The Devastation of the Illusion

the-devastation

You fell in love with an illusion. You fell hard and deep for something which never existed. The golden days that we created together were the twisted reflections of my manipulative hold over you. I know how anxious you were to try to recover the golden period. You poured your beautiful heart into securing the impossible. I know that my silences, my verbal violence, the cheating and the lies, my perfidious control of you was brutal, malicious and devastating. I understand that the whole avalanche of manipulative techniques I applied to you, in savage wave after insidious wave crushed your self-esteem, mauled your sanity and shattered your world. This brutality was nothing compared to the aftermath.

For now you have slipped away from my tight, choking grip. I know however that you sit looking from the window where you used to watch for me strolling up the driveway, a bouquet in my hands and the pain still wracks you as you remember how you fell in love with someone who was not real. Memory after memory stirs from within, an endless loop of ‘best of’ moments that you want to stop remembering but you cannot. It hurts yet you still want to remember because even as the pain rises in your chest, you still feel the flicker of your love for me and you still cherish that. Like the drug addict, you know that line of cocaine is no good for you but still you need to snort it. The cold silences may no longer chill our living room. The sting of my slap across your cheek has long since faded. The barbed comments I fired your way each day have lost their power to wound. All of that has gone. The one lingering, tortuous pain that still sits deep within you is the knowledge that you were in love with an illusion No matter how much you discuss it with your friends, the earnest hours with your therapist and the pile of books about healing that are stacked up besides your favourite chair (which I always tried to sit in before you), none of them help take away that awful aching.

You can manage the shame of being fooled. You take a strange pride in having given your all to such a despicable person because that is the person you are. Honest, decent and a provider of unconditional love. You do not want that to change. You do not want to lose the empathy for which you are renown. The battered bank balance will repair (eventually) and the dosage of the medication will come down (your doctor has said as such in soothing tones). The strength of character which made me choose you means you can deal with all of these things. The one thing that will never leave is that deep-seated pain that you loved a ghost. Your head will eventually accept what happened, that you were charmed, entranced and enchanted and you never stood a chance. That was why you were chosen. Emotionally, you will never lose that dull ache as you sit and reminisce about our time together and how wonderful being in love with me was. Your heart will never accept that it was not real.

That crack, that fracture, that tiny chink that remains from your frenetic and devastating time with me shall always remain. It is through it that I can return as I slip, shadow like into your heart through that unhealed wound. That is why we did what we did; so we always had a way back in. For all of the strength that you exhibit through never taking a call from us, from changing email accounts, from burning the pictures and changing mobile numbers, you are never truly safe. Yes, you manage to evade the snaking tendrils that we uncoiled to try to haul you back under our spell. You will have to maintain that vigilance for the rest of your life. Our polluting influence, if ever allowed near you again, will creep and trickle through the hole that will never seal. You are consigned to a lifetime of wariness and maintain your defences because that damage is permanent.

You will always be in love with the person you thought I was.

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61 thoughts on “The Devastation of the Illusion”

  1. Great article Mr Tudor. I do know that unlike your last sentence that I have zero love for my ex-husband. Thank God! I never have one moment that I miss him or the life we shared. It was that bad!!

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  2. I was numb after the first time I read this article. It remains one of your most powerful and in my top five favorites that affected my thinking and healing.

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  3. You are too amazingly accurate. 🙂
    This is the part that was the most difficult to swallow. The realization that the love of my life was only an illusion, something I dreamed up. Indeed a fairytale. He was everything I made him.

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  4. Nope. Fascinated maybe. But still in love or hankering after something that isn’t there? Nah. Like you, I’m on to a new and better era. Bon voyage!

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      1. I realise it was all an illusion, but I still struggle it still hurts out of the blue sometimes . I still miss that person I first met . I’m sorry our paths ever crossed .

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  5. HG, question; Does writting these books and answering questions serve as a current source of fuel for you… also, Can a narc evolve? I don’t mean change per say.. but understand their nature and make healthier lifestyle choices.. ?

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    1. Writing the books does not provide fuel, nor does answering the questions. People’s response to both of these actions will provide some low potency fuel in small amounts.
      Can a narcissist evolve? Yes. But only the Greater.

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  6. As for being consigned to a lifetime of wariness? I am actually starting to see it as a positive experience. On a good day I’d like to shout out a big thank you for having had it.

    Yes that damage is permanent but my battle scars and medals are what eventually opened my eyes to the truth not only about him but also me. And for that I’m grateful.

