Oh, for the love of Christ. Fooled by another f*cking covert narcissist?

Crocodile Tears

This time it’s a damned covert narc.  At least I think that’s what I’m dealing with.  Do I sound mad and upset?  You bet I am.   I hope I’m wrong but I know the red flags when I seee them.  I’ve had enough experience with them.

Hell, about two years ago (as some of you probably remember) I spent many weeks and maybe even months reading and studying everything I could find about all the symptoms and signs of covert NPD because I was so certain I must be one myself.   I probably qualify for an advanced degree in this disorder.  (Happily, I finally realized I am not one, but CPTSD, an earlier diagnosis of BPD, and my narcissistic “fleas” had me fooled.)

You may be aware I live with my daughter, who is 25.   She’s a good girl, hardworking, sweet, empathetic, intelligent, and beautiful (and I don’t just say that because I’m her mom).   Sure, she has her bad, even bitchy, moments, but don’t we all.   She’s overcome a lot due to her father’s abuse, my complicity and enabling, and sexual abuse she suffered at school.  There was a time back during her teens both her therapists and I were afraid she was developing a personality disorder, probably ASPD (antisocial personality disorder) because she had a diagnosis of ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) as a teen.  She could not function in a regular school setting because she was in trouble constantly and suspended several times for things like stealing and fighting.

Finally, she went into residential treatment and was helped immensely (she was very cooperative with the very strict program) and today is a much different young woman. She has a ton of empathy I never knew was there.    I am beyond grateful for that, and today I can say we are the best of friends.   She is also clean and doesn’t do drugs anymore so I am incredibly grateful for that too.

But there’s a downside too.  Over the past several years, she’s been engaging in a dead end lifestyle I can only call serial monogamy.   She gets serious about one guy, they seem serious about her (for a time), and they even start talking about marriage, but things never progress any further.   There’s always something wrong with the guy: he’s too controlling, becomes abusive, or starts to see other people on the side, or she gets tired of them herself.   At least one who seemed too good to be true turned out to be a dangerous psychopath.

All of these relationships end, and then she quickly moves onto the next man (she’s attractive and personable so it’s easy for her to find new lovers).   I’ve talked to her about furthering her education, deciding on a career (she works in a series of dead end service jobs none of which last very long),  and focusing on just herself, but she’s just like I was at that age: she seems to lack the motivation gene or any idea what she wants to do in life (besides find a man she can marry and will support her).  She seems incapable of tolerating being single.   That’s how I was at her age and I will always regret never developing myself to my full potential and not being more serious about finishing a higher education and finding something I’m passionate enough to turn into a career.  She is certainly intelligent enough, but she’s emotionally damaged.  Getting her to go to therapy is futile.  She simply won’t do it.  But that’s a whole other issue I won’t get into here.

It’s painful watching her take the same non-path I took –a road to an adulthood of constant near poverty, frustration, lack of intellectual and creative fulfillment, relentless financial insecurity, and now, for me — a terrible dread of old age without any real safety net.  I may be living on the streets if Medicare and Social Security are abolished, and that is terrifying.  I don’t have a life partner to provide emotional support, since I never knew how to pick one who didn’t turn out to be an abuser.  I  feel like I’m way too old (and still too afraid) to enter the dating scene again (I hate dating with a passion).  I’d rather just stay single and see how things play out.

Getting back to my daughter, her latest paramour is a man 14 years her senior (he is almost 40).  He gives the impression of a very sweet, kind, and sensitive person.  In fact, he appears to be a very emotional person who shed tears easily and is constantly apologizing.   That should have been a red flag.

At first I thought, “oh, how sweet, a sensitive man not afraid of his emotions,” but I actually think he uses tears and emotion to manipulate others to get his way or to get attention.   Using pity is a red flag of a covert narcissist, especially one of the “fragile” or “vulnerable” type.   They’re common (especially in women but can be found among men too).  They’re dangerous because they’re so hard to spot.  We expect narcs to be mean, arrogant, verbally abusive, and never apologize for anything.  But not all of them are like that, even though on th inside, they are all pretty much the same and just as self obsessed and entitled.   No matter whether their style is grandiose or self pitying, there’s always a yawning black hole where their heart ought to be.

covertnarcissism

The reason I came to the conclusion he’s probably a covert narcissist and not just a big softie with a huge heart is the way he appears to string both of us along, causing immense anger and frustration.

He has been promising to get her an engagement ring and propose.  He was supposed to do it on our vacation last week.  We had agreed ahead of time that he would give me  half the money for the hotel, plus half of all expenses (meals, etc.).    The tab came to over $400.   Originally he was supposed to have the cash for me when we got to the hotel and I would pay the whole tab on my credit card.   Well, it turned out his employer made a mistake on his check and he didn’t get paid.  How convenient.

His employer promised they would rectify this on Friday, the day we returned from our trip.    I believed him, sort of.  At least I wanted to believe him.   But there had been one or two other red flags previous to this, that I didn’t think much of at the time, but I suddenly remembered them and began to wonder if he was trying to find a way to get out of paying me, or if he was getting cold feet about the engagement, since without the money, he couldn’t put the final payment down on my daughter’s ring.

I wanted to have a good time, and forget about all this unpleasant business, and so we did.   It seemed worth it, since we all had a great time and he was nothing less than wonderful to both my daughter and me.  Not another sign of narcissism or abusiveness, covert or otherwise.

But after we got home, he called his employer and found out they “forgot” again.  He was promised they would write up a check from petty cash the next day, which was Saturday.  Something felt wrong.

On Saturday he had a sudden “episode” of fainting and an ambulance had to be called.   My daughter went with him to the hospital, which said he would be okay.  It had something to do with heat stroke from too much sun, plus another chronic medical issue he’s been struggling with.   It wasn’t that I wasn’t empathetic or thought he was faking, but the timing of this “emergency” was just really weird.  Of course he could not go get his check, so now it would have to wait until Sunday.    Even my daughter mentioned to me that she was afraid he might be faking so he could put off getting the money.   I have to admit I thought this was a possibility.

I was growing very angry over his failure to pay me back the $400 he had promised me almost a week earlier.    We had never agreed that the vacation would be a gift.  I also considered that this might be his way of getting “cold feet” since his inability to get the money meant he could not finish paying off her ring and therefore there would be no proposal right now, if ever.  What a cowardly way to call off or delay an engagement, if that was what he was actually doing.

Of course, when he got back from the hospital, he was all apologies and tears.   He was hugging both of us and saying “sorry” over and over again.  I felt a little nauseated by this over the top display of emotion because I felt it wasn’t really sincere and was just a way to keep stringing us both along and buying more time.

So last night, he was all happy and excited and told both of us his company had finally issued a check (it was handwritten).  He waved it proudly at both of us.   He wanted me to take today off from work to film him proposing to her (this was supposed to have happened at the beach, but oh well).  I agreed to do this because it seemed important and I didn’t want to miss it.  I had also promised them I’d film the moment.    He said he would cash it first thing in the morning and then he would go get her ring and then we’d all go out somewhere special where he would propose.

Well, guess what.    This morning when I woke up he was gone.  My daughter was in her room mad as hell (not crying, just furious).   I asked her what happened, and she said the check was postdated for next week!   I asked her if he had failed to look at the date and she said, no, he definitely had seen it but chose not to mention it because he was afraid she’d be mad at him and he “couldn’t bear to hurt her again.”    She said she was sick of his lying and game playing so she made him leave until he could get everything fixed and get the money for both her ring and the $400 he owed me.   She said if he failed to do that, she was done with him.   That’s a good decision on her part.   Meanwhile I’ll still be out $400 which he bilked from me to get a free beach vacation, but I guess things could be worse.   He promised her he had a way to get the money today.  We shall see.   I’m skeptical.

