It’s all my fault! This is a great example of blame and lack of accountability. Gordon says we split up because I misinterpret the things he does and always see the worst interpretation of what he does. He says he is ‘worried’ and ‘defensive’ because I criticise him.
The e-mail is about a door step incident where I asked him for some information about the children. He replied with his usual equivocations so I asked him for a clear answer.
He smirked and replied, ‘Oh so you want the whole story’ in his sarcastic, obstructive manner.
It wasn’t possible to get a straight or clear answer form him – ever.
His explanation reveals his rationalisations and what I now know to be the narcissistic mindset he operates under.
I have added my explanation of what the coded meaning is in his e-mail in the light of my new knowledge about what I was dealing with.
My explanation of what he really means by his coded language.
Hypersensitive to Critisism, Disagreement, Difference of opinion and Feedback.
“I will try to answer some of your points but we are in danger of a never ending round of you criticising me and me defending myself. “
The first interesting thing to notice is that Gordon is immediately confrontational. He could have said simply, ‘I will try to answer some of your points.’ Instead he has to add a criticism of me which is ironic because that is what he is accusing me of doing. This is his narcissistic hypocrisy.
By me ‘criticising’ him he means me expressing a different opinion or different view on the situation or giving any feedback whatsoever.
One of the characteristics of narcissism is hypersensitivity to any perceived criticism. Gordon took any comments, feedback, difference of opinion or disagreement with him, as criticism. It caused him a narcissistic ‘injury’ and a threat to his control.
Narcissists perceive every difference of opinion, let alone criticism as a challenge to his authority. He therefore, has to react defensively. Gordon actually states that he has to defend himself.
In the 30 years that I knew him I cannot remember one free and open discussion where I could give my views and opinions without receiving an attack from him. His forms of attack were many and all aimed at devaluing me and holding me in contempt.
Gordon’s control methods were passive aggressive in nature. For example, laughing, smirking, sniggering, eye rolling, name calling, countering, walking away, ignoring and accusations such as ‘you’re mad’.
By doing this he minimizes the impact of the disagreement on himself which he saw as a challenge to his power over and grandiosity whilst at the same time gaining emotional fuel from me as his primary supply, if I reacted emotionally.
Sam Vakin explains is very well.
“The narcissist is forever on the lookout. In his mind there is this dialogue or monologue. Was this comment meant to demean me? Was this utterance a deliberate attack on me? Gradually the narcissists mind turns into a chaotic battlefield of paranoia until he loses touch with reality and retreats to his own world of fantasies and unchallenged grandiosity.” Prof Sam Vakin
This feeling of paranoia makes Gordon think that I am out to get him and he has to constantly be on the defence. Sam Vakin points out that the narcissist uses abusive responses to attack his perceived loss of control, as a behaviour modification technique which takes place over time.
This is a kind of grooming by the narcissist which brainwashes the victim into becoming controlled by the abuser.
Dr Ramini Durvasula states,
“If there is even a hint of feedback that they do not like and then there is more feedback, there is bound to be a very strong reaction and a defensive and hostile style to even the simplest feedback or disagreement is a red flag.”
Projection By The Narcissist
This is also an example of projection which is another defence mechanism whereby he projects his behaviour onto me and accuses me of being the person who engages in a ‘never ending round’ of criticism when it is in fact him who does it constantly.
What he is accusing me of is precisely what he is struggling with and subconsciously knows he does. He truly believes that he is the one who is victim of a ‘never ending round of criticism’.
“These individuals must stay in that position where they’re one up and you’re one down. In there minds any time you want to discuss a problem or a difficulty, the only certainty is that somehow or another you’re at fault, your are the one making things miserable and the narcissist with all the disfunction that they have, they are thinking I’m clean.”
“ When can we accept that we split up partly because I feel you mis interpret the things I do and seem to always want to see the worst possible interpretation of what ive done.”
In his explanation of why we split up. By now I had been attempting for years to carefully explain in detail how I feel. I had written to him, given him books, talked to him and been to Relate. Therefore, he could not possibly be in any doubt as to why we split.
This statement is a perfect example of blame shifting narcissistic behaviour. It is also an example of lack of accountability and responsibility which is also narcissistic behaviour aimed at keeping power over and control.
Gordon is saying that it is my fault because I misinterpret him and want to see the worst in what he does. He completely dismisses my feelings towards what he does.
