The Myth of the Narcissist – Seeing Through the Illusion

By Kim Saeed | Contemplating No Contact

Sep 29
seeing through the illusion

 

by ~Gina Fant-Saez~

You said the most beautiful things
and sounded evolved and sincere
With intentions unquestionably true
And ambitions insightfully clear

I used to bathe in your words
believed you hungry for change
and willing to finally work
for all the things that you craved

it was a beautiful dream
to see you free and alive
your heart soaring in love
your body floating with mine

But you said what I wanted to hear
in language all gilded in grace
carefully crafted to match
the beauty I saw in your face

Now I see you’re a beautiful shell
With hollowing darkness inside
And you’ve grown so used to the dark
That now you’re afraid of the light

Lacking the courage to face
Your mirror of careless mistakes
The years and money you’ve wasted
Destruction left in your wake

Now you’re sorry you’ve hurt me again
As your tears and your promises fall
But I’m finally immune to your words
I know they mean nothing at all

You were an illusion I learned
Sadly, I see it all now
The only moments you rose
were the ones you were tearing me down

You carefully pulled all the strings
So your circles did not intersect
Now you’re passing out new victim cards
and shuffling me into your deck

 

Does this article resonate with you?  Check out How to Do No Contact Like a Boss!  Highly recommended for those who are presently in relationships that bring them pain and misery. This book will give you the emotional strength and practical support it takes to detach from love that hurts. If you currently hesitate about leaving your partner even though you know they are no good for you, this book can help!

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(33) comments

anyonewhere November 5, 2014

I much enjoyed the poem…and I wish you all the best in your healing. I’d just finished writing random thoughts on the same topic before I read this. And I thought I’d share a couple of excerpts just…I dunno…because I know it brings me some form of solace to read the way others describe how they feel. I hope nothing here is offensive to anyone. If it is, I promise that is not my intent. “I liken it (loving a narcissist or bpd) to being soul raped by someone I thought I knew and thought I could trust. I feel ashamed, betrayed, robbed of my sense of self…it will be difficult for me to trust again. It will be difficult to let anyone in…I feel the way she described feeling as a sexual assault survivor…but instead of using sex and brute force to unleash her anger, to dominate and violate me, she used love…or the idea of love at least. It’s hard to admit to being the “victim” of that. It makes me feel foolish…stupid…like I’m damaged goods now…And the really f***ed up thing about it is that, unlike survivors of physical rape, she can say that I asked for it…And, I’ll be damned…I did…over and over and over.”

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CPK October 2, 2014

Gina: I am sorry if I sounded harsh. I guess this last tangle with a narcissist changed me. I let go of many people, associations, the need to be understood etc. I’m familiar with smear campaigns, and being misunderstood. I’m familiar with the sense of betrayal, and realizing how naive I was, and how loose my boundaries were. I didn’t want to let go of the hurt and pain because I wanted others to see it. Most people didn’t care or felt it was my fault for attaching to the wrong people. Finally I was left alone. I shifted my focus to the good, to my truth, and my happiness. I’ve never been one to talk to the former (or present) loves of exes. I can’t imagine it would bring relief. Thanks for sharing your story.

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    ginafantsaez October 4, 2014

    Virtual Hug to you CPK!! I totally relate. Thank god we all have each other here. To feel understood is an amazing gift. So thank you.

    Reply
bdietz4 October 1, 2014

Unfortunately this poem is way “too deep” to make an impact on my narcisstic (spelling?) former lover. If it rhymed like a Dr. Seuss book, he’d probably “get it”. Barb

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Sandra McGee October 1, 2014

I was married to a Narc for 34 years. Been divorced a year and a half. It was domestic violence and abuse, plus his infidelity. How is it that men seem to over come divorce and move one better than women? I honestly don’t know how to date. I was married sooooo long. It’s lonely for me being single with no friends. Any suggestions? Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 20:28:41 +0000 To: sandramcgee1@hotmail.com

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ginafantsaez September 30, 2014

