Dulcinea's Story

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#1 Sep 19 - 2AM
dulcinea441's picture

Dulcinea's Story

For the past year I’ve been involved in a long-distance relationship with a man in the UK. We met in California, quickly fell hard for each other, and when he returned to Britain we vowed to carry on the relationship and do everything possible to make it work. I was utterly besotted with him; he was devastatingly charming and intellectual, a brilliant writer, artist and musician. He was handsome, he always dressed smartly, and he had the most exquisite speaking voice I had ever heard. He was the most passionate, sensitive, and exciting lover I had ever had. And, of course, he was madly in love with me, the “most beautiful and inspiring” woman he had ever known, his “soul mate” and “wife of the soul.”

In the months that we were physically apart, and despite the eight-hour time difference and work obligations (my work obligations, I should say, as he didn’t really seem to have a regular job, being an artist, and all) we nonetheless managed to spend hours talking on the phone each evening, or via webcam or instant message. We wrote each other ardent love letters daily, and my life revolved around checking for his notes and his texts. We somehow never went more than a few hours without contact, even though one or the other of us was always sacrificing a night of much-needed sleep to do so. It was, of course, a sacrifice I was happy to make. He was my best friend and confidant in all things. I had never felt happier in my life.

Soon enough he proposed marriage to me and I joyfully accepted. We talked excitedly for hours about where we would marry (a 14th-century stone church in the countryside where generations of his kin had wed, of course) and what our children would be named (“Aubrey” for a boy and “Sophie” for a girl). At 37-years-old my fervent prayers for a loving husband and a beautiful family were finally being answered. We had yet to set a date but preparations for me to move to Britain to be with him at the start of next year were in full swing.

The only thing difficult in our relationship was the distance and the constant longing to be in his arms but it made our relationship bittersweet and, to my mind, that much more romantic. True, he had a troubling tendency to be jealous and controlling at times, but I regarded that as a normal part of the angst inherent in an LDR. He also seemed to be involved in ever more outlandish ventures and difficult crises with his family and colleagues (he was forever the victim of unjust attacks by siblings or associates who didn’t understand or appreciate him, he said), but I gave him unfailing support whenever he needed it, which was all the time. Yes, he would often become petulant and paranoid and rake me over the coals about insignificant things so that I started constantly to bite my tongue in order not to offend him. I didn’t like that feeling but I figured it was part of what one does to make a relationship work. For the most part, though, I felt supremely happy. He showered me with poetry and music written just for me. No man had ever treated me in such an adoring and romantic way and I was elated. I told him every day that he was the most beautiful and magnificent man I had ever known, that he was nothing less than the sun to me. I loved, needed and desired him as I had no other man and my life, and that I was his forever. Every word came straight from my heart.

Then one day, everything changed. We quarreled over something trifling matter one night and, the next day when I called him, he seemed like a totally different man. He berated me for the next couple of hours, calling me insensitive and saying that I habitually pushed him away. He said that he “intrinsically knew” that our relationship was “all wrong.” He would never feel “safe” with me again. He had given me everything but I had taken him for granted. He loved me but couldn’t think of one reason why the relationship should be salvaged. I cried and begged him not to end things with me. I told him that whatever I had done wrong I would fix but he spat back that my not knowing what I did wrong only reaffirmed to him that it just wasn’t working between us. I got off the phone completely shocked and wrote him a long, pleading letter to which he didn’t respond for a day. When he got back to me he was terse and cold. He maintained that he had seen nothing in my letter to change his mind. If I could give him one reason to stay, he said, he might be open to listening.

