The Tyranny of Narcissism


Guest Post by Zaira

Tyranny is unjust, harsh, oppressive, and abusive, but most importantly, it lacks legitimacy.  This describes my marriage and continues to be my experience with the Narcissist.  If you have been involved with a narcissist, I am sure you can relate to counting the days until you are completely free to cut all communications.

I am hoping to survive the next 8 years and 4 months without going completely broke or found guilty in contempt of court.   He has promised both of these gifts to me.

There was a time, shortly after I left him, that he tried to convince me that we could work it out.  Every poem, flower delivery, and byline of “I love you” made my stomach cringe.  I recognized that person from a distant memory – the one who wooed and impressed me so long ago.  The harder he tried, the worse the nausea got.  There was something punching me from the inside screaming to be strong and end it.  It knew he was lying then.  I knew he was lying then… playing a part to save face.  Now I am reminded often that I was right.

Here is a snippet of what I receive now in my Inbox:

“An interesting email, however you sound like a bad campaign speech.  You have not answered a single question and spout unfounded accusations.”

 “There is nothing you can say to try and explain what you did.  This excuse isn’t even worth reading.”

“As far as the previous info; WE never had that conversation.  As with most things, YOU have these conversations in your head and expect me to know the outcome.”


So, I wasn’t surprised when he filed a petition for contempt over the start date for our son’s spring break.  (I said it was on Monday, he insisted it was on Friday and the court order is not specific.)  In fact, he threatened me with it, which fueled my conviction to keep my weekend with our son.

After 6 months, I was finally served the papers.  I laughed at first.  The plea sounded like he didn’t get spring break visitation at all, which would then put me in contempt.  It requested incarceration as punishment.

What kind of reasonable person would request that the mother of their child be JAILED for a dispute on which day spring break started?  Even if the court did see it his way, he lost two overnights.  BIG DEAL!

Before I could remind myself that I am not dealing with a rational person, or even an adult, anger and anxiety crept up on me.  That hard ball formed in my stomach.  I wrote to my attorney, who I can no longer afford.  (She pities me, so I get free advice.)  Thankfully, she pointed out that the “master” does not have the authority to put me in jail, reassured me that my argument is solid, and encouraged me to plug on pro se.

I am renewed and the nausea has subsided.

If you are a victim of narcissism, I don’t need to tell you the story behind the quotes to show you that they are unjust, harsh, oppressive, abusive, and illegitimate.

You have encountered similar tyranny.

Your body aches from the abuse.

Your inner voice screams from the oppression.

But somehow, when you let it, that inner core of strength rises with the help of anger and determination.

Your voice is heard.

The will for a better future prevails.

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  1. Zaira, I am so glad to hear that I am not the only survivor who feels nauseous, physically sick when confronted with her narcissist. I still do, and that is after No Contact for almost 2 years. Just seeing her photo or name on Pinterest feed makes my stomach turn. There is something just about that person’s energy, and that they are trying to invade yours…. It is the soul saying to us “Danger! This person is not good for you, they only want to hurt you.” Of course after having been hurt by that person so many times, you know this from experience as well as your gut saying so. Also you are not the only one who has heard the exact same song and dance time after time. It’s like a broken record they keep repeating! And these phrases “spout unfounded accusations” and the insinuation that YOU are the one with a mental illness, I have heard all those things too. Your description is chillingly accurate…. I am so sorry for what you are going through with your ex.

    Biggest hugs, NM

  2. Thanks, NM. I know you have had a rough time getting away from her and applaud that you have stood your ground and know the benefits of keeping the distance!

    Unfortunately, we can all recognize that song and dance anywhere now as it is embedded into our psyche. It is a good thing in one sense, but kinda sad that it happened in the first place. :/

    All the best to you and wishing you continued strength as you move on.

  3. Zaira,

    Thank you for writing. I am struck with the script–how Ns use such similar verbiage when they write or go on the attack. It is bizarre. Bless you for all you have suffered. Stay strong and know you are not alone . . .

    I wish you healing and peace.

  4. Thanks, Lynn.
    I am fascinated with the irony of it all. They think they are so unique and special, but in fact are just a mold from a tiny box of anarchy. lol!

    It does help to know that I am not alone, but I know that there are others who have it much worse than I do. I hope that by sharing here, others will know they are not alone too.

    Thanks for all the support.

  5. It’s like your quotes were taken directly from my own inbox. I am amazed at how similar all the Ns are to each other, yet I suppose it makes sense, given that the methods to try weakening the human spirit are perfected by these people.

    I think one of the hardest lessons I continue to learn in this is that I cannot believe him, ever. Even when he’s joking around at a school function, sitting near us to show some sort of unity as a family, even when he’s colloquial on the phone, even when during a recent hospital visit I am the first one to see my son after surgery.

    He jokes around to show off to other parents his unique ability to remain friends with “his ex”. His friendliness on the phone is ammunition later when it’s convenient to forget what the conversation was about. I am only the first one there as my son wakes because he believes I should be, as a mother who is more emotional about these things.

