I was thinking today that I might plot out a timeline of how a relationship goes with a Cluster B abuser. I am leaving out tons of details of abuse just to give a timeline of how fast the stages went. Things might go in a slightly different order, or at a different speed for others, but here’s how it went for me:
October 2010: Narcopath claims we met and played a round of cards in a group at a social event. I don’t remember this, but we were both there and I did play cards, so I suspect it is true. A couple years later, when the love bombing starts, he claims he was there with his girlfriend who was loud and annoying, so when he saw how meek and quiet I was, he wished he was with me.
Fall 2010: Narcopath sends me a Facebook friend request with a flirty message saying I was perfect for him. I answer but he disappears. A single guy who shares my interests sounds intriguing. I have no clue that we’ve met. He doesn’t reveal this claim for another two years.
Fall 2010- Summer 2012: Narcopath sends the occasional flirty message. I reply. He rarely answers. He is testing the waters, keeping me as a potential target, and grooming me to think he’s a nice guy.
Summer 2012: I am running a popular Facebook group and he joins. People are really happy with the active group and repeatedly thank me for starting it. Narcopath starts contacting me more and asking to be an admin in the group. He starts pushing for a phone call with me.
Early August 2012: I finally agree to a telephone call with him. Throughout the call he echoes and mirrors EVERYTHING about me, then says we are “separated at birth” over and over. At one point, he says it must sound like he’s making this up, but we really are that much alike!
Early August 2012: I agree to let him visit me. We hit it off and talk for hours. He wants to visit the next weekend too.
Early August to mid August: Full force love bombing. He is calling me multiple times a day and telling me how great I am. At one point, I even get a bit annoyed that I can’t be alone and quiet on my work breaks because he calls for each of them. One day, while driving home, I start asking myself how he is THIS in love so fast. I ask myself, am I really as great as he keeps saying I am? It sure sounds good, though!
Mid August: He wants an official Facebook relationship. This angers several of his other current girlfriends that I didn’t know about until afterward, and it bothers me that he was leading so many on. But he assures me he likes me best, so he wants to give them all up.
Late August: He tells me that one of the women is mocking our relationship and asking him when they are going to get together for sex again. He says she keeps calling. He says one of the other women keeps calling, too. I am being triangulated but don’t know what any of this means yet. I’m kind of annoyed that the woman is after my guy.
Labor Day weekend: He ignores my birthday after promising me he was going to get a great present for me. When I ask about it, he yells and screams until I’m crying. Then he calls me a baby. I am confused. Then he apologizes and says he loves me. I think everything is okay, although I’m still a bit confused.
Early September: We are having a normal day. He tells me I have to get my cats’ claws trimmed. I decline, but he becomes enraged. He throws my cat at the wall and I walk out of the room in fear. I stand in my bathroom stunned and wondering what the heck is happening. He comes in screaming and bullying me until I cry. Then he calls me a baby. I realize this is abuse and tell him to leave. Before he does, I panic about being single again, and ask him if he is willing to apologize. He says “no” because I was the one who was wrong and asked him to leave. I am really confused. I apologize. He doesn’t. Then he tells me how much he loves me.
Mid September: He starts pushing to get married in October. I say no. He becomes enraged and says he will dump me if I don’t marry him because he is too old to waste time. I feel confused. Again. He says we are so perfect for each other.
Late September: He is still pushing. He still says we are perfect for each other. He tells me I will never find a man who is as good for me as he is. I wonder if this is really good. He finally finds the manipulative trick that gets me to agree. He plays up my fears for my older son who has no father. I really want my son to have a father. He says if something happens to me, my son will go to foster care if he doesn’t have a father. I am worried. He tells me if something happens to me, he will be sure to marry a good mother for my son. This sounds odd since he is much older than I am and I don’t understand why the thought would occur to him. But, he is charming enough I finally agree.
Early October: He tells me to plan a wedding for the next weekend. He is really pushing hard. I wonder why he is in such a hurry.
A week later: We get married. The night before, he starts to scare me again, but we are on a road trip in another state, and he is driving erratically to scare me, so I shut up before I get killed or abandoned in the woods.
The day after the wedding: The abuse starts in earnest and never stops again.
Mid October: I ask him to leave my house and say I cannot be married anymore. I’m in a state of shock. A therapist says it is too early to diagnose, but I have all the symptoms of PTSD. He tells me I’m being abused. The narcopath calls repeatedly charming me into giving him another chance.
Late October: I find out I am two weeks pregnant. He had wanted to get pregnant right away, and I did, but now he is angry about it. I am confused.
Halloween: He throws me across the room after I change a setting on a thermostat. I know this has to stop. I tell the police I want an arrest.
Early November to mid November: He stalks my yard. He stalks my mom. He pushes over and over and over for another chance. He promises to go to therapy if I drop the restraining order. I fall for it. The abuse starts that night.
Mid November: We got to therapy. He bullies me all the way there. He calls the psychologist a cunt. He goes insane when we go home and destroys my PC. I call the police because I’m scared he will attack again. I ask him to leave.
Mid November: The therapist asks me to come back alone. I do. She talks to me about narcissism and sociopathy. She tells me he was an obvious abuser and the disorder was “obvious and extreme.” She says any decent evaluator will see it easily. I go home and research and find a perfect description of my husband in the list of symptoms for narcissistic personality disorder and anti-social personality disorder. I wonder if this is really happening.
Thanksgiving: Narcopath pushes and charms for a family holiday. I fall for it. He literally takes food off my plate and limits what I am allowed to eat. He does the same to my son. He grabs food out of the refrigerator and pushes it into his mouth as fast as possible and says we cannot have any. He tells me pregnancy isn’t an excuse to get fat. I am confused. I am stunned. He screams at my son. He pushes my son around. He picks my son up by the ankles and shakes him in a rage. I comfort my son. I get Narcopath out of the house then call the police and the doctor. While Narcopath is gone, he calls me all day and I don’t answer. I am stunned. The PTSD is real. I finally answer and blankly tell him he can never come back. This time, because he hurt my child and not just me, I will never fall for it again.
December: I go to court for his domestic violence battery charges. I am prepared to testify but he takes a plea deal.
Two years after the initial grooming. Four months after the intense love bombing. Three years of upcoming cyber bullying and smear campaign. Five years of recovering. The worst is over, but the proxy abuse through others and the court system will not stop.
This is what life is like with a sociopath. The marriage was short but the abuse was severe. They are evil in human form damaging everyone close to them.