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Was my ex a Narcissist/Emotional Vampire?


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This is going to be a monster long post so I apologize in advance. I tend to be long winded and I'm pretty emotional right now with a lot to say. I need to vent.

 

I'm still trying to make sense of the very recent end of my 7 year relationship. My ex dumped me via e-mail. We broke up last year (my choice) and got back together six months later, and stayed together for six months until she left me two weeks ago now.

 

I've been telling my story to many friends (and some strangers) in an attempt to cope. I see many of the same observations from them, pointing towards her selfish and somewhat narcissistic tendencies. I've been reading up narcissism and emotional vampires (just ordered the book by that name) and I'm really believing she is one of these toxic people. I can't believe I spent seven years with this woman, and yet the knowledge that I am probably better off without her is not very comforting to me.

 

So, here are some examples of her behavior. Some of it is literally copied/pasted from previous threads I've written about her. Does this classify her as a narcissist/emotional vampire?

 

 

She cheated on me freshman year of college when we were together just under two years. Only kissed the guy, but then "tries" to break up with me over the phone. I cried and begged for an hour. She agrees to stay, and tells me all the things I am doing wrong that made her want to leave. Primarily I wasn't affectionate enough, not calling her enough. I wasn't calling because I was still with my parents and it was long distance. Instead I was always waiting by the phone for her call but that wasn't enough. She also tells me things like I have a bad family and she worries what it will be like if we ever get married, and that my eating habits are making her fat. No where in this conversation did she admit to cheating. Two weeks later after a "hypothetical" conversation about cheating and feeling me out to see if I will forgive her, she admits to making out with a guy at a party before trying to dump me. She doesn't offer an apology. Two days later I tell her she has yet to apologize and she finally does. That was 5 years ago. Earlier this year she admitted to me that at the time she didn't apologize because she wasn't sorry. In her words, she was so full of anger and resentment at the way I was neglecting her that she blamed me for her cheating. My inability to get over her cheating years later even after we were engaged was the main reason I left year last year. I later discovered in therapy the reason I couldn't get over the anger was because of issues with my mommy that went back to my childhood (cliche but true in my case). It was after that revelation that I went back to her.

 

She had always been pretty needy and clingy throughout the relationship but the extent of it was kind of hidden from me because I wanted to be with her, and the time we spent together was limited so I also wanted to spend all my time together with her during summers and holidays. The extent of her neediness didn't really become apparent to me until after she graduated and we lived together, and more recently after we got back together. That was when the real fireworks started. I now really understand how you don't really learn about a person in a relationship until you go through some problems and get to see how they deal with them. Early in the relationship we never really argued.

 

The following are quotes from an earlier thread I posted about an argument we had during the summer. I was having guy friends over, she tried to invite herself and I said no. She blew up at me with nasty text messages calling me names.

 

 

 

 

 

Someone pointed out to me from that post how she had manipulated me into feeling guilty when I had done nothing wrong.

 

 

 

 

After this incident something else happened in the summer that I didn't post about (probably should have). It was about a month later and I was walking on egg shells because it seemed like no matter what I said or did it was not enough. She told me I wasn't trying and she was displeased. So I started to grow distant. One night she comes over and we watch a movie together. I had a couple of drinks loosened up, and was very nice to her. All things considered it was a wonderful, albeit boring evening. She responds by bursting into a million tears. I asked her what was wrong, and she said she was upset that I was being so nice to her because it reminded her of all the recent times when things weren't so good. She got up and left.

 

The next day she texted me an apology, and I went over to her place. We had a chat the next morning about the whole thing, and she tells me among other things that, "Even if it is anger, I want to see some emotion from you to know that you care." I was floored by that statement because the whole time I was trying to save the relationship I was trying to stay calm and not lose my cool. Apparently she was pushing my buttons to get a reaction of me. My therapist had been trying to point it out to me, but I couldn't see it. I was wondering what she took from that incident after talking to her therapist, but unknown to me she had stopped going to therapy. The both of us staying in therapy to work on our issues affecting the relationship was the plan since we got back together. The only reason I can come up with for her stopping is that she didn't see the need to go because there is nothing wrong with her - until the very end she blamed me for absolutely all the problems in the relationship. She is incapable of taking responsibility for her actions.