Anyway, I’m glad my daughter is beginning to catch on to when she’s being manipulated and abused, because this is abuse, even though this man hasn’t uttered one nasty word, called her any names, or physically abused her.

Abuse comes in many forms.  Covert narcissists (and many borderlines) often use tears, guilt tripping, begging, financial abuse, “stringing you along,” and other underhanded, insidious techniques to get what they want.  Because they are less obviously abusive and can seem so “nice” and even emotionally fragile and needy, they can instill guilt and pity to get their way.  Their marks are empaths who fall for that sort of shit.    If they never deliver on their promises, you can be pretty sure you’re dealing with a person who is never going to be honest with you and will make your life an endless carousel  of frustration and anger that’s difficult to target on that person because they “never mean it.”

So, at this moment, I’m (maybe foolishly?) waiting for him to come back with the money he owes and make good on the promises he’s so far broken.    But I’m not getting my hopes up, that’s for sure.

Mr. Stingy.

Originally posted on June 10, 2015

stingy
I remember one of my narcissistic lovers. He was a textbook example of a malignant narcissist, and a mean one at that. Although he never became physically violent, I think he would have if I hadn’t ended that relationship.

One of the strangest things about him was the way he gave me gifts. The guy had plenty of money–he had a trust fund and owned his apartment free and clear, and he was always traveling. He never asked me to go with him though. Instead, he’d bring me back “gifts” from his road trips. I remember he’d make a big show out of presenting me with these gifts as if he was giving me the keys to a new car. They were never wrapped nicely, but always stuffed in a paper or plastic bag.

So what sort of gifts did this narcissistic trust fund jerk give me? Jewelry, chocolates, books, candles, clothing?

No. He’d give me gifts of trash. The stuff he didn’t want. You know, like the free samples they give out in hotels–tiny bars of hotel soap, shampoo, a wrapped glass with the hotel’s name on it, even a “Do Not Disturb” door sign. Once he gave me a gift card with about $2.00 left on it. I couldn’t even use that because it was for a store they don’t have in this area. Thanks, Mr. Generous! The most extravagant thing this loser ever brought me back from these trips was a keychain that was probably free too. One of his gifts was half a Stuckey’s nutty bar, that he’d already opened and eaten part of. How cheap can you get? He was the stingiest POS I ever knew.

tiny_gift
A ring or earrings maybe? Think again, chump.

It wasn’t like he didn’t have the money to buy me something nice. He used to show me, with great fanfare, all the nice things he’d bought for himself. A leather jacket, a framed picture, a box of homemade peanut butter and chocolate fudge. I remember asking him if I could have a piece of the fudge and he said no.

For Christmas that year he actually bought me something. It was a “Toonces The Driving Cat” coffee mug. Although still a cheap gift, it was thoughtful because he knew I loved that Saturday Night Live skit.

About a month later, we had a fight. We were arguing more frequently by then. Then he said something that made me wonder if I’d heard him right. He said he wanted the Toonces mug back. He told me to go get it and give it to him. I said no. Shooting me eye-daggers, he said through gritted teeth, “I never gave you that. I only let you borrow it.”

Wow.

Livid, I went and found the mug, pretended to hand it to him, saying “Here!” As he reached for it, I threw it hard against the floor in front of him, shattering it into bits. He stormed off in a rage and slammed the door on his way out. As I swept the pieces of broken ceramic into a dust pan, I heard the squeal of his tires as he backed out of the driveway like a bat out of hell. He always did have a problem with road rage too.

“Free Ride” (part two) by Anonymous

Free Ride (part two)
By Anonymous

(continued from Part One)

king_castle

John also started making hundreds of plans – once he wanted this, next minute something else. Ordered me around like a boss- do this, find this website, look up this information. Next minute all plans were forgotten and he had another idea. In fact, it seemed he did not know what he really wanted or what he was doing.

He was also full of contradictions.  On day six of our online chat he had proposed to me and started planning our wedding. However, a few weeks later he decided he did not want to remarry. He said, “in my previous marriages the courtship was always great until signing the certificate. And then things started to go wrong. If you kick me to the curb I want it to be clean and simple”. A few weeks later he decided he needed to “reconsider the certificate, after all I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

One day I saw him in front of the computer filling in a questionnaire .  It turned out to be a dating site where he had an active profile and his status was “not in a relationship.”  When I asked him why he was filling it in he replied innocently, ” Oh, they keep sending me this silly form over and over again… I have not had time to complete it yet.”  Lies.

After nine days we had an argument and he said he wanted me and the dogs to relocate to New Zealand!   “Let’s just take the dogs and walk out, get a plane to Auckland, drop your job, leave this awful place for good.  Take one bag with stuff just like me and leave everything behind just as I did. We will settle down in New Zealand, it looks like a great country welcoming newcomers! The weather conditions there are outstanding. You know nothing about New Zealand and neither do I, so it is going to be a new experience for both of us. We can make a new start there.”

WHAT?? I could hardly believe my ears!  I said no, I am not going anywhere, you must be totally crazy! He got angry, went online and said he had already booked his flight ticket to Auckland. Then he grabbed his bag with the very few things he owned ( a few items of clothing, a very old towel and a toothbrush – his ONLY worldly possessions) and walked out to stay in a hostel.

A week later I got an email from John saying he was still in the hostel waiting for his flight back to America.  He wrote it in a very sad, pitiful manner and I immediately felt he was trying to manipulate me into feeling sorry he was leaving so that I would take him back.  I refused, and he flew off to New York to stay with his younger son.

In his email John admitted being responsible for the failure of our relationship, as he was “unable to cope with my passion for dogs and the world of music. Maybe a better man could handle it.”

Later I figured out he had also emailed his ex-wife on the same day, but this version was totally different. His email to her said I didn’t want him here, as my life with the dogs and the world of music were more important to me than a relationship with him.

He knew perfectly well his ex-wife had been posting “all latest news from Europe” on her Facebook timeline for the whole family and mutual friends to read. She posted what John had written in his email to her and now everybody could read between the lines: “Oh, poor John… He wasted so much time and money to travel across the world for the love of his life — and what did the ungrateful European witch do? She didn’t want him there. She treated him like a crap. She kicked him out.   What a horrible woman.  Poor John!”
I was furious when I read this post!

After John left, I got in touch with his ex-wife to ask her what I had done wrong and to get some feedback. She said for sure nothing at all, it was most definitely him.  She told me in their 30 years of marriage John was very self-centered, controlling and manipulative. They moved 31 times to different states in America.  Before marrying her, John had already been married twice, and both of those marriages failed.

Her friends said she was the one who had kept John stable for so long as she was well-known for being an extremely patient and tolerant person.    She said their second bankruptcy was the last straw and she decided she was better off on her own, so she divorced him. She also told me John had no money and could never manage or save it, so he lived pension to pension.

He did not know how to manage money. If he wanted something he didn’t care how it would get paid, he just went and did it, and usually expected other people to pay.   This is how he has gone bankrupt at least five times in his life!

She said John had probably overwhelmed me with his outlandish fantasies trying to spend money that didn’t exist, he did not even have enough money for his full fare back to America so his son had to lend him some .  She hadn’t warned me in advance because she thought I might think she was trying to sabotage things or I would not believe her and she didn’t want to interfere.   She explained that she too had fallen in love with a charming, warm, loving and caring guy, that it was like falling under a spell and she let it go on for far too long.   Once John was comfortable with her and confident he had her in his web, he dropped the warm and caring facade and started his exploitative, entitled behaviors.

On his Facebook profile John boasted about a long list of “achievements”–but he had never finished anything or stuck with anything for long.   He dropped out of one school after a year because he was bored, other schools because of their “horrible teachers,”  etc.   The jobs he had he also quit or got fired from after very short times.   He tried to start some business but they always failed due to lack of finances or investors .   He never had any real plans or goals and didn’t seem to know what he really wanted.

