“Melissa’s” Story

narcissistic behavior in relationships

Dear Dana,

Here is my story about a wolf in sheep’s clothing…

When I met my covert narcissist or sociopath I was almost a year out of a 13 year marriage with someone who I can now see as probably my first narcissist, besides perhaps now after all the research I have done, both men are very similar to my father… What I have always known as the “norm” I suppose…

That year, I had just started to feel normal again… I had friends who had known me from years prior to my marriage, during my marriage and after my marriage say to me; “there is the girl I knew back then” the confident, full of spirit, knew what she wanted, determined woman with a big heart.

It took me years to realize many things with my ex husband, the subtle back handed comments, the put downs that were meant to be jokes, the manipulating ways he slid into my life getting exactly what he wanted.  When I met my ex husband he had nothing, some old couches, milk crates for night stands and pretty much a mattress on the floor.  I was very successful running my own business, had just bought myself my first “new” car and was house shopping for myself… He made his way in, with his charm and loving affectionate ways, and even though I had a weird feeling about him I let it slide.

Nothing really ever felt genuine; it always felt forced, but just attributed it to “that was how he was”.  I really don’t want to get too much into him because that is not really who my story is about… But I went through the walking on eggshells never knowing what to expect when I got home to giving all of myself and receiving nothing in return… We got married, as I figured I suppose at that time I thought, I have invested so much time, money, empathy, sympathy, love, understanding and all of me that this must be right… the charm, the affection, the eccentric fun loving guy I once knew was leading a double life… Most people hardly even knew he was married, he had many affairs even though I only had evidence of two, we tried therapy, to which once we stopped he went back to his “regular ways”.  I asked him for a divorce to which he replied “Ok” and moved in with his girlfriend.  We have two children together, who at the time I had full custody of until he could find a suitable place for them to have shared custody… He eventually did about almost a year later.

And that is where this story of my covert narcissist begins…

I finally had some me time, I was always with my kids and I just wanted to go out and meet new people… maybe even date! I had decided prior to a year before asking my ex for a divorce and getting all my ducks in a row that I was done and played the game, even though he still took half of everything… I was not in love with him I actually don’t know if I ever was… but I was determined to find love, real love and not the crumbs I got with him.  I thought I saw him for what he was; I do see him for what he is… But I thought I would be able to see someone else like him as well, but I was wrong, very wrong…

I met him in January 2015, through online dating, I had been out on a few dates with some other guys but nothing really clicked, I was determined to take things slow, not wanted to jump right back into something serious, date different people, take my time, really get to know someone, after all I was very wary about who I would end up with down the line… When he first messaged me I thought to myself hmmm I don’t know if he is really my type, but on the same hand I didn’t really know what my type was anymore so I thought I would give him a chance.

After a few texts here and there, we started talking on the phone, for hours, I mean hours, the conversation just flowed, I would stay up until 4am with him talking hardly getting any sleep, everything just clicked… We first met for lunch, it was during a snow storm, he had the day off work as he worked as restaurant management, myself now with a 9-5 job, he met me close to my work.  Even though it was a snow storm he said he could not wait to meet me any longer and came to meet me.

If I am honest when I first met him I was like huh this doesn’t seem like the guy I have been having all of these late night conversations with, he was kind of “off his game” turns out he was a little hung over from the Super Bowl party the day prior.  With urge from a good male friend he said give him another chance, so I did…  The reason why I specify it was a good male friend you will understand a little later…

So we went out on a second date, this date was incredible, sure we just went to a local pub and watched the hockey game and he wasn’t a fan of my team but we had amazing conversation, lots of laughs and everything felt so right… We made out in the parking lot for hours, I was smitten… During this date he asked me what I wanted or what I was looking for, to which I had said well of course I would ideally like to find a relationship but I want to take things slow, date people, see what is out there etc.

He didn’t particularly like that answer, was almost angry that I didn’t want a relationship with him now… I mean things were going so well and we had a great connection didn’t I think so too?  And I did, I did think we had a great connection, but I was scared and wanted to take things slow, but he pretty much said he isn’t in to dating many women at once and liked to concentrate on one person at a time… and let’s give it a shot… So even though I went against what I wanted I figured this was going amazing after two dates, I am going to do this… Why I didn’t see this red flag at the time I am not sure, I just wanted to be loved, and he was really liking me, we had so much in common, he was so caring, empathetic wanted to know everything about me, noticed things about me that no one had noticed before…

When I was really involved in a conversation how I would do this, when I was  nervous I would do this, when I was being shy or assertive how I would do things react or speak, I felt like he really was getting to know me… I see now, what he was really doing was assessing me…  Date number three or four came around and I went to his place, I had the day off as did he and we spent the day together, watching TV, talking, getting to know each other, drinking wine, cuddling, making out and eventually making love.

His place was immaculate, beautifully decorated, clean, and just all around together… I said to myself, wow, this guy really has everything going for him… Great job, beautiful house, even though he was putting up for sale, he cooked (being a chef or a cook at his previous restaurant that he had owned), he was funny, caring, understanding and made me feel like I was the only woman in the world he wanted to be with.  Part of me thought, little ol’ me, I don’t know how much I could really offer this kind of man, but he liked me so I went with it…

So came the stories of his horrible exes one of which he had a son with, how she brought him through court how he lost his restaurant because of her and all the court bills etc. To the next ex who spent all of his hard earned money on frivolous things instead of paying the bills and then thanked him by cheating on him…  He was this amazing, charming, funny, eccentric guy who just had a bad run of luck, who never found anyone who cared for him like I did and who he never felt he was able to be himself with like he was with me he told me… and I was falling and falling hard….

