No Contact. It Continues. And Continues…

F3E4B3CD-355F-4450-96CE-2890269DD28D

I was just doing a little math and determined it is going on seven months since I last had any contact with my narcissistic ex-girlfriend “Susie”.  While there are times that it feels bad and creates doubt and confusion, no-contact is truly the best thing for me to be doing.

During the period of time since I last spoke to Susie, I resumed the circus known as online dating.  There is still a big part of me that hopes to find someone new, but even that desire I have been questioning lately.  The bottom line is that I am not finding what I am looking for, and I believe there is a valid reason that I’m not.  Clearly, in my previous marriage (to another narcissist) and in my relationship with Susie, I was choosing the “wrong” things in a partner.  While I recognize those things now, I also should have recognized them prior to initiating (and then resuming 3 more times) my relationship with Susie.  What am I trying to say?   I still have work to do.

AB481F62-1370-4E03-A954-10799C70FFF1

There continue to be times where I long for Susie, but when I do start having those clearly misguided feelings, I have gotten smart enough to question why.  I have hundreds of pages of journal truths that I kept along my journey with Susie that prove just how bad she was for me (and everybody else for that matter).  My recollections of her at this point include a person that was and is extremely selfish, angry and unhappy with an over-the-top sense of entitlement, arrogant, and never satisfied.  Of course, that begs the question as to why I would even think about her let alone question having any kind of contact with her.

5496EEA8-D94D-443F-B537-8053FF239848

This is where the work that I still have to do enters the picture.  After everything that I did for her, and I had the full-blown co-dependent give her everything she wants and then more AND THEN feel deflated, needy, and angry because she never appreciated it kind of mentality, I realize that I still maintain some of those wrong and self-hurtful ways of doing things.  I have gotten a lot better and actually understand that I did those things for the wrong reasons, trying to please someone that could never be pleased, but there are still remnants of me going after the wrong women in my life.  Luckily, I haven’t succeeded in the last few months.  Someone is watching out for me, and it isn’t me.

684ABE0B-FDED-4995-9ABF-25DD1798371F

With that said, I am most certainly able to be alone these days.  After the divorce from my narcissistic ex-wife over 4 years ago, I simply could not stand to be alone and was constantly in a state of panic, yet didn’t understand why.  At the time, I knew nothing about narcissism or co-dependence.  I do now, and I am a lot better off for it.  However, I still have to actually accept the truths associated with the disorders, put those truths into play, and truly do things differently.  I am absolutely convinced that Susie is exactly the same with whomever she is with now as she was with me (and was with before discarding me nearly 7 months ago) and will also continue to be with the next guy, and the next…  That I had treated her better than I have EVER treated anyone and, believe me please, I absolutely put everything I possibly could into pleasing her, and that she simply never communicated with me again after our last “event” when I challenged her version of the truth, tells me everything I need to know about her.  And me.

0CDAB317-4294-4437-B8BB-A593DE439496

I freely admit that I would rather have someone in my life than not have someone, but I also have to realize that I must be absolutely comfortable with myself, that I have to be able to look at myself in the mirror and say “you are a good dude and you’re okay all by yourself” before I will be able to be successful with someone else.  I need to be whole all by myself, not 50% waiting for the other 50% in the form of a companion to complete me.  It is becoming clearer and clearer to me, and for that, I am really thankful and feel like I am accomplishing something important.

So, the sun is out, the boats will be in the water soon, and this will be the first summer since 2016 where there will be no Susie in the boat.  I say so what.  Yep, she looked incredible, but when I consider our times in the boat drinking and having fun, the fun part really never manifested itself.  What I do recall is her demeaning me on several occasions out of nowhere, telling me that I was not doing enough, that my communication sucked, and asking whether she should believe my words or my actions.  That last one she actually said to me several times, and I never did figure out what it actually meant as it just didn’t fit whatever conversation we were having.  In fact, at this point I believe that was her projecting, knowing that neither HER words or actions were good enough.  At this point, it doesn’t matter and I am just glad that I don’t have to walk on eggshells non-stop, wondering what is going to go wrong next, or questioning if I am doing enough.

C71820A3-4025-43C7-AAC5-BE6F8E83C9DA

The no contact continues.  Do I think I will hear from her?  Absolutely, I do.  At some point, she will again become bored with whatever she has and she will test the waters to see if I will respond, even knowing how horribly she discarded me.  I DO remember what she did and how she did it.  I am not a doormat that she can wipe her feet on whenever she wants, no matter how awesome she looked in a bikini.  I have made it this far without her (or my narcissistic ex-wife) and that is a success in my book.  No contact is the ONLY way to keep the kooks out of my life, and I have had enough of the kooks.  Here’s to keeping to the continued No-Contact, loving and accepting myself as I am, and one day finding the “right” person, the other 100% individual that will simply add to what I already am and have rather than completing me.

Advertisements

Six Months After Narcissist #2

DA75A7EC-4B03-43A7-9406-CF8FB5235CC1

I am fine.  I will start off with that.  I’m not perfectly fine,  but I am fine.  Actually, it won’t be six months since I last saw Susie, my ex-narcissistic girlfriend with avoidant tendencies until next weekend, but it doesn’t make much difference.  I am not panicked and, in fact, I feel somewhat blessed to be rid of her for the fourth and final time.  Having it be the final time will most likely be up to me since I am fairly certain she will reach out again.

With the weather changing, the air warmer, the lake thawed, and the greenery starting to show, my favorite time of year is approaching (and Susie’s too, hence the concern regarding contact).  However, with the season comes a lot of memories, good and bad.  And questions!  To add to my issues regarding the change of seasons, I also went out on yet another date with a new woman last night.  I am not sure how it is going to work out (I haven’t buried it yet), but it adds it’s own dimension to the questions.  You would think knowing what I know about narcissists, having been married to one for 5 years and then dating another one for nearly a year and half, I would stop with the questions.  But I don’t.