So he wants me to believe that behaviour is just fine and it is all about me misinterpreting what he does and says which is also gaslighting as it is an attempt to make me doubt the way I feel and react to his behaviour.
Being a narcissist Gordon’s defence mechanism against any challenges to his grandiosity and control will never allow him to accept any blame, accountability or responsibility for anything he does or says.
“Example; I said, ‘oh so you want the whole story’ because on the doorstep you usually either do not appear or when you do it is to criticise something ive done or you are impatient and show disinterest or rejection of what I have to say.”
Gordon asked the ‘question’ in his usual supercilious and sarcastic manner with a smirk. He has no awareness that he does this. It is a default behaviour of his.
His failure to communicate in a clear and direct way is once again blamed on me and his hypersensitivity to criticism is shown.
It’s my fault because I criticize him, am impatient with him, show disinterest and reject him. This is a pity play by him. He is saying poor me.
His use of the words impatient, disinterest and rejection are projections as that is the way he treats me.
The words ‘disinterest’ and ‘rejection’ mean to a narcissist, that I have not agreed with him and therefore challenged his control so he has to attack
“Consequently on this occasion I gave a very brief explanation of why britt didn’t go to Cheadle
Consequently, he says. By this he makes the assumption that all the above is, in fact correct and he is justified in his behaviour because I CAUSED it and as a consequence of that he failed to give me information about the children.
Once again it is all blamed on me.
“As you didn’t want Britt to go anyway, I thought that this would please you. In the event I then saw a frustration in your face and in your voice about the reasons as to why Dianne could not have taken Britt.”
He makes an incorrect assumption about me and them says he is trying to please me! This is façade building whereby he attempts to portray himself as a caring person who wants to please me by his false assumption which in reality was to suit him. This is a lie and a manipulation.
He also distorts the truth when he says that my frustration was about the reasons whereas the frustration was about him being off hand and at his lack of giving clear and direct communication about the children
I then realised that on this occasion you wanted more details and I was on the defensive, because I got the impression (Rightly or wrongly) that you disapproved of my decision not to get britt to Cheadle. Hence my slightly defensive, “Oh, so you want the whole story”.
Gordon admits here that he decided not to take my daughter to badminton. That was why he was defensive, because he has to explain why and had to give me more details. That and because his narcissism does not allow him to lose control and also he accepts no accountability or blame for his decision. He was most likely shopping with them.
Defensive because it did not seem that important what the details were of why Dianne couldn’t make it. The fact I explained that she couldn’t make it.
Because it didn’t seem important to him therefore it could not be important to me. This is an arrogant statement and is typical of the way he thinks as a narcissist.
Remember, I feel like I am boring you when I speak and often what I say and the way I say it, reflect
More blaming and pity play from Gordon. I make him feel like he is boring me and that is why he speaks to me the way he does. This is an example of his victim mentality. I am supposed to feel sorry for him because he feels like he is boring. That is his excuse for why he speaks to me the way he does.
It is a massive exaggeration and distortion to say it was repressed anger and hatred i displayed in this Interaction. This Is why I believe you also need to look at yourself as to why you need to react In this way, to rather worried and defensive, “Oh , So you want the whole story.”
I am not sure what he means when he says my opinion is exaggerated and distorted. I don’t know what I exaggerated or distorted.
His response which he is trying to explain and justify is his normal way of interacting with me i.e. with hatred, anger and contempt.
Once again I am to blame and I need to ‘look’ at myself.
More examples of pity play and victim mentality here when he claims he was rather worried and defensive so that was why he reacted the way he did.
Gordon will never have any awareness of his narcissistic behaviours. They were programmed in at birth so he is correct
I know what you will say to this explanation, You will call me a liar, you will say It didn’t happen like that, you will say it proves I need help because my parents have made me so insecure. You will say there’s no hope for us.
I will call him a liar because he is lying. Lying and manipulating. His narcissism was caused by his narcissist father who verbally and emotionally abused his wife, Gordon mother their entire married life, which I witnessed for thirty years.
There was no hope for us. That is quite true.
I accept that I’ve done uncaring things and sometimes reacted in a frustrated way to things that have happened between us. BUT it was never meant to hurt you.
This is false contrition and a false attempt to show awareness of his behaviour.
