Narcissist – the warning signs that I should have noticed
I am writing this in the hope that others will notice similarities with their own experience. At the time, when you are in the relationship, you don’t realise what is happening to you. It’s only after, when your head is clear that you look at everything as a whole picture and realise how warped life was.
I met him and he let me down on our first planned date. Just didn’t show up. Five minutes after he was supposed to pick me up, he texted to say that he was in London with friends and couldn’t get away. He had put them before me and didn’t care that I might have made an effort to get ready… I should have never seen him again.
For around a month after he had stood me up, he texted me constantly to meet up. It was only when I had nothing better to do that, I finally agreed to meet up with him. It was all part of his game. He didn’t show up, so that he felt like he was in charge and that he didn’t really care. The arrogance. However, at the time he really swept me off my feet. Flowers to the office, restaurant dinners. He wanted to be with me all the time.
Around 5 weeks into dating him, I decided that I didn’t actually like him, there was something odd about him that I couldn’t put my finger on, so I told him in a bar, explained that I wanted to end it. His dramatic response was to collapse to the floor. I was mortified and highly embarrassed but I immediately took him back. I couldn’t leave him lying on the bar floor. I was the empath and at the time, I didn’t really understand what was happening. Was he ill? Part of me felt scared at what he might do next if I left him and another part of me felt weirdly fortunate that I had a man in my life who loved me so much that he would become ill without me. I stayed with him but the next week was odd and I am only now piecing the jigsaw of our relationship together, now that it is over.
A week after his collapse, I became ill with the worst headache I had ever experienced and he got me to move to his so he could look after me. I remember asking him to call the Doctor, but he wouldn’t. Instead, he said he had called his Father who was a Doctor and his friend who was a Pharmacist. He medicated me and I have no idea what he was giving me, but I was ill for around 2 weeks. I missed my Grandfathers funeral and for the first and only time ever, I had to take TWO WEEKS sick leave from work. I can’t remember ever being so ill. Looking back, I hardly knew him, why didn’t he get my own GP to come out and do a home visit or take me to the hospital? I was in absolute agony. Did he give me something to make me ill to keep me at his place? After that, I was all his. I was so grateful that he looked after me, how could I leave him? What I thought I had was a genuinely kind man, someone who would look after me for the rest of my life. That wasn’t what I got. I had allowed a psycho into my life. He had seduced me with his ‘care and attention’. He told me he loved me very quickly. Within 6 months of meeting him I had a ring on my finger and 18 months after that, I was walking down the aisle.
I really believe that there is some truth in what the experts say; Narcissists are people who haven’t received love from their primary care givers growing up; they make up for this lack of care and attention by giving it to themselves; learning to self-adore like a wall around themselves. My exe’s Mother actually shouted at my Husband when I fell pregnant with our second child. On reflection, this now shows me that his Mother, his Primary Carer was and still is, a hard-nosed bitch and didn’t love her own children.
My ex told me stories of how she was never around for him and his sister. She was only interested in her own Mother, going out an about with her, looking after her. My ex and his Sister were cared for by ‘staff’. So maybe that is the reason he is like he is? I am not giving him an excuse for his behaviour, but I like to think that I can understand some of it, for my own mind.
What kind of Grandmother tells her son and daughter-in-law that it’s disgusting to have a second child? I think it just proves what kind of Mother she was. My ex’s sibling is very peculiar too. By contrast, she was treated like a child, spoilt and never allowed to grow up. She is now 45 years old and has never had a job. I seriously mean that she has not completed even an hour’s work in her entire life.
Her Mother told her not to have children “you will not be able to cope” – so she didn’t. So, all in all, a very dysfunctional and controlling family.
The marriage took hold and my ex lived his life through his parents. He was funded by his Mother and Father and told me that he was working for the family business. He refused to get a job of his own and be independent of his Mother, still pining for the love of his Mother. He continued to live through his Mother and I suppose, also through me as I was the one with the introductory social skills. He couldn’t do that part, make friends, and in fact, looking back, he didn’t have any friends at all.
