|Emotional vampires will leave you exhausted following an|
interaction with them. Sadly, by the time you realize you're
in the presence of an emotional vampire, it's too late.
If you've been following this blog at all, you already know my story: I'm divorcing an Aspie/Narcissist/diagnosed Bipolar Disorder sufferer. Any one of these is pretty damaging to the emotional/mental well-being of any spouse to them. I got the trifecta of abusive personality disorders when I married my STBE. And more than once, it's driven me to the point of thinking the only way out of this marriage was through suicide. Thank God, those thoughts are behind me, now, and I embrace the wonder of life and look forward to having one without the abusive Aspie/Narcissist/Bipolar Disorder sufferer in it.
The back story:
I've been working to maintain no contact with my STBE because he's so abusive in nature. He managed to trick me into contact recently, and I'm now back to no contact after the hurricane/tsunami/tornado/earthquake that came with him and am improving again. However, I've been getting messages from people over the last week from people who know my youngest son and they're worried about him a great deal.
As I've mentioned previously, when you're divorcing an Aspie/Narcissist/Bipolar Disorder sufferer, they'll use the kids to hurt you - and not just a little bit. For the above personality disorders, in any divorce, it's a "Win at all costs" attitude. Since these people have absolutely no empathy, using the kids is just another gun in their arsenal, even if it's so bad for them it means decades of therapy, if not a few suicide attempts, for the kids. They simply don't care. It's not about what's best for everyone, it's about what's best for THEM. Aspies/Narcissists/Bipolar Disorder sufferers are emotional vampires. They will suck the life out of you faster than a speeding bullet and once they've depleted your supply, they'll move onto the next person, and the next, and the next. So long as there are gullible people in the world who are willing to fall for the charms of the emotional vampire, so shall the narcissist abuse.
Because my son has me blocked on Facebook, I have an account neither he nor my STBE know about and I logged into it to see just what it was my son was saying that had everyone so alarmed. On the page, I saw my son talking about how depressed he is. The STBE responded to him with (and it pains me to have to look at the posting again to put this here, but it illustrates the Aspie mind so well):
As I well know, depression is no joke. People who don't own the black dog can't really understand, although some will genuinely try to help. Since they usually don't get it they often miss the mark. Don't discount well-meaning friends. They won't understand when it seems like you're blowing them off. Allow people to drag you off to the gym or to get some Chinese food. Those things will actually help and you find out who your friends are. Acceptance is great, just don't stop there.Take action. You know what to do. Call me anytime you need to. I'm there for you 24/7.For the longest time, I couldn't figure out just how my STBE was alienating my son from me (See Parental Alienation Syndrome), and after seeing this post, it all became clear to me. In order to help you see just how Aspies work (and this is a form of gas lighting, altering the reality of the victim, in this case, my son), I'll break this paragraph of my STBE line-by-line to help you understand it better.
First, let me state, my son has suffered from some form of depression for quite some time. I took him to two different counselors, who seemed to be helping him. It was during his stint with one of these counselors it came out that my STBE was using that half-hour in the morning and half-hour in the afternoon, the times he drove our son to and from school, to do nothing but rant about what an awful person I am. My son was an emotional wreck and told his therapist he was beginning to feel as though he was the only one who could fix our marriage. In short, my son was being used by the STBE by forcing him to become his therapist. My son was only 15 at the time. Rather than actually SEE a therapist, the STBE was forcing others into the role. He'd done this to me for years and I'd put a stop to it by telling him I couldn't do it any longer and he needed to find an actual therapist. He refused to do so, saying he didn't need one, and turned it onto my son.
Now, let's break down the Facebook posting- and some of this will make me look paranoid to the nth degree, but after 21 years of living with my STBE, I've seen this all to much. A great deal of their mental/emotional abuse is subtle):
- As I well know, depression is no joke. People who don't own the black dog can't really understand, although some will genuinely try to help. - "I'm the only one who understands you. Others might try. Others might say they do. But I'm the only one who truly does." This is his way of letting my son know it's "I" who doesn't get it since I don't suffer from depression. Never have, probably never will, outside of this marriage. I was a happy, optimistic person before I married the STBE and I shall be again, post-divorce.
