A Narcissistic Apology? You Tell Me.

0027E297-54C5-44B5-9DA1-47DB2589A7DE

Surprisingly, in my ongoing relational dilemma with Kari, there is yet another piece to add to the puzzle.  We unexpectedly and suddenly stopped seeing each other 10 days ago (in the middle of a vacation that was going well no less).  This is after 2 previous and very discomforting breakups in the last 2 years.

I am still desperately attempting to conclude if Kari is yet another sufferer of Narcissistic Personality Disorder that I have allowed to enter my life.  Part of me certainly doesn’t want her to be for at least 2 reasons, 1) I thought I had learned enough about the disorder following the final departure of my narcissistic ex-wife that I wouldn’t ever fall into the trap of another narcissist again, and 2) I quite enjoyed having someone attractive in my life to do things with.

No matter, I received an unexpected email from her the night before last (after no contact for 8 days) at 12 midnight.  The email said:

”Hi John (I’m inserting a fake name here).  I’m sad that things went so south the last time we were together.  I would like to see you and talk about things if you want to.  Even if we decide not to be together/together, I hope that we will be friends.  I love and miss you a lot.  Kari”

So first the good – I was glad to receive anything since being Co-Dependent, my mindset was that she wasn’t thinking about me at all.  That’s about it for the good stuff.

6E1ABE21-1E33-4B9A-A7A9-946E6B6DF6CA

I had issues come to mind regarding the email immediately.  The first thoughts were why at midnight, and why an email versus a text?  The second thing I thought about was that nowhere in the email was there any kind of apology or any acceptance of a mistake or wrong doing on her part.  That is par for the course as I have never, not once, heard her say she was sorry.  And what is the deal with being friends?  That is not the first time that has come up and is something that she said the last time we were having difficulty.  Is it so she can maintain me on the side when she needs help with something requiring a truck, or maybe she needs a little hook up one night?  I don’t work very well in the post-lover friendship thing.

The final statement is it’s own discussion.  In over two years (with well over a year of that spent in a dating relationship), she has NEVER penned the words “I love you”.  She has only said it a handful of times and, even then, it is typically “love you” minus the “I”.  I will even set her up for it when we are somewhere, when I will look in her in the eyes and clearly say “I love you”, and she will just sit there with a little smile on her face and give me no response whatsoever.

81F4B081-D11B-4BD0-8CE0-45FF9352C7B0

She “misses me a lot”?  I would really like to ask her just what it is that she is missing, as I really wouldn’t know.  Is it the fancy dinners, the back rubs, the boat rides, the trips?  I would suspect it is simply having someone to keep her busy so she doesn’t have to think about how empty her life is.

No matter how resolute I am sounding, I am also struggling.  There are things about her where I do indeed feel sorry for her, but maybe that is the co-dependent me wanting to help yet again.  What if I am off base, that she isn’t a narcissist?  But then I start to think about how many times she has purposely entered drama into our relationship, usually in a manner that makes me feel bad about myself.  As much as I would like to overlook those things, including ghosting me for nearly 3 months, departing from my life 3 times now without any seeming issue (initially at least), it does make me want to make it stop.  My mind wants to get “us” to a good place, to a place where these things don’t happen, but I am also smart enough to know at this point that history indicates that isn’t going to happen.

E8C38062-9CDD-465A-A4EA-EF9114177B5E

I haven’t responded to her and, at this point, I don’t have any intention or plan to.  Surely, I want to, but I also expect that if we did “talk about things” like she stated, the “talk” would end up being about all of the things that I do wrong, that I need to fix, while deflecting any wrong doing or needed changes on her part.  I can only imagine what would happen if I suggested that she start paying for some things, not even half, but just some things.  It’s bad that I even have to be afraid of broaching such a subject.

So, the saga continues, but so does the quietness on my side.  I’m exhausted and don’t even want to think about it anymore.  If there was an “I’m sorry” in that email, would it make a difference?  It might, but there’s not, so that tells me all that I need to know for now.

Advertisements

I Thought I was Done with Narcissists! Not So Much.

0E41EE64-8E91-458C-A3B0-605591655113

Well, I have been doing a lot of thinking.  I have been thinking in combination with pouring over my old posts as well as reading through my personal journal entires over and over for the past few days.  As a result of a comment made to my last post (thanks DK!), I have come to the realization that I thought I knew so much about narcissism that I wouldn’t have to deal with it ever again.  Apparently, I was wrong.

It has been over a week now since I had any communication with my now apparently ex-girlfriend Kari (also referred to as Suzy in some of my earlier posts).  We had a disagreement last week (initiated by her for reasons that I have yet to figure out, although it does make more sense now as you will see).  A little over a week ago following the disagreement, I sent her an “I love you” goodnight text, and she essentially sent me an “I don’t like you, goodbye” text.  I didn’t respond to it, and there has been no communication since.  Oh, and this is the 3rd time in 2 years that she has vanished for reasons that I really didn’t understand.

Interestingly enough, my narcissistic ex-wife vanished 4 times before she was gone for good.  Her departures weren’t very nice nor did they make any sense either.  Is there a similarity here?  I didn’t really notice one as things were happening.  Apparently my eyes were wide shut!

03316420-34EA-4FBA-9AE1-1E598488167D

After receiving a comment in my last post asking if I had considered that Kari may possibly have narcissistic tendencies, I initially dismissed it immediately.  After all, I went through an extremely difficult devalue and discard process with my ex-wife on multiple occasions, finally learning that she was a candidate for Narcissist of the Year, and took it upon myself to learn as much as I possibly could.  I vowed to never go through that living hell again.  With that said, I am not too proud to admit that I may have overlooked some things (although I truly hoped that I hadn’t), so I started looking back at the last 2 years with Kari.

