“No one will ever love you like I do”: NPD men in love.

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With Valentines Day coming up in a few days, I think it’s time to talk about narcissistic men in love.   I think I have enough experience with such men to be able to write about them and talk about some of the red flags to look for in a new relationship.

Narcissistic men can make the most ardent lovers and define the cliche, “he swept me off my feet.”  Relationships with narcissistic men, in the beginning, can be truly fairy-tale like, and a narc man who’s chosen you as his prey will stop at nothing to make sure you know he’s the most romantic, giving, attentive, unselfish, committed man you’ve ever met.   He’ll profess his eternal love for you, wine and dine you, present you with expensive chocolates and roses,  never forget your birthday or Valentines Day,  take you on weekend getaways to romantic locations,  and talk about marriage and even “making babies with you” early in the relationship.   Narcissistic men can be intense and women who are drawn to emotionally intense relationships (often Borderlines)  are like putty in their hands.  Narcissistic men are often drawn to BPD women too, because a BPD woman is most likely to give them exactly what they need, at least in the beginning.   Occasionally, a narcissist man who has proposed to you might actually stay true to his word and marry you.  But that doesn’t mean you’ll live happily ever after–anything but, in fact.

An NPD man’s intensity, which can be incredibly alluring to certain types of women, is exactly what makes them so dangerous.  Their “love” for you is feigned.  They are not capable of love.   They are predators.  All you are to them is supply.  Every last one of my lovers, including my ex-husband, was a narcissist, and almost all of them seemed incredibly romantic.   A couple of them eventually D&D’d me (devalue and discard), with no explanation or reason, shattering my heart into a million bits, while others became increasingly possessive to the point where I felt like I was suffocating and couldn’t wait to get away.

One of two of these narc men were covert, but most of the ones I knew were more the overt, grandiose type. Pretty much all my relationships with men followed this same sorry pattern, which I am going to outline for you.

The storybook romance.

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The narcissist is very insistent about getting to know you, and wastes no time making his first date with you.  You will notice how intensely he gazes at you and that can make you want to swoon, but make no mistake–it’s really the look of a predator stalking his next meal.

He takes you out to an intimate, expensive restaurant and buys you anything you want on the menu, no matter how expensive.  Typically, he’ll offer you bites of food from his own plate, sometimes feeding you.    (He’s luring you in, setting you up for the kill later on).

He calls you daily, always seems to have time for you, seems like the most romantic, understanding, sympathetic man you’ve ever known.  He always listens to your problems, and seems to empathize.  (He is anything but these things, but he is a very good actor).

He is always buying you gifts, sometimes very expensive ones.  He can seem like the most generous man on the planet.  (Keep an eye on your finances here–mine bought all those gifts for me using MY credit card).

He tells you he loves you early in the relationship, maybe even in the first few weeks.  He may even get tears in his eyes while he tells you this (blech).  He might tell you you’re the only woman he’s ever loved, and how lonely he was before he met you.  (WATCH OUT.)

Sex with him is emotional and intense.   (Oh, honey, he’s got you trapped in his lair now).

He begins to complain and berate his former girlfriends, and talks about how deeply they’ve all hurt him (right, because nothing is ever his fault).   If he never seems to take any responsibility for the demise of his former relationships (or if he’s the type that gloats about how HE dumped THEM), that’s a huge red flag.  Don’t ignore it.  He’s telling you something.

He may propose to you at this point, or talk about what beautiful babies you’d have together (any man who doesn’t really seem to like children, but still wants to “have babies with you” because the combination of your genes would be “so beautiful” is almost certainly a narcissist).  Blargh.

The narc begins to show his true colors. 

hoovering

At this point, he may suddenly start seeming colder or pulling away.  He stops calling you as often, or seems annoyed when you call him, giving you some vague reason why he’s “too busy” to see you or scolding you for bothering him when he’s in the middle of an important meeting.   This is the beginning of the discard, which means that you’ve sated his supply and he’s grown bored.   He needs the challenge of the hunt again, and will probably dump you soon.  There is nothing more he needs from you.

Other narcissists tighten their hold on you.  If he senses you beginning to pull away, he’ll up the ante and take you on vacation or bring you roses every night.  This is called “hoovering.”  He’s sucking you back into his den of doom like a Hoover vacuum cleaner.   Most likely you will fall for it, and once you’ve reassured him you still adore him and think he’s the smartest, handsomest, sexiest man you’ve ever known,  the abusive behavior begins.

The dream becomes a nightmare.

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If the narcissistic man you’re in love with doesn’t D&D you, then it’s common for them to begin to abuse you once he’s certain you will stay.  Often, this begins on your wedding night, when it’s too late for you to escape without enormous expense and inconvenience.   I don’t have to go into the various forms of abuse he could use–they could be mental, financial, emotional, and sometimes physical.   The man who seemed like the most understanding, romantic, empathetic, attentive man you’d ever known has transformed into a coldblooded, unfeeling, abusive monster.

Early red flags.

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There are many red flags I haven’t listed here, but the following tend to be the first ones you’ll notice before any real abuse begins.

