I was chatting with a loved one yesterday who has struggled with abuse in her life, and I asked if she was able to get out to her therapeutic sessions to which she responded no, not lately. Then she said something that touched my heart. “Have to say, reading your messages on Facebook has helped me a lot.”
I haven’t written as much lately but I have been listening to others and making sense of so much I couldn’t make sense of before. I’m seeing the patterns. The women who are writing in—sharing their similar stories both with the same man I was with and with others— is truly healing.
A few things have come to mind recently. I have said in previous posts that I hadn’t really met anyone like my ex before, but when I really went deep, that’s not true. I just didn’t recognize him as the carbon copy of a man who was married to a dear friend. Years ago, I helped her get out of the abusive marriage she was stuck in by finding a way to employ her through my furniture company. It worked—she was able to get out. She’s an amazing person and has truly been a godsend to me over the past three years. If anyone could relate to what I was experiencing, it was my beautiful, soulful friend who had endured years and years of abuse.
She, and others writing in, confirmed a lot of the patterns I was finally recognizing as part of their handbook. I want to share a few of them as sort of a “how to spot a narcissistic douchebag even when they seem otherwise” list. I don’t think I can hashtag that title, can I?
Each woman described the same tactics, ploys, and motives. To illustrate that, I've included excerpts from messages I’ve received just about my ex. These all came to me online or via email with specific IP addresses attached from all over the world. Some women gave their names and others were too scared to reveal who they are. Look at the similarities in the language and stories.
“I too am a victim of his abuse like you were. He just stole from me with the same promises he said to others. I am ashamed that when I was so vulnerable he got me to sleep with him. (my own fault) and also convinced me to lend him money. I have been reading your blog and you are truly a hero to all of us that have been deceived by this monster…......He disgusts me and I feel so stupid for falling for his BS. Karma as you have described seems to be waiting way too long to take effect. I know I should forget and forgive but its just so hard. By your posts, you help ease my pain and the pain of so many others. As the tears are running down my face, thank you for all that you have done to stop this inhuman human. Your friend in spirit xxx.”
“He’s trashing you and your reputation just like he did to me. I’m weak, you're strong. His lies must be stopped.”
“I wish I would have reached out a long time ago about him and what he did to me but I was sure you wouldn't believe me. In a weird way you were that girl you were writing about. I didn't want to seem bitter or jealous by telling you what a total scum he is. I believe all the women you write about! but I also believe that half the ones against you are made up by him. He made my life hell when I finally couldn't take it anymore. I was threatened and abused on line. its been a nightmare. Sad to say I was relieved when he moved on but I knew it would be only a matter of time. I don't know why you are so much stronger then most of us but keep it up. Every time you tell your story I feel like I get a little bit healthier and freer of his sadistic ways. Both physical and mental. So please continue to write your story and know that all of us caught in his web of deceit and lies are better off every time you do.”
“He told me you guys had an open relationship.”
“He told her (age 20 while he was age 47) that he and his wife had an open relationship when he was trying to get her to sleep with him.”
“He did play you. I was duped by him and didn't know about you. You also need to know about the 15-year-old girl he was screwing.(raping) while dating us. Do you remember him telling you he got mugged in Philly? That was the father beating him to an inch of his life. When I found out about that I couldn't run fast enough, he then rubbed you in my face and said he didn't need me. He had his soul mate. Thank God for that. Peace and good luck."
“He swept me off my feet with constant texting and messaging of love notes, songs, he called me “baby,” he offered tantric massage. Then after he got what he wanted, he ditched me and blocked me on social media."
“I lent him more than I care to admit. I also know he ripped off a couple for tens of thousands. I don't know how many more but I'm surprised he's not dead. And the lies and BS. I don't believe a word he says. I wish I had the courage to warn you. I saw how much you trusted him. You were both so open about your relationship. I could tell you were sincere and I knew it was a matter of time. I can’t believe you survived all those years.”
Do you see the patterns? Here’s what I put together as a list of what to look for if you suspect someone might be a narcissistic abuser….