Leah's Story

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#1 Nov 21 - 10PM
Leah's picture

Leah's Story

I'm not sure if my story will get trimmed or not, so here's my 1st attempt at posting.

Hi to all of you, and thanks in advance for reading. My ex-bf was what I think I've seen referred to as a ‘fragile narcissist’. He was often hard on himself, did apologize sometimes and only occasionally had an air of superiority. He was very high functioning…well-respected volunteer in his community and all of his friends treasured him; he’s in his early forties. He seemed to be a cute, nerdy, socially awkward teddy bear.

It was a 6-month, long-distance relationship. He discarded me 10 weeks ago; he broke up with me over the phone in 35 minutes, and he shape-shifted through several personalities in that brief call that left me confused, hurt and traumatized.

It seems that the long-distance nature of the relationship made it easier for him to hide some of his NPD traits…though the 6 months of phone calls, e-mails & 2 visits had red flags all over them. Now I see how I brushed aside all those red flags.

I wrote my story in a MS Word doc...it filled up 7 pages. I know that's too long to post here. Here are some pieces of the story to explain what he was like:

- 1st red flag > he bought the ticket to visit me 11 days after we met online. It felt fast, but I didn't understand; I was just flattered.

- In the first 3 months, he seemed emotionally aware. I was honest about my own insecurities & things I was working on to change (like my worrying & my fear of making people angry...stuff from childhood), and he reminded me when I was being hard on myself or making stuff up in my head...he was really supportive back then. But by 3.5 months, he got distant & just told me to 'look to my higher power'.

- He spoke scathingly about his ex-wife. He said she was a narcissist and mentally unstable. I remember asking him how he had originally become attracted to someone who seemed so cruel; he gave me a vague response. Sometimes I heard him speaking to his child in an authoritarian tone which seemed a bit harsh…but I ignored it.

- He was demanding with wait staff and sales people, to the point of making me feel uncomfortable.

- When we were intimate, he didn't seem to connect with me emotionally & I felt like he was somewhat preoccupied with my body. I remember crying once, telling him that I'm not comfortable with feeling possessed. He looked at me and said that if we're going to have a relationship, then he wants me to possess him and he wants to possess me. It was weird and scary.

- 8 weeks into the relationship, he began his campaign for me to move to his area & live with him. I told him I needed time to get to know him better & to visit him, and that if I did eventually decide to move there, I would get my own place, not move in with him. So then he sent me rental prices.

- One time he shared that he had trouble forgiving himself for things he did 15 or 20 years ago, and they'd wake him up at night, and he wouldn't tell me what those things were. I couldn't understand why he couldn't forgive himself and told him he couldn't have done anything that horrible. Now I understand what he was talking about.

- When he was sad and lonely and missed me, he would send me e-mails saying he wished I was with him in his bed. He once sent an e-mail saying he wished that I’d drop everything here in my hometown and be with him, in his bed. The ‘I’m loney, I miss you’ e-mails always seemed to mention me being in his bed.

- During the summer I was very depressed for 2 weeks, because of a medical procedure-gone-wrong & mounting medical bills. I sent him three different depressing e-mails (plus several phone calls), saying I felt like a failure on several levels; in one e-mail, I admitted that I felt like I wasn’t being a good partner to him and that he deserved someone with lfewer problems. I was really feeling low. His responses to these e-mails were odd. He didn’t even reply to one of them. To another one, he sent a light-hearted response with humor, encouraging me to work harder. And to the 3rd e-mail, he sent a short one-line e-mail about how sleeping would help me feel better. I didn’t feel supported. Then a few days later we spoke via skype video and he was angry with me; I was very confused. He said that the subtext of my e-mails was that I was pushing him away and I don’t want him. He said he wouldn’t take it personally if I left him, and that I should just tell him if I’m not interested. I worked hard to reassure him. The conversation left me shaken and I cried on my way to work the next 2 days.

