Archive for the ‘relationships’ Category

The Elusive Fence

“Everything God creates is good, and God made sex, so therefore, sex, when done well, is divine.” Amy Wolf

“I’m a FenceSitter,” I told him, as I was finishing, rather nervously, my third glass of water. Our eyes met but I’m not so quick when it comes to what I suspect is fairly easily discernible to most folks.  I’m usually the last person in a group, besides one of my sisters, to get a joke.  People’s witty remarks come slowly to me.  I think way too much.  Our conversation continued without my having taken note of an elusive imploring look in his eyes.

“What do you mean?” he asked as he sat there,  seemingly content and happy in one of the handmade chair-stools at the large wooden table in his kitchen.

“Sometimes I don’t know what to do,” and I told him a little about what being a FenceSitter means to me.  I also told him the story behind the wonderful image.  He still hadn’t said anything as to the irony of what I was describing to him.

He grabbed another beer.  “Just do whatever you want to do,” he said with an ease of mind that may accompany a carefree lifestyle with minimal responsibilities.

I needed to decide, I thought.  In reality, I’d already decided on what I was going to do with my evening.  The navy blue shirt he was still pulling over his head when I opened my door felt like a sudden hard rain that comes while you’re driving,  causing you to pull over to the side and wait.

“I guess I don’t know what I want,” I responded.  I looked at the drawings on the large table, along with initials and short sentences.  I imagined the people who had sat there most likely inspired by alcohol, the main source of which being Pabst Blue Ribbon and much of the time, Johnny Cash’s music.

“Well, that’s no good.  Let me get you another glass of water,” he said.   His apartment was quieter than usual for a weekend.  He said his roommate was gone.  I asked if he had plans for the evening.

“Nope,” he said, without any hint about what he might like to do or wished he could do, which was a part of my acute but temporary dilemma.  Another part was that when I’d sat down at his table and told him I was on my way out for the evening, he’d said, “You look nice.”  I’d never seen the look on his face that I saw in that moment.   His eyes had only traveled from my hair and face to the crisscrossed straps of my summer dress.  “Very nice,”  he politely added.  He reminded me of a cowboy in an old western movie when he nodded his head in a slight way giving me the impression that his compliment was genuine.   I needed more water.

“I can’t believe I’m this age,” I finally said, as I finished another glass of water with about twenty more minutes behind me.

He smiled.  “Are you saying making decisions doesn’t get any easier when you get older?” he asked.

“Exactly,” I said.  I was no longer sitting but had stood up, taking hold of my handbag and keys, even though it didn’t change the way I felt.   “I mean it ought to be easier by now.  I should know what I want.”  I realized that making decisions were much easier for me when I was younger.  I don’t know when things changed.  I guess when I got sick.

I do know one thing I want and that is to feel good.  I’m tired of being sick and damn tired of pain.  I’m really really tired of it.  I’m tired of feeling like life is passing me by because I’m too weak and fatigued to do the things I wish I could do.  I’m also tired of being indecisive and unsure of myself — sort of unfamiliar in my skin.

“Sometimes being a FenceSitter is hard,” I told him.  Time was passing quickly and I was counting every minute by the clock on his stove.

“Right now you’re sitting at a fence,” he said.   He’d told me earlier that he had built the table out of fence posts.  “How does that feel?” he asked with a  smile on his face.

I finally got it!  My new acquaintance is a FenceBuilder and I was sitting at the FenceTable talking about being a FenceSitter!. I laughed, but only slightly.  I was a little embarrassed that I hadn’t gotten this already.  I was also a bit taken by the irony.

“It feels pretty good,” I responded, and it did, except for my decision-making dilemma that I was creating on my own.  Nature had indeed slowed me down, but things had cleared enough so that I could have moved on towards my original destination.   Instead, I drank more water.  There were many things going on in my mind at once.

My age, being sick all the time, feeling like I’d lost so much time to grief, and last year, to an emotional trauma.  I wanted to live but that was why I’d made an earlier engagement.

