My heart has been ripped out of my chest, stomped on, and broken into a billion pieces. If you’re the survivor of narcissistic abuse, you can relate. Never have I felt such pain in my life, and I’m still trying to comprehend it.
Throughout my research on narcissistic personality disorder (we’ll just refer to these individuals as narcissists here) and love, and my own unfortunate experience, I’ve learned that narcissists are incapable of loving you back. They just can’t do it, they’re wired differently. When they say they love you, they mean they love how they can control you and what you can do for them. It’s all about their ego and appearing perfect to the world. They don’t view love the same way you and I do.
The Narcissist’s Distorted View of Reality
Narcissists have a distorted view of reality and the world. They wear a mask to lure you in. They put you on a pedestal at first. They love bomb you and make you the center of their world. Then, when they feel they’ve gained enough control over you and that you won’t leave, the mask falls off. At this point you’re wondering, “What the F*&K is going on?” The person you love and who appeared to love you back disappeared. He turned into a monster, one I can’t explain unless you’ve experienced before. Your life with prince charming has turned into hell on earth. You have to walk on eggshells because anything will set off his narcissistic rage. His words sting like salt being poured into an open wound. The saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is a lie. The narcissist starts using your vulnerabilities against you and re-opening wounds to hurt you.
People, listen up: Your prince charming is NEVER coming back. He’ll throw you crumbs here and there when he feels like he’s losing control over you. Those crumbs are meant to manipulate you into thinking he can change and maybe the man you first met will come back, so you stay. The honeymoon period will get shorter and shorter. It will go from months, to weeks, to days, to hours, to minutes, to seconds, to nothing. You will begin to lose yourself in all of this, trying to please the man you love by doing everything and anything you can for him. But nothing is ever good enough because he keeps moving the goal posts. You’ll never be good enough in his eyes.
The Narcissist Can’t Change
The abuse will escalate, maybe even into physical abuse. That’s what happened in my relationship. He started beating me, on top of emotionally and psychologically abusing me. He always convinced me it was my fault, and I believed him. Or, he would ask me, “what are you talking about?” when I brought the physical abuse up, implying it never happened.
I started to think I was going crazy and that the abuse never happened. I wasn’t being abused if he was blaming me and denying it, right? WRONG. That’s called gaslighting. He was altering my sense of reality, which made me question my OWN self. He was controlling my reality. Do you see how dangerous this is? This isn’t love. This is abuse. Scary, scary abuse. He rewired my brain to make me think I was crazy, stupid, and delusional. I knew in my gut something was wrong, but whatever he said I would believe, because he had full control over me and was manipulating me. Everything I said or did was wrong, even though it was once right. He hated everything he once “loved” about me at the beginning of the relationship.
The narcissist can’t change. This is a personality disorder (narcissistic personality disorder). Narcissists don’t think there’s anything wrong with them, so they rarely get help. And why would they if they’re getting everything they want from the way they’re currently living?
You see, the narcissist doesn’t think or see the world like we do. They don’t have the ability to put themselves in our shoes and say, “What I’m doing is making my partner feel terrible.” They CAN comprehend what they’re doing is WRONG, please recognize that. But this doesn’t justify the abuse in anyway, shape, or form. They don’t feel empathy, compassion, or love like we do. They don’t view the world the way we do. They view everything as a competition that they have to win. They have to constantly be admired and feed their supply. We are their fuel. We feed their supply when we give them any type of attention – positive or negative.
My ex narcissistic boyfriend once said to me, “I know you put up with a lot of sh*t from me.” Another time he said to me, “Do you think I don’t know it’s wrong that I put my hands on you?” You see, he really knew he was wrong. He knew he was abusive, even though he’d never use those exact words to admit it. But he didn’t care because I stayed and I was fueling his supply. I stayed until I was so broken and couldn’t take the abuse any longer. I never thought anyone could push me so far past my limits, but I also had never met a narcissist before. He never thought I’d leave, which was why he started to cheat on me and lie about it. He underestimated me though. Before I met him, I was a strong, independent woman. That strong independent woman was fighting to come back to life to get me out of this relationship. I still can’t explain how I did it, but I worked up the courage to drive to court and file a restraining order on him. I didn’t think about the long-term effects this would have, I just knew I needed to get out immediately. And I did.