WARNING: RED FLAGS AHEAD
Another Warning: Total Cathartic Highly-Personal Venting Rant Below…
I see them sooner these days, that’s for sure. But I have a tendency to still make excuses for too many of them because, like Mulder always says, “I want to believe,” and as Spike said, “I’m love’s bitch.” I want to believe because I’m kind, compassionate, emathetic, trusting, naive, and foolish in matters of the heart.
I want to believe because I’m lonely, so very lonely.
For someone who had always held a special place in my heart, I really did want to believe in him, but the RED FLAGS were there from the beginning. We even talked about some of the things that concerned me, when he was still speaking to me. I told him how I was concerned he was expressing love so soon, that I was afraid I was just a fantasy, a distraction from the grief and loss. That I was thrilled it was so wonderful and we were sharing so much… and afraid it would end as quickly as it started. I knew something was rotten in the state of Denmark, but I wanted so desperately to believe.
As you read in my poem, For Just A Few Moments, things between us were going so well. I suppose, too well, for I did suspect Love Bombing (2, 3)**, but after what this person had meant to me in the past, I wanted to believe he was just passionate like me. That he was genuine and authentic. That he was honest and self-aware. That he was real.
He sure seemed to be for two weeks. We shared intimate details and vulnerable stores. We bared our souls and hearts and accepted each other for who we were. His expressions of affection got deeper, more serious. . . and then he told me “I love you” on Christmas Night. He had been hinting at it for a few days, over the moon about our reconnection and how well we got along, talking for hours upon hours, projecting a future together.
I totally bought it hook, line, and sinker.
In part because of our former childhood friendship and my guilt over breaking his 16-yr-old heart and all the effort I put into finding him over the decades, but it was mostly because of what this man has endured. So. much. loss. and illness. I thought anyone who has survived all that must be authentic, must be real, must be brave and strong. There is no room for pretense with all that going on.
I did suspect he might be a narcissist since I was attracted to him. Because, you know me…I’m a fucking narcissist/sociopath magnet, but he passed every narc-test I threw at him. He was kind, sweet, open, communicative, funny, vulnerable, honest, cute….
Maybe it is real, I told myself.
Maybe I found one of the rare genuine people left in this fucking world.
Yeah. Spoiler alert: I didn’t.
The Red Flags I Ignored To My Own Heartbreaking Peril:
- No long-term relationship lasting over 1.5 yrs, and he’s nearly 50
- Only 3 relatively serious relationships, ….and he’s nearly 50
- Quick to fall in love and express deep emotion (again, it’s possible as I’m quick to fall, too… but then I don’t turn on a fucking dime and shut them out)
- Juvenile language/attitudes toward sexuality
- Described himself as an “Egotist with Low Self Esteem” – excellent definition of a narcissist, especially a covert narcissist (1 2 *3*).
- Delusions of Grandeur, like working for the Library of Congress when he doesn’t even have a HS Diploma
- Lived with his mother for the past 7 years (although understandable due to illness)
- Runs/Hides from grief and pain. Cannot face uncomfortable emotions.
- Freaked out over perceived slights 3 times in the span of 10 days and shut down. (again, understandable because of the overwhelming grief and loss… and there I am making excuses again)
- Despite an insidious physical illness, he doesn’t care for himself. Obvious self-sabotaging and self-destructive behaviors.
- He showed no empathy for me when I was hurt and triggered, despite the fact that I bent over backwards to soothe him when he was hurt/triggered/freaking out (all about *perceived* sexual rejections/criticism, because I certainly did neither).
- TURNS ON A DIME = JEKYLL / HYDE BULLSHIT (see below)*
Seriously, Olivia? I mean, I fucking wrote about this SIX YEARS AGO! When will I learn?
And what do I do ??? Do I walk away? Do I slowly back away? Do I cut him from my life? Do I run like fucking hell in the opposite direction?
— I give him every opportunity to be reasonable, to re-open communication, to come back to me. To “give us a real chance.” To meet me after all these years apart. To withhold a final decision until we can meet in person. To honor his word and be a friend.
Why? Why the fuck do I do it? (refer to list at the top of this post)
How much longer am I going to devalue myself and put up with this type of abusive behavior?
*JEKYLL/HYDE BULLSHIT: When friends heard the story of my heartbreak, they said he was “cray cray” and that I not only dodged a bullet but a whole spray of machine gun fire. Others asked if I really wanted to “take all that on,” IRT his debilitating diabetes, excruciating neuropathy, loss of limbs, heart troubles, etc…
Yes. Yes I did.
My friends listened to how he expressed LOVE one day and planned our future together, asking me if I could be a good parent to his cats (at the end of a two-week whirlwind of talking and texting for hours upon hours and sharing vulnerable, personal stories) and THE VERY NEXT DAY says …. “We are not at all compatible. I wish you the best.”
That’s it. C’est tout. Nada. Not another word.
I was confused. Thrown. Blindsided. Heartbroken. Frantic. In short, as my therapist says, behaving in exactly the way anyone does when blindsided by the mind-fuckery of a severely personality-disordered person.
*LOVE BOMBING – He actually said these things, and his behavior backed them up until he slammed the door in my face without an explanation or the courtesy of a discussion:
- You came into my life at just at the right time. (the day we reconnected)
- Your eyes are just as sparkly as they were 32 years ago.
- I’m falling for you. (less than a week into our reconnection)
- Is it possible to have deep feelings for someone you hardly know? The answer is yes. (less than a week into our reconnection)
- Some of the things you say to me just make me want to say ‘I love you’ when you say these things to me… (a week into our reconnection, via video message)
- I appreciate the things we shared. It’s a wonderful thing, especially because it was so unexpected. (a week into our reconnection, same video message)
- I’m looking forward to meeting you in person, very much (same video message)
— something he now refuses to do (ANOTHER RED FLAG)
- I don’t want to project too far into the future, but do you think you could be a good parent to my cats?
