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.

25th Birthday, 25 Lessons 

19th November 2017 – I am a quarter century old today ! I was pretty much excited for my 25th birthday. My entire year went awesome; explored new places, made new friends, discarded some toxic people from my life and spent a lot of time with nature and myself. I wanted my 25th birthday to be a different experience, not regular partying and dinner scenes. Wanted to disconnect and be with nature, see the sunset, sunrise, and the night sky. So I booked star gazing camping with a travel group, at a village where there would be hardly any network. I was almost reaching the base railway station of the campsite (Asangaon), and I get a call from my mother that my grandmother passed away. I returned home to support my family. I had spent almost 6 hours in train continuously , had a very bad headache too. But I had to be strong, I did not even shed a tear in front of my mom or dad. My sinus triggered due to train commute and stress. My birthday eve and weekend was not at all close to what I had planned, but how does it matter ? You need to be there when your family needs you. 

My birthday overall went good, I disconnected myself, no calls at 12 am, as anyway had to get up early as mom had early morning flight. I watched the sunrise, had a good breakfast and my close friends came over to my place to cheer me up and took me out for sometime. 

I took the time to reflect, and jotted down 25 lessons I have learned so far; 25 lessons learnt documented on my 25th birthday :

  1. Not everything will go as per your plan, accept it , life is full of uncertainties, be prepared for everything
  2. You and only you are responsible for your happiness, there are external factors, but peace of mind is an internal job
  3. Laugh and smile often, makes you forget everything for that moment
  4. Manage your finances well, you never know when you may need surplus money
  5. Live in the moment
  6. Don’t postpone things and happiness for a later time unless necessary
  7. Waking up before the sunrise leads to a very positive day , gives immense energy and even some quality me-time
  8. Face your fears, small steps at a time, but do face them, may or may not conquer
  9. Distance and Duration of friendship doesn’t make it strong or weak. It all depends on the connection between two true selves.
  10. Spend time doing something you love, as much and whenever possible, it refreshes you
  11. Stay away from toxic people and negative sources, automatically focus on oneself would be more.
  12. Take care of your health, nothing is worth compromising your health
  13. Follow your heart, don’t seek too much advice from outside, everyone has a different path and outlook.
  14. Document experiences, whenever possible, a good way to reflect on your experience, positive or negative.
  15. Respect every opinion
  16. Let things go
  17. Your family will always support you , and want the best for you
  18. Love yourself, always be there for yourself.
  19. There are some people who always want you to stay happy and smiling, Treasure them
  20. You cannot please everyone, and even trying that is merely waste of time
  21. Not having any expectations from anyone is the simplest formula for happiness
  22. No point in stressing about things which are beyond your control
  23. Don’t create mental blocks for anything
  24. Never say no to any new opportunity, even if it seems challenging 
  25. Travel as much as you can, we were born nomads, and not meant to be in one place forever

    Straight From My Heart, 

    Prakriti 

    The Storm…

    She could see the storm outside,
    She could feel one inside
    It rained heavily and continuously,
    But the intensity of her tears seemed more…
    Never before she actually understood what a “heavy heart” meant
    Heart so heavy, she could feel her body sinking
    Walking in the rain, trying to hide her tears…
    Tears which didn’t stop !!
    “Why me ?” she thought
    Life is all unfair she started believing
    Cursing her luck, and destiny
    Anger, sadness, all came out as tears
    The storm outside settled soon,
    Birds started chirping
    The grass seemed more green
    Roads more clean…
    Heart still heavy, the girl realized,
    She got the message..
    Nature’s own way of saying
    There will always be sunlight after a storm.
    Sooner or later…
    That this is Life..
    And Life goes on
    Keep Moving…

    Straight from my heart,
    Prakriti

    New Beginnings…

    Every ending has a new beginning.  By the time we are dwelling on the memories of the ending chapter, there begins a new chapter, a new phase, demanding different responsibilities, different attitudes and varied roles. It also brings along a lot of uncertainty, introspection and self doubt. There maybe a point when one feels nothing is fine, and then some moments which make you feel proud, embrace yourself.
    Times when you compare your life,your  decisions with others, and regret or desire something else ! The questioning phase , ” What am I doing , where am I going?” , “Is this what I wanted from life!” , ” Am I on the right track !?” … All these are just a part of any new beginning, a new decision, a new relationship, a new venture or a new job !
    Comparing your life with others won’t give anyone anything ! Everyone has their own definition of happiness, so how does it matter . As for the questions, those will be answered only by time. And somethings should be left on destiny, luck, faith , right ? 😉 😀

    Patience is the key for every new beginning ! And only time can answer all the questions..Trying something and realizing is far better then regretting without trying !! Work smart and find out …

    Good luck to everyone for their new beginnings

    – Straight from My Heart
    Prakriti

    Do you dare…

    Do you dare to be yourself

    when the world is faking it up,

    Do you dare spending time alone,

    when everyone is busy socializing,

    Do you dare to travel solo 

    when many groups are planning so many trips,

    Do you dare to question yourself,

    where the world wants to question everyone else, every politician, every celebrity, every government,

    Do you dare to be truthful

    where people are lying to themselves,

    Do you dare to express yourself

    where people are finding reasons to open up,

    Do you dare to find yourself

    where people have already lost themselves,

    Do you dare to accept the past & move on

    or join the increasing number of victims of depression,

    Do you dare to appreciate someone

    when everyone is hungry for praise & starving for appreciation,

    Do you dare to be flawed

    when everyone aims for perfection,

    Do you dare to confront

    rather than letting things go,

    Do you dare to prioritize

    and follow them straight,

    Do you dare to selflessly help someone,

    where the world is being selfish,

    Do you dare to think beyond money & material ,

    Do you dare to follow yourself ,

    where everyone is following everyone ???