He always thought he knew everything even if he was factually wrong. You tried to explain the reality to him and he just didn’t get it and would get mad. He liked to think he was an expert on almost everything from child rearing to car repairs or grooming dogs.  He took no responsibility for his decisions or actions, and blamed other people for his misfortune, bad luck, and wrong decisions.

Every night before falling asleep John practiced his “Fugue Dreams” in which everything was possible –he achieved everything he wanted and there were no issues, no limitations, restrictions or boundaries, no illnesses or accidents, no money needed. And there was always plenty of sex with me because I was “spectacular” in his Fugue dreams. I think this world of fantasy and reality mixed up in his mind into a bizarre alternate reality and nobody was able to explain him the Fugue dreams were delusions.

Later I heard there had been a lot of drama going on in his life.   John only spent a couple of days with his son in New York and flew off to Seattle to live with his best friend.  After a few weeks he fell out with this friend after 40 years of friendship (they had a big fight–I guess his friend was reluctant to carry out John’s orders or failed to comply with his many unrealistic and outlandish demands), spent a few days camping out in a forest,  then flew off to Florida to pick up a car which had been offered to him as a free giveaway, but turned out to be a huge scam instead ( neither the person nor the car existed).

From there John returned to New York by bus and spent a couple of days in the Salvation Army dormitory.  After that he was sharing a room with an old diabetic guy in a building run by a foundation that helps the homeless.

This was the last time I got some news about him, since I have been No Contact for several months now. I do not expect him to contact me again because I think to I am “dead to him” now.

I still wonder what hidden agenda this guy had? To find a roof over his head, a warm bed and an ” ideal love” in it as a special bonus, maybe he wanted a relationship as an island of stability in his totally messy and chaotic life… Or he wanted me as a sex object (of course he denied that when I asked).  Or maybe the excitement caused by the relocation and vision of an ” ideal love” served him as a distraction from the misery of his internal world. There’s no way to know.

Although John acted over-confident in some ways, he seemed extremely insecure whenever there was an issue in our relationship. If the misunderstanding was insignificant he usually asked, “Are we on the same page, baby?” “Are we a team?”  Or sometimes he’d panic and anxiously ask, “Are we done?” or “Is it over?”   The same happened whenever another man was just mentioned.   When I told him my guitar coach from the USA had just taught me to play a new tune, he got scared: ” Is your guitarist with you now?” I told him to relax, my coach teaches me via YouTube.  One day we were making holiday plans for summer and John said he wanted to bring me to America for two weeks and asked when it was the best time for me. I said the end of August would work, but I would need to be back at home beginning of September.  He freaked out:  “Are you meeting another guy?”

Every time he was ready to drop our relationship and I had to reassure him there was no other guy in my life and it seemed to take ages to make him feel okay again.   Maybe somewhere deep inside he felt he was out of my league and had nothing to offer.  After all, he had no home, vehicle, possessions, status, financial security…nothing.

His stepdaughter also told me John loves it when people beg him to come back to them or stay with them, then he feels by accepting their charity he is doing THEM a favour. He loves playing the “poor me” victim card and wants everybody to feel sorry for his misfortune and failures.

I know after breaking up with me John unfriended almost everybody on his Facebook account, deleted everything back to 2009 and only left two photos, his original profile photo and one post. He deleted all information about his place of residence, status, education, job, etc.  He created a “secret” account, so I could only see that it existed when I was trying to block him from contacting me via his old profile, but nothing can be found or seen about this new profile. He apparently does not want anyone from the past to see what he is up to now.

“Free Ride” by Anonymous.

Sometimes I get emails from people relating stories of narcissistic abuse. The other day I received one from a woman living in a large city in Europe, about a covert narcissist who seemed relatively harmless at first, and made all sorts of promises, seemed to be madly in love with her, but soon all kinds of red flags started to appear. She slowly began to realize how predatory he really was, taking over her life and exploiting her goodwill and generosity.

Financial abuse isn’t talked about that much, but it’s a common tactic used by narcissists in abusive relationships, and it’s a primary theme in this post.  My ex exploited me in similar ways, and financial abuse was one of them.   This story is long, but kept me on the edge of my seat. I asked her if I could share it here because of how well written it was.

Free Ride (Part One)
By Anonymous

king_castle

John (not his real name) contacted me via Facebook last October.
As an active member of many fan groups dedicated to music I post quite a lot of stuff every day. He added to one of the groups, saw my postings, liked them and immediately sent me a private message. As a 52 year old childless and separated woman I got a bit curious who this person might be. I said to myself, “Well, you never know…”

John sounded very intelligent, funny, witty and smart, so I decided to continue our conversation.   He asked me to send him a couple of photos and provided me with a few of his.   I saw a quite attractive, handsome, and sporty man of 70, but not looking a day older than 60. He was retired and divorced, living in America, and had adult kids living all over the country.

When I sent him my photos John reacted, “Exactly what I imagined…”
Soon we were chatting on Messenger for three, four, sometimes six hours on a daily basis. I started to become addicted to our chats because they were so incredibly mentally stimulating and creative.

On the fifth day John said he had fallen in love with me. I became his girlfriend Proposed to me on day six. Now I was his “lovely fianceé.” I got very suspicious and cautious. I thought, “How in hell could this guy fall in love with you knowing NOTHING about you??” We could not even meet in person, for he’s in America and I’m in Europe.

John was very smart with words. When he dropped his first L-bomb I said, “Look, I don´t like big words. You know nothing about me and I don´t know much about you.” He replied promptly, “Oh, America is such a big country! We use a lot of big words here.” He always seemed to have the perfect answer to just anything I might doubt or distrust.

In a few days he started showering me with his flattery, affection, attention. “I am here for you 24/7,” he assured me. I thought to myself, ” This guy must be making fun of you”, so I took it lightly and just played the game to see what was going to happen next.

Surprisingly enough, after a short time he made me feel there was a strong connection between us in spite of 8,300 kms of distance; he was always able to sense how I was feeling in that particular moment: sad, excited, upset, happy, depressed. Whenever I was depressed, he immediately phoned to cheer me up. I was impressed. I said to myself, “Wow… if this guy is able to sense how you feel from that huge distance, what might he be able to do if he was here with you?” It was just amazing and … magical!

Soon I was the love of his life. The reason for his life. He loved me more than life itself. He was so crazy in love with me he could not even think straight. He wanted to take care of me, my well-being and my health. He felt simply “over the moon” and blessed with me.

After several days he started being more and more pushy, so I said I loved him back, and when he proposed to me I accepted, actually still taking it all as a joke.

But then, one day I suddenly saw a long post on his Facebook page announcing to all his friends and family he had found “the one ” and “special” woman, was ready to commit to her and relocate to Europe! I could see a lot of comments made by his ex-wife, sons, stepdaughter and friends congratulating him and wishing both of us a lot of good luck. I was so perplexed my mouth almost fell on the floor. Literally. After he had posted his announcement along with a photo of me, his flattery and attention were almost endless, I could hardly come up for air.

I already knew John was divorced and homeless and living in his small car, so I got suspicious he might be just one of those losers who had nothing more to lose, but was trying to gain a lot (two months before we met on Facebook John had moved out from his ex-wife and got rid of practically all his possessions including the majority of his clothing.) He must have sensed what I was thinking because that moment he asked me, “Do you have any doubts about me?” I replied, ” Do you expect me to support you financially ?”. He said no.

I read in one of his earlier posts he did not fancy the idea of paying high amounts for rented rooms or houses, so he decided to live in his car and save up for a motor home. That made sense to me. He was receiving his regular pension, so I was not dealing with a guy with zero income after all.

