Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode · 1 year ago

Christine Hammond Interviews Chris and Lisa, Part 1

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Christine Hammond Interviews Chris and Lisa, Part 1

...some abuses dangerously obvious. While other types of abuse creep into our family DNA in covert ways, keeping family secrets, intimidation, the silent treatment and cyber bullying are just a few examples of the many forms of abuse with troubling outcomes. Often victims ask why did this happen to me or what can I do while abusers will excuse their behavior, asking why do you make me do this, victims and abusers can rewrite their stories, improve their relationships and break the cycle for their future generations. In Christine Hammond's latest book, abuse exposed, you will learn the wide range of types of abuse, both overt and covert the generational links to abuse, what to do before, during and after abuse, how to confront your abuser, how to talk to a victim of rape, finding forgiveness despite the pain, how to rewrite your story and avoid future problems and much much more. Look for Christine Hammond's latest book abuse exposed now available on amazon. This is understanding today's Narcissist brought to you in part by psych central dot com and now here's your host, Christine Hammond. Hi welcome back to our podcast and today I'm really excited to be talking with you and sharing with you lisa and chris and I met them through their website called been there, bought out and they have this amazing journey and story that I would be so much better than we're giving you stories you can actually hear from real life people, their journey and their story and how they...

...got to where they are right now. So I'm gonna turn it over to you guys, lisa tell us a little bit about your story. Okay, so I'm going to start now and go back a little bit. So Chris is the love of my life and we have been together for over six years and now I'm going to jump back to my gosh, maybe 10 or a little more than 10 years ago I was working and I was at the house of an older couple who were moving and I just remembered that you know, one of them was very sick and frail and the way that they interacted and looked at each other, the love that they had for each other Was so intense even after being together for 50 years and I went home and cried because I knew or I believed at the time that I would never have anything like that ever. I had been married for about almost 18 years together for 20 to a man I did not realize had been lying to me the entire time um and had been a covert narcissist, but I just knew that whatever these people had was something I never had, I never would and I resigned myself to it, but that's not what happened. Yeah. I was also in a long term marriage and currently co parent with a narcissist. My narcissist was over very big flashy center of attention. I had no clue what was going on lisa and I didn't even figure out what narcissism was. I mean I knew the word the same way most people use it, which is just somebody who's got a big ego, but about I would say maybe six months, you know, a little bit longer, maybe a year after she left me, which is the greatest gift he ever gave me because I was so spun up. I was so It's like being in a cult, sometimes caught up in the web has gone up in it and you know, the whole world revolved around her and I was walking on eggshells, all those things that people do. And the one thing I knew that had a name was...

...projection. I figured that out 10 years before the relationship ended. And in the flames at the end of the relationship, she called me a narcissist. So knowing that she projected, I googled it and I found like a Wikipedia article or something like that. And I just said, oh my God, like all of this stuff, all this behavior. First of all, I'm not alone, it has a name, there's a reason for this behavior and I was just like, oh my God, well, lisa and I had already met, So I told her about it and she read the article and I couldn't believe it. So now I'm going to jump back even more 20 whatever years ago when I first got together more of my ex, husband he seemed like the most quiet. excellent listener on paper. He was amazing. he had this great career, he had real estate, he was very cerebral, he loved to read, I met him actually right after I came back from living in europe, I have been teaching english for a year in Hungary and I moved back and he offered me one of his houses to rent really cheap and I was just like, this guy is just so nice, but I wasn't attracted to him at all. I just thought, you know, I've been backpacking around europe, like having all my fun, I should probably like grow up and like settle down, come back to the States and like finally date a man instead of like a man child, which was the type of guys that I used to date in the past. Yeah, so it always surprises me when lisa's such a passion. We're both very passionate people when she describes her relationship with her ex husband, I'm like how did you live without really? Like we love each other very, very much very intensely and how did she live without that for so long? And it just surprises me, I know I know it's so interesting how chris and I have really different ex partners but the ways that we get together, you know like yours was super intense and fiery mind was like a slow, like I felt like okay this this person is safe and this...

