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About Me

holdingdollcropped2    I sign my posts “Always, Jan,” because you can count on me to always be me. Those who know me, love me (or so I’d like to think), though they’d be quick to point me out in a police line-up. ”That’s her!” Guilty as charged.

I love the offbeat, the idiosyncratic, and the just plain bizarre, which comes in handy because that pretty much sums up my life so far. I’m married to a filmmaker, who can install drywall while cooking a gourmet meal for eight. My two sons make me proud – I remind myself of this each month when I write the checks for their stints in rehab. Then one day I blinked, and they miraculously grew into young men who write thank you notes without me having to ask. They both have a wicked sense of humor. Imagine that.

We live in an Arts & Crafts bungalow that is home not only to my family, but a menagerie of friends, dogs, and one very opinionated pot-bellied pig (RIP ferrets). And I live in an idyllic town nestled in the urban sprawl that passes for Los Angeles. Mornings I can hear my neighbor’s chickens. Afternoons I can hear the raucous flock of parrots that roosts in a nearby tree. Life is good.

Did I mention I’m a teacher? Third graders are so adorable. They’re concerned not only about how global warming will affect polar bears, but more importantly, how will it affect Santa?

I know a thing or two and like sharing my observations. Humor is my Trojan Horse. It gets me inside the gate, so I can be heard. I subscribe to the credo “The cure for boredom is curiosity – there is no cure for curiosity.” Yes, I may be irreverent – but never mean spirited. And I can be serious – really! I’m creatively contagious, especially when caffeinated. Welcome to my planet!

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1. Catherine Sherman - May 26, 2008

Planetjan is now a link on my blog.

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2. Cathy Sherman - May 26, 2008

I want to be the first to congratulate you on a fabulous blog. I’m really looking forward to your “weekly” posts. I was going to post weekly, too…..This was so much fun to read, and I’m thrilled that I’ll be getting regular hilarious updates on your life, plus photos! I’m going to try to link yours to mine.

Cathy – Thanks for the totally unsolicited comment! Isn’t it great to know that great literature abounds on the internet? Jan

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3. Eunice - May 28, 2008

How very timely…the dog and pony show! …hmm I was in fact wondering what to do as I’m way unprepared for Thursday! Thanks!

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4. Elisse Stuart - May 28, 2008

Dear Alwaysjan:
I found you. I needed a funny today, and as always you came thru…..
ES

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5. Lisa - May 28, 2008

Thanks for a good laugh- as I’m up late prepping for my own dog and pony show! The low bar idea is rather tempting…

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6. Lesley - June 1, 2008

Cool blog Jan.
Loved the dog and pony show!

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7. Kristina - June 1, 2008

I am so glad you posted the science fair project. It has been the topic of many of my conversations and now there is a picture to prove I am not making the “horniness” up.

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8. Christine - June 5, 2008

What can I say, Jan. You’ve always been there for me, for which I’m so grateful. Maybe I finally need to get a computer now.

Christine – If you got your own computer, then you wouldn’t have to use mine and my picture wouldn’t come up on YOUR comment. :) Jan

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9. Wendy - July 3, 2008

I had forgotten the whole story about Mexico. I still have the cabinets and copy machine I bought from you before you left New York!

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10. Doc - July 21, 2008

Hi Jan. Happy to touch down on planetjan everyday.

Cheers!

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11. snowflake - September 4, 2008

HI Jan: Thank you so much for putting Parts 1- 3 on Narcissists. I thought I was going insane because I couldn’t stop thinking about “why” my narcissist stopped speaking to me. Now, I realize I was victimized, but it’s still hard to believe.

I was glad to hear that narcissists do target special people, but also sad to hear, they never give you another thought after they’ve discarded you.

Oh well… I guess that’s just how narcissists operate.

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12. Wendy - November 19, 2008

Hi Jan,
I’ve been out of touch with your blog. Between writing papers for school, freelance work and being sick I’ve really missed Mao and all your great insight on life.

Hope your cold is better by now.

Wendy

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13. ummmmheyyyy - February 16, 2009

Consider yourself Blogrolled.

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14. Sheila Donohue - February 24, 2009

Hi Jan: Nora sent me to your site. I just love it. You’re a really fun writer. Here is the new site we’re doing to fundraise for Organizing for America.

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15. Sheila Donohue - February 25, 2009

Hi Jan: I just added planet jan as a link on our site. All the best.

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16. Virginia Fox - March 3, 2009

I am struggling every day to overcome the effects of emotional rape. My “attacker” was my beloved. I now know who he really is. All the vile things he did to me and said about me are not easily dismissed from my mind and heart. I loved this man more than I had ever loved any human being, including my own child. What I feel for him now is an un-named emotion. I lack the words to even describe what goes all through me when I think about him.

