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.
24 thoughts on “The Devastation of the Illusion”
“ 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.“ – i strongly disagree with this part.
I dont miss who i thought the narc was bc i know my head was in the clouds. That said im sure its in degrees of deciet some of which maybe ive not fully seen. I have seen behind the mask glimpses but never full on. I have moved on from the romantic notion i felt years ago. This person didnt last long only a month or two before i had seen it was a facade of sorts. He wanted me to see. He would say there were aspects about himself he was ashamed of and i know this to be true. Why did i stay? Moreso my own issues than any facade i fell in love with. My codependancy but also i do enjoy aspects of the narc. I see his faults and understand the npd. The abuse hasnt been intolerable and im not looking for a relationship in the traditional sense no. We both know this is not growing into anything and it is what it is. We enjoy each others company and i guess ive accepted him despite his ugly toad side. It doesnt mean i accept being treated shitty bc i have walked from the relationship and i have and still do stand up for myself.
If the relationship fully ended id miss the fun aspects that i enjoy but i dont miss the version of him i thought he was. I actually prefer reality and not the fairytales i once thought i loved. Having your head on your shoulders is a liberating feeling.
I completely understand what you’re saying here CM, and if he made a better effort in hoovering me back (after the volte face), I probably would be singing the exact same tune. He did me a favor by not putting in that effort, and I had too much pride, and too much to lose by chasing him.
Question for you – how do you manage to continue the relationship without your husband catching on? No judgement, I’m just curious.
Hi joanne…ty for your reply. I dont want to say its easier to go no contact the more intense the abuse bc thats not always the case but in my case it would be. I would never put up with intense abuse. The narc is more covert in his abuse.
Im not sure my hubby doesnt know. I hope he doesnt bc id never want to hurt him. Hes aware of what started our distance in our relationship. I wont say hes all at fault bc i had my share in it too but i went years trying to fix our intimacy issues and cried many tears before i moved on. I feel guilt and sadness but i had to look after me as well. I know i shouldve left but i do love and care about my hubby and decided i did not want to.
Im very careful but i wont say he doesnt know or suspect bc that i dont know. Its very hard to hide. Ecen my closest friend has no clue. I delete as much as i can right after as far as online trail. Im not proud of it.
I completely understand where you’re coming from and no judgement whatsoever. Please just be very careful. Long before our affair even started, the narc and I had been flirting online. Even then I had a strange feeling that at any point, my “innocent” flirtation could be used against me. During our affair and for sometime after, I had so much stress thinking of how the narc could smear me to my husband. Screen shots and a couple pics that he could have saved. I tried telling myself he had nothing to gain from doing this, but I know that is not the case. Anyway, all I’m saying is just be very very careful. If anything were to change in your marriage you want it to happen because YOU made a decision, not because some conscienceless jerk decided to do it for you 🤗
“Your head will eventually accept what happened, that you were charmed, entranced and enchanted and you never stood a chance.”
I’ve finally reached this point where I have 100% accepted that it was all fake, I was NOT special, and am no longer confused as to HOW or WHY a person would behave a certain way and then suddenly do a 180 for no reason. Thank you HG for helping me see this light.
“You can manage the shame of being fooled.” This is what I am still having to process, because I AM ashamed for a multitude of reasons.
You are welcome and well done on making that progress.
Correction joanne….you were and are special he just didnt see or appreciate that!🤗
Aww, thank you CM 😘 it’s really through this experience that I can fully accept that I don’t need the external validation of any man making me feel like I’m special or worthy.
But it does feel extra good to have come to the acceptance that to him, I was a just an appliance.
I appreciate your comment about coming to terms of accepting the narcissistic ensnarement was an illusion, but it applied a little differently for me.
I had less of an issue accepting that my relationship with the narcissist wasn’t real (I was with a LMRN and only a shelf IPSS so I probably got a bronze period not a true golden one), but I really struggled with the facade of her relationship with the new IPPS (particularly a few months ago when I looked at her social media and saw all the pictures of wedding planning/wedding/baby on the way). I would have done anything to trade places with the IPPS and have had that with the narcissist.
Now that my ET is starting to get under wraps, I’m accepting more and more that the IPPS is not special to the narcissist (at least in the way an empath wants to be seen as special). The only differences between me and the IPPS are 1) the narcissist found him more suitable for the Prime Aims and used marriage/kids to ensnare him to solidify her control not because she loved him and 2) the IPPS is now with her for life whereas I’m not.
