We’ve all experienced a break up or two at some point in our lives. They’re usually unpleasant, but eventually we move on and begin a new relationship with someone else. Some relationships however, seem to never end and leave us feeling like we’ll never get over them.
It’s normal to grieve the ending of a relationship. The difference between a normal, healthy break up and an unhealthy break up is that in a normal relationship, individuals retain their own identity. Their whole lives aren’t dependent upon the other person. They have lives inside their relationships and outside of their relationships. They can get sad and emotional when it ends, but they’re not going to slip into a major depressive episode. People, who know their worth, know that the sun will come out again and they will love again in time.
Unhealthy people get stuck and can’t seem to find their way out of their grief. They will try anything to dull the pain and they spend every waking minute pining and hoping that the object of their obsession will come back. They are ready and willing to accept any lame excuse. They don’t care about why they left, or the manner in which they left, they just want them back.
Some people in this situation will jump right back into the dating pool, hoping for a replacement, or at the very least a distraction. They will meet a really great guy, or girl that they really wanted to like, but just couldn’t and they explain it away as having no chemistry, or they’ll say, “I’m just not feeling it.” There is a reason for that. In my blog entitled Are You Mistaking Intensity for Intimacy? I describe how unhealthy relationships go through cycles of extreme highs and extreme lows and that a normal relationship just doesn’t match the same level of intensity.
These peaks and valleys are caused by repeated break-ups and repeated reconciliations, where your emotions are always soaring and crashing. Each person never has both feet in the relationship at the same time. This type of relationship is characterized by its fast pace. There’s quick pursuit, love bombing, quick intimacy, followed by an even swifter departure. The partner who is constantly being left, develops addiction-like cravings for the high intensity feelings that normal relationships just can’t provide.
That’s why, when we meet a perfectly normal person, who seems genuinely interested in us, our minds keep going back to the partner, who mistreated us. Normal relationships, in contrast, feel boring because they are more flat lined. There is much less drama, with no high intensity peaks and no low intensity valleys. It’s steady and slowly evolves from infatuation, in the early stages, into a deeper form of love. This is the path of true intimacy. When we engage with intimacy dodgers, we make the mistake of calling those high intensity feelings love and we waltz on past the real thing.
We remain fixated on the one that keeps hurting us, because we’ve developed a craving for those high intensity feelings and we know that we’re not going to experience them with anyone else. What we don’t realize is that those feelings, while they do feel good, are actually extremely harmful and unhealthy, because they only occur in unstable, high risk relationships.
Another reason we can’t seem to let go of these types is because we’ve come to believe that we have a deep and special connection with them. What we know is that shared trauma strengthens the connection, even when the trauma is being caused by the one you have the ‘connection’ with. In my blog entitled Why Do I Still Love Him: Understanding Trauma Bonds, I discuss how trauma bonds can happen to anyone, at any time and very quickly. They are the high intensity connections we make with abusive individuals, who tend to hold a form of power over us.
In The Betrayal Bond, Dr Patrick Carnes tells us that three elements must be present for a trauma bond to form. There must be:
- A power differential (One person behaves in an oppressive, controlling and dominant manner).
- Intermittent rewards (Random moments of kindness and tenderness, mixed in with painful and hurtful treatment).
- Periods of high arousal (defined as intense feelings of fear, anxiety, excitement, or any emotion that puts your nervous system on high alert) followed by periods of intense bonding (making up).
What happens in these situations is that when our ability to feel good is wrapped up in another and at their whim, we become oppressed and this oppression creates dependency. Anytime we give away our personal power, we become bound to their will. We become weak, needy, anxious and fearful.
Many of us talk about the abusive people in our lives and use words like best friend or soul mate. That we would call someone, who is responsible for causing us such intense pain, our soul mate, seems to defy reason, but anyone that can play with our emotions like a yo-yo on a string yields a great deal of control over us. They hold the keys to our emotions, so we develop a dependency on them, in the same way an individual develops a dependency on a narcotic.
This is why it is essential to make a bee line out of the relationship when you notice a persistent pattern of breaking up and reconciling, breaking up and reconciling. If you continue this cycle you increase the risk of developing a trauma bond, which keeps you fixated and stuck in a relationship that seems to never end.
