Psychopath/Narcissist: The Smear Campaign

     When the relationship with a psychopath/narcissist is over, a smear campaign by him, is sometimes, if not most times, waged against the survivor. One of the reasons he does this, is his FEAR of being exposed. The smear campaigns he wages are efforts to keep you in silence about his behavior and what he did to you. When you are in the throes of the aftermath, this can be a very painful experience and the pain can be so great, that you are unable to fight back. This is what the psychopath/narcissist wants. It may be what is best for you too, at first. . .

Oftentimes, the predator has already spoken about you in derogatory terms, behind your back before the relationship is over. His attempts to control you, are not limited to triangulations that you may not even be aware of during the relationship in his back stabbing. The isolation that occurs as a result of his efforts, makes it much more difficult when the relationship is over to speak up for yourself or to cultivate support for yourself, when he has told everyone  you both know, how “crazy”, “unstable” and “mental” you are. We can’t see that this is strategic, and just as it was in the relationship, to be a step ahead of you, to protect his mask, to keep control.

What is so painful about these smear campaigns, is that whatever it was that you told him about yourself, no matter how personal it will be shared with many others. Because you shared these intimate details, believing you were sharing in trust and love, some of what the predator says, can be just enough truth to make you feel that you have no defense, no way to protect yourself. What the psychopath/narcissist is doing to you, is the very thing he fears for himself. EXPOSURE. The most cruel aspects to his smear campaign is that he uses your reactions in anger, frustration, and fear, due to his sadistic provocations during the relationship, against you to create a portrait of a mentally unstable woman in some way. These hurtful attempts to smear you, can create the same reactions for you that you had during the relationship further validating his accusations and gossip. This is another reason why it’s so important not to react right now, at least not in front of him and not to others who would deliver your venting to add to his arsenal. It’s very important to seek out support during this time so that you can share your anger and outrage about what is being done to you in safety. Another reason to ‘lay low’ during this time is that your reactions will be twisted in that it is you who is stalking him. Due to their high levels of narcissism, the psychopath/narcissist, loves the idea that you can do nothing more with your life than think about him, his life, his new victims, etc. Survivors have been accused of doing this long after the relationship is over and she is past reacting or thinking about him. He will often tell the new victim that you never got over him and are likely to stalk them both! It’s ridiculous to think about, but this is seriously how narcissists think!

“They are sicker than we are smart”~ Sandra Brown, M.A.~author of “Women Who Love Psychopaths”.

I love this quote because it gives you an idea as to his total lack of empathy, which allows his “sickness” (psychopathy) to always be a step ahead of you. Without conscience, these men can strategize in a way that means you don’t have a chance to “beat” him or to “win”. 

If you have children with the predator, and are trying to divorce him, he will go to great lengths to get what he wants in sabotaging the process with endless court date changes, agreement changes, non compliance, etc. If your ex predator has access to a lot of money,  he will use this to hire a very expensive attorney and attempt to get custody of your children, or to prevent paying child support and/or alimony or the division of assets and property. Psychopaths will often choose an attorney who is also disordered, multiplying the likelihood of more losses for you and more “wins” for him. ALL of this is about control.

Some predators will let go entirely once they secure a new victim. The children you share won’t matter to him, as he’ll have a “new family”. If he has money, you may continue to get support, or he may decide that his money is more useful in combination with the new victim’s (cash cow), assets, property or bank account. In my case, once my ex husband secured a new victim, he completely abandoned us. There was no child support. No visitation. Nothing. While this was very painful to me at first (as well as his smear campaign), as I did not wish for  my children to be hurt by the abandonment, it turned out to be a significant blessing. Many survivors would rather the psychopath leave them alone.

In the case of my last ex, his now ex-wife hated him and wanted a divorce as soon as possible. I do not believe she understood that he has a personality disorder, believing him to be a lousy husband, but a good father. This, of course, gave him a lot of power in the divorce. She was bought out of their house and got child support and half his retirement in return for joint custody. I wonder if she regrets this decision, given what he has done to his children. The idea that a predator himself claims that he’s a lousy husband, but a good father, is contradictory and a reflection of his disorder. The children are weapons and objects, extensions of him. The manipulation he has done with his daughter, as well as I suspect triangulations, and using her to lure the new victim, is repulsive.

My ex predator is an excellent manipulator and he uses his money to do it. What teenager doesn’t want lots of “stuff” from the mall? Psychopaths/narcissists are extremely materialistic and this is projected upon his children in manipulating them with money, as well as encouraging them to become as materialistic, image focused and shallow as he is. Part of their smear campaign is never limited to just friends of the couple, but also the children. The psychopath takes the separation and divorce as an opportunity to separate and triangulate the children with their mother. I thank God everyday that I did not have to deal with what many of these women have.

