I rarely feel the need to submit reviews on products or websites. But sometimes something, or someone, helps you so much you just want to share and make sure that they know. I wasn’t sure how you accepted people’s stories and interactions with narcissism, so I thought I’d send along a short version so you could a) understand how you’ve helped me, and b) feel free to share it with others.
My story starts right around this time last year, when I started a new job. I met my narc, a new co-worker, immediately, and noticed a little spark between us right away. Within my first month I noticed him pursuing me – the literal mirage of a prince charming – and shortly after we were dating and inseparable. I’d never felt so loved, so happy and so in sync with someone in such a short amount of time. Nothing had ever moved so quickly for me before, so I got wrapped up in what I thought was ‘the real thing’.
Months after we became official, my narc blew me off for our date night. He’d been married before, and texted me that he was getting cold feet and needed to think. I was supportive and gave him his space. I didn’t hear from him for a few days, he avoided me at work, and within a few days, he finally texted me, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you.” He acted like a total jerk at work, and within a week later, decided to check himself into outpatient rehab for alcohol abuse, taking a 28-day leave of absence from work (he hid his alcoholism well, as I wasn’t aware of this either).
The day he left, I found out that I was pregnant. It was the worst news at the worst time that I could ever expect to get. I had to call him and tell him everything to see where he stood with everything. I was shocked when he seemed flat on the phone, and said, “Whatever you do is fine with me.” At the time, I read it as supportive and sweet. But that’s the most illogical reaction I could ever get from an ex-boyfriend…a friend…a co-worker. It didn’t make sense, and I realized I had to handle this situation myself. It was awful. I weighed everything back and forth, alone as my narc was in treatment, and made a decision to terminate all by myself. I kept waiting for him to urgently call me, scared that I would go through with this, or even more scared that his becoming a father could become out of his control. But rather than pick up the phone and call me, he chose to post a selfie of himself on Facebook. True story. Still coming out of this traumatic situation, I tried to not think too much of this, though I found the behaviour unsettling.
27 days later, he came back to work. I hadn’t heard a word from him. Not ‘How are you?’ ‘What did you decide to do?’ (Can you believe it? He didn’t even know my decision and didn’t even care to check in.) No ‘May I help take care of you?’ Nothing. He came back to work scared and cowardly, and didn’t offer me anything. I, on the other hand, felt an immense need to share with him what had happened, thinking that he would be dying to get caught up on a situation that might have been our child. Nothing. I gave him time and space, walked past him in our own hallways, and he skittered away from me. One day I finally walked into his office, cautiously, and asked how he was doing. He looked grateful, and nervous. I told him we needed to talk, and he agreed. We set up a time for coffee later that week, and cautiously started to become friendly. I couldn’t wait for coffee because this situation was traumatic and awful and I felt like I couldn’t handle it alone.
He blew me off.
The next week, I demanded we talk at work, and we did. He was rude, irritable and couldn’t believe I’d come to him with the issue of my pregnancy. When I told him things like, “It made me feel awful that you didn’t check in on me. Offer to help, emotionally or financially.” He propped his feet up on his desk, put his hands behind his neck comfortably and told me, “I’m really sorry you feel that way.”
This is the moment that I knew I was not dealing with someone ‘normal’. I didn’t know what narcissism was at the time, but I definitely understood sociopath-ism.
One week later, he started publicly pursuing a different girl in our office.
I cried, I went to therapy, I was angry. I was sad. I had the support of close friends and managers, and months and months later, I decided I was a survivor, a lucky lucky woman, not a victim. Just like me, every girl before me, and every girl after me, he treated that girl like garbage too. All while he works 100 feet away from me. Sometimes I go over this story in my head and it doesn’t even sound real to me. I never encountered a person in my lifetime that was so horrific, but they exist. The lesson was, and still is, one of the most upsetting things that I would ever experience in my life.
I see my narc five days a week. In meetings, in the hallway, in the lunch room. His lustre has since worn off. Our co-workers knew we dated, but they didn’t know the silent tragedy that happened between us, and I will never let them know. I’ve slowly regained a normal life again, and can say that one year later, I’m happy again (though I do experience setbacks regularly, I am able to handle them just fine.) There isn’t a person in my office that wants to talk to him nowadays. I never even had to badmouth him, he just dug his own grave.
My message that I hope to share to other men, women and survivors by telling this story is that you are better off. Logically, it’s hard to take in for a lot of people. If you’re like me, you treat people with respect, worry about hurting feelings and consider the impact that you have on those and the world around you. So naturally, you expect others to consider this. My message is that it’s them, and not you. If you are like me, and someone walks into your life and destroys it, without so much as flinching, be your own best friend, take control and refuse to let them. You might feel powerless, or like you’re not good enough or that there’s something wrong with you. Let yourself feel those things so that you get them out of your system. Start to follow your gut when you’re treated a certain way and you want to give people the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes, they deserve it. Other times, like all interactions with Narcissists, do not. They care about one thing and one thing only: themselves. This doesn’t reflect on you, and you have to let that sink in. Once it does, it’s like the clouds part and the sun can come out again.
Remember that the clouds always stay in front of the sunshine with a narc, despite what they want you to think. And then think of yourself and how far you’ve come, and thank God that they are no longer in your life. They are probably five victims in behind you, leaving a path of destruction that you couldn’t even imagine directly behind them.
Join me with a sigh of relieve and a sense of gratitude, rather than sadness or emptiness. They are not your problem anymore, and you are free.
Even if one person reads this, I hope it helps as so many people from this site have helped me!