Dear Kyle,

I find it ironic that I began to know the real you when we came to an end.

The man I loved died on June 29, 2016.  Actually, you likely died long before that…but the man I knew as the ‘love of my life’ died when I realized that you could utter the words ‘I love you’, while you destroyed my heart, my love, and left the life we built in shambles…leading me to carry in in the rubble of your absence.

Make no mistake…I did love you.  I still love the you who painted yourself to be with me, so you could extract from me the fruits of my work, my emotional support, and my mental energy.  I loved the man you faked in order to be with me. 

But I hate the man you actually are.

You say ‘I love you’ with so much sincerity at times, it’s easy to believe.  My heart aches for your children who get the byproduct of your fake love.  I wish to God I’d been smarter when you appeared on my doorstep to return to my life.  I wished I’d been able to listen to my inner voice that said something wasn’t right.  What kind of a morally bankrupt person leaves his own children, who did nothing to deserve your abandonment, in order to live out your fantasy of a responsibility-free life.  They did absolutely nothing to deserve your turned back, nor did they ever ask for it.  (Had they had input, I’m sure they would have preferred their sperm donor not be a soulless, black-hearted monster who only walks the earth to use those who cross his path.)

It always bothered me how you could seemingly cast them aside.  Of course, your ‘selfless’ reason of not wanting to put the kids through turmoil between you and your ex-wife made some sense…but didn’t fit with the man I thought you to be.  You made it painfully clear that the subject was not to be discussed.  I learned to drop it.  I never agreed with it…and I know the day will come when the day to day responsibilities of parenting and attempting to be a good role model will wear you down again, your wanderlust will take over, and the children will be abandoned again.   I know it as sure as I am sitting here – you leave those you purport to love when they no longer serve your purpose of the moment.  It’s the one thing those who have loved you can count on:  That you will leave them.

I will never understand why you chose to leave when you did.  I can only assume it’s because, as a Narcissist, you knew that I was financially nervous, your lies were catching up to you, and bailing – your go-to option, was the time to do it with maximum destruction.  I don’t understand why, when I supported you, literally and figuratively, all those years, that you felt the need to leave me alone, broke, and emotionally crushed.  Why couldn’t you just say ‘Hey…moving on?’  It would have been so much easier.  It was the least I deserved.

But you needed the rush of seeing how completely you could destroy another person.  One who gave you all you ever asked for, and more.  One who defended you when your actions seemed indefensible.  One who stood by you when, literally, everyone else in your life went away.  That, however, was not enough for you, and never will be.  You had to leave me with no warning, right before a vacation you knew I looked forward to, and when my responsibilities as a homeowner drained me of what little financial reserve I’d built up after years of supporting us both.  You knew the stress of my mother’s illness was becoming overbearing for me and I might actually need you to provide support you were never able, nor willing, to give.

But I realized something, as I try and make sense of this cruelty delivered by the hand of the man I held so dear.  You did kill a large part of me that day when you exited the world we build.  You killed the part of me you created.  You killed the weak-willed, trembling, scared-of-you-disapproval woman.  You slayed the nervous, worrying creature that lived in fear of your disappointment.

What was left is who I was before you reentered my life.  I am strong.  I am capable.  And I am wise.  You did your best to destroy that part of me…but it was actually stronger than you.  Yes, you built quite a fortress around her.  You hid her under years of lies, half-truths, and deception all designed to craft an image that the parts of me that didn’t doubt you allowed themselves to grow.  Like weeds on a untended garden, they choked off so much of the vegetation of me.  I was so confounded by your lies, and believed in the illusion you created, I didn’t tend to my inner beds as I should have, and the overgrowth nearly covered the best parts of me.

Alas, the man who always boasted of winning lost that battle.  You failed miserably in killing off the parts of me that now grow strong.  I’m clearing out the weeds of my life with you, and the light that hits those parts of me still alive are growing stronger, day by day.  Your lies that still occasionally creep into my life after your exit no longer hurt me.  They only feed the stronger parts of me that continue to grow as I realize your toxicity is a thing of my past. 

I smile when I realize that you did not, ultimately, succeed at my expense.

Yes, you hurt me.  Yes, I have been setback.  Yes, I grieve the life I envisioned we were building that is now dead and buried.  However…you did NOT break me.  You did NOT kill me.  And you did NOT win the final battle.  You retreated, like a coward.  You tried on a new life that, if there is any appreciation of truth in your dark, empty soul, you know is doomed to fail.  A life built on lies, by it’s very nature, cannot sustain itself.  Your lies will ultimately be your undoing.  You and I share that knowledge – although I am the only one who likely fully realizes it.

So enjoy your new life, how you can, while you can.  I am going to enjoy mine.  I am going to enjoy filling it with all the love, joy and fulfillment that you were incapable of providing.  Your life will follow the same pattern it always has – Sweep in, swoop down, destroy, and vanish.  It’s what you’ve mastered in almost half a century in this world, and you are so small minded that you can’t see how it is going to guarantee your future will be a dark and lonely one.

I wish you the best of luck, my former love.  Luck is the only way you will ever succeed in your way of life.

