Narcissists and the Distortion of Reality

Narcissists and the Distortion of Reality

liesA lot has transpired over the past few days and I need to hold off on discussing the specifics.  What I can say right now: I am dusting off the “I mean business boots” …putting on the “big girl panties” and re-adjusting the “justice tiara”….being quiet is difficult for me because I process things through journaling and writing. For the time being, I will need to write in “draft mode”.

One thing that I can discuss is the narcissist’s uncanny ability to distort events and reality to suit their needs. This often leaves family members or spouses scratching their head or worse- questioning their own sanity.  This narcissistic phenomenon describes the majority of my marriage.  It began with small things and over time, it escalated to bigger things. Because our (normal) brains do not think in this distorted way, it is difficult to process or understand when you are on the receiving end of this behavior.  It took me almost a year of therapy and a lot of research on narcissism to understand that it wasn’t me—it was Seth.

My daughters, Piper and Sarah, opened up last night and released a lot of things that have been bothering them. One thing that happened this weekend was that Seth asked Piper (age 7), “Can you tell me WHY I received a phone call from the courts about HITTING YOU?” “You did hit us, dad” replied Piper.  Piper went on to bravely remind him of two different occurrences where he had hit her across the legs to which he replied, “I have NEVER hit you in my life—I moved your leg over.  I did NOT hit you”.

“I KNOW he is lying, mom! He DID hit me and Sarah lots of times.” explained Piper.  She was incredibly frustrated and I knew exactly how she felt in that moment. I know how those interactions feel but to watch him do this to my little girl killed a piece of my heart.

It brings me back to that exact same place that I try and coach other women out of: I find myself asking, “HOW” can he hurt her like this? How can he make her doubt herself and her truth? Then I remind myself: He is ill. He doesn’t operate in the same way we do. You wouldn’t expect sanity out of insanity.

I remind myself that he is a narcissist.

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15 Responses

  1. I always wonder if he believes his lies ( my abuser) or if he knows he is lying? Have you ever figured that out?

  2. I have found, and it’s been written about by various authors, that narcissists/sociopaths recreate their reality from moment to moment to to degree they actually believe,/i> what they say at any given time. Their narrative has to fit their perception of themselves, and because they are locked in manipulative behavior that narrative has to change away from actual circumstances that occurred. That’s why we feel crazy in relationship to them; it’s a lava lamp life story. That’s also why they are so credible when they interact with people who don’t know the whole history, and it’s why the courts need to look at evidence in high-conflict divorces differently than most do now.

  3. What a courageous seven year old! Sad that she has to deal with this at all, but very impressive that she can.

  4. Tina,
    I know it is frustrating. How do they live with themselves. I know you are handling these things with grace. Perfect teachable moments for our daughters to handle these things the same way. I always re-assure my daughters that I know they know that it is important to always tell the truth and that I always believe them when they do. I have to work really hard at not letting them know I am angry with their dad when he tries to coerce them into lying, I know I get angry with him when he does that and sometimes they see that. I try, he is just so crazy!! We pray and we hope and we know the truth always sets us free and we trust God to help us when we need it. And we need it a lot! :). BTW, there is a market for those boots and the tiara, not sure about the panties ;) Hang tough and be blessed.

  5. First time comment …..
    For the past ten years, I have been so beside myself at how he perceives his reality to be. He’s the only perfect and correct person who has graced us with his prescience. I can say the sky is blue and he will distort my words (by telling me I’m wrong) and give me a version that its a hue of purple and green.
    He has taken thousands of dollars, I have the statements and he will look at me and say he didn’t. He actually smiles about it. All I can say is I’m glad its over and I wish him well.

  6. So many many times I thought I was losing my mind. He’d say..I never said that, what’s wrong with you? or you must have heard me wrong, you need to start paying attention more, or you need to get your hearing checked..I could go on. I seriously cried myself to sleep many a night believing that I was starting to lose my mind, little by little, and knowing deep down that something just wasn’t right with the situation, but unable to prove anything. So I started to pay attention to where I was, and the time, and the date, and when he’d tell me he didn’t say that, I’d say yes you did! It was at this place, at this time, we were doing this, and he’d still tell me I was crazy..
    It wasn’t until after leaving him and reading about Narcissism did I finally ‘get it’!
    Hang in there everyone and especially Tina. Our Narcissist won’t get better, but WE will!!

  7. Tina – been thinking about you and your hearing today and hoping things have gone well, please post what you can when you can. My good friend who has divorced her own N also had a very important court date today, and it went very well for her, so my hope is that somehow in the unknown workings of the universe that bodes well for you today. Big hugs – V

  8. I need your help. I am on the brink of having my child taken from me because my husband has the agency that runs my sons school convinced I am a useless mother and he is convinced that he knows it all about everything, and my son would rather leave me and go live in a group home if it meant being away from his father. He can’t even stand the sound of his voice anymore because everything my husband has ever said to my son is cruel and judgemental, and mean. Not to mention the stuff that is just plain untrue. My husband actually believes the crap that feeds us and everyone else. I need to know how to mae people aware of his NPD in a way that doesn’t show me as angry and vendictive. I just want out of the relationship so badly but my health is bad and I don’t know if I could do it on my own, but I feel like I’m being driven crazy! Please give me some advice before I do something I might regret.
    Thank you, Debbie

  9. Debbie- I sent you an email. I also wanted to add that finding a counselor to discuss these issues is so important. You can do this– you just need to develop a support system and that is a great first step. <3 ((((Hugs)))) Tina