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Episode 091: Narcissist Relationships Part 1 of 2 Identifiying Behaviors
Episode 091: Narcissist Relationships Part 1 of 2 Identifiying Behaviors with special guest Susan Ball
Unless we’ve personally experienced a narcissist relationship, we may tend to underestimate the damage a narcissist an do. In this EP we explore the key characteristics of a narcissist with Susan Bell. Susan is the founder of Empowered Her, author, speaker, and self-worth activist. Susan shares her knowledge & personal experience to teach us how to identify & escape the toxic narcissist relationship.
Meet Susan Ball, founder of Empowered Her, author, speaker, and self-worth activist and she’s on a mission to free women from their abusive relationships. Susan’s message is simple and begins once a woman escapes her abusive, toxic or ugly relationship. She wants women to aim higher, learn to recognize just how much they are worth, believe in themselves and establish healthy boundaries, as they begin to dream again and love themselves unconditionally. Susan is a passionate, fierce cheerleader who encourages women to rekindle their joy and embrace their big, bold, blissful life!
Leanne: 00:05 Welcome to Life Lafter Divorce podcast, episode 91. I am your host Leanne Linsky
The Boyfriend: 00:10 And I’m The Boyfriend
Leanne: 00:12 Welcome back to another wonderful week of
The Boyfriend: 00:14 divorce.
Leanne: 00:16 They keep coming and they just keep getting better.
The Boyfriend: 00:20 I’m learning a lot. I’ll tell you that much.
Leanne: 00:23 Do you realize we’re almost up to 100 episodes?
The Boyfriend: 00:26 That’s what 91 means. Yes.
Leanne: 00:28 Yes that means we’re nine away. You got. Hey, while you’re out there tuning in, make sure you rate, review and subscribe and check out the website at life. Laughter, divorced.com. You know why you’re on the website. You may want to sign up for our newsletter because we’re going to be a giving off a little prize.
The Boyfriend: 00:51 We are?
Leanne: 00:52 That’s right, I forgot about that. Yeah. If you sign up or subscribe to our newsletter and we will not spam you, but your name will be, you may be eligible for a price. Yeah, so there is that incentive. The other incentive you want to check out is, hey, I’m giving away some free life coaching session, so Click on the life coaching tab and schedule your session with yours truly. Holidays are approaching, so while you’re out shopping for others, treat yourself. Why not check out our online store? We have a lot of handcrafted and lighthearted soaps and candles. In fact, I’m going to be… If you’re in the California area, you might want to check out our Facebook page because I’m posting about our whereabouts for a little holiday festivities will have booths at various places on the weekends.
The Boyfriend: 01:46 Wow.
Leanne: 01:47 Yeah. That’s exciting. Yes it is. Yeah. This weekend is our first one, so you know, it should be good. Should be good. That’s right. It’s the groovy wellness fair in Claremont, California. So. All right, so that is our first one. I’m looking forward to that. That should be fun. Boyfriend. You’re going with me, right?
The Boyfriend: 02:09 I don’t think I have a choice.
Leanne: 02:11 You guys, if you want to know more information about the boyfriend, you might want to check it out. Yeah. Yeah. Hey, boyfriend, you know, last week, last episode on episode 90, we talked about narcissism and divorcing a narcissist. And one of the things we talked with Leanne, that was our guests. I wasn’t talking to myself. Yeah, I do, but I was actually talking to another Leanne on episode 90 and you know, we talked about briefly about the idea that the term narcissist is thrown about quite a bit these days, you know, and is it possible It’s overused? We kind of talked about that and it probably is, I mean, because not everybody’s a narcissist. Maybe some people, some narcissistic tendencies or maybe they’re just self centered, like there’s a difference, right? Maybe there’s a spectrum that might be fair or, or it’s easy to say if someone broke up with you in a certain way or displayed certain behaviors, but that doesn’t necessarily make them a narcissist.
The Boyfriend: 03:21 No, a narcissist is the whole — relationship in the
Leanne: 03:25 the whole ball of wax. And so what I’m really love about this week’s episode, as we dive deeper into that conversation, because we’ve talked about, it’s come up quite a bit, I feel with some of our guests and in different people’s personal journey and everything. And I’m not saying those people weren’t narcissist by all means they were, but like to get a better picture unless you’ve experienced it. It’s really hard to understand what truly a narcissist is and what they do, right? Because it seems when we hear certain things and as we talked to our guest today is kind of like, she really kind of gets into the nitty gritty about it.
The Boyfriend: 04:04 She goes into all of the behaviors from dating to marriage and what their goals are and she gets into all of it.
Leanne: 04:12 Yeah. And, and it really kind of gives us a much clearer idea of, of, of what a narcissist is, what they do, and then she also shares some of her personal experience, which I think really sheds even a brighter light on it, you know, to give real life examples. I hate that we have to do that with anybody but it really gives us a better clearer picture. So boyfriend, I think what we should do is just go segue right into our guest here because I think she’s the one with all of the goods this week. No, I agree. So tell us about our guest this week. I mean this is like gold. So if you’re looking for good information on narcissists, you’ve come to the right episode. In fact, this is part one of two, that’s how much she had to share with us.
