Another survivor– I think

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  freefornow 7 months ago.

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  • #46145


    Here is my story– for 10 years I was with “B” who is a covert narcissist. He is a good looking, charming, even charismatic man, with an unconventional lifestyle. He worked very little over the time I knew him, managed his “investments”. He lives in a tiny dirty apartment. He had unreliable transportation. His arrogance would come out by belittling people, some he knew and claimed as friends, some he did not know. Everything was always about him and his opinions. Conversation was pretty one- sided, he did not seem to care about others’ situations, except if it affected him. He had some mystery medical problems, many ER and MD visits and tests. Nothing conclusive, but he went through many doctors, all of whom were according to him “incompetent or money grubbing” in some way. Yet, he was physically very active and strong.

    He would surf the net and find articles and resources that would bolster his opinions, especially regarding dietary supplements. He would take some of these to the extreme, then complain he did not feel well. He obsessed about his body, every little mark or imperfection.

    Initially with me he was kind, gentle, appropriate, interested. Honestly I never thought our sex life was all that great, but I still fell in love with him. He watched porn, which he shared with me at first, then when he saw I wasn’t interested, probably watched on his own. Our lifestyle revolved around the out doors, and at first I was thrilled to find someone who liked to hike, camp, explore out of the way places.

    A pattern developed. He lived 100 miles from me; I would drive up, we would pack up, and be out for the weekend. Some of our adventures were very stressful. I enjoyed it at first, then later is was tiring and terrifying for me; we risked damaging my vehicle, and risked damaging our bodies. He seemed to need the adrenalin, and I allowed him to push me. If I tried to hold back, he would make statements like” come on, we can drive there”, or on a difficult hike he was climbing an exposed rock face ( I was terrified of heights which he knew) he would say, “come on you can do this.” I was sure the vehicle would suffer damage or we would not be able to get out of a situation. We always did, sometimes with lots of work, then when I got home from the weekend I would be mentally and physically exhausted.

    He never paid for anything, he never took me out to dinner, or a movie, paid for a tank of gas. Later we lived together for almost a year; not an agreed upon arrangement, he had a gas line leak or something at his apartment and begged to stay with me. I thought it would be for a few weeks. I would come home after a long day at work, and he would be on the couch using my internet. He never offered to pay for anything that time either. He did do some home improvement work and he did some work on my vehicle. I always bought the parts.
    I moved out and he went back to his apartment he still had. We continued outside things together. I stopped sleeping with him, I just didn’t want it. My father died and I was depressed. Still, like any dysfunctional couple, we kept on. I would tell him he needed to “get a real girlfriend”. He would say “you are my girlfriend”. Most comments or opinions I had were denegrated. He always knew better. He would call his mother ” a bitch” but when she sent him checks for his birthday or whatever he would quickly cash them.

    He had a level of paranoia that at first I thought was weird, then I told myself I was being judgemental, it was just his personality. He was always thinking people were spying on him, and he went to great lengths not to be tracked on the internet. We would be out camping in an area he knew and if other people he didn’t know were camping nearby he would try to go spy on them in the night to see what they were doing. I started dreading our weekends together, and experiencing anxiety so much so as I think about it I didn’t recognize the person I was becoming.

    I felt so guilty for not giving him what he wanted or needed ( I thought). I gave him some nice things, probably trying to make up for it. A while into the no sex thing, he proposed marriage on one knee in my kitchen when we got back from a trip. I was horrified; to my knowledge I never gave any indication I wanted to go to that level. I think now it was his last ditch effort at solidifying control. I was pulling away slowly and he knew it, he was not ready for me to move on.

    I said no and felt terrible. We slowly plodded on. I have no idea what he did for sex, what other women there were. Finally he started online dating ( unknown to me), and met someone. When he told me I simultaneously felt great and terrible. I was free but he lied to me. He was very cold and indifferent to my feelings, he even wanted me to talk to her and tell her what a great guy he was, and for me to tell her he loved her! I told both of them I did not have a problem with him having a girlfriend; I had a big problem with his lying and disrespect for what I saw as at least a very good friendship.

    He soon changed his cell phone number and went no contact. I thought I still wanted a friendship; I reached out to his new girlfriend. She was very nice and receptive, and encouraged me to try to contact him although now via email only. A strange relationship evolved between she and I, and over time we shared a few things. I was so amazed some of the things she experienced were IDENTICAL, to what I had gone through. I mean sure he is the same person, but she pointed out that she and I have very similar backgrounds. I realized that since he had successfully manipulated me for years he was going to gaslight her and expect the same results. However she had been married before to a narcissist, divorced and came out the other side. She started seeing red flags I had totally ignored for years. Thanks to her being with him I was able to make the break, although very painful and confusing. He did send me a few emails; it was like another person communicating with me. I realized this was the real ” B”. He was condescending, cruel, manipulative and dismissive. Since he no longer had use for me he did not need his mask.

