Seeing the Change in Me! :)

Like some of you know, I’ve been seeing Sarge for the last few weeks, and I truly believed, with all my heart, that he was remorseful for his past behavior and was putting in the effort to make changes.  And I saw them.  And I was hopeful.  But yesterday, that hope crashed around me yet again.

OK…this is going to sound crummy, but I know Sarge’s password for his FaceBook account, and I haven’t gotten to the point of trusting him yet.  After 2 bouts of infidelity and the emotional/verbal abuse he put me through, I believe this is a legitimate reaction to my doubts about him.  Soooo…I logged in (and by the way, he has always had access to all of my passwords, accounts, home, etc.  He says he has never used them, but then again, I haven’t given him a reason too.) and read a conversation he had with a friend a mere week ago.  In their back and forth messaging, he told his friend he was on Tinder, had met a woman on social media who he thought was “hot”, and was still not over his ex-girlfriend.  Further, he said he was dating an older woman whose emotional needs were too plenteous to handle.  (And of course, NOTHING positive was said about me.  Nothing).


Heh??  Really??  MY emotional needs are too much for HIM?  After a year of lies, manipulation, abuse, cheating, and gas lighting, MY emotionality is over the top?  AAAAAGGGGHHHHH!  Who the hell does he think is responsible for this?

Further, I’ve had to handle HIS moods as well.  The anger, depression, confusion, anxiety, unpredictability, raging…all of these emotions that stem from his PTSD and childhood.  I’ve also had to go through his changes of meds and bear the brunt of reactions to starting/ending them.  It’s hasn’t been easy for me either.  But of course, that’s OK!!  (Please say that sentence with a very snarky voice!).

When I saw what he had been messaging, it was yet another punch to my gut.  And I reacted as I always have in the past.  With crying and anger (rightfully so, I believe).  But this only lasted for a few minutes.  Really!  Because here’s the epiphany that came to me:  I was simply ‘responding’ in the way of a set pattern, and not actually ‘feeling’ the true emotion of the situation.  And the tears ended.  Just like that.


I called Sarge, during the angrily crying bout because I was furious and wanted to confront him.  After a minute or 2, he hung up on me.  Just like that.  REALLY?!  I took all he had to give me this past year, and he can’t face the emotions stemming from what HE was doing to ME?  That he had been lying…again…and setting up yet another situation in which he wanted to cheat on me?  I was the bad guy for being upset…and HE was the innocent party taking MY abuse?   OOOKKKAAAYYY!  And here’s the most frustrating part of the deal:  he would (in front of me…that was always fun…) listen for hours (literally) to his exes rant and rave over mundane things.  Yet here was, caught in his own lies, and I don’t get the courtesy of ranting a bit myself?  Hmmmmm.  I think I deserved at least that much.

You know, once I asked Sarge if he would forgive me if I ever cheated on him, and he said no.  Heh?!  I forgave him twice!  Yet he acted as if that were his due.  That since I forgave him, the trust and respect I had once had for him would magically come back and he had no other work to set things right.  So what I afforded him twice, he’s wouldn’t be willing to do even once.


Trust is a funny thing.  To have trust in someone is to have confidence in them…in their reliability, in them telling the truth, in their ability and strength (in this case) to change.  Trust is so easy to lose and so very hard to build back up.  It’s like a jigsaw puzzle.  Putting it together can take weeks, but tearing it apart…only seconds.  And to put it back together again takes even longer because some of the pieces are damaged from cramming them in or from the destruction.  How can a person not realize that when you destroy something, tear it up, it’s going to be a long, hard job to put it back together again?  Isn’t that just common sense?

When I was thinking about all of this last night, the one thing that kept running through my mind was that I’m an idiot.  An idiot for believing his words.  For seeing what I thought were positive changes, but what was really just a smoke screen.  And idiot for forgiving him after all he’d put me through.


Forgiveness is a mercy, and since I feel pity for Sarge and all he’s been through as an abused child and then soldier, I felt a deep need to be kind.  To be loving.  To be giving.  Because I believed he would learn to do the same.  And because that’s who I am and I truly love him.  But instead, he treated me like a fool.