Our daily chats were still great, but from time to time something strange happened. Every now and then John sounded very childish and immature, as if he was living in a childish fantasy land. Once we were role playing a scenario I was not comfortable with (it involved some graphic sex). I wanted him to stop and said, “Hey, watch out…sorry, a red flag.” He got offended, quit the conversation and went offline. I think any normal person would apologize and promise not to do it again. He did not.

The next day he was not on Messenger, but instead wrote me a long email saying the thing he hated the most was “changing rules in the middle of the playing field”, described how I had “floored him” with my comment the previous night, how he must have misjudged me, wished me good luck, a great life full of joy and happiness in the future and used expressions such as “God bless you “, etc. He told me how he will hold me in his heart, love and cherish me forever. How he hates to have to say goodbye to me, but there is nothing else he could do.

I was reading this message thinking, “WTF? Is he making fun of me, trying to manipulate something, or what? It was just a GAME! We were not negotiating the best strategy for the key military operation in Iraq! Is this guy normal?” I replied explaining I had no idea about his pet peeves (because he never told me) and that I thought his reaction was completely disproportional to the situation. And suddenly I found myself on the defensive end of the conversation apologizing for hurting him! In my reply I also asked if he was sure he was normal and healthy (which I think any average person would find quite offensive, but he did not)
He admitted in his family there had been some mental issues. His mom suffered from schizophrenia, his dad was an alcoholic and his brother had some other kind of mental problem which led to his suicide at the age of 40.

This incident kept me pretty alerted, to tell the truth. All the time I had a feeling there must be something wrong with John, but I just could not put my finger on it.

John never called me his “soulmate.” He did it in a more sophisticated and sneaky way: when we were chatting online, one day he asked, “Baby, can you do one exercise with me?” I said ok.
“Fine, I am going to ask you three questions. You can only answer yes/no. No other options.”
The questions were: “Will you love me unconditionally? Will you be my soulmate? The third question was a sexual one. I thought such questions were ridiculous and weird, especially the last one. But I was amused and said yes to all of them. Now I know that was probably my first big mistake. These questions gave me the general impression of engaging in a business negotiation rather than romantic courting.

Upping the ante.

In November John changed his plans. Instead of buying a motor home he decided to relocate and move in with me. He scheduled his relocation to Europe for September 2016. His plan was to drive and move slowly all across America first for almost a year, visiting his kids, grandkids and relatives to say goodbye to them. In August he expected to reach New York, visit his two sons, sell the car, purchase his flight ticket and leave for Europe permanently. I thought, “Fine, I have one year to get to know him better and decide how to handle this strange relationship.”

In December 2015 John changed his mind again and decided he could no longer live without me. He wanted to relocate as soon as possible and rescheduled his flight for January (without even asking me if it was convenient to me or not). Instead of being happy as a kid on Christmas Day I got really scared. I thought, “Man, this is moving too fast!” I was really alarmed when John added, “I was thinking about where to find the money for my flight ticket because in January and February I will still need to pay some bills in America, and I got a brilliant idea! Who cares about paying some stupid bills! I do not intend to return to America so why should I worry about paying them? I can use the money to be with my baby in just a couple of weeks!”
This message threw me totally off balance. What kind of man just decides to neglect his financial obligations on an impulse?

When I look back I think this was a ruse. I am almost sure he had no bills to pay (he had no property, no car, no assets – so what bills might be waiting for him to pay?) What I suspect is he was trying to make me feel guilty and responsible for his arrival and spending so much money on his flight ticket (only for me of course!) so that I would feel grateful, obliged and indebted to him forever. That way I would not dare ask him to contribute anything when he arrived, or buy food or things for some time, maybe many months.In the meantime he might be putting his pension aside in a secret account for his dream motor home perhaps. Or something else. If I dared to ask him to contribute, he could always pull out his winning card and remind me of his sacrifice and thoughtful gesture: “I spent so much money in January for you only. I would expect you to appreciate it and return the favour”, or something like that.

I said nothing to dissuade him from coming. To be honest, I was still convinced he was making fun of me….Or, that it might be one of those online romance scams. The scenario fit it perfectly well (the scammer pretends to be very interested in visiting his “love” and in the very last moment something unexpected “pops up”: he has a bad accident on the way to airport, he gets mugged or robbed, etc. And then he is in a huge need of money for hospital bills and needs the victim to bail him out.).

John Moves In.

On the day of his scheduled arrival I went to the airport and was waiting in the arrival lounge. And when he suddenly turned up, I got incredibly emotional. I ran up to him, hugged and kissed him saying, ” So you did come! I can´t believe my eyes!” But his reaction was strange. He acted indifferent, only kissed me lightly saying, “Hi, baby” and immediately made his way to the exit. I could see a stupid smile on his face and felt something was…off. I would expect the man who was so CRAZY in love with me to be a lot more emotional and enthusiastic, to hug and kiss “the love of his life” more passionately … but that did not happen.

We were travelling to my place by bus and all the way he was chatting up the people around us and flirting with the women who happened to be sitting close enough. I was now something like a live accessory. Strange.  In my flat the situation was similar. So talkative and funny on Messenger, but here he was and he was barely talking to me.

His reaction when I let him in my flat was ridiculous.  He looked round the room, saw my collection of dog statues ( I have been breeding and showing dogs for 30 years and many breeders and dogs owners have been supplying me with such gifts) and said to no one in particular but within earshot of me, “Uh-huh …obsessive compulsive disorder.”   Next he came up to the cupboard where I have plenty of cups, medals and rosettes from dog shows and started studying them very thoroughly.  When I began to show him things in my flat as I expected he would be interested in everything in his new home, he could hardly keep attention on anything and he seemed unfocused and distracted, not noticing what I was telling him anymore.   He seemed to be impatient and want to move onto the next thing, and then the next.

For the first three days after his arrival, there weren’t any problems.  I went to work and left John alone and when I returned I saw he had bought some groceries, cooked lunch, taken the dogs out and fed them, he had even done some cleaning and fixed broken shelves and things which my ex-husband had not been able to repair for ages. He seemed to be very proud of himself.  And I was really impressed. On day four he probably came to a conclusion he had made a great first impression and that was enough, I was not deserving any more, so he stopped doing things . Perhaps I was not giving him the attention he had expected to get.

In a couple more days he started criticising:

My flat: cold, too small, sub-standard. He said he had seen many bad apartments in America, but none of those places were as bad as this one. He did not understand how I could not afford a better place and had to live within my means or even below them so that I could save some money for rainy days.   But he knew exactly how big my flat was ahead of time and what it looked like because I had described it and shown him pictures.   When he saw the pictures, he had promised to help me renovate and upgrade it.   Now he just said,  “Well…okay, it can be renovated, sure, but it will still remain a very small space.” Just one of the very, very many promises he made and never kept.

The city: ugly, boring, all buildings look the same.  He could not understand why foreign tourists loved it, blah, blah. He could not live in such a sub-standard country, this is not a home to him. We live here like it’s the XIX century. Prices are too high. “How come you earn so little money and have such high prices and you do nothing about it?” he complained.   He had champagne tastes on a beer budget.

My lifestyle: music ” consumes” me. When we were still chatting on Messenger I asked him openly, “Are you ready to accept my lifestyle – taking part in dog shows, going to see concerts of guitar bands in various countries, car meetings, etc.?” He said yes. And now I got blamed for this all because he had left America and everything he loved behind, including his family and friends just for me, but I was not willing to “make any changes in my lifestyle.”

In bed I was too quiet. He wanted me to be loud and talk dirty to him.  He made it clear he must be my # 1 prority, as he had only come here for me (this was repeated several times) and all his time, his devotion and his money were mine now. Anything else – my job, dogs, interests, passions, friends were not to be as important to me as him.  Instead of earning my trust, love and respect, he was demanding and enforcing them.