“Help me out here,” I asked the FenceBuilder.   “I’m really too tired to drive,” I remarked.  I was sick.  It was true.  In fact, I was barely getting around but felt I’d go crazy if I didn’t get out and away from my home for a while.  I’d been in the bed most of the day with nausea and fatigue.  It had been a bad day.

“Ahh, you’re not too sick,” he responded, and he smiled.  He didn’t believe me.  I could tell.  I saw no use in trying to explain what fibromyalgia or CFS is like.  I did make an attempt at what felt like defending myself.

“I woke up sick.  I really don’t feel good.”

“Then why did you make a plan to go out?”

People don’t understand chronic sickness, surely not when they can’t see it, and even more surely, when the sick person is freshly showered and dressed up a little.  Looking good and being sick don’t mix well in the minds of those who’ve never experienced an everyday battle with illness.

“I just wanted to get out for a while,” I said.  We talked more and I drank more water.  I didn’t know what to make of the feelings I was having.  I wanted to keep my plans, kind of.  I think I wanted my cake and to eat it too, but I wasn’t sure that was the only dynamic happening.  I felt like if I was continuing to sit there with this man, that possibly that was exactly what I really wanted to do.

I honestly didn’t feel like driving by that time and quickly approaching was guilt about getting sidetracked, even if Mother Nature did have a little something to do with it.  The rest was up to me, like keeping my agreements with people, which is important to me.

As the minutes passed we continued enjoying each others company.  I told him the story of me having had two tick-borne illnesses.  I told him I’d been struck with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome after the second one, which was Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever that had lasted over a month before a doctor finally prescribed medication.  “I lost a lot of weight,” I said.  “I barely weighed a hundred pounds.”

“Well you can’t weigh too much more than that now,” he remarked. I realized he was right.  “I carry more than that around on both my shoulders every day,” and he laughed.

Mother Nature again!  I had a hot flash.  He got me another glass of water.  Now I was thinking about his arms and shoulders.  There had been many times I’d seen him arriving home in the heat after a long day of work without his shirt on.  Sometimes I’d wondered if it had been for my benefit but I always brushed it off.  I did however flirt with the young man.

Men flirt with younger women all the time.  Men date younger women all the time.   I’ve never flirted much, but I feel like time isn’t necessarily on my side.  If I’m ever going to know what it feels like to flirt, then I figure I better get to it, so I have, a couple of times.  It felt safe and I must admit, it was fun.  I had no clue that the FenceBuilder might feel the same way I was feeling when I’d seen him cleaning out his truck or meandering around in his yard without his shirt on.  Well, maybe I did have some clues.

I was trying to get more clues by the fourth or fifth glass of water I drank while I sat at the fence-table.  “Well, now I have more things to think about in making my decision, or rather, changing a decision at the last moment,” I said followed by a deep breath I felt like I needed.

“Like what?” he asked, seemingly naive but now, I realize, he most certainly was not.

“Well,  imagining you slinging around hundreds of pounds on your shoulders doesn’t help matters.”

He smiled.  I excused myself.  I needed fresh air.  I had to think about canceling my plans.  I felt pretty bad about it but time had gotten away from me and I guess, I simply couldn’t walk away from the desire to go back to see the FenceBuilder.

I made a phone call changing my plans.  I made a brief trip home discovering a plate of fresh pasta with herbs and chicken in my refrigerator.  A neighbor had cooked it for me and left it while I had been out.  I was starving.  I ate it immediately.  I felt better.  I thought I’d made the right decision.

Arriving back at the FenceTable I accepted a beer, which is pretty unusual for me, but I had a feeling the rest of the evening would be an unusual experience.

I think the FenceBuilder may have used my pain to get closer to my body, but I’m not going to hold it against him.  “Does your shoulders or back hurt?” he asked.

“My entire body hurts when it hurts,” I responded and quickly added, “although it does settle in my shoulders.”

“Would you like a massage?”

I never say yes to this!  “Yes, I would,” I said.

Stress had filled several consecutive days.  Financial worries had been making me nauseated but also disturbing me were my deep concerns about my son.

