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.

How is Day 24 going for ya?

Today is Family Day. The idea is that we use this day to spend time with our families. I am the oldest of four children. My sister lives in another province, and one of my brothers moved to the US. Family Day is a reminder that they are not here. So, my youngest brother and his family and I spent the day with my parents.

Yes, the world is smaller now. We can see each other with FaceTime instead of hearing each other’s voices. I can still watch my niece and nephew grow up in front of my eyes. I can see my brother get thinner and more tanned. My sister and I can still compare our grey roots growing out and I can hear the happiness in her voice now that she has truly found the love of her life.

I miss them.

Sometimes I feel like maybe I should move away too. I think we all dream of it at some point. I considered it once. My youngest daughter’s father always wanted to work in the US. I even researched what it would take to see if my credentials would be accepted south of the border. They would have been, but the more I thought about it, the more I didn’t want to give up everything I had worked for. My friends and family were here and I think the biggest reason was that I was chicken shit.

On Day 24 of the 30 day heartbreak cure, all I want to do is go away. My anxiety (along with a lack of funds) has kept me from travelling. I am always worried that something is going to happen to me while I am on vacation.

In my last relationship, all I wanted was a weekend away, just the two of us. His schedule never made it possible. I know I am not supposed to be thinking about what could have been, but it really could have been good. It is the doubt during after breaking up with someone that lingers. Do we romanticize the situation? Do we imagine things were better than they actually were? Maybe it’s just sinking in that I will never see him again.

It’s still so sad.