My ex’s smear campaign of his wife was not as successful as other predators who have attempted this. His ex wife was so angry, she told everyone she knew what he had done (GOOD FOR HER!), including all their friends and those in their church. He didn’t leave her or the church without losing many of their friends. His wife was very well liked and a kind, faithful woman with a huge supportive family. She got angry. She felt her power in that anger. She had done nothing wrong except marry this man and stay too long, like many of us. For many survivors, this is not the case and often  her own family can be turned against her with the psychopath’s attempts to isolate and undermine her from any support.

The one thing that I swore to myself that I would never, ever do, is to remain silent about my experience. My silence would mean my abusers still had control in my life, even after they have been long gone. I will not allow them to have power in my life anymore. The abusers greatest weapon, is silence.

I encourage survivors to speak out about their experiences, providing it is safe to do so. If you are dealing with a stalker or some other very serious issues that would put you in danger, it’s best not to react in any way until you are in a safer place and some time has passed, but when you reach a place where you can begin to speak out about your experiences and share them with others, it will be an incredibly empowering milestone and in doing so, you eliminate his power in your mind and in your life. The more you talk about it, the more ridiculous the predator will look and seem to you.

Another gift in your refusal to be silent, is validation.

There is just something about sharing your experience about him and the reactions of others that validates your knowing just how sick this man really was/is. It has been very interesting to see a healthy minded person react and/or respond to what I share. It is simply unfathomable that someone could be so evil. Our experiences are best described as, “This stuff can’t be made up, it is so unbelievable, it has to be true”.

We live in a largely shallow world. We often live with some residual distortions when our relationships are over and one of them is that everyone exposed to the smear campaign thinks about what the predator said to them, day and night. The reality is that they don’t. People have their own lives to worry about, their own problems. Perhaps for the moment the lies being told to others, would seem believable to those listening, but we have to question people who are invested in the psychopaths drama. Do they really have any credibility when they believe without your side of the story? In the end, it doesn’t matter, even though at the time, it is very hurtful.

One of the most painful things a survivor deals with during the smear campaign is that she loses people that she wholeheartedly believed cared for her. This can happen literally overnight. It’s very difficult to put things into a balanced and healthy perspective when you are under a heavy burden of the distortions created by the psychopath and those who find him remotely credible. If people believe the predators narrative of you, you are better off without them. Healthy people will look with suspicion upon the predator’s stories of pity. Believe it or not, there are those out there who dislike this  man and his drama, but for those who are believing what is essentially no more than a five year old child’s verbal temper tantrum and “tattling”, you’ve got to question their levels of maturity. The predator is so self involved he believes that others want to hear his stories of woe. He believes that people think about him day in and day out, another reason he keeps talking, long after people have stopped listening, long after he is remotely believable. The psychopath/narcissists lack of empathy, always trips them up eventually. Give him rope by walking in dignity and grace without reacting.

The hardest thing you will ever do during a smear campaign is the refusal to fight back. Yes, you will get the opportunity to share your story, but in maintaining your silence until the dust settles and doing exactly the opposite of what the predator expects out of you in response (reacting, trying to prove you’re not what he says you are, etc), means you are walking in grace and maturity. Because psychopaths/narcissists are without empathy, if you walk in grace with a refusal to respond or react to his malicious gossip, it will be you who is ultimately more believable. If others attempt to speak with you about it, simply tell them that you will not, and that you do not wish to discuss him at all and do not wish to hear about his life. It is your right to do this. As he continues to talk, and you refuse to engage, he begins to look like the true asshat that he is. Time is the key here. This too shall pass. It is our reactions to what he is saying and doing, that encourages his belief that he has control in your life and can still hurt you.

Your dignity has already been severely compromised in the relationship. You can begin to get it back by not reacting to him and his attempts to humiliate and degrade you. People will think what they wish to think, but what will be very important to you is to hold on to what you know is the truth, about yourself and about him.

Psychopaths/narcissist live for a reaction out of others.

Don’t give him one. Wait for the opportunity to come in the future, at which time you’ll be able to remove his power with your strong, healing voice.


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166 Responses to Psychopath/Narcissist: The Smear Campaign

