I spent a year and a half of my life dating a narcissist (I think). It was one of the most stressful and difficult experiences of my entire life, and I’ve never really shared this entire story with anyone, but I’m doing it now because I know that there are people out there who are going through something like this. And if by telling my story I can help at least one person, then I think it’s worth telling.
In May of 2014, I met a guy on a dating app and he seemed really kind and really genuine and really sweet. Very first time we hung out. It was kind of strange because he was actually telling me about his grandfather who was super sick and then got into telling me about his childhood and how his father had abandoned their family and left to go live with another woman in another country and, and all of these things, and being the person that I am and you know, being sympathetic, I felt bad for him like right off the bat, which is kind of strange because it’s like, you know, right out of the gate you’re on a first date and someone is telling you about their childhood issues. But it definitely worked and it made me feel sorry for him.
I think a lot of times as women, we tend to jump into that support role relatively quickly, right? We meet someone and they seem kind and they seem sweet and they’re hurting for some reason. So immediately we wanna help in some way. So the whole love bombing thing started really early, you know, constant texting and flowers and lots of compliments and things like that. It was very strong and very fast, and I let my guard down very quickly.
In my mind, I was just thinking about what a wonderful person this was and how lucky I was to have
them in my life. Not long after that thing started to get a little bit too intense, there were talks of
marriage within like the first few weeks of our relationship and he pretty much wanted to spend every
waking moment with me.
I think at that time I just saw it as flattering. So I went along with it not really understanding what was
going to come. I think it’s also important to point out that at that time I hadn’t done any personal
development or personal growth work at all, and I was also in a place where my self-esteem was not the
greatest. I just thought that I actually found a good guy and that maybe it wasn’t too good to be true,
but of course that’s not what ended up happening.
The controlling and manipulative behavior was something that started very subtly. It wasn’t something that I would be able to acknowledge until much later. I remember him getting upset with me if I didn’t respond to a text message within just a few minutes, even if I was working. And if I stayed late at work for any reason, then as soon as I get out and talk to him, I would get a complete earful.
One night he was getting outta work at 11 o’clock and wanted me to come see him after his shift, and I
didn’t really want to because I was really tired and I didn’t really feel like driving the 40 minutes to his
house that late. And that was another thing too. He didn’t make a ton of effort to come see me. It was
always me having to go see him. So he kind of guilt tripped me into going. So I did. I went and I was
waiting for him at his house. He wasn’t even home yet. I got there before he got out of work and I
started watching a movie and I fell asleep. And then when he gets home from work, he starts yelling at
me for falling asleep and not waiting up for him. Then we try to watch the movie together, and of course
I’m still tired, so I start dozing off and again, he gives me a hard time because I’m not giving him my
attention because I’m tired and I didn’t want to go in the first place.
Unfortunately, he did often pressure me to do things that I did not want to do, but I did them anyway,
just so that he would leave me alone and maybe be nice to me for however amount of time that it
would last one night, I just really wanted to get away from him because of the way that he was acting.
So I grabbed my keys and I started to leave, and he stopped me and grabbed the keys outta my hand
and like ripped them away from me. So forcefully that it actually cut my hand and my hand was
bleeding. It got to the point where he was just trying to monopolize all of my time and didn’t want me to
hang out with my friends and didn’t even want me to hang out with my family for the most part. And I
don’t remember him directly saying, “I don’t want you to hang out with these,” these people, but if I, if I
did decide to make plans with friends, or I did decide to go to a family function, and then he would make
me feel extremely guilty about it and give me a hard time, even if he wasn’t available to attend
whatever it was that I was going to, he still didn’t want me to go, he didn’t want me to be doing anything
At one point, my grandmother was dying of cancer, so I had to leave town and go to another state so
that I could see her and say goodbye to her. Not only did I have to stay in constant contact with him the
entire time I was gone, which was really only like a few days when I got home, he had accused me of
lying about where I had went and saying that I secretly went to see an ex-boyfriend who actually lived
like a thousand miles away from the state that I had gone to see my grandmother.