 

This pattern of her contradicting herself and denying responsibility continued right into the breakup conversation. For example, she accused me of being too distant. I explained to her again my distance was due in part to the way she was treating me. She didn't deny how she was treating me, but said "Well, you are still being distant so it doesn't matter." I saw this as her accepting at least partial responsibility for me being distant, and absolving herself of any blame at the same time.

 

She told me that I hadn't been trying in the relationship at all. This is despite the fact that we had frequent conversations about the new job she started that I got her. I was always listening and giving her advice. Just a week before she broke up with me there was a text on my phone from her, thanking me once again for being so helpful. I tried to point out to her this contradiction and she couldn't see it. She still maintained I was not the least bit helpful to her. There was also a night a couple of weeks prior where she came home in panic because her computer wasn't working and she needed to get work done. This was at 11PM. She calls me up and I had to come to her house immediately to fix the problem. Then two days later we were supposed to meet up to spend the afternoon together. I'm a bike commuter and got caught in the rain on the way home from my weekend job. I called her up and asked her if she could come over. She didn't want to leave the house because it was raining, and instead expected me to ride my bike to her house in the rain. This is instead of her using an umbrella, walking two blocks to the train station, taking a 15 minute train ride, and then walking another two blocks to my apartment. We ended up compromising with her taking a cab and me paying for her return trip. When we were breaking up I pointed this story out to her as an example of her selfishness and me being helpful and she didn't want to hear it. Of course she doesn't tell me, but I find out unsolicited through a 3rd party that she is out on a date with a new guy two days after leaving me.

 

I did a search for narcissistic here and found this old thread.

 

 

 

There are many things there that just send a chill down my spine, it describes her so clearly. From what is in that thread, and other stuff I've found on the web these are the characteristics I see in her that are narcissistic.

 

She is very selfish and needy, constantly needing affection. It seemed like no matter what I ever did to try and please her when we got back together was ever enough, and she wouldn't even give me credit for trying when it was convenient. She was very demanding about what she wanted, and could be very manipulative to get it. She felt entitled to all my time. She couldn't take responsibility for her actions at all, everything was my fault.

 

At the same time I can't say she is full blown NPD because she could be empathetic (just not in acknowledging a hurt she had caused), and at times she could be very loving. Also she was very dependent which isn't exactly a classic narcissist, but I see many of the traits...

 

For years I used to think I'd never do better than her. Now I think I would be hard pressed to find someone worse.

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I'm sorry you had to go through such a messy relationship.

 

I don't know enough about the intracicies of psychology to confirm that she has NPD, but she sounds like a horrendously selfish person.

 

From what I read, she seemed to spend a disproportionate amount of her time criticising you for nothing, and looking for you to lavish attention on her 24-7. Definitely very immature, unrealistic and selfish.

 

You did the right thing by breaking up with her.

 

I'm sorry again you had to put up with such a person.

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Is she pretty? Usually, aren't these type of girls really pretty girls? Just wondering

 

 

She is definitely attractive but by no means is she a total hotty or anything....

 

 

I'm sorry you had to go through such a messy relationship.

 

I don't know enough about the intracicies of psychology to confirm that she has NPD, but she sounds like a horrendously selfish person.

 

From what I read, she seemed to spend a disproportionate amount of her time criticising you for nothing, and looking for you to lavish attention on her 24-7. Definitely very immature, unrealistic and selfish.

 

You did the right thing by breaking up with her.

 

I'm sorry again you had to put up with such a person.

 

Well, when I broke up with her a year ago it was my choice. This time she dumps me when I still wanted to try and work things out despite our problems. One of her biggest problems was my part time job. Since june of last year I was working seven days a week, and she wanted me to quit so we could spend more time together, but I chose to keep it for financial reasons. The day she chose to break up with me is the same day I lost that job through no fault of my own, and I saw it coming. She knew I was losing my job, and I thought the silver lining would be us spending more time together and maybe it would make things a lot better between us. Instead she drops the bomb on me literally right after I pick up my final check, and I couldn't for the life of me understand why. It made a lot more sense when I find out a week later she already had a date set up for that weekend.

 

 

I just feel so many things right now - all of them bad. I feel like an idiot. I feel drained. I'm angry. Furious even, and that is very out of character for me. I'm depressed. Things weren't supposed to end this way. I tried so hard to save this relationship and it still fell to pieces. Everyone keeps telling me I tried hard and she did nothing which is why it ended. Rationally I understand that but it provides me little comfort. I feel like I failed. I lost her. She had her problems but we were supposed to spend our lives together. Instead she treated me like dirty for months, I put up with it, and then she discards me like yesterday's trash to go date someone else.