2E0B331F-7B7F-4847-9719-B17F9645A9AE

I am getting better and better at controlling my thoughts, but the questions still pop up.  I am sure they are probably familiar to others that have been involved with and discarded by a narcissist.  No, the answers (if there are any) are not logical and make no sense, I realize that.  And asking them doesn’t change a single thing, yet they persist.  Things that I think about include:

  • For me at least, every date I go on includes some type of conscious comparison with my narcissistic exe’s.  I tend to find myself wishing they were sitting across from me rather than having to embark on yet another discovery mission.  I know, part of it is simply familiarity and laziness, but knowing just how brutal and unloving they were, why would I even consider them in my thoughts let alone a comparison?
  • How is it they are so able to make a clean break?   Yes, I realize they have a disorder, but they are still human, they still cry when they have a physical injury, they can and do feel (yes, typically about themselves), but the ability to be so final and clear in their decision to depart just floors me.  How do they do it?
  • I know my exe’s have plenty of memories and actual physical “things” associated with what we did together.  Whether is it shirts, or corsets (yes, I was stupid enough to buy two of them for Susie about a month before the final discard – I never got to see them on her but I’m sure somebody has), photos, memorabilia, blah, blah, blah.  How can those things and thoughts not result in any kind of reaction?  Again, I realize my mind and the minds of most don’t work like theirs, but it is so hard to accept that all those things and memories meant so little to them.  It didn’t seem that way at the time.

C325F508-CE4B-4907-B6E6-1A26E7C52B30

  • I tend to ties memories to things that I do and like to do which makes it difficult to do those things in the future (at least for a little while), but those same things don’t bother the narcissist.  For example, places that are special to me, trips that were so memorable (and after all, isn’t it more about who you were with than where you are) are somewhat permanently tied to the narcissist.  I suppose that I like to connect places to people and special times, but the narcissist?  Not so much.  They could actually care less who they are with as long as someone is taking care of things for them and they get to be the center of attention (even if it’s in their own mind).  How can they do that?  Do they even have memories (other than the things we do wrong)?  And how can they do those same things at the very same places with others and not be bothered in the least?
  • If they are truly miserable, why don’t they seek help?  Most things that you read regarding the inner-narcissist is they hate themselves and they use us to occupy their thoughts, to keep them busy so they don’t have to think about how empty and angry they are.  It seems they would want to do better.  How are they simply okay with it and instead of getting to the root of the problem, they just use and discard others at will?

1D682340-2D1E-42D3-9B64-C55F760F3DDD

  • Why do so many random thoughts pop into my mind out of nowhere?  I mean, I have really been trying to “control” my thoughts and have been doing quite well.  No matter, I get so many crystal clear reminders and images of my past regarding each narcissist.  It doesn’t really occur regarding anyone else and when I say crystal clear, it is almost as if I am reliving the moment.  I have to kick it out of my head.  I believe it is Satan or whatever negative force you want to attribute to things.  I would like to do away with it.
  • Finally, why do I care?  I know all of the answers really.  I know they are a mess, they cannot love, they cannot truly be in a giving, sharing relationship.  Everyone is simply an appliance to them and everything is beneath them.  Any answer that I might get would never be good enough, wouldn’t be an acceptable reason or excuse for what they do and how they do it.  The answer is there is no answer.  Why do I, after all this time and all the evidence, struggle to accept there is no answer and there is no fix.  I simply have to stop thinking about it.  It’s truly not me that is the issue no matter how they portray it.

7A2A7293-1235-47E5-80F9-48E72FA21087

I honestly have learned a lot of things about myself since the divorce from the ex-N nearly 5 years ago and now the 4th discard from Susie 6 months ago.  I definitely needed to learn those things, although I wish it wouldn’t have had to be so difficult.  Summer is approaching again and I have a goal for this one to be free of narcissistic influence. It will be the first one in many years that will be.

I know the answers to all those questions.  I need to free myself of the need to keep asking them.  It’s all part of the post-narcissistic journey I guess.  Gotta keep swimming.

Six Months After the Narcissist. Thoughts Change.

IHPIM1242.JPG

It’s going on 6 months since I last had any contact with “Suzy”, my narcissistic ex-girlfriend (not her real name BTW).  In that period, I have had a lot of time to think.

This coming August, it will have been 3 years since we first started seeing each other.  During the first period, we saw each other for 3 months and broke up (after she told me she never said we were exclusive).  That break up lasted 8 months when out of the blue, she asked me to drive 200 miles to her lakefront cottage to visit.  Like a fool (and not having made the connection that she was a narcissist yet), I made the drive.  I can remember it like it was yesterday – it was as if NOTHING had happened.  We had no discussion about the breakup, no discussion about what we had done during the period, we just picked up like nothing had changed.  I remember thinking how strange that was.  Being the co-dependent that I was, I wasn’t going to push it as I was just glad to be back.  In hindsight, I simply overlooked just how crazy that was.

2DA560B3-DD04-47EA-A95A-C4C066BC81A5

We were together for about 5 months that time and, just like the previous 3 month relationship, this period was filled with the constant peaks and valleys.  I continued to journal the entire time (something that I started doing after my narcissistic ex-wife left for the last time) and I can go back and literally see that every other weekend things changed from good to bad, over and over.  Oh, something else that occurred during this second stint was she told me over and over that she never said we weren’t exclusive the first time.  Can anyone say GASLIGHTING?  I have the proof in my journal of all the times and ways she said we “were NOT” exclusive that first time.  Honestly, until I went back and looked at my journal entries, I actually believed her, believed that she never said we weren’t exclusive.