Leanne: 04:58 So this week’s guest is Susan Ball. Susan is the founder of empowered her and author, a speaker, and a self-worth activist, and she’s on a mission to free women from their abusive relationships. Susan’s message is simple and begins. Once a woman escaped her abusive, toxic, or ugly relationship, she wants woman to aim higher, learn to recognize just how much they’re worth and believe in themselves and establish healthy boundaries as they begin to dream again and love themselves unconditionally. Susan is a passionate, fierce cheerleader who encourages women to rekindle their joy and embrace their big, bold, blissful life. So without further ado, Susan Ball.
Leanne: 05:59 Susan, welcome to life after divorce podcast.
Susan Ball: 06:03 Thank you for having me.
Leanne: 06:05 Pleasure to have you on. I am really looking forward to talking to you because narcissism is a very popular topic with our listeners. And, I feel like there’s a lot of mystery still around, dealing with narcissists and how to identify them. Because I don’t feel like we ever talk about narcissism, until it actually, we, until we actually encounter and have that experience, it’s not like something we learned in school. Darn it. Because that would have been great.
Susan Ball: 06:37 Yeah. How do you identify the psychopath in your life.
Leanne: 06:41 Exactly. Right. Right. So, so I, I know that you have been married and divorced twice, correct? Correct. And have either of your exes a narcissist or is that a place you want to go?
Susan Ball: 06:58 Oh, that’s no problem. I, I have no problem talking about it. Yes. Both of them were really very. First one was more of what would you call it? A covert narcissist. So he was very, his ability to twist me up and put me down was profound. Just profound. I’ll give you an example. He, we would say we were going to meet somewhere say at 7:00 at night to to do something, go for dinner. And I would arrive a little late because I had to take transit and he would be standing there tapping his watch and he would say, I can see how you can get seven and 7:15 confused, which would of course make me get all. Oh my God, I’m so sorry. Blah, blah blah. Can we still be friends? Can we still go out? And a lot of times he would say, no, I don’t want to go for dinner tonight. Forget about it.
Leanne: 07:51 Right. So, okay. So That’s interesting because I think of people I know, you know, like my parents are always very prompt and like people don’t show up. They’re like, we’re going to cancel. So I’m wondering like, how can you tell a difference between like somebody just like that’s her pet peeve and that’s the way they are versus a narcissist. So what else? I’m guessing there are other things also that he did
Susan Ball: 08:18 Love bombing. So when you, when you are going out with someone and you, you meet them, the narcissist will love you, love you right away. He will want to protect you and take care of you. Move in with you, Mary, you have babies, he’s never met anyone like you. You are the best thing that ever has ever happened to him.
Leanne: 08:42 Okay,
Susan Ball: 08:42 So that’s a red flag. That’s a huge red flag.
Leanne: 08:45 So those things kind of compounded with if you make a mistake or if you’re late, then those things are, then it’s that kind of more so than someone’s pet peeves. So that would be like a better way to kind of tell the difference.
Susan Ball: 09:00 Yes. So it’s magnified like that. And the other thing that narcissists do after they love bomb you and they fall in love within five minutes of meeting you is they begin the manipulation by isolating you from your friends and family. That’s their next sort of project. Their next step. Yeah. I’m sorry, go ahead.
Leanne: 09:22 Sorry. So before we move on to that, because that’s a huge one, I know, but like when it comes to love bombing and stuff, you know, do you find that a lot of people would say, well isn’t it possible that, you know, because we see this in the movies, right, where people fall in love quickly or a guys really head over heels over someone and suddenly you showing up and, and looking for her all the time and stuff and they kind of romanticize that behavior. So is that why a lot of people get confused with or don’t think anything’s wrong with it or what? What are your thoughts on that?
Susan Ball: 09:58 You know, I have to agree with that Leon. The whole behavior of love at first sight is very romanticized. So it causes confusion. I mean, granted, we all want to have a healthy relationship. We all want someone to love us. We all want to be in a relationship. But there’s a. When you step back from somebody coming on to you and saying, I love you baby, you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me within shade two dates. That’s an issue that somebody who is cars. Did you fall in love that quickly? Me? Yeah.
Leanne: 10:38 No.
Susan Ball: 10:40 No and I know when I got into a healthy relationship, it took quite some time before we actually uttered those words. We got to know each other. Right? There’s a. and I remember with the one the narcissist, the malignant narcissist who tried to kill me, he was one of those. He started on me with the eye and they lie. They manipulate, they lie, and they say, I have never said this to another woman in my life this quickly. I love you so much.
Leanne: 11:11 Right? And so it’s lies like that that we wouldn’t know unless we knew their exits or unless we knew their patterns. Right?
Susan Ball: 11:20 That’s right. Yeah. And one of the other things they do and watch out for is when their love bombing you and they’re in love with you, there’s a pattern of talking about their exes that if there wasn’t a crazy bitch, they would have loved her too. But she was just right off the rails and that’s why he had to leave. And so everything will be blamed on her, right? Yeah. As being this psycho.