Soon he was getting offended by everything.  He did not cook anymore.  I took the dogs for their walks.  He either went with me or not, depending on his mood and whether or not my behavior merited his company.  He was becoming moody and easily hurt by little things.  I began to walk on eggshells, never sure what might set him off. Everything he did was “my way or the highway,” no compromises allowed.  I was even afraid of expressing my wishes or dreams.  He was now my boss making all decisions and I was a subordinate who had to listen and obey.

On day six he gave me the cold shoulder and spent the whole evening pretending to watch TV in a language he didn’t even understand just to keep from talking to me.  I ignored him right back.  Because the silent treatment failed to work, the next day John tried out another tactic. When I came back from work I found him lying on the sofa.  He announced very proudly he had not taken the dogs out or fed them. I shrugged my shoulders and said I would do it, no problem.  But I was thinking about the fact that I had looked forward to getting an equal partner and a helping hand, but instead I got a moody, capricious, angry teenager.

(Continued in Part Two)

 

Mr. Stingy.

An oldie but goodie about a complete tool and malignant narcissist I dated for a short time.

Lucky Otters Haven

stingy
I remember one of my narcissistic lovers. He was a textbook example of a malignant narcissist, and a mean one at that. Although he never became physically violent, I think he would have if I hadn’t ended that relationship.

One of the strangest things about him was the way he gave me gifts. The guy had plenty of money–he had a trust fund, for heaven’s sakes and owned his apartment free and clear, and he was always traveling. He never asked me to go with him though. Instead, he’d bring me back “gifts” from his road trips. I remember he’d make a big show out of presenting me with these gifts as if he was giving me the keys to a new car. They were never wrapped nicely, but always stuffed in a paper or plastic bag.

So what sort of gifts did this narcissistic trust fund jerk give me?…

View original post 401 more words

Guest post #9: You are beautiful and loveable no matter what the narc says.

Mel (Hippo 256) writes a blog called The Enability Blog about living with a number of disabilities, including PTSD. I’ll just let Mel’s About Page speak for itself:

Hi there, thank you for reading my blog. I really appreciate you’re taking the time. I’m a female and 21 years old. I love languages and study (amongst other things) English, Dutch, German and French (want to do Spanish someday too). I’ve got a couple of chronic diseases and disabilities, but you’ll find out more about that when you’re reading my blog. It’s too many to just sum up, but I can give away that I have chronic pain, chronic fatigue, rheumatism (fibromyalgia) and some other physical diseases and disabilities. I also have been diagnosed with PTSD.

I live together with my boyfriend/partner (my fellow Hippo), who’s also physically disabled, including a couple chronic diseases and a recurring depression. He supports me a lot, because he can really understand what I’m feeling. Together we tackle life’s challenges and hopefully enjoy life too (I can tell you, I often do enjoy life). We are both studying, but do this in a slightly different way. We can’t follow the regular pace, but that doesn’t matter. I also enjoy sports, photography (sadly, I can’t place my own photos here because of my anonymity), doing nice things with friends, travelling, animals etc.

Please visit Mel’s blog when you get the chance.
https://enabilityblog.wordpress.com

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND LOVEABLE NO MATTER WHAT THE NARC AND HIS ‘PEOPLE’ SAY!

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I’ve been doubting if I should write a post about narcissistic abuse. Not because I don’t want to help other people and I’m also very grateful for this opportunity. I was hesitant because of two reasons:

(1) You ‘just’ don’t talk about a subject like this. There’s a huge stigma on it. A lot of people seem unwilling to think about it and therefore put it away as ‘nonsense’. And people can be misunderstanding or harsh about a topic so sensitive. I learned my lessons and usually evade it. (2). I don’t think I’m good enough. I’m not a writer or a blogger, I just type whatever comes into my head, without really thinking about it.

But here I am, happy that I took this wonderful opportunity. Because:

(1) I find the people in this blogging community to be so understanding and willing to listen. I want to battle the stigma and help others. I wish I had read all these posts about narcissistic abuse and PTSD so much earlier, it would have saved me a lot of self-doubt.
(2) That idea, that feeling of mine that I’m not good enough (I never am) is one of those thoughts ‘implanted’ in me because of narcissistic abuse. I couldn’t think of a better way to ‘challenge’ one of the thoughts the narcissists had about me.

Both my partner and I have been abused by narcissists. But I feel the urge to talk about a very specific one, one I can’t talk about with anyone except with my partner. I’ve been mentally, physically and sexually abused by one “man” for about 6 months. I’ve never written about this before, so this post will be like an “introduction” to my story.

Love Bombing.
At first glance I knew: ‘I have to stay away from him’. We went to the same school together, I was 18 and he was 21. At first he didn’t seem interested in me, to the contrary. I was clearly not good enough to be allowed to communicate with him (he would happily let everyone know). Luckily, I didn’t want to have anything to do with him either. I really don’t like ‘those kind’ of people. At the time, I was still in a very difficult situation. I was already abused many times before and didn’t have anyone at the time. I was looking for support. And narcissists know that. One day, he started preying on me. Immediately I knew, I felt it. But I am strong and had nothing to fear, so I thought. This wasn’t about me, it was about him. He always got what he wanted and he wanted me, I was suddenly ‘pretty’ or ‘sexy’ or ‘interesting’. He would follow me after school, get my contact information through his many channels and he kept cornering me. I told him many times that I wasn’t interested in a relationship, which was not what he wanted to hear. But then one time his reaction and whole attitude changed. He seemed concerned, caring. He would tell me that I deserved to be in a relationship with someone who wanted to help me. I felt anxious and somehow said I was sexual abused before and therefore didn’t want a relationship or intimacy. That made him go all loose on the ‘caring act’. He wasn’t like that, he wanted to help me, truly. I could trust him. Why wouldn’t we just try it out? I could always say no to things and he would listen to that. I was so anxious and confused that eventually I said yes. Now I know that these are all common tricks for narcissists.

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The Narc’s True Colors Come Out.
What followed was 2.5 months of ‘relationship’. He played so many (mind) games with me. And I actually knew. So soon I knew that this wasn’t right at all. It felt so wrong and I was so confused. Even though he would keep saying things like ‘it’s to help you’. Or he would be angry because I clearly didn’t love him enough (otherwise I would do that for him, even though that would cross my border). He would threaten me, or hurt me. I couldn’t escape. He had people everywhere (seriously, he did). Eventually I found the strength to break up and thought I was over his horrible abuse. But I wasn’t. He told me that I was nothing and that I should have been happy that he made me something: I was his slave (yes he would call me this, amongst other things). Which made me worth more than I was before. Those kind of sick things he would say. He abused me about 4 months straight after we ‘broke up’. “Friends with benefits” he would call it. I wasn’t a prostitute he said, you know why? I didn’t get paid, so that shows how bad I was. He wouldn’t pay for me, he never paid for anyone. I wasn’t the first “girlfriend” he had. All girls without (good) sexual experiences, so he could mold them, ‘train’ them. But he never kept anyone for long.
Eventually, I met my partner at (the same) school. I had a panic attack and he reached out to me. Because of his support and protection, I could eventually stop my abuser. The abuser has visited my school and the place where I lived a few times. To threaten me. But now, it’s all so much better.

Aftermath.
Going no contact with the abuser was very difficult for me. I found it very surprising, but now I know it is a common reaction amongst survivors. Once in a while I would get ‘urges’ to send him a message again. I kept hoping he would understand that he did awful, horrible, unspeakable and bad things to me. I hoped he would stop telling everyone what a liar I was and that we just loved doing S&M together (massive lie). He never acknowledged it. Now I know he never will. Narcissists don’t feel for others or think about others.