  • He complains about his exes and seems to blame them for everything that went wrong in their relationship, without ever admitting anything was his fault.
  • He moves in too fast, declares his love or proposes marriage too quickly for your comfort
  • His intense look unsettles you a little.
  • He has mysterious “meetings,” friends and “family matters” that he doesn’t discuss with you or seems annoyed when you ask about them.
  • After seeming to want to be with you all the time, he suddenly seems to lose interest in you, and never explains why.  If you try to pin him down, he becomes angry or irritated.
  • He’s always talking about what a perfect couple you are or how beautiful the two of you look together, sometimes even wanting to look at both of you together in the mirror.
  • The intensity of his ardor or attention overwhelms, scares or disgusts you.
  • He brags about how many women have fallen in love with him (overt N).
  • He moans about how no other woman has ever loved him (covert N).
  • He begins to question your whereabouts or why you don’t spend more time with him.
  • He accuses you of looking at or flirting with other men.
  • He uses tears to get sympathy or get his way.
  • He likes to play cruel jokes on you, just for fun of course.
  • He acts jealous or seems upset when you want to spend time doing anything that doesn’t include him.

Further reading:

The Narcissistic Lover’s Playbook

All My Narcissistic Lovers

Narcissist Man in Love

 

 

 

 

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Forever alone, revisited.

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This is going to be another “running naked” post.

I have mixed feelings about being in a relationship. On the one hand, I long for it because I can’t deny that my inability to connect with anyone on a deep emotional level has caused me a lot of sadness and pain.

At the same time I need my solitude, and it’s almost always my preferred state, due to my avoidant personality. I’d much rather do things alone than do them with others. I’m simply too selfish and don’t want to give of myself to anyone else. I think the selfishness stems from fear though. I’m too afraid: I struggle with fears of rejection, abandonment, judgement, engulfment, being hurt, being used, being abused, etc. I have little to no interest in sex, although I can be sexually attracted. (maybe this is TMI, but I prefer my fantasies to the real thing).

So I have a sort of conundrum. I don’t want to grow old and die alone, but at the same time I don’t want to and am afraid to do what it takes to avoid being alone forever. I was married to my malignant narcissist ex for many years, but the marriage was extremely dysfunctional and I was always in the codependent role. Thinking about the marriage’s failure (which was inevitable from Day One) now makes me feel sad, although for a long time I just felt rage (which is why I started my first blog).

I would only consider a relationship with a non-narcissist now (and really, not with any Cluster B), but that’s a problem because I’m simply not attracted to non-disordered people. I never have been.

The other problem is I’m “in love with the idea of being in love.” Like most Cluster B’s, I become limerent easily (though less so than I used to) and get addicted to the whole “high” that infatuated feeling brings. But it never lasts and I know intellectually it’s not real love. It’s a type of addiction that feels as good as a drug, but the crash (and there always is one) is just as bad as coming down from a powerful drug too. I miss that drug-like high of falling in love though.

To rectify this longing, I live the limerent experience out in my mind by developing powerful crushes on people who cannot give me anything in return for a variety of reasons. Oddly enough, this lack of reciprocation is okay with me. I don’t feel like anything is “unrequited” because I deliberately and consciously get attached to a person only in my own mind and prefer not to share my feelings with the person in question. I have an active enough imagination that there is no need to play it out in reality. In fact, I’d probably run away in terror if it became obvious my feelings were returned. I’d get off on the supply that comes with that, of course–but it would send me into panic mode too. It’s very weird. I don’t know if this is just an eccentricity of mine, or if this sort of thing is experienced by others. Having an active imagination does have its benefits. It’s very narcissistic though.

I think unless I can become non-disordered (which is unlikely), that I need to accept the idea of being alone for the rest of my life. On a day to day basis, I’m okay with that, but it’s sometimes so hard when you look around and everyone else in my age group is married or in a relationship, and I have to do everything on my own. You’re treated by society as defective and if you don’t make a good living, it’s hard to even survive. I feel like a freak sometimes. I can’t look at singleness as a permanent lifestyle or I get very sad and afraid. I have to do what they do in AA, and take things one day at a time.

A Beachside Affair (guest post).

Here is another guest post by the same writer who contributed “The Narc from Costa Rica.” Again she has asked to remain anonymous, but I think this story does a better job of describing the narcissism of a man who seemed to be extremely romantic. Talk about a whirlwind romance!

It’s common for narcissists (especially somatic ones) to act very romantic in the beginning of relationships. But the problem is, it’s an ACT. They can sweep you off your feet with their charm, declarations of undying love (which are lies), seemingly endless desire to make love to you, and gifts of wine, candy and roses. They also can move in very fast, and it’s not uncommon for one to propose marriage very soon into the relationship. (There are other narcs who are relationship-phobic, usually the cerebral type.). My ex proposed only three months after we met. He was cerebral though, so not all “romantic,” fast-moving narcissists are somatics.