The only person in his life now and again was a guy he used to share a house with years ago. He would call on him when he needed something doing such as clearing the garage. He would get his ‘friend’ (the person he was using), started by helping him and then find himself something more important to do. My ex felt far too grand and superior to be doing menial work and he really didn’t give a shit about this so-called friend during our marriage. He talked about him behind his back, using him as and when required. It’s funny that this person now plays a huge part in his life, as he uses him for babysitting and other chores. He was the person he ran away to when I told him to leave. I think in the narcissist world this friend would be known as a ‘Flying Monkey’ but maybe he is a simple ‘Enabler’.
So, what is a flying monkey?
Wikipedia says: ‘Flying monkeys is a phrase used in popular psychology mainly in the context of narcissistic abuse. They are people who act on behalf of a narcissist to a third party, usually for an abusive purpose. The phrase has also been used to refer to people who act on behalf of a psychopath for a similar purpose. An alternative word is apaths. Abuse by proxy is a closely related or synonymous concept. Flying monkeys are distinct from enablers. Enablers just allow or cover for the narcissist’s own bad behaviour’. The flying monkeys are possibly always the perpetrators legal team and those that are forced to act on the narcissist’s behalf.
He was continually lying to his family about things, so I don’t know why I didn’t think he would do that to me. The constant lies I was hearing set alarm bells ringing. We would go on holiday and he would say his card had been ‘demagnetized’ and wouldn’t work when it came to paying for the hotel. He would end up paying them months or even a year or so later. Money was a game for him. He was from a wealthy background and it seemed to empower him to not pay someone. Looking at his personality, he had no friends, was socially inept, maybe money was the only thing he could use to control people He didn’t pay hotels, ski instructors, school fees or our landlord. He would always pay eventually, but he seemed to enjoy people needing the money from him, the game. Our landlord told me that it drove him absolutely nuts when my ex didn’t pay him. My ex would say that he was going to pay tomorrow and the money would not appear. Dealing with a narcissist is frustrating and it is no wonder the victim of their game cam come across as crazy.
The constant game-playing can push you over the edge of your sanity. and all the time they are telling everyone around them that they feel sorry for you and the way YOU are behaving. To the people dealing with the narcissist on a shallow level, they look normal and you look bonkers, purely because they are not close enough to see what is going on. They are only seeing the surface. My ex landlord spoke to me about about his thoughts and feelings when dealing with my ex. Here was a grown man, a highly successful businessman, so angry and frustrated, he wanted to physically attack my ex. But you see, that is what the narcissist wanted. If he had been physically attacked or get verbally abused, he could run to the authorities with the evidence.
My ex says that he has a Masters Degree but am not even sure about that. When I was clearing his stuff I found his University Student Union Card. It was his face, but his friends name and his friend was a lecturer at the University; did his friend in some way fake my ex’s degree? I can’t think of any other reason what that student union card would exist. Sociopaths use the Police or social services to do their dirty work; taking the children away from you, getting you arrested, getting a non-molestation order on you. You have left the narcissist and they want to punish you, but they often do not want to do it themselves. Wherever possible they will do it by proxy so they can stand back and say that they had nothing to do with anything, the authorities took charge. They will stand on the side-lines telling everyone who will listen that feeling sorry for what you are going through.
Economic Abuse is a classic. They will do everything they can to ensure you have no funds to live and they do not care if you have the children to look after. In the narcissists warped mind everything is YOUR fault and you will be punished. How could you possibly leave someone who is perfection? Of course, if the narcissist gets so angry, he can turn violent too and there have been many sad homicide cases. To defend themselves they will say that they are so stressed they are unable to work. You left, you caused the stress which stopped them working, you therefore stopped the money, it’s your fault the children cannot eat! Do you see how it all turns around?
Looking back, I suppose when I met him, I was a full person, but over the years, he chipped away at me. The lies, the drama, he always had to be right, I could say the sky was blue and he would say it was green. He had to win every argument with everyone. He would have to argue his point, even with the children, the house was constant noise. Him, constantly bickering with them. He was unable to discipline them; his way was to shout and slap. He would undermine my parenting at all times because he had to be the best. He couldn’t bear it if I was doing anything which might make me look or be more successful than him. The children became like him, always loud and shouting and it has taken them two years to relax when they are with me and learn that a nice environment is free from so much noise and arguments. I have had to teach them that it is ok to admit you are wrong.
In the past he had been violent but from the day I asked him to leave, he never touched me again.