Living with a narcissist is the loneliest screw you’ll ever have. Once the initial false ‘Image of a Man’ disappears, you’re left with a man that you do and do and do for, but who is never there for you in return. This is a man with a counterfeit heart; past his initial charm the man is an empty fake.
While I could go on forever with the ups, down, mishaps, and even comical (now) events that transpired with Ben, I’ll focus instead on a few, key stories / elements. .
I gave the relationship my all, I took “us” seriously, and continued believing that Narcissistic Personality Disorder was a “spectrum disorder” and Ben wasn’t at all like those memes you see depicting narcissists as Satan’s minions. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say I should have believed the memes and not Ben.
Ben, I came to conclude, took things seriously – but only in the sense that he was acting out imaginary things the entire time. None of our relationship was real, his boyfriend knew about us the whole time, and Ben was more aware of my entire reality than I was. To Ben I was narcissistic supply; I was an object he could consistently get a desired reaction from, and he was able to lose himself and his true life easily in his delusional life with me. When with me, Ben played the part of boyfriend perfectly, minus the times when he’d discard me. But how Ben could tune out the big picture – why he was there, what he had and continued doing to me – and live in denial as he pretended to be my fake boyfriend was impeccable.
A few highlights from the rest of round 2:
(1) Sex, of course, and Ben’s need to control it (and ultimately everything in my reality). Tapering me from love-bombing.
(2) How I always hurt Ben… by telling him that he hurt me.
(3) Ben and I were finally going to be monogamous and official.
(4) The damn break that never broke kept not breaking, but Ben’s demands for space, him dragging me along so we could be a couple, and me somehow “forcing” Ben against his will to stay were royal mind-fucks trying to tease out what was the right answer: does he want to leave or stay? Or does he just want to fuck with my head?
(5) “Those people,” and how everyone Ben knew seemed to get arrested by them or have some criminal link to them, with the exception being Ben.
(6) Ben no longer being a narcissist, and how it was all my fault for making him consider he might be one.
(7) Ben trying to do the “right thing.”
(8) Flipping the script.
(9) Wow: narcissists are beyond evil and fucked up!!!
How narcissists respond when you tell them you feel hurt by something they said/did/or didn’t do: I think this may be a major litmus test for narcissists. I think normal, empathetic people hear that another feels hurt by something you did and they immediately, almost instinctively, try to rectify the situation, assure the person, act in a nurturing way. If you confront a narcissist about feeling hurt by something they did they will pounce on you and tell you how your acting hurt actually hurts them, “they have feelings too…” Never will they validate your pain. Never will they empathize with the hurt, make any attempt to understand your position… by the end of it you find yourself apologizing for feeling hurt.
First song written / performed by me.