I’ve reached the stage (of what, I’m not exactly sure) where the relentless burning desire to investigate and discover has been replaced with a mere mild curiosity that only floats through my mind occasionally. Thinking about my soon-to-be-ex and his daily activities is almost like checking Facebook; it’s no longer a compulsion, but a purely voluntary thought. “Gee, he’s still not home; I wonder what he’s up to now?”
I have my theories. But I no longer attempt to fact-check. I would only get so far anyway. Some information is just never going to be known. Pathological narcissists and psychopaths go to great lengths to make sure of that.
Still, though…attempting to date already. For the pathological narcissist/psychopath, it’s almost like fishing, or maybe shopping. It’s about as impersonal and data-driven, and it’s about as transactional – a cost-benefit analysis.
I’m sure human nature does this globally, to an extent. You do have to calculate whether someone is going to be more of an asset or a liability in your life. The difference between this global human tendency and the narcissistic/psychopathic version, however, may be the metrics used. Narcissists/psychopaths are short on empathy and long on exploitation, so they’re not going to care if you’re a fantastic person, so long as you provide (supply, practical resources like money, thrills, or merely tolerance of their solitary pursuit of thrills) without resistance. Speak up, call them out, set boundaries, etc, and you’re toast, even if they don’t tell you this.
So, in seeking out another so-called partner, what is my soon-to-be-ex (a pure psychopath) attempting to do? What need is he trying to fill? What is he trying to prove?
Because it doesn’t seem as though he wants an actual partnership. A partnership implies an egalitarian, bidirectional, mutually supportive, healthy, respectful human bond, complete with the appropriate emotional depth and interaction and engagement. And a psychopath is incapable of any of this.
I would know. During my own relationship with a psychopath, I remember thinking and saying certain things frequently.
“I’m human, not a machine. I’ve put in a long day at work, too. I’m exhausted and worn out, too. I have wants and needs too, including wanting to get home and relax now. I don’t appreciate it when you just spring a task on me at the last minute.” I’m not your chauffeur, handmaid, or anything else, who lives to be at your beck and call, mister.
“I live here, too. You can’t just toss your stuff every-freaking-where, in my normal walking paths.”
“No, I don’t want to have that same dish for dinner again tonight. We’ve had it for four days straight, and I would like to have something else.” You don’t just get to dictate everything every night, assuming your way is The Way it’s going to be.
“I’m not your mother. I shouldn’t have to nag you to do this or that. Things like keeping a clean house, paying bills on time, investigating issues, and fixing things are all part of normal adulting life skills. I shouldn’t have to teach you these things or even tell you all this.”
To myself, “of course he didn’t clean that mess up/pick up more of a product we needed/accomplish a certain task. Why should he, when he can simply wait for me to go nuts and do it all myself?”
Also to myself, “I know he’s keeping something from me. I have no idea what it is, and no way of finding out, and he denies anything at all, but I know it’s there.” He feels entitled to keep important information (that is indeed relevant to me) to himself. He disseminates information on a Need To Know basis, and nobody holds those credentials but him.
Through mostly subtle actions, as opposed to words, I was systematically sent the prevailing message: that I am second class. I exist for his benefit, to fill his needs and wants, and I am an inconvenience and a bother if I dare have any of my own. They are not worthy of attention or addressing, so they don’t ever need to be asked about or paid attention to. I don’t actually live in this residence or co-own this business, either; my ideas and goals are not worthy of consideration or exploration. I am merely a nuisance to be brushed aside, answered with noncommittal bullshit sufficient to shut me up when necessary. And when I became too inconvenient, I became something to discard and ignore outright.
Can you tell the bitterness might be starting to surface a little? Or maybe it’s resentment. It looks larger in print than I feel it inside at this time, such that I’m not even sure it’s bitterness that’s surfacing, or that anything is surfacing at all. But whatever it is, it reserves the right to brew as necessary, and I have little choice but to roll with it. I’m not exactly sure what I’m feeling, what I’m going to feel, or the timeline that this will follow. But I’m sure there will be feelings, plenty of feelings.
I’m (much) surer of where I am in my process of leaving. I continue to move different things (of mine) to different places. I continue training in a potential new field (never count your chickens and all that). I continue pursuing my own interests and maintaining my own identity and autonomy, thinking in terms of “I” and “me” instead of “we” and “us”, because “I” and “me” is all that’s left. I continue maintaining my bonds with family and friends, and also my independent social life, hanging out with my bestie or in group settings, and I’ve even been making new friends (!).
I continue maintaining my boundaries, tolerating only that which I’m actually okay with, and calling out anything beyond that. That’s working for me; after all, we each teach other people how to treat us. Never teach anyone that you are someone anybody is allowed to disrespect. Because of this, I’ve rarely had to call anyone out on anything.
I rarely even talk with my soon-to-be-ex – maybe some brief, superficial banter that never gets to the heart of anything but is pleasant enough anyway, for a few minutes at the end of the night, before he retires to the bedroom to engage in lord-knows-what-and-I-no-longer-care. Other than that, hardly any other contact, which is preferable.
These are all wins, of course. Win-wins, even, which I prefer.
My soon-to-be-ex? Is living life as though he were even more single, if that’s even possible. And that’s okay with me; it keeps his attention off of me. With any luck, that’s a correct assessment. With psychopaths, you never know, and you can never let your guard down. I’m sure he reads this blog by now; how he (probably) found it, I’m not sure. I know I made some mistakes, which have long been corrected; I’m not sure if I made those corrections in time.
That’s okay, though; unlike him, I don’t have anything to hide. I stand by what I write. I’m not ashamed or self-conscious. I regret nothing, because everything I’ve done is the best I had to give at the time. The pathological narcissist/psychopath regrets nothing either, but that’s not because they gave their best; it’s because they don’t view you as a person, too.