Forever alone.


I have always been attracted to narcissistic men. And them to me. I spent 28 years (7 of those AFTER we divorced) living with a malignant narcissist substance abuser and raising children with him. Before Michael, I had three serious boyfriends, and only one was not a narcissist (but was severely bipolar).

When I was in my twenties, all I wanted to do was marry and have babies–this wasn’t considered cool or forward thinking at the time (the 1980s). I wasn’t really focused on having a career like most young women my age.

I think my oddly timed longing for normal family life was because more than anything in the world, I longed to be part of a family that would not be like the one I came from, a close, functional family whose members truly loved and cared for one another. I had grand fantasies of Perfect Family Life–3-4 perfect, normal kids; a perfect, normal husband with no serious mental disorders or drug or alcohol issues; and a beautiful home with plenty of old school charm in a safe neighborhood. My Perfect Mate would be an honest, loyal husband and father who loved animals and long walks and would care deeply about all of us. Of course there would be pets too, probably a large friendly dog like a Golden Retriever. I wanted the damned Brady Bunch.

I know, you’re probably ready to vomit all over your keyboard. Chill. I’m stopping right here. I cringe when I think about how naive and clueless I was.

Does anyone remember this commercial from about 2007-09? If you’re a nausea-prone ACON you may want to take some Pepto first.

Well, this was the family I wanted to make, back in the 1980s.

30 odd years later: I hate that damned commercial with its perky, perfect, cute-but-not-beautiful soccer mom–a woman who undoubtedly had loving parents who raised her with consistency and lots of hugs and support, a woman who has extended family members like cousins or aunts or an uncle she is close to, and also has lots of friends. She also has an advanced degree in something like sociology or art history. She was popular at school, not Mean Girl/cheerleader-popular, but the next tier down from that–she was one of the honor roll kids where the girls all played volleyball or were in the Drama Club, and the guys all looked like Ferris Bueller and were Theater Nerds. But these second-tier, almost-popular kids were actually nice to everyone (unlike the top tier of popular kids who really weren’t so much popular as they were feared and respected–because they consisted largely of narcs and their sycophants) and you wanted to hate them but you couldn’t because they were always so darned nice.

Instead of pursuing her career in art history or writing a book about The Sociology of Art History, this perky redhaired 30-something has chosen to stay home with her growing brood of ginger kids, each one more red haired than the last. Her infuriating announcements of big moves (to MEMPHIS!), promotions at work, home enlargements, weeks-long family vacations, learning how to speak French, and especially…ESPECIALLY!..the group shot at the end showing the whole family focusing on Perky Soccer Mom bouncing the the new baby on her hip at the end–not just any baby, but a gorgeous fat healthy good natured baby girl with an adorable grin who probably sports fire engine red hair under that white cap–made me want to throw a brick at my TV screen.

I know this is just a commercial and those people are actors, but…I ACTUALLY KNOW FAMILIES LIKE THIS. Of course I don’t know what goes on behind closed doors (and everyone has their dark secrets), but because the members of these families always seem happy and relaxed and everyone seems to love everyone else, with not a molecule of narcissism anywhere to be seen, the skeletons in their closets don’t come out to haunt them all that much. They are probably covered with dust from disuse.

I’m assuming here that the reason this thoroughly obnoxious commercial was so popular (it ran for almost 3 years), is not because it depicts the idealized family everyone strives to create, but rather, because many people can actually relate to this smugly contented woman and her tall, dark and handsome husband, their perfect dog, their big colonial house, and their large brood of gingers.

I longed for this family because having this family would vindicate my dysfunctional and narcissistic family of origin. It was the family that would bring me Justice.

I never got that family, because I fell in love with a malignant narcissist, who in every imaginable way at the beginning, convinced me he was the Perfect Boyfriend, and later the Perfect Fiance. We made two highly intelligent but troubled kids (well, one is a lot less so but lives almost 700 miles away).
And now I am Forever Alone.


But I’m alright with that. More than alright.

In my past relationships, I never saw any of the red flags. I knew nothing of red flags back then other than the physical kind that signal physical danger. The most useful psychological advice about men and relationships I got in the early-mid 1980s was from articles and fluff quizzes (such as “What Does his Lovemaking Say About his Character?”) in magazines like Cosmopolitan and Glamour.

I was never attracted to “bad boys.” I chose men who had good jobs, prospects and didn’t stink or break the law. But sometimes these “perfect” guys can be anything but perfect, and because they put on such a convincing and impressive mask of normality, you don’t suspect their true motives until it’s too late. I always seemed to gravitate to the devils dressed in white.

I’m not going to recount the downward spiral that led to the dissolution of our marriage, drug addiction, troubled kids, and all the rest because I’ve done that already ad nauseam (if you must know my story of being married to a malignant narc, click on the links under “My Story”).

So I’ve done a 180 from the naive, romantic starry eyed girl I was in the 1980s–the girl who was uncool enough at the time to want a family and babies and a normal life with people who were not psychopathic or addicted to drugs or alcohol (today that would make me Taylor Swift–how times have changed). I no longer want a relationship. I relish my solitude.

I still get crushes, and plenty of them (I have one now), and just as in my teens and twenties, they still tend to be intense. My crushes are pleasurable to me but they are mine alone to enjoy, not something to be shared with the object of my infatuation. I know, I’m weird. I have an excuse to be weird and avoidant though, because I’m Aspie with Avoidant Personality Disorder. I enjoy my dreams and fantasies far more than my reality, and why ruin a good fantasy by trying to make it real?


That’s why I think my mind makes sure my crushes are never on people I know personally or have to see all the time, and instead chooses men who are inaccessible for one reason or another. Famous people are the safest of all, because I do not ever not have to meet them and either (a) face rejection; or (b) worse: not be rejected but gradually find out they are really just another sick malignantly narcissistic tool who will fly me to the moon and feed me fresh blackberries dipped in cognac, and then ever so insidiously proceed to turn my life into one resembling incarceration in a Turkish prison before I know what even hit me.

I’ve been there, done that. I am no longer of childbearing age, and though I look far younger and fitter than my 55 years, I realize I’m not going to look this good too much longer. At my age, there’s a feeling that you just don’t have what it takes to attract a man anymore, even when it’s not true. Because I look better now than I have since my mid-late 30s. Sure, maybe a woman of a certain age can’t attract the 20-somethings anymore, but what middle aged woman in her right mind really wants a 20-something for anything but a quick fling, anyway? In my case my wariness and self consciousness is due to the low self esteem that’s lived with me my entire life like some parasitic twin I’ve grown so used to I sometimes forget it’s there. Hating yourself is a tough habit to break.

But the real problem isn’t my fear of losing my sexual desirability (which is already well on its way over the other side of the mountain), it’s the simple fact that I don’t trust men (or anyone) enough to become intimate with one. As an Aspie, I have trouble reading social cues, which means I often miss the important red flags and warning signs of a narcissist who is love bombing me and wooing me into his black den of misery. And more than that–I want to believe them. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. I never learned from my past mistakes.

So no longer is “love” my passion in life or my goal. I figure I will die single and alone, but very possibly, happy. Hopefully by the time I die, I will have written a book or two that helped others, gave others joy, and brings me a nice income so I can buy my own small, quaint, quirky home near my son in Florida, somewhere near the beach.


Twenty or thirty years from now: I see myself–an old spinster (I love the strength that word conveys–we need to bring it back!) wearing a long brightly patterned madras-cotton dress or jeans and a slouchy, comfy sweater in cooler weather, walking barefoot along the Gulf Coast at sunset, feeling wet sand squeeze between my pale toes, waves lapping at my feet, the salt air breeze making me smile and my eyes water. I’m tossing small pebbles into the golden waves, a large dog with a cool name like Hector skipping along by my side, occasionally running ahead of me when he sees a seagull land on the darkening sand. I’ll be thinking about my grown son and daughter, and their families and satisfying lives, and my only worry would be the two-month deadline my publisher has given to finish writing a groundbreaking new book about something that matters. I’ll be Forever Alone. And like it.

All this being said, if an attractive, genuinely nice man comes along when I’m not looking, and maybe I’m feeling more strong and confident, I might venture into the ocean again, or at least get my feet wet. So sure, it could happen, but right now I’m just trying to get to know myself.

22 thoughts on “Forever alone.

  1. I think most of us ACON’s always attracted the worst. I say most because some have been fortunate and have good men. But it is not our fault. If you spent your formative years trying to appease the parasite we were born to, we haven’t learned anything else. We appease people, namely men. How could this not attract predators?
    I know for me I couldn’t be myself, which is absolutely imperative for a relationship.
    I’m not so sure I believe in the red flags. Maybe its because its so cut and dried, and we all exhibit those traits at some point. My body tells me when there is a MN around (my nerves act up), I can’t really explain it, but it is foolproof it seems. But I never know until after I have met them and a day has past and then I realize it. The next meeting with them I am aware.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Red flags do seem a bit cut and dried, because like you said, even non-narcs can show red flags, but they’re still useful for those of us who are too easily fooled by charm and good behavior at the beginning of a relationship and don’t experience that “hair rising on the back of the neck” we might have if we hadn’t wanted was the narcissist was offering so badly we became blind to that “sixth sense.”
      I get that sixth sense with people I don’t know. I’ve gotten a lot better at it. But a lot of that is also knowing what to look for. I know a lot more today about what to look for than I did in my 20s and 30s.

      Liked by 1 person

    • ” If you spent your formative years trying to appease the parasite we were born to, we haven’t learned anything else. We appease people, namely men. How could this not attract predators?”

      Well said, Joan, although I’m still working my fawn response to anyone (male AND female) who behaves decently towards me. I have two bad marriages behind me and am about to turn 59, and like luckyotter said, “the real problem isn’t my fear of losing my sexual desirability (which is already well on its way over the other side of the mountain), it’s the simple fact that I don’t trust men (or anyone) enough to become intimate with one”.

      I’ve been through a couple of tough years (remaining siblings and extended family bailed out early 2013) but I can feel I’m recovering and would like a partner again. My plan for 2015 is to do what I can to repair the ravages of grief, insomnia and legal substance abuse. After that, we’ll see…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know families like those ones from the commercials, probably better than I’d like them to know. I wanted such a family and I chose well… After several relationships which could have ended in a marriage-and-family thing I chose to be with the guy who now is my husband. He comes from a “perfect” family and now that I know how these work, I’m praying to never become like them. They are just insane… Thanks to God that this argument for being with him was just some stupid side argument to be considered along the way, otherwise we’d have been divorced the very first day because of them.

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      • In theory they’re like these ones from the commercials, always smiling and nicely dressed, having good jobs, no health issues, no problems, you never hear a bad word about them. Practically it’s the complete opposite. They have a hard time playing their roles, hiding family dramas, hiding how uneducated they are, hiding health problems (because it’s a shame), playing the game till the bitter end so that everybody around them stays jealous. I have no idea why my husband is so different, but I guess that’s why we get along so well. I’ve gotten used to them, you can’t change such people and it’s more that I feel sorry for them than that they annoy me, but I would never change my chaotic, crazy and perfectly inperfect life. Never!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Were they narcissists? It’s said Joan Crawford presented the “picture perfect family” for the media — showing herself as a loving mother with four beautiful adopted children. But most of us (especially those who read Mommie Dearest or saw the movie) know what REALLY went on behind closed doors. Still, that act must be hard to keep up all the time. My family too, tried to present a perfect impression to the world, but it was anything but at home. I’m glad your husband didn’t turn out like one of them. What is his relationship with them like?

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’m still trying to figure out what it’s all about, I think it’s difficult to give a diagnosis just like that haha I can’t even say I know them very well, we’re married for almost 2 years now and before that we were a long distance relationship (I barely knew them before) and now we kind of still enjoy being together and alone to catch up and I don’t get to see them as often as they’d like.
            During the years of our long-distance relationship (I had two jobs and the university while he was finishing his studies with no need to work on weekends) we had to spend most weekends at my place, so he won quite some distance to them and started seeing it from a different point of view, I didn’t even need to mention it one single time, he did that on his own. We respect them and their way of living as much as possible (as long as it doesn’t affect our own lives) and care about them and so on, but you know… It’s hard. We live in different worlds and still try to get along 🙂

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  3. I hope you can find a nice partner one day. Marriage won’t guarantee picture perfect families above, but TV wears me out because everyone is rich on TV. Maybe you should try dating in the Aspie world but even there be careful of narcs. It is good you were able to have children at least. The childlessness thing weighs heavily on me. The whole broken branch thing. I will never have grandchildren.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I might check out that Aspie group again. About a year ago I saw an ad in the local paper about a support group for people with Aspergers meeting at the hospital — it was free too. I’m not sure why, but I never followed up on that. Maybe it’s time to look into it again.
      As for Aspie narcissists, I’m sure they exist. But they’re probably rarer than in the NT world, and an Aspie wouldn’t be that good with the masks, so they’d probably be easier to spot. A “good” narcissist has to be expert at interpreting social cues and knowing which mask to wear. It would seem Aspies would have difficulty with that.


      • Yes, I agree I am blessed I have two children, even if they are damaged (well, we are all more or less damaged–even people from normal homes aren’t perfect and have their problems, including mental disorders). But I worry about mine excessively, even though they’re adults now. It’s hell always thinking something might happen to them. I’m learning to let go and let them make their own choices and turning my worries over to God in prayer.
        I know you don’t have any young relatives available to you as “surrogate children” or “surrogate grandchildren” but what about volunteering with kids . You could also look into the Big Sister program (I’m not sure if there’s an age limit on that) and you would be assigned a disadvantaged child to do things with and even become friends with. What about the kids of friends?


        • I think I even heard about an “adopted grandparent” program, where kids who have no grandparents are assigned to volunteers who serve as surrogate grandparents. Maybe you can look into that too.


