It's hard to imagine when you think normally but, after a while as the healing process begins you start to realize. Then the pain sets in all over again. Here is this person that you loved. You took care of them. You even shifted priorities that you shouldn't have to make them first in your life in most areas. You broke boundaries for them because they required it. You crossed lines for them that you shouldn't have. And yet. They never loved you. They weren't capable of it. At some point you knew that and you were either too scared to leave or too much of a fighter to let that be the case. You had to fight to prove it. In my case I was a fighter. There was a short lived time I was afraid of to leave but, I dealt with that type fear in my first marriage. That wasn't the case the second round. The second was more of 'what's wrong with me that i'm not capable of being loved?'
You heard me right. See marriage number 1 narcissist of a different type. The first one was undiagnosed (of course) borderline personality disorder. He created his own world. He made every effort to alienate me from everyone. I lost so many people out of my life. Some came back after he was gone and apologized for leaving they had they're reasons. Some couldn't watch what was happening to me knowing that I wouldn't leave. Others didn't like how he talked to them so they stepped out until he was gone. Others were afraid of him and never returned because they heard the threats he made to me. Things like 'he would plant stuff in my car' so that I would lose custody of my kids. They obviously didn't want any part of that so they bailed. Can't say that I blame them.
I decided he was full of shit and I wasn't going to play those games. He was for the most part. He did things though. He broke into a building on my property and stole things that he'd given me and the kids as gifts. In his mind he gave them to us so he could take them back. He stole things out of my back yard with the same mindset (even things i bought). I wasn't there to stop him because of the restraining order I had so he did what he wanted. I had to write it up as a theft. It was an ordeal.
Second one though. He wasn't borderline he was actually diagnosed bipolar, depressive, and adhd. He was a rollercoaster. Everything he did was literally all or nothing. He was on medication and finding a combination that worked for him took about 3 years. There were a lot of manic times during that. His go to during his mania. His phone. He would do like a lot of bipolar people and shop but he would go to places like thrift stores and amazon return centers he spent a lot of money but, it could've been worse. He would pick a fight to try to elicit a response from me (which i typically always fell for) just to hold his phone up and say he was recording. Oh he didn't just say it. He did it. I don't know what all he recorded. There was so much creepy stuff of me on his phone. He would take pictures of me at night while I slept. He recorded me when we fought after he poked and poked and finally got that response he wanted. He never recorded the first part only the part where I reacted. Then he would sleep. And sleep. and sleep. Several times he slept for 3 days straight.
I would try to get him up. I would try to motivate him. I would try to parent him. I even sprayed him with a water bottle several times just to piss him off to get him and moving. A time or 2 it worked. He got up, got dressed and left. Most times it didn't. Just cause more anger between the 2 of us and the kids.
It was horrible for the kids to see. I knew it. I didn't want them to see any of that and yet I couldn't make it stop.
After the 3 days of sleeping he would be up for 3 days. The manic cycles were endless. In all the time we were together I couldn't ever get him to understand that at 3 am it was past time to put the phone down and get some sleep. He would fight with me over it. He would tell me that he wasn't like me. I had to be up at 5am. At 3am he's still up. Moving around the house. Cooking. Watching tv. The kids had to go to school. He didn't care. He had 0 respect for any of us. He didn't care that he was keeping us up he was too angry with the fact that I asked him to go to bed. To lay down next to me.
I finally learned though. I learned that he couldn't show us respect because he couldn't and wouldn't. He demanded we respect him and yet never understood it was a 2 way street. He demanded I trust him yet would stay gone 18-20 hours a day and often leave in the middle in the night.
I don't know why it took me so long to see it but, narcissists a true narcissist is a sociopath. They can't feel. They don't love. They don't respect anyone. They pretend and they often pretend well. He left all his stuff here when moved out. He would be 'back for it'. He came back for it every single day for 2 months. Finally I got distance between us and he would call and ask if he could shower. Then he would need more stuff. He never just got his things and left.
Even the last time he came tearing through here he took more stuff and ran.
I still have stuff. Some of it's gone to the dump. Now i also have a protection order though so now I have to deal with it all. Which is fine. I am. I will.
Things are quite now. I still cry though. I don't know how long it will take for me to heal. I have PTSD from this relationship. I have PTSD from the first one. Trusting anything or anyone is hard for me. I've migrated more to isolation and I spend a ton of time with my kids and animals. I will do therapy techniques I've learned along the way. I will eventually heal. It will be fine.
It's a lot quieter now. I read my bible a lot. I pray a lot. I'm finding peace. But there's one thing I still struggle with. He never loved me. It was never about love for him. He doesn't know love. I think at times he wanted to. I think there was a time he even tried but, the reality of it is those are things I tell myself to help myself cope with the fact that for years I shared a space with someone who only wanted to take everything they could get from me.
I sometimes wonder what my future looks like and if I'll ever 'find love' but, then I think about the things I've been through and how jaded they've made me and all I can think is that I probably won't be good for anyone. I just pray that my kids heal. That they learn from the things they saw and that they learn how not to treat people. I pray that they find love and that they don't allow someone to treat them that way.
There is so much more to the puzzle and I wonder if how many people have now seen pictures of me sleeping or videos of me reacting and I could literally make myself crazy thinking about it.
There's been so much loss of the last few years that if I can't even try to measure it. The financial abuse alone is in the 10's of thousands. It would be nice to try and get those years back but, I think instead I'll just try to recover and heal and make sure it doesn't happen again.