As I’ve tried to tell my story to get legal help dealing with the narcopath abuser, I’ve heard many platitudes that may apply to a normal break-up, but do not apply to a break-up with a predator. I’ve heard comments like “there are two sides to every story with the truth somewhere in between,” or “its a he-said she-said situation,” or “I feel bad for both of you,” or “you will learn to get along,” or “you are just bickering.”
Wrong. There maybe normal break-ups where those comments apply, but they do NOT apply after an abusive relationship–especially one with a sociopath or narcissist. When there is an abuser in denial, a pathological liar involved, the ONLY person who is helped by these meaningless phrases is the abuser. As usual, the abuser mooches off our human tendencies to want to be fair, our need for justice, our empathy. Right when the abuse survivor needs help and validation the most, society is not able to give it because they are too busy trying to be fair to the person that we know is abusive!
In these situations, there are two sides to the story–the lie and the truth. It is “he-said/she-said”–one said lies and one said the truth. An abusive relationship isn’t a case where one party is simply misunderstanding the other, where there is a difference in communication, where two people see things different ways. This is a case where someone was predatory, the other person is scared and trying to get help, and the abuser is trying to cover his or her tracks. The idea of “innocent until proven guilty” might protect some innocent people, but it also protects some very guilty people. The good people in society want to help the party that needs help, but so often ends up either on the wrong side helping the abuser, or at best, failing the victim. We all need to be more astute to noticing the difference between words and actions!
Unfortunately, most abusers aren’t jumping up and down to admit they are abusive. The large majority of them deny it, (of course,) and many of them are savvy enough to put on a false front and an act to look good. The first characteristic of a sociopath is superficial charm. So if we are just looking at the surface, we are going to join the fools who wrongly believe and support the abuser. We need to pay attention. The signs of lies are there if we are alert.
Forget what someone tells you and look at their behavior. The abuser may twist the story and claim to be the victim, but do they act like a victim? They can talk like one, but in my experiences, they rarely act like one. My former abuser socializes and never missed a beat after I ended the marriage. I stayed at home in deep depression and I jump at sudden noises or movements. Gee…maybe because something horrible happened to me? The abuser didn’t move on easily because he was so healthy. He moved on easily because he wasn’t hurt and no one ever mattered to him.
A former friend of mine claimed his ex-wife was greedy and taking all his money. He was a nice guy and everyone bought it. But, while he claimed to be living in poverty, he posted photos of lobster dinners, grilling steaks, his new TV and his new designer dog. Only a few of the most astute people in our social circles put two and two together. Most vilified his ex-wife based on his WORDS. He kept dragging his wife to court over and over and over to win, to prove she had a boyfriend, to harass her…. And he told everyone else that his wife was not cooperating so it was her fault. People truly did not pay attention to the fact that he was the aggressor. And frankly, I was not surprised when he murdered her then killed himself. Nearly everyone else was shocked. I was not. There were dozens of little signs that I recognized from dealing with a sociopath.
Most people who have not seen this level of deception and manipulation do NOT get it. They end up hurting and invalidating the real victims when they believe the abusers’ superficial lies. There may be two sides to every story, but that doesn’t mean they are both true.
7 thoughts on “There may be two or more sides to a story, but not every side is true”
My ex was charming and very few suspected I was in an abusive relationship. Even after publishing my story, there were still some who questioned if he could have actually been so cruel. I don’t worry about the non-believers. I keep sharing my story for those who are in similar situations. I know it’s true and that’s what matters.
Wishing you a narc free life! Sincerely, Jenn Sadai
Dark Confessions of an Extraordinary, Ordinary Woman
where do you find a lawyer that is on your side against the abuser? My narc could charm his way through anyone and leave me hanging in the wind. Very good article, thank you
Thank you, thank you for so adeptly framing into words what I have observed and dealt with and struggled to get people to see for many years. I took my four children and left my narcopath abuser several years ago, divorced him, and set about learning to live and rediscover myself after more than 10 years of every kind of abuse imaginable. The hardest part was accepting that so many people believed him and blamed me for being mean to him, or lying, or ” trying to ruin ” him. All those years that he did nothing but hurt me, our kids, and tried to kill me several times…was responsible for nothing , because he was so put-upon by having a ” crazy ” wife…utter bullshit used to divert attention from what he did and didn’t do. He beat me so badly when I was pregnant that I miscarried, broke bones many times, and yet, his family just couldn’t understand why I was so mean to him! The willful ignorance of our society is rampant. Makes me sick.
It’s so hard to read this because as I do I get anxiety at the thought. The fact that I lived with a narcissist for so long and didn’t know it, for 18 years and constantly found myself accepting the ridiculous lies and excuses of his actions, gaslighting, projecting, slander, deceptive behavior and then finally divorcing him in 2014. I’m still dealing with it all and had to recently get a DV restraining order and he’s remarried. he violated the restraining order. Even with all that while he spoke to the police, he actually had the nerve to try to make himself the victim and I’m the bad one. When I hear theses things he says I get anxiety really bad. It’s a reminder of what I lived with. He is very arrogant and knows he’s a good manipulator.
