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My Narc Experience & Me(18 Posts)
You still don't know why you put up with this for so long. Why you thought you deserved so little, that you kept accepting what he did to you and how he made you feel. Kept going when he made you so sad and so lonely and so doubtful of your own actions. Usually in places that were so full of life. Those trips you took that, though perfect on paper, always seemed to rile him from the off. So many holidays where he made you feel like you’d done something wrong but you had no idea what. Where your anxiety went through the roof, where you questioned and second-guessed everything you did, where you tried every method you had to coax him from his childish, illogical, sulks. Yet another strained mood. You’d ignore it, you’d attempt to talk about it, you’d make a light joke about it, you’d playfully squeeze his hand only to feel him deliberately loosen his grip, you’d tweak his nose and sing along to a song in a cafe...and feel like an idiot when he didn’t respond. Like, nothing. Zero. A blank. He continued reading his menu, acting as though you weren’t there, let alone opposite him clowning around on a supposed dream trip, in a ridiculous attempt to make him smile. You’d feel a soaring sense of panic on the way to a dinner he’d planned with a man you didn’t know, and tell him about this panic, only for him to dismiss it and spend dinner excluding you, until you finally just stopped trying to join in. You then had to pretend in the taxi on the way back to the hotel that you’d had a lovely evening, because any other words would have been a waste of time. He’d then tell you the next day how the previous evening’s dinner companion had texted him to tell him how lovely it had been meeting with and chatting to him...”only...he didn’t mention you though”. He’d then pull an awkward face and sit and wait to watch you react. You blinked and pretended you needed to go to the loo, when actually you needed to not be next to him while you collected your thoughts and fought to cling on to some dignity. You’ll remember how you gave in to his mood and asked him what was wrong - only for him to finally snap. When you pushed back against his hissed response to your carefully-worded question of concern, you’ll remember how he sneered at you for over-reacting. Of course he did. He always did. He’d been ready to blow and, as the past year had proven, loved nothing more than telling you how over-sensitive you were. You reacting had given him what he wanted. You’d caved and responded to his sulk and now was his chance to not only tell you it were all in your head, but that it was you who was the trouble causer. He took glory in your trepidation. In denying you your feelings and experiences. ‘You’re over-sensitive’. ‘Over-reacting’. ‘That didn’t happen’. They were his winning hands.
You’ll remember feeling ridiculous at having brought your hair-dryer on holiday, because on the way to the airport he’d mocked you for it. Told you you didn’t need it. Eye rolls veiled in the hollowest of compliments. Just enough to be able to tell you he was ‘only joking’ when you pushed back, when you told him it was up to you as to how you get wanted your hair, when asked him to stop with the ‘joking’. Those ‘jokes’ of his - they were never funny. Not once. You’ll also remember your bafflement when he kept pushing the idea of cycling to that fancy dinner with his friend. Even though that dinner was in an insanely expensive restaurant and you wanted to wear nice clothes and makeup. That dream trip, remember? You’d packed your party clothes. You’ll remember asking him if he really didn’t understand why a long cycle ride at night, in a wet and blustery city, across a river, in heels and your new dress, wasn’t ideal. And how he stared at you and simply shrugged. A silence and a smirk that suggested it was you who was being unreasonable. Vain, even. And how you somehow turned his actions into your worries. Added them to the pile of anxieties that he’d already helped you build. Were you being precious? Wanting to dress up for dinner? Did that make you less fun than you were when he fell in love with you? More boring? Wrong? Darling, no. You were never wrong. You fucking tuned in to this way back but he made you doubt yourself. Every single time, he’d shape his behaviour in such a way that tied your thoughts up in enough knots to make them unmanageable. A real craftsman of control.
You’ll remember how he constantly snaked sarcastic apologies at you, from out of nowhere, as though you were always telling him off. Despite you doing the total opposite, and working hard to stay upbeat, in a bid to steer situations away from sadness and make him happy again. When you said you weren’t cross, he persisted with the barbed apologies. Ignoring you. Mocking. Goading? Repeating the statement that he’d angered and disappointed you. Playing the victim. When you repeatedly insisted you weren’t angry or disappointed, he’d tell you that it was only because he cared about you, that all he wanted was to make you happy. You’ll remember the stories you started to tell him but never got to finish because he refused to look up from his phone, and the time you cried on him and he simply sat there, irritated, before blankly commenting that he’d felt just as sad the day before. The day when he’d actually been less unpleasant than those before that, so that sudden, Top Trump declaration didn’t make sense. He was always the victim. Always had to be worse off than you. Always worse off than everyone. That time you told him that your friend was dying, and he complained so much about his sore legs, you ended up having to console him instead of process your terrible news. And those times (more than one) on this holiday when he used your questions about what he’d enjoyed about 2019 as an opportunity to tell you hard it had been for HIM when your friend had died in the summer. With his doe eyes and victim‘s face, he’d said how he had found your sadness very difficult, then stared at you with anticipation until you expressed sympathy towards him. My god. He hadn’t found your sadness so hard when, in the middle of your friend’s funeral, he’d sent you a photo from the airport pub. Him, his mate, their pints. You came out from the crematorium to that image. Their crass, carefree, jolly thumbs-up. It felt odd.
