The Devastation of the Illusion


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.

16 thoughts on “The Devastation of the Illusion

  1. Dearest HG: I almost was correct with the Narcissist, but it is sort of like being almost alive or almost with child. The gulf is unbreachable . I started to be around him so much that I did realize I was looking at 2 different things. And, since I never “followed“ anyone so much before (a therapist told me to go around him more…I digress) I was experiencing 2 new experiences at the same time: Being around a person so much and seeing a person in different environments so much. So, I thought what I was seeing was a: Brand. I did not know that I was seeing: A Construct. I liked his Brand, I called it. I saw it a lot. And I would often help him tweak it when I saw a weakness in this area or a tear in that area, etc. Unbelievable. I worked on that Brand for 3 years, like a postman: neither wind, nor rain, nor snow, nor malign and envious lieutenants could stop me. One day I even said to him: I believe in you. He looked at me and gave me the strangest look, and then asked: What do you mean? I said, I like your Brand: You are so good with what you do, more than the people that have the recognition in general. All true. ~~~~~But, it was a Construct, not a Brand. They are similar, but vastly different. So, I fell in love both with the construct and his hidden malice. I knew he was good at his work, and I felt that the malice was ok, under the certain circumstances of certain aspects of his career. But, I thought the malice he tried to hide was regarding career, or something like that, but now I believe it had to be something deeper. ~~~~~I noticed that people touched him a lot. I never did much, even when it would have been understandable to do so. But, he would touch me when we talked sometimes when he was exciting sometimes about something. I loved it. I hugged him a few times, but usually, I only hugged him when he initiated the embrace. Often, after I was away for a while for various reasons. ~~~~~But, I sensed something, that kept me from touching him as much as other women found ways to touch him all the time, because he is quite charming and attractive in his own subtle way. I often said to him, for example, I noticed that one sure grabbed a good feel, or I can not believe how that one rubbed you up and down your torso like that, or I can not believe how that one touched you so much regarding your low body fat, and he would laugh about that one and said, Oh, she is a nurse. And, I said, there was nothing medical in what she did, and I speak as a woman. And we would both laugh. But, I was jealous that they felt they could touch him so much. Sometimes I would say, that guy could not stop staring at you. One time a guy was talking to him standing in a group of us, about 7 people ,and that guy had excitement in his pants, and a woman pulled him aside and told him, and the man left in embarrassment. I knew something had happened, but only heard later that day, about what happened with that guy who abruptly left. I always had the desire to touch him, but my intuition imposed an odd restraint on me. And I was extremely pleased whenever he hugged me of his own accord. I felt I could stay in that embrace forever, I felt at rest. However: The disengaging from him is still on target.

  2. ava101 says:

    It’s like nothing of it all ever existed, not a single ex-narc ever existed ….

    How do I know it can be real with anyone in future? I think at the moment that whenever I do think that someone is special (to me) that he is a narc anyways, and it’s not real, anyways, but all just my brain chemicals.

    1. alexissmith2016 says:

      ava, that is totally normal. I felt like that for ages. You lose trust in everyone and everything. thne slowly you start to be certain of a very small number of people who have always been there for you and don’t display N behaviours.

      Then you start to see Ns bloody everywhere and your reality becomes completely distorted. I kept thinking there can’t be this many Ns. its supposed to be rare and either I’m just bloody unlucky or something is wrong. It was like a different kind of gaslighting.

      It was only later on when I found HG and finally read one of his comments that he estimated that around 1 in 6 people are Ns, I almost fell to the floor in relief.

      It was still a tough journey and I made some mistakes along the way thinking people were normal who then turned out to be Ns. But I saw it as a learning curve.

      I keep reading and I can spot them with ease now. I had felt as you did that life was not real. but now I have a new kind of life. it won’t ever be what it was before and at first I was desperate to be naive and unknowing. Now I embrace my knowledge and use it very much to my advantage in every single aspect of my life.

      Selfishly for me as well as to help others who are deserving of help.

      You will 100% find your own path and get through this.

      In short all I really wanted to say was, everything you’re experiencing is completely normal, completely.

      1. Kim e says:

        Alexissmith2016. Just wanted to say thank you. This has given me hope. I keep falling off the path and this has left me knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel as soon as I shut the door

        1. alexissmith2016 says:

          I only just saw this Kim e. There is so much hope, just keep putting one foot in front of the other xxx

        2. Kim e says:

          Hi all. This came up on my email which surprised me since I logged off of WordPress. It it has been 7 days today nc. That is a record for me. The withdrawal is awful. Keep telling myself it has only been a week and patting my self on the back. I have tried to read a couple times but too many triggers. I am I’ll openly and freely admit this is the hardest thing I have ever quit.
          Please don’t reply only because I won’t get it. I am ok and will keep in touch ❤️

      2. PrincessSuperEmpath says:

        Ava: Your statement: [ Now I embrace my knowledge and use it very much to my advantage in every single aspect of my life. Selfishly for me as well as to help others who are deserving of help. ] Ava, I see myself heading in this way, and have already started the process and it is already working. A little. I have to keep practicing. We see All people now. We just have to make sure we do not become overly complacent, as HG Tudor warns us: to not live on edge, but to keep a little of our guard up, so to speak. But, I agree with you absolutely.

  3. NewHere says:

    This post gives me hope. My narc believes we will “always” be in love with the person we believed him to be. But the more I logically embrace the truth that he was a stranger, only reflecting myself back to me, I can let go.

    I’m not in love with the stranger I pass on the street.
    So why should I love the stranger who abused me?

    The more I can get to a place of indifference, the more freedom I experience!

    1. NarcAngel says:

      Welcome NewHere
      That’s a good start and logic is key. Enjoy the reading and discussion.

    2. Kim e says:

      I figured out that of course I loved what he reflected back. It is me and I AM AWESOME

  4. SJ says:

    I will always be in love with myself, and the person who is still out there that mirrors me, without façade.

  5. J.G THE ONE says:

    Hello, H.G.Tudor.
    “He will always be in love with the person he thought he was.” This is true until its devaluation. When the empath devalues his narcissist. Actually this statement goes into the garbage can.
    If it is the case in which the empath cannot devalue his narcissist. This is the one that prevents the victim from being able to process that his narcissist was simply a chimera.
    I don’t remember my empath as the people I met.
    Now I see him in a straitjacket in a psychiatric hospital, I fall in love with a mentally disturbed person. This image disgusts and rejects me.
    In those years I was crazy, but I recovered, on the contrary this one is going to remain in my mental psychiatric forever. And I threw away the key.

    1. J.G THE ONE says:

      I’m sorry.
      “I don’t remember my narcissist as the people I met.”
      In the end I’m going to be the crazy one who doesn’t even know what I’m writing ahahahahaa

  6. Mercy says:

    “The one thing that will never leave is that deep-seated pain that you loved a ghost”

    No truer words has ever been said. This one has always been my favorite. I still get emotional when I read it because it was the article that put all the pieces together for me and made me realize what I was dealing with. I hope to read this some day and feel no pain, just a memory of the pain. I can’t express my gratitude enough for this one HG.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome, Mercy.

  7. Julie says:

    No. I am not. Reading this and feeling nothing but satisfaction proves that. No pain, no anger, no hate, no longing, no reminiscing. Just the satisfaction of knowing he didnt win. I am thankful for my time with him. I may not have discovered my true self were it not for that experience. I have grown. I am stronger and wiser and i love more deeply than ever before.

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