If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a narcissist or had someone in your life suffering from one, you will know of its devastating effects. In fact, when a highly capable, decent human being suddenly hits a rock-bottom after beginning a relationship, you can usually assume that their partner is a narcissist–that’s how debilitating narcissistic relationships can be. My first boyfriend was a narcissist. Despite my age at the time, I had never been in a serious relationship before, because I had a good reason to thoroughly vet and test men who approached me; so, needless to say, I was very naive about love and the dating rituals themselves. During the two-year-long on-and-off relationship with this man, my heart was in utter shambles. I cried when we were together because he was making me miserable, and I cried when we weren’t together because I missed him. Even when I regained my senses enough to end things with him, I missed him so badly that my best friends and roommate remarked that I was calling out his name in my sleep. It took me quite some time to fix myself; during this time, I wrote countless journal entries to remind myself how I should be treated in a relationship; funnily enough, many men that followed him fit these criteria; in
fact, they were the very anti-thesis of my narcissist. : Back then, I used to be the one whose calls went unanswered when my then-boyfriend went radio-silent on countless Saturday nights doing God-knows-what. The men that followed either always picked up my calls or immediately called back. : Back then, I used to be the one to secretly cook for him many mornings using a Crock-Pot in a dorm that banned such cooking appliances. The men that followed baked cakes for me (though I turned them down), cooked dinners for me, and brought homemade meals to the hospital for me. : Back then, I used to be the one who would see him off at the airport, the train station, the bus stop, wherever. The men that followed not only saw me off at these places, but took troubles of travelling with me to my destination. : Back then, I used to be the one who would fit around his schedule. The men that followed would re-arrange their schedule and THEY were the ones who flew or took trains or drove several hours to come to see me. : Back then, I used to be the one to tell him how much I loved him and shower him with ‘I love you’s when he was never ever able to say them back. The men that followed were quick to say those words and quick to assure me of their sincerity. What, or rather who, prompted me to write such contrasts was a Frenchman who just asked me out. He and I met several months ago at a cafe, and he called to see when I had my day off. He wanted to cook French food for me, because he knew of my idyllic sentiments toward France. Ironically enough, he shares his first name with my narcissistic ex, and I had a striking realization during our conversation. All along, I thought I was looking for a man who fits my criteria I wrote in those journal entries; but I wasn’t. If I were, I would have been happy with receiving such wonderful treatments from many men and would have had relationships with several of them; but, again, I wasn’t. I was never the type of woman who sought after admiration from multiple men; all I ever wanted was a whole heart of that one person who can make my heart skip a beat. I knew I would know who it is, because I follow a very wise advice I once heard that “You know when you know, and if you don’t know, then they’re not it.“ Furthermore, I knew deep down that even if I were attracted to some of these men, none of them were offering their whole heart; and I deserve better than a measly portion of a heart. I can confidently say that I "knew” of my suitors’ superficial interest, because none of them were able to answer a very important question correctly. You see, after my relationship with my narcissist ended, I developed a habit of asking the men who ask me out why they’re interested in me or why they liked me; it’s a way for me to weed out narcissists. I’ve pretty much heard of every response possible: those who want to flatter my ego tell me that it’s because I’m “perfect” and “beautiful” and “smart”; those who want to play to my emotions tell me that it’s because I’m “nice” and I have a “sweet smile”; those who want to be macho tell me that it’s because they “don’t want someone else to take away what’s theirs”; while these answers may have been genuine, none of them were correct; none of them CAN be correct, because they weren’t supposed to be able to answer that question. If their interest were genuine, they would have understood the kind of person I am. They would have recognized that I’m wise enough to understand that these sweet-nothings may be EXPRESSIONS of love, but never REASONS for love. They would have known that I’m aware of the FACT that there will always be someone prettier than I am, smarter than I am, and nicer than I am. True love can’t be solely based on a quality, no matter how good it may be, of that person, when there are others who share the same exact quality; it’s that person’s heart that you fall in love with, and you can’t put a label on that. My relationship with that narcissist was traumatizing for sure. Even when I tried to date someone again shortly after that utter failure, I couldn’t maintain it; hence, my respite from dating. During my time of recovery, I resented that pathetic excuse of a man and berated myself endlessly for falling for him when my family and my best friends were so strongly against him. I couldn’t see the silver lining for a long time, yet I can see now that God taught me a lot of important lessons when this relationship ended. : I learned to appreciate my family and friends a lot more; they stuck with me through thick and thin even when I was spell-bound by my narcissist; they never gave up on me and they constantly reminded me of my self-value. I trust them wholeheartedly now and thank God for keeping them in my life. : I learned that it’s always better to be lonely because you’re alone than being lonely in a relationship; you should never have to explain yourself to your partner to be understood; they should never make you feel like you have to defend yourself against them. : I learned to trust my gut instinct a lot more; if they love you, you will feel it in your heart; don’t doubt your heart when it comes to love; if you have to constantly convince yourself and remind yourself of your partner’s “good” qualities to stay “in love,” ask yourself if love is a matter of the heart or a matter of the intuition. : I learned that I feel suffocated when I’m in relationships. I value my freedom more than I realized, and the only person worth giving up my freedom for is a man who can love me the way I love him. I’m not obligated to stay with someone I’m not in love with, and no one has a right to guilt-trip me into being in a relationship with them. : I learned that I don’t have to settle when it comes to love; I don’t need some conditional love from a fellow human being when I’m receiving the ultimate unconditional one from God; unless I know in my heart that he’s the one, I don’t have to go out of my way to make something out of nothing. Narcissists will turn your life upside down, but if you choose to look beyond the heartbreak, it can be an eye-opener. You can learn more about yourself through the experience and learn to love yourself the way you haven’t been able to before. If you want to grow from it, you can even share your own experience and try to help others who are going through what you once went through. In fact, many of my earlier submissions were not originally intended as commentaries on this debacle. They were edited from my private journals, written to comfort myself long before this farce. I never thought going through such heartbreak in my private life would have helped me see this situation from a whole different angle, but here I am. Like I said in the beginning, narcissists can kick you down to a place you’ve never been in before. But one good thing about hitting rock bottom is that you have nowhere else to fall; the only thing left for you to do is rise. Keep the faith and move on. Another day you live is another day of victory. -Roseberrycupcakes (RCC)
RCC, good to hear from you, thank you for sharing your experience with us. We can all learn and support one another through writing. I wonder if we can delve into what makes these people turn out this way?
Thank you, RCC 💖💖💖