- Since they usually don't get it they often miss the mark. Don't discount well-meaning friends. They won't understand when it seems like you're blowing them off. - This is an extension of #1. Now my son's being told it's not just me who doesn't get it, but neither does anyone else, even well-meaning friends. This is a reinforcement of the STBE being the only one who understands him, thus he is the superior parent and human being. They are both now precious snowflakes and no one gets them BUT each other.
- Allow people to drag you off to the gym or to get some Chinese food. Those things will actually help and you find out who your friends are. - On the surface, this all sounds like good advice, right? For a mentally healthy person going through a normal, average dose of depression, it is. For a narcissist like my STBE, this is a calculated statement/move. This is a form of alienation, a common tactic used by Narcissists/abusers. Now the STBE has my son judging his friends based on the amount of support they give. No one will be able to measure up to the standards a depressed person will actually have. And, let's just say it, unless you DO suffer from depression or are a therapist, you'll never truly understand it, therefore will ALWAYS fall short of the mark. And, people being people, the more my son blows them off, the less likely they become to ask him to go anywhere with him. The less they come around, the more depressed he becomes. The more depressed he becomes, the less likely they are to want to be around him at all, because who wants to spend all their time with a person who refuses to have fun or laugh nor do anything to change work towards changing it? The idea being planted in the mind of my son is: his father is the ONLY person who truly gets him, thus creating a bond of trust that supersedes all other relationships in his life. His father is now grooming him to be further abused, all in the interest of feeding the need of the STBE to have a narcissistic supply.
- Acceptance is great, just don't stop there. Take action. You know what to do. - They now have a secret language that only the two of them understand. The words used here are cryptic and insinuate to the rest of the world they are conjoined and alone in this, therefore, there's no need to interfere because Dad's got it handled, right? Wrong. For a narcissist, there's no greater joy than taking advantage of an emotionally vulnerable person, as my son is due to the divorce. This is rocking his world and nothing makes sense any more. What the STBE is spoon-feeding him is something to latch onto so he can have just ONE thing that makes sense. The parental alienation is almost complete and the real abuse is about to begin. I watched this happen with his two kids from his first marriage and they STILL hate their mother, 22 years after the divorce, both of them adults aged 30 and over.
- Call me anytime you need to. I'm there for you 24/7. - This is the big one. Note there's no mention in any of this to see a therapist or medical doctor. There's no mention of seeking help in any way, shape or form, outside of "Call me!" This is the reinforcement to my son that the STBE is the ONLY person he should contact, as he's the ONLY person who can help him. And that 24/7? Nope, he turns the ringer off on his phone at night. The precious snowflake that is my STBE simply CAN'T have his sleep disturbed at all. People who suffer from depression that lasts longer than what's ordinary or average, more than a few days or weeks, SHOULD see a medical doctor or therapist. For someone to suggest anything else is thoughtless, uncaring, unsympathetic and, let's just say it, dangerous. People who have been depressed for a long time are more prone to suicide than anyone else. If you know ANYONE who could be clinically depressed, encourage them to seek professional help - ALWAYS!
These alienating strategies worked together to give the child the following three-part message: (this is excerpted from Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome)
- The alienating parent is the only parent who cares,
- the alienating parent is needed in order for the child to feel safe and good about him- or herself,
- the targeted parent -- who is dangerous and does not love the child anyway -- must be disavowed in order to maintain the love and approval of the alienating parent.
- Boldly stated this way, the message resembles the message cult leaders convey to cult members.
Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is such a damaging emotional assault on a child (even adult children), it's described in this way: Alienated children are no less damaged than other child victims of extreme conflict, such as child soldiers and other abducted children, who identify with their tormentors to avoid pain and maintain a relationship with them, however abusive that relationship may be. (For the complete article, see here)
The article goes on to say - For the child, parental alienation is a serious mental condition, based on a false belief that the alienated parent is a dangerous and unworthy parent. The severe effects of parental alienation on children are well-documented; low self esteem and self-hatred, lack of trust, depression, and substance abuse and other forms of addiction are widespread, as children lose the capacity to give and accept love from a parent. Self-hatred is particularly disturbing among affected children, as children internalize the hatred targeted toward the alienated parent, are led to believe that the alienated parent did not love or want them, and experience severe guilt related to betraying the alienated parent. Their depression is rooted is feelings of being unloved by one of their parents, and from separation from that parent, while being denied the opportunity to mourn the loss of the parent, or to even talk about the parent.
Okay, I think I've given you enough to chew on for now. But in the beginning of this post, I'd mentioned something funny. Here it is: