One Woman’s Story of ‘Narcissistic Crazy-making’
My partner is a narcissist and he is driving me crazy. He does this with such panache and ease that I almost admire his ability to do so. He will go from the nicest, most charming Dr. Jekyl (in public) to the dark, twisted Mr. Hyde (in private) in the blink of an eye. Prince Charming transforms into the Prince of Darkness right before my eyes.
When we first met, I thought I had found Mr. Perfect, Mr. Right. He seemed to be too good to be true. He was handsome, charming and he knew all the right people and all the right places to be. He worshipped me and put me on a pedestal- according to him, I was perfect and could do no wrong. We were both in seventh heaven and madly in love. Or so he said and so I thought.
Now he criticizes me all the time- what I wear, how I look, my opinions, even my cooking (which he previously said was so good it was beyond comparison). When I have a bad day, or more importantly, a significant crisis- he isn’t there for me. He can only talk about himself day and night; instead of offering me support, he complained about how my crisis affected and interrupted his day.
He projects all his “bad” behavior on to me- blaming me for anything and everything that goes wrong or might go wrong. He accuses me of doing the very thing he is guilty of doing. He constantly accuses me of having an affair with male friends…yet he was the one who had an affair with a friend. Then he said it was my fault because I didn’t provide enough compliments; I didn’t stroke his ego enough. He is never sorry and he never apologizes. After all, I should apologize to him because whatever went wrong was my fault (yes, he actually said I should apologize to HIM when he had the affair!). He always acts as if he were the victim, not the perpetrator.
He mocks me and puts down everything about me- from the perfume that I wear to the music I listen to or to the friends I have. He makes fun of anything I believe in and any opinion that I express. Not only am I no longer “perfect”, but I can never do anything right; nothing is ever up to his standards. It seems the more I get emotionally upset, the colder and icier he gets. He keeps his composure while I lose mine.
Sometimes I feel like I am losing my mind as well. Lately, he has started to literally drive me crazy to the point where I am not sure about myself anymore. He will say something or do something and then completely deny he ever said it or did it. He says I imagined it or that it never happened and that I am just crazy. I am beginning to think I am crazy as I am starting to believe what he says.
When I know I am right and state that I am certain of what he said or did, he storms out of the room in a verbally abusive rage and then completely refuses to talk to me or acknowledge me. He totally ignores me for days and sometimes weeks. He will act as if I were invisible and meaningless. It is worse than living with a three year old who tantrums and then sticks their fingers in their ears so they can’t hear you. His iciness literally freezes you out.
When he is not ignoring me, he demands my full attention. If I have an important deadline or pressing appointment, he will do something to sabotage it and make me late or not go at all.
Sometimes I feel like I am the enemy and that it is not a relationship between us- it’s a war. And there can only be one winner (him) and one loser (me). When the constant criticism, insults and demands become too abusive, I pack up and leave. He cries and says he will change. He calls and texts and emails me, showering me with the charm and attention he showed me in the beginning of our relationship. I am drawn to this man like a magnet and every time I go back. But he never changes. Oh, for a few days everything is wonderful again but then the cycle starts again. Once more, the verbal abuse starts as does the manipulations, mind games, coldness and blaming. It is so exasperating and frustrating. How can he be so charming one moment yet so evil the next? It is driving me crazy.
I feel like he is a vampire and sucking the life out of me, taking my own self esteem and even my soul. He has tormented me so much that I feel like I am going crazy- I can’t make up my own mind about anything anymore. I can’t even decide which I want more… to kill him or to kill myself. (Just kidding…I think)