Luckily, one thing that I did before I knew my ex-wife was a narcissist was log things that were happening and how I felt about them in a journal.  I couldn’t understand the craziness and found that recording it was good therapy, and I continued it throughout the final devalue and discard all the way to the divorce (and even the craziness after the divorce).  I continued to make journal entries after my divorce once I had started dating again too.  It was mainly to capture how I felt about someone I went on a date with, what my initial impressions were.  For those that I went on more than one date with, I continued to record my thoughts and feelings.

C67893F8-4666-466A-90E2-4CF9255AE481

Kari and I began dating back in August of 2016.  I will never forget the first time we met as I had made the comment in my journal that when I saw her approaching for the first time, I was saying “please, please be the one that is coming to sit here at this table with me” versus feeling just the opposite on so many other dates.  She was and is incredibly physically attractive and appealing.  Something else that I included in my journal entry regarding our first date was that she quickly sat down and didn’t say a word.  Instead, she just sat there, staring at me.  This went on long enough that I started to feel a bit uncomfortable.  I figured she was just sizing me up.  In hindsight, this was more likely the well documented “narcissistic stare”, where she was indeed sizing me up, beginning her quest to identify just what she could take from me.  I was too busy being overwhelmed by her beauty to even think about it.

595F94D5-EF56-44BA-939D-D48FB15ADFFD

I have nearly one hundred pages of journal entries regarding my time with Kari, including the breakups and the returns.  Overwhelmingly, the journal points to the crazy making, where everything would be going just fine, and then she would insert some type of comment or discussion on how little I was doing for her, that I needed to do more, that I wasn’t trying hard enough.  I can honestly say that I have NEVER tried harder to please a woman in my life.  I would include my thoughts such as “I do not know what else I can do”, yet I would order more flowers, or take her to a bigger, better place.  This continued, week in and week out, a constant up and down pattern with me saying “I really don’t want to do this anymore”, but I knew “I” could fix it.  Obviously, I wasn’t paying attention to what was really occurring.

Not once in my journal do I have an entry that indicates any kind of empathy, gratitude, or remorse.  I had gotten so used to making such an incredible effort that it almost became a contest to me, to see how long I could keep her satisfied.  Sadly, it never seemed to be for very long.  Typically, a week would be the maximum without some kind of issue, some kind of devaluing occurring.  I will say, she was much more clever about it than my ex-wife.  Kari could demean you without you even noticing, instead causing you to just try harder, to give more.

Something else I recorded multiple times is that under normal circumstances, she could not look me in the eye.  During discussions, activities, or even sex, if I tried to look directly into her eyes, she would look away.  However, there were so many journal entries identifying that during the most unexpected times, I would look over at Kari to find her staring at me with this crazy little smile on her face, as if she was devouring me.  Geez, how did I miss what she was really doing?  Oh, and if she had sunglasses on, she could look directly at me, but obviously I was unable to make actual eye contact.  She knew what she was doing.

A27CE3AA-DB70-44AE-A1BF-0F3C040CD1B6

Long story short, I have apparently been under the spell of yet another narcissist.  Nearly all of the traits apply.  I really hate putting people in a box, especially since I am not a true “expert”, but the similarities between Kari and my ex-N, while executed differently, are nearly identical.  Obviously I need to never let my guard down, continue to log future encounters with women I may meet in my journal, AND do an aggregate review of what is really happening once in awhile.  I cannot let physical beauty blind me to what is really going on.  I know better now (and I thought I knew better then).

Pay attention out there.  They’re there, and you just may not notice.  No Contact, here I come again.

Loss of the Avoidant Girlfriend – Again.

39539DC6-9F59-4D5D-8AD6-C187341C2256

It’s funny how we are able to stretch the truth, maybe even rewrite it, to suit our situation.  Depending on how things are going or what it is we “want” at a particular time, we can rewrite what is really happening, even change our lives to fit in, to make our life “appear” to be all good.  Let me explain.

In some of my past posts, I have described a woman who I was dating as an avoidant personality and myself as an anxious personality.  Those that are familiar with personality types know that is a bad combination.  I initially identified her as avoidant because after we separated for the first time, the inevitable searching of the internet for a reason why it might have occurred landed me on the description of an avoidant personality type.  This resulted when I entered various attributes and the result certainly fit.  I was pretty amazed at the similarities.

At the time, I was extremely well versed in the traits of the narcissist as I had recently been discarded by a narcissist (for the 4th and final time), resulting in an ugly and brutal divorce.  I had also become aware that I was co-dependent, again making sense given the narcissist/co-dependent attraction.  Strangely enough, I really knew very little about anxious and avoidant personality types.

DAEAD742-2BA3-4FE2-8B05-764005DB9BEE

Getting to the point, I was able to accept the initial breakup with my avoidant girlfriend as it all seemed to make sense and I really didn’t want to go through yet another long, brutal, extended breakup.  Why did I feel she was avoidant?  Many attributes applied, especially that she would always maintain some distance, and the closer we would seemingly get, there was a recurring suddenness with which she would move away, only to come back again when she started to feel lonely.

After not having heard from her for 8 months, she surprisingly (or not surprisingly actually) reached out.  Long story short, we started seeing each other again.  This is where rewriting the truth comes in.  To make myself not feel as if I wasn’t doing something that I knew I shouldn’t do, I decided that she wasn’t really avoidant, that instead she simply had some traits of an avoidant and that we had communication issues that we fixed.  I also, once again, changed myself to suit her needs, essentially being someone who I wasn’t, someone clearly tuned in to all of her wants and desires, sacrificing my own desires to ensure hers were taken care of.  Yep, I still hadn’t eradicated my co-dependent nature.  It was also a way of convincing myself that since she wasn’t avoidant, we were fully capable of having a “normal” relationship, even if I was somewhat of an anxious type.

F1696254-E4D3-4BE3-BD9D-E997632F9E9B

Fast forward 6 months or so, and she was gone again.  This time, she actually ghosted me for nearly 3 months.  This breakup was the result of a flare up that occurred due to both of us drinking too much, but as is usually the case, I voluntarily shouldered the majority of the blame, reached out multiple times, with NO result, no communication whatsoever other than her sending $10 through the US mail to have me send her coat to her (which ended up costing me more than $10 to do).

