Skip navigation

I am the daughter of a mother with narcissistic personality disorder. When I was 15 years old, my mother told me I am not the kind of girl men fall in love with. I am, she said, the kind of girl who helps men get over the girl they fell in love with and who broke their heart, so that they can move on and fall in love with another girl. Internally believing every word, I spent the next 20 years trying to be the best “distraction” possible, carefully avoiding intimacy and denying myself the right to be loved. I jump back and forth between a dismissing/avoidant and fearful/preocuppied approach to relationships. I blog about my relationship experiences and feelings, which derive from my childhood experiences, as an effort to connect with and help others like me and to help myself through expression of things that are difficult to admit in my everyday emotional life.

Woman and hurting heart

Starting a new relationship. I’m certain I’m not ready – so many of Mac’s words and actions still surface, making me question if I am even worthy of connection, and already my anxious attachment style is causing constant uncertainty. But it happened and there is no going back.

He came on strong but not intense at first. Just being very open about how he felt. There was no love bombing, just attentiveness, protectiveness – and gifts. Sweet thoughtful gifts like remembering what I like and making sure I always have it. When we’re together, he’s sweet, attentive, and thoughtful. He texts me every day. He always responds quickly if I text him. He’s always available when I call. But he has boundaries about how often we need to see each other. He has things to do and a life of his own and he makes time for me in the midst of these things rather than immersing me in them or immersing himself in my life. He is very affectionate when we’re together, but his texts don’t contain many words of validation or affection or even sexting content. I’m equally relieved and wondering what’s wrong. It’s only been a month – this is the normal pace of a relationship, I tell myself. Yet, it’s hard to shake the pattern of feeling that if he doesn’t demand my constant attention and shower me with endless words of affirmation, it means he’s really not that into me. Little seemingly harmless things he says or does (or doesn’t do) send me into anxious hysterics inside. We’re both getting used to sleeping with someone again (yes, I’m sleeping with this guy in the same bed staying over at his place every weekend – I’m such a hypocrite). He made a comment about me pushing him off the bed and I took it to heart as a rejection. I didn’t express it, because I know it’s irrational and I have learned to be good at letting myself process and not immediately react. After all, he had previously mentioned missing me being in bed with him, and this comment was half humor, not meant to be cruel. And the fact is, I’m having a hard time learning to sleep with him too. It’s normal to have some difficulties getting used to each other’s sleep habits. I, of all people, should know this and not take it personally when he jokes about it, or even if he feels a little crabby after not getting a full night’s sleep. I wouldn’t even let my last boyfriend sleep with me AT ALL for god’s sake. And I’m so full of anxiety about being too clingy or attentive, or not being affectionate or attentive enough. If I text him with sweet words, he doesn’t respond with sweet words, though he does always respond gratefully and almost like he’s uncomfortable and doesn’t know how to communicate this way. So then I start wondering, am I getting myself into another avoidant situation like Nandi? I stop communicating affection. And then I start getting scared that my not communicating affection will make him think I’m not into him – and so I send a hint of it. And the cycle repeats. My god why can’t I just chill the fuck out and let this unfold naturally? It’s barely been a month for god’s sake!


I saw you in that coffee shop

You didn’t notice me

Just like it always was

Those years before.

I saw you in that coffee shop

And I felt nothing

I did not even want your attention

After all those years of beating myself against your iron clad heart

Trying to get you to see me

To feel anything

I do not want your attention anymore.

I felt sad for you, staring down at your computer screen as always, missing life as it walks right in and out of the room.