I spent the next month in hell, groveling on my knees to be forgiven, pleading for us to talk, if just for a moment, but he maintained, with sharp and cutting words, through email, that the damage was done. I felt ashamed to be reduced to the lowly state of a beggar but at that point I would have done anything to win back his love. Nothing seemed to move him. He barely communicated with me. When I finally, tearfully, wrote to him that I didn’t understand what was wrong, that I was totally heartbroken, but would let him be free if he was no longer happy with me, he suddenly changed his mind and suggested that we talk over the webcam the following night. I had been so battered by grief and desperation that this little tidbit of hope made me feel as though the sun had broken through the clouds at last. That night I went to bed for the first time in weeks without sobbing and without needing a valium to calm my frayed nerves. The next evening we did indeed chat and I cried and told him how deeply I loved him. He cut it short, though, saying he was exhausted by “the process of coming back to Us.” He promised we’d chat again the next day and I felt overwhelming relief that we’d finally had a breakthrough, that he was letting me back into his heart. But the next day came and went with no word from him. I became desperate all over again and sent him message after message asking if he was all right. Finally he wrote back that his father had been taken to the hospital and was dying.

For weeks I wrote to him every day, saying I loved and supported him and stood by him through all his trials. He wrote back that he was not able to communicate much at the moment, sorry. There was no trace of the loving language he had always used to address me in the past. This went on and on. When he did arrange to talk, he would invariably be absent at the appointed time, with no explanation. I asked him as lovingly and unobtrusively as I could to keep the door to communication open because I was sick with worry over him. Privately, I couldn’t understand why he didn’t see how distraught I was and feel at least a little bit sorry for me.

Sometimes during the course of those long, hellish weeks he would dangle a tidbit of affection before me, other times he said he didn’t have the energy or "heart space" to communicate. He told me he needed my patience and understanding and I said of course, I completely understood, and would wait as long as was necessary until things were on a better footing for him. But the gulf grew wider and wider and the weeks stretched on, with my being almost completely cut off from him. I felt everything slipping away all over again and was panicked one moment, inconsolable the next. Throughout this time I was virtually in the dark as to what was going on with him.

Finally, after not hearing from him for days on end, I wrote him a loving note saying that I would always be with him in spirit, but that I needed to go away for a while to work out my sadness without laying any burden on him. He quickly wrote back that he’d had a terrible day tending to his sick father, that he felt like a changed man, that he needed very much to talk to me TOMORROW, that he loved and appreciated me. “Of course, Sweetheart,” I responded, “I’m here for you whenever you need me!” I didn’t hear from him again for two weeks.

In frustration and worried sick about him, I phoned him (something I hadn’t done in a while since he’d made me feel so unwelcome to do so). I rang several times over the course of the evening but only got his voicemail. A short time later, I logged onto my email to write him a note and saw there a letter from him. It had been so long since I’d seen his name in my inbox that my heart leapt into my throat. I opened it and was greeted with a torrent of the foulest, cruelest abuse I had ever received in my life. I was told not to call him anymore; he’d had a near-fatal heart attack over the weekend and had required major surgery and didn’t need my bullshit while he was trying to recover. He told me that I was a needy, manipulative, selfish bitch. He was sick of my “head games.” He had finally “had it.” Our relationship was over and would I kindly “fuck off and die.” I rang him back in disbelief and he screamed “Fuck you!” and hung up. For several days I tried without success to reach him. I wrote numerous letters and waited for a response. I was greeted with total silence.

Completely beside myself, I called up my good friend in whom I’d been confiding and, sobbing and out of my mind, told her what had just happened. She sighed bitterly and said, “Sweetie, it sounds like you’ve been preyed on by a pathological narcissist.”

I spent all of that night online reading about NPD and, needless to say, the description of the pathology fit him down to the letter. It was all there: the instant idealization, whiplash-inducing devaluation, tortuous manipulation, painful punishment, and final discarding of me like so much trash.

The next day I sat down to write him one last letter. I told him I had figured out that he was a sociopathic predator who had manipulated me for his own gain. I told him I at once loathed and pitied him. I told him that I realized that part of his cruelty was to offer me no closure and that I was writing this letter more for me as I knew it would mean nothing to him anyway. I told him I was moving on and would not look back. In short, I told him to go fuck himself.

After writing him that final letter I shut down my email account, took two steps away from my computer and collapsed on the floor, screaming. I went about deleting all of his contact information and burning or destroying whatever few tokens and gifts from him that I had in my possession.

