If you’ve just realized that there’s a narcissist in your life, you might feel nauseous like I did. Your mind may be going in all directions and those pesky a-ha’s are probably stabbing you with horrifying accuracy because you’re remembering so much all at once. The pieces of the puzzle are falling into place at a sickening pace. You remember things that happened which you had forgotten. Incidents that you brushed off and excused because you were in love. You’ve been researching stealthily so as not to alert anyone to what you’re thinking. It’s all so muddled in your head. You just want to wake up from this nightmare. Because it can’t be true that you are married to a narcissist! Or that your loved one fits the description of one! How could you have been so blinded? What are you going to do now?
You want to beat yourself up for being so naive and trusting. How could it be that you didn’t see the signs that were Right.There.In.Front.Of.You? How will you face everyone else once they know? Did they know? Wasn’t that what your best friend mentioned a few years back and you stopped talking to her because when you mentioned it to him, he said that she was jealous of your great relationship with him? And come to think of it, didn’t he casually add that she had tried to hit on him more than once? When you confronted her, she denied it. So you stopped being friends even though she was your best pal. You chose him over her.
That queasy feeling is coming again full force. All those baffling changes in personality. The silences that felt deadly. The times that you walked on eggshells because you didn’t want him to be mad. And then he’d turn around and be so loving again. He couldn’t have faked so much love, could he?
Oh and there are the lies. The exaggerations that you learned to disregard because you told yourself, he’s just embellishing the story to make it more interesting. And that cute wink that he gave you sometimes. It felt like he was saying, you know the truth, but I’m just making the story better for your friends and look! They’re thinking I’m an even more amazing boyfriend/husband. And you felt so lucky to be with him. But as the lies continued to grow more fantastic and friends began to question the narc which would make him mad which started another fight. Or they’d question you privately and you were at a loss for words because how could you say you knew your man was lying to your friends? Those were hard times so you stopped going out with friends as much. It wasn’t worth the questioning afterwards, nor the humiliation.
PING! Another memory alert – He could never be wrong. Oh.My.Gosh! Think back and you realize he never could be criticized or wrong. Never! Even when you tried to gently explain that maybe, just maybe, he was wrong, that withering look he gave you stopped you dead in your tracks, mid-sentence, silenced and he smiled. You learned your lesson. Back down to keep peace. He doesn’t like to be reminded when he’s wrong. And you excused it because nobody likes to hear that stuff anyway.
Does this feel like you? I know it was how I felt when I first started to put a name to the illness my former husband has. Baffled, sickened, upset and finally relieved. Relieved to realize that it wasn’t me. Relieved that I wasn’t going crazy. Relieved to finally know that nothing I could do would change him.
Yes, relieved that it wasn’t me. It was his illness. For awhile I felt compassion that he was dealing with narcissism. I wanted to help him to heal and to see the amazing man that I saw him to be with all the phenomenal potential I felt was inside of him. If he would have only let me in to help him. I believed in our love.
I understand how you feel. I’ve been there. There’s healing ahead for you. Processing the past and putting to rest all the illogical chaos that you’ve lived through with him. Peace is ready to greet you. So am I.
You don’t have to walk this path alone. Recovery is here for you.