We spent all of our time together, except when we each had our kids, I was still trying to be cautious, I didn’t want to introduce my children to someone who wasn’t in it for the long haul… When we weren’t together he would text me all the time, I hardly was even concentrating on my work, we would text back and forth about how much we missed each other, how much he missed me, he would hear a song on the radio and text me the title saying it reminded him of me… Some of the songs really took me aback about being together forever and being the one he was looking for all his life etc and I remember feeling very uncomfortable about it, to the point that I would text my cousin and say “omg this is nuts”… but I went with it, maybe this is how real love is suppose to be…. No; this is what they refer to as I now know as “love bombing” and control.

Valentine’s Day was coming up… and I took all the songs he told me about and I made him a CD, I know pretty cheesy right? But I was so smitten; I could not believe this was happening to me… This guy knew me, understood me, was romantic and wanted to be with me all the time… He cried a little when I gave it to him, said no one had ever done something so thoughtful in his life before, praised me on how wonderful I was and we listened to the songs while drinking wine cuddling and making love… It was incredible…  There were many other things going on at this point, both good and bad that I have left out… there were a few things that brought my guard up, a few things that raised flags, but with all the love and affection and attention and compliments I let them slide…

I told you I had been dating; I told you I had a very close male friend… Well those people kept texting me… or calling me… now the people I was dating I told I was with someone when they texted, but when they texted I got the third degree… Questions who it was, what they said, what I replied back… Keep in mind we are in week 3 or 4 of our “relationship”.  I wasn’t about to send out a mass text to every man I have ever spoken to and say I am taken now buzz off… But when the opportunity arose, I did… except for my close male friend one of a few… Because why can’t I have male “friends” right? WRONG!  Now if I am honest my very close male friend and I actually met on a dating site, we had a couple of dates and long story short I guess realized we were better off as friends… A story of which I told my covert narcissist when we were comparing online dating stories, joking around…

It was fine in the first few weeks, but afterwards I had to choose I was told by narc, he did not want his woman to have any other man in their lives… I asked him well I have “Bob” and “Joe” (or whatever names we will call them) he said well you never dated them… So I kind of understood his thought process…  And against my better judgement I told my good male friend, I am sorry but this is the life I want and it bothers him that I am friends with you… You may think I am horrible, you may think I am weak, I really didn’t think I was any of those things… I just figured well if the tables were reversed I wouldn’t like that either perhaps…  So I did what I felt I had to do to keep this wonderful man in my life.

He watched me write the text and wanted to read it to make sure I was being clear with him, telling him we couldn’t be friends, then he laughed at my friend’s heartfelt response back saying it would make me cry and asked me over and over again if I had replied to his text, to which I did, but lied to him about… I felt horrible, about everything, but I knew that part of my life wasn’t going to really fit into what I wanted with my new boyfriend… My friend and I had only known each other for a few months, we were close but to me at the time it wasn’t a huge of a sacrifice… Or was it? I mean really? This person was a part of my life, in relationships we compromise right? But was this going too far? I really didn’t know anymore, all I knew was that I was falling in love and so was he.

… And a week later that is exactly what he told me after we made love that he was in love with me… I was taken aback I didn’t know what to say except kiss him and say I was falling for him…. because I was… but love? I didn’t know, it was all so fast…   Other men were still texting and as they did I told them I was seeing someone… I know it may sound like there were a lot of men, there really weren’t, however I have always been a woman with more men friends than women, and he did not like this… A friend I knew for 20 + years would text once in a while, he had a girlfriend he was happy but it was always a check in or send a joke or what have you and my narcissist would always be suspicious and ask me what he said etc. Always wanted to know who it was, it became scary when my phone would beep or ring in fear of who it would be… I had male friends, big deal… but it was to him… but I let it slide, I mean really many of these platonic opposite sex friendships fell to the wayside when you were a relationship anyways right?…

This also tumbled in to my work life… I was the only woman in a team of 20 people, and these coworkers/guys were my friends, practically family some of them, I mean we would spend 8-9 hours a day together! There would be happy hour nights or lunches that I would normally attend, however he did not like that I would “do that to him”, said it was a “lack of respect”, so I stopped going… How or why would I want to spend time with people I work with rather than coming home to him? But that was the thing even knowing he would be over one night at 8:00, I couldn’t go… One time I did, knowing in the pit of my stomach I was going to pay for it and I did…  All I did was give my friend a ride to the pub, I think his car was in the garage or something and go in for a drink to shoot the shit on my way home prior to him getting there and instead of lying I told him… well that whole night it was a huge fight… How dare I be with other men?! But I chalked it up to some insecurity that eventually he would trust me and it would all be okay, as he told me his ex girlfriend had cheated on him…

March rolled around and more love bombing, little notes left for me, he was making me suppers and bringing them to my house, making the kids lunches (asking me what they liked, however he still had not met them) and my lunches for work… The weeks I didn’t have the kids, I had now given him the garage door opener so he could meet me at my place since he finished work early and I finished later… Supper would be ready, wine would be poured I was being spoiled I couldn’t believe it… I had never had anyone treat me so nicely and adoringly before… let alone someone cook for me? I was blown away… He was so affectionate, I had told him my ex husband lacked that and it was really something I needed in a relationship and he made sure I got it… He would watch me do my make up in the morning, hug me or kiss me for no reason, stare at me adoringly and tell me how he was so lucky to have met me, that I was his best friend, and the only person he could be himself with and he was so happy…

I fell hook line and sinker… We talked about the future, we were meant to be together everything just clicked, and it really did, we had the same views on many things, thought the same way had the same values and dreams… So all this stuff with my male friends, well I didn’t care; I was falling in love… We were spending all of our time together, he was pretty much living with me at this point, so I figured it was time for our kids met… He had a son the same age as my son (6 at the time) and my daughter was 4.  He was incredible with them, helped them with homework, cooked suppers, lunches, snacks, played with them and gave the all the attention that my ex could never do in a million years… They loved him, they were so happy… We would have sleepovers, watch movies, play, do things together like a real family… again something I never had with my ex, it was always he was too tired or didn’t feel like it and it would be me alone with my kids.