Thank you all so much for your comments. Kim is the reason I made it through No Contact. Thank you Kim!! I stopped counting the days but I think I’m around month 5!! A record for me… So, CPK, the ending is because I found out that she is telling friends stories that are 100% true, but she’s switched the roles and I am the abuser and she is the victim. So, she is, for me, in a sense, passing out victim cards, and now I am part of the deck… I hope that clarifies things… But I do like your suggestion…

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    CPK October 1, 2014

    Who’s deck? Who’s game? I don’t know where the psycho who was in my life is, who he is hanging out with, what he’s doing etc. I have wonderful new activities in my life that are positive, and authentic. I have newly blossoming friendships. After No Contact often the psycho will show up and act like I was thinking about him. He’ll say, “You’re wearing my favorite color because you’re thinking about me…” blah, blah, blah. What insanity! What selfishness! He’s so pitiful and pathetic. I don’t like being hard-hearted, but I had more patience with and consideration for him than with anyone else in my life. Don’t throw good money after bad, I remind myself .Don’t cast pearls before swine, I remind myself. Get off the energetic hook, is how I think, and it’s working.

    Reply
      ginafantsaez October 1, 2014

      Good for you moving on!! I’m trying. I have more good days than bad and I have very dear, longterm friends and some amazing new friends as well.

      But unfortunately, here in Austin, it’s a very small gay community and very unfortunately, I introduced my narc ex girlfriend to a sober friend when we were together. (she’s in AA – though relapsing here and there and lying about it even to her sponsor). So, I ran into a friend of my sober friend who told me what she’s saying. And they were stories that actually happened where she abused me but she’s telling people the stories with the roles reversed.

      When I met my narc ex, she would tell me these terrible stories about her exes. How terrible they were to her. Especially her ex wife of 4 years. She was always the victim to some cruel ex in the stories she told. I believed her of course because I didn’t know any better. But, when we broke up last summer, I reached out to her ex, a wealthy neurologist, who was so kind and gracious. For the first time I realized that I wasn’t crazy. She did the exact same thing to her ex. She raged at her and berated her and sabotaged any of her efforts in her career or family life. She abused her ex wife as badly as she abused me.

      But, to the outside world, she looks so meek and sweet and like she has it all together – while she tells stories about her evil exes. Now I am one of the evil exes… And now, she’s telling her new friends and family that I was abusive.

      That last verse of the poem is about how she pulls the strings in her life so no one in any of her social circles intersect. I never met her sponsor, never met any of her other AA friends, she kept her family away from me. I asked her so many times to invite them for dinner, invite her sister and her nephews over. I wanted to be part of her world. I had no idea what she was doing or why I never met or hung out with anyone. Well, it was because she was telling her shrink and sponsor and sister and whatever friends she had that I was the abuser. I saw an email that she sent to her sister that she told her sister outright lies about times I abused her and she begged her sister in the email to not let her come back to me.

      She didn’t want her circles intersecting because she didn’t want anyone to see the real truth, to get to know me, to see that I was a kind, loving woman who absolutely adored her. And I did. I tried everything I could to make things work. But she knew that if her social circles got to know me, they wouldn’t believe her stories anymore. So, she pulled the puppet strings, made sure her circle of friends and family did not intersect one another.

      In my mind, she carries a deck of false victim cards (she was never the victim of anyone – she was always the perpetrator). Now she has added me to the deck of victim cards – and now she’s passing out these newly created victim cards to anyone who will listen…

      That’s what the last verse is about.

      I can’t believe there are human beings in the world like this. I still cannot fathom that people would intentionally hurt someone. I am so naive. Or I WAS so naive… I would never accept what she was doing was intentional. When I was sick, she made me sicker. Seriously. When I was studying for 6 months for a test to get into a program at Harvard, the night before my early morning test, she raged until 3 AM, pounding on my bedroom door, yelling what a terrible person I was. She did it so I would fail my test. When I had to travel to do an important project, she would send a cryptic text message to confuse me. I texted back, concerned about her well-being, asking if she was ok. Then she wouldn’t answer so I was frantic and worried. She was trying to make sure I failed and put the focus on her.

