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narcissistic personality disorder

Prolonged Exposure Therapy: Session 7

the heart-racing stress reaction I had when listening to the recording of session six marked out what is called a "hot spot". as I listened to it every day, I realized that I was really angry that Scott had made me responsible for meeting his every emotional need.

after the event where he threw books at me and at our petite two-year-old daughter, Scott took out the trash. then for weeks he asked me every day what he ought to do. then every day he showed me what he did, whether it was putting dishes away or wiping off the table, apparently to gauge my approval rating of his efforts.

it was so exhausting. why did he need my feedback so badly? when I cleaned the toilet, I didn't ask anyone to look at it and praise me for the job. I'd probably cleaned toilets a thousand times during our marriage, all without a scrap of fanfare. fanfare would have seemed very strange for something as mundane as cleaning a toilet.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy: Session 6

for session six of Prolonged Exposure Therapy, I chose to focus on the final act of domestic violence by Scott (the man I was then married to) against me.

it was both more and less damaging than the previous event I'd focused on, the gas-lighting session by cult leaders that destroyed my ability to trust others and to make decisions on my own. it was more damaging because it brought me closer to accepting death as a solution to my pain than anything I'd previously encountered, even the verbal and physical abuse I suffered at the hands of my mother.

it was less damaging only because my psyche was already so damaged that it couldn't have created in my heart any more of a sense of worthlessness than I already harbored against myself. it is possible that if Scott, along with the cult leaders, had not destroyed my soul so completely in that closed-door session a few years before, I would have found the strength to gather up my children and walk out the door after he attacked me.

family court: a soul-sucking nightmare with a happy ending

today I feel really good. the fact that I feel really good today throws into sharp relief how NOT good I've been feeling for the last five years.

the bad feelings twisted my gut and interrupted my sleep and concentration. that's what happens when you deal with PTSD and you find yourself in a constant battle to stop an abusive ex-spouse with a personality disorder from destroying your family.

and yes, he did try, and I paid dearly for it in lost sleep, nightmares, anxiety, and physical pain. our children paid for it with emotional scars from my narcissistic ex's efforts to win their devotion and admiration, or, as the family evaluator stated it "inappropriate alienating behavior" by teaching our kids that "the use of conflict is a means by which one may achieve one's desires".

the high cost of endlessly riding the legal merry-go-round

the custody issue is settled. my children now have a court-appointed parenting time advocate: their therapist. I feel like that's a huge win in this resource-sucking war.

I have no illusions about how this is going to work out, however. I used to dream that my narcissistic ex would consider the kids feelings. that he would try to get to know them. that he would realize, maybe, that the world doesn't revolve around him.

waiting game

court is just a couple of weeks away, and the intimidation tactics have started. my narcissistic ex and his lawyer have asked for financial documents for the past 3 years for both my spouse and myself.

not cool. not cool at all.

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