First of all what you are doing is incredible. The fact that you have created a site to support victims of this unique style of abuse is admirable.
I would really like to share my story and maybe try to get some insight of what is going on and how I can best handle my situation, as it is something I haven’t read and been able to relate to in other users stories yet.
I became involved with a narcissist. I recently discovered what a narcissist even was thanks to you. It was really an ah-ha moment. Like OMG this is him. Names have been changed.
So… Here we go. I started dating “Bobby” back about 4 years ago. We dated and he stayed at my house almost every night pretty soon after we started dating. The love bombing came and went within the first 6 months. Showered me with compliments, gifts, even cash.
But he never took me home to meet his family. He was a charmer and still is. Within the first year I found out that he was lying to me about this colleague he worked with “Karen.” He said that she wanted to date, but he wasn’t interested in her.
Well… I knew she and him were talking and seemed to be more than friends from work because he received an email from her referencing a vacation they were planning. I confronted him and he denied everything. Then soon after we went to a football game about 2 hours away. We left at 6AM came back around 8PM and had to turn around and drive all the way back for a friend’s cell phone she forgot. We get back around midnight and walking from our friend’s vehicle to Bobby’s car I see headlights charging at us and engine roaring. Bobby yells to get in the car!
This car nearly hits Bobby and his door climbing into his nice sports car of course… I am terrified and he peels off with this car, this car chasing us and we drive to my house near by using the back roads and losing them… We pull up and this woman is standing on my porch! It is Karen. He is shaking and telling me it will be okay. He tells me who she is. I am silent. In shock don’t know how she knows where we were, where I live. Or the fact that she has been sitting there for HOURS…The windshield of his vehicle says LIAR on it in lipstick. There was a note saying on his car too… “Out with your friends… Just another LIE.”
I said “Where are we going to go now? How does she know where I live?” He is shaking with fear holding my thigh while we were driving… I said “where are we going to go?” He said “we will go to my house.” We are dating for 2 years at this point and I have NEVER been to his house! I know it sounds crazy. He lived with his mother and I had never met her so I knew why. But that’s another narcissistic thing. SO… I let him manipulate me to believe that Karen was a nutcase and couldn’t handle the rejection. As time went on I would have this heightened sense of insecurity and started to feel really low. I felt like I couldn’t trust him. So I left him.
I went no contact before I knew what no contact was. I was done after 2nd year and no Christmas with his family and all these loose ends that couldn’t be explained. The fact that he wanted to keep me a secret. His Father died shortly before that as well, and I was hurt I never had the pleasure of meeting him… I was just done.
So from January to July I had no contact and I had met someone. Someone really great. Guess who pops back up? Bobby. Begs to see me and meet me and share with me what is on his mind, insists and insists I go and talk to him and give him a chance to explain. I reluctantly agree. And give him a 20 minute time limit using the fact that the new guy and I are meeting his parents that he introduced to me immediately out for dinner that night. So I meet with him.
He reads me this letter aloud in a public bar and pours out how he regrets what he did and how sorry his was for ruining us and taking me for granted. Crying in public. Tears and all, snot running out his nose. Saying that he had to realize what he lost to come to face and confess that I was the most important person in his life and he couldn’t help thinking if he didn’t try that he would lose me forever blah blah blah… So what do I do? I leave like I said I would and went back to meet new guy and new guy questions my changed demeanor and I just told him I think I still love Bobby. It broke the new guy, and still to this day I beat myself up about that. Now that he is married and super happy with another girl and it could have been me my sister reminds me… Ugh. What a mistake.
So in turn I went back to Bobby. He left for a family reunion out of state shortly like days after getting back together, and was very attentive and sweet saying the can’t wait to bring me… Blah blah blah. It was amazing for a bit. He was attentive and geared toward making us great again and I started to trust him. I really thought I fell back in love. He took me to Christmas I met all of his wonderful family and Mother. Life was good.
Then Karen pops back in. Posting a photo of her and Bobby in the edge just enough to see that he is with her with his arm around her… Just to taunt me of course. It had the same background as the photos from the reunion. He TOOK HER! After he insisted I leave that guy. Go back to him, he gives me the run around all that! I find this out 9 months later! He denies it of course. He also denies a claim that a friend of mine saw him with someone else at our state fair. A Chicago Bears game with another woman when he told me he took a guy friend of his… Another woman texting him saying she can’t stop thinking about him at 11pm at night. He said she was texting him in order to communicate with his friend that has a live in girlfriend… Yeah. And again I leave him.