…  During the week he didn’t have his son (only every second weekend, which he switched his schedule with his ex to be on mine when I had my kids) he would stay with us, I this point I gave him a key to my place, he would say it was hard being with my kids all the time missing the things he was doing with them with his own son… But with his work schedule and where he lived and where his ex lived it was difficult to have him during school time. However he treated my kids like they were his own telling them jokes, playing, laughing, doing homework, paying attention to them and wanting to be around them as much as possible… I could not believe my luck…

He would stand at the window with my daughter and wave making funny faces while I walked my son a block away to the bus stop in the morning before driving her to daycare.  He would on occasion go home and check on his house or we would go together on the weekend to make sure things were in order and sometimes stay there, but I had a dog so that was difficult.

Around April, he brought up the thought of living together once his house sold, I mean he was pretty much doing that already, and we were so amazing together… I knew it was fast it scared me, but we kept talking about it and it became our plan…  This is what they do right… swoop in speed things up so you are none the wiser… I had asked him his original plan about what he was going to do before he met me and he said he had planned to move closer to his ex so he could spend more time with his son… I said well moving in with me he perhaps wouldn’t be able to do that since I lived far from her and his school… But we would figure it out he said… He didn’t want to pass up a chance on what we had together he loved me so much… I asked over and over again if he was sure and he was… He wanted to move in with me… and down the line we would figure it out, maybe sell my house and find something in the middle of the kids’ schools so we would both be doing the traveling and have equal time with our respective children.

I still had not really met many of his friends, except his neighbors he was very close to and another couple, many of his “friends” he grew up with were into bad things, he and they were “connected” but he wanted nothing to do with it so he didn’t hang around them, or they had screwed him over… When him and the mother of his child separated she dragged him through court and in doing so he had to sell his restaurant/cafe that he owned putting him in to debt and all of his so called friends stopped calling once the restaurant and his generosity there was done… So he says, who will ever know the truth… I would love to pick his ex’s brain.

In the beginning he told me he was pretty close with his sister, but as time moved on he would say she was a gold digger, didn’t care about anyone but herself, screwed over her ex husband who was such a good guy etc.  He wasn’t very close with his parents either, but would see them on special occasions and talk to them on the phone weekly.  When he had his son his mother called daily always checking up on him and her grandson, he said she always made him feel inadequate.  He would speak to his parents in a manner I felt was very disrespectful but again I let it slide… All of these things should have been red flags for me, but they weren’t I mean I am not really close with my family and I don’t have that many close friends…

In May there was a big event for his niece, and he invited me to come along, I was so excited to finally meet his family!  It was a weird day to start… at first I was suppose to go to the church with them (it was her first communion) and then he said no just come to the reception, I was kind of disappointed I didn’t understand but went with it… He had his son that day and was suppose to drop him off at his mother’s at the end of the night… I met everyone, everyone was really nice and welcoming and his sister was super sweet calling me “a breath of fresh air” compared to the other women of his past, and her boyfriend was very nice as well… I spent a great deal talking to them that evening.

He worked in far away 10 days on and then 10 days off he came home.  At the time my narc said he was getting fed up of his restaurant job and that night his sister’s boyfriend and him were talking about how maybe he could get him into the same deal he was doing…  At the end of the night, I said okay well what are we doing, I want to spend the night with you, but he didn’t want to have to drive his son so late to his mother’s so he said he was going to stay at his mother’s with his son.  I was so disappointed; I wanted to continue the nice day/night we were having… He got upset with me for suggesting he come all the way to my place with his son etc. At any rate he stayed there and I drove home.

… On my way home a girlfriend of mine texted saying she was at the local pub grabbing a drink if I wanted to join, and I did…  Boy was that the wrong decision… He said the party all day wasn’t enough for me was it? I had to go out and party some more, he didn’t want a party girl that was not what he was looking for… Party girl? I was just meeting a friend for a drink? It was awful… we fought by text all the next day I just didn’t understand it…  It eventually blew over I really don’t remember why or how it did, but it did… I know it was me apologizing for my “stupidity” I am sure…  I wasn’t really seeing much of my friends at this point, but that is what you do in the honeymoon stage, I really didn’t want to be with anyone else… and the times we were with other people he was always with me… and many times there would be a fight after they left due to how that person acted or how that person was… it was getting weird… but again I thought, who cares I love this man he is everything I want in my life, and it is my life… Maybe he was right maybe that person isn’t a good influence, or that my best friend’s boyfriend was a jerk or whatever the situation was…

He started talking about getting that job leaving for 10 days coming home for 10 days asking how I would feel about that… Now, my ex husband used to travel a lot for work and in doing so cheated on me several times, so he knew it would be hard for me but he made sure that I understood he wasn’t that man, that he loved me wanted to be with me forever, retire with me and the whole bit, so I said if that is what you want to do then go for it, I don’t want to stop your dreams. So we began the process of filling out forms and doing things to get him there… He wasn’t very good with technology so I did most of the leg work.

In the mean time he had lost his previous job due to restaurants closing and started at another place managing and cooking there…  His house had a few offers and finally one went through… Of course he made no money on it, because he had no credit and to keep the house after his ex and him split up he had the house in his parent’s name… But it was finally happening, all coming together… But he began to get stressed out, distant, not as affectionate, not as loving in general.  I attributed it to the sale of the house, the new job, the packing, the stress of moving here…

He was not here as much because he was packing most nights when I didn’t have the kids and it wasn’t convenient for me to go all the way there during the work week especially since I had my dog as well.  But on the weekends we spent our time there packing things up and bringing things here slowly… He was exhausted most nights but yet couldn’t sleep, I felt the change in him but couldn’t put my finger on it… just thinking it was all due to everything going on… I made sure if this was still what he wanted and he said it was and that he was sorry but just stressed.  His house was all he had left that was his he said, he has pretty much lost everything now… And didn’t feel good about it… I understood how he felt but kept saying look at the future we are going to build babe!

