I hadn’t planned to rehash all the explicit details of my saga with my narcissistic/abusive ex (fiancé) for fear of sounding like a scorned whiner but I feel compelled as part of my healing process to stand up and speak out.
My story starts off two and half years ago when I met “PP” on an online dating site (mistake number one!) The first night we spoke, we chatted on the phone into the wee hours of the night. He was engaging, witty and very funny. I felt a deep connection right away. A couple nights later we met face to face, and there was something about him that was instantly magnetic. His charm, composure, ease, sexual energy-it was intoxicating. I was enamoured!
A few days later Meet Jekyll and Hyde. The first time I witnessed his alter persona I thought I was imagining it, over reacting or had somehow caused him to speak to me in such a callous and rude tone. It was as if I had just met a completely different person. The look in his eyes was mean and hateful. He spoke in such a way that I felt stupid, disgusting and that I simply irritated him. This was just the beginning of a relentless and repetitive cycle. He played games with me by behaving non committal, aloof and indifferent towards me. For nearly 4 months he showed next to no affection, would hang up on me if he was annoyed and make hurtful put downs about the way I spoke, how I dressed, how I parented, Where I lived, virtually every choice or decision I ever made was scoffed at. I tolerated most of it because I clung to the side of him that was charming and funny and believed him when he told me he had trust issues, suffered abuse as a child and been hurt by women. I should have seen this as a red flag and run, but instead I saw it as a challenge to win him over by showering him with love and reassurance. When I finally succeeded, the real abusive behavior officially began. His Jekyll and Hyde switch would happen more and more frequently, without any warning. He would twist facts, accuse me of things I had never done, make degrading comments about my body and my past and call me derogatory names. Things were always in turmoil and I felt constantly off balance. Everything he did, he accused me of doing. He would be moody and brooding and accuse me of being a bitch. One of his favourite past times was to spend time in stores looking at tv’s, cameras, gadgets (basically things we either didn’t need or couldn’t afford) . I enabled this past time partly to be agreeable and partly because I liked spending time with him. The “Shopping” excursions would usually end with him barking at me that I couldn’t make up my mind and furthermore, wasted his time (huh??, but I didn’t want to buy anything…)He would accuse me of misconduct all the time, when the truth was I was obsessed with proving my loyalty to him and winning his approval. I truly felt like I was living in a crazy world. Of course I stomped off on countless occasions vowing to never return, but within a day or so, his pleas of how broken he was without me and convincing story that he had changed would lure me back. He vowed I was his first true love and that my love was allowing him to trust again. I believed him when he reassured me that he was a victim of circumstance and he truly had a timid, but huge heart . ( stop gagging, this is what he said). Once back, the miserable, mean side would return almost immediately. He was obsessed with creating a public facade on facebook by proclaiming his undying love for me and showering me with compliments. While the attention felt wonderful, it was just an act. He would spend hours checking his “likes”, “comments” and monitoring my activity. There was a profound double standard. If I even touched my phone to check anything he would accuse me of being on my phone and on facebook all the time. I became petrified to even look at my phone. The only ones who ever really saw this miserable side of him besides me were my kids and his young daughter, who was so sadly ruined by him. When she wasn’t living in constant fear of his mood swings, trying to anticipate the next one, she was endlessly attempting to win his approval.
Time went on and the cycle worsened. Every special occasion such as Christmas, birthdays, Valentine’s Day etc always ended in disaster. The gifts I bought him were crap and stupid and nothing I did was ever right. On his birthday I made a cheesecake and brought my sister and her friends to see his band play. He refused to even speak to me claiming he was furious I brought HIS cake for everyone to share. The night ended after he gave me the silent treatment and then gave me the finger from across the room. The blues fest tickets I bought him for his birthday were dumb. He asked what made me think he’d want to do that? (Duh, cause your a musician?!) Another time he was furious at me when I came to see his band play because he couldn’t see me dancing on the dance floor. He accused me of deliberately situating myself so he couldn’t see me. Another time I tried to surprise him with a vintage $1300 guitar that he wanted. I got his friends at the music store in on the surprise by having them tell him the guitar was sold. He flew off the handle and embarrassed himself badly and when I presented him with the guitar he was wild with anger that I would compromise his friendship the way I did. Things like this went on, money was wasted and romantic getaways were ruined….. make ups always ended when he was ready to admit how wrong I was and that he was now prepared for me to grovel back to apologize. He would hold his cheek out as a sign that I was to seal the apology with a kiss. YUCK! more at myself for actually doing it!. He was so convincing in his version of a drastically skewed reality that over time I began to think It was me that was crazy, I questioned everything I did in an attempt to make sense of where things kept going wrong. Mostly, I learned my best approach was to remain silent. Things worsened six months into the relationship when my mother died. Then shortly after my father. On both of their funerals he acted up and made it miserable. He wasn’t getting the attention he needed and he felt left out…..