He has an ACT team who doesn’t do shit and this makes me mad, and stressed!  I am a mother — not a social worker, a doctor, a therapist, a money manager, which are all treatment services the ACT team claims to be providing for my son.  I’ve been doing their job for the best of a year.

After massaging my shoulders,  he casually sat back down in his chair.  Smiling he asked me what I wanted as he opened another beer.

I didn’t think much about my stress for the next twenty-four hours, other than I might pay a price in fatigue and pain.  Much fun was had.  There was nothing confusing about that.

As I write, still fatigued, I’m reminded of my wonderful meeting with a Morgan horse named Candy.  I knew I’d pay a price in pain for the fun lesson I had with her.   My body feels about the same today as it did two days after my lesson with her and I learned some things too.

Riding a horse gives me joy for several weeks afterward.  Horses are good medicine for depression.  I had great fun with the FenceBuilder, but unlike my time riding horses in which I always feel an emotional connection, I was left with somewhat of a wanting feeling.

Something was missing.  I realized it was in my heart.

I missed my best friend who is on another vacation.   I longed for his company all day.  I longed for a feeling of being connected.  I took my younger dog for an early evening walk to a nearby natural butterfly garden.

I thought about how I was feeling.  Embrace this wanting I feel. Know it and feel it. So I did.  It was not such an easy feeling to sit with.

Returning home I snuggled up close to my canine companions.  They are my best friends.  Their sweet eyes revealed their loyalty and love.  I rubbed their soft fur.

Lying in my living room, brightened only by a colorful hanging lamp I recently installed, I saw the light flickering on my cell phone.  My dear friend had sent me a wonderful long text message, which he’d never done before.  He usually emails from his trips away.  His text felt more intimate than the emails.  He shared interesting little details of his trip.  Little things that made such a huge impact on me.  This soothed some the wanting in my heart.

I realized as I embraced the feeling, that I have some really good people in my life.  People who understand I live with pain and sickness.  Not dozens of people, but a few, which is enough.  I was reminded of how much I love these friends.

I learned too that part of why I enjoy riding horses is that they sense how I feel and this is a wonderful connection.   I actually communicated on an emotional level much more with the Morgan, Candy, than I did with the handsome FenceBuilder.

I learned too that FenceBuilders are indeed strong.  I have no doubt in my mind that the man can carry two or three times my weight over his shoulders.

As to being a FenceSitter, well, maybe the years ahead of me will change this some, maybe.  For a short time I was free, like butterflies on a sunny summer day.  As to my decision to return to the handsome FenceBuilder’s FenceTable, accepting a shoulder massage, which I had strongly suspected would lead to more, I have no regrets.



Gratitude is Healing

Dogs Know Best

Bye Bye and Hello!

“I like reading blogs about fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Narcissistic Personality Disorder,” I told my good friend.

He laughed.  He thought I was joking. 

Realizing I was serious, my friend and I started a conversation, which was as healthy as the awesome brunch he had prepared for us. 

My friend is a wonderful cook.  He likes to show off his talents in the kitchen.  I’m always happy when I’m on the receiving end of his pancakes made from scratch or the egg dish he makes when I’m feeling particularly down.

Having a real friend is one blessing in my life that helped me rise above the darkness I found myself in after falling prey to a narcissist’s deviant intentions, lies and games.

My friend has never read a blog, but he sure bought me this little computer I’m writing in mine with.

There weren’t any hidden agendas in the gift.  No power-tripping.  Nothing other than wanting to do something for a friend out of love.  Unconditional love is a wonderful gift.

The relationship I had, with a man who by all means behaved like a text-book narcissist, was toxic to my mind, body and spirit.  He had also given me gifts.  Alas.  Each one came with a price.  I would later learn that everything the man had done or offered, in the name of love and kindness, was all a part of his dark and destructive intentions.

Ending a relationship with a man who suddenly changed, and so drastically that he became unrecognizable, was a shocking and painful experience.  I did end it though, and from that day forward, I am healing.

I’m making new memories.   My spirit is renewed in new acquaintances, but even more by remembering the good friends I have.   Authentic interactions with people is healing my heart and helping me to sort through the confusion that was left.

