Page 2 of 4

Did I fall in love with a narcissist?

**Note: This post was originally posted in February.  I edited a few typos that were driving me nuts and it reposted at a later date.

 

For the past two days, I have woken up and my first thoughts were not of him. I have not seen him for almost two months and I have not spoken to anything other than his voicemail in almost a month. This is what I asked for and he was more than willing to give me what I wanted. It’s amazing that all the things I really wanted from him, he refused or could not give me. To give me nothing but silence? That’s fucking talent right there.

So I’ve been trying to make sense of my emotions through various means. Besides the breakup app I downloaded and trying to learn not to give a fuck, I’m working through The 30 Day Heartbreak Cure by Catherine Hickland. I’m on Day 13 out of 30. Some of the sections are difficult to read because the author forces the reader to face some truths about the relationship. By extension, the author asks the reader to face some truths about themselves.

I am my own worst critic. I am supposed to be learning how to be gentler with myself. I am very hard on myself. I don’t do well with compliments and when I get one, I brush it off or simply don’t believe it. I am graceless that way. Some find this quality endearing. One of my good male friends loves to watch me blush and get uncomfortable. I think it says a lot about what I have learned to recognize and simultaneously ignore about myself.

This is my reaction when I receive a compliment:

My partner at work sent me a meme (We often communicate in memes. No words are even necessary. We just wait for each other’s reactions) with the acrostic poem of a narcissist. I don’t consider myself a stupid woman, but I think I fell in love (I’m probably still in love) with a narcissist.

Never admits to being wrong

I can’t say he never admitted to being wrong. He did apologize sometimes. He apologized for some small, insignificant things. It was always me that had to apologize for my attitude. Even he will tell you that for 1.5 years of our 2 year relationship were amazing. I honestly did not want for anything. He gave me what I needed during that time. As things got more serious, I realized that I wanted my life to evolve. I wanted to live with him. I wanted to fall asleep with him every night and wake up with him every morning. I was (and probably still am) so in love with him. He couldn’t see what I was giving up in order to work with him timeline and his commitments.  I began to vocalize my needs more frequently and even I got sick of listening to the broken record that played my complaints over and over to him.

His response?

It was my fault that I wasn’t patient enough. He even tried to blame me for his inaction. It was because I was complaining too much that he wasn’t making any progress in his mediation and because I was such a bitch there was no way I was going to meet his son.

I let him break my heart in more ways than one on a daily basis. My heartbreak manifested itself into anxiety, panic and paranoia. When he was with his son, I couldn’t call him. I couldn’t reach him when I wanted to, but I had to be available to him at any time. And somehow, someway, that was also my fault. I knew so much about his son. I loved him without ever meeting him because he was a part of his father. He was, is and will always be a great father to his son. He was always good to my girls. It is not my intention to trash him AT ALL. I’m still saddened that I never got to be a part of it. He never stood up for me.

I wish I had felt from the beginning that I deserved more.

Avoids emotion and accountability

I cannot say that he didn’t express himself. He was affectionate and loving and sensitive when everything was going his way. If we fought, he would show up at my house. If he couldn’t get a hold of me, he would call dozens of times.

I fought the same way. When I did it though, I was a psycho.

Once, after we fought, I drove all the way to the arena where I knew he would be playing hockey. I waited with a chocolate milk in the car for him to finish and come out to his car. I parked several spaces over because I wasn’t sure if he would make a scene, but that night, of all nights, he brought his son with him. So, what else could I do but drive away?

I couldn’t even say ‘hello’ to my own boyfriend. He didn’t even know I was there. I felt like a piece of worthless dog shit. I cried all the way home.

But that too? My fault. When I told him the following evening that I was there, I think he was more concerned with whether or not I would have made a scene. I told him that first and foremost, I had my pride and I would not do anything to embarrass myself.

It was never his fault that I felt the way I did.

Rages if anyone challenges them

I will not repeat the words or names he called me here. I will not transcribe any of our fights.

I will learn from the mistakes that I made. If anyone ever says these things to me again, I will run faster and farther than I have ever run away from a man in my life.

What would I tell my best friend or my daughters if they were being treated this way? Why can I give great advice but never take it?