Everyone is telling me that I need to maintain No Contact with him for the rest of my life, but I don’t know how to get through the next hour, let alone eternity, without the man of my dreams. They tell me that I’m lucky that I got out when I did, but I feel the furthest thing from blessed. My life, which only a few months ago seemed so overflowing with endless possibility and joy, now appears to me utterly bleak, empty, and gray. Everything is in ruins. I’ve been calling in sick to my job and I wonder how I can start, much less finish, my final term in grad school when it begins next week. All that I was doing with my life I did with US and OUR future in mind. Now all I want is to sleep my life away. Sometimes I even entertain terrible thoughts of ending it all, but I know I have to carry on for the sake of my family and friends.

I know I am supposed to accept that he is an empty shell without a conscience, that everything I believed of him was only a mirage, but I can’t reconcile that definition of him with the memory of the beautiful and brilliant man that I loved with all of my heart and soul. I sometimes wonder if I am wrong – maybe he is just a sensitive man whose love and trust I lost through my own foolish and weak behavior. Maybe I can find a way to bring him back to me if I change. Maybe I can show him that I am a better and stronger woman now, maybe I can reclaim his love and respect. Maybe in time he will miss me. Maybe he misses me now but is too hurt to reach out. I repeat all these maybes to myself in a vain ritual that I know, deep inside, will yield nothing.

All of my hopes and dreams lie shattered and life seems meaningless to me now. I veer wildly between rage and grief and can’t concentrate on anything but my pain. I cannot wrap my mind around what has happened to me. And, worst of all, in the depths of night, I find myself longing for him with a sorrow that chokes me and leaves me barely able to breathe. I ask the universe how it is possible that my “beautiful man” was just an illusion perpetrated by a soulless predator. I wonder, hoping against hope, if I can save him, somehow. I dream of him blissfully holding me, promising to love me forever, only to wake up to a cold and empty world without him.

In my heart of hearts I know that he is gone forever. I understand that he never existed in the first place. And I know that I do not exist for him at all. I never did.

Sep 27 - 11AM
drcrnp's picture

I cried, too, reading your

I cried, too, reading your narrative. How you are suffering! Surviving from one minute to the next is indeed agony. I'm only inches ahead of you in this process of reclaiming My Self. Know this - it is all but impossible to accept this - he is poison. Yes, your soul and psyche were raped. Don't go back even as you long for him. Cry, scream, cry some more. The advice I have found the most helpful: treat yourself with extreme tenderness. God knows he never will even though (I do it) you may wish for a resolution and loving re-acceptance. What a nightmare and there's no waking up. But you are not alone. You are not crazy. You are a good, giving person with hopes and dreams. This is like being in a terrible car accident. You are broken, but you will mend - slowly. For now, only TLC will do - from your family, your friends, most of all from yourself. *Hugs* to you - we are here for you.
Sep 30 - 4AM (Reply to #15)
dulcinea441's picture

Thank you. Your kind and

Thank you. Your kind and compassionate words mean everything to me right now. And thank you for reminding me that I am not crazy. N's play upon our deepest fears and inner uncertainties, dread, and pain -- no wonder they have us doubting ourselves so badly by the time they discard us. But, you know, I have to remember that *I* was not discarded -- what was discarded was the possibility of true intimacy and love by a little boy (emotionally) who could not handle the mature challenge of taking on a real relationship between equals. My heart goes out to you in your pain, as well. We are all together in this. Hugs xoxo
Sep 27 - 11AM
Sparrow's picture