There was a coffee shop chain Mac introduced me to and I was craving their food one day but didn’t want to go to any of the ones he might attend, knowing he sometimes has his friends pick him up there. The last thing in the world I want right now is to run into Mac somewhere. So I found one somewhere he would be very unlikely to go, and headed there. Walking in, I immediately saw Nandi head down in his laptop in front of me. It wasn’t his neighborhood either, so no idea what he was doing there. I thought about walking out but then thought, “Why should I?” I walked right past him, up to the counter, ordered my food. I sat as far away from him as possible, but the place is small so no way I could escape his range of vision entirely. I drank my coffee. I ate my food. He did not look up from his laptop once. I came, I ate, I left, with him never noticing me at all. Felt like old times. Except I felt no sadness, no desperation or despair. I actually just felt bad for him, still stuck in the same pattern after all this time. It gave me hope – that someday I may feel the same nothing in the face of running into Mac.

iStock-837440074.jpgSometimes I find myself reaching inward, trying to touch that need for you.  It’s only curiosity, an interest in knowing whether it could be rekindled even if I wanted it to. I don’t want it. But I wonder – could it ever claim me again? If I were to see you tomorrow, what would I feel? Sometimes I feel I hate you. Sometimes it’s only pity I feel. Underneath it all, I do feel a love, but it’s like the love of a sister to her brother.  And only that this time. There is no passion. No desire. When I think of us together, the intensity we once felt, I cannot touch it. I remember it like I’m watching a film with different people, just actors, not us. It doesn’t touch me. Sometimes I think it’s my own psyche protecting me from the memory.

Someone who is recently sober said they realize they will never again feel the highs they got from being on drugs, that nothing in the natural world will ever come up to that intensity, but that it’s worth the loss of that high to never again have to feel the incredibly unbearable lows that always came after. I feel the same when I think of you, of our relationship. I will never feel that rush again. Because it was unnatural – like addiction to a drug, not love.  But I am happy to let it go, never to be felt again, for the simple peace of your permanent absence from my life.

Young woman holding sign WorthlessI was wondering why I suddenly feel down again, haunted by thoughts of Mac, when I had been doing so well. Then I remembered – I saw my NPD mom yesterday and she asked about Mac. I hadn’t told her we broke up because she is never interested in anything affecting anyone but herself, but yesterday she asked about him, because he had promised to do something for her and she wanted him to pay up. So I explained that we broke up and I hadn’t seen him in about a month. She asked why, so I explained he is an addict and was unable to stay off methamphetamines and alcohol, and that these things cause him to be abusive to me. Her response? “So you’re not worth quitting drugs for, basically.” I thought nothing of it – that’s how used to it I am. I just nonchalantly attempted to explain addiction to her, how it’s a disease and quitting isn’t about someone being “worth it,” but rather about so many other deeper issues.

It was as if her words had no effect on me at all, I have managed to so completely shut myself off from her behavior. I’ve built a wall with the purpose of protecting myself against her treatment, but the fact is her words just lodge deep inside me and stay far away from my reach. I don’t actually prevent their effect, I merely prevent myself from touching the feeling that lies within.

Today I’ve been thinking about how Mac cheated on me, lied to me repeatedly about that and using and who knows what else. Thinking about how he said no one will ever commit to me, I’m not worth committing to. It’s no mistake these things are cropping up today after being told by my mother that Mac didn’t quit drugs because I am simply not worth quitting for. Thanks for the support, mom.


Mother Never Let Me GoMy therapist recommended I write down the qualities of every man I’ve been involved with and look for any patterns. I found the following common thread – each one had a particular all-pervasive selfishness and interest only in their own needs being fulfilled. None had any interest whatsoever in fulfilling any of my needs. Sure, some said they wanted to take care of me or support me emotionally, and some would even get angry when they didn’t feel I was being vulnerable enough to them. But each one who made these claims or demands of vulnerability would become enraged when my actual needs didn’t match their expectation. They wanted to provide something specific that they wanted to give, not what I actually needed. And when I wasn’t able to match my need to what they wanted to provide, they hated me for it. This mirrors perfectly my relationship with my mother growing up. They say you may choose unhealthy relationships that mirror the relationship you had with an abusive parent in an effort to “fix” that problem by proxy. Seems to be true of me. So how does one stop?