You Are Not Alone!
I want you all to know that you’re not alone. You’re not ‘stupid’ if these kind of things happened to you or ‘easy to get’. And there still is love, even for you. I often call my partner my saviour. He has helped me tremendously in my healing progress. Explained all these thoughts the abuser planted in my head, all the false things I believed. I wish everyone can find this kind of support. We all deserve that. Blogs can help us with that too.

After the abuse ended, this one thought kept appearing: How could I have let this happen? Now I know that’s not fair, I fought incredibly hard. I should never blame myself for this. Maybe I fought too hard, since it only caused me so much more pain and trouble (because of punishments and angering the abuser). This whole situation is incredibly complicated, so a lot of people misunderstand. Especially because I kept a mask on to the outside world (as I was forced to). But it is so important to know that a narcissistic relationship isn’t your fault. It can happen to anyone, really. And not going to the police, doesn’t make your story not true, or if you went to the police but the abuser was never officially found guilty. The justice system isn’t made to catch rapists and abusers. Believe in yourself. Somewhere, deep inside, you know when something doesn’t quite feel right. I know I always did, but would often ignore my core feelings. After doing research on the internet (mainly reading blogs) and talking with my partner, I also understand the things I did a lot more. There were signs everywhere.

I would like to end this blogpost with something important to me. Another thought I refuse to believe any longer. I am NOT a whore. And you aren’t either. We deserve to be loved, including by ourselves. Be kind for yourself please, your body and mind need you.”

– Mel (Hippo256)
Enability Blog, 2016

The narcissistic lover’s playbook.

liar-heart

It looks like today is “Narcissistic Lovers and Spouses Day,” because this is the third article about that subject I’m posting today. But it occurred to me that narcissistic men (and probably women too, even though I have no personal experience with my own gender) follow the same rulebook when pursuing narcissistic supply and use all these ploys in pretty much the order I’m posting here.

I thought it might help those of you still in abusive relationships to be able to identify the telltale pattern of narcissistic abuse–which they ALL seem to follow. It’s a pattern of progressing abuse, and if you pass one “test”, they up the ante for the next “test.” In other words, if you tolerate a low level of abuse (such as verbal insults), the narcissist is empowered to move on to the next level of abuse, which could be triangulating against you or eventually, physical abuse.

They may not even be aware they are following this pattern because it’s such a core part of their personality they truly can’t stop themselves. You can stop them by ending the relationship at the first sign of abuse, but never try to fix a narcissist yourself. You won’t help them and will only hurt yourself.

First, a word about commitment-phobes.
It’s important to remember that this pattern does NOT apply to the commitment phobe type of narcissist, which some narcissists are. (They get their supply from other sources–relationships are too scary to them). A commitment-phobe will never love-bomb you or tell you they love you. Instead, they’ll run like hell if you try to get one to further commit or if you tell them you love them. But this article does not apply to that type of narcissist.

Stages of a relationship with a narcissist.

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1. Lovebombing/idealization.
During this heady phase that follows meeting your narcissist lover (who chose you because they see you as an easy “mark” to get narcissistic supply), you feel swept off your feet by their ardor and the speed at which they seem to want to get to know you and then take things to “the next level.” This phase includes idealization of you, intense, almost constant sex and the most romantic things you could imagine hearing anyone say. You feel beautiful, sexy and your self esteem soars. Life seems perfect. This is how they get you to fall under their spell so they can continue to “work” on you as a primary source of narcissistic supply. It will not last.

2. Declarations of permanency.
Your narcissistic lover will declare their undying love for you or even propose marriage or talk about having a family with you within weeks or a few months of meeting you. (This is a test to find out how committed you are and helps them guage how much abuse you will tolerate/supply you can provide).

If they actually follow through on their commitment (some will), it’s because they have decided you are perfect source of supply (you make them look good) they can keep tapping into on a permanent basis like a backyard well. Only unlike the well, you won’t keep refilling with water, but will eventually be sucked dry emotionally, mentally or even spiritually. A narcissist’s desire to marry or commit permanently to you has nothing to do with “love.”

3. Boredom and irritation.
Suddenly, for no explainable reason, your narcissist starts acting bored, distracted or vaguely annoyed. If you try to ask them about it, they will deny it, insist nothing is wrong, or act annoyed that you asked.

4. Badmouthing others.
At around the same time you start to notice their boredom and irritation, you will notice your narcissist seems easily annoyed in general, and starts badmouthing other people–his (or her) boss or employees, family members, other drivers on the road, but they save the worst badmouthing for their ex lovers or spouses, who were ALWAYS at fault for whatever went wrong.

5. Decrease or changes in sexual desire.
If your lover is a cerebral narc, they suddenly stop wanting to have sex with you and may resort to pornography or masturbation instead. If a somatic, the sex may become less personal and romantic and more “kinky”–for example they may say they want to try new things in bed to “spice things up” but being more romantic or tender isn’t one of them. They will no longer look at you when you make love.

6. Stinginess.
This formerly generous person who showered you with gifts of candy, roses and clothing suddenly stops buying you gifts or telling you they cost too much, or starts to complain about how much you are costing them in general.

7. Emotional/verbal abuse.
The verbal and emotional abuse starts. We all know the many forms that can take, since this whole blog is about that.

Some narcissists will, at this point, Devalue and Discard. This simply means they no longer need you as a source of narcissistic supply (they may have found a replacement) so they completely devalue and leave you. If they don’t leave, their abuse will keep growing worse. But whether they leave or not, they are still devaluing you.

8. Physical abuse.
Eventually, some malignant narcissists may begin the physical abuse, and again this can start with something as innocuous as a “push” or a single slap. If this happens, expect the abuse to increase in intensity if you stay in the relationship. Even if your narcissist never touches you physically, the emotional abuse will continue to increase until your self esteem is destroyed. In some ways it can be even worse, because there are no telltale bruises or scars, and your narcissist can easily tell others who could be of help to you that you are crazy or making it all up.

What if you decide to call their bluff and leave?

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If you decide to call their bluff and leave, there are four ways a narcissist will react:

1. They will try to “hoover” you back in through lovebombing similar to what they showed when you first met, make fake but sincere-sounding apologies and promises to change. Don’t fall for it.

2. They will act like splitting up was their idea all along because you were “too needy,” “too crazy,” “too high maintenance,” etc.

3. They will act like nothing happened and even have the chutzpah to keep calling you or texting you and act as if they’re your best friend. They may tell you all about their new lovers or dates, as if there was never anything between you at all. You can be sure that behind your back, they are trashing you to their new conquests–the same way they talked trash about their ex lovers to you.

4. Jilted malignant narcissists are likely to try to enact revenge, usually through badmouthing you to others, including possibly your friends, but their vindictiveness could take on more dangerous forms too.

Narcissist man in love.

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One of my narcissistic lovers was a man I’ll call Daniel. I met him during my divorce proceedings. It was a short lived but intense relationship. As short lived as it was (it lasted all of 3 months), I decided to go into more detail about this particular relationship because of all my narcissistic lovers, Daniel was the most classic (and possibly the most malignant) textbook example of the course of a typical relationship with one.

Daniel was actually as bad a malignant narcissist as my ex, but of course I didn’t know it at the time. I met him while I was still married but the marriage was, for all intents and purposes, already over and we were separated. Daniel had that intense predatory stare, which I took to mean sexual and romantic interest, but it was really his way of sizing up me as prey.

I met Daniel at work. He was several years younger than me. I had been training him, and our eyes kept drifting to each other. He wasn’t the fastest learner but he seemed very friendly and always pulled his chair as close to mine during training as he could. Because I found him so attractive with his large liquid brown eyes, long eyelashes, and curly dark hair with its hints of gray, I didn’t mind the close physical proximity. I still remember the way he smelled–clean, like soap and shampoo, with a hint of muskiness.

