My mom and I watched “Dirty John” on Netflix the other night. My mother kept saying how stupid Debra was to continue seeing John. I kept reminding her of the one thing people forget; that at the time it is happening the victim is not privy to what is going on behind the scenes.
When people watch the movie or even when the victim tries to explain what happened; they have the benefit of already knowing the person is an abusive narcissist, they know basically how the story ends.
No victim would have stayed had they seen the movie and knew how it would end.
I suppose they have to make the movie that way to show the audience the full story, but there really should be 2 movies, one simply showing what the victim saw and then a version showing what was truly going on.
You also have to understand what the victim has been through in their life and the dialogue playing in her head, before anyone can judge and say, “It would never happen to me.”
Like Debra, I had been a single mom for years, met some real losers, and had always been responsible, worked full time, bent over backwards for the people I loved and I was tired!
Like Debra and her daughter, my teenage son was giving me grief with his attitude.
Through the years and any relationship I had I was the main bread winner, the home owner, the reliable one, the peace keeper, and care taker. I had been told by men I dated that I was “too independent”. I watched girl friends meet guys who wanted to take care of them and spoil them. I was told I didn’t give the nice guys a chance because if a guy was clingy I dumped him. I hated love struck puppies.
In the months prior to meeting my ex, my 3rd marriage had failed, I lost my home and everything I had worked for the past 20 years and my ex claimed backruptcy, so I lost my pristine credit rating also. I had started a new job making $10/hr instead of the $17 I was used to. My son had quit school and I had lost all control of him.
I was done! I was tired, my face had broken out in acne for the first time in my life from nerves, my son treated me with disrespect, I was drinking too much, I felt defeated.
My mother owned a small cabin at a lake where I had once owned a cabin. I asked to rent it and she said I could take over the mortgage payments on it and any equity in it would be my inheritance. She had given my brother approximately the same amount when he bought his first house. We agreed to keep it in her name because my STB ex was going bankrupt and we didn’t want to take the chance of me losing the cabin.
I was to pay $650/month mortgage payment, which, on $10/hr; was hard enough to cover but there was a lease payment every year and property taxes totalling a couple thousand dollars.
I felt like that poster you used to see every where a few years ago, of the kitten clinging to the end of a rope by its claws. My mom was remarried to a man with money and they were traveling the world. She had only ever dreamed of a life like that and she was having the time of her life and understandably, didn’t want anything or anyone to burst her bubble.
My mother was calling me daily to complain about my son. As is typical in small communities, people gossip, everyone knows everyone’s business and she was hearing about my son’s activities.
I had to work and had no control of him during the day, his father said,”you wanted him, you got him, deal with it”. When I asked for help.
I was a prime target for the charms of a narcissist. The story book romance, my knight in shining armor, a man who made me feel sexy, alive, and like everything about me was perfect.
I wasn’t looking for love, I was looking to have a good time, but like they say, “When you stop looking for love, when you least expect it, love will walk into your life.”