Many of us have more than one narcissist in our lives. That’s the way it often goes. Narcissists are drawn to certain types of people, and they definitely recognize someone who has already been “primed” through previous abuse. So it’s no wonder that I grew up with a narcissist mother and married an even worse narcissistic sociopath.
Narcissists hate us, and when we catch on to them, they hate us more. They also hate each other, but since we know what they are, we are enemy number one. They will very gladly gang together to throw us under a bus. They will also use each other to triangulate and hurt us–to destroy our self-esteem and make us feel dependent on them. They want us to think we don’t deserve anything better.
Unfortunately, many women who divorce a violent abuser learn that their abusive mothers join the court battles against them to side with their abusers. What a slap in the face when your original abuser supports the next one, and you are fighting both at once to protect yourself! Two predatory people calling their joint victim “crazy,” because you know abusers ALWAYS call their victims “crazy!” Fortunately, that hasn’t happened to me yet, although I suspect it is a strong possibility for the future. However, I did experience tag team abuse from my mother the narcissist and my boyfriend/husband the narcopath many times.
The first time was on my birthday. The narcopath’s only present to me was to fly to my town the night before and ask me to drive him back to the airport very early the next morning. No gift. Just his visit–which meant I had to drive an hour after work to get him, then drive an hour before work to take him back when I really just wanted to rest. Honestly, I didn’t want to spend my birthday morning driving him back, so I asked my mom to give him a ride. She loved that idea….
On my birthday, no one gave me a thing.
But, my mother did call me at work to tell me the narcopath was such a wonderful guy, (at that time, he was love-bombing me so much that I thought he was too.) Then she told me I didn’t deserve him. She told me that she had used the car ride to tell him how horrible I was, to tell him I was a disrespectful horrible daughter, and to tell him he shouldn’t date me. She said she warned him that I was an ungrateful brat and that he was so great, he should break up with me to find a nice girl.
Happy Birthday to me.
Oh, but the narcopath called me at work too! He pretend to be concerned about how mean my mom was, and he told me in detail all the ways my mom told him how awful I was. At that time, I knew my mother was my biggest bully and worst enemy, but I did wonder why my wonderful new boyfriend was telling me such hurtful information. Did I really need to hear, in detail, on my birthday that my mother had thoroughly trashed and smeared me? Again?
As they got to know each other, my mother continued to praise the narcopath. Even after he began raging and abusing me. Even after he attacked my child. Even after he assaulted me. She was his cheerleader. She continued to take his side and tell the police I’d always been such a troubled brat that the abuse must be my fault.
The narcopath said he hated my mother. He said her house was filthy and she was a terrible influence on my child. He said we needed to move out of state and get me and my child away from my mother.
As the abuse continued and I realized what he was, he started to band together with my mother as they both bullied me. When he assaulted me, she made excuses for him. They bonded over the fact that I was so “mean” to both of them when I began to understand what narcissism was and what I was dealing with. After I kicked the narcopath out of my life, he went around telling people that I was cruel to him AND my wonderful mother.
I’m sure he despises her just as much as he ever did, but for a narcissist, anyone is a tool to use against a common enemy. He doesn’t hesitate to use people he looks down on to promote his own image.
They recognize that the other is just as sick as they are, and they will probably hate each other, but they WILL tag-team to hurt you. A narcissist will use whomever they can so they can keep you from exposing what they really are.