After a few more weeks, the communication from her begins again.  I had started dating other women at that point but, what the heck, I once again decided to ignore what I KNEW to be true and started seeing her again.

E6604360-F821-4C73-800C-1D5516CE50E0

After almost 2 years of knowing each other, and approximately 15-16 months of dating, she still had not told me that she loved me (and yes, I had told her that I did).  Only after finding (snooping!) an old text on my phone from someone who I had dated briefly did she find the means to tell me that she loved me.  Jealousy is apparently a powerful tool in the world of the avoidant.  On that same note, just a few weeks after telling me that she loved me, she is gone yet again.  The reason this time is that I “clearly don’t understand her” because I responded in a manner that was not in accordance with her expectations and therefore she is unhappy.

After all of the adventure, and there was a lot with trips to Vegas, Caribbean cruises, multiple week-long and weekend trips, helping her refurbish her home, untold gifts and her paying for nothing during the entire period, I am once again alone.  When I say alone, I mean alone.  It is only at this point that I realize just how much I gave up to be with her.  I have essentially ignored old friends, failed to make any new ones, and even stepped away from my family.  The chickens have certainly come home to roost, only there are NO chickens.

8ABE6047-07EC-4D2E-8B65-803DA9DBF500

I do learn something from each breakup, and I do get a little bit smarter each time.  With that said, I still feel like a complete idiot, ignoring truths that I knew and instead doing exactly what I knew I shouldn’t.  Once again, I am paying the price for it.  I really need to stop focusing on trying to help fix everyone else’s problems and pay attention to fixing my own.  I do hate being lonely, but I also am totally convinced that everything happens for a reason and I am once again being given an opportunity to get it right.  I need to heed what I include in my own posts and learn from my mistakes, instead of rewriting my mistakes into simply misunderstandings.  I can do better.

And Now the Analysis Begins. Along with the Panic!

7BB597A7-E47B-4CC2-BA28-4E443FA7A597

I woke up in an immediate panic this morning.  It felt just like it did after my ex-wife left almost exactly 4 years ago.  I HATE this feeling!

Now, I again begin the nearly constant analysis of what went wrong.  A couple of days ago, I had a bit of a falling out with my somewhat avoidant girlfriend of nearly 2 years.  Yes, we have had some issues during that period, but we have also been on a 7 month run until our little spat about her wanting to look at my phone a few days ago.  In fact, it has been only a couple of months since she first said the she loved me (although she still didn’t say it very often), so I can only assume that she saw things getting better.  Now it appears to be over yet again.

On Wednesday, we returned home instead of continuing our vacation given the difficulties and hurt feelings we had experienced Tuesday night (see my previous post for more detail).  I dropped her off at her house Wednesday afternoon and we didn’t communicate the rest of the day.  That goes along with something else in the relationship that I don’t particularly care for – I am always responsible for resolving things, whether it be making plans, initiating communications, driving, paying… whatever.

26CF6FC5-D31F-4197-9CA0-EC9D45C48556

Because I am the one that tends to keep things moving, I sent her a goodnight text that simply said “Good night Kari.  I love you”. What I got back wasn’t really a surprise, but it also wasn’t what I was hoping for.  The return text said “That doesn’t make sense for what happened today.  I don’t understand your reaction to the situation and you obviously don’t understand me.  I think maybe we should just leave it at that and not make each other unhappy.”   Isn’t that special?  I didn’t respond to it and instead tried to understand it.  I wasn’t really sure what “reaction” she was referring to or what “situation” was being referenced.  I also made the assumption that this was supposed to be our final communication.

All day yesterday it rolled around in my head.  This isn’t the first time that we have had cryptic communication and, again, she left it up to me to fix.  Just like my narcissistic ex-wife (and she was a full-blown narcissist), there was no closure, no discussion, just a Road Runner cartoon with the expected and final explosion at the end.

09C36265-AED2-4B00-AD1B-72E02C2D018B

Now I am in that familiar place that I hate so much that is ruled by rejection and loneliness.  Yes, I am aware that is the co-dependent in me and I am trying my best to deal with it, but it is still difficult.  The bullshit things I do or think about make it even more difficult to handle as I walk around making all kinds of connections to her, i.e. “we” did this over there, or “she” planted those flowers in my yard, or there’s the special coffee that I purchased for her that will never get used because I don’t drink coffee.

I also have the recurring thought that she is not doing the same, that she isn’t thinking about me at all.  Having gone through the brutal discard with my narcissistic ex, I know it is possible for someone to not even consider the consequences of what they are doing or the impact that it has on other people.  At the same time, I am tired of being the partner that does whatever has to be done to save a relationship that quite probably shouldn’t be saved.  Maybe she is bothered and I am just feeling sorry for myself.  It doesn’t really matter.

E50E567C-CD72-4A59-ACB7-23AD2829F9A6

I can piss myself off too.  All I have to do is consider all of the things that Kari and I have done over the last couple of years and especially over the last couple of months and then take note of the fact that it appears she breaks up with me in a text AND by saying that “we should just leave it at that and not make each other unhappy”.  Are you kidding me?  All the things we have done (including how loving and affectionate we were right up to the incident with her essentially demanding to look at my phone Tuesday night) and all of a sudden one incident makes “us” unhappy.  That is a very narcissistic view of our relationship, i.e. you didn’t do one thing that I wanted you to do, therefore I am unhappy.  Not only unhappy enough to tell you, but unhappy enough to break up over it too.  Maybe I did attract another narcissist (I’m clearly reaching and analyzing and trying to make sense of things yet again).

It amazes me how quickly the loneliness and the rejection settle in.  Realistically, it has only been a day and a half, but it feels like I have been alone for months already. The funny thing is that I don’t or didn’t mind being alone for days, as long as I knew that I had someone.  Now that I don’t, it feels so vastly different, even though things haven’t really changed, i.e. I have been apart from her for more than a day and a half over and over before.  I’m not really sure what the fix is for that.  I also don’t know how to fix the panic that I feel when I wake up knowing that I am alone (again) with nothing on the horizon.

