The Day Evil, I mean Evan Entered My Life
Ours was a relationship that started out as a heavenly love story, but ended up taking me to the depths of hell. I met my narc. (I refuse to give him the respect of capitalization) by happenstance in November 2009 during a talent show.
When my narc strolled in the room with his electric guitar and the slide on his pinky he started to play two of my favorite songs of all time…in succession. It was magic, and I was hooked. .
You see, not only have I committed the first carnal sin of trusting my heart to a narcissist, but I also did the unthinkable and bruised his ego as well. At the time of the talent show I was in another unhappy relationship with my live-in boyfriend (he had narcissistic tendencies, although, his problem really was depression and repressed sexuality issues), and things weren’t going so well….
Our first real interaction was Valentine’s Day 2010. My boyfriend at the time “didn’t believe” in celebrating, so I found myself alone with the narc at the neighborhood bar. I arrived and he was already drunk. He tried to kiss me that night. I just shrugged it off as a drunken delusion.
We were both law students, so we started seeing each other and flirting at school. Finally, at a house party we hooked up for the first time. We made out for four solid hours. It was heavenly. No one had ever kissed me like that before and
I told him I was in love with him within a week. I had never met anyone so intoxicating in my life, and I wouldn’t go home until 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning, under the guise that I was studying at school.
Due to a rather complex amalgam of my own codependent/masochistic leanings, in conjunction with my tendency to be overly empathetic and my own special lack of self-esteem, I ended up dating both men. Truly not because I wanted to, but because I never knew how to voice my needs, say no, or tell either one of them something that they didn’t want to hear. It was the perfect storm.
I was leaving that fall to study abroad in Italy, so I continued to remain a coward by avoiding making a decision. As such, I could never spend the night with my narc and tell him the real reason why. I told him that, although I still lived with my boyfriend, we weren’t seeing each other any more. In the meanwhile, at the end of the school year, I would move for my summer job at a firm 60 miles away.
I don’t know what it was about him, but something inside of me at that time was afraid to fully commit myself to my narc. I loved him, but I was scared of him too. Sometimes something just didn’t feel…right. The summer came, and we would take turns visiting each other during the weekends. We would do fun things together, however, I would somehow always pay for them. I think I saw my “other” boyfriend at our house 4 times the entire summer, which he didn’t seem to mind, so I was ok with his complacence.
As the summer progressed I began to realize that my narc was my soul mate. He was everything I had ever wanted in life, not just in a man. He was so fun, zany and unpredictable! He was the life of the party; loud and obnoxious at times. He was never afraid to push the limit or tell people what he really thought. He was fearless, but a sensitive, passionate artist as well. We played music together. He understood me better than anyone had ever before. Sometimes during those warm, balmy nights of summer I would cry myself to sleep out of happiness while he held me, smelling the dew of freshly fallen rain mixed with the pungent sweetness of his skin. I started writing this poem:
We began in the Garden of Eden. Our love so intense the colors swirled above our heads, each hue more vibrant than the next as it stood stark against the rosy cheek of our beloved. The birds chirped for us, much as the steady beat of our hearts sung loudly in unison, signifying the Spring of our eternal hope. Hope for a new beginning. Hope for a world without pain, plainly in front of us, so clearly obvious, etched in the unborn profiles of our children⎯silent but wanting as our fingers intertwined. We knew nothing but each other, and the world stood still as our love blossomed all around us.
One evening during the late summer I started feeling funny. I couldn’t fit into my clothes and I just felt “heavy.” My breasts hurt. I was emotional. I was also deeply unhappy because of the impending sense of doom I felt knowing that once the summer was over I was going to have to make a choice. I hated myself because I was a prisoner to my fear and seemingly incapable of scaring up the courage to leave my old boyfriend once and for all. I was also wrestling with leaving for Italy the next semester because my narc made it known to me that he wouldn’t wait around for me to get back if I went. Later that month I found out I was pregnant.
He was incredibly upset. After that point, he started acting differently towards me. In that same week I found out that not only had my program in Italy had been cancelled, but that my only remaining parent had cancer (the other one had died of the same type of cancer 5 years before). I panicked. Then, my old boyfriend called and told me he wanted to reconcile. After not talking to my narc for over a week, I decided to take a vacation to California with my boyfriend to try and work things out.