- Once in a while he'd get angry with me and I didn't understand why; the next morning, I'd have an e-mail from him, apologizing for his outburst or tone. He'd dissect it psychologically, explaining that something I said set off a trigger of one of his old issues, and that he should better manage his triggers, and he was sorry. He seemed insightful about his own emotional challenges and because he apologized, I kept letting it go. At other times he was totally different (nice, no outbursts, no anger), so I was getting confused.

- The night I bought tickets to visit him, he ended up getting angry with me for reasons I couldn’t understand and he didn’t even mention the tickets. The next morning he sent an e-mail and apologized, saying he had lost his temper because he felt sad & lonely, and his triggers were set off by some things I had said. He also said that while he was glad that I bought the tickets, he admitted that he had been ‘starting to wonder’. I didn’t understand – wonder about what? I had previously assured him that I’d be visiting and we’d picked the week. I had just procrastinated buying the ticket because I had a hectic 3 weeks & was getting over the stress of medical procedures.

- When I visited him, there was a moment when I said to him, in a flirtatious tone, that I would change all his spices (because I cook a much wider range of food than he does, and he buys cheap spices that he keeps for years). He looked hurt. The next day I told him that I wouldn’t change all his spices – I would just add some new ones. He said angrily that changing all of them and adding a few new ones were very different things. I was frightened by his reaction.

- When I visited him, there was a moment when he was doing some home repair work. He made a mistake with a tile. He got angry and threw it at the floor and smashed it, right in front of me. I was shocked and frightened.

- Once when we were talking I responded to something he said with, 'Are you sure?’ (an old habit of mine). He got angry and said the habit really annoyed him. I told him that I wished he had told me sooner. He said he was telling me now because 'it annoyed him now'. I was shaken. I was quiet for a while and he asked me why. I told him that I don’t handle people being angry with me well, and my reaction is to be quiet and process it to see how I feel. He said that he was expressing his anger in a healthy way, and that I should learn to do the same.

- After I got home from visiting him, he never once spoke about my visit. Never. But he talked lots about escalating problems with his ex-wife and his daughter. Five days after I returned home from the visit, I asked him if his feelings for me had changed. He said that he wasn’t as smitten with me as he was when he visited me 3 months earlier, but that he wasn’t sure why…he said it may be because the honeymoon period was over or because I hadn’t yet committed to moving to his area yet. I was baffled and hurt. He said that he still wanted to be with me. I was completely heartbroken and confused, which began 3 weeks of crying. All the while, he kept sending e-mails like everything was okay.

- A week or so after the ‘I’m not as smitten with you’ conversation, he sent me an e-mail to tell me that he ran into his ex-gf from a year before, and that it got him really depressed for several days. I told him that I was concerned about how he felt about us - why was he in such a funk for several days after running into his ex? I asked him how he felt about me and what was going on. That led to him breaking up with me about a week later.

Nov 29 - 9PM
becsta777's picture


Hey Leah, the fragile narcissist sounds like my narc too. Especially when I first met him, he was quite forthcoming about his sensitivity to things people said and even though he was a very attractive man, he would often get a raised red rash on his face for no apparent reason which would send him into a deep depression until it cleared. He used to talk a lot about his childhood and his toxic mother and father and he seemed to have done a lot of work on himself spiritually and psychologically. He said he was always trying hard to understand himself and be a better person - something I've been doing for a while too, I guess he used that as a way of 'mirroring' me as well. It was that fragility about him that made me doubt his NPD for so long, but I really cant ignore all the other signs that pointed to his disorder. Like you, mine has totally discarded me...I don't know if yours has been in contact but mine certainly hasn't and it hurts a little, even though I'm kind of grateful too. I just feel so ...violated? When I think about him mirroring other women the way he did to me. He seemed like such an amazing, interesting and creative person and he always said it was my creativity and high energy that attracted him to me. The last I heard he was hitting on a dentist and an economics major! Mine was totally unable to connect with me emotionally, but I thought that it was ME with the problem. With him gone now, I feel like there is a big, gaping hole in my life that I'm trying to refill. I've never felt anything like our 'connection' before, I really thought he shared some kind of essential part of myself, that we were effectively soul mates, but I know now that he was just reading my journal and telling me things I wanted to hear. I think you're doing great too! Just stay on the NC wagon and remember that he is poison. I can totally imagine seeing mine in a year or so when my energy is all topped up and him wanting back in with me...he can go to hell! I'm erecting a ten-foot high boundary fence around my heart now and only the special ones are getting in - no narcs allowed!! xo
Nov 29 - 10PM (Reply to #15)
Leah's picture

