I Love You*

As my fiancé walked out the door for the last time last Thursday – his last words to me will ring in my head forever:  ‘You know I love you.’

Yes…his last words, as he was leaving me for whatever lie he had cooked up to cover whatever trail he was blazing to move onto a new source of Narcissistic Supply…were that he loved me.  

That is the last lie he will ever tell me.

If you find yourself in a relationship with a Narcissist, I am certain you hear that a lot.  It is also a complete and utter giant, wet, steaming pile of bullshit.

Narcissists are categorically incapable of loving as a normal person understands that concept to be.  Narcissist love what you do for them.  The adore how you have a supply of emotional and mental resources to drain.

But I can promise you – they do not, nor will they ever love you in the traditional sense.

Please do not kid yourself if you think your NARC is different:  Aside from physical attributes…they are cut from the same cloth.  ‘Love’ is  tool they craft in order to take from you what they want.  They mist us with their charms…they mimic expertly what the motions should be for love.  But they cannot muster the empathy, compassion, tenderness and selflessness that is required to have a loving relationship.

The Love Bombing phase is where we, the Targets, fall in love.  But, those who we fall in love with are just not who they are at their core.  They can never truly be that compassionate, caring soul we are sure is at the heart of all those amazing romantic moments.

The Narcissist loves themselves – as much as they are capable of something resembling ‘love’.  They love that the Target doesn’t see them for who they are.  They love that the Target is their own, personal pile of silly putty – able to mold and shape as they want.  They are NOT interested in helping you grow with them.  They have no time or concern to nurture the best in you, and still love the worst in you.  They do not love you, and never truly will. 

They do NOT love – the sooner you realize that, the sooner you can clear your head from their mist.  And it’s sad, ultimately, because they will never be ‘whole’ in the sense most people are.  They are missing something elemental that got skipped due to trauma while they were young, or some horrible upbringing that nurtured something dark and draining in them.  And they can’t ever ‘learn’ those wonderful qualities that add the cherry on the cake of life for you and I.  I do weep for the children those NARCS used to be – it’s sad to know that they missed an essential part of growing up where they learned to appreciate and cherish the good in other people, rather than extract it for their own personal gain.

Their love will ALWAYS come with an asterisk — there will always be a footnote to clarify what they say when they say ‘I love you.’  It does come with conditions — just not conditions they share with you in the beginning…and likely never will.

I would say that the best response, when you hear ‘I Love you, ‘ from a NARC is to look them in the eye, smile, and say  ‘Go Fuck Yourself!’

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So who is this Narcissist?

It seems pretty standard:  You end a relationship with someone, more often than not…you have few, if any, nice things to say about them.  I get that.  Bitterness, anger and hurt all hodgepodge together to create a narrative for the jilted lover to help insulate them from the pain.

However, before I begin to delve into the aspects of my life with a Narcissist, I think it’s important to understand the traits that can lead one to measure high on the spectrum of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.   I pulled this list from Narcissisticabuse.com, but you can easily find similar lists in many places dealing with this maniacal disorder:

  1. Self-centered. His needs are paramount.
  2. No remorse for mistakes or misdeeds.
  3. Unreliable, undependable.
  4. Does not care about the consequences of his actions.
  5. Projects faults on to others. High blaming behavior; never his fault.
  6. Little if any conscience.
  7. Insensitive to needs and feelings of others.
  8. Has a good front (persona) to impress and exploit others.
  9. Low stress tolerance. Easy to anger and rage.
  10. People are to be manipulated for his needs.
  11. Rationalizes easily. Twists conversation to his gain at other’s expense.  If trapped, keeps talking, changes the subject or gets angry.
  12. Pathological lying.
  13. Tremendous need to control situations, conversations, others.
  14. No real values. Mostly situational.
  15. Often perceived as caring and understanding and uses this to manipulate.
  16. Angry, mercurial, moods.
  17. Uses sex to control
  18. Does not share ideas, feelings, emotions.
  19. Conversation controller. Must have the first and last word.
  20. Is very slow to forgive others. Hangs onto resentment.
  21. Secret life. Hides money, friends, activities.
  22. Likes annoying others. Likes to create chaos and disrupt for no reason.
  23. Moody – switches from nice guy to anger without much provocation.
  24. Repeatedly fails to honor financial obligations.
  25. Seldom expresses appreciation.
  26. Grandiose. Convinced he knows more than others and is correct in all he does.
  27. Lacks ability to see how he comes across to others.  Defensive when confronted with his behavior.  Never his fault.
  28. Can get emotional, tearful. This is about show or frustration rather than sorrow.
  29. He breaks woman’s spirits to keep them dependent.
  30. Needs threats, intimidations to keep others close to him.
  31. Sabotages partner. Wants her to be happy only through him and to have few or no outside interests and acquaintances.
  32. Highly contradictory.
  33. Convincing.  Must convince people to side with him.
  34. Hides his real self.  Always “on”
  35. Kind only if he’s getting from you what he wants.
  36. He has to be right. He has to win. He has to look good.
  37. He announces, not discusses. He tells, not asks.
  38. Does not discuss openly, has a hidden agenda.
  39. Controls money of others but spends freely on himself.
  40. Unilateral condition of, “I’m OK and justified so I don’t need to hear your position or ideas”
  41. Always feels misunderstood.
  42. You feel miserable with this person. He drains you.
  43. Does not listen because he does not care.
  44. His feelings are discussed, not the partners.
  45. Is not interested in problem-solving.
  46. Very good at reading people, so he can manipulate them.  Sometimes called gaslighting.

As I try and evaluate the aftermath of my life with him now conspicuously absent, I will explain aspects of our life together that typified many of these behaviors, so there is no question that I’m just ‘venting’ in order to make myself look good: I put up with these behaviors for 5 years, and excused then, rationalized them, and did everything I could to conform to my ever-shifting and unattainable ‘goals’ set forth by the man who shared my life.

But I also need to fully understand, for myself, what about me happened along the way when I was getting blamed for his actions, conversations I could clearly remember were ‘shifted’ in his retelling, and there was absolutely no discussion about my goals or desires for our relationship – I was along for his ride, until my usefulness on his journey ran it’s course, and I was discarded. What in me allowed this to happen?  What parts of myself do I have to examine and repair so this never happens again?

It’s a long road, and will likely be lonely – but it’s MY road now, and I don’t have someone telling me how to walk it. I guess that’s something.