A NARCISSIST INFLICTS COVERT PAIN
When my malignant narcissist realized I wouldn’t receive any inheritance for forty years, he became focused on acquiring multi million dollar life insurance policies. Then things began to get strange. A carbon monoxide incident happened, he put me thru extreme emotional strain, and pressed me for sex after a hysterectomy. I started questioning every interaction with him. Was I ever safe? When the plots to hurt me failed, he resorted to open threats and ramped up the violence. He was furious when I finally fled with our kids.”
The Love Bombed Target (1993)
I met my ex when I attended college as an undergraduate. A chance meeting through another friend, he love bombed me to the point I felt I was living in a fairytale dream. He was so polite, considerate, sweet, brought me flowers all the time and enjoyed doing ALL the things I enjoyed doing. I thought I had met my prince charming.
Six months into our dating relationship, he triangulated me by inviting a woman he had a romantic affair with overseas to the stay with us in the US. For weeks he flaunted her in my face. Then he took a job out of state and left me to care for our apartment in our hometown four states away. Before he left for his internship, he left photos of this woman on the walls in our bedroom (just another way to rub salt into the wound). I was a virgin when I met him and he was the only lover I knew. Growing up with strict Christian grandparents, I was taught you marry the man you give your virginity to. . .so I clung to that monster like he was the man I was intended to be with for my lifetime.
A few months later he asked me to marry him in the most unromantic and insincere proposal. Like an idiot, I let him get away with it and accepted (with a ring I paid my grandmother for). The wedding went by quickly and soon after, the love bombing stopped and I felt like the sky had fallen out of my ceiling.
The Mask Came Off (1996)
What used to be sweet, sweet language of love and passion–changed to words of hate, shame, and disgust. I was too fat, too thin, too pretty, too ugly, stupid, boring and he just couldn’t stand me. Again, falling back into my “good Christian wife” routine: I refused to let my new marriage collapse or give up without “fixing” what was wrong. So, I focused on changing the things that annoyed him. I lost weight, rose to the head of my college, and decided to spice things up in the bedroom because I was so inexperienced.
Years drug on and I was living a rollercoaster life with a man I barely knew. I knew only the persona he created. He played the role of “husband” people knew outside our home, and I loved that fake husband personality so much, I would have given anything to have him be that man privately behind closed doors. That good/fake husband only existed in public. Only came out around friends, family, clients, and people he wanted to impress. The real husband was something much more sinister. The real husband secretly hated women and his personal mission was to make me suffer for the women who inflicted pain in his life before me (his mother, ex girlfriend in high school, ex fiancee in college, etc.). He was like living with a darker version of Jekyll and Hyde. . only the man I ever got was the psycho.
The Obsession with Life Insurance (1997-2000)
I am the daughter of a wealthier family in the midwest. We’re no Rockefellers’ by any means, but in the small county where I grew up, we had significant assets. I believe I was love bombed by my ex because he got wind my family had money. I believe he married me because he believed I would inherit money during our marriage and he could exploit me to use my fortune as he saw fit. What he didn’t know is I wouldn’t receive anything until I was in my 60s. When he realized that his plan failed, he became obsessed with life insurance and insisted we both get $1M+ policies to protect each other “if anything should happen”.
Reproductive Illness and Countless Procedures (2003-2007)
Flat broke (and with me making more money a year than him), we purchased a little fixer upper bungalow in a historic part of town. It needed some work, but nothing a man trained in construction couldn’t handle. We lived in the home for nearly 10 years and I lived with that man constantly tearing me down, building me up, then tearing me down again. He sabotaged work events, my volunteer activities, and derailed and tore down everything that was a threat to him as a man. In 2003, I became ill, was in extraordinary pain, and couldn’t eat.
In 2004, I learned I had a reproductive disorder that behaved like cancer and treatment took nearly three years and meant living through excruciating pain. He was my caregiver after a surgery that left me hospitalized for over a week and home recovering for nearly a month! And he was abusive and brutal.
Covert CO Poisoning During My First Pregnancy (2007)
After completing therapy, I was sick and in pain again. My doctor was ready to go back for surgery, but insisted I take a pregnancy test before scheduling the procedure. A less than 10% chance of ever having children, I believed the test was a cruel joke–but it turned out I was pregnant.
My pregnancy was the most wonderful time of my life, but my ex was not on board. He HATED I was pregnant. Hated I was getting all sorts of attention from friends and family and he wasn’t the center of their attention and adoration. He ignored the pregnancy most of the time and I worked/traveled until my 7th month (until my doctor threatened to put me on bed rest). I remember calling him from my hotel the night I felt our baby move. He simply responded, “That’s nice. I gotta go. I’m busy.”. I now know he was busy with the affair he was carrying on. His latest source of narcissistic fuel (and there would be many more lovers to come).
We never replaced the furnace in the old home we purchased. In my third trimester I started to feel dizzy and lightheaded. I felt woozy when I got out of bed and kept smelling gas in the house. I reported all this to my ex, who ignored it. “I don’t smell anything.”, he would casually say. We would walk down to the furnace and there would be no smell. He’d declare I was crazy and give everything the all-clear.