  1. Barbara says:

    I am so glad I found this. I just had this realization yesterday and my mind is blown. He broke up with me two years ago on Mother’s Day, which was also the first anniversary of a loved one’s suicide. One week earlier he had come to my counselor’s with me for the sole purpose of discussing how to be supportive on that specific day!! He said the most cruel things and said he couldn’t believe I wasted two years of his life. I harmed myself and was hospitalized. I had a very hard time letting go even though I knew in my gut that he was bad. I found out while he was still texting me and saying that he’d always care he had been telling his new gf and every other person in town how crazy and in love with him I was that I couldn’t live without him. He had been bashing me and grossly betraying me long before we even broke up! His new gf has now joined in telling everyone that I am, in fact, a basket case. Every time I tried to break up with him, he would demand to stay together! In the last month we were together he told me that if I didn’t sign a release for all of my counseling records to be available to him we would break up, but if I did then *maybe* we would stay together. The month before that he asked if I would pay for a down payment on a house for *us* that would be in HIS name due to a car repo I have on my file. I couldn’t believe he went from “let’s get a house together,” to “you’re a wreck and I can do better” in two months! I really had become a wreck, though. I entered the darkest depression of my life. I was drinking heavier than I ever had, daily. The anxiety was debilitating to the point that I would not sleep for four days straight, almost every week for our entire relationship. I fell apart. I kept looking for some evidence to explain what was happening, but didn’t find it until after we broke up- and then just one small piece at a time. He and I both attributed it to a delayed reaction to my childhood. I had never been so out of touch before. He got a restraining order against me because my text messages were calling him out on what I was slowly learning. The anger is unreal. I am utterly humiliated and ashamed of who I am, and I have never felt this beaten down. When I went to the hospital, during intake he was SMILING AND TEXTING!! I was so deluded I intellectualized that it was- uncaring- but didn’t believe what I had seen. The smear campaign against me is so bad that I will never, ever be able to live in the same town as my daughter again (her father has primary custody- a story equally unbelievable and shockingly unjust). Then he tells people that he feels sorry for me and just hopes I get help!!! If you take out the consistent 4 days without sleep, and then drinking- my behavior was not genuinely crazy until the very end. I had simply reached the end of my rope. I am utterly ashamed at how poorly I conducted myself at the end and after the breakup, and fear I will never recover the damage done to my life, even though I am healing emotionally.

    • Barbara, you will recover. We all have. Your story is similar to so many women that have been involved with men with NPD. Been there and you will heal, just as many of us had. Do not be ashamed that you were a caring person that got taken advantage of by a disordered one. Hold you head up high. Someday some people may come to know the truth about this man–but only when he has used them as well. And in the meantime continue to heal yourself into someone that is even more than what you were before this person came into your life.

    • annettepk says:

      It sounds like you had/have PTSD which is a normal response to abnormal/crazy treatment. Every bit of your ‘crazy’ behavior was engineered by him. He was doing everything he could to get you to feel awful enough to act out. He chose every bit of your insanity for you in detail. He orchestrated your actions, and he manufactured your emotions. Smiling and texting while you are suffering from illness is enough to make anyone crazy. He used your vulnerability about the Mothers Day suicide anniversary to drive you crazy. I am sure he did many many other constant crazy making behaviors; the things you describe don’t happen in a vacuum or in the context of a relationship where he cares positively about your well being.
      I am sorry you endured this. I was the target of a bit of a smear campaign and a lot of trying to make me act crazy. It is truly horrible.
      The humiliation and shame you feel really should be his – the way he should be feeling. He has somehow transferred it to you. The blame should be put back on him where it belongs.

    • Barbara,

      It takes a very long time to heal from the psychopathic damage. You’ve just begun. The first several months are filled with obsessing/ruminating about he and the relationship. All the knots he tied into your head through his projection and crazy making will take several months to into a couple of years to untie. If we were to try to untie it all at once, we’d implode. Once you get clear, you’ll begin to unravel your story with him and discover many, many traumas.

      As I read your story, it was uncannily familiar to my own with my last psychopath who was just as psychologically cruel as it appears yours is. He would do things on purpose to get a reaction from me, knowing all of my vulnerabilities. He constantly exploited my shame and guilt issues. He exploited my faith. I too, had an alcohol problem during the relationship that he coerced and encouraged early on. As soon as the relationship ended, the drinking did too. All of that is an outcome of the extremes in living with someone so toxic. I reached the lowest point in my life at the end of the relationship too, a foot in the door to a psychiatric hospital with the exception that I had some support when I got out. My ex used my text messages in a hearing we both had to attend after he was fired for his relationship with me as I was a client of his. To win his case, he spent the previous two months provoking me to knee jerk reactions, purposeful abuse, as he knew I would be so angry as to react and text. The night before the hearing, he had printed out two months worth of texts. It was totally and completely humiliating. When I realized what he had done, I was beside myself with hurt and anger at the betrayal. And he got his job back, and three hundred more potential victim’s that he has under him.

      I like to think of psychopaths like cockroaches. For every single single thing hidden, every single tactic that is strategized, there are hundreds more that we never know about. Just like for every one cockroach, there are a hundred more….

      Much of my dependence upon my last psychopath was a direct result of childhood trauma. He was strikingly like my own father. I was so desperate to keep the relationship together, I could not see the forest for the trees, Barbara. I put up with the most humiliating behavior and tactics. I just *knew* he was so great to everyone else, but that it was me that he just couldn’t love. I was only partially correct in that he definitely could not love, but it WAS me too…I have pathological parents and a pathological family, so I was not able to see my psychopath coming in the first place because he was so FAMILIAR to me…and my background is why. These are things that you’ll discover as you process your relationship with him.

      As I was reading, I cringed when I saw that he demanded your mental health records. Did you give them to him? Did you give him the down payment on the house?

