Thank you, Miss Hepburn, for thinking I am on to something, LOL. The guy I was describing had from first family narcissism breathing, so that is spot on. I don't think unfortunately that love was given in the generous dose one can see today in all families history back. That it was tough.
First time I described a problem on this forum and someone wrote from another perspective that he was controlling, about my then guy - that was when I began to realise what it really was. I have been given lots of great advice from this forum's members, you too being one of them. Seeing things from other perspectives when one is stuck.
Once I began to look into it I did not understand if it was a vulnerability in a genetic way (where his brain sees a threat, more chaos than how I see it before I react to it, that his brain just can't help it) or inherit by their way of being, the surrounding, environment.
The brain can't see a difference between a real life threat and an imaginary one, it kicks off the same storm in the brain. I did not know this before.
I did not understand that the varies troubles all came from the same source, anxiety, it only expressed itself in different terms in the way my then guy behaved towards me. I saw only one problem here. Another problem there. I did not see the connections. Once I did it hurried up the process. Then I knew what I was dealing with, or he rather - but I was effected by it as I was one of the "things" he was trying, perhaps the hardest, to control and I was slipping away as one tend to do at one point or another. One starts to fight back the supression because that is what it really is. One has tried to do it his way, but suffer too much because of it and then one is responsible to listen to signs coming from the within. That I have to feel OK too.
Now I know all about narcissism, need for control, striving for "perfection", what now one think is "perfection", to not feel good enough, to not make other people feel good enough, the fear of being left behind, the jealousy, to not make "public" any sign that could make you - and your partner - look vulnerable, thus keep everythinig, subject to talk about on the surface, to isolate, to not show love in a relaxed manner which include a physical touch of tenderness now and then maybe.
With this guy he was not raised to talk about things underneith the surface. It did not mean he couldn't. I think it was really not safe to do so where he came from. Could be turned against you in some way, be mocked. So I get that. That would have made him vulnerable. Can't have that in your family, right?
He would say about me that I talked in ways he was not used to. He would get this kind of surprised look to him if, when I showed a genuine interest in what he had to say or thought about something or asked questions. As if do you really wanna hear this? He was used to the narcissistic trade from first family member to dominate, what that person thought, aired. I was interested to know what HE thought etc, and I could see sometimes he really had to think about that before answering.
I think too it made him more insecure than what I would have expected of him in other circumstances, such as events of various kinds. He was very eager to show any type of physical tenderness towards me, being physically close to me, but as soon as we went "out there" there was no such sign at all. Zero of it. He would tell me to not hold his hand. We had a fight after that one. After that he would come to terms and reach out to hold my hand or what ever but I would not be interested. It did not mean the same to me no more. I would rather be without it. It did not feel the same way at all as it had done before. He had rejected me with this in the past, with no warning before, and how was I to know when he was all for it, being active himself, just before? I had never before felt if I had done something wrong by holding a guys hand or touching his shoulder in front of someone else, if they happened to notice. But I was to learn it was a rule where he came from. This was normal to him. No physical signs like that. I have looked at photos on my own parents at parties, family gatherings and can see that they were connected, mentally, physically. Did not mean they were exclusive and isolating themselves and not being social. There are too lots of family photos where I am and I can see how natural it was for my family members to show physical tenderness towards me and me to them. I did not know it could be something bad.
It was only much later, when I took aside my own hurt and humiliation, which it had been, that I understood he must himself have been corrected, been rejected and now he was only passing it on. To him showing any type of phyiscal tenderness was private (but he had held my hand on our way to this gathering - where he would later tell me to not touch him, so strangers on the streets did not count obviously).
I was beginning to feel as cold as someone else from where he came from. I remember thinking this isn't me. I don't want to be like this. But I just could never bring myself to ever dare to reach out to him again in company of others. He had killed that. There were times he forced his hand to hold mine in company of others and when I tried to take mine back he would enforce it even more. I could see pain in his eyes if, when I looked at him and him saying in a low voice to me alone "C'mon. C'mon". I just think he discovered too late how much he had hurt me and the consequences of it. At the fight and days after I asked him "Were you ashamed of me? Because it felt like you were? Why? You think you can do better? What am I to you? You did not want me to hold your hand?". Then why even introduce me to them? Why even go there? Were other people could obviously see us? It really got to be this big thing. I was to never let it go. Out in other circumstances, nightclubs, he would refuse to let us go in, out of jealousy or fear to loose touch with me. I thought he deserved it. I knew I would not do anything, but I figured he asked to have it this way and so I served it. But like I said I would never flirt with anyone else, less dance with someone else or accept anyone else's offer of a drink.
