided for her on this trip.
        He knows I am fully aware of their marital unhappinesst but has no knowledge of the details I know. In one phone conversation he told me to tell her that unless she did this, that and the other (serious stuff to cut her off from the world) he would divorce her and take full custody of the children.
        How am I going to handle this.
        Please help.

      • Victims have to do the work themselves, there really isn’t anything anyone outside can do. She has to decide she’s had enough, she has to confront him or not…it’s her work to do. This is a triangulation scenario with a touch of Karpman Drama…step out of the ring, let her know you are there for her, but she and only she can handle her business…it’s the first step. Probably not what you wanted to hear, but it’s what comes to mind…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karpman_drama_triangle

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