He tries to make out that he has some awareness of his behaviour but this is really blame shifting because he says that he reacts that way because of things that have happened BETWEEN US and not for is behaviour.
He loves hurting me and he always meant to hurt because that is the manner in which he gains and keeps control.
Here you will see examples of the way he speaks to me an what he thinks about me in his texts and emails.
My journal here describes what it felt like to live with him and the many, many ways he behaved with were clearly aimed at hurting me. Unless that is, he has such a distorted idea of love that it is unrecognizable to a normal human.
I know Its pointless me replying because as we found in Relate sessions I end up defending my actions which get you even more frustrated.
One again we have the recurring theme that he has to defend himself.
In response to other points, Yes I think we need mediation, I am sure the mediator will not allow anyone to be abusive in the sessions. This is their job. Yes I know your boundaries but this does not mean that I will not upset you by some of the things I say in mediation. You will inevitably upset me to
He was asked in a previous email to send proposals for mediation so that he was prepared thereby reducing the hourly cost for both of us. No reply was received from him. This was his best shot at discussing the subject of mediation. In reality he had no intention of going to mediation. This would have challenged his control to such an extent that he could never tolerate it.
Narcissists cannot co-operate or collaborate.
He goes on to say that he knows my boundaries but he will still upset me! But of course, I will inevitably upset him too.
I will inevitably upset him by my very presence and he will make sure he is upset, just like me to keep control.
I am always striving to interact with you in a way that does not anger or frustrate you
Lies! This should read, I am always striving to interact with you in a way that angers and frustrates you.
I have to go out to work now,
Why do I need to know this.
Yes I do want to meet for a coffee and discuss finances. BUT i dont want to meet for more criticism of me.
Once again his preoccupation with criticism is demonstrated. He does not offer any suggestions for the meeting but only wants to highlight that he doesn’t want me to criticise him which is impossible to do because he sees every word from my mouth as a criticism.
This is my reply to Gordon. I did not know he was a narcissist when I wrote it.
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2007 04:12:21 -0500
Subject: no response
You have not replied to the points I raised in my last e-mail.
You have missed the point of what I am trying to achieve here. I am setting out my boundaries. NOT criticising you.
I have no emotional attachment to you and have, as you have also done ‘moved on’. I have told you this several times so you don’t have to keep on telling me to do it as a way of getting out of hearing stuff you don’t like. I have moved on emotionally so you don’t need to keep on telling me to do it. There – have said it twice here!
You seem to confuse me wanting you to now behave in a different way towards me with me not having moved on. This is not the case
PLEASE TRY TO REALLY GRASP WHAT I AM TELLING YOU HERE.
l am divorcing you because I can’t live with you because you used me to dump all your frustrations, irritations and repressed anger onto. You hate me. Face it! Until you see it you will not be able to control it and we will never be able to have a sensible adult discussion
There will be no point in mediation as I will not be treated and spoken to abusively. I will not put up with your hostile attitude towards me, which you always have justification for. This can happen in 30 seconds in a door step conversation so imagine one and halt hours together in one room. Shit!
I’m afraid you will have to I hear you say. See what I mean? Of course not!
Please try to understand this I WAS the person in your life who allowed you to do this emotional dumping. And I mean I was.
I have explained in my last e-mail that these feelings have arisen in you because of how you were parented , emotional neglect and the circumstances of your very early childhood, Phyllis death, your parents grief, probable depression etc
l accept that you have no insight or understanding I saw it in Relate for six months and eventually gave up.
Remember, you chose not to have any insight although given every opportunity for you and the children’s sake, I think you made a big mistake.
I KNOW now that I am not , AND NEVER HAVE BEEN responsible for how you choose to behave towards me.
So as I have told you several times before you may know LOL!)
My point is this. Long time getting here ! know but we really must clear thus up it we can,
As we are stuck with each other until the finances are sorted and the kids are older.
( I really can’t wait to get rid of you) you have to at least try to accept some responsibility for us attempting to be good parents to the children and try to identify and control your feelings of anger, frustration, irritation and hate towards me.
You cannot say things such as, ‘oh so you want the whole story then’ when it is to do with the children.
What do you expect me to do when you seem to think you don’t need to tell me things concerning them?
Then say its my fault because I might have criticised you?
Will you listen to yourself!
You behave like a four year old!
Is it responsible of me NOT to ask and to want to know?