    Learning to build and maintain those defences is a good thing because we didn’t have them before. They are what constitutes MY toolkit now.

    The tide is turning. I have my wobbly days where my self doubt comes to the fore…but they pass and get fewer and further between. I’ve said it before but the pattern of healing and survival post-abuse follows somewhat in the pattern of the abuser, but inside out. It is indeed total internal refraction and we (the survivors) are the critical angle.

    On that note HG, I find it interesting that concept hadn’t occurred to you….you’re an intelligent man yet when I referred to it a good while back you didn’t “find force in the suggestion” despite the clear parallels. As I’m a mere tertiary source I hope you don’t take that as a personal slight, it’s just an observation.

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    1. I would love to know what you mean by the “inside-out pattern” VFH. Can you explain or link to the post you’re referring to.

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  7. You must have a 6th sense posting this as it always hits home. I was hoovered again. And at first I ignored it but 2 days later (yeah a whole 2 freaking days) I caved and I reached out in return. I will spare the specifics of what caused this moment of weakness (one reason was I wanted to apply what I have read here to the situation) but I now see that I am regretting it. At first it did not phase me, us chatting. I was enjoying analyzing every little thing. We texted and had a few phone calls (he is long distance). I was friendly but did not overly show emotion and I could sort of sense his boredom.

    He made a comment about how it “feels like nothing changed and how we just “hit the pause button”). Ding ding ding, typical response. No concept of time passing for him it seemed. He kept asking me emotional questions like how I was doing with my insomnia and anxiety and if I still had feelings for him. I kept my answers short and vague and tried to change the topic of discussion and again I sensed his boredom. A few days of silence went by. He never reached out first (typical games when he used to “ghost” and disappear….)

    Today I texted and said “Call you after work?”….all of our prior arrangements for phone calls he was always so eager to talk with a quick “yes, sure”. Today he said “we’ll see, maybe…” (he used to do this a lot as he started to push me away)…I provoked slightly by being a wiseass “oh the suspense of ‘maybe’…will it be yes or will it be no?” and I sent a silly emoji of the “thinking face”….

    His reply was then “I am so sorry but I do not want to talk today, I am not feeling very social, I am depressed….”

    Me (gently prodding the bear): “Are you okay? Would you like to talk about it?”

    He then gave his usual tired recycled line of how he is feeling depressed about life and he has been feeling withdrawn again and he does not mean to be rude but he does not want to talk on the phone he just can’t because he is too depressed to be social. BUT it was not just me, it is with everyone. So I should not feel bad. This is just how he feels lately. He then referred to it his “blue” period and needed time alone again. Oh and he was very polite about it too, as usual.

    Part of me was hoping for some nastiness to come out. The fact that I never experienced real nastiness while being pushed away has seemed to have been a thing for me. Why I will never understand? I know what he is (yet I feel like it’s still not true)….it sound sick AF but it is like I am hoping for some validation of nastiness almost. Does that make sense? Like “where is my closure” only “where is the nasty? why must you continue to be such a polite piece of shit?”

    So yeah. Pushed away again with the typical “I am depressed” nonsense. Because of his guilt and all of that. Him and his continued “tortured soul” HG even explained that concept to me. Yeah and I thought maybe it would have been different. Duh. No.

    So yeah I have fallen off the Narc free wagon. I know I need to stop dipping my toes in the narc sandbox. Yet I still can’t help myself like the “line of cocaine” described in the opening paragraph of this article. The sand is now stuck under my nails again. A stupid analogy but that is how I feel. Gritty and dirty.

    Thank you for listening, this place is the only place where I know someone will understand. Thank you everyone.

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    1. I’m sorry! I think after awhile the hoovers are more about them seeing if they can win you back more than anything else (Please confirm this HG).

      I’ve been officially broken up with mine for four months now in spite of his weekly hoovering. I’ve gone back a few times but left after a few hours. It doesn’t set me back emotionally primarily because I read this blog daily and I know there’s no future for my narcissist and myself. The illusion is 97% shattered (thank you HG).

      The one thing I’ve learned, and I actually figured this out on my own after the first devaluation 16 months ago, never initiate a reconnection even if you feel like you’re going to die from the grief of the demise of the relationship. They will always come back to you, and that at least gives you a tiny bit of leverage in terms of their respect.

      It’s all such a game. The game aspect hadn’t even occurred to me until a month ago. I was pretty shocked by it. You would think I would be unshockable at this point. Oh well.