80023F4E-04E5-44C9-991B-A7D2AE6D32CB

If we hadn’t experienced a breakup before, yes, I would reach out to her.  But given our history of having been apart for several months 2 times previous to this, I seriously question if this is worth saving, especially given her swag attitude on this occasion and also in the past.  I guess that I get comfortable with the discomfort in a relationship, willing to put up with it rather than being alone.

I don’t know what the right answer is.  I do know that I am tired of being the “fixer”. Maybe it is time for me to “fix” my remaining fears of loneliness and rejection.  That truly does scare the crap out of me, but what other choice(s) do I have.  In the words of Jerry Seinfeld to Kramer, “let the insanity begin”.

Can a Co-Dependent Ever Have a Normal Relationship?

3A84D5B0-2C39-4492-9B85-1945ACB283B4

I am finding myself in familiar, uncomfortable territory.  I wonder if I am doing it to myself.

I have been dating Kari (not her real name) for over 2 years, although not in continuous fashion.  We dated 3 months, followed by an eight month gap, dated again for about six months, followed by a 3 month gap, and have been dating since then (7 months so far).  This is all following the divorce from my narcissistic ex-wife who has been gone for 4 years now.

Here’s the thing – I am always finding “reasons” why I shouldn’t be with Kari.  I will admit that we have some significant differences, me being co-dependent (and making a heroic effort to become better) and her being a bit avoidant, overly confident, and far “deeper” than I am.  Most people do have differences, but maybe ours are overly large.  I know I struggle at times trying to figure out if we should continue or call it quits.

The most recent indication occurred today.  We were on a mini-vacation (supposed to be 7 days) within our own state, and it was just the two of us.  Things have seemingly been going very well, but last night was one of those WTF nights.  We were at her lakefront home and she decided she wanted to drink a little bit.  This wasn’t the first night we had done that so I wasn’t really interested.  As the night wore on, she dug out some old mini-shots that were in a drawer and was adamant that I share them with her.  I reluctantly agreed, although she was pretty far ahead of me.  It was rather strange in that she typically doesn’t do something like that.

ECB668CE-A827-4016-B7BC-B7F51CE6EDFB

Long story short, she gets pretty inebriated and asks if she can look through my phone.  Consider that a few months ago she somehow (I still question how) came across an old text from someone who I had previously dated.  In all honesty, there was nothing going on between the two of us, it was an old text, and I did my best to smooth that over.  I thought we were done with that, but apparently not.

I truly felt that I had nothing to be concerned about, and I did in fact leave that old text in there as I didn’t want her to think that I was deleting things from my phone, trying to hide things from her.  I was a bit uncomfortable with the whole thing though, i.e. knowing that she apparently did NOT trust me, even though I have done nothing to make her suspicious or concerned since her and I have been together.  Unexpectedly, rather than scroll through all the texts to see who they were from, she zeros in on my best friend (although I don’t believe she knew that’s who it was as his name is Terry and I assume she thought it was a woman).  He and I have some pretty candid text conversations and she scrolls back to a period where her and I were not doing well (almost as if she knew right where she was going).  While it wasn’t anything devastatingly bad, it was still “guy talk”, uncomfortable, and I wasn’t really sure what all was in that message.

813771D1-7D56-4519-8223-AAE96287823D

At the same time, my daughter texts me real-time.  As it is 11:30 pm, I am a little nervous that something may be amiss, so I ask if I can have my phone back.  She reluctantly gives it to me, I explain what my daughter is saying (which was nothing significant), and she says something to the effect of “that was weird”, meaning that I would take my phone while she is scrolling through all of my texts, and I tell her it was my DAUGHTER and that I was a little concerned.  She continues as if I am doing something wrong, trying to hide something, so now I start to get pissed, although I didn’t get overtly angry, she knows I’m not happy with where things are going.

We end up going to bed in separate rooms.  Today, we were supposed to go to another resort town and stay for 2 nights, but I was feeling really disturbed by the sequence of events, that (1) she clearly doesn’t trust me and I am doing nothing wrong (and I can honestly say that), and (2) that she thought me asking to respond to my daughter at 11:30 PM was weird.  I stew on it all night, essentially getting no sleep.  This is where the Co-Dependent piece comes into play…

13CEC72A-912A-479D-A717-70BF33E82886

As is normal for a co-dependent, I search for what I did wrong.  In this case, I don’t believe I did anything wrong.  I start to evaluate what occurred, wondering if Kari decided to drink just so she would have the courage to ask for my phone (and she later admitted that without drinking, she wouldn’t have been able to ask).  I then consider that she seemed to know right where to go for a little juicy tidbit, making me conclude that she had already been on my phone without me knowing and was able to use this little exercise as her method of bringing it to light.

Of course, no good co-dependent can leave it focused on just the event at hand.  I have to start considering other things that don’t seem right, i.e. I absolutely am the one that makes ALL the plans, pays for EVERYTHING that we do, is the more affectionate and romantic of the two of us, and on and on.  By morning, I had essentially put myself into a place where I wanted to do nothing, to shutdown, and just go home.  So that is what I did.

12F5157E-89FC-42F3-A0CC-60B4FE9FFBA3

We didn’t go to the resort town, there was NO discussion on the drive home, and I essentially told her that I felt somewhat violated by her need to go through my phone and that it was a pretty inappropriate request (which she disagreed with), although I did not bring up my thoughts that she had been through my phone  already without my knowing about it, or any of the other negatives associated with the relationship.

Now, I am sitting at home stewing over what to do next.  Part of me wants absolutely nothing to do with her, while part of me is terrified of not being with her.  I am almost paralyzed over what to do next.  Of course, part of me wants her to reach out to me first, but that’s not going to happen.  The co-dependent me says she doesn’t need me, could get along just fine without me, and isn’t bothered by what is going on in the least.