The man in this story, Michael, seems to be a covert or “vulnerable” narcissist. They can seem to have very deep emotions and be quick to express their insecurities and vulnerabilities, but they’re still dishonest and manipulative, and they still have no empathy and will leave you in a heartbeat if a better source of supply comes along. Covert narcissists can be more dangerous than aggressive (classic) narcissists because you never see what’s coming. They can completely fool you because they seem to need you so much.

A Beachside Affair
By Anonymous

summer_love

My whirlwind relationship with Michael lasted for only 3 months. It was a summer love, like something out of the movies. Our affair ended abruptly, leaving me completely gutted emotionally and even physically. It was as if he’d ripped my heart out and taken it with him, leaving me with a huge hole inside my soul.

I met Michael on the beach. We quickly became obsessed with each other. He was like an addiction to me. I went to work during the day and all I could think about was Michael. I’d go home and polish myself from head to toe, making sure I looked and felt as beautiful as possible. Before I met Michael I just didn’t feel good. I was in a failing marriage to another narcissist. My husband ignored me. He never talked to me and I was dying inside. I remember that I’d go home and get drunk on wine, just to blur out the feelings of emptiness I felt from my husband’s coldness, on top of having suffered an empty childhood and adolescence due to having been raised by a narcissistic father and a borderline mother who wasn’t much better.

I knew having an affair was wrong, but at that point I no longer cared. I needed to feel loved and needed. Michael fit the bill perfectly, at first. I remember the day I met Michael. He was beautiful, his tanned muscles shimmering and rippling in the sun. We talked for a little while and before long he started to kiss me and held me for 4 hours straight, as the sun went down over the ocean.

After that heady experience I made a decision to leave my husband because I no longer could stand being with him. There was just no comparison.

I’m not sure why Michael had me under such a powerful spell. I’m not sure if it was inverted or covert narcissism or codependency on my part that made me so attracted to him. I know he mirrored my own narcissism and I think that was part of the attraction. Or (in my thinking at the time) maybe it was just that we were both artists that craved something more and we needed attention and had a burning desire to express our vision of life through our art. All I know is that when the two of us got together we melted together like butter. All the love that I never got, all the love I craved and all my neediness was being filled by Michael and I couldn’t get enough of him. He was everything to me.

beachside_romance

Michael had an apartment in a very famous town in coastal New Jersey that was known for its rock n roll legacy, especially Bruce Springsteen. Famous bands played in a place called The Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Back then, over 30 years ago, the town was run down and almost abandoned. The Stone Pony was the only thing that held the weak fabric of this town together. But I loved it there. This run down seaside town was always beautiful to me because I always felt like this was my home. I still do. I knew that one day I’d play up on the same stage where other famous artists had played. There was fire in my belly. A void that needed to be filled with a whole lot more than a man’s love. If there was an Angel on Ocean Avenue, she was certainly watching over me.

Micheal was an art student who had nude sketches of himself all over his wall. He played the guitar too and we often played music together and I would sing. I use to stay at Michael’s house every night. We went to parties at the homes of mutual friends we had met out on the beach. The bonfires were wonderful and we would all sit around and sing songs. We sang Beatles songs and Bowie songs and I felt like a reincarnated hippie. My favorite song we sang was David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”

“Tell my wife I love her very much…she knows.
I’m here and I’m floating in my tin can.
Far above the world. Planet earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do.”

beachside_romance2

There was magic and presence and energy and the love in all the people we met at these parties and on the beach. People liked to watch Michael and I, because they were intrigued by our obsession and need for each other. We vicariously fulfilled their need for romance. I felt so validated, loved, sexy and happy. It seemed too good to be true and it was. This couldn’t be real life. It was too perfect.

We were a study in contrasts physically, and I think that’s another reason for the fascination our friends had for us. Michael had beautiful blue eyes and long blonde silky hair, and a great body. I had long black hair and lots of curves. People liked to photograph us together. We use to sit down in front of a long mirror in his room and stare at the contrast. We made each other feel beautiful. And together, we were. At that time it seemed we were good for each other’s self-esteem. At the county college Michael was studying for an Associates degree in graphic arts we were both asked to pose nude for $10 dollars an hour for the students who sketched still lifes in the human anatomy drawing class.

Michael’s background was sad. He told me that he was beaten by his father with a belt consistently during his infancy and his dad was also an alcoholic. Michael was depressed and he had to take psychiatric medication to fight his depression from the abuse he endured as a child. I remember watching him go into this weird state where sometimes seemed almost frozen and off in some other universe (dissociation is a common symptom in people with NPD and BPD). When in these near-catatonic states, he’d punch the floor or the wall over and over again, sometimes lasting for up to 20 minutes. It was sad and very scary. He was not mean or malignant though. He seemed like a gentle, artistic soul who just couldn’t take care of himself. He was never controlling, but seemed very needy for my constant attention and love. I think he was a covert narcissist.

Our affair came to an abrupt end at the end of that summer, because Michael left me for another women who said she was in love with him. She was willing to pay the rent on his apartment. So in the end, he chose money and security over me. I was devastated because the drug of my addiction to him filled me all summer and was suddenly ripped out of my heart in an instant and the devastation and grief was almost too much to bear.