Daniel became irresistably attractive to me. Narcs have a way of doing that to people like me. Although not all that intelligent, Daniel was actually a cerebral narcissist who had very little interest in sex after the initial physical passion of the first month or so. He thought of himself as very smart and after a while his know-it-allness became all too apparent.

Not long after meeting, Daniel approached me on break and told me he found me beautiful and kind and he’d like to take me out to dinner. Of course I said yes. That evening I went home walking on air and found my sexiest dress to wear. He picked me up on time, armed with a bouquet of red roses. We had a nice dinner and Daniel was attentive and romantic, gazing into my eyes, holding my hand across the candlelit table, and constantly telling me how beautiful I was and that he couldn’t believe my husband didn’t appreciate me more.

After dinner we went back to his apartment and he just held me and kept gazing into my eyes and telling me over and over how beautiful I was. He closed his eyes when kissing me. He didn’t push for sex and even said he wanted to wait until I was ready. He was perfect! I felt sexy and needed. At times when declaring his undying love for me, his eyes even got a little damp which I took to mean he was overcome with emotion and his feelings for me. This “vulnerability” I perceived made me fall harder for him. I couldn’t believe anyone could love me this much. He made me feel so special. I didn’t know it yet but I was falling into a yet another narcissistic predator’s trap. I should have suspected something fishy when he didn’t bat an eyelash when I told him I was still legally married, even though separated from my husband at the time.

We made love on our 3rd or 4th date and he told me he loved me and then held me all night as we drifted into sleep. For about two weeks I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. We couldn’t get enough of each other and would spend every free moment making love. It was all so magical I hadn’t even noticed he’d stopped taking me out or spending money on me. His abuse had already started but was so well-camouflaged by his physical ardor that I couldn’t see it.

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Two weeks after we started dating he told me he wanted to marry me. He didn’t have a ring to give me, but promised he would get one later, when he had the money. (He had the money–the guy was living on a trust fund left him by his wealthy parents and had bought his expensive apartment and he was always buying himself expensive toys). The funny thing was that I never actually said yes to his proposal. I told him I’d have to think about it, although a part of me wanted to scream “YES” from the rooftops. Something–I wasn’t sure what–was holding me back from accepting his proposal. He kept talking about how he wanted to make me pregnant (I was 42 years old) and how beautiful our children would be. He even told me he wanted to see me give birth. But I noticed whenever we were in public together, he seemed annoyed by any children who happened to be around and complained about parents who “couldn’t discipline their children properly.” He also criticized my parenting skills, telling me I let my kids “control me,” even though he’d never met them or seen me interact with them.

Daniel complained about his ex lovers, and although in his late thirties, he had never been married. He told me terrible stories about the women he had dated and how they had all been cheating whores, heartless Jezebels, or how unattractive, stupid, or crazy they were. He told me the most intimate details about them–one woman had a “smelly vagina” and another had acne all over her backside. Another had been in a mental hospital and embarrassed him in public with her crazy outbursts. I didn’t want to hear these details but he assured me I was perfect and different from all those other women.

After a few more weeks I noticed Daniel seemed to be easily bored and prone to fits of unreasonable rage. His rage toward others around us began to turn toward me, and he started to become very critical and controlling. He had stopped buying me things, but one day told me he was taking me to Victoria’s Secret to buy some new lingerie because he thought mine looked frayed and ill-fitting. Of course I was thrilled to be taken shopping, and when in the store, began to pick items I liked. I found a black satin teddy with lace trim and he grabbed it from my hands and put it back, saying “I don’t like that color on you. It makes you look too pale.” He seemed to be getting impatient with me in the store and disapproved of anything I pulled from the rack. Finally he made his own choice, and insisted on buying that for me, even though I wasn’t impressed with his choice. We drove back to his apartment in silence. He seemed so angry but I couldn’t figure out why. I noticed his road rage too–he seemed to get impatient with other drivers easily but was constantly cutting off and tailgating people himself. If I told him to take it easy with his driving, he would get even madder and tell me I was trying to control him.

The night after the shopping spree, he said he didn’t want to have sex because he was too tired. I took this at face value and figured he was just in a bad mood and would be over it the next day. But he had changed. Or actually, he hadn’t changed–but was now beginning to show his true colors. Whenever I tried to initiate lovemaking or even touching, he began to pull away, making excuses that he didn’t feel well or was too tired. When we did have sex, it felt rushed, as if he wanted to get it over with. He stopped telling me he loved me.

One night he received a phone call from an old girlfriend and spent two hours on the phone with her while I pretended to read. I wasn’t really jealous, but was annoyed and found it strange that this was the same woman he had told me was crazy. I asked him about that and he got enraged, telling me to mind my own f–ing business.

Daniel liked to travel around the country and never once asked me if I wanted to go. He’d always announce these trips a day or two before he was set to leave. He’d always return with shopping bags full of goodies–for himself. His idea of “gifts” to me were the freebies they give out in hotels–tiny bars of soap, shampoo, or dollar keychains or even hotel “Do Not Disturb” signs. Once he brought back some homemade fudge and I asked him for a piece of it. He said no.

The silent treatments and verbal abuse became nearly constant. I felt like I was walking on eggshells and it seemed I could do nothing right. Once I asked him why he never wanted to kiss me anymore and he said it was because of my breath. (No one had ever accused me of having bad breath and I even tested it by blowing on my daughter’s face and she said it was fine). I remembered the woman he’d dated who had a “smelly vagina” and realized that he would be telling some future lover (because at this point I wanted to break up with him) about my horrible, stinky breath and “controlling” ways.

He seemed to hate me, but also became upset and angry when I told him I wanted to spend time with my kids (who were living with their father for a short time during the divorce proceedings). He told me they were spoiled brats who would grow up to be criminals because I always gave into their wishes. I know now he was jealous of them. He always wanted me around, but was always so mean. I was always short on cash because I didn’t earn that much but he didn’t seem to care. Once I needed some gas money and he said no, even though he had stacks of $100 bills all over his apartment and in drawers.

We broke up on my birthday. He had come to my house late, and his gift to me was a “Toonces the Driving Cat” coffee mug. Although he obviously didn’t pay much for it, I thought it was a thoughtful gift (for him) because he knew I loved that old skit from Saturday Night Live. He took me out to dinner, which had become a rarity. He was very rude to the wait staff, but he always had been (that’s another red flag to look for–narcissists are notoriously rude to service personnel).

Shortly after we got back to my house, we got into an argument and he shoved me so I fell onto the couch. That was the first time his abuse had become physical. I knew it was a matter of time before he would start hitting me. I told him I would not tolerate physical violence and he started making fun of me for being such a baby about a “little push.” We kept arguing. He told me to give him back the mug he gave me. I told him no, because it was a gift and I liked it. He insisted.

I went and fetched the mug from the kitchen, and brought it to him, sweetly saying “here,” before smashing it on the floor as he reached for it. He stood there staring at the shattered remnants on the floor and then looked up at me with his mouth hanging open, said “You’re too crazy and too violent for me,” and stormed out the door, slamming it behind him. Me? Violent? I didn’t realize he was projecting his own violent tendencies onto me.

soulmate

A week later I found out I was pregnant. I called him to tell him I needed money for an abortion. He said he would not help because there was no way it was his! This from the man who a month earlier had told me he wanted to watch me give birth.

Fortunately, I never had to have an abortion because a week after that I miscarried. Daniel kept calling me, acting as if nothing had happened, and would tell me all about his life, never asking how mine was going. He acted like we were best friends. He even told me about a woman he was dating who was “perfect for him,” with no thought given to my feelings about this. Of course I really didn’t care and just felt sorry for the poor woman who didn’t know what she was in for yet. I wondered what he was telling her about me. Probably that I was insane, violent and a bad mother who had terrible breath.