Leanne: 11:50 That’s so true. Yeah. And, and you know what? And it’s. And it’s interesting, the whole concept of anybody calling their ex crazy. I always caution people like don’t watch where you go with that because you know, that’s putting a lot on the other person and that’s just kind of generalizing or hearing a, like I’ve heard a lot of different men say a woman are just crazy and that’s kind of a red flag in itself because women aren’t just crazy.
Susan Ball: 12:22 No. And it is a red flag to me. It doesn’t show that he actually respect or even cared about his exit at any level. Right. Because if you did, you wouldn’t talk about her that way. Especially if there’s children involved or it was like a 25 year old, 25 year marriage and you’re suddenly, you know, she was the crazy one and, and all of that stuff. You wouldn’t do that because she would have a certain amount of respect for that person. Yeah. They’ve just spent a lot of their life with you
Leanne: 12:58 So a big sign is, and I’ve seen this and someone is that they call their excess crazy. Yep. Oh yeah. Yeah. You know, can I ask a question? I’ve noticed, is it true like I had an instance where someone nickname meat and then I found out they nickname all of their girlfriends. That same nickname.
Susan Ball: 13:24 Yeah. That’s one too.
Leanne: 13:25 Yeah, right. Instead of never called me by my name, always referred to me as a nickname, which is. And it’s funny because the nickname he gave, like if anybody, anybody, any man had ever referred to me that way it would just make my skin crawl. And for some reason when he did it, it seemed okay. And then I figured out that he was doing that to all women and then that was like, oh, that’s disgusting.
Susan Ball: 13:50 Do you know one of the most common nicknames that narcissist issues his baby?
Leanne: 13:54 Really?
Susan Ball: 13:55 Yes. Because it immediately puts you in a place as, as the baby, as someone who needs to be taken care of and is not capable of making their own decisions and is not capable of looking after themselves. So it puts you, it disempowers you right away.
Leanne: 14:17 Right. That makes sense. Yeah. Yeah.
Susan Ball: 14:21 It either become an infant in their eyes. You know, and there’s a certain amount of like if you weren’t so immature you’d be able to do that. You know, we don’t have money. What are you thinking? Are you a child? You don’t have any sense.
Leanne: 14:36 Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So a way to kind of take your power away and, and you know, when you think about it, when people take, don’t call you by your name. I mean that’s kind of taking away your identity like that, right?
Susan Ball: 14:52 Yeah. And the majority of narcissists are serial cheaters, so it’s a very easy way for them not to get caught.
Leanne: 15:00 Oh, okay.
Susan Ball: 15:04 Serial cheating is one of the things that will happen if you’re in a longterm relationship with a narcissist because they need to have their ego constantly fed. Right? They have to look outside of the relationship to do that. Of course they will blame you for them cheating on you get caught.
Leanne: 15:27 Right. So like if they were to blame somebody, then they would basically like, well you don’t take care of me at home or you don’t do this or you’re always doing that.
Susan Ball: 15:37 Oh yeah. Or you’re 10 pounds too heavy or you don’t wear enough makeup or it can be anything.
Leanne: 15:43 Hm, okay.
Susan Ball: 15:45 I’m just not attracted to you because you’re like a sloth. I mean they, they get very vicious with you, but they turned it around to make it your fault.
Leanne: 15:53 Right. Okay. Boy, these people sound like I’ve had an experience with a narcissist and all of us is. I like, how did I not see this at the beginning? Right? Because when we, when we hear about it, it’s like, gosh, these are like really monstrous kind of human beings. How do they, how do we not know? Like, you know, when you’re watching a horror flick, how do you not hear the music and the knife? Right. That’s what I’m thinking as we’re talking about this because it’s like, yeah, these people aren’t very nice people and it seems like we should be, onto them so much sooner than we are. But we’re not
Susan Ball: 16:35 because they’re very skilled, leanne at take a sort of taking their time to remove you, to do these things, to control you. That by the time they have you completely under there some, you are so disenchanted, your competence, it’s gone. Your self worth is gone. And that’s where they want you to be. There’s no. You know what a narcissist is? Love. He loves nothing more than you to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. Then he can run off and do his life. He can say you’re too fat to have sex with. That’s why you got to go and find other women. You are. He can’t take you up looking the way you do. That would be ridiculous. And there you are. You’re pregnant, and you really feel you have nowhere to go.
Leanne: 17:25 Yeah. So that’s here. I’m kind of wondering now like what if, what if it’s reversed? Because there are female MMA narcissist, right? They are the worst. Really. What do they do? The meant like how do they get into that control?
Susan Ball: 17:43 Well, women have one power that men don’t. And that is using sex as a weapon. Now a man does it viciously and he might rape her, which is quite common in narcissistic relationships, but a woman uses that. What would you call that? Sex Appeal, that promise that I’m, I don’t even know how to describe it, but do you know where I’m going with this? Maybe you could help me that you’re going to give you all of this when you do this
Leanne: 18:17 and they kind of hold it like they give it to them only when they want to versus, and hold back. That’s correct. So that the men feel rejection.
Susan Ball: 18:27 That’s right. And they don’t feel good enough to get another woman.
Leanne: 18:32 Right. Okay.