    She has now made the break after almost a year with him. We compared more notes, it was downright spooky how he went by the same playbook. I know he will not contact me again. I was quite angry and called him on a lot of things, he knows I know his game, although I did not equate it with narcissism until I did research later. I feel happy and free, I lost weight, am in great shape, and enjoying facets of my life I had put on hold. I still do my outdoor activities, but thankfully with a lot less stress. I am working on my self esteem, my guilt, my anger at him and really, at myself, for my very poor judgement in all of this. I know it will take a while. I am in a so much better place than a year ago. I am sad I wasted 10 years, it wasn’t all bad, and I believe sometimes a person is in your life for you to learn some kind of a lesson, whether bad, good or indifferent. His new “ex” and I have agreed to try and stay in contact, if nothing more I suppose to support each other. My interacting with her has been a great help to me, one that I thanked her for.
    Perhaps there is a role for everyone in this play of life, I feel badly for his next ” victim”, it will be more of the same over and over again. What a horrible way for anyone to live.

  • #46151


    Dear Freefornow,

    Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations on breaking free from the Narc. You are very lucky that you could subconsciously see the red flags, that’s why your relationship with him retreated into friendship and this is why you said no to his marriage proposal (which is very hard to do – we are conditioned by society to say yes, even if our gut instinct says no). Your story demonstrates yet again how important it is to listen to your gut.

    The fact that his last girlfriend was willing to talk to you and share her experiences was very rare and again you are lucky this has happened. She is clearly a wise lady and learned from her prior experience, saw red flags and ended that relationship also.

    Congratulations on going no contact with the Narc, you sound very strong and happy and doing great.

    From your story it sounds like you are an extremely nurturing and giving person, this is what they prey on. Providing this man financial support over the years (free housing, meals, paying for activities) would have taken a toll on you, financially and emotionally. However it was an important lesson to learn, how to spot these men. Next time you will see it sooner and cut things off.

    Your ex has very similar traits to my 2 exes: one was a covert Narc, then it was a sociopath (because I went from one to the other without taking time out of dating and reflecting on why I was making these choices.

    if you can, please purchase a copy of Donna’s book on signs of love fraud (can buy it here on the website). It will give you a good blue print on how to proceed from here.

    A lack of synergy between a narc’s representation of what he is and what you see. I had a similar experience with my exes where they were arrogant, felt superior to everyone, had the need to put friends and family down behind their backs. My last SP was always saying how much he hated his father yet could not wait to get his hands on the inheritance when his father passed away. The lifestyle for both was the opposite to what they represented themselves to be – professionally respected and successful.

    Hopefully you can now recover and not get involved with a person like that again.

    I hope the last girlfriend is doing well and is also stronger after this experience.

  • #46152


    Thank you for your suggestions and kind words. I know I must be vigilant. It is going to be a while I think before I date again. I am ok being alone for the time being.
    When I miss someone there I realize he was never really there. Not for me. His last girlfriend is holding strong right now, hopefully she too can move on. She seems to be very reflective on this situation.

    It is somewhat distressing that someone you had trust in never felt anything good towards you. That is what I need to work on, the bitterness and the lack of trust toward people.

  • #46153

    Donna Andersen

    freefornow – thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you are taking all the right steps in focusing on your personal recovery. You can definitely come through this stronger, wiser and more healthy. Have faith in yourself.

  • #46154


    Freefornow: Did I read your story right? Did your “narc” really go nocontact on you first? That’s a new one. Good luck with your freedom. Hope it lasts longer than “for now.”

  • #46161


    Yes, he went no contact with me once he saw how upset I was with his lies and manipulation at the end of our friendship/ relationship. I did ask him to not contact me, after I spoke to his then new now ex girlfriend I later decided to call him to talk. He had changed his phone number. I sent several emails– no response. Then I reached out to his girlfriend, and we started our correspondence. According to her he did not want to talk to me because it would end in being berated by me. He was probably right in that; especially at that time.
    He was done with me and wanted no part of me as he had a new person to victimize. I was having trouble that a person I was very close with for 10 years could just shut me down. I understand now exactly how he could do that, because he never had any feelings for me in the first place.