But if I’d known about narcissism, I would have known Idealize and Devalue is all part of their game. They can’t help it. Even covert narcissists are at heart predators out to use you and throw you away when you’re no longer of use to them.

My next phantom lover was a drummer named Karl. I was so needy that I of course fell into the hands of another narcissistic man. And so it goes on…

All my narcissistic lovers.

johann_heinrich

Not long ago, when I started studying narcissism in depth for this blog, I came to a shocking and disturbing realization: Every single one of the men I had relationships with or fell in love with were narcissists. It’s because I was trained by my family to be Narcissistic Supply, and as a Borderline, these relationships tended to be stormy.

Having BPD means I’m not the ideal codependent doormat, and when I felt violated–even though I’d allow the abuse to continue because after all, I was trained that way–I’d still try to fight back, at least for awhile. This led to lots of drama and some truly terrible fights with narcissistic men who I could never fix, no matter how hard I tried. I sure wish I knew then what I know now.

I have always been attracted to narcissistic men and they have always been attracted to me. I’m easily taken in by their elaborate displays of romance and promises in the beginning–there’s no one more romantic than a narcissist trying to procure you as supply. It’s fun while it lasts, but as soon as they know they have conquered you, the abuse begins. One red flag to watch out for: a man who moves in too fast, or starts talking about a permanent commitment or marriage only weeks after you met them.

Here’s a list of the narcissists I was seriously involved with (or married to). Only one wasn’t a narcissist, but he was severely bi-polar. The names are made up.

narcjoke

Steve P: my first serious boyfriend in high school. Steve called constantly (like 8-10 times a day at first), wanted to be with me all the time, regularly sent flowers, was very passionate and loving at first. He actually would cry because he “loved me so much.” After a while he became physically and mentally abusive, insulting me, questioning me about other boys, what I was doing when he wasn’t around, calling me names, and finally becoming physically abusive. One day, with absolutely no warning, he called me and told me he was dumping me because he met someone else. I was enraged at the nerve of this but actually relieved to be rid of him finally.

Mark S: my second serious lover during my college years. Mark was very cool–knew everything there was to know about art, music, theater, and he had offbeat, interesting friends. He used to take me to the East Village in New York City where we’d attend all the punk and new wave clubs and shop in funky vintage clothing and record stores. We had a lot of fun. But he was also an intellectual snob and looked down on my “pedestrian” tastes in music, movies, etc. He looked down on my friends, whose intellectual abilities he felt were beneath him. Mark saw himself as a rogue and a cultural rebel, and after awhile his constant put downs became annoying and we’d fight. He also never wanted to have sex (he was a cerebral narcissist), thinking it was a huge waste of time that could be better spent feeding his mind with new cultural experiences. After about a year, he told me I was too boring and my tastes too commercial and pedestrian, and he dumped me for a woman who looked exactly like me but was apparently much more hip and “in the know” about what was cool and cutting edge than I was. He wound up marrying her.

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David B: David was not a narcissist; he was bipolar and suffered from severe depressions and substance abuse. He drank heavily to self-medicate and was always in and out of the psychiatric ward. He regarded me as a sort of mother figure and I liked the idea of being needed so much. But his neediness and clinginess became cloying and suffocating, he was constantly drunk, so eventually I left him, not without a little guilt in doing so. But he was really driving me crazy.

Michael B: The malignant narcissist I married. He is actually a psychopath. Michael acted very much like Steven in the beginning–showering constant attention and gifts on me, moving in very fast, talking about marriage just three months after we met. Being that I was in my mid-20s, I was open to marriage and he seemed perfect. I should have seen one HUGE red flag: the expensive engagement ring he insisted I have was purchased with my own credit card, because he had already maxed all his out. He always lived way above his means. He’d take me to expensive restaurants and insist I pay (and of course, he would pay me back later, but he never did). The rest of our story can be found in the articles under “My Story” in the header. Let’s just say the man is a psychopathic monster with serious substance abuse issues and a parasitic monster at that.

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Daniel S: The only lover I’ve had since the divorce. Well, okay, we were actually still married. (I’m not proud of this). But my marriage was already long over and I was desperate and miserable and not thinking straight (not that it’s an excuse to cheat). Daniel was actually a worse malignant narcissist than my ex, if that can be believed. He had that intense predatory stare, which I took to mean sexual and romantic interest, but was really his way of sizing up me as his prey. Of course I found him irresistably attractive. Unfortunately Daniel was another cerebral who had very little interest in sex. After a huge show of ardent romance and all that goes with it, he started the abuse, which included insulting me and comparing me (unfavorably) with his past lovers and what he saw as an “ideal woman.” He said he wanted babies with me but constantly criticized my parenting skills (as if he could know, since he never met my kids). He raged a lot although he never actually became physically abusive. He sulked and gave me the silent treatment when I didn’t do things his way or wanted to spend time with my family. He was stingy and although he had a lot more money than I did, he always made me pay my own way on dates. He obsessed about money. He would buy me things and constantly remind me how much those things cost him. He also would give me gifts and then ask for them back later, telling me he was only letting me “borrow” them. I am serious about this. After I ended our relationship (due to guilt at least as much as his abusive treatment), he still continued to call me constantly “as a friend.” After several of these phone calls, I finally worked up the guts to tell him to bug off and blocked his number.