Although I had the final discard and did achieve brilliant retaliation, which caused him absolute humiliation, I received no satisfaction from the perfectly orchestrated revenge.

All I ever wanted was to love him and be loved by him. But that was desiring the impossible. There is no contact with him, not even a “close encounter,” since he lives over a thousand miles from me. The last conversation with him revealed that his life was rapidly disintegrating and he was hopeless. Others have confirmed his pathetic decline.

The savior in me ached to rescue him. But I had to walk away. I have my own life to save. And that is what I try to do each day.

Virginia – Your experience is so telling. There are so many people who’ve been D&D’d by a Narcissist and would like a “redo.” They’re hoping that if the tables are turned, they can do the discarding and walk away with their head held high. Your words serve as a powerful reminder that there is no joy in any of this. May each day that passes bring you strength and ultimately peace. – Jan

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17. rampantred - March 8, 2009

Thanks for the link to your blog Jan. Great stuff! You are quite a prolific writer. I particularly love the the posts about your third graders. Could relate to a lot of it. I also really enjoy your humour! Good to have “a larf”!!!! Cheers! Helen (rampantred)

Hi Helen (or is it Rampant Red?) – Don’t suppose you’re a redhead? Or maybe just seeing red? I have a vested interest in knowing as I’m BOTH. You’re on my radar now, and I’ll be checking in you. You’ve been warned. LOL. Jan

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18. Jerry - March 21, 2009

I appreciate the intense emotional pain you experienced from your pathological relationship with a narcisssistic man. However, it is important to keep in mind that women are not the only victims and that men are frequently and equally victimized by similar interactions with very disturbed women with narcissistic or borderline/narcissistic personality disorders or traits. The myth that men are predominantly abusive or contemptuous in relationships or are not nurturing or are culpable of detached sexual interactions without intimacy is absolute nonsense. There are as many men suffering psychically from the abuse and humiliation sustained from similar pathological relationships with very narcissistic women. The reason this is not publicized is that society still does not accept the concept of a “weak” male who may overtly show evidence of emotional pain and loss. So many men do not wish to appear “weak” or admit being abused by women leading to their licking their psychic wounds in silence.
So in fact we are speaking about an issue that impacts not only women but a common phenomenon that effects the lives of human beings (ie, including men).

Jerry – I couldn’t agree with you more. Numerous men have written heartfelt comments about their frustrating and abusive relationships with narcissistic/borderline partners. Men are often reluctant to share their concerns/experiences precisely because they fear they will look “weak.” I stumbled upon a wonderful blog “A Shrink for Men” just this week that I’ve added to my blogroll. It addresses many of the issues you brought up. There’s a great post “The Emotional Abusive Personality: Is she a Borderline or a Narcissist?
Jan

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19. Jerry - March 21, 2009

What I find sorely omitted from this discussion is the underlying pathology resulting in many individuals remaining involved with narcissistic and abusive partners! In fact we cannot honestly discuss our relationships with abusive partners unless we are receptive to the fact that WE have our share of problems that kept us hooked during these dysfunctional relationships as well as after they ended. In fact many of us are not passive innocents but have narcissistic issues (as well as others) that contributed to our vulnerablity to such destructive relationships. Just my impression.

Jerry – Once again, I couldn’t agree with you more. I was only “friends” with Joe for four months. Just long enough to see his true colors. I’ve read that most people involved in a long-term relationship are likely to have had a narcissistic parent themselves, as no one else would put up with this sort of behavior unless they’d been conditioned as a child. I do know of several women who married, had children, then found themselves “trapped” because they were financially dependent on an abusive partner. Jan

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20. Jerry - March 21, 2009

Jan, the media skews and downplays the pervasiveness of significant numbers of women who engage in psychological and physical abuse of men. This pandering to women with such stereotypes as men are hyper-aggressive and abusive while ALL women are nurturing, caring, empathic and all-knowing, distorts the fact that abusive behavior is not specific to any one gender but a general human condition. The problem with placing the onus onto men, as if they are the primary culprit, is that it perpetuates many womens’ distorted perspective and belief that their life predicament has nothing to do with their negative actions, behaviors and personal issues because the entire problem emanates from men. Although this myth may make them feel better for a brief moment their lives will suffer immeasurably due to their resistance to look inside themselves and take responsibility for their baggage.