Childish when they don’t get their way

My NLP (Neurolinguistics Pathways) guy (I told you, I have tried everything to combat my anxiety) told me that sometimes my 5 year old personality takes over. I have sulked, I have pouted, I have thrown tantrums. But I get over them as quickly as they started.

He and I were similar in that way. But he would forget all the horrible things he said and expect me to be on his same schedule to forget about it. After every fight, the things would get harder and harder to forget.

Instills doubt in their victims

He told me I was beautiful, smart, sexy, strong etc. But all those compliments didn’t mean much to me when the person who claimed to love me so much just threatened to leave me.

I felt (feel) unworthy.

Stonewalls during conflicts

There was very little room for negotiation in our relationship. He would say that because of our circumstances, this is the way things had to be.

I wasn’t happy. That wasn’t his problem, it was mine. He didn’t want to talk about it because there was no point.

I really must have thought that if only I could make him feel my pain, he would understand what he was doing to me and change things or at the very least stop hurting me.

We know how that turned out.

Smears and slanders you

I’m sure I’m the craziest bitch he ever got involved with.

I only met two of his friends and even then, it was only for a short period of time. One of his friends I only spoke to on the phone or through texts. So, there are very few people who in his life who actually know me. And to be honest, I think those guys know their friend.

Still, I hate knowing that strangers are passing judgement on me.

I have to let that go too.

In denial and gaslights you

I had to look up the terms gaslighting in order to be able to comment on this. So I read several articles including this one:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/here-there-and-everywhere/201701/11-warning-signs-gaslighting-in-relationships

It was actually scary to read because when I was in it, I didn’t even realize it was happening to me. I was so happy for so long, I didn’t even realize I wasn’t, until I wasn’t.

Subjects you to the silent treatment

Our relationship ended in silence. One of my friends said that when people break up, this is what happens. They don’t talk or see each other ever again.

Jesus.

I’ve never had a relationship end so abruptly. I have had contact with pretty much all of my exes at some point. Never to get back together, but never to be enemies either.

I don’t think this will be the case here. I don’t think I will see or hear from him ever again.

Like I told his voicemail, I wish him the best. And I truly do.

Triangulates you and tears you down

He didn’t realize he was doing this to me, but he was. He didn’t like several of my friends, he was hardly around for family functions.

Even with him, I was alone.

Without him, my world hasn’t changed much except that I don’t have his texts or voice to look forward to reading or hearing. After speaking to someone every day for over 2 years, I definitely feel his absence.

But I am also understanding, that a narcissist does not change. My friend asked me to point out where he had grown over the last two and a half years.

“He didn’t!”,  she answered for me. “He’s the same fucking person.”

Too true.

What just happened?

This morning on my train ride into the city, I was initially annoyed because my car was virtually empty meaning there were plenty of seats available. That is not the annoying part. A gentleman came to sit directly in front of me. When the train is busy, by all means, but when you can have your choice of a free seat, why take my leg room? Not only am I almost 6 feet tall, but I am currently in a walking cast because of a soccer injury that happened almost 2 weeks ago.

So I was trying to make myself a little smaller and a lot shorter to make sure I shared enough of my space. Why didn’t I move? I had pretty much moved into my seat this morning. My laptop was under my chair, my purse was on my lap and my ear buds were ready for insertion should anyone annoy the living shit out of me with their conversations or their ringers. I became a tree on the train, and I was not going to move.

On a side note, if you have your phone on your person, why does the ringer need to be on the highest volume. Nobody cares if I get a call or a text, so why should I give a rat’s ass if anyone else does? Turn your ringer off or at least turn it WAY down. No one is that important that the entire car has to know that someone is trying to reach them.

Is it me? Am I too considerate of other people’s feelings? Should I be more selfish?

I think sometimes because I am a nice person, people are going to be just as nice and more often than not, I am disappointed. But something happened today that reminded me that there are kind, thoughtful, generous people in the world.

