Ignoring the Narcissist

It has been 36 hrs. and 29 minutes since I last had any contact with my husband….the narcissist.   I am trying desperately to not to cave.   To wear my big girl panties.  To keep to the no contact rule and break the cycle of abuse and destruction he causes with everyone and everything he touches.

It is the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  There are days when it seems to go so well and I have courage and strength.  God fills my soul with peace and determination.   And then there are days when I miss his false persona so much, it brings a visceral reaction.

If it were only about me walking away, I think –  I would be stronger, but then….the constant emails and calls that come the minute I gain some ground.  The vicious lies that cause me to want to retaliate with words of defense.  My broken heart, which breaks a little more each day when I wake to realize that the man I married and gave my heart to could be such a monster.  Even worse, the man I married was once the boy I loved twenty plus years ago.  He was my friend, protector and my inspiration.  If he’d only stayed in my memories and out of my bed, I would be just like every other Jane, going to work, taking care of my children, and thinking that a narcissist is ONLY someone that thinks it’s all about them.  And that would have been just fine with me.

I know in my heart it is demonic in nature.  Even though, I would be hard-pressed to get anyone to agree with me.  Maybe you who are reading this will think I’m crazy too, but you haven’t lived with my husband.   And quite frankly, since I’m not a narcissist, I don’t care what you think.  He was sent to destroy my faith in God and I know that with all that is in me.  John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” 

I am a target.  I am a woman of deep conviction and belief in God and he exploited that with a roadside confession, tears, fake repentance and a phony conversion.  I know this to be true because he admitted in a voicemail his conversion was only for his ulterior motives.  All the love I had for him, he used it to manipulate my emotions.  All that is generous in me, he used for his own gain.  All that is peaceful, he used as a weakness.  All that is kind, he used to torment me with words of abuse.  All that is forgiving, he twisted to make me appear the villain.  All that is self controlled, he abased with words that devalue and demean.

Today I received the email below.  On the surface, anyone might think this to be conciliatory, or even contrite, but for anyone who has interacted with a narcissist, they could spot this as false modesty a mile away.  Realizing that he is attempting to secure narcissistic supply and set his own stage for the next big drama to play out.  Well I have news for him.  I won’t be there.  And I don’t care if he runs around telling everyone what a horrible woman I am for leaving him out on the street, with no help or words of encouragement.  I bet he even tells them I won’t give him back his clothes, when in fact I have washed and packed all of them neatly and wait for him to come and get them, because I am NOT a storage facility.

I had a vision of me sitting in *his pastors* office, (he left our church when he moved in with the other woman and when my pastor told him he needed to get a job and some help,) while I attempt to fight off flaming arrows, about the lies he has told the man.  Gee, I wonder if he told the pastor he was a narcissist?  Yeah right, probably right after he told him he eats human flesh on the weekends.  I know, this is no laughing matter, but it feels good to laugh.

 Too bad I don’t know who this pastor is.  I would email him and tell him to run for cover and kick this psycho out of his congregation before he dupes some other sweet Christian woman.  And then I would send him all the great information about NPD that I could find with a list of his behaviors.  Chances are he wouldn’t believe me, but the seed would be planted and the pastor would be watching, wondering if it could be true.  And eventually his mask would slip and the truth would be revealed.  I can wish can’t I? 

I know, I don’t sound like I have the mind of Christ, but I am not perfect and I am deeply hurt.  I do forgive.  In fact I pity him only.  I would not waste my energy hating him, but it is perfectly OK to be angry. 

Below is his email…..

I NO LONGER WILL CAST STONES NOR CONDEMN ANYONE . I AM NOT PERFECT BUT I STRIVE FOR IT . I WILL NOT ACCEPT OR OWN THAT I AM THE DEVIL NOR THAT I AM CONDEMNED TO MY LIFE .. I SEEK OUR FATHER AND I DESIRE HIS WILL . I HAVE A WIFE AND I AM NOT NOR HAVE BEEN UN-FAITHFUL TO YOU . MY PASTOR WANTS TO KNOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO MEET ?  I HAVE SAID THAT I AM A LIAR AND I WALKED OUT AND ALL MY IMPERFECTIONS , I ALSO TOLD HIM HOW GREAT YOU ARE AND THE KIDS AND I WALKED OUT OF MY FAMILY ..LOVE ALWAYS,
RON

God.  Please.  Today is over, help me to wake with joy tomorrow and strength to carry on.  The battle is Yours.

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When Does the Pain Stop?

Today was a difficult day; I was hanging on by a thread, minute by minute.   I have found myself unable to concentrate on work or even simple tasks and the things that I enjoy are slipping away.  I have no interest in anything, or anyone.  My children are watching me disintegrate and I feel powerless to do anything to halt the intense emotions that are turning me into a shell of who I was.   The worst part about it, is knowing he is winning the evil game of destruction he played with me.

I have had several relationships in my forty years of life, but none that has taken the very mental health from me as this has.

The narcissist inflicts pain and abuse on others.  He devalues sources of supply, callously and off-handedly abandons them, and discards people, places, partnerships, and friendships unhesitatingly.  Sudden shifts between sadism and altruism, abuse and ‘love’, ignoring and caring, abandoning and  clinging, viciousness and remorse, the harsh and the tender – are, perhaps, the most difficult to comprehend and to accept. These swings produce in people around the narcissist emotional insecurity, an eroded sense of self worth, fear, stress, and anxiety (‘walking on eggshells’).  Gradually, emotional paralysis ensues and they come to occupy the same emotional wasteland inhabited by the narcissist, his prisoners and hostages in more ways than one – and even when he is long out of their life. – SamVaknin

I have been trying to understand this phenomenon, which has ensnared my very being.  It is so hard to comprehend and therefore to accept.  I was a smart confident woman seven months ago and since meeting this madman, I have been reduced to an insecure mess, tracking his movements and trying to figure out his next move before he makes it on me.