I am glad to read you are making progress and 100% support that you don’t need external validation from anyone to feel special or worthy!
Excellent conclusion, BCHG. The IPPS is just another appliance, one who will more readily provide the fuel and Prime Aims the narc needs.
It is a super freeing feeling to no longer want to be in his position – forever entangled with this narc, especially now that a child is on the way. It’s also en empowering feeling to be able to reign in ones ET, and no longer be held hostage by it. Great work!
actually the most hurtfull thing was discovering who he is especially the 2 DLSs part, i nerver could have imagined that he was this kind of person he was always palying prince charming with me, he never pressured me to anything, i really thought he respected girls, and then i discovered how he actually treats women. plus i was in a situation like i only had to ask abuot him to get informations but i never did, it was two of his “friends” who told me about him and evrybody was like “yup, he is like that we thaught you knew”.
but it never occured to me to doubt him, especially the cheating part, i operate from the stans, that he is not forced to be with me, he choses to, and if he is not happy anymore, he can say so and leave.
I like this very much
Ooh geez HG you have a real talent for making my heart hurt at the most inconvenient times.
I’m meant to be doing the school run, not reading this in the bathroom and figuratively prodding at the scar Voldemort left inside me that will never truly heal.
(He who shall not be named, get it?)
You write truths. Very painful truths.
Right, onward to school.
HG, goodmorning, you sometimes refer to other blogs that you have publicated.
I try to find them but I don t.
Is there a way?
Yes, the search function.
No HG, you are wrong. Not everyone who’s encountered your type feels like that. I certainly don’t. I have acknowledged, come to terms with but more importantly accepted that none of it was real. That he never loved me because he is incapable of feeling this emotion towards another. That our 14 years together were nothing more than a sustained deception. And do you know what.. Recognising, realising and accepting all of this has made moving on so much more easy. I look back now and see nothing but the game play, the illusion and the con, and I feel absolutely nothing towards him whatsoever. Any ‘good’ times have gone from my memories as I know they were not real.
Ditto Karen. 12 years here, but I echo every other detail. Understanding and accepting that it wasn’t real, completely freed me.
I’m with Karen Harvey — or if I am totally honest, I can say that I’m on my way there, and am confident I will arrive there, and soon.
There has to be a “but” or an “unless” to follow. Right, HG?
Sometimes I think I’m free, but then I’ll be surprised by nostalgia for what coulda shoulda woulda. Logically, I know if we’d married, I’d have to clean up all his messes, domestic and social; if we’d had kids, they’d be cursing me for giving them such a father (unless he turned them against me, which I can easily see him doing); that with him, the double standard would always trump the Golden Rule.
And I see myself when I thought I was in love, comparatively innocent, hardly a newbie to dating, but never having quite developed that extra layer of skin, and I envy that girl her optimism, her idea that maybe there is a happily-ever-after if you don’t let the Pod People turn you into one of them. When I thought he was a rebel against convention, not the hidebound conformist he turned out to be, still doing the things that would impress people he hadn’t seen since high school.
You’re right, HG: we do fall in love with ourselves.
I agree with Karen Mr.H. My 1st husband was a narcissist. Relationship for 10 years, married for 6 months. He died, dont care. 2nd husband married 12 years, my 3 children. Divorced for 10 years, don’t even really like him, like I never loved him. Only speak because of our kids. 3rd one engaged twice to him. This one escaped from him. It’s new, and with the knowledge I know, he’s just about a memory now. So for many of our kind. This article doesn’t stand true at least not for me. Knowledge is power. Empaths can love to hard but we also fall out of love very easy as well. We are powerful people just in a different way. It’s me who sits in my most recent narcissist head. Who really has the control? Just saying. Love you Mr.H.
Thank you Karen for that awakening. Sometimes I forget how powerful I am! 😎😇
I agree. Once I have the “epiphaney” and see the illusion, it goes away. In fact, I attend group for “abuse” and I do not have those same “good” memories come up like others, or like this article states. I remember ALL the bad, in detail, and it has pushed out everything else, including the so-called good. I just never think of my ex in a fond reminescence. If I did, I would quickly negate with reality. The cruelty, his self-absorbtion (all roads lead to him) and his constant attempts at diminishing me at every opportunity were not conducive to thinking about a happier time; in fact, the horror began fairly quickly. I’m not bitter, but I’ve been harmed, my health has suffered (which is why NO CONTACT is imperitive–it is the only way for healing).