91O9gt+QgsL._RI_.jpgI watched this movie yesterday and was struck by the similarities with Mac’s behavior. When Nic tells his father “please, no rehab, just let me come home. I can manage this on my own”, it literally made me break down. Mac used to say this to me ALL the time – “Please don’t lock me up, don’t send me to rehab” in an accusatory tone, which I thought was strange because I never threatened to force him to rehab, nor could I if I had wanted to. The most I ever did was ask him if he thought that might be necessary to actually quitting, given he has a 20+ year history, but never gave it as an ultimatum or threat. He is a man in his 40s, he must make his own decisions. He also used to constantly claim to “have this under control.” And the angry outbursts were so familiar – though Mac’s were 10 times worse than anything seen in that movie. And I also didn’t see the delusions and paranoia fully depicted. If there’s one bad thing I could say about the movie it’s that it didn’t depict what meth addiction does to those around the addict well enough. The paranoia, delusions, angry outbursts, narcissistic/bpd-like behavior. Overall, it was odd to see such clear reflection of what I had been going through, albeit watered down. I hadn’t been involved so deeply with an addict before, so when these things happened to me, I kept trying to find the reasons within myself and fix them, not realizing it was the addiction all along.

The black widowI’ve come to the conclusion that love relationships are not for me. After Nandi, it took me two years to get to the point where I was strong again and doing the things I actually enjoy. I had developed friendships, was learning new things, taking classes, going to clubs, spending time with people and recalling the things that make ME happy. And then Mac came along. I threw my entire being into healing him, saving him. I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing at the time, of course – I thought I was diving headlong into a mutual love. I lost all interest in outside activities and people, or at least I lost the ability to juggle that interest along with Mac’s constant needs and anxiety producing behaviors. And now I try to push myself to do the things I had only just begun to enjoy again, out of some stubborn determination not to lose myself again for so long, even though I really already have.

It’s strange that every night I cannot sleep without the fantasy of a man’s arms around me, and yet I actually don’t like sleeping with any man in my bed. How bizarre is that? I dream a fantasy I don’t even actually want. I yearn for companionship, for someone to do things with and feel a connection with as well as a sexual bond – and yet when I have someone, I often wish they would just let me be alone with interests and friends sometimes. I was annoyed that my husband was ALWAYS there, being omnipresent and full of disdain for anything I actually enjoyed. I was annoyed that Nandi never was – and yet he still somehow managed to emotionally drain me and negatively judge the things I enjoyed. His very absence was a draining omnipresence in itself. And Mac – I couldn’t even tell him about things I wanted or planned to do or he would sabotage them.

Because of my mixed desire to be fully committed to someone but not be caged by them, I for years reflected on my feelings and behaviors and questioned if I was NPD or BPD myself – had I inherited this from my mother? But years of therapy and self-reflection have made it clear I’m not disordered in those ways. No, I am an empath and the quintessential “caretaker.” I am always the controlled one in relationships, stuffing down my own needs and emotions to take in those of my partner so I can release those emotions back to them cleansed and healed. Thanks, mom, for training me to feel everything instead of nothing. Because honestly I would rather suffer than cause suffering.

At this point I feel maybe I’ve been so completely emptied that I have nothing more to offer and further connection on a romantic level can only destroy me and do nothing positive for my partner. I feel I’ve left every past partner at least a little bit stronger. I’ve truly fulfilled my mother’s prophecy. This isn’t looking back at my own actions with rose colored glasses – this is what each man has himself told me. My husband said he could not have fulfilled his career goals without my financial and emotional support. Byron said I gave him the confidence to finally leave the incestuous relationship he had been manipulated into by his sister as a teenager. Nandi said I made him strong enough to reconnect with his first and true love in his country of origin. And Mac – Mac said I saved his life when he had given up on living altogether and now he describes himself as “living on the top of the mountain and thanking god every day” for his new life. A life he kicked me out of by his actions after I gave him emotional and financial support to escape the trap he had been in before. I would love someone to come along to heal me. Or rather, to co-heal with me. But at this point, I think such a thing is an unrealistic pipe dream. Every situation has simply drained me dry and given me nothing in return. I no longer believe in love. I no longer believe in soul mates. I just believe I’ve served my function in terms of love and it’s time for me to retire.

