When Insecurity Looks Like Extreme Confidence: A Narcissistic Example
When I was just starting my business, I decided I needed to do local networking. I’d heard it would be good for the business, so I did some digging and started looking at small business groups on meetup.com.
I felt so lucky when I quickly found a local small business meetup that was happening just a short distance from my house.
At the first meeting, we were each invited to briefly introduce ourselves and explain our business. When it was my turn, one woman looked up sharply like she’d been stung by a bee as I started to talk about my business.
She caught my eye as I spoke, and I smiled at her. At first, she just stared, but then I saw a small smile form on her face. I felt relieved and went on.
After the introductions, we had lunch. I went over to say hello to the woman, and she seemed really friendly.
The Facade is Cast
She was a gorgeous, charming, and seemingly very successful woman. She seemed to be someone I could really learn a lot from.
She said she’d been in business for years (though in hindsight, I realize that she didn’t really explain her business when given the chance and was pretty vague about it). Still, she seemed quite successful.
She talked the big talk. And as far as I could tell, she was walking the big walk.
She drove an expensive car, had an expensive bag, and had those expensive shoes with red soles. You know the ones I mean. And her jewelry! I could tell it was all real – a stark contrast to my costume knockoffs.
I was on the hunt for a mentor, and she seemed like a perfect fit! She was confident, attractive and seemed quite intelligent.
The Private Meeting On the Pedestal
She asked me a lot of questions about my business and offered little snippets of advice that seemed legit. At the end of the meeting, she invited me to meet her for lunch the following week.
The day we met for lunch, she asked for more details about my business, which I happily shared. Then, much to my delight, she was telling me all about her upcoming executive board meeting.
She said they were considering investing in other local small businesses and that if I played my cards right, they might invest in mine.
Of course, I was over the moon! I practically worshipped her – I wanted to BE her!
It was a lot like when I almost interviewed Sam Vaknin, but she was more covert than he was in her narcissism. She came to me as a would-be mentor, and I ate it up like so much cake.
And since the lady promised to bring me up at this meeting, I started pulling together all sorts of documentation and information about my business.
The next day, I emailed the information as she had asked, and I waited for her to get back to me after her meeting. But then she went silent. I was a little sad but figured maybe my business just wasn’t up to snuff for this executive board.
I understood – after all, I had just started my business and wasn’t super successful yet.
And there was a stark contrast between my business and hers – she, at that time, was clearly well beyond me, it seemed.
I counted myself lucky for our time together and moved on.
I mean, she had an EXECUTIVE BOARD. All I had at the time was me.
The Shocking Truth
Then, a couple of months later, I noticed that she’d created a brand new Facebook page. It seemed she had just launched a new business – and when I started looking into it, it turned out that her business was eerily familiar.
In fact, it was like she literally copied the business plan and structure that I had outlined for her months ago.
I reached out to her and asked what she was doing. She told me that I was mistaken, that it had been her idea the whole time.
She said that the business plan I had submitted to her was a joke, and THAT was why she’d gone silent. In hindsight, I realize that was straight-up gaslighting.
She subtly tore me down, implying that I was stupid to think that someone like HER could possibly take an idea from someone as small potatoes as ME.
Of course, when I pointed out that she had literally done everything I’d put in the business plan, she got offended and screamed at me, telling me she was tired of people always accusing her of stuff like this.
She called me jealous and immediately blocked me. I had been officially discarded.
Then, from what I heard, she started talking to our few mutual connections about how I thought I owned my niche and how she practically invented me anyway. (Sounds a lot like a smear campaign, no?)
It went on from there.
What I missed was that her apparent confidence was more like grandiosity.
I missed that she had used me to get an idea for a short-lived business.
Later, I would learn that I wasn’t the only person she had done this to – apparently, several people who had been part of the group at different times had experienced the same thing.
I learned that her fancy bag, car, and shoes were thanks to her wealthy husband.
And she was a bored stay-at-home wife (no kids) with too much time on her hands. And as for her stealing all of my business? I admit I worried for a minute.
After all, she had a lot more money than I did and, as far as I could tell, would be far more successful than I could.
But I didn’t have to worry for long because after failing to become immediately successful, she moved on to someone else’s idea. (Plus, if we’re being honest, she was trying to be someone she just wasn’t.)
