This post is dedicated to a very dear friend of LTTUS.
I first met “The Narcissist” through a mutual friend of ours. I was going through a divorce and probably a little too eager to feel wanted again. It had been a very long time since I’d felt genuinely wanted. My ex husband was also a narcissist although not as blatant about it as “The Narcissist” was.
It took about two and a half years for me to realize he was a narcissist. During those two and a half years we lived across the country from each other although we spent a lot of time together.
Within a few weeks of meeting face to face it was pretty obvious he was a narcissist. I should have jumped ship immediately, but I thought I was wrong. Surely he wasn’t always going to act this way.
Oh how I wish now I had trusted my initial instinct.
Our agreement was that he would stay with me until he could find a job and an apartment. A month tops.
Within two weeks he was stealing food from me, refusing to buy his own, knowing I live on a limited, fixed, income. He didn’t apologize. When I brought it up he’d play dumb. “I didn’t eat it.” Yes because three packages of Oreo’s grew legs and walked out of my pantry. I should have called him out on his bullshit. I didn’t. I was still programmed to stay silent from my marriage.
It took him nearly three months to begin to look for a job.
I should have bailed and kicked him out, but I didn’t.
Six months after he moved in with me, with my lease broken because I wasn’t supposed to have someone stay with me more than two weeks and my landlord thankfully ignoring it. I hit panic mode. I started looking for another place to live with him because I knew by that point he was not going to look for his own place. I was in a constant state of triggered. My therapy stalled. I was shutting down completely.
I was trapped just as I had been in my marriage.
I fell into the role easily enough.
We got an apartment fairly quickly. Moving day was a disaster. My only request was to not take apart my desk because I knew if he did it wouldn’t go back together.
I saw my desk come out of the apartment in two pieces.
I was livid.
My BFF had to physically hold me down so I wouldn’t hurt him. I’d had enough. This was just the beginning.
Two weeks after we moved I caught him flirting with a girl from another country.
I asked him to stop.
He said he would.
A week later I caught him again.
During that week he would also admit he had feelings for her, the only reason he was with me and not her was he didn’t have the money to go see her, and they had been sexting the entire time he and I had been together. And, in one of the worst nights of my life he’d spend the entire night texting with her while I was having one of the worst PTSD triggered moments of my life.
I should have left, but I didn’t.
I couldn’t afford the apartment on my own and I had no immediate place to go. So instead of leaving I decided to focus on myself so when my lease was up in 10 months I WOULD leave. I would force myself to be strong enough.
I fought the urge to shut down in therapy and forced myself to talk. I told my therapist everything that I’d been hiding from her.
I had agreed to pet sit for my BFF for ten days while she went on a cruise. Half way through the ten days he had a stroke.
It was a minor stroke, but it was definitely a stroke.
I ran to the hospital to be with him, abandoning my responsibility to my BFF.
While they were running tests on him I called his family, our friends etc letting everyone know what happened.
The next few weeks would prove to me how bad I needed to get out.
I’d kept silent about the things going on between us up until this point. During his recovery I stayed by his side, kept his family and our friends up to date with his progress and made sure he took his meds and made it to all of his appointments.
His doctor in the ER the day of his stroke told him he was finished smoking. He had to stop or he would have another stroke.
He agreed to quit.
He seemed like he was doing good. We had talked and agreed he needed to see a therapist. I had taken him to sign up for therapy. He was on a waiting list. He would never go to therapy and get mad every time I brought it up after this.
Then one night he came home smelling like smoke.
I asked him about it. He said he had been around the guys he worked with and they were smoking. I let it go.
It happened several more times over the next few weeks. I was growing frustrated. I KNEW without a doubt what was going on and he kept lying to me about it. Going as far as to call me crazy when I wouldn’t let it go.
One day I’d had enough. I looked through his bag that he always took to work with him while he was in the shower. I shouldn’t have, but I did. In it were two packs of cigarettes; one half empty the other unopened. I was livid. I took them out of his bag and said nothing.
He left for work and about two minutes later suddenly reappeared PANICKING. No doubt he couldn’t find the cigarettes. I stayed silent.
I didn’t tell him what I’d found for almost a week. I wanted to see if he would come to me, but he didn’t.
After that I completely checked out of the relationship. To anyone else it would have been obvious it was over. Not to him though.
We weren’t touching or talking or sleeping together or even really acknowledging each other’s existence after that. When I’d confronted him about the smoking he’d found a way to blame me even though he’d been lying to me for months. We came up with an agreement to let him stop smoking slowly. Within 24 hours he’d broken that promise to me too.
I wanted desperately to end it and get out. My anxiety was through the roof and I found myself physically scared of him. He’d never been physical with me. Logically I had zero reason to think he would ever get physical with me. But thinking about confronting him and breaking up with him gave me panic attacks.
It took several weeks but eventually I got up the nerve to end it. The apartment we shared had two bedrooms and I asked him to move into the spare. He did.
He seemed upset but he didn’t argue with me.
I’d told him it was over.
I’d told him we needed to see other people.
I started seeing someone.
He kept showering me with food he knew I liked. I ignored it.
I barely spoke to him.
I was keeping my distance on purpose.
He kept trying to touch me. I thought I had made it clear it was making me uncomfortable.
One night he wrote me a letter that included a ring and a hope for the future.
I was mortified.
What the actual fuck was wrong with him? Didn’t he understand it was over?
I ignored the letter.
He started showing his anger.
Huffing and puffing around the apartment, muttering “why do I even try?” to himself when he’d give me food I hadn’t asked for or wanted and I ignored it. For Valentine’s Day, he got me a bag of my favorite candy. I ignored it because no matter how much I love it, I did not want to give him the wrong idea.
A week later he stole it back from me.
So I broke up with him again, in writing this time.
He went mad.
Crying one minute, laughing the next. Asking where I was, asking where the knives were.
I hid in my bedroom and hoped he wouldn’t open the door.
He made me fear for my life.
I panicked and knew I needed out asap.
A week before I left, him and I sat down and talked about everything that had happened. I tried my best to be clear with him.
He wanted to have sex with me. That was his take away from the conversation.
When I said no, he asked why not.
My response was because I don’t want to. That didn’t seem like a good enough reason to him, but he let it go.
I managed to get out shortly after that.
After I left, he continued to message my family and friends trying to talk to me. When he was unsuccessful he resorted to calling me names, telling people I was dangerous and couldn’t be trusted and basically tried to destroy my reputation. It didn’t work because those who know me know I’m not that person. I did everything I could for him and still got completely shit from him. I’d changed my number and blocked him on social media so he had no way of contacting me.
Despite the fact that I now live in a different state and am with someone else, he still believed I was coming back to him.
I wrote him another letter and sent it without a return address, again clarifying we are over and have been over for a long time.
I haven’t heard anything from him since, but I suspect one day I probably will.
I just hope one day he lets me go and moves on.
Submitted by Anon