We began taking inventory of things… we had two of everything, so what must go…. His furniture was nicer, couch, bedroom set, table, chairs etc.  So I pretty much sold everything I owned with the exception of a few things and my couches in my basement.  We got everything sold; my house on the main level was empty… Before he moved in he wanted to paint. So all the money I made from selling my furniture went into paint etc. to update the house ($700.00), make it into our place. I had not done any updates in 10 years, I couldn’t afford to time or money wise, but I had some savings and said let’s do it… He could “live in this environment” he said with a dog and cat and two young kids it wasn’t awful in my mind it was my home, but it needed some TLC.

It was the last week of May and he started having issues with some people at work who didn’t see things his way and didn’t know the business like “he did” and well to make a long story short he quit his job.  He told me shady stuff was going on and who knows what else… I will never know the truth, but I am willing to bet he got fired.  So I said well don’t worry you don’t want to be doing that anymore anyways just wait until your brother in law comes through for you with that job… So he spent his days painting and getting things ready for the move in a week’s time.  It was stressful, I never knew his mood coming home, he was drinking a lot, and we always did drink a lot together… We would sit and talk, have drinks and eat late, (8:00 give or take) but all of a sudden what we always did wasn’t what he wanted… he wanted to eat at a “reasonable hour”. I didn’t get it we were always eating later at night but he would get angry when we would eat late now, it was getting weird… Our normal routine of things he started not liking and he would blow up and make the whole night uncomfortable, this was what we always did and this was what he loved before but now it wasn’t… So I tried to accommodate the change but no matter what I did, it wasn’t right…

Again I made excuses for his behaviour he was stressed a lot of things were going on… he had just moved in we were getting used to each other and how we did things.  He was home unemployed while I went to work so he ended up doing a lot of the day to day house work yard work cooking etc. I mean he wasn’t paying me any money to be there in my mind I guess I figured that is the least he could have done.  I would come home from work and he would have already had quite a few drinks in his system and he would complain that I didn’t do anything,  Where I thought I was, I mean I was doing the laundry, but I messed up and shrunk a shirt or didn’t fold it right or in a reasonable time… We’ve all done it; left stuff in the dryer not wanting to fold it right away… But I was keeping things tidy in my mind, I am a bit of a neat freak many of my friends always comment on how clean and in order my house is… But it wasn’t clean enough for him, the animals; my dog and cat the kids etc.

That was when I realized how bad his OCD was… I now knew why his house was so immaculate, I thought I was bad; this was a new level… He complained about my dog, though he loved him he was old and getting sick… He complained my house was dusty so I got my air ducts cleaned ($600.00), he complained my dishwasher wasn’t doing a good job, so I bought a new dishwasher ($1,800.00).  He said my deck should be painted so I spent money on paint and he painted it ($300.00).  The front of the house had stones that were out of place and needed repairing so I called the original company who had done it 10 years prior and got them to fix it… ($3,000.00) I bought a bunk bed for my son and his to share a room ($150.00). During all this, every day I would come home to a new room painted, pictures (of his) hung things moved around to his liking… All of it done without my input at all…

This was my house and none of it was mine anymore, I liked the things he had done but he was taking over and not even asking my opinions… They were all his… He then began to complain how I never do anything for myself, which I know I never do… I would buy clothes for him or the kids and never buy anything for myself… He said he had seen every outfit I owned and I needed to treat myself, and he was right but for the wrong reasons… “Dress up” he would say, “you always wear the same things” “you are a beautiful woman but that outfit is awful” “why don’t you ever dress nicer” We never went anywhere!

He would comment on old pictures of me and say “wow, that is a nice outfit why won’t you dress like that for me” In my mind we are at home why do I need to be decked out? Maybe if he had brought me anywhere like he used to I would… So I bought in to it… I said maybe he is right I should buy myself a few things and I went and spent money on a new wardrobe ($700.00), some of it he liked other stuff he didn’t and he made sure I knew that… One time even saying “I will never go out in public with you if you wear that” He was of European decent and would always comment how “me; the English girl” didn’t have style… But when we first met he told me how much he loved my style, how I didn’t buy into the name brands and the status like many other European women he dated did or his sister did, how I was down to earth and hardworking and didn’t care about the “status image”.

However now the fact that I didn’t was incomprehensible… So I dressed up a bit more and honestly I felt good about it, I am selfless and always put myself last, I thought he was helping me put myself first once in a while but now I see that wasn’t really the case… If we went out which was rare compared to the beginning I paid or he would with money I had given him, let’s not forget he didn’t have money coming in except for unemployment insurance… I was paying for everything and giving him money on top of it for groceries and whatever else…  But for me I was contributing to the family, we were a team, it will all work out, what goes around comes around right… That is what you do in a relationship sometimes you are on the same level and sometimes you are not financially, so now, I was holding everything up, down the line when he would get that job with his brother in law it would be different…

He would always do all the cooking, never let me cook because he enjoyed doing it, but then would complain that I never cooked…?! Or if I did cook it wasn’t up to par…  And if I am honest not all of his meals were that great, but I wouldn’t want to actually verbalize that to him…  I rarely had friends over anymore because I felt like I was walking on egg shells, he always had an opinion and make things a little uncomfortable, this all should have been huge red flags for me, but they weren’t I just kept saying to myself we were getting used to each other, things will get back to what they were…  There were a few of instances where we had people over… All that are clear in my mind because looking back I realize wow what the hell… One time my sister and her boyfriend came over, now I have to tell you I love entertaining and hosting, I love prepping food having wine or whatever talking and being with my friends… Even better if you can do it as a couple right?