Once I was in California my narc finally called me. He acted like nothing was wrong and he told me his parents were coming in from Michigan, and reminded me that some time earlier in the summer I had agreed to meet them. His power over me was still strong, so I lied and left California to return home.
After I met his parents the narc stopped talking to me again. Being the weak coward that I was, I gave in to returning home to my boyfriend, even after leaving him in California, and reluctantly accepted my fate. School started again and I thought it was just going to be another year when my narc walked in the door to the classroom where we were both taking a class required to graduate. My heart fluttered and sank at the same time. I left to the bathroom to vomit. Later that night we hosted a party for my boyfriend’s birthday, when around 1 o’clock in the morning my narc walked in the door there too.
In a scene reminiscent only of “Cheaters” or the long-past Jerry Springer show, my narc confronted me in front of my boyfriend. The jig was up. And I was the (deserved) loser of the game. I added another stanza to the same poem:
Just as when Eve took the foreboding first bite of the apple, our world tumbled down around us with a sickening thud of a car door, as you stood in front of me, eyes emblazoned with anger, disbelief and despair, as the truth consumed you too with its hungry cruelty. “How could you do this to me?!?” You screamed. “I was going to marry you!!!”⎯ you twisted, as the imaginary dagger plunged further and further into my empty, black soul.
My boyfriend never came home that night. I stayed up all night debating whether or not to swallow the 30 or so pills of Percocet I had in my hand or ease myself into a hot bath with a razor blade between my thighs. Thankfully my fear of death took over, but when I woke up from my Ambien haze in the morning after “The Fall,” my car was covered in beer and urine.
It took me three days to move out of my house. A week later I got the call that my father was dying. I flew to TX three times in three weeks. The last night of my father’s life my narc called me for the first time since “The Fall.” It started with him sending me a picture of himself without a shirt on asking: “Do you miss this?”
“Every day.” I obliged.
We talked for five hours in the hallway of the hotel room. All we talked about was how horrible of a person I was and how much I had hurt him. I tried to own up to what I had done. I felt absolutely horrible about it, and it was during that conversation that I decided I would do whatever it took to win my narc’s love back⎯no matter how long it took. The decision was made. I never even told him my father had died that night until months afterward.
Then began the endless drama of him acting the part of victimized lover and I the horrid devil woman who had destroyed his life. For months all we would talk about was his depression, his broken heart, his new inability to ever love again and my betrayal, inadequacies, and failures as a human being. I would spend hours, days, weeks begging for him back. My explanations of my own inability to let anyone down and consequently, sacrifice my integrity because of my fear of abandonment and ending up alone fell on deaf ears. I knew that what I had done was horrible, and I began to hate myself more and more each day.
I told myself that I would let him grieve as long as he needed to. I was just so happy to have him back in my life at all. I surprised him with tickets and airfare to Austin City Limits for his birthday. He took me up on it and we had an amazing time. We would be so in love, but he would always remind me that he could never love or “be” with me again. Every conversation would eventually end in a barrage of my declarations of “mia culpas” and he would always counter with how sad he was that he would never heal. He threatened suicide almost daily.
Then some nights he would just stop texting me back. I would call him and no answer. I would call and text, begging for him not to be mad at me. Whenever I would muster the courage to confront him about it I would just collapse on the floor and cry. We went to therapy, where he told the therapist he needed some time to figure out what he wanted to do. We agreed to a “therapeutic separation” for a month. He broke it off and contacted me after two weeks. He insisted on three more breaks in this manner, always coming back earlier than promised, but then again returning to his insistence upon “space.” I understood. I had hurt him, and I wanted to give him everything it took to make it better. Every now and then he would throw me crumbs of a one night here, another night there, but after the sex always remain aloof. At night to coax him to sleep I would coo softly in his ear while stroking my fingers along his back; telling him to take as much time as he needed, because I would always be there for him whenever he was ready to go on.
One night we were together and he found a pill in my pocket. He asked what it was. I lied and said it was ibuprofen. Because of a past back injury I have a prescription for painkillers, but ever since my episode the night of “The Fall,” according to the narc, I couldn’t be trusted. He threatened to look it up online, I relented and told him what it was, begging for mercy as I really was in pain and I had a legitimate prescription. But nonetheless, he threw me out of his house (and life) again. I lost my will to live a second time that night, and only thanks to the good graces of some morally sound vagrants, I woke up in the hospital after they had found me on the street unconscious after shooting a massive dose of heroin into my veins.