This time I feel way better. Mess up once whatever, but now I am even more warped it feels like….
THEN THE BOMB….I find out I am pregnant with the NARC. I was on birth control. I was terrified to tell him. When he begged for me back he brought up that he wanted me to be his wife and that he only ever imagined having kids with me and no one else…. But still terrified to tell him. AND I JUST COULDN’T STAND HIM. I thought I loved him, but he was a awful.
So I tell him. He wants me to terminate. I had a trip to Cabo planned 2 days later with his his best friend’s wives that were going to stand by me regardless because they saw Bobby as a POS… I am 29 yrs old at the time Bobby is 49… I was already angry about the breakup, but now I am stuck dealing with him if I keep the baby for the rest of my life?
He never had any kids before or ever was married… I don’t know what I was thinking dating him in the first place, but I have never felt like this about someone. Ever. I didn’t even like him. I met him out at a bar and he persisted to take me out for weeks… I was a little flattered by that and still get these feelings thinking about all the fun we did have. But when it was good it was great like you say. When it was bad it was a nightmare.
I can’t terminate and I told him I decided to be a Mother instead. He gets up and leaves my house. Says nothing. Says nothing while I am in Cabo. Says nothing. So I come home I ask if he is going to speak to me; he said your mind is made up. You can’t afford this. We are not married, I don’t want a kid this way. I said you don’t have a choice. I do. And I am going to have this baby. It was meant to be here and that is that. Well… He didn’t like that.
He said fine figure it out. And went no contact with me for 9 months. I reached out to him a couple of times, but nothing but texts back saying “figure it out you set up artist…” And “go set someone else up…” Referring to the fact that he believed I manipulated by birth control to get pregnant on purpose.. Completely false. I had signed up for the highest deductible insurance, booked my first out of the country trip, and was to stand up in my best friends wedding that fall. I didn’t get pregnant on purpose. He showed up at the birth because my brother called him when my water broke and said I don’t care what’s going on with you and Katie you can’t miss this. You will hate yourself. So he showed and I was cordial, but almost relieved. It was a weird feeling. I wanted my new son to have a father. I did. I wanted to let him in and be cordial. Even though I should be so pissed.
So now that you kind of know the background…. This is my dilemma now…
We come home with baby. He leaves money cash ($200), and gives me an American Express with my name on it to use but he receives the statement. CONTROL. Bobby says to me “I don’t care what you spend it on, just don’t lose it.” Within the first month’s statement he complained that there was one thing on there that he could attribute to Eli our son… Because there was one purchase from BuyBuyBaby everything else was Walmart and a local grocery store. I was breastfeeding. Now granted he would come over and spend time with Eli. I would cook for him. Like I always did. And things were back to the way they were. We never discussed any thing he was pissed and resentful but we never talked. We never and still haven’t been intimate. Nothing. He wanted to work things out. I said I am scared and if we were it would need a lot of work. Meanwhile he was sleeping over at the woman he took to the Chicago game’s house. I drove to his Mother’s one night knowing she was out of town to talk to him and have some “alone” time away from baby to discuss our future…. Pulled up Karen’s car was there. Dana I was done.
Next morning he comes with a frigging engagement ring. No joke. He says her car was just parked there. She wasn’t actually there.
My Dad is so fed up with me losing myself in this narc. He cries on my porch and begs and pleads with me to just take this POS to court for child support and get him out of my life. I deserve better. I agree. Bobby is terrified about me taking him for child support. He is a sergeant for the sheriff’s department here and makes over 120k a year. He gives me like $500/month which barely covers child care. I keep Eli 100% of the time. I am practically a single mom and work full time I only make like 40k. Bobby doesn’t have anything for Eli nor does he have a place other than his girlfriend’s (one of them) or his mom’s basement to call home. I am just fed up. So my Dad takes me down to courthouse. I am terrified his detective unmarked squad is right outside the door. And we live a large metro city… what are the chances? So I am scared shaking thinking he will see me… Well he doesn’t and I file. It takes FOREVER for him to get served and I don’t tell him. I just do it.
HE FINDS OUT AND SNAPS. Goes bananas. Calls me at work. Calls me every name in the book. Says he is never going to speak to me again. Hasn’t seen his son in days…. Just hates me. Calls me a set up artist again. Tell me to go set someone else up and take them to court to pay my bills. All this abusive stuff.
