In Sex Love and Obesity Part 30 – my finding out that Peter was having in an “innocent” online affair several months prior to us breaking up became a game changer for me. I felt betrayed. As a result, I started seeing Peter’s love for me through a different perspective. I was depressed. Colder. Less affectionate.
The rest of August is a big blur to me.
Peter was trying hard to make things better between us. He was trying hard to repair the damage to our relationship and prove to me that it was all a stupid mistake he’d wouldn’t make again. But with Peter, there was never a true apology. His apologies always came with explanations and reasons. He blamed this behavior on his own depression and, of course, because a narcissist is never really at fault for anything, on me being too busy working two jobs and running half marathons every other weekend to pay attention to him the way he needed me to.
So, in the end. This was all *my* fault. But I wasn’t accepting the blame. Something was changing in me.
My response was more along the lines of “Well if you’re going to go find someone else to jerk off too anytime I don’t pay enough attention to you, this relationship isn’t going to work.” Peter kept telling me that he would do whatever it took to fix this. Because, he couldn’t handle the thought of losing me again.
For about a month, back and forth, there was this dance. I was trying to make sure he got the attention that he needed and he was trying to be less demanding of me.
Peter never denied how attention needy and high maintenance he was. I’ll give him credit for that. He was very open about the fact that he needed my world to revolve around him. In the beginning, I found this so endearing. His desire to be a part of everything I did. But in the almost 2 years that we were together, I began finding it smothering and controlling. I just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t have my own friends, do my own thing and why he needed my entire life to revolve around our relationship.
For a couple of months, he got that attention. I wasn’t running as much. I wasn’t working as much. Career wise, I was trying to design my own fitness-oriented website and aspiring to launch my own online remote personal training business. As a result, I was spending a lot more time at home and he was getting most of my attention.
The couples therapy seemed to be helping us. Peter was happy at his new job. We were going to church on Sundays. We even took a trip to Myrtle Beach for an Ethiopian Food birthday adventure in late August.
But my depression kept getting worse.
As my depression worsened, my escapist behaviors started to increase. I continued to have issues with disassociation. We started having little arguments about that. Peter was attempting to understand dissociative identity disorder. He was even doing research online to figure out how to deal with dating someone with DID.
But what he was learning wasn’t working for me. When I’m functioning well as someone living with Dissociative Identity Disorder, nobody around me even notices it. This is largely because, my system is so cooperative that any switches or changes in personas that occur are flawless and unidentifiable.
But I wasn’t functioning well. I was dissociating a lot and Peter would look for the slightest sign it was happening and call me out on it. I was extremely sensitive to this. Although I tried to understand that Peter was just learning about DID and how it works, his way of dealing with me put me on the defensive. Every time he’d point out a change in my personality it felt like he was once again pointing out my flaws.
This caused even more turmoil inside me. Parts of me resented the hell out of Peter, despised him for the things that he had done to me. As a result, I was in constant self-defense mode when he was around. Other parts of me were angry that getting back together with Peter had abruptly altered the relationships they had with Clark, Shane and Atlantis.
It was all a confusing mess.
I had chosen to go back to Peter. I’d made the decision to try to make our relationship work and because I had, I was doing my best to try to hold up my end of that arrangement.
I was trying hard to make things work, but I kept seeing these little red flags. As those little red flags were popping up, I began noticing that I wasn’t willing to ignore them. Now that I was seeing Peter from a different perspective, I was becoming much more skeptical and vocal about behaviors I saw as questionable.
Since I had just begun to live alone for the the first time in my life, my friends, family and clients where gifting me with house warming presents to try to help me collect some of the things I didn’t have.
I couldn’t understand the envy and jealousy.
The gifts were things like pot holders, kitchen knives, shower curtains and towels. Peter expressed jealousy over them. Each time a box showed up, he’d get moody and quiet.
He was also resentful of the financial help I was getting from my Godfather. He’d bring up moving back in with each other when my lease was up. Which wasn’t for nearly 10 months. I’d point out that I was working on being on my own and taking care of myself. He’d point out that I wasn’t doing anything on my own, because my Godfather was helping me.
When I questioned the behaviors, Peter rationalized it. He mentioned how the girl he had been perusing when we broke up was given money to help her buy a car. Then, he explained it wasn’t that he was upset with the gifts or assistance we received. He was upset that nobody did that sort of thing for him.
In Peter’s mind everyone else was “lucky”. They had people to help them. But, nobody saw him struggling and tried to help him. It was almost as if he questioned any good fortune that came to someone else. Nothing ever happened for people because they deserved it. There was never any consideration to things like good karma, or people loving you and wanting to help you simply because of who you are.