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21. Wendy - April 19, 2009

Jerry, While I agree that stereotypes don’t help anyone, I am friends with a man who was a family therapist in the Bronx for more than 40 years. He is also one of the most intelligent, kind and observant people I’ve ever met and from the conversations I’ve had with him, his view is that men are “the root of evil” – his words, not mine. While knowing that many women have problems without a doubt, many of women’s behaviors are in response to the treatment they receive at the hands of a man they love, whether their behavior is positive or negative. While there are women who are abusers, physical and emotional, statistics still put men at the forefront for these types of behaviors.

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22. Karen - May 27, 2009

I’m kind of surprised that there are still third graders that believe in Santa Claus. Even when I was in the third grade I would say that at least half of the kids no longer believed in Santa Claus at that age. And I think that more TV shows these days don’t hesitate to make it clear that SC is made up.

I’m enjoying your blog!

Karen – Thanks! Third grade is the year when most kids do figure it out. But I’ve been teaching a cluster of English Language Learners for the last two years and they tend to believe longer than others. Jan

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23. elissestuart - June 2, 2009

Were you about 3 years old in that photo? You are too cute.

Elisse – I think I’m 2 or so, but don’t know cause my parents never bothered to write anything on the back of the photos. Almost all of my childhood photos feature me with various dogs. There’s a great one where I’m watching as my dog devours my doll. Jan

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elissestuart - June 8, 2009

Well, be sure that you add it to the batch you are supposed to Fed Ex me.
How many months do I have to complete that heritage album?
ES

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24. Connie Bradburn - April 8, 2010

Hi Jan, I’m from Hammond, Indiana, graduating from Gavit in 73. Did we know each other? I enjoyed your blog on Dexter, which I’m following on internet here in France.
Connie B
Hi Connie,
I was in Hammond in 1977. Maybe I passed by you at the Crown Point! Someone recently told me EVERYTHING in Hammond has changed since I was there (as things do). I love the idea of someone watching “Dexter” in France. How would “serial killer” translate into French?
Ciao, Jan

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25. shoutabyss - April 15, 2010

I heard what happened today in the political world. I hope you are okay. You are in my thoughts! :)
Shout – I think you must know something that I don’t. Care to share? Jan
Okay, the 24,000 teachers laid off in California…dodged that bullet, but some of my best friends are on THE LIST. TBC. Jan

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26. bornagainfitness - May 3, 2010

I love your blog! I am in a relationship (married) to a N woman. It’s hell and this place has given me great insight and hope for my future.

I was just telling my son how my favorite thing was to come home from school and check in on my blog. He said, “You haven’t gotten bored yet?” I was just showing him all of the hits from around the world, and how people have accessed my NPD posts even in Arabic. Ding! Your comment came through. Thanks so much for your kind comment. Knowing what you’re up against is the most important thing. There is a hope and a brighter day. Jan

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27. shoutabyss - June 11, 2010

I hope you are doing well! :)

Shout, Thanks for asking. You have impeccable timing as I finished my last class Thursday night. I’m still coming out a a haze, but look forward to getting back to blogging, where I don’t have to use APA format.:) Jan

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28. judy yacko - August 9, 2010

i am always judy i am honored to read always jan you have given me clarity and down to earth insight i was involved with a narc as i like to call them for 3 yrs i have read many books on the subject but until i came across you and your story i could never grasp why i always blamed myself i am just a human being with geniune feelings and emotions i will not lose sight of that for that is my saving grace against the alien narc who is but a wolf in sheeps clothing thank you

Always Judy,
Thanks so much for your kind words. I’ve known people who’ve jumped through hoops to try and please the N, only to have the N raise the hoop and yell, “Higher!” Your emotional pain is proof that you’re “real,” though it can sure hurt like hell. I was thinking of the book “The Velveteen Rabbit” the other day and how only being loved could make the animals in the nursery “real.” But with Ns, no matter what love we give them, they never become “Real.” I wish you only the best. Stop by anytime for a virtual cup of coffee.:) Always, Jan

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29. caliwildviolet - October 7, 2010

Hi Jan,
I was shocked to see that someone I did not know was finally reading my mountain woman’s journal. Thanks for stopping by. I had to password protect some of it, however you can reach me on my other posts…http://caliwildviolet.wordpress.com
and also a kind of wacky email I just started that I screen people on, prior to giving my other email address…
ridbouldercreekofmethfreaks at gmail dot com
I have a blog with similar title on word press…
In case you are wondering, I think by writing the email addy that way, it prevents fishing….or phishing..?
other ways you can find me is to consider, that I genereally go by Cali Wild Violet, my fave flower…and I have a business…
Cali Wild Violet Creations….at that email place mentioned prior…
Take Care,
Jen and Jack the Wonder Mountain Dog…

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30. caliwildviolet - October 7, 2010

oh and by the way….I am always Jeni…:-)

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31. dogkisses - March 17, 2011

Hi Jan,

I left you a “gift” on my blog.