At the end of my train ride, I usually check that I have my Presto card, my wallet and my cell phone. My two bags are impossible to miss so I always have those. I was reading a book today so maybe I was distracted? Maybe I was busy deciding how long I should wait before getting off the train so as not to delay anyone else with my hobbling. Maybe I was hoping that the Presto machines were actually working because I only had $1.80 left on my card and I still needed to get on the subway. For whatever reason, I was not thinking and I didn’t check off the items on my list. If I had, I would have realized that my cell phone was missing.

I began to panic on the subway. When I went to put my novel away, it wasn’t sitting on the top of my other things. Usually, that is the last thing I touch. Thinking positively, which I have been trying to do more of lately, I rationalized that it must have slipped to the bottom of my bag. I lose reception underground, but my Fitbit alerts me that I have a message as soon as I connect with the network again. When that didn’t happen when I got to street level, I knew I didn’t have it.

When I got to my desk, I emptied my bag. Why do I lug so much shit back and forth every day?

No phone.

I have issues with owning an iPhone. I love the reliability and the games, but I had a Blackberry for the longest time and I loved it. Giving it up was difficult for me so even though I have had iPhones for a couple of years now, I am not in love with it. My ex thought it would be great if I had one because he had one. Relax dear reader, I did not get an iPhone just because he had an iPhone.

My oldest daughter has one and I like to know that she has read and received my messages and we share an Apple Music subscription. Additionally, my youngest daughter has an iPad so she can FaceTime me whenever she wants and all my siblings near and far have iPhones so having this model is economical as well.

Another plus? I paid for AppleCare for my daughter’s iPad. When it broke one day before AppleCare expired, I went to the store and left with a brand new device. Good customer service goes a long way when a store/brand is trying to keep my business. It is for all of these reasons that I now own an iPhone.

Because I have an iPhone, I was able to sign into my iCloud to see if I could find my phone, I was able to put it in ‘Lost Mode’. This meant that all my apps were locked and I could send a message that would be displayed on the screen with a number that I could be reached at. I entered my office phone number and within minutes, I received a phone call. A lady had my phone and I could meet her at the Eaton’s Centre at noon to be reunited with it.

I could not believe my good luck. To thank her, I purchased a gift card from Starbucks and when it was time, I walked to the mall and arrived promptly at 12.

The lady was not there. With every passing minute, I admittedly grew more anxious because I did not have a way to contact this woman. I only knew that she rode the same morning train as me.

At 12:12, she arrived! She couldn’t have been kinder. She didn’t want to take my gift card, but I insisted. I told her she is a reminder that there are kind strangers in this world who are willing to go out of their way to help another human being. We chatted briefly and I went back to work with my phone.

The woman’s name is Vanessa and thankfully, Starbucks is her favourite coffee place. I hope she knows how thankful I am to her while she sips her beverage of choice.

Thank you again, Vanessa.

Why did I throw out my Plan B?

I think every one of us has that one person that they are always going to love. Maybe you’re married or in a relationship with that person right now and that’s fantastic. I was in a relationship with someone that ended over three years ago, but he never really went away. He has dated other people, I have dated other people but for some reason, we always stayed connected to each other.

He sent me a text on Valentine’s Day and we were both single. I have always wondered, what if? What if we were supposed to be together? What if the universe is bringing us back to each other? And if I’m being completely honest, I think I always had him in the back of my mind probably to the detriment of some of the relationships I was in. He was my safety net and I was probably his.

So when we started talking again, the cliche faint glimmer of hope was there in my mind. We had coffee a couple of times, there were a few texts exchanged, but we had made plans to go to dinner several times and nothing really ever came to fruition. After the last time, I simply texted. “No worries. Let’s just forget it.”

So what exactly did I actually have to forget?

We will always care about each other. That much is true. And I don’t want to hurt him and I don’t think he wants to hurt me. We have been through that.

I think I have changed quite a bit since we were a couple. I have grown in many ways physically, emotionally and spiritually. I think he is the same person. And not that that is a bad thing, just not my thing anymore. Our tastes are different, our interests are different and probably what we want out of life is different. Though we never got around to discussing any of these things, I think we both know that these issues are there. The reasons we broke up aren’t going to disappear and the issues would still be there if we got back together.

He’s not for me anymore. But it was nice to feel wanted and even nicer to not have to go through the awkward stage of getting to know each other.