Thanks, becsta777

I'm taking a really short break from my grad school application and was touched to see your post. Will share thoughts w/ you about it after my appl deadline...tomorrow at midnight. : ) Really, your post put a smile on my face. I had just cried a little while ago, thinking it's almost 3 months, he threw me away & never contacted me. It's like he could care less about me. He acts like I didn't make a difference in his life. It's kind of horrifying. *sigh* Thanks again! Back to the application... Hugs, Leah
Nov 24 - 9PM
Hunter's picture

You're doing fine. I have a

You're doing fine. I have a crazy mother myself. She was hospitalized last yr. For her own issues. It's called life. When we know better we do better. There are a lot of icky people out there. The more I live the less I like. All you need is one good friend. I have 2. My one friend was dealing with a narc for 8 yrs. She was quick to figure mine out. She covered up his insanity. She finally got rid ofhim and is happy and alone. We have head of the Narc behavior from others we now refer it to" we were Chucked." That was her N's name. Once you feel better you will laugh about this like we do. Get yourself a calendar and mark off the days of NC. The longer you stay away the better you will feel. Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your family and friends. Have a nice stiff drink. You need one. :)
Nov 24 - 10AM
Hunter's picture

Wow ru sure they r not the

Wow ru sure they r not the same guy. He had a woman friend too. I never contacted her because im sure he had to explain my disappearance. My guess is he's sleeping with her on and off. I'm sure he told her I am the nuts one. All I can say is she will get her taste sooner or later. He needs her right now to help with his business. Once she gets too close or her opinions are not the same as his " look out" We live in different cities. I was there every other weekend for 1 yr. The last time I was there for a week we got so close it was a great time. As soon as I left the D&D started. He said " you think we are having a relationship" well yes I did. He called me 5 times a day and before he hung up he would say "I Love U". There were tons of red flags but I ignored them. I was in love with him 20 yrs ago his wacked mother interfered and we broke up. I always thought it was her fault. Come to find out the apple doesnt fall far from the tree. So 25 yrs later he came back. I will post the whole story at some point. It's very long. It's been 5 months of NC and he has not tried to contact me as well. My guess is he will when he needs me. You see, I have a job, money & looks. He lost all of that. When be gets desperate or his old lady pisses him off he'll be back. Yuck! Truly none of us need this drama. U need to love yourself. Read others stories. These guys are sick sick sick. They have no hope. Be glad they are gone. As for your future dates. Pay attention to the red flags. Be on guard Your gut is always right.you will be happy again I promise.
Nov 24 - 8PM (Reply to #12)
Leah's picture

Thanks again, idealk

With my therapist I'm starting to talk about how I always responded like a deer in headlights to odd behavior, subtly (or not so subtly) abusive behavior, controlling behavior, etc. It's all from conditioning from when I was a kid with a BPD mom. Ugh. Not a pretty pattern. My ex-bf's friend lives far away from him, states away. They're just very good friends. I don't think she has a clue how he is with his partners. She'll only know his 'best friend' side. I need to start focusing on myself and loving myself. I just posted on the main forum about questioning if he was a narc, and if he was...he seems atypical. I'm doubting myself. I feel stupid that I'm doubting myself, but I am. -Leah
Nov 23 - 4AM
aceonelady's picture

is he from oklahoma Leah?

