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PhantomLimb posted 1/8/2014 11:54 AM

I posted this as an update/comment on my post about his father passing, but I'm struggling a little with this today, so I'm starting a new thread.

His estranged father passed this week. I found out through a mutual friend who saw him post about it on FB. I never met the man. X hadn't seen him since the late 80s and had actively pushed him out of his life when he tried to reconnect with the two of us in the mid-2000s. I had encouraged X to try to resolve his issues with his dad before it was too late but, in his classic fashion, he didn't face it and cut him off.

I felt bad in general for X when I heard... as you would feel bad for anyone who has had a death in their family. But I decided it had nothing to do with me anymore and I didn't need to do anything.

Well, after 10 months of NC (I left him but made it clear I wanted R, he wanted D and cut me out of his life for OW), he emailed me last night.

Told me that he had reconnected with the estranged family, that they had buried his father. That he thought I should know (why do I need to know this?).

Then he says: "no need to call." As if! I'm dumbfounded that he would even think that I would want to! Call OW and talk about it. As I recall, you told me she was easier to talk to than I am after DDay.

After that, he wished me and "the family" well.

This is so narcissistic to me, it makes my head want to explode. What planet is he from? Is this just classic NPD/WW behavior?

ladies_first posted 1/8/2014 12:35 PM

Your dog is getting old(er) right? Sadly, Death is the eventual outcome.

If you can suspend judgment for just one moment...

Who do you think you will want to tell of your dear dog's eventual passing?

EvenKeel posted 1/8/2014 12:42 PM

I have run into this with X. I don't speak to him but twice now he has called about family issues (ie very sick aunt, etc).

I was caught so off-guard and could just sit there silent thinking WTF.

I attributed it to his GF not really knowing the family well so he was looking for someone to talk with that 'go it'.

In your case, I would just take it with a grain of salt. No reply, etc.

careerlady posted 1/8/2014 12:57 PM

You guys were together for a good while. I think he was just having a vulnerable human moment. But maybe I'm a sucker. ((PhantomLimb))

PhantomLimb posted 1/8/2014 14:21 PM

I won't tell him when the dog passes. The dog already went blind since he left, and I haven't told him.

I agree that he's having a vulnerable moment-- but I also think it's a little crazy. I mean, he basically said: "I'm going to dump this sad new on you, but don't call me. I can't deal with you."

It's consistent with how he handled DDay. He told me about the A, and then texted me "I'm sorry I wasn't better to you and I'm sorry I can't be there for you now." He washed his hands of me. I was crushed and suicidal... and he completely walked away. Told me he picked OW because she was easier to talk to!

I even tried calling him on our anniversary to try to get some closure and wish him well. He let me go to voicemail and never called back.

Yet, when he's sad and vulnerable and struggling with something-- I get a one-sided email. What was the point? Did he not get enough sympathy from OW and Facebook, so he decided to throw a grenade in my direction?

finallymefirst posted 1/8/2014 15:39 PM

((((PhantomLimb))) that really sucks and I know that u probably didn't want to call him anyway, but him telling u not to was totally unnecessary.

SBB posted 1/8/2014 16:01 PM

You never met the guy - you are right, there is no reason to contact you for this.

Did he not get enough sympathy from OW and Facebook, so he decided to throw a grenade in my direction?

Exactly this. Don't forget his NC didn't just fuck with your head, your NC fucks with his too. He has decided to come out and see if you're still sitting a viable source of ego kibbles. The 'don't call' tells me he is getting ego kibbles from just sending it. What a fucking weirdo.

Now block his email address and act like you never received or read that grenade.


HurtsButImOK posted 1/8/2014 16:57 PM

He is just after ego kibbles. Delete, ignore and block his email address. He is under the very delusional impression that he is still the centre of your universe.


Hearing from them really does your head in.

PhantomLimb posted 1/8/2014 21:39 PM

Thanks, everyone... especially SBB and Hurts. It does fuck with my head.

A friend came over tonight and we had tomato soup and grilled cheeses and talked about what a psycho he is... and now I feel a little better. And I'm going to go see my IC in the morning.

Bottom line is that this email shows he buys his own bullshit. He totally believes the story that he has been telling himself (and others) that our split was mutual and amicable. Anyone with a brain in their head would know that you don't want random death notices about a dude you never met from your abuser.

SBB posted 1/9/2014 01:11 AM

Anyone with a brain in their head would know that you don't want random death notices about a dude you never met from your abuser.

^^absolutely. The lack of empathy, whilst unsurprising, is still astonishing. Please block his emails (all of them) - like all vermin you need to make your 'house' air and watertight.

