After 12 months of “love bombing”, which led up to my agreeing to go to the UK and spend a week with him, the devaluation stage did not start until just 2 weeks before I was about to leave. The devaluation was subtle and only occasional at first. Things like knocking what you do as a profession and how they have no respect for it, even though they DON’T WORK. All thrown in as part of a conversation until after several mentions of this you bite back. Two things, they back off but they now know your triggers or one of them.
The next devaluation was of women in general. ALL of his relationships had ended badly and all of it was ALWAYS their fault., They were all alcoholics, apparently, even though he was tea total……..rather coincidental and yes I did question it. The answers were always well-rehearsed, word perfect and plausible……such as “ their problems never show straight away”. “it builds up over time”. The last thing you think is this is weird and this person MUST be a Narcissist!! Why would you? They are extremely well-rehearsed in their stories of being the “victim”. I also noticed that the stories were word perfect as if they had been recorded and he repeated them over and over.
Then the setting of expectations for when you arrive….. “ I am shy and sensitive so give me time”. Well, to be honest, there had been no such demonstration of this previously and this man was far from shy and sensitive. I later realised this was narcissistic speak for desperately insecure… hence the childish behaviour that began when I arrived. Attention seeking and needing accolades on his writing on an hourly basis. None of which had shown itself for 12 months. Within the first hour of my arrival, his first question to me was “what happens to me if you die? Are all your assets in a trust to your family” My jaw hit the floor. He hadn’t even waited for the coffee to arrive! Trying to think on my feet and make light of it all was going to be a long 7-day process………
Another form of devaluation was how every woman he had lived with were all “beautiful with great personalities and how everyone envied him”. The realisation I had at a later date, that all women were spoken of and judged by their appearance and what made him look good. Male friends were always described by their achievements and how many qualifications they had, even though he had none. At a much later date, after my research, I realised that these associations are what he believes makes him look good. Fame by association.
All men were great and if they had a spat with their partner, he always advised them to “shut them down”. Don’t text, don’t call, wait until they come running to you. Another thing I challenged him on and again a well-rehearsed rational response. Now identified as “Ghosting”, which I was also to become a victim of. Just imagine being in a top hotel where they had upgraded you to the honeymoon suite (after hearing our story), spending a year in preparation, trusting your 30-year history and being smacked in the face with a narcissistic sledgehammer, knowing nothing of this condition! I was like a rabbit in the headlights. My first true vision of hell.
I remember an incident where I wanted to buy him a rucksack ready for his visit here and he objected so strongly I was amazed at the reaction. He said, “I am a sportsman and have only ever used a sports bag” (for the gym). Well, you will look pretty ridiculous walking around Mt Egmont with a sports bag, won’t you? Big mistake, I had challenged his stupidity. Emotional coldness for the rest of the day. Had I landed in hell instead of Heathrow?
He was de-valuing all women. Strange, as it was his Father that abused him, but his mother had deserted the family (probably to survive!). Apparently the desertion is as bad as the abuse. Looking back, this man did not stand a chance at life and had spent most of it surviving using the full breadth of Narcissistic, toxic behaviours to get through life and gain what he needed.
“Nobody can be kinder than the narcissist while you react to life on his terms.”
— Elizabeth Bowen
Now this part was slightly different to most cases in the fact that I discarded him!! His plan was to do that once his 6 months were up in NZ and he had to return to the UK. He had no intention of any form of commitment or contribution in any way to this “relationship”. However, it was a typical narcissistic action that triggered me to do this. On my return, I was in turmoil and it was just three weeks before he was due to fly out (at my expense and in Business class). He was packing up the one-room he lived in and getting very stressed with it all. I now understand why, but I didn’t at the time.
We were on the phone and he had become a little complacent in his usually guarded conversation. He had often bragged about a lady he had been “using” for several years at how he would cut her off and GHOST her when he didn’t like what she did or said. As he often said “he had met deeper puddles than her” How utterly detrimental to someone he had spent 7 years with! Why was I hearing this now? We will come back to that one later.
He was stressed on the phone and began shouting, I was already physically ill at what I had experienced and therefore was now sensitive to his behaviours and terminology. He was cutting me off and being extremely rude so I hung up. Six hours later …..nothing…..I sent a text asking if he was prepared to discuss the situation…..nothing…..I then realised what he was doing – GHOSTING although that was not what I realised it was at the time.
I thought long and hard for the next few hours about all what I had experienced, was now waking up to and my intuition, that something was seriously wrong with this man. I sent a final text…. I CANCELLED THE FLIGHT AND HAVE A NICE LIFE” I am not broken nor will I allow you to break me. No response for three days. I cannot tell you the relief I felt in making that decision and how for the first time I believed in divine intervention. Something so strong made me do it and I do not regret a minute of those decisions I made. Later realising why they were so important and that I had dodged a bullet, once I began to research and educate myself on NARCISSISM.
I trusted my instincts…..they were so powerful, they were making me feel physically sick.
Next week’s blog………culmination of the whole experience and how can this help others…