We discussed where to go for his one month clean celebration. I gave him several options. He chose the one where we could do an activity we both enjoyed – sifting through mine ore for precious stones. An acquaintance of mine who I had worked with over 25 years ago worked there. This was a man in his 70s – almost twice my age – with whom I have nothing more than a social media friendship, consisting solely of my asking him questions about rocks, and whom I had never had anything but a work relationship previously. We don’t even have each other’s phone numbers. You can probably see where this is going.

I rented an AirBNB, got us tickets to the dig, paid for all our food for the weekend, gas, drove, etc. He had no job, no money, no car, so of course everything was on me. Besides, we were celebrating his victory of one whole month off drugs and alcohol. Yeah, right. Not that money is everything, but it doesn’t help the resultant feeling that I paid over $1000 for this weekend.

He was acting strange from the beginning. He later admitted that he was on meth when we started out but hadn’t brought any with him so was coming down far away from his dealer by the second day – when we went to the location to sift.

On the three hour drive to our destination, he began to tell me, flippantly, how his abusive ex used to bring her husband to this exact hole in the wall town with fewer than 100 occupants to meet with some married friend with whom she was having an affair. He told me all about how she would have sex with this guy in their hotel while her husband and his wife were in the next room. I thought it an odd coincidence since this town is literally in the middle of nowhere. And why wouldn’t he have mentioned it before we were on the road? But why would he make this up? 

I realize, in retrospect, he was likely setting the scene for getting triggered by the choice of celebratory locations so as to distract from the truth that he was actually still doing drugs. In retrospect, I realize that a lot of his acting out happened when he had done something to feel guilty about and he was likely creating a scenario of projection so he wouldn’t have to feel guilty.

The first night he was distant, strange. I chalked it up to still recovering from addiction. The next day we went to the dig. My acquaintance greeted us politely and explained the rules. Macuiltochtli seemed distracted, wasn’t paying much attention. My acquaintance asked him to help carry a bag of charcoal to his truck – a guy in his 70s asking the only male under 45 to help him lift something – not super suspicious imo. Macuiltochtli did it with a smile and gave no sign of being upset about it at all. My acquaintance disappeared to sit in his car since we were the only ones in attendance that day and I guess he figured he could trust us since he knew me. But Macuiltochtli began to break the rules and so my acquaintance politely reminded him the right way to do it. Macuiltochtli showed no sign of being upset by the correction.

When we went to leave, I asked if he wanted to say goodbye to my acquaintance. He scoffed and was irritated, saying why would he say goodbye to someone so rude to him. I was confused because I had seen no rudeness, so I asked what he meant and he referenced how my acquaintance had forced him to do manual labor and had corrected him on the rules. I thought it was a little over sensitive to react the way Macuiltochtli was, but offered no argument. I shrugged it off and just said ok go ahead and wait in the car while I pay up.

The whole drive back to town he was ranting about the rudeness of this guy and blaming me for not doing anything about it. I apologized if the behavior of my acquaintance had offended him, said I hadn’t noticed that he had been rude. He ranted about how could I not notice. I said it had just seemed to me like he was reiterating the rules, not being rude. That just made him more angry – that I didn’t feel the behavior had been wrong. I was distracted, so involved in the task at hand that I just must have missed it, I offered. So then he started berating me for first saying I did notice but thought it wasn’t rude, and then changing my story to I didn’t notice. I did hear the exchange, I said, but didn’t notice it was rude probably because I was involved in what I was doing. He then accused me of not paying enough attention to him and letting my “friends” mistreat him. I stopped responding and just let him rant at me the whole drive back.