      God forbid I didn’t answer the phone when she called. God forbid, I have dinner with friends without her. She isolated me, sabotaged me, lied to me, relapsed over and over, defamed me to everyone in her life, lied to 4 shrinks, used me financially, intentionally destroyed every vacation, every holiday, every birthday – again, all intentionally. She insulted me sexually and said things that I will never recover from.

      In the beginning, she couldn’t get enough of me, wrote me poetry, called me the love of her life, told me that sexually we had “limitless possibilities”. She hooked me good…

      I am astounded that it took so long for me to put two and two together. I thought she just needed more love, more devotion, more therapy, more of anything… and I was willing to give it… And I think of her now and I feel so sorry for her. She just turned 50. She’s aging and she’s starting to look old and gaunt. She used to be able to use her stunning, sensual looks to get anyone and anything she wanted. Now she looks old and harsh. She’s running out of her divorce money from the wealthy neurologist, she’s losing the condo she rented, doesn’t have a job or money to buy a place to live and she has no real connections with friends or family. Every connection is based on lies. No one knows who she really is.

      I told her that I would help her get help and that if she didn’t get help for her disorder that she’s going to be old, alone and broke in the next few years. It’s truly tragic. I tried everything I could to get her help.

      According to the research I’ve done, personality disorders get worse with age. I’ve known her 6 years. We dated for a year and a half and I can say, unquestionably, she has gotten worse over time. She deceives every shrink and sponsor to make it look like I am the problem and I am diagnosing her. Meanwhile, they don’t know anything about her cruelty, manipulation, lies, relapses, sabotages etc… So, she’ll never get help because she can’t tell the truth or face the truth.

      She would face the truth in brief moments with me. She would admit to intentionally hurting me and then plead for my help. “Gina, please, I don’t want to be this way.” And I would hold her and tell her I loved her and we would cry and we would make love and she would promise to get help so she would stop abusing me and we could be happy. But…she never did.

      I don’t know why I waste my precious time and heart worrying about her. I wish I didn’t care. I hope I get to the place where I don’t. I can’t stay angry. I’m not an angry person. I feel compassion for her. But, the truth is, she doesn’t deserve my compassion. She has had every opportunity to help herself – her ex tried just as hard as I did. She’s a human tragedy… God, I wish I could hate her and be angry. I just can’t…

      Sorry to go off… it’s still a very raw wound… so there’s my story…

      Reply
        Sarah the 7th October 1, 2014

        Dear Gina, We don’t know each other, but we do! I so relate to you. I am straight, but have many gay friends, and it seems that it is even more difficult for you than we straight gals (I don’t know why, but it is true with all the couples I know). I’ve always fallen for narcs, still do!! One thing I’m certain of is that I had to give up trying to hate, not care, forget etc., I will always have that love, as sick as it was. I instead try to focus on what a pity it is that a person can have such deep feelings of worthlessness that they have to resort to these extremes. As many narcs as I have known, loved, and dealt with, I too cannot believe a person can intentionally hurt another! For that ,I thank God, for if I understood it,it would mean I was doing the same thing. Years age I realized that I could not give up faith in humanity as a whole and the cost of that will always mean I’ll get hurt. I tried to be hard hearted, as this is the only possible way of protecting myself from heartbreak, but what I lose and miss out on in life by closing my heart and being cold is too high a price. “without knowing the pain, I cannot recognize the joy!” I don’t remember where I heard this, but it is true. I must accept that I love this person but cannot be with them, and it hurts beyond words, but I must thank God I survived, and pray for the narc that someday they will be able to experience reality, the beauty in life. I know your pain, and am proud of you for moving on and sharing openly! Thanks for sharing and I wish the best for you to come.
        With great respect,
        Sarah

        Reply
      ginafantsaez October 4, 2014

      Sarah, what a sweet thoughtful, compassionate note… you made me cry…but it’s all good. I too shamefully admit to still loving my narc. I try and tell myself, I loved the fantasy of us being happy and stable…we never were. It was sincerely 95% bad and 5% good. But, there’s a part of me that believes that in that 5%, I saw the real, fragile, vulnerable woman who truly loved me but just couldn’t overcome her disorder. But, there’s another part of me that believes the 5% of very few moments of love and kindness were just contrived manipulation to set me up and build me up so she could hurt me again and not one moment was ever real love. I go back and forth. One day I have compassion and believe that she’s wounded and I pray for her healing. The next day, I’m angry and she’s evil and a monster.

