This blog covers the two most common questions I get – “How did you get over it? (mentally)” and “How did YOU fall for it?”
I’m trying to find a way to separate and organize, in my writing, the love side of the story and the manipultion side. The real and the fake side of the relationship. But it honestly just all mixes together. It’s a weird feeling to not know if the person you lived with (for two and a half years) did anything out of love or was it all done with an agenda behind it. B/c of all the trauma and inconsistency you deal with in these types of relationships, there are so many emotions that go behind a break up or detachment with a Narcissist. It’s important to separate the emotions and make sure you understand them.
There are so many factors that helped me get over the mental aspect of my NarcEx. I missed him while we were together but by the time I left, he had already confirmed all my worse fears – so I started letting go before I actually HAD to. I never missed him after I left – I realize now, that I had already mourned him by then.
At first I thought I was heart broken over the Narc as a person. But when I realized that the person I fell in love with was not real (he was only mirroring me). I questioned what parts of him were fake and if the person I fell for was not real then- Did I ever really love him?
Where I once couldn’t remember a time without him, now when I looked at him- all I saw was a stranger. I had no clue who this person was or what he was capable of. He was the first thing that I mourned. It was hard for my brain to accept that everything he was was fake when the feelings I felt at the time felt so REAL. I had to process it in a way that my brain could understand and move on from. So I thought about it as if the person he was when I fell in love with him – is now dead.
I wasn’t broken hearted over this relationship. He treated me like crap and I KNEW I deserved better. I didn’t have to justify doing things for myself anymore. I didn’t have to act like everything was great just to not make it worse anymore! I didn’t have to quietly cry myself to sleep at night so I didn’t wake him up anymore! I didn’t have to put more of my time, health, money into this relationship and be this unhappy. I was free to be treated right or be by myself. I was not broken hearted for the loss of the relationship with this person at all.
So then why was I so sad still?
Somewhere along this journey, I learned that there is a lot more than just “getting over it”.
I took a gamble by going all in and it didn’t pay out. I ended up losing more than I gained. I was sad b/c of all that I lost with the relationship and that is what I had to mourn.
**You’ll start seeing the list of things I have had to mourn with the loss of this relationship, in future blogs. I was trying to break them up in one blog but there is too much.
A lot of the risks I knew before hand- but went in full force anyways b/c I wanted this to be real. I can’t be mad at myself for doing what I thought was right and taking a chance on love. I did what I was supposed to do. It was; dedicated, loyal, loving, fair, etc. “falling for it” says a lot more good about me than bad.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, from either just knowing me or reading any of my previous stuff – I’m not content with just knowing the surface information (about anything). I analyze everything. I love knowing the reason behind the “why/how” (I will give you my reasoning behind any decision I have ever made). I’m a problem solver. My brain looks for holes in stories that don’t make sense. Just as fascinating as I find psychology, I live for a good puzzle or mystery. It’s just how my brain constantly works. I can’t shut it off. I’ve tried. So years ago I decided to embrace it and grow from it.
One of the most common questions that I get by people who know me and know what I have already been through or helped them through is: How did YOU fall for this?
That question was a hard one for me to come to grips with. I felt stupid for not seeing it before I let it take everything that it did, from me and my son. When I look back all the signs were there. Not only have I helped friends recognize and get out of relationships like this, I have also been in and lived first hand in relationships like this (though not as bad). I thought I taught myself how to spot someone who is using or manipulating me. I couldn’t understand why I let it go this far and why did I let it take so much from me? For some reason, in the moment, I was blinded and instead of recognizing the red flags, I justified each one.
I’ll joke now and say I set myself up for failure from the get go. I was so open about the things I wanted about life, I gave him the tools to mirror me. I willing shared my weaknesses and triggers from past tramas, which basically told him how to defeat me.
We went in with an “ALL IN” mentality.
In past relationships, I always helded something back. I was loving but I kept my guard up. I have always wondered if that was what ultimately caused their demise. In the beginning conversations I had with my NarcEx, he said he did the same with past relationships but was ready to settle down. We agreed to go all in, that THIS was it, no more dating. We were sure if we did that and agreed to always put the other first, that this was going to work. We had conversations about expectations and we agreed to move forward quickly to start a family. B/c of some complications, my time to have more kids was limited.
Mourning the possibility of another baby:
I literally put the rest of my “eggs” in one basket(case), this relationship could have cost me my chance to have more kids. That has been a hard thing to mourn, for me. The best thing I have ever and will ever do is be a mom to my son. I have always wanted a big family and thought I would have 3 or 4 more. My son has never liked being the only child, either. When he was younger he would point out any big brother helping their younger sibling and he would give me his sad puppy dog eyes and say things like “If I had a little brother/sister, Then I could do things like that”. That kid cracks me up. I always wanted to give him the big close family he wanted and deserves, it just didn’t turn out that way. Mourning this was a rough one bc it had been my “plan” for so long and I gave my last good years to someone who knew what I had to lose and still did what he did (that part burns an anger within me that I am not proud of). But it’s easy to get over – when I look at what I have been blessed with. Having more kids is no longer in my “plan”. I have actually done away with “plans”. Now I am more concerned with making sure I am on the correct path.
