Why do I attract narcissists

Empaths attract narcissists

Colour image of female holding her face, looking afraid
Image by Grace Madeline at unsplash

Today I will be talking about my ex Mark and why I attract narcissists. This is the 15th in a series of posts about “My journey through anxiety, panic disorder, depression and psychosis. Read about how I attract men with narcissistic behaviours. You can read parts IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXI, XII, XIII and XIV for the backstory. It might make more sense.

My last post ended with “We’ll look at How to leave a narcissist in my next post.” However, I think it might be worth telling you firstly of my final relationship with Andrew.

Things happened so quickly

Colour image of female judge banging down the gavel
On Jury Duty

I’d been happily single for 9 months before I bumped into Andrew while we were both on jury service. He’d seek me out each break and at lunchtime, bringing me coffee and pastries from the canteen.

He looked so gorgeous in his expensive suits and shirts, casually open at the neck, and he smelled divine. I’d spoken about him to my friends and laughed “If he doesn’t ask for my number on the last day, I’m going to ask for his.” I’d never done that before and I’m not sure I would’ve but, in the end, I didn’t have to. He waved his phone at me with a questioning but confident lopsided smile and I melted.

The narcissist of my life

He was amazing, offering to pick me up and drop me off at work then picking me up again each evening. I only lived round the corner from work but I loved being with him, even for that 3-4 minute drive each day. He asked lots of questions about me, my teenage sons and my life and empathised with my disastrous relationships.

He took me to meet his parents and family fairly early on, I liked them all and the feeling was mutual. I hadn’t yet told the boys about him so that first Christmas, we were apart, and he left to go skiing on Boxing Day. I missed him like I’d miss a limb, though he phoned every day, and on the fourth day he told me he loved me. He said he’d never met anyone like me, and I was besotted.

Lots of loving going on

One of these guys is a narcissist, can you guess who?
I attract narcissists

Not long after, it was my birthday and we’d arranged to meet a few friends, along with my brother and my youngest son who was still at home, in one of my favourite restaurants. After a wonderful meal and many bottles of heady pink champagne later, he’d picked up the bill and had paid before anyone could argue. As we were leaving to get taxis, my youngest said, “I like him, mama.”

“Uh-huh, me too Sunshine.” The boys, my brother, my parents all loved him and vice versa. My family were delighted to see how well he treated me, with his quaint old fashioned gentlemanly ways. He’d taken me on holiday rather than the other way round, as had happened with my two previous disasters and he wouldn’t let me spend any money.

I was feeling so relaxed and happily settled and my mental state was stable for the first time in ages. I no longer experienced anxiety or panic attacks and my sleep pattern had improved ten-fold.

Why do I attract narcissists again?

Female leaving the narcissist she had attracted earlier in life. Breaking free.
Leaving another narcissist

However, around this time, my ex, Mark had started texting asking me to get in touch. Can you believe it, some ten months later the b*astard who’d thrown buckets of water over me wanted to see me. We’d just settled one evening when Mark called and Andrew could see the name so I thought it best I answer. With my heart beating out of my chest and cottonmouth, I told Mark I was seeing someone else now and not to call again before hanging up.

He called back immediately, so Andrew answered and I could hear as Mark spluttered some carefully practised words ultimately meaning he wanted me back. “She’s with me now, please don’t call again,” warned Andrew.

“Okay but let me speak to Caz first. Caz, I love you…..” his pathetic voice trailed off before Andrew hung up. Mark called me at work the next day to say he’s outside and if I didn’t come out, he’d come into my office. My heart was in my mouth and I could feel the onset of a panic attack. I should have just called security. But I didn’t. I went out to see him, and he only offered to take me for lunch. Ha! That was a first, and I refused.

A narcissist’s undying love

Mark professed his undying love for me, bleating that he never wanted to be apart from me, and asked how could I have moved on so quickly. You’d have thought I’d hate him I’m sure. But I didn’t. I felt sorry for him.

Why do some men do this, let you fall in love with them then hurt you over and over? They deny this and tell you you’re a maniac or a psycho and that you need help. They make you so mad you eventually end the relationship — then after an age — they want you back. Why do I attract men that treat me like this?

From this moment……….

Does this couple look happy to you? Narcissistic love can be toxic
Image by Christiana Rivers at unsplash.jpg

Christmas wasn’t far away when Andrew had asked if I’d like to go skiing in France on Boxing Day. I had to say no, as it was always my time to spend with the boys. He’d said, “No problem, ask the boys if they want to come.” I’d said thank you but my eldest, Nic wouldn’t leave his girlfriend as they were at different universities and didn’t see each other very often. “No problem, see if she wants to come too.”