Susan Ball: 18:34 So she can use it as a tool, as a weapon, as a tool that way. Whereas he can only hurt you with sex. He can’t manipulate you.
Leanne: 18:49 Right. Okay. Does that make sense? It does. It does. And then women would probably do the same thing, like they would nickname their partner. They would love bomb them and south. And is it as common though in women? Because I think like for a lot of men, if they had woman who are love bombing and coming onto him and calling all the time that I might see that, I would think that they would be like, Whoa, something’s wrong here more quickly than a woman would.
Susan Ball: 19:19 Yes. That is so true. Men are more tuned into, and this is kind of a weird thing, but men are more tuned into, especially as successful man into the gold digger. Ah, okay. So if he sees somebody coming at him, I love you, you’re the best thing that ever happened and she’s being a stalker and she’s doing all this stuff. He’s more apt to back away and say, you know what? I don’t need this in my life. truly. There are also men have more confidence and relationships. They’ve been raised to take the lead, right? So he can easily say, I’m not interested in you. This relationship has to end. We’re not raised as women to take the lead. Right? True. In the sense of saying, oh, it’s okay to say goodbye to him. There are sort of, as my mother used to say, you know, if you miss that bus, there’s another one in five minutes. Right, right. But yeah, but we’re not raised that way. We’re raised with snow white and Cinderella and prince is going to come and rescue us.
Leanne: 20:31 Right. And we’re probably much more tolerant of certain behaviors than men are.
Susan Ball: 20:36 Correct.
Leanne: 20:37 Interesting. Yeah. I get sad, sad and true. Right, right. So, okay. So, so they love bomb. They manipulate, they nickname us. Right. And then when they, what is it they usually want from us,
Susan Ball: 20:57 You know, that’s a good question. What they want. I mean, when you think about it from the narcissist perspective, it’s interesting and you see where they’re coming from. If you can get your partner, your woman to stay at home, not have any friends do as she’s told, be there when you want her to be there while you’re out drinking with your buddies, cheating on her or controlling all the money, possibly drugs and alcohol involved, all of those things. Yet she’s still at home. It’s the perfect life and that’s what he wants. That’s the life that he wants, a woman you can call his own, but at the same time, living this kind of, I almost call it childlike, you know, this 13 year old boy.
Leanne: 21:44 Right. Or he can go off and do whatever he wants with the boys or other girls. Yep. Yep. Right. And then the woman at home is not supposed to say anything. Yeah. Correct. Yeah. Have old fashioned. Yeah. And you, and you mentioned too, that there’s oftentimes like drinking and drugs involved and that’s actually common because from what I understand, narcissist, feel like they’re above the law or above all rules.
Susan Ball: 22:14 Oh yes. They’re very good at hiding things. They will financially abused. They always financially abuse. They will take the money to make sure you have no resources whatsoever. Yeah. So that’s the first day, but when you do decide to leave and you start to put together a plan to leave, the very first thing the narcissist will do is start to hide things, money, assets, anything that he thinks you will take to court to use against him. Right. He doesn’t want that happen
Leanne: 22:48 or anything that maybe he thinks you value so that you can’t have it. Not because he wants it, just so you can have it.
Susan Ball: 22:55 Yes.
Leanne: 22:55 Right, right. Yeah. So when. Okay. So when it’s time to leave a narcissist, like we really can’t tell them that we’re leaving.
Susan Ball: 23:07 Oh No, you can’t say that because they will come. They will put all. Well, first of all, the love bomb you baby. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry it won’t happen again. I won’t see her again. I’ll stay off social media. I won’t go on the dating sites. Believe it or not. Majority of narcissists are very active on dating sites. Really? Oh, that’s scary. Yeah. Very active because it is a constant supply of women.
Leanne: 23:36 Oh yeah.
Susan Ball: 23:40 Yep. And a lot of women who are on there are not maybe as confident as could be. They could be lonely days, could be a desperate in some ways looking for a relationship that what they’re looking for.
Leanne: 23:54 Right, right. And they can easily hide who they are because I’m on social media. You can present a whole different appearance than what you truly are, which they would be good at because they just pretend everything. Oh, they are pretenders. It’s, it is the perfect evil for them. Yeah. Oh, right. So, so when they do this whole, financial, so that basically they take control emotionally, physically, financially. Right. And then when you go to leave, if you tell them you’re leaving, they’re going to do everything to prevent you from leaving.
Susan Ball: 24:38 That is correct. So when you feel that it’s time to leave and the sooner the better because they don’t change anybody who’s listening, they don’t change, they only get worse. Don’t tell them because that’s when they play. Very, very good. They play very, very well with you for awhile. They’re faithful day. They go around your family, they have your friends over for tea. They’re loving and supportive, but it’s just the show. So when you’re ready to leave, it’s time to get all your paperwork together. And when I say that, I mean your passport because they’re notorious for hiding passports, birth certificates, driver’s licenses, insurance, documentation on your will. If you have one, your tax returns, photocopy them, take them anything that you can get your hands on it, put it in a safe place. If you have a trusted friend, if you can put it in. if you, if you work in, you’re in the office and you have somebody there who can help you take it away from the house, remove it from the house completely.