      There is a point that survivor’s won’t cross in the psychopath’s demands. But when it’s crossed and the things we do…what we will do to keep them in our lives, is the depth of the dependence and addiction. Had I not gotten out at the time that I did, I may well have completely lost myself permanently. The behaviors out of him that I put up with, I know that a healthy woman would not. Not even close. I had become as sick as he was. I would have done anything to keep him in my life, my addiction and dependence upon him was just that bad. I can reconcile it now, but like you, I carried a great deal of shame about my own behavior. If you have wounds from your past, the most evil thing about these individuals is that they will exploit it. He knew you had some sort of mental health issue, and was going to make good use of it for his personal gain, whether it was financial or for the smear campaign. When you’re desperate at the end, so sick that you’ll do anything they ask you to do, it DOES create a deep level of shame. I look at this man now and wonder what I ever saw in him in the first place and sometimes this makes the same a little worse for me.

      Part of the work that will need to be done, is in therapy. I hope you have a therapist, Barbara because the level of exploitation he committed is pretty intense. I think the more dependent and addicted we are to the psychopath, is equal to the depth of past wounds. The crazy things I allowed my ex to do to me, especially toward the end, when it was obvious I should have gotten out LONG before, was not about him anymore, it was about me. This doesn’t mean what he did he is not responsible for, but with the extremes of abuse I was allowing him to do to me, said more about the depth of my addiction and dependence to him, then it did about his behavior anymore. He was sick and somewhere in my heart I knew it. But my childhood betrayals and trauma were loud, obnoxious screaming voices in my head and heart that said there was something wrong with ME and not HIM, even though my wounds meant that there WAS something wrong with me. LOL..hard to explain…

      I wish you peace as you heal, Barbara..

  2. Barbara says:

    Thank you for the replies. I really did believe it was all me, even though a piece of me knew better. Each time I sought help for drinking, he’d have some derogatory remark about how I was going about it or why he shouldn’t be pleased until I was fully “fixed”, then would bring me alcohol or take me to a bar. I did not give him access to my records. I tried to convince myself that he wanted them because he cared soo much as to want to understand me and how I was progressing, but I couldn’t reconcile that. Seeing how everything played out, I do believe that he would have used them to further his smear campaign and hold over my head as “evidence” that it was all my fault. I couldn’t lie to myself about the down payment on a house either. Looking back, I can’t get that devious smirk he had on his face when he asked for those things out of my head. He knew what he was doing, and he knew I was desperate- and thought it was humorous. The whole relationship was, “As soon as you get better, we can get closer/more committed…” So I was killing myself trying to get “fixed” while he sat around either emotionless or degrading me. He actually tried to wrestle a bowl of food out of my hands once because he wanted me to be skinnier, and when I wouldn’t eat for the four days I wasn’t sleeping, he’d say, “You’re starting to look good.” That’s just one, easy-to-type example. Anytime I confronted him on anything, especially lies or inconsistencies I caught him in, he would explode so the neighbors could hear and just keep screaming for me to drop it until I just backed down. He would hold out affection until I was discussing my feelings about us possibly not working out, then out comes the man I *thought* I had demanding me to realize how perfect for each other we were. He was very much like my father in many, many ways. I was in a non-stop cycle of trying to win his approval or affection, which never came. What he has going for him is that, in that small town, he is from there and I’m not, and he is probably the most admired person in it- due to that larger-than-life charm.

    • Barbara,

      Are you sure about that admiration? Survivors are capable of projection too, just not in the same way as psychopaths. We’re coming from a place of dependence and low self esteem, so we think everyone thinks our ex psychopath’s are ‘admirable’ or ‘great’ “oh everyone else just LOVES him”…well, not really.

      When I first got out of my relationship, I suffered from ‘pedestal projection syndrome” LOL! I thought that he was THE bomb…the most wonderful man on earth that I couldn’t have. I believed wholeheartedly that it was just ME that he was mean too, abusive too….uh, nope! A few years and a lot of therapy later, I’ve rescinded that thought LOL…he’s a soulless being, a parasite, sucking the life out of his victims, which are many. I’m relieved to be away and see him for what he is now. And not through rose colored glasses of a soul tainted by a lifetime of psychopathology and you will too…..Peace to you…

  3. Patricia says:

    I had been told by a good friend that smear campaigns were being told about me. From what I had experienced (twice) I needed people to talk to. It eats away at your soul. Someone had been to her. She told me to stop talking or I would in so many words suffer. She said those that love you won’t listen to the stories. I had only confided in a couple of people I knew, friends and family only. I then wondered how anyone apart from those I knew had known that I had confided in people for help. I had trusted this particular person wholly and solely. This person found out all my contacts, had spoken to them or got someone else (apaths) to do the bullying and now some friends don’t speak with me. When we were together he wanted to know absolutely everything about me and I was silly to tell. I realized the campaigns were going on before we became a couple. I know friends I made recently were part of the exercise to taunt me as they were not very clever at hiding their involvement. They ask the oddest questions which makes it too obvious among other things. I soon cut ties with them in knowing what their motives were. I realized these people are not worth the friendships anymore, I don’t want my son near them and I don’t put energy in to thinking about it. It has continued through other people I have met. I’ve picked up on it pretty early on. I have had to pick my contacts carefully since. I have found out there are nice people out there. If you find a good psychologist or support group it helps and helps you understand more it isn’t you at all. I have been made out to appear crazy because I know in actual fact it isn’t me who is.
    Decent people don’t taunt someone that has been suffering depression and longer than they thought they had depression. Listening to and making up stories, making accusations that just aren’t true, to taunt someone is a cruel emotionally un-intelligent practice. Any decent person would not take advantage of another or abuse them for seeking out their own supply.

