Preface from Eddie Corbano: This is the second part of Marce's “My Life With A Narcissist” article, and if you haven't read the first part yet, do it now – it is important that you know what Narcissists are and what they do.
This part is about how they became what they are, and what you can do if you are a victim of them… firsthand from someone who has been there. Thank you, Marce!
The Birth Of A Narcissist
Often a Narcissist, (male or female), has experienced major trauma in their life which was devastating, to the point that it kills that person emotionally.
The pain never goes away and they “bleed” continually.
To survive, they build a barrier that insulates them from the external world of people, and to cope socially with others, they develop a FALSE PERSONA – a personality or identity which is NOT who they really are.
The wounded child inside may present as a “bad ass” or a “tough guy”… or he can play the part of the “nice fun guy” who everyone just adores.
Whatever the case may be, it is NOT the real him.
The Narc attracts devastation, pain, and unhappiness into their own lives. They never get to create durable love, happiness, peace, and joy.
“The Narc attracts devastation, pain and unhappiness into their own lives”
They are plagued by a large inner hole, an intense pain and anxiety within themselves, resulting in self-loathing, extreme anger and sometimes shame – they battle with their own shortcomings.
Like a junkie, they need someone or something to “take the edge off” – to give them temporary relief from the pain and intense inner torment that they continuously feel.
Usually, they target people to extract “narcissistic supply” from to function and make them feel better about themselves.
They are professional manipulators and design their game plan to get their “junkie needs” met at any cost.
“Narcissistic supply” is their drug and they don't care who is pushing it, as long as it makes them feel good about themselves.
The Perfect Victim Of A Narcissist – Why me?
Their ideal victims, (or hosts), are people who are emotionally generous and who allow their boundaries to be bent.
Don't get me wrong here – there is nothing wrong with being emotionally generous, caring, loving, kind, unselfish, etc. But the Narc will take advantage of your goodness and will abuse it.
They suss people out and get a feel for who will play their game and who won't. They target their ideal candidate and will prey on your basic need for love.
They start out charming, intoxicating and figuring out exactly how to push our buttons – almost with the cold calculation of a serial criminal.
That's the scary part.
They know exactly what they are doing – it is not a coincidence or an accident … you are selected, targeted and then “sucked in”.
How To Spot A Narcissist – The Red Flags And Warning Signs
It is not at all easy to spot a Narcissist to be honest because all people may have one or more of these traits and that does not necessarily make them a Narc.
All I can suggest are some clues to watch out for, and more importantly to go with your gut feel – who knows better about “something not being quite right” than you?
Definitely, if they appear to have ALL the characteristics listed below, then I would be almost certain that they fit into the Narcissistic category.
Some Characteristics of a Narc – things to watch out for:
- They lie
- They look down on others
- They refuse to take responsibility
- They are two-faced
- They can be vindictive
- They prefer laughing AT people than WITH them
- They are bullies
- They are very childlike
- They believe that no matter what happens they will prevail – because they see themselves as being invincible
- They believe that whatever bad things they do, they will be forgiven and will ultimately triumph
- They are fearless to the point of being insanely unrealistic
- They have persistent fantasies about attaining success, power, and wealth – they are obsessed with it
- They are incapable of compromise and need to win
- They thrive on evoking reactions and emotions – whether negative or positive – both give them a “high”
- They cheat on their partners
- They are NOT capable of “real” love as normal people know it. They are more interested in being in control and feeling important and special than ever being loved by someone
- They manipulate people to go against their own values willingly
- They USE people as puppets, pawns, and commodities, burning them out and then moving on to their next victim.
- They do not value people, do not miss them or love them because that involves bonding emotionally at various levels and the ability to bond is MISSING
An additional resource from Eddie:
In 1979 Robert Raskin and Howard Terry developed the “Narcissistic Personality Inventory” (NPI), as a measurement of narcissism as a personality trait. It’s considered to be the ultimate test to identify narcissists:
The Solution – How I Reclaimed My Power
Here's what you do: when he goes missing in action, you simply do too. Fall off the face of the earth if you have to.