 

Last year when I left her I was very worried about how it would affect her. I did it in person, gave her every opportunity to ask me questions and get closure. We lived together, and when I moved out I left her a lot of furniture and some electronic gadgets. Most of the stuff in the apartment had been purchased by me, but if I took it all the place would have been empty. But I was very generous. She admitted this to me when we got back together. And now she dumps me over an e-mail after seven years to date someone else. I thought I deserved better. This is all so unfair. I just want to crawl into a hole and die right now.

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The things I am seeing that are missing for NPD are gradiose thinking, you say she has some empathy, NPD have none. I wouldnt say she is fine it just doenst strike me on the face of it as NPD, but I'm no expert.

 

here are some sites about npd:

link removed

link removed

 

You can find traits with most ppl but they are not necessarily NPD.

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The things I am seeing that are missing for NPD are gradiose thinking, you say she has some empathy, NPD have none. I wouldnt say she is fine it just doenst strike me on the face of it as NPD, but I'm no expert.

 

here are some sites about npd:

link removed

link removed

 

You can find traits with most ppl but they are not necessarily NPD.

 

Thanks for all the replies so far.

 

I've seen that first link and bookmarked it. Very informative. Another thing my ex is missing that is present from the second link is the charm. Actually, if anything my ex had a real problem in wooing people over to get them to do what she wanted. She would just flat out demand what she wanted, and if that didn't work she would resort to manipulation and guilt to get it. This was actually a big problem in our sex life I talked to her about on at least two occasions. For an attractive woman, she knows surprisingly little about seduction. If she was in the mood and I didn't initiate, her primary move was to tell me that it was time to have sex. No signals or flirting or anything. This was a big killer to any desire I had for intimacy at the time, and I tried making her understand this and she seemed to when I spoke to her but wasn't really changing. It was another issue on my list of things she needed to work on.

 

On one occasion this summer she demanded sex from me, "So are we going to have sex or what??" when we were alone together and she was upset at me over something. My therapist described it as a very castrating thing on her part. It was like she was trying to rip my masculinity away from me and wave it in my face.

 

There is definitely something wrong with her thinking though and I don't know why I feel the need to put a label on her but I do. At this point I'm thinking it is definitely not a classic case of NPD but she certainly has some narcissistic tendencies...

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That is garden variety intolerance/fear of intimacy, not NPD. She does everything she can to sabotage the relationship without realizing what she is doing because deep down she feels unworthy of being loved. You break up and she feels less threatened and gets drawn back in. You get back together and as soon as she starts to feel secure, the issues start coming out. She hasn't learned yet to step out of the acting out of her feelings.

 

You're going to feel all sorts of things, including furious. What you can do is stay in therapy and work with your own stuff. Feel your own emotions deeply and allow them all. Try to understand her and that the things she does don't have anything to do with you or the present situation, but her past and all the tears she has never been able to experience. Keep reminding yourself.

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I can see that. Very early in our relationship (less than a year) there were two occasions where she broke down in tears when we were alone together, similar to the time she did it back in August. Both times she asked me, "Why are you so nice to me?"

 

My therapist has also told me that my ex acts on her feelings too much.

 

All in all her childhood really was not that traumatic. Mine was much worse, I came from a totally dysfunctional family with very little to no love. Her mother is a very loving woman, perhaps too much so. She can be smothering. When my ex's younger sister went to kindergarten and there were no more kids at home, the mother never left the school. Just dropped her off and kind of hung around. Eventually the school hired her as a para professional and she still works there to this day. I think she gets the selfishness from her mother spoiling her and being too loving...

 

The one bad thing from her childhood was her dad cheated on her mom when she was in junior high school and disappeared for a couple of days on end. That did have an affect on her...

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There is no 'too much'. It is what it is, and she is at where she is at.

 

Regardless of what you may think you know about her past, the result is quite apparent. Things in reality may be different than what she was able to communicate to you.

 

There are ways in which a parent who gets too close can also cause these problems. The core issue is about appropriate mirroring, which is somewhat vague. But the bottom line is that in the same way that a neglectful parent can numb their child to real intimacy, one that gets too close can also do the same thing in a different way, by not really seeing them for who they are.