But I wasn’t allowed in the kitchen he had to have control of everything, kept telling me to go back outside on the deck enjoy their company while he prepped, but I wanted to help I wanted to do it together but he wouldn’t really let me, so I sat and talked with them joking around etc. Having wine and he would come out for a bit chat, bring some munchies he made, then go back and continue to prepare more… It started to rain and he asked me to keep an eye on his radio so it didn’t get wet, (we were under the shelter on the deck) but I was involved in conversation and it got windy and you guessed it, his radio got a little wet… He came out and said he couldn’t believe it, said “that I had only one responsibility he was doing everything, I only had to watch the radio and I messed up…”

Well he grabbed the radio and brought it inside… I was embarrassed and probably a little tipsy from the wine, but he had humiliated me in front of my sister and brother in law… I went in to try and calm him down, he was yelling at me saying I “wasn’t doing anything just sitting on my ass drinking while he did everything, didn’t I think he wanted to sit down and enjoy the company and day as well…” when the whole time I had offered  to help yet he wouldn’t let me… He finally calmed down but this only was the second or third time he had met them and was acting like this… His mask slipped as I see it now… He made the rest of the evening very uncomfortable for me wasn’t really being social or nice with me or them… I felt awful and I honestly wanted to crawl into a corner and disappear.

My sister and brother in law were taken aback but at the time trusted my judgement and theirs from the previous encounters with him; perhaps he was having a bad day… Another time we had discussed me having my girlfriend over and her two girls for supper and play dates on the weekend with our kids, it was all set and he also invited his friend and his wife along with their daughter… but when the day came, he said “I told you I was having my friends over, why did you invite them…” To me it is all about the company, the more the merrier… Well he said you are not the one cooking I said oh it is only her and two girls it isn’t much extra, I mean honestly once you are cooking for 7 people what’s a few more right?  Apparently I misunderstood, he didn’t want all these people here, and we would have them over another time… I was upset, plans were made, I felt so stupid, but he didn’t care I messed up, “figure it out and take care of it” he said, he said that often… But we had discussed it I didn’t understand…

Long story short I cancelled on my friend and lied to her… I felt awful… We had a good evening with his friends but he made sure he told me, see all the work I am doing, imagine if your friend was here too…?!  I really didn’t get it… I wanted him to meet my friend, my kids and her kids played together often…  Another time my cousin who is like a sister to me came over with her boyfriend, none of us had our kids… Now you have to understand I am a very open minded person and I don’t judge people… Live and let live, do what you want; to each their own… And my cousin and her boyfriend knew that.  They would come over often prior to my narc coming into my life… Her boyfriend liked to smoke weed… heck even I would one in a blue moon, I don’t see the big deal but my narc was very against drugs of any kind and regardless of kids or no kids he wanted none of that in “our” house.  To be respectful to him and our new living arrangements I agreed.

He didn’t care if he smoked it outside or anything so I told them look he doesn’t like it so just be respectful about that… Whereas before provided my kids weren’t here I didn’t care…  The evening progressed and we were having a great time, we were all getting to know each other and bonding, her boyfriend had smoked a joint that he rolled outside and we were all drinking and enjoying the sun and having a fun time… My narc was of course in the kitchen alone cooking and refusing help… So to be social my cousin’s boyfriend went inside to talk with him, during which a little tipsy he decided to roll another joint while they chatted.  Well that was it… I got called inside when he came out to smoke it and given the third degree, yelling at me “he just rolled a joint in the house what is his problem, why didn’t you tell them”, which I did, but he forgot, to me it’s not a huge deal, we will talk about it later, don’t worry about it… he wouldn’t let it go, told me I had to go talk to him right now… He couldn’t believe I was so careless…

We were four adults enjoying each other’s company without our kids having a good time I thought… I went out and just mentioned listen please don’t roll your joints in the house he lives here now I am trying to be respectful etc. Which he of course apologized for even though to be honest he was taken aback because this wasn’t the “laisser faire” girl they knew… So it was awkward, my cousin was upset, he was upset and of course my narc was fuming and he made sure everyone knew he was not pleased… The evening was uncomfortable and it ended early… and he made me feel like shit for two days afterwards…. I was such an idiot, what was wrong with me how could I condone such horrible behaviour; I am not the woman he knew… This was always the woman he knew the person he said he fell in love with due to the way I was in letting people be themselves with no judgments…

There were so many other social events in which he would make uncomfortable if he attended he either wouldn’t socialize or cause a problem so that it was awkward and I was on high alert… I don’t think there was ever an event where there wasn’t a problem, unless the event was on his terms, and I couldn’t understand it, the man I met was such a social butterfly like me…

He was so distant at this point, making me feel like I was bothering him all the time, like our whole situation was a mistake, making me feel awful, I didn’t know what to do… he still wasn’t working, the job with his brother in law “fell through” honestly looking back, I think his brother in law saw him for what he was and didn’t want to work with him or refer him and have this guy be attached to his name… he was not stable… Everything was a fight, everyone was screwing him over, everyone including me was wrong and everything he was and did was right… But on occasion he would throw me a few bones, say the sweetest things tell me how much he loved me that I was his soul mate and he was sorry for his behaviour that he was stressed  that things would get better…

And in those times, he was the man I loved, the affectionate, communicative, funny, eccentric, caring, understanding man that I loved… Everything I wanted… We would talk about the future and what we would do to the house next year, how we couldn’t wait for the holidays together with the kids, how we were such a wonderful match and family.  And then a few days later, I did something wrong again and this time he said he couldn’t be here this was not what he wanted the house wasn’t clean enough, I wasn’t doing enough, I was this, I was that, and he left… He said he was stressed and felt like a burden since he didn’t have a job, was feeling like a maid and a nanny and didn’t have enough time with his son…  It was all too much…

