Broken is a story that is best read Chronologically to start from the beginning – Prologue
This post is a little wandering as I wrote this pretty much over the course of 6 weeks. But here goes anyways. My best effort to piece it all together…
The problem with coming forward with Narcissistic Abuse stories is belief from those who have not experienced it. It is a hard thing to put into words. It is often dismissed because the manipulations are subtle or done in private. And any one particular manipulation can be explained away. It’s not the one manipulation like – trying to make someone jealous – we have all experienced in our lives.
It is the never ending manipulations and gaslighting and that they run slightly deeper. The experience we all have had with the – trying to make someone jealous – is usually a one and done thing because someone feels guilty about it or the consequences are severe. Not with the Narcissist. It will be constant barrage of triangulation.
Hailey wants me jealous and envious of her being with another guy. And if she came back to me. She would want it from the other guy. For her it’s about control and keeping my attention or his even if it is negative. Even beyond that she wants my admiration and love even when any rational person could see that you shouldn’t expect or want that anymore. Not her… she is entitled to it.
But because she wants that she has to keep the manipulations going. As if enough wasn’t done when we were ‘together’. Now she wanted to stay active enough in my life to keep me under control. Until recently when I couldn’t describe why I was being sucked back in. And feeling the emotions all over again. My post in February about how I was feeling. And until then I had been on a steady incline in my healing. But I struggled after seeing her on dating apps and constantly around me.
She did that all to keep me under control for me not to forget her and extract more fuel. She knows that I might miss her and wanted me to know that she could be single at any time. She wants that seed planted. She knew I could be a good source of fuel for a time to come. And gave me validation without risking anything in her current relationship.
And while I know it sounds crazy but that is why she either recommend or didn’t dissuade her new guy from moving in 2 doors away. She saw an opportunity to keep me under control and triangulate indefinitely whilst being in a relationship with someone new and all that new relationship fuel. She could keep her eye on me. When I started looking good and healthy she didn’t want to let that get away. She took action immediately.
But I had already figured her out. And even then it was still difficult to resist. Imagine a person that doesn’t know. But when you do figure it out your first step is validation for what you are experiencing. So you tell people close to you. And they are skeptical. She is just parking what’s the big deal? She is just liking your post? Seems harmless enough? Haven’t you tried ignoring her? These are things I have heard from friends and family.
My only ally is my ability to articulate and explain. I have to connect the dots and tell them I asked her politely not to cross boundaries. Tell them most of what I have told you. And even then it’s a rough sell. They just think it’s a broken heart. But it’s not, I wish it were that simple.
Narcissists don’t leave you with closure, reconciliation of what went wrong. Mostly because nothing on your side caused anything. They just stopped considering you a good supply of fuel. That’s it. How do victims say that to someone even if they knew what ‘that’ (fuel) was. And narcissists will never be held accountable for casting someone aside. But having a relationship ‘end’, more like change, this way when you were in love is so jarring. Plus they move onto new relationships. They are so embedded any lashing out or attempt to hold them accountable will just make you look foolish.
Sharing this experience with someone is hard, many experts in Narcissistic Abuse tell you not to share. That if someone doesn’t understand don’t force it on them. Just yikes! ugh. This is why I continue to tell this story. My heart breaks for people who have gone through this. I know I have. It’s awful.
But many have it worse because there is physical violence or financial ruin. I didn’t experience any of that. Just constant emotional abuse. The fact that I have to even say that saddens me. I and others have to give deference because I ‘only’ suffered emotional abuse. I am even invalidating my own experience because others have had it worse. And it shows you how hard this is to speak about. Even I am gaslighting myself.
But I can assure you all this has essentially been abusive. Defined by a Very Well Mind.. Any act that has Emotional abuse is a way to control another person by using emotions to criticize, embarrass, shame, blame, or otherwise manipulate another person. In general, a relationship is emotionally abusive when there is a consistent pattern of abusive words and bullying behaviors that wear down a person’s self-esteem and undermine their mental health.
It’s time to let the experts speak. If you have time listen to this podcast about Narcissism. And it’s eye opening. Andrea Ownen talks with trauma therapist Britt Frank . Most succinct quote “symptoms of narcissism only show up in friends and family (victims), they don’t come to therapy to get diagnosed for narcissism”.
Dr. Ramani is as good as it gets in understanding Narcissism and it’s effects on Victims. I am sharing some videos of her today (end of post) and she really gives a great 50,000 foot view of this. But will pull some quotes as well.
