Out of the FOG

Getting Started => The Welcome Mat => Topic started by: fooledagain on April 17, 2021, 02:31:11 AM

Title: Incredible pain after breaking up, npd traits
Post by: fooledagain on April 17, 2021, 02:31:11 AM
I am in incredible pain. I married young, found my wife to have bpd traits. We ended up having a child, he is still in my life. She ended up hurting me in many ways and finally ending her life with me finding her shortly after. This has stuck with me and will never be "ok." Years and years later I was re-married. This woman turned out to also have bpd traits. I endured tylenol ODs (2, including one on the honeymoon), her cutting, constant lies, saying she cheated, saying she didn't, passing a lie detector test (! and her idea, saying she didn't cheat), only for me to quit an expensive grad program partially because she was telling me she was thinking of suicide while I was at clinicals. She ended up divorcing me, I believe primarily because I would not be making the money she had hoped and now I had a large amount of student loan debt. She also may have cheated on me with her boss before we divorced, although of course she denied it.

Fast forward several years. I felt like I had the bpd signs and symptoms down and was alert for them. I met a woman at work who did not seem like the usual woman I have dated or married in the past. She seemed very sweet. She stated, "I can count the number of men I have slept with on two hands." She was going through a rough patch with her husband and had two children. She ended up getting divorced. I intentionally didn't put myself in the position of a rebound but had to hear about how she was going through a "slut phase," (her words). I figured she was doing what, unfortunately, many do when divorced. I waited and remained a friend, we spent time as friends hiking and talking and it appeared we both realized we were very fond of each other. We began dating. I always had a bit of an issue with her recent "slut phase" and the incongruity of the stories coming out of her compared to the way she apparently was until recently.

The lies started coming out, initially with her "coming clean," purposefully coming to me and telling me that she had been less than honest about a few things. I found this very refreshing as this was not something the bpds in my life would ever have done. Unfortunately, the truth never came out in this manner again. She initially said she had lied about never cheating on her husband. She said he almost certainly cheated, and that she had cheated on him in return. Her boundaries began to become clearly very loose and poorly defined as she described cheating on her ex husband with a friend of mine and a coworker of both of ours. I know that I was her coworker as well, but I feel there is a big difference between a healthy course of dating and "hooking up," which brings me to the next thing she "came clean" about. She said she had lied about never having had a threesome (these were things she brought up, not things I asked. I have learned not to ask those questions). She said she had a threesome with two coworkers when she was married, a male coworker and a female coworker who was also married! I had met these people and stated that I could sense something was off and she denied it. All the lies that she "came clean" about revolved around this behavior. Poor boundaries, sleeping with coworkers, and not using protection. I told myself she was acting out due to her divorce and her father's somewhat recent death and that she was sweet but naive. She told me her "slut phase" was over, that she had made a conscious decision for it to be over and had been STD tested prior to sleeping with me for that reason. After dating a few months she told me "You don't know how much I love you! I could MARRY you!" She also said "I love you" before I did.

Then her phone rang one day while I was driving. She had left it on the console with the screen up and I couldn't help but glance. She had told me details of her "slut phase" and she told me this guy who was on her phone was the last guy before giving up on it and before being with me. She quickly and awkwardly lied about the call, saying "I have no idea why he is calling, we don't talk anymore!" She put her phone away. I asked her about it later and she said that she was used to her ex husband and was afraid I would get angry if anyone ever called her. She said the call was innocent and that she needed her house painted and he had agreed. We had already discussed my belief that spending time with exes, especially hook-ups (not ex husbands, I get that is unavoidable and she couldn't help but be around several coworkers she had sex with...) was inappropriate and had no place in a healthy relationship. We ended up having a long, about 1.5 hour conversation about her painting her house with this guy. I was adamant. She asked if I was "telling her." I said "you're an adult, I can't tell you anything but I can tell you I don't think I will want to be in this relationship if you paint your house with this guy or if you spend time with him again. You lied about his phone call, you say he was a hookup and not a good guy." She said "I would never risk what we have." A week or so later she mentioned how she had painted her house with him. I broke up with her shortly after that, asking how she could possibly not understand the situation. She said she "figured I would get mad and then get over it." I stayed broken up from her for about a month and a half (at the point we broke up we had been dating 3-4 months). We ended up going on a hike as friends. We were both appropriate. She told me she was dating someone. She ended up becoming available and we started dating again. Things were great again... then she started letting things slip, such as the guy she dated (hooked up with more realistically) while we were broken up... every time he comes around work? "I run up and hug him!" I said, "what kind of message do you think that sends to him?" She swore up and down that she meant nothing by it. I said it is inappropriate and that he most certainly likely takes it as a message that she is still interested in him. She said she wouldn't do it anymore. Her being around people she had sex with before started becoming an issue more regularly. This same guy is best friend of her best friend and now roommate... a woman who is at least bi (not that there is anything wrong with that) but my ex said "I love you" and she said it back every time they left the house or hung up at the end of a phone call. Her best friend's birthday party was coming up and she basically let slip the guy was going to be there... I said "there are any number of creative ways you could avoid this" and brought up her going to lunch with her friend and skipping the party. This was a regular occurrence and I believe, her version of hate bombing.