My narcissist is an ex-married lover. We met when he was my boss working with him for two years before he moved away.
With this narcissist, everything we did, whether it be physical or when we were just fantasizing via email, was totally pedophile-ish and totally disgusting but I will say this: Looking back 16 years later, I now see the signs and wish I could’ve told myself, “Stop! Don’t do it! He’s an a-hole!”
And everyone I worked with warned me that my boss wasn’t a good guy. I was young, dumb and so in love with that man.
Now 16 years later, he’s married to the girl he didn’t want to marry (he told everyone he worked with he’d never get married). He had cheated on his wife before and after they were married – with me when I was single and during my first relationship with another narcissist.
How the Narcissist Reeled Me In
In 2009, my ex narcissist boyfriend had left the picture leaving my soon-to-be first ex narcissistic husband in the picture but we were just friends. Granted, he didn’t like HIM one bit. But I didn’t care.
He was smart enough to know that HE was a narcissist and was just using me for sex and didn’t really care about me.
HE never really complained about his wife that much when he stayed at my place. The only thing HE did say was that when they did have sex he had to be on top because she was fat and would’ve been crushed. This is true, she is a large woman, she’s got some thyroid condition.
I’ve seen what she looks like. He’s telling the truth.
Also, my second husband’s narcissist ex-wife is a morbidly obese woman weighing over 300lbs and he told me himself that he too had to be on top, (drunk of course) because otherwise he, himself, would’ve been crushed by her weight.
Other than that HE complained that they argued a lot about her dragging him to places instead of staying home. I asked him one time if his wife was the love of his life and he said “No.”
I asked him who was and he said some girl in high school. I asked him if his wife was his soul mate and again he said, “No.”
I asked him who it was and he said some girl named Christine. To this day, I’m really not sure if he was talking about the car or an actual girl – but nonetheless, it was an interesting conversation.
I do recognize the signs of a narcissist now that I think about it. I remember the first time he loved bombed me.
I was singing a song to myself and he said, “You look pretty with your hair down.”
Going back to my original point, even now, 16 years, later, HE still sees me as the girl who got away. I saw him two years ago. We reengaged our fiery email exchanges after our hookup, but this time, I’d finally got smart and knew how to defend myself.
Then in 2010 things started slowing down some with HIM. He and I hadn’t seen each other since July of 2010.
2011 rolls out. Here’s when HE devalued me and discarded me….or so I thought. I hadn’t seen HIM since that past November. I’d since become bored and tired of waiting but become interested in someone else. Not my soon-to-be-ex narcissist first husband. Even he fits this to a T but more on him later.
So I told Him when he could figure out a time and place to come up to let me know. He wrote back, “Since I haven’t figured out a time or place, HENCE no return email.”
Well, that’s when I had had it. I told him I was getting back together with my ex narcissist boyfriend who gotten out of jail for something he did which was downloading child porn onto my computer and “accidentally” forgetting to tell me about it before the police and FBI showed up back in 2009.
Choices I’d Regret
Anyway, to further complicate things, my future ex narcissist first husband didn’t like me seeing HIM because he wanted me to like him the way I adored HIM forced me to do something. What did he force me to do?
Tell G’s wife, of course, purely for his own selfish, narcissistic benefit. SHE knew all along so it wasn’t a shock. SHE called me and left me a voicemail calling me a whore and to stay away from her man.) Yet the jerk still continued to see me that summer in 2010!
He told me what to write and I did and then I received a message from Him that night. He asked me why I would do this and reminded me I was never that kind of person. I said I have stuff I could send her and he begged me, literally, “Please don’t. Even if she asks.”
Then the last thing he said was, “Are you going to try and destroy my marriage by sending her stuff, or are you going to let it drop?”
Running Into the Narcissist After Going No Contact
3 years later: 2014.
Still NO Contact. But THEY do their smear campaign. SHE sends me a letter from a lawyer threatening legal action if I ever step foot on their lawn. Like every other victim, I wanted answers so I emailed him in search of said answers and never got them. SHE also filed a police report.
Then one day I get the chance to see him again to get my so-called answers because I knew the wife was out of town. I have my soon-to-be-ex narcissist first husband drive me to where they live and I’m sitting at the place and as soon as he saw me.
