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Sex, Drugs And Delusion: How I Fell In Love With A Narcissist

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S.G. Younger

“I’m gonna knock the rest of your teeth out!” My boyfriend Pascal is yelling at his Bulgarian coke dealer, who is running the door of our South Bay dive bar.

“You’re 86ed,” yells the doorman dealer (DD). “And you’re cut off for 6 months.”

It’s true, DD has very few teeth, probably from things harsher than coke, but Pas has obviously hit below the belt.

I have made a habit of letting every red flag slide.

DD starts going on about how Pas already lost a group of friends from being a creep, so he’d better watch himself.  I ignore this because I’m enamored by the 6’3”, tan, strong, smart, charismatic, talented, artistic, handsome, bearded man, who has great taste in film, music, books, food, clothes, cars, succulents, shows, drinks, friends, lookout points, swimming holes… he even has a remarkable cat. I have made a habit of letting every red flag slide.

Still, I’m embarrassed. How did I get here? What in my brain chemistry left me hopelessly hooked on someone who treats his friends, and me, like garbage?

He’d be quick to tell you I caused the quarrel because, the week before, in my first attempt to buy coke, ever, I had been indiscreet. “Hi DD! You know Pascal, right? Can I buy some?” I’d said in the open street. I didn’t know what I was doing, and DD thought Pas was spreading his info all over town.

When DD asks him about it casually the next week, Pas is quick to anger, and fires back, over and over again in some contrived defense of me.

But, moments later, none of that matters because I start to get dizzy, then suddenly collapse, hitting my jaw hard on the curb and blacking out for several seconds. When I come to, Pas and DD are fending off a hoard of Patagonia-clad tech-bros who want to call an ambulance.

“I’m fine, I’m fine,” I insist. It’s probably dehydration from the Molly I took the night before, but I’m not going to tell anyone that, and I’m certainly not ready to admit I have any sort of a problem. We leave the bar in a hurry.

As we process the next morning, he reminds me that I brought coke into our relationship. It’s true. Someone had left a bit in a bag at my music studio, and it sat in my drawer for months before I offered it to him on our second date. I wanted to be cool, I guess. Hospitable. I knew he was a partier, and I wanted to fit into his lifestyle. I didn’t know it would lead to months of me nursing his binge hangovers in some attempt to be codependently needed, or enduring deep, purple-yellow bruises for weeks from his drunken, over-zealous play-fighting and rough fucking. Both were relentless.

Over the 8 months we dated, the situation got progressively worse.

Over the 8 months we dated, the situation got progressively worse. Gaslighting. Breadcrumbs. Assuring me he wasn’t fucking anyone else. Doing the bare minimum to keep me invested. While we’d hang out, he was constantly getting texts from other girls, and not very good at hiding it. I didn’t even have to snoop. He left his notebook open on my coffee table with our shared doodles and dominoes scores. In it, he listed, “Girls I fucked this week.” It was my name. Then her name, the one who texted every time. Then a couple of other names I didn’t know. At the bottom he’d written, “Too much? Maybe…”  His self-reflections always gave me a hint of humanity underneath his heartless actions. This hint is what I clung to. At least my name is first, I’d thought. What a fool I was.

When we’d hang out, his phone, left screen-side up, would buzz with the girl he was meeting next. He’d cancel trips with me, texting her while he’s backing out. He showed up two hours late to a dinner party he invited me to, drunk driving and ignoring me once he arrived, save the bruises he left on my legs from sparring in the driveway.

I remember being so excited when he’d text me first… and it was just to borrow my car. Why was I so hooked? Why am I still hooked? The idea of him, and my projections of what we could be if he treated me well, blind the reality in front of me.

When I said I loved him, he told me it was too much. That he was numb inside. That I shouldn’t date him. Then he’d cry. But he was right. I should have listened. I hung on.

Then he dumped me, coldly, via text, while I was surrounded by 12-year-olds in my classroom. Fighting back tears as I attempted to teach, I knew I had really become attached to this person who did not care for me at all. I’d rather be the dirt on his boots than be without him.

It was the lowest self-value I’d ever felt. My attempts to placate him and “be chill” had burned me over and over again. I still think, maybe if I had stood up for myself, instead of pretending to be blind to it all, that he would have respected me more. That it could have worked. That it could still work. My delusion continues.

Over time, I came to understand that it was his low self-worth that was infecting me. I was the willing victim, even an accomplice in his breaking me down. He treated me about as well as he treated himself. I never set a single boundary. I played dumb.

About 4 months in, I noticed he took my name off his contacts so other girls wouldn’t see it pop up when I texted. That second girl on the list of people he’d fucked that week? She became his next girlfriend. He paraded her in front of me the first chance he got in an attempt to pour salt on my wound. She is beautiful and seems purehearted. He probably fucks her well, like he did me when he didn’t have coke dick. Maybe she was his girlfriend the whole time and I was the side piece. I don’t know. I’m still not over it.

They say emotional pain triggers your nerves the same as physical pain. My wound festers, months later. I still love him. I don’t know why. Is it because my dad is a good guy who suffers from addiction, and Pas exhibits the same patterns? Probably. Is it because my ADD causes me to hyper-fixate and double down on a challenge while ignoring reality? For sure. Is it just my desire to be loved? All of the above.

At this point I’m exhausted from feeling broken. I don’t want to be the victim, but when I’ve tried dating other people, I still think of him. The internet is full of advice for empowering people to move on, to command the respect you deserve, but I let him plant a poisonous seed in my heart that continues to grow. He has no idea of the pain he’s caused me and countless others. The women we’d see out on our dates who looked mad or confused while we left the restaurant. The friends who chose to cut him off when he was too aggressively sexual. Maybe he does have some idea and it haunts him. I wish I knew. Rather, I wish I didn’t care. How do I heal? I should be over it by now, but I’m just not.

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2 Comments

  1. Katie
    February 5, 2022 at 2:34 pm — Reply

    This article is heartbreaking because I know EXACTLY how they feel. They said they didn’t know what to do… if You’re reading this please go to a therapist (and if you have one find another one)! I mean immediately find someone who specializes in codependency, or addiction/drug abuse and domestic violence. I found an MFT (marriage, family therapist) that saved me in so many ways and the first thing he said to me was I was boundary less . This shit takes work but you’ve already done so much by talking/writing about this and I think that’s amazing. You have to get off the Pascal train because it’s literally killing you. I promise you will and you will be stronger than you ever were before. It’ll even make you a better teacher, like it did for me. You just gotta get off the fucking train ❤️

  2. Rose
    February 11, 2022 at 11:28 pm — Reply

    They say “Time heals all wounds” I think it was meant for the heart. But I think that verse works for physical scars/bruises.
    But you opened up in this article. Maybe keep a journal whenever you think of him? Just learn from the bad relationship with this person and see if you can learn to love a good person.
    I know why take advice from some stranger on the internet who is making a comment on your article. BTW I loved your true story and writing style.

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