Leanne: 25:44 Okay. Because they will take those things, right?
Susan Ball: 25:49 Yeah. They control all of those things and they will lie through their teeth and say, I’ve never seen it. I know when I left, when I ran for my life before I did, my zen husband had bought us tickets to go to Paris for our honeymoon. And he, he took the tickets. He told her big lie and I found out he actually took his girlfriend. Oh. And when I went to ask him for my passport because I said that I was going to do something on my own, he told me this lie that the Canadian government had an issued me a passport because they needed to check into my criminal background.
Leanne: 26:27 And did you believe it? I did, I was really scared. I was like, what do you mean? What does that mean? Are they calling me, looking for me?
Susan Ball: 26:43 But because you’re in such a state, they broken you down so far that something as ridiculous as that sounds to me now actually sounds real and believable.
Leanne: 26:53 Right. And that’s, you know, that’s an interesting point because the. That’s something that I don’t think a lot of people understand about narcissists. Is this a gradual thing? It’s not like all of the sudden you’re like, Ooh, this person’s manipulating me. It’s so gradual and subtle that things seemed normal through the whole thing. Until you get so far into it, you look back and you’re like, oh my God, what has happened? Right. So kind of like, would it like when you said, you know, well, when I showed up late and he was like, well, it’s like we’re not going now. Right? Like to some people they would be like, well, that’s how I would be, but when you add up all of the things that they do on a regular basis and not just what they do, but how they do it or how they say it and their actions behind it, that’s what really makes the difference. Right? Because yeah, because all these things build upon another. It’s not just like one instance or you know, like his pet peeve was promptness. It was anything that you did over time. If it wasn’t perfect or if it wasn’t done in his way or if he could. Even, if it was perfect, he would find a way that it wasn’t correct. Okay. Yeah. Just to differentiate. Yeah.
Susan Ball: 28:14 Yeah. The, the fellow with the watch who was very rude. He, I remember a few times when we went out with his friends to different events, parties, whatever they were. I was, I was quite young at the time in my twenties and another party came up and I remember saying to him, Oh, are we going? And, and we talk in wheat. They are still, you and me, right? Sometimes we,
Speaker 6: 28:41 okay,
Susan Ball: 28:43 and I said, are we going to so and so’s party for Halloween or whatever? And he said, no, you’re not going. I’m going, you’re not going. Because the last time we went, do you remember that you started to not feel well and you wanted to leave early and that really was not what I wanted to do and I don’t want another scene like that. So then you feel, wow,
Leanne: 29:07 you know? Right. You’re punished because you did something bad, right? Yeah.
Susan Ball: 29:13 And you weren’t feeling well, which is kind of a human thing. So in a healthy relationship, your partner would be concerned because you’re not feeling well.
Leanne: 29:22 Right.
Susan Ball: 29:23 And get you the nest. It gets you to where you need to be. Well, they don’t, they’re not concerned like that.
Leanne: 29:28 Right. They’ll use it against you later and then say you’re not invited. Correct. Right. Okay. Yeah. So it’s things like that because I found, and you probably found this like, okay, so if you had said that to somebody and said, you know, because I think if people don’t tell me if you found the same thing, if people haven’t encountered a narcissist, they can’t fully understand what you’ve experienced, what you’ve gone through, right? Because there’s just like, that will sound like, you know, not that big of a deal, but they are when you’re living there and because they’re not like normal people,
Susan Ball: 30:10 you know what I mean? Not. Yeah. They’re not like normal people. They take what they want when they want it, and then they discard you when they don’t want it anymore. Right? And they tell you that it’s because of you that you have been discarded, whether it’s to not go to the party or out to dinner or to his mom’s house for Christmas or for whatever it is, it’s your fault that you’re being discarded for the defense. So that leaves you crying, feeling inadequate, your confidence takes another kick. All of those things, your self worth, your value, to, to give an example. They, they love to make fun of you, yet when you have an idea, and when I was married to my last one, I wanted to take up a watercolor painting and I thought, and this is the other thing, when you’re with a narcissist, you start to doubt everything you’re going to say, so you sit back and you say, how am I going to approach this?
Susan Ball: 31:08 When is a good time to talk to him? I hope he doesn’t blow up or he doesn’t laugh at me. I think I’ll do it. When the kids are here, less chance of a response. You start to think in those sorts of ways instead of being excited about what you’re asking about. And I remember sitting down at the table and they weren’t his kids. He was stepdad sitting down at the table and I put this out here that I wanted $25 because remember now I’ll already. I’m financially dependent on him. He’s taken away that $25 to take this water color painting class and he burst out laughing. He laughed so hard. He had to punch the table, which scared the girls, and then he looked up and he said, can you imagine your mom painting a picture? Think about it. Right. Right there. Because I don’t want my girls to be put in that position. I say, oh, it’s okay. It’s okay. It was just, it was a stupid thought anyway,
Leanne: 32:08 right? Yeah.
Susan Ball: 32:11 Yeah. So that’s how they manipulate.
Leanne: 32:14 Yeah. Great example, right? Where they, yeah, they’d be little because they’re belittling you.