Do I regret letting him back into my life?  Nope.  Because I wasn’t ready to learn the lessons only a narc can teach you the first time around.  And sometimes it takes a hell of a lot longer than even that.  But I think I’m ready now.  And the forgiveness, kindness, empathy, and patience is going to be directed towards someone else special in my life.  Me.  And that’s the way it should be.

Prof K ❤



“It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” ~ Rocky Balboa

When my son was in high school, he had a girlfriend and was crazy about her.  She was his first love, and he thought she would be his last.  You see, my son was different than most other young men his age.  He has always been more mature than his peers, and is a very decisive person.  When he makes up his mind about something, that’s pretty much it.  He’s not one to make rash decisions and when he does make a choice about something, it means he’s quite serious about it.  So, when he said his girlfriend was his forever, I believed him as well.  After 2 years, they broke up and my son was devastated.  He is very introverted in terms of his feelings, and I remember him lying on his futon and telling me he just didn’t know what to do about his emotional reaction…his grief.  Because of his (self-proclaimed) lesser sensitivity in other areas of his life, he was gobsmacked at the feelings that flooded him.  At one point, not knowing how to handle this wave, he put his fist through his bedroom wall and I was greatly concerned he would hurt himself as well.


As time has a way of doing, his grief lessened and he began dating again.  He got engaged to a nice young woman who he was in love with, but after a while of living together, they realized they were incompatible and the engagement was cancelled.  My son will be moving home within the next few months from living a few states away (I simply can’t wait!) and obviously, his ex-fiancé will not be coming, even though they are still close.  As he told me about the broken engagement, he did so in a very calm way.  I asked him if he was upset and he stated he was, but the way he has been handling it has been admirable.

This summer, when the grief of Sarge and the abuse I endured came to its’ fullest fruition, I was, of course, heartbroken.  My way of handling the enormous feelings I had was to cry, ruminate, hide myself, seriously consider suicide and was going to be hospitalized until my doctor and counselor helped me avoid that situation through other means.  I, like my son, was at a loss on how to handle the despair I was feeling…along with the emotions tied to the abuse that was present in our relationship.


I talked to my son, or actually cried and tried to formulate words during our conversations, and asked him how he could be doing so well regarding his cancelled engagement.  This is what he said to me:  “Mom…you need to grow tougher skin and not allow yourself to be hurt so badly.  After my high school breakup, I promised I would never let myself get hurt to that degree again.  And I haven’t.”

I thought about this a lot over the next few weeks, and have come to understand that building a thicker wall around my heart is necessary.  After this summer, I simply can’t go through the same again.  So, the construction has started.  I’m learning to see that things Sarge said to me aren’t true.  Just because a person feels a certain way about you, it certainly doesn’t mean that is who you are.


When I was with him, I believed the things Sarge said to me and was also convinced I deserved the abuse he perpetrated on me too.  I believed I was worthless.  Not important.  Just an object that had been used.  I believed I deserved his discards and abusive ways.  I believed his infidelity was because of a lack in me.  I believed issues with his family and ex-wife were my fault.  And on and on and on.

I’m finally coming to understand these things aren’t true.  I do have worth and I’m an important person simply because I’m a child of God.  I’m not an object to be used, but a woman who deserves love and respect because that’s what I bring to a relationship.  I did NOT deserve his discards…I deserved a man who would sincerely talk out problems and work at managing conflict.  I certainly didn’t deserve his abuse, and his infidelity was because of a lack in him.   A lack of boundaries and not being able to see the hurt infidelity causes another.  It was his sexual issue…not mine.  I didn’t deserve the triangulation he used against me with his family, ex-wife, and infidelity partner, and I understand now he was pitting me against them for his own purposes.   And…I believe that no matter what I might have said or done, I did NOT deserve to be caught in the web of a narcissist.

