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Cover Narcissistic friend(6 Posts)
Name change checking post.
But basically this is a fully ticked off checklist about a long term friend.
Will post more after I check the name change, as she knows my MN name, and I've linked my other NC to it in a thread a while back.
We've known each other for a decade. It's come to a head before when I was feeling a bit low (probably PND) but I backed down and thought she was just in the same (probably PND) place as our DC are similar ages. We will call her N.
I promised DH that if N affected me in the same way again I would walk away, and recently she has been very difficult to be around. Jealous of my other friendships (an on-going theme I ignored) sometimes including days where I spend time with my DH.
N has recently fallen out with a mutual friend (MF). I could see this coming and talked with DH about it, how N was getting jealous and saying that MF would be trying to take me over. Even as she said it I thought 'hold on N - that's you not her'. After the fallout N 'debriefed' MF telling her how bad a friend she was and how I agreed with this assessment.
MF and I managed to remain friends. N has been complaining to another friend about my betrayal. Luckily this person knows me well enough to question it.
There are literally hundreds of examples of things from the covert narc list, which were making me uncomfortable. I've had pretty good self esteem in my life, except where N is concerned. Over the last 5 years I have been run down by my FIL ( a more overt narc, & DH's inability to deal with him had been a problem too) and also N. I have been questioning things like 'am I wrong?', 'am I a good friend?' in a way that had left me feeling worthless and small. I don;t think this shows on the outside though, possibly only my immediate family noticed and worried.
We will bump into each other all of the time. I've gone low contact with her over the last few weeks as I was feeling emotionally wrung out by it all, and DH reminded me that I'd sworn not to get caught up again. I've been confronted by her and just sort of swept it away and didn't angage. But I feel close to tears and headachy all of the time.
Not sure what I'm posting for. Advice from survivors? A hand-hold? Just to get it out of my head?
I went through similar, in my case with a relative. The covert narc in my opinion is even worse than the overt one, since you are left questioning your own sanity and worth as a human being. I'm still questioning myself now, and it must be two years since she was removed from my life.
It's the constant drip drip drip of small amounts of poison, so you don't even realise what's going on until you're well into the mire. Like a frog being slowly boiled to death.
I would be on the receiving end of little slights all the time, comments about my hair/weight/housework/job/parenting/driving. Invasions of privacy, she would let herself in my house, go through my paperwork, help herself to private photos, etc. She would undermine my parenting, clean my house despite being told I found it insulting. If I had a calendar on the fridge, she would check it and invite herself to things. These were all dressed up as 'helping'. After a while, even completely neutral comments would have me reading into situations and drawing conclusions. This went on for about 10 years before I realised what she was, but I got no support and my life caved in. Even today, I'm wondering whether I'm just over sensitive. Did she really just want to help? If so, why put me down all the time? To what benefit? Is it all my fault, in fact?
If you have your DH's support and are able to quietly back off from her influence, then I think you're onto a winner there. By not engaging, she will have no information about you to use against you, she will move on to another target.
It's really hard, isn't it. Somehow I find breaking this friendship down about the hardest relationship breakdown of all time. Splitting up with boyfriends was easy compared to this, perhaps because no one judges when you decide that someone isn't a life-partner. I've had people, who know we've been friends for so long, ask me how she's doing and I just smile and give a neutral answer. You can't say 'oh I've split up the friendship' easily.
I sent that link to the friend who questioned N's version of the truth. We're both still feeling shell shocked by just how accurate it is. Even knowing that this is what she is, I still cannot believe that she did this on purpose and by choice. It must be something coming from so deep a place that she has no idea that she's doing it.
But then that takes culpability for her actions away from her. I think she does get a sense of pleasure from hurting people, there was certainly a sense of triumph in her reporting of her conversations with MF. She'd used MF to feed all aspects of her narcissism. If I had sided with her I'd have fed her narcissism, but not doing so I have also fed it; giving another angle of attack. I feed it still by removing myself from the situation - she gets to be the victim again. But this will be the last time I feed it.
This is it though, the narc thrives on being in the centre, like a spider in a web, with control of all information flow. I simply avoided, discussed only neutral topics like the weather, and reality tv, and 'removed' myself. It was noticed by her, and she complained to Dh. In your friends case, if she notices, she will find someone else to moan to about you. Eventually you will fade into her past, and she will have no information on you. Someone else will be her unfortunate source of supply. You should take from this experience how to spot it more quickly in other people though, and in some small way, take positivity from the situation. Forewarned is forearmed!!
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