    • Patricia,

      EXACTLY. So simple, isn’t it? Healthy minded people do not advocate for harm to come to others. But this is what psychopaths do. In a strange way, their smear campaigns are projections. They believe that the world and all around them are thinking of the psychopath 24/7. Ever notice how the campaigns are extreme? We think about them and what is being said, even when we know it’s lies, in part, wondering how so many can believe so easily and because it’s so exploitative, especially with personal information, that we wind up believing that others are thinking of what the psychopath says about us, 24/7. But it’s just not true. They’ll keep the smearing going as long as possible, as long as people will listen and they always have followers, but eventually the psychopath’s smear campaign evolves into a true picture of who he/she is. Who goes on and on and on and on about someone or rather many someone’s for days and days and days and days, sometimes years? Only psychopaths do. And believe me, they ultimately lose people in their lives when they do it.

      Recently, I discovered a narcissist in my own life who had not ONE thing to say about the individuals that this person considered to be friends. Chronically angry and prone to rages, this individual was not only dangerous, but extremely DRAINING….people DO get tired of hearing how much the pathological hates others. It’s very very toxic. Good Luck to you in your recovery

      • patricia says:

        Thank you. Yes I had people trying to set me up to make me angry. I was told I had anger problems from my last partner. I did have but I’ve worked on this and he turned his back and offered no support only used me for a reason. After what he did and others I did feel angry for being treated the way I did. But it was a fantastic psychologist and others that told me I’m not crazy at all or the picture these people have painted of me. It was what has happened over the years and circumstances that aided in eating at my soul. I’ve had help and support and for a while now and when I found out friends had been approached and had ” apparently” heard I’d said things, this was a projection from the psychopath because I had spoken about my concerns of him to them and his very weird behaviour and non existent (if any) emotions. Some have hidden and don’t want to talk. He needed to go about this to cover his own inability to have sincere, loving relationships. So sought to destroy mine. Only saw me as an opportunity and when I said no to marriage after only a very short period of time of being together things changed in an instant. His plan failed so the smear started.
        I realized even if I had discussed with him and mentioned concerns I had of friends it gave him no right to twist the truth and get others (which he had) to go to them and extend it to lies. It shows his insecurities. A friend of mine even apologized to me (who had been spoken to) and agreed she hadn’t treated dis-reguarded me when all I did was give unconditional care and support.
        It will only be a matter of time before people see I’m not what I’ve been out to appear to be.

  4. Christina says:

    As I was reading your article it was as if you were describing everything I am going through. I decided to not remain silent and to expose my ex husband. He has succeeded in turning every one against me. Speaking out is a very lonely place and only those that have endured an experience such as this can truly understand that one’s soul has almost been destroyed. My goal is to be strong, live a life I deserve and help others through similar experiences to become whole again and know it was never about them. It is in the silence that perpertrators can continue, it is with our voices that justice can be done. Fear can immobilise you courage in the face of fear will emancipate you.

    • Christina,

      Welcome and thank you for your courage in sharing…

      Psychopaths do not like to be ‘outed’ ….this is why the smear campaign in the first place….to be a step ahead…to make you look as a fool…

      And if others believe, you have your answer about who they are too….

      When we let them go, we see not just who they really are, but that all we were holding onto was fantasy…the hatred of the psychopath cuts like a knife…peace to you…..

  5. tigerlilly34 says:

    Hi, I have been out of a 8 year marriage to a psychopath, since march this year and I am going thru hell still. I cant sleep, cant eat, and feel completely immobilised, and struggle during the day. Its almost a feeling of being buried whilst still alive its horrible:( I had my ex P taken out of my home in march after being violent and verbally abusive by the police. He now lives with my estranged aunt, who had caused me hell also I have no doubt in my mind she is a narc, as she at one stage keep making false allegations of me calling her abusing her on the phone, so me and the ex would fight over a lie, so I guess in a way they both get to hurt me at the same time. I have gone no contact since june, there was a court hearing in april and I stupidly felt sorry for him and had the restraining order dropped so he could see the kids. He hasn’t even really bothered with the kids anyway, and has seen them 6 times in 6 months, yet another façade that he loves the kids, I’m heartbroken for them it never stops . I have since been back to court in august since he just stormed in my home, gave me a threatening stare and damaged my side fence and called me a “c*nt” he is a heartless monster. He has contested the order of course, not that he cares, he just has to win at all costs. So the judge gave me a temporary order till the next court hearing in October, I just want NO contact so I don’t see him I have organised for the children if he wants to ever see them, thru a contact centre. He received the application letter 2 weeks ago and sent me a text saying “contact centre ?, I don’t think so, the only reason you cant face, is because you have lied, start telling the truth and I might do something that you want” wtf ? I think he is trying to set up texts for the judge to think I am a liar ect. I don’t care I have reported the text breach, and they are going to arrest him next week. I am scared though as he has almost strangled me to the point of death before, and I am for the first time starting to stand up for myself, going thru with court orders and breaches, I never did before. I also had a drinking problem during the marriage, and I know he will bring that up in court, the excuse for the bruises is that I fell over drunk, I have since got a lot of help and have only lapsed twice since march and my therapists and counsolers have written me support letters. I’m just sooo tired of this shit, it hurts, now my grandmother is now telling my mother I need to support him, as he had a fall and injured his knee,and that me telling lies is wrong, its because my evil aunt has brainwashed her to make it look like I’m the abuser. I have no sympathy for him, I hate him, and my so called aunt that he lives with. Its weird even though I am physically away from him but it feels like he is still here in my head its been 6 months. I am dreading going back to court, as last time he snarled and kept snickering, and called me a bitch under his breath,but the judge never heard, my legs where shaking. I just wish this hell was over, I have never been in so much pain in my entire life.

    • tigerlily,

      The court issues are the hardest, I think, as well as going through the rigors of sharing children with a spath.

      You’re still very early in recovery and with the aggravation of constant triggers with the court issues and his attempts to hurt you, it’s going to make things appear ten times worse.

      From everything you’ve shared though, it seems that you’re doing everything RIGHT in protecting yourself and your children. NEVER give up, no matter who is doing or saying what. Those that listen to his garbage, aren’t worth having around in the first place. I leg go of my ENTIRE pathological family to have some sort of ‘peace’ without their interference.

      The very BEST thing you can do for yourself, especially when in court or having to face him is to do your VERY BEST to be INDIFFERENT to him. Psychopaths can and will pick up on your fear and play with it. Act in GRACE and INTEGRITY for yourself.

      If you’re close to your mother, it’s perfectly okay to ask her NOT to discuss him with you. You do have control over what is filtered to you through other people and this is a great way to start implementing personal boundaries around what is happening. Part of the reason he’s in your head, is just part of the recovery process, but it’s also because people filter stuff to you that he says or does and this triggers you over and over, making it impossible to have even a minute’s peace.

      If he texts or writes and there is an order against him, keep doing exactly as you’re doing, record and report! NEVER respond to it, Allow the things he says to be said ,while you remain absolutely SILENT for now, until it is over, or in places where it’s very safe for you to vent. Any reactions you give to anyone, for the time being, MUST be assumed that it will get back to him. Under normal circumstances, I’d say survivors SHOULD speak up about their abuse, but a lot of healing has to happen first and distance from the psychopath too.

      He wants you to keep him in your head. But you do have a choice about how much space in your head you ALLOW him to have. If you’re in therapy, may I suggest that your therapist go over some calming techniques? I know that sounds very weird, but for me, on occasion it CAN work. It’s not a sure thing all the time, but one of the things my therapist has been working on with me, is centering and focusing. I too have a court date ahead for something else, but am a basket case about it. I’m choosing one small thing that is the most important to me. It sounds TOTALLY nuts I know, but I’m a huge animal lover and just lost my boy last March….so I have his ashes in a very small urn. I’m taking that with me and am going to hold on really tight to it and focus on all the good memories I’ve had with my boy and that he is there with me. People might consider that morbid, but for me it is the MOST comforting. Maybe for you it’s a picture of your children, a favorite necklace, a picture one of your children drew for you, but ANYTHING that you can hold onto really tight too at your court appearances and focus on in between having to answer questions and averting your gaze away from him as well as ignoring his antics.

      By the way, congratulations on your sobriety! When I left my ex, I too had developed a problem with alcohol in the relationship. I have almost four years without a drop! Sometimes, alcohol or drug abuse can develop in the relationship, either because the spath does it, or as a measure of coping. But this too can be overcome and I understand how HARD that is to do, especially when you’re recovering from a spath and all the antics they engage in that drive you CRAZY.

      You’re doing the right thing, Tigerlily! HANG IN THERE.

