But I love you…My experience of dating a toxic narcissist

“I hate you” I got up at 3 am to 23 missed calls and a video where my ex-boyfriend was looking straight into the camera, roaming on the streets without clothes and said, “I Hate you”. He said that four times, and he showed me his teeth before saying these words. I got 2 more videos after that, one where he is showing me his drunk swollen face while roaming on empty roads in the dark, another one was a video from the railway tracks, a train crushing a stone. The second one came with a caption as well, “It’ll be my head instead of the stones I’ve put on the tracks”. Those videos were sent around 1 am. I got up at around 3 am for nature’s call and saw them. At around 8 pm he told me that he has informed his sister that we are planning to get married, and asked me to decide dates for the functions. We were chatting simultaneously in 3 different chat apps and all lovey-dovey talks! This is what it feels like to be in a relationship with an emotionally abusive, toxic narcissist person. Sudden peaks and sudden valleys. We had a great weekend, we went on a trek, were having a great time and then suddenly he points a mistake of mine and shouted at me, during the descent. Such people can’t withstand you giving even the slightest of the attention to anyone else. I interacted with a fellow trekker on the trial and he judged me and assumed something and passed a comment, and when I tried explaining he shouted at me! So basically with an emotional abuser being yourself is a crime, explaining yourself means you are overreacting and over sensitive. After the trek was completed I was booking a cab and handed over my phone to him for 2 mins as I was packing my bag. I saw him reading my chats, and read one of the chat and reacted, he hit himself on the wall. It was a chat with a friend I had a momentary crush on long back, way longer than my ex came in my life, It was a normal clean conversation and I had tried explaining a lot that we are just good friends. It was not the first time he did that. He sneaked my phone many times and read my chats, took some phone numbers from my phone and texted my friends as well. I had clearly communicated that I don’t like anyone invading my privacy. But such people can’t respect boundaries, in fact, they have a constant urge to break the boundaries you try to set. I once told him I don’t want to meet him, he sat outside my house for hours, calling me continuously to come and meet once, when I still denied he clicked pictures of my dad and car and shared them with me. He constantly judged me on my past, assumed I will be repeating the same mistakes, spoke nasty things about me and made me feel terrible about myself.

It’s difficult to completely articulate what I have been through. It felt like I am walking on eggshells like I can get a reaction anytime and at times I did not even realize the trigger point. Here are just some other things he said :

  • You are a piece of shit
  • You are selfish and self-centered, you always think about yourself
  • Your efforts are just 10%
  • I don’t trust you and every 5th sentence you say is a lie
  • I don’t like any of your friends, they are disgusting ( Yes he hated all my friends, complained about them constantly)
  • You “Chutiya Aurat”, “Gaand mara” and many other abusive words I don’t even want to remember
  • You are a fake nature lover
  • You are not capable of doing challenging work
  • Your Photography angles are really bad
  • It was my calculative decision to date him ( he was horrible on paper, quite literally)

He was overly insecure, possessive and did not like me being happy with myself or with anyone else other than him. He wanted to control everything about me, but always denied that he wanted to. For example, he would comment sarcastically on my social media posts. He wanted my Google location to be on always, whenever I switched it off due to battery issues he would create a scene and start a fight. He tried isolating me from my friends, he used to find flaws not only in me but also my friends. He tried to put me down always by bringing up something from my past, or simply by making me feel guilty for being myself. He manipulated and gaslighted me to such an extent that he started making me feel bad about myself. Every time I dressed up well for a function, he would try to spoil my mood and body shame me indirectly because he couldn’t handle me loving myself and admiring myself.

It seemed like I am having a relationship with two people, one an extremely good person and the other a MONSTER. This monster can go to any extent to make him feel superior. This monster is a liar, absolutely fake person wearing a mask of goodness so that he can destroy me whenever he feels he has gained my trust.

I gave him a lot of chances, I had very strong reasons to walk away within the initial months of the relationship. When for the first time, he sneaked my phone, read my chats and denied that he read them; Later that evening, he took me to a deserted place and started asking me questions about a past incident in a very uncomfortable manner, that made me very uncomfortable obviously. He forced me to lie and then blamed me for being a liar. He even humiliated me once in public, created a scene on the road, held my hand looked into my eyes and said “I won’t let you go” and laughed like a mad person. ( I was going to a party with my friends and he did not want me to go, because of “Mujhe takleef hai”). Well, he did not let me go alone, he forcefully came with me, and guess what he absolutely faked being a normal couple in front of my friends. He ruined my last year’s birthday as well, my girl best friend hugged and kissed me and he reacted in such a bad way, he misbehaved with her, threw food, chair, my power bank. He couldn’t digest me giving my attention to anyone, not even my close friends. I can understand insecurities as I really love my best friend a lot, but this kind of reaction confused and scared me at the same time. It did not stop there, he did not let me spend time with my friends and played a victim to show how badly he’s impacted. He took me away from my friends, cried in front of me, stripped in front of me and went to take a swim in the river. It was around 1 or 2 am, dark and cold.

His behaviour was very creepy a lot of times, on the last day of our first trip together he tried telling me some weird things “You don’t know me Praks, you only know what I have told you, 60 % of which is a lie, I will change you completely, and you won’t even realise. I won’t let you go on any solo trips or trips with your friends. You don’t know me…”. I was shocked and confused, why would the person who claimed he’s in love with me say such things to me! I took some time to digest things; a few minutes later he asked to go for a walk and then hugged me and cried like a baby thanking me for being what I am. And then again the false claims of being madly in love with me.

When later I realised he’s being emotionally abusive and started setting rules, he couldn’t tolerate it. When I informed him I have booked a trek with my friend, he shouted on the street and hit himself at a bus stop. I was angry but did not want a scene so I ran away, he followed for some time and I realised and stopped, he just said sorry and I just left from that place. What followed was again abuse, He emotionally blackmailed me that he will tell my secrets to my mom and he will call her and tell shit. It was around 12 am. He then made me type a message to his sister and then asked to delete it so that I look crazy in front of his family. He also asked for a screenshot of that message, I have that message still.

This is his old trick, he told me a lot of nasty things about his ex, claimed that she was crazy and all, that she cheated on him. He always played a victim, when he was actually the abuser. His ex girlfriend is still clinically depressed, inspite of getting married and having a baby. I genuinely pray for her healing.

I had reasons to walk away, a lot many of them, I chose to stay. I had a lot of red flags, I ignored them. That’s because of the cycle of abuse, which I will explain later along with a few other real examples. Basically, after every explosion came a honeymoon phase, where he would show he’s guilty, madly in love with me and go out of the way to do things for me, just to make me believe he’s changed. As soon as he realized I have forgiven him, he would emotionally abuse again. It was so mentally draining that I felt I needed to seek therapy. He denied taking therapy and mindfucked me so much that I had reached a point that I was questioning my sanity. It took a lot of strength to walk away as he had created a lot of emotional dependencies purposely. He tried to gain sympathy by playing a victim, that he had a bad past hence he’s unable to have a normal life.

I thought I will fix him, take him to a therapist and teach him how to have a healthy relationship. But I was wrong. I ended up impacting my own mental health. I actually started questioning my self-worth, at a point I believed it was all my fault, because I had an adventurous past, because I am so extrovert, I have had so many connections, that’s why he’s insecure. Yes, he was a master of manipulation. His trust issues and insecurities weren’t my fault. Nothing can justify abuse, his past trauma wasn’t my fault. Tolerating his drama and abusive toxic tactics because he “loves” me went out of question when I realised that he doesn’t want to change and what you aren’t changing you are choosing. He chose to be an abusive person, the fact that he was able to turn on/off the abuse depending on the audience proves that he was aware of what he’s doing. He was aware he was abusive. He maintained a very good image in front of everyone, any new connect, his family members, my friends, his friends and even social media.

He was always ready with a list of excuses

It was difficult to walk away, but I did. It was needed for my survival, it was needed for my sanity. My journey of healing was a long one, but I was strong enough not to give up. I started doing all the things he made me feel bad about, my solo trips, dressing up, meeting my friends and being a happy extrovert person spreading happiness. Thankfully I have strong support of friends and family who helped me in the process. I made a lot of new connections during this journey, who helped me unknowingly, who gave me a listening ear, did not judge me and with whom I could be myself. I am not just a victim, I am a fighter, a survivor.

This is all just a trailer to what I have been through, to actually go through it was a nightmare. I am not writing this to defame him, I want to come forward and share my experience as I want others to know my survival story. My healing wasn’t easy, it was messy but I am healed and I am growing to be the best version of myself. I still get some anxiety before the start of a trip or attending some big event, but I go for it and make the most of it. I will share more details of my healing journey and what I have been through in subsequent posts. You are not what happened to you, you are what you choose to become. I am becoming the best version of myself.