Hi, so you are back again; it’s been awhile, but I have been expecting you. How did I know you would be back? because you are like me; I did this for 6 years before I faced the truth. I hope you don’t do it as long as I did, that is why I started the blog, in hopes of saving some people precious time and more damage. But there is no shame in being a slow learner, you won’t hear me criticize you, that would be the pot calling the kettle black.
What happened this time? You caught him with another personal ad? or was it worse, you caught him with another woman. Or did he stay out all night or disappear for a few days and refuse to answer his phone? Or did you plan for days to have a talk with him about something, plan your words ever so carefully only for him to blow up at you and call you a selfish, paranoid bitch and blame you for everything and a simple conversation ended with him storming out the door as he spit out that it was over, YOU really did it this time!! He wants out!!
It has been many years now for me, but I remember those days well. Oh boy do I! Initially I would be so angry I would be relieved he was gone, but it wouldn’t take long and his words would sting, the tears would sting my eyes and the self doubt would start. I would start to shake, I would go over my words, how had such a well planned conversation turned so ugly, how could he misunderstand what I was saying and twist my words like that. I never even got out what I wanted to say and he had me so confused and flustered I stumbled over my words and forgot everything I wanted to say. I hadn’t been angry, I was trying to figure out how to make things better and next thing I knew he was screaming at me and I was crying and screaming back and it all got so out of control and hate filled. I said things I didn’t mean and he wouldn’t stop badgering me and I lost it. I never used to lose it like that, I have always been calm and rational; why do I lose control like that with him?
I would try to call him, he wouldn’t answer, I would panic, maybe this time he really meant it, maybe this time it really was over. I would pace the floor, unable to eat, work, sleep, needing to talk to him, to fix things, to make it right again, have him love me again. But he wouldn’t answer his phone and I couldn’t talk to anyone about it, everyone was sick of hearing about it and I always went back.
I would run to the internet. There weren’t near as many sites back then but I would devour any information I could find, spending hours confirming it wasn’t me. It was easy because he fit every description of a narcissist I read, I would print out the list of traits and even highlight sections with yellow, orange, and green nodding my head in agreement, even talking to myself out loud, “Omg! that is US!! I would print off that section and reread it over and over. It comforted me, I could tell myself I was better off without him. Sometimes I would even comment, describing how cruel he was and everyone would tell me no contact was the only way to get over him. I would tell myself, right! no contact! I never want to talk to him again! He’s an asshole, I don’t need him, he is sick, he is a narcissist!! look at all the traits you ticked off the list that he has!! You are SO much better off without him. I could keep it up for a few days, until the phone rang and I would jump 3 feet in the air and pray it was him. I answer and be cool, I was just going to see what he wanted, what lies he was going to tell me this time. I knew what he was now and I could be strong.
But he would be using his sweet voice, call me “Baby”, and ask how I was. He would say he missed me, i would say, “You really hurt me this time James.” and he would say he was so sorry, and in a whispered voice say he loved me. To hear those words would be like cooling salve on a burn, my resolve would leave me, I could feel the wave of relief wash over me, he still loved me.
He would ask to come over and I would try to be strong but I knew the battle was lost, all I wanted was to make love to him and we would be back together. The highlighted lists would be put away, the websites forgotten and I would convince myself that, “Yes, he had a lot of the traits but he would never cheat on me, we were different; we had a special love, stronger than what those other women had with their men. They don’t understand because they have never loved like this. When two people love each other as much as James and I love each other, it is stronger than both of you, you don’t just walk away from a love like that. And I knew, when I looked in his eyes, when his mouth was on mine and his strong hand held mine, when he picked me up and packed me into the bedroom; that I could never love anyone like I loved him and I knew he felt the same. It scared him, that is why he tried to sabotage it, it was so intense it was almost more than either one of us could handle. But I was not giving up on him, on our love.
I even went years not looking on the net, I totally forgot about him being a narcissist because for one, he could be really sweet at times, I knew he loved me and I thought it was his fear of getting hurt that made him act the way he did. He went years without hitting me also, I still didn’t know at that time what gas lighting was or that someone can destroy your soul and never touch you physically. I still thought my truck breaking down was God’s way of keeping us together. And there was always some good reason to stay until the present trauma or drama calmed down. I remember praying to God, more like bargaining with God, “If you let him get off this time (when he was caught with all the stolen cars) I will stay with him.” He got off. Or I would pray that God would open James heart and eyes and know how much I loved him and he would come and apologize. Or I would ask for a sign telling what to do and my truck would break down or James would get sick or injured and I would nurse him back to health.
I convinced myself that he would never really do anything about the personal ads, he just needed to know he could get another woman if he wanted to, he was just afraid that I might leave him. So I set about showing him how much I loved him, whether he said it back or not, I would say I love you. I would vow to not get angry and only see the good things he did, praise him when he did well and be grateful, appreciative, and show him how much I loved him. I didn’t need him to come to bed every single night, I told him even 3 nights a week would make me happy. Then of course he made sure he didn’t come to bed. God forbid Carrie would be happy!! I paid my own way for everything and even paid his way for most things and if he needed money I gave it freely, money had always been an issue with us and I was not going to allow it to drive a wedge between us. I hadn’t worked for a couple of years and I had been reliant on him, once I started hauling scrap I made sure to not be a burden on him and the last two years I went too far the other way, paying for everything and he was stealing off my truck but I told myself we were a couple, what was mine was his and I shouldn’t worry about only my end of things. I told myself that when it came time that I needed help he would come through. OK, ok I already said I was in denial, stop laughing!!
I did not say anything bad about him to anyone, I know how a person can get in a bad habit of finding fault with a partner, it becomes habit to bitch about them, and I had decided to stick it out, no point in bitching about him. I loved him warts and all and I had given up fighting it. I was going to love him to the best of my ability and do everything I could to prove how much I loved him whether he accepted it or not. It was all I could do, I had tried leaving, I had tried reasoning with him, explaining, getting angry, and none of it had worked so I gave myself permission to just love him with every fibre of my being. It felt good to love someone that much, so much that you stopped demanding respect, stop worrying about whether you were getting equal back, to just love someone totally without reservation or expectations, to just accept each day and what he gave me that day. But it was killing me and he didn’t appreciate it, he loathed me for it. it made him sick, the more i loved unconditionally the more he hated me and the looked at me with hatred in his eyes. The more he rubbed my nose in the fact that he had other women.
And that is when he said it was over and I knew he meant it, I knew in my gut it was truly over and I left. a shell of the person I had once been. And I ran back to the internet, dug out those old highlighted lists and consoled myself with the fact that he was a narcissist. And this time he had all the traits, he had cheated on me, we didn’t have anything special, our love wasn’t stronger than those other couples. All victims of an N are the same, we all go through the same denial, magical thinking, searching for answers and not liking the answers we find.
This might not be the time you face the truth, you might have to do this a few more times, hey! I totally understand and don’t judge you for it. Just know you are always welcome back, we are here waiting, and when you really face the truth we will give you a virtual shoulder to cry on and hand to hold.
But, from one slow learner to another; get out sooner than later; please. And when you are thinking about going back; come back here I’ll be waiting.