I’m feeling my heart getting stronger and like my son, I’m realizing I will NEVER allow myself to hurt like this again.  Never.  I’m going to be much more careful with my heart, and protect it the best I can.  I know I can depend on me.  I know I’m a valuable person.  I know that I have realized what my boundaries must be.  I know I can toughen up.  And I’m determined to do so.


There’s a lot of negative things Sarge left me with.  But here’s the positive:  he’s strengthened my resolve and has forced me to become a tougher woman whose first responsibility is to herself.  For that, and only that, I thank him.

This is what I know:  we can change, grow, and learn to be more vigilant when it comes to matters of the heart.  We can learn to protect ourselves against toxic people and toughen our resolve.  We can learn new methods of coping and come to realize we are enough as we are, and that we can depend on ourselves fully.  We no longer have to allow a partner to determine how we feel…how we see ourselves…how we react.  How about this?  Let’s start toughening up together.

Professor K

And then there was reality…

I’m sure that many of you who have been in narcissistic relationships have read the books or blog of H.G. Tudor, a self-proclaimed narcissistic sociopath who shares his own methods, thoughts, behavior, and reasons regarding his role in the narcissistic relationship.  I’ve been reading his books and his blog…some of the chapters and entries are difficult to get through since H.G. explains the narcs mind in a cold but honest way.  He doesn’t lessen the methods used by narcs in relationships, and to see a narcs thought processes written so openly is hard to take at times.


In all of the materials I’ve read by him so far, there are 3 things that stand out for me the most:

  1. Narcs don’t love you.  Period.  They simply don’t have the capacity to love so don’t, and never will love you.  When they say they do, they are lying.
  2. Narcs have NO remorse.  None.  IF an apology is given for something, it’s not genuine, but just another move to keep you in the push-pull relationship you are in.
  3. Narcs have NO capability of feeling empathy.  Zero.  IF they ’empathize’ with you, which is quite rare, they are playing yet another part that’s necessary for their fuel supply to remain intact.

According to H.G., victims have no choice but to accept these things as being true in EVERY case of narcissism, or they will NEVER have a chance to recover from their narcs abuse.

Here’s my problem:  When I met hubby 3, he was pretty wild.  He grew up in horrible circumstances:  his dad beat him regularly with a stick/switch that hubby had to get himself, and his mom was extremely neglectful.  Not only did she allow this abuse to happen, she also didn’t leave their trailer for years which made hubby have to be responsible, at a young age, to get his own food, get to school, etc.  In fact, when hubby was only 3, his dad hit him so hard he lost consciousness and his dad had to give him CPR, while his mom watched.  Aside from the horrors of this abuse, hubby says other things were done to him that he will never tell me about…it’s just too painful.  To make his circumstances even more disturbing was the fact hubby’s family was extremely poor.  “Dirt poor.”  When he first moved in with my son and I, he would take the cereal box every morning and hit it on the table a few times before he opened it to pour.  When I asked him why he did this, he explained it was to make sure any bugs or roaches were at the bottom of the box.  He often referred to himself as “white trash” and as a youth, as we all often do, he lived his label…incorporated it into who he imagined he was.  Consequently, he was in a lot of trouble through middle adulthood and even served a year in prison.

When I met hubby, I felt an instant spark.  And after spending some time together, that spark turned into a fire, and despite his previous 5 (!) marriages (I don’t know if my parents even know this…but 2 of the marriages were to the same person so I consider it 4) and background, I still chose to marry him.

Prior to me, his marriages had been full of drama, addictions (on the part of some of the wives), and often times, abuse.   And, because this was all he had known, our first 2 years were pretty bad.  Once, when we were first married, he threw a heavy wooden box at my face, and another time, he kept me in our basement for a few hours while he accused me of things and berated me.  When I tried to get back upstairs and away from this, he physically stopped me from doing so.  And I know what you are saying:  “Why the hell did you stay?!”

