The world becomes a dark, and lonely place when you’re married to a narcissist. It’s a very different world than the one other people know. It’s a strange & frightening life, when the world sees Dr. Jekyll. You know Mr. Hyde. “Ma’am, you need to run. Grab your kids and get the hell out. Run as far as you can, go ‘No Contact’, and don’t ever look back,” said the woman who works at the Sheriff’s office.
I saw compassion in the woman’s eyes. It was something that had become almost completely foreign to me in my private life, and at the sight of it, my eyes began to sting. I felt my throat tighten, not from gratitude, or relief, or even a sense of understanding. But, rather, from utter shame. I could tell I wasn’t the first woman to walk through those doors; scared out of her mind, anxious, and shattered. Something in her voice told me that she knew Mr. Hyde. Maybe not the exact details of my Mr. Hyde, but she knew him nonetheless, and that was enough for her to know exactly what I had become.
She knew, and so underneath it all- under the pain and suffering, the contempt and despair, what I really felt, in that moment …was shame. I was humiliated. I felt weak, and pathetic. I had spent the last several years of my life, obsessed with trying to request, demand, cajole, convince, beg, plead, threaten, manipulate, or even frighten my husband into loving me, or having compassion for me. After all, he was the one person who should have offered it up to me freely.
And, yet, here was this woman, filled with compassion for me, and I hadn’t even asked her for it. I didn’t have to beg for it. She had done it reflexively. And in that moment, the depth and breadth of the abyss I had fallen into engulfed me, and I couldn’t fight the tears any more.
Run; Go ‘No Contact’, and don’t look back, she had said. No Contact. Just two, little words. And yet, it seemed as though my entire world could end, or begin, with those two, tiny, insignificant words. How funny. You know… in the absolutely, not-in-the-slightest-bit-funny, kind of way.
No Contact. How could that even be possible? Mr. Hyde and I, we have children together… and, so far, he has never physically hurt me, so there is no protection for women like me. The police can’t protect me from a person few people believe even exists. They can’t protect me from injuries no one can document, or measure, or report. They can’t protect me from the terror of a threat, spoken in a soft, low voice- so fierce and so close- and so thickly coated with saccharine, that there is no doubting it. They can’t protect me from the absolute void inside my heart, where his love should be, but instead only his anger, contempt, and disgust reside. No on can protect me from a thing they do not see- let alone understand. How could they? I can’t even understand it…and it’s happening to me.
When the world sees Dr. Jekyll. You know Mr. Hyde…
No one has ever met my Mr. Hyde. I am special, and so he reveals himself only to me. I am the only one he truly loves enough to show himself to. Or, so he tells me. To everyone else, he is Dr. Jekyll, the man’s man. The hard-working, humble husband and father who, if anything, might seem perhaps a little too doting, or a little too devoted to, his possibly too spoiled wife. Dr. Jekyll is helpful and courteous, and so incredibly thoughtful and considerate. He is the ‘favorite’ son, brother, grandson, nephew. He is the only one who always calls his grandmother- every, single week. He is a lover of animals. He is intelligent and passionate.
He is charming and the consummate salesman. He could sell an anvil to a drowning man, you’d say of him. He could sell a pact with the devil, in the guise of ‘true-love’, to a naive and trusting woman. He is gentle and kindhearted and always willing to go out of his way to help a friend in need. Or should I say, to help an acquaintance in need.
Dr. Jekyll has no true, deep, and lasting friendships. Mr. Hyde can not stay locked inside forever, you know. And, once you get close enough, the scent of your subconscious, instinctive fear, inexorably draws him out. There is nothing either you, or he, would be able to do to stop it…and so rather than risk detection, Mr. Hyde keeps Dr. Jekyll friendless. Always. It simply can not be any other way. I am his only friend. I, alone, am privy to his deepest, darkest secrets. I, alone, know what awaits his next unsuspecting victim, were I ever to take to heart that wise sheriff-woman’s words.
No. I could never do it. I think I could more easily tell my lungs, No Air. And I know you won’t understand it. You’ll say, if it’s so bad, why don’t you just leave? But I ask you, how can I just leave? Such a thing does not exist. It never will. Mr. Hyde may hate me. He may very well be “fed up”, and disgusted, by the very thought of me most days…but the fact of the matter is, he needs me.
[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”KnowYourNarcissist” related=”” layout=”” position=””]”My husband needs me- and he hates me for it. That’s life as a narcissist’s wife”[/clickandtweet]
His very existence depends on me, just as much as mine depends on him. We are the epitome of dysfunction. We dance beautifully together, liquid and flowing, hypnotic and so natural…the steps are automatic, but the music is chilling and it plays over and over again, without stop. And, it will just keep repeating, until someone breaks the trance; until one of us gathers the strength to deviate from the dance. If not, we will keep dancing, whether together or apart, for better or worse, in sickness or in health…until death do us part.
How many of you can relate to the Jekyll & Hyde personality of the narcissist? Got any examples?