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Disappointed in Myself

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  yellowsubmarine 1 week, 5 days ago.

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  • #48203

    kitchendancer
    Participant

    I moved in with my Narc a year ago, after we had been dating a year and 1/2. There were red flags before then, but not having ever had experience with a narcissist, I didn’t give my slighlty suspicious thoughts a lot of weight. And, the concerning incidents were few and far between, and I figured out ways to change MY behavior so as provoke him to get angry or act like I was the one with a problem.

    Within a month of moving in with him, there were things that happened where I felt like he was almost purposely doing things to make me feel insecure, excluded, or out of place. And if I would bring it up later, when we were not with his friends, and in an attempt to gently bring it to his attention, he would launch into a tyrade about how his ex wife used to do this all the time, he wasn’t going to do this again, etc. He would get downright cruel with his words, and when I would try to logically point out how his behavior in social situations could be seen as inconsiderate, he continued to turn the argument around and blame me, rather than try to see how he was hurting me. Without going into too much detail, it was almost as if he was either projecting HIS feelings of insecurity on me, or projecting his feelings about his ex. The things he said were completely not in line with the way that I knew myself to be, and it was like he was talking about a completely different person. I felt like I was going crazy. When we would argue, nothing made sense, nothing seemed logical, and I could not figure out how to combat his attacks.

    He completely withdrew all affection and sex. He ignored me for days at a time. He gave me the silent treatment. I overheard him talking on the phone to his friends, completely telling lies about me, making it sounds like I was an angry person who was on his case all the time, or that I would instigate arguments with him in front of his kids. NONE of which was true. I went out of my way NOT to argue with him in front of his kids. And, I actually felt like he would pick a fight with me right before they would come over, so I would be forced to go through an entire weekend acting like everything was beautiful.

    At any rate… as I started feeling like something really was off, I started doing research, and eventually came to the conclusion that he was a narc. At first, when I read about the indicators, it seemed like he would have been low on the spectrum. So, I didn’t give it too much credence. But the longer I stayed with him, and had not been able to find a job in this new city where I didn’t have family or friends, and I become increasingly dependent on his “good graces”, the worse he became.

    I began to plan my escape. Once I finally found a job, it took me 3 months to get enough money to move out. Even then, the only way I was able to successfully move out was to never communicate that I thought he had issues, and by giving him other reasons for my needing to move out that were completely unrelated to our relationship. I had also convinced him I still wanted to date him, which was true, but also was a way to ensure that my belongings that still had to stay at his house temporarily would be safe. Then it took another 2 months for me to completely detach because 1) I still loved him, and 2)I still had belongings in his home, and 3) I was doing work for his company.

    I finally broke up with him a month ago during one of his rages, and finally went no contact about 2 weeks ago, after finally giving up on some of my furniture, quitting his business which I needed for a secondary income, and giving up contact with all of the mutual friends I mistakenly thought I had made over the past 2 1/2 years. Yes… he had successfully executed his smear campaign. But, I was emotionally prepared for that, because I had done my research.

    And now… even though I have done so much studying about narcissism, and understand the traits, and understand it wasn’t real… I am grieving more that I thought possible over the loss of the relationship. I think, even up until two weeks ago, I still had a sliver of hope that it had been real, that he had loved me. Even though I knew he had already started dating again the very next weekend after I broke up with him. However, as a result of several conversations, I realized that our love had never been real. He really didn’t ever love me.

    And now, I am so distraught. So disappointed in myself. I can’t believe I let myself fall for him. I can’t believe I let myself become so quietly accepting of his emotionally abusive behavior. I feel like such a fool. And now, I’m in a new city where I don’t have any support.

    And to me, it seems so odd, that even though I had become aware of his narcissism almost a year ago, why this grief is all just hitting me now. Even while I was living with him, and planning my escape for my own sanity, I still loved him. I still hoped I was wrong. I kept hoping I would eventually get back the man I had fallen in love with.

    How can I ever trust my instincts again?

  • #48211

    Donna Andersen
    Keymaster

    Kitchendancer – First of all, you should be proud of how you recognized what was going on and carefully planned your escape. You did everything right.

    Secondly, everything you experienced is completely normal for someone who had no first-hand experience with a sociopath / narcissist / whatever he was. You acted as any normal human being would act — until you figured out that you were not dealing with another normal human being.