    Always his ideas, his control, his beliefs.

    I am friendly at school so the children can focus on their event, without hearing from their dad “mom doesn’t want me to sit with you.” I am polite on the phone, because chances are, my children are within earshot. I am first to see my son when he awakens, because I am his mother, and I am far more emotionally committed to his well-being.

    I guess I am more emotional about “these things”.

  6. Kristin,

    Yes! My X has said the same… “I didn’t go to such-and-such because your mom didn’t want me there.” Even though I tell him the times, places and dates because it is best for the kids if he attends.

    They have a subtle way of letting us know that we are weak because we feel, express emotions and exhibit empathy.

    They would have us believe that we are lesser because we care for others, and they are too important to be bothered with such things.

  7. Jesse

    I wish it was subtle. Heck, it used to be subtle.

    Now, my 11 year old is a “cry-baby” if he is upset about getting in trouble at his dad’s because he accidently chipped his front tooth (again).

    My 8 year old is “dramatic” when he forgets to leave his cell phone in the car, and sobs to his teacher that he is going to be grounded.

    And, I, of course, am in “histronics” when I bring a witness with me and ask him to sign a receipt saying I indeed receive his child support.

  8. Kristin,

    Does it help to know that others have heard those horrible words?

    Does it help to hear another say, “He’s an *##$*@* who never deserved to have any of you in his life?”

    Does it help to scream, vent, rage and stomp your feet?

    I’ve tried all those things, and at different times they all help.

    At the end of the day, I still remind myself, “At least we don’t live with him anymore, and I am blessed to share my life with two outstanding individuals.”

    Take care, Kristin. Hug your kids.

  9. Kristin, you said this: I think one of the hardest lessons I continue to learn in this is that I cannot believe him, ever.

    I had a taste of this again just before Christmas. He emailed asking what I got for our son for Christmas. I thought, “Oh good, then he will coordinate some of our gifts or at least not repeat them.” I was kidding myself. I told him I bought a Nintendo DSi, but not the 3DS because I think there will be harmful affects of the constant 3D in the future. Just my thought. It also allowed me to get him a few more things on my budget by choosing the less expensive gaming system. My son had it all on there. lol. So, what does he buy? Yep, the 3DS!

    What happens next is pure karma…so he takes our son to Florida over the holiday without telling me. The DSi is left at his house and the “better” 3DSi is taken with…then left on the plane by mistake and is forever missing. Now, I felt extremely bad when my son told me the story still shivering from remembering the foul words his dad screamed at him, but I couldn’t help to feel that it was meant to be.

    Not only did I get a reminder to never ever trust him. I also got a little reminder that it is not me that has to serve the lessons.

  10. I thought I would give a little update. The contempt of court has been resolved with a “make up” weekend. I did this to show the parenting coordinator that I am trying to resolve issues. Unfortunately, it ends up at my son’s expense. We will survive and it is one less thing to fight over. I have a contempt of court on him for not paying the mortgage and household bills, which have forced me into foreclosure and paying bills that are not mine to owe. Anyway, I received a little victory today in the mail.

    I have been waiting for 2 months to see the decision on my appeal to the order for the trustee to sell our marital personal property from last year. The court date was December 18th and I no longer have an attorney so I defended myself, well, I was the plaintiff this time.

    So, the results are in and they ruled to REVERSE the previous decision to appoint a trustee to sell all our marital personal property! Yippee! Now, he can appeal the decision, but I hope that he realizes that he gets to keep his stuff too and it is ridiculous to keep paying an attorney for this nonsense. (A girl can dream!) Not only that, but I may have set a precedent for future issues like my own. My case can be referenced in the future to help others in this same situation. That makes me happy. Inch by inch I am gaining traction…

  11. Z,


    Inch by inch, each one of these cases/precedents creates another attack on narcissism.

    Thank you for keeping us posted.

    I admire you for taking this on without an attorney. You go girl!!

  12. I am so proud of you too! I can only imagine you there, calm and collected, standing proudly alone while he hides behind his pricey lawyer & only trying to create problems where there doesn’t need to be any. I am sure that is what the judge saw also when the decision was reversed. GOOD for you! :)

    What is it with this love of creating drama, creating problems? Is it winning they want (looking good?) or is it just that they are still seeking for the chink in our armor, wondering how much control they still have, I wonder…..

    xo, NM

  13. NM,

    Remember that part about how they have the emotional maturity of a six year old… Any attention – even bad attention – is better than no attention. They will do ANYTHING to stay in the spotlight.

  14. His first statement in our last parenting coordinator meeting says it all… “I didn’t start this, but I will DAMN well finish it!” I wonder which movie he got that one from. DRAMA!

    The 6-year old mentality + attention seeking + need to control every morsel of their life (and we are extensions of it so that includes us) + outward perfect dad image + insatiable need to win = nightmare in the court system.

    The very sweetness of this is that it was a 3 judge panel unanimously voting in my favor and now 6 of the 12 (5 I have not encountered) that have sided with me in argument. 6 of 7 is not bad odds! :)

    Thanks for the support…very much appreciated!