CC75A293-0408-4229-B6CE-B9B9648BAABD

Speaking of gaslighting, something else that she did during that second period was slip up and tell me that she couldn’t do something with me because she had plans to go to the “Harley Bash”.  I could tell she realized she messed up right away, but she continued the lie, first telling me she was going with a woman friend, then telling me the next day that she was indeed going with a guy that she “didn’t like” but she felt sorry for him and that they weren’t having sex and never did.  I was blown away by the whole thing, had really strong thoughts that I needed to get out, but like a fool, I stayed with it.  She ended up not going, but at this point, I do believe she continued to see the guy periodically behind my back.  More on that in a minute…

So we ended up breaking up yet again over an incident where we both drank too much. In hindsight, I believe I had simply had enough (again) and didn’t really care if she left or not.  On this particular incident, even though I reached out and apologized, I didn’t hear a single word from her for nearly 3 months (yes, she completely ghosted me) until she sent me a text on my birthday telling me she was still dealing with our last breakup and actually said she felt like she was “underwater”, whatever that means!  Regardless, being the idiot that I was (and believe it or not still not making the connection that she was a full-blown narcissist even though I had been married to one for 5 years), we got back together for the third time.  Funny thing, remember the “Harley Bash” discussion earlier?  After this reconciliation, she told me straight out that she NEVER said she wasn’t having sex with the Harley guy and matter of fact told me that they had been.  Again, can you say GASLIGHTING?  Once again, I was able to review my journal and find multiple entries where she swore over and over there was no physical relationship nor did she want one.  I was clearly blinded by her beauty.  That’s all I can figure.

505B5991-9660-45D0-920B-48AA784B48C2

The most recent (and last) time, we were together for 8 months, a new record.  All you have to do is go back a few months and you can read about that breakup, the one where she went through my phone twice, accused me of seeing multiple other people while seeing her (which I was not doing and had no desire to do).  Can anyone say PROJECTING?  I thought it was strange that during one of our last sexual encounters she mentioned that I should be wearing a condom.  At the time I thought it was because she thought I was screwing around (which I wasn’t), when the real truth is that she was actually screwing around.  Anyway, after she accused me of seeing others, I finally reacted in a not so nice manner asking if she wanted to talk about “the truth” and proceeded to tell her all of the lies that she had told me during the period.  She went silent, I took her home, and I haven’t heard a word from her since.  Clearly, she already had new supply and was looking for an excuse to walk away from me (again).

Now, I’m just angry with myself, that I didn’t accept what others had told me, many of them readers of my blog, that she was a narcissist pure and simple.  At the time, I thought she was simply an Avoidant.  I absolutely see it now, that she was a serious, incredibly smart, and extremely talented narcissist.  Yes, I still think about her, but I have no desire to see her again.  For one, I have had enough time to read the hundreds of pages of journal entries, the ones that I lost track of how many times I typed “I have got to end this”, or “I don’t want to do this anymore” in response to the constant ups and downs.  I have also had time to reflect on the fact that in all that time together, she NEVER paid for a thing.  When I think about that, really think about it, I almost get sick.  Hundreds of dinners, trips to Vegas, cruises, resort hotels… never so much as offered to help.  She planned nothing, let alone executed or paid for it.  I simply overlooked it, trying harder and harder to please someone who couldn’t be pleased.

FF2E576D-CDA3-482E-8738-79CBCB8FB3C0

I believe I have experienced enough breakups with this woman.  Will she contact me again?  Absolutely.  I have no doubt.  I will not make the mistake of being with her again.  My memories of her have changed and the thoughts about her will never be what they once were.

Giving Up Your Past for the Narcissist. Eventually You’ll Notice.

99C131EC-C5EA-43DB-B7CA-EDAF1861137F

The idea for this post came from feelings that occurred today, almost embarrassing feelings, but here it goes…  I was feeling really anxious today and, for the life of me, I couldn’t understand why.  I actually stopped everything I was doing to attempt to figure out what it was.  It only took a few minutes…

I had been watching a PBS documentary on John Denver.  When I was quite young, John Denver was incredibly popular and as a result, many of his songs have strong memories associated with them, or at least they DID.  As the documentary continued and more and more songs were played, my anxiety increased.  The reason I was feeling so unsettled is because I had essentially erased all of those old memories.  Why?  Because the narcissists in my life didn’t want me to have memories.  Let me explain.

E194340B-128E-419A-BDDC-97E677CFFB35

When I started seriously seeing my narcissistic ex-wife (who has been gone for nearly 5 years now), everything in my life changed.  From her perspective, my life hadn’t begun until I met her.  What that meant was anything that had happened in my life before her or that didn’t include her had never occurred.  My old memories had to be erased, replaced instead with things associated with her.  I wasn’t allowed to talk about my past as she wasn’t in it, and she didn’t want to hear anything that wasn’t about her.

It gets worse than that.  The house we lived in had gotten water in the basement on a couple of occasions.  On one of those, most of the things associated with my past (photos, letters, etc.) got wet.  My goal was to dry them out and put them some place where it wouldn’t happen again.  Instead, my narcissistic ex essentially asked why I needed those things anyway since I was with her now.  Being strongly co-dependent at the time, I agreed.  I also didn’t know then that I was in love with a mirage, a non-existent being that would be gone in a few years, so I hastily got rid of all those things, just threw them in the trash.

FEE5DC05-D968-4D71-AF9B-5EE26B7C7AB0

At the time, there was some level of guilt associated with flagrantly eliminating things that did indeed have sentimental value, but I buried it.  After all, I was now with the woman of my dreams and we would simply make new memories.  I didn’t have a need to revisit those “old” times.  What I didn’t pay attention to was that once those things were gone, they were GONE.  Guess what?  They’re gone, and so is she!

So here I am today, facing the memories of the past conjured up by watching and listening to a John Denver documentary, and I feel helpless, guilty, and quite stupid.  I cannot go back and replace those pieces of memorabilia, things that I could have saved but instead haphazardly discarded trying to please someone who couldn’t be pleased.  I allowed her need for control and to rid me of any thought or memory other than those associated with her to be victorious.  If I could only go back and do things differently.  Alas, I cannot do that, and as a result, the anxiety and guilt are pretty overwhelming.

659B97FF-02BA-41E1-A1E8-09AB08517D8A

It wasn’t just her either.  My most recent girlfriend, Suzy, the one that I haven’t spoken to for nearly 6 months and is also a narcissist (and yes, I am not happy with myself for letting that happen again) was very similar.  There was no talking or revisiting the past.  With Suzy, I knew nothing about her past other than her ex-husband was horrible and she was his victim (oh, and her older sister mistreated her too, poor Suzy).

