(Revised and edited 12/30/13)
The first relationship I had with a narcissist, aside from the Mom-ster, started my senior year of high school, in 1990. It really wasn’t a relationship by any stretch of the imagination and was dysfunctional in almost every way.
It started out as a mere flirtation between JD and I. We had been friends all through our school years. JD had this air of confidence, a witty sense of humor, always dressed very well and we liked a lot of the same things. He was also completely unavailable, and only liked to date girls that had something of value, like a family with money or power.
He was perfect for an emotionally messed up girl like me.
JD was dating a pristine girl from another school, and it just so happened that she lived in a nice area and her family had money. I was constantly regaled with stories of her home, cars that her parents drove, the money they had and how pretty she was. He also complained a lot about her being too much of a prude and not being any fun. I listened intently to his every word.
I was already starting to fall for him. I had it in my head it was going to all turn out like a John Hughes movie with him; I was the crazy punk rock chick, he was the handsome normal guy and he would see that I was really the girl for him, not this prudish girl from another school. He even resembled Duckie from Pretty in Pink. I was getting sucked deeper into my fantasy world.
The flirtations became a little more than just innocent fun. We were talking more and more, and the talk of his girlfriend became less and less. Maybe this was really going to happen! We had art class together, yet one more thing we had in common.
One day after we came back from spring break, we partnered up and started working in our schools darkroom. We were the only ones in there and as we were about to go back to class, he suddenly pushed me up against the wall and started kissing me. It was like a scene out of a movie and gave me such a rush. He winked at me, then out the door and back to class he went; I was hooked.
Our secret rendezvous in the darkroom went on until the end of the school year. No one except a few close friends of mine knew anything about it. Our flings started branching out to seeing each other outside of school. We would go for drives together or I would go over to his house. He was still with his girlfriend, too, I might add. His narcissistic traits were already presenting themselves, which pulled me into the infatuation even more.
JD would almost always fish for compliments and admiration of his looks or skills, but would never return the favor. He would sometimes hint that I wasn’t good enough to be seen with him, which made me want to prove him otherwise.
I was the main contestant in his head games.
I felt that if I made him feel better and if I changed into someone else, then maybe he’d break up with his girlfriend and be with me instead. The exact opposite happened though, and he started pulling away things like affection and attention to anything I said. I fed on it and felt I had to do more to impress him and make him see what a good person I really was.
I played the game of bending over backwards and jumping through hoops, because I was so used to doing it to gain Mom-ster’s attentions and affections. I thought that was what love was all about, and sadly enough, that thought remained instilled in me for many, many years.
When things would go wrong, it was never his fault. JD would always blame circumstances or other people for the mean things he would do or say. He had to constantly surround himself with people that he felt were worthy of his high ideas on life and love. JD didn’t have very many friends in school, but he said that was OK, because they really didn’t meet his standards.
I knew deep down inside he was not good for me, but back then I didn’t listen to the reason in my head. I even had friends ask me why I was putting up with how he would treat me; I had a warped sense of what love was.
I had mixed emotions when JD went away to art school at the end of the summer of 1990.
I stayed at home and went to our local community college while he got to do what I really wanted to. I didn’t give him a second thought, until he would call me from school to let me know how things were. He never once asked me how I was doing, it all revolved around him. If I tried to break in and talk about myself, he would cut me off with, “I called you, not the other way around.”
When I called him once to tell him that I had a fling with this guy we went to school with, he made me feel so guilty, as if I cheated on him – of course he dated other girls while he was away.
We would always get together when he would come home once a month, and again, it was all about him.
JD would “honor” me with tales of his spectacular art skills, how everyone likes and adores him, and how wonderful he was. He fascinated me – after all, he had a scholarship and went away to college. He just had to be as wonderful and amazing as he said he was.
When JD came home after fall semester, I was the first person he called. He was going to pick me up at my place after Thanksgiving dinner so we could see each other. I was really excited to see him and couldn’t wait. We went to our usual place to park and talk.
The stories of how awesome everyone thought he was awesome began and how he already had an ad agency interested in his art skills. It was all lies, of course, as I later found out.
Lies became his calling card and favorite pastime.
We saw each other a few more times before he went back to college after the holidays and even said we could try being a couple, even if it was a long distance relationship. Of course, he said it would also be an open relationship and we could see other people. I justified it in my head as I was finally getting my John Hughes movie, just in a warped way.
Nothing else in my life had been normal, so why should I start now.