I never forgot the episode with her painting her house with that guy either and as the strange boundary issues popped up more often, I started asking questions and saying that it didn't make sense. She would talk about her sexual history as if it was all fun and exciting, reporting that she seldom used condoms. She only expressed shame or remorse if I hinted that I may feel that way or that anyone might... She began "admitting" things very slowly, after days of my explaining how this or that didn't add up. One example: She had "sexted" many guys at the beginning of our relationship and during our breakup. She admitted that she had fudged her number of sexual partners to some degree... but not to the degree you would think. She had simply "forgotten" a couple guys she only gave oral sex to supposedly. Then a couple weeks ago after I explained that my BS detector was good, and that therapists stated she would need to be honest (she said she believed she was codependent and I found a therapist that said the absolute antidote is truth telling and showed her that) and I talked about a "clean slate." She finally said that she had cheated on me twice, in the beginning of our first episode of dating. Once with the guy who she painted her house with, at his house while helping him move, of course not using protection. Once with another guy who randomly messaged her on facebook who she "only gave oral to, and hadn't seen him in over a decade but he was popular in high school and she liked the attention." I asked her why she would just give the guy oral and she said, "I have THAT much of a conscience." How that made sense to her I do not know, seeing as how she had full on sex with the other guy she cheated with and seeing as how that's not much of a conscience anyway. I find it hard to believe this is really someone who had been with 6 sexual partners and faithfully married for 9 years (until he cheated and things went bad) by the time she was 28.

She said she wanted to be with me, that wasn't the real her, she had a "relapse" of her slut phase but never would again... on several occasions she would love bomb me with gifts including twice giving me books about how much she loved me, pages and pages of love...  after doing more reading I found that she fits a "covert narcissist" to a T. I haven't technically gone "no contact," but I explained to her that I believed she was a narcissist (I know, I know, you aren't supposed to. I was raw and in the moment). I also told her that I didn't want to dump her, I wanted a mutual breakup and I asked her if she agreed the communication and trust was irreparably broken. She agreed. She also said things like "I feel emotionally abused. You kept asking, which I understand and I know I would never have told you otherwise, but it felt abusive." Things like that. I said some angry things a couple times (I feel this is normal considering). She mentioned those things several times. She said she was going to "always tell the truth from now on" and go to a therapist. She said she went to several mutual friends and told them she cheated... she at one time said she was going to tell her mother. I am leaving out a lot of details because I feel like this is already a book...

I am on a travel assignment far away and don't have a ton of friends anyway. I have been leaning on the ones I do have and family. I feel mood swings, damn near panic attacks, floods of negative emotion almost as bad as my divorce or worse... almost as bad as seeing my son's mom after she did what she did. I am crushed. I feel deeply depressed and isolated. I have a contract for this assignment that goes until June. On top of all of this my grandmother died four days ago, the last day I talked to my ex. I am somewhat surprised she hasn't contacted me in any way although it has only been 4 days. I wonder if it's because she knows I know she is a narcissist (or suspect rather). I wonder if it's because she realized she was caught in so many lies that I will never trust her or think of her as this sweet person again? I am so hurt and empty that if she contacted me and promised not to cheat again or took it back, I would take her back! I know how awful and dangerous that is and I have been avoiding contacting her... but if she contacted me at this point I think I would crumble because I hurt so so bad. I had an STD test this morning. I have a therapy appointment next week. I am going to call off one day to return home for several days after this stretch of 12 hour night shifts and I will be around family and will go to my grandmother's memorial... I feel profoundly depressed. Again, I find it hard to believe this is the same person who supposedly only had 6 sexual partners and that her divorce and her father dying suddenly made her go into a "slut phase..." I find it hard to believe that she only cheated twice. The strange thing is that I really thought she might have been making up the cheating as the day before she said things like "I almost wish there was something to tell you" and "I almost feel like making something up" added to the unreal nature of the stories (meeting up with a guy and almost immediately giving him oral sex and only oral sex in a house with no furniture) and cheating with a guy who was legit ugly... Of course, it could be my wounded soul hoping it isn't real. I gave her several chances to take it back and explained I had a woman make up infidelity before, but she stuck with the new story. I told her it was unlikely she would just cheat twice or that now she was being honest finally, but again, she stuck to the story. Anyone with any insight, it's very welcome. I am hurting terribly.
Title: Re: Incredible pain after breaking up, npd traits
Post by: moglow on April 17, 2021, 02:16:48 PM
Hello, and welcome to Out of the FOG!