The lesson to learn is there is a price to be paid for being with a narcissist.  I honestly don’t think I have paid for everything yet.  Today, I paid for the loss of my past.  Yes, I have my memories, but I foolishly eliminated some things that I shouldn’t have (in addition to my integrity, my values, and a lot of money).  It is what it is and I can’t go back, but the effects of the narcissist come back to haunt you when you least expect it.

The Ex-Narcissist’s Impact on Moving Forward.

NDA8E41C4-F83D-4095-BAF1-320269CB19A3

I hit yet another milestone this weekend, although it isn’t one that I wanted or ever planned on achieving.  I had a date with the 50th different woman since my narcissistic ex-wife divorced me in 2015.  It was also the 5th different date since my most recent narcissistic relationship with Suzy ended in October of last year.

I will admit that it actually creeps me out when I really think about it, that I have actually dated that many different women.  That number doesn’t include the second or more dates for a few of them let alone the emails and texts with so many more that I never actually ended up meeting with.  The question that I cannot seem to find a suitable answer for is “why am I still alone”?  Actually, I think that I do have a few answers for that…

Narcissists can create such an ideal situation or fantasy world that nothing else seems to compare.  This was especially true of my ex-wife, with that particular relationship lasting a number of years before she abruptly left (for the 4th time) and never came back.  At that point, my ideal lifestyle seemingly came to a crashing end.  Suzy, she wasn’t quite as adept at mirroring as my ex-wife was, but she was really skilled at making me feel like I was with someone REALLY special.  That’s right, she didn’t treat me all that well but she somehow created this aura around herself that she was better than everyone else.  Even though I knew that wasn’t true, I somehow enabled the fantasy.  When I challenged the fantasy, the relationship came to a screeching halt and she disappeared.  That was never my intent.

D6D2761A-5F5F-40E9-A7C2-7CA79AF10DE9

My narcissists (and I believe it applies to all of them) are able to create an alternate world that one gets sucked right into, and at the time, you don’t really notice.  It’s only after the fantasy ends that you are able to look back and react, first by saying “what the hell happened” followed by “that wasn’t really what I thought it was at all”.  That I have gotten sucked into it twice now in the last several years leaves me feeling a bit stupid and at the same time even more concerned that it can happen again.

With that said, I believe there are several reasons I am still alone.  First, I look for an instant connection, some type of emotional reaction within the first 10-15 minutes of meeting someone.  Clearly, the narcissist is a skilled illusionist and are able to create that crazy dynamic when you first meet.  If I feel bored immediately, I take that as a bad sign and I probably shouldn’t.  I have been bored a lot over those 50 different dates.  The other impact from the ex-narcissists is that I am always on high alert trying to figure out what the other person is.  Are they genuine, am I seeing the real thing, or am I in the middle of being fooled yet again?  That doesn’t make for a positive way forward most of the time.

Yes, there are also the negatives associated with online dating in general that have impact too, with the biggest issues including women that look NOTHING like their photos, or that immediately start supplying too much information about their past relationships and their issues, and there are women that are clearly needy and just want to be taken care of.  I have  lost track of how many times within 5 minutes of a date starting (and sometimes sooner than that) I am mumbling to myself under my breath “I have to get out of here”.  I am coming to the conclusion the online dating thing just doesn’t work, at least not for me.

45F10A6C-ACB0-4579-8FF2-429FEA94587D

Sadly, after ending a date and coming home, those old memories of the ex-narcissists take over to remind me of just what I don’t have and, worse yet, that they were able to walk away with no remorse, no real reason for leaving, and are at that very moment with someone else and that I am not.  Yes, I know the most current new guy is in for the same treatment at some point, but the narcissist is rarely alone and I have spent a large majority of the last 5 years alone.  It is said that regarding relationships, the narcissist is like a monkey, unwilling to let go of one branch until they have a hold of the next.  In my case, that is factual based on my ex-wife and now Suzy.  I wish I was able to do that.  Then again, I have standards, and the narcissist is simply looking for supply, no matter where it needs to come from.  I simply have to grasp where my life is and accept that it is okay.

I am at that point yet again where I have to just STOP!  I have adequate proof that trying to force things to happen, doing it on my own, doesn’t work.  I have concluded that very same thing in the past too but, sadly and to my own detriment, I am not a very patient person.  I am finally coming to the conclusion that I MUST improve my patience as what I have done clearly is not working, no matter what the reason.  I am alone and I need to embrace it.  The dating results are in and they simply are not good.  I do believe at some point, I will end up with the right person at the right time, but not due to any action of my own.

449A98D5-6C0D-4AE4-992C-BDAC544F97A2

Things are moving forward despite the impact my ex-narcissists have left.  I can admit there is some level of positivity in that 4 of the 5 recent dates since Suzy left desired more and wanted to see me again.  I wasn’t that interested.  I just need to accept things will move forward at their own pace instead of me trying to hurriedly get to the next intersection on the map of my life.  Slowing down a bit might actually be kind of nice.

What to do After the Narcissistic Discard? Apparently Nothing.

8FA66195-611A-4370-908D-4BF07D610118

I am in yet another “new” place in my life.  It’s funny how much things have changed, but how much they are still the same.  The feelings are similar, just not as intense as they were the first time around.

What am I talking about you ask?  It has been nearly 5 years now since my narcissistic ex-wife discarded me for the 4th and final time (and not in a nice way either).  During this period, I have done far too much dating trying to find someone, almost anyone at the beginning, that would divert my thoughts, give me something else to think about.  Sadly, I met “Suzy”, a physically gorgeous yet very shallow woman who, for the longest time, I thought was an “avoidant”.  I know differently now.

Suzy and I dated during an approximate 2.5 year period, and minus the time where we weren’t together (because she decided we shouldn’t be), we spent about 17-18 months seeing each other.  It has been 20 weeks now since we have spoken to each other and, here it comes, that was after the 4th discard from her (just like my previous ex which is ironic, but not funny).