Hope you are having a good happy day!

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32. dogkisses - December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas Jan!

Well, I came over to tell you that I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award, and then saw my earlier comment to you in March. Hmm… Was that the memetastic award? Well, I should tell you this one is better! Perhaps you don’t like blog awards, so if not, then no problem, but I wanted you to know I like your blog, even though I haven’t been able to keep up lately.

Wishing you peace and joy.
Michelle.

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33. nogooddeedgoesunpunished - February 12, 2012

Thank you! You have saved me a lot of time, trouble and heartache.

I have been trying to help a friend who recently displayed a huge lack of judgment and as a result lost his job. I have been speaking with him and speaking with him, trying to get him to understand what happened so he would not continue to make the same mistakes in a future venture. I have not been able to get through to him AT ALL! I have not been able to establish any kind of real rapport with him, no real connection. I have not been able to have any impact of his perspective. I put myself at risk and made sacrifices trying to help him; I helped him with projects, and I never got a thank you. When I pointed this out he said verbatim:”
“I’m sure I said thank you.”
“No, you never said thank you.”
“I find that impossible to believe. When someone gives me a gift, I always say thank you.”
“Well, you never said thank you.”
End of conversation.”

Does that sound familiar?????

After I pointed this out he started saying “thank you” in a very empty way. I sensed no real gratitude.
I thought to myself; what is going on with this guy? Is he a one way street, a bottomless pit, a black hole??

He was a likable guy and had been very helpful to me in the past. He spent time with me patiently explaining the ins and outs of a job that was new to me, and I appreciated that.

He was then promoted and became my supervisor. Once that happened he became very dismissive of any issue I brought to his attention. I would come to him with problems and he would blow me off. He rolled his eyes when I offered ideas and input. I learned not to take problems to him; I stopped giving him my input. I started working independently. I distanced myself from him.

I watched from a distance as he butted heads with the comptroller, the Board of Directors, his assistant, and the Executive Director. He was inflexible and probably dismissive with these people. He told his staff these people were “jerks who just didn’t get it”. He had his staff believing that others were at fault, not him.

He made a grandiose attempt to take the new Executive Director down by handing out a 12 page letter of complaint along with videos of interviews he conducted with disgruntled ex-employees of the new ED. He handed the letters and videos out to all members of the Board of Directors at the Christmas party. He had asked all staff who worked for him to sign the letter of complaint, and many did.

He went down in a blaze of glory and put his staff at risk doing it.

I thought, and rethought about what happened. I went over my conversations with him again and again trying to make sense out of it all. I also knew that he was in his forties and has not been able to maintain long term relationships with a significant other. I knew this was another piece of the puzzle.

I googled: dismissive, Inflexible, controlling, personality, disorder, and eventually came across your blog.

Now it all makes sense. Now I understand what happened. Now I know why it was so difficult to help him. Now I know I am not going to be able to change him, he is not going to learn from this experience. Now I know what I am dealing with, and can spend my time and energy more wisely.

What I had read about NPD on other sites did not quite jive with what I knew about him. He did not seem to display five on the nine behaviors consistent with a diagnosis of NPD

But it all made sense when I read your blog. The stories you told about dealing with Joe helped me understand how the behaviors described in Criteria for Diagnosis of NPD would translate into everyday behavior. In your writing I recognized:

The extreme difficulty of really getting through to him, connecting with him, via conversation.

My perception of him as someone who was not thinking straight and needed my help.

How he was insulted by the help I offered rather than grateful.

How he was not grateful what others did for him. He did not say thank you, and had to be asked to do this.How when he did start saying thank you it felt not only insincere and hollow, but almost hostile like he resented having to say it.

How I was unable to ever get him to feel anything real except anger.

How he steered me away from the heart of the matter in conversation, how he deflected and changed the subject, how he talked around in circles, how he became angry and defensive when I tried to talk about mistakes he made. How conversations with him were indeed “crazy making” experiences.
How he used words to confuse and paralyze. How his cryptic comments kept me wondering, “What did THAT mean?” At one point, before all this happened, he made a big deal out of telling me “don’t state the obvious”, as in he seemed to think that I often stated the obvious and I should stop doing this. I still don’t know what he meant by that. I asked him not to pussy foot around and just be straight forward with me, just say what you want to say, but he was unable to do this.

