This was said to me twice by a good friend of mine. Once within of week of me moving out, and again last week. Both times I replied, “Um no. The guy I “picked” doesn’t exist. The guy that I wound up with at the end is not the guy I knew in the beginning.” I reminded my friend that he knows me, and he knows how I operate. He knows how careful I am about who I have in my life. It was especially hurtful to have this come from someone who sees, and supposedly reads, what I post about narcissists/sociopaths, who knows me. He has since apologized, but it echos in my mind. And I tell you what, third times a charm. If I hear that or anything close to that from him again, he will be gone as well. As one of the ladies in the group has said, I have found the enough button, and I’m not afraid to use it.
To me, that is akin to saying, “you asked for it” or “you deserved it”. I did not ask for it nor did I deserve it, and neither did my kids. I was nothing but loyal, faithful, forthcoming, honest, respectful, and blunt. The other thing I’m sick of hearing is, “just move on”. As if it was just a break up with a normal, functioning adult, instead of a stalking/harassing 6 year old in the body of a grown man.
I’ve found out who my friends are, and who I can trust. For that I am grateful. Honesty is such a huge thing for me, and I acknowledge it and appreciate it. I’ve had to let people go since leaving, because of them showing me who they really are. Again, I am grateful for that knowledge, it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t hurt. One of the last things I said to JR was, “Thank you for finally showing me who you really are. It makes it that much easier for me to leave.”
I realize that most people don’t understand. That is a blessing for them and a curse for us. They haven’t lived with it, perhaps have never heard of it, or maybe they just don’t want to understand. I’d heard the term narcissist, but thought it was someone with a huge ego. I didn’t have the information or experience that I have now. I hadn’t heard of NPD until I moved out and my friend Tanny pointed it out to me. I have thanked her a few times since, she really did help save my sanity. I found support groups that have been so helpful to me during the last 72 days of freedom. Now, if anyone asks about JR, I tell them to research NPD. That will help them to understand what I have been and continue to deal with.
The phrase I came up with to describe him is, “The narcopath in hippie clothing”. JR managed to keep his “mask” up for the first 10 months. That’s how long it took for me to see a rage. Before that he continually avoided conflict, simply refused to acknowledge it. He didn’t flip the switch until I officially lived with him. Yes, he’d been pushing my boundaries, lying, and cheating the entire time, deep down I knew that. It was a gradual build up, a lot of the abuse was subtle. It wasn’t until I started having panic attacks that I realized that this was all too familiar to me. That my body was screaming at me to get out! I realized that he was my ex husband in a different body, with slightly different tactics.
In the course of my reading I realized that JR is not the first one that I’ve dealt with, there have been a few in my life. I aim for him to be the last.
I also realized that I’ve done this no contact thing before, I just didn’t know what it was called. It’s been two and a half years since I’ve talked to or seen my parents, and the rest of my extended family. It’s been closer to four years since I cut my bat shit crazy aunt (she is a RAGING narc) out of my life. I’m actually pretty good at no contact.
And my ex husband, the father of my oldest, well I always thought he was a sociopath. I’d looked into that years ago.
I may have picked them, but now I’ve picked me.