6CFCB430-19EE-4F53-84DF-89F0C56F2688

During the 20 weeks, I have been on dates with 4 different new women.  Guess what?  Nothing there.  That’s why I ask what does one do after the discard?  My answer is, apparently nothing.  Again, I am trying to douse my disappointment, the rejection from Suzy, and the silence of being alone through any possible distraction provided by  surrounding myself with others.  It isn’t working.  Before I move past that though, some stupidity on my part…

Though there has been no contact since back in October, I fell into the foolish alcohol induced mistake of reaching out.  I am certain it was the old, less powerful (now) co-dependent in me that just wanted some kind of indication that I did have some value.  One week ago today, I sent Suzy a text stating “I am not convinced that you don’t miss me at least a little”.  As soon as I sent it, I regretted it.  It didn’t matter, as 4 hours later, I still had received no response.  That lack of response was not really any surprise as when we were actually together, it would typically take her that long to respond to most things I sent her (another indication of what I meant to her even during the best of times).  Anyway, I had the wherewithal to send a follow-up text 4 hours later that said “Thanks Suzy. That pretty much puts the exclamation point on things!”.  I haven’t heard a word.  I’m not surprised.  I’m also glad.  I haven’t reached out since and hope I can stand my ground.

8AC13587-6ED9-470B-9A5F-619E36007CEC

The lack of response would be considered typical for a narcissist at this stage as I am nearly certain that she was already seeing someone new before we stopped seeing each other 20 weeks ago.  In fact, I believe that is why she confronted me with the final issue on our last date when she asked “who are you communicating with” (on my phone), when the fact is, I wasn’t communicating with anyone.  She was projecting, knowing full well she was seeing someone else (and knowing it was wrong), so what better thing to do than create a confrontation allowing her to have a reason, an excuse, to split from me, the old supply, and immerse herself in the new, fresh supply.  That she is in the throes of the new relationship made it easy to not respond to my text.  She probably even got a bit of a thrill out of 1) receiving my text further inflating her already considerable ego, and 2) completely ignoring me, boldly underlining just how much I don’t (and didn’t) matter.

253C5866-CEAC-430A-AE0C-F6CB991288E7

As I mentioned earlier, things feel similar to when my ex-wife left for that last time, but there isn’t quite the sting.  I used to put “stress relief” music on to prepare myself to write a new blog post.  Now, I can’t put that music on as it actually puts me in a worse place and makes me feel more depressed, as it reminds me of how low I used to feel.  I am not that low now.  Oh, I’m not necessarily happy with where I am or how things are going, but I am not devastated by it either.

So the dating isn’t working and, quite frankly, I am tired of dating.  I don’t like being alone and yes, it bothers me to think that Suzy isn’t alone.  With that said, I have evidence through 100’s of pages of journal entries during our time together that she was never happy and, in fact, that nothing was ever good enough and I simply spent my time coming up with ever more elaborate ways to try to please her, to get any kind of reaction.  Sadly, the only reaction that I typically got was that whatever I was doing simply was not good enough, that I wasn’t trying hard enough.  Yes, she actually mouthed those words to me on multiple different occasions while we were together.  At the same time, not once did she plan, execute, or pay for a thing.  No gifts, no back rubs, no dinners.  It was ALL about what I could (and should) do for her.  Her new guy is going to be hearing the same crap soon enough.

2E47CC6F-D4E5-4B79-AD23-832F3FC9429C

So here I am, again, with nothing to do.  Yes, I know there are lots of things I could be doing, but I feel exhausted, mentally, emotionally, and physically to a certain extent.  It may be time to stop driving, to let go of the wheel for a little while, and see what happens.  That is something that I am not very good at.  The reality though is that apparently I am not a very good driver either.  I continue to crash the same way, at the same intersection, under the same circumstances.  I’m tired of crashing, hence, it is time to let someone else drive for awhile.  I’m getting tired of having to recover.

That’s No Moon (Avoidant). That’s a Space Station (Narcissist)!

60FDC9FD-462F-4D62-A608-372E3472AB60

And the next thing you should say is “I’ve got a really bad feeling about this” (yes, all lines from Star Wars, but they fit lol).  I had an epiphany this week.  I was convinced that my ex-girlfriend “Suzy” was an avoidant.  Given my extreme understanding of narcissistic females based on the crazy making and now historical relationship with my clearly narcissistic ex-wife, I thought I would recognize any new narcissists in an instant.  Well…, it took reading someone elses post on narcissism to seriously open my eyes.  I was honestly depressed when the light came on.

Fellow blogger graceformyheart in a recent post included these words – “We expect relationships to be reciprocal… Narcissistic relationships are not like that… Narcissistic relationships tend to be one-sided.  We give and the narcissist takes.  It isn’t long before the narcissist demands.  If you have been in such a relationship, let me assure you the feeling of being drained is normal…”.   I was dumbfounded, convicted, and quite frankly sad.  How did I miss it?  It precisely described my lengthy relationship with Suzy.

8841F73A-612F-4D8A-BF34-94E6E7B851CA

I can’t say that people didn’t warn me, because they certainly did.  Over the last 2.5 years, plenty have told me to look out, that if she isn’t a narcissist, that she certainly has narcissistic tendencies.  I believe that is how I justified it, that she simply had “tendencies”, and we all have those.  Besides, she didn’t do things quite the same as my narcissistic ex-wife.  In hindsight, Suzy was much more sinister and much more egregious.  After all, her sense of entitlement was so off the charts that she didn’t pay for a THING over the 15 month period that we dated during that 2.5 year span, and she wasn’t a cheap date either.  I kept thinking it was coming, but clearly she had no intention of ever paying for a thing.  Only after I asked her in our last written correspondence about possibly paying for something occasionally did she immediately tell me everything I thought was wrong, that she was right, and bye-bye.  There has been no contact since.