Back at the AirBNB, he kept at it, now blaming me for bringing him here and putting him in a situation to be so abused. So I apologized again. I said I had no idea my acquaintance was going to make him feel uncomfortable and had he mentioned he felt abused when it happened, I would have taken him and left. But he made no sign of it. He said I should have noticed it myself without him having to tell me. This went on and on in circles so finally I excused myself to take a shower.

When I came out, he was raging. He accused me of getting in the shower alone (i.e., not inviting him) so I could masturbate to the thought of my 70-something acquaintance. He accused me of sneaking this guy into our AirBNB at night to have sex with him. He accused me of bringing sexy clothing on the trip to wear for this guy at night – he had found them in my suitcase. He ranted until I finally locked myself in the bathroom under the guise of having a bath. He continued to rant at me via text message.

He stayed up all night, making noise and continuing to send me angry texts. Finally at around 5 a.m. I had had enough and knew I didn’t want to continue to stay in this “romantic getaway.” I told him I was driving us back. He was livid. Pulled his t-shirt over his head and kept ranting at me for the entire 3 hour drive back home. He kept sending me ranting text messages after I dropped him off. Below are some examples – I call them “hate bombing.”

He was once again using my phone service and I knew the name and number of his dealer, so when I got home I did something I am staunchly against under normal circumstances, but given I had just spent over $1000 on a reward for staying clean for someone who had all the signs of being on drugs, I felt the circumstances were not normal – I checked his phone records. Sure enough, I saw calls to his dealer every few days going back the entire month. The whole “I haven’t touched drugs in a month” thing had been bullshit.

To top it off, I saw lots of calls and texts to a number I didn’t recognize, including several during the trip itself. I looked up who the number belonged to and found it was his first girlfriend, who he had just a couple weeks before told me a story about how he had had sex with her at the tail end of his abusive relationship and how great it was that he had “left cum all over her bed for her husband to come home and find.” Now I see he has been secretly contacting this person who he had given me this lovely mental image of his involvement with. I recalled then that on the drive back he had ranted about how “there are women asking to see me and so far I have declined because if I hang out with them one thing will lead to another, it always doe, and we will definitely fuck.” I realized THIS is who he was talking about.

I confronted him about it. He claimed the number belonged to a specific male friend. I knew that friend’s number and told him so also told him I know that number belonged to her.  I canceled the phone and told him I would no longer be paying for his calls and texts to his drug dealer, and other women he’s obviously doing something he shouldn’t with, since if he wasn’t, why persistently lie about it? That’s right, he was using a phone service and phone I was paying for to get drugs I was rewarding him for not taking and to contact women to cheat on me with. Real gentleman. And I got to endure the following hate bombing as well. This is just a mild example of the kind of vitriol he spewed at me for 24 hours straight, first in person and then via text and FB messenger, and continued to on and off for several days later. Note that I wasn’t responding to any of this, so every time he seems to be asking to stop arguing, he’s only arguing with himself. It should also be noted that I never cheated on Macuiltochtli, never even looked at, flirted with, thought about, or remotely considered another man while I was with him. So these “indiscretions” he refers to don’t exist. I don’t even know what he was talking about, though it was probably some delusion he made up like my non-existent dalliance with an elderly acquaintance or the guy I supposedly shipped in from San Francisco.

Moral of the story: Meth is bad. If you ever had the chance to try it, decline. It will destroy your life and everyone around you.





























































































warplane launching hearts instead of bombsAnyone whose ever read anything about being in a relationship with someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder has no doubt heard of love bombing. If you’ve never been the recipient of it, below is what it looks like. He certainly has a way with words. And when you read through this and think to yourself, “How could anyone be stupid enough to think all this was for real?”, believe me when you’re in the midst of it, your reason is out the window. There are chemicals in the brain involved. It is, literally, like being on a drug. You become addicted to the person, to the roller coaster ride. Even when you logically know every step of the way that you’re diving deeper into a nightmare, you do it anyway. As a sidenote, I’m not suggesting Macuiltochtli has NPD. I used to think he was BPD, and we even discussed this possibility – he mentioned it himself. But I’m not a professional, so I hesitate to suggest any diagnosis. Additionally, he is deep in a 26+ year addiction to meth and alcohol, and I don’t think any diagnosis is possible as long as he’s actively using. Addiction basically mimics a personality disorder, so who knows who this boy really is underneath all that. The moments I have seen him without the drugs and alcohol, he honestly has been a dream. Not the over the top love bombing dream you see below, but a normal, albeit highly troubled, sensitive caring individual. But who knows if it was real. Who knows if any of it was real…