I can relate these days that if one is giving love, and it is being rejected - how difficiult if not impossible it feels to then try again, you have this fear of rejection- just like that time he told me he did not want me to show physical tenderness towards him (because he said he did not see other people doing that and he did not want to "flaunt" our happiness, as if we thought we were all that - I didn't, and who was he to know if we were more happy than they were? I for one had no clue. And they were free to touch another too if they liked, it was not as if the police was going to come to arrest them.). Just to place myself on the safe spot I would come up with this rule that said he was welcomed to touch me then when he thought it was appropriate but that I would not do it to him. How crazy was that? Not healthy one bit. I remember thinking here I am with this boyfriend that I love very much and he has forbidden me to touch him. It does something to you. I can still feel it even if it was a long time ago. That's pretty crazy too. It had never happened to me before or after and still - that strong. So I can understand if once rejected you just get more cold and you just don't try anymore in fear of yet another rejection. You play it cool instead. But love isn't cool, it is intimacy, vulnerability, strenght, connection, safety, understanding.
Too, even if his good looks was to be in his favor, it was too as if he got the same surprised look at the start when we were going out. I never said to him that I saw it, it came and passed so fast. This genuine surprise. Think it was too that unfortunately he had felt some were only interested in his looks, not so much what was going on - on the inside. Just this surprise. He wouldn't say anything about it. Oh, yes, one time. He said he first thought I was making fun of him, to then realise I was genuine - that this was how I was. He wasn't familiar with it. That I genuinly cared for him. That I loved him the way I did. It was not that he was not offering the same to me, he did, very early on, but he did not seem to know how to receive it himself.
I noticed a big shift in his ways when being around the narcissist. It was as if he shut down. He was indifferent. He disconnected himself from me. It was as if he was one individual and I was another. Like I was suddenly a stranger. Just happened to be there. Before we were a couple. I felt alone. I did not understand what was going on. He would later tell me that he felt as if I was "gone" and that I was "tense" and that he could tell I did not really want to be there and that he "missed me" even if I was in the same room or when I would go away. But it was he who first shut down, and he did not understand that this is what he was doing. It made me insecure on how to behave as well.
So to me there were these loose ends that made no sense, and then there was this wonderful guy there too, all in one, who I loved and who I thought loved me after all, too everything else he did for me and our family. Just really a family guy. Taking responsibilty. Checking in. Doing what it takes and more. Not a word of complaint. Bring on more, if anything. Throughout the long term relationship he has always managed to get the time to call me at work or when ever if away, just do small talk, ask if he should fix something. Joking. It is difficult then to see things straight then, where the defects come from. You have to have some distance and knowledge to view it right.
The different set of tempers in arguments, fights were too a sign of it. That there was a type of anxiety in it.
He would early on express that he believed if the relationship was going to end it was because I was the one to leave. He would return to the subject. He would even make threats, all of a sudden, without any provocation, when I thought things were just good between us, what would happen if i left, child custody battle, even if he thought I was a good mom. That I would never get away from him (at that point I thought why would I want to? I loved him). I did not understand what it was coming from. Now I have learned that children that grew up in a narcissistic household can very well develop this fear of being left behind and having this need to be in control. Now that make sense.
I understand that having OCD or feeling such need to be in control (and especially when wanting to control another living person) that the one feeling this suffers the most because of it, but the closest surrounding suffer too, even if not the same, and perhaps the one with it don't always take that in consideration as they themselves are (or feel) helpless against their own behavoirs, even if they are the one doing it. They can't help it. They do find relief once they feel in control, but it is only temporarily and it can do more damage to the surrounding as well. But there is some really good help out there, so one shouldn't loose hope. We're all humans after all. And sometimes we need help with something.
Last edited by asearcher : 21-08-2021 at 02:04 PM.