After my grandmother had passed and I was home. My male cousin, my first cousin called me to talk because he was feeling sad about the loss of our grandmother. So I talked to him on the phone for a little while and I could see my boyfriend at the time getting visibly angry. So I, I get off the phone, I hang up and he says, you know, why, why do you need to talk to him for so long? And why? Why are you talking to a guy for that long? And I’m like, He’s my cousin. My first cousin, our grandmother just died. Like I, I just couldn’t believe like how ridiculous he was being, but it, this is how, this is what it was like all the time.
Things started to get continually worse. One night we had a barbecue at my mom’s house and he was there with me and he had to work third shift that night. So he wanted to take a nap before his shift. So he went up in my room to lay down and asked me to wake him up at a certain time. So I said that I would, and that time came, I went upstairs to check on him and he was sleeping really comfortably. So I just thought, I’ll just let him sleep a little bit longer and then I’ll wake him up before it’s time to go to work. Because at that point he had plenty of time before he had to be at work that night.
That ended up being a huge mistake because I’m sitting there on the back deck with my family and I see
him come storming out of the house and again, he is visibly angry. Immediately he starts screaming at
me in front of my entire family. I think everyone must have been in shock at that moment because no
one really said anything. And before I could even really react, he had already stormed back through the
house and got in his car and we could hear him peeling off in his car down the road. I was completely
And this might sound kind of strange, but actually being in a car with him was very much a
nightmare as well. Anytime I was listening to music that he thought was depressing or if it was about a
breakup or something like that, he would get angry and make me change the radio station and tell me,
you know, you need to stop listening to such sad and depressing music.
I actually remember sitting in traffic with him one day and he was again, mad for some reason. We were
arguing and he actually grabbed the shifter in my car and put the car in park while I was driving and we
were like in the middle of an intersection and he got, he threw my car in park, got out of the car and
started walking down the street in the opposite direction. And then actually wasn’t the only time he did
that. I remember him doing that, uh, in another instance as well, where he would just grab the shifter
while I was driving, which is like super dangerous obviously, but this is, this is real. This is what was going
One afternoon I asked him to drop me off at a doctor’s appointment and we were in an argument on
the way there when we got to the doctor’s office, I got out of the car and I made the mistake of going
around the front of the car and he decides to hit the gas and basically try to hit me with the car, or he
was pretending like he was going to.
I got into the doctor’s office. I remember the receptionist, who was a male, asked me if I was okay
cuz he had seen what happened and, and was like, you know, understandably concerned. And I just
remember laughing it off and I was saying, oh yeah, it was just a joke. Like, don’t worry. Um, but I was so
again, I was so embarrassed. I was so humiliated.
I spent a lot of time pretending like everything was fine. Even when, when people would ask me if I was okay, I would pretend like I was, but the truth was that I was scared of him. I knew that he did not respond to certain things like a, I guess “normal” person would. So I think many people who’ve never been in a situation like this might wonder, why didn’t you dump him? Why didn’t you leave him?
Why didn’t you run away from him?
And although it sounds obvious that that is what should have happened, if you’ve ever been in a relationship like this, you know that there’s always that in between time. Every time you get into an argument or every time they do something hurtful to you, they always are really nice afterwards and, and make you think that they’re gonna do something differently. And so then you just accept it and you keep going like that.
He would never actually acknowledge his poor behavior and he never apologized for anything. Instead, he would try to counteract it by doing something really nice or something really sweet and I would just get sucked back in every single time in my head I kept thinking, you know, he just needs to calm down and he’s got a lot going on in his life right now, and once he gets everything figured out, then hopefully, you know, things will chill out a little bit. And all those things that we tell ourselves when I think sometimes we know in our heart and in our gut that it’s not a situation that we should be in. But, uh, I was in it and, uh, and I stayed in it for a little, little bit longer.
The first time that I actually did try to break up with him, I felt pretty confident and I, I said, okay, I’m gonna do this and I’m, I’m ready. And, you know, it lasted a few days to a week maybe, and it was right around the holidays, it was Thanksgiving, and he texted me telling me that his family was gonna be out of town and he was gonna be alone and he didn’t have anyone to spend the holiday with. And so, of course, you know, he knew how to play on my emotions and he knew that I was like sympathetic.
So I said, “don’t spend the holiday alone, just come and spend it with my family.” And at that point I was thinking like, he’s just coming for Thanksgiving. Like, that’s it. But of course he comes for Thanksgiving, whatever. I get sucked in yet again. And around and around we went.
