What is narcissism? Media today has people convinced that the term is used for those of us that seem to be too caught up in their physical appearance and vanity, and the outer image that they try hard to portray to the world. However, it goes much deeper than that. True narcissism (and the worst kind) are those people who to the outside looking in, seem perfect without even trying.
These are the master manipulators; these are the people that have the wool pulled over your eyes. They can be the kind neighbour next door that brings you tomatoes from his garden, or even the volunteer to the community who always seems to lend a helping hand for nothing in return. This is because the worst kind of narcissist is the one who puts on a show to mask the true person that are trying to cover up — they are the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They set out with a specific goal. They zero in on their prey, pounce, and in the blink of an eye, they will not hesitate to leave you lying on the ground wounded and alone. Narcissism runs deeper than physical appearances, it is a personality trait.
They can be your coworkers, your parents, your boss, and they can be your lover.
I was the perfect target for a narcissistic man. My marriage just ended and I found myself alone and vulnerable and with a need to be loved. I took out all my pain on fitness. All my anger, my guilt for ending a marriage with a three-year old boy in tow, and my self-worth went out the window, but fitness was my outlet to create a strong outer shell to cover up how weak I felt on the inside. I did not feel good about myself, and I struggled to love who I was. Then I met him.
You see, he did and said everything right. I was his “dream girl”, I was his “12 out of 10”, he liked that I was independent and confident, and that I trusted him. After all, I was being “love bombed”. Love bombing is the first stage of manipulation and control to a narcissistic man. He is assessing you, mirroring you, and reflecting back to you what you want to hear. The reason why he/she is doing this is because the goal is to gain control and put you in a dependent and vulnerable state. He will tell you things about his past to make you feel sorry for him. After all, he must have changed if he has admitted his past indiscretions, right? Wrong. That’s part of his tactic. “He must really like me”, “I feel like I’ve known him forever”. You’re now essentially being blinded from reality. And the reality will begin to manifest itself in due time.
Having all this attention, I started to feel good about myself again. I introduced him to my son, and they got along so well. He is the reason I’m out of my dark state; he’s a gift from God. He is my soul mate.
A narcissistic man (or woman) is a sociopath that will often target someone who has needs that need to be fulfilled. Loneliness is one of them.
Before I knew it, he was staying at my place regularly. People began to question his motives due to his past indiscretions, which he made a point of letting everyone know about “how much he had changed”, and I defended him. Particularly to my sister who called him out and saw through his bullshit a few months into our relationship. She even sent me the article “30 Red Flags You Might Be Dating a Narcissist“, in which he scored an astonishing 25/30, and I still didn’t listen. I defended him, and told her she was dead wrong about him. I refused to believe that I was being set up to be emotionally brought down by a man who did this to every woman before me, and probably after me as well. I let him in, I felt sorry for him. He’s just misunderstood, and he will pay me back every dime that I lent out too. I was swept off my feet. Life was great, and 8 months into our relationship we were engaged.
Well guess what came next? A compete flip of character. Now in the blink of an eye, a relationship with a narcissistic man leads to the next phase — the “devaluation” phase. In my case, this shift was overnight, but it can be gradual. Suddenly the attention was gone and replaced by silence, and verbal abuse. One evening in bed he turned to me and said that I was the most “insignificant woman he’s ever dated.” It came out of nowhere, and I will never forget it. I was called stupid on a regular basis, bitch, and even the dreaded “c” word. The sweet texts stopped that I was accustomed to receiving in the middle of the day, and I started to suspect that he might be involved with someone else. I was now knocked down to state where I felt so weak in my own self-worth that I racked my brain thinking it was something that I did. Was I not smart enough, pretty enough, fun enough? Was I not good in bed? Was it that I wasn’t rich? Was I not successful enough?
Ladies and gentlemen, what you need to know, is that narcissists become bored easily and now the void begins to emerge again. This is why a narcissist will never find true happiness in relationships, unless they seek some serious deep-rooted therapy. Once the void is there, you are no longer worthy to a narcissist because they want constant perfection. They start the hunt all over again…which is what happened in the next stage. The “discard” stage.
Now I became the woman I never wanted to be. I was constantly on edge wondering if he was cheating (and found out later that he was). I was demoralized, and I was discarded. I was confused because I couldn’t understand what was happening. I went from an independent, self-assured woman, to a shadow of my former self. I began to cling, and literally beg for his attention. Even after he moved his stuff out of my house, and he told me he slept with other women from dating sites, I STILL wanted him back and even slept with him a few more times. I was clinging on to him; trying to get that old feeling back. Sleeping with him was the only way that I got his attention at this point, and the next day I would be told to get lost again.
Then one day something inside me snapped. You see ladies, I realized that the man who I fell in love with never existed. I was in love with a fictional character. The real man was now standing before me, in all his tattered glory. He can fool the outside world, but I got to know the man behind the mask.
I am a strong woman. I am worthy enough. I will not sleep with a man just to get him to momentarily pay attention to me again. I have friends that value me, a little boy who calls me “Wonder Woman”, and men that want to treat me like the lady I am. I will not walk on eggshells around a man ever again, I will not be called a bitch, a whore, and a c— ever again.
And just like that, I was over him.
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