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Ending an abusive relationship can be easier than dealing with the aftermath, which may include forgetting why you had to end it.
Abuse is abuse, but psychological abuse isn’t as easy to recognize as is a bruise or a cut to the flesh.
We’ve all heard the saying love hurts. How much is it really supposed to hurt? It shouldn’t hurt all the while you’re in a relationship –that’s for sure.
Love is an elusive subject. I imagine love can have many meanings and different shapes but abuse is not love.
I loved a wonderful man, I thought. I also loved the way I believed he loved me.
The man I loved was kind, compassionate, generous, funny, smart and told me every day he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.
Unfortunately, I loved an illusion, an impostor. I loved a character that was passionately and intelligently designed, especially for me. I loved a man who I honestly believe has severe Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
The man I loved created a character for me, mostly through what I now realize were constant interrogations. He would sit by my window with me in the mornings where I liked having coffee. He asked me questions about my life twenty years earlier. Over and over he asked the same questions. He disguised his questioning as an interest in getting to know, “everything about me,” which he called love.
How he created the character is a long story. It was continuously being created in every moment we spent together.
The first day we were sexually intimate he began asking me about fantasies. Had I ever had this one or that one and if I said no, he would ask had I ever at least considered certain ones he had mentioned. He also wanted to know about every relationship I’d ever had as if we were in our early twenties or even teenagers. He was in his early sixties, almost twenty years my senior.
He wanted to know all about my childhood. Basically, he wanted to know everything I liked, disliked, desired or had ever desired so that he could create my perfect mate.
There are reasons good and intelligent people fall for abusive and pathological personalities. We don’t fall in love with a cruel person. It’s the opposite. Sometimes cruel people seek kind people. We fall for the kindness they pretend to have. We fall for characteristics such as a great sense of humor, what looks like compassion, an acknowledgment, granted an ingenuine one, of our hard work in life and who doesn’t enjoy being charmed?
In my case, the man I loved was wonderful until the first time I expressed my personal feelings about something other than being grateful to have such a terrific man in my life.
He became a cruel, deceiving, lewd, sarcastic and possibly the most destructive, was that he became intensely revengeful. The man felt rejected by me. I would learn that this triggered what he called his, “childhood narcissistic injuries.”
He spent six months working harder than I could ever imagine a man trying, to gain my love, admiration and respect. I finally fell for him, for sure, and this was the hardest part of ending the relationship.
When I finally told him that I trusted his love, I never again saw the man he had pretended to be. It was as if the man I loved died and that’s exactly how it felt.
Instead of chocolate and roses, poetry books for lovers, and gifts he thought I would like, he began sending me emails clearly calculated in a way to leave me in the dark about what he was doing. He moved to a new home and didn’t tell me where he lived.
I don’t know how long he thought I would hang in there, and I can’t believe I was there in that relationship one day, but hindsight is everything.
I guess I was in shock.
He continued being cruel to me, finally sending me emails offering me, “whatever my price,” to be one of his nude models. I never knew he had nude models. He described their bodies. I was truly sickened.
I would eventually receive an email offering me money to be with him, if I could compartmentalize my feelings. I blocked his emails after that day.
He’s rich and I’m poor. He goes to church and I don’t. And so… He called his financial offers a good deed in the name of charity and love.
This was not love.
There was pure malice in his offers. He knew it would break my heart to hear him talk about his lust and sex with other women. It was psychological abuse. Telling me all about his new home and his wonderful new furniture, while never inviting me there was his way of hurting me. And, it worked.
I discovered that everything he had told me all along had been lies. His lies were complex, complicated and detailed.
The entire time he maintained that he knew what love was as if he were a master of the subject. It was amazing. He wrote demanding righteous long emails about what love and courtship meant. I was so shocked that it literally silenced me, for a little while.
He maintained that he had been wronged. My crime was that I wasn’t willing to be his devotee.
“It is your loyalty that I desire,” he wrote. “The loyalty you have to your son and mother.”