Love Bombing…

I loved him like no other. He told me that himself time and time again. And it was true. And yet he couldn’t love me back. Not really. Not like her loved her.

She was not another woman, as it might sound, but a drug. An addiction to a drug he maintained for over 26 years. A drug which had all but completely destroyed his mind.

We reconnected online. I had known him 20 years ago when we had worked together. I remembered this gentle soul on which I had a crush. I had kept photos of him all these years – looked at them occasionally and wondered why I’d let him pass me by. And now he was back, having reached out on social media, wanting to reconnect with me and others we had known in common.

The first reunion he stood us up. But kept chatting with me on social media. I was entranced by his writing and his seemingly endless knowledge of this city we shared. He suggested we meet up separate from everyone else. I jumped at the chance.

I was drawn to him immediately. It was an uncanny attraction like nothing I had ever experienced before. We went touring downtown – he seemed to know this city inside out. I was impressed with his knowledge of the history, architecture, of the streets and buildings of this city I have lived in all my life but somehow never knew before. He made me laugh. We talked about music, books, old friends, old times – we had it all in common. We had such fun. It was like reconnecting with your twin flame after being forced apart for years. I was burning for him.

It started too quickly. I could accuse him of “lovebombing” and sucking me into a premature sexual relationship, but that would be a lie. Oh certainly where was lovebombing, but it came after I too quickly dove in myself. The rapid jumping into the relationship was my doing. I went to him two days after we had reconnected. We were supposed to watch a movie, hang out. He walked into the room in nothing but a towel. Ok, maybe that WAS a bit presumptuous. But it wasn’t like I scoffed and ran. No. On the contrary. I pulled him to me.

We had sex exactly two days after we technically “met”. But we had known each other all those years before, so it wasn’t like I hopped in bed with a total stranger. Was it?

It moved quickly. We were soulmates within a week. Spending every possible second together. There were no fights, no jealousies, nothing but pure love and lust for the first 5 months. It was bliss. I had never met anyone like him before. I had never fallen so fast or loved anyone so much. And the sex – amazing. He was everything I ever dreamed of in a man. The way he looked, the way he felt, the way he held me, made me laugh, made me want to talk to him all night long. I had never felt that way for anyone else. No one had ever ticked every single box the way that he did.

He said he was in recovery for meth and alcohol addiction. He worked a menial job in manual labor now, making minimum wage. When I had known him before, he had been in computers, so I knew he was capable of much more. Now he lived in a small room below the store where he worked. He had no car. I asked about these things and he talked about an abusive relationship he had been in where the girl, who he had been living with, had beaten him up and he had run from it and ended up here. It sounded suspicious. But I felt guilty for my initial doubt. After all, women end up in the same predicament running from abuse – why not a man? He even showed me the scar on his face where she had cut him. And I wasn’t looking for someone to support me at this point in my life. I own a home. I have a good job as an executive. What I need is someone to give me love and emotional support – the material stuff I can handle myself. Maybe he doesn’t have a great career, own property, etc. But do I need that? Every man I had been with before who was able to support me financially and materially hadn’t bothered, and had been emotionally unavailable which was worse. So I shrugged off these warning signs.

One day I noticed the pint of vodka under his bed. And i noticed it was full when I left the room to the bathroom and empty when I returned. I asked him about it. Yes, he acknowledged, he’s an alcoholic. He’s trying to cut down. But it balances the meth.

Wait….meth? I thought you were IN RECOVERY?