First, can I say, you are a

First, can I say, you are a beautiful writer. I could sit here and read your writing for hours, lovely. You have an eloquent way in writing. I hope that you are pursuing that area in your career, if so, you will be met with great success! Your story is identical tom mine except for geographically. My heart bleeds for you, it truly does. I/we have all been there and know how very difficult it is. Like you, I could not believe that I met my "soul mate" never believed they existed until meeting my narc. I now of course know that I was correct all along, there is no such thing, but they have an uncanny ability to make you feel that way. Your soul has been raped. That is the plain honest to goodness truth and you need to heal. This will take a very long time, but you can do it. My advise, as many others have told you, stay close to the forum, read as much as you can about the disorder, and never ever think for a moment that you can "help" him, because of your love for him. He can't be helped, he doesn't want to be helped. Accepting what has happened to you and starting on your journey to healing are of the utmost importance in order for you to regain your life back. And I know you can do it. You will find days that are incredibly difficult to get through and as the days turn to weeks, than months, you will find that it gets easier, more bearable. It just takes time is all. Please stay strong, and always know that you have a place to come to feel safe and to heal. We are all here for you. My deepest of sympathies and my utmost respect to you........
Sep 30 - 4AM (Reply to #13)
dulcinea441's picture

Thank you, Sparrow. Receiving

Thank you, Sparrow. Receiving your words of praise for my writing ability was enough to make me cry. I am so used to being beaten down and to feeling worthless that any kind acknowledgement of my basic worth almost comes as a shock to my system right now. You hit the nail on the head when you described my experience as a "soul rape." And I know that you are right -- he can't be helped. It's the basic compassion in me -- compassion that I know we all share -- that leaves me reeling over the idea that his soul is a total dead-end. I can cry all I want to over it, but I have to accept that there is nothing at all that I can do about it. I will stay here with you guys through my healing process -- you have truly been a life saver to me and I don't know what I'd do without you. My love and condolences to you in your sorrows. I know in my heart that we will love and be whole again someday. All the best, D.
Sep 24 - 10AM
highlander's picture

Hi Dulcinea, I so feel your

Hi Dulcinea, I so feel your pain as it reminds me of my own. I'm just starting to get a grip on NPD, and I don't have any words that will help ease that pain, except, one thing that is certain, it WILL pass. I am 9 months out of a 5 year relationship with someone I truly loved, ended by her with one emotionless email and an irritated phone call. We have had NC since. I'm not better yet, and I still miss her every day, but the acute, debilitating pain has changed into a dull ache, and I am partially enjoying life again. I'm not healed yet, but I do see it coming. You will too. It will happen. Just know that that is true, and get through, moment by moment, the best you can. You will be ok, wounded, but ok. And just remember, you are in Gods hands and His plan for you is better than anything you could come up with for yourself. I'm hugging you in my heart, right now... B
Sep 27 - 8AM (Reply to #11)
dulcinea441's picture

Thank you, Bramst. I send you

Thank you, Bramst. I send you love and many hugs, too. xoxo
Sep 20 - 4PM
Hunter's picture

Another lovely story for our

Another lovely story for our journals here in Narcville!! I'm sorry you are dealing with this psychopath predator! Getting past this is a process, you will, stay here with us. Get a calander and a journal. Mark off the days of NC that pass and journal your head off,read everything you can get your hands on! This s a great way to start. honestly, pray to God everyday that things halted when they did, it could be worse. You must start at the beginning to get to the end !! Hunter
Sep 20 - 6PM (Reply to #9)
dulcinea441's picture

Yeah, it's beginning to

Yeah, it's beginning to finally sink in that I really dodged a bullet. Reading all of these stories just floors me because they're all more or less the same. It's like these guys are robots downloaded with the same program. Makes it easier to remember that I was in love with a total non-entity fraud. And it must be a good sign that I find myself laughing out loud over their ridiculous antics as I read all the testimonials here. They're really quite pathetic, aren't they? Thanks for the tips -- I really appreciate them! xoxo
Sep 19 - 8PM
lela76's picture

This too shall pass

reading your post had me crying something i havent done in a while my ex did the same to me. i moved across the country gave up my house and job only for him to dump me 2 weeks after i got out there and since i was stuck and he knew it he moved another girl into the new place we got and moved me into the other room while she moved into his. i feel exactly how you do all the maybes if he thinks about me does he care etc. the sad thing is that they dont and we have to deal with the aftermath. just know you are not alone in this believe me. the more you read the more it will sink in. does the pain ever go away? im sure it does eventually but you have a right to feel how you do and no one should tell you different. i hope it will get better for you and the pain subsides some. just know he is living his own private hell and god dont like ugly..
Sep 20 - 6PM (Reply to #7)
dulcinea441's picture

Thank you, Lela76. I just

Thank you, Lela76. I just can't get over how fundamentally alike all these creeps are. And they think themselves so very unique! *rolls eyes*
Sep 19 - 12PM
lillymarch's picture

What a mean and terrible man.