    – Straight from My Heart,

    Prakriti Singh

    Lost & Found !!!

    No,I haven’t quit blogging. I still remember I have a blog site. There is no particular reason why I wasn’t writing. In fact I don’t know ! There were enough reasons to write, many inspirations, few of my readers asking me why haven’t I posted from long, is good enough a motivation to write. What I know is, that I was lost,for sometime, the real me was somewhere lost !! And before the year ends,  I want to speak these out and dump such memories and go forward with new hopes and positivity.

    The last few months, things were not favourable for me. Some problem, or the other kept me preoccupied. Before one was solved, others started knocking at my door.

    First the harassment case, yes I was a victim of psychological harassment by the college canteen vendor. And I spoke up, and stood for it. Unlike as described in Shenaz Tresurywala’s open letter  http://www.indicine.com/movies/bollywood/shenaz-treasurywalas-open-letter-to-pm-bachchan-srk-salman-and-aamir/  There were many people who supported me, helped me and were always by my side. But there were also few, who thought that it was fake, and asked me stupid , annoying questions like, “Really ?”, ” But he is very good yaar ” ,  “Are you sure”.  I wonder why would any girl want such news to be spread about her !! And neither do I want publicity , I already have enough, positively and negatively 😛 It doesn’t stop here, some people made a joke out of it, some blamed my over friendliness as the reason for it. Ya, I am friendly, but I don’t wear a “Free Hugs” or “Hug me” board and roam around.

    Then, there were other problems. I was suffering from insomnia,  couldn’t sleep for days, even after trying to sleep for hours. After 2 weeks I was so frustrated and totally broke down. But I identified the root-cause, and cured it. 🙂

    The worst and most recent,  my father got a paralysis attack during my semester end exams. I had four back to back exams, and couldn’t even meet him when he was hospitalized. I wanted to be with him, support him but couldn’t. I managed my exams somehow. I am really grateful to this one friend of mine, Parita who supported me throughout, and I was able to give my exams, only because of her.

    Lack of sleep, and stress worsened my upper respiratory track infection and it led to severe nose bleeding !!

    Because of all these and many little things, I was lost, I stopped interacting with people. From being a girl who initiates a conversation, I became someone who started running from people. I started wearing specs so that people cannot see my eyes, the dark-circles and the pain. I stopped caring for myself.  From a girl who used to eat every 2 hours, I used to starve for hours !!   A girl who loved taking selifes so much that I actually roam with a selfie stick, I started hating the camera !!

    I was lost… but now when I look back, I wonder why did I take so much stress, why did I stop loving myself. Why was I so worried about the future !! I was feeling , and questioning luck , destiny, faith , that “Why me?”

    But then I  realized that everything eventually is solved. Most of our worries are about things beyond our control, so why waste time and energy for it.

    I now have no regrets and I am proud of how I was strong and handled everything. I am having my last continuous holidays of college, and maybe of my life. I am spending it with my family, enjoying quality family time which I was missing since when. I am devoting all my time for Dad.

    I also realized that I am so blessed and lucky to have some wonderful people in my life, who were like my extended family and helped me find myself. I am the same Prakriti now as I was, a person who loves herself, is very positive and lively. I never thought I would suffer from serious stress , insomnia and etc.

    But Hard times do make better people. And as Robin Sharma says, ” We need to get off the track before we can develop clarity to be on track”.

    I would like to thank all of them, who knowingly or unknowingly helped me in finding myself, supported me, reminded me of my strong self or just gave me a listening ear. Also, I would not want any of my friend to lose their real self because of the problems and worries…

    Love yourself and Never Lose yourself

    Straight from My Heart,

    Prakriti Singh

     

     

     

     

    Why don’t we believe in ourselves ?

    One of my friends asked me to reflect my thoughts on why people don’t believe in themselves. I wanted to write this post since so long , but couldn’t for some reason or other . Better late , than never..

    Why is it that we are not confident about something ? Why do we think “we can’t do it ” ? Why cannot we gain the trust within ourselves that we can do it ?? I know many people who have all the potential to be successful, to give their best, but still can’t do it up to the mark , and degrade their performance, reason being lack of confidence, trust, belief in themselves.

    We fear the outcome: Most of the time, anticipation of the end result , the final outcome troubles us, not the task. In this way, we lose focus , ultimately diverting our mind and losing concentration.

    Underestimating one’s potential: Even if we are capable, we have all the required knowledge,skills, abilities, we underestimate ourselves. Particularly the females, we never give ourself the respect and belief we deserve.

    Trusting others than ourself: We won’t trust ourself, our capabilities ,but would rather trust our friends, relatives and others. Remember, the most true and best friend one can have is , ourself.

    We want others to believe in us: Accept it or not, somewhere we seek the trust and faith others have in us. That’s the reason we keep asking others , ” Can I do it ? ” , ” You think I will do it fine ” etc.
    If taken positivitely its good. Atleast we should trust the trust others have in us 😉

    We are all aware of all the above mentioned things , yet fail to believe ourself. Nobody is perfect , still nothing is impossible.

    You are unique in your own way, no one ,nothing can do your roles , responsibilities as perfectly as you can . No one can ever replace you

    Believe in the philosophy of “Believe Yourself”

    Straight from my Heart ,
    Prakriti Singh