UPDATE: The ACTUAL conversation that accompanies this blog can be found here: http://bit.ly/1dYV6a2.
I am tired of feeling ashamed and embarrassed that I let a narcissistic psychopath – the devil himself – into my life. This is actually my story. And I am telling it here on out about what happened to ME. Here is the story of how I – a single mother with two wonderful children, amazing friends and family, a professional career, and a kind, open heart – was destroyed by an emotional vampire.
There is an old saying, “The only people who tell the truth are little kids and drunk people.” I truly believe that. His own kids were trying to tell me the truth.
“Do you know my dad has a lot of girlfriends?”
“My dad had a girl over the house.”
“My dad only brushes his teeth when girls come over.”
But when I would confront him, he would tell me I was crazy. “You are listening to a 9 and 11 year old. Do you know how crazy you sound?”
This was just one of at least a hundred times he used the crazy making on me – or the more clinical term of gas lighting. One of the most common signs of narcissism, gas lighting is a form of emotional abuse where your partner attempts to manipulate your perception of reality.
Only months into the relationship, I was already second guessing myself every day. He had instilled insecurity in me from the start. I have always been a confident woman, and generally had healthy relationships. I said recently to a friend that I would have sent my ex-husband into a strip club with a fistful of dollars and not thought twice about it. But just a couple of months into this relationship, I was feeling an incredible sense of insecurity that I had never felt in my life. THIS WAS NOT ME.
I started to find myself doing things that I couldn’t imagine ever doing before I was with this man. I was checking his online profile on a daily basis. He was calling me his girlfriend, but continued to randomly log in to the online dating site where we had met. I finally got the courage to confront him one day and he said incredulously, “What are you talking about?” I said, “I know you are still on there. I looked, and it said you were online.” He told me his daughter was playing with his phone and must have accidentally hit the app.
This continued, but he was smart and calculated. He would wait a week or two before logging in again. And each time, it was one of his kids, and he always had an explanation. He downloaded an app for the kids that had a fish on it so they must have accidently hit it. He was getting his taxes done and his daughter was playing with his phone. One time, he even called me AT WORK to say that HE accidentally hit it and it logged him in. He wanted to let me know in case I checked and saw that he had been online because he didn’t want to me to be mad. I MEAN, HOW CRAZY IS THIS?
All my closest friends, who only three months in already despised this man (RED FLAG LADIES AND GENTS), were even telling me I was crazy. As my best friend put it (prefaced as always by “You know I hate him”), “You know I hate him and do not want to defend him, but I just can’t believe he would be that brazen to continue going online knowing you look.”
Welcome to DATING A NARCISSIST 101. They are that brazen because THEY HAVE NO EMOTION. They are incapable of having normal feelings, and entirely unable to accept responsibility. What normal person would troll on an Internet site for women when they are in a relationship with another and when caught – BLAME THEIR DAUGHTER. A “normal” person who is cheating on a spouse or partner would go to great lengths to hide it. And if caught, they might deny it at first but ultimately fess up and admit their mistake. But they certainly wouldn’t blame their children – and then even go so far as to brainwash their 9 year old daughter into believing SHE was hitting on the app and making her TELL me that to my face when she probably had no idea what she was even saying.
At this point in the relationship, as a NORMAL person, I say to myself, “Maybe he wants to see other people” and so as much as I want to avoid the conversation obviously, I bring it up one night. I told him perhaps I wasn’t the right person for him because if he cared about me like he said, he wouldn’t want to continue to go online to talk to other woman. I said, “As much as I care for you, if you want to end it or see other people, I understand.”
His response: I am crazy. He has NOT been online. What don’t I understand about that? He has no desire to see or talk to other women. I am the ONLY girl he is dating. Then comes one of the most common narcissist defenses, blame shifting. He said, “Maybe I should be questioning YOU and asking why YOU are still going online.” So now the blame is on me and I am left defending myself (my profile had been down since the day we started dating).
He’s got me believing I am crazy, my own friends believe I’m crazy because they are in shock someone could actually DO this. But I know I am NOT crazy. So I lay the trap. Fake profile set, send an email, and wait for him to take the bait. Within 24 hours, I get my answer. He takes the bait and responds. I send him undeniable proof, tell him he is caught and ask him if he’s going to blame his daughters for this one. He CONTINUES TO DENY IT until I once again point out the proof. Welcome the narcissist and one of his ever present tools called the silent treatment – “…often done by simply ignoring – a facade of indifference that is known as the “silent treatment” and is, at heart, hostile and aggressive.” The narcissist says through silent treatment, “I do nothing wrong. I don’t know what truth is. I have no shame, no guilt. I don’t owe you shit.”
The silent treatment lasts for about three weeks…
Chapter 4 coming soon