I should have known better.
I’m at the bar hanging out with a couple friends. One was a college friend and the other was a friend from highschool. We’re at a spot where I knew some people who worked there. I didnt know these people because I was cool, charismatic, or had a lot of money. I knew them because I had worked at a restaurant down the street with most of them for the 6 years preceding that day. I might have looked cool to a 22 year old club rat when I hugged the bouncer and got a shout out from the bartender… only I wasn’t.
I was at a serious low when I met the narcissist. I was only one event away from being at my lowest. I had next to zero confidence in my outward and inward self. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing with my life. My friends were coming up on graduating from college and I had left college the semester before, lost the career opportunity I had left for, and had yet to reenroll in the local university. I had 2 shit jobs and had just hit the halfway mark my first credit card limit. I spent my time working and drinking. I was sincerely living up to being the piece of shit I felt I was.
Enter no-pocket-black-ass-pants and her friend. The two of them came up to us because her friend had recognized that we had lived in the same dorm as her. The first time I met her friend she was fooling around with the dude we called “fat-Tori” in the elevator of our dorm. The moment that the narcissist showed me the slightest bit of attention, I loved her. The very first night it was clear she was an enigma. Even after spending the night drinking and dancing, getting her number, and giving her my sweatshirt I still knew nothing about her. I called my friend in the morning and litterally asked if she was hot and if she seemed cool… she made such an impression that I “loved her” but knew nothing about her. Fuck, I didnt even know if I was physically attracted to her. I should have known then that I was fucked up.
In the following days she called me a few times while she was drunk and driving home from the bar with fat-tori’s former muse. The conversations were nothing special, probably bordem on her part.
Eventually I asked her on a date. She stood me up. When we finally spoke she apologized profusely so I invited her over to my Dad’s house and made her dinner. We fucked that night on my bedroom floor so we wouldn’t wake my dad. This didn’t happen cause I’m some Rico Suavè motherfucker or because I can talk a big game. No, this happened because she could get what she needed from me; an ego boost.
Once she slept with me I was all in. I never was, never have been, nor will I ever be a “ladies man”. Aside from the obvious conflict of character, even if I wanted to be, I never would have made it as a Don Juan with little or no self-esteem. So when she gave it up I was sure she was my soul mate. I should have known when I latched onto nothing in an attempt to have something that I was desperately searching to fill a void that I didn’t understand.
New Years Eve came quick after that. We’d been dating for 4 months or so. We talked about NYE but then 6 days before, she went radio silent. I basically called everyday like the bitch-ass I was. When NYE arrived I mustered up some self-respect and had a great time partying with my friends. The next day, driving home, I found myself thinking “ah well, having sex was cool but I need to get my shit together”. I didn’t think about the itching rash type thing that I had found on my dick about a month after we fucked for another year or two. I re-enrolled in college immediately starting in the spring.
Within a week of NYE she called me, I barely put up a fight. Knowing me, I probably apologized to her for calling so many times. I should have known then that the respect I get from others is a reflection of the respect I have for myself.
Around springtime I was at home expecting her to call to come over. As usual the call was late. As had happened before and would become a reoccurring theme the call wasn’t going to come at all. So I started calling her. She had pointed out where her ex-boyfriend was living while going to her sisters place once so like the salmon of capistrano I flocked to the apartment complex she had pointed out. After making a couple exploritory turns I found them at the front door of his apartment building. She saw my car and ran to it. She jumped inside as he started running after the car. We ended up having to call her sisters fiance, a local cop, to get her car keys from her ex. I felt like a hero after learning that he had taken advantage of her kindness and stole her keys when she had graciously given him a ride home after he had been abandoned by his friends. Her excuses were long, elaborate, and full of holes. I should have known that I didnt trust her when my first instinct was to check her ex’s apartment.
Later that spring I had moved out of my dads house and got an apartment with a friend. It was awesome. Fucking all the time. My friends nicknamed her “party girl” cause while we were chilling at the apartment she would be out getting drunk AF all the time. After having driven from wherever she had been drinking all night she would walk in and head straight to my bedroom. My friends would chant “party girl” and like an obedient puppy I always followed. That summer though my entire life changed forever. The worst day of my life happened on July 24, 2004. She was of no use to me in that time. I dont think she came to the funeral, I dont think I wanted her there. Maybe I broke up with her but I don’t remember. What I do know is I had no desire to have her support, and I knew the love I needed wasn’t going to come from her. I knew that but it didnt stop me from getting back together with her. I should have seen then that our “love” was superficial. Physical for me and selfish for her.