 

I know this one from personal experience. It was a very difficult task to come through that and see it for what it was. It took skills and awareness that your gf does not have in her life right now. It affected me differently, but I was also not able to have an intimate relationship with another person as a young adult.

 

Despite what you have gone through yourself, you understand the concept of getting outside the acting our of your own feelings. That of all things is the most valuable if you want to find real love inside yourself.

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Doesn't sound like NPD to me at all. Nor does it sound like Borderline Personality Disorder, or even Bipolar. It sounds like a classic case of severe insecurity to the 'nth degree.

 

At any rate, her insecurities sound far too progressed to have hoped for a normal relationship.

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Hi I would like to talk to you about your situation...I am very similar to your ex? girlfriend, your situation sounds identical but I'm on the opposite side. Me and my on and off longterm boyfriend are having the same problems. Perhaps I'm a little bit biased since I can relate to what your girlfriend is going through but she is definitely not narcissistic. In many ways I feel that my boyfriend is selfish for not giving himself to me emotionally and being as intimate as I would like...as good relationships are supposed to be. I bet she loves your personality and you guys have a lot of fun together but you just don't show enough interest in her. Why are some guys like this? I would also love to know. It's very confusing and it has lead me to cheat once too and just like her I wasn't sorry I was angry and resentful. At the same time I can't let it go or forgive myself even though it seems like my boyfriend has. Sometimes all we want is a reaction but you guys never seem to care.

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Sounds like BPD to me.

 

My ex did the same thging with the crying outburts for no apparent reason, The questionsing as to why I lvoed her. She even went to say she didn't feel like a nice person and that she was bad.

 

My ex did this early in our relationship as well. "Am I a bad person?"

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Sometimes all we want is a reaction but you guys never seem to care.

 

This appears to be a fundamental difference in goals about the way we see a relationship.

 

Just the other day my therapist was reminding me how angry and irrational my ex was when we came in together for couples counseling. Throughout the whole thing I was extremely calm and kept my cool. My therapist commended me for that, but in hindsight it probably just upset my ex even more. After all, how could I remain so calm if I really cared?

 

The way that I saw it is that I cared enough to keep my cool so I wouldn't do anything stupid and screw the relationship up. For years I had bottled up my anger over her cheating and I didn't want to let it out, even when I left her. It was not long before that I finally released that anger and it turned into an epic long e-mail that sounded like the rantings of a mad man.

 

Why in the world would I want to lose my temper again? To have an emotional outburst and scream, say unkind things to the woman I am trying to repair a relationship with? That would only create more problems than it would solve, with more hurtful things said for us to move past.

 

I want a normal, calm, happy relationship. The problem with the "I just want a reaction out of you" mentality is that it amounts to craving drama in a relationship. Either we both have to be very happy all the time, or we have to be angry and arguing. There has to be lots of emotion or you feel like we don't care.

 

I see that kind of constant emotion as a big problem. Sure, it is great if it's always happiness but no couple can be happy like that 24/7. Eventually the button pushing commences to induce anger and arguments to fill the emotional void. What relationship can survive like that and be healthy in the long run?

 

Outwardly I may not have been obviously emotional, but if my ex wasn't so damn insecure she would have seen that my actions showed that I cared plenty. And in the end she refused to even give me credit for trying on ANY of it.

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If you think the things he relayed above are okay because this girl wasn't getting enough attention then dear heart I have to suggest some counseling for you becausae you will smother and chase off every guy you date. no one can deal with that kind of clinginess and insecurity and be happy with it.

 

I suggest working on this need for a reaction. It is immature and borne of insecurities.

 

You don't sound like you want to work on your issues, just that they are there and the guy should deal.

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My therapist commended me for that, but in hindsight it probably just upset my ex even more. After all, how could I remain so calm if I really cared?

 

The desire to help the relationship rather than damage it is understandable, but you don't want to do that at the cost of your authenticity. You're not responsible for your partner's inability to handle it, she is.

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And one more thing I'm not sure I made clear in my first post. I found out unsolicited through a 3rd party that she had a date the same weekend she dumped me. So I can be pretty sure she set that up before she let me go..