What a mean and terrible man. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that. And only three days since the final send off letter. You must be in so much pain. I too wanted to end it all because the pain was so excruciating. What got me through it: I kept reminding myself that I was walking 'through' the fire and there was an end to this. I was going to heal. I did nice things for me, ate wonderful food, took myself out, etc. Even though half the time I was crying (in public!), I made myself treat myself very well and very kind. Eventually I could spare a thought or two that wasn't about him. Once that second was over and he re-entered my mind I would consciously and with much effort STOP thinking about him. I'd think about me, my dreams, a trip I was planning, etc. I hope these help. You are living a hell I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. These men are absolute creeps!! I'll be praying for you.
Sep 19 - 3PM (Reply to #5)
dulcinea441's picture

Thanks so much, Lillymarch

Thanks so much, Lillymarch for your kind and helpful words of advice. And thank you for taking the time to read my story. Just being able to share it already has helped me on the path to healing. hugs xoxo
Sep 19 - 2AM
Tigerlily's picture

Total Identification

Mine wasn`t LDR and he actually bought a house for us to be together, then did exactly the same - to a detail - three weeks before I moved. I lived 10 1/2 months with the SOB before I could get out again, and his cruelty nearly killed me. Feel very deeply for you, Dulcinea (I`m in tears). Please don`t agonize that it may have been you who drove him away with your "foolish and weak behavior", that will only prolong your healing time. I did that for months and changing "me" only made him worse. He sounds like a classic, case-book narc after all I`ve read. I find you very brave to have burned or erased all of his contact details/mementoes! The rest is baby steps, one day at a time, and the pain at the start is excruciating, but it does go away, little by little. First you have moments of happiness, or moments when you`re not thinking about or grieving over him, then it`s an hour maybe, then half a day, but it does take time. Narcs shatter us, body, soul, emotions, psyche, and it takes time and much courage to heal. Forcing myself to stay busy and keep in contact with people, even where I really didn`t have the heart for that, helped me. Psychic chord-cutting exercises helped me. Redirecting my thoughts every time I found myself thinking of him (I amgined a "No Entry" sign!) also helped. Maybe these can help you, too. Thinking of you. Hugs Tigerlily How long ago did this all happen)
Sep 19 - 3AM (Reply to #2)
dulcinea441's picture

Thank you, Tigerlilly. I only

Thank you, Tigerlilly. I only sent him the final kiss-off letter three days ago, so it's all very excruciatingly fresh for me. I'm pretty much a basket case right now, as you can probably tell. And I know that I shouldn't blame myself, but it's hard not to at the moment because my mind is still looking for some sort of intuitive, heart-based explanation and there simply is none to be had with these guys. There's just the cold fact of what they are to try and absorb and make sense of what happened, and, for a person with a soul, it's difficult to take in. But I'm poring over the literature and reading other survivors' stories every day and I start to understand that I'm not crazy or to blame in all of this. It's funny, because I have a pretty feisty temper most of the time, but my Narc had me totally cowed and submissive. He knew how to play me like a cheap fiddle. Anyway, the good thing about my temper is that I was so enraged, initially, that I was able to destroy whatever keepsakes I had from him right away before I had a chance to think twice about it. And I know from past experience that I obsess over men so I moved right away to block all communication to keep myself out of trouble. I'm so sorry that you've dealt with the same trauma, but it's really comforting to me to know that we have each other to lean on share our stories with. Thank you for all the great advice -- I will take it all in on my path to healing. Hugs, Dulcinea
Sep 19 - 3AM (Reply to #3)
dulcinea441's picture


Sorry I spelled your name wrong! :)