Well, what he meant by “in recovery” is that he was “tapering off”…for the past two years.

I rationalized. I had never had a long term relationship with a meth addict before. He assured me he had it under control. He described how the establishment dramatizes and creates a nightmarish vision of this drug that isn’t really true. People use the prescription versions for ADHD, after all. And that’s really what he uses it for. It calms him down. He has anxiety without it. How bad can it be? And indeed, he hadn’t given me any reason to think otherwise. After all, he doesn’t scratch his skin like bugs are crawling on it, his teeth are perfectly healthy, he’s never violent or impulsive – at least not that I could see. So maybe he does really have it under control. Maybe it really is less scary than the “establishment” wants me to believe. I let it go. I even supported his view of things. Supported him.

The first sign of meth psychosis came when we went out of town with my family. I have trouble sleeping with someone else, so we slept in separate rooms. In the middle of the night i got up to use the restroom and found his light was still on. I knocked – curious if he was ok. He had shut himself in the closet with a bottle of wine, rocking back and forth and complaining that someone was watching him through the window and they wanted him to hate me. I coaxed him out and into the bed. I held him and soothed his fears. He calmed down. In the morning, he admitted being sometimes delusional – claimed it was the result of frontal lobe damage caused by getting hit by a car a couple of years ago. He’s basically schizophrenic.

I’ve been brought up by my NPD mom to be a good little caretaker. As much as I hate to admit it, in a sick twisted way, I think this just made him more appealing. Sure, it occurred to me – isn’t frontal lobe damage what is caused by meth? But he had medical records to prove the accident and the brain swelling. Who am I to judge or doubt?

It was on this trip I began to see the impulsive irrational behavior also. When we were going to get back late due to an extra stop my family wanted to make, and I asked him if it would interfere with his work, he just shrugged and said don’t worry about it. I pushed and learned he would be late for work if we made the stop. I offered to drive him back since we were not dependent on my family for transport. No, he insisted, it’s not a big deal. He didn’t want to miss the opportunity to spend one more day with us. I convinced him to call his boss, but his boss was busy and told him to call back later. He never did. I kept insisting, but he told me to back off – I didn’t understand how the place worked. This is how they treat each other. Um…ok I guess.

When we returned, they fired him for not showing up.

The first full on psychotic break came about 5 months in, about a week after the job loss. I offered to pay him to do some work in my garden, as he said he loved doing stuff like that and he would need the money for rent. I had a hair appt, so left him to do this work for a couple of hours. We were texting back and forth while apart and everything seemed great until all of a sudden he started to text weird things like “why do you keep texting me? Is it so you can come back here and see that nothing has gotten done and have an excuse not to pay me?” He claimed I was making him agitated because he needed to get this work done. OK, I apologized and stopped texting.

When I came back, he started to show me what he had done. I thanked him, I praised him, I asked how much do I owe him. He asked if there was more he could do to earn the money – he didn’t feel he had done enough. I assured him it was great, and really it was. He had done more than enough. I told him I would give him more work for more money if he wanted. In the middle of this, I noticed a vodka bottle – appeared to be empty – on top of my AC unit inside my house. I thought it was an odd place to stash a bottle of vodka and also wondered where it came from given I had none in the house and he had no money, so asked “is that a vodka bottle up there?”

He flipped out. “You don’t notice any of the work I’ve done but you’re quick to notice the vodka. Yes, I’ve been drinking.” And then launched into a 5 minute lecture accusing me of setting him up by texting him the whole time he was supposed to be working so that I would come back and be able to accuse him of doing nothing but drinking. Which I had NOT done. Then it developed into accusations that I had some rental car company drop off a rental car for some guy from San Francisco I was having over to have sex with. And that I was “using” him to get out of a relationship with my ex husband (who I had been divorced from for over 8 years). And that he was just my whipping boy and my slave and since I think he is so useless to be good for nothing but grunt work why don’t I go fuck myself. Totally incoherent accusations. I started crying. I told him I don’t understand. He screamed at me that I am just like his ex who abused him. She also said she doesn’t understand. That’s what we all say when we are trying to ruin him. Etc etc. It was getting out of hand, so I told him I need a minute and walked away into the other room. I came back a few minutes later to find him walking out the door and down the street. I walked out behind him and asked where he’s going. He flipped me off from behind and kept going.

