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Bravery

How I Survived a Narcissist after just 7 days Exposure – Pt. 1

I always thought a Narcissist was just an extremely selfish person that did very little to zero for others.  It took a trip 13,000 miles around the world to find out the hard way of what a narcissist really is………….my story with a view to helping others………

I am British born but have lived away from the UK for more than 20 years now.  All my family are there and many friends I have known since my early days of working in London.  Staying in touch by LinkedIn, Facebook and email makes this easy.

28 years ago I met someone that I found attractive, intelligent, charismatic with a great outlook on life working in the money markets, but he was married.  We decided to remain just friends as neither of us wanted a complex deceitful situation.  He eventually got divorced and went to work overseas in the money markets and I went to Australia.  Occasionally, every few years we would hook up on linkedIn and we would catch up about our lives, but time and distance meant this was always short and sweet and it died again.

Suddenly in 2018, another “hi how are you” message comes through with my usual one paragraph rendition of the preceding few years.  My life had taken me around the world with a successful career in oil & gas and his had taken him to the depths of despair with one bad choice after another.  No longer in the money markets but a chosen career as an Author. The charisma was still there, very articulate and colourful in his correspondence.  This time we realised we were both available at the same time and decided to see “where this would go”.  The daily emails were amazing, demonstrating that his choice of career to be a writer was certainly worthy, he was a natural.

Eventually ,daily texts, emails and time-zone ruled phone calls brought us back to that original space of being very attracted to each other and seemingly well matched.  If I had not known this person from 28 years ago I would not have believed how amazing he seemed….how could it go wrong?…….

I use to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone – IT’S NOT …..the worst thing in life is to be with someone that makes you feel alone   Robin Williams

After a year of corresponding, I had to return to the UK as my Father was sick.  The plan was to meet up whilst I was there and if all goes well, come to NZ for a holiday to see if he liked it and if so go through the procedures of bringing him here and ultimately get married.  Yes I know……seems too good to be true but spread this out across a daily routine over 12 months and it seemed like a natural progression.  By this stage I was paying for everything including a weekly allowance to help him survive between books.  Or so I thought. 

The time arrived and off I went in the belief that I had found my life partner.  His research on NZ had amazed him of its natural beauty and culture.  He could see why I chose to live and work here.  The plan was he could be a writer and get involved here with football as he had in the UK for many years.

From the moment I arrived, the weird experience began.  He went into some sort of meltdown, pacing up and down and seemed short of breath.  I just smiled and put it down to nerves.  The very first question he asked me within 30 minutes of my arrival was “Are all your assets and wealth in a trust to your family as I want to know what happens to me if you die”…..Holy Moly!  did I just hear that?  This was the beginning of the most toxic, manipulative, destructive 7 days I have ever experienced in my life.

There were no hugs, no kisses, no intimacy of any description.  I listened to a well- rehearsed rendition of the same half a dozen stories I had spent the last 12 months listening too.  No questions about NZ or discussions about US!!  The emptiness in this man’s eyes was scary.  The attention seeking behaviour was almost like being with a child.  Every minute of the day was manipulated – cleverly.  Not one thing on the schedule happened.  It was all about the people who would miss him, the attention he gets and most of all the over inflated stories of yesteryear.   I was numb with disbelief.  I could not even answer the phone to friends who wanted to know “how’s it going”?    They would never believe it. 

This man had no money, lived in one room, was absolutely besotted and co-dependent on  step son and every ounce of rhetoric that left his mouth belonged to someone else.  I was in a room with a toxic devil.  This was not human……..For the first time in my life I was lost for words or any ounce of logical understanding of what was happening.   This was a “Dead man Walking” and I had no idea how I had not seen it……or for that matter, being sucked in by an expert.

The Research…..

After leaving and going back to family who did not know about any of it as Dad was too sick, I scrambled to keep my decorum and put on a brave face when I was devasted inside.  What had just happened to me?   On instinct, I called a friend in Australia that was a Psychologist and after pouring out my experience her words were “oh my love you have just spent a week with a Narcissist” .  What the hell was one of those?………After a very valuable three hours of conversation I decided to research Narcissism to find out:-

-What is it?

-How did I not see it?

-How did he hide it?

-Is it curable?

-Was it me?

-What do I do now?

Best first step I ever made…..

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