...is like the mature thing to do and with the you know, love bombing which is different. Most other relationships mind was very like the grooming started with him saying you know relationships are hard and he sort of positioned himself as this authority and he was seven years older than me and he was like you know, I know more than you've been popping around the world, like I'm the one who will like sort of ground you and be the steady partner that he was going to rescue you. Yeah, well not, I didn't need to be rescued, but it was like, I'm gonna help you grow up and I'm gonna appreciate you. And of course he mirrored, you know what I love, like he was like, I'm so cultured and I'm going to take you know, even though I just came back from europe, I know you love traveling, I'm going to take you away on these amazing trips. And I thought this is what I want, even though again, no real attraction, but like this is the kind of man I should marry someone that I can read next to in bed and, you know, will educate our future Children and have that stability and wow, it was not. So when did you realize you were like in over your head in that relationship? He seemed, I really thought he was like my best friend for most of it. So probably not until 20 ish years later there were red flags. But when I finally got him out and I always believed that no matter what bad behavior he did, he truly loved me and the kids and he basically walked out of our lives and abandoned the kids and then his behavior with the divorce. I was astounded and also discovering that he had a double life. I can't say how I know this, but he had had a double life the entire time he had been soliciting other women during our honeymoon, everything had been a complete lie and I I didn't know what a narcissist was, but during the divorce process and again I learned so much from chris is when I really realized what I was dealing. We were not at lisa and I met, we were not emotionally ready to be in a relationship. If lisa hadn't gone through what she went...

...through, she would have heard my stuff and been like, I can't deal with it the baggage, you know, of going through a three year divorce that cost $300,000 for no reason other than she wanted to exert power and control over me, you know, and vice versa. If I just had had a run of the mill divorce and lisa brought her stuff, it would have been like too much. But because we've both been through it, you know, we've been able to be incredible support for each other. We went through it together because I had been in my head out of the relationship for over two years and I was planning my exit. So, I had already emotionally detached from the relationship, was figuring out what to do regarding the kids and housing, and kept my cards really close to my chest. And so by the time I got him out, I was like, so done, and so chris and I actually met just a few weeks later, less than a couple months later, and it was amazing, and I had no idea what I was in front, and I had no idea that the person I had met was going was dealing with the same things in different ways than I was. It was like a miracle. I was out of my relationship about eight months, I was already in the legal system and all that. So, I had a little more distance or time from my actual separation, but the fight, the legal fight was just beginning. It was about custody. For me at least this stuff is mostly financial, but my custody. So tell us a little bit more about what it was like for you chris being married to because in your case it's an over female narcissists which is an interesting combination all by itself. So, so why don't you share with us a little bit like what that was like? It was chaotic. It was you know, I didn't know what gaslighting was. There was tons of that going on. I have this dopey story. I tell all the time about how water in our kitchen sink. There was this little strip of Formica like in every kitchen in America and there would always be water there. And she told me there was something she used to bash the house we live in, we lived in the house that I own before we got married and she just constantly ripped...

...it. She was like, you know how dare I subject her to a life like this And I love my house. My house, a very nice house is not you know anything incredible, it's not a mansion, but it's it's a wonderful house. Yeah. And she had grown up wealthy, that's part of the story also, but she would say that there was something wrong with the sink and our house is such a rundown hovel, that why is there water leaking on the sink? And it made me crazy. And I even went to one of my friends who was very handy around the house, I said why is there water here? And he said you dope, it's just being splashed there, She like wash dishes or something and she just wouldn't like the counter. So I know that's a really silly example bandits, but that stuff happened all the time, but that one for whatever reason sticks in my head, that's a great example. And so as you start to figure out what the narcissism looked like, what were some of the things that really stand out to you both of you now is like key characteristics that you missed along the way. Uh okay, we just say all of them because I know we have a lot of times, but there were textbook textbook, but with the way, you know, like I said, I didn't know what narcissism was until after I was already out, you know, uh stay close to a year and all of the things, so it played out in the legal system and played out in our co parenting um you know, where, you know, she would just make these outrageous claims and everything was about, you know, for her, her self esteem is supported by being perceived as a good mother. So it's always, you know, there was, if you know what Munchausen by proxy is, um, that happened with my younger child always missed tons of school because of this mysterious stomach. He had always seen specialist at their specialists and all this stuff so that she could be like, oh my gosh, I'm so burdened with this sick child and I'm doing everything I can to help him. So that's one thing and then the lies in court, um, you know, try calling me an abuser, all kinds of things. But now that I know once I...

...understood and I was like, oh, that's that behavior, you know, it just helps me keep a more even keel and know what to expect. And the other thing and I'm sorry for going on a bit, but when I realized that she never loved me in the way that a healthy person means love, that that helped me get over it because I was like, there's nothing to mourn here. The relationship wasn't real, right? That's, that's a great way of thinking about it and lisa what about you like looking back on it now? What are some big things that you missed along the way? Um, I think from the very beginning, one of the themes that he convinced me was that he was so smart and so misunderstood that he needed, that no one could reach the level of you know intelligence that he had, that this is why he was on the computer all the time. He needed to feel understood and nobody else was capable. So um but that was really an excuse for just constant online affairs and the last time which was when I was like I am really done. Um I found out that he had been having some kind of who knows what, who knows who um overseas who looked to me like a teenage girl. He was in his fifties at the time and when he finally confessed you know that because I knew that just details just ridiculous, but he was so completely delusional and convinced that this person, he was telling me this person was his soul mate, he was going to move her here, having never met her into one of his father's apartments and I was just like what about our two kids? Like what do you think they're going to think? And that was the thing like he was so delusional and I think for so long I had respected his judgment, you know he always positioned himself as an authority and that was the dynamic of our relationship that I was always making, you know, like let's do this one. And he was like the calm rational one and I...

