Narcissists want to control every little detail of your life. Even if it does them no good, they must be in charge. Even if it makes no sense, they must be in charge. No matter what you do, they want to be the ones pulling your strings. I used to find that my narcopath ex would do the opposite of what he knew I wanted just to show that he was the boss. When I first experienced it, I was confused because it was so bizarre, but as he continued his crazy behavior, I quickly learned that he was disordered!
At first, he would purposely delay my getting to work on time. That was frustrating, because I didn’t want to have consequences at work for tardies! But, the abuser was insistent that I would leave when HE said I could. No wait, make that WE could…because he insisted on driving me to work so he could use my car all day! He just played games with my time in order to control me or punish me for trying to make my own choices. On one occasion in particular, I told him it was time for me to go to work. He became angry and said it wasn’t. Oops, I spoke first, so he had to “correct” me and be right, (even though he was wrong.) To punish me, he refused to let me leave. He glared at me and made me wait. I really wanted to get to work, so I again said I needed to leave and pointed at the clock. He refused, and got more angry. He then stated that the clock was fast, so he could ignore it. I told him that because it kept running fast, I had adjusted it back to the right time, which was something I did every few months. In fact, I had done it the night before. (I still do it. Same old clock!) He started yelling that I was a liar, and I hadn’t touched the clock. I thought it was so weird that he would be raging because I’d corrected the time and needed to leave for work. Any sane person would have just let me go to work! I kept trying to be allowed to go to work, and saying it really was past my time to leave, but he continued raging and said that HE knew what time I needed to leave, and it wasn’t time to leave yet. Finally, when I was significantly late, he allowed me to go to work. As he was driving down the street, he was speeding, and he continued to speed through a school zone. I pointed out that we were in a school zone, and he became enraged and started driving erratically. He yelled at me that he had to speed because I was late for work.
He’d just spent the past half hour refusing to let me leave, insisting I was wrong about the time, telling me he knew better than I knew, and getting mad at me, and NOW he was saying he had to drive like a maniac through a 20 mile per hour school zone because I was running late? And I’m sure that somehow this was my fault.
That was a typical type of game with the narcopath. No matter what the situation, he had to control it in such a bizarre way that I was left stunned, confused, and realizing that something was not right about his behavior.
I came to realize that any decision you might want to make on your own is an affront to the narcissist. Even if it’s what they would have chosen, the minute you make your own choice, they have to refute it and insist on the opposite. There were so many times the narcopath forced me to wait while he glared at me just to “prove” that we didn’t really need to leave when I wanted to.
There were also times he’d pick a fight at just the right time to make me miss an appointment or something I wanted to do. He’d magically end his fight once it was too late for me to follow through with my plans. It was like clockwork. I caught on that not only did he not want me to be allowed to control my own life, but he wanted to make sure I couldn’t enjoy the things I liked either. This happened over and over and over. He’d do whatever it took to destroy my plans. We spent most of our time sitting around my house while he glared at me or he looked at dating sites on my computer to procrastinate until it was too late. It was a dreary life.
One day, we were supposed to get up and spend a beautiful fall day at a pumpkin patch. He kept refusing to get ready. I’d had enough of that, and I wanted to get outside and enjoy the sun before winter came. I also wanted my son to get to pick a pumpkin and enjoy the activities. So, I called for a ride, (since I wasn’t allowed to have control of my own car,) and went with someone else. The narcopath was enraged that I’d managed to get around his games, and he threatened to divorce me for going. I still have some great pictures of the fun my son and I had that day, so it was worth it 😉
These time wasting games, and attempts to make us miss work or important events, or even just fun events are probably familiar to anyone dealing with a narcissist.
They will also abuse your time by:
1. Showing up late for dates or cancelling at the last minute
2. Not calling when they say they will…but calling when they know you are busy instead
3. Being late for visitation or bringing the kids back late from visitation so you are left waiting, (and starting to panic when your children are half an hour late and you don’t know what the narc is doing!)
4. Taking over the transportation, refusing to let you have your own car, hiding your keys, etc…so you can’t leave
5. Threatening you if you do decide to continue with your plans without them
6. Making plans at the last minute and expecting you to drop everything to meet their demands
7. Keeping you “hostage” if you ride somewhere with them and they don’t go to the place you were expecting or bring you home on time
8. Not picking you up on time after they have dropped you off somewhere
Even if these things don’t even benefit them or if these things inconvenience them, they will do them anyway just to stay in control and have power over you–to make you feel helpless and to keep you at their mercy.
Narcissists purposely sabotage us to keep us from living our lives the way we want or need.