If you identify with a high intensity relationship please see my blog Trauma Bonds Part 2 where I list some of Patrick Carnes exercises on how to extricate yourself from this type of relationship. For a full accounting get Carnes’ book, Betrayal Bonds: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships and stop looking for those peaks and valleys in your relationships and instead start planting your seeds in the stable flat lands of a healthy relationship.
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Oh My God.
Savannah I have this today, and this was my life for 9 years. I am no longer with her. It’s been 4months since I moved out. She has someone else that she constantly shoves in my face, she still visits me. I try the no contact but after about 2 weeks if she contacts me I melt. Why do I still love her and she has no intention of leaving this woman, but she still contacts me and says and acts any way she wants.
Your paragraph: This is why it is essential to make a bee line out of the relationship when you notice a persistent pattern of breaking up and reconciling, breaking up and reconciling. If you continue this cycle you increase the risk of developing a trauma bond, which keeps you fixated and stuck in a relationship that seems to never end.
SO TRUE. But this time she has never shoved the new girl in my face.
I so want this to finish, but it feels like it never will.
My family can’t understand why I have these feelings, but you nail it every time.
An addiction akin to a drug addiction. I don’t take drugs but I agree.
And she makes me think all of this is still my fault and I am the horrible one.
She is still abusive in her messages after once she’s had enough play time with me. When she visits, the same and I let it happen.
Oh, Savannah thanks so much. I will keep trying to find the strength to say NO CONTACT. Sad, I still cry nearly every day because we aren’t together. Crazy I know xxx
This is a really good article and an even better point. Getting off the emotional NPD roller-coaster and standing on solid ground might leave you feeling woozy for a bit, but eventually things even out and return to a state of equilibrium and you regain your footing. Thanks for the article, Savannah.
I’m so glad to have found this site. The articles are enlightening and reading the comments of other’s experiences are reassuring. It’s nice knowing I’m not the only one who has gone through this. I’ll take the time to share my own story, it is much shorter and not nearly as awful as some of the others I’ve read, but it’s had a huge, negative impact on my life nonetheless.
After being single for over 2 years and only a couple of dates during that time, I decided to try online dating. Being a more reserved, introverted type, it has always been hard for me to meet guys in person. After having my profile for a couple weeks, I had exchanged numbers with a few prospective guys and were texting them, and was logging on specifically to disable my account when I saw a new message and decided to check it. He immediately passed my first test (I refused to engage with anyone whose first message to me was something along the lines of “hey beautiful/sexy/gorgeous/etc) so I decided to engage. I checked out his profile. He was attractive, we matched pretty well by the OKCupid standards, and had a lot of common likes and interests. He seemed nice, funny, intelligent, all that jazz, so I gladly gave him my number when he asked and deleted my account from there.
The texting and messaging was very casual, which I liked. He wasn’t coming on too strong, seemed like he was taking the time to get to know me. After a few days he wanted to take me out to a movie. We went to see The Night Before on a Sunday night. I had a blast! He was charismatic, he made me laugh, it seemed like we vibed and connected quickly. We met up at 9pm and I ended up hanging out with him until almost 4am. After the movie we went back to his place where we went from talking, to cuddling, to making out, to having sex. Admittedly, I initiated the sexual stuff. I still had my guard up at this time, not knowing if anything would come of it, and when I left his place in the wee hours of the morning I wasn’t keeping my fingers crossed to hear from him again.
Well, around 11am I got a good morning text from him. My heart fluttered. Maybe he actually was really into me! We continued texting back and forth all day while I was at work and he was in class. Then he asked to see me again. I told him I was pretty tired from being up so late with him last night and having to get up pretty early for work, but he insisted and said he would come over to my place instead, so I agreed. Another long, fun night of talking, playing video games, watching tv, and hooking up.
We hung out for hours every day the first couple weeks that we knew each other. Constant texting when we weren’t together. I fell fast. However, even during what I learned from this website was the “over-evaluation stage”, there were things that came up here and there that did trigger weird vibes from me. He was pretty moody, and would have intense angry outbursts. Not directed at me at first. He had a recital where apparently his part got cut at the last minute that really pissed him off. A truck cut him off while he was trying to merge on the interstate, and he was screaming at the top of his lungs. He flubbed during his solo performance for one of his singing classes and was extremely depressed and angry.
