As all narcissists do, she was merely here to feed off my soul, I was food for this gluttonous lover. Perhaps my romantic notions of vampires and love were actualized in this pathological way. The empathic good-hearted mortal, a hopeless romantic, falls in love and self-sacrifices with a sexy, dangerous, unattainable mystery without a soul.
It is a character study much like an actor would do to win the audience, gain admiration, to capture the emotions of the watchers, and to reap the benefits of such an Oscar-winning performance. I felt so in it. I was engrossed in the love story, feeling every emotion, following every twist, sitting on the edge of my seat. This was a romantic comedy that would occasionally flash into a psychological thriller. I was left disarrayed in lies that I did not know how to get back into myself, my body, my vessel, who was sitting and watching the movie in the audience.
When the reality of my relationship with my partner began to reveal itself to me, when her mask completely fell away when the jig was finally up, the credits started to roll and the lights came on. I hauntingly recall looking into the eyes of my lover and seeing an emptiness that terrified me.
The Terms & Definitions
Educating myself helped me to identify terms and definitions for what I went through. Words and names for the experiences that many others were also having. I was being seduced by a histrionic, charming, narc. Wooed and pursued, love, bombed, and then slowly but surely being relied on for help and survival, creating an enabling and dependent dynamic. In the moments of disillusionment, you are then gaslighted then drowned in pathological lies. I was ambiently abused, projected upon, given the silent treatment, dosed, bait and switched, and just when I was feeling loved, it would suddenly be withheld leaving me confused and wondering what I did wrong. When I could not take it anymore and would try to distance myself and leave—I was hoovered back in because she so desperately loved and needed me. I was needed as a supply for her survival. I was put in positions where I had to carry her weight and responsibilities. When I would create boundaries, she would pull a vanishing act and eventually leave me discarded like a piece of trash. And don’t forget the flying monkeys they recruit to do a smear campaign on you to make them look like they need saving from your relationship and controlling ways. Many who are in a relationship with a narcissist suffer from Stockholm Syndrome. It ends so badly and abruptly that you are left wondering if you ever meant anything to the narc. I went through the cycles several times. It was psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, and even physically abusive.
The Victims of narcissistic abuse
Typically the victims of narcissistic abuse are high achievers, have great reputations, are intelligent, kind-hearted, giving, empathic, and nurturing. The Narc needs to choose persons of high value so that their own stock can go up. Of course, we must also recognize the shadow aspects of these traits that the victims have as they manifest into the need to be needed, of co-dependency, and the martyr with poor boundaries. The Narc is drawn to people who are understanding and have the potential to be a doormat simply because they are more likely to tolerate and forgive them. Narcs need someone who can make them look good. The more popular, the more successful, the more rich, the more respected– the better.
How a Narc becomes a Narc
The narc typically develops in childhood. There is usually a narcissist adult and this becomes fertile grounds for a child becoming either a narc themselves or a magnet for a narc. The potential narc child doesn’t get the love, attention, or validation that they felt they needed. At some point, the child discards their true selves similar to the metaphor of selling their soul, and commit to getting their needs met at all costs. This insatiable desire to get their needs met can never be actualized because they seek it from the external and not within. Sure, many of us will do this, search externally for our happiness but the narc does so without any regard or empathy for others. If you can’t give them what they want, you are useless. They carry a grandiose sense of entitlement to absolutely every aspect of their life because they were so wrong as a child. They spend their lives externally seeking to meet their unmet needs at the expense of anyone who may be able to supply it. This need for supply is survival and the world is against them and it is everyone’s fault but their own. Because they felt so robbed as a child and carry much anger toward their caregiver for not providing it, they project that same anger and resentment onto the world and all the people in it.