Ready to share my story- btw, they can come back decades later. :'(
Ready to share my story- btw, they can come back decades later. :'(
First, thank you for letting me share my story with you all + taking the time to read it. I must warn that it's very long ... yet in many ways doesn't seem touch the surface.
I have spent time reading your stories here, some dated way back to 2010. I am hopeful that by sharing my experience, I will be able to gain some sense of closure (if there is such a thing in situations) and start working on letting go, my recovery and hopefully start my path of forgiveness and start to heal.
My story is not only horrific, confusing, and tragic- I am also living with an enormous amount of guilt, shame, and pain.
I ask to please be kind with me as there is no one that could punish me anymore than I already have. It feels safe here to share and I thank you for your compassion + kindness in advance.
It has been well over a year now (1.5 years to be exact) since my affair with what I have now come to believe is a full blown Narcissist/ sociopath. This my first time sharing my story other than to my therapist.
I had a situation where an ex-boyfriend from high school reached out to me on you probably guessed it - Facebook. Yep, 24 years later I receive a friend request from what I had considered to be my "first love". There had been a couple of attempts from him over the years, but nothing really came from it.
At the time I didn't think much of it, after all it's been such a long time. Plus, isn't that part of Facebook, reconnecting with old friends?.
Or as I would soon find out- A big play ground for many twisted individuals looking for their next victim.
I will admit I was taken back a bit when I saw his name ... I will call him 'R' for short. When we were young, we had an intense love, especially for such a young love. I was 15 he was 18.
He was everything I had ever wanted in a boyfriend -athletic, tall, muscular, dark and handsome. Plus, he treated me like an absolute princess. We would write love letters to each other everyday, I would leave one tucked under my front door mat and he would come over in the middle of the night and leave one for me.
Every morning I would wake up to a love letter, sometimes a big sign he had made professing his love for me, sometimes flowers, a gift. I was young, in love and completely swept. He took me on fun/romantic dates, he made plans to celebrate every month on the anniversary of the day we met. At one point he was looking at buying me a car for my sweet 16- I felt like I could tell him everything and anything. Its important to mention that my home life wasn't the best ... I lived in California with my Dad (that I now believe to be an N, as well) and his wife that was more than half his age- She didn't like me and the feeling was mutual . My Mom and Step Dad lived in Oregon and was taking care of my terminally ill brother, which is why I was living in California.
My life was pretty messy, but R made it easier to get through. I felt he was the only thing in my life that was stable' ... something I could count on, my rock. R + I never fought, it was unreal- a dream. Then one day as I sat on my couch waiting for R to pick me up for our monthly anniversary date, he just never showed up-
I sat there waiting for hours. I tried to get ahold of him with no luck- I was devastated, confused, heart broken. A few days later we finally talked on the phone where he said "he couldn't explain it, but something had just changed." There was No real explanation or understanding- I remember it being very vague.
I was beyond confused, I was completely devastated .... it felt like someone ripped out my heart and broke it into a million pieces.
I saw him once after "things changed" he came by to grab some pictures I had of him water skiing - (Evidently a magazine was doing an article on him about water skiing. I just sat and cried, R kneeled down beside me and started crying and just kept saying how sorry he was, then he left. Soon after I found out he was seeing someone and within a year after that was getting married. I carried pain with me for many years but life went on, as it does.
Seeing R's name 24 years later requesting to be my friend on Facebook was a bit surreal- but in my mind I didn't see the harm -My thoughts at the time was- "it's been so long, it will nice to see how he's doing."
If I only knew what he had planned for me.
At the point of reconnecting with R, I had been happily married for going on 16 years. I was/am married to my best friend, an amazing man, and wonderful father (My husband in not a N- in anyway shape or form) and even though I love my husband very much- I will admit that things had gotten very stagnate between us, (routine, mundane). We had some real downs' especially a couple years prior, things had been lacking in our marriage- we were having more arguments, not communicating the way we once had. Our intimate relationship even though when happened was wonderful was less, and less- at times nonexistent.
I had just turned 40 (which for me was a difficult in itself) -- I had given up my career to stay home and raise my 3 wonderful, beautiful, and smart children. At this point in my life they were all getting older (2 teens, 1 adult) they were independent, and not needing me like they once did.
Needless to say I was numb, lost and some parts of me a little dead inside. I really love being married and a mom, yet time had taken a toll on ME, it felt I'd lost my identity, my worth- Not realizing that I had really given all of myself to everyone but myself. I was also depressed, which was another component that made me extremely vulnerable- I was the perfect target for a master manipulator. I am not making any excuses for what I have done, I take full responsibility for my actions and I will have to live with this choice for the rest of my life. I just think it's important to lay to express everything, especially for those that may read this before taking that next step. I would have NEVER thought I was capable to have an affair- ever.
Then comes the friend request from R, and even though I was curious- I had no absolutely no thoughts, feelings, or any expectations. I was simply accepting a friend request, like I've done a hundred times before. At first things were silent... I had actually forgot that we were FB friends until he would "like" one of my pictures. Then one day I received a message from him, it was a link to his "charity" (a bogus ... I'm going to save the world and help children with terminal cancer charity) I thought it seemed like a wonderful charity but I was a bit confused why he sent it to me, and decided not to respond.