The first 2 things specifically directed at me that happened: we were going to Walgreens to rent a movie from Redbox. When we pulled into the parking lot, there were a group of guys standing in the middle of the lot and we couldn’t get by, and they didn’t make any effort to move. Rather than honk or just say “hey can you guys get out of the way?” he aggressively drove his car within inches of the group and revved his car engine. They made some angry remarks to him and slowly went into the store. When he and I got out of the car he was freaked out and told me we should hurry and pick a movie before they came back out. He asked me what I would do if they came out and started beating him up. While this wasn’t the greatest response, it definitely wasn’t what I would have literally done, I said “I would probably run away.” He got SO angry at me for saying that. I even tried to tell him that that wasn’t what I really would have done, I just said something, but he continued laying into me over it for a few minutes until I was in tears. Without an actual apology he just kind of dropped it and started being “normal” again. The second, I jokingly called him an asshole and he got extremely upset, saying that I knew he was having a bad day (that’s why he wanted me to come over, to make him feel better), and that I shouldn’t call someone that even jokingly as it’s very rude. Nevermind the fact he liked to say “you are such a bitch” to me all the time, and when I expressed to him I didn’t like him calling me a bitch, he downplayed it as him joking around and I should see it as a term of endearment.
I would say from the first night we hung out things were gradually slipping from the over-evaluation stage into the devaluation stage. After a few weeks, he started being much harsher toward me. He made me feel bad about myself frequently. We were arguing more. When I would get upset over something he did, he often got mad at me for “making him feel bad”. As fate would have it, he had previously dated a girl I went to high school with, and he frequently spoke of her even after I told him it was a turn off to me that he talked about her so much. He couldn’t handle it if I very briefly mentioned my ex though (someone he didn’t even know). I felt like i was constantly being compared and judged against this girl. I felt like I had to prove to him I was better than her. He did things sexually I didn’t like. He was too rough. Sometimes he would start having sex with me when I didn’t even want it, literally pushing me over and my side, pulling my pants down, and putting his penis in me. He tried so hard to get me to do anal, which I have never done and am not too into the thought of, saying he wanted to ruin me for everyone else. He jokingly talked about “beating” me, which again, I told him even if it’s a joke it’s not something I appreciate hearing, and his attitude was that I needed to lighten up (again, he could never take jokes from me though). Sprinkled throughout this were still the good times we had initially enjoyed. Making more inside jokes, going out together, staying in and cuddling with a movie or tv show, passionate, unforced, not rough sex. I put up with the bad times because the good times made it seem worth it.
Our relationship began at the very end of the fall semester, so for a good month and a half aside from our job obligations we had all the time in the world for each other. I’m not a student, but he is, so come mid January classes started up again. This is where the discard stage began. Suddenly texts became less and less frequent. Very few phone calls. Not really asking to see me. I asked him repeatedly if things were okay, and every time his answer was yes, I’m just busy, I still want to see you, I just have a lot going on, I need to focus on myself right now. I tried to be understanding and supportive. He is a senior in his last semester of school, and works 35 hours a week, so I tried to give him his space. I felt neglected though. Why couldn’t he at least text me once every day or two to let me know that he’s thinking of me? Why couldn’t he call me just to talk for a few minutes? I begged him multiple times to see me in person so we could talk, and every time there was an excuse for why he couldn’t. One evening I decided I would just go to his place without letting him know to confront him if he was going to be so evasive with me. He wasn’t there when I arrived a little over an hour after he was off work, and I waited around for another hour and he never showed up. I was a mixture of angry and sad. If he had been “so busy”, what was he out doing right now? I called multiple times and got no answer every time. I sent him several texts, one of which I said to him “I really hope you aren’t seeing someone else and you didn’t even have the decency to straight up end things with me”. The next morning I got a series of texts from him, where he said that he didn’t feel like we would work as a couple, that I was being rude and selfish for not being understanding of how busy he is, and that he was not in a “boyfriend/girlfriend relationship with anyone” (his exact words). So I assumed from that response that he was indeed screwing around with someone else, and this had probably been the reason he disappeared. He gave me some bs about wanting to stay friends. I refused that and said we should go our separate ways. I was hurt, insulted, heartbroken, furious, a lot of other things too. Everything felt like a lie at this point. He spent weeks leading me on and wouldn’t just end it with me until I finally had a big melt down. I’m pretty sure he wanted to keep me on the backburner and return to me if and when he got bored of the new victim, and he would probably say that he now had more free time.