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I have not had one lover or husband who was a just a nice regular guy. There have been a few of these men who seemed interested in me, but I always found them boring and rejected their attentions because I didn’t feel any “chemistry” with them.

I think it’s time to change all this. I want to start dating again soon. I know what red flags to look out for now so I think I can avoid the narcs, but can I fall in love with a normal man who will treat me well?

Why you should never jump into a new relationship after narcissistic abuse

The Wheel of Abuse

cycle_of_violence
Not all abusive relationships involve physical abuse. Emotional and mental abuse can be every bit as damaging, and sometimes more so. (Click image to make larger).

A new friend of mine (a survivor of several abusive relationships with narcs) and I were talking on Facebook. Rather than try to paraphrase, I’ll quote her directly–and then give my own opinions.

Friend:

“I realized he [her malignant narcissist ex-boyfriend who she’s still in minimal contact with but who is still trying to gaslight her and get her attention by stalking her on Facebook] did everything on that wheel except for the Economic abuse. He started to subtle test the boundaries…and realized I wasn’t game. Although I believe he probably still believes I’ll contact him again. It’s amazing, [Lauren.]

The more time your away, they stronger you feel. Your self-esteem comes back slowly. I get those frightened moments when I think my new boyfriend will just Abandoned me out of nowhere. I understand why the Psychopathic free support group did not recommend a relationship right away. They know you suffer from PTSD from the aftermath of this abuse. It’s difficult. I find myself having dark flashbacks. I also believe you have to be careful and choosy about your women friends and surround yourself with only kind people. We are fragile and vulnerable after this abuse.

My reply (My original reply was short–I embellished it when I wrote this post. I hope my friend sees it).

These are all great points. It makes sense to stay out of relationships if you’ve just escaped from an abusive one because of the PTSD you probably have or even worse problems such as major depression–you need time to find yourself and work on yourself. You need time to be selfish and not have to answer to anyone because you’ve been giving, giving and giving some more with nothing to show for it in return.

We’re mentally and emotionally exhausted and need time to recover, just as if we’re recovering from any illness. We need to not have to be responsible for someone else’s welfare or self esteem or happiness for a while before taking the plunge into a new relationship. We need to take care of ourselves and find out who we are–whether that means going to therapy, writing a journal, turning that journal into a public spectacle like a blog or video diary, taking up martial arts, yoga, or finding God. We need time to heal.

Jumping into any new relationship–even with a non-narc–when you’re this vulnerable is almost guaranteed to fail and retard you in your self growth, and if you’ve been attracted to another narcissistic abuser (which is common in codependent, PTSD and Borderline women), you may wind up much worse when all is said and done.

We’re like addicts. Narcs need their narcissistic supply; we codependents need our narcs. Let’s face it: Narcissistic suitors (male or female)–at first–make us feel alive, vital and fulfill our wildest romantic and sexual fantasies (when they are trying to trap you as their prey). In a weakened state like PTSD or depression, your judgment is not going to be great and you re going to be VERY suggestible. Most likely, you’ll also become unconsciously attracted to a romantic partner who reminds you of the narc you just left (or who left you). He made sure you can’t forget him easily, even if he was terribly cruel at the end.

anime
Anime drawing (artist unknown).

Also, we tend to be attracted to the same type of person anyway. So if you’re usually or always attracted to narcissists, then most likely your taste is not going to change.

Getting involved too early after the end of a relationship with a narcissist is dangerous. Even with a non-narcissist, old patterns will still come up and you will be hypervigilant and suspicious of your new partner, causing them confusion and eventual discord. If you’re falling for a non-narc, that’s a good sign, but if you just left an abusive relationship, please wait. Envision a giant red STOP sign. Be friends instead. Now’s not the time to get involved beyond that level. If you met someone who truly cares for you, they won’t mind waiting a while and being friends with you.

If you’re already falling hard for someone, I know it’s going to be really hard to resist the pull of a new romance. It’s a powerful force, built into normally-wired people’s genes.

But remember, even though it feels like the most exciting, heady, intoxicating rush you ever felt, that feeling won’t last: what you feel is infatuation, a crush–actually caused by changes in the brain that act like a euphoric drug. That’s really what it boils down to.

infatuation-vs-love1

Infatuation so soon after an abusive relationship is really just a form of transference onto a phantom “therapist” [the person you are infatuated with] when you are at your most vulnerable. You’re looking for someone to rescue you. There is no Prince Charming. A love relationship cannot rescue you from yourself, your memories, or your PTSD. By its nature, it can’t. You are the only one who can make you well, with the help of therapists, counselors or another other trusted person who is not involved sexually or romantically with you.

So be patient, wait until you heal yourself and feel more confident. Then if you fall in love, dive in and enjoy it–and with any luck it might turn into the real thing.

Thank you to Mary Pranzatelli for this idea.