How he refused to accept that he may have played a part in how things went wrong. How he refused to accept responsibility and blamed others for everything.

How the more I tried to reach him on an emotional level the more he backed away from me. How he was completely confounded by my attempts to empathize and offer emotional support. How he seemed to think acknowledging the need for or appreciating of emotional support meant I saw him as weak and he resented this. When I tried to apologize for perhaps being too hard on him at a bad time – he had just been fired – he was insulted by this and said “I’m a big boy, I can take it”.

How skewed (perhaps illogical) his take on things was, and how his flawed thinking stemmed from a lack of empathy. He made poor decisions because never factored feelings into the equation.

How he was unable to sustain a romantic relationship. ”. How he proposed to a women he had a very rocky relationship with, and the relationship was rocky because she was extremely jealous. How this fiancée left him after a brief engagement because “her therapist said the relationship was not healthy for her “. How he seemed so dispassionate when he told me that she had left him. How after he was fired he looked up an old girlfriend and was trying to reestablish his relationship with her. How their problem in the past had been that the she wanted to pay for everything (she was wealthy) and he resented it, but he was now going to try to accept her paying for everything was her way of loving him.

His inclination to look for answers in self-help books and seminars because he needs to learn and apply some kind of structured solve-it all-method to interpersonal problems as he lacks insight into how to behave and interact with others. He cannot figure out how to solve interpersonal problems on his own and he is invariably frustrated as the solve-it-all approach he got from a book or seminar fails to get him anywhere.

I recognized all this through your writing and finally understood something that had been driving me to distraction for months. I can finally stop thinking around in circles about this and can focus on things I had been neglecting. Thank you for helping me back to sanity. Thank you so very, very much!

Dear Nogooddeedgoesumpunished (love that!),
Thank YOU so very, very much for making my day. Nothing makes me happier than to receive heartfelt comments like yours. And OMG – the similarities are uncanny. Eerie! The “Don’t state the obvious” comment is such a put down intended to shut down meaningful conversation These comments serve to put you on notice that you’re already on the verge of boring them. (For the record, I started writing down all of the odd things that Joe said. Rereading these later was a real eye opener. Wingnut!)

I’m sure your “friend’s” promotion only fueled his feelings of superiority/grandiosity. What an idiot for trying to take down his boss – and at the Christmas party! You will gain greater clarity about his actions as time passes. I think it took me a full two years to let go of any lingering illusions I had about Joe. Now, I just think, “What a loser!” When he moved onto another job, he jettisoned his old life too. Like a snake that slithered out of its skin and went off in search of new prey.

After my own experience, I spent an entire summer in a fog chatting with people around the world on various NPD sites trying to sort out what had happened. Often, I couldn’t relate to their experiences since my relationship with Joe was as a co-worker. I’m so gratified because two of the people I met during that time on-line have become my close friends in real life. And now, we almost never talk about what brought us together in the first place. :-)

I wish you all the best. Know that you deserve it. Those with NPD have a wonderful way of making those around them feel like they came up short, when in fact it is themselves who are lacking that most basic and essential human quality – empathy. Please check back in from time to time. Again, thank you for your harrowing account. I was uncanny in its similarity to my own experience. Always, Jan

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34. nogooddeedgoesunpunished - February 24, 2012

Eventhough I understand all of this intellectually, it still makes me feel so sad.

While working with someone today, he said:
“Nogooddeedgoesunpunished, you are a remarkable woman!”

Before leaving work at the end of the day I thanked him for saying that. I teared up as I told him he had said just the right thing at just the right time because I was still feeling like less than nothing in the eyes of you know who.

Even though I know it is him, not me – my heart still breaks for the loss of something I never really had. Why do I feel so much for someone who feels nothing? That part has to be me, not him. Others would not not be so affected. What is it about me that makes me allow myself to get sucked into something like this.

He was just a coworker! Why is this hitting me so hard?

Nogooddeed…
I got up late (as usual) and should now be getting dressed for school, but here I sit on my computer (as usual), BUT I wanted to reply to your question. Can you write a short comment on an NPD-related post? I’ve got my reasons…:) Jan

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35. kiwigal007 - March 10, 2012

Hi Jan!
Hope all is well with you? Hope to catch up at some point… my wee blog is chugging away but I have also been busy with work at the school and with my studies. Hope to hear from you soon. Damn that time difference!!