I went into no contact, but I pined for him and was desperate to know if he missed me if he would come back.
How bad was I that he felt the need to run away?
We never fought, no slinging off matches, the breakup/dumping was not ugly in any way, we never, ever said things to each other that was of a derogatory nature or hurtful in any way, (we are both mature in years).
So the dumping was done with very few CRYPTIC words/sentences from his side. From my side, I was dumbfounded and in disbelief, and pretty much kept silent through the whole ordeal.
We did get back together, but once again it was short lived for the very same reasons as above.
So I went back into no contact and researched some more – I kept going until I came across information on Narcissists. That's when everything fell into place for me. I finally understood what I was dealing with and what I was up against.
Some of the things I learned is that he could NOT have loved me, he could NOT have cared that much about me. IF and WHEN he ever comes back or makes contact out of the blue, it's only because his new supply has also caught onto his game, or she is not as good of a supply as I was.
Maybe he was bored with her like he was with me and just wants to test the waters to see if he still has control over me.
I was the “vehicle” for him to thrive on – like a flea or a maggot. If you pick a flea off a dog, does the flea miss the dog?
The flea only misses its blood supply and soon finds another host and victim.
And so this relationship pattern will continue throughout the life of a Narc.
It is such a sad state of affairs that we were drawn into this sick game, don't you think?!
I know I am harsh because we all want to believe that the Narc misses us and loves us and cares about us. After all, we did bend over backward for him. We became emotional contortionists.
But the truth is, we are yesterday's newspaper.
This was the hardest thing for me to swallow when I first heard it, but it's true.
“He values the attention of total strangers more than the attention you gave him.”
This is so very true looking back now.
One thing you can be 100% certain of – he is UNABLE to truly give you what you want or deserve – a whole, healthy, secure, loving and transparent relationship.
What If You Want Him Back Anyways?
I understand that you may be thinking that you can change him now that you have read all of this, and know who and what he is.
That is just magical thinking.
“But remember, he has ALREADY given it all up and thrown it all away by dumping you!”
I also understand that you feel invested in your Narc and cannot bear the idea of just “giving up” on him or “throwing it all away.”
But remember, he has ALREADY given it all up and thrown it all away by dumping you – maybe even more than once? So this is where you have to have some pride, as well as respect his decision.
Some of you may be selling yourself short, and then bargaining with yourself saying, “I'd rather have him on some level than not have him at all.”
Don't settle for less than you deserve.
When someone rejects you and the relationship by dumping you, don't attempt to change his mind. Any further contact with your Narc will just be a re-run of past events, except this time, you KNOW the ending.
Perhaps you want him back for different reasons, though?
Maybe you want him back so you can get revenge. You want to get the final word in because this will make you feel back in control.
I fully understand the satisfaction and closure this may give you, but at the end of the day, it is a total waste of your time. He will not listen to you anyway.
He certainly won't apologize and acknowledge that he was wrong in any way, or that he has a mental problem.
So what are your options?
To be miserable, abused and discarded at whim? Or to be happy and content, in a secure and loving relationship with someone who adores you and cares about you?
Keep reminding yourself that all he really offered you was insecurity, paranoia, anxiety, depression, and deception – and made you feel awful about yourself.
My suggestion is that you make a conscious choice not to have this person in your life because his behavior is NOT okay.
No contact, no engagement with him, is essential.
Going no contact is NOT to make him miss you or long for you, but rather to give YOU – “the victim” – relief, space, time to do some research, time to heal, time to move on and time to get your sanity back.
That is why NC is so crucial. It will allow you the time you need to separate the thoughts in your head with the feelings in your heart.
You need to get YOU back.
How long will this take?
I cannot answer that. No one can.
It may take 30 days; it may take a year or longer – who knows?