This is the same woman who told me she loved me for the first time after dating for over a year, and then things came crashing down quickly after.  The funny thing is, both my relationship with my ex-narcissistic wife and with Suzy ended almost identically.  Check this out…

E52388C8-F118-4DF9-AC8F-1841F72A85E1

Just a couple of weeks before she moved out for the final time, my ex-wife and I were scheduled to have a weekend vacation in a resort area.  That she was heavily devaluing me at the time, I cancelled the reservation and told her it would probably be best if we didn’t go.  You would have thought I told her that she was ugly and didn’t deserve to live.  She was absolutely livid about it, ranting that she could NOT understand why I wouldn’t want to be with her and that she thought we should go, almost demanding it (even though she was in the process of leaving the relationship).  We didn’t go.  Let’s shift to Suzy…

Suzy and I were, oddly enough, scheduled to go to the exact same place I was going to take my ex-wife (of course, I made the reservations and paid for it).  Prior to going, we were at her cottage and this was the same weekend that she decided she wanted to go through my phone.  I let her, but I was NOT happy about it.  I subsequently told her that if she didn’t trust me, she probably shouldn’t be with me and I added that I didn’t think we should continue on to the resort .  Guess what her response was?  Yes, same as my ex-wife, she was livid and blasted me for not wanting to go with her (even though she essentially told me I was a liar and that she didn’t trust me in the prior sentence).  Is that ironic or what?

B90B045A-393A-4E6B-8911-45E9F3829870

What was it really?  It was a missed opportunity for both of them to be on display, to attain glances from so many strangers, to obtain more supply in a place ripe with opportunity.  They cared less who they were with, who actually took them there.  I was just a means at that point.  I have another example of the parallel craziness.

Just prior to the final discard with my ex-wife, I put together a surprise birthday party for her.  I gathered up all of her minions and arranged for a pretty good group of people to show up.  Everything was going great, and I mean everyone was having fun, the party couldn’t have been going better, and then…  A couple of hours into it, she comes up to me, looks me straight in the eyes, and says “I pay half the bills”.  Taken aback, I said “excuse me?”, and she repeats in a very calm and soft voice “I pay half the bills”.  I wasn’t sure what to think, other than knowing she was full of crap. She had never paid half the bills in our entire history, and on top of that her ex-husband had stopped making child support payments to her a few months earlier and, at that point, she stopped contributing anything.  I was both shocked and angry at the same time.  I essentially told her that she didn’t, that she knew she didn’t and I started to move away from her.  She repeated it again, even knowing I was mad.  I’ll come back to this, but on to Suzy…

ED37DDB1-F1D2-4D36-8DE8-A288E96233FC

The very last time Suzy and I were together, I had gone to her house and picked her up (even though I had worked all day and had already driven 100 miles that day) because she wanted me to.  I bought dinner (as usual) and brought her to my house.  The next day, I tell her about a festival nearby and we agree to go.  On the way into town, she suggests we stop for a drink, and who am I to tell her no?  It is a nice time, my son joins us, and again, everyone is seemingly having a good time.  As she goes outside to vape, I pay the bill and step outside.  As I approach her, she starts asking who I was communicating with (my phone was in my hand) and, confused, I ask her what she meant.  She starts spouting off names of women (some friends, some co-workers, but no one with which I was romantically inclined whatsoever).  She then says something about me being untruthful and things took off from there.  I got upset and for probably the first time, I shared what I really thought regarding who was being untruthful.  Consider this was only about 10 days after the previous looking through my phone incident.  I took her home and we haven’t spoken since.  I truly believe that she was projecting what she was doing (seeing someone else) which also made it so much easier for her to walk away since she had new supply on tap.

Here’s the thing – it is said that when things are going to well, when there isn’t strife or animosity present, the narcissist will simply create it.  These examples run so parallel to each other that I am still amazed by the similarities.  Everything was going smoothly, too smoothly, so lets throw some drama into it.  They were both pro’s at it and got exactly what they were out to get.

850E47A5-1C1C-4235-89C7-6F9D935881D4

It’s all good though.  Accepting Suzy is a full-blown narcissist does make a lot of confusing things fall into place, just like it did with the ex-wife.  It also makes it very clear that no-contact is the only way to go.  And just to put an exclamation point on it, this is a woman who just four short months ago told me that she loved me and that I continued to be nice to even after all the incidents.  Do you think she reached out at all on my birthday this week?  Of course not.  I am not surprised.  It is all good.  As long as I keep learning, it’s all good.  I will do better next time.  I’m going to keep telling myself over and over.

Life After the Narcissist. What a Mess.

45D0E2A6-327E-4CA7-B6F9-DB0D98B23E6F

I have gotten to the point where I feel the need to develop a post, but I just don’t know what to say anymore.  I am still not content and still searching for that elusive overall peace that I’m hoping to find.  Oh, and there is always that new love of my life that I still, after 4+ years, haven’t found.  It’s a weird place to be.

I think where I’m at is a culmination of a number of things all coming together at once that are leaving me feeling a bit off-balance.  For one, I have yet another birthday approaching that I will be spending alone.  It’s one of those milestones where every year I tell myself “next year is going to be different and I’m going to have a significant other to share it with me…”.  Nope, not this year, again.  I have reasons why I think this continues, but more on that further down the page.

Something else is I had a friend at work come into my office this most recent Friday and tell me he had run into my ex-narcissist in another building at work.  He told me he could not believe “how rough she looked” and that “she has aged considerably in the last couple of years”.  I’m not sure why I struggled with that.  You would think I would be happy about it, maybe sense a little karma, but no.  I actually felt a little bad for her.  I guess that is the me that still has some level of feelings for her, or at the least the “her” that I thought she was.  I continue to be amused that I haven’t spoken to her face-to-face in well over 3 years, even though we pass one another occasionally (yes, we still both work at the same facility).  I have accepted what she is.