Then a month or so later he had posted a picture and I made a comment of "cool picture" and that's all it took. Within seconds R responded with "I finally got a response from (then my name)". I replied "Lol, how are you? It's been a long time." He then sent me a message to "catch up". I must admit it was a bit surreal connecting with him after all these years. At first, It was pretty normal Q&A's and then within a day he starts bringing up when we were young, old memories, old feelings etc ... Then came all the flattery-
How beautiful I am, How I don't look any older, I was his first love.. his only real love, how he's never stopped thinking about me, how he's always thought about me, how he's compared every woman he's been with to me, that he'd always wondered what if?. He sent me a picture of him standing in the gym (oh yeah- he was all about his body, constantly working out) he had wrote my name on the mirror with him standing in the reflection. I will admit, It was a little strange (seemed immature, young, a bit off) but I just chalked it up to - him having fun and remembering when we were young.
The next morning he sent me a poem about a girl that he lost (me) --I will admit the attention was flattering, and it sparked something in me, a feeling that I had missed- A feeling of being adored, that butterfly in your stomach kind of feeling. Then out of no where (or at least that's how it appeared) he started professing his undying love for me, the need of me, that he has loved + wanted me for the past 24 years and now he can't believe I was right there- He painted a fairytale life to me, he was so creative (or should I say so manipulative)
The speed + intensity he came at me with had completely blindsided me- my entire world had flipped completely up side down.
It was as though I had hit a pause button with my feelings for him at the age of 16 and then he came along 24 years later and hit play. It was the most out-of-control feeling I've ever experienced. I was having a constant internal struggle between my young self vs my adult self. All I did was cry, I couldn't eat, sleep- losing almost 20lbs in less than 2 months.
It was a living hell, something I would not wish on my worst enemy. I was consumed with guilt about having these feelings for another man other than my husband. Yet, I couldn't stop myself from communicating with him. Anytime I did say "I can't do this" he would return with "Don't you remember me, it's us. Don't you remember?!". "You are my other half, we are meant to be together." "I'm getting dizzy just thinking about you, about us. I feel like I can't breathe." on and on and on ... The needing of me, how much he loved me. He would send me songs that was once upon a time "our songs"
I was so confused, I begged God to make it stop! I even went to a couple of psychics to try and figure out why this was happening to me ... all that did was confuse me more.
I was an absolute mess-My intuition screaming at me to RUN!!!! But my heart was in charge here, the immature reckless part of me had taken the wheel.
I can't remember exactly when but then R started mirroring me, of course I had NO idea what mirroring even was at the time... I was a 40 year old woman, and even though I had heard of narcissism, I NEVER knew the true depths of that until now.
He claimed to like all the same books, hobbies, foods. Etc .. a couple of examples :
I did yoga, so he did yoga (sometimes he claimed a couple of times a day) I meditated, so he claimed to meditate some days for hours.
It was ALL so over the top- I can see clearly how crazy this was with hindsight, but at the time he was so convincing- claiming that we were soulmates, meant to be, this was fate.
My soul mate was what I had always believed my husband to be ... yet R had started to convince me that maybe that wasn't true.
He would say that maybe my marriage with my husband was a 9 but with him it would be an amazing 10. That I owed to myself to live a life where I was always happy, never taken for granted, painting a picture of the perfect life.
I was dying inside and started to question everything that I thought was once real.
R was also really big on sending me quotes all of the time, some spiritual and some loving.
Then he started projecting- saying that he wanted to marry me, live with me, travel the works with me. He even said he wanted to have a baby with me, a girl. He has a son - but had always wanted a girl. From what I can see is he didn't have much to do with his son (his son is an adult now)
He would tell me all the time-"That if he could have another chance with me, he would never screw it up like when he was young"-
"He would spend the rest of his life treating me like a princess" one night he sent me a text saying "If he can't have me he was going to have a nervous breakdown"
This continued everyday for weeks -- It's hard for me to explain the intensity that he came at me with. But I know you are all more than aware of the intense love bombing and what that can do to our psyche.
Once I started to let my guard down, once I started to fall for the love bombing is when he started to blow hot/cold. He would say he would call, but then wouldn't. He always had an excuse... for one he claimed to be a pilot (still not sure if that's true or not) so was easy to say he was on flights, delays etc. His words never matched his actions, there seemed to be so many BS stories, but at this point I was so confused, so blind I couldn't see or think straight. After some time of the hot/cold routine I tried to break things off ... He would then start to love bomb me again, looking back it wasn't as intense as in the beginning, but I guess it was just enough to keep me hooked.
During this time I started to pull away from my husband, my kids, my family, my friends, my life. Every moment, every thought was given to R. I wasn't sure who I was- I didn't recognize myself... I thought R came into my life to fill this void, he convinced me of it. Without the knowledge of what he is- nothing could have prepared me for the crazy roller coaster I was on.