Not surprisingly, he made a face – a sort of “holy sh*t” look. With this, he turned around and walked out the back before coming through the front.
He walked up to me and said, “What are you doing here?”
I said, “Eating. What does it look like?”
Then I said, “I came here to talk to you. I need to know why.”
By then all the people for the meetup he was hosting had shown up, so he had to conduct it. I turned my back and continued eating. He made small talk in between not to show that he knew me or anything.
At one point before the stupid thing started, I had to pee. So I had asked the very nice bartender to watch my stuff.
As soon I came out, HE came out at the same time and just stared at me for a minute, then went back to play the good host. The whole meetup was over within half an hour because not too many people showed.
Then it was just HE and I. I had a little bit of knowledge of how narcissists acted and behaved but not nearly enough as I do now so you could say I was still in the early developmental stage.
I know how we got started on the subject of rekindling our affair because I apologized for hurting him and I missed him. I told him I missed what we had and I wanted him to forgive me. Long story short we ended hooking up again and then the whole smear campaign started again.
His wife found out because one of the girls asked about me being at the last meetup and she put two and two together. But this time what she’s said and everything she’s always said to me has sounded like she’s talking in the third person which I find hilarious.
But this time around, at the time she wrote the email in 2014, I was very unhappy in my first marriage to a plushopheliac narcissist*, and I took what she said to heart and believed it.
*Editor’s Note: Plushophilia (from “plushie” and “-philia”) is a paraphilia involving stuffed animals.
I actually contemplated suicide.
I eventually divorced my first husband and found my second husband. I finally got therapy for all the issues I needed help with. Even HIM.
But HE hasn’t been fully discussed as he should be.
I’m suffering from dissociative amnesia from this man and all my exes. I do look so young for my age, I’m 37, but look 19 or 21, it’s exactly why he preyed upon me. He also bought me a coloring book and a small stuffed Spongebob toy to match for Christmas one year. What did HE get? Sex.
Three years ago was the last time I saw HIM. They came down to where I lived for vacation. He controlled EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING. By this time I’d grown strong, wiser, and knew a proficient amount of knowledge on how to handle him. My husband and I stayed at the same hotel they did to get away for the night but mainly because I wanted to see/talk to him.
My husband and I lost our twin babies four years ago and I haven’t sought grief counseling and I made the mistake of opening the door after we moved down to where we live (which is where this all started.)
Anyway, after we got to the hotel we hung out at the pool, then a little while later they arrived. Poor guy, his wife made him use the luggage cart to lug their bags while she went inside to confirm their reservations.
He saw me and looked so sad.
His Wife Called Him a Psychopath
I went out with a co-worker of mine and HE constantly kept texting me and complaining about how slow the service is down here in the south. Then when I got back, I started reading my book in between emailing him.
I told him I was tired but he kept telling me just to wait. My husband was getting suspicious and I kept telling him I was reading my book.
My Adderall kept me up so I reminded him to go to bed because he had to be at work in the morning.
Finally at 2 am, HE strolls out and nudged his head toward the doors and I followed him. I asked him what took him so long and he said they had a fight. I asked what they fought about and he just made a funny face.
He said she called him a psychopath.
I said, “It’s because you’re a narcissist.”
He whined, ”Why does everyone keep calling me that?”
I said, ”Maybe it’s because you are.”.
He said stopped talking and handed me a drink. Don’t know what was in it but I drank some. He put my stuff down on the ground.
Date Raped by a Narcissist
This is where I know it was rape because I told him in an earlier email that we didn’t have to do this if he didn’t want to – meaning I really don’t want to cheat on my husband because I really love him and I don’t want to hurt him. He even asked when I was leaving the room why I was wearing a jacket and no shirt.
Saying YES DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN YES.
Anyway, HE yanked my sweats down above my knee and unzipped my jacket halfway, and started to feel me up as he horribly went down on me. I just looked up at the sky, my eyes brimmed with tears.
I looked back down at him and I started to talk about something then he pushed me on my knees and handed me a chalice (came with dinner and a show) filled with Mountain Dew overpowered by something else.
So I drink it then looked at him and he said all the way so I finished it. Then it hit me and I go down on him and then in one swift move I’m on all fours and I’m not really enjoying it. I’m crying through the experience and I kept saying ow and I know he didn’t hear me.
