The Escalator Effect of Narcissists

Heaven Touches

Heaven Touches

I used to be frightened of escalators as a small child, always worried my shoelace would get caught in the moving belt resulting in some imagined mortifying emergency.

I realized this weekend why I should still be wary of symbolic escalators- the ones created and occupied by narcissists.

As I wrote in my last blog, we got my stepson on Saturday (not our time) because his Mom was so out of control with him, we felt both parties needed a cooling off period. She and her boyfriend wanted to take him to their cabin and he refused to go. I can’t say I blame him, considering the dynamic that unfolded.

So, he came to our house. I would use the word “traumatized” to describe him to an extent.

And we had a great Saturday and Sunday morning. And then we waited… surely the Mom had cooled off by now. Surely, she would call or something to see how her son had been during the night and to let us know when she would return.

We hear nothing.

My stepdaughter is then dropped off at the Mom’s house as she had spent the weekend away. The Mom, before she left for the cabin, had told my husband that he would have to tell “Helen” what had happened and why “Henry” was with us.

He called “Helen” who came over to our house because she was lonely. When she found out we had Henry and why, she sat their silently crying. She said that it has been so bad in the house.

So there we all were- still no word from Mom. Surely, she would be returning at some point- right? It was her weekend with the kids. Surely, she was planning on being home for dinner with them or something??

She finally calls around 3. They had not left the cabin area yet. She conveniently turned a “cooling off” period into a “mini-vacation”. She told us to send the kids over to her house, they would be fine alone.

Sigh…as long as she was happy, she could care less about anyone else.

We take the kids to the pool.

Around 5, she calls, they are getting ready to leave. O.k. Around 5:45, she texts. An accident had happened and the road was closed. 7:00 still no sense of her arrival.

We order pizza and watch US win world cup!! At 8, when the games ends, Helen turns to us and asks, “Do you want us to leave?” Still no word from when Mom will arrive.

9:10 my husband calls his ex- and says the kids will simply stay with us the evening as she still is not home.

Long story? Yes. But, if you are going to heal or gain strength from tough situations, you must be able to NAME what has happened. Denial gives you no free pass. Word and awareness are what build your fortitude.

So, we went from taking Henry for a cooling off period to having 2 kids for 2 nights.

That, my dear friend, is the ESCALATOR EFFECT of narcissists. Narcissists will ALWAYS, ALWAYS escalate. I have never ever been in a situation in which a narcissist de-escalated the event.

I had not noticed this before. I do not regret taking the children this weekend in any way.

But this is what I forgot- I forgot the escalator effect and because of that, I had not kept anything in reserve.

I met Henry with open arms, thinking we just needed to weather the “cooling off” period. Well, the cooling off period turned to a mini-vacation, which turned into an additional child, etc.

I had not held my reserves back to meet the demands of the escalation. The escalation will ALWAYS be there with a narcissist. Our job is to realize this pattern and hold back some thing in reserve for the next increase in drama.

This way, rather than being exhausted and running on empty as things escalate, and they will escalate, we have something still left in the tank- not the for the narcissist (heaven knows they are not worth it) but rather for the fall out in our own lives and those we significantly care about.

I am not going to step on that escalator again without the full awareness of my shoes being symbolically tied and a confident stride that although I may not know where this ride is going, I have the reserves to take care of myself.

(Or maybe, I will just jam something in the escalator belt of the narcissist and bring all the drama to a screeching halt šŸ™‚ )


18 thoughts on “The Escalator Effect of Narcissists

  1. Oh, yes! I’ve been there. I was reliving the emotions of the weekend as you were telling it. Although I am not in the same situation anymore, I have been there. My oldest daughter did go visit her biological paternal unit this weekend – and I was able to (mostly) release myself from it. She is a grown up.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this soul baring and soul bearing post. I just know this will save someone else! Also, your analogy was spot on!

    • Oh, bless you. I liked what you wrote about your own daughter and your ability to release (mostly) from the situation. It means a great deal to me that you could read my posting and sense the emotions in it.
      I think you will understand this- I find it sad that no matter how calm, etc. my husband and I are, the kids (even if they try not to show it) are sitting there in fear and panic wondering what their Mom is doing.

      • Yes, I understand that. It gets better, again to some extent, as they age… Of course the 20 year old is completely separated from him…so it’s just the older one. Stay sane and wonderful!