You’ll also remember the airport when you were finally going home after that ‘dream’ trip, the one with the weird meal with the man and the hand-loosening and the toilet-crying, how you stood with a chasm of nothing between you both because you - YOU - had finally run out of words and energy, and how you watched the loved-up couple behind you and wished he’d only have treated you with a drop of the kindness this guy was treating his girlfriend with. And you’ll remember how, on the plane home, you finally decided you’d had enough. And how he flipped his actions - like he always, ALWAYS did - to those of softness, as soon as you landed. The kindness and consideration and declarations of love that had been glaringly absent all holiday had suddenly returned - right at the moment you’d decided you were done. Only this time, instead of drawing you back in, they made your skin crawl. Because it was suddenly so obvious that those kind words, and doe eyes and hand touches were actually just as fucking manipulative and as cruel as the soul-eroding shit you’d just put up with over the last five days. No. Fuck that. The last 18 months. Those times you’d sing along in pissed-up joy to a song in the back of a taxi, only for him to tell you how shit your music was. Or when you’d send him a love song you said made you think of him and he read the message but didn’t reply. Later, when asked, he’d tell you he didn’t like it. Or when he pinched the inside of your thigh - so hard you still felt it the next morning - because you were ‘getting on his nerves’. The honeymoon period lasted a matter of weeks and then this all started and he couldn’t stop. But then he went too far, and suddenly you didn’t crave his approval anymore. You craved wellbeing and confidence and a life that had existed before this prick had wandered in and tried to shred it. He and you as a couple and those glory days you’d been scrabbling to return to? None of it meant anything because those days - the ones filled with true love and kindness - had actually never existed. He’d finally exposed himself. The curtain was down and you saw everything and it did nothing but make your mouth taste bitter. And like that, it was over.
I left this three years ago. Its still difficult as I'm stuck with him in my life due to having a child but I'm not living with him or this constant grinding behaviour day after day.. wondering who you even are after years of it.
So much of that resonated with me. Beautifully written. Sending you strength and positivity.
Could have written that myself. Took me 28 years to get away.
Sending you love, strength and the future happiness you deserve.
Hi. You've got away. Well done. You will in time, gain insight into what was done to you, straighten yourself out, remember what it feels like to actually be you and move on to your next steps. Wish you all the very best for your future free from the bullying, manipulation and control. Freedom!
I'm seven years free. He still tries to manipulate and control me, despite being remarried and living abroad, but he never will again. He hates me passionately because I won- I got away. And it was my choice. Well done for being so brave OP- it a new life without them x
That's exactly how it goes from start to finish, just like that. I am 9 months since I told him to leave, and I got my life together and money in the bank, something I didn't have while with my narc ex. I am so happy now and fulfilled. The ex however has tried many time to real his way back in. No thanks
I remember your initial posts. Well done for getting away from him. Take your time to heal!
Well done for writing about such baffling behaviour so beautifully.
So well written and resonated with me so much!
I've recently just got out for probably more than the 10th time.
13 days no contact.
Well done to you
Beautifully written. Well done for leaving. I am 8 years post narc, my daughters father.
They are hollow shells of beings. They hate themselves really which is why they are attracted to people like you, full of life and fun.
Despite the problems I'm glad I met him. I had my lovely daughter and I've learnt a lot.
He's not been in contact or anything for 7 years. Which just goes to show you how much disregard they have for people, even their own children.
26 years! He left for his ex of 27 years ago. I’m divorcing him. Sorting the financials will be difficult. Well done for seeing the light quickly and writing your thoughts down so beautifully. They could be my own thoughts. I was too naive and came from too chaotic a background to see that I was being abused. I married my mother! Good luck. x
Thank you for sharing. I really felt your hurt and wanted to acknowledge that I know how difficult and healing it can be to tell others.
Such beautiful writing, resonates so much. Left just over a year ago, he is currently dragging me through court to see our daughter.
I think we have the same ex boyfriend. You write really well op.
A hard read but such an accurate description of behaviors that aren't understood well enough by most people. It can be so subtle and insidious.
I'm trying to figure out who I am now after 10+ years of coersive control and emotional abuse. Thank you for posting this and sharing what you went through
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