...thought I can't believe like this guy is actually out of his mind and then I started realizing so many things over the years that he had said and done that never made sense, but I had accepted him as this authority when he never really earned it, you know? And and that's when I started finally questioning and being like, no, like this is like a crazy person which helped, but it's still, you know, shocked me along the way. But I learned to realize that the delusion didn't limit itself to just this one affair. It was everything. And it is played out in the past seven ish years in the court system. So chris said that his ex feels valuable in terms of how she's perceived as a mother mind is the opposite. He doesn't care how he's perceived. His behavior is outrageous and all he's doing is like destroyed. He's destroyed his relationship with our Children. You know, years ago. They've been no contact for years. He's destroying, I have hundreds of pages of court records documenting like terrible behavior and it's like he's unaware that he keeps making things worse. But he won't give up his court is the last thing he has to continue to try to engage with me and exert power and control. So let me just say this like I want to kind of wrap it up a little bit. What one piece of advice would you give to somebody who's in a relationship with the narcissist right now. First of all, I think most people who are in the relationship with the Narcissists do not realize that they are in that kind of relationship, but if you do realize it, the only piece of advice I would say is you cannot have hope that they are going to change, and also you can't do anything about it and it's not you, right, and you're not alone. Yeah, I think the thing I'd say, I guess because I've got the legal system on my mind is you have to learn about it and you have to adjust your mindset as...

...quickly as possible. Because I didn't go from not having known what Narcissism was to be an expert in a week. You know, I went, it was a journey and I made a lot of mistakes that have had an impact on things in court and my own peace of mind, my fears all that they had an impact on me. Because I didn't learn fast enough Christina. When you say one thing, because now I'm like, who actually Christine's a therapist who works with these personalities, things still change shit. What I said to more of they can't change unless they want to change. That's correct. They have to want it, which is very rare. Let's make sure we're always clear about that. When a narcissist wants to change, they change big right? Because they can't ever do anything small. So they change on a really big scale, but they have to really very badly wanted and have reasons that are for themselves and outside of external reasons. In other words, court is not a good reason. Children are not enough of a reason, a relationship is not enough of a reason. Those are not enough of a reason for narcissist, it has to be internal for themselves and then they will change. But it's extraordinarily rare, right? Because the people that we see, they come to us saying, is there any hope now if you're the one who's trying to hope that it's not now? Right. Right. Exactly. All right. So let's why don't you share with the audience, like how they can reach you guys? Tell us a little bit about your website and the services that you guys have. Sure. So, we originally had a plan to write a book and then we learned about all the changes in the publishing industry over the past couple of decades, and we said, no, no, no. What we need to do is help people more directly. So we have a series of online workshops, they're all really inexpensive, like $27.47 dollars in that range for different topics, because as you know, it's a long journey from just first realizing what's going on to being out and happy and finding to healthy love on the other side, there's a lot has to happen. So we try to help people that no matter...

...what stage they're at. We're also getting into the high conflict divorce coaching realm because that's where we can have the biggest impact on custody situation, financial situations. So been there got out dot com. Yes. You forget the legal abusive. I maybe we just started that like a few weeks ago, the legal abuse support group for people in situations like me stuck in the Family Court, Superior Court appellate court for years and years and years. There is no other legal abuse support group out there anywhere that I found and we've had a lot of people join and I try to offer emotional support as well as guidance from experts who know what they're talking about. Like we have a guest speaker this sunday's group who is a former guardian ad litem and she talks about you know what you need to know when you're dealing with because the Guardians have a lot of influence on these cases. Actually every single person so far in this support group is a parent with Children and the safety of your Children is always like a top top concern. So everything, all the things we just talked about, you can learn more. I've been there dot com. Yeah, in there, got out dot com thank you so much chris and lisa. It was such a pleasure. Thanks for having us Christine. Thanks for listening to understanding today's narcissist with Christine Hammond brought to you in part by psych central dot com. For more information, visit grow with Christine dot com. Yeah.

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