Because of this:  I saw good in hubby.  I truly did (hey, I’m an empath…that’s what we do).  And when hubby would lost control and do something, he would be genuinely remorseful and promise never to do it again.  And he didn’t.  What I described above happened only those 2 times…he NEVER threw anything else at me, and NEVER trapped me or physically prevented me from doing something.  He would still lose his temper, but it would be directed AWAY from me….once he threw a chair and broke it in our kitchen, but it was purposefully thrown at the wall and away from where I was standing (not that this makes it right, but the point is, he didn’t hurt me again).

OK.  So what’s the point?  Hubby realized that I was different…I didn’t have any addictions, I didn’t like to fight just for the sake of fighting, I wasn’t using him for anything, there was no agenda.  I simply loved him for who he was, and he started to accept that and reflect it back to me.  Despite his past, hubby changed.  He softened up…he learned to control his anger…he worked VERY hard at understanding the WHY behind his actions, and loved it when we would talk about the psychological aspects of his past situations.  He considers himself to be a bit of a psychologist too!

Hubby 3 is an intimidating man.  He used to be a weight lifter and his body is still very muscular.  He lived his life around motorcycles, and joined a nationally known bike club (which ultimately led to our marriages demise.  It took up so much of his time and when I asked him to leave the club for me, he couldn’t do it.  The biker life is just too much in his blood as opposed to family life and I’m starting to understand that now).  But despite his ‘scary’ presence, he became a really good, sweet, kind man and we had lots of great years together.


He bought me a finger puppet one day, a mouse with purple ears, and we named her ‘Cookie’.  We took Cookie everywhere…we have pics of her in front of Picassos’ and in the St. Louis arch!  She’s a well traveled little puppet!  So, hubby went from this ‘monster’ of a man at first, to a caring, funny man who would put on finger puppet shows for my son and I.


I fixed him.  Well…I don’t want to selfishly take credit for his work, so let’s say I gave him the chance and the foundation to make changes and he embraced it.  Our divorce will be final in a couple of weeks, but we talk multiple times a day and say how much we still love each other.  He and I both say we’re the loves of each others lives, and we will never lose our bond.  Hubby can love so much…can empathize (when my nephew died who he had only met on a few occasions, he still cried with me and hurt along side me since he knew how devastated I was)…and can show remorse.  We still apologize to each other for things that were done during our marriage, and trust me, I know I was no angel!

How does this tie in to Sarge and what H.G. talked about?  I thought I could do the same for Sarge.  I didn’t realize at first he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder or even know about the seriousness of the abuse that occurs in such relationships.  I knew early on Sarge had a tough life, so once again, with love and support, he too could change.  He was so wonderful during the idealize stage…so I knew there was good in him.  After the first few incidents, I was positive things would change.  Because I had seen a metamorphosis in hubby, who actually suffered more than Sarge in his life.  I was certain Sarge’s love was genuine, and therefore he’d be able to show the remorse and empathy he had ‘repressed’ if only he had a chance.  And then I got so entwined in his narcissistic web, I couldn’t admit to myself that the changes weren’t going to happen.


I still have trouble doing that.  To be used or hurt in a relationship is one thing.  And hubby and I did this to each other at times.  But I always knew he loved me.  Really loved me and accepted me on a level no one else ever has.  Knowing that Sarge never loved me while still using me and hurting me is almost impossible for me to comprehend.  To realize everything was a lie…an act…and that I was an object fulfilling his selfish ‘supply’ needs is devastating.  I had the foundation of love for him, but he had none for me.  H.G. says that victims of narcs are in love with an illusion.  A ghost.  The love is NEVER real no matter how unique you think your relationship is.

What a horrible thing to acknowledge.  All of my physical pain, psychological manipulation, emotional battering, and financial losses are from a person that cared nothing for me.  A person who saw me as an object.  A person who simply can’t do any different regardless of the relationship.  I’m to the point where I’m accepting these issues to be true, but the emotional pain of that acceptance is pretty bad.  Above anything, us empaths want love.  Because that’s what we give.  And when we have given our all to an empty shell, we feel the failure of our ability to make things better…different.  Like we’re used to doing.


