I’d been lingering in the Narcissistic harem, for about 6 months after The Break-up from Hell. He had been dangling the carrot all that time, always just out of reach. I was in despair.
Then came The Day that he exceeded all limits of emotional cruelty I’d ever experienced, with anyone. Now, as an isolated event, maybe this wouldn’t have been the worst. But after 3,5 years of hundreds of broken promises, this event somehow encapsulated all the cruelty into one point; the singularity resulting in the Big Bang.
After these 6 months, I had started talking to this new man online, taking my first Bambi-like steps towards some casual dating. Just a sort of pastime. I figured it could help me focus on something else than the pain.
This new man seemed really nice though, so after a few weeks we decided I should go visit him. He lived very far away. When the flight was arranged, mr. Narc reached out again, making small, but annoying, attempts at contact.
Now, these previous 6 months, Narc made “booty calls” to me, mixed with the occasional vague “serious” hoover; “I just wanna work things out…” (followed by the Disappearing Act).
Until he got wind of the fact that I was trying to move on, by dating. Then everything changed, overnight. He started sending these long letters, which he would swing by and drop in my mailbox.
For three consecutive days, there was one letter each day. For every day I didn’t reply, the letters went from “I miss you”, to “We’re gonna regret this for the rest of our lives!” Each letter was 2 pages long. Upon reading the first two, I still felt strong.
By the third letter, there was a shift inside me. This person seemed to be in so much pain. Could it be he truly wanted to make a mends? The old fears still stayed my hand, as I started to reach for the telephone. I didn’t dare to reply; what if he’d just pull another “peek-a-boo”? Drop me in a free-fall without parachute, as soon as I’d put my heart on the line and replied? I had been through that too many times to count already. So, I resisted.
Letter number four. “I am ready…You’re the one I want to share everything with.. Please believe; I want all those things you want. I’ve just been scared.” Four pages of regrets, promises…
“I’ve been an idiot…If you could just find it in your heart to forgive me, I’ll do anything.. Right away! I do want to have children with you. We can start anytime! I swear; just hear me out. If you’d like, we could start looking at houses, right away. I just want to live with you. I’ll never let you down again”.
After a few hours, I picked up the phone. After all, he had never poured his heart out like this. Sure, he’d let me down hundreds of times, but this? This just couldn’t be fake, him writing all these long letters, so filled with pain. It had to be real.
I heard the dialling tone. Suddenly a cold hand gripped my heart; what if this was a trick, again?? I quickly reassured myself; no one could be so cruel, not after everything. It was unthinkable.
Me: “Hi. I just.. I received your letters. I thought, maybe you wanted to talk”.
Hero: “Oh hello. Yes.. Sure”.
Me: “Well, you had some.. suggestions about how you wanted to fix things. Would you like to talk about that?”
“Oh… that. Yeah..Well, I didn’t mean it like that, like we should do everything…at once. What I really meant was that it would be nice to, like, just see each other sometimes“.
I had trouble getting air into my lungs. I could not speak a word; I just put away the phone. —————
I suddenly recalled the mantra I had learned about narcissists; one of the main reasons they hoover is to keep you from ever moving on from the pain they caused you.
——6 months later. I was having dinner with a close friend. (She knew some things about Hero, not everything, though).This was the first time I had the strength to tell this story to anyone; I had felt too ashamed, for a long time. I’d felt so stupid; sort of like I imagine people might feel after losing all their money to a con man. I should’ve known better.
My friend looked at me, wide-eyed; “Wow! That is truly sick! Have you ever considered he might have a personality disorder?”
I had to bite my lip to not start crying; in these 4 years, this was the first time anyone else but me, had put those exact thoughts, into words… I’m not crazy.