A few weeks later I was in the basement doing laundry and smelled gas again. The dog was more sleepy than usual and our goldfish had died, but I knew I was smelling something off. One thing a pregnant woman has is an incredible sense of smell! This time I was determined to find where the smell was coming from. I followed it to the furnace and put my hand up to see if I could feel anything unusual. I could feel heat venting into the laundry room! I found the leak! I went upstairs to shut it off and called my ex. I was standing outside talking to the neighbor when he arrived. He called the furnace company and they promptly ran tests, declared I was lucky to be alive, then removed the old unit and threw it in a dumpster!
I don’t have proof, but I believe wholeheartedly that man tried to poison me and our unborn child with carbon monoxide. I believe he tampered with the vent pipe to have the furnace vent into our house when he was gone and fixed it when he was home (why we couldn’t smell gas when we went down to check it together). When he saw me talking to our neighbor, he was forced to deal with the situation because I had mentioned it to someone outside our home (if he didn’t fix it they would know something was up). I believe his plan was to quietly make us sick so he could collect on a large life insurance policy he was so adamant we have years before. He was simply waiting for the right time to set the perfect plot and collect.
Extreme Emotional Strain Post-Surgery (2010)
A few years went by and we purchased a newer home, another fixer upper that needed tons of work. We hired my twenty-something cousin to watch our kids (we now had a baby daughter) while we worked on the house during the day. I was now a stay-at-home mom (our son has Autism and required a lot of therapy, etc. that made it challenging to work and manage his needs). My ex and I worked on our new home during the day and went home to our babies at night. My cousin slept in the basement of the new home (because it was supposedly free of mold).
For months I would go home to our babies, while he stayed behind to greet my cousin and work later on the house. Were they having an affair? I believe so and our living arrangement gave him the perfect setup to triangulate me with a younger family member he was having an affair with. While we were working on our home, I started feeling ill again and my pain had returned as strong as before.
We finished the house, my cousin moved out and we had a German exchange student move in with us the following fall. I went in for a hysterectomy and another procedure and was hospitalized when she arrived. My ex visited the hospital once during my procedure. . .to the extent the nurses asked me if we were separated! When I returned home to recover, I was taking some pretty serious medications and was still wearing a catheter. My ex had his mother come and stay and during that time, she completely ignored any of the scheduling needs and routines for my Autistic son. I could hear him having tantrums and sensory breakdowns through my bedroom door–while she scolded him for being naughty. It reached a place where I could hear her being cruel and I forced myself out of bed to confront her. My ex was home and got wind of the conversation and made me out to be the bad guy. Grabbed my arm so hard he left a bruise, and drug me to the front room. Proceeded to scream at me and how nasty of a person I was and told me to get upstairs and back to bed before he made me.
For weeks while I was taking meds, my ex told him how crazy I was, how easy things would be if I just wasn’t around. How horrible I was and how he hated me. How I starved him of sex during all my procedures and he was getting ready to find it somewhere else. As I started feeling better, I invited him to have sex while still taking pain meds. He’d leave and say cruel things, like “That was such a waste of my time,” then slam the door behind him. One day he left the bedroom and said, “Remember to take your pills”. It was then I realized he was pushing my fragile state to make me feel hopeless so I would voluntarily overdose on my medications. I was more determined than ever to get well and get out of that bed. While recovering, I plotted my exit strategy to leave that monster for good.
Increased Aggression & Violence Ramp Up (2010-2011)
Three months before I finally left, my ex approached me in our kitchen and said the following words to me in the coldest manner, “I fucking hate you. I want to beat your ugly fucking face in.” I was shocked, but I collected myself. I knew things had escalated to the point of no return for me. I told him he needed to think about what he just said, kicked him out of my kitchen, and told him he better have an answer for me in the morning. When I approached him the next morning and asked what that comment was about last night, he said matter-of-factly,”I dunno. You had just pissed me off and I was mad at you.”. I realized then, I needed to speed up my departure and get me and our kids out of there and free from the man who was getting more and more violent with our Autistic son.
We Fled Quickly
I left my ex. Left him without giving him a chance to devalue and discard me because the safety of myself and our children was at stake. When a psychopath tells you he wants to hurt you without feeling an ounce of guilt or remorse for it, it’s a big clue he’s ready to act on his words. . .but in hindsight, I believe my ex had been planning a more sinister demise for me years into our relationship. Sometimes looking back, I wonder how I ever survived my marriage. I believe I narrowly escaped plot-after-plot.
I don’t have proof of his plans or attempts (it is incredibly difficult to track a covert narc’s underhanded schemes), but knowing what I know today. . .I sometimes lose sleep wondering what else he attempted when I was oblivious to his schemes. Perhaps the times I had the flu wasn’t really the flu at all. What if he had been successful? What if I had given up tracking the source of the gas smell in our house?
Are you are in a similar situation? Stop ignoring the red flags and go! Run far and run fast! Save yourself.