      My shrink used to say, “trust the data”. Unfortunately, the data says that she’s the evil monster. Any opportunity over 6 years of knowing me that she ever had to love me, support me, be a friend to me, comfort me, be nurturing to me…she did the absolute opposite. Why should I believe that there’s any real love in her if I never ever received it? – I sincerely hope with time that I will “let go and let god” as they say in Al-Anon… and get her out of my head and out of my heart… I can say that the No Contact does get easier and I’ve been having moments lately where I feel so grateful that she’s gone. I can drive listening to music (something she would never do with me) or have friends over for dinner without stress or go out dancing without worrying about upsetting her…

      I have had these moments lately where I breathe deeply, without stress, crank up the music, dance with an open heart and laugh without self-consciousness – and I can’t believe I ever let someone control my life like I did… I allowed myself to be shoved in a tiny isolated box. I’m feeling like myself again. So, today I am grateful she’s out of my life. Tomorrow I may miss her again… But, I think I’m getting to the other side. And I can tell you, I will NEVER fall for another Narc. I can smell them a mile away. I have had a few dates in the last few weeks. 2 dates in particular were very attractive women, but at some point in the evening, they said something harsh that made me flinch inside… They will not get a 2nd date. I am trusting my gut.

      I hope you get to the point to that you too no longer find edginess sexy. I used to. I have no idea why. It turns me off immediately now. Thank god. My next girlfriend will be kind and warm and loving and nurturing and supportive. I hope you find that in your next partner as well.

      Much gratitude and respect to you.

      Your friend Gina

      Reply
        Sarah the 7th October 7, 2014

        Thank you Gina,  It sounds as if you are well on your way, and I am so happy to hear you readily recognize the narc. I haven’t figured that out in my 56 years!! Hence my current situation. Thank you for the incouragement. My health is not great and I struggled with depression long before this, so it’ll take time, but I recall being free and shall reclaim that. So great to meet you, you’ll be a force for me!With respect, Love, and admiration,Sarah

        Sent from Yahoo! Mail for Windows 8

        From: Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed

        Sent: ‎Sat, ‎Oct‎ ‎4‎, ‎2014 at ‎3‎:‎59‎ ‎PM

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        ginafantsaez commented: “Sarah, what a sweet thoughtful, compassionate note… you made me cry…but it’s all good. I too shamefully admit to still loving my narc. I try and tell myself, I loved the fantasy of us being happy and stable…we never were. It was sincerely 95% bad an”

        Reply
    Kim Saeed October 1, 2014

    Thank you for letting me know you’re still in NC, Gina! I’m so very proud of you!!!!!!

    Reply
Nikita September 30, 2014

Eerily timely and accurate for me after a bout with a recovering narcissist – yes, they do exist – but that doesn’t make them any easier to deal with. Mine was an alcoholic for 30 years (he is 44) and has a string of failed relationships behind him. For the past three years he has been sober and working the AA program. At first his words were exactly as described in the poem – then when we began a sexual relationship after having a friendship I noticed the devalue, discard cycle beginning almost immediately. He stopped going to meetings. I cut if off after a few bouts of the silent treatment. Like a miracle he blossomed again and returned to his meetings. We are still friends and will see each other from time to time but it is a HUGE relief not to be sexually involved with him any longer. I miss it, of course, but it was not worth the price we were both going to pay – the misery of a victim and narcissist playing out the all-too-familiar game. I think he has a lot more respect and admiration for me for seeing this. I mentioned to him that all addicts and alcoholics are narcissists and I think that hit home. He isn’t clear about narcissism but he has an inkling that is what he was and I think he is going back to his program with the understanding that he must address his sexual life and emotions to fully recover. That is a tall order and will take time and a lot of courage for him to do. I’m not holding my breath and am moving on but will keep him as a friend and confidant, The only way through this personality disorder for both the victims and narcissists is to confront it. We can’t avoid the narcissists, we can only improve our skills at dealing with them and recognizing the red flags and abuse as it occurs and react accordingly. We have the strength to do this. Yes, it is discouraging to see how many narcissists we are going to run into time and time again – but we have 100% control on our own reactions – and it is our reactions which actually CREATE the narcissist. Without our reactions, they cannot thrive. Thanks for the post, uncanny timing!