      Wishing you the best and please don’t be hard on yourself. By this time next year they’ll be a distant memory. <3

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    2. I respect and understand quite well why you needed to contact as you did. I mean, stop as soon as you can and as completely as you can, but I don’t always think it’s the worst thing to ween off contact or start practicing having no feelings for them while they are still around and in contact. It makes the final NC a lot easier to bear because you don’t feel nearly as much like you lost something worth having. I think it’s also valuable to now KNOW the difference between how you feel with no contact and how you feel after talking to him. HUGE difference, eh? Not such back knowledge to have really… That said: All the cautions still apply. Work toward cutting his ass off! But yes, it is a process. (I have a little drunk dial app that stops me from contacting him for 12 hours when I’m having a bad day. I just need one quick second of clarity to set the app and after the 12 hours usually the storm has passed.)

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  8. I am reaching my saturation level with you HG. Your thinking is sick and twisted. You and all narcs are ego maniacs! It’s extremely unfortunate that good people have been ensnared by your kind. I hope that all survivors see the ridiculous joke that you people are. You should get over yourself. Who really gives an F how many hits your site gets although if all survivors get to this point of healing then it’s a good thing. Narcs are lowly con artists. All you are in your mind is a “Greater” con artist. Not something to be proud of! To all you survivors I can only say stay strong and believe in your own power. Good always wins over evil. We have the power and narcissists are ill and freaks of nature. I feel sorry for the next victim of my ex Narc but honestly how stupid can she be to move in after 3 months and co mingle her business with a snake after a year. It’s all so sad and unnecessary. The only way to avoid getting screwed over by a Narc is to TAKE YOUR TIME getting involved with someone, ask for proof of what they are telling you, trust yourself and have some boundaries!!! I kept telling my Narc that my daughter was my first priority, work was second and he was third. Besides sticking to my priorities I got away because I caught on to the fact that he DID not work. He was busy running around all day getting his fuel fix. He told me he was insane and he is and not only that he’s an idiot!

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    1. Hi Parisgirl. Narcs are indeed con artists, but even they (cluster B) are human and have their uses. For a start, they make us stand back and question ourselves. Sometimes they will make you see the world in a different, albeit, useful way. Furthermore, they can be helpful in ways that benefits us as much as them. Not withstanding, NPD sufferers are locked into maladaptive behaviour which is probably 99.9% of the time. I don’t see N’s as evil, I see a wounded human being that struggles to cope with their fake/real identity.

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      1. Although I don’t really believe in evil, per se. If you do, I can see why people feel many narcs are evil, because they often do “evil” things. They are not all “evil” though, from anyone’s viewpoint. Many midrangers are more pathetic and delusional.

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      2. Then you haven’t met a malign narc yet, Scout, and also neither believe the “victims” commenting on the blog here, nor HG himself.
        I have also never been helped by any kind of narc without some kind of backfiring hitch.

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      3. It must also be said, without HG sharing his valuable insights into his mindset of NPD most of us on here would be scrabbling around in the dark.

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      4. Scout

        I don’t see them as evil, I do see where they can get to wounds so deeply buried and bring them to the surface, at this point we have the choice to deal with them and heal permanently or ignore and place the bandaid back on and repeat the cycle.

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      5. Scout I disagree. If someone wants to destroy you that’s pure evil. The experience and the knowledge I gained has really opened my eyes to how sad life can be when all we wanted was to love someone and be loved back. I wish I stood up for myself but I had no idea what was happening and why. Looking back almost the entire relationship felt off. This has changed me forever. I can’t imagine having another relationship and I’ve been no contact for over a year. I never want to see him again as long as I live. I feel sorry for the next woman. I hope see makes it out okay but fear that she will not. They murder and rape our souls. 😕

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  9. Oh HG, for me you hit the nail on the head with this one! I simultaneously despise the twat he is and desperately miss the close, loving friend I thought he was.

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    1. Hi PR, I readily identify with your twat/friend analogy… It’s love and hate which of course, are closely linked. I suppose this is one of the main reasons their so-called ‘love’ behaviour is sooo addictive; the endless see-sawing, the place we can’t leave without risking a painful fall.

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  10. This is makes painful reading. Knowing I fell for an illusion was devastating. I can now accept him for what he is but the wound is still very raw. The last time I saw him he went out of his way to to give me a heart warning smile and say Hi. It took every ounce of strength to ignore him and walk away. Do I still love him? I don’t know the answer to that.