I didn’t hear from him again until three weeks later, when I had finally come to terms that my behavior had lost me the relationship. I had asked a friend to email my narc asking for a few of my things back, since he probably didn’t want to talk to me again anyways. About three hours later I got a phone call. It was him, but I didn’t pick up. He left a voicemail. In it he stated that he “had a dream that I had died last night,” and that he “wanted to just make sure I was ok.” Needless to say, we reconciled.
It was then that life became even more “narc-centric”, only in different ways. Instead of him pining over his depression and inability to love again, life started to become somewhat “normal” for a little while. What I mean by normal is he would call me and talk about his accomplishments (he was top 10% of his class, won several awards for top grades and had secured a permanent job at one of the best firms in the state), I would come over and listen to him play his guitar or play recordings of the band he used to have in San Francisco. Or he would talk about his friends, his family, the new “catch phrases” he would invent and everyone would laugh at in class. We both would laugh at his jokes. When we made love he would watch himself in a full-length mirror he had on the closet door of his bedroom while I would persistently compliment him on his large arms and chest. He would bite me and leave marks that drew blood. Sometimes he would slap me on the face from behind while he seethed, “Do you like that? Huh? Do you like it when I slap your little bitch face?”
Meanwhile, things were not going so well for me. My grades had continued to plummet since I had reunited with the narc and with the loss of my dad. I couldn’t concentrate because I would often stay up crying at night after he would go to sleep because I “had” him but I didn’t “HAVE” him. He was never willing to be “exclusive” with me again because I had lost his trust. I also was dealing with extensive legal problems over my father’s estate and various other psychopaths I have in my immediate family. I lost my friends because I spent all of my time with my narc, or they would tell me that they didn’t want to stick around because they didn’t like the person I was when I was around him. But I stayed silent. My narc was the one who had problems⎯I had lost the right to talk about mine after “The Fall.”
A few more months went by like this⎯moments of “the spark” coming back but always met with his immediate hesitancy to “get too close” in the event that I would hurt him again. I just took that as a sign that I had to try harder. I would spend four, five, six hours on the phone with him, discussing anything and everything he wanted to talk about. If we weren’t discussing my character flaws we would talk about the other “important” things in his life. I learned about everything he loved, like the blues, radio journalism and Michigan State football and men’s basketball. I let him rename my dog after one of his favorite soccer stars on the Nigerian World Cup team. I would watch him play endless hours of FIFA World Cup on his XBox while I encouraged him and told him how impressive it was that he could play so well. He would tell me his (often alcohol-fueled) beliefs that he was the reincarnation of Jim Morrison. He would insist on listening to the dénouement of “The End” repetitively all night:
“This is the end.
This is the end.
My only friend. The end.”
He told me that the only way we could get married was if I proposed to him, because I had lost that privilege long ago. I started to think about when and how I could do it. Every once-and-a-while he would say mean things or pick little fights about things I had said or reactions I had that he didn’t like. And if I ever stood up for myself or tried to assert my needs he would punish me by withdrawing…so I learned how to just not have needs.
One evening, after a particularly bad fight he invited me over to his house for his “famous” guacamole buffalo burgers. He said that he was feeling “far away” from me and wanted to make up for getting angry. He also said that there was “no one else” for him, and he wasn’t interested in dating around. It was an amazing night. Every time we would share a night like that I would think to myself, “finally, it is over. My man has come back to me and I will never ever ever screw this up again.” We talked about getting back together. He chuckled as he said to me, “yeah I’m really making you work for it, aren’t I?”
The morning after, I opened the door and there was a tin of homemade cookies on his stoop. Included on the top was a note, saying: “To the Wonderous (narc): I love you and I hope you have a good weekend without me. Love, Beth.” He turned white as a sheet and began to say that he had started seeing her before we had broken up in the summer (8 months previously), because things “just weren’t right” between us. He then started crumpling and crying because he was “confused” and he “didn’t know what to do.” He “did know that he wanted to be with me though, because he didn’t love her. She wasn’t ‘me’ and they just didn’t have that ‘spark’ that he felt we had.” But he had been “scared to give it up” because he “couldn’t trust me.” Like an idiot, I hugged him and said, “I know exactly what you feel. Take your time. Who am I to get mad at you for this?” And I left.
