I’m thrilled that the extremely knowledgeable Kim Saeed has nominated me for the Narcissist Slayer Award. Kim runs a highly informative site for survivors of narcissistic abuse – please check it out!
Here are my very worthy nominees for the Award. They are doing a great job spreading the word about narcissistic abuse:
> Rules of the Narcissist Slayer Award
1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them.
2. Put the award’s logo on your blog.
3. Write a blog post and share the blog(s) you have chosen- there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required.
4. Inform your nominees on their site.
5. Share one positive thing that you took from your relationship with a Narcissist.
Finding out about narcissism
Narcissism is a personality disorder about which I had no idea, until I escaped my second abusive relationship. Determined never to wind up in another, I started a programme of self-analysis, learning, and research into the dynamics of abuse.
What I discovered knocked my socks off! At last, I had a framework to understand my abusers: Find out more about the characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder in my post, Are you living with a narcissist?
His Royal Highness – the Über Narcissist
My first narcissist was a man I came to call His Royal Highness (never to his face!). We were in a relationship for several years. He was a hugely ambitious surgeon with an exemplary track-record, and he devoted most of his spare time to voluntary work. So far, so wonderful. Of course, I fell for it hook, line and sinker – but it wasn’t until we set up home together that the mask he wore started to disintegrate.
He loved everyone to know how amazing he was – and he was head of his own personal fan club. As top dog, HRH enjoyed scores of followers. It seemed everyone that he ever came into contact with owed him a favour – and that’s how he liked it. His good deeds always had strings attached, which he ruthlessly exploited.
His ‘followers’ acted as chauffeurs, errand-boys, personal assistants and even bodyguards. One to whom he loaned money repaid him with a small business. Others worked for him in various businesses, as virtual slaves. I was no different.
I hand-delivered cooked lunches to him at hospital. At his summons, I got out of bed at 3am to pick up his drunk friends that had run into problems. I looked after the scores of displaced people that he brought home. I helped others to get jobs, I built websites, prepared legal paperwork, and edited medical papers. At the time, I thought his ‘goodness’ was rubbing off on me. It was only later that I realised that he was using me, and that he only ever saw my good deeds as a reflection on him.
My designated role was to be a ‘good girl’ that never challenged him, and who did whatever he decided needed to be done. I was his cleaner, personal secretary, typist – you name it, I did it. I helped him achieve his masters degree, writing his dissertation virtually single-handedly as he was too busy with his other commitments to do so. And, although he earned more than I did – I discovered that, little by little, I was paying most of our household expenses as he was usually short of money. I was never thanked – my dedication to his needs was expected. Why on earth wouldn’t my world revolve around him, anyway?
As time went by, I lost sight of who I was as he increasingly defined my behaviour and monopolised my time. Attempts to get him to understand and respect my needs did not go down well, because HRH was obsessively self-interested. I learned the hard way, not to criticise or challenge him. Here are just four examples:
- When I saw a text exchange between him and a woman friend – full of flirtation and kisses – his response to being challenged was to close his big hands around my throat. That was the only explanation required.
- After I complained that HRH cancelled our plans at the last minute in order to disappear to a city five hours away (the reason why was never clear), he told me he’d hang me from the nearest lamp-post.
- Because I intervened to stop him from beating one of his followers, he hit me in the head three times before carrying on as if never interrupted.
- When I told him I missed him, as he was rarely home – and when he was, we usually had his fans hanging around – he prayed aloud that I’d die in a car crash.
I left him the first time when I had definite proof that he was pursuing women online. Narcissists love to have their ego stroked! His answer was to promise the earth – starting with a holiday in one of the most romantic cities in the world. Just days into our lovey-dovey break, he bawled me out in a crowded coffee shop and pretended he was getting the first flight home (although he really just hid on the other side of the street while I finished my cappuccino). The reason? I asked him who was the (previously unheard of) girl that kept calling and texting day and night. I never did find out.
Anyone that challenged him, or tried to stand up to him, HRH pitilessly destroyed. He would have done the same to me, had I not decided to escape. After I left, I endured about eight months of stalking, as he struggled with withdrawal from his narcissistic supply. He called me night and day, sobbing and begging. He told me he wanted to marry me, to have children with me. He offered to send me on holiday to my dream destination, just so I could think things over. He offered to give me his house, his business… whatever it took.
He visited my friends and family, trying to win them to his cause. Thank God they already knew what he was. Utterly without empathy, he showed up at my beloved grandmother’s funeral – even persuading the undertaker to place his flowers in the funeral hearse. He followed me for three hours down a motorway, trying to discover where I now lived.
Then, suddenly, everything stopped. He had found a new narcissistic supply. Poor woman.
What did I learn?
Although my relationship with His Royal Highness nearly finished me off emotionally, I learned that I was strong enough to leave the man I thought was the best I would ever meet. More than that, I discovered that I was not only able to survive without my narcissist, but that without him I could enjoy living life for me – not as a back-up singer to the main act.
© Avalanche of the Soul, 2013-14 https://avalancheofthesoul.wordpress.com