Love Feels Safe
Love Feels Safe
Today, I ended a year-long relationship with a narcissist. Today I initiated No Contact. After I hung up the phone, I was shaking all over.
When I met him, I was hooked by the intensity, attention, charm, wit, affection. I felt some ambivalence due to lack of physical chemistry and immeditely honestly told him. He persisted and pursued me still. I broke off the relationship in June '17 feeling the chemistry would not change.
My mistake is that in his absence I idealized him and remembered all the intensity and missed him. 3 months later I told him I missed him, and we reconnected. Immediately, things turned dark.
He was deeply wounded by my honesty about the reason for the original break up, i.e. my discomfort around sexual chemistry. He wanted to reconnect but the undercurrent was his anger, blaming, and vindictiveness. Just as we ironed out and talked out the issues and I thought things were good, he unexpectedly made a very hurtful comment to make me feel rejected, undesirable, and to doubt myself. I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach when he said this (his ideal woman type was the opposite of me!). Later when I told him it upset me that he had premeditated this hurtful comment, and the motive was in his words to make things symmetrical between us, or to even the score, he became loud and invalidated my feelings. He insisted I "deserved" the comment, that he "had to hurt me" that he "had to teach me empathy" so I could feel the pain he felt.
On the same day, he volunteered to share a childhood memory of being emotionally abused by his mother, in the process of telling the story he became agitated as if reliving the episode. Few hours later, he told me he didn't feel that I was supportive when he revealed himself, and proceeded to get belligerent, raise his voice, carry on a wild temper tantrum accusing me, yelling, gesticulating wildly. I was actually stunned and terrified by his anger and feared for my safety in my own home. I could not wait to get him out of my house yet I was afraid to provoke him and say something wrong to set him off even more.
This was the first time I had seen his ugly side -- the underhanded insidious hurtful barb, and then explosive vicious hot anger directed at me for no reason.
I expected he'd apologize after calming down. This never happened. Three weeks went by, and then he sent an almost-maybe-break up email that had some hint that it was not that.
I had invested myself emotionally. I wanted to sympathize with the trauma he endured as a child. I wanted to make excuses for him and rationalize his awful behavior -- when I read the break up email I got very emotional and called him right away.
He now played the hide and seek game, not answering the calls and not calling me back 4 times in the next two days.
I don't like to discuss deep issues via email but as he was not responding I relented and emailed him saying how his anger had scared me, and how I don't allow myself to be mistreated or abused in any way by anyone.
Once more, he left me on the hook over the next 5 days. He wrote that we had to resolve the matter in writing for a while before moving to a phone call, wanting to control how/when/if we communicate.
In the interim I read about the narcissist red flags waving everywhere and visited this site and decided that I don't want to feel the way this man was making me feel: anxious, stressed, walking on eggshells, guilty, uncertain, unsafe, all around awful. Love should not feel painful.
Prior to this guy I was married 20 yrs to an NPD -- diagnosed malignant narcissist. I paid a high price and freed myself from his harm. I thought never again would I make the same mistake. It feels devastating to see that I was duped, that I bought the fantasy of this man's pretend affection and tenderness, and that after all I meant nothing to him but an object he could use to feed his abysmal ego.
The email I received from him following up his break up threat email was convoluted smoke and mirrors gibberish to twist and distort what happened, how he acted, how his angry outburst made me feel. He skillfully turned things around to blame me for projecting my own feelings on him... and so on... and so on.... it's not even worth repeating the crazy making that he is masterfully good at.
I made the call BEFORE I saw that he emailed.
I wrote my phone call message ahead of the call so I'd be succinct, firm, and final.
I said I called to tell you that I don't want to see you or talk to you again. Please don't contact me again.
He answered "okay."
I said "Thank you. Bye." And hung up.
Immediately I shook all over my body.
I felt the rage. Sheer rage at trusting a paper puppet who acted as if he cared about me and wanted to be with me, but realizing it was a sham.
Rage for his abusive behavior that he denies and twists and wiggles out of, just as my ex husband used to do and for years and years.
Rage for wasting a year of my time and emotions on a harmful person.
I am relieved that there is no waiting, no hanging on, no being manipulated by him.
I have blocked his phone, his email, and FB.
We both travel in same dance community and will run into each other occasionally at dance events. I am fine with that as I plan to act like he is not there and completely not acknowledge him or show that he has any influence on me.
I would welcome comments from any members who have done NC or about how I perceive what just happened.
Thank you all.