The following comes from a website dedicated to helping the victims of both narcissists and psychopaths, http://friedgreentomatoes.org/index.php I included this section of their welcome page because it summed up, in my mind, what I’ve been trying to express for so long. I felt stupid for falling for someone like this. When others said that they saw it in the beginning, it didn’t help to ease my wounded confidence on my ability to read people. The website has many helpful articles. I just discovered it myself. In a selfish way, it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who has fallen for it.
You met someone who was charming, talented and eloquent who most likely made you feel like a million bucks. And then, suddenly, at some point (usually beginning at the first moment you disagreed with him or her), you were made to feel like week-old garbage.
Hoping to restore the purity of that paradise you thought you were living in, you try everything you can think of to make it work, including closing your eyes and mind to the often vicious behavior of that person who is no longer the person you knew. You just want the original person back; you believe that he or she is there, buried inside, behind some wall of hurt that only you can heal. You may even see this original person from time to time, when you’ve had just enough to push you away for good – for just long enough to get you to stay and try again.
Little by little, you have to admit to yourself that what you are experiencing cannot be explained away by someone who is acting out of hurt; that what you are experiencing is just pure evil.
Charming, seductive and eloquent they are, and they use all those abilities when lying, manipulating and betraying. Psychopaths and narcissists can slash a path of human misery through lives of dozens, or hundreds, and even thousands, of people. They bring pain and suffering to nearly everyone they touch. And yet, somehow, they manage to convince their victims that it is they who are being wronged.
There is a reason for that: they actually do feel that they are victims because somewhere inside, they know that they are not like the majority of the human population, and this knowledge is coupled with a fundamental need to be in control, to be in charge. That they – a minority – cannot be in charge of the majority appears to them as a great injustice, one that they will fight to the death to right!
What you – a normal person – need now more than anything else is knowledge of what you are going through, or have been through, and an understanding of exactly what you are dealing with, in order to make sense of it all.
Psychopathy and narcissism are just two of several related and often overlapping conditions that afflict a portion of the population. These people are, effectively, human beings that are intraspecies predators; they look human, but they operate on a foundation that is more akin to that of an animal than a human.
Since all creatures seek survival, these pseudo-humans learn very early what behaviors get them what they want and need, including pretense to normal human emotions and empathy. Many of them can maintain this pretense – this “Mask of Sanity” – for a very long time; others let the mask slip sooner, or more often.
What they want varies by individual, but the most persistent need seems to be control and those things that give them control. For the brighter members of this taxon (for that is what it surely is), that means power and money; for the lazier and less driven members, it can mean other things: control over a spouse, children, a family, or the maintenance of a parasitic lifestyle at your expense. In extreme cases, this urge for control can be expressed in murder.” From: http://friedgreentomatoes.org/index.php
My ex was over-the-top in the beginning on everything positive and loving. It was hard not to fall for him. He made big promises of “love that songs are written about”, love that is better than other peoples’, lives that are superior to others, yada, yada, yada. It sounded good in the beginning. I think I always knew there was something off but it felt too good to let go just because of a feeling. Seemed there was no “reason” to end it, just a feeling that it was “off”. I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure it out. He has always been over-enthusiastic about things he was involved with since I’ve known him. His profession, his motorcycle, his chosen style of healthy eating, etc. I’m sure you can relate with your own stories. Please share them!