This is what I know:  people without NPD can make positive and dramatic changes in their behavior and lives if they choose too and do the work required.  But narcs?  They can’t.  No matter how much we love them, care for them, or do for them, they are always going to be what they are.  People who can’t love you.  Can’t feel for you.  Can’t be sorry for what they’ve put you through.  We need to understand the illusion of what they created, and somehow, let that illusion go free.

Professor K



“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.” ~ Edgar Allan Poe

Being a psychology and sociology professor, I understand the importance of both nature and nurture.  Nature is our biological inheritance and how our genes are affecting our behavior.  Nurture is environmental and says we are more influenced in our behavior by things that happen to us in our environment.  When this concept was first introduced in in the mid 1800’s, there was a debate as to which one of these is the basis for our behavior and was coined nature VS. nurture.  Now of course, we know that both our genes and our environment affect us with the only question being which is more influential in our lives. I believe (and this is just my personal theory) nurture is much more influential than nature.  I believe we’re born with a temperament but that we are ‘socialized’ into our personalities which in, of course, our behaviors reside.  I believe experiences are extremely significant and can leave lasting outcomes.


So, why am I lecturing you today?  My friend and I were talking at school this morning, and we were talking about the hold Sarge has on me and how I’m struggling with being able to go no contact again.  As we were pondering this, she said this to me:  “Professor K, when are you going to stop using the REASONS for your co-dependency with Sarge as EXCUSES for your behavior?”  Wow.  This really intrigued me and I have been thinking about it all day.

First, I know that my being an empath is probably biological…like my eye color.  It’s just the way I’ve always been…as if it were bred into me.  But, when I start looking at why I can’t let go of Sarge…why I cling to men who are toxic…why I can’t accept what is in front of me, I have to go back to my past, and when I do, I see a pattern evolving:

  • Boyfriend #1 – dumped me
  • Prom Date #1 – dumped me (the day after the prom…hmmmmmm)
  • Psychologist – sexually abused me then simply acted like I didn’t exist when I began to question his behavior
  • Hubby #1 – dumped me
  • Hubby #2 – dumped me
  • Hubby #3 – dumped me

Hmmmmm…see the pattern?  I have NEVER ended a relationship on my terms and all of these dumpings, I believe, have made me want SSSOOOO bad to have a truly successful relationship.  The commitment.  Lasting love.  Security knowing that I don’t have to ‘be’ a certain way to be accepted by my partner.  I want to be needed back.  Wanted back.  And when things get tough, I want to be able to come together, not pull apart.


When Sarge and I met, the love bombing was intense.  He was everything I had wanted and needed in my life.  We had so much fun doing things together, talking, laughing, cuddling, etc. and I was put on a pedestal which made me believe I was his dream as well.  He made me feel as if there were no other woman in the world for him.  Just me.  With all my foibles and all my faults.  He was perfect for me and accepted me for who I was.  It was an awesome feeling!  And I genuinely believed the relationship was going to be my happily ever after.

Of course, you know what happened next.  The criticisms.  The contemptuousness.  The manipulation.  The triangulation.  The infidelity.  The emotional abuse.  The physical abuse.  It was all there.  Yet I welcomed him back after every discard and never lost my emotional connection to him.  I’m struggling with that right now.  Every text I read from him, (and YES…I AM going to block him…I promise), brings that emotional connection back.  Just like that.


So the question is WHY?  Why is that connection so powerful for me…for all of us who have been in such relationships?  For me, I see my past ‘patterns’ and to be brutally honest, being ‘dumped’ that many times by men I truly loved, makes me feel as if they just threw me away.  And what do you throw away?  Trash.  OK.  There it is.  I feel like trash.  Like I’m not ‘good enough’ to be in a relationship.  That I can just be tossed aside while these men move on in their lives.

Is that why I stay?  Because I simply can’t stand the thought of being thrown away again?  Are my past experiences of being discarded (nurture) paired up with my natural tendency to be an empath?  Who can blame me for hanging on?  Who can blame me for being co-dependent on this man?  Look at what I’ve been through…of course I’ll have hope for ANY relationship I might be in to be successful.  Because, in all my 50 years, I haven’t had that.  Period.