In Narcissist is the second hand smoke of mental health she describes it as “It’s misunderstood.” “People don’t understand it (victims) even when they are in it.” “It’s like having an illness and not knowing what it is.” And basically using the term second hand smoke that they are turning out victims by the truck load but they are the smokers. But if experiencing the abuse first hand is difficult to understand imagine how hard it is to explain to others.
In Understanding the Narcissist she describes how hard it is even to detect this disorder because it often exhibits no signs of impairment. They are highly functional. So it is hard to convince people of what you are really experiencing. And here is where this can all fall through the cracks… “We don’t diagnose someone based on making other people unhappy.” She goes on to say the diagnosis of NPD is about 1-5%. But says people with Narcissism that are capable of abuse are maybe a coin flip. She back tracks a little on that percentage but you get the point.
She says that Narcissistic abuse is “not a well articulated phenomenon.” “People at the most severe end of this will show signs of PTSD.” She really goes onto say how she identifies people with Narcissism by behaving in patterns of Entitlement, Self Importance, Lack of Empathy, etc. The pretty normal stuff. But the key here is it’s the patterns. The problem with this from a victim’s perspective is all these things need to happen many times before a pattern can be detected. And it’s not like a Narcissist is going to a therapist to expose all their manipulations of people.
For me my abuse was ongoing simply because I have never been able to ‘leave’ the relationship. Neither has Hailey. We continued to communicate non-verbally. She made overtures of her interest in me and was careful not to be too obvious. I show that I am not interested and she punishes me. How? Well she makes sure she spends a truck load of time with the new guy. Seems like she is entitled to do that. But why bring me into the loop. And if I show I am interested she will dangle herself out there some more. And depending on the day maybe we get back together, have sex, or some other third thing. So either way she gets what she wants.
Now is she just doing this all for me?… no. She is doing this all for her. But there are always two people in a narc world and for me I have replaced James’s role. I am the one that has received constant triangulation. So I have become an important component in her and the new guys dynamic. It fuels her seduction while also gives her fuel from me.
This is why I decided to burn it down or make myself radioactive. This was not going away. Since her smear letter came I have seen her maybe 2-3 times. In the same span of time during March-May I would have seen her 12-14 times. Even with the smear she tried to gaslight me one more time on her way out the door. That letter is all you need to know. How willing they are to create an alternate reality while trying to make you feel like shit in the process. Not to mention tell others lies about who you are and what you were to them. Just ugh.
She wants me to rail against that smear. Say it’s not true show her how desperate I am to how important that time was for me. Or call her every name in the book to prove that I am obsessed. Well the direction I went probably wounds her but I don’t care. I don’t care what she says. I just want the space.
But why did I have to burn it down and get a little aggressive approaching her new guy. Because I literally have anxiety to drive around in my town. Never knowing what I might see. I feel like a fool and when you try to tell others what you are experiencing and they politely describe you as foolish. It is just another channel of gaslighting this dynamic causes and it comes from people you want to be supportive.
Any attempt at explaining the narcissist side rationally is assisting the narcissist in gaslighting. Friends and family become what they think are arbiters of reason with the “two sides to the story” approach. But that is the thing with a narcissist there are never two sides to a story. Even when they are being nice they are manipulating. Everything is meant for control and fuel. Even if they give to charity they don’t do it out of the goodness of their heart. They do it because that’s what they think people want to see and for recognition of their generosity.
So this never ended for me I just lost verbal contact. That’s it. Nothing had changed since the moment or that day she said I am sorry the way this ended and you will be fine. I needed to burn it down because I need to rebuild and give myself distance from her and this. It’s awful to think I had to allow myself to be painted as some obsessed jerk to free myself of this. That in November when I politely and lovingly asked for space I would be fighting for it nearly 6 months later.
To trust me is to trust that what I experienced is real. I am more than rational. A Capricorn INFJ. I don’t traffic in surreal or conspiracy theories. And most victims deserve that benefit of the doubt. I don’t want her to be arrested, life ruined, or in the kind of pain she caused me. But I want to be allowed to healed and I have put that ahead of her being humiliated or her relationship being ruined or any of what she now considers “boundaries”.
They will fuck with your life for sport. Just remember how insidious that is when a person tells you about the manipulations, gaslighting, and emotional abuse. Because even fucking with someone’s life for sport is abusive enough in and of itself.