All this happened between late November 2015 and the last day we had contact with February 21 of this year. It blows my mind how quickly I was sucked in. During the discard phase he kept me going longer than I should have stuck around by telling me things like “I don’t have time to talk to anyone right now, even my friends”, “I really want to see you I just have so much going on”, “you’re overreacting, I’m so busy I barely have time for myself”. He would tag me in funny posts on Facebook. He sent me a happy Valentine’s Day text. Despite his actions largely saying he was no longer interested, I desperately clung to what little bit he did give me.
Here I am, 1 month post relationship, and I am still hurting and pining and wishing he would contact me. I actually crossed paves with him the other day, not even in the city we live in, walking opposite directions across a bridge. He was with a a guy and I was with a male friend (nobody I’m dating, a guy I’ve known for years), and he looked right past me, didn’t even acknowledge me. It hurt. This post resonates well with how I’ve been post relationship. I’m mad at myself that despite everything, I still long for the good times. Because when they were good, they felt REALLY good. While our time together was relatively short, we spent A LOT of time together in that short amount of time. I became very attached and felt an intense bond with him. After reading many other of the posts and comments on this website I know that it is very important to continue with no contact and that I am actually lucky things ended sooner rather than later, but as of right now I haven’t been able to shake my feelings for him. I will continue spending time with my friends, reading other posts on this site as well as others, and keeping myself busy until hopefully I reach the light. I think I’ve improved a lot from where I was a month ago when it ended but there’s still a long road ahead of me. This will hopefully be a valuable life lesson for me.
I’ve been 10 days NC and I have moments when I want to call and text. Still in disbelief that he has not even reached out to me AT ALL! But I do know that this is most certainly for the best. I stopped checking his FB page even though I don’t follow him and I know eventually it will get better for me. This website lets me know that I definitely did the right thing.
OMG, after trying to educate myself my entire adult life and break chains of dysfunction and generational abuse, I realize fm your article that I’m not only back to square one but sitting at -30. I am going backward, not forward, and stuck, I have overcome so much in my life, only to find out in family counseling that the man I was married too over 21 yrs was a narccisstic sadistic sociopath, their exact words, and he detroyed everything we had, abandoned our daughter, and raped me in every way he could, including the court system, he refused court mandated counseling with our daughter, and discarded, robbed, and as our child said, did everything but burn the house down and kill us, and the family court system, good ole boys enjoyed letting him. I should be happy, he is out of our lives, even if he did nearly make us homeless, my daughters last childhood yrs, stolen, my credit, destroyed, he broke every court order. Destroyed our home and property, left us standing in the ashes, while he moved on and rebuilt his life. So why am I still so angry after 5 yrs, maybe because I walked away with my child leaving the nest, with 600 dollars to my name, and a pain inside that never leaves. Broke, living with my mom, and feeling this time in life I am too broken to go on. I AM SO ANGRY, I WANT TO STOMP HIS ASS IN THE GROUND, SO HE CAN NEVER HURT ANYONE AGAIN. I’M TIRED OF TRYING WHEN THIS TIME, THE MTN IS JUST TO HIGH, IM.TIRED, SO TIRED, SO READING THIS IT’S BC I’M SO UNHEALTHY I’M STUCK???? GREAT, JUST GREAT. I LOST MY HOME, MY LIFE, THE PERSON I THOUGHT HE WAS, MY HORSE, BOTH MY DOGS, THE JOY OF WATCHING MY DAUGHTER’S HAPPINESS OF GRADUATING….HER SENSE OF SAFETY, SENSE OF BELONGING DESTROYED….THE LOSS AND GRIEF IS THE WORST PAIN I’VE EVER FELT, IT NEVER LEAVES, I WANT HIM TO HURT THE WAY HE HURT US…I GUESS I’M THE SICK PUPPY NOW…
I am struggling with my second discard . This one like the previous year’s happened Christmas Eve…I feel totally broken ..I used to look at least ten years younger than my age now I look and feel terrible . I knew he was going to leave but when he left I pushed him to go. I was ok for a week then crashed. For,the past few weeks I am a total physical and mental wreck. I am a qualified nurse and all my training and understanding does not help me in this situation. If he does not return this time I may as well die. Being hooked on heroin would,be preferable to,this. I never imagined it could,be so bad. When will it ever feel better?
