What amazing parts of you did you hide to make your narcissist happy? More importantly, Why? With my narcissist, Julia, it was my (admittedly) exuberantly expressive and somewhat boisterous sense of humor. Julia is a relatively quiet and reserved girl, at least in comparison to my fervent loquaciousness. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for her to effectively manipulate me into being quieter and more reserved when around her. At the time, she very deftly convinced me that the me she had surreptitiously twisted me into, was the me that was happiest when I was with her. But the reality is, I was more worried about losing her if I continued being the real me than I was concerned about losing the real me if I continued being with her. You see, somewhere in all of that manipulation, triangulation, and gaslighting, I’d lost my identity in the relationship with my narcissist and I was brainwashed into believing who she had changed me into was who I truly wanted to be. The thing is, it wasn’t. And I feel quite confident that you experienced this same, if not a very similar, dynamic. So, where along the journey with your narcissist did you feel the need to hide some part of the beauty that is you?
How long did the relationship with your narcissist last? From the first time you met, till the last time you interacted with them in any fashion. Mine was right at 4-½ years. That’s fifty-four grueling months, or 1,643 demoralizing days of the soul-crushingly repetitive cycle of narcissistic abuse – hoover, idealize, devalue, discard – lather, rinse, repeat. Looking in from the outside, one would think that after several discard phases, I would have finally realized what was going on and never returned to her or the abuse again. Unfortunately, thanks to the wonders of gaslighting and trauma bonding, I was caught in my narcissist’s web of manipulation and deceit, thinking I was in love with a person when, in actuality, I was in love with a lie.
As we revealed yesterday, I got a text this past weekend from a friend stating they saw my narcissist, Julia, out with someone new, “Artie.” Julia had told me all about Artie back in May, saying he was, “…just a friend.” It would seem, however, that this “friend” has now been promoted from a secondary source of narcissistic supply to a primary source. In other words, my narcissist is now dating someone. To be honest with you, I’d been speculating on how I’d feel the day I discovered my narcissist had moved on to a new victim. Now I know.
This past Saturday, I received a text from Veronika. You may recall Veronika was briefly mentioned in What Happens When a Narcissist Falls for a Narcissist? In essence, Veronika texted stating she’d just witnessed my narcissist, Julia, and Veronika’s ex-fiance, “Artie,” on a romantic stroll in a local park. Veronika relayed to me that Julia and Artie were no more than 15 feet away when Julia saw her. It was then that Julia stopped, turned, and kissed Artie in an obvious effort to assert her ownership of Veronika’s ex. They then continued their walk, hand-in-hand, smiling. As predicted several weeks ago, the narcissist would most likely promote a secondary source of narcissistic supply (SSNS) to a primary source (PSNS) – i.e. Julia has begun dating Artie.
It was about mid-October, 2014. I was out for a ride. The weather was sublime, picturesque, really, as it always is in the Southern U.S. every October. I was heading down a section of road, that’s when I passed her. She was tiny, about 5′ 6″, 102 lbs., sandy blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail, and she was jogging. It was only a moment that I saw her and then we passed each other. I vividly recall thinking to myself, “Man, I wish that was my girl.” And that was it. I didn’t see her again the rest of my ride. But that momentary encounter left an indelible mark in my memory. So the question that I present to you today, “Do you believe in love at first sight?” Or is it really nothing more than lust attempting to masquerade as something more honorable than merely a primal, hormonal reaction to visual stimuli? Until that moment, honestly, I never thought you could love someone with just once glance. After all, how could you possibly love someone you’ve never actually met?
Have you ever noticed how the narcissist has a veritable harem of fe/male “friends” who consistently express a deeper than friendly affection and attraction to the narcissist? Generally, this harem or reverse harem consists of people with whom the narcissist has had some form of contact that crosses the threshold of acceptable behavior (especially if they are involved in a committed, monogamous relationship), and or these harem relationships were surreptitiously initiated and cultivated when you and the narcissist were (supposedly) “on a break.” Either way, this is the status quo and all part of being a narcissist. But don’t delude yourself into believing that the narcissist is only seeking and nurturing these relationships, interviewing potential sources of secondary narcissistic supply (SSNS), and quite possibly your replacement, solely when you are broken up. In fact, quite to the contrary; the narcissist is always on the prowl for additional wo/men to add to their [reverse] harem.
It was February 7, 2015. That’s the day I met her. For the sake of anonymity, we’ll call her, “Julia.” Julia was like no one else I’d ever met before – articulate, educated, intelligent, athletic, funny and witty with a beautiful laugh. She was tiny – 5′ 6″, 102 lbs. with sandy blonde hair – she was lovely, to say the least. I’m a cyclist. And on that day, I’d just finished a ride, the second of the 2015 Cycling Season. As I was putting my bike away, there she was, seemingly from out of nowhere. I don’t know what possessed me, as I don’t normally strike up conversations with strangers, but I definitely struck up a conversation with her. As we talked, I noticed she had the most beautiful Russian accent. Our initial encounter was brief, maybe 5 minutes, but from tiny seeds come the tallest of trees. Little did I know it but this was the beginning of the most amazing, beautiful, terrible, toxic relationship of my life.