I can feel a return to myself.

I started writing again.  I’m enjoying simple things like sitting by a fire.  My mental and emotional health is better, but it took a pretty long time for the pain to settle down.  Healing after abuse takes time.

Practicing gratitude has helped me heal.  Every little thing helps when you’re assembling pieces of your self.  Being grateful is said to be a state of mind, and I believe it.

A healthy life after a toxic relationship is possible. 

Aside from practicing gratitude, saying No was crucial for me to get out and stay out.  I had to say NO many times, at first to the man with harmful intentions and finally, to myself each time I doubted the truth.

Say no to a narcissist!

“No” icon via IconDoIt

Thank you for visiting Dogkisses’s blog! 

A bright star and a drop of heaven

“My Buddy is a Dog”

A letter from a smart girl to a smart dog, with Love.

I received this letter today from a sweet and wonderful girl who has obviously fallen in love with my dog.  My dog’s name sounds like “Roofy,”  so I left the letter as it is, except for my input to correct my name, “Ms. Dogkisses.”

This was a long winter for me and my dogs.  I was injured from a bicycle accident and then a serious cut to two fingers.  There were many days when I could not walk them too far and some days not at all.  My young 4legged companion,  “Roofy,” really needed a friend to play with her.

With the dawn of Spring we met our new neighbor.

“Roofy,” runs as fast as she can and the girl holds on, running behind her laughing the entire time.  It’s hard not to smile seeing them run like they do.  It’s hard to stay down in the dumps in their presence, so I don’t.

“Roofy’s” new buddy is a bright star for us both.  One day when I was sad, she had a bowl of jelly beans her dad had dropped off a few minutes earlier.  They were amazing jelly beans.  One tasted exactly like buttered popcorn.

“I know how to make you laugh,” she said.

“How?” I asked, smiling some, trying not to cry.

“If you eat two different flavors at the same time, it will taste so bad that you will laugh.”

So I tried it.  I couldn’t see how this was supposed to make me laugh, but I figured why not and that maybe she knew something about laughter that I don’t.  She was certainly right about them tasting bad together.  The two I chose tasted like cheap whiskey.  I made an ugly face and she smiled.  She was waiting on me though before she laughed.

Her anticipation was clearly visible.  I had to smile,  not from the taste of whiskey, but at the abundance of life in her face.

Joy is easy for her to reach and the hope in her eyes that she could make me laugh was simply beautiful.   Several times since we met, I’ve felt the desire to at least allow a door for joy to enter.

I had mentioned in front of our young friend that one day I might move.  I  wish I hadn’t said it.  I was just thinking out loud, but she immediately responded saying she would miss us, well, she specifically said my dog.  I immediately regretted having said anything about moving, especially since I’m not planning on it anytime soon.

Children and young people think more about now than yesterday or tomorrow, kind of like dogs.  They really do know how to live.

That night she wrote this letter.  I read it while she visited me today.  She asked me to tell her my three favorite things about the letter.

I was completely moved.   I told her I loved the entire letter, which I do.  I told her I especially liked the first line, and then how she described her feelings so well.  I didn’t know she enjoyed writing.

I didn’t tell her that the last line made me a little sad because one day I might have to move.  But again, that is the future and the girl and the dog do not live in the future.  I was sorry to have mentioned it.  Honestly, if she said her family was moving, I’d be sad too.

Every day I look forward to the school bus now.  Every day that I am blessed with a visit with the girl, I feel happy.   I wish I’d had more children but I didn’t.  I wish I had a daughter and my son had a sister, but we don’t.

Life is amazing isn’t it?  With pain, sadness and grief, there are these bright moments that seem like they are no less than drops of heaven sent straight into our laps.  I guess that’s why we endure hard times, because we know there will be these precious moments that make us glad to be alive.

All those long winter nights when I cried, and cried some more, and then I silently prayed.  I prayed for help in this world — on this physical planet we call earth.  My heart had a hole in it so I’m glad it is being filled with joy and the love between a girl and a dog.

I love my dogs.  They give so much.  They are truly amazing animals so of course I want them to be happy.

