(Dear Reader, please read "my dear" as ironic)
I knew before 11 years ago what the DSM criteria were for NPD but you my dear did not present as selfish, self centered, using others. Rather you're involved in your community, people love you and are always happy to see you. You're a professional who's widely held in esteem in your profession. You're very handsome to me, charming, warm, very intelligent - by objective standards that the rehab psychologist used when testing you after the car accident . and are also handy, careful and do excellent handyman work. I've always appreciated these characteristics of you.
One of the first times that we were together I invited you to have a glass of wine with me. During that conversation I asked what you were doing flirting with me for the past couple of months when we saw one another. You responded: "I'm not flirting with you" and were genuinely surprised!
Looking back I now note: which one of us invited the other; who paid for the wine: moi! And now I understand, now after all these years of being tortured by your flirting with other women, in front of me, that you indeed were not flirting: You were feeding!!!
It was too much however when your attentions to the woman on the other side of you at the table at a meeting were so intense that your colleagues were aghast, at least by the looks on their faces. You were fully turned with your back to me. The first statement I heard you say to her was "Before talking about myself I'm more interested in you". I was going to leave the room but your chairs were blocking my way and then to do what? Wait til you stopped your intensity with her? Hide in the ladies room? A colleague of yours rescued me by sitting down to talk with me. Thank goodness. The second statement I overheard was you writing your email and telling her to be sure to keep in touch. On the way home you didn't see anything wrong with your behavior. You didn't consider that you humiliated me in public! I was being "jealous" again.
The next time was when a female commodore at one of the fancier yacht clubs in the area invited you to be her date at the annual dinner ; this meant that the two of you would sit at the head table. You actually asked me what I thought about your doing that. I didn't want you to do it and started crying and talking about the previous humiliation. You emailed her acknowledging that you were with someone. She replied that I was also welcome. You again asked about going since "those are people I want to meet (ostensibly for your work). I told you that I wasn't going to spend an evening with a woman who wanted to be with the man that I'm with. You acquiesced. I thanked you but could tell you were not pleased. Okay but you acquiesced!
I should have seen in both of these scenarios that the woman at the table caught your riveted attention because you thought that she could be an apprentice to you and you could help her in your mutual field. The second woman, who you met at work, held an esteemed position with wealthy people around who you wanted to know; ie you wanted to feed off of them. I wasn't going to be party to that. In other words each of these women offered you a feeding opportunity!! You problem, allegedly, was my jealousy. And over the years you eventually convinced me that it was true.
A few years later when the woman at the table had graduated from graduate school, she contacted you. At that point we were in couples' therapy with someone with an excellent reputation who turned out to be not only totally incompetent but directly destructive to us. You however had him charmed! Not having been in couple's therapy before I wondered if it would at some point be my turn to be the good guy, the one who needed attention. Never happened. In fact he told us that I was to listen more to you, to care for you because you had such difficulty talking about your feelings!! You were the good guy and I the bad as seen in the therapist at one point saying to me "I know you think that I don't care about you but I do" It was as disingenuous as one could get. It was also in that therapy that I said to the therapist: N doesn't have compassion for me. The therapist never said anything to me he just looked at me. He didn't teach us re Narc'ism or anything. He only recommended that you also get an individual therapist. It turned out that you were also damaged in that therapy feeling that you were the "sick one and I the healthy one" while I felt that you were the preferred one and I the ignored invisible piece of wallpaper in the room. Destructive to us both!
I now find, in my reading, that this is why going to couple' s therapy with a narc is bad; for that very dynamic; the therapist falls for the Narc. I stayed, following the therapist's recommendations because I didn't know better and just tried harder as the books also say.
You will also remember as the young woman worshipped you literally what you said was "perfect" and the time of the meetings at your house were "wonderful" and when I said that she was flirting with you the therapist emailed me saying I see what you mean but never took it up with us as a couple.
He never helped us with our fear when I had an emergency stent put in my heart. Rather he ignored the whole thing. He even ignored the fact that two weeks out of the hospital you contracted her to work with you. I could barely walk across the room by then!! You Kudzu!!
I actually made a list at one point called "The cruelties"i.e. the things that you did to me that seemed cruel. For example, screaming at me in the car after getting into an argument about something ? "I've stopped looking for a place for us to live together. I'm not living with you"; not standing up for me with your mother. There are others on the list that demean me but I can't stand looking at the list so .... Why I didn't take in the Cruelties emotionally I now realize is what Sam Vaknin says: we women hear these things like we hear archaic Chinese. If you don't know the language you don't register the insult. I registered it intellectually. It was however so devastating to me that I could not take it in emotionally. I went numb.
Another vignette is that after agreeing to say good-bye forever you texted me to call you when I got home if I thought that was a good thing to do (you didn't take responsibility for it) So I called and we had a wonderful conversation until I turned it to us. You wanted to continue to talk each night. I said that wasn't fair to me to talk with me until you found someone else. You replied that you wouldn't do that to me. I again said it wasn't fair you don't want to go forward with me- you interrupted enthusiastically saying Yes! That's right!." So facile, enthusiastic. You don’t have to hurt me like that and I was sobbing by that time. You said you shouldn’t have said anything ( once again you had no compassion for my pain but only what you should or not have done) Then you started crying, had to put the phone down and said “I don’t want you to think that just because I miss you I....and stopped” because you were going to say want you. Then you said between not wanting me and missing me you cried out “I’m so confused!”. I was so destroyed by that I redirected the conversation to not hurt me . I don't know if you were confused or not I just know that you never apologized. You never could comfort me. I pulled myself together as usual and gently we said good night. I now realize that you were feeling your True Empty Self while not wanting me but using me for a feed so that you'd not feel so empty.
