the narcissist she loved with all her heart…

The narcissist she loved with all her heart. She loved him because he was amazing. He was different. He lived a life on his own terms and did not allow anyone to tell him differently. She was attracted to him. To his silence, to his mystery, to his aura. 

He showered her with simple meaningful gifts and heartfelt notes that she kept in her office to get her through her day. He told her she was the most beautiful girl in the world, that she was his soulmate, his perfect match, the girl he’s had a crush on for years, the girl he waited for until he couldn’t anymore. 

He love bombed her with just enough to make her fall head over heels. But then again, it didn’t take much for her to be swept off her feet. He probably knew that about her. And she fell. She fell hard. 

All the beautiful promises. It sounded so good to hear that he only wanted her. He gave her enough to keep her keen. 

And once he had her, that love bombing turned into a disastrous explosion. She looked around her and realized that the pedestal he had put her on, wasn’t what she thought it was built on. It was fake like a prop from a movie set. Easily moved around, even easier to tear apart. 

She went from being the perfect love of his life to the least important aspect of his life. Absolutely nothing she did was ever good enough to be appreciated and respected, yet he would still expect nothing less of her. She gave more while he gave less and less in return. She ended up depleted emotionally, mentally, spiritually and financially and then got blamed for it. 

All that effort stopped cause he knew he had her. Her feelings never mattered anymore to him because he only wanted his feelings to be heard and cared for. Her tears that once used to hurt his heart, was now a trigger for his disappearance and punishments. 

She wanted that feeling of him just loving her again. She tried harder. No matter what he did or said to her, she still just wanted him and his love. But just like an addiction, it was destined to be fatal. 

The highs were short lived and far apart. 

He was unable to love anyone or anything except himself. He made promises that he never meant to keep. He talked about a future he knew would never happen. He knew he was inflicting pain and didn’t care. 

He had a darkness of soul like she had never seen. His eyes turned cold and dark and his speech ugly and painful. He drove her to near madness, and then laughed at her pain, leaving her broken and bleeding. 

Despite the harm and mess he made, his mask remained perfectly in place. A lifetime of practice and enablers to help him, no doubt. 

The light he took so much pride in shining was merely another avenue used to strengthen his ego and gain more of the power he chased. He lured her in, devoured her whole and then eventually spat her out. A cruel punishment he convinced himself she deserved for being weak enough to love him. 

Should she have had enough self esteem after months of subtle abuse to still have her own opinions, share about her feelings being hurt, question his actions and enough energy to express her wants and needs; hell hath no fury. Smear campaigns based on the intimate secrets she entrusted to him were not off limits. Lies and exaggerations told to turn her closest friends against her. Discrediting and humiliation while throwing her under the bus. And sentences after sentences of endless insults to get under her skin, only to be called “crazy” when she had heard enough. 

And like she didn’t suffer enough, he would come back as though nothing had happened with nonsensical messages like “meow” or “hey lets play a game online”. She’ll either be too exhausted to start the pain all over again by bringing up the fight or just simply relieved the punishment is over, that it’s swept under the rug… until the next time. 

Cause if she had reacted or remained rightfully angry or upset, should she have attempted to discuss her feelings, she would once again be called “crazy” or “over-reacting”. She would have had her valid pain minimized and talked over until it was pointless to even try. 

Should his cruelty break her completely and she screams or cries or yells back out of sheer frustration and self preservation, suddenly that is all that will be discussed. Her behavior. Never his. A talking point that he will repeatedly use against her in all future fights. And even then, her reaction would be twisted and exaggerated to the point that he now claims victim and she ends up apologizing to him.

He would demand respect without giving it to her himself. Any argument or outburst, he would meticulously gaslight her and throw all blame. Whatever role he played or contributed to the dispute would be brushed to the side cause it was not of importance. How easily he would turn into this small defenseless, innocent victim despite being very proud of being this strong indestructible man that no one can mess with on any given day just to get the apology he felt he deserved at all cost. Any disrespect or hurt she caused him, and she would have had to climb mountains, back and forth everyday to yell her sorrys before he even deemed it worthy to be accepted. But his apologies had to be accepted simply because he said it once. Not accepting his insincere apology, meant going against what he wanted. Most importantly, his bad behavior and disrespect would go unnoticed just like how he wanted it to.

Trying to explain her feelings, he saw as an attack on him. And that meant it was time to go to battle and for the best man to win. Paragraphs after paragraphs, trying desperately to get through to him but he would pick what he wanted to respond to, dismiss the rest and attack back to simply “win”. He had to “win”. Recognizing his flaws would have made him less than perfect. Being apologetic would have make him less of a man. Trying to listen to understand would have made him weak. There was no backing down for him. Having the presence of his family and friends got him going even more. He couldn’t understand that there was a time a place for everything. Not when he had an audience at his disposal to use to degrade her and “win”. No matter who he was dealing with. His mind was his own worst enemy.

Her head spun so sideways from being afraid of his next rage or sudden disappearance. The lighting bolt switch from devoted love to intense, vindictive disgust for seemingly no reason. Her sense of self became almost non-existent. It was at her most vulnerable and lonely times, where he would come in for the kill, disappearing for days to weeks, but not before making sure to let her know that she deserved all of it. 

But she was a forgiver. She didn’t know how to give up on people she loved with all her heart because she believed the good in those she loved. She loved who he was when he was kind and sweet and loving. She remembered him as that guy on their first date and she had hopeless faith that he could be that guy again. She loved who she knew he could be. But she came to realize that she had no idea who he was anymore. Maybe she never did.  It was until she was walked on so many times, she had no choice but to let go of those who burned holes in her heart. 

She wished this could mean as little to him as it does to her. She wished she could brush the rubble of that relationship off her shoulders and keep dancing. She hasn’t mastered that grace yet, but she gets closer everyday. No matter how many months she goes on ignoring his messages, some nights she yearns to hear them. Some nights are raw and the words get in. That’s how badly she wanted to believe him. Where she has questioned her sanity, her desperation to be loved, to be known, to have a partner, to prove to him that she’s not this dark evil mad crazy person he’s told her she was, along with anyone who still believes him that she is. 

The problem with falling in love with a narcissist is that you never know he’s one until it’s too late. Until you’re already broken. She had no idea what she was getting herself into. She had no idea how to get out. She had no idea she was getting herself into a game with a player she couldn’t outplay. And now even after the game is finished, she still lived with the consequences of him. He destroyed her over and over, every time she tried to get things back to where they once were. 

The love she felt, she couldn’t just shut off cruelly, the way he had done so easily time and time again. She understood him in ways he thought she didn’t. And instead of letting her in to help and grow together, he played with her heart strings and pushed her further away. So now a part of her still feels deeply for the sad little boy inside him – the one who throws tantrums and hurts people before they can hurt him. But there’s nothing anyone can do to help that little boy and she couldn’t hold him close anymore. 

What she’s finally learning is that she doesn’t owe him anything. That what she needs to learn, is to give herself the love she swam so hard upstream to win from someone who didn’t have it to give it to her in the first place. She decided that she didn’t want to play his game any longer. She didn’t believe the half hearted tearful stories he told of remorse. When the only changes were the gray in his hair and the months on the calendar. She built herself back into someone he would never have the honor of getting to know.  Freedom began with her facing reality, accepting her responsibility, admitting the truth of who he had been to her and letting him go.

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Nikku Sandhu

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