This time though, I went into it with eyes wide open. I didn’t jump in too fast. There was no physical contact beyond a hug hello and a hug goodbye. That makes it so much easier. First, because I’m still not ready for that step with anyone at this point and second, I don’t want to make any more mistakes and sleeping with him would have been a mistake that it would have taken me a while to recover from. So, there’s that.

What was great about having a Plan B? Well that’s exactly it. If my Plan A didn’t work out, which with my track record will for sure happen, then there was always Plan B. So why, after all these years, why let him go now?

It’s time. Finally.

I have made so many positive changes in my life. Before Christmas last year, I decided that I wasn’t going to be in an unhappy relationship. As hard as that was, I have learned that I’m better than okay on my own. So why go backwards and back to what was already broken?

And it was broken. And it’s still broken. I didn’t have the butterflies when I received a text from him and didn’t leave him floating on air with unicorns and rainbows. I’ve had that kind of love. I had that kind of love with him, once. That’s the kind of love I want again. Otherwise, what’s the point?

I will always love him. No matter what. But we both deserve better. He doesn’t deserve to be my Plan B. He should be someone’s Plan A and I shouldn’t be held back by what I thought could have been.

So goodbye, my friend. I know I’ll probably never see you again. I wish you all the best and all that shit.

Can I get some tonight?

For most of my life, I have lived in the suburbs so until last year, I drove into work. Now I take a log train ride and a very short subway ride to get to my office.

Commuting has been quite the experience. I could go on for pages about the trade secrets, scandals and general gossip I have overheard on the train. It’s amazing what people will say in public seemingly without a thought to who else could be listening. I used to wonder why people made such a big deal about the ‘Quiet Zone’ located on the upper level of each train during rush hour. Believe me, I get why it needs to exist. The nosey part of me couldn’t wait to hear other people’s business. Now? I wish these people would just shut the fuck up. My apologies, dear reader, if this sounds harsh, but unless you’ve experienced it, there really is nothing like it. As I type, the woman behind me is on the phone with a hardware store threatening them with a lawsuit unless the proper countertops are delivered to her home in the next few hours. She has been living without a kitchen sink, from what I gather, for almost a month and the marble countertop she ordered has a noticeable chip in it and she has not been offered satisfactory compensation for the inconvenience.

I can sympathize with the woman and also with the customer service person she is on he phone with, but this conversation is really not that interesting, it has the attention of the entire car and I’m never going to know if she’ll ever get her countertop because chances are I won’t see her ever again and if I do, her issue will be resolved and I’ll be none the wiser.

As if the loud talking isn’t enough, the spread of the plague is also a concern. Last week, a woman sitting across the aisle from me, was describing her symptoms of influenza to her coworker. I heard all about her trip to the doctor and how she has the flu and that she feels like shit and that she shouldn’t have come to work that day. Intermittently, she was coughing. Hacking, actually. Revolting, phlegm spewing hacking. The woman beside me was equally disgusted and wondered aloud if we should move. And go where? If we’ve already been exposed to Patient Zero, we’re already infected. As much as it freaks me out that people actually wear surgical masks to walk around, this lady definitely needed one. You should have stayed the fuck home, lady, instead of infecting the poor people that had the misfortune of sitting in the same car as you. Fuck.

Yesterday, some university students were complaining that bedbugs have been discovered on campus. The subway line I ride makes a stop close to this university. Now there is no fucking way I am going to sit my ass on a subway car and risk taking home a bed bug. I had a student who had bed bugs once and she showed me her chewed up, itchy arms. From that day, I am terrified that I am going to bring them home from a hotel or from a vacation or from a plane and now from the subway.

Today, I got off the subway after standing for four stops and I was making my way to the office. In front of me was a man who should have been wearing a belt as his pants were below his ass as we were walking up the first of two sets of narrow steps. I have no idea how his pants were even staying up. I had my earphones in and even though they weren’t on, I still couldn’t make out what he was saying when he turned to face me. Without stopping, I took out an earbud so I could figure out that he was asking me as we approached our second set of steps. 14 more and I’d be safely on the street. This tiny landing was a blind spot. The security guards couldn’t see me and the people above me couldn’t see me yet.