What’s that you’re saying?  That Sarge is toxic?  I know!  BUT…and there’s always a ‘but’…it was PERFECT in the beginning.  EXACTLY what I wanted!  I ache for that man who made me feel so accepted and loved and cherished and listened too.  He’s in there.  Somewhere.


But he’s not.  He’s a narcissist.  He will never love me as a woman, but only as an object fulfilling his supply needs.  The love bombing was fake, but he did it so damn well.  So well in fact, that I can’t let go of the dream of getting it back in a sincere way.

But narcissists don’t change, do they?  I HAVE to accept this.  After I whined to my friend at school (and bless her heart for listening), we began to e-mail.  And this is what she reminded me of (word for word):

  • He’s already put you $21,000 in debt.
  • He falsified a title and basically STOLE another motorcycle from you.
  • He gave you HPV, DAMMIT!!!!!
  • He CHOKED you and didn’t stop until his son walked in!

“Come on, Profess K! GET MAD!!!!!  Say ENOUGH!!!!!”

And I know I need too.  I have to come to peace with my past ‘dumpings’ and not let those dictate my behavior in future relationships.  I have to STOP using the excuse of my past experiences and look at this situation rationally and for what it is.  I have to STOP saying:  “Well…I feel bad about myself because these guys dumped me so I can’t help but cling to Sarge.”  Bullshit.  I CAN help it.  I can use the past and learn from it…not hide behind it.  So what those men dumped me.  It was their loss.  It doesn’t make me trash.  It makes me 1 of millions who have been dumped in their lives.  It’s gonna happen.  I married my first hubby way too young…we were doomed from the start.  Hubby 2 and I just got too complacent in our marriage and by the time we sought help, it was simply too late.  Hubby 3 walked out, but he’s still in my life.  We talk everyday and I’ll always love him dearly.  High school relationships?  OMG!  I can’t believe those ended!!  And that psychologist.  He was a predator…another sociopath and his abuse was HIS problem…I was the victim.  I was innocent.  Him ‘dumping’ me was the best thing that ever could have happened.  The abuse needed to end.

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Wow!  I’m reading back through this and can’t believe what just came out.  I AM NOT TRASH.  I DON’T NEED A MAN TO MAKE ME HAPPY.  I DON’T DESERVE WHAT SARGE DID, AND I WOULD BE A FOOL TO EVEN THINK ABOUT IT AGAIN.  NO MORE EXCUSES.  I’m going to be in charge of my future…not sinking in the past.  And you know what?  Not always feeling as if I’m drowning is going to feel good.  Damn good.

This is what I know:  you can’t let your past dictate your future.  There comes a time where you have to take responsibility for YOUR actions and force yourself to forge a new path.  If not, those people that hurt you are going to continue doing so forever.  And no one deserves that.

Professor K




Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome

Yep.  Believe it or not, there is an affliction affecting people who are in narcissistic relationships and it’s eerie to realize how much you’ve been damaged by the narcissist without consciously knowing truly what was going on.  For me, when I began to read about this, I kept looking at the symptoms and saying “YES…YES…!”, that’s me!!  And then when I shared these with another friend who had been in such a relationship, he too was able to relate to each and every one of these characteristics.  (This is also referred to as Narcissistic Victim Syndrome…although the term ‘victim’ makes me feel as if I’m going to always be powerless against my narcissist…where as saying ‘Abuse Syndrome’ puts the blame on the narc because they are the ones inflicting the abuse on us.)