The problem is…luck always runs out.

Good Riddance, my sweet,

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Closure: Good Luck with That

Cleaning up the mess of a life shared when the one you shared it with left you with a ton of mess in all varieties is, shall we say, full of suck.

His rapid exit made for some interesting problems.  I cannot remain in the apartment we shared, due to his name being on the lease.  I have things in storage, but am having difficulty getting them out, as the storage unit was in his name, and the access code is not in my memory bank.  I have too much furniture for the smaller apartment I am moving too soon, and have to get rid of it.  I am paying off the last of his bills, but that means less than no money left for myself.

In short…getting to the Anger phase of a breakup has been remarkably easy, given the circumstances.

Mentally, I feel like I’m much farther along than I would expect to be, ending a 5 and a half year relationship that was supposed to culminate in marriage.  I think I’m just glad it’s over.  In retrospect, I was growing tired of the tension that was growing as my patience and tolerance for his Narcissistic tendencies was waning.

But the problem has become that, as I move into a new phase of my life…getting closure on this one is going to be more difficult.

Normally, closure isn’t so difficult to achieve.  Disentangling your life from a partners us normally done over a period of time – you find new places to live, divvy up the stuff, possibly have a few discussions if it’s worth salvaging.

But with a NARC – you cannot expect this.

They thrive on creating chaos out of others’ lives.  They derive strength in knowing they’ve left wakes of destruction for those behind them.  They live for ‘the kill.’ 

And they do NOT stick around to watch. 

Kyle and I broke up for the second time 13 years ago – it was remarkably easy to write it off as difficulties due to the three hours between us.  We stayed in sporadic contact during the time he was married to his 3rd ex-wife (Who he just left me for.)  There was a time he separated from her during the marriage, and we had a weekend tryst…but that was the extent of our involvement during his marriage.  He supposedly reconciled with her and they lived another 3 years before calling it quits.

Had I known then what I know now about his Narcissism, I would have NEVER opened the door when he came knocking.  He had exhausted her as a source of Narcissistic supply…and returned back to his other sure source – me.  At that point, I had cultivated enough in my life that I didn’t long for him…honestly didn’t give him much of a second thought at that point.  I had gotten closure by that point.

Now, however, it’s much more needed, and I know there is no way to get it.  NARCS will not come back in the recent aftermath – you are too likely to accuse them of being the parasitic worms they are, and truth and reality do NOT mix with a NARC.

They do not understand the hurt and pain they cause, so to be confronted with it would cause a cognitive dissonance that their minds are not equipped to process.  You will NOT ever get closure with a Narcissist to a degree that makes you feel you’ve put all your issues to rest with them if you are expecting them to participate. 

So, I have set on my own path of ‘closure.’  I have blocked his number and his facebook from me.  I have added his email to my spam list.  I have told my neighbors to please not give him information about me if he asks them where I’ve gone.  My Apartment complex managers know the situation, and promise me they will not provide my forwarding address.

No Contact is not easy.  I find I want to text and ask him ‘Why?’  I notice I want to email him and ask him what he expects me to do with artifacts he left behind.  I would love to know the access code to our storage unit – but calling him would risk his testing the waters when he decides his ex wife has given him all he needs.   I will have to find other ways.  It is not worth it to risk contacting him, giving his soul-sucking ego one morsel of satisfaction that he’s in my thoughts. 

I gave him enough of my past.  I refuse to give him one second of my future.  And it’s funny…because that realization alone makes me feel like I’m going to get closure I need.

I just need to give it time.