They help me more than any medicine doctors have ever had available for depression.  They give me a reason to keep going when everything around me is falling down.  They love me when I’m sick or in pain.  They love me every single day, even on days I’m too sick to walk them.

In my darkest hours they are here for me and they know.  They know when I am in the darkness of grief.  The lower I fall the closer they move their furry bodies to mine.  Sometimes I think I’ll get smothered if I don’t get my butt up and live a little.

It was true.  The day the girl didn’t come, “Roofy” watched the window and every time she heard people outside she got excited, until she realized it was not her new friend.  She let out a little sigh each time.  I could tell she missed her friend that day.

Today they were both happy.  They climbed a steep hill together.  The girl is a bright star and the dog is a little drop of heaven.  They are quite a pair.

I have a new friend!

This is a picture of my Egyptian princess on a day she is happy with her new friend.

I call her an Egyptian beetle-hound princess because she has natural eyeliner and beauty marks that remind me of Cleopatra.  She also hunts and finds insects.   In photos, her eyes almost always have the green glow around them.  I guess this is “red eye” in a dog’s world.

A couple of days after this happy day the girl, “got on the A-B honor roll for the first time.”  She was proud of herself.  I wondered if her new friend has helped her as much as she has helped us.

Romance, after the Narcissist

Milano, Italy

Image via Wikipedia

“I can give you a better kiss than the one I gave you before,” he said, flirting with me over the phone.  Our lips had touched gently and briefly as a parting gesture the week before.

“You can,” I responded.  It was partly a question and a little flirting back.

“You bet I can,” he said and that was pretty much it for me.   His confidence gave me butterflies and weakened my knees a bit.   I was shaving my legs within the hour, so I knew.

I was also using some lovely citrus body scrub, along with Neutrogena’s Sesame oil, both products having been gifts from the narcissist I had a relationship with, if you call what we had a relationship.  I had one, but I have no clue what he had other than a private little party in his mind.

I was glad to be using these products again.  I’ve used the sesame oil since I first discovered it in the early 1980’s, but love has a way of pinning itself to little things in a romance.

The place you first made-love or food that you enjoyed together remind you of what is gone when the romance is over.  The bottle of sesame oil had worked its way into my memories and this is something I love about writing.  Just now as I type, I realize that the narcissist never knew how to make use of his gift.  He knew how to give gifts but he did not know about sweet romance.  If he had known, the body of sesame oil would have been empty a long time ago.

Maybe the most difficult part of letting go and moving on after ending a romantic relationship are the reminders that come when you attempt to be sexual with a new partner, even something as slight as flirting can cause you to remember.  Plus, the aftermath of a relationship with a narcissist carries unique problems.  Many people are severely mentally and emotionally traumatized by the experience.  I was.

I mentioned to a couple I know that I was ready to date evoking instant match-making ideas in the woman.

I liked their friend the first time I met him and we later had an evening alone together, the time of which was fun and easy.  He was confident but didn’t seem arrogant.  When he said he could give me a better kiss I thought well, he sounds like a man who knows what he has to offer and it sounded alright with me.

Do I trust my radar?  No.  Not now.  I don’t yet trust any feelings of attraction .  A relationship with a severe narcissist left me with a large dose of cautiousness about people’s intentions or sincerity that I’ve never known before.

I refuse to stop living though.  I’m too young to give up on love or romance.  I think anyone living is too young.  Plus, its Spring and what a wonderful time to be like the French and take a new lover.   I either read that in a book once or saw it in a movie where a French woman said, “I’ll think I’ll take a lover for the Spring.”

This is what I was thinking about as I poured oil on my legs and then used a nice lotion afterward.

I did contemplate my actions.  At least the man is honest about his wish to, “give me a better kiss,” I thought, but there are conflicting feelings.  We don’t seem to have that much in common.   He doesn’t have a dog.  I must admit I wonder about people who don’t have dogs.  As I rubbed the lotion on my legs I thought hey, I’m not trying to mate for life here.  I’m not a bird.  I’m only human.