  6. tigerlilly34 says:

    Thanks for your response, it means a lot. I know what you mean by not giving him my energy as he is like a soul sucker, I do have my moment of peace when I refuse to let him get in my head. I f I go out and leave the house I dress up hold my head high and smile, I feel like I have to kinda fake it till I make it. And yes I will never respond to any communication with him. The only concern I have right now is the fact that the police are going out to see him next week to be arrested, as that is in a way giving him my energy and the fact that he feels I am scared of him but I have too. He doesn’t really care for orders and had told me once that he will never go to jail due to him being on kidney dialysis and hospitalized 3 days a weeks. The other thing is I heard he had a big fall last week and damaged his knee and may have broke it. So if he comes for me I can at least run. He also has his old broken down car he has left here that I have put out the front curb and the council came yesterday that they are going to take it Monday as its unregistered and he will be angry about that, I have contacted my lawyer and he told me I am not responsible for it and not to worry, as its not my problem. I almost had a panic attack worrying about it, I have been so brainwashed to take responsibility for his shit !! and its true its not my PROBLEM. I know he is plotting something, and as long as I have the police and the law, so fingers crossed I will be ok.

    • You’ve done everything you need to do to keep yourself safe and you have the back up of the police and the court. They want us to live in fear of them, Tigerlily….and I know that PTSD makes it very hard sometimes to avoid triggers….I still have plenty of them too…but all you can do is learn to manage them, while he has to be held accountable for his actions that are NOT your problem :)

  7. Deb says:

    Fabulous article- all painfully true. I have a question: I recently got sucked back into my narc’s lies- he was a changed man, offered me the world blah blah. He discarded me rapidly because I questioned his movements & tried to have more respect for myself this time around. I found out I was supply #3 in the harem hierarchy this time around and he had no troubles in discarding me. Ticked off at being used again, I stooped to his level and went after him. Threatened his reputation, his business, his prized car, attacked him physically as well as his ego. Really nasty stuff. Even after all this he ignored my request to block me on Facebook messenger. He threatened to put a restraining order against me, yet wouldn’t block me on messenger. He wouldn’t reply to my messages, but he wouldn’t block me either. I felt he was still keeping me connected. Then his #1 lady- who he was trying hard to win back after a discard- contacted me to check up on his lies. I told her what he’d been up to with me. I wrote to my ex and told him that I’d supplied her with the evidence he’d been lying to her. I also added that he was ageing badly and was a financial failure. I told him he sucked the joy and confidence out of those around him and would never be happy- & that I had been happy without him. That message finally convinced him to block me. Does this mean he will despise me and never come near me again after I went on quite a brutal attack and threatened his control over his latest #1 supply? I feel like he must surely despise me as a dangerous enemy now. His #2 lady blocked me at the same time- I presume in a show of solidarity- then unblocked me a week later- any thoughts why she did that? Trying to please him, or check up to see if he was with me (I quickly went and blocked her)? Any insights are appreciated!

  8. Pingback: Hush Now. Be Discreet. | No More Silence

  9. It is horrifying to read what you had to go through with your ex-husband; so sorry. My husband sent me this article because he saw my son-in-law all over your description of your ex-husband. My son-in-law has already started the smear campaign but not on my daughter, he is smearing us her parents because he wants us away from her to crater her support system. Already he has called the police on us for going to his house to check up on my daughter and our grandchildren. So scary for us right now because we haven’t seen our daughter in 18 months; we know she is still alive but how well is a mystery. All our efforts are worthless since he has all the right to keep us off his property. I just pray my daughter develops your type of strength and gets away from him one day. :/

    • Ana,

      While I cannot share my own similar situation with one of my children, the best advice I can give you, although painful, is that unless she wants to leave, there is LITTLE you can do. I understand the terror that you feel, in fear of her life and that of your grandchildren, but as it is with an abuser, having lived this myself, we do not see the lethality in psychopaths that others do.

      Standing back, but yet just WAITING for your child to reach out to you, letting her know in whatever way you are able too, that you support HER and that when she’s ready you are there for her. Trust that in sharing this with you, it will be VITAL when she is ready to leave. It’s critical that she knows she has an escape route with those that will help her, without judgment, criticisms and I told you so’s. I’m needing to keep this front and center in my own mind as my child is not ready to leave, yet she understands his lethality and that frustrates me when I can see what’s happening and SHE can too but yet feels trapped in the situation….I just let her know that when she is ready to leave, she has a place to go, that I dearly love she and my grandchild and would do anything to see to her safety.

      Know that your child understands that you are supportive and concerned, but that it’s the WAITING that is so hard.

      Makes ya just wanna beat the crap out of him, doesn’t it? Ugh. Stay strong….and know that your daughter knows the TRUTH of your love and concern despite his tactics. It really is up to her now..