But I do know one thing, though – when you get yourself back, what your ex is doing will become irrelevant.
It just won't matter what he is doing, why he is doing it or who he is doing it with.
And I believe you WILL get your sanity back eventually.
Don't spend your precious time trying to create sanity out of insanity. You will one day look back on all of this and say, “I will never give him the chance to hurt and abuse me again!”.
No Contact Obstacles – The Problems You Will Face
While you are going through no contact, (which was and still is an extremely painful time for me), think about this for a minute or two:
If you break no contact, will you be able to handle:
- no response?
- being ignored?
- being told stay out of his life?
- being called a stalker?
- him blocking you from his social media permanently?
- having him mess up your mental and emotional state again?
If the answer is “NO” to any of the above, then you are not ready to break no contact… and may NEVER be.
But that's okay, trust me.
The very first day of him discarding, (dumping), you, how did you feel that day?
I know I cried, had a panic attack, perspired profusely, could hardly breathe, had this heavy yet empty feeling inside my gut, no appetite, got into bed and just did not want to see or speak to anyone or do anything… for days and weeks.
I say breaking no contact with your Ex-Narc will take you straight back to that day!
Don't purposely go and break your heart again.
Besides, what good will come of it? Will you finally get your answers?
“Breaking no contact with your Ex-Narc will take you straight back to your worst day”
I say nothing good will come of it, and I also say that IF your Ex wants to contact you to reconcile, they know exactly how to get hold of you.
So despite what I have said here and what you have read elsewhere, I know you are thinking, “I will give it some time, and then I will break no contact… because I want him back!”
So why do you want him back?
You deserve better than what he was offering you – he is just an emotional vampire anyway.
However, I know you want him back, and you are longing for him, and you feel you are going to do things differently this time around, etc. (all the things I thought and felt too).
But when you do break No Contact, (and there is a great chance you will – I did), and also if HE breaks No Contact, here is a tip:
Make sure you are ready, emotionally and mentally, for him – you must be strong and be in control of you. The moment he sees or senses a weakness, you are giving control back to him.
Don't let your guard down, stand your ground and make sure you are ready, (whichever contact form it may be in).
I say this because it is absolutely necessary for your sanity and dignity. I don't want you to become a crutch until your Ex-Narc moves on without you again… and he WILL.
Ask yourself if he is worth it. What are the chances he will do this again?
Now act accordingly – either give him that second chance and be prepared to get hurt again, or DON'T respond at all.
You “returning to the fold” is HIS triumph, not yours. Once again, you are just proving his superiority and irresistibility.
He will always test your boundaries to give him the upper hand.
Also, remember no one loves competing more than men because generally, they want what they can't have. So make it hard for him to get you back and KEEP you.
People place a high value on something they have to work for.
Take control, and move things forward in your way, at your own pace, not his.
(Is your Ex a narcissist too? Click here and tell me how I can help (1 min).)
I will admit I miss my ex very much and often think about him, but I am now okay with that.
I am okay with that because I accept the fact that we are over and can never be a couple again.
I will never stop loving him completely – he will always hold a special place in my heart.
I don't know what he is doing now, or what he did a month ago, and it no longer concerns me because he is no longer in my life.
I often wonder what it would be like if we ever DID get back together again. I think it would be like walking on eggshells. I would mistrust everything he told me, I would be coming from a place of love and would need lots of reassurance. But to him, I would be nothing more than a void to be filled until he finds another supply.
And quite frankly, I DON'T want to live like that anymore.
I know it is very, very hard, especially if you loved him with your whole being, (heart and soul), but you have to push through it, and things will get better.
I now take things one day at a time. I don't look too far ahead and try never to look back.
You are special and without question can do better.
I hope you found this heartfelt report about life with (and without a narcissist) helpful and inspiring. My deepest thanks and best wishes to Marce.
If I could sum up this two-part article in just one sentence it would be this:
If it is destroying you, then it's not love, my dear.