Susan Ball: 32:20 Yes. Yeah. And they love to do it in front of other people.
Leanne: 32:24 Right. So, so in that case, and you had two little girls right now as a narcissist parent, how do they, how do they use this towards their children?
Susan Ball: 32:42 They’re horrible. Parents are horrible parents because in a lot of ways they don’t truly care about the children. They care about what the children can do for them
Susan Ball: 32:58 in the sense that if it gets them, if you’re divorced and you have children, they will bad mouth their x to their children. They will manipulate their children. A lot of times in these relationships. Unfortunately after the divorce, the mum will end up having a very rocky relationship with her children because he will not stop telling the kids how stupid mom is. What stupid thing did mom do this week while he wasn’t around a. was she doing this? Did she do this? Does she have a men over? What is she? So he’s constantly using them to get information and to manipulate and degrade their mom.
Leanne: 33:43 Right? So they get a totally different so that he plays, plays the good cop, bad cop. So he makes himself out to be the good parent and. Right. So that children. Okay. So. Oh, that’s nasty. That’s like diverse. Is Our hard enough? That would just be horrible. And even if you guys weren’t divorced, what do you do? The same thing?
Susan Ball: 34:08 Yes. Yes. Because he wants to be in control. Right? And it’s very difficult because for the woman who’s gone through this and, and, and they’re going through their healing and the healing processes is complex and it’s multilayered. I mean, you’ll have to get rid of all those layers of put downs and, and to build your confidence. And so on and so forth. The same time if you have kids and their kids are coming in and they’re saying, daddy says that you’re a blah, blah, blah, you can’t even cook a meal to save your life, it puts you back in that place again. You’re back there,
Leanne: 34:44 right? Yeah. And is it, how is it? Is it, is now narcissism? Is it a gene that’s passed down or is it. I mean, people have said it’s from different things. It could be from child abuse as a young child or. Right. Or it’s starts very young. Is that correct?
Susan Ball: 35:03 Starts Very Young. And it’s a learned behavior from the research that I’ve read. It’s a learned behavior.
Leanne: 35:11 Ah. So if, if there’s a narcissist parent, there’s a good chance that their children could learn that behavior from them.
Susan Ball: 35:18 Correct. And it can be as simple as a child who is overly spoiled by a grandparent. What do you. Everything they want, everything they want. No, I, I know one particular person who’s child was spoiled that way, to the point where the girl could call her grandparents on Christmas Day if she wasn’t satisfied. [inaudible]. And the grandparents would run out and get her all of the things that she didn’t get under the tree. And then she would look at her parents and say, see, told Ya. Oh my God, I’m on it. Wow. Now that’s building a really malignant narcissist right there. Yeah,
Leanne: 35:59 that’s scary. That’s scary. They’d be highly disappointed in my family by the way. But wow, that’s really, that’s kind of terrifying that those kinds of behaviors can affect someone’s so tremendously in their lifetime. Like that can really develop some really sick people, you know, the enabling, the, the spoiling or the enabling of someone can really damage to them because these people now, they don’t have any mirror neurons to reflect empathy. No to right to.
Susan Ball: 36:36 They don’t understand. Take that girl, that little girl, she grows up, she’s dating somebody and she says she wants a Prada handbag for her birthday. And he says, I can’t afford that. She has no filter for that. What does it mean you can’t afford it?
Speaker 5: 36:52 [inaudible]
Susan Ball: 36:53 good for me, right? If you loved me, you would get it for me. Now, if she’s met a man who, who is not gotten a lot of confidence is, you know, easily manipulated, she’s going to get that product back. He’s going to go into debt.
Leanne: 37:13 I was wondering how some of these woman got these things, like there’s no way. Oh my God, do I need to channel my inner narcissist once in a while? No, I don’t. I’m so
Susan Ball: 37:37 with my current husband, I try every once in a while, you know, to be that mean girl. It doesn’t work. No, he just says nice try,
Leanne: 37:47 right darn it, you’ve read my playbook. So I’m wondering like, okay, so now that we have like a really good picture of what these narcissists are now to get out of this scenario, we talked about like you can’t let them know because they’re going to try and stop you. and in my case I had to make it out like it was on his, it was his decision so that it’s like, yeah, it was my decision. So they’re good with that. Yeah. Right. But go ahead, you know, but that’s not always, that’s not always doable. And every, every situation,
Susan Ball: 38:24 not. And a lot of times the women, they have lost all their financial independence. They have lost all of their friends and family. They are very isolated and alone and he has built that up just the way he likes it. And a lot of times too, this is the other key thing to the narcissist day will actually, if they do come around your family, mom and dad for Christmas, they will come off as the best guy in the whole wide world so that when you fall mom and dad and say, I gotta leave this guy, he’s a jerk. They go, Kevin, he’s so good to you. Right? Ah. And then you have nobody to go to. Then it’s like, okay, now what?
Leanne: 39:11 Yeah. Right. Because now you’re the jerk. That’s right. It. Yeah.
Susan Ball: 39:17 So you got your parents saying to you what, you know the end, he’s really good to you. He, he comes over and blah blah blah. And then you’re doubting yourself again. Yeah.