What?! I was jumping through hoops, bending over backwards, doing everything I could to keep the peace… Something I learned at a young age with my father as not to get anyone upset or angry… I was destroyed, he said just to give him a little time, I didn’t understand I was so confused… This disappearing act was one of a few but this one only lasted for a few days, however it lasted what felt like a life time in my heart.  He sorted his feelings he said, told me how much he loved me but was getting used to living me, made arrangements with the mother of his son for a better schedule, and convinced me it would never happen again, this was what he wanted, I was what he wanted and our future was what he wanted and he couldn’t imagine it any other way… It took me a while to trust him again, I was constantly worried no matter what I did he would walk out the door again, and without warning after all the loving wonderful things he did and said to build me up, he did it again and left…

And this time I was going to be strong, this time I would tell him to go, get out never come back… I took my key, told him to make arrangements to get his things out and do what he had to do… This went on for over a month… the name calling the passive aggressive acts, verbal abuse, tearing me down, stonewalling me, blaming me for everything… but I loved him and I was beyond distraught the rug was ripped out from under me to say the least… who was this man… he kept his tabs on me, but told me to live my life, would text, email, drive by my house, tell me he loved me, to wait for him, but not wait for him, come by to talk say everything I wanted to hear, make love to me, then a few days later ask me to borrow money ($600.00 total) and I gave it to him, I thought we were working on things to him then ignoring me again, to him then calling me names, saying disgusting things about me, my family, my friends…I was trying to move on, I was trying to date to be distracted, “a friend of his” would see me on dating sites and I got the third degree.. why? I wasn’t with him anymore, he left, but he said he was coming back he needed time…

I have never loved someone like I loved him… or the person he pretended to be… and I realize that now…   So many more things happened and I could seriously write a novel, and I am already on page 10 now… From threats to me, my friends, my family, to wanting to call the cops, accusations, blaming and full on emotional abuse… I have never been spoken to in such a crude matter before in my life, and for me to say that is pretty crazy as I have already had my share of verbal, emotional and physical abuse… The crazy making, threats, drama and chaos… But I still loved “him”… And he came back again 4 months later… And it was tenfold… thankfully this time I have now made my escape and it has been 5 months… He last tried to contact me a few weeks ago to “get together” this after at least a few other supplies I am sure… Those poor women… He owes me money; he says he will pay me back even though he feels he gave me so much more… Don’t forget, I wronged him; everything he did was because I was such a horrible person…

Throughout this process I began writing him an email as part of my healing, I will never send it, as I know it will fall on deaf ears… And I never want to be “hoovered” again… But I think it clearly describes my stages and healing process of this ordeal and my path to fully completely becoming me again….

 

My letter to my covert narcissist….

I have been sitting on this email and writing it and rewriting it for a while just to get everything I felt out… However, I never plan on sending it… I used to think I knew you so well, and now I really do; the true you… Hindsight is 20/20…

After you left last year I overplayed everything in my head over and over and over again trying to pin point where everything just went wrong… I drove myself insane… I couldn’t figure it out, we moved in together that was huge for me, that meant something… we had plans together, we were happy, we had our ups and downs but we were a family, we did things together I was in love with you and your son and our future… But you slowly started to slip away from me and within yourself and I attributed it to the stress of the house, the sale, your job or lack of one, not seeing your son as much as you wanted but you just got further inside yourself and I couldn’t bring you out… I couldn’t even hug you or be affectionate with you as I felt and knew it was bothering you…

The little silly things that you didn’t care about before started to bother you and things I didn’t even know about bothered you and you wouldn’t talk to me until you were done and you said you had to leave… You couldn’t be here, you didn’t want to have any attachments or stress in your life except for you and your son. Didn’t want to worry about anyone else… The last thing I ever wanted was me or my kids to be, was a stress, I wanted to be your support system your cheerleader and the person you talked to about everything you were feeling… You said you needed to leave this was not what you wanted right now, that you still “loved” me but you couldn’t do this, you had to work on yourself go make something of yourself be successful etc like you were before and you couldn’t do it with me in your life, with us in your life. Which I couldn’t fully really grasp, but I kind of did to my capacity… That this was something that you had to do, and if it was a mistake that you would have to live with it… That if one day we could ever be again maybe we could, but to carry on with my life and if I was with someone else when and if you were to come back well that was something you had to take the chance on because this was something you had to do…  I asked you so many times to try even if you moved out and you said you couldn’t… It killed me; I thought we were going to grow old together like we talked about… I looked back at all the pictures of us and the kids and everything and wondered what the hell could I have done where the hell did I go wrong? What could I have done better, more of, less of But I never got the chance to know any of it because you never told me, you only told me things when you started walking out the door.  Even though I knew something was wrong and I tried you wouldn’t really let me in… I put everything on myself, and I shouldn’t have… So maybe you would have come back in a few days or a week if I didn’t rush you out as you said, but your thoughts were changing every day you weren’t sure what you were doing and I was so upset and distraught that someone could just up and leave after all these major decisions and life changing moments that perhaps I did rush you out… You had already left once even if it was only for a couple of days, but I didn’t want to continue the same story every few months, it wasn’t fair to me or my kids… They were shocked, hurt and destroyed as much as I was… But I never ever wanted you to leave and you kept saying this was something you had to do… So I let you go… You said you loved me and maybe one day we would be together but how the hell was I to carry on with my life holding on to that slim chance?! The person I thought would never leave my side the person I thought loved me as much as I loved them walked out and wasn’t really looking back… I couldn’t imagine my life without you and you were choosing a life without me… And well honestly I thought a life with someone else…

So yes, I was upset I did some things to try and make me forget our dreams my dreams with you and the kids and try and get you out of my head because I could never figure out what went wrong, you would not talk to me… Ignored me, stonewalled me like I was nothing and if you did talk to me it wasn’t pleasant.  Things went haywire… I won’t deny it; I don’t know how two people who were apparently so much in love could do or say certain things to each other… I stooped down to your level, I became someone I am not… I was in so much pain in almost physical pain like I had never felt before… I felt like I did so much and tried so much and I just couldn’t get to you and what was going on…