15F05BAC-4534-408C-BED9-8EEEDA10236B

Then there is the fact that I still continue to think about my avoidant ex-girlfriend.  It’s been 17 weeks now since “Suzy” and I have had any contact, with the last bit being her essentially telling me I was screwed up, she wasn’t, and good luck.  Since then, I have done a pretty good job of convincing myself that she was and continues to be bad for me (or anyone else for that matter).  At the same time, I can’t help but wonder how a seemingly decent person can allow someone to put the amount of time and emotional energy (not to mention $$$) into her that I did and then just simply shut the door.  I know, it’s not all that uncommon, but this is me thinking out loud, and the thought is there.  Yes, I have considered what other’s have told me, i.e. that she has considerable narcissistic tendencies (and I have regrettably come to agree with them).  Yes, my dislike of rejection has something to do with it too, but it is more than that.  I like to think that she is indeed thinking about me and what she so willingly and easily gave up, but that is probably not the case and is simply me projecting.  I suppose having the ex-narcissist and then the ex-avoidant in succession leaves me wondering about humanity a little bit, asking if there really are any decent people out there?  I believe there are – I just don’t seem to “pick” them.

Finally, there is the fact that my latest dating “friend” also is no longer, although at least this time it is of my own choice.  Once again, I believe that I made someone who I didn’t know into someone that I wanted to know.  I built her into someone that she wasn’t.  As soon as I confirmed that was the case, I put a stop to it.  Yes, she was nice, but she lived nearly 2 hours away and also, due to her ethnicity, we struggled with communication.  I also just didn’t feel that giddiness that I long for… which leads me back to where I was going in the second paragraph above.  Why haven’t things changed much in the last 4+ years.

11F1275E-F8AB-4877-ACC7-13C6CD76EDF3

Some things have indeed actually changed.  I’m not depressed, panicked, or just feeling lost like I have in the past.  There have been some good things happen and some good times, I have learned more about myself, learned to live alone, learned to take more chances… but I’m still alone.  I never would have dreamed that nearly 5 years after the final departure of my narcissistic ex-wife that I would STILL be alone.  What is it and what can I do to change it?

There are several answers to that question.  One, I continue to search for that fantasy woman, the one that both the narcissist and the avoidant were able to, for lack of a better term, portray.  On the outside, they were beautiful, charming, energetic, all those shallow qualities the typical male desires.  But on the inside, they are conflicted, angry, valueless, vain, unloving, selfish, greedy, and a bunch of other less than desirable qualities.  The bottom line is that I keep looking for the WRONG woman.  On top of that, I still lack patience.  I have been on a mission to find what’s missing in my life and that clearly isn’t working.  I am moving so fast that I am not able to see what I am passing right by.  I have to slow down.  That is hard for me to do, if not impossible.

E405C399-D126-479A-BB68-F66FE02BF76F

So I sit here reminiscing, thinking far too much about my ex-avoidant girlfriend, being disappointed in my recent “possibility” that didn’t work out, and wondering what will happen next, and when.  I can say that I do NOT consider my ex-narcissist anymore, that I have pretty effectively let that go.  Yes, I think about things that we did and that she had a special “feeling” about her, but I also chalk that up to her narcissistic abilities and that very little of it was real.  I do feel victory in that.

One more birthday alone.  I can do it.  I don’t necessarily want to, but I need to reflect on the changes that I have made, that I continue to change and improve, and that maybe this will be the last birthday alone.  If there is anything I have learned it is that time continues to march forward, and there is no way to stop it.  You can either go with it, or fight it.  I am tired of fighting.  Here’s to my final birthday alone.

Why Do I Fight the Loss of My Avoidant ex-Girlfriend?

337acbb4-0a46-470a-9a6c-901d5aa7aac5

The weather is frigid today at 11 below zero, not counting the wind chill.  Knowing that, I also know that spring is looming, blue skies, flowers, and activities on the lake.  Good times that should be spent sharing with someone else.  I am looking so forward to it.  I am leaving my avoidant ex-girlfriend (“Suzy”) behind just like I am going to leave these cold temperatures behind.

I have started dating again, and I recently met someone who is very different, yet quite promising.  At first, I didn’t think so, as she was missing a certain… umm… quality.  I didn’t think a whole lot about it, but she made me.  That’s right, she continued to be nice to me even after I thought I had made up my mind that she wasn’t right for me.  I believe between my narcissistic ex-wife and my avoidant ex-girlfriend, I had lost touch with what “normal” looks like.  This woman is reminding me there are attractive, normal women that can and do actually care about someone besides themselves.

8c41a371-2a07-4685-bba6-9bd8794ef27d

Here’s the thing – the feeling that was missing was that “hook”, that allure the avoidant and the narcissist have.  The girl was simply too boring, wasn’t immediately captivating, and didn’t grab my attention.  Oh, she is beautiful, young, very successful with two thriving businesses, but I wanted to walk away.  Why would I do that (and I actually asked myself that question for several days)?

On top of that, after meeting her for the first time, I found myself somehow missing “Suzy” even more.  The worst part is that even after going back and revisiting my journals, finding things that I had forgotten about that were beyond cruel and unusual, I still had a longing for Suzy.  Why?  Because that had become my new “normal”, and we always want what feels normal, what we are used to.  I am intent on changing the way that I think.

Yes, this wonderful new woman whom I only recently met has opened my eyes a bit, even though I was determined to keep them closed, to continue to invite undesirable personalities into my life because that’s what I was used to.  Instead of longing for what I have lost, I need to be celebrating that I actually lost it.  I really, truly dodged a bullet with Suzy walking away from me again.  It has been 16 weeks now since we last had contact, and that is a new record in the 2.5 years that her and I were acquainted.  I will NOT reach out to her, and hopefully my new “friend” will help me see the value in that.

7fe75be3-4e80-4716-bb66-d9495355f9e0

So what’s different about the new woman?  I have asked myself that over and over because whatever it is, it does feel somewhat foreign to me.  I have only known her for a few weeks, but she complements me, she engages with me (instead of it being a one way street, giving but never receiving), she actually shares.  Sadly, I am simply not used to that and it fees a bit scary.  Oh, I certainly like it, at least I think I do, but it is not what I am used to.  It is violently shoving me out of my comfort zone, but the comfort zone I was used to being in was not a place I should have wanted to be, ever.