  10. Pingback: Know Your Narc | Dispelling Rumors

  11. jes says:

    Just came across your site. I too am currently going through a horrible online smear campaign by an ex boyfriend. We were together on/off 2 years, throughout the relationship it was rocky..he was always blowing hot/cold, lying, cheating, etc…Well 3 months ago he broke it off, I accepted it because I knew he was toxic. Since then there was no contact, I even deactivated all social networks because I needed time to heal from this man. Just recently I find out he’s posting really horrible and vicious posts about me on Facebook, saying I’m a liar, sociopath, psycho, saying I abused him, even saying I’m a stalking him! Because he’s a musician he has many friends and he’s convinced MANY people that I’m this horrible person. I’ve stayed off all social networks because in a way I’m in fear of him or his online friends bullying me. I can’t believe it at times. This whole thing has made me depressed and I’ve had really bad anxiety. I’m being told by trusted family/friends to ignore him and he will stop eventually. The smearing started early December, I just hope he’s stopped by now. Being a very quiet and introverted person this had affected me a great deal, and he knew the type of person i was so I’m sure he took that to his advantage knowing how it would affect me. Some days I feel a bit of paranoia as if maybe he will do anything to tear me apart. Any advice on how to get through this? Will it fade eventually he’ll find new supply? Any advice would be appreciated

    • Lisa says:

      Jes, in my view this is an occasion where your trusted friends and family are giving you good advice. The only way through this is not to feed the beast. As understandably very distressing as this is for you, engaging with him is probably exactly what he wants and what is best for you is that he is out of your life for once and all, for good. When I was going through a similar situation I found the book the Gift of Fear quite helpful, if you have not already read it. Also read whatever you can about sociopaths/psychopaths and the like, there are many helpful online sites. These people wait for a response, you can’t afford to give it him. Not ever. At the same time you need to look after and care for yourself psychologically and make sure of your physical safety. So, by all means take advice on whether he is a threat to you in any physical sense, and block the psychological impact by doing whatever it takes a) not to respond or be drawn into anything b) to prevent you seeing anything from him or that he has written about you and c) getting yourself a good psychological support network. Most of the people reading anything about you that he has written will one day realise that he is the one with very serious problems. You may have to just, for a time at least, cut your losses and lose those people under his influence. One day, they will probably see the truth. Your main goal now is to insulate your world from anything in his.

      I am now a year out from instituting a similar strategy and I can tell you I have my life back and feel like the strong person I was before. You will get there, but only if you do not engage with him. You need to detox from the adrenaline he has created in your life and find a peaceful place to heal and find your strength again. Will he get bored and go away? Maybe, probably. Though be warned he may come fishing again. For example I received a message six months after I had last heard from him. I did not reply, and from that experience I created an inbox that any message from him is diverted into. I only keep the messages to be able to evaluate any threat, and for the purpose of evidence of harassment should I ever need it. So, you need to promise yourself you will never engage with him, not now, not down the track should he suddenly reappear.

      I remember how hard those initial couple of months were and I am here on the other side to say you can get to a good place again, and sooner than you may believe. Have courage, and always remember your own strength. Thoughts with you and others currently in similar situations.

  12. Robyn says:

    I am confused… in one place you say that not staying silent and telling your story is good, and in another you are saying that saying nothing and walking in Grace is best. Which is it? Otherwise, you hit a lot of things right on the nose.

    • Speaking about your abuse publicly to an audience or shared with friends about what happened to you, is a good thing. Saying nothing and walking with a measure of grace when you want to do anything but this during a smear campaign is the wisest thing you can do. Psychopaths love reactions. Whether they create it themselves, or create it through the smear campaign in what he/she says to others that they KNOW will get back to you and hurt you, it is meant for reaction. THIS is when it’s best to stay silent. Not to let the psychopath know in any way, that you’re suffering from his trauma left in your life. Not to give in to his triangulations during smears that have resulted in the loss of even the best of friends, or what were thought to be.

      When you walk silently, with your head up and with grace in refusing to respond to the psychopaths juvenile behavior, those that are healthy minded and are not invested in any way in the psychopath, will see that you are the one with integrity. Like everything else with psychopaths, they do nothing that isn’t extreme, the smear campaign is no exception to this. It can be absolutely amazing to watch a survivor walk in forgiveness and/or grace, saying nothing while the psychopaths talks smack to anyone who will listen. When we react, we give the psychopath more of our power. It’s critical during this time not to do so. I hope this helps.

  13. Hope says:

    I know without a doubt my ex destroyed my name and reputation to anyone who would listen. I know I was talked about made fun of in every way possible. That just nailed the coffin shut on me. All the so called friends that I shared with my ex who were my friends first don’t speak to me but I helped with that because I stopped associating with them. I could not and would not trust them. I had been labeled emotional, crazy probably unstable. Those who know me are still associates but interaction is small and I basically stay to my self. I don’t have real friends. I miss those interactions that I thought were true. It’s sad how one I minute you have a full life and the next you are starting from scratch.

    • Such as it is with psychopaths. What I find very sad about smear campaigns is the reactions of those who bother to listen to them. Those who know and love you will easily see through the lies and express concern for your well being. Just a personal belief, but I’ve not seen a society so narcissistic as it is these days, or perhaps I’m just more aware than before.

      I’m so sorry for the pain this has caused you. Rebuilding your life, Hope, along with new friends, can be the best way to get through pain. I know easier said then done.
      Wishing for you, peace and love…

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