For months I had been trying to get my long-term Narcissist to come back to me. After almost 10 years together I was mystified. Nothing I was doing was working. Nothing moved him. Nothing touched him.
I soon realized that I would never reach him, because there was nothing inside to reach. Looking into his soulless eyes, as my eyes begged and pleaded, was like looking into the abyss. Before I knew about the other woman I knew that he was lost to me. Once he had summoned up the courage to say he was leaving I was dead to him and there was nothing I could do to change that.
Just before it was all finalized a mutual friend had asked to come by to do some business, so my ex had to come back to our house and we had to act normally We snapped back into our usual business routine and pretended that there wasn’t a 100 foot wall between us. We were both back in our home, at the same time, where years of memories lay dormant.
After the business had wrapped up and our guest left I said to him, “Doesn’t being here, being with me, doesn’t this feel normal to you?” I thought being surrounded by the remnants of our life together had to mean something to him..
“No” he said.
“Why can’t we fix this? Why won’t you even try?” I pleaded.
He looked at me, his face emotionless and stone-like, “Because I don’t want to.” With that he left and I sat motionless for almost an hour.
Nothing held any meaning for him. It was like me, our house and our life together had tarnished and turned to black. Days later I discovered that he had been seeing his married co-worker for months.
She represented Spring. She was flowers blooming, vibrant colors, a babbling brook and the warm sun all at once. I couldn’t match what she represented. She was new and full of possibility – I was old and the cause of everything wrong in his life. She was his salvation – I was his oppressor.
It must have sounded so right to put the blame at my feet. It was akin to him taking out $100,000 loan and sticking me with the debt, while he got to go out and frolic on my tab.
I was in my early 30’s when he left. I had invested so much into this man. Some of the best parts of him were ideals, beliefs and habits that I had cultivated in him. My time, my energy, my youth, my hopes and dreams were all gone in an instant and I never even saw the end coming.
“Doesn’t it matter to you that you’re never going to see me again?” I asked him.
“I hadn’t thought about that,” he replied.
So there I sat, the door clicked shut as he walked away, our business concluded. Realization sunk in then that there was nothing I could do. I was powerless. Hopelessness set in. Defeat, not long after that.
I knew at that moment that I had never really known this man. He was a stranger to me and I wondered what could I have done to make him hate me so much. Because to do what he did and in the manner he had done it required emotions like hate – disgust – repulsion.
The person that should have loved me the most acted like I was a massive inconvenience that he’d rather not have to deal with. None of it made any sense. He was beside me living, eating, sleeping everyday for almost a decade and I couldn’t imagine how the loss of me beside him would have absolutely no impact whatsoever
My codependency was reveling in the sorrow. It shouted from the roof tops, “You’re not worthy of love. You’re broken and flawed. Look at you, who could love you? Not even your own mother loved you. How could you expect him to? It’s your fault. It’s all your fault.”
I understood quickly that I wanted to be responsible for this, because then I could fix it and we could get back together, but I knew it wasn’t me, at least not entirely. I had broken up with people before. This wasn’t like any other time. There was something really wrong with the speed and the callousness of it. Sure I get it, when you want out and you know you’re going to hurt someone, it’s not easy and you want to get away as fast as you can, but the course of events and the unnecessary cruelty was so bizarre.
One week we are planning our wedding…our engagement party is days away…I get into a horrible car accident…my mother dies…I’m in rehab trying to recover from my injuries…we go away for a week and are having sex like rabbits…we get home and he tells me he wants out and he moves out without a backward glance.
After everything was all said and done I realized what had happened. My Ex in his need for attention and admiration came across a willing ego stroker at his place of employment. They had their lunches together – they talked – she complained about her husband – he complained about me – she puffed him up telling him how special and wonderful he was and encouraged him to leave me – he did the same for her and next thing you know he’s yelling statements to me like, “I should be with someone who loves me the way I need to be loved” – they make a plan to leave their spouses, because…well you can’t get in the way of true love.
It’s amazing to watch a seed take root, an idea come to fruition and the incredible amount of justification required to destroy two families.
Trying to solve the mystery consumed me and kept me invested way too long. Finding the answers didn’t change anything about him, or our relationship, but it did force me to accept the truth about him, which in turn, allowed me to let go faster than I normally would have.
A Narcissist’s Missing Pieces
A Narcissist is a special breed. As I’ve said before, they are missing certain colors on their emotional color pallet. We get caught up in the fact that they don’t act the way other people would or should act. We internalize it, blame ourselves and we do a whole host of other unhealthy rationalizations, but the bottom line is that a Narcissist’s make-up is different from most people’s. It’s as if there are traits, emotions, behaviors that have been left out of their DNA. The processes are internal, so we can’t readily see them or identify them until they are expressed outwardly. I’ve listed a few of the more dominant traits that seem to be lacking or impaired
They lack the nostalgia chip: Which means that memories, events, connections, people, special places and moments don’t hold real value for them.
They don’t do true intimacy: So the deep emotional bond that should form and develop between two people over time, doesn’t, so the feelings, time, memories, respect, caring… aren’t going to be there in any deep fashion to count as a reason to stay committed.
They lack insight: So they often don’t recognize how dysfunctional and cruel their behavior is and they have an easy time passing blame and responsibility off to others when it should fall firmly in their own lap. This allows them to shrug off any potential guilt or remorse that would normally be felt in others.
They are impulsive: So they often don’t put adequate thought into something before they jump into it.
They have an impaired ability to feel empathy: So when they are discarding you they are not thinking of you at all. They don’t really care if you’re hurt, devastated or that what they’ve done has left you in total ruin. All they see is what they want at that moment and everything else must just fall away. Some even get off on knowing how much they’ve hurt you.
They don’t regulate their own self-esteem: So their primary objective is to obtain it (supply) through the attention and admiration of others. This objective is their main focus and takes precedence over everything.
The bottom line is they are missing fundamental elements that are required for having a mutually fulfilling intimate relationship with another human being. Hoping and waiting for these missing pieces to show up is futile. Those pieces just aren’t there and no amount of wishing it was otherwise can change the fact that they aren’t. A person that practices self-care understands that if someone can walk away from you- you let them. If they can discard you like you mean nothing – then they are truly showing you what you mean to them. You don’t need to figure it out, you don’t need become a detective, you don’t need to try and fix them – all you have to do is make sure they don’t get another chance to do it again.
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