I'm sorry you're in such pain, betrayal and repeated lies add insult to injury and are so unnecessary. Your best friend in this will be, simply, time. I'm sure as you write things out, more will come to mind. For me writing it out, whether here or in a journal or letters I never send, helps lance those painful boils so they can heal.

Something that came to mind reading your story - it seems your relationship became rather intense within a very few months. Many of us have done that, but it seems it rarely ends well whether with a PD partner or not.

I'm one of those people who doesn't care to hear about a new partner's "body count" or "slut phase" and find both of those terms very offensive. It seems a pithy way of excusing behavior I'd frankly prefer to not discuss at all. I'm no prude, but about the time those words come out of someone's mouth, I'm done. It sounds like she's minimizing something that's important to you, I guess I should say. Repeating it doesn't make it more palatable - to me it just makes it worse.

Understand, when she comes back -and odds are she will try again- she's still the same person. Think long and hard if you want to subject yourself to this hurt again. No one will ever be perfect and we all do things we regret, but think about what's important to you in a relationship and hold those boundaries close. Don't compromise your values just to keep someone in your life.
Title: Re: Incredible pain after breaking up, npd traits
Post by: fooledagain on April 18, 2021, 02:34:13 AM
I agree, I don’t usually  want to know a partner’s “number” as that conversation doesn’t usually lead to anything good. In this case, she volunteered a lot of information. I guess volunteering lots of sexual history will be another thing I will be somewhat wary of in the future as it probably is representative of immaturity if nothing else. I am somewhat hung up on whether or not she is really a narcissist. I know that no one is qualified to diagnose her etc... but for my peace of mind I would like to know if she appears that way, to have those traits, to others. I feel like she definitely love bombed, triangulated, and has very loose boundaries. She seems to be lacking in empathy. I suppose her timing on finally telling me she cheated could be hate bombing (right as I was about to go be isolated for a travel assignment and right as my grandmother was dying).

As far as the DSM criteria, as she is probably a covert narcissist if she is one, I find it harder to pin down...

Out of:
A grandiose sense of self-importance
A preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
A belief that he or she is special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions
A need for excessive admiration
A sense of entitlement
Interpersonally exploitive behavior
A lack of empathy
Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of him or her
A demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes

I am sure of:
A need for excessive admiration
A sense of entitlement
Interpersonally exploitive behavior
A lack of empathy
And a demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes

Which I guess is enough...
Perhaps she has some of the others that aren’t as obvious?

I suppose I am hoping she isn’t a narcissist so that she might be “fixable.”
I realize I am still hoping we might be able to make it work 😩 and I realize this is highly unlikely and I am reacting to trauma bonding...
Title: Re: Incredible pain after breaking up, npd traits
Post by: moglow on April 18, 2021, 01:09:04 PM
"Fixable" to me would mean she's open to change, accepting responsibility for (and consequences of) her choices, honestly remorseful and apologetic for her behavior ... Is she? It doesn't seem so. Maybe she needs time to date and be single post divorce.

I think you should probably think about who she's shown herself to be rather than what you want her to become. If you pursue her again expecting her to have changed, you may be disappointed as you see these same things come up over and over, followed by excuses of why it's okay in her eyes.

"What" she is (personality disordered or whatever) isn't the issue here, really. She's making behavior and life choices that are contrary to what you want and believe in. You said that you agreed communication and trust had broken down - within the first three-four months of dating. Be honest with yourself: where do you go from that if that's how you began?

Be gentle with yourself. You're grieving more than one loss right now and it takes time.
Title: Re: Incredible pain after breaking up, npd traits
Post by: fooledagain on April 19, 2021, 03:33:52 AM
Thank you, I appreciate that you took the time to respond. Having read about how painful recovering from (withdrawing from) a narcissist is, I would never have believed it if I were not experiencing it. The non-linear nature of my negative emotions is especially shocking. I will start to feel relatively well, then suddenly I am filled to overflowing with sadness, anxiety, anger, shame, and longing for her. These emotions are so overwhelming I can easily imagine giving in to temptation to contact her, although I have been strong thus far. Last contact is going on 5 or 6 days (I would have to look at the text messages to say exactly and don't feel like looking at the moment). My worst day so far was yesterday. I felt so raw and in pain that I seriously considered leaving my contract job and taking a loss financially just to be home with my family. I am hanging in there at the moment. I hope yesterday was the worst but I am very afraid I will have an even more painful day. I have been through things that "should be" worse that don't even compare to this level of agony. I am somewhat puzzled as to why she isn't contacting me. I figure either:

She was effectively discarding me when she admitted to cheating (the horrible timing of my leaving and being isolated and my grandmother dying somewhat backs this up) although she seemed very willing to make promises to change if I would stay with her and she swore up and down it would never happen again and had never happened again...