 

Sorry to say but the girl is toxic. She is not even anywhere near close to being ready for a healthy relationship. It will likely take A LOT of therapy for her to see her issues and then act on them appropriately. You are not expected to be some super hero who keeps taking and dodging a woman like that's bullets. Steer clear of her. Women who are this clingy and insecure are a nightmare, i could introduce you to some guys who went thru this and I don't know how they did it. I'd be out the door LONG before it escalated to such degrees.

 

It's one of those "sorry but see ya" kind of things for me. I even have to say that women like you describe might appear empathetic on occasions but most of them deep down care most about their pain and their wants and will drag you down in a NY minute. They can be quite selfish and it's all supposed to be ok in their eyes because "they are sooo insecure"/. BAH

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As far as therapy is concerned, both the couples therapists we saw said we just needed to stay in our own therapy sessions to work on our issues affecting the relationship. But sometime during the summer she stopped going. Her therapist was leaving that hospital and I had asked her if they were going to get her a new one. Apparently though they couldn't find one that fit her schedule. She never told me until just before the breakup and she never took it upon herself to find a new therapist.

 

My therapist was not surprised by it. She says my ex believes she did no wrong, and all the problems in the relationship were my fault. So if there is nothing wrong with her, why should she bother going to therapy?

 

She needs a lot of help but she will never get it because she wont admit there is anything wrong with her.

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And hopefully you will no longer make this problem. She has to get help for herself. She didn't bother to find another therapist despite the agreement that you boht would go and work on your own issues. That in itself says a lot and shows she isn't concerned with change.

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And hopefully you will no longer make this problem. She has to get help for herself. She didn't bother to find another therapist despite the agreement that you boht would go and work on your own issues. That in itself says a lot and shows she isn't concerned with change.

 

 

On the contrary I think she was very concerned with change - me changing. All I had to do was cater to her every whim and everything would have been fine. But I wasn't ready to make that change because I was a bad boyfriend and so she made the right decision by leaving me...

 

*sigh*

 

She wasn't a total monster. She had her good qualities and for a time we were pretty happy together despite the problems. I wish I could go back to then when it was simple. But now she has turned out to be one of those "crazy" people we all hope to avoid in a relationship. And I still miss her....I'm sad.

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If you think the things he relayed above are okay because this girl wasn't getting enough attention then dear heart I have to suggest some counseling for you becausae you will smother and chase off every guy you date. no one can deal with that kind of clinginess and insecurity and be happy with it.

 

I suggest working on this need for a reaction. It is immature and borne of insecurities.

 

You don't sound like you want to work on your issues, just that they are there and the guy should deal.

 

 

It's not a constant need for a reaction but some people are emotionally dead and never DO or SAY anything and it is enough to drive a person insane. I didn't say it was a great thing to do or that I do it all the time-infact if you read what I wrote it was a 1 time thing. I am trying to help him understand where this kind of thinking is coming from. I don't believe that my insecurities are immature; I am being honest about them to try and help this guy figure out his situation. Obviously I have my own issues I never denied that but I don't think we're talking about me here. As far as counseling goes I think that is immature to tell somebody they need counseling based off of a breif comment. There is no need for any name calling here I didn't ask for your opinion on my own transgressions.

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You don't sound like you want to work on your issues, just that they are there and the guy should deal.

 

 

No I'm sorry but you're also incorrect about this. On the contrary I'm extremely idealistic and I try to achieve perfection in my relationships and I very much want for my boyfriend to do the same. I always am trying to change for him and treat him well. I think a lot of women face this problem. Your harsh judgements are uncalled for and you are hampering my ability to give RandomAdvisor the advice he needs. So I don't really care what you think and I'm going to be honest for the sake of the person who really needs the advice.

 

Anyways, adding to that, random advisor, you said that sometimes she'll be really sweet and nice and then change. It's because if she sees that her efforts have no effect on your behavior than she gets upset. I guess we could call this immature but that doesn't really provide anything useful. I think we have to accept this as a part of life, that sometimes things that are so broken just can't be fixed anymore. And if it were another time and place the two of you might have worked out. Maybe in the future hopefully?

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But I wasn't ready to make that change because I was a bad boyfriend and so she made the right decision by leaving me...QUOTE]

 

I can tell you feel strongly for this woman, but are you sure you loved her? I'm not accusing you of not loving her, but I just want to know for my own benefit. Sometimes I feel like my boyfriend doesn't want to change for me because he either doesn't understand love or just doesn't love me. I feel like he just doesn't want me to find somebody else and he knows I can.

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