According to Athena Staik (,  the abuse sufferers will do the following because of the narcs language and behavior:

  • Question their sanity – yep…there were many times this summer where I truly thought I was going crazy.  I still have those moments, particularly since I broke the no contact rule and am pretty much starting over from square one.  (By the way, he never responded to my heartfelt e-mail…why am I not surprised…and why am I so upset because of that?) 😦
  • Mistrust those who support them, i.e., family, parents – my mom and son tried to tell me about Sarge and their own observations of our relationship, but I didn’t listen.  I truly believed, and admittedly sometimes still do, that Sarge is misunderstood and my family just can’t see how great he can be.  Yikes.
  • Feel abandoned, as if only the narcissist cares – because our families get frustrated with us, they often pull away.  I know this happened to an extent with me, but I also pulled away because I didn’t want to hear what they had to say.  At times, I felt totally reliant on JUST Sarge…and no one else.
  • Feel worthless – oh yeah.  I’m overwhelmed by how quickly I went from confident Professor to feeling so worthless I was willing to put up with hurtful behavior that I truly don’t feel I would have tolerated from anyone else in a ‘normal’ relationship.  That’s scary to me.  How FAST my self-esteem plummeted.
  • Give themselves no credit for their hard work – check
  • Doubt their ability to think or make decisions – double check.  For some reason, I am second guessing everything!  I feel like since I was so blind to what was happening, I can’t trust my own judgement anymore.  And I’m worried that means it could happen again with someone else.
  • Disconnect from their own wants and needs – what are those?  I have needs and wants?  Really?  I’ll never forget this:  Sarge and I were in bed sleeping, and I awoke from a terrible dream.  I nudged him and asked for a hug.  He said this, “I gave you one yesterday…you don’t need one again.”  And you know what?  I never asked for another.
  • Give in to whatever the narcissist wants – I did NOT want to sign for Sarge’s motorcycle.  He had literally left me the night before.  I was at my schools graduation and we were texting funny messages throughout.  But when I got home, he and his stuff were gone!  Not a trace left.  He was moving out while texting me as if we were OK.  I was blindsided.  But, he came back the next day, and we looked at motorcycles.  I signed because I thought it would ‘bring him back’ and solidify OUR commitment to one another.  Didn’t work.  Lesson learned.
  • Devalue their contributions – check
  • Obsess on their faults or mistakes – I go back in my mind all the time, trying to figure out what I did wrong.  I’m JUST now starting to force myself to realize that no matter what I would or wouldn’t have done, he is and will always be a narcissist who will abuse his partner(s).  I have to remember…it’s not my fault.  That’s becoming my mantra.
  • Ignore or make excuses for narcissist’s actions – I’m still doing this!!  Just read my last post!  I STILL wonder if his PTSD and childhood are the reason for his behavior.  I still defend him to an extent.
  • Spin their wheels trying to gain narcissist’s favor – I can’t tell you (but if you’re reading this, you are probably relating because of your own experiences), but I did anything and everything I could to show Sarge I was in this for the long run.  In fact, I did things I can’t even write about.  That I’m ashamed of.  That I would never do again.  That make me feel humiliated when I look back on them.
  • Obsess on how to make the narcissist happy – I tried money, ‘things’, love, affection, trips, activities, food…and the list goes on.  ANYTHING I thought would work, I tried just because I wanted Sarge happy.  It didn’t matter if I wanted any of this…it mattered to me if he did.
  • Idealize the narcissist – yep.  And I still do.  I still think he’s a smart, funny, ‘good’ (DEEEEEEEEEEEP inside) man.  And I don’t know when, if ever, that will change.

Whew.  One person, who YOU love, can cause all this pain, confusion, and self-doubt.  And it doesn’t take long for it to happen.  Unfortunately, many people believe that some of these symptoms will be life-long.  I’m hoping that’s not the case.  But, as I think about where I am in terms of my self-worth, my perception of my own faults/mistakes, my conditioned (brainwashed?) behavior to focus only on the partner and not on myself, these things may be very difficult for me to reverse.  I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating:  I’ve had my heart broken a few times.  But narcissists break your spirit…they take a piece of your soul…they destroy you in a way that is different from any other relationship out there.

This is what I know:  narcs are predators and their prey suffer the consequences in so many ways.  Unfortunately, these ways aren’t recognized until they are so much a part of the relationship, they are virtually impossible to change at that point.  It’s as if a compulsion takes over…and we can’t help continuing our interaction which only serves to worsen our condition and a toxic cycle is then in place.  I want that cycle to stop.  Now.