Divine Thing

Your narcissist?  He was a delight when you first met, wasn’t he?  Dreamy, smart, attentive, charming, thoughtful, funny and kind.  And if he had children, he was the world’s best dad.  It’s like the universe knew exactly the man you’d always wished for and hand delivered the soulmate you so richly deserved right to you. Any pain you’d ever felt from past relationships was worth every tear and any sleepless night because look at the wonderful man you found!


How long did it last?  That sweet and wonderful time where you discovered that beyond his lovely qualities, you shared so much in common.  Not just the everyday things like pizza and Thai and passports and dusty bookstores  but the things that you’ve never had in common with anyone else, not even your best of friends.

However long it lasted, it wasn’t long enough.  And it wasn’t the normal cooling off that a relationship goes through in time.  No, it was intense affection and adoration followed by moments of complete disbelief at the things that are being said or done to you.  It’s bewildering and dismantling to try and figure out what is going on.  It’s where terms like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde start to cross your mind.  Hot and cold.  Night and day.  You start googling the things he’s doing to you because, despite being a grown woman who has dated any number of men (no, James, I’m still not a slut) you’ve never experienced anything like this before.  Where is the man you met and love?

So begins the game of slowly testing the waters to see how far he can push you and what behaviors you will tolerate.  The minute there is any questioning on your part, you are punished. Punishment usually starts out as emotional abuse through glares, the silent treatment, twisting words/the truth, cheating online and in actuality (they are always, always looking) and lying/gaslighting.  As time goes on and the pattern of abuse is in full swing, you realize that the divine man who walked into your life is anything but.  And that you are now his whipping post emotionally, physically, sexually or a combination thereof to regulate his shame and self-loathing.

The thing to remember in all of this is that the narcissist is adept at sensing your mood and predicting your behavior.  The moment you start to pull away, the cycle of abuse starts fresh with the honeymoon period of idealization, charm and professions of love. This is so very hard for a non-disordered mind to process.  We chalk up this malignant behavior to either his depression or how he was (according to him) treated in his past relationships or perhaps even a troubled childhood.  We also suppose that there is something terribly wrong with us and that we somehow deserve what’s happening.  And because we remember the man he was when it all begin, we stay tethered to the relationship far longer than we ever should trying to reclaim that initial love.  Nothing changes the fact, however, that what you had? This relationship?  It was never love.

I was listening to Spotify last night and a tune from my younger days came on.  If you haven’t heard Divine Thing by The Soup Dragons, give it a listen.   It’s an upbeat tribute to the sociopath.

You are the one supreme being
Just dressed to kill and fulfill
Just any dream
And you are the one heart’s desire
All hips and lips to trick any fool

And I could’ve sworn that you were an angel
‘Cause you’re a sweet, sweet, sweet divine thing
But I should’ve known that you were the devil
Dressed like a sweet, sweet, sweet divine thing

And you lack the one thing, that is devotion

Not always there in your hair, in a daze
Just too mixed up in your own emotions
Your vanity will always be your greatest thing

And I could’ve sworn that you were an angel
‘Cause you’re a sweet, sweet, sweet divine thing
But I should’ve known that you were the devil
Dressed like a sweet, sweet, sweet divine thing

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