In between my parents deaths, on canada day, after a frustrating day of tolerating one put down comment after another from him, we broke out into a huge fight. Something in him snapped and he began throwing , shoving and pushing me around the house. He grabbed my hair and arm and threw me into a closet. Then dragged me down the hall, spat into my face and threw me down a small set of stairs while screaming at me to get out! Ok, so run right?? Well, I did but shock and disbelief clouded my judgement and I believed the notion that I somehow brought him to that point and within three weeks we were back together.
After my father died, the story takes a turn. There was a substantial inheritance being left to me and PP’s interest and effort took an upswing. He proposed to me two months after my father died and began lavishing me with expensive gifts. I suppose he was “investing” in me. However, these gifts came with a hefty string attached. Public acknowledgement on facebook and endless reminders and guilt about his financial hardship as a result of my gifts hint hint…hand over some money. He also began pressuring me about purchasing a home together or spending thousands to renovate his existing home. I felt suddenly thrust into a rush to buy something and our home hunting always ended in his utter frustration that I couldn’t make a decision. I began to panic. I wanted to use the money left to me to buy a home for myself and my four kids and was petrified that I would be entranced by him and lose everything. Break ups and make ups. In one of our brief break ups, in an act of desperation to ensure we were done, I had a one night stand with someone else. (I later regretted this and realized I only ultimately hurt myself). He discovered this “betrayal”, one night while reading my emails. In the middle of the night He woke me up by throwing a bottle of water in my face and dragging me downstairs to the computer to hear my confession. In hindsight, I had officially now given this man something concrete to hold over me, to guilt me with, as reason to call me whore, slut and c@#_!. as he wallowed endlessly in the pain of my infidelity. At the same time, the outside world saw a loving, zany and affectionate couple. What they didn’t see were all the horrific, callous and seething things he would whisper in my ear. Conveniently, all of his prior misconducts were magically erased because of my violation and he reminded me daily that I should be grateful that he even stayed with me.
Skip threw a lot more drama and almost another year of dramatic break ups, including a desperate flee across Canada in the middle of the night to escape. The results were always the same. I would buy back into his convincing tale that he had seen the light and “Ghandi” himself had visited and healed him. Back together again we’d go. It was always incredible for the first little bit. Passionate love making, adoration and attention. I felt like the most desired woman on the planet, but it would only last for a short time before the honeymoon walls would come crashing down. I felt that I had surrendered to this life of walking on egg shells and insanity. The stress had begun to take a toll on my health. I was eating poorly, not getting enough sleep and losing my support network of friends and family who just couldn’t understand the exhausting cycle I was consumed in. I had to remain silent about the agony I was experiencing or endure the consequences of his endless blaming on our failing relationship. Recurring thoughts of suicide as my only option out resulted in antidepressants. He respected no boundaries. If I was at an important event for one of my children and he was upset with me for leaving him out he would bombard me with unrelenting angry texts. Fights would replace sleep and I would miss work or be too exhausted to do my job properly, and so on…
I’m not sure how I managed to make our last break up the final one. Besides involving the police (for the second time) to get him to leave, I testified to several close girlfriends of my attempt to break in hopes of receiving support, encouragement and simply to be accountable to someone in hopes that my chances of caving might therefore be reduced. I then proceeded to brick wall the communication. Blocked him on facebook, texting, emails and phone calls. Good things started to happen in my life almost immediately and I saw this as a promise from the universe, that If I could do this, my life would get back on track and I would find my happiness again.
It’s been almost 4 months since we broke up and I’m feeling physically healthier and more stable then I have in a long time. The hardest part for me is staying away from buying into his lies that he continues to publicly put out there for friends and strangers to see so that he can gain sympathy. The stories he’s weaved to gain support is all that he knows how to do I suppose. Nevertheless it makes me Feel ostracized, devalued and angry.
Bit by bit I am making my peace that it’s finally over. Lots of venting and reading things I can relate to have helped. When I’m feeling low I take comfort in the many messages I have read. My favourite is by the guru of self empowerment, Oprah Winfrey, “TODAY, I TAKE MY POWER BACK!” I hope I can remember these words and NEVER fall into this place again!
#emotionalabuse #narcisissm #domesticviolence