I don’t like being alone, although it isn’t as terrifying as it once was.  I am more distressed by thinking these stupid thoughts that may or may not be true.  While I have improved my co-dependency, and I can at least recognize what is going on, I clearly haven’t eradicated it completely.  Relationships shouldn’t be this hard.  Am I wrong?

Letting Go of the Narcissist and Her Imaginary World. It’s Tougher than it Looks.

BF3925CD-5E53-469D-B420-981987213E82

Unbelievably, it has been nearly 4 years since my narcissistic ex-wife left for the last time, and over 3 years since our divorce, the one that I didn’t want, was final.  On one hand, it seems like it just happened, while on the other, it seems like ages ago.

I have been dating the same woman for over a year, with a couple of month break due to some communication issues, so I think I can honestly say that I have “moved on” from my narcissitic ex-wife.  This is after a couple of years of dating far too many woman, sadly spent mostly looking for someone just like my ex.  My current girlfriend and I have done a LOT of things together and had many adventures, something that I shared with and really liked about being with the ex-N.  We have even done many things that I said I would never be able to do with someone else, gone places that, to me, were “sacred” and something that I could only do with the ex-narcissist, places that felt far too special to repeat with someone else.

30B2C33F-4B5A-4AB2-8F31-FAAE3F9EDF4A

Here’s the thing – while I have enjoyed doing those things with someone else, there is something missing.  It really is that simple, yet that difficult.  I have thought about it, evaluated it, tried over and over to figure out what the difference is, what is missing, and I just cannot find the answer.

Case in point; just this last week my girlfriend and I visited a baseball park that I had only been to with my narcissistic ex-wife.  This was truly a special place, at least in my mind, and something that I wasn’t sure I would ever be able do with someone else or even visit again.  I was adamant that I was going to break through this barrier, one of the last things or places of significance to me that I hadn’t revisited or been to with someone else, and I successfully did so.  Yes, there were moments where I had to fight not to reminisce too much, had to stay focused on the present, but I didn’t feel overwhelmed about it.  With that said, it simply didn’t feel the same or have the same “impact” on me.

37681EB0-E1B2-43DF-B217-0BEA31388695

I honestly believe that part of it is that narcissists live in a child-like world.  There is some kind of Peter Pan like magic about them, at least with my ex there was.  I did feel like a child when I was with her, allowing me some level of escape from being an adult I suppose. Activities had a giddiness to them that I hadn’t felt before.  Because “things” don’t feel quite the same when I do them with someone else now, I find myself longing for that old feeling, for that unique and special quality that things or activities seemed to have when I was with her.  No, I don’t want her back, and I haven’t spoken to her in over 2 years, even though I do still occasionally see her at work.  But I do miss that… that feeling, whatever it is.

I continue to question if I will ever find that feeling again.  I certainly want it, but I also suspect the only way to get that feeling again is by being with yet another narcissist, someone who can create that special imaginary world.  Maybe it doesn’t have to be that way, but I will admit that in my entire life, I have never experienced that mesmerizing quality with anyone else.  Maybe I am trying too hard, resulting in my missing something that is actually right there in front of me.  Sadly, I don’t think so.  At this point in time, I have mostly fond memories of my ex-narcissist, but luckily I can also easily recall the craziness that occurred during the final devaluation and discard.  I do not want to ever go through that again.

A3BD0286-22BC-4D08-8308-F865823C0A1F

So now what?  I know better than to think that I can simply find that feeling with someone else, as I have ample evidence to the contrary.  I also know that my ex will never change, as I have had the luxury (if you want to call it that) of observing her fairly close up since our split, either seeing first hand what she is doing or being told by mutual friends what she is up to, and it is never good.  Like narcissists do, she continues to repeat the cycle over and over, leaving a trail of bodies in her wake.  Yep, as much as I wish that I had some kind of ever-lasting impact on her, I didn’t and was simply another part of her life’s crazy travels.

Is it possible that I will find that “feeling” again.  I am truly starting to doubt it.  That doesn’t mean that my life isn’t enjoyable or that I don’t have fun or a good time with my girlfriend.  Maybe it’s a good thing, an indication that I’m not with another narcissist, that I won’t be left reeling in anguish at another unexpected departure.

7DEC22EC-7BB9-4929-AB24-16ECB31F01DF

Maybe it is true that we can’t experience childhood again, and yet somehow, the narcissist allows us that ability for a short time, until it is time for them to move on and share the fantasy with someone else.  I do long for that feeling, but I am not ruled by it.  Maybe when I stop searching for it, trying to find it, it will find me instead.  One can only hope.

The Return of the Avoidant Girlfriend, and Other Things

AA05EBD4-7773-49C7-8D9E-78D4AFF0A1D7

I haven’t written a post in over two months.  There’s a reason.

Yep, she is back.  In fact, I have been seeing my ex-girlfriend, who I had considered an avoidant personality, for over 2 months now and things are going well.  Although I still have questions…

I’m not going to expound a whole lot, other than to say that I probably made several assumptions regarding her being an avoidant that supported my own agenda.  At this point, I don’t believe she is “avoidant” in that she is FAR too affectionate and, at least for the last couple of months, doesn’t seem to like it when she isn’t physically with me.  Does she have some issues?  Most certainly, and that she ghosted me for a couple of months in the not too distant past DOES weigh on my mind.

1A95DB5D-0D90-4F2D-8524-1AB2CEC113C9

Where I seem to be struggling the most is that for whatever reason, I seem to be missing my narcissistic ex-wife a lot recently.  I have been considering why that is, and I suppose there are a lot of reasons, including it is spring and the lake is thawed, the boats are in the water, the baseball teams are playing, and things like that.  All those things that we enjoyed together are in full force.  On top of that, my girlfriend and I just got back from a Caribbean cruise, which was something that I have never done with anyone except for my narcissistic ex-wife, and we had done several.