21 Days

Three weeks ago…I truly believed my world had imploded.
The man I loved for a large portion of my adult life unilaterally decided that our relationship was over.  He had made a decision to return to the life he left, as he said then, for me,  5 and a half years ago.
As I sat there, reeling from the news that the man I shared my life with, was building a future with, valued the booze he packed first as he quickly gathered his belongings over the next 18 hours more than me…a numbing panic washed over me.  What would I do…where would I go…what the hell happened?
His exit wasn’t preceded by constant fighting.  Aside from his two week absence to parts unknown,  (An event I had, foolishly, become accustomed to with life shared with him.) I was dumbfounded:  We had booked a cruise together, scheduled to leave, literally, the day after he decided to move out.   He was helping me evaluate bids for repair on the rental property I owned.  We went to several very expensive, romantic dinners.  Aside from some marginal, almost imperceptible behavioral oddities…everything seemed ‘normal.’ 
Hell, even while he was gone on his ‘road trip’, he sent several texts assuring me of his love and that he was not leaving.  It was the only communication I received from him during those two weeks.  He went over and above to convince me his eventual plan was not his plan.
The night he returned, and told me he was leaving, I sat there, on the sofa, drinking more wine and more wine to try and dull the searing pain ripping my heart and soul apart.  I sobbed non-stop, only to break up the sobs that wracked my body with bouts of vomiting because my nerves were on full-scale revolt. 
I felt lost.  I felt alone.  I felt abandoned.
My world was literally in a shambles.  He was removing belongs we accumulated together – artifacts of a life I now realize never fully existed.  I was a stopgap measure he no longer needed.  I was a source of adoration and support his Narcissistic mind and soul were incapable of producing on their own.
He pulled out of the parking lot of our apartment, and I sat there, hoping I would just die in my sleep – the pain was raw and all-consuming.  The sense of loss was more than I could bear.  I honestly wanted to fall asleep and just never wake up – there seemed to be nothing more for me to live for.  I was worth so little that I didn’t warrant a discussion.  I was so unimportant that I wasn’t worth the truth. 
All I had done for us…for him…meant nothing.  Five and a half years under the spell of a narcissist  had convinced me, inexplicably, that, without him…I was truly nothing. 
It was complete shell shock.  No warning.  No preamble.  Literally ‘So, where have you been the past two weeks?’  ‘Uh…with my ex wife and kids, it was incredible.  I’m leaving to go live with them.’  The man, who had spent 66 months convincing me that I was the only woman he ever loved…that he swore with everything he had would never leave me again, because life with me was far superior to life without me as he had truly seen both sides…the man who spent untold hours, over our years together, dissecting the hell life with his ex-wife had been – so much so he didn’t even want to maintain a relationship with his small children just to keep her out of his life…the man who said he loved me ‘Because you accept me for who I am.’  Just rolled out of my life. 
The next few days were spent in a heartbreaking fog.  I was so adrift, I couldn’t eat…could barely sleep, my only sustenance were cigarettes, water, and a few M & M’s.  I sat and stared at the walls when I wasn’t sobbing as to the life I now lived that had a huge crater in it.
The next week got better – although much stranger.  Without going into that detail, as it seems clear that there are still too many stories floating around that make some sense, have some truth…but still nothing concrete.  His exit, based on that second week, had been much longer in the planning stages than a complete about-face that the wife he divorced and the kids he literally abandoned now were going to be front and center in his life.  It appears several months went into planning his exit and setting himself up in a new life to jump into while leaving our life in ruins.
I began to realize that, with each passing day…certain things that had become my the twisted fabric of my daily life…weren’t missed.  I was so accustomed to catering to his every whim in the hopes I wouldn’t be the target for his passive-aggressive digs…I no longer dreaded the drive home.  His annoying alarm ceased waking me up at 4:30 so I would be the one to get up, prepare the coffee, get the morning started, so HE could wake up an hour later to fresh coffee, the right temperature in the apartment, and the pets fed.  There was no wondering if/when he would come home from late ‘meetings’.  No worrying when he had business dinners with colleagues that he was drinking and driving. 
There was no dreading going to bed either 1.) before I was ready, or 2.) that his version of foreplay would commence and I’d have to provide him lackluster sex or deal with a petulant manchild. (Literally grabbing my hand and putting it on his junk.  That’s how I knew it was time for what he wanted, regardless of my mood or desires at the time.) 
I realized that, for the first time in years…I was living my own life…or at least as much as I can while clearing out the remnants of our life.  I wasn’t putting myself in a holding pattern, waiting to be told what to do.  I wasn’t suffering through things HE enjoyed, but I could have cared less about.  I wasn’t being held captive by the mercurial moods of a Narcissist.
This past week has been spent tracking down a place that suits my tastes…sorting through moving bids from people I will hire to help me…visiting pawn shops to see if the jewelry he purchased for me during our time together can help fill the financial gap he left me with.  It’s meant eating dinner of what, and when I want – not what he feels like.  It means unwinding from a stressful job and playing with ferrets without being teased and made fun of because my life partner is bored.
It means facing painful realities about myself, as I realize that, while he did the lions share of abuse…I did actively silence my inner voice that said ‘Stick up for yourself,’ and how did I allow myself to devalue what I meant – just to me – to allow his needs and design for life to usurp mine.   Yes…I was a victim of abuse, but it also doesn’t mean I excuse myself for staying silent when I should have roared.  It meant teaching him my own needs were not as important as his.  Yes, he’s a Narcissist, and that will never change.  However, I am clearly co-dependent.  Fixing THAT is entirely on me.
It means living my life…and I feel like the past three weeks have been a true blessing in disguise.  The more I learn about Narcissism and how the partner of a NARC is affected…I never stood a chance.  And that’s OK.  I have learned insights I can carry with me into the future.  I have learned that I need to be the first line of defense in protecting my heart.  I have learned my gut is far smarter than I gave it credit for and it needs to be listened to a lot more than I have been.  I have learned I can do things on my own.  I have learned that some days, you just gotta get through each minute as it comes, and that overwhelming yourself with looking much farther than that to answer the question ‘How am I ever going to do this?’  doesn’t give you all the answers you need.   I have learned I am far better than he ever gave me credit for…precisely because I AM pushing on.  I AM dealing with the mess.  I AM more capable than either one of us ever gave me credit for. 
There is great satisfaction found in the moment you realize ‘Oh go Fuck yourself.  I have my life to lead.’

Ironically – the man who never truly loved me, never will, and broke my heart, set in motion the chain of events that have showed me more about the kind of love I am rebuilding within myself, and someday be willing to share with another, than I likely ever would have learned on my own.