I thought it was crazy at his age to say those things. Plus, if he had been the man he had pretended, then he would have had my loyalty. I concluded he hadn’t really wanted me at all, nor my loyalty because he had it and he trashed it. The man wanted nothing more than a lifeless doll.
I was tricked, deceived, used, manipulated and conned.
Narcissists are great tricksters. Anyone can fall prey to a severe malignant and passionate narcissist.
There were many red flags in the beginning that what he was showing was not love.
He couldn’t stop telling me how wonderful I was and how he adored everything about me.
If a man cannot talk about things besides how great you are, then something is probably not right. Flattery is always nice, but when this is all a man ever does watch out!
When a man puts a woman on a pedal stool, constantly praising her, telling her how awesome and wonderful she is, she should beware.
Take heed when your new guy is all about constantly flattering you, gazing into your eyes– all the time, nearly drooling over whatever it is he is focusing on about you; your intelligence, your compassion, your empathy, your unique abilities, your physical beauty, your one of a kind sexual ability to turn him on and on and on and on — this type of flattery might be a strong sign that something isn’t quite right.
I’m not talking about real love or the wonderful sensations of falling in love. I’m not talking about the kind of love that grows out of mutual respect and sincerely getting to know another person. I’m talking about a person who is lying, pretending and putting on a show for you. One day this will turn and you will hear just the opposite.
Narcissists play games. Pathological destructive games that hurt and damage people.
He told me after our intimate relationship was destroyed that he had never known love. He said he didn’t feel anything. He said he had used me to feel emotions, mainly through having sex. “You felt something so that’s what I liked about being with you,” he told me.
Gifts are not always an expression of love. If you’re dealing with a narcissist who has money he will certainly use it to charm you and suck you into his world. He may very well try to get you dependent or addicted to his money.
Gifts may also tell you a lot about him because when you’re dealing with someone who is like a young child in the sense that the world revolves around him, the gifts will always be what he likes or wants you to have so he can enjoy them with you.
Much of his behavior was a way to mimic being in love.
Narcissists are also control freaks. The man pretended to be generous, always bringing gifts, always asking if I wanted to go shopping. I don’t like to shop. I declined many offers, but one time I needed some socks. He acted like it tore him apart while I shopped for them. Later, I needed eye glasses.
He was always around at the time. I barely had time to myself because he was in his cunning manipulative stage. So, he went with me to get the glasses. I was surprised how he was always offering me money or things I didn’t want, but didn’t offer to help pay for something I needed.
He bragged about all he had provided for his son and how sad it was that my son had not had the same. No socks or glasses, but he offered to pay for me to have a face life. He’d had several.
He was terribly threatened by my having a few normal friends and a family. This is not love.
Loving a person means wanting the best for that person. It means wanting them to thrive.
It may be true that love hurts, but this is different than the hurt that comes from abuse.
I had no reason to think this man was acting and lying, aside from my gut screaming out at me. Most of us don’t think that way. Most of us take people for who they say they are. We can judge them by how they act around us and treat us, along with listening to how they speak of other people.
Malignant narcissists have a damaged character. They portray a public image that has nothing to do with who they are, but this is for the public and it is not what people close to them see in private.
You may see on the outside a confident and outgoing person, seemingly quite concerned for the well-being of others, a social butterfly, a community leader, a leader in a church, a member of well-respected organizations, a giver to charity — but on the inside is an entirely different story. There is a person without any substance and sadly, he knows it.
Any person can be a victim of narcissistic abuse.
Sometimes we do not know what is happening to us until we discover that there are actually words to describe exactly what we are experiencing. Knowledge really is freedom.
If you are in a relationship where you feel confused, like every single thing that goes wrong is your fault and you begin to feel badly about yourself, like you just aren’t good enough, all the while you hear someone say how much he or she loves you, something is definitely wrong.
I hope those of us who have been hurt in a psychologically abusive relationship will heal. I hope we will recognize signs of an abusive personality and walk the other way.
I hope we will choose love and leave abuse.
Thank you for visiting Dogkisses’s blog.