While I’ve accepted that I was love bombed by a covert narcissist, I still struggle with how it happened. In retrospect, everything was so clear. His actions did not match his words, he lied to everyone around him in order to see me, he went through jobs like others go through socks and he was never there for me in any meaningful way. Yet I fell for him. Hard. Hard enough that I had three children with him, opened three businesses and remained married for 23 years.
This recently changed, thanks to a new Bravo show Dirty John. Yes, I admit it – I am a Bravo TV addict. I love Real Housewives shows, Below the Deck and now, Dirty John.
Dirty John is a mini-series, based on a real life relationship. John was a con man who won over a successful business woman, despite the warnings of her children and others. When I decided to watch I turned it on thinking “she’s a dummy; why would she fall for him?”. As I watched I found myself back in the dating stage with my ex, and I totally got it! And yes, it is very disturbing.
As her children warn her that he is no good, she defends him. As he comes and goes whenever he wants, she defends him. As he suddenly devolves into rage episodes, she defends him.
All I which I did with my ex.
Everyone in my family expressed concern about my relationship. Each one, in their own way, prodded me to think twice about his ability to be a steadfast spouse and father, while I doggedly defended him. Several people in my life warned me that as easily as he left his first wife for me, he would leave me for someone else. And I defended him. Friends and family advised I not move in with him, I defended him. I wonder what would have happened had any of them witnessed any of his rages; rages I defended.
As I watch John’s efforts at love bombing, I am extremely disturbed about how little effort he put in to convincing her they were “soul mates”. This mimics my ex’s efforts. A cup of coffee on my nightstand every morning, a spontaneous, unsolicited gift, intense proclamations of his love for me. That is all it took.
I guess the next question for me to ponder is what was it about me that made me such an easy target. As I watch the show I see what a large role she played in their relationship. Had she been satisfied with her life, not desperate for a man, she never would have fallen for his love bombing. I was at a low point when I ran across my ex. He sensed it and knew I’d make a perfect target. How right he was.
Don’t get me wrong – I am not blaming myself. We all go through low points in our lives and none of us deserve to be taken advantage of during this time periods. None of us ever deserve bold faced lies and manipulations. None of us deserves the aftermath of a relationship with a narcissist.
At least now I understand the power of love bombing! I won’t fall for that again!