Leanne: 39:28 So attention parents out there. Yeah. Because the, how would they know? So unless they were around enough to know that there’s big changes in maybe you, but really, you know, a narcissists are good actors.
Susan Ball: 39:48 Oh, tremendous. Do remember when I left my first one, a four years, that relationship lasted for years. I almost married him and I, I can remember when I left him, people would come up to me and say he was so good to you. You guys were always going here or doing this or doing that. And I think knowing weren’t who, who told you that really he was weaving that story.
Leanne: 40:18 Right. So that’s what he was out there telling everybody.
Susan Ball: 40:22 Yeah. That he was doing all this stuff and that and, and yeah. So he was weaving a completely different story.
Leanne: 40:31 Geez. Okay. So, so, so you, so you didn’t marry your first narcissist?
Susan Ball: 40:38 No. Thank you.
Leanne: 40:41 Right. But you were still with them for four years. So. So I’m wondering. And then you were married twice after that or was that in between?
Susan Ball: 40:49 No, twice after that.
Leanne: 40:50 Okay. So, so here you had an experience with a narcissist and then your, your first and second husband were also a narcissist?
Susan Ball: 40:58 My first husband was the nicest guy you will ever meet and I didn’t want to marry him, but I felt that I needed to get married.
Leanne: 41:06 Okay. And so you did. So he wasn’t a narcissist?
Susan Ball: 41:11 No. But he. Yeah. No he wasn’t. But he was boring compared to a narcissist. Yeah, I would imagine. And you know what, to tell you the truth, Leanne, I jumped from one relationship to another one. We didn’t do any of the healing and it was unfair to the person that I married. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely unfair. And to this day we’re still friends. We just always should have been friends.
Leanne: 41:42 Right. Well, did you see you probably. Did you see him as safe after that? Yeah. Right.
Susan Ball: 41:48 Okay. Middle, middle class parents, you know, who were never divorced and all of that stuff. He just, he fit the mold. Yeah.
Leanne: 42:00 And so you ended that marriage and then. And then what happened? How much time did you have between that first marriage and your next one?
Susan Ball: 42:09 About three years. Okay. So not too long, but, but a few years. Right. So how I did it and I didn’t, I didn’t set out to meet this person. Right. I met him because a friend of mine, he was a girlfriend’s boyfriend’s friend. Okay. And the course you get the, you haven’t been out in the long time, blah, blah, blah, blah. What harm could it do? Right. Well that’s a whole different story. I was getting phone calls within [inaudible]. We went out, we had some dinner and we had some drinks and I went home, I went home and then I started to get phone calls. Oh, I was really thinking about you today. I miss you so much. Let’s get back together. And from the time I met him, so when I ran for my life, it was about a year and a half. Wow. And you were married in that time? That’s correct, because he really wanted to get married and I kept resisting. But that’s one of the things with the narcissist, they will tell you the romantic version of things. So he chose my birthday weekend to get married and he said then we can celebrate your birthday and our anniversary together. It’ll be perfect.
Leanne: 43:24 Yeah. How soon were. Okay, so you started, you went out on this date with them. He started love bombing you, right. Calling you all the time. Moving quickly.
Susan Ball: 43:34 Yeah. He bought a house. I remember I was a single mom with two little girls and we lived in a three story walkup apartment. He bought a house out of town. So there’s the first isolation.
Leanne: 43:45 How soon after you met him?
Susan Ball: 43:48 Three months. Oh yeah. Okay. Yep. And I agreed to move in with them because remember he had me believing that he was my knight in shining armor basically. Right. He had never met anybody like you. You’re the one in. Yeah. Yeah. Moved into the house and it was two hours away from my hometown. So now you’re removed from your friends, family, all of that kind of stuff. But he presented it to me as the girls having a backyard, a block away from school. They would have bikes. They would, you know, the whole nine yards. White picket fence, dream out. We moved in there. I worked in the city, so I was taking the train. I was still financially independent, I had worked out a deal with my boss that I would work three days a week instead of five to make it a little bit easier because it was a long commute and about two months after moving into the house he came home and he told me that he had quit my job for me. Because he felt that he, you know, he made enough money to support everybody and he could see how tired I was from the commute and the girls and looking after everything in the house and it would be so much nicer for me to be home with the girls and he would look after everything. Oh my God, sounds good to me. Yeah. Yeah.
Leanne: 45:14 So yeah, cause men to do that for me, Leanne, now you’re like, oh, but yeah, because now you’re like, oh, I can stay at home and we have the perfect family and I can raise my kids and yeah.
Susan Ball: 45:27 Right. And I had never had that opportunity because I had to work as a single mom. I never, never had the opportunity to stay home with them and sort of get to know them. It sounded like a great thing to do, but he had done the quitting for you. Wow. Yeah. Big Red Flag right there. And you know what? Because I was so entrenched with this man who presented himself so well as this loving, caring, compassionate, empathetic, like, you know, human being that was going to make sure that no harm ever came to me and my two girls. That wasn’t a red flag to me at all. Right?