He will stop at nothing to hurt me. Even if it means hurting himself. An example- he purposely caused a repo on my credit with a car he was awarded in the divorce and then immediately bought a car in cash and hid in his new wife’s name. That repo was in his name too. He didn’t care. To him it was worth hurting his own credit as long as it hurt me. I’m not out of the nightmare yet…and it’s going on 4 years since we first separated and been 3 years since the divorce was final. He says the same thing about money and talks about me dying. Of course that’s all “hearsay” and would be objected to in court. He said it to my daughter and she’s too emotionally damaged by her dad to testify. I would be worried it would only hurt her more..
The thing I like about this piece is that it contains a very real-world-friendly test. Ignore words (which can be manipulated) look at observable facts…. who has “symptoms”. I lost 20 pounds while she “moved-on” and caught a really nasty STD within a few months of our break-up, (we were together 3 1/2 years and engaged to be married). I know the rest of the world will look down on me, but you’ll all understand when I say, “kinda’ brings a smile to my face, the way it all worked out”. Thanks for being there everyone… we don’t have to do this alone.
Thank you for this article. Reading about this and seeing that someone does understand is critical to our recovery. I have learned that I will get no true support from anyone else. It is very hard for anyone to understand this type of abuse unless you have experienced it. It is insidious and touches everyone in your life. My goal is to bring awareness to as many people as possible. It is hard enough to deal with the effects of long-term psychological terror. It is made so much worse when you go to the very resources responsible for helping the abused and you are victimized by them as well because they not only believe the abusers lies and manipulations, they actually perpetuate the abuse. The saddest thing I have experienced is that my children were just used as pawns, just to make me look bad. It breaks my heart that I worked so hard at raising my children and they are the biggest victims of all. They have no idea we are all just being manipulated and used to hurt each other and he doesn’t care one bit about anyone. He just wants to WIN. I know, because I was in their shoes. It is the exact same thing that happened to me with him. Manipulated, abused and used to hurt others, and then that was turned around and used against me. It is a sick psychological game. Little do they know the manipulator is sitting behind the curtain laughing at them as well. Look what he got them to do. And they don’t even understand, yet, they compromised their morals, values, integrity, ethics, and oaths. They did things they probably wouldn’t have normally done because they believed the lies. He thinks it is quite funny because after all, he is “intellectually superior” to everyone else. That is what he believes.
It is hard to understand how others don’t see how illogical the abuser’s rationalizations are. If authorities are going around continually covering up his “mistakes” and situations have to be manipulated by others to make me look bad, to make me look like the abuser…… if someone is helping him “create” these situations, why don’t they understand that is not normal? I am amazed that people will call me and “bait” me into saying something about someone….then that is used to turn that person against me and make me look bad. Why don’t they ask themselves……what does that make them? How ironic is it that the very things they are accusing me of, they are doing? Lying and manipulating to try to “prove” that I am a liar and manipulator. If I am so utterly and completely horrible, why does it take others to try to trick and trap me? It’s what he does, turns people into someone they are not. I know, it happened to me too. Others can’t see through the lies and manipulations, the same way we didn’t see through it in the beginning either. We believed all of the lies too. He has even basically admitted in writing that He has used all of the normal resources against me to teach me a lesson. He thought by leaving him I was playing a game and I was somehow trying to pull one over on him. Ironically, he calls me “paranoid.” I just wanted to stop being abused. There was no game on my part and I wasn’t trying to win anything. I was trying to leave in a mature manner and hoping to have a mature divorce and that he would do the best thing for the children. I even went back (don’t ever do that!) because I felt like it would be best for the children. I believed the lies all over again. He takes advantage of my good nature and my desire to do what is right for others first, and uses it against me.
The only thing that keeps me going is my faith that someone will see through it and understand. My faith that my children and my life will be restored, My faith that my higher power is stronger than him. I understand better than anyone how very hard it is to see the truth because you don’t want to believe you were manipulated into hurting someone you love. First, you don’t want to believe someone would even do that, and secondly, you don’t want to believe you would ever fall for or ever do something like that. None of us want to believe we were that vulnerable. But those are the best targets for him. The ones with empathy and vulnerability. In the end, my children will wake up and realize they were used, at least some of them were. And I have come to realize there is no shame and it’s not anyone’s fault they were used to hurt others. I have had to finally make peace in my heart and have forgiveness for those he used to hurt me, the same way I want them to have peace and forgiveness for how I was used to hurt them.
Stay strong, believe in yourself and your truth and know you are not alone. Someone believes you and believes in you.