I thought about being in my forties.  I remembered a wonderful psychiatric nurse I once met.  She was an intelligent woman who had traveled the world in her forties.  I was struggling with the aftermath of an unhealthy relationship then too.  I’ve met two severe narcissists in my life.  I loved both of them and I ended both relationships.  They were about 13 years apart.  I never thought after the first one I’d ever go through anything like that again but all narcissists are not created equally.  The two I have known both did have charming ways, passion and intelligence but they were very different types of people.

The subject of sex came up.  That’s another part of a relationship with a narcissist.  There are usually problems around this.

“If you think you enjoy sex now,” she told me, “just wait ’til your in your forties.  You have a lot to look forward to in life,” and she went on to tell me how she had divorced a man, very much like the one I had known, when she was in her forties.  I was in my early thirties then.  She told me about her leaving and going off to Europe for two years where she, “enjoyed several lovers,” while she was there.  It sounded dreamy but hopeful. 

“I had an absolutely wonderful time,” she went on, “and then I met the man I would marry.  He moved here and we have a wonderful marriage.  You can have this too,” she told me, “but you must leave this place to have it.”

I was in a hospital for depression.  I’d only been there one night and it was clear to me and this head nurse that I was in the wrong place.  The psychiatrist disliked me so much after meeting me only once, he said he was glad to see me go, which was early the next morning.   That nurse had prepared my discharge papers after our conversation the night before.

The woman planted a seed in my brain.  I may not get to go to Europe for two years, but I swear I don’t want to make it to 50 and say dang, I forgot to enjoy those 40’s.

What if he surprises me I wondered?  Honestly, I wondered if the man could not only give me a kiss but if he could rock my world.  Shake me into a new reality.  Give me new thoughts and memories of romance.

I have grieved.  I have hurt.  I have seen many days when I didn’t want it to get dark.  I just didn’t.  The nights of the past winter seemed each one to last forever.

I want to take a lover for the Spring.  I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

The kiss drew me in and I found myself swept away into romance.  I have a new memory now.  I have a new and sweet experience.  The soft kiss lasted as long as the winter nights had.

I’m not out of the woods.   I doubt I’ll be like the woman in the novel or the movie, or the nurse in Europe.  I have to learn my boundaries.  I have to learn again, to trust myself.

I remain human.  I remain a woman.  I remain imperfect.  I remain cautious.







The Narcissist’s Lover

the narcissist's lover, a blue experienceMy therapist said maybe I’m desensitized to negative behavior.  Well, something caused me to accept such a negative influence into my personal life.  Something other than his passionately cultivated manipulation and eloquent conning.  I don’t think there is any one reason that stands alone as to why I accepted what I did.

I ignored things about the man’s behavior even before our first visit together.   I wasn’t oblivious to my gut feelings, but I most certainly didn’t put enough thought into the possible meanings that his words and actions portrayed. 

Every day he called.  Some days more than once.  He left messages.  I repeatedly said no to his offers, but looking back, I can see that he had a back up plan for each time I said no. 

I had known the man for over twenty years.  He was my life insurance agent.  I always had a special feeling for him and believed that was mutual.  

I was altogether flattered by the compliments and attention he gave me when we first met.  I was nineteen and he was past thirty.  I never thought of the attraction I felt because he was married and so was I.  Instead, for the next twenty or so years, I held him in my mind as a mentor figure.  Someone I would ask advice from and whom I respected. 

Things changed one Autumn day when I called his office on business.

It was an odd feeling to have trusted and respected him for such a long time and then finding myself not believing much he was saying during our first phone conversations.

My agreeing to a visit from him was all he needed.  He had a plan and intended on working it.  

It was the third time he came to visit that I decided to ignore two rude messages he had left on my answering machine from his cell phone while he was driving to see me.

“That sure is a long shower you’re taking,” he had said.  He called back within five minutes or so and left another message.  I was in the shower and could hear his voice in the background.  I assumed he was saying something nice.  A regular kind of guy would have been happy knowing a woman was preparing for his visit.

I was surprised when I listened to the messages.  His tone was full of something — something I could feel in my gut and it didn’t feel good. 

