Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A "false reality"...

Several years ago, Bill's abusive and narcissistic former war zone boss was very publicly fired.  The year was 2011, and Bill had been back from his deployment for four years.  His former boss was on the fast track to becoming a general and had been put in charge of a brigade.  Bill had spent six months in 2007 with this same guy, who played mind games with him, disrespected him, and basically made his time in Iraq much harder than it needed to be.  When he called me from Iraq one day and said he felt like he was back with his ex wife, I knew his boss was a toxic leader.

Four years later, there he was in the news...  He was disgraced after a number of soldiers complained about the way he treated them.  When he was questioned about all that had happened, Bill's old boss had this to say...

"I was in a false reality about how my people were perceiving me and, therefore, interacting with me,"

In other words, he didn't even realize how abusive he was being.  Or so he says, anyway.  I think the guy is a classic narcissist.  

The Army Times report said [Bill's former boss's] conduct triggered at least two congressional inquiries.

[He} "created an overall environment of anxiety and degradation in which open communication and professional discussion were nearly impossible and members of his command lived in abject fear," Army Maj. Gen. William Garrett, chief of staff of U.S. Forces-Iraq, concluded in his investigation.

Bill's life with his ex wife was much like working with his former boss.  She created an environment of fear and anxiety.  Bill was kept constantly anxious and tense.  There was no time to stop and think about what his life had become.  He thought he was stuck there.  He was also in a "false reality".

When I look back on the past fourteen years, it amazes me how far we've come.  In 2002, when Bill talked about his ex wife, his voice quivered with fear.  This was a man who willingly went to war, but did not want to deal with his ex wife.  To me, she was just a woman and a rather pathetic one at that.  To Bill, she was the source of a lot of pain and anxiety.

The other day, Bill told me that he found his ex daughter's blog.  She has reopened it for the public.  Bill's younger child is a lot like her mother.  She likes attention and adulation.  Sometimes, she makes her blog private, but it never stays private for long.  She likes to be in the spotlight.

Bill read a post his daughter wrote in December.  He said she was describing coming back from her mission and the tone of her writing seemed slightly more subdued than it had been in the past.  It sounded as if maybe the Mormon mission hadn't been all that awesome for her.  I really don't know, since I don't read her blog myself.  Based on what Bill told me, my guess is that she's still spewing a lot of shit for the benefit of other people.  She lives in a false reality and has an image to uphold. But maybe even she is starting to realize that she's been faithfully building a mound of bullshit her whole life.

Last night, we were kind of fantasizing about what would happen if Bill left a comment on the blog.  I have a feeling that it would ignite a shitstorm.  The ex would probably get wind of it and go nuts.  She might even call Bill's father and stepmother and bluster about how Bill is "stalking" his adult daughter.  I pointed out that it's likely they will try to reconnect at some point.  Narcissistic types usually do at some point.  They need that supply and for most people, things tend to "blow over".   Bill could be proactive and contact his daughter first.  At the very least, it might be fun to see how she reacts.  My guess is that she'll delete the blog or make it private again.  Or maybe she'll level a nasty retort. 

Bill heard many awful things about the ex's first husband.  Then, fifteen years after her son with the first ex last saw his real father, she had him get in touch with the man.  The first ex, who probably wasn't even close to being as horrible as ex claimed he was, was flabbergasted and delighted to hear from his son.  Pretty soon, all was forgiven between ex's son and his so-called "deadbeat" crazy dad.  They were soon supposedly thick as thieves and the young man was reclaiming his original last name.

I see no reason why the same thing won't happen to Bill some day, especially if I'm not around.  On the other hand, I think Bill's ex wife probably knows that a stunt like that wouldn't work as well with us.  She'll still probe, though...  and it may happen if something significant happens to Bill's dad's health.  Narcissists like to strike when people have their guard down.  They're not unlike cult leaders.

The other day, Bill told me more about his time with his ex wife.  What he told me was very shocking and made me hate her even more than I ever thought possible.  Some people reading this post might think I'm being dramatic.  I'm not.  Had the situation been reversed and I had an ex husband do to me what Bill's ex did, my guess is that Bill would be equally enraged.  I am glad he told me, though, because it really explained a lot.  It also significantly deepened my contempt for the ex and her posse. 

I'm not sure how much I believe in divine entities, but given the relationship I have with Bill, I almost have to believe that God had something to do with us finding each other.  Or maybe it was just plain dumb luck.  I'm just glad we're together and living an authentic reality.

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