    Now what you need to do is let yourself heal. It is also normal that you are feeling the grief now, and not earlier. It was not safe for you to feel grief previously, while you were still around him and somewhat dependent on him. Now that you have escaped, the feelings that you wouldn’t let yourself feel are coming up.

    You have much to grieve. You thought you were in a real relationship, and you made life decisions based on believing that you were in a real relationship. The guy deceived you and betrayed you. This is a tremendous loss.

    So allow yourself to cry, yell, scream – anything but have contact with him. No Contact is the key to recovery. The longer you are away from him, the better you will feel. It’s only been a couple of weeks. Your mind and heart will continue to clear.

    And then, you’ll be able to trust your instincts more than ever. Because you did see the warning signs early on, but you didn’t know what they meant. Now you do. Now when you see those preliminary red flags, you will know exactly what is going on, and will get the person out of your life right away.

    You’ll be fine, I promise you. Give yourself time and permission to recover.

    • #48308

      regretfullymine
      Participant

      Kitchendancer; you have learned many painful lessons; don’t be disappointed in yourself, I was disappointed in myself for a long time. How could I have believed he loved me, wanted me, enough to marry him against the wishes of my family/friends? And then, have it go bad, when it all slowly, surely turned bad, went on for years and years, as mine did”? You believed the best in him, as I did. You wanted so bad, for this relationship to work, I did too. You trusted someone, YOU thought you were in love with, so did I. He didn’t love you, mine didn’t love me, either. He took shameless advantage of you. Now you know, there ARE evil people out there. And how to listen to your intuition when encountering them. Be thankful you have had the courage, strength to plan and carry out your escape. DONT GO BACK, EVER. Find, buy and read and re-read the books available, about psychopaths. Go talk to a counselor who knows about these people. You are strong; you WILL heal. You were deceived, fooled, taken advantage of. NONE OF THIS IS YOUR FAULT. You’ll be OK.

  • #48212

    traumatized41
    Participant

    Hi kitchendancer,
    It has been quite a while since I posted on here, but something about your post brings me here today.

    Forgiving myself has been the hardest part of recovery for me. In the beginning, I found a lot of strength and comfort in the surviving safe relationships article “little red riding hood revisited”.

    I kind of found it funny that i had forgotten about all of the ex and mother comparisons which was a big part in my sp’s manipulation of me. That goes to show that in time you do forget some of the terror, thoughts become more clear, and you gain a better understanding the manipulation that you suffered which helps you to start to forgive yourself.

    Let me know if you have a hard time finding that article and i will provide better directions.

  • #48309

    slimone
    Participant

    Kitchendancer,

    Please try to go easy on yourself. Being manipulated by an expert is no simple thing to resist and overcome. And, Donna is correct. We don’t grieve until it is safe to do so. So, often, the ‘escape phase’ is pretty heady, what with the planning and learning and protecting of our knowledge. Then, once away, the full emotional impact of the TRAUMA we have experienced comes to the fore front.

    Think about what you would do after a GIANT natural disaster. You don’t know where your pets are, you have lost your home, perhaps lost a loved one. You are also physically injured. You would first need to calculate your escape and execute that, then seek shelter, hospital, and food. You would be pretty consumed with ensuring your basic needs were met before you could even feel much about the HORROR of what you had actually been through.

    The kind of abuse and deception we experience is tantamount to this kind of trauma. We are in the WRONG place at the wrong time.

    Try to be kind to yourself, just a little bit. Forgiveness for yourself will come. You played only a small part in what happened. I assure you that the bulk of the blame can be placed FIRMLY on the abuser.

    I find Kathleen Hawks articles (found in the Post Archives by Category section down below, in red) are VERY good at describing what we go through to become whole again.

    Slim

  • #48361

    yellowsubmarine
    Participant

    I hope you get educated as much as possible to find out that you did the right thing, miraculously. It took me 63 years to detach myself from my mother, and I still love her. There is only so much the heart can take. Even if you were to go back, or hook up with another taker (being that you are a giver), one day your natural instincts of survival will force you to say “enough,” and you will leave. I can read it in you. I could not even have the clues that you had. Be careful not to get together with someone who will be more violent and will control you permanently. Life is delicate, but you are a lucky one. Oh, remember that today more than ever we are finding out that psychopathic traits at in a large percentage, inherited. So be careful if you plan to reproduce. Codependents like you also were formed by a childhood of neglect and abuse, and these traits are also in our DNA as adults.

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