“The sun in your eyes makes some of the lies worth believing.” I can’t begin to even count the number of times those lyrics from Alan Parsons’ Eye in the Sky silently played in my mind over the 4-½ years I spent with my narcissist, Julia. As I’m sure is the case with your narcissist, Julia had an indescribable power and control over me. And as despotic as that power was, it was nonetheless subtly executed and maintained. It was in the way she touched me, put her hand on mine, spoke, her mannerisms, her scent, the way she walked, and even in the way she looked at me – I melted every time. Some might call that love. For me, it absolutely was. But, for her? Love doesn’t abuse or manipulate to get what it wants. I used to joke with her that she was my kryptonite. The thing is, in all jest, there is a measure of truth. She was most assuredly my one weakness, my addiction, and almost my undoing.
When I first met Julia, I was by no means looking for a relationship. And I most definitely wasn’t looking for someone to come into my life under the guise of love, only to leave it in overt disdain. And yet, here we are. If we’re being honest with ourselves, and your time with your narcissist has come to an end, I suspect yours are very similar lingering emotions. Granted, if your narcissist hasn’t subjected you to the agony of the final discard phase, you might still be romanticizing what you had with them. And if you’re currently involved with your narcissist on a regular basis, you’re more than likely still caught up in the throes of the cycle of loving an unloveable person.
So what is it about your narcissist that keeps you mired in that toxic dynamic? Tethered to them? Shackled?! What is it that continues to ensure your begrudged return? Is it those very few good times you spend together where you feel a deep, rich, soulful connection? Is it the way they make you feel loved in those exceedingly rare times where they seem to exude love and loving-kindness toward you, albeit briefly? Is it the sex? Don’t be embarrassed if it is. I mean, let’s be honest, sex is pretty amazing! Anyone who says differently is either a liar or they’re doing it wrong. So what continues to draw you back to him/her? Or, if you’ve managed to finally escape, what was it that continued to draw you to them for however long your personal and private hell lasted?
With Julia, it wasn’t the sex. Don’t get me wrong. The intimacy was exceptional. But one can only spend so much time in the bedroom before one has to emerge. And, when we do emerge from our little burrow of love, what do we do if you see our own shadow? Or, to put it another way, what do you do when the only form of connection with someone is sexual? With Julia, that was never an issue. There was always a strong intellectual connection betwixt us that most definitely transcended the mere bonds of physicality and sexuality. But there was also an undeniable physical attraction, as well. In fact, with the exception of her religious beliefs, I felt we were equally yoked in almost every other aspect and respect. But loving a narcissist is never without the inherent pitfalls.
“What pitfalls,” you might ask? Well, for starters, narcissists are never content with a single source of narcissistic supply. They will always, always have a harem, albeit the traditional male-to-multiple-females or a reverse-harem with one female-to-multiple-males, wherein the remainder of attention, affection, the adulation that you simply cannot provide, the external validation they absolutely crave, is derived. But it’s not just external validation the narcissist garners from their harem. There’s power. Ammunition to use against you in the form of jealousy and insecurity through triangulation to better cement their position of supreme power in the relationship. If you’re going to be involved with a narcissist, you can expect this to be your life on a consistent basis. Just as you can expect deception in a myriad of forms – lying, infidelity, and theft are the go-tos.
With Julia, lying came naturally. She could, in a heartbeat, convincingly fabricate a truth that would have you questioning your own perceptions of reality – another “gift” the narcissist possesses. And it was in here that I found myself descending deeper and deeper down that rabbit hole, to the point that I lost my identity to her and in the relationship. So many times I would look at her, quietly listening to whatever latest lie she was spinning more elegantly and eloquently than any spider’s web you’ve ever seen, knowing full well she was lying, all the while those aforementioned Alan Parsons’ lyrics silently screaming in my head. You see, there were two truths with Julia – the actual truth and the truth she wanted me to believe.
But here’s where we get to the grit, the crux of the matter, the message of today’s article. Even though I knew there was a small measure of truth interwoven and interlaced within Julia’s latest fabricated fable, bit by bit, little by little, I lost myself in my own personal lie that I had convinced myself was truth. The lie that the little slices of heaven interspersed here and there with her, somehow outweighed the copious volumes of hell without her. You see, even though our relationship had started out with me being absolutely certain my narcissist wholly and completely loved me, for more than 4-years she incessantly and unwaveringly showing me one blatant truth that I continued to ignore; I was nothing to her. I was unimportant, replaceable; disposable. So with each lie she spoke, I smiled, I nodded, I listened, *sigh* and I stayed. For 4-½ years I remained where I was tolerated when I could have been with someone where I was celebrated. And all because I had fallen under the delusion that I was loved by someone wholeheartedly, someone who was incapable of loving anyone other than themselves.
So, what about you, beautiful? Why did you stay so long? Did you believe their rich and overflowing cornucopia of lies and deception from which they served you a bountiful banquet? Like me, did you believe that you mattered? That you were special? That you had found the other half of yourself? Or did you escape? Have you tried to leave, perhaps even multiple times, only to find yourself back at your narcissist’s doorstep, head and heart in hand, eager to resume giving your love, your body, and your soul to someone who only knows how to take? If so, don’t beat yourself up. Don’t be so hard on yourself for believing such lovely lies. We’ve all been there. Some of us more than once.
What matters is that you now see the truth of what you genuinely mean to someone who means the world to you. Let’s be honest, no relationship is ever (read never) going to be perfect. There are going to be disagreements, misunderstandings, even fights that are real doozies! But if that person who holds your heart doesn’t make you genuinely feel like you are to them what they are to you, you are with the wrong person, beautiful. That’s not to say people or relationships are disposable – they aren’t, or at least they shouldn’t be. But, in a disposable world, pretty much everything is seen as replaceable when it fails to placate and satiate.
In the end, when the day is done and you’re lying next to them, if you don’t feel that you are as loved, appreciated, cherished, as they are to and for you, there is someone else out there feeling and thinking the exact same thing with the wrong person, too. Or maybe they already made their great escape and now they’re looking for you. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be loved the way that you love? So why wait? Don’t waste another moment of your life longingly wishing, when you could spend the rest of your life joyously having.