The insecurities I now feel come from a variety of sources, but none more harmful than the realization that somewhere deep inside me, I may have overlooked red flags that could have prevented this nightmare.  My kind and compassionate nature betrayed me.

Last week, by his own admission, he stated on my voicemail that he gave his heart to Christ eight months ago, for “ulterior motives.”   He knew as soon as he met me that I would NEVER be involved with someone that was not of my faith.  It is part of who I am, so he mirrored what he saw in me and became that person in order to reach his goal.   With tears and repentance he faked his way to the alter.  A sacred place for me, but one he mocked.

He fooled not only me, but everyone he came in contact with.  The men he befriended are stunned beyond belief, which gives me some minor relief of my own guilt for being so foolish, but it is a minor victory at best, yet it’s all I have.

Someday I will start at the beginning and tell the whole ugly story.  Not for you.  For me.  When I know it will help my healing, then I will begin.

My Devaluing Continues

Over the last couple of months I started referring to my husband as an emotional vampire.   Being on the other end of his manipulations for his own personal gain and pleasure, was emotionally draining unlike anything I have ever experienced.

I began to close myself off emotionally to him, as much as I was able and I immediately saw the change taking place in his personality.  I began to act stoic and unmoved by his bad behavior and pity parties.   My tone was matter of fact and would not show him any sympathy for the mess he has caused.  I knew this was the only way to break free from him and believed it was working.  Once he couldn’t elicit a perennial stream of drama and emotion from me over the hurt and sorrow he had caused, he started to retract.   His phone calls became fewer; although, just as draining for me, they were transforming before my ears.   Definitely not the man that needed constant attention from me, so much so,  he could not close the car door and walk away before my phone would be ringing and his nonstop phone calls would begin.  He could not be alone with himself for even a minute. 

He became even more indifferent, cold and aloof in every conversation.  Much like you were talking to an unlikable telemarketer and not to the spouse you have declared your undying love for.   Even though he would say “I love you and I miss you,” the words were empty with no feeling.   He showed no emotion, or affect;  like an empty shell.

This is the exact opposite behavior you would expect in this situation.  If two people separate because of one person’s lying and abusive behavior, there is usually an attempt to fix the situation by whatever means necessary by the guilty party.  At least, that’s what my experience has been with abusive men.  But not at all in this case.  There is NO empathy, no sorrow, no missing me, nothing.  Just a mouth full of empty meaningless chatter.  He doesn’t even seem to be trying to convince me anymore.   As my daughter has suggested, he has realized that he cannot win here and is giving me up to find a new source of supply.  And all this from a man that is currently living at the homeless shelter.  My sane mind wonders, “how low do you have to go before you feel sorry?” 

A narcissist NEEDS to have the attention they so crave for.  They will go to great lengths to get that fix.  When my husband’s phone calls grew fewer and fewer I knew he was getting his supply from some other source and I was soon to be tossed aside and forgotten. 

That should be a good thing right?  And it is…. for my protection, sanity and the well being of my children, but there is another side to this nightmare.   This is a man that I fell in love with.  Drank tea with every day, shared a bed with, laughed with, walked with and made plans with.  The love I have runs very deep for that false person I fell for and it is a torment I have never before known.  I can’t get him out of my heart or head and I am desperately hoping it will get easier as the days pass.

I wake every day adjusting to the reality that I was just an object to be used for his personal gain and he has no feelings toward me.  None.  Whatsoever.  That is a very hard pill to swallow.  I walk through emotional hills and valleys daily and fall somewhere between, “I am loveable and have a lot to offer a sane person,” and “what is wrong with me, that he would not love me?”  It is by no means an easy thing to understand the narcissistic personality.  I could read on and on about it and never come to a full understanding of the Mack truck that has run me over.  It is an enigma and I don’t know that I will ever fully recover from what has been stolen from me.

And the Fallout Comes

My pastor just called me and wants to see me tomorrow.  Apparently my husband called him to get some attention.  He has been living at our local shelter, (my husband, not the pastor *grin,*) for more than a week, after storming out of the house in another one of his tirades.

Right before speaking to my pastor, my husband called from outside the local library, where he screamed obscenities into the phone at me, as loud as he could.  The outburst lasted somewhere in the neighborhood of ten minutes and I sat and wondered how many people from church might have seen his outburst. 

And I still hold on to the very pride in myself that keeps him in captivity.  Forgive me Lord.

Maybe my words seem callous, but my husband is an emotional vampire and I am so tired of living this way.  It’s like having a marriage with a very large, ill behaved six-year-old.  He has chosen to squander his time, by not seeking employment and when he does, he applies for jobs that you would need a masters degree to obtain.  Considering he was in home remodeling, applying for a regional sales rep job, is pretty much out of reach, but he would never see it that way.  I am waiting for him to come home and tell me he has decided he will now pursue brain surgery.

Meanwhile, I continue to take care of my family by being the only adult in the house.  But praise Jesus, I woke up this morning.

Artful Speech from a Forked Tongue

My husband has a tendency to speak very quickly and use at least fifty more words per sentence than necessary.  When I first met him, a friend said to me, “he says a lot, but yet, doesn’t really say anything at all.”  I have come to understand that this is part of his deception technique.  He speaks very quickly; to one: make it seem as though he is accomplishing a lot, when in reality, he really isn’t doing anything at all; and two: he seems to believe if he can talk circles around you, he will divert you from the actual question you just asked.

Does it work?  No, but it is so tiring to listen to, that I eventually give up, just so I don’t have to hear his voice any longer.