"And through Covetousness shall they, with feigned words, make merchandise of you" 2Peter 2:3
With all his bluster and righteous rage over perceived (and now actual) loss of access to Lily, once and only once in several months has he mentioned the word love.
In one email, some months back, he used the exact same set-phrase he used in an email to Angela.
He told her 'I love you more than anything else in the world.'
He emailed me "as you know, I love my daughter more than anything else in the world."
Two things: in that idiomatic expression; a normal person would surely use their child's name in that sentence?
And basically it just sounds; well-rehearsed, outright mechanical and completely contrived and disingenuous.
The interactions I've observed with Claude arriving to collect Lily are way weirder.
He's very Vader-esque in delivery. His body language is clenched and stiff as if he were wearing a heavy costume and I swear to God he uses the same voice when he asks (and he always has to ask) "what about a kiss? - for your FATHER." His stress on the word Father is identical to that scene in Star Wars.
His overuse of the "your Father" is just plain strange; he tacks it on to the end of his odd short sentences so that it screams at you like a fire alarm. 'How about saying hello? to your FATHER.'
I guess Claude is trying to make a point, like Darth Vader was; 'You belong to me; you owe me.'
Well my little Lily-pad is not joining Lord Vader on the dark side: over my dead body.
And that brings me to my next point. All of my recent research into Covert Narcissistic Personalities is, in equal parts fascinating, empowering but also frightening.
Fascinating in so much as seeing behaviors cataloged as commonplace for NPD, that I've experienced first hand and have usually thrown me into a tailspin. Even catalogued phrases like "I've never felt this way about anyone.' and 'I love you more than anything else in the world'.
Its hard to take it personally anymore when I discover its a well worn script with curled pages that so many others have read from.
I'm no longer bewildered and asking questions of 'why me?' I know now it's not just me, I've been caught like so many others in an romantic scam, by an emotional leech, using me to feed his starving ego. He is a damaged person in an incredibly efficient mask that makes him very well camouflaged.
Melanie Tonia Evans says 'Realise it's not personal and there is a Gift.'
Realise It’s Not Personal and There Is a Gift
Knowing that dissipates the hurt and feelings of betrayal, knowing the nature of the beast has leveled the playing field for me which in itself is empowering.
However people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) can be dangerous, and let's not forget the added complication that Claude is also Bi-Polar and apparently Manic at the moment.
The following paragraphs from the video 'Narcissists Destroy Who They Cannot Control' really resonated with me:
'Narcissistic love is based on the level with which they can derive use from you. Most of the time that 'use' is nothing more than a sensation of empowerment that the Narcissist experiences when he or she believes they have exercised power of some aspect of you person be it your perceptions your emotions your thoughts or your behaviour.'
'Sometimes that use is the enhancement of the narcissist's own image. Any relationship you have with a narcissist will always be built on their ability to control and exploit some, if not all aspects of your life.'
'Warning. If they cannot control you and therefore exploit you, you mean nothing to them. Expect a full fledged attack on your morality, character and integrity.
'If you do not give the narcissist in your life the control they desire, expect to be the target of their rage, or (if you're lucky) abandonment. I say lucky because many narcissists seek to destroy the ones they cannot control.'
Other resources, including a self-confessed narcissist, describe narcissists feeling annihilated when control is taken from them and they need to destroy the other person to reset their sense of balance.
Even before the depression, the diagnosis of that and then Bi-Polar, control was his passion, his one true love. He used to make jokes about his being a control freak.
In the days when my heart was lighter, I would laugh at the fact he couldn't sit in a restaurant without making the waiter change our table. then it became really irritating. Not being able to buy bed linen or even a sofa cushion or a bath mat without running it by 'Management' became brutally tedious.
We nicknamed him Dr No because he always said no when I put an idea to him. Even if he later agreed, which logic or good sense dictated on most occasions; his first response was always NO!
So much is falling into place for me now.
His negative attitude and covert disapproval of all of his friends wives, bar one who was under the thumb of her husband. His clever gentle criticisms of friends and family in order to further isolate me and have me question their objectivity.
How insular we became as a family unit, limited time spent with friends but busy busy doing things he had planned for us.
Well I'm arming myself for the battle ahead and with this wealth of information I feel like I'm just beginning to know my enemy for the first time.
As Dana (Thrive After Abuse) recommends, I'm hoping for the best but preparing for the worst in my own Gand Finale.