So you finally came back, decided to forgive me for what I was never sure, forgive me for trying to deal with such a messed up situation… My reactions were normal, but to you they were not, you wanted me to carry on with my life, but still wanted your claws in me… After a few months of me continuously trying and pining after what I thought we had… You came back to me… I was scared I had my guard up even though I loved you I had started to see the light… Because I was so confused because all the reasons you left that you gave me then were never talked about, the things that were said didn’t make sense, my memory of what happened was wrong… It was all and only about your son, and how it was difficult to spend time with him living further away, when it wasn’t all about him, he was a small part of it that we had a plan for… And more shit hit the fan because you felt like I betrayed you… I spent time with my male friends that you made me stop talking to when we were together, something that I should have never done… I even tried dating to get over you and get you out of my head… How did I betray you? You were gone… I didn’t see it that way I was just trying to carry on and live my life, but it was a life that I wanted you to always be a part of, to get back to that place before things went wrong before you stopped talking to me and loving me and were just picking at everything I did you felt was wrong and talking to me like I was nothing and tearing me down and making me feel horrible. Someone who truly really loves you is suppose to bring you up, make you better, love you for everything and your flaws; like I did you, not call them names and make them feel bad… Criticize and belittle, control and get upset when things don’t go their way… That is not love, at all… That is toxic and unhealthy… At the time I just thought it was a small bump we could get over; I have experienced it all before and to be honest what I was used to, what I thought was normal, and thought we could move past it, and I made excuses for your behavior… Then instead of true love, honesty and trust you left… Again… And yet couldn’t understand me when I was scared to jump back into things with you and have you see my kids… When in a blink of an eye you just bailed yet again… Where did it all go wrong?  But maybe now being out of it all I finally see things a little clearer…

I used to think you were this amazing, funny, loving, caring, charismatic guy that just had a bad run of luck and you had not met someone that you really could be yourself with or someone that really loved you for you etc. (that’s what you told me) That I was that person, because I truly really did feel that way about you, that we were truly meant to be together, that we had so much in common, that we thought the same way, wanted the same things, that we had such an amazing connection and we were so great together… At least that is what you made me believe, that is what you wanted me to believe…

I was having a really hard time to say the least; coming to terms that everything was smoke and mirrors with you and I had repeated yet again a pattern of falling for “that” guy… you all have the same traits… You are all fakers and takers, all wear masks and are whoever someone wants you to be, you have no regard for anything or anyone around you and will do or say anything to get what you want… No empathy or no actual real true emotions only the ones you fake and reflect back to get what you want… Because really you aren’t capable of true raw emotion, especially love… It takes a true person, a strong, brave person to do that… Someone; who you portrayed to be, who had their shit together, who was emotionally ready and had understood your past. But that wasn’t the case, you bring on the illusion you care and love someone only to take whatever it is you need from them; money, sympathy, love, help, understanding or anything to make you feel good about yourself and your worth… And in all this illusion you spew horrible things about everyone around you how they are taking advantage how they are the bad person or people when the truth is, it is just you projecting exactly who you are… And you try to isolate the people in your life from their own support system because you know eventually they would see the true you… You suck anything and everything out of people… Full blown narcissist and even sociopathic really… You crave, prey or really target people who are “fixers” like myself… Loving, caring, empathetic people who would do anything for you because you made them believe you love them; that you actually care about them and want to be with them… When the reality is you only care about yourself and what they can do for you and what you can get out of them… You need control of everything and that person to get what you want, because you can’t control yourself. You don’t trust that person because you yourself are not trustworthy… You lie, deceive and manipulate people into doing anything because you “love” them so much and you want everything they want… Which again is absolute bullshit… That of course is what you want your well for lack of a better term “victim” to believe… Once you get what you want or you see that you can’t control the situation anymore you are gone in an instant not giving a shit about the fall out or who you have hurt along your path of destruction… In my case, me and my kids! My beautiful innocent kids who truly loved you with everything… But why would you care or give a shit… you have no empathy, you aren’t capable…

I really didn’t want to believe this about you, but it is really what it is and it really sickens me… I am willing to bet you already moved on to your next “target(s)”… And played the same I need time game with them too… You came back to me because all your other girls weren’t working out, you lost control, and you figured I still really loved the person you faked to be and would give you what you needed… And congratulations when you came back the second third and fourth time, I did, you got everything you needed to feed your ego, tore me down in the process and gained more money out of me… then you realized you couldn’t have control, saw that I was on to you and had to leave…

So for me, logically I should thank my lucky stars you are out of my life, but there is still a part of me, a small part that will always want to believe that all this cannot be true and that you really did love me at some point and everything you said or did was real… So that is the part that I hate, that is the part that left me with confusion and heartache because I so wanted it to be true… I so wanted you to be the person you pretended to be with me because I loved that person with everything I had… So to realize that everything was just a sick game and all fake was a really hard pill to swallow… But you never did anything that proves this wrong… Everything you did just proved me right… That is what you are, not the person who loved me, the charismatic, funny, loving guy who wanted a life with me… Perhaps I made mistakes, because I am human, but I can own up to them, unlike you… I know not everything was my fault even though that was what you wanted me to believe… My faults and mistakes were trusting and believing you, believing in you and in us… And not seeing things for what they were… You never loved me or even liked me really… You just liked what you could get out of me…

So I guess in the end perhaps you won at your “game”, congratulations, but so did I because I have come to terms with what you are… And this year has been quite the learning experience… One I thought learned with my ex husband already… At least this time it was only 13 months, and not 13 years… So let the sympathy story begin again with someone new that you befriend, or someone you go back to after needing some “time”.  How everyone (including me of course) has done you wrong and you are so perfect… According to you I’m probably crazy or a drug addict like one of your ex’s… You are good at your outlandish stories… I did you so wrong… When all I did was try and move on when you left because you “couldn’t be here” regardless of your son, cause what else could I give you, the gig was up, I wasn’t complying, it was getting boring… I gave away your stuff that you never picked up (basically so you could keep stringing me along) Oh and I was friends with people who threaten your existence even though I chose you to love… Unbelievable… Probably the best narcissistic cluster B personality I have met in my life thus far…