The next 6 years were smattered with cringe worthy moments of lies and denials. She had moved out of state for a while following a job and oddly enough I remember trusting her more in that time than I did when she lived down the street. Perhaps it was simply cause I didn’t have to be face to face with her lies. They were easy to ignore over the phone. Perhaps it was because she sent me nude photos. Regardless, I should have recognized the peace I felt in her absence vs. the turmoil I felt in her presence.
Eventually she decided to move back home but not before getting her 1st DUI. It should have been really great having her home and it was to a point. See, with her, I could be care free. She didnt give a fuck about anything so I didn’t have to give a fuck about anything. The only things she needed from me were compliments and someone she seemed as less than. It felt good to be needed. I should have realized that being needed was a reflection of my lack of confidence rather than a reflection of her love for me.
Any planning for the future I did was all on my own but I was still wandering through life. I just didn’t get it. What was this all about and why was I doing it? We had been together for 7 years, we were playing house, and had no idea what the fuck we were doing… oh, also in this time before we said “I do” she got her 2nd DUI. I should have seen that after the second DUI I was repeating the same pattern my mom had made with 2 if her 4 husbands.
If you didnt catch that, we said “I do”… we got married. WTF!? You did fucking what!?!?!? Yeah, we got married. Honest to God it was like we said “I do” and everything changed. When you’re not healthy; You don’t know what you don’t know until it’s too late. Way too late. I should have known from married day number one that she wanted everything to stay the same and I wanted everything to change.
Our first year was hell. Because of the DUI’s she lost her license and I was driving her to work. Then, because she couldn’t bare to suffer the indignity of being driven to work she went to cosmetology school where she could walk or take a cab. Shortly after she began working at a local restaurant. Things were already sideways but they went completely fucking ballistic after that. She would tell me she would be home at midnight and show up at 4am. She saved a guy named David (her boss) as Danielle in her phone. Turned out that David was sending her poems about ending up in bed with someone you shouldn’t be or wanting a love you couldn’t have. She lied about where she was going, lied about who she was always texting with, and lied and said that David had been sending the poems even though she had told him not to. She lied about this for 6 months and was caught lying about all of it red handed multiple times. The second round of poems broke me.
I decided to leave. The day after I found the second round of poems, I was packing my shit. Happy, relieved, and looking forward to leaving I was basically floating around the house gathering my shit.
Just kidding. While I was packing she told me she was pregnant. I should have fucking realized that my weakness had SERIOUS consequences that affected things other than my shitty life.
My childhood was fucked. I never wanted to be married. Marriage was where people went when they didn’t know where else to go. All I ever wanted was a fast car, a big truck, some cool motorcycles, and a kid. I did, I always wanted to be a dad. I used to say that shit was I was 18. What kind of 18 year old says that?
I honestly never desired being a husband. I was a terrible husband. I was a great person but still, a terrible husband. But once I committed to her and doing what I thought was right I went all in. I bought a house, I went back and finished school, and I achieved the goal of doubling my income within 5 years. All things I deemed important for a man/husband/provider to do. I told you, I seriously had no idea what a husband was or what kind of husband I wanted or could be. I should have known by the singular nature with which I chased these goals that I was missing the point.
Either way I was trying, incorrectly or I not, I was trying. On the other hand she had gone back to work at the restaurant, David had been resaved as Cheryl, and she had “fallen asleep” at Amanda’s house when she had lied and told me she was going out with Jessica. The final straw was finding a birthday card from David that basically said “I cant wait to fuck you again”.
At the risk of being left, she filed for divorce first and moved out within 8 weeks of the card incident.
To this day she claims I was crazy and controlling. Even after the divorce was final she would call me to see if I would leave work early and watch my daughter so she could go work out before she went to work. To this day she’ll still tell my daughter that she wants to plan something during my time with my daughter so that I have to be the one to tell my daughter “no”.
I am still a codependent but I am in recovery. She is still a narcissist and in denial. I regret everyday having married her but I cherish everyday being a father. I even want to be married for real this time.
So yeah, I’m remarried… I am the head of a blended family and history is repeating itself but that’s a story to tell another time.