        • I agree volunteering with kids would be an option. I did have my fill of work with kids, worked with them for years and older volunteer jobs. LOL I guess I am too old of a Curmudgeon now, someone who has been gone from the “kid world” so long, I don’t understand it anymore. I wouldn’t mind Aspie kids or something like that. I suppose if you have children and are a normal [non-narc or sociopathic mother] you would love them and worry about them and hoping their lives turn out. One thing that bugs me is my DNA is now dead, no one will look like me. I suppose no one will suffer Lipedema or some of these other illnesses either. Some of the Darwinist types would say I failed the “survival of the fittest”.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Well, if you failed the survival of the fittest test, then so did I. I seemingly have no ability to earn a decent living and keep finding myself in over my head with psychopaths and MNs. I have almost no survival skills. If I lived in the wild,I’d be dead meat.


      • Yes Aspie narcissists would be rarer though some Aspies could have some autoimmune disorders, that is one risk of Aspie is bad health, but you have had your children already. Maybe you should join the support group. I would go to an Adult Aspie support group [not to date of course] in my area if they had one but for some reason around here there isn’t one.

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  4. “In my case my wariness and self consciousness is due to the low self esteem that’s lived with me my entire life like some parasitic twin I’ve grown so used to I sometimes forget it’s there. Hating yourself is a tough habit to break.” ~ Wow. Very well said.

    After my last divorce at age 50, I was right where you describe yourself here. I gave up, resigned myself to living the rest of my life alone, and whenever a man started looking like he might be about to ask me out, I would quickly turn around and walk away. I was stick-a-fork-in-me DONE.

    ….and THAT was when I met the man who has been my best-friend-husband for the past 10 years. We were both hired to start a new job on the same day, trained together, and worked together side by side for several weeks before we really noticed each other. It slowly dawned on us how much we had in common. We became friends… and now we are happily married best friends. 😀

    I hope the same thing happens in your life. But if not, being happy alone is a great thing, too. Before I met my husband, I had a wonderful couple of years of living all by myself and getting to know who I am, when I am not trying desperately to please and appease someone else, or reacting to someone pushing my buttons. When it was just me, all by myself… I discovered to my surprise that I actually really LIKE me. After a lifetime of hating myself, discovering at the age of 50 that I like me, was better than winning a billion dollar lottery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alaina, that’s so wonderful the way you met your husband. I’ve always heard, it usually happens when we least expect it/are not looking. I am not looking but am prepared for it to never happen. Whatever happens is ok. Because I always have me, and I’m finding out I’m a pretty awesome person, and my own company is pretty terrific.

      I have a lot of fear still about relationships and that holds me back, but that’s okay too. I think when we start to like ourselves, other people are more attracted to us, so my chances of finding someone are getting better because I think I’m less negative and more fun to be around. I also feel more attractive than I did (and actually have seen a difference in my appearance).

      But I think it’s so inspiring that you, after years of abuse, at the age of 50, were able to find your soulmate. 🙂 I think starting out as friends is the best way to start a relationship.

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      • I believe we met when we were ready to meet. But I don’t want to give the impression that it has been all bliss in our marriage, because the whole truth is that the first several months were very rough. We both had a ton of unresolved emotional baggage from our past failed relationships, and we were both extremely gun-shy. From day one, it was like we were walking on eggshells, terrified that it was all going to go to hell at any time. Having that paranoid mindset seemed to be turning into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

        It did not help that we both have severe PTSD, his from Vietnam combat and mine caused by years of abuse. Less than a month into our marriage, I called the minister who married us – he happened to be my uncle – and asked him for advice about getting an annulment.

        When my husband realized that I was leaving him, that’s when he finally became willing to go to the in-house Veterans PTSD program that his doctors had been trying to get him into since the 1980s. He went to the one at the VA Hospital in Topeka, Kansas. When he came home nine weeks later, I literally asked: “Who are you and what have you done with my husband?” The healing change in him was that profound.

        I’ll never forget my husband’s answer. He said: “I believe I’m the man I would have been if I had never been in Nam.”

        That was almost ten years ago, and the healing has lasted all this time. So I think I can relax now. 😀

        I just wish I could go through the PTSD program in Topeka, too. But it is only for military veterans.

        Liked by 1 person

        • What a story. That’s beautiful the way he healed and was so willing.
          The Vietnam war was so terrible, what it did to so many of our young men. As all wars do, but that one in particular because it was so pointless and so many men suffered in vain.

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  5. The commercial may be an exaggeration, but loving families are real. It takes a lot of work, though—and not particularly attractive.

    Instead of the abusive narc family, I had/have a distant family…boy, do I long for love in my own way…


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