Or: my saying I believed she is a narcissist is a huge problem for her and she has decided I will never be a good supply again so she let me break things off, effectively again discarding me...

Or: She is biding her time knowing I'm in agony, all the better to pull me in again at some point. I'm afraid that if this is true I will cave... despite logic.

I read that if someone cheats on you one time and it it's a one-off occurrence, it may be out of their character and they may be capable of changing. However, if they have cheated previously on other people or they have cheated on you with multiple people, this behavior is really "them," they just don't see it as being a "rule" they have to follow.

I appreciate anyone reading for their patience. Even if there is no reply, typing this out is very helpful for me. Thank you,
Title: Re: Incredible pain after breaking up, npd traits
Post by: BeautifulCrazy on April 19, 2021, 02:23:47 PM
Hi fooled,
In my experience, you get to know who someone really is through their behavior. Not their words or their intentions.
I believe people express their true selves, and what their values actually are, in times of stress or conflict.
As posted in another thread:
If he actually is genuine, honest, patient, and kind, then that will remain consistent even when the two of you disagree or become upset. But if those traits are a façade, you'll eventually see the true side of him.

I am glad you find some relief just sharing. I hope you continue to come and talk it out on the forum boards.

Title: Re: Incredible pain after breaking up, npd traits
Post by: Simon on May 02, 2021, 09:51:30 PM
Hi Fooled.
I feel your pain.
So much of your story resonates with my experience with my BPD ex girlfriend.

Normally I would now write a long post echoing what the others here have just written (and I agree 100% with what they've said).
But I'm going to keep this post short, because I think it's important that the point I'm going to make isn't hidden or diluted with excess text.

You want to believe that they are the nice person you met at the start, and that the bad behaviour and disrespect is them "acting out" because of something that happened to them.
The truth is that the person you met at the start is a facade, created to charm you, and the person you saw emerge as time went on is the real them.

And whether they're BPD or NPD, they cannot be fixed.
Your co-dependency is most likely telling you that you can be the one that will fix them, protect them, help them change, because they think more of you than they did all the others.
Truth is, they don't think any more or less of you than any of the others.
If they're BPD, then you're just a life raft that they'll hold onto while they think you'll keep them from going under.
If they're NPD, then you're just a means to an end. Someone they can play games with, cheat on, lie to, and string you along until you're no longer needed, and then they'll jump straight to someone else without blinking.

It is painful, but it's important that you come to terms with it.
If you go back to her, it will be a lot worse, and it gets worse every single time you let them back in because they have to punish you for leaving them (even if they left you).
Read many of the stories on here for the living proof.

If you're struggling believing she could really be BPD/NPD, ask yourself this:
Could you treat her the way she treated you?
I'm guessing you couldn't.
Relationships are meant to be balanced.
It's clear, regardless of her mental illness, that you're not meant to be together.
Being with her would be very damaging to your mental health.

If you still struggle, try to remember it this way.
Their emotional development was arrested at a very young age, and they will be stuck there for the rest of their life, whether it's as a 4 or 5 year old mentally, or a stroppy teenager mentally.
Just like kids of that age, they will act immaturely, tantrum if they don't get their way, show no remorse, be very selfish, get bored of people very quickly, lack social skills and respect for others, and expect not to be held accountable for any of their behaviour.
And if you do call them on any of their ridiculous behaviour, no matter how small, they will have a hissy fit.

Now, if you saw that behaviour in someone of a young age, you'd have no problem in shrugging it off, maybe even chuckling because it's how kids act, even if they were directing that behaviour at you.
But, because it's an adult with the emotional intellect of a child, it's harder to comprehend.
We convince ourselves that they are normal, rational people.
They never were.
They just hid it well for a while.

I know that right now, the pain seems unbearable.
We've all been there.
It does get better.
You just need time.

This is a longer post than I meant to write.  :D

I'll leave you with a book I recommend to people very often.
It helped me a lot.
Psychopath Free by Jackson Mackenzie
I know the title sounds harsh, but trust me.
You'll recognise a lot of what's written in there, and it will help.

For more immediate help, check out these youtube channels.

The Little Shaman: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnr7eQQzbj01-Js_Exsr6vg

Jess Stanley: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm_dWUsXjZrg9aXmUKexnwg

Both these women have been in Narcissistic relationships, and are very knowledgeable on the subject of Cluster B mental illnesses.

And try and remember all the BAD things that she did to you.
The brain will try and forget them and will try to only remember the good times, giving you a rose-tinted view of your relationship.
That's normal, but you can't let it happen.
You know you were in an abusive relationship, but you're just having withdrawal symptoms right now.
Fight it!

Hang in there mate.
Arm yourself with knowledge, binge-watch those YouTube channels, and remember that it's not your fault.