Because several of you asked…

wolf_sheepsclothing

A few of you asked me to go into more detail about Molly’s ex Paul and exactly what made me realize he was a malignant psychopathic narcissist. So I am doing that now.

Paul was smoking crack, which is easy to hide because it doesn’t smell that much and a person can still act sort of normal when high on crack. He seemed to have a hair-trigger temper though, which is common in both crackheads (I’ve known a few and they’re all quick to rage) and narcs.

So here we have a crackhead narc, a ticking time bomb. My daughter knew about the crack, but because he continued to give such a nice, mature, intelligent impression (the guy was very intelligent) no one believed her (because she’s had a history of drug use) ; the weird behavior she displayed at his house on Christmas wasn’t her on drugs (which he said it was). Her behavior was because she was scared and depressed and having panic attacks (another thing she suffers from) because of all the mental and borderline physical abuse (he would threaten but didn’t actually hit her) she was undergoing while she lived with him.

I felt so horrible when I realized I’d been turned into a flying monkey against my own kid, who was definitely the victim.
Maybe it was some kind of weird karma, because when she was younger those roles were reversed: she’d been used by my ex as a junior flying monkey against me.
The talk we had cleared everything up.

When I look back at things now, I realize there was something a little “off” about Paul that I couldn’t put my finger on. He seemed perfect: older (38 and mature), good job as a med tech, nice home in a nice neighborhood, good looking, and very nice and friendly. What’s a mom not to love? He told me he loved my daughter — this was 3 weeks after they met. He was moving so fast. She wasn’t comfortable with moving that fast but played along partly because she didn’t want to disappoint me (Hell, I wanted to date him myself!)

But there were so many red flags we both chose to ignore. And I say chose because I did see them.

I did think it was odd that he was 16 years older than her (she’ll be 22 in April) but rationalized that at least it wasn’t some 22 or 23 year old jobless basement dweller playing video games and smoking pot all day (like a couple of her exes were like). I thought he was too old, but thought that might be a good thing.

It would have been fine had he not been a predator. He was actually telling her he wanted her to have his baby! A month after they met. He has two kids right now, ages 9 and 2, he never sees and isn’t allowed to see. He also came to North Carolina suddenly, with no plan. He said some people in Florida (where he moved from) were stalking him. Another red flag. And all he talks about is his son all the time but his baby daughter–it’s as if she doesn’t exist to him. (They had two different mothers). He is apparently not on good terms with either of them.

Also, when he took my daughter down to Florida in November, they stayed two days and made the rounds visiting all HIS friends and family (and making “secret” trips where my daughter would be told to stay in the car and wait–VERY suspicious!) , but when my daughter asked to go see her brother (who was about 5 miles away from where they were staying), the psychopath told my daughter he didn’t have enough gas. He knew full well how much they had been looking forward to seeing each other. She hasn’t seen her brother since last March.

I think Molly’s whole experience of living with a psychopathic narc was meant to teach her something and wake her up from her own descent into narcissism. Before she met him she was very narcissistic and abusing drugs. She was making terrible choices.

Since this experience(which we talked about in the conversation I posted about), she put two and two together. She knows all about narcissism and psychopathy because I talk to her about it a lot, and she herself identified him as a narcissist without my having to tell her. She says she realized she was becoming a narcissist herself because now she’ s been the victim of one and sees how immoral her behavior had been.

I hate to say this, but Molly’s 30 days in jail probably helped too. She had time to read a lot (something she usually won’t choose to do on her own) and think things over. She realized how “bad” she was, and wants to change.

So I think she may be borderline, but may also be at that point I was back in 1985 when my friend’s calling me out and telling me she couldn’t be my friend anymore because of my narcissistic behavior, woke me up and made me stop myself before I slid down the rabbit hole into true narcissism. That ex-friend was actually being the best friend I could have had at that moment, even though I was devastated over her rejection of me. I believe she saved me from developing NPD.

Some things happen because they’re a wake up call from God. Perhaps his purpose was to educate her about herself in a unusual and painful way. It probably took something that dire to save her from herself.

Here are all the red flags we chose to ignore:

1. They met in a mental health facility-a 5 day drug rehab program. Probably not the ideal way to meet a potential suitor. (Both were also diagnosed with PTSD, depression and anxiety–that doesn’t mean he’s not a narc–they often have comorbid mental disorders and addictions).

2. He came to this state without a plan. He said he was escaping people who stalked him in Florida and just kept driving until he found this area and decided this was where he wanted to live. He has no family or friends here. He paid for his house in cash within days of arriving.

3. Taking her to Florida and not allowing her to see her brother

4. Making her wait in the car while he visited people he was “doing business” with.

5. He seemed very easily upset or angered by things, but it took a while for this to show.

6. He seemed a little too perfect.

7. Moving too fast in their relationship, even talking about marriage and children.

8. He wanted my daughter to move in with him, then complained about all the money she was costing him.

9. Told me horrible things about my daughter and got me to believe them.

10. He was insanely jealous and questioned her whenever she spoke to a male friend on Facebook.

11. He has two children by two different women–neither is on good terms with him and he is not allowed to see his son or daughter.