  15. Z,

    I don’t wanna jinx anything, but is it possible that the tide is slowly turning? Could it be that some in the legal profession are finally taking narcissism seriously?

    Thank you for sharing your brave fight! What’s it feel like to be a true warrior?

  16. It feels like when my mom would make us girls march around the dining room table singing this…

  17. Z,

    I swear to God!!! I knew it was going to be Helen Reddy before I even clicked on the link.

    Younger Thrivers who may not have heard of her, she’s definitely worth a listen!

  18. It’s that intergalactic connection… :)

    Her words are so powerful, you can feel the rise inside. For me, it’s the image of my arms in the air stomping around like I owned the world. It’s most likely my mom’s will that gets me through all this. xx

  19. Z,

    Take credit when it’s due, Zaira. And kudos to your mom, too.

  20. Yes, yes, INFJs are bad about that, ya know. :)

  21. Z,

    So true.

    Is saying I’m sorry for everything an INFJ thing or a narcissism survivor thing? My kids say it all the time, too. Poor kids come by it honestly. It’s all they’ve heard from me.

  22. I tend to think INFJ just because I have done that all my life, yet my brother and sister don’t do that. But could be some of both, I assume.

  23. NM,

    I’ve not read anything about that, but it fits with the profile. INFJs hate confrontation and disharmony, so if they apologize for everything and make nice, they’ll keep the peace.

  24. So I went searching for something to validate INFJs using sorry and found this…

    My first reaction was… someone WANTS to date an INFJ? Then… How are we 2% of the population and find so many of us together online? I mean this is not the only place I frequent where there are plenty of INFJs… As I found myself nodding through the comments… And then the epiphany… oh God, do we too fit a mold? Lol.

  25. Z,

    Can’t wait to check out the link.

    I’ve read we are 1%.

    And, yeah, I wonder who’d wanna date us or even be friends with us. (Is self-deprecation an INFJ trait?)

    I’d swear there is some kind of pattern with INFJs ending up in relationships with narcissists.

    I follow several INFJs on Twitter. Most of the things they tweet are something that would come right from my brain. So, I guess I’m part of that mold. But it does feel comforting to know that others think similarly. I don’t feel quite so weird. Well…

  26. I am keeping my fingers crossed and praying away, but has another glimmer of hope on Tuesday. The contempt of court he filed on me was dropped as I gave him a make up weekend. I didn’t want to, but in the end I am glad I did because his attorney had no leverage. I moved forward with mine because he has pushed the mortgage into foreclosure and bankruptcy which means I am pushed into this mess as well! However, the judge we have for this was the same judge that ordered for the house to be sold. He quit paying the mortgage after that. His attorney thought he could just put him on the stand to prove that he paid the mortgage. Lol. He would be committing purjery by doing so, but it is still not acceptable ‘proof’, especially from a habitual liar. Anyway, the N was sent out of the courtroom to print off evidence. I followed suit and called the trustee for the foreclosure who confirmed it was on hold for the bankruptcy filing, not payment. Then I called the bank and they confirmed it and still said he was $25k in arrears. I told his attorney my findings. I feel bad for him because he is increasingly looking like an arse by defending the N. It is sad, really. I digress… So after another hour with me journaling at my desk, they come in to tell the judge that there is no explanation for this, but the mortgage has an arrearage. Hmmm…I know how it happens! Lol! The judge does too, but she is smarter than me so she asks if they need some time to work this out. The N says he needs 6 months. Hahaha! The judge says..absolutely not. You have 2 weeks! So he needs to cough up $25k and pay the mortgage up to date or admit he is a liar… The drama continues, but I don’t see any way this won’t work in my favor. If he pays, I will have the house sold immediately and get away from this mess. If he doesn’t, the judge will most likely motion for enforcement and he will pay the mortgage. Even my eyes are crossed right now! :D

  27. Z,

    My head is spinning from reading this.

    How’s your blood pressure?

    And how much more in arrears would he be if they had given him 6 more months? Egads. Put the shovel down, man!

    We could have a virtual packing party!

    Thanks for the update. Fingers are crossed.

  28. Court wipes me out. I was going full force for the first 3 days this week and now feel like I just want my bed. He has paid the monthly minimum for the past 4 months, which is when we first appeared in court for this contempt charge. He makes good money and hasn’t been paying any of his bills so… either he has three new wardrobes and some expensive scotch or he is hosting all the block parties or all of the above. I am sure he has some retirement to tap into…
    But you just never know what they are going to come up with next so I will not count my blessings yet.

    A virtual packing party sounds like a great plan. I’ll bring the beer! ;)

  29. Z,

    Seems there should be an angle here where you could get him to host a Grand Packing Party. That way he could grandstand AND take all the credit for your party.

    The weekend couldn’t get here soon enough. I hope you recharge.

  30. Zaira, it sounds really exhausting. I am so glad they aren’t playing into his antics though. Keep up the good work! You are a strong, confident woman. You will win this, I’m sure of it.

    Hugs, NM

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