So now what? Leave it be. Go gray rock or just go no contact? Eli is 5 months. I am not trying to sabotage anything. But he hates me. I am hurt by that and I don’t know what. I am extremely depressed. More disappointed than I have ever been.
Court is on the 25th. I don’t know what to expect or what he is going to do with all the friends he has in high places in this city… I don’t know. HELP!
He was awful to me this weekend. Said some hateful shit and didn’t show up for Eli. I said I was taking him for child support because he is shit for a Father… I feel bad about saying that. He provides money. That is more than a lot of single mothers can say. I don’t know. Like I said… What advice do you or the group got for me?…
Thank you so much.
Mother in Need
You did the right thing by filing for child support. Having to live with him scrutinizing (and arguing about) a credit card statement every month would have been incredibly stressful. He is going bananas because he is losing control over you and over the situation–and he knows it.
It’s really unfortunate that he is “shit for a father,” but frankly, since he’s a liar, a cheater, manipulative, and not emotionally invested in his son, it’s perhaps the best that he’s not in your son’s life. There’s a lot of single parents out there who wish that their ex manipulator wasn’t in their child’s life because of all the continued damage they do.
At this point, it’s important that you put you and your son first. It’s also important that you see your ex for who he is today, and to let go of the fantasy of him being a loving, involved, emotionally available father. If in time he becomes those things, then great–but accept who he is right now. Once you let go of the fantasy, then you can start thinking clearly, and your perception of the situation shifts from hope and disappointment to acceptance of what is and anticipation of his and your actions.
Now don’t get me wrong here, acceptance is not the same thing as “allowance.” Accepting a person or a situation for what it is means that we release the hope and the struggle that it could be different. This does not mean that we need to allow an abusive, dangerous, or destructive person into our lives anymore than is absolutely necessary (in your case I’m guessing he has rights to see his son).
Always, always, always move in the direction of erring on the side of caution–and always move in the direction of keeping yourself safe and sane. Always.
Anticipation is the biggest tool that we have in our tool kit when it comes to manipulative people–or perhaps with most of life in general. (Anticipation is not the same as worry–in fact it’s the exact opposite. To anticipate something means to prepare for the worst and then hope for the best and then let the rest go.) The only way to anticipate what another person (especially a manipulative one) is going to do, is to steer in the direction of making sure that you maintain your power and control as much as you can.
And right now since court is around the corner, there are some things you can anticipate (click the links to read more about each one):
- Flying Monkeys.
- Hoovering. (He may try to hook you again on all the false promises of a life together. …Keep in mind that a healthy relationship is not possible with someone who does not have (and does not want to sincerely work towards developing) open, honest, sincere, and solutions oriented communication, as that is the foundation for growth. You and your son don’t need all the mind games and manipulations from him. …If you are ever tempted at giving things another shot, I encourage you to write out a list called, “For when you miss him” and on this list write out all the BS things that he did. …And then when you miss him, read that list. It will help to get you to snap out of the fantasy.)
- A Smear Campaign. In order to help prevent a bunch of BS and lies from him, from this point forward keep as much of a paper trail of his behavior as you possibly can. So keep texts, emails, voice mails, pictures, etc. Keep communications with him to where either other people are witnesses, or ideally, where you have proof (texts, etc.) Narcissists really do convince themselves of their own lies, and because of this, are very convincing in court. This is why it’s so important you anticipate that he’ll say a bunch of lies. Don’t let him knock you off track (that’s his goal). Keep your composure, and prepare yourself emotionally as much as you can. …And ideally, plan on doing something to relieve stress after court–like a massage, or go to the gym, or watch a comedy. Something to where you go into this keeping power and control over your emotions and especially over your happiness. You can choose your reaction to all this.
Many of these things you’ve already experienced, but sometimes it can be validating to know that it’s all part of it, and that you aren’t crazy!
From this point forward, I really hope that you work towards the health, healing, and happiness of both you and your son. The greatest gifts you can give your son are love and healthy self-esteem.
There are many support groups out there for former partners of Narcissists. Here is a link to my group if you are interested: www.NarcissistSupport.com/forum
(((hugs))) to you. You can do this. Keep moving forward and don’t let him steal anymore of your sanity or happiness.
~ Dana <3
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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