Then when it’s over, we talked, I foolishly told him I loved him, he said so does she, and then he said really loudly (as if he were talking about his own marriage, that’s how I perceived it), he said, “I CAN’T do this anymore.”
And then he left.
I left and found my husband waiting for me. We went inside and I cried and ended up having a seizure and a big ole bruise on my head. The next morning I emailed him telling him what happened.
He asked if I was ok.
I just said, “Please, no more alcohol.”
HE said it wouldn’t be a late night. I said ok.
The Narcissist’s Final Discard
I knew I’d never see him again. I told my husband I wanted to leave the next morning early morning, we only lived right up the road so we did.
I told HIM I’d be leaving and he said ok, for me to try and be happy, and goodbye. (Again he sounded like he was trying to convince himself that he would not wish me well.)
We continued to email each other up until two years ago when his wife found the pictures I had sent so she sent them to my husband and by then it was killing me inside. I held that secret in for 9 months. I cried the same day we returned from the hotel not because he was gone but because I had hurt the father of my children. We eventually moved past it.
HE said we can’t be friends and need to go back to our spouses. I have tried to call a truce and called him out on him to admit that he needs me in his life, no matter how many times he pushes me away, that he needs me more than I need him, and could we ever try to be friends civilly.
This was his response.
1. No, I am not mad at you.
2. You are not wrong.
3, No we can’t.
But when I questioned G on his crap and why he let her do this his answer was “I can’t control her any more than I can control you.”
Then the wife had the nerve to say to me via email that I could have him and we deserved each other. I responded that I didn’t wish to be with him and I called G out on everything.
I emailed him to see if we could be friends but calling him out on his crap and he said, “No I don’t want to be in your life and you to be into mine. We had our fun but it’s over now. Please respect that.”
He told me once that I was more his type, which is the girl next door type, and he agreed with me on things I have said about our relationship (although he never said what those things were). This means he too much of a coward to admit that I am right that he wouldn’t know what love is if it slapped him in the face. Then he had the nerve to say he wasn’t a narcissist. HAHA!!
They don’t miss people, they miss the things people provide—affection, admiration, attention, money, food, shelter, access, or the illusion of a “normal life.”
The above is referring to those with NPD, not those who are higher on the narcissist scale than others, but who are not malignant narcissists.
If they ‘miss’ anyone or ‘think about them when they are gone, they are really missing what they could have provided, or think about what you have that they don’t. Think about what you provided them, even if it was attention, entertainment, affection, sex, money, access, or the illusion of normal life (if you were a spouse).
That’s what they miss. It’s things, not people. They don’t need people and they don’t want people, really. All of their defense mechanisms are enough for them, there is no need for actual ‘people’, just what ‘people’ can provide.
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Life isn’t the same, Your mask has been removed,
And I know your game.
You’ve manipulated my life,
Given me a bad name & turned it into strife.
You’ve turned my family & friends against me,
all for your own glory.
May the truth be revealed,
that you are only an imitation of love & empathy.
They will come to find your connection with them hollow, I
& your heartlessness hard to swallow.
They will be sorry it was you they chose to follow,
& sad that they gave up on someone who would of been there for them tomorrow.
Your sources of supply, only need empathy & love & support & encouragement, to acquire your reply.
It’s all abt., you & how others will fluff your feathers, soon away will they all fly, without a goodbye!!
Your projection of heartlessness onto others, soon becomes towards you their rejection.
Upon introspect, they soon realize of whose false affections they must reject.
Inverted jealousy, you thrive on, twisting the blame.
Gaslighting one too many a flame.
Narcissism has an end, when many eyes become opened.
Alone you will be, inflicted with your own pain.
A heartless game played by the NarcNessMonster within,
everything done to tie me into your sin.
You brought it upon yourself, strife will eternally be your life.
You played this game in stride, soon you’ll have to dwell alone with the beast inside.
-By Cynthia Lyn Woods
An Original Poem Written September 23, 2018
Living with a narcissist is like living in a fairy tale. But not the kind you might have read to your own children. More like dungeons, dragons, evil spirits, smoke and mirrors. Where there is no happily ever after but instead lost friendships, broken families, loss of the ability to trust others, loss of self-esteem and even loss of who you remember yourself to be – and more. It’s all just an illusion that they have craftily presented to you in the beginning and continue to present to others on a regular basis.