no matter your age looks education how you were raised how much you did OR didnt do how long 2gether etc…
its never right never enough to a narc…
its all about them they change with the blowing of the wind, thy wana b together thy dont. they like to drink thy dont. thy like country music thy don’t. thy hate fat thy don’t. thy like blondes thy dont. thy hate whre thy are but stay.
thyll never delete a girl contact on their ph. thy only hang with girls. thy think Thyre the bomb to anybody. any attn is better than none by anybody. peeps who treat him like crap he stays in touch with. his image is important to him but he hangs with losers. he’s a loser himself! evrybody EVRY situation its games a cycle. most aren’t successful but moochers for their needs yet appear Thyre syccessful like peeps dnt know thyres always a girl that helps him get a step futrther for him. thy never stop thy never breathe just kp gng. adjust like to peeps like a chameleon EVRY time!!! talk abt boring same same…
social media a mirage thy say Thyre in a relationship but Thyre FAKEBOOK page the new flames plaster Thyre page with thhem… an lets not forget the holidays post post! really if your that happy successful get out an live! who has time for that bs!
stay off social mediedia its fluff! same pattern same!!!!! thy discarded you trust me Thyre not thinking about you or wondering about you fact…..
focus in you. learn. love is waiting
Thyre infuriating narcs are! it will all come bk around…. thy do what thy want say what thy want! Thyre Always someone waiting or Thyre in the works a female is always close by!!!!! any female
do good for you! yes thyll be a part of us it was just good times, an illusion
yes I still cry but forcing myself to go forward!
Im so glad i stumbled onto this pagem i dont feel so alone. This has been my life since 2001. I need to stay away this time. This really helped me gain focus again after a hard night
I look forward to the day I’m free of my narc! I’ve been stuck since ’98. The worst being ’05 to the present.
Initially I thought I was hooked on a narcissist because my mother was but it didn’t make sense to me because that part of him turned me off.
Reading this article has almost blown me off my seat. Yes it’s definitely this over what the psychologists insist it is. It’s the emotional rollercoaster I have engaged in. I also think of him alot reconnecting those neurons in my head. Nice to know it’s normal and all I have to do is think of other highly emotional feelings (good ones) to disconnect from him.
This came at the perfect time. A bitter pill to swallow. Thank you
I can totally identify with this. Thanks for sharing!
This is all too familiar. In fact, I married a woman just like “dear old Mom” a narcissist. It is amazing the cruelty we are willing to allow just because it is familiar.
all so thrue. i know for sure, when I would send this blog to my ex, he would say, that he was thermometer in our relationship. He could really feel in what state I am, and he was only responding to this state of mine. After 31 years of experiencing this with him, I discovered what i am dealing with. One day, he told me he stayed with me out of pity and I costed him a lot of money. I think, noone in a normal relationship would say that. I am now on No Contact for two years. I don’t want him back, but it took a long time, to not think of it every day. i met someone else and everyday I am thinking is this really thrue. There are normal people in this world.
I was involved with my Narc for about 6 months. It was constant mind games and manipulation. Thd kicker is we have known eachother since university, 17 years ago and my husband died 2 years ago so you could say I was pretty vulnerable!
About 8 weeks ago he discarded me having made me travel some distance to see him! He said some truly horrible things to me so for 8 weeks I went no contact and ignored his facebook/emails/texts. Then yesterday I snapped when he sent me a bullshit apology so I emailed back saying why I was so hurt and a threw in a few home truths such as him needing attention etc and he has sent me the most ridiculous email back calling me a narcissist!
Oh this is so true. I was left by a guy I now suspect had high narcissistic traits… though while in the relationship I thought he was just sweet and lovely. Until I found out he had been lying about an affair and all the lying for a couple weeks and the break up conversation just stunned me… no remorse, more like how hard it was for him to struggle caring for 2 people at the one time! I wish I had been less blindsighted and more aware of his manipulation and just how selfish he was at that conversation… because I have a lot I would like to say to the bastard now.
It started a process of deep introspection and review of the whole relationship and I realised how selfish and witholding and vain he was… soley in retrospect. I think because it just so didnt sit right after we broke up… how this could have happened, it led to me still sorting it out in my head… months later. I hope I heal soon.
Well, what I was guilty of believing was that he NEEDED me. Now I will not let myself go there. He is perfectly fine all by himself. He has his own life to live–doesn’t live it the way I would, but that’s his privilege. He doesn’t need me at all. I am free. He can live his crazy life however he chooses or not; I’m keeping my distance as far as I can and not interfering. THAT is my giving up my codependence.