- You have been such an inspiration. You’re an angel on one hand.
- Now I don’t only want to learn to walk again, I want to hike and dance again, too!
- You give me hope. I want to recover again.
- We are a Christmas present to each other.
- When I see you, I’m just going to hug you for a long time. You’ll have to tell me when to stop because I won’t want to let go.
- Thank you so much for never giving up the search for me.
- I almost asked you to marry me the other day. (a week into our reconnection)
- On Christmas Eve he tagged me on Facebook saying “loving thoughts to for bringing me hope and joy” (three days before he discarded me)
- Even if *you* (because there way no way he would) decide not to continue down this romantic path with me, I would still want to be your friend and in your life
- If I didn’t hear from you one day, I would rack my brain to think what I said wrong (the day before he discarded me)
- If you left me, the heartbreak could give me a heart attack, but you’re worth the risk (two days before he discarded me)
- I’m going to work hard to get my hooks in you
(at least 4-5x, including THE DAY BEFORE HE DISCARDED ME)
Ridiculous, I know. I can read these now and see how fucking foolish I was to believe any of it. Just a little hyperbolic, that’s all, I told myself. Still, I wanted to believe. I wanted to believe in him. My childhood friend. A man who knows trauma like I do. A man who has had a shitty 7 years, like I have. A kind man. A sweet man. A gentle man. An expressive man. A progressive man. A funny man. (*cough* total mirroring *cough*)
I wanted to believe in romance and love again, and he made me believe…then jerked the rug out from under me. Slammed the door after spitting in my face and kicking me to the curb.
Still, I missed him, pathetic and lonely as I am. I missed the promise and possibility. I missed the affection. I missed flirting. I missed sharing my day with someone for a damn change. I missed talking to another human being.
I missed feeling loved.
Plus, I couldn’t bear the thought of being denied the chance to meet him in person again after 32 years. I would’ve done nearly anything just to have a chance to have coffee with him, to reconnect and put this obvious misunderstanding behind us. Fucking pathetic.
I read these words over and over from Post Male Syndrome: “Understand that if your ex was truly someone that was worth missing, he would have found a way to exit the relationship without…making you question your value, being hot and cold, … mind f*ckery, mixed signals, disrespect, etc. He would have found a way to respectfully communicate so that at the very least, you felt a sense of clarity despite natural heartbreak.”
….but still, I couldn’t give up on “love” that easily. I had to try to bridge the communication gap, to understand, to explain, to save a friendship….
I reached out twice in the subsequent two weeks (why? because I’m a fucking fool for love), trying to explain the first time … because surely it was just a misunderstanding… and apologizing the second time, taking most of the blame for his freak out just to try and re-open communication, to try and understand how this seemingly-perfect-for-me-genuine-kind-loving-sweet-tender man turned so cold in an instant and threw me away like garbage.
Hint: Idealization and Devaluation, the trump card of Cluster B.
Well, I’m not heartbroken anymore (well, I actually am seriously heartbroken). Now I’m just fucking angry. Really, really angry.
Angry at him for being such a coward and dickhead, and angry at me for making excuses for him for so so so so so so long… just because I wanted to believe. Just because I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt… Just because I wanted to believe all my friends were wrong. Just because I wanted to believe that he was just misunderstood, traumatized, hurt, confused, etc. etc. etc. etc.
Just because I wanted to believe he just needed some tenderness, some understanding, some hope.
Just because I’m so fucking lonely.
Then today, after re-opening communication yesterday. After I thought we could make our way back to understanding and at least friendship, which was all I ever wanted before his Love Bombing, he says….”I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but please leave me alone.”
He doesn’t want to hurt my feelings?!?!?!?! Fucking seriously?!?!?!
He spewed grand proclamations of love and dreams and hope and future plans for two amazing weeks, talking on the phone for “6 hours of love” (as he called it) at a time, and then tossed me in the gutter and slammed the door in my face… but he doesn’t want to hurt my fucking feelings?!?!?!
So now I’m not only heartbroken, I’m fucking furious. At him. At me. At hope.
That fucking dangerous emotion HOPE.
This is what I get for hoping.
This is what I get for trusting.
This is what I fucking get for believing.
Perhaps one day I will learn, but I doubt it because I want to believe so much.
…. and you wonder why I’m a misanthrope.
Fucking cowards. I’m sick to death of them. You NJD are now on the left side of my semicolon. Good riddance.
Once again, from the ashes of my burned, scarred, fractured heart…
I FUCKING RISE.
In less than a month I’ll be in Switzerland, snowshoeing in the Alps; then the U.K., walking all over London, riding across Cumbria, and kayaking in the Highlands; then France, then Germany, then Denmark, then Ireland, then, then, then, then, then…
I live my life. . . I don’t just wait to die, and It’s A Magnificent Life. I embrace beauty and pain. I embrace joy and sorrow. I fucking LIVE. I fucking FEEL. I fucking LOVE.
Olivia rose again. Yes she fucking did.
If he or his family sees this, they will likely be hurt and humiliated. Welcome to the fucking club. He brought this on himself. Plus, the one thing you never want to do…. scorn a triple scorpio with a blog. Reap what you sow. Face the consequences of your actions. Besides, if he’s so done with me, he shouldn’t be reading my blog. Fuck you.
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~ by omgrey on January 9, 2017.
Posted in Romance & Relationships, Trauma & Recovery
Tags: author, borderline personality disorder, broken heart, covert narcissist, grief, love bombing, narcissism, narcissist, narcissistic personality disorder, o.m. grey, open marriage, personality disorder, relationships, romance, shattered