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  11. Boy has the aftermath been kicking my ass lately! The posts “A Madman’s Diary”, “The Stepford Devaluation”, and “The Veiled Primary Source” have collectively kicked my ass. My emotions have been all over the place today! I’ve cried, written in my journal, and threw myself into my work trying to shake this emotional shit off, and drown out my thoughts but to no avail. Maybe sleep will help.

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  12. oddly enough I find that knowing his flaws and characters defects makes me love him more even though in not in love with him anymore when he discarded me the first time I hated him so much and at one point had homicidal fantasies but now I love him as the flawed individual he is I don’t long for the Golden period anymore its been too long and I’ve been discarded twice not counting the dozens of silent treatments I just feel pity for him now and I love him in the same way I love everybody just hoping the best for him I can’t bring myself to hate anymore but I also no longer admire him because I know he was never the person I thought he was

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  13. LMAO! Sorry narc, but my heart knew it wasn’t real before I left! Spent enough time under his thumb that I learned some things. He was so caught up in himself that he didn’t catch on how I had become emotionally detached and how I was waiting and calculating the best time I could leave and take (what started as his) cat with me! Cat and I are are thriving and doing great! Oh, and that lifetime of weariness this narc thinks I’ll live? Yeah, not this girl! I was born with a stubborn fire in me! You make take out my flame for awhile but there will always be hot coals hidden away that are patiently waiting to be fanned back to flame! I have learned what I did wrong that allowed a narc in and I will take that lesson with me into any future relationships, but I will not live a weary life and always be on the defence like he says. I will live my life full of love, light and happiness while it is the narc that will always be a lonely pathetic human that will never be fully satisfied or truly know love and happiness is. I may forget what a person had done to me eventually but I NEVER forget how a person made me feel and if you made me feel like crap there is no way back into my life once I cut you out. People have tried. Hell, I’ve even tried to forgive others for just their human mistakes that caused me hurt. Like my cousin for getting too messed up on drugs that she ditched me on the plans she made for my 16th birthday, but I still don’t talk to her outside of family functions. (And that was many many years ago). That’s one dark thing about being a very sensitive empath, at least for me, the heart won’t forgive after the betrayal has been done; even if I want it to.

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  14. My relationship with my narc lasted 6 yrs….6 years of him and I but the last two years after we married….is when i can see the devaling and my discard almost 2months ago….i found out about prostitution and he bc a sugar daddy after he went back to work in coal mines and his whore who knew about me the whole time is taking part in his hoovers….its so awful and such a situation that makes no sense….I still feel like im in a nightmare😢

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  15. Gosh! How much delusional perception the narcissist has!!! I didn’t know that time but I realized I was married with narcissist and I got divorce with him just after two years marriage. I remember one crazy rediculous situation. He was financially irresponsible, cheating with the woman who I the most trusted, physically
    abused me, and he had a alcoholic problem. (Sigh, I didn’t know it’s narcissist) I was discarded the most crazy way(cheating from my pragnant, divorced whan my daughter’s first birthday).
    Really funny thing was, one day he called me, and told me he wanted to meet me in motel. So I got disgusted and asked yo him, “why we would meet in motel? Coffee shop would be better”.
    Can you imagine what was his reaction about my asking? Hahaha, not I can understand everything about cluster B personality disorders.
    So amazingly!!!! He told me, “if you deny to meet me in motel(means not having sex with me), then I would not see you again.” Wow!!! He never paid any child support, and I really disappointed about his irresponsiblilty I didn’t expect anything to him, and hoped he would not be my burden for future. But he was living his illustrious that I can’t be free from his influence.
    I raised my daughter by myself, I’m successful, and may daughter grown up as great girl.
    Only one my problem was, I really didn’t know what’s Narcissist is, and I didn’t know my ex husband was Narcissist. But 13years after my divorce, I had one more relationship, but he was narcissistic sociopath. After I suffered that, everything became obvious to me. I trusted, and understood too much about others excuses. I was too good.
    But both time, they were deluded about me. I wasn’t stupid and victim. I was a problem solver, I was warrior to i justice and all deceptions.
    Now I could understand everything about cluster B personality disorder. I wasn’t aware about those kind of evil before. I just trusted too much of peoples some good parts.
    Now I don’t hate narcissist, I feel mush sorrow about their ignorance or denial of their authentic self. But wanted to tell them, I’m not inn your delusional world anymore.

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  16. This was one of the first of HG’s blogs I ever read, and it’s still the most devastating. But it started me on the road to understanding what had happened to me and acknowledging how damaged I was. Thanks, HG, for telling the plain and painful truth.