12. Kept talking about the money Molly was going to get from her car accident settlement–and then got me to let him “hold onto” it (I trusted him more than her); the next day the money was gone.

13. Making me jump through hoops to get my cat back. Instead of just dropping her off at my house or letting me come pick her up, he released her into the woods; shelter personnel found her and I had to pay $85 to get her back.

14. He was a pathological liar.

Targets and Victims

victim

I found another blog today written by a survivor of a sick family of psychopaths and sociopaths (I’ve added the site to my list of resources under the “Info and Support” tab in the green bar in the header. I know I’ve written about this before, but this is one of the best lists of the traits of potential targets and victims of psychopaths I have seen yet. I have just about every single one of these traits, unfortunately. From an early age, I was trained to be a doormat. I learned that lesson too well.

BEFORE: TRAITS of a Potential TARGET

Below are the traits most commonly attributed to a sociopath’s target. Every person is inherently different, and that includes each target and the traits that are most pronounced in the individual. An individual would definitely not need any of these traits to be preyed upon.

This is not an attempt to diagnose anyone.

Shyness
Difficulty communicating
A lack of self confidence
Wanting to please
A belief that if you love enough the person will change
A belief that if you love enough the relationship will succeed
Difficulty establishing and maintaining boundaries
Not being able to say no
Being easily influenced by others
Wanting to be rescued from your life situation
Wanting to rescue others from their distress
Being over nurturing particularly when not asked
Feelings of shame and self doubt
Low self-esteem
A lack of memories about childhood or periods of adulthood
A lack of motivation from within and being motivated by others

AFTER: SYMPTOMS of a Relentlessly Abused VICTIM

This is a very accurate list of symptoms experienced by someone who has had their psyche brutally victimized by a sociopath. With that said, this list is not all-inclusive, nor is it intended to be part of any diagnostic function, whatsoever. These symptoms can also be triggered by many other conditions or events.

The source of this data is from ongoing research, but the majority of the data is derived and confirmed from personal experience … the key word being “majority” There are some symptoms listed here that I have not experienced at all, though they have been mentioned enough for me to accept them as potentially common.

If you, or someone you know, has experienced even a few of these symptoms, seek professional help. Keep in mind, though, that not all “help” is equal. If the professional you choose does not seem to relate to your needs as you would expect or desire, keep looking.

Emotional paralysis
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Suicidal thoughts or actions (indirect homicide)
Loss of interest in life
Loss of energy
Insomnia
Anxiety
Depression or Severe Depression
Numbing of feelings
Disinterest in having a relationship
Panic attacks
Irritability
Increased anxiety from being alone
Increased anxiety from being in crowds
Mood swings
Source: sociopathicstyle.com [confirmed by personal experience (50+ years)]

Finding myself: a hopeless task if you depend on narcissists to do the job for you (late adolescence/early adulthood)

narcissistcard

As I entered my late teens, I started to focus on relationships to the expense of developing skills, interests and securing a viable future career. I had a nearly pathologic tendency to fall in love easily, almost always with the wrong guys–guys who would reject me, guys who would initially be loving and generous and then turn into monsters when they gained my trust. For someone who grew up constantly being lied to, put down, and disappointed by broken promises from my immediate family, I was remarkably naive and tended to trust men too easily. The only explanation for this I can think of is that I was desperate to find the mother-love I never had, in the form of a romantic relationship.

I was addicted to romance. I watched romantic movies and read romantic stories all the time, write romantic poetry, envied my friends who were in loving and stable relationships, and longed for that “perfect relationship” (this during a time when women were not encouraged to become involved seriously until they got an education and/or established themselves in a career). My crushes came like waves–one after the other, some fun and exciting, but all too often overwhelming, with the power to knock me over breathless and suck me under their powerful currents. My romantic involvements with these men were intense–if you’ve ever read Dorothy Tennov’s 1979 book Love and Limerence, I went through the whole gamut of emotions connected to that condition–from the heady, almost surreal highs of obsessing over and idealizing my crush, to the delibitating lows that left me wanting to die when I even sensed they were pulling away (or just not interested).

In my late teens and early 20s, I got involved in two abusive (one physically and emotionally, the other mentally and emotionally) relationships with narcissistic men that I won’t go into detail about, as over the long hall they had little importance in my life and both dumped me in the end (which of course was devastating to me, even though I’d been trying to break up with the second narcissist, Ryan, for MONTHS to no avail because he kept stalking me–how DARE he dump me after the hell he’d put me through?!) I was livid. But also relieved. So, anyway, in time I moved on. Although I’d finally learned to not show my emotions on the surface as much as when I was a child (in fact I had become somewhat closed off by this time), I still felt everything so damn deeply on the inside! It could be a real handicap. But these unhealthy relationships had their moments in those days. When I was happy, I was REALLY happy, fleeting though that happiness was.

ucallthislove

How strange that I wanted to trust a man so much, after having been treated with so much rejection by both my parents. But maybe I was trying to get that love I craved so badly. And I seemed to be a MAGNET for the abusive, MN type of man. They must have sensed my vulnerability as much as I tried to cover it up.