Leanne: 46:08 No, because that’s just it. You’re in it and he’s telling you all the right things and saying all the things you’ve ever wanted to hear. Yeah. So okay, so you’ve moved out of town and he’s quit your job for you and you can be a stay at home mom. What happened next? About
Susan Ball: 46:25 over the course of about six months, then he started really getting on me about getting married and having another child. Our child. This is another big one with narcissists. This is something that they use to tie you down because they feel that once you have a child with them, you will never leave them. No. They brought the perfect scenario. I didn’t want any more children, so I started to get a lot of resistance. I started to give a lot of resistance about that, so. But he kept. He kept on about the wedding thing, getting married and I finally said, you know, okay, fine, well we’ll get married. I thought it was gonna be like at City Hall. No, he wanted a big blow out the gown that like the whole nine yards, which also was embarrassing and guilt and shame at the end of it all. But anyway, I went along with it. Like I said, he picked my birthday weekend, which was the first weekend in October and we got married and I remember my oldest daughter standing with me when I had on my wedding before I got married. Tears in her eyes and she said, mommy, don’t marry him. Please don’t do this. Oh Wow. Really? She still tells me that now told Ya.
Leanne: 47:41 Wow. So she was 10. Now, did she say anything about it before then, like when you moved in with them or anything?
Susan Ball: 47:52 Sometimes say things like, you know, I don’t really like them. I’m mad at him, but I took it as 10 year old girl. Which stepfather kind of thing. Right, okay. There was nothing specific. It just seemed to be, you know, he told her to put her bike away so she was pissy with them. Right. Okay. Kinda normal. But I got married and we had this big party and we stayed in a very fancy hotel, which I had never been to. And this is the other thing, they, they listened to everything you say, they listened to every dream or wish that you have and they fulfill them for you. That’s another way that they, they keep themselves in dear to you. I mentioned this hotel and he surprised me at the wedding in front of everybody. They, you take me to the Royal York Hotel in Toronto and he had rented the honeymoon suite. Well that’s really expensive. Right? And I that,
Leanne: 48:50 that lovely. Such a sham. Anyway, I fell for it the morning after.
Susan Ball: 48:59 Sure. As we were leaving the underground parking lot, he reached over in the, in the jeep that we’re driving, grabbed my hand and he looked and said, “look at me” and I thought I was going to get, you know, I love you or something, and said, “now that you’re my wife, you will do as you’re told how you’re told and when you’re told. Is that clear?”
Speaker 6: 49:19 Yeah.
Susan Ball: 49:21 All of a sudden a whole different picture. Whole different than the real brutal human being came out
Leanne: 49:29 that quickly. And when he said that, how, what did you, what was your reaction? What were your thoughts? I thought he was joking. Oh my God, I. I said, Oh sure. Okay. Anything you say? Right and off we went on our little road
Susan Ball: 49:47 trip for our honeymoon. Yeah. When we got back to the house in the girls and we were only gone for a few days. I had said that I didn’t want to change my last name and I never have. And he had brought home a piece of paper, I guess from the government to change my name and I and I laughed and I said, I, you already know how I feel about that. And he took it and he grabbed my hair and he balled it up and he forced it into my mouth. So I was choking on it. He said you’ll either change your name or you’re going to die choking on it. That was the first incident of violence.
Leanne: 50:27 Oh my God. And this must’ve scared the hell out of you kid
Susan Ball: 50:34 it did. But in typical narcissist fashion, he did exactly what a narcissist will do and malignant narcissist who beat women and they are because they’re. There are different types of narcissists. But he was malignant when they beat somebody, he immediately, after it was over and I was crying and the girls were at their dad’s for that visit. So they weren’t in the house. He immediately came with it, went to the store with a bottle of wine and he was crying big crocodile tears and didn’t know what had gotten into him. And he was so sorry. So sorry. Oh my God, eight. Sorry. Right. You know, he’s promised it won’t happen again. So we got married in October and I ran for my life the following February, so November, December, January, February four months. Right.
Leanne: 51:32 Okay. So things escalated quickly and four months. Yes. Right. How, what brought you to the point of, you knew you had to leave? Right?
Susan Ball: 51:44 The night that I left, he strangled me to blocking out.
Speaker 7: 51:48 Oh.
Susan Ball: 51:50 And when I came to my two daughters were standing in the kitchen doorway not knowing what to do. And I, and I remember when I came to, I saw my oldest one holding my little one’s hand and they were just kind of looking at me on the floor and I had enough sense in my head to get up and think to myself, this is not what I want them to know is a relationship. And we had three doors in our big. It was a big victorian home so it was quite big. I grabbed them and I pushed them out the side door to the neighbors and I ran for the front door because the police station was about four blocks away and when they opened the front door and I slammed it behind me, he caught onto what was going on. He chased me to the police station, threatening to kill me.
Leanne: 52:40 Ugh.
Susan Ball: 52:41 Yeah. They arrested him at the police station.
Leanne: 52:45 Oh my God. Thank God. First of all, that you are within running distance. Yep. Yeah, and that they caught him basically in the act of threatening you.
Leanne: So stay tuned for part two, episode 92 where we find out how Susan’s husband gets out of jail and how Susan gets out of this relationship.