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Sarah the 7th September 30, 2014

So poetic, so accurate, so sadly true. I’ve repeatedly fallen for narcissistic men, still do. I have learned what a waste of energy it is trying to change or “fix” the narcissist, but I still can’t walk away yet! What does this say about me? Am I narcissistic? Do I need to feed my lack of self worth due to fear of success? There are too many possibilities running through my head to list. This is a terrifying disorder, with no effective treatment having been discovered yet, and it is epidemic! So many good souls wasted to this disorder and the profound damage done to those who love these people is indescribable. Pray for reality, I need to remember to pray on this daily. I’ve created a blog entitled “Reclaimation of Soul” and have yet to post. Being a 2 time rape survivor is the easily identified demon that put a hole in my soul. Thank you for broadening my perspective and feeding me new ammo for this endeavor.
Sarah

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idiotwriter September 30, 2014

…just awesomely written. AWESOME!!! Thanks for sharing this poignant and striking poem Kim ~

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Isabelle Hunter September 30, 2014

That carefully crafted really gets to me. My mum isn’t a narcissist but she has BPD so that’s one of her symptoms. She literally spends hours crafting emails that are only a few lines long to get her message across. She is so good at pretending to be good and sucking people in that I spent my whole life trying to be good enough for her even though I never could be. And no one ever realized she wasn’t just a perfect loving mother because she carefully crafts her public words and actions so well. Thank you.

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Just me September 30, 2014

Wow! Incredible. Too bad it’s just a bit too Long for a tattoo!!!
Thank you Thank you.

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Sukey September 30, 2014

I am terrified of hurting another human being. I want to be strong – the poem touched me the same as all of you. But… I don’t want to hurt. I want be a symbol of light and love. Get me off this merry-go-round. I am dizzy, worn and tired.

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    CPK October 1, 2014

    This is a hook. You can be not just a symbol of light and love…but light and love unified with the Source. Are you honoring that Source by keeping company with darkness?

    Reply
1smiles September 30, 2014

Reblogged this on 1smiles and commented:
Excellent blog post about Narcissistic Personality Disorder…

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maryleemorgan September 29, 2014

Love it, love it, Kim. My first reaction was still wanting to send it to him, but it would do no good. To do so would be to continue to buy into the illusion.

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CPK September 29, 2014

I like everything about the poem, all so true, except for the last lines which maybe could read, “You’re still shuffling me in the deck. But I’ve thrown my cards down, I’m out of the game. I’ve won: your loss, my gain.” This what full No Contact accomplishes.

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    1smiles September 30, 2014

    I love your ending! Excellent.

    Reply
      CPK October 1, 2014

      Thanks. Let’s stay strong.

      Reply
K. Q. Duane September 29, 2014

Reblogged this on It's the Women, Not the Men! and commented:
Many have experience these beautiful, empty, lying shells, most don’t realize they are being abused.

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Laurie September 29, 2014

It brings me to tears.

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    Aquarius September 29, 2014

    Me too.

    Reply
Anon September 29, 2014

Well said…especially this:
“And you’ve grown so used to the dark
That now you’re afraid of the light.”
If that doesn’t sum it up, I don’t know what does!! And, as Dr. George Simon says, they probably are not actually afraid…they probably just really LIKE the darkness because it serves them well and they disrespect the light. They are that far gone. It’s more of a conscious choice on their part than we were led to believe. Which not only makes it sad, but qualifies it for evil.

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Sofia Leo September 29, 2014

Reblogged this on I Won't Take It and commented:
Yup. This. Nevermore.

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Aquarius September 29, 2014

Eerily, powerfully, sadly… true.

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