Here in this one vignette: we see the rejection but since you had no one in the wings so you wanted to ensure a feed each night in case you didn't get enough during the day. The focus turned to you. There was no compassion for me. This is the first time that I really feel I HATE YOU!!! YOU'RE A PREDATORY MONSTER WHO EVERYONE LOVES!!!!
The problem is, my dear, you're not all bad. In between your rages, your physical abuse, your insults and your humiliations you were mostly normal with me. We went out together to things that we both enjoy and which were traditional for us to go to. You came to my house for dinner and I to yours. If I was upset about something you invited me to taLk with you about it. We made sweet love. But in thinking back....you used to me lie to your sister for you so that she would think you the good guy for not leading me on. I actually lied for you. You are so manipulative!!! I thought you were asking for my help. You got that wounded look on your face that I used to think was asking for help. Actually all it is is the signal that you are manipulating in the moment. I wish I could have seen it for what it was and said to you NO! That's not okay with me. I thought you wanted me to see your family again after 2 years because yo were reinstating me into the family. You were using me you bastard! Again for your own gain. I am left feeling horrible that I was such a sucker and actually lied for you and to a woman that I like!! And generally I'm more of a person ie I don't lie!!
I understand the worst thing for a narc is to be exposed/wounded; the worst thing for us is to suffer the narc rage. And so it was, with that therapist and us doing what he said with me being at a business meeting with you (his office is in his home) and the one you wanted as apprentice. You thought I was going to spoil the meeting for you. You were rude to me while we were waiting for her. I got angry and yelled and swore at you but was ready to be onstage when she arrived. All you said was "Leave!" You came from behind me picked me up by the shoulders and threw me into the kitchen. I was screaming at you to stop, what are you doing! Stop! I finally stood up and turned to say stop again and was holding onto the door to stand up and you were pushing my ribs. I was still screaming at you to stop when you grabbed my elbow, ran me across the room and threw me into the laundry room. I said I was leaving. I called the therapist from my car who you wouldn't talk to and only told me to leave. Narcissistic rage: holy cow! The therapist had us make amends rather than look at the dynamic that happened. ps It's your mother you want to throw across the room, kudzu weed, not me.
I and we have been over and over and over ad nauseam your physical abuse of me. However it's not actually your physical abuse of me: it is your constant demand to hear was my role in it. What did I do to make it happen? I'm sure that it's now part of your smear campaign against me with YY ...that old song Getting to Know You when you tell the other something really vulnerable about yourself so she'll take pity on you and end up in bed with you. ( I wish I had an Italian grandmother to put a hex on you, Kudzu!)
My calling the police and your ending up overnight in jail and going to court is what finally made you wake up and do something to not hurt me again. However, you never changed so you wouldn't hurt me: You put in a safety plan with your therapist so that you would not lose control again and get into trouble!! NOTE THE FOCUS: YOU NOT ME!! Since jail and court you have been enraged at me and remain so and will always be so. Hence we're not together.
You say that your memories of our relationship are "regrets, so many regrets" Thanks Kudzu! You tortured me for the last 3 years in a passive aggressive campaign to punish me. And I, went along with it. I gave you the last of my youth. In turn you found someone not three years older than you but three years younger just in time to go cruising the world with you.
One of the last texts from you was blurry boundaries (after you made the date with the OW) "it's hard to know what to do isn't it". I was so angry and torn up by it I couldn't respond right away. Since you didn't get instant feed you then discounted it saying "I should know better by now. I wish I could take that back" I replied,eventually that it's not difficult to know what to do. You made your decision and are living it" Then you had to text me about our relationship leaves you only with regrets. I lost it and was sobbing but you couldn't be bothered to respond to my text. So I phoned: oh you were "talking with someone". At least you got off the phone and then however manipulated me to calm down. What a sucker I was for you! I make myself sick!
For you, my dear, you are so intelligent and can mimic feelings so well that I worry you will actually be able to learn to have boundaries. I worry that your therapy will teach you how to appear empathic. You will never however be empathic;it just goes with your territory. (The OW will eventually wonder why you sound right but don't feel right to her.) I worry that you will have YY for the rest of your life because she has the money and you have the skills for sailing. I wonder if she will ever be dispensable to you. After all you want a partner who knows how to sail to cruise the world with you. I hope she closes her pocketbook to you. Of course she lives with the threat (once she figures it out) that if she closes her pocketbook you will close the relationship and discard her breaking her heart.
What I most wish for you, my dear, is that you repeat your narc ways, that you are always empty, that the next woman doesn't do it for you,( you once told me about women "There's always another one"), that you continue to wonder why you just can't get relationships right, that you don't get the feed that you crave , that you feel your emptiness and fear more as you age, and that you spend your days with one failed relationship after the next. With all my heart, my dear, that is what I wish for you.