I honestly did have a good time on the cruise, but I will also admit there were times where the thoughts tended to be overwhelming.  I did a pretty good job of keeping them in check, but they were still there, bumping and bouncing and trying to force their way to the forefront.  I will give myself credit for making it through another milestone, the cruise itself, something that I thought I would never be able to do with someone else.  I will also admit that it didn’t feel quite the same, lacking the level of “excitement” of doing the exact same thing with my narcissitic ex-wife.

910A00E4-33BA-4FB1-830F-CEA324E0FD11

I guess there are other things causing me to think about the ex-N too.  I continue to see her vehicle at work (always parked away from other vehicles like I asked her to do when I bought it for her – I’m still baffled that she does that).  I also got to be in a business meeting (for the first time) with her latest victim, I mean boyfriend (yes, he works at the same place that her and I do).  I will tell you that I sat there looking at him wondering what he had that I didn’t, until I remembered that isn’t what matters to a narcissist.  At some point, he too will find himself wondering what happened, how he ended up alone.  Poor bastard.  I also wonder if he ever considers that 3 of her 4 husbands have worked at that same place.  It has been months since I have run into or physically seen my ex-wife, so that is helpful at least, but there are too many reminders.

311D6738-B8E6-4096-99A6-419F2BA68A80

With how things have been going, I have determined that I am most certainly at a new point in my life, kind of an in-between place, although it is a place that is further away from the marriage to my ex-N (which has been over 3 years ago now).  I have learned how to be alone, have been able to be with other women, and even have someone who is fairly consistent in my life.  With that said, things simply do not “feel” like I want them to feel.  I am always considering how different, almost boring, things feel when compared to the years with my narcissistic ex-wife.  It is something that I really can’t explain, and I doubt that I ever will.  I just don’t look forward to things with others like I did with her.  It makes no sense, to say it, to hear it, and to feel it.  It is the one part of having been with her that I wish I could eradicate.  It tends to leave me always searching and longing for that feeling, and I can’t even explain what it is.

I will also add that I have sold the last boat that my ex and I bought together (another one of those magical feeling events and a story in itself).  What that means is that other than the house, I have replaced essentially everything that her and I experienced together.  Different furniture and artwork, totally different vehicles for me, different boats…  Regardless, she is still a part of me that will never be completely gone.  I guess that is okay in that I can say that I have never “loved” like that before and I am glad that I got too as it was a special time.  Sadly, the devastation that occurred upon her evil departure was equally as memorable (but at least that part is subsiding to the point that I don’t think about it much).

Quotes About Remembering Past Relationships 17 Best Images About Relationship Quotes On Pinterest

So, the not-so-avoidant girlfriend is back in my life, things are going well (although different than with my ex-wife and even different than things were with my girlfriend previously which is probably a good thing).  Additionally, thoughts of the narcissistic ex-wife tend to be pleasant, focusing on the good things versus her craziness, which is also a good thing.  Summer is approaching and there are lots of things to do, which is also a good thing.

I am making progress.  There were times where I never thought I would make progress.  If you are going through the departure of a narcissist, hang in there.   It will get better, even when it doesn’t seem that way.

The Saga of the Avoidant Girlfriend Continues…

EF414C29-6B4F-438F-95AF-D39A84D34137

As I noted in my last post, I had recently reached out to my avoidant ex-girlfriend that essentially ghosted me for the last 3 months.  Yes, I realize that I am a fool.  With that said, after I had sent her that drunken text which she briefly replied to, the texting floodgates opened two days later when she had to know what it meant that “I missed her, and that missing her isn’t a bad thing”.  Rather than send a text due to the potential length, I told her I would send an email, and I did.  After 3 days, I hadn’t heard a word.

As my angst grew, I sent another text that essentially said that I took her lack of response to mean that I should completely move on with my life (not that I should have given her a say in the first place).  Again, another barrage of texts begins with her providing all kinds of information, including that she “felt like she was underwater”, and that her mind was “broken”, etc.  I told her that, once again, she hadn’t responded to the original text about my moving on.  She then replied that she did care about me, she did miss me, and that she was still interested in me (or something to that effect).  I suggested that we get together to discuss some of the supposed issues, and she agreed.

This is where things “begin” to get wacky…  After suggesting we meet, she simply said “short” or “long”.  My evaluation of that led to the conclusion that short was simply for a drink or two, and long was for dinner, so I said long.  Remember, we hadn’t seen each other in 3 months and it had ended badly.  The response was not what I expected…

5741F492-F20A-4008-A8FE-443C6BBB42D8

She replies with “okay, we can go up north and stay at the cottage for the weekend, or I can come to your house and we can watch movies, or we can find some destination that we have never been to”.  I was both shocked and excited, while also thinking “this is not a rational person”.  I should have stuck with that thought.  I suggested that we go out to dinner before the weekend, and she agreed.

Last night, we went to dinner.  I picked her up at her house and, almost as expected, it was like nothing had ever happened.  She hugged me, kissed me, and we got in the car.  Dinner was like old times, talking about all kinds of things but nothing in particular or of any real substance.  The whole time, knowing what I now know about dismissive avoidant personality, I didn’t get touchy feely and made sure that I didn’t get clingy or possessive.  In the car I didn’t put my hand on her leg, and when we were walking, I didn’t hold her hand.  I thought that was appropriate.

On the drive home, an unexpected thing occurred, although I didn’t think much of it at the time.  A woman who I had gone on one date with a month ago (a normal date, not a physical one) sends a text, and her name shows up on my car radio screen.  I don’t react but rather slowly reach up and hit the ignore button.  I don’t know at the time if she sees it or not.  With that said, I take her home and walk her into the house.  Again, we have a really firm, touching embrace, we kiss twice, we agree we should go see a movie tomorrow, I say hello to her youngest daughter (who I really like), and I leave.  Overall, considering the circumstances, I feel pretty good and as though things couldn’t have gone much better.