He was asking me for change and I forgot the rule I was taught when I started working downtown. Don’t make eye contact with shady people. But this time I did, shit. So I politely said I didn’t have any change (which I didn’t) and I had almost made it to the first step when he asked if he could ‘get some tonight’?

Omfg.

I didn’t turn back. I was so scared I didn’t even get my free daily paper from the woman who greets me with it every morning. Five more steps and I was through the revolving door and in the lobby of my office building. My heart was beating a million miles a minute, but he didn’t follow me and I was safe and that’s all that mattered.

I shared the story with my one of co-workers and she told me that the man I had my encounter with was much more polite. Her admirer simply asked her, “Do you want some ass?”

I don’t think she had to verbally decline the invitation. I’m assuming that by walking away, these creepers understand that we are not interested in what they have to offer.

So, no, you cannot get some tonight. At least not from me.

How am I old enough for this?

Last week, my oldest daughter got her driver’s license. I have had 6 days to adjust to this new development and even though I am full of mixed emotions, I think I have been coping quite well.

With our graduating licensing system, I knew that I had a year before I had to really worry about her actually on the road on her own without me in the car with her. Her first attempt was in January, but she was unsuccessful. Although I was sad for her, because she doesn’t fail at anything she puts her mind to, a part of me was relieved that she could be a little girl for a while longer.

Her second attempt was scheduled for February. This time, Mother Nature stepped in and all road tests were cancelled for that day. Needless to say, she was beyond disappointed, but again, I could worry about the every day things rather than her operation of a motor vehicle.

But last week, the weather cooperated, my daughter was calm, and I was a basket case. Not because I was worried she would get it, I was actually worried she wouldn’t. I didn’t want her to go through another month of worrying and doubting her abilities. I told her to do what she needed to do to calm down and when I got the call at 3:15, she was ecstatic.

Even though she’s almost 17, I still get freaked out that I’m her mother. Not in a how did this happen kind of way, but in a I cannot believe that she’s mine and that she calls me mom kind of way. She doesn’t understand how much I worry about her (and her sister, of course). She has no idea that the first thing I do when I wake up is check to make sure they’re breathing. I actually stand at their doors and wait until I see the covers move up and down with their breathing. No one tells you this about motherhood. Yes, it’s beautiful and rewarding and most of the time, wonderful. But it’s also hard and trying and sometimes, it fucking hurts.

And another thing, how did I even get old enough to have a daughter old enough to drive?

I joke with her that she must get tired of people asking her if she has an older sister, but seriously, when the fuck did I get to be this old? I have never been afraid of birthdays and I’m not afraid of getting older. I’m afraid of dying, but not of getting older.

And although it should go without saying, I worry that something will happen to my kids. Even when they are safe in their rooms not 30 steps away, I worry about them. I do not express my worries to them, of course. I want them to live their lives as anxiety-free as possible. I would not wish my struggle with anxiety on my worst enemy. I think I have written this exact same line before, but nothing could be more true.

When my daughter wanted to go to Europe last year on a school trip, I let her go. She wanted to go to Quebec City on another school trip. I let her go there too. She deserves to be a kid. She deserves to have fun.

So now that she is a licensed driver, I am trying to give her credit for being such a fantastic kid. If she has the car, she has to text me before she leaves for a destination and when she arrives at the next one. If this doesn’t happen, she knows that she will lose her driving privileges.

On the upside, she has been responsible and respectful of the rule and she even put gas in the car!

Why am I covered in dicks?

So…….

I am in the process of eating healthier, working out more, lowering my carb intake, blah, blah, blah, blah…

I have vowed to not buy too many new clothing options until I am where I want to be physically. I’m not there yet, but I’m slowly getting there. I mention this fact because I am fitting into some of the clothes I had not been able to wear for a while. I have been working in an office environment for the last year and a half and I had to get used to not moving around so much. The result was some weight gain. Meh. It happens.

I’ve cried about it, whined about it, put myself down about it, but only I can do something about it.

7 years ago, I was a running instructor running almost everyday. 5km runs were no problem. I even ran a 10 Miler. That’s 16km for us Canadians. 👍 My first 5k is April 29th. I’m getting ready!