I remember thinking how strange for a man to be wooing me, while at the same time using sarcasm.  Most men try to make a good first impression.

I saved the messages.  I almost let him hear them.  I wanted to say, hey listen how you sound.  I wanted to ask him what his problem was.  But I didn’t.  I erased the messages later, because when he arrived, both times, he was that other person…

There were plenty of clear signs and red flags that the man had serious issues around women and sex.   A part of my mind kept saying hey, this is the man you have always thought so highly of and maybe he’s telling the truth about the sincerity of his affections.  The rest of me said nah, he’s lying.

He said he had neglected his sexual needs for several years, yet he carried a little black bag in his trunk that held clues to this being a lie, which it was.  He’d gone out to his car in my driveway to get the bag.  He said it had been in his trunk for a couple of years.  The energy of his lie filled the room and my mind.

Our first phone conversations had consisted of me telling him how much my life had changed since I’d first met him and last talked to him.  I told him about living with fibromyalgia and the sadness in my heart about my son having an illness.  He asked if I had wrinkles and what my skin was like.  How strange I thought.  Talking with him on a level of communication so superficial was taxing and draining.  I was happy when the calls were finished. 

My behavior and reasons for being there are the most worthy of exploration, but I guess, that’s another story.

He continued to talk a lot about physical appearances in the beginning of our relationship, which was as superficial as our earlier phone conversations had been.  Upon reflection, I can see that appearances were always top priority for him.

The first time we were physically intimate, he spoke of a young woman whom he was closely acquainted with.  He compared my body to hersI was surprised, but also rather amused.  I hadn’t yet fallen for his seduction.  Each time I saw him, I thought it would be the last time. 

“You are still very beautiful,” he said once and then added something like, “but she has those muscles you only see on younger women.”

The man is not young and his body showed his age.  I asked him how young he liked women and told him that he should go after what he wanted.  I told him I felt good about my age and body.

He changed.  He started telling me he was completely in-love with me.   I still didn’t think I would become more involved with him.  I had memories of my earlier attraction to him and that was alive, but the character I was seeing bits and pieces of was not the man whom I had imagined he was all those years.  

He was completely superficial.  He wasn’t honest.  He said things thugs say.  He had a juvenile way of justifying behavior that I believed was wrong.  He made fun of people who worked for him.  No, I’d never get serious about someone like that, I thought. 

I didn’t ignore everything that caused me to suspect a hole in his professed integrity, but what I confronted, he twisted around.  He was a master at playing mind games and manipulation.  I was standing on the edge of an emotional breakdown.

I wouldn’t have continued accepting his calls and visits if there hadn’t been positive traits about him that I liked.  He made me laugh all the time.  This got me in trouble before, and I thought I’d learned my lesson, but apparently I did not.  People who can make me laugh are usually very funny folks.  Sometimes, it takes a lot to make me laugh.

After a few visits with me, he said he hadn’t been serious about his earlier random and odd remarks.  He realized that his comparisons of my body didn’t move me, at least not emotionally.  I was however taking mental notes.

He tried several times to make me believe the suggestions he had made were my desires; literally telling me that I had been the one to say what he had said.  I let pass too many times these incidences of dishonesty.  I wish instead, I had allowed myself to see the truth.

He tried convincing me that I had been mesmerized by a young woman in a photo he had shown me under the guise of it being a part of his photography portfolio.  I wondered if he believed his lies, but I seriously doubted it.

I rolled my eyes and let his attempts to manipulate my mind pass without taking issue.  I couldn’t imagine wanting a real relationship with someone who played those kinds of mental games.

I didn’t think I’d continue seeing him, but I did.

The man was more than persistent and seductive.  He was cunning and smart.  He quickly figured out where I was vulnerable, which was that I was lonely and wanted love.

I ignored physical things.  We had been intimate several times before I noticed that his nipples were asymmetrical. 

I was resting my head on his shoulder when I noticed that one of them was much larger and differently shaped than the other one.  I asked him about it.   He told me his Cuban-liposuction story.

He went to Cuba to have liposuction because it was cheaper there.  He said he added a face lift while he was there.  He said he’d had several face lifts. 

