I am reading the book, The Object of My Affection by Rokelle Lerner. A friend suggested that I read it since she felt that my experiences with both my wives indicated that they were narcissists. I’ve just started reading the book but already, in the first chapter, I have found two quotes that perfectly describe my relationships.
“It’s baffling when the person you fell in love with, who used to treat you so lovingly and thoughtfully, suddenly acts like you are an annoyance-or worse, the enemy. It’s painful to watch this person in public, treating people with respect and generosity and doing nice things such as acknowledging their birthdays-while consistently ignoring you. Your friends may think he’s quite a catch; people may adore him. And you may begin to feel as if there’s something desperately wrong with you.”
“When you’re in relationship with a narcissist, you relinquish your identity and your soul to them. Their seduction is similar to a razor-sharp stiletto being waved in your face: it’s so mesmerizing, you won’t know you’re bleeding to death until it’s too late. But it’s not your blood that a narcissist wants-it’s your emotional energy and your individuality. A true narcissist has no qualms about taking your money, your love, your admiration, your body, or your soul to satisfy their unquenchable hunger. And just as vampires cringe when they’re in the presence of crosses or holy water, narcissists recoil at ordinary adult experiences such as boredom, uncertainty, accountability, and, most of all, having to give as well as receive.”
These were my wives, my marriages, and my feelings, there on the page, as if I had written them as a description of my life. I have been trying to make sense of how I could have ended up with two women who I gave everything to, and who then took, and took, and took, but never gave back, unless it served to somehow benefit them.
These women convinced me that they loved me, cherished me, wanted me, but in the end, only cared about what they could get from the me. Once they realized they had taken all I had to offer, they moved on, leaving me alone and sure that it was all my fault.
Even though I now understand why they did what they did, because they were narcissists, I am left with irrational fears of being rejected, of never being good enough, of being left alone again. I live with these fears every day. I am almost constantly on edge, just one step away from another panic attack. I am always looking over my shoulder, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Even though I trust the people in my life that I love, I live in constant fear that they will just leave, or worse, become disinterested and reject me. Even as I write this, the terror of being ignored; rejected, is palpable. I am on medication for depression and anxiety. I practice deep breathing and meditation to help calm myself. Nevertheless, the pure fear lurks just beyond my reach, waiting to envelop and destroy me. Or so it seems, anyway.
Supposedly, this book is supposed to help those who have suffered at the hands of narcissists. Let’s hope so.