To reward myself for being able to fit into more clothes, and remind myself of where I was, am, and could be, I decided to buy myself another piece of clothing. My ability to rationalize my own irrationalities is one of my talents.

Why not shop for clothes at the same time I shop for groceries? A couple of retailers have made this possible. I don’t question, I just buy. So, I bought a black and blue top. I love that colour combination.

I don’t try shit on in stores. I don’t have time for that plus I hate being hot and if I’m changing out of my clothes and my winter jacket, I get hot and that just makes me anxious. In addition, I usually have an impatient kid in tow who has no concept of the hours I have spent at piano lessons, swimming lessons, rugby practices, gymnastics classes, etc. So the 6 minutes it would take me to change into an outfit, decide whether or not I like it and change back into my original outfit, is understandably unbearable for one or both. So I bring my purchases home and I try shit on in the privacy of my own home.

This particular purchase, I knew would fit. I am familiar with the brand and the sizing. No problem.

When I woke up this morning, I knew that all I’d have to do is rip the tags off and away I could go. I wanted to take the early train into the city because I have to leave early to go to the doctor for the check up I mentioned in my last post. I really didn’t look too closely at the shirt, it has blue flowers on a blue background. It covers my lack of abs and it flows. Check, check and check.

One of my co-workers said that one of the flowers looked like a penis. When I looked down, I could kind of see it, but both of us have filthy minds, and lots of things look like penises to us so I didn’t think too much of it until I saw myself in the bathroom mirror.

I was covered in dicks.

Thankfully I had a cardigan at my desk I could wear over the dicks.

Thanks, Joe Fresh.

There really are good people left?

I am very good about going to the doctor, seeing the dentist etc. Living with anxiety has made me a bit of a hypochondriac so I do what I can to prevent death from happening sooner rather than later.

In preparation for my check up next week, I had to do my blood work and EKG. The lab was ridiculously busy so I was warned in advance that the wait would be at least an hour. No biggie except that my little one needed to be picked up from heritage language class at noon and I got to the lab just before 11. I decided to take my chances. I came prepared with my book club selection that I can hardly bear to read.

On a side note, I’m reading The Remains of the Day. Everyone who sees me reading it feels the need to tell me what a great novel it is. I’m about 30 pages in and I cannot share that opinion – yet. I’m giving it a chance.

So there I was reading and watching the clock. One older woman complained that she could not hear the lab technician calling out names. When the tech heard this, she explained that she would not raise her voice any more than it had already been raised. So I had very little hope for leniency and understanding when 11:40 came around.

I approached the counter and explained to the woman that I needed to pick my daughter up from school at noon and I needed my health card and requisition form back. Because it had already been processed and I was simply waiting for my turn, she asked if my daughter’s school was far and if I could be back by 12:15?

I just about fell over. I assured her that I could get back in time.

Things like this never happen to me.

Miracle #1

I picked up my daughter, made it to the lab, got my blood drawn, heart checked and I even peed in the cup.

So what was miracle #2?

I rarely carry a purse and when I do, it serves the purpose of a junk drawer. Receipts, wrappers, uneaten snacks I pack for my kids that they don’t eat, toys my youngest one doesn’t leave home without and promises she will carry — all these things end up in my ‘purse’. As a result, it ends up weighing a ton and when I hear my cell phone ringing I can’t even find the fucking thing. So, most days, I carry a pouch with the bare necessities. My driver’s license, bank card, credit cards and gift cards are in there. That’s it.

So I’m lying there with stickers and electrodes and it hits me that I don’t have my pouch with me. Awesome. Just what I need to be thinking when I’m supposed to be calm. My heart rate probably spiked so now my reading will be inaccurate and whoever has to analyze the results will think I have an arrhythmia. I probably left it in the car I thought. Impossible. I had to get my health card back so I had it in the waiting room. Well, shit. It’s gone then. I was mentally running through the numbers I would have to call to cancel the certain theft of my identify when the tech finished (she was super nice) and I could get dressed and out of there.

Here’s where the miracle happened. Sitting on the chair I was waiting in, was my pouch. It was in plain view. There for the taking. But everyone let it be. My cards were in there and everything.

It’s unfortunate that we have learned to expect the worst from people.