21C4ED25-4E3E-46E1-98FC-434120452A6D

When I get home, I send the obligatory “I got home safe” text, along with what a good time that I had and a thank you, along with some pics of artwork that my daughter had drawn that she wanted to see.  The return text said this:

”I enjoyed spending time with you tonight and was happy that we had a chance to see each other again.  Everything seems to be going well for you.  It was obvious tonight that you are moving on and I’m happy for you.  I really need to do the same.  I wish you the best always.”

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT???  I was devastated as clearly that was not even on my radar screen.  Sadly, knowing her history, while I was devastated, I was NOT surprised.  I did respond within a few minutes telling her that she was making huge assumptions that simply weren’t true.  I never heard another word.

5CC68B40-EA9A-4603-9913-7F5EBE9142C1

I didn’t sleep last night and instead laid in bed thinking of all the things that I could say to her.  With that said, I also evaluated my intent, and I realize now (as I have in the past) that I should NOT and actually CANNOT be with her.  However, I couldn’t let the previous text that I sent be the final text.  I sent one this morning that said I didn’t sleep at all, and that isn’t something that someone who is moving on does.  I also said that I could tell her with 100% confidence and truthfulness that in between our multiple breakups, that I have never had a physical relationship, and that she could NOT make the same claim.  I also said that our dysfunctions feed off one another and that her love avoidant personality was taking a toll on me (note – if she never heard of that before, she will certainly Google it.  Who knows what that might bring).  I said that I had accepted her, including all of her imperfections including her self-professed “broken mind”, that I certainly couldn’t fix her and can’t even fix myself.    I closed with that one day when she can’t find the perfection that she is clearly seeking, she would look back and recall that I was a pretty amazing companion, lover, and friend.  I closed with saying that she would never hear from me again.

I haven’t heard anything since sending the text, and I don’t think that I will… for a few months.  I really do need to move on yet again.  One of these days, I am going to get it right.  I believe it is going to have to be someone picking me, as I clearly am not good at picking them.  First, the narcissistic ex-wife, and now this.  I’m tired.

 

The Cycle Repeats Yet Again

D6CD6809-EB96-4F9F-98F5-F74FD4C6C85C

The last 4 years has been quite a learning experience, what with being married to a full-blown narcissist, entering the dating world, and simply being alone for the first time in my entire life.  I’ve reached another of those points where I am not very happy with my life, knowing at the same time that it is my own fault.  But the reminders are the worst, especially when they come unexpectedly from others…

The last couple of weeks have had some interesting yet typical turns of events.  I just can’t seem to escape from the nearby presence of my narcissistic ex-wife, if not in person, then through others.  The most recent reminder involved one of my co-workers looking at his phone and saying “come over here and check this out”.  He says something to the effect that “look at this hot woman” and on his phone there is a very small image of the backside of an attractive woman appearing to have jumped off a ledge and falling toward the water.  I ask what’s that, and he zooms in the shot and I can see it is my ex-wife in a very small, red bikini.  Also visible in the water is her latest boyfriend, waiting for her.  Apparently they were in Mexico on vacation, somewhere her and I used to frequent.  Imagine that.  Of course, my mind goes into the remembering mode where 30 seconds prior, it was just fine.

95F8A5D4-A895-44ED-973A-079A0D6B12D4

Oh, there’s more.  At an after-work event occurring closely after the above encounter, I’m sitting at a table with a close buddy of my ex’s current boyfriend, named Dave.  He’s a really nice guy that I have known for a lot of years, although we have never been what you would call close.  The above encounter with the phone pic comes up because my other buddy is there and everybody gets a big laugh out of it (again), and I laugh along (uncomfortably).  After the laughing stops, Dave says to me how sorry he was that things didn’t work out between her and I, and that after all the times that she and I were together, that after we got married, he was sure it was going to be great for us.  I was a bit shocked as I wasn’t even really aware that he followed what my ex and I had done.  It felt strange, but I could also sense that he was worried about his friend (her current boyfriend).  I didn’t really say anything else and just let it go.

218DFCB4-E1E1-4D13-9107-1308C9CEBEB4

I moved to another table after a few minutes and the fun (at my expense) continued. There were several high level company leaders there, including a corporate Vice President that I know fairly well, but only in the last couple of years, after my ex had left me.  Someone asks a joking question about how they can get a new BMW or Mercedes-Benz, knowing full well that I am still paying for my ex’s.  I jokingly say to marry me, I will buy them one, divorce me, and I will pay for it.  Again, it gets a good laugh out of the table and I say to one individual there that is fully aware of my situation with my ex “Mike, I know you know what I’m talking about”, and as if on cue, a number of people at the table say “we all know”, including the VP as they smile and nod at me.

It was enlightening that many people are aware of my situation, although not surprising given that her and I are still employed at the same place.  I also felt as though they were acknowledging that she is f’ing crazy, knowing that she is currently with the 5th boyfriend from the facility, and that she likely will be married for the 5th time.  Keep in mind this place employs over a thousand people, so it isn’t as if everyone knows everyone intimately.  The fact that I had quite a bit to drink by that time led me to feeling both nostalgic and a bit angry at the same time.

74333E79-9F31-4ADE-BEE8-0744D0092263

Speaking of drinking, in a moment of loneliness this weekend, and after a lot of beer, I sent a text to my avoidant ex-girlfriend that I haven’t seen in nearly 3 months.  I have done very well in not reaching out to her, but in my weakened state (and probably considering all the recent discussion about my narcissistic ex), I sent a text that said nothing more than her name and a sad face.  Not unexpectedly, she responded almost immediately with my name.  I said that I missed her, and she replied with “you wouldn’t be if you were sleeping”, which she followed up with “are you doing okay otherwise”, and then “Goodnight”.  I replied that I was good and bad, repeated that I missed her, and to have a good night.  That was it, and I haven’t heard another peep since

That I haven’t heard anything else from her, in combination with her asking if I was okay otherwise tells me she is seeing someone else, although that is no surprise.  In my moment of stupidity, it also provides her with the opportunity to reach out to me when she figures out the new dude isn’t cutting it, which with her being avoidant, she will get nostalgic over me and want to come back.  I am really tired of “love”.  It isn’t supposed to be this freaking hard.

