Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who you loved so deeply that you were sure that you would never ever love someone else that way? I was in love like this. Unfortunately, with a narcissist.
After we broke up, I was a completely different person. All my romantic ideals were broken and the whole world seemed completely dark and shadowy. I no longer believed in true love and happiness.
I was lonely, sad, and depressed. I no longer felt like I was in charge of my life. All I wanted to do was sleep and pretend that I don’t have to face the cruel reality – that the relationship has ended. I felt like my days and my whole life was slipping right through my fingers and I was unable to do anything.
The pain was so real, and it took very long to heal that I sometimes thought I would never manage to mend the broken pieces of my heart ever again. Not to mention the crippling thoughts that were going through my head like I can never be emotionally stable and ready to love ever again.
But, I was never like this – depressed and gloomy. I was always a positive and happy girl who loved life. I was always optimistic and grateful for everything that I have.
And then I met my narcissist. And he turned my bright and colorful world into a gray and sad place. My previously balanced and emotionally-stable self suddenly became a mess of depression and anxiety. My joyful nature was destroyed subtly but thoroughly. I became only a shadow of myself.
Yes, I knew better. I was aware that I should leave him because he will never change. But I couldn’t. And I hated myself for that. He continued to string me along and his charming and manipulative nature was keeping me intoxicated with negativity, low self-esteem, and self-doubt.
The thing was, I trusted him.
My naïve and gullible soul has trusted his sweet words. He assured me that he was in love with me just as I was in love with him. He was a smooth talker and even smoother manipulator. But, lies are lies, and soon he started to break his promises and break my heart little by little.
But, he also made me feel safe (at times).
He shocked me with his level of commitment at the beginning of the relationship. He was always there for me. He was even going out of his way to see me and make sure that everything is okay. I was feeling like I have finally met my Superman.
When I was with him I felt completely safe and secure. But, I didn’t realize that I was getting more and more dependent on him. And that was what he wanted all along. His plan was to seduce me, to make me trust him blindly to let all my defenses down so that he can get away with whatever he wanted because my defenseless and vulnerable-self has believed in all his lies.
I really loved him.
Yes, I loved him with my whole heart and I paid a huge price for that. I ignored every red flag. And they were there. He, himself, has told me that he had many broken relationships before he met me. But, I naively thought that with me it is going to be different. It was not, of course.
He was someone who was unable to love someone other than himself. I am not sure that he even loved himself. He was full of insecurities and self-doubts that he was projecting on others. He gained his self-confidence and importance through the admiration of others.
To him, I was another object that was good enough to satisfy his narcissistic needs and provide him with narcissistic supplies. I learned the hard way that he can’t be changed. He can’t learn how to really love because his emotions (if he had any) were shallow.
I became a prisoner of my love for him.
I always believed in soulmates. When I first met him, I thought I finally met my soulmate, the person I am meant to spend the rest of my life with. So, when he started to show me his bad side, I couldn’t leave him. Because, how could you leave your soulmate? I thought that somehow it is all my fault and that I should try harder to save my relationship.
Little by little, his constant criticism has diminished my self-esteem. He would insult me and then criticize me that I am being too sensitive and that he didn’t mean to hurt me – it was for my own good.
And still, I kept crawling back at him every time. My poor heart was unable to let him go. I gullibly believed that I was fighting for the right reasons and that at the end he will reward me with his love and finally we will have a stable relationship. How wrong was I!
I lost myself in the process of loving a narcissistic man.
From a happy, confident, and strong woman, I became an anxious, depressed, and weak little girl. I believed that I was worthless to be loved and I saw negativity everywhere.
Luckily, I managed to pull myself together and find myself again.
I finally realized that I was going through hell for someone who didn’t even respect me or love me back. So, I decided to end the things with him for my own good.
It was very hard at the beginning. It took a long time before I started to feel okay again. However, the thing that kept me fighting was my determination to become my old self again. Instead of staying a wreck, I chose to become happy again.
Little by little, step by step, I was rebuilding myself again. It was a long process, but a healing one. I had become even stronger than before.
I survived the narcissist and I was reborn again into a much better person! I gave myself another chance to find love again. And this time, with a true and real man.
Image : Michael