Hi back,
Great to hear from you. All is not so well here as my father is in the hospital and each day seems to bring more bad news. My parents live far away, so I’ve been lucky that my brother (who also lives far from them) flew back to help. I’m checking flight schedules now and making sub plans. Life is on hold ATM. :( Jan

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36. kiwigal007 - April 24, 2012

Hi Jan,
I have come on to this part of your blog today! Is it possible you can email me off here please? I would really like to talk to someone who understand Narcissistic personalities a bit more away from a forum and stuff. Ideally it would be great to chat face to face but with the distance of our two countries it makes it a tad bit difficult. I do not know of any others here in Kiwiland that have been victim to this sort of thing. I have been struggling with things for a wee while now and although the blog helps sometimes I feel I am writing to cyber space!
Many thanks
Shell :-)

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37. Sunny - May 23, 2012

I was left by “the love of my life” almost 2 weeks ago…after 5 years. I was looking to see what was wrong with ME when I stumbled upon Narcissism, only it wasn’t me at all. EVERYTHING he displayed in the 5 years was text book!!! I have wondered for 3 years how this man who worshipped my feet changed and became so dismissive of me….just because I caught HIM cheating. Everything makes so munch sense now. The reason I was left was because his “mirror” broke one night and started reflecting his REAL reflection. Obviously, this is an END ALL for a narcissist. I thank God for pulling me from his grasp, and more so for leading me to your insight. You will never truely know how your insight saved my very life!!!

Sunnny,
It’s comments like yours that keep me writing.;) It’s so much more clear now that I’m five years out, but I still remember wondering what I’d done wrong to deserve such dismissive, and at times, degrading treatment. I now have several friends who’ve been married to Ns. It’s a rather mind boggling disorder, but it does explain so much and help you realize that it was never about you or what you did or didn’t do. Even though you now know, it will still take time you time to fully process this. Please feel free to check back in. Always, Jan

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sunny - June 25, 2012

Jan,
I’m shocked that it came so quickly, but today I got a “curtain call”. I can give you all the credit for this, I am not going to perform an encore in his show!!! I found your site when I was, quite literally dieing. I read all of your posts and absorbed them, arming myself with the knowledge you provided. I may only be one person, but you saved me from returning to the bowels of hell; also known as life with a Narcissist. For that, I am eternally greatful!!!
Sunny

Sunny,
Wow! Yes, they will keep returning to see if they still can extract even a drop of NS. They like to think you’re still under their spell. Spell = Control. Each time you take them back, you become even more pathetic in their eyes. You’re also allowing yourself to be abused again which only makes it harder to climb out of the abyss, as your self esteem takes a hit. Each time the D&D comes more quickly. As I recently told another commenter who’s been sucked in time and time again, “The door to the cage opens from the inside.” Congratulations! You’ve stepped out into the daylight of real life. Thank you too for taking the time to provide an update that should serve as a reminder to all that there is life after the N. Always, Jan

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38. Donna - June 27, 2012

Hi Jan, I am so thrilled to meet you here and finding the very, very valuable information about Narcs.

My story is to similar your story about “Joe”.

I reconnected with an old high school friend at my Class’s 40th class reunion committee four years ago. We were never an item in high school but we see each other in school and he would always stare and smile at me. It had been a good 25 years since I last saw him. We hit it off right away and there was a very strong attraction for each other. He begged me to stay in touch with him even though I resisted a relationship with him because of the many “Reg Flags” he revealed to me about himself. He begged me to be his friend and made me his confidante for the first 2 1/2 years. I was really cautious with him because he had never married at the age of 58, which suggested to me that he might have some issues and be selfish. However, he was always a gentlemen and acted like he was fond of me. He would call and talk for hours about everything under the sun. He was a single parent of a teenage son who was starting to have growing pains and was rebelling alot. He sought out my advice often because I had raised my son as a single mother after my divorce.

He bared his soul to me and sought me out during some difficult times and helped me as well when I needed anything fixed around my house. He wouldn’t let me pay him and he often offerred me money. Thank God I never accepted.

He started dating another woman and I didn’t see or hear from him for about five months. I was fine with that. I was glad he had found someone. The next time I saw him he would just stare at me and make remarks, like I was still pretty and sweet on the inside and outside. He gave me big hugs right in front of his new lady and even asked me to call him in front of her, which I felt was totally disrespectful. It was he was trying to make one of us jealous.

Fast forward two years and he start calling again, sending emails and text msgs, which I felt were not appropritate if he was still with other lady, which he said he was but things weren’t working out real well and that she was taking care of four of her grandchildren, bless her heart.

That was last year I guess he used her up and then I received the D&D. I guess he had used my friendship up, I was in shock!!!

So my question is when they finally give you the D&D, will he ever come back my, I hope not but I want to be ready. Thank you so much for your precious time.

