• P#T

Dear You, From An NPD Survivor Who Was Agonizing in Dating Hell

The beautiful moments we made slowly faded away - his brilliance, kind-hearted, caring, and supportive manner evaporated into someone I never knew before: self-centered, careless, manipulative, lazy, and harsh. Editors Note: This is a true-story case of NPD (Narcisstic Personality Disorder). This disorder ‘can last for years or be lifelong’. For more information about NPD or how to protect yourself from an NPD person, visit this introduction reading on Psychology Today.


You might be trapped for days, months, years, but I hope you will find the way out. Illustrated by Salwaa Chetizsa (@futile_odds)

Dear dating victims who might know or not know that they are one, I hope my story finds you in the right time and place.

Too Good To Be True? I used to hang out, to later date a man who was so Brilliant, Kind-hearted, Caring, and Supportive (from here on we shall call it B-K-C-S). At least, that was what I knew when he first came into my life.

We’d met in a coffee shop, we’d talked, we’d discussed, we’d got to know each other further. The more we discussed things, the stronger the ‘connection’ (nyambung banget) I felt; it really did felt like we were match made in heaven. It didn't take a long time for him to share his personal stories with me, making me unable to resist the urge to share mine too. He’d told me how desperate he was dealing with his clingy ex-girlfriend. He’d told me he wanted to free himself from her and asked me to help him during his period of depression. From then on, we met more frequently, feeling that we got each other’s back. Until one day, he declared that he loved me.

At first, I doubted. I knew he hadn’t finished yet with his ex-girlfriend. I knew they still had frequent conversation and affection, and from that I suspected, how could he told me that he loved me while he hadn’t finished with that ex? I didn’t want to be the third person. But, he kept convincing me that he’d declared a firm goodbye for her.

His coaxing worked; I tried to believe him. There we went, our story began. We became closer than ever before. Sometimes we debated, most of the time we discussed. I was grateful that God finally answered my prayers for sending me a good man like him. The first three months of our romantic relationship, I could tell, he was still the person that I knew in the first place: B-K-C-S. One of the reasons why I loved him was that he was so smart—our relationship was filled not only with emotional support but also intellectual discussion. Deep down, I monikered him ‘a walking library’ because he understood almost everything that I asked. Moreover, he was supportive of me to chase after my dreams. As months went by, all those beautiful moments slowly faded away. He became someone I never knew before: self-centered, careless, manipulative, lazy, and harsh. Where did that B-K-C-S man go, you ask?

I didn’t know that he was incredibly smart for also being an actor that deserves standing ovation to hide his true, manipulative personality.

Here was how the nightmare began.

Do You See A Pattern?

A decline of answering texts and phone calls; always ‘seems busy’ to meet; blaming you that you’re demanding too much of his time; always have a million excuses from being sick to not paying attention to your stories anymore. Even though both of you are partners, the world only revolves around him— consciously, you do notice if something is wrong. But his explanations always make you feel like as if you made that mistake.

Instead of complimenting for what I had done, he complained on my imperfect behaviors. I still tried to give him undivided attention despite his nasty retorts. I tried to think positively: I am sure he is the one; he used to tell me about marriage. I thought “I know he won’t lie. What I am facing right now is just another obstacle. I should be more patient. I know he will change”. You might have experienced these same patterns. All of these signs and tricks happened to me as well.

I was steadfast and swayed with his B-K-C-S personality. That first personality that he showed to me was stuck like honey that’s sticky sweet giving that delusional hope on me. I yearned for that man and hoped that he will make a comeback. Alas, I should’ve seen the pattern that I was only being used of his serial manipulative acts, because he started comparing me with his so-called ‘perfect best friend’, describing her as “independent and relaxed” in dealing with him and I should be more like her.

It was a ‘her’, and she sounded like how our relationship began being the bestest of friends to confide our deepest problems in one another. I mean, she would know that the current clingy girlfriend is me, and previously before that, I was the ‘comfort corner’ he tried to look for from his previous one. Maybe we weren’t the clingy one; we have been directed to have thought it was our fault. I was cornered to be ‘wronged’ by him to be a clingy person where the difference of status before and after declaring his love for me becomes an act of usage. See how smart he was?

The more I tried to hold on, the more I lost myself. Our ‘match-made-in-heaven’ relationship was now filled with daily quarrels, tears, screams, shouts, and self-harms. He didn’t do any physical abuse on me, but I was familiar with verbal and mental abuse from gas-lighting (manipulation of the mind), silent treatments, projections, self-harm exhibition, to suicidal threats.