Beth never came up again, and I never asked. The narc and I became official on his 30th birthday, after I had taken him for a weekend vacation at a hot springs and resort spa. Life was good, sort of. That summer I graduated and starting to prepare for the bar exam. I had decided to move into my surrogate (they took me in after my mother had died) families ’ house sixty miles away and we saw each other on the weekends, but something had changed. No matter how much I pleaded for him to understand, the narc would often get upset at me because I had to study during our time together, and he would get “bored” and leave to go home (cutting the visit short even though he had work of his own to do for his job). He then got offered an opportunity (of a lifetime) to work 200 miles away on a federal death penalty case in a town where he used to live in the southern portion of the state. He couldn’t say no, but it meant we wouldn’t see each other for six weeks. Even though I was heartbroken, I knew it was best because I had to study for the bar.
Once he was gone he would work “18 hour days,” never picking up his phone when I called him, but when he called me he would always fill my ears with everything he was doing on the case and how he [the narc] had to do all of the work for the investigator because he [the investigator] was doing an inferior job. Then we would discuss his upcoming permanent job and his prowess for criminal law (he had won an award for the top grade in the class) and hang up for the night. I remember once trying to discuss with him my sisters’ suspected eating disorder that was worrying me, but he would always dismiss my fears as my “addiction to drama,” and find a way to steer the conversation back his way.
Then, his calls became less and less frequent and my text messages would go unanswered. When he did call me he would be drunk at a bar, and always evading exes who always seemed to be hitting on him even though he was “waaaay not interested.” I began to worry. I couldn’t sleep and I was ridden with anxiety. I went on anti-anxiety medication before the bar, which was just days away. After my test was over, he decided to stay down south two days longer “to see friends” after his job had ended. I asked him to come home sooner, but he got angry at the request, so I dropped it. He came back to see me (for 24 hours) before he left for Canada to spend time at his families’ cabin. According to Verizon coverage maps there should have been excellent coverage where he claimed to be staying, however, according to him there was no way we could communicate for two solid weeks.
It then turned out that I had flunked the bar, which, on top of all of the loss, stress, depression, anger and resentment I had because of all the events leading up to that time, plus my mounting frustration with my inability to find a job (I had been rejected by 30 firms and 15 judges by that point) I hit my breaking point. I found out that I had failed the test at his house, and after I cried hysterically, he suggested we go to our favorite hot springs outside of town and dinner (both of which I paid for). The next morning he asked me to get out of bed and leave his house at 6:00 a.m. because he wanted to go fly-fishing. Because I was broke and unemployed, I decided to move into my surrogate families’ house permanently, at which point I did not hear from him during the five days I had asked him to make himself available to meet my siblings for the first time and help me move. His excuse was that he was busy at work and, “I didn’t call him.” Again, I let him off the hook after trying to confront him in a half-assed way.
After that I took some time out to visit family again in Texas, while the narc started his last year at school. I was gone a week, during which he took care of my dog, whom he had seemingly grown to adore. I would text him silly things and pictures, but he would never respond. Every once-and-a-while he would send me a picture of my dog to say she was ok. By the time I got back I had had it. I came to pick up my dog and I asked him what was wrong and why he wasn’t talking to me. He insisted that he still (now 18 months later) didn’t trust me, but mostly he was “busy at school.” I asked him if he wanted to take a break for a little while, to which he replied, “yeah we probably should, I’m really busy with school and everything and to tell you the truth, you really need to straighten your life out before we can go on, ‘cause you’re kind of too much for me right now.” And we hugged, he said “I love you” avoided kissing me and we were done. I walked out furious, with an inclination that I might never talk to him again.
Six weeks then passed. I found a low-paying job with another narcissistic judge and started to get my life together. I still had his iPod and the only thing persistently weighing heavily on my mind was the status of him and I. I emailed him, asking him how he was, and asking him for some closure, in “whatever form it may be” (leaving the door open if he still wanted to try to be together). I asked him to meet me for coffee. He responded by text five minutes later and said that his grandmother had died in Michigan, and that he would get a hold of me later in the week when he returned home. I never heard from him.
Two weeks after that I sent him a text message, asking again, “please, after two years together I just feel like I deserve some closure. Neither one of us deserves this, I never meant for it to end this way.” Twelve hours later he responded with a single text:
“WE BROKE UP MONTHS AGO, THERE’S NOTHING TO TALK ABOUT. DON’T CONTACT ME AGAIN.”
I was devastated again, but determined to move on.
