I’ve been experiencing increasing anxiety lately and today I sat down and gave some serious thought to why. I realize it is all tied to my taxes……..sort of.
Tomorrow I have to go to my ex’s/our accountants office, , to ask for the signed K-1 and Cost Basis forms for my taxes. The accountant has had all of the business information since August of last year, so the fact that it is now 2 weeks before the tax deadline and I’m still empty handed is pretty outrageous. Add to that the fact that this will be the 5th time I’ve contacted the accountant. I’ve called 3 times and stopped by his office once. Tomorrow will be my second visit.
As I pondered this I 1st assumed I was feeling anxiety about confronting him. I’ve spent the better part of my life not speaking up for myself, so I’m not great at it. When I floated this idea to my cousin though I realized I do stand up for myself in a variety of situations. Mostly my children or work, but I do not hesitate to initiate confrontation when I have to. So WTH??
The conclusion I’ve come to is that it is not the confrontation I dread, it is the stories. I don’t know exactly what stories my ex has told to people in our community, but I have several clues. Clues like –
- What he told me when he left his 1st wife
- The fact that his family (most of them) readily embraced his new girl
- The 100 people who showed up to their wedding 2 days before Christmas
- My boss who, when telling me my ex was getting married said “it’s probably for the best because now you know you’re never getting back together and you can put that thought behind you”. (What??? I was having that thought? I don’t remember having that thought. Wonder where that came from???)
- The fact that a CPA, after having been paid by our business, still feels no compunction to provide the documents he is legally required to provide.
All of this is what I dread. I dread the look on the accountants face. In the past I’ve thought it was a look of pity, but now I’m not so sure. Does he feel sorry for me or is he afraid of me? My ex convinced me that his 1st wife was going to break into our house and kill us in our sleep – has he convinced people in our community that I will do that? Do these people think I’m crazy? Stupid? Lazy? a hypochondriac? A malingerer? These are all the things I thought about his 1st wife, so I can’t rule out the people in my community thinking those things about me.
If you have never been sucked in by a narcissist you are probably thinking “how the hell did she fall for all of that?”. If you are with/were with a narcissist, you know the answer to that question. Narcissists are quintessential liars. This is because they are psychopaths.
There is much confusion around the words psychopath and sociopath. Many people think they are interchangeable, but they are not. They do share 1 common denominator – a lack of true feelings, no conscience. Other than that, they are very different.
The sociopath is easily spotted. This is the person who can’t hold down a job, goes in and out of relationships, and is blatantly antisocial. When you meet this person warning bells shriek. While you might get snared by one, chances are slim, because they have to overcome their outrageously antisocial behavior to get in to your good graces.
In contrast, the psychopath flies under the radar. In fact, most psychopaths appear quite normal, perhaps even charming. They have learned to compensate for their lack of real emotions and are consummate actors. In addition to their acting ability, they are remarkably adept at figuring out what others need, and giving them exactly that. Since they have no feelings to hold them back, like guilt or shame, they can easily lie and manipulate to win your affection.
I no longer hold myself accountable for falling victim to my ex covert narcissist. He was a charmer. He figured me out quickly because I am not a game player. What you see is what you get. I’m also terrible at hiding my emotions and thoughts – no poker face here! Once he figured out what I wanted he gave it to me. He lied his way into my arms, and his lies grew in complexity as he pursued me. By the time we married, even if I knew I was hearing a lie from his lips, I doubted myself, not him. He was a steadfast, religious, family man, and I was the girl on the ledge. I was the one who had “issues”. I was the one who was fragile, too emotional, given to histrionics and perhaps clinically crazy. It is hard to hold a psychopath accountable when you have come to view yourself as the crazy one!
None of which is the point. The point is that tomorrow I have to go to our accountants office and stand my ground. I need to look him in the eye and demand the documents he’s already been paid to complete. And I need to do so without giving the slightest hint of craziness, because I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m crazy.
If you think that’s no big deal, I challenge you to try it. Find a situation in which you’ve been treated badly and are really mad. And on a deadline. Then, confront the person treating you badly without looking just a little bit crazy. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen. The confronter always looks a bit insane.
So I’ll go to yoga first. During the class I’ll concentrate on staying calm, yet firm. I might even rehearse a bit of my own manipulation. Maybe I’ll practice a pity face to direct at the accountant. Thoughts?
In the end I can’t help thinking that soon I’ll have to threaten the accountant with sanctions. After all, he is a CPA, and as such he knows his obligations when he accepts a job. And he accepted the job as our accountant, yet has not fulfilled his obligation. I seriously hope it does not come to that. I dread the rumors that will run rampant through our community if I, the crazy, malingering woman still in love with her ex threatens their accountant. Ugh. Not pretty!
Wish me luck!!!
PS: Yes, I know I can file for an extension. But I still have to pay any taxes I owe by the 17th, and I have NO IDEA what I owe until I get my K-1 and Cost Basis forms!
PPS: Our accountant is our former neighbor. Our kids all grew up together. Also, his mother is his secretary. And he’s my ex’s “friend” so……I sort of feel really screwed.