This fairytale is a place where you bring home your favorite chocolate treat only to find it missing because the narc has hidden it from you. Why? you might ask. Simply because he doesn’t think you deserve it. “You need to keep your figure in check,” he’ll say.
Or when you’re given expired food to eat. Eight years expired! WTF? Or he’ll insist on cooking dinner and infuse your food with pepper, knowing that your body can’t handle it. He’ll insist, ‘it’s just a little.’ But if you should EVER put something they don’t like in a meal, you better run for the hills. There’s a price to pay.
When you proudly announced that you lost 5 pounds, he’d give a sly smile and pinch the fat around my middle. He wouldn’t congratulate you or tell you you’ve done a great job. But he’ll make sure you know that what you’ve done is not good enough. FYI, I only needed to lose 10 pounds, I wasn’t grossly overweight. But this was another ploy to get me to feel bad about myself and my accomplishments.
Or when you’re given a ‘floor dump’ at 8 am on a Saturday morning because ‘nobody should sleep in past 8 am’. The fact that you’ve worked hard all week while you’re trying to heal from autoimmune disease doesn’t matter to the narc. He’ll just grab your ankles from the warm bed and dump you on the floor because that’s what HE thinks you need.
Or when he hits you in the head with a dog’s toy supposedly thrown for the dog to play. Company was there, they saw it happen and said nothing. The narc’s laughing response was “You don’t think I did that on purpose do you?” Well, actually yes, I do believe you did that on purpose! But I wouldn’t start an argument in front of company (and the narc relies on that) and the company won’t ‘get involved’. Once again, I’ve been abused by a man who cannot empathize with me or anyone else and takes great pleasure in conning everyone involved. But he has to look like he’s the good guy. Oh, there never was an apology for that hard toy hitting me in the head. I was supposed to overlook it, forget it ever happened. After all, our guests ignored it.
His driving scared everyone, including me. I was always at risk when I was in the car with him. If I spoke up – even the slightest whimper or gasp – there was hell to pay for ‘distracting him’.
And there are the many times, in front of 20+ friends, he stood up at the table, pointed his finger down at me and said “I was talking” as if I had interrupted his non-stop monologue to others. Not me, I wouldn’t dare. But did the others take notice or, more importantly, stand up for me? Of course not. The narc spoke with such authority that they believed it actually happened. They were all gaslighted. Such was my fairytale life.
On the other hand, when we would go to a restaurant with another couple in our car, he graciously opened the car door for me. They all noticed and commented on what a nice guy he is. Yes, image is everything to a narc. And it absolutely works to con others into believing their narrative of how much they love you and treat you with respect. But you know all too well that he never opens any door for you when you’re alone with him. In fact, he’ll walk ahead of you, open the door to a building and be sure it slams in your face just as you approach. To enhance his image, when I wasn’t around, he even told ‘our’ friends how much he loved me. He told me that occasionally, but his malicious actions spoke to me louder than his words of love. I could no longer trust him.
In 25 years of this fairytale marriage, I never had a birthday or holiday that was enjoyable. He always started an argument with me on any day that I found to be special. He couldn’t handle my happiness or my joy. So I would show up to parties a complete wreck, put on a good front, and he would suddenly be Mr. Charming in front of everyone.
Oh, and the times he would sabotage me. One example, I would have carefully selected and brought flowers or a gift for the hostess when we would go to a friend’s get-together. As soon as the doorbell was rung, he would grab the flowers (or gift that I selected) and present it as if he had done it all on his own. WTF?? No credit was given to me whatsoever. It was always about him and the adoration he could con from others. And these ‘friends’ always admired his thoughtfulness! My narc would never allow me to get a word in edgewise to tell our hosts that I took great care to select the perfect gift/flowers. I was always in the background to his fake persona.
My fairytale life never included a compliment by him. And I was no slouch, either. Yet I was never good enough to get a ‘good job’ or ‘hey, you look great’ from him. He just didn’t have it in him. So I did without compliments, congratulations or any kind of emotional support for 25 years. What took me so long to wake up?? It was the fairytale image he presented to me in the beginning.
