I was married to the guy for LONG ENOUGH...
I have been divorced from the guy and dealing with shared custody for LONG ENOUGH...
to know that there is Nothing to Say.
Nothing To Say. Why? Because he is a Narcissist/Sociopath/Psychopath.
Engaging with a N/S/P is a recipe for disaster.
I swear, I am traumatized. Just thinking about an interaction with him, gets my cortisol flowing. Even though I have a handle on it, finally. I have my boundaries defined, and protocols for interactions. I still churn in my mind various scenarios. I think of what he'll say, and how I should respond. I turn it over again and again in my mind.
It was a real problem during the marriage, of course. I mean, that goes without saying. It was miserable to 'communicate' with him. He never really wanted any resolution or clear communication. And it wasn't with just me, either. I would watch him do the Word Dance with friends, and especially disgustingly, our own children. The common term in the world of Narcissistic Abuse Recovery is "Word Salad".
After I left him, the interactions got worse. Two-thousand word emails from him were commonplace. UGH. The time wasting. Everyone got sucked into these stupid, pointless and time-wasting Word Dance emails. So boring. And no one could make them stop.
No Response Ever Made Them Stop. No answer. No explanation. No description. No defense. No offense. No threat. Nothing made the stupid game of psycho-tennis end.
Except for the Magic Pill called "Nothing to Say".
Silence Works Wonders.
If you watched me in my daily activities, you would see no evidence of the churning that still goes on in my head.
It must be the trauma. Hopefully, I am at the end of it now. Because now, I no longer write pre-emptive rough draft responses to have at the ready. I no longer spend hours and days crafting the Perfectly Worded Response that might make a difference and Shut Him Up. Nope. But, as I go about my daily routine, my thoughts are often interrupted with "What if he says xyz? What will I do? How will I respond?" And, blessedly, my first (or second, or third) thought is, "I Will Say Nothing". And that momentary anxiety ebbs away. I can take a deep breath. I can resume thoughts that will actually make a difference in my life, rather than spinning on a hamster wheel in my mind about "How To Control The Psychopath In My Life".
When he inevitably writes a bitchy email to me about xyz, that I have done wrong, that I am wrong, that I disappoint, blah blah blah.... There is Nothing To Say. Nothing.
When he criticizes me for xyz, demands an answer, threatens, bitches, and moans..... There is Nothing To Say. Nothing.
He writes for his own amusement. His stress relief. Because he's cranky or angry or bored or DRUNK. I doubt he puts much thought into it at all.
He moves on to his next order of business, whatever that is. And, Lord Have Mercy, I should be doing the same. Focusing on the Disordered Person gets us no where. (Refer back to the Hamster in the Wheel).
And, you know what? With the Sound of Silence coming from my end of the wire, he writes less and less and less and less... which is sweet music to my ears.
I have pretty much stopped defending myself. Over time, this has reduced his attacks.
AKA Rose Lee Mitchell
Here's a tip: We can't control people, and trying to do so will make us sick.
Check out the Al-Anon speakers on youtube. They are amazing.
Image of the Hamster Wheel from Flickr.com
by William "not a metaphor for your life"
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