Four months later I was dating someone else casually, when I realized that the narc still had a pair of my car keys on which I needed a rather irreplaceable key. Again, I asked a friend to email him, offering his iPod in exchange for my keys. Three hours later I received a text from him: “I miss your love and companionship. I don’t have your keys but I would be open to talking, if you would.” My heart leapt out of my chest and I called him. He picked up after 1 ring and said, “I still love you. Please let me come see you tomorrow.”
He came up to visit me the next day. He took me out to dinner and he told me that he was finally ready to start again. That he had forgiven me, and that now after things had settled down in my life, he wanted to be together again. He admitted that his text message four months earlier had been cruel, and that, “This time, we’re equal.” I asked him why he had stopped talking to me in the first place. He shrugged it off by saying I was just “too emotional” after flunking the bar. I didn’t press any further, dumped the guy I was seeing the next day and things went right back to how they were as if we had never skipped a beat.
Things were wonderful. Not only because he was in my life again, but because I felt like I could finally have a voice. What he had done to me was awful too, and I felt like we really were “even Steven.” We took trips together. We made love. My dog would spend time with him. We were finally a happy family again…until the other shoe dropped.
As part of the terms for our new relationship, he had suggested that we attend couples’ therapy. The only way my individual therapist was comfortable with me even seeing the narc again at all was if I committed to going to do couples’ therapy together. It took him two weeks to finally make an appointment to see the therapist (she consults with each party individually first, before beginning the couples’ therapy together) because he was so “busy,” but he agreed to do it, and he went to his initial individual session.
Before we had even “gotten back together” I had decided to make another trip to Texas to go see Radiohead with a friend. She had a baby, so she offered her ticket to the narc for free. He accepted it, but as the weeks ticked by he failed to book his plane ticket. Finally, when I looked for him, the price of oil had spiked and it was too expensive, so we decided I should go alone. The narc did agree to watch the dog for me though, and I offered him my car to drive for the weekend. The only complication, however, was that my brother had decided to purchase last minute tickets to join me in Texas that same weekend, so that we could plan to move some belongings of our dad’s. I was slightly pissed off that the narc had flaked, mostly because my brother had spent so much money to meet me that weekend, but it was ok.
The day before I came back he texted me asking when I was coming back. I told him that I thought it was 9pm, but that I wasn’t sure, and that I would get back to him the next day to confirm. The next morning I checked in and saw that my flight was coming in at 10 pm instead of 9. I had already been sending him pictures of my late mother that I had come across (he had never seen a picture of her before) when I told him. He went ballistic. He told me I had inconvenienced him because he had left his car at work during the weekend because he was driving mine. Because I (thought) that I had a voice I told him that he was over-reacting, and asked him to be sympathetic to the notion that I was not the only one who’s last minute change of plans had inconvenienced someone else. I cited how his failure to come had caused my brother to pay hundreds of dollars to move up his trip. He got even more upset and accused me of “re-writing history” and “manipulating him.” He hung up on me and refused to answer any of my calls. I bought him a t-shirt as reconciliation gift at the airport.
That night he picked me up and gave me the silent treatment. Again, I tried to reason with him. He dropped himself off at his car and told me not to spend the night. We hugged and I said “I love you.” To which he responded, “I love you.” The next day I tried texting apologies, pleading with him to be a little more compassionate and reasonable⎯I didn’t mean to inconvenience him! He wouldn’t respond. He then texted me a picture of his favorite Michigan State basketball player and we went to bed without speaking on the phone that night. The next day I didn’t hear from him again. I texted another apology and I still heard nothing. Finally, I texted him that if I did not hear from him I was going to get in my car at 11 o’clock at night and drive 60 miles to his house. He then texted back, “whoa I was in the shower!” (after I had been trying to call him for 4 hours) and he finally picked up the phone when I called. He started screaming about how I “don’t respect his boundaries, and I don’t respect him.” And how he was done with the relationship because I am a “manipulator” and “that’s just a part of my personality.” He hung up and turned off his phone. The next day he cancelled what would have been our first joint therapy session and we never spoke again. I sent him a final text message telling him to break up with me to my face like a man and “do the right thing.” He responded by saying, “I didn’t mean to hurt you, but because of your actions our relationship was over before it ever began and I just couldn’t recover from it. Please don’t contact me again.” I responded by calling him a coward and telling him to go fuck himself, and to never ever step foot back in my life again.
I still need to finish that poem. And oh yeah, the son-of-a-bitch still has my keys.