I didn’t understand why I believed that his physical, mental, and financial stability were my responsibilities.

He was so good at manipulating me so that I could keep quiet despite his extremely rude behavior.

He kept accusing me for bringing bad luck in his life.

But he was the one who brought me the bad luck by treating me as if I was a trash.

In front of his family and friends, I tried to hide my pain. I put on my best fake smile, continuously lying to them (and brainwashing myself) by how lucky I was to have him so that they didn't suspect my pain.

But, the more I hid my pain, the bigger it became.

Every. Single. Time I decided to quit, he lured me back with his self-pitying and spewing more rubbish stories so I would give in and stay.

I hope that this will never happen to you, or to you again.

When You Need Help, Get Help When the chains of hell let you go, I fortunately am now freed. I thank God for all of His kindness to reveal it all. Our relationship ended up with a miserable ending—he secretly had a relationship with someone new behind my back. Does the pattern sound familiar?

No, I am not sad that I lost him. What was more important was the fact that it took its time to forgive myself, resenting that he sucked my time and energy, only to realize after two years of ‘bleeding’ and faced plenty series of betrayals.

If you ask me, how am I today? Of course, I am going to answer that I feel liberated. I can feel the burden I’ve carried mentally every day is slowly releasing itself. I can get my voice back again. I can express myself freely again.

Yes, those traumatic scenes of verbal and mental abuse lurks within my memories everyday. But, I am not afraid now. My 2019 resolution is simple: I just want to focus on taking care of my mental health. I am still trying to find the best ways to deal with these bitter memories without harming others and most importantly, to gain my self-worth back. I know how easily it is to do self-harm whenever depression knocks in. I used to be there, but no, I don’t want to do self-harm anymore.

I want to thank these beautiful souls—my family and friends—for your endless support, love, care, and honesty between human beings and not imposing advice like from a parent to child, for example. Thank you for accompanying me during my healing time.

Because I don’t know, if you all were not there for me, I probably would’ve still continued my heavy smoking (I used to be a heavy smoker for two months, then I slowly quit smoking the moment I realized cigars controlled me rather than I controlled my habit. Addiction is another prisoner, right?)

Thank U, Next Here’s for you, my ex-boyfriend. Despite all of your truculent behavior, I still thank you for everything. You make me believe that the devil wears Prada does exist. Honestly, I never believed one did exist until I met you—your fake smile, fake attention, fake support, and fake love—I learned a lot from you.

You have taught me patience, pain, endurance, strength, and sincerity to deal a person like you. But, don't misinterpret my words. I am thankful for all of this but it's enough for me to know you. Don't ask me to come back in your life and become a spectator of your childish behavior again. I am done with that. Don't you dare tell the world as if I was miserable for losing you, because that's not true. I am better off without you, and really, my life has been getting better since we separated.

And last but not least, I want to apologize for his ex-girlfriend, too. Hi Mbak, wherever you are right now, I hope that you read this because I don’t know how to reach you. I am sorry that I used to misunderstand you. I thought you were the one to blame, but now I realize that he’d made up stories as if you were the one who hurt him—of course, it was his intention to gain my attention and affection. I want to say sorry if you still hold grudges on me. I hope you are doing well with your new life. I hope you have healed, too. I hope God showers you with abundance of blessing. I am sorry if it takes years to apologize, but it's better to be late than never. For all women and men who are struggling from toxic relationships, don’t give up. Don’t degrade yourself, dear. You matter. Your life matter. You are beautiful in your own way and you don’t have to change for the other person - find the person that genuinely clicks you effortlessly rather than being forced. I hope your rubbish partner/ex doesn’t change you to be a bitter person like them. Free yourself, for you deserve a better life, dear.

Repeat this to yourself: I am not powerless anymore. I am the Power itself.

I am not powerless anymore. I am the Power itself.

I am not powerless anymore. I am the Power itself…

Sincerely, me—someone who just ended the victimhood, continues to live as a survivor.

This story is part of the #PTTMerdeka19 Stories Series.

We invite you to submit your Self-Liberated Stories Of The Year to us to help empower the rest, in English or Bahasa Indonesia. Announcing your self-independence is one step closer to recovery. Merdeka! #TimeToSayBadbye

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