This past weekend, I had the honor of attending the wedding of my soul sister, Victoria, and her dreamboat of a HUZZBAND, Chris.
I refer to a lot of women as soul sisters in my life, but Vic and I have a bond that no one else can quite fully understand.
For those of you who have been following me for a while or have read my heartbreak story, which ultimately led me to be doing what I do now, Victoria just so happens to be the other woman my narcissistic ex was simultaneously dating at the time I was seeing him.
Vic and I were masterfully triangulated against each other.
I was given a very convincing story about how pathetic, obsessive, and SAD she is, and how sorry he felt for her, hence why he remained friends and business partners with her.
She was told about what an INSANE and mentally unsound woman I was, and he claimed to be legitimately worried about what I would do to myself, so he needed to be there for me.
I completely understand from an outsider’s perspective who’s never actually experienced this kind of abuse, to simply think, “Why didn’t you just end it after multiple displays of shady and inappropriate behavior?!”
Shahida Arabi captures it perfectly in her book, Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare:
Narcissists idealize you, devalue you, discard you, and then suck (hoover) you back in.
When I first started dating my ex, he pursued me with a vengeance.
Unbeknownst to me, he and Victoria were about to move in together until right before he found out I was moving back from LA to NY, and he DISCARDED her.
I was a VULNERABLE HOT MESS when I returned from LA— I was recovering from a previous heartbreak, (with a man who is now a dear friend— not ALL exes are narcissists!) was broke as a joke after the economy crashed, and was about to embark on a yoga teacher training program as a plan B to support my plan A, which at the time felt felt scary and disappointing that my acting career had come to this.
When this man swooped in, he IDEALIZED me with his charm, good looks, and claim to have been in love with me for the two years he’d already known me.
He promised me the sun, the moon and the stars— not to mention his family and close friends confirmed he’d been talking about his feelings for me for a long time, so it all felt like a VERY SAFE GO, DESPITE witnessing awful treatment of his last girlfriend, when I had been living in NY the first time.
BUT I WAS DIFFERENT!
HA! Please tell me I’m not alone here! What a HIGH it was to have him, his family, and friends say how they hadn’t seen him this happy in years.
He was my home— literally— I moved right in and to give credit where credit’s due, he really took care of me in so many ways that I “needed" for the first three months of the year-long relationship, which he claimed was much shorter, to outsiders.
I had NO tools.
I thought finding a man to take care of me would be the answer to my happiness, and he swore up and down that this was it for him.
He had a diamond waiting for me, we talked about having kids, how we would raise them, and so whenever I’d start to have paranoid thoughts about him separating me from his work life and VICTORIA, the storyline started to develop that I was “crazy” and had “demons” within that he would help me work through.
AND I CHOSE TO BELIEVE THAT I WAS THE CRAZY ONE, as he DEVALUED me with his gas-lighting and tangled web of lies.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, he was swearing up and down to Victoria that he and I were NOT together. He eventually SUCKED her back in after the initial gut-wrenching break-up she experienced upon my arrival back to NY.
The lengths of denial he went to are moments that Vic and I HAVE to laugh about at this stage.
For example, when I posted a profile picture of he and I together on Facebook, he claimed to Victoria that I had a crazy, jealous, stalker boyfriend, so he gave me permission to put a photo up of the two of us to make it look like we were a couple, even though we weren’t.
And one night, I went to see a broadway play with him and I “checked us in” on Facebook— so very 2010 of me— and to Victoria’s understandable dismay, she texts him, “WTF?!?,” as they were already back “on” again.
While I’m literally sitting next to him in the theatre, he was texting her to SWEAR ON HIS LIFE that he was NOT at the play with me. He DARED her to come down to the theatre to see for herself.
She ended up feeling guilty for “falsely accusing” him, and I found it strange that we both didn’t have a pot to piss in at the time, but he decided to splurge on a cab home that night— something we NEVER did, unless we were with his dog….
a dog that he claimed he got to bring he and I closer together.
Turns out, he GOT the dog with Victoria, which he continues to vehemently deny til this day, and has convinced a lot of people that she is crazy to believe she is the mother of the dog, because all he did was placate her to believe she was, as he just felt SO SORRY for the sad, pathetic, obsessively in love woman she was.
I have hesitated to share the dirty details here, because I DO NOT WANT THIS MESSAGE TO BE ABOUT WHAT AN “ASSHOLE” this guy is.
First of all, I don’t think “asshole” is the accurate word to cover his character overall. To me, it’s a SICKNESS that isn’t worth indulging painful thoughts and feelings about at this point, 7 years later.
But I want to share the soap-opera-worthy-details so you can have a sense of how far gone Vic and I were in our respective relationships with him, and how convinced she and I were that the other woman was DAMAGED, as a justification to STAY with him.
BECAUSE IF SHE AND I WEREN’T THE CRAZY LADIES HE SO SAVVILY PAINTED US TO BE, THIS WOULD MEAN WE INDEED HAD BEEN LIVING A LIE WITH A NARCISSISTIC, PATHOLOGICAL-LYING, SOCIOPATH— A MUCH MORE PAINFUL ROAD OF RECOVERY TO EMBARK ON, THAT WE BOTH ULTIMATELY HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO DO.
Reconnecting with Vic just over a year ago, was yet another example of how BEAUTIFULLY this work works.
When you are in COMPLETE AUTHENTIC alignment with your TRUTH, and have DONE THE WORK to heal the kind of very low self esteem that allowed she and I to attract the kind of man who gets a sick high out of destroying women, THE MOST INCREDIBLE AND UNEXPECTED GIFTS WILL PRESENT THEMSELVES.
What I love MOST about reconnecting with this absolute GEM of a woman, is that she and I would be besties EVEN WITHOUT the unfortunate events that have tied us together.
I always knew from a far that Vic was a reliable, hard-working, kind, talented and GOOD HUMAN, overall, but she’s JUST SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT.
I fall over dying laughing at her wit, am blown away by her off-the-charts intelligence, and am overwhelmed by her fierce loyalty and love for me… not to mention how loving her HUSBAND, friends and family have been towards me since we reconnected.
At 37, it’s safe to say that I’ve been to A LOT of weddings, but this one might have been the most emotional for me.
Hearing Victoria express in her vows how she truly didn’t think it was possible to find someone who could be as real and as good as Chris, gave me a renewed sense of hope that my person is definitely out there.
And I share this with any of my currently heartbroken or lonely loves ones reading this:
If the RESULT you want is to meet your person to share in this life with, keep giving YOUR SELF the love you’re so desperately longing for. AND EVERY TIME you find yourself pining for Mr/Mrs. Wrong, remember that allowing your brain (yes, you actually can control it!) to wish for someone who wasn’t showing up the way you deserve, won’t bring you any closer to Mr./Mrs. Right.
MAKE A COMMITMENT TO CHOOSING YOU.
OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
He or she is for sure out there, so in the mean time, love the f%$& out of your self and your life, as IF HE/SHE IS ALREADY HERE.
Happy Claire Your Mind Monday.
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