Donna,
I recently read that men who haven’t married by 40 are unlikely to ever marry. Joe was 40 and unmarried when I first met him. I’m older. He’s will soon be 46 and never married. So your first instinct that his having never married was a Red Flag was sound. It is quite likely that he’s pursued numerous women, but never found the “perfect” person – or that’s his reasoning/explanation.

Your comment about helping you with things around the house reminded me of something that I hadn’t thought about in ages. As I mentioned, Joe was a chronic flirt. But he’d also volunteer to fix things for any woman “in need.” To endear himself to a woman who he fancied, he’d offer to paint her apartment or help her get her car fixed. “I’m just too nice,” he would say to me.

Just when Joe seemed most taken with me, he showed up at an event with a date. The woman was young – someone he’d met at a salsa club who he talked into coming with him. (Their first and only date.) When he saw me, he handed me his camera and asked me to take their picture together. It was creepy. Joe also loved to hug the prettiest woman in the room or have his picture taken with her. It was like he was pitting women against each other, and he relished doing this.

Will he try to reconnect with you? Because I called Joe on his behavior and ultimately told him I knew what he was, I ceased to exist. Poof! The wound was mortal. As long as the N thinks there’s even the slightest chance of extracting NS from you, there’s a possibility he will seek you out at some point in the future when his supply is running low. This would not be because he misses you or your company. He is in USE mode. Since you seem to have figured out his MO, you will be wise to avoid any of these attempts. BTW, as a teacher, I’m on summer vacation, so my time is less precious than usual. >wink< Jan

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39. Donna - June 28, 2012

Thank you so much Jan for your reply is very helpful. I remember so well him telling me he was searching for a “Perfect Woman”, that we all know doesn’t exits, unless she is a robot :-). LOL.

It is sad to me because he has a very exceptional mind and did show me his very gentleman soft and caring side and then the monster that lives within him came out. He even told me that he is a lecheous old man, and than he hated the other guy in his head.

His Mr. J&H performance was very scary to say the least at a friends party in front of other women and ppl and no one saw it, or admetted to seeing what happened or felt it but Me. All I can say is that my God was watching over me. I cared about KW.

I cared about the Man and his Son, however my Bible versus was to get back MY Balance Bacl and let goooooooooo…

Donna,
Many Ns have exceptional minds. And they can appear to be gentle and loving at times – when it suits them. But their cruelty is released casually, often randomly. It’s like having a dog that wags its tail one minute then bites you without provocation. It’s those memories of “the good times” that draw people back in as they hope they can reconnect with THAT person. But, THAT person is a fictional character. Peace. Jan

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40. Stephanie - September 12, 2012

I happened upon your blog by chance and have now been here reading for hours. I really enjoy your style and subject matter! Looking forward to my next visit.

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41. s - October 13, 2012

Hi Jan,

I have suffered in the hands of a narc 2 years back and the experience has wreaked havoc in my life. Before cutting all contacts with this person, I exposed her true nature to a few people.At that time I had no clue that I was dealing with an NPD. Now, after doing research online and figuring out what happened to me, I am getting very scared that she might have found out that I blew her cover.
Tell me please, are narcs violent.What do they do if their cover is blown? Even though this person hasn’t contacted me over the past 2 years and I have no idea of her whereabouts am still in a lot of fear.

Narcissists are in utter denial about their disorder, so you have nothing to fear from this person unless they’re also out on parole. :) Ns don’t realize that their “cover” IS a cover. For them, it’s just who they are. When I told several common acquaintances that I suspected Joe was a Narcissist, most people didn’t have any inkling about narcissism. They just knew Joe was very odd. But after I told HIM, I got the silent treatment and he withdrew from all activities with people who he thought I might have “told.” It’s much easier for them to pick up and move on to new people aka New Supply who have yet to figure out why they’re the way they are. After two years of no contact, there’s no need to live in fear. Jan

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42. Lynette d'Arty-Cross - November 19, 2012

Thanks so much, Jan! I’ve been reading and reading and I will be back to read some more. The work you have done and help you have provided is enormous!

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43. JAD - July 2, 2013

Hi, Jan,

I stumbled upon your blog recently while doing a teacher-related search, and meandered from my original mission to read several of your witty, insightful, awesome posts about your classroom and life (most recently, Camp Calamity and the knee replacement saga – I’m so sorry about your pain!)

The entry that caught my eye was the one about your District Intern experience. I am a (now) former “L.O.S.T” high school teacher who is leaving the D.I. program, and the district. I’ve been discouraged at how little districts support teachers in the name of high test scores, technology and “success for all”. As much as I love teaching (ELA for over a decade), I was wondering if you might be able to provide some insight on how you transitioned into a new position – and out of the D.I. program. Are there districts left that won’t batter teachers into the ground and bury them?