Expect the unexpected. This has surprised me but now I wouldn't put it past him to go on a fishing expedition.

Time for my new favourite curse: what a piece of c**t!! <courtesy of a multilingual friend who gets her curses mixed up when she's angry>

PhantomLimb posted 1/9/2014 01:24 AM


I can't wait to see what my IC says about him contacting me. My family, friends, IC... Everyone... Told me I would never hear from him again after D. I never understood why not. I was an enabling source of kibbles for over a decade. I always figured if shit started to go wrong with the job, with OW or in general, I could hear something.

I wish I bet everyone $5.

Now I wouldn't be surprised if THIS was it from him...

So you're scaring me a little, SBB, when you say expect the unexpected. What do you mean a fishing expedition?

[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 1:25 AM, January 9th (Thursday)]

ButterflyGirl posted 1/9/2014 02:04 AM

Just a guess, but I think SBB means he is fishing for information about you. How you are feeling. Who you have been talking to. How you have been handling things. Are you devastated? Are you moving on? Are you dating anyone? Is there any chance he still has his hooks in you and could manipulate you again? Perhaps he knows that weirdo woman has been trying to communicate with you and wants to know what she said or what you have told her.

While it's tempting to try to manipulate the situation, to goad him a little (as I've been tempted to do), like maybe tell him you're great and don't miss him at all and am moving on fine, I think this is a bad idea too. I think any information you give him is a bad idea. HE DOESN'T GET TO KNOW YOUR FEELINGS OR ABOUT YOUR LIFE ANYMORE.

I say NC, NC, NC. Crickets to him. No matter how you are feeling, he doesn't get to know anymore. I do happen to think he will contact you again. I think they get bored, there ends up being trouble in paradise, he wants an ego boost so he wants to hear again about how much you loved him and how much he hurt you. There could be a million reasons, but I think they are all completely selfish reasons and not because he actually cares how you are doing. He's probably just wondering if you are still a plan B if he needs you..

I'm sorry if I'm being blunt, but I really think he is being cruel to you, and you deserve better than that.

He didn't ask you a question, and he asked you not to contact him. Please, just respect his wishes and ignore. I know this probably caused a setback and some confusion for you, but try to let it go..


HurtsButImOK posted 1/9/2014 02:24 AM

He's probably just wondering if you are still a plan B if he needs you..

Agree ^^

SBB posted 1/9/2014 04:39 AM

Fishing for ego kibbles, fishing to see if he can still manipulate you - fishing to see if you'll be his plan B.

There are no fish in this pond.
This pond has no water.
Fuck Off.

Please tell me you've blocked his email addressees - all of them. Don't give him another opportunity to mindfuck you.

PhantomLimb posted 1/9/2014 13:42 PM

Update after IC session.

I printed the email and just handed it to IC when I walked in the room. He was genuinely surprised that X wrote it. Naturally, his immediate focus was on my reaction, how I'm handling it and what I think... but we did get into what this email tells him about X.

IC was fairly certain after the D that I wouldn't hear from him again. He agreed that the email is sort of stunningly one-sided and narcissistic. IC has been dancing around a diagnosis (via my account of the M) that X is NPD. This email seems to have sealed it.

So we're working on why I was able to tolerate his NPD and live with it for so long. Our initial theory is that my mother is so similar, that I learned to cope and tune out that kind of behavior early on and remain independent. But I did start crying at one point because it hurts me to see how true it is that he either never or no longer cares about my needs and emotional life. I guess I assumed he did because he was my partner. But, in reality, he never really proved it.

We ran out of time in the session, but I am fearful that this could be the start of X fishing, as you say SBB... so I will block him. I'm hoping my continued NC will trigger his fear of rejection and be enough to send him back into his underground lair.

In the meantime, I got some great advice from a friend of mine this morning on email. I told him that I had heard from X, what he said and that I hadn't responded. My friend's advice:

"Saying nothing is best, but if you're inclined to respond a simple 'Go fuck yourself' should do. If you'd like to offer him a fuller response, perhaps a 'Go fuck yourself, you creep!' would be even better."

I love my friends.

NewMom0220 posted 1/9/2014 15:59 PM

Thinking of you PL. You are doing great BTW. This was a HUGE HUGE HUGE thing and could have been a setback. I'm proud of you for not responding to his email.

Sending you (((PL))).

Also, your friend is right on. But seriously, no response is best, starve the fucker.

