As many of you know, I am in the process of writing a book. I pull it out every few days and jot down bits and pieces of my story. I recently bought a voice recorder for those rare opportunities of ‘alone time’ when I am driving. I’ve had to dig deep and remember a lot of things about the beginning stages of dating. The questions that I hear most often from well-meaning people are: what were the red flags? Were there any? How could a smart, confident woman fall prey to this man?
I want to show people how it happened and that no one is immune from these con artists. I want to educate people on these emotional vampires who can turn one’s life upside down. I want to detail my journey, my battle and the light at the end of the tunnel. I want to inspire a woman who is feeling the same way that I did just three short years ago. It isn’t an easy road to travel but being on the other side and in control is the most empowering thing in the world. Being informed and knowledgeable about Narcissistic Personality Disorder is essential to healing and to moving forward.
Looking back, there were so many red flags. Obviously I am older and wiser now. Narcissists are charming and manipulative. Every person, regardless of their upbringing has a weakness. Narcissists are skilled at finding that weak spot and sinking their teeth in. They are skilled at making you doubt yourself.
My biggest red flag came just after a year of dating. I caught him in a huge string of lies and after weeks of not speaking, he gave me a card that said the following:
“You are a beautiful person inside and out. I’m not. I’m devious, manipulative and dishonest. If you need to leave me, I understand. I deserve it. I don’t deserve you but I can change. You are absolutely beautiful. You have more beauty in so many ways that I can’t handle my emotions when your beauty is put on a pedestal for others to see. You are sexy in the way you move, innocent as your smile lights up a room. You’re playful yet shy. Your heart and mind are not tainted with cynicism, distrust or spite. You have a heart of gold.”
Even with a huge string of lies on the table and a card that spoke the truest words to ever leave his mouth, I stayed. I still wanted to believe the fairytale that he had handed me. I wanted to believe that he could change.
He knew how to play the game: he knew how to play me.
What were the red flags that you saw while dating?
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