  2. Your bonus kids will grow up and find more fundament in their lives because of, how you act to them and by that show them, how parents should be to their kids. They are very lucky to have you Kimberly šŸ˜€

  3. I have a fear of escalators, too, but I’ve actually had a dress get caught in one and I ripped it trying to get free! I think as you learn and grow, you’ll find that balance on how to welcome with open arms – and you won’t have to know if it’s for a few hours or a few days. But, this is coming from the girl that got her dress caught in the escalator, so yeah… šŸ™‚

    • HA! I thought this only happened in movies šŸ™‚
      We had no problem taking the kids, it was (still, after all these years) surprising to me that she didn’t even really express that much care for them…when will I learn? šŸ™‚

  4. It is just such a shame that the kids have to pay for this. I feel for them and you for being caught in the web.
    Well, I suppose if you believe in soul contracts, everyone signed up for this for the opportunities to learn and grow. Ouch! šŸ™‚

    • I have thought about soul contracts in all of this. i know I have learned so, so much in this situation- which I was likely to ignore or deny- if she were not so extreme in her behaviors.

  5. Hello to all of you, and Kimberly šŸ˜Š

    Once again, i’m trying to catch up on so many missed posts and this is just another of your excellent analogies, and your emotions are not by any doubt misunderstood to me.
    The “Escalator”. Wow. You give me so many different ways of seeing in my mind what I’ve learned long ago that they’re known for. But your descriptions are so PERFECT! Too bad they’re perfect for such creatures as narcissists. (hate to use the word perfect anywhere near them). But it is what it is. And i’m sure you’ve helped so many see this for what it really is. The ESCALATOR !!
    They’ll never NOT escalate! Their minds don’t work that way. They make everything into the most and maximum they can. “Shock and awe” I used to think, but I don’t think it’s that at all. They honestly don’t see anything wrong with any of their behavior. We KNOW that, but as empathetic caring souls we’ve given them far too much reasonable doubt. They’re anything but reasonable. They reason with themselves in their own minds and satisfy themselves no matter what the cost to anyone in their path. And it’s so horribly traumatic for children. Even grown children. The doubt they place in their children’s minds like they do with ours, (or did), is confusing and exhausting. I’m so glad you are such an active parent in their lives. That’s their best fighting chance at making it through all the darkness in their mothers house. A house that is truly just for HER and what she chooses when she chooses. No matter the cost of her kids. Her kids are just pawns she can use as needed. Sad. She’ll always have a reason for athwart does and why it was necessary for her to do whatever crazy things she does. BIG TRAIT! And hey, WE’RE all the cRaZy ones anyway, in their eyes and their blindsided enablers. THAT’S still hard for me to accept, but I have no choice. I’ll remain as much “NO CONTACT” with my ex, until the time comes, (I PRAY), that I can successfully get him into court on contempt charges of not doing what was court ordered two years ago 8/12/2013. Two days from now I’ll be divorced legally from him, but have yet to see a cent that is MINE, but without an atty I can afford, (i’m financially ruined and only receive disability for depression, Complex PTSD), and I qualify for legal aid, but have had that door slammed in my face for almost two years stating that i’m not of the most importance. I have no children to support. I raised my daughter and she’s grown and married, and that makes me non important. Infuriates me. I could take him to court on my own but the trauma that happened in the court rooms so many times and as a result, another unimaginable thing happened that i’m sorry, but I can’t list. (YES, it’s THAT BAD), caused me the most horrifying days of my life. All with him at the very core of it all. I’ll NEVER step into another court room in represented as I was forced to do, if I can avoid it any way. It was going up against the devil himself and the court system and his atty crucified me. I had no one by my side and i’m far from able to represent myself as my own atty. That was ludicrous and discriminatory with my disabilities. And yes, I filed complaints against the judge, County, and the atty that should have known better than to beat me to death on a witness stand answering questions to nothing but lies my ex had made up regarding all of our marital property of 18 years. I got nothing I should have. Nothing. And I can’t afford to live now. I’m telling all of this with hopes that someone, ANYONE, might have any advice on where I can turn to for help. I’ve been shoved down every crack in every system for so long now, I don’t think I can survive much more. I MUST not lie down and play dead and give up, but my resources I’ve come up with that should have helped me did just the opposite. I am worn down and this is something i’m owed. And need desperately. I wish I didn’t more than anything, but at this time i’m my life I DO NEED HELP, and I need it ASAP. PLEASE, if anyone has advice I’ll be checking my emails for any new comments. I refuse to let him take away any other piece of me. And I refuse to let him know how badly it’s affected me in my health. Physical and mental. No one will know that who has known us a couple or individually. I won’t ever give him that satisfaction. EVER.

    • thanks for your reply! I know how exhausting it can be. It feels relentless at time and we end up wondering “why” and “how”. Please take care of yourself. they never stop, but that does not mean we need to give up pieces of our lives for them.

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