In spite of my high intelligence and creativity. I loved to write, draw and paint, and at the time was very much into photography, which like everything else I ever began to pursue, I gave up due to a setback: my camera I had saved a whole months’s worth of pay had been stolen, along with all my other camera equipment. As a result I never pursued photography seriously again, although to this day I’m still told I have an “eye” and should take it up again. (Perhaps I will).

Looking back over my life I see a pattern. EVERY time I started to pursue an interest seriously, or undertake some sort of training or an opportunity that would have improved my life and circumstances, I ALWAYS found some reason to give it up, lose interest, or sabotage myself in some way when it became clear too much work or study would be involved or there might be too many setbacks. I was TERRIFIED of failure and CONVINCED I would fail at anything I pursued. All my life my parents, especially Ginny, had told me I could never stick to anything or follow through, and would never amount to anything much because of my terrible personality, and it seemed their prophecy had become true. It didn’t occur to me at the time that I was probably PROGRAMMED by them to fail. Although they never said outright they wished I’d fail, I know they never really wanted me to become successful because then I would have power over them (or what they would perceive as such) and then they could no longer scapegoat me as the “family fuckup” (their name for me to this day).

Recall I said in my last blog post I don’t think my father is actually psychopathic, but he’s been deeply influenced by them and always been in collusion with both Ginny (my mother) and his current wife, who is very likely an MN. They call all the shots–Harry is a classic N-enabler who knuckles under to their bidding. And now he’s too frail and sick to ever escape from it. More about this later.

So…following high school I didn’t express much interest in attending college–again, I think this was to rebel against my parents, who continually compared me with my older half siblings, who had all gone to and graduated from college and thought it unthinkable that I would not go.

whatkindofgirl

Or maybe I simply wasn’t ready. At age 18 going on 19, I had no idea what I wanted to do or be, and so after attending for one semester I dropped out. My father was enraged and refused to ever pay for me to further my education ever again. He’d decided I was unmotivated and lazy and nothing could ever change his opinion. He failed to understand I simply wasn’t ready yet, because after a few years of being able to find nothing but dead end jobs (and I was expected to pay my own rent and support myself on these menial jobs) I desperately wanted to go to college and major in psychology. I was 22 at the time and though my father could have afforded to pay for me to go, he refused to help. Because I was still at the age where the college financial aid office counts your parents’ income in whether or not you get a grant, and my parents were doing well financially, I qualified for no student aid or grants except student loans. But I was determined so I took out the loans and attended classes at night, carrying a full time credit load and also working full time during the day because there was no way I could have given up my dead end job, much as I disliked it. Somehow I managed to maintain a 3.5-4.0 GPA and was even on the Deans list for a couple of semesters.

But by the time I entered my third year of college (I was 25 by now), the grueling schedule with its increasing workload and demands was beginning to drain on me, and with no family support (although they could have afforded to help and I think I had proven sufficiently I was motivated) while still having to keep my crummy full time job, my thoughts again turned to longings for romance, and even marriage.

About a year earlier, I had begun to drink heavily although this didn’t affect my grades, it did affect my attendance at work. My father, by now remarried to a woman (who turned out to be either a MN or just someone with severe OCD and a controlling personality that mimicked MN) had moved to Texas and had joined AA. I attended AA for a few months and decided it wasn’t for me, but I did meet a man there who seemed to pursue me in a way I eventually couldn’t resist.

rottencard

Michael could have been a poster child for the “charming” narcissistic lover. He pursued me relentlessly, even though at first I wasn’t that interested. There was just something about him that made me slightly uncomfortable…perhaps his aggressiveness in pursuing me (although he was always very sweet at first) I found slightly offputting, but his undying attention and charm eventually overcame my misgivings (which I should have listened to but I wanted so badly to believe he was sincere), and soon I was head over heels in love with this man who really wasn’t my type at all. For a while he was the perfect lover, wining and dining me, bringing me flowers, telling me constantly how much he needed and loved me, and then after just three months of dating, he proposed to me in a romantic restaurant–actually bowing down on his knees in front of me when he asked me to marry him. He seemed very sincere and I couldn’t believe anyone could love me that much. I was in heaven, but little did I know the worst hell of my life was about to begin–and would last for the next 28 years.

I dropped out of college because the student loan money had run out, but also because I couldn’t maintain the grueling schedule of juggling work and school and at the same time spend time with Michael and prepare for our wedding. My parents were horrified I would leave school. Their horror coupled with their wanting me to always fail and refusing any financial help, was an incredible mindfuck. The fact Michael made less money than I did (in spite of not finishing my degree, I landed a promising new job as a copy/columns editor for a medical journal for a wellknown publishing firm) and yet charged extravagant gifts for me and expensive dinners to credit cards should have been a HUGE red flag, but I ignored it. Six months later, on a beautiful day at the end of May 1986, we tied the knot. I was 26.

Part three will describe the progression of his narcissism and abuse of me (and later, our two children). This will be the most painful part of my story to write, but probably also the most therapeutic (and interesting to readers).