Randomly came across another one of Derrick Jaxn’s videos. He was talking about signs that indicate the dude you’re dealing with is a narcissist.
My Narcissist Ex-Boyfriend
I have written about narcissistic black men trying to be brave enough to act like I had that figured out. But I haven’t spoken about this particular relationship on the blog before (I think) because in many ways I’m still trying to understand wtf happened. Mostly, I’m still trying to forgive myself for sticking around so long past the obvious expiration date of the relationship. I constantly think about several points of our situation where I should have called it quits for good and I’m not quite over that. Ya girl passed up on decent men who came through trying to take me somewhere cute and for free for a dude who didn’t know what he wanted and didn’t have a dollar to put on the bill.
I didn’t realize I was being controlled. I’ll even suggest that perhaps he didn’t know he was controlling. He played mind games that went beyond typical fuck boy mind games. I never had a nigga look me straight in my face and tell me that I imagined him wanting something that I know he said he wanted. More on that later. I kept sticking around because we had “history”. I imagine that’s what prolongs a lot of abusive situations.
The worst parts of our relationship came after an official break up. I didn’t know how to let go because the relationship ended on some bullshit that I didn’t have answers for. The first time we broke up when we first dated in high school, let the relationship fade to black. This time around was a repeat offense. I was left standing there in the dark trying to pinpoint exactly when the lights started to dim in the first place.
How to Spot One
One of the points made in Derrick Jaxn’s video is that a narcissist is pricked when YOU’RE the one who decides to walk away. Suddenly, you’re the one who wronged them, and to anyone who will listen, they will assume the role of victim. They leave it up to you to rebuild that bridge because, obviously, it’s your fault. In my situation, over the course of maybe 2-3 years, we stopped talking twice for several months. Both times, I was the one who made amends for one reason or another.
During our relationship, he could super loud in the street because I told him I didn’t want Chinese food that he offered to pay for and I ended up changing my mind and buying some after he left the store. Yes. You read right. I didn’t match his energy because I don’t communicate like that in the heat of any moment unless I’m planning to swing. I walked away. Let me be real honest and possibly problematic when I say this next thing. I’m entirely too prideful to engage in a ghetto ass screaming match on the street for a domestic dispute. I don’t care who you are, I will not engage you in that way. That’s too much dumbass attention and an invitation for random ass people to be in my business. No thanks.
His spin was that I was giving up by leaving. His noble efforts to stay and yell showed how committed he was to working something out. Screaming at me at the top of his lungs meant nothing because I chose to walk away from a solution. What he really wanted was for me to cave and see things differently. That really mean see things the way he wanted me to see it. That thinking defined our relationship. If I brought up something that bothered me, I was supposed to drop it after he shrugged “that’s not what happened”. That day when I said he was barking at me, he defaulted to “That’s not what happened”. Classic narcissist strategy. Deny a thing. Then convince the other person that they were mistaken and should apologize for even suggesting what they concocted.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, it is classic narcissist to convince you that the sky is not, in fact, blue and something is wrong with you because you think it is. We were freshly broken up. Here I was trying to dig my hoes back up so I could enjoy what was left of my summer before I returned to grad school. I’m sure I don’t have to mention that nothing was ever his fault in our relationship. So color me surprised when he calls me to have a conversation about how he wants to work on us and all that jazz.
Sometime later we plan a date to one of my favorite spots to get a good margarita and a litt burrito. I’m hype because yall know how much I love margs. The plan was for him to pick me up from work and we would head to the spot. Besides the fact that clearly, I worked retail (register and online orders), my floor didn’t have any phone service so once I went inside the building it was a wrap for any communication. I’m looking around for him nearing the time for me to get off work and I’m starting to get a bad feeling. When I finally grab my phone and leave the building I get a dry couple text messages about him not being able to make it. Why?
He decided that day that he was going to get a tattoo (that said “loyalty”, no less). Originally, he was going to have more than enough time. Then, the basement tattoo artist had to run errands for momma. Instead of saying mmmm I gotta meet her by a certain time and rescheduling, he decides that it would be fine to have me wait a bit because he could just be late. But then the tatt it took even longer to start and he decided that getting the tattoo was top priority. When talking about it later he reminded me that he tried to call me to let me know, he thought he deserved brownie points for that. Given what I just told yall about my job, yall see what that did not mean shit to me.
The Kicker: You Are Not Important to Them
I explain to him that this was a horrible way to drop the ball. He didn’t want to hear that. He also threw in the opinion of the tattoo artist homie and another one of his friends. They questioned why he was going so hard to meet up with a girl who wasn’t even his shorty. I suppose that made sense to him. Full ass tears in my eyes because I can’t believe he’s telling me this with a straight voice. He also resisted my disappointment because he didn’t feel like he had anything to prove. He doesn’t feel like he should have to prove himself to anybody (Narcissist or nah?).
I told him that was all bullshit and reminded him that he’s the one who wanted us to work on this. Negro hit me with the dumbest shit I’ve had to digest in my life. My boy tells me that he actually never said that and it is just like me to be making assumptions. ASSUMPTIONS!? I don’t quite remember my response, but I’m pretty sure I had nothing to say back to that. This conversation just couldn’t be real life. Later down the line for a couple quick seconds I pondered whether I actually did make that shit up. That’s when I discovered a random article about narcissists and I knew that I wasn’t losing my head. I was just in the claws of a professional.
These MotherF*ckers Are Charming
For some reason we think of the narcissists as completely disagreeable people who no one would want to be around. (See, wypipo’s president, 45). It takes a charismatic person to convince you out of what your own God-given mind knows to be true. As said in the video I referenced, a narcissist isn’t just some person who looks in the mirror all day.
Somehow this dude convinced me, a Master’s student working full-time, that I had a good thing going with a dude who had no job and managed to smoke weed several times a day with no money. Somehow he had the balls to suggest that he was bringing more to the table in our relationship. Just because he wasn’t doing shit all day (hence, available) he was the only one committed. He had no bills to pay. No trajectory for his life. He had a lot of nothing. Still somehow he was comfortable maintaining that I was not doing my fair share. Thus, the treatment I received was a result of that.
I Don’t Have Any Advice
My assumption is, there just isn’t shit you can do with a narcissist. I know there is a mental health component to this that I obviously don’t know enough about. Serious question though, do you even “treat” narcissism? Besides trying to make them self-aware, idk what the remedy would be. And I lowkey don’t care. I’d just suggest that you don’t deal with a person like this.
Burn from playing with a fire you didn’t know how to engage doesn’t heal from the fact that you “didn’t know”. I’m glad that I had any ability to red flag a lot of his behavior, but what if I didn’t? Yet, I’m still here trying to sort through what I was put through. Still trying not to blame myself for not leaving when I had several opportunities to take me out. But I will say that I’m glad I got out at all.