30 minutes later, I started getting incoherent texts from him. He hopes I’m happy – because of me he got fired. He hopes I’m happy – because of me he is sleeping in a dumpster tonight because he is locked out from the store where he lives. At one point his mother texted him and he sent me a pic of that text with the threat “Did you call her? If you called her or ever talk to her, it’s been nice knowing you, you’re DEAD!” He kept texting about how people around him were threatening him, that he had no place to go, that he was squatting downtown with the homeless people. I asked him if he wanted me to pick him up and he could sleep at my place. He answered “Sure, and you can leave all the windows open so your neighbor’s dog can more easily come inside and kill me.” And “So YOU can kill me. How do you plan to do it? With a knife? A gun?” This went on for some time. Finally he said “Come pick me up.”

I picked him up downtown. He was still raging. He kept calling me names and accusing me of cheating on him, trying to kill him. He called me stupid and ugly. He said stupid ugly girls like me always think they can get away with shit, get away with mistreating him. He ranted on and on. I was worried about him. I thought he was having a schizophrenic break. I didn’t want him sleeping on the street. Yet, he was scaring me. I didn’t want to take him back home with me either.

I took him to a hotel. He accused me of knowing about this hotel because I regularly bring men there to have sex with them. I left him in the car while I went in to get a room. The only one they had left was a $200 suite – but I took it. Trying to sneak him past the front desk while he was still verbally abusing me was nerve wracking. Once we got in the room, he lay down on the floor and acted pissed as hell. When he saw that I was leaving, he got really angry. But I left quickly.

A sleepless night. I came back the next morning to be sure he would leave the room. I was concerned how I might find him, how I might find the room. I was honestly worried he might destroy things, in his condition, and I would have a huge repair bill on my hands. Luckily, he hadn’t. I hoped maybe the delusion would have passed and he would be better, even apologetic. He was not. At first he wouldn’t even open the door.

When he did open it, he was still ranting. I offered to take him to the train. He said I better, I owed that to him at the very least. I should have left then, I know. Why didn’t I?

Instead I drove him to the train, being verbally abused the entire way. He threw the phone at me, which I had given him because he could no longer afford to pay for his own, saying “I don’t want anything of yours!” He threw his books, which he was meaning to sell to a bookstore, at me because “I don’t need to carry all this crap. Do some reading! It will do you some good, you’re such an idiot.” He told me he would like to see me “beneath the wheels of a car, bloody in the street.” He said I “deserve to be stabbed to death.” The onslaught continued when he got out of the car, he leaned in to continue to yell accusations and insults at me. He then walked to the middle of the street and threw a book I had given him into the street – a present I had received as a teenager from the father of my best friend. I was too scared to go retrieve it. I was scared of him. I just wanted to be away from him. So I drove off and left this bit of my history – and him – behind.

I missed that work day due to lack of sleep and being completely confused and upset. What had I done to cause this? What, exactly, WAS this anyway?

A few days later, he reached out. He was all apologies. He was mortified by the way he had behaved, the way he had treated me, his queen, the love of his life. He begged me to see him, to tell him all that he had said and done and everything it made me feel. He would understand if I didn’t want to be with him anymore, but please let him see me, please express myself because even if we aren’t together, he can’t bear the idea of me holding on to the resentment I absolutely MUST have for him after that. I caved. I agreed to see him.

It had been a meth delusion, he admitted. He had been convinced that I was bringing someone to my house to have sex with after he left. He saw a car parked strangely on the street outside my house and became convinced this was a sign of my plans to cuckold him. He was terrified by what meth had clearly done to his mