A Narcissist wants their victims to feel insecure in a relationship for this increases their feeling of being powerful. They will go to any lengths to acquire and keep control, diverting negative attention from themselves and deflecting it onto those whom they rely upon for Narcissistic supply. One method of going about this is to create an environment where the victim is constantly questioning their own motives and afraid to point out ways in which their own needs are not being met in the relationship.
During our last conversation, when I finally was at my wits end and demanded an apology from him, he said he had nothing to apologize for and added a commentary about my need to learn to make others more important than myself. Translated, this means he was expecting me to continue to place his needs above my own and forget the abusive things he had done. Yet, I continue to reflect on his criticism, weighing in my own mind’s eye whether or not there is any credence which ought to be lent to it for this is my way. Analytically, I know he is capable of using anything he can to not accept responsibility for what he did to me on the day of Mom's funeral. I reflect because my heart still wants to believe he isn't a monster.
Since he's found new Narcissistic supply, he won't acknowledge how little I asked of him nor the thousands of ways in which I put his needs above my own while we were a couple. When I've reminded him of specific instances, he's complained about how these topics are unpleasant. What he's really saying is that it's inconvenient for him to have to be reminded. While we were a couple, he philosophized about the importance of giving without expectation of return. I adapted my point of view over the years.
Was I foolish to give so much to him? Only if one believes that love isn't worth the risk. I don’t mean to portray myself as a helpless martyr here, by any means. When I believed it was possible to reason with this man, I stood up for the things that really mattered but stopped short of ultimatums. Issuing ultimatums has never been my style and my Narcissist took great advantage of this.
How many times have we heard that the good guy always finishes last? Why does our culture insist on making good people lose? My guy was clever, as Narcissists are. He artfully employed the love he knew I had for him to gain my sympathy and relied heavily on my style of accepting others for exactly who they were being. Ultimately, it was that love I held for him that he employed to destroy me.
When he needed me for Narcissistic supply, he engaged with me in deep discussions about the importance he placed on feeling free to choose and how much he appreciated my ability to allow him to move freely in our relationship. What wasn’t clear at the time was I was being conditioned by him to accept even those things that crossed my personal boundaries.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Walking on Eggshells.” This condition of existence defines a malignancy in any relationship. It is normal to be gentle when people we love have had a bad day or are suffering from a malady of some sort. We forgive bad manners when we understand. In a normal relationship, we know it's not a chronic condition. When you are involved with a Narcissist, they feel entitled to make you tread lightly and enforce their will through tantrums or emotional blackmail.
It seems appropriate to end this post with another poem I wrote entitled, Eggshells to Bombshells, as the emotional battering began. It’s a sad little thing, I admit, but these testimonials of my feelings are very genuine.