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  17. Omg, this one hit so hard, i cried. It was like you where there! The verbal abuse, rages, i would actually say to him, your my ghost boyfriend! To the cheating, tormented me with how much he loved her, then wait and we will see! My tattered heart, life. A constant tornado of hope, nope, i love you, i can’t stand you. He loves to hurt me! Today was the day i told him she could have him. No more will i be his dog to kick. He is soul sucking and so abusive.

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  18. HG, question…. That last line haunts me! It feels like a connection i can’t hid myself of. Like i need to be exorcised. And why, since the loathing of me is so clear would he keep this up, leaving that small hole open to try to keep me hanging on. I can no longer take it.

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  19. I’ve read this piece a hundred times … first 10 I cried next 30 I was mad … the rest as a reminder! Brilliant HG and one of the most valuable posts.

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  20. It really depends on the intensity and nature of the narc relationshiop. For instance my first narc i can honestly say theres zero risk with him. He could be around me on a daily basis and id have no interest in him other than a friendly acquaintance.
    My narc now i can say would be like whats described here and it scares me bc i know one day i may be dealing with not having him in my life. If i went no contact with him which i cant envision id have to be vigilant bc id want to break no contact. I cant see ever turning my back on him but if our relationship changed in some way id need to keep it that way which would be very difficult.
    Despite most of the it being a facade i have gotten to know a lot of whats real and accepted the flawed personality. This relationship will never be anything like a marriage or living together yet its still hard to let go after almost 7 yrs together. How do you just cut someone from your life. If he were terribly abusive itd be easier but his is a covert mild abuse. That sounds crazy reading that but its true. Its amazing what we will put up with to hold onto someone.

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  21. Wow I’m getting so many flashbacks from reading these, long buried. I DO remember my mother confessing to have cheated now. I must have been so young, just six. She told me by having “special chats” just between me and her. I shudder now thinking of what a sexual predator she was, even doing that to me. She was traumatising and corrupting me.
    She started by saying I was attractive and that one day lots of men would want to be with me, and I felt a sinking queasiness and terror.
    Then she said every married couple did not belong to one another, that marriage was a lie. I started howling and told her never to say it again. My father had come in and looked at my broken heart and told me they had been joking.
    But my mother wasn’t finished. Another day she said it was time I grew up, I might not believe how many men wanted her. She asked me about other boys looking at me. I had just started school. She told me about a boyfriend she saw when she lied and said she was visiting friends on the weekend, who loved her more than my father and wanted to be with her but she was afraid to leave. Men who were infatuated with her beauty and intelligence. Even as she was saying it, I could see very clearly she didn’t feel good. She didn’t believe it and I wasn’t sure if the story was a lie. I tried to walk away but she seemed to die without my attention. She even said “please just sit and listen if even if you don’t want to.” I was so sick and confused. She was slowly eroding my innocence and safety.
    I think I didn’t understand but was sort of excitedly curious as to what would happen. She told me he wanted to meet me and had a swimming pool and wanted to take us out and we’d live with him and be happy without my abusive dad. I think she had a female friend over who told me how bad my father was to my mother, and how another man loved her very, very much.
    I did turn against my father. Then one day, she said “no I don’t see him anymore. Don’t care about him. And look at you turning against your father like that, you bad little girl.”
    I noticed two things, that I was worthless, and that this other man (if there was one) was also worthless to her.
    She said to me, “see, this is how you stop yourself getting hurt in the world. Nobody comes before you. I never let anyone get to me.”
    I don’t know why I simply went into denial and forgot this. I think I had given it little importance because I could see that she didn’t really love anyone. If my father was upset, she did not feel any urgency to get up and go to comfort him like I did.
    I don’t know if anyoe else with narcissistic parents had this strange contradiction, but they would be cold and distant but at the same time obsessive about warmth and interest and being vulernable in an almost embarassing way. Maybe it is the psychopathic side of them but they literally discussed everything from bowel movements to relationships. And always the narrative was “me first”, “I’m God”, “anyone around me is lucky,”
    When they asked me why I didn’t want to join in, I said because I was scared. In truth I thought they were disgusting people. TO this day in my body I feel that trapped animal feeling of being in their environment. I now see how I still live by their rules. I lost my abililty to express and live by my values safely, including giving and receiving, respect.