So off we went with a crowd of his friends and their families, my first time ever skiing. What a treat and guess who was actually quite good at it? Andrew and I went again in January and by this time I was hurtling down red runs at what felt like a hundred miles an hour. It was exhilarating. All his pals and their kids thought I was a real pro and I felt so proud. I could tell Andrew was proud too.

We went again in February, but after the first day I caught a tummy bug and there was no way I’d dare hit the slopes, so I stayed in our room. This really annoyed Andrew and he snapped at me constantly, telling me it couldn’t be that bad. Really? I loved flying down the mountains and had attempted all of them but the black runs. These have minimal ledges and no safety barrier like trees to stop you from tumbling down a sheer drop.

I see your true narcissist colours

Narcissists tend to loose it from time to time.
This narcissist just lost it

Everyone gathered in the bar after dinner each evening and I missed not being able to join in. On the last night, Andrew returned to our room rather worse for wear, which was okay — until I refused his advances. I still had stomach cramps and had to use the bathroom every 10-20 minute ffs, so I was in no fit state for intimacy.

Well, he erupted! Yelling and cursing, practically foaming at the mouth and spitting as he lurched and stomped around the little room. I was both shocked and terrified in equal amounts, and I scrambled out of bed, intending to escape. But he caught me roughly by the arms and threw me back onto the bed, still screaming nonsensical obscenities.

What’s wrong with me?

I thought I’d been rescued when one of Andrew’s pals rapped loudly on the door telling him to pack it in. He didn’t hear it over his frenzied ramblings. After about 30 minutes, only when he’d literally exhausted himself, he dropped to the bed and before falling into a coma, he dared me not to leave.

I lay there rigid with fear, my mouth was dry and my heartbeat pounded in my ears until early morning, when we all got up for the long drive home.

Andrew appeared to have no memory of the previous night and as we had another couple in the car, I was unable to confront him. Shaken and upset, I remained silent much of the journey, too afraid I’d say the wrong thing or burst into tears. (I think) I loved him but I knew this should be over. I’d promised I wouldn’t put myself through this again.

Once home, I told Andrew I was tired and I needed to sleep before work the next day and that he needed to go home. I really I just wanted time to think, and I did — think. I thought it was out of character for him, he’d had a little too much to drink, and I’d let him down by not being out there on the slopes with him.

Andrew phoned the next day and surprised me with a two-week holiday to Florida in June. What was a girl to do? I know what I should have done.

I know attracted men with narcissistic behaviours because I’m kind, I find it difficult to say no or to set boundaries. They know this and abuse my good intentions.

Over to you

What do you think? Why do I attract narcissists?

Hhhmm, what do I say uh? Okay, what’s your thoughts on attracting men with narcissistic behaviours? What do you think of the angry outburst? I’m looking forward to your comments and happy to answer any questions.

Author: mentalhealth360.uk

Mum to two amazing sons. Following recovery from a lengthy psychotic episode, depression, anxiety and anorexia, I decided to train as a Mental Health Nurse and worked successfully in various settings before becoming a Ward Manager. I am a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and a Mental Health Awareness Trainer, Mental Health First Aid Youth and Mental Health Armed Forces Instructor. Just started my mental health from the other side blog.

29 thoughts on “Why do I attract narcissists”

  1. I just watch now. Not judge, but watch people. They will reveal their true colors eventually. I am not necessarily an empath, but I am kind and a target of narcs. I refuse to empty out all of my kindness though, and again, I will just watch people.

    1. In spam – aarrgghhh! I’m a people watcher too, I’m a listener and definitely not judgemental – now lol. It’s good to just watch people and listen, you find out so much more about them, just taking it all in – and yes, that way they’ll show their true colours sooner rather than later 🙂

      1. Oh no, that’s awful Mio. I feel very fortunate that my family’s all still close. One sister in the States doesn’t engage much, but I can live with that.

  2. I’m glad you enjoyed skiing but all the shit you needed to go through. Honesty, reading the title I would say, no excuse is good enough. But I guess I would think the same way you did; it was one time, he was frustrated and so on.
    Reading your story, men don’t come out too well I must say. I really hope that you’ll write about your loving partner too at the end. I need some hope here!
    Thanks for sharing your story, I’ve taken the plunge and wrote a post about my abuse story, and that happened with your help! x

    1. Yes, much as I loved the skiing, it wasn’t worth what I let myself go through. I can’t believe that after the boys’ dad, I had 3 relationships in 11 years and I had more bad times than good. Why would someone even put up with that sh*t? Maybe I was the ‘crazy’ one they all said I was lol.