I’d listen patiently to Daniel ramble on and then tell him I had to go. After about six months of his weekly phone calls, I finally worked up the courage to tell him to leave me alone and never call me again. I also blocked his number. That was the best choice I made in that relationship.

The Narc from Costa Rica (guest post)

The writer of this post wishes to remain anonymous. Her story of her Costa Rican lover is both sad and funny, so I asked her to write up the story because it’s so colorful. The relationship was doomed because not only was the man in question a narcissist, there was a clash between two different cultures that had no resolution.

My Narcissistic Costa Rican Lover: He hated window screens more than he loved me.
By Anonymous

costa_rican_man

This is about my relationship with my ex boyfriend who was from Costa Rica.

To start off, I’d have to say that he was extremely good looking. He looked like an all American milk and cookies guy. He had perfect teeth and smile and dark hair. He was happy go lucky. His name is “Julio.” I worked part time in a local truck stop with him. He was the head cook, and everyone called him Joe. That’s what they do in diners. They take their migrated names away and call them by a nickname. He did look like a Joe too. He was also a damned good cook. That guy could cook egg after egg and he rarely broke a yolk. If he did break one you’d know all about it. He didn’t know much English but he knew how to swear when he broke the yolk of an egg.

I remember the one time when we were working together during a blizzard. It was just me and him. Then at around 3 AM all the snow plough workers piled in. All 50 of them walked in one after the other and Joe started swearing in the back of the kitchen. I started putting orders up for Joe. Around 20 orders at the same time. Joe couldn’t take the heat in the kitchen and he started throwing the buttered toast out the little window where the food comes out and he rings the bell when its ready. We were so overwhelmed by the 50 snow plough guys that my regular customer jumped in the back of the kitchen and made the toast and helped me serve the coffee.

I also remember that Joe would wig out if you messed with his bread. On one shelf Joe had 20 loaves of bread with the wrappers all twisted in the right direction. Loaves of white, wheat and rye. If you twisted the wrapper to the left Joe went crazy. It took me a while to figure out what was wrong with Joe. We had a language barrier and it took me a while to understand it was an OCD problem he had.

Eventually Joe got tired of the USA and he flew back out to Costa Rica knowing he would not be able to fly back in. Joe original got here by crossing over the border of Mexico. So in a few months I decided to live in Costa Rica with him. Life over there was different. It was laid back and very family oriented. To an extreme. Wherever you went the family came along. A night out included the family. Grocery shopping included the family. All meals included the family.

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I used to help his mother wash the clothes. I lived in rural costa Rica in a town called Perez Zeledon and we hand washed most of our clothes and then put the heavy jeans through a spinning machine. The children were adorable and well behaved. They didn’t eat much candy. One day I bought bags of candy and the 3 little girls I played with everyday kept asking me for more candy. Then Joe started laughing and he pointed out the window. I saw lots and lots of children outside and I realized I was feeding the whole neighborhood.

The children didn’t have many toys. One of the little girls use to play with chicken feet. They raised chickens and butchered them. It was a rural farming community and if you owned lots of cattle you were considered rich. At night the guys all played soccer in a big field and they woke up at the crack of dawn. At the crack of dawn the roosters would crow and Joe’s brothers would yell at us to wake up in our window. I was definitely not in sync with Costa Rican life. I’m not an early riser.

I did not like the bugs in Costa Rica. The bugs were horrific. And huge. Crickets as big as a tablespoon. Dragonflies with wingspans of a foot. Moths so huge they looked like bats. Giant ants you could hear walking on the ground. In the rural part of Costa Rica window screens were not vogue. None of the native people minded the bugs. I managed to keep the bugs away by turning the porch light on and keeping a fan on me all night with a sheet over me. The bugs were attracted to the porch. In the morning Joe’s sister would wake up and sweep the bugs out. They took pride in their daily chores. Everyday they tore the entire house apart and scrubbed it from top to bottom. They had beautiful ceramic tiles and big huge ceramic sinks.

I asked Joe to please put window screens on the windows to keep out the giant bugs that flew in constantly. He got angry and refused to do it, saying it wasn’t part of his culture and that window screens were “ugly.” He lacked empathy for my concerns about the huge flying insects. I started to think things were not going to work out because he refused to consider my feelings.

costa_rican_cricket

I liked Joe’s mom a lot and she loved me. Even though we didn’t speak the same language, I had no problem communicating with her. She was an emotional woman and we always knew what was on each other’s minds.

After 3 months of Costa Rican life I left because my Visa was about to expire over there and because of Joe’s self-centered and sexist behavior. I loved him but I couldn’t live in a country with a man who refused to put screens on the window, got angry so easily, and treated me like a plaything.

I remember the last day I saw Joe in Costa Rica. I was sad. I thought we may never see each other again due to the strict immigration laws. I looked at him and I thought…I’m going to miss him and I also thought I’m so glad I’m leaving these bugs.

Eventually Joe missed me and he crossed through the border of Mexico again. We stayed together for 9 years but I broke up with him eventually because of the immigration laws and he was 12 years younger than me and because our cultural differences were too great.

Joe was devastated. But he had a double standard when it came to love. Culturally its acceptable for Costa Rican men to run around and do whatever they want. Worse that he was such a narcissist too. That just doesn’t work for an American girl, especially one who’s a feminist.

Mr. Stingy.

stingy
I remember one of my narcissistic lovers. He was a textbook example of a malignant narcissist, and a mean one at that. Although he never became physically violent, I think he would have if I hadn’t ended that relationship.

One of the strangest things about him was the way he gave me gifts. The guy had plenty of money–he had a trust fund, for heaven’s sakes and owned his apartment free and clear, and he was always traveling. He never asked me to go with him though. Instead, he’d bring me back “gifts” from his road trips. I remember he’d make a big show out of presenting me with these gifts as if he was giving me the keys to a new car. They were never wrapped nicely, but always stuffed in a paper or plastic bag.

So what sort of gifts did this narcissistic trust fund jerk give me? Jewelry, chocolates, books, candles, clothing?

No. He’d give me gifts of trash. The stuff he didn’t want. You know, like the free samples they give out in hotels–tiny bars of hotel soap, shampoo, a wrapped glass with the hotel’s name on it, even a “Do Not Disturb” door sign. Once he gave me a gift card with about $2.00 left on it. I couldn’t even use that because it was for a store they don’t have in this area. Thanks, Mr. Generous! The most extravagant thing this loser ever brought me back from these trips was a keychain that was probably free too. One of his gifts was half a Stuckey’s nutty bar, that he’d already opened and eaten part of. How cheap can you get? He was the stingiest POS I ever knew.

tiny_gift
A ring or earrings maybe? Think again, chump.

It wasn’t like he didn’t have the money to buy me something nice. He used to show me, with great fanfare, all the nice things he’d bought for himself. A leather jacket, a framed picture, a box of homemade peanut butter and chocolate fudge. I remember asking him if I could have a piece of the fudge and he said no.

For Christmas that year he actually bought me something. It was a “Toonces The Driving Cat” coffee mug. Although still a cheap gift, it was thoughtful because he knew I loved that Saturday Night Live skit.

About a month later, we had a fight. We were arguing more frequently by then. Then he said something that made me wonder if I’d heard him right. He said he wanted the Toonces mug back. He told me to go get it and give it to him. I said no. Shooting me eye-daggers, he said through gritted teeth, “I never gave you that. I only let you borrow it.”

Wow.

Livid, I went and found the mug, pretended to hand it to him, saying “Here!” As he reached for it, I threw it hard against the floor in front of him, shattering it into bits. He stormed off in a rage and slammed the door on his way out. As I swept the pieces of broken ceramic into a dust pan, I heard the squeal of his tires as he backed out of the driveway like a bat out of hell. He always did have a problem with road rage too.