His favorite saying was “Show me the bruises.” This tells me that he knew exactly what he was doing on a psychologically abusive level. Apparently he, among the majority of the population, thought abuse always left bruises, scars, broken bones, black eyes, hospitalization, etc. I’m here to tell you that’s not how narcissists operate. They abuse under the radar of ordinary people’s perceptions of what abuse looks like. Narcissistic abusers are cunning. And they always win.
When I finally learned what/who I was dealing with and left him, he decided to turn the tables in his favor. He started love-bombing my family members. He lived with my narc mother when our house was sold and he claimed that he needed a place to live (mind you, his retirement income is well over $100,000 and he could easily have afforded an apartment for a few months). And I can see how he’s now trying to worm his way into her will while removing me from it. He thinks he deserves her money because of what I took (in his mind) from him. He doesn’t remember, or mention, the $100,000 I gave him from my retirement account to get rid of him. He wants me diminished, obliterated from the face of the earth and everyone’s mind all while he looks like the good guy who ‘tried to help’ me. I believe his intent is to make me look like the ‘crazy’ one.
His charm has also influenced my adult child. My only child. My abuser is her fairytale step-father and she only lived with him/us during the first year of our marriage – the love-bombing phase! She didn’t believe a word of the abuse I described to her when I left him. I might add that he treated her much better than he did his own 4 children who are now either low or no-contact with him. And trust me when I tell you they have serious psychological issues of their own now as adults. But that’s their fairytale life with a narcissist.
My daughter saw the physical effects of the abuse on me at the end of my relationship with him. Extreme weight loss (I dropped to 92 pounds), hair loss, isolation, night terrors. During an overnight visit to her house, one morning she and her husband were downstairs when they heard my screams from the upstairs bedroom from yet another nightmare. They came into my bedroom to see if I was OK and woke me up. And still, she doesn’t believe! Since I left the narcissist and shared my abuse story with her:
She blamed me, saying I needed better boundaries. (Anyone living with a narc knows they erode your boundaries in every way, doesn’t matter how strong you are. In fact, days before I left him he told me that I didn’t need boundaries with him!)
She minimized the abuse, saying I was just living with him 24/7 (we had been retired 15 years) and he was ‘getting on my nerves’. She added that IF he was a narc, he wasn’t on the high end of the spectrum. I guess it hasn’t occurred to her that since I lived with him, I knew him waaay better than she did.
Then she set her own boundaries with me by telling me not to talk about him (but she allowed him to talk to her about me)
She won’t learn about Narcissists or Narcissistic abuse, or the effects of abuse on the target. In effect, she doesn’t support me. She supports my abuser.
She asks the narc to keep her secrets from me and she keeps his secrets from me. No support from her!
Needless to say, there’s so much more to this story and I’ve only scratched the surface. I could go on and on. But I hope you get the idea. The fairy tale that you think you’re entering into with a narcissist will turn into your worst nightmare. You will lose friends (who all have been charmed into thinking that he’s the nicest guy they’ve ever met!), family members (who are either oblivious to reality or disordered themselves), your self-worth, self-respect, sense of who you are, ability to trust others – the list goes on, reaching too many tentacles to name here. If you suspect you’re with a narcissist, please love yourself enough to get out. Deep down you know you don’t deserve to be treated in this manner. You deserve so much better than what they give you. And really, have they given you anything? Or have they just taken all of your goodness from you?
I was 62 years old when I left the narc. I hadn’t worked in 15 years and by all outside appearances was living a good life. Until I realized I couldn’t live that lie anymore. When I left I was scared in every regard – where would I live? How could I afford to live? Could I even get a job at my age? I had almost no friends left as a safety net or support. My only child couldn’t even believe my story. I had agoraphobia and couldn’t trust anyone. But I’m surviving (in blessed peace!) and discovering that I am still the capable woman I was before I married the narcissist. Very soon I will be thriving! And that is my hope for you.
The trauma accumulated from this daily, subtle abuse is cumulative and destructive on a soul level. To facilitate healing I’m currently doing inner child work, meditations several times a day, journaling journaling journaling, therapy, watching YouTube videos like Angie’s and reading books on narcissistic abuse and others on recovery. And as Angie recommends, I state at least 10 things I’m grateful for twice a day. And when I hit a low point during the day I rattle off as many things I can think of that I’m grateful for. Gratitude is HUGE for raising your vibration.
