There is the voice inside my head, cold as a feverish sweat, harsh as every demonic note long lines if narcissistic men have sang into my soul. I once thought I could claim the words as being my own, a projection of me onto them, never realizing the truth is that was a convoluted lie. The jabs still hurt, the wounds continually remain far below the scars. For some of us, we forget we need the time to heal.
I am an ever wandering soul. I change often. I love hard.
After a long night or two in a very dark place and on my own, I began to realize the intricate patterns of narcissistic love. It all starts out the same way, the short dance. The flowers come, the gifts, the sweet words, the love bombs. It all feels too good to be true. Words, like “no one will ever love you like I do,” spill from the lying lips into lonely ears, and somehow, the vampire has control. You are the perfect soul mate, just as you are. They would not change a thing. This is the beginning of their false self.
They begin to tell you what you want to hear, mirroring what you are longing for. A narcissist will make you believe that you are all they ever wanted in their life. In fact, they tell you just that, and you become drunk on this image of a perfect love. You get them, and they get you. No one ever made them feel the way you do. Their exes are all crazy, as every relationship before you was nothing like what they feel now. You are the immediate soul mate. It is a beautiful dance. You are swept away, “drunk” on their love. This is highly and dangerously addictive. It is also how the vampire begins to drain you from the inside out. It is also the reason they get back in.
Plans of a future together doing what you love to do become a heavy topic. You begin to see some signs you may have once ignored. There are lies of a forever, although they may have ended it time and time before. This is where you become devalued. Suddenly the things they loved about you may become a problem. You can do no right, and you have no idea why. Your friends are wrong. Your hobbies are stupid. Put downs start to happen. The things you enjoy are belittled, and in turn, you feel so small. They distance themselves, and blame you for it. They withhold intimacy sometimes. The gaslighting begins.
Gaslighting is one of the most damaging parts of the relationship. The name was taken from a movie called Gas Light where a husband was changing things around in a home to confuse his wife and make her believe she was crazy. He would dim gas lights and then tell her it was all in her head. I believe he also rearranged pictures to do the same, but I haven’t seen the movie in a few years.
Gaslighting is basically just where your perception of reality is distorted by them, on purpose. It is a highly damaging form of abuse where they will change the accuracy of events to make you feel like you are unable to remember or you are just insane. It goes hand in hand with projection, where they project what they are guilty of on you. So, now you are not only being manipulated, but lied to.
The last step in the dance is always discarding. You get tossed away for the next ego boost or the next narcissistic supply. How dare you catch them in a lie, or see their infidelity. This may leave you dizzied and confused. At times, they come back to you, the supply. Other times, they find a new source before they even let you go. When they go this route, it is always your fault. They always deflect and when you try to talk to them, they will gaslight again and manipulate the whole thing into being your fault. It is a vicious cycle. It is completely draining to the person with whom it is happening. Often times, we do not even see it until the end.
What I have learned is that you cannot let anyone expect you to be their source of happiness. You cannot give up parts of you that you enjoy when they see it as a threat to that supply they so desperately need. You cannot lose yourself in the dance, as I so often have. The drunken crazy love is a lie. It pulls you in so they can use it up and spit you out. You will never be good enough, and they will never be faithful. But do not dare cross them or be prepared for the narcissistic injury phase. That leads to narcissistic rage, and you will be the target.
True love accepts you how you are. It does not demand you change or compromise your individuality. It does not belittle things that matter to you, and it does not use the past to hurt you, nor does it twist the truth to use that against you. Love does not hurt.
Love is beautiful. Love is accepting. Love does not have stipulations. It is given freely. It is received the same. If it is not that kind of love, let it go, before it sucks you dry. Otherwise, you may miss out on something real.