@ Free at last
Love your posts….they could have been written by me. It’s been a rough road, but I, too, finally feel like I’m free. Not that I don’t still have my moments, but once I would have text him to receive a crumb back. Now when I have those moments, I text a true friend or go for a walk.
This article (and Trauma Bonds 2 and the quiz) feels like many prayers answered!
You shine light on all the craziness (my experience), inside and out, without judgement, but instead with great insight and understanding. All the things I have felt too ashamed to share or dare to try to explain to someone, they are right here already understood! Words don’t explain the relief and gratitude. You light a path out of the insanity too! You are an angel in my eyes. I thank you with my whole heart!
I thought or told myself that I was being loving. In reality I was being used in any way that served his needs, without consideration of my own. Clearly I wasn’t loving myself. That’s what I see as my path out of this, learning to love myself and be the love that I am. To come from wholeness, in all relationships rather than than seeking love, validation, rescuing, worthiness, purpose or any other subtley disguised desire to feel more whole or connected from something or someone outside myself.
Thank you for shining the Light and pointing the way back home. I am on my way!
Your timing is amazing. I cannot believe that you have not written this about me!!
Wow! This article really hit home for me in so many ways. It had been almost 2 years since I found out about my ex husbands secret life! I keep ‘re-reading what NASHVILLE wrote and can’t decide if u r blaming the victim of the narcist, but u bring to mind a thought I have had often; maybe the narcist is right in doing whatever he did/does because it makes him happy…? Even though most of us know it is NOT RIGHT . BUT,
Life us to short. Maybe we, the victims of these narcists , r to uptight and want a perfect relationship, that perfect love,connection…,???? I don’t KNOW,he really messed me up, or rather I let him mess me up ! Funny how I am the traumatized one, and he us now happy and in love….or his he? I need some serious cleansing from the brain washing he did to me, or did I do it to myself?
Wow. This is exactly what I needed to read. I was guilty of believing I had a special bond with him. That anytime I had something bad happen in my life, he was the one I could turn to. Ha. He would half listen and then act very concerned about what I was saying. But then would never ask me about it again. In other words, he just didn’t care. It took me a very, very long time to figure that out, but he is no longer my “go to” person for anything. It certainly is hard to let go of these individuals. I am definitely going to read Trauma Bonds–Part 2. He still enters my thoughts way more than he should, but I’m making progress.
This describes my narc ‘friendship’ exactly. We had so many trauma bonds, which in turn, would make me feel so many highs and lows that it made other friendships and relationships feel muted by comparison.
I felt like he was the only person who could understand me, even though we fought constantly as though we were dating and I’d grown so dependent upon his crumbs. When he would send me a crumb, I would ride that crumb wave for sometimes a month. How unhealthy is that?
I even convinced myself, despite how he isolated me from everyone and everything in his life (even had a separate email he used only for me–the ‘Lola email’) that I was ok with that, as long as I got some piece of him.
Talk about me disrespecting me! Why didn’t I demand more? Like when I learned he’d lied to me about his name–I even convinced myself that I should be thankful he was willing to share that with me. WTF?
Every so often, when I would fight back and note his broken promises, lies and inconsistencies, our arguments would of course intensify, and then he would ignore me, wherein I would return groveling, apologizing, when all I was doing was standing up for myself.
Was I partly to blame? Absolutely. I let it happen. He didn’t just hurt me but I hurt me. I let him hurt me each time I convinced myself his poor treatment was ‘good enough’.
Once, when we were arguing, I did a little experiment with him in my head, just to see what he’d do. We were arguing via email and so I then backed down and went subservient. I put my wishes aside and said to him, ‘Ok, I can see you’re going through a lot. I will give you whatever you need, blah blah blah,’ basically reducing myself to a doormat in that moment.
His response? He wrote back, ‘Now, that’s the Lola I care about.’
That’s when I was realizing the unhealthiness of things. I thought to myself, ‘Holy shit. He only is nice to me when I grovel.’ The Lola he ‘cares’ about is the subservient, submissive doormat.
Of course, it took me another couple of years after that to break free completely but I was realizing then, even in midst of my delusion, that the only way to ‘get along’ with him was for 1) Everything to be on his terms and I mean ONLY on his terms and 2) For me to completely ignore my own needs.
