Hello Dr. Vaknin,
Let me first expess my most sincere thanks for your educational articles relating to narcissism and abuse. It is through one such article concerning PTSD, and susequent articles relating to abuse that I realized that I was a victim in a previous relationship that continues to "haunt" me. I have finally mustered the courage to post my story in hopes that you can give me some insight into the mind of this individual.
I am happily married now and my husband is WONDERFUL. For the 7 years we have been married, we have enjoyed a full and happy marriage and family life with friends that we remain close with, sucessful careers, and a beautiful and sweet child-- our pride and joy.
The Ex (Narcissist):
He was a PHD in a specialized sector of the engineering field. We both graduated from a University with engineering degrees at the same time (I with my undergrad, he with his PHD-- he was 8 years my senior).
We met in a "social dance" club, and seemed to be well suited as dance partners--he enjoyed taking me to dance competitions and he clearly enjoyed the attention that we both received. He asked me out immediately, claiming that I was an "angel"- -although he stopped calling me a week after the first date claiming that he "had to see if he could stay away--but he couldn't". He always dressed in a suit (even when others were more casual), he enjoyed talking "above" me in engineering terms that I was unfamiliar with, he was always on the verge of an engineering "breakthrough", and he often thought that when I sang along with the radio, that I was singing to him, and he praised me, generally making me feel like a princess. It started getting weird when he bought me expensive necklaces, and called them my "collars", he referred to me as his "kitty" and he forced himself on me sexually several times against my will, even deriving pleasure from "holding me down". He lied to me, saying that he was a "virgin" because I told him that I was (and unfortunately for me I was telling the truth), and that was why I didn't feel comfortable with physical intimacy before marriage. It didn't matter, he forced it on me anyway, and then said I was "asking for it". Each time I tried to leave, he would harass me until I came back to give it "another try"....and I did (three times) much to my own shame. Each time we would get back together he got more aggressive and possessive of me. I sang in a band for fun, and he would physically harm patrons who would try to approach the stage-- even when there was no real threat of danger to me. The turning point for me was when I was riding in the car with him, and he turned on me for no reason and raised his hand to hit me. I still have no idea what provoked him (other than me just being there). He turned the car around and took me home. It was at that moment that I knew it had to end. After that moment it was over for me, but not for him. He tried to convince me to go to couples therapy with him-- that we could make it work. He told me that he would cash in all of his investments, and his house and buy a yacht and we would "sail away" together. He told me that he wanted to marry me, and that he was going to buy me an expensive ring. He even tried to force himself on me without using birth control hoping that I would get pregnant (with a "cute little belly " as he put it). He did go to therapy, and while he was in therapy I was trying to get on with my life. Even after it was "over" for me he continued to call me asking for "closure". I agreed at first, because, since this was my first serious relationship, I didn't see the harm in it, and didn't even know what it was. The problem was, he never seemed to get "closure". I responded to his emails for a few months, up until I met my husband, and then I told him not to ever contact me again. When he did, I simply ignored him, and tried not to think about him.
All was quiet for about five years, until two years ago, when I ran into a friend of his while expecting my first child with my husband. This friend apparently told my ex- N. boyfriend about my circumstances, and within 24 hours, he had emailed me (at work). His tone was almost accusatory that I was expecting a child, and he began to try to get information about my husband. He also told me that he had two children that he was planning to send to private school and that he had made a great deal of money that he was investing in some rental ventures (this information wouldn't have been so weird if he weren't sending them to the same private school that I went to, and copy-catting my parents rental property-strategy exactly). In the proces of giving me too much information he let it slip that his wife was 6 months pregnant when they married. I ignored this email.
The most recent email was two weeks ago. He contacted me though Facebook. His email was so casual, as if we were still friends. He mentioned his wife and encouraged me to "keep singing". The creepy part is that the picture that he posted next to his message showed him with his wife and she looks *just like me*. It was as if I was staring back at myself by his side again-- trapped!! At this point I was thrown back into the past, and suddenly filled with the same fear, forboding, shame, anger, sadness and then despair that I felt the first time that I left him. The following days I experienced insomnia, and re-lived the feelings of hopelessness that I felt after leaving him 9 years ago. Needless to say, I have blocked him from contacting me on facebook, and now have an unlisted phone number (just in case).
1. Why is he still contacting me if he's married, and I'm married? Will he keep contacting me forever, until one of us dies?
2. Other than ignoring all of his emails/contacts and living my life in the shadows, what can I do to avoid future contact from him? I really don't want to feel this agony ever again. Please help.
If you're still with me, thanks for reading.
I look forward to your insight,