The first three months of us hanging out was us having these serious talks where we planned out our lives. Everything matched up and we had an awesome time together. We both were ready to be done with the games and bs of dating. We talked about being married within 6 months and pregnant within a year and a half. We wanted to start a family asap bc we were both aware that I could have difficulties.
I was so focused on my “Plan”. I ignored the signs and anytime I second guessed something he did or said – I got told those were my walls going up. He would blame me for the reason why we weren’t on schedule with what we talked about. Bc he couldn’t propose until I stopped putting my walls up and he saw more commitment from him. Not sure why selling my house and losing time with my kid wasn’t commitment enough.
I not only gave up my home, I started putting all my money and energy into his house that was now “our home”.
Mourning my home:
I liked to shop and decorate. So we had an agreement that my money went to redoing the house
(shutters, new half bath vanity and pottery barn mirror, paint, hardware, birch wood, blinds, bricks, lighting, curtains, curtain hardware, trashcan pullout, outdoorshelving, etc). We did several updates to the house after we moved in and had a lot more planned for the future. Most of my money went to those. There were a few things I refused to pay for b/c I would get to the point where I felt like I was being taken advantage of (thankfully I listened to my gut about some stuf). I have thousands put in that house to make it a HOME.
I spent multiple summers on that yard. I have moved 100’s of (rock filled) 5lb buckets (Secret time – that’s why my shoulders look like they do ;)). I’ve raked and weeded the crap out of that yard and in the process filled endless trash cans/bags of leaves (seriously one time I think I had over 20). I helped sturdy the sketchy deck by adding a few boxes of screws to it. I helped pull up half the dock in preperation of the boat garage expansion. We spent three days painting that darn fire place. And I had more trips to Menards and Home Depot than I care to remember.
I got poison Ivy twice (in one year) doing yard work at that house. The first time I got it was my first time ever and if you have never got posion ivy/oak before- yes, it is as bad as they say it is. My NarcEx was aware it was down there bc he had gotten it a couple years before. When I started the project he told me that he killed it all. I had no clue what it even looks like and I thought he did, so I trust I was good. After getting it, I wanted to get it professionally removed because it COVERS the entire back yard and Between our family/friends/neighbors little kids, I didn’t want one of them to get it while running around down there. But my NarcEx quickly turned that down bc it “cost too much”. Instead, he went down there and sprayed some stuff on it and pulled a couple roots up and assured me it was gone and I was safe to continue yard work. So I went back to working. My poison ivy lasted longer than it should have, turns out it was b/c I was still playing in it. Then when I finally got it to clear up, I got it again a few weeks later.. My NarcEx thought it was funny and still wouldn’t pay for it to be removed. I have literally put blood sweat and tears into that house to make it a HOME.
I carefully picked things out decorations specific for my taste with the intent that I would like there forever. When I met my NarcEx he had the bare minimums and almost EVERYTHING was a hand me down. He “didn’t want to spend money on that type of stuff”. Everything I had was well taken care of (now with the things that I do still have, I don’t have much that isn’t scratched up or broken in some way), I bought cheap but high quality. With everything I have accumulated throughout my years, there was enough to fill his house so that he didn’t have to spend his money on it.
I spent days scrubbing and cleaning out all the little divets in the windows, that looked like they hadn’t been cleaned for years. I had to scrub and scrape some black gunk out of all of them. I cleaned and organized that house into a home. I spent hours sorting all of our things: his two houses consolidated into one and my junk from 15yrs of being a mom, two marriages, things I inheairted from my mom.
Most of my things were already packed and sorted into totes and labeled. I have accumulated a lot through out the years but I kept it organized. When we moved in together I went through to consolidated and got rid of a lot. Most of it, I gave away to his family members.
He didn’t have much, only a few random boxes that were never packed with any sort of reasoning. They were all a mix of everything and nothing was wrapped in protective wrap. I went through and seperated and carefully re-packed all his things, some mixed with mine, some on boxes of his own.
A lot of time, energy and money went into that place. I gave up and sold my first house I ever bought to be a source of stability for me and my son, for this place. I grew to love the neighbors and see them as family. I loved lake life. It was great for my anxiety and stress to be able to walk out my back door and hop on the paddle board or the kayak with my dog and just go for a cruise.
I had done so much work on this home and was willing to do so much more. Before I caught him cheating I was actually going to pay for part of the boat garage expansion bc I wanted a shed on top and in order to get it, I had to pay for it out of my money and I was ready to do it. I thought I had to treat that place like my home in order to go all in.
While I paid for the upgrades to the house and decorating – He said he is better at saving so his money would go in savings for us. In my head we were going to be together for ever so I didn’t question it….. But when I did. He would say things like “I need more commiment from you”, saying that by me questioning it means I am pulling away and still have walls up – therefore I am not commited to him bc we promissed no walls.
I couldn’t win.
I was putting my money into HIS investment. If I questioned it, it was because I didn’t actually believe that the house was mine and If I didn’t think the house was mine then I didn’t believe we would ever get married. It sounds insane to me now, but then – All I wanted to do was prove that I could go all in.