Hey Dummy, HE was the Main Character, not YOU
Happily Never After
Meeting your Narcissist*
He’s charming. He’s attentive. It’s overwhelming, a bit.
But this feels right, it feels familiar, you get excited.
“Finally, someone will love me.”
You’re anxious to please, overly clingy.
You’re filled with relief and eternal gratitude.
“Happily ever after”?
How about happily never after?
You were perfect for him
That feeling of GRATEFULNESS?
Let’s unpack that.
It comes from a place of not feeling like you DESERVE LOVE.
He sees this. He pounces.
You think you found your person.
For a while.
The Man Behind the Mask
Then, once they know they have you, the mask starts cracking. You see the light die out of their eyes.
Do you blame him?
NO. You start troubleshooting, analyzing your own actions.
· Am I too fat?
· Am I lazy?
· Am I asking for too much?
· Am I boring?
· Does he wish he was with someone else?
· Why is it like this?
· Why can’t it be like it was, at the beginning?
Cannibalizing yourself for the relationship
And you double down, triple down, trying harder and harder. You want that feeling back. You need it.
You start working harder, working out, being loyal, trying SO HARD.
You’re bleeding out for him. You’re feeding yourself to him.
There are moments when you think it’s okay. You see flashes of the old him.
It gives you enough juice to keep going. He knows he has to throw you crumbs to keep you a good source of supply.
Because in reality, you’re roadkill.
The Black Hole
Intermittent reinforcement is a bitch. Leaves you the most hopeful and the most disappointed.
The thing is, you’re generating all this energy to feed a black hole. An algorithm.
He can’t feel what you’re feeling. That’s not how his brain works.
You see, you’re assuming he is capable of reflecting, of being self-aware, of CARING. Because YOU ARE.
You may even see his eyes turn that peculiar shade of black that indicates he’s done with you. Serial killer eyes.
Running an old program
What you may not realize yet is that you came pre-programmed for this relationship.
Chances are good that someone else treated you this way, someone important to you.
A parent, most likely. You already know how to erase yourself, to serve, to submit. You know how to be a commodity to someone else.
It’s NOT your fault
You may not be ready to see it. It was never going to work.
I can almost guarantee you that you have no idea how many layers of damage are there, waiting for you to be free of this target on your back that leaves YOU feeling guilty while they waltz off and meet new supply.
They’re busy reinventing themselves to make the new supply feel good, as good as you used to, in the beginning.
You’re left weeping, bleeding, picking up the pieces, numb, ashamed, doubting yourself.
How could anyone else love me? I suck. He was right.
He took the most basic human requirement — LOVE — and twisted it for his own purposes.
You’re not a bad person for believing him, for trying, for being excited that someone chose YOU.
It’s human. You’re human. You need love.
I’ve been there.
A generational cycle
You add kids into the mix, and he picks a favorite. The golden child. The one he uses for supply, attention, adulation. The one he thinks has his best qualities.
You’re too nice to assume the worst. You try not to be hurt that he seems to care more about your child then he does about you. You’re happy they have a good relationship.
But sometimes you have to step in and defend the other child.
The scapegoat child. The one he blames, projects his own shame onto, treats unfairly.
You make excuses, you try to protect.
The family is split along fault lines. It’s been broken since the beginning, but you didn’t realize it. And the pattern is set to repeat.
There’s no fixing. There’s only leaving.
And you have to deprogram everything you believed to be true in order to do that.
Unless he does it first. If you’re lucky, HA, he’ll find a new supply and you’ll be free much more quickly.
Mourning a Ghost
Sure, it hurts. It’s agonizing.
But what’s really the sad part is that it was NEVER real. You are mourning what you THOUGHT you had.
You’re mourning the absence of love. You’ve been doing all the loving this whole time.
What if you could heal and put all that passionate effort and love into YOU?
What if you could fill up with love, so full that it pours into your kids and everyone else who’s hurting?
What if you could truly move on and be happy?
He’s already moved on, trust me.
No More Navel Gazing
Stop doing the postmortem on the relationship. Break the habit of making sure HE’S okay. Stop trying to fix him. He’s gone, all right? And he was never really there. You made him look good for a while, and that’s all he wanted. Respectability, status in the eyes of others. You were a PROP. Not a PERSON.
I know you don’t believe me yet.
But if you’re lucky, you will.
And maybe if you heal, your kids will break the pattern. Maybe they won’t choose someone like him.
Maybe they won’t choose someone like you, who couldn’t love themselves enough to spot the red flags or set boundaries or escape sooner.
Maybe you’ll heal enough to meet a healthy person and to LET yourself be loved without sabotaging it.
Let it be so.
*any gender can be a narcissist — “he/him” used for simplicity