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He nearly cost me my sanity. By the time I fled from him, I was a mere shell of a woman (as one counselor put it). I had no idea what I was dealing with. I only knew that I was somehow unable to leave him. I never fully understood why that was. I felt nothing but pain when I was with him. Now I know what I was dealing with.

I was a perfect target. Kind hearted, forgiving, loyal. After a failed young marriage, I thought I found “Prince Charming.” I had a few boyfriends and an ex husband before I met the narc….but I never fell so head over heels in love like I did with him. I felt “swept away”- literally.

His behavior changed immediately after we started living together. He wanted to control all of my money. Which wasn’t a fortune, but it was more than he earned. He managed to convince me that because I came from a divorced, chaotic family background…..that he was normal and what he asked of me was normal. I believed him.

I knew something was very wrong. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I could never read him. His emotions were flat……sometimes I got the feeling he was “parroting” others’ emotions. Even so….I continued to fall deeper into his trap. Then, I got pregnant. That’s when things really heated up. By this time, I was conditioned like Pavlov’s dog. I accepted all the blame ….for everything. He was very stingy with money and he resented the new baby’s needs bitterly.

I felt as though I was living under some kind of spell (for lack of a better phrase). I was madly in love with him, but he was not very giving and he did not care much about my needs. When I expressed my needs, he would make me feel ashamed of them, or that I was crazy to have such needs.

I lived in a state of emotional turmoil/confusion for years…..never knowing where I stood. When our second child came along……his detached attitude toward me got worse. I felt trapped. I kept thinking if I did this….or did that….or didn’t do this – he would stop treating me so callously. I got the feeling that he needed/wanted me around to take care of the house and the kids- but for nothing else. I felt like his housekeeper.

I can only describe those years like this: I felt as if I were walking on the funhouse floor. The floor was constantly moving from under my feet. I never knew what was going to happen next. I had no idea I was living with a narcissist. Even though I saw the signs early on….I brushed them off because I did not want to judge others. And he was extremely charming and very sexy. I fell for it.

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