Something I just realized. OMG. Another revelation.
Note to self: Never date a man when you feel self-conscious while eating meals with him. It’s another of those CLUES I was talking about.
N would serve the food. He was an amazing cook – really sublime meals – but no one was allowed to serve themselves. And he’d put food on my plate and put it in front of me with the comment: “You probably won’t eat all this.” From a normal human that would mean: “I know I just gave you too much, so don’t feel as though you need to eat it all.” From an N it means: “I’m going to watch to see how much food you consume.” My N was parsimonious to the nth degree.
I know approximately what his salary was/is, and I also know he had no car payments, no revolving credit debt, no child support, no alimony, (I read the divorce info – it’s public information and our state has a site where you can look people up), and his mortgage payment was, after doing the calculations based on what he said was his down payment and the fact that his credit is stellar, probably around $700 a month. Yet he bitched and moaned about spending anything, unless it was money spent on something HE benefited from. He would donate to charity, but never anonymously.
I never felt comfortable eating around him. Remember Snoopy and the “Snoopy Vulture” pose? That’s what it felt like the N was doing each time I ate. He’d be watching. His control even went so far as to cut his teen child’s meat up, and arrange it on the plate.
I remember one incident where N prepared ribs. OMG they were fabulous. He had spinach salad, bread, rice and corn on the cob. I’m thinking to myself (did not say it) THREE starches? He put all three on my plate and then said: “oh – you probably don’t need three starches.”
So I didn’t eat but a bite of each. And then, after dinner, the comment was made as he’s scraping my plate into the trash: “I really hate to waste food.” After that bit, he goes and pulls another pint of beer for me (unasked), and sets it in front of me and says “you were saving the calories for dessert, right?” I’m just nodding at this point, still trying to figure out why I’m so confused.
So I drank the beer – which, again, was delicious – the man has a gift for food and drink – and he says, as he gets up to draw another pint for himself: “you don’t get anymore, you have to drive.”
Okay, sure I had to drive but I was far from being even buzzed and I didn’t have to drive for another 4 hours or so. Still, I just nodded and smiled.
I remember now, something that a friend’s father once said to me: “When in the presence of a crazy person, it’s best to simply nod and smile at everything they say – and then leave as quickly as possible.”
Okay – I was “involved” with the N for about 3 months. In that 3 months, without trying, I’d dropped 27 lbs. I recently realized that I was in such a state of inner turmoil about the “relationship” (remember, there is NO relationship with an N – I was an object) that I wasn’t eating anything beyond those times when I actually FELT hunger and that was rare.
That’s not a good way to lose weight. It’s not healthy, and it was typical of me. When I’m stressed and particularly when I don’t realize just how stressed I am, I stop eating.
Now I have to keep the weight off, because I really did need to lose that 27 lbs. I just didn’t need to lose from not eating.
Peeps, if only 3 months with a Narcissist can do this much damage to me, think what being married to one can do. I have a reference point now, and I’m not ever going there.
Oh – the very last phone call we had? If this weren’t so sad it would be funny: He called me simply to give me an over the phone “fashion show.” Yeah – you’re saying “huh?” right now, aren’t you? I was at the point where I found it really odd myself, given all the preceding nastiness, but he’d gone out and bought a bunch of new clothes – for himself, of course, not for his son. N didn’t need new clothes. He just wanted them, and being a cheapskate, (with most it would be smart shopping – with him – it’s parsimony), he went to the bargain basement. And over the phone, like an excited 6 year old, he’s changing from one new outfit into another and describing it to me, complete with descriptions of him walking back in forth in front of the mirror. I got color, size, and fit descriptions. One pair of pants didn’t “break” properly on the shoe, but that was okay since it made him look “hip.”
I almost laughed out loud at that one. Almost. A 47 year old man, with gray hair, and 40 lbs overweight, all in his belly, on the phone with his mirror, describing his new professional clothing in detail and thinking that pants that are too long made him look “hip.”
I listened to this tripe for about 20 min and then said I had to go because I had other things to do before I went to bed. He always called me just when he knew I’d be going to bed. His reply? “Oh. No you don’t. You can stay on a while longer, I have time to talk.”
I think I was finding my strength again because I insisted on ending the call, and I could tell by his tone that he was NOT happy with me and that I’d pay for my transgression in some fashion.
I’m thinking that he probably kept a log of how many times I ended conversations and that must have been what he meant when, in his final email to me (that I’ve seen – he may have sent more, but if he has, they’ve been auto-deleted by Outlook), he said I’d insulted him many times over the phone and in voice mail.
Barely three months of dating this man, and only 5 “real” dates with him and I’m this traumatized by the experience. Just “get over it?” Can’t. I fell hard for him at the beginning. I fell totally head over heels for the illusion. THAT’s the part that’s hard to get over.
And I’m still not eating. I know I have to, and I’m hoping that the new job I start tomorrow will shift my focus, and provide the boost I need to my morale to a point where I can finally rid myself of N. I know that’s wishful thinking, but I believe it will help a bit.