You are just a shell, sucking the life out of everybody else… You may be a good actor, but karma really is a bitch… Unfortunately we were just pawns in your sick game… My son said it best… “Mom, he tricked us…” He said that months ago, and I would defend you to him, but he was right all along…

But you know what… I forgive you, I know you aren’t sorry…  you will never be sorry; in your mind we were nothing, so it doesn’t matter. No matter what you can’t admit your wrong doings… But forgiving you is for me, and for my kids, even if they won’t forgive you. They just can’t understand someone like you… In fact not many adult people can because it is so mind boggling…

But, thank you… Thank you for helping me grow and well really, setting me free… You have made me stronger than I have ever been, my ex husband, someone I never truly loved did a number on me, but you, you really woke me up and made me realize so much more… And have forever changed me for the better… “Your best teacher is your last mistake” words I should have really stuck by months ago instead of believing the crap you fed me over and over again…

People don’t come into your life by accident there is always a purpose, unfortunately the outcome was not what I originally wanted, however the outcome I now have, I will forever be grateful for…

Either way it really all doesn’t matter anymore… And maybe I am completely wrong in everything I now see of you and you maybe are just one really confused, messed up guy meds or no meds… But I do know that mature, normal, loving, caring people don’t treat others the way you treated me and my kids, putting people they supposedly care about down to feel better about themselves, they don’t make rash decisions like coming and going, moving in and out and not caring about the fall out they’ve left behind… I could never fathom doing what you did to me/us to someone else… Making life plans and then just flicking a switch, but then again I never thought you would do that either… You fooled me…

The great thing about meeting you was that I realized my worth; that I can love truly and deeply and I can be loved that way too… In the beginning I remember how you made me feel truly loved and accepted, but the rest of the time I was always trying so hard to feel like I mattered, that I was worthy and grabbing at the crumbs and scraps you gave me… constantly dealing with drama and problems you created for nothing, making me walk on eggshells and worrying… And that isn’t the way it should be… I do hope that one day you do figure out your issues if it is possible, because you are wasting precious time trying so hard to find reasons and faults in everyone else to change in them, so you don’t have to change yourself and can keep people at arm’s length… Perhaps one day your emotional mentality/maturity will catch up to your age but maybe you should really just look inside yourself and change some of your ways and thoughts… Life is too short…

I don’t regret my time with you, but I do regret my efforts in trying so hard, the depth of myself I gave to you, because it would have never mattered what I did and I realize that now…  I know I was good to you, I know I am a trusting, wonderful person, an understanding, amazing, loving, loyal and honest person to a fault, and whether you saw that or not, is not on me… I know what I felt for you regardless of what happened, but no matter what I did, you always set me up to fail in your eyes.  I have never in my life loved someone like I loved you or rather the person you portrayed yourself to be, it took me a long time to see things and get over you… But, it is true what they say… Better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all…

Pay me back, don’t pay me back… Since you feel that I have done you so wrong, and have given me so much more… You could never put yourself in anyone else’s shoes and see things from another side; you don’t have the emotionally capacity… You flipped my world and my kids’ world upside down… You moved in, I sold all my stuff regardless if it was up to your standards or not, I did whatever I could to make this house more of a home for US to make you feel welcomed, I bought bunk beds for the boys, bought clothes and toys for your son to make sure he felt welcomed, I spent money where I didn’t absolutely need to right away for US and you decided after a few months it wasn’t for you and walked instead of trying… My house is painted, and I got some furniture, well, at least I didn’t have to buy all of it… However I had to spend more money again to try and repair the damage you caused…  But I did you so wrong… Who does that?! I didn’t decide on a whim to just introduce my kids to some random guy and move in with him because it was something to do… But apparently that is normal for you, as was walking away on such a commitment… And I should be thankful you didn’t take back all your furniture, because you “respect” me… You never did, never have…

So pay me back or don’t… Whatever…

At the time I was helping the guy I loved who I thought was just having a hard time and someone I wanted to be there for through anything life threw at us, that guy would pay me back… That guy was the one I wanted to spend my life with… That’s the guy who will always have a special place in my heart…

But unfortunately I am pretty sure that isn’t really who you are, you like to play games with people’s emotions; I was just one of many nothings and pawns… So I am not holding my breath…

 

If you would like to share part of your story, please email it to: mystory@thriveafterabuse.com.

Also, please make sure to let me know of any name changes you’d like to have made–and please keep details vague enough to protect your identity and/or location if this is a concern.

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Dana

I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse.

My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.

Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.

It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
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Must Read: Psychopath Free

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About Dana 267 Articles
I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse. My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life. Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics. It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.

4 Comments

  1. Just so glad she got away and got her kids away from him. He will bring nothing but heartache, loss and damage to any who share his space. She is a wonderful woman and she and her kids deserve so much more…

  2. “Melissa”, I don’t know if you will see this…or if this will be of any help. But I want you to know that your story touched me to the point of tears. I felt like I was reading my own personal story. I am just now becoming aware of the traits of narcissism and how I have been back and forth in a relationship with a narcissist for four years now. It’s finally over and reading articles, posts like yours, are helping me heal in ways like never before. Thank you and know you are not alone.

  3. Thank you so much for your comments, they brought me to tears…
    Angie, I am so happy that I can help someone, reading everyone’s stories really helped me too xoxo

  4. Thank you so much for your comments, they mean the world to me…
    It is still hard and I am still recovering, however reading posts and having everyone like you as my support system helps more than words can express! xoxo

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