      I’ve read your post Kacha and I could have cried for you. How could a mother be so cruel? Sorry, I know she’s your mum. I’m really glad you felt able to start putting it down on paper Kacha and like I commented — you’ve come a long way and you should be proud of yourself. Pierre is one lucky guy xx

      1. Reading your story, I forgot or didn’t notice that it stretches out over a period of 11 years. It seems more like the one after the other! But is the nature of blogging I think.
        I don’t know if you are that crazy because we all need to learn. Maybe in different areas but my guess is that it takes a long time to adjust some things and to gain insight.
        It took me ’till 24 to notice that something was really wrong and I was 28, 29 ’till I cut contact. So that is also a long period in time!
        I’m lucky too with Pierre, he gives me the opportunity to expand my world and to be the kind person I am.

      2. I know we ought to learn but maybe I was a slow learner lol. Though now, after therapy and a lot of work (like you), I understand some of the ‘why’ I got into these relationships – that’s for when I wrap up this long journey in the next post or two 🙂

  3. That’s a tricky one. I know what *I’d* have done, but you confounded me last time, too. Hope you’re good, Caz. Did you say you’d been ill or did I imagine it? Hope all is good anyhow.

    1. Lol, I was a real idiot for such a long time. No more! Honestly. I swore after that, I would never ever let myself go down that road again. I can’t believe I let myself get into those relationships. Though therapy was useful and some things made a lot of sense. Fortunately, I’m nearing the end of those horror stories.

      Shame it’s all left me having the worst nightmares ever and my lovely ‘hubby’ has to wake me up before I wake the neighbours up with my nightly screaming lol.

      I was unwell for a few weeks, it’s part of my illness, so I just have to live with it. But all’s good at the moment Pete.

      I hope you and yours are all well, and no doubt looking forward to coming out of this flippin’ lockdown. x

  4. I am planning my first al fresco coffee with my old mate this afternoon.

    I think with your story there were several warning signs where I’d have thought “enough”, because I don’t think fundamentally that leopards change their spots. The thing on holiday would have been fatal for me, because there’s no guarantee it wouldn’t happen again and…nobody signs up for that shit. You have a right to expect to be seeing a grown-up.
    Doesn’t it surprise you that so many grown-ups don’t have a clue how to behave? It does make me think, when you hear about 10-year-olds being taught in school about relationships, it’s actually not a bad thing.

    1. That’s good to hear and enjoy – I bet that coffee will taste amazing – after so long of not going out.
      Yes, I’m sure there were lots of warning signs, like finding out all about me to use in a derogatory way when he felt like it.

      Yes, it does surprise me Pete. I kind of thought that everyone was like me – kind, honest, ‘normal’ lol. And I certainly think that children should be taught this stuff – I’ve said it for years. They need good mental health professionals explaining all about relationships, self-esteem, bullying etc.

  5. I’m so sorry you had to deal with someone like him. In a way narcissists are the worst because they always make you believe there’s something wrong with you or they’re nice the majority of the time so the snap takes you by surprise. I have never been through what you have but I finally realised that a long time friend was actually a narcissist and basically displayed really similar behaviour like throwing a tantrum when she didn’t get exactly what she wanted so I do understand to an extent how difficult it can be to be around a narcissist.

    1. Yes, it’s tough going with a narcissist. Making you doubt your own abilities, gaslighting, turning every issue you raise, around to make themselves sound right, so the other person’s (me) always wrong.

      I was always questioning my own sanity when he’d say I hadn’t told him something. I knew I had, where we were or who we were with said at the time of the conversation. But nope. According to him, I hadn’t told him! He’d do this in company, making me look small and incapable, and because I obviously didn’t want to cause a scene, I just had to take it and smile. Urgh!

  6. It’s frightening how long some of these men were able to hide their true natures. But someone who denies that you know the state of your own body is someone who doesn’t have your best interests at heart. Especially when the rationale behind their denial of your illness is that it’s inconvenient for them.

    1. I still find it hard to think I allowed them into my life and let them continue with their sickening behaviours for so long. In hindsight, I wasn’t aware of narcissism or understand how they work. I wish I knew then what I know now lol.

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