4873F531-6850-410C-9253-CAF2081A935B

Here’s what I am learning – I need to cut alcohol out of my life.  It seems to be the common denominator in many of the less than stellar things that have happened or are happening in my life.  Oh, and speaking of cycles, the online dating thing is in yet another valley where everything seems to have dried up.  I really am getting used to the new peaks and valleys in my life.  They have become fairly predictable.  I guess the only good thing right now is that since I am in a valley, another peak should be coming soon.

The Birthday… and the Avoidant Girlfriend

AAA95E1F-AC72-4FF7-978F-5ABC11193268

Yet another birthday, and this one came with a surprise.  I’ll get to that in a minute…

First, this is the fourth birthday that I have had since my narcissistic ex-wife left for the last time.  I can honestly say I have either overcome, or at least gotten used to, the emotions of being alone.  While I am not necessarily “happy” to be alone, I am not devastated by it either.  Sadly, it has gotten to the point where birthdays feel simply like another day, albeit one that is a bit more noticeable because I am indeed alone.

Speaking of the ex-wife, I did have the opportunity to come across her at work this last week, although luckily she was in her car (yes, the one that I am still paying for).  I was walking and she was clearly looking for a parking spot up close to the building since it was 18 degrees, cold and windy.  She started driving toward me directionally, although she was about 20 feet away.  As has become my routine since going full No Contact a couple of years ago, I paid her no attention, while at the same time I am certain that she noticed me.  I have talked in the past about asking her nicely when I purchased that car for her if she could park it away from other cars to keep it from getting dinged or scratched (as it is a “premium” luxury car – nothing but the best for my narcissist).  She reluctantly agreed at the time, as she is one of those that will drive in circles trying to get as close to the door as possible.  As I continud to walk after seeing her, I am wondering where I will find the car parked upon my return.  There was no doubt she was searching for a spot close to the door.

4A993074-4B65-4A11-AFF5-021DCCF09310

Upon my return, I can’t seem to find the car.  As I get to the far end of the lot, lo and behold, there it is, on the very END spot, parked over the line to be as far away from the car next to it as possible.  I honestly laughed out loud.  I still haven’t figured out if she does that just to mess with my mind or what.  She does NOT care about that car and it is now approaching 6 years old.  I guess I will likely never figure out the mindset causing that (and probably shouldn’t).

Lets get to the avoidant ex-girlfriend that I haven’t seen or heard from in exactly 8 weeks.  That is how long it has been since we had an unfortunate and unplanned “event” following a fun night of partying and hanging out with friends.  There was no physical altercation or sexual misconduct involved and it was purely something that shouldn’t have happened and was the result of us both drinking too much.  The following day, I immediately apologized for my role and also took responsibility for what occurred (even though it was shared).  I never heard a peep other than getting a request and a $10 bill in the mail to send her a coat that she had left at my house.  How strange that felt.

I did mail her coat to her, along with a “love letter” of sorts, telling her how much I adored and cared for her, along with another apology.  That was approximately 4-5 weeks ago.  Again, I received no response, not even an acknowledgement that she received the “package”.  8 weeks passed with absolutely NO contact from her. That ended yesterday…

C2828EAA-EDF8-4D0B-8540-4EB9A58CB8F9

About 9:50 PM, I get a text from her.  It starts out with “Hi John (a fake name I am inserting) I wanted to contact you sooner but I thought to be quiet until things made more sense.  It still doesn’t make sense c’est la vie.  I miss you John, but unfortunately I still haven’t figured out how to navigate with regards to us after that incident.  Albeit I appreciate the apology, the result was reoccurring nightmares which led me to the conclusion that my mind is still disheveled with regards to that mess.  I wish things were different.  I just wanted to say thanks for the apology, tell you that I hope you are well and I hope you have a great birthday.  Donna (again, a fake name I am using).

Again, I am baffled.  Reoccurring nightmares?  WTH?  Here’s the thing – I don’t know what happened after her and I parted ways that night since she NEVER told me.  We never spoke after that, so I have no idea why she is having reoccurring nightmares or what that even means.

D2C0E8CD-9C87-484A-AAFE-CC5238BFA064

What baffles me more is why, after not A WORD for 8 weeks, my birthday would mean anything to her.  To be absolutely honest, I wasn’t even sure if she knew when my birthday was.  No, I didn’t respond to her, and I don’t expect that I will.  I also wonder what she expects at this point.  Am I supposed to be glad or thankful that she sent me something, i.e. does she think she is taking the higher road?  This comes after “ghosting” me for 2 damn months, for not uttering a word for almost 60 days.  I didn’t really think I would hear from her again, so this is somewhat surprising, but then again, so what?  As weak as I am emotionally (and yes, I was/am incredibly attracted to her and care for her deeply), I can’t be with someone who is capable of simply disappearing for 8 weeks.  That is unacceptable, especially considering 2 formal apologies and several texts that went completely unanswered.

So, here I sit, contemplating what is next, what is yet to come.  I have several dating possibilities underway that I am not really excited about (although maybe I should be).  I guess I have reached that point where I am starting to get used to being alone and actually seeing the benefits of it.  No, it doesn’t make me feel happy to be alone necessarily, but being with someone hasn’t ultimately resulted in being happy either.  Yes, I do expect to hear from her again.  As the memories of our “event” continue to fade and as summer and boating season approach, I believe her avoidant personality will seek what she gave up, convincing herself that she wants to be close to me again, although she will also flee yet again when she gets too close.  The real question is this – what will the improved and educated co-dependent, anxious attachment style me do about it?

D7A64C0B-CB6B-4AF7-AE35-0405BFA4BC20

Each birthday that goes by, I am a little smarter about my old co-dependent self, the one that is more secure in his wants and needs.  I’m pretty certain my ex-girlfriend isn’t trying to improve herself (or even feels a need to).  I think my answer is in there somewhere.