Thanks for any insight you’d care to pass along. And, thanks for your great blog entries!

Warmly,

Jerre

Jerre,
I didn’t transition, so much as I dropped out of the DI program after nine months. That was in 1997. I was SO done with teaching. But I began subbing in another district and I came to realize that I enjoyed teaching. Ultimately I got my credential through the University of Phoenix. My partner at UOP was working as a sub in LAUSD. We got our credentials just as LAUSD laid off 5000 teachers, so she ultimately went into Special Ed which required her to go back to school for another two years. I got a job in the district where I did some of my student teaching. I’m not naming names but my district is a mess. It’s much smaller, but the larger class sizes and lack of resources are so demoralizing. I wouldn’t recommend that anyone go into teaching these days. Teachers with seven years of service in my district received RIF notices, so I feel for the new teachers. I have a friend who was RIF’d three years in a row and had to clean out her classroom only to be hired back at a different grade level each year three days before school began. Sorry I can’t be more upbeat. Our ELD students need the most help too. If you’re looking to jump ship from LOST, I’m afraid a job is scarce and for every job there are 500+ applicants. :( Jan

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44. Rebecca - April 7, 2014

Hi Jan, I have just been discarded by someone with NPD – The most stressful 6 months of my life. I spent weeks of trawling through google articles to try and discover an answer to what I was going through and your blog made it all make sense. Everything you have explained in those posts happened to me – it was like everything had suddenly come to light and I had closure on the situation.

Thank you so much – great read!

Hi Rebecca,
I remember how stressful and depressing the “discovery” phase was. And that was seven years ago! It can still be depressing once you do know. Intellectually we understand, while emotionally we’re still lagging behind. A lot of second guessing and “What ifs.” Some people get closure, other people just need to shut the door. :) Glad to have shed some light. Always, Jan

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45. Lauren - April 11, 2014

Hi i really require help I’m going out of my mind! I’ve recently realised I’m dating a narcissist, I always knew there was something not right with him but after reading up I realise his behaviour fits ALL the cryteria, he lavises me with attention but after a while started to belittle me and make me feel I did everything wrong, he also expected me to behave according to his rules of conduct. He splits up with me at any time I dare to critise or question or even sometimes joke with him, usually this results in him calling and asking me back or me breaking due to his silent treatment and begging him back. Well this time we had a fantastic 3 days together (along time to get along for us!) then I made a joke and he split up with me again, I begged and pleaded the first night due to my lack of sleep and heightened emotions and had no response although he would answer the phone if I called, say a few words then end the conversation abruptly. The next day I have no contacted him and he sent me a text in the morning saying he would drop my belongings that night, I did not respond and this was met with phone calls to myself and my mum (which we did not answer) and a few texts saying he wanted to check I was ok and nothing had happened to me (which we also did not answer) later that evening I get a mean and degrading text but again I did not rise to the bait as I realised he wants a reaction of any sorts. Returning home I found he had not dropped any of my belongings?? I am very confused as to what game he is playing claiming to want to split up but attempting to make so much contact (even mean contact) and also withholding my belongings? After more phone calls and texts over the last two days I maintained the no contact and dropped his belongings to his place while he was not in, I then received a phone call that I did not answer and a heartfelt text saying he is sorry we couldn’t make it work and he’ll always remember me, which doesn’t seem like the usual devaluing behaviour? I really need to know whether to be prepared for him to try to come back??
Is it that he wants to maintain ties as this is just an extreme version of the silent treatment?
I should also mention that I am starting to see signs of possible physical abuse as he has left me on the side of a main road while angry before, thrown a drink over me and reverts his car while I was attempting to get out the car causing the door to hit me. Please help I am really at my wits end and in limbo! Also the sooner the response the better really as I just need to understand before I go crazy! I really just want to know whether this narcissist is lightly to come back based on the information I have shared Thanks

Lauren,
I’m just up and out the door to school, but I wanted to dash off a quick response. Whether this man is an N or not, if you can’t have more than 3 good days together, he’s not (and never was) relationship material. People like this love to stir up chaos by running hot and cold, so you’re left wondering what’s next. They delight in these mind games and inflicting hurt – there are no “heartfelt” emotions. He’ll dip in and out of your life as long as he knows he can rattle your cage. I know someone else who had to make a conscious decision to not to get her belongings back, even though there were family photographs involved. She said she had to do it to save herself from any further contact with such a toxic person. Also, what you’re describing is probable physical abuse, plain and simple. A, Jan

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