Deep down I knew for a long time that this relationship was not something that I wanted long term and
certainly not something that I wanted for the rest of my life. And it got to the point where the people in
my life were starting to become focal about their feelings towards him. In hindsight, I think the real
reason that I didn’t break up with him sooner was because I had this deep fear that he was going to try
to do something to hurt me, either emotionally or physically.
Every time I had tried to break away from him before, he would immediately start talking to other girls.
And they were usually as vulnerable, if not more so than I was. The final straw was when a friend of
mine that I’d had since high school, a male friend who also happens to be gay, um, posted a picture of us
on Facebook where we were like cheek to cheek and, and smiling and, and having a good time. He was
so enraged about this photo being online and said that it was so disrespectful to him. He told me to
untag myself from it and to ask my friend to delete it somehow. I don’t know how I mustered up the
courage to say, no, I’m not doing that. I said, I am not going to hurt a friend that I’ve had for years who
has done absolutely nothing wrong because you are insecure.
We ended up arguing about this back and forth via text for like 10 minutes or so until finally I just said,
I’m done. And I blocked his phone number. I will say while initially it was hard to close that door, it didn’t
take very long until I felt like I was a person who had been drowning. And then I finally was able to come
up for air about a month or so later I was on Facebook, it was my birthday and I was just scrolling
through my page and uh, I saw even though I had blocked him, he had still come up on my Facebook cuz
he had commented on an old picture or something. And, um, so his profile picture came up and I could
see in the profile picture that it was of him and another girl. So while you know, it did kind of ruin my
birthday because I was upset, it just con it also just confirmed what I already thought was going to
happen. I knew that he would immediately find someone else. It was still incredibly painful to know that
my suspicion about what he would do was correct, that he would actually just run and find someone
Two months after that, I found out that he was engaged. I took this extremely hard because I was thinking, how can you go from being in a relationship with someone for a year and a half to being engaged to someone else within a matter of a couple months? But I realized soon after that, and what I really understand now is that this was not an emotionally mature person and or an emotionally stable person. And not only that, but this girl would also likely experience everything that I had experienced. So instead of feeling jealous of her, I actually just felt sad for her. Needless to say, that relationship did not last either.
So while I was relieved that the nightmare of that experience was over, the effects of it did trickle into my next relationship. I was constantly asking my new boyfriend, is it okay if I do this? Is it okay if I go there?
And I was always unnecessarily apologizing for things. He reassured me and, and said, you don’t have to
ask my permission to do anything. And eventually I was able to understand what a healthy relationship
While it’s still painful at times to look back on this experience and this part of my life, it also
taught me a lot of lessons. It taught me a lot about the things that I could never settle for or allow again.
I used to feel very stupid and wonder how I could have gotten myself into a relationship like that. But
now I’m able to give myself grace and acknowledge that that was not my fault. It allows me to be more
sympathetic towards people who are struggling to get out of unhealthy relationships. I know what the
pain, trauma, confusion and abuse looks like, and it’s very hard to understand if you’ve never been
If this story resonated with you, maybe you have realized that you are in a relationship like this. I want
you to know one thing, no matter how hard or scary it may seem, there is a light and there is a future on
the other side of this. It takes an incredible amount of courage to break away from this, but you can do
it now that I’m eight years out of this situation. I thank God all the time that I was able to break myself
free from this. And I know that despite how awful it was, it has helped shape the person that I am today.
I hope this video was helpful for you. I’ll see you in the next one.
ICU nurse by day,
breakup coach by night.
After dealing with a devastating heartbreak that turned my world upside down, I made a conscious decision to pursue the life of my dreams and never settle.
Now, I teach other women how to do the same.
MORE ABOUT ME
FUN FACT: MY FAVORITE PIZZA IS HAWAIIAN (AND I'LL NEVER CHANGE MY MIND ABOUT IT!)
"Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.”
- Dalai Lama
Feeling stuck after your breakup and wanna start feeling better ASAP? I have a free class just for you. In it, I’ll teach you the seven things I wish I’d done right from the start. These are small, actionable tasks that will help set you up for success on your healing journey.
Sign Me Up