I just realized that The Narcissist is the only boyfriend I ever had that strung me along. While I was going through the divorce, I obsessed on a couple of narcissists and gave one of them his marching orders the instant I smelled a rat. Of course, I wasn't sexually intoxicated by any of those guys - but I was trying to have an impact on an emotionally impervious individual. Being sexually intoxicated was an important development since it shows I resolved some aspects of the Battle of the Incest Issue. I'm going to take all the credit for that despite The Narcissist's participation.
All in all, it looks like I can trust my process since I've knocked out a life time of angst in a couple of years.
When I look back over all the boyfriends and fiancees, there are only a couple who were jerks and I ditched them quickly. My high school boyfriend and first fiance was mediocre in every way, but I was stuck with him since we were dating during the fall of senior year. If I'd have broken up with him then, The Code of The West would prevent any of the guys from asking me out since I was "Jesse's Girl." Then this girl in my Humanities class got engaged. When I saw her ring, I wanted a diamond of my own and the next thing you know, I was engaged for the first time.
During freshman orientation at North Texas State University in Denton, Texas (home to Rocky Horror Picture Show), I called "Jesse" to say I didn't love him and never did. He demanded his ring back. The next weekend in Houston, I tossed it in his face.
That was a great day. By then I had met the fellow who became my great tragic love. We were never engaged, but we had such a passion and understanding for each other we stayed together for the next seven years. We saw other people since we were kids and I moved to Austin when I was a sophomore, but I loved him through and through. Let's call him Bradley.
As it happens, there were a number of similarities between that relationship and I had and the one with The Narcissist. That's why I mistook sexual intoxication with emotional connection. Bradley also didn't want to be in a heavy duty relationship since it cramped his style. It was the late seventies, after all, and anyone who lived through it knows Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll reigned supreme. I was waiting for Bradley to settle down. We fell apart one afternoon when he wanted to see me, but I had become engaged to The Man from San Antone. I flashed that ring at Bradley saying something like, "Too Late. I'm marrying a rich guy," with every hope that he'd ask me to leave said rich guy. Sadly, he was crushed instead, moved to California and within a year had married a cocktail waitress who didn't wear panties. It ended badly, but that's another story. He and I still love each other to pieces. I found him through Classmates.com when my own marriage was unraveling. He had recently married a younger woman - who is now one of my dearest friends. At the time, however, I caused a bit of a ruckus.
The point is that The Narcissist and Bradley were similar enough so that I believed the Narcissist when he said he had real feelings for me but he wasn't ready for a heavy duty relationship due to going through a divorce. That narcissist/supply source relationship is some tricky shit.
Fiancee #2 was delightful, but he went to Thailand in the Peace Corps. Being totally unsuited for a long distance relationship when I was nineteen, and loving Bradley anyway, it wasn't long before I wound up engaged to #3 The Poor But Honest Farm Boy. He was great to me, but I only went out with him to spite The Man from San Antone who was throwing his money around to get me to go out with him. We were all in the same creative writing class with a minor poet named Albert Goldbarth. The Poor But Honest Farm Boy was offended that I could be engaged to him and seriously consider going to the Caribbean with The Man From San Antone. He had a point. A few days after that disagreement his former girlfriend called him to say she needed a rescue since she had been wearing a corset and masturbating on her bed when some guy with a machete climbed through the window. When I heard that story, I told him to have a great time with her and hung out with The Man from San Antone until I ran off with a Yankee (aka Buzz Kill) in 1987.
The Man from San Antone and I were engaged twice in the six or seven years we were together (fiancees #4 and 5). The first time, we were twenty years old. During the two weeks we were engaged, we fought so much that finally realized I didn't want to get married at all. I wanted a party and a new dress. To the relief of both our families, we called off the engagement. I threw the first of several annual Blue Bonnet Cotillions which amounted to giant acid parties in Austin, Texas. They remain legendary in some circles.
We were only engaged a few days the second time. I'm pretty sure he didn't want to get married any more than I did, but we were both 27 by then. It was Shit or Get off The Pot Time. We were both finishing our advanced degrees (Law School for him; an MA for me). He gave me his University of Texas class ring which had a diamond in it. I didn't keep it though. I hadn't been in New York long before he picked up a woman in a bar who slipped him a mickey and stole that ring along with his big, fat gold Rolex. I always liked that story.
On my last birthday, The Man from San Antone happened to be in New York. We were out to dinner with a group and he announced to the table that he'd loved me for more than twenty years. I love him too. Who knows - he and I may wind up growing old together. The only reason I wouldn't marry him is that he'd have been a terrible father and I wanted to breed. From what I hear, he's a wonderful Uncle. Even still, when he was married he never stopped dating and named his boat Hookers and Blow. I do love that man.
Then I married fiancee #6. Buzz Kill was very good to me in many ways. The issues were primarily financial.
I will admit that through the years I have shown time and again that I needed approval and validation for other people prove I existed in this world but I had never run in to a Narcissist until I was going through my divorce.
I'm thinking that when I got assertive enough to file for divorce, I felt strong enough to confront my existential issues, although at the time, I was consciously trying to integrate healthy sexuality into my adult life. The point is that the whole Supply Source thing didn't come into play until recently, so I can stop lamenting. Narcissists have been required for my healing process.
I'm not quite ready to dance a jig, but it's nice to know that I fell into the supply source role because I could look into a man's eyes and see a vulnerable, hurting soul who needed a little love. I gave it gladly. Too bad his soul defended by a monster. Before now, the only monsters I had met were the perverts in my own family. There is no defending them. The good news is that I'm going to be just fine.
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