I couldn't handle all the lies, I had to know if this/us was this real. I had to see him, to know once and for all- I decided to visit to my Dad near the city where R lived. It was surreal seeing him, we talked for hours he told me stories of his life (not sure what was real or not) Without going into the gory details- with a mix of reminiscing and a lot of red wine- he got what he wanted while professing his love for me. He even said that now I'm "addicted" to you-
The next day he went home to grab some things for the hike he was taking me on- about 10 min before he was suppose to be back he called with some elaborate story of needing to drive an hour away to get his laptop fixed that it had to be done before a big meeting the next day. He swore he'd come take me to dinner, didn't happen, he texted me saying he was running late and too tired- Then said he would take me to breakfast, nope, called and said he had to help his roommate move. I can't explain the way I felt, I was disgusted, ashamed I was at the lowest of low. I left went back home and was at an all time low- Returning home to face my husband, and kids was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I would put on a happy face and then bawl my eyes out the entire day.
A couple days later R starts messaging me saying How he made such a mistake, he was so scared that I'd hurt him. Blah, blah, blah.
I guess I wanted, no needed to believe his lies.
The lies continued too many to count- the inconsistency continued- until one day he had this great idea! He wanted to see if I would go into a partnership with him for the new company he was starting- he couldn't see it failing if I was involved because according to him my energy was so amazing that anything I touched seem to turn to gold. Plus,,, he wanted a future with me and this is how he saw it happening. I was desperate to believe that he meant what he was saying--
Then he mentions that a lot of his money was tied up in his charity, at which point he asked me for $30k- evidently I would be paid back that 3x in a matter of a couple months. I told him that I was not comfortable putting that much money into his co- he then said it could be less like 5k a month - just to get it started.
Meanwhile he had unfriended me on fb- I asked him about it and he says that he was going through and "cleaning up" his Facebook and must have accidentally deleted me. That did not make sense (well lets be honest - none of it did) so I asked if he was seeing someone. He said no and the only person he was interested in was me- but that he had to be focused on work right now- to set up a solid future, for us. I had remembered a woman that comment on a lot of his posts- so I decided to look her up and low and behold there's R and her as her profile picture- This was another girl that he knew from his school days, they were friends since middle school + same graduating class.Looking back this was definitely the D&D... I just was too stupid, brainwashed to see it.
The day I was ready to say my goodbye-
We talked and he had said he spent the entire weekend thinking about us, his business and that he just wanted me to be apart of it without giving him money that he was in love with me and would move to where I lived because he couldn't imagine his life without me. I told him i needed to think and put my thoughts/feelings on paper- I sat and with a lot of thought I sent him my thoughts and asked him some for the first time mature + pointed questions- I had everything to lose while he had nothing.
I felt like it was the first time in 5 months since this started that I was actually thinking clear and needed to know what we were doing. About 2 days later I get his response it's a 'goodbye' letter- Claiming that during a several hour meditation he believes his soul spoke with mine and we decided that we're not meant to be together in this life time, but that we can be together in our next lives. He also said- That he believes I am the other half of him and that he will love + feel me for the next 24 years. Plus a lot of other BS. I wasn't sure whether to laugh, cry, scream, I think I did all three. I had felt like I completely lost my mind.
A few days later (call it woman's intuition)
I decided to look up the other woman from before and her cover picture is now a picture of R on one knee ring in hand purposing. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, I was completely dumbfounded. Then a few days later I start receiving tons of mail for R's new company-
I was livid, he was using my home address as his companies head quarters. I emailed him and asked him what the hell was happening, he made up some lame excuse and then said he would change it-- Guess what, he didn't. Obviously leaving out a lot of information- it took me weeks, months to get things removed.
I decided to run a background check on him (something I should have done early on) he had several arrests for burglary, aggravated theft among others. I became terrified in that very instant-- I had absolutely no idea who this person was.
I started googling looking for something to try and make sense of this and came across info on Narcissist/sociopaths. I couldn't believe what I was reading... I was enraged that these evil predators that are among us, preying on people with their sadistic ways.
Since, I have been trying to educate myself as much as possible- online, reading, watching videos. I've been going to a therapist and trying to work on my guilt, pain and hopefully one day began to heal. I continue to pray for forgiveness and for the right thing to do- My husband still doesn't know, and I haven't decided if I am going to tell him. This would completely devastate him and I don't want to cause him the same pain that I endured. Which I know sounds crazy especially after what I did- I'm not sure how to move forward. But I know that I will spend the rest of my life trying to be the best person I can.
To help me move forward any advice/comments would be very much appreciated-
I still struggle with the "why" this happened? Why R would hurt me so badly just to come back 24 years and do it again?
Is R a N or Sociopath? (Which I believe he is)
Do I tell my husband?
Will I ever get to the place to forgive myself? Can I ever forgive R? And if I can't will I ever be able to truly heal?
Will I ever have peace?
Thank you again for reading my long-winded story- I truly appreciate your time.