These have all been extremely helpful, especially in the fragile, raw beginning of freedom from narcissistic abuse (I’ve been separated 16 months now). A major discovery for me was realizing that I am here on this planet as a soul on a learning journey of lessons and growth, which means my recovery has taken a spiritual turn. This turn has helped me realize that I am on my own soul’s path as are my loved ones who cannot see my truth. Right now our paths are not the same but they might cross and join again in the future if that is what is meant for my lessons and growth as a soul. In other words, I’m following my soul’s journey with help from my spirit guides. And trusting the Universe to fulfill my desires.
You are stronger than you know. You can recover. And thanks to Angie and others knowledgeable about narcissism and narcissistic abuse, you have support systems online to help you through your darkest hours. You can get your life back.
After five months of the silent treatment, for some transgression I only vaguely understood, you re-appeared: “Happy Mother’s Day, stranger.”
I responded, thinking, as usual, “I can take it.”
You started, immediately, trying to get me to do things you wanted. The difference this time was that this time, I stood my ground. I’ve gotten past the smoke and mirrors and see clearly what the game is. As soon as I resisted you changed your tune, blowing hot and cold and distancing yourself, revealing how insincere your overtures really were. It was just like before.
The last time we were together you asked me why I kept going back. I told you I care about you and love being around you. Then I asked why you keep asking for me and you said you “don’t care” if I’m there or not. This was one of your few clear statements, confirming that how you were treating me was the true reflection of how you felt about me. The rest was mind games to get me to do whatever you wanted. Lies.
I DID care, very much. There was a time when I was in love with you and did everything I could to make it work. You took it all, while hiding my existence and denying to anyone who asked that there was anything going on between us. After three years, I was still “just a pal”, and you were doing whatever you wanted, with no regard for me or my feelings. I was devastated.
You lied, cheated, screamed at me, put me down and belittled me; you asked for all the favors, and just took whatever you wanted, but never offered a thing in return; you flirted while I was right there and online with strangers; if we went out, you never asked what I wanted to do, and then would ignore me the whole time, expecting that I wait for you and drive you home; you demanded I show up when you wanted and would push me away until next time you needed something; you NEVER came to see me; you talked to ex-girlfriends and potential ones, giving them compliments and presents, while you starved me for affection.
I was exhausted; I felt like I didn’t matter and I got depressed and constantly worried. I was anxious to the point of not being able to make decisions or eat, waiting for the next terrible thing. I spent most of my time lonely and ruminating.
I slept beside you even though it was a torment because you didn’t love me. It was such a violation of my values and integrity that I was in a constant state of self-disgust.
I tried to leave you, but struggled to stay away, thinking your disrespect of my need for space was actually love. I drank too much so I wouldn’t have to think about how humiliating it all was. I was destroying myself with my own hopes and expectations and you finished the job with your callous user mentality.
That prolonged silent treatment freed me. I became stronger and less angry. I was more productive than I had been in almost three years. I was able to engage properly with my friends and family and did better at work. I took a holiday. I enjoyed everything more.
And within a week of you contacting me again, I slipped backward. Anxiety, depression, and rumination quickly returned. My mind and body reacted to you very strongly and it was unbearable, after knowing how much better I am without you.
I can barely remember what made me fall in love with you because every memory is tainted by something awful you did. I know it would never be better, no matter what you say when you need something and push for another chance. As ever before, your words and actions do not match and I can no longer fool myself into believing only the pretty things.
My mind and heart have been forever altered by you.
One of the things you may not know about the QueenBeeing coaches is that each of us is also a survivor of narcissistic abuse herself. A few months back, I shared the truth about my own abuse, and after receiving many supportive comments from our community, I asked my fellow coaches to do the same. The next in this series was published just now, and I wanted to be sure to share it with you here so you didn’t miss it.
All I knew that day was that I was so deeply in love with him and utterly convinced he was good for my life. I thought he had my best interests at heart and so I thought everything he did and said was just to improve our relationship and make us better people, both individually and as a couple.
I couldn’t see why this was happening. As the argument began and the twisted confusion of what I know now was gaslighting then silent treatment commenced, I didn’t understand that he wanted me to be unable to speak or think intelligently.