He showed me where they had stretched his skin and tied it together underneath his arm pits and behind his ears.  He didn’t want me touching his chest.  He made that clear.   I guess he thought out of sight or touch then out of mind and, this was true.  I put blinders on.

I forgot what or who he blamed his weight gain on but I’m sure he had a story.   He had a story for everything.  Everything in his world, except success, is the fault of another person, always.

I didn’t realize the operations were a result of a hiding so intense that it prevails over all else.  I thought the guy had too much money and didn’t deal with aging very well, both of which are true, but the surgical cuts run deeper than extra money and a wish to look younger.

He created a character just for me.  Whenever he learned I didn’t like something he never mentioned it again.  He was on a quest to discover all that he could about me and used the information to control and manipulate me.

Mostly, he found out I could love.  He discovered that I could feel deeply with all my heart.  He started conversations to convince me he was a good decent man, “loyal to his own demise,” he once said.  My inner voice screamed that he was so full of shit, but I still let the relationship continue. 

I started to believe his lies.  I started to feel loved and very, very special to him.  And, I laughed. 

He opened doors for me.  When I was tired he washed my dishes.  He walked my dogs in the name of helping me conserve my energy. 

For the best of five months he held his pretensions well.  Whatever didn’t work he would try something else.

Slowly, he told me a story of love that I believed.  He loved me.  He had been in-love with me since he first saw me more than twenty years earlier.  He wanted to spend his life with me. 

While I set aside my gut feelings that something wasn’t right, I saw a gentleman.  I dreamed that his story of love was true.  I did want it to be true.  

I had truly fallen in-love the first time we met, but I had never dared to even think of the feelings I had for him.  Those feelings stayed wherever I put them in my mind and heart, until he came to my home, all those years later, literally demanding that I believe he loved me.

For a while, I believed the love story.  I believed we had missed our earlier chance.  We were having a wonderful time, I thought, until the day I told him that I believed him.  I told him I accepted his love.

He began to say things, sometimes a response to something I had said and other times, out of the blue, he would make a remark that exposed an underlying thuggery.  I was taken aback each time.  He blamed his sudden mood changes or demeaning statements on his past hurts.  People had used things against him he said.  It was hard to trust he said.  Sarcasm was put off to his sense of humor.

I’ve known love, very sweet love, and what I had found with this man, that which I did adore, was disappearing. 

I became tired of not trusting him, which was always in the back of my mind.  I stopped feeling loved and instead felt that he was using my body like a toy and my mind like a puppet. 

I became depressed.  I was physically, mentally and emotionally worn out.  An episode of severe fatigue hit me during a holiday.  He had wanted to come home with me, but things weren’t right.  My doubt about him had magnified.  I told him I wasn’t ready for him to meet more of my family.  I also really needed to rest. 

Being with him had been passionate and I had laughed a lot, but there were side-effects of the relationship that were most unpleasant.  I didn’t feel mentally, emotionally or physically healthy.  I felt drained and weak.  I didn’t reveal to him how much I knew.  I simply said I was tired.  He would have nothing to do with my being human.

He told me during our last phone conversation that he doesn’t care about any human being on the planet.  He said he had been diagnosed with a, “pathology.” 

I asked him if he was diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  He said yes.  I didn’t believe it.  I didn’t believe he was seeing a therapist.  He would never admit to a professional like he did to me that he doesn’t care about anyone. 

The kind person he pretended to be could not survive his lewd and crude personality.  More and more often he said things that were offensive and repulsive.

“His rakish personality disguised a gentleness that I and I alone, realized he possessed. A gentleness guarded by a hardened shell, his inner child cached within furious outbursts and temperamental explosions. Even my faith in his gentle nature required rose-colored glasses at times; so unpredictable was his split personality.”  (Excerpt from A Perfect Love Story).

I didn’t realize while I was loving him that his intentions were cruel.  I didn’t know I loved a psychopath.  I looked inside at the man I believed he was.

 

Excerpt from, A Perfect Love Story, by CZBZ,The Narcissistic Continuum

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