    A little story– we were late getting out of part of the Grand Canyon on a very hard hike, and it was getting dark. When we got on the rim it was full on dark, and with no moon yet getting to the car was not impossible but wouldn’t be easy. We both had headlamps. I knew that by following close to the rim we would pick up an old road that would take us to the car. Months earlier in the same area a hiker had disappeared and was presumed dead, in fact to this day has never been found. We kept an eye out during our hike but saw nothing that would be from this person. However it was bothering me and moreso our wandering around in the woods at night. My ex was an excellent outdoorsman/ routefinder and generally I deferred to him on getting us back to the car. This night he took off in a weird direction that I knew wasn’t the right way. I spoke to him about it, at first casually, then more forcefully, then panicked. If we went the wrong way even by daylight this could be a disaster in this big country, plateau with trees and little close landmarks other than canyons feeding into the big canyon. He told me to “shut up” and follow or go on my own. I started crying, I am not usually a cry baby for anything. I started to follow him against all my instincts, he was so far ahead I could barely see his headlamp and he would not wait for me. I stopped, started to move more toward the direction I felt we needed to go but still tried to keep his light in my peripheral vision. As I got to a hill right at the road he called to me he was on the road. He was pretty far below me. We got to the car and I was so upset I could not speak for a while.
    He did not try to comfort me nor explain why he did what he did. Even after our trip no ” oh I am sorry you got upset” or anything. I really believe he would have left me, and if it would not have implicated him, he would have taken the car and gone on. Later, I told him that. He had no response, not even ” you are crazy”. That to me now is very telling how cold, cruel and indifferent a person can be.

  • #46174



    Make that ‘freeforever’! You sound like you are being very thoughtful about what you experienced, and you have a good head start toward healing.

    It is baffling when the switch flips and they completely turn off toward you. I experienced the same thing, though my circumstances were a bit different than yours. It was like the whole experience- all the time, attention, travel, sex, etc…never happened. He was a blank. That was when I knew he was likely already mentally invested in some new target.

    I found out later that indeed he was, 8 targets to be exact. His spin on this was that he was, and I am not kidding, testing to see if he was more attracted to me or to any of the 8 women he was sleeping with. Like we were brands of ketchup or something.

    What is also interesting is that they are very good at wrapping up their behavior in different models of thinking and living. Like your guy pushing you to overcome your fears in the outdoors. Like he was helping you develop your confidence, when in fact the whole thing was just him playing the control game, seeing how far he could push you (maybe even to death, if you were that malleable).

    Mine was all about pushing the social envelope around sexual identity and traditional relationships. Silly me I initially thought this made him more emotionally mature than me, when really it was just about being able to have sex with anyone at anytime he wanted.

    He now leads workshops on spiritual evolution, self awareness through tantric sex, and poly-amory. People eat it up!

    This is very painful to finally come to terms with, obviously.

    But they really only see us as something useful, or by turns, not useful. Period. The rest of it is all a game, pretend, cat and mouse.

  • #46212


    good you are free.

  • #46219


    There are days that I feel fine, normal, centered. Then moments where I don’t. Supposedly you can pick up “fleas” from these people. I won’t get closure but sometimes I wish I could see him one last time. To punch him in the face, no slapping, a closed fist punch. Words won’t make a difference to someone like him. Better for me I won’t get to act on my immature impulse. But the fantasy is nice!
    I look forward to the time I don’t think about him ever again. I am far from that, I’m afraid.

    • #46224


      Hi Freefornow,

      your “closure” is finding out he is a sociopath, thru your research!!

      Your “closure” is educating yourself!!

      And, Your closure, is also, YOU imposing the No Contact Rule!!

      These things are powerful…and much more beneficial for your peace of mind, then your ex (the sociopath) giving you a lying, manipulative last conversation.

      Wishing you all the best!! 🌺💜🌺🌺💜

    • #46229


      wishing you the best.

  • #46221

    Donna Andersen

    freedomfornow – Your Grand Canyon story is frightening. And his lack of response is chilling. I am glad you are away from him.

    It will take time to detox from him. Stay strong through the process.

  • #46424


    So, his most recent ex notified me she had to get an order of protection from him. She discarded him, so I guess he has suffered a “narcissistic injury” from what I have read. She warned him to not come to her house and of course the moron did just that. Fortunately she has family nearby that were not taken in by his “charm”, and we agreed he is most likely not physically dangerous, as he is on the cowardly side regarding confrontations. Apparently he has no new supply yet so is stalking her. I am not worried about me because he knows he will get nowhere with me regarding information or restoking the flames. He knows I know what he is.
    From what she has told me regarding statements he has made toward her it does sound like he is unraveling somewhat, so she plans to be very careful regarding her whereabouts ( not being alone unless public place) in the near future.
    Hopefully it will all work out without any more drama than what has been already.

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