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  22. I felt that sick feeling most kids with divorced parents or who go through a big shock feel, because in those words, she crushed the picture of the family I had, my security in the world and my sense of being worth something. She whipped the rug out of my loving family and instead replaced it with empty, scheming and horrible people. I was alone.
    Then they had me in a vulnerable and lost position, and I began to hate myself. Dinner conversations with them were a competition to win the floor and they made sure I was humiliated and lost. “Look how ugly she is” my brother would say, and laugh.
    All of them had a sick grin when I cowered.
    This is why I believe I ran for narcissists in my teens and twenties. I had never felt good about being me. Nobody cared if I died.
    Somebody wrote on this blog they would never stand someone cheating if they know. I agree, it makes me boil… but the way my mother was talking so lovingly about her objects just made me gag. She honestly saw nothing wrong. She believes other people owe her. THis is the dangerous thing about going out into the world and into relationships. You have to understand their mentality. you’ll always lose, despite any compliments they give. And cheating is just an appalling show that relationships mean nothing because those people are actors that don’t know what a relationship is.
    That’s true that you just “know” when you’re being cheated on. I went on a trip with my ex and he brought another female “friend” who he described as a kid sister. He went to pick her up at a nearby bus station and took two hours. She came out with us for the day. That evening I went to bed and he went to have drinks with mates, but the next day said she’d been there.
    I went manic.
    Now I’m remembering all of these ways my mother used to talk about other people, triangulating me with them or my brother, I realise why I have ended up in this situation or overlooked so many things missing from him. I accepted his explanations and the bad feeling. I’ve been taught to expect nothing from anyone. And no, that doesn’t stop you getting hurt. That ensures you get nothing.
    I have learned, if someone doesn’t respect you, it is not something to fight. It is an alarm to walk away.

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  23. “You will always be in love with the person you thought I was”…….not completely true for me……..I will always be in love with the person I thought you could be………Diva

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  24. “You will always be in love with the person you thought I was.” Nope. That’s *your* illusion, which is why I can move on and you can’t.

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  25. The tiny chink has disappeared, the wound has healed, the polluting influence is gone and the damage was temporary. How do I know? I saw you looking at me today. Pure, intense and unadulterated hatred was registered all over your face. I don’t hate you. I still wish the best for you. But you need to effect the change all by yourself.

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  26. Hi Ava101, I agree there are occasions when there is a backfire, after all everything has a positive/negative impact, that’s how the world works. And as for me not meeting a malignant narc, how would you know? My narc did some shocking stuff, stuff I’m not prepared to divulge. I’m also concerned with your idea of ‘victim’… Are you really suggesting that the victims on this blog are disingenuous?
    I don’t want to judge you or anyone here; most of us have suffered appalling abuse. I hope you work through your issues.

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  27. Hi Twilight, as I said in my post, I Don’t see class B NPD sufferers as evil. Just so there’s no misunderstanding! 😌

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    1. Hello Scout

      I was agreeing with you and just voicing my thoughts, no misunderstanding. I just could have worded things better.

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  28. I am afraid I have to disagree with this one:

    ” You will always be in love with the person you thought I was.”

    Applying the Transitivity property logic:

    You can’t be in love with someone that doesn’t exist(a void)
    You can’t continue be in love with someone that never existed.
    Therefore what I felt was not real love.

    Valid argument?

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      1. Did you love that person? Yes. Then your love was real. Did you ever cry? Yes. Those tears fell down your cheeks, they were not imaginary were they. Accordingly, what you felt was real but it was not based on something genuine. By the same token, what you felt from how we behaved was real because you heard us say those words but they were not genuine. There is a key difference between real and genuine.

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      2. HG,
        What you are giving me are the definitions of genuine and real.
        Cambridge dictionary:
        Geniune: “truly what something is said to be; authentic.”/ ”
        of a person, emotion, or action) sincere.”
        Real: “actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed.”
        The key element for defining love for me is not the difference between if a person is genuine or real.For me true love is the nourishing arising from the mutual exchange of real and genuine( sincere)feelings from both sides through reciprocity. A Narcissist can’t really reciprocate at this level..so the “genuine and real love ” never existed in the first place.
        It was just an illusion of love. Yes, there were other feelings involved: anger, dissapointment,sadness ,frustration ,infatuation but not real love…

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  29. There are many tales about Someone’s beloved dying and their only wish being for their loved one to be resurrected. The wish is granted, but the beloved is merely a shell of their former self, a walking horror. Then, the Someone cannot live with the contradiction between knowing their beloved is dead, but can see him/her walking around, zombie-like. I think of my N that way. A zombie. It is a nightmare to live with.

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