FTG times a Million!

gypsybird87 posted 1/9/2014 18:02 PM

Classic NPD. They underestimate your resources (as if you didn't already know about this sad event without him personally telling you), and they overestimate their importance in our lives. (you MUST want to hear this news, you MUST want to hear it from him, and you will certainly drop everything to get out the bag of ego kibbles and serve him a nice big scoop.)

It must be so groovy to be the center of the entire fucking universe.

I had a feeling you were going to hear from him. NPD's love the spotlight, love sympathy, love attention. And don't believe for a moment he truly doesn't want a response from you. He DOES. But not so you can truly communicate. He wants it so he can ignore it, drop it into voicemail or whatever, and sleep well tonight knowing he still, after all this time, has his hooks into you.

I know it's easy to get caught up in the emotion of it, and shock of receiving contact after so long. But you already knew about this news, and you already worked through how you felt about it and how you wanted to handle it. None of that has changed just because X is feeling whiny and needy. You tried to help him with his father/son relationship before, when there was still something to be saved. Just like you tried to work on the marriage, when there was still something to be saved. He couldn't be bothered on either account. Now, it's too late on both, and you were spot on: he has a problem or needs attention, he should go cry to OW.

You've been so strong. Don't let his neediness attach to you and drag you down or make you crazy.

You're doing great!

PhantomLimb posted 1/9/2014 23:45 PM

I had dinner with a friend who is a therapist tonight (a friend I've had from before X, so he knows him well through our M). He had a really interesting insight that I thought I would share with you guys, because I think it can be generally useful.

So he agrees through his own clinical assessment and through knowing him that X was NPD. And so, as we know, people like this are just entirely "me" focused and any show of an emotional life directed at another person is generally somehow in service of their narcissistic supply (e.g., being the strong person at a funeral there to comfort everyone else, the guy in the neighborhood who runs the watch). Yadda yadda, we all know the contours of this.

He said that no doubt the D had to have impacted him on some level. But those emotions are locked now behind certain doors inside of him that he can't even go near because he lacks the coping mechanisms and wisdom and skills to address what's behind them. Safer to keep the central subject what he knows: him. Paint everything in the best possible light, because for him to fail or be wrong or less than perfect is impossible.

So when his father died, my friend said it created the perfect rupture to do the thing he couldn't otherwise bring himself to do after we S: talk to me.



(1) it was about his pain and his pain matters, even if the circumstances are entirely illogical (that is, that I never met the guy and he hadn't seen him since he was 9)

(2) he probably intuited that this was a "safe" topic to throw my way-- after all, it was unlikely that I would respond (if I did at all) with anything other than compassion and support and condolences, given what had happened.

(3) he made sure to say in there not to contact him in order to justify/protect himself from having to either deal with my needs and/or from my rejection (if I didn't call)

In other words, the situation was by nature and design one-sided and guaranteed ego kibbles.

The old me from a year ago would have responded with compassion and probably would have called. So if that is the image of me he still has in his head (and why wouldn't he?), that is probably what he anticipated I would do.

But the me now who has been working on herself and maintaining NC and kicking ass wants to tell him that he's fucking delusional and to get some help. He doesn't know this girl at all.

I'm really seeing now that this is why NC is so important. It's essential to break the old patterns with these NPD freaks. Then, when they pull their shit, you can look at a message like the one he sent me like it was written by the alien that he is. I may not have read this email as the NPD "me me me" monologue it is 10 months ago. I would have read it as the poor baby being brave enough to reach out.

Also, it helps you understand that these are not good people in the sense that they do not have your interest at heart. They are simply incapable emotionally of being there for us in any real way. The only person who matters to them is themselves. They can not process their interactions with you in any other way. Their brains are just not wired that way!

In some ways, this email was really difficult, but totally consistent to the way he was in our M. It's just been a long, hard road for me to see that clearly. And it's painful because I want to remember him as this wonderful man I loved, not this OCD/NPD ticking time bomb.

But if I don't see him for what he is, then I will pine after someone who doesn't exist. I'll never move on. And I'll never understand what role I played in tolerating his bullshit so I don't repeat the pattern.

Thanks for supporting me through this, everyone. You guys are the best!

[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 11:52 PM, January 9th (Thursday)]

BAB61 posted 1/10/2014 00:19 AM

OMG .. NPD's are the same, same, same all over ... this could totally by the POS STBX I was married to. I'm so happy you did not respond in any way ... crickets to all NPD's ... FTG!!!

isthis4real posted 1/10/2014 03:03 AM

Not responding is the best thing you can do for your healing and mental health. You might not believe it but he is going fuckin nuts in his head waiting for you to respond. He's probably been waiting for a reason to contact you. I don't think you have heard the last from him.

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