That’s why these people are so dangerous and manipulative–they infuse into our minds and stay there. It really amazes me how little I was satisfied with. Please validate me…reassure me that you care and that I am worthy…without your approval I am nothing…
Psh. What a betrayal to myself. I’m the one I need to love and to forgive for allowing someone to mistreat me like that. Damnit, it’s just not good enough!
Ladies and gents, we have to get to a point where we say, like in that film Network, ‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!’
This blog entry is right on time. I’ve been involved with a narcissist for (a little over) a year. We both started out “not looking for a relationship”, but spent a LOT of time together. We were seeing each other every other day, HE was very communicative and interested. When he felt like things were moving too fast, he began to withdraw. I felt as if he took me to cloud nine and abandoned me there. I felt like I had to work harder for the both of us to keep our “non-relationship” going. I felt like we had spent so much time together and had such great times that our bond should be closer, but instead, he felt the need to still seek attention from other women. I’d pull away and he’d not want me to leave (of course). I’ve stepped off the dance floor a couple of times due to his non-interest or pulling away. My emotional outbursts would lead him into the silent treatment, then I’d find myself apologizing to HIM. SMH!! Anyway, we’ve been off and on, the last time we were off for 50 days. He contacted me and I fell back into the same pattern with him. Love bombs, cold shoulder… I felt like an option…an old comfy shoe while he shoe shopped. I didn’t think he was sleeping with anyone else, but not having his full attention was not acceptable to me. At this one year mark, I did not want to feel like the star player on a team. Anyway, I have ended our situation again (though he’s been the one to pull away while I still put in all the effort, so technically, HE ended it, I just pulled the cord).
I ended it by saying some really nasty things to him, basically letting out some feelings that I’ve kept inside. It was like an AK47 of emotions being blasted and hoping he got shot by one of the verbal bullets. He responded (he normally doesn’t when I do that) by saying he had been quiet due to some family issues (excuses)… that was his last message to me. I didn’t respond back to that because I made up my mind to close that door. Now, I am obsessed with thinking about what he’s thinking or feeling right now. Is he mad, is he hurt, did he care about me at ALL, was everything a lie, did he ever have feelings for me or did he start out feeling a certain way and everything went south at one point? Here’s the kicker — he works at my job, BUT he’s moving back down south in a few weeks. (result of praying for him to be removed from my life!) So, my past year with him is flashing before my eyes at every moment. The ups and the downs. I’m wondering if he’d contact me before he leaves. I’m trying not to focus on that because I don’t want to be disappointed if he doesn’t. But why do I want him to? I have a lot of anger towards myself for allowing myself to be in a situation where I’m pleading for his attention and trying to get things back to when they were great, thus causing a complete collapse of things. I’ not that person…I don’t recognize the person I was then. I have raging resentment and bitterness towards him for being so cold to ME, who gave all of myself to him. He needed attention, love, affection, etc and I gave all of that to him, while depleting my own supply. There was no ROI and I despise him for that, as well as myself. I’ve been so depressed and sick with this (emotional crash!) and am trying to see my way through it. I’m hoping that when he leaves, I’ll be able to move on.
At the root of this type of bond is addiction, chemical dependency at its finest. I know that you’re saying that. Craving the very thing that aids in our self-destruction is an interesting study in psychology. It’s not that we don’t “know.” It isn’t about them. It’s about us. Somewhere in our own learned manipulative tactics for survival, we know that such addictions are barriers to our complete healing and fullness in our authentic identity, yet, we aren’t at the point where we can unfold and expose our vulnerability. I’m bordering sounding like a narcissist. But when a void exists from the beginning, of not knowing how to embrace love, because of the examples of relationships we were shown that were not healthy, how can we be expected to know any different? It’s the flip side of the same coin, narcissism and co-dependency. Seeking substitutes for the thing that deep down we are scared as hell of…love. What’s that look like? What’s it like to let someone see into all those cracks and fractures of the identity? How do we make ourselves vulnerable when we’ve never been affirmed for being our authentic selves? Ahhhh….those sneaky narcissists. They seem to be able to know us so well!
@ Nashville: “They seem to be able to know us so well.” Yes, I have thought many a time, “Anything I say can–and will–be used against me.” No sharing of emotions I learned right from the beginning. Well, a long route I took to become Free at Last, but I got here. Can’t say it was wrong because maybe I needed it for this growth. I am happy where I am and I am still growing. 🙂