I have to admit that I am not very good at certain things: Patience…keeping my car clean on the inside (Hey…no one ever asks me to drive…there IS a method to my madness!)….and bagging groceries.
When I lived on my own the first time, right after college…I had to go to the grocery store by myself. And long gone were the baggers of old, who knew what they were doing. I just threw crap in my bags, and left.
There is an art to it, as I learned. I would get to the car, and realize that I’d left half the stuff behind as it randomly fell out because I wasn’t careful. I usually had to end up playing grocery pickup…but I would still end up leaving behind a mess that either someone else picked up, or just scattered to God knows where.
That’s kind of like what happens when you end a relationship with a Narcissist. They are utterly devoid of compassion and remorse…and if it might make them remotely ‘guilty’…it will be avoided at all costs.
And their previous mess, that came before you…is likely covered in their lies as well.
Case in point – when my NARC left his ex-wife, I was told it was impossible for him to continue living with her, as she was not treating her Borderline Personality Disorder, it was too difficult for him, and it was ‘putting the kids through too much.’ Oh, and she spent money like it was going out of style.
He came to my doorstep, after 8 years apart, and expressed his never-died-out-love for me, how he appreciated what I offered him…blah, blah, blah. I succumbed to his charm and ‘sincerity’, and promised to help him through the difficult part of the ‘tail end of his divorce.’ (I found out, years later, that the divorce, at that point, hadn’t even been officially filed. Yes, our relationship reignited under a huge lie. I am no longer surprised by the lies I continually find out I was told.)
Now…I knew at one point, he was a devoted single father to his oldest son when we dated the first time…so I shuddered to think what happened to make him abandon his own children with her. What kind of living hell was this person going through to take so drastic a measure.
My guess is that ‘living hell’ was responsibility – but I digress.
Flash Forward 5 ½ years later. I am under constant stress from a rental property that I can only bet describe as ‘left as a disaster’, that drained my personal savings to almost nothing as I sent check after check after check for repairs and maintenance the tenant never brought to my attention to fix. He was aware of all of these, and assured me he’d help if I needed it. So…additional repairs needed to be made…and of course…there were problems at his bank. Oh…I thought I transferred that…excuse after excuse, but no help came.
Then, he ‘poofed’, under the guise of a business trip. There was also the matter of charges he made that were WAY over my comfort level on the American Express. He kept saying ‘sure…I will pay it.’ Then, made more charges…and more charges. Then left.
He, of course, looked me in the eye on our last night together, and told me he was sending me money to cover those…help pay the remaining rent on our exorbitant lease…and to pay for furniture we picked out a few months ago that was on my charges as well.
Yes…you will notice a recurring them…MY Charges…MY account. With such a spotty employment history, a repossession (his ex-wife’s fault…of course!)…his obtaining his own credit was nothing short of impossible. So hey…just use mine! Problem solved! Again…I digress.
I made him sign a promissory note, detailing what he would pay, and when. Why no…I haven’t seen a dime of it…why do you ask?
He left a day before a romantic cruise we had booked just a month before. He left me with debts, and apartment that is too big for me in both size and lease, a giant saltwater fish tank that is a gross, smelly monstrosity at this point because I know slightly more about astro-physics than I do salt-water tank care. He left me with tons of his clothes that I can only assume did not costume him well for his ‘new’ life.
He left me with tons of wreckage to clean up…a broken heart to do it with…and not two dimes to my name after paying all his bills on top of my own.
That is the hallmark of a Narcissist. They come in, stay…then destroy what they can, how they can, and they leave with bang just to make sure the rubble they leave gets blasted to sithereens. They don’t care that they’ve left you…the person they ‘love’, with practical, financial, and emotional ruins. They only care that they can move on with as little baggage as possible.
It seems unfathomable that people can treat people that way. The Narcissist loves nothing more than a grand exit. Maybe they leave you in such a state because they want to leave you so devastated you keep waiting for them to swoop in and rescue. Perhaps it’s that they, like Heath Ledger’s Joker, ‘Just like to watch the world burn.’ It might just be that exit, for them, is the only way they can see out, and, rather than handle it normally…they don’t have the mental or emotional resources to extricate themselves from a relationship like an adult.
Yes…it’s astoundingly cruel. Yes…you cannot understand what YOU did to deserve it? How bad must I have been? You feel like dirt. But, the problem lies not in you – just that you had the really shitty luck to fall into the trap of a Narcissist. By the time he left, I was literally drained emotionally, mentally, and financially. I had nothing left the NARC wanted…so the parasite moved to a new host.
But the one thing he didn’t wreck was my determination. My determination to rebuild the life in a way that I see fit. He did not wreck the glimmer of hope I have that I will rebuild stronger than he left me. It’s the only solace I have – I learned enough to prevent this from happening again. Once you’ve been ensnared by a Narcissist…you literally can spot them a mile away.
Oh…in case you’re wondering…the ex-wife was never diagnosed a borderline…he left her financially destitute…he left her with tons of his debt she was stuck paying for. Maybe 5.5 years faded her memory. Maybe he has changed (I almost typed that with a straight face.) Maybe she thinks she can match him wit for wit this time.
But I at least feel safe in knowing…after cleaning up the wreckage he left in our life together – I can say, beyond all shadow of a doubt…the trail he leaves when he departs her life again will definitely not lead this way.