My God,my narc was 43,and yours and him ,if they are not the same person,they really are clonned in outspace and dropped over here to destroy humanity and goodness...i am sory that you went trough this,i did too....And still fighting the shock of D&D and the lack of feelings those monsters display after they are done with us...HUGHS


Nov 23 - 11PM (Reply to #10)
Leah's picture

I'm still shocked by the D&D, too

Hi aceonelady. Hugs back atcha! Nope, my ex-N wasn't from OK. They must be clones. Yes, it's been 10 weeks for me and the shock of the D&D is still completely fresh for me. I still can't get over it. When I really think about it, I get nauseous. I can't understand it. I don't ever want to date again. I don't ever want to risk having this kind of experience ever again. Because I have co-dependent traits...I'm too much a target for a N. It's scary. I'm celibate by choice until further notice. Thanks again for being supportive, Leah
Nov 22 - 7PM
stillnotconvinced's picture

7 pgs, wow! I can't bring

7 pgs, wow! I can't bring myself to write everything out. I'm glad you did though, as I know it's one of the best ways to start healing. Maybe you could start a blog and post it there, maybe break it up into several posts? With regards to what he wrote about lying in bed...I remember one of the first of many emails I exchanged with my ex bf. He wrote something to the effect of that he's in his shorts, lying in bed, and thinking about me. I was smitten back then; he had me hooked so bad. I thought that was the most romantic thing a guy could say to me:(
Nov 23 - 11PM (Reply to #8)
Leah's picture

My ex-N's e-mails were often depressed, angry or sexual

Was your N's communication also like that? Thanks for the idea for the blog, stillnotconvinced - that's a great idea. I may just do that. Thanks for being supportive! -Leah
Nov 23 - 4PM (Reply to #2)
Hunter's picture

My story is a mirror of

My story is a mirror of yours. The OW in his life is his mother who is just as sick as he is. My N is 43 as well. They do get worse the older they get. I'm sorry for your hurt. These men do cycle about every six months. Be prepared for a guest appearance, make sure you know how to handle it.
Nov 23 - 8PM (Reply to #3)
Leah's picture

Yep, my ex-N's mom (his OW) is still an alcoholic at 75

Hi again idealk! Wow, copy cut of my ex-N. Yuck. You mention him reappearing, but I gotta tell you, he wants nothing to do with me. 10 weeks and not a word from him after he threw me away like I was a piece of garbage. At the 4 week mark, I contacted one of his close friends, a woman. He introduced me to her months before & she and I had fallen out of touch. She was happy to hear from me and said she'd stay in touch if he was comfortable with it. A week after she and I exchanged a bunch of great e-mails (she and I share a similar spiritual orientation), she just stopped replying. I'm assuming she spoke to N and he raged about what a horrible person I am, etc. I was surprised that the woman didn't even write me to say goodbye. She just left the e-mail conversation. Just disappeared. I wondered what kind of conversation had transpired between ex-N and the woman to make her just 'leave' me like that. It felt awful. So, I doubt I'll ever hear from N again in this lifetime. I'm assuming that when he found out I contacted her, he wrote me off with a lot of 4-letter words and swore I was the devil incarnate. That wasn't my intention. Ironically, back then I was still delusional and wanted to apologize to him for something...and contacted his friend to ask her for advice regarding me contacting him. Thanks for listening, idealk. -Leah
Nov 24 - 10AM (Reply to #4)
Used's picture


She just left the e-mail conversation. Just disappeared. I wondered what kind of conversation had transpired between ex-N and the woman to make her just 'leave' me like that. It felt awful. leah you lost nothing in this woman, please put her out of your head, and if she contacts you dont answer her, she is a GO BETWEEN...
Nov 24 - 8PM (Reply to #5)
Leah's picture

Thanks, used

I got it. I don't think she has a clue what he's like as a partner. She's a long distance friend of his from high school. She'll never contact me again, I'm sure of it. I'm sure he told her horrible things about me. *sigh* Thanks again, Leah
Nov 26 - 4PM (Reply to #6)
nh22's picture


Is the Leah that posted a reply on Nh's page? If it is you mentioned something about going to a abuse shelter? I guess I never looked at this as "true abuse." I know it sounds ridiculous but I thought it was purely physical abuse where a place like that would help me. I can go there and get help and they won't think im crazy?
Nov 26 - 4PM (Reply to #7)
Leah's picture

nh 22, yes, it's me, same Leah

and yes, domestic violence runs a wide range. Abuse is abuse. I'm glad you're contacting a DV org to get help. Keep posting! -Leah