I understand it, looking back now. In the mind of a narcissist they are better than everyone else. If someone else has something they don’t, surly that person is undeserving of it. Because, the narcissist is the most deserving individual on the planet. So if they don’t have what they want, nobody else should. But back then, I just couldn’t understand all the jealousy.
I tried to get him to see his own fortuity.
Attempting to combat this line of thinking, I tried to remind him of his own good fortune. Reminding him that he had crowd-sourced his attendance to his first weight loss convention. How our community rallied around us when he had fallen off his bike and broken his hip. How his family, myself and some of our friends came together to buy him bike as a Christmas present when his was stolen off our balcony.
But no matter what I said, Peter dismissed it and continued to envy others. I’d seen this sort of behavior with him before. How he was always jealous of running events I got to go to because a friend offered me a room, or a sponsor paid my way. How he was jealous if I was having lunch with a female friend and he didn’t receive an invitation. He’d get jealous of how many followers some other weight loss surgery patient had on Instagram.
It was like, Peter thought he was deserving of everything, everyone else was deserving of nothing, and he was upset with the rest of the world for not realizing how amazing he was.
I associated it with Peter lacking self-confidence and being insecure.
I associated it with him feeling he was unworthy and wondering what made other people more worthy than him. But I didn’t really understand why. It was puzzling to me how someone with such a grandiose sense of self-importance and someone who truly thought they were always right about everything could have such low self-esteem and be so insecure.
I often wondered, what had happened to him to cause him to behave the way he did. Had he been abused in some way he didn’t remember? Was he bullied as a child? It was easy for me to look at my own life and understand why I had the issues I had. But I couldn’t quite understand why Peter had the issues he had.
But I loved this man. So, I wanted to understand him. I wanted to help him. I kept telling myself that we both had issues we needed to resolve. If we could resolve them together, we’d end up a stronger couple for it in the end.
But my entire life was about the change course.
My biggest dreams were about to come true and Peter’s response to it, was going to open my eyes once and for all to how toxic he was for me.
I’m not saying Peter is toxic mind you, paired against the right person I believe he has all the potential to be Prince Charming.
After much research on dating someone that exhibits symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder, I’ve learned that there is a certain type of person that melds well with a narcissist. A completely selfless person who is willing to love them more than they love themselves. Someone who is willing to give up control and let them make all the decisions.
Coincidentally, that is how Peter described his ex-wife. As someone who didn’t like to make decisions and didn’t like to be in control. Looking back now, I often wonder if that is why his marriage lasted so long. Because, he was married to someone who complimented his personality so well.
But I wasn’t that person. I’m sure in the beginning, given my history and my own horrible struggles with self-confidence and self-worth, Peter thought I was. I’m almost positive that is why he was attracted to me. I think he saw how desperately I wanted to be loved and believed I would give up anything and everything in order to attain it.
But I had been that woman for most of my life.
I had already been the….
- submissive woman that got bossed around and told what to do. The good little slave that had every aspect of her life micromanaged. That wasn’t the life I wanted anymore.
- four hundred pound shut in, who never left the house, who didn’t have hardly any friends and whose entire life revolved around the man she loved. That wasn’t the life I wanted anymore.
- girl that did nothing but fight with her family. That got sucked into argument after argument and spent all my days twisted up in emotional turmoil over it. That wasn’t the life I wanted anymore.
- the woman with a career I wasn’t passionate about. A career that didn’t matter to anyone including myself. I didn’t want that life anymore.
It was almost as if Peter wanted me to be all those things.
Peter wanted me to be so committed to our relationship that I included him in everything and didn’t really have anything that was my own. He wanted to make all the decisions. He wanted my entire life to revolve around him and for everyone and everything else to come second fiddle to him. I could have the things I wanted and do the things I wanted to do, but only when it was okay with him.
I was working hard on learning to love myself. On reclaiming my power, my independence and finding my inner strength. I had come to the realization that I had to love myself before I could love anyone else. Everything I had done in the last seven years of my weight loss journey had been about me trying to get away from who I had been before.
But all the things I was trying to achieve, were things that Peter really didn’t want for me.
To his credit, I think Peter came to this realization before I did. Not the realization that he was bad for me mind you, he’d never accept any sort of fault like that. It’s not in his narcissistic nature. But I do think he came to the realization that I wasn’t going to be the woman that gave up her own identity and made her entire world revolve around him.
It came to a point where he began to realize that I wasn’t the woman that he wanted me to be. But more importantly, I began to realize that I didn’t want to be the woman that he needed me to be.