Yep, Suzy is gone and I think that I miss her but, in fact, I simply miss being with someone and she dominated my time long enough.  I am sincerely looking forward to being around someone who might actually care about me and not just themselves.  The hardest thing for me to do at this point is leave the past behind, continue to grow beyond the co-dependent that I was (and I continue to get better), to leave Suzy brutally and effectively in the past, in that -11 degree weather, a place that her cold, empty heart (if she has one) can thrive (but on someone else).

8f0b21f5-0c16-4ef6-a2be-d0ed3aa8b96f

I have entered a new phase.  Here’s to again looking forward and not looking back, to letting go of unrequited love and finding real love.

Looking for What We Want While Dating. Finding Out We Don’t Really Know.

9e46435d-be8c-4f94-a05e-83e513a2b957

I have dipped my toes back into the online dating world and the learning continues. If you would have tried to tell me how much I didn’t know about people 10 years ago, I would have said you were crazy.  Now, I continue to find out there is more that I don’t know than what I do know.  Is it just the circumstances?  Possibly, and please let me explain.

If you have been following my ongoing relational saga, you will know it has been quite the roller coaster ride.  First, I married a full on narcissist resulting in bliss for a time followed by the inevitable devaluing, which she implemented for quite some time while allowing me to to do everything I possibly could to keep her, until she finally left for the last time (and was already seeing someone else just a couple of miles away).  Somehow (probably because I wouldn’t give up), the marriage lasted for about 5 years.  After the divorce was final, I went on a dating spree in my desire to find a replacement just like her (how dumb was that?).

I ended up attracted to “Suzy” (her fake name that I gave her), an avoidant attachment type (which I didn’t know about at the time) and we cycled through the anxious/avoidant peaks and valleys just like all the books say.  That continued on and off over a 2+ year period, with the 4th and final time of her departure occurring 3+ months ago.  Being with her was fodder for a lot of my blog posts I must say.  There has been no contact since.

f8675d7d-b246-4e6c-afc1-31fade5b20e6

That brings me to the present time.  I have made considerable improvement with my co-dependence.  I no longer panic like I once did, I know when to walk away from someone, and I don’t allow myself to be with someone just for the sake of being with someone.  I have also learned what to watch out for as far as narcissistic and avoidant traits (and there are a lot f them out there).  With that said, I don’t want to be alone, hence the online dating activity.

I have actually dated some women that are nothing like my ex’s (the N and the A), so that is good.  Funny thing though, I continue to find that in nearly every case, you end up with someone who either you aren’t interested in, or conversely you are very attracted to, but they aren’t attracted to you.  It seems almost inevitable.  These days, I don’t react to it, but I do try to figure out why it is so.  For example, I recently met a very attractive and interesting woman whose husband had died just shy of 3 years ago.  We had a very nice date, fun, good back and forth communication, and it seemed neither of us were in a hurry to leave.  However (yep, here it comes), when I told her a couple of days later that I would like to see her again, her response was that she was “trying to find someone that made her feel the way her husband that had passed made her feel”.

9948c5f7-2cd0-40d1-b4c4-7d342545242f

I understand completely, as that is precisely what I was after following the departure of my ex-narcissist.  The thing is, the chances of finding that person are nearly nil.  Believe me, I tried, going on dates with more than 30 different women before I figured out I simply wasn’t going to find the “good” version of my ex.  Accepting that I was not like the woman’s husband that she lost, I just let it go, wishing her well in her search (and knowing she has a lot of frustration in front of her).

I have also been trying different strategies, dating women of different ethnicities, which I never would have considered in my youth.  Funny how things change.  I recently went out with a beautiful Asian woman (and I am a visual person, so that was a plus).  We had talked on the phone several times before we met which was a first for me as I find the phone a bit uncomfortable and prefer to just meet, so I did know some things about her.  She owns her own business and has been in the US since she was 18.  I also found her broken English kind of endearing.  When we met for the first time, there were a few suprises in store.  After prompting (and without going into a lot of detail), I found out her divorce isn’t final yet (“still going to court” she says) and that she has a restraining order against her husband.  That would have been nice to know before meeting.

Now, as I find myself distancing myself from her, she is relentlessly trying to stay in contact.  If she weren’t still technically married, things may be different, but she is and that could drag on for months if not years.  Sadly, that’s not going to work for me.  As badly as I would like someone in my life, I am going to do it right, and her not really being in a legal or moral position to be with someone else doesn’t work.

5f00ba17-8757-4852-a40e-00ff23c8f64c

I am still a bit of an overanalyzer, and I find myself trying to piece all of these things together.  I was married to a narcissist, then I dated an avoidant for an extended period of time.  Since 2015, I have dated over 40 different women, yet here I sit, alone.  Given all the dating activity, I would love to tell myself that I am just a “player”, but that’s not the case at all.  I know what I want, but it just doesn’t seem to be in “one” person, i.e. they almost all have one or more things that I am hoping to find, but so far I haven’t come across someone with whom I share enough commonalities, or I don’t have what they are looking for.

Knowing what I do these days about relationship styles and disorders (which sometimes I wish I didn’t know), I am left wondering how anyone stays together.  It seems like a distant dream, almost a fantasy to find that “one” that also thinks you are that “one” for them.  No, I am definitely not looking for perfection… I am smarter than that.  I didn’t struggle like this when I was younger, and maybe there is something to that, i.e. I am in a hurry and growing impatient nowadays because I see time running out.

61c65fa5-ee24-4948-ba00-05cdd0f2652a

I am not giving up and I have accepted being alone, but I do know that is not what I want.  I just have to keep trying to focus on what it is that I really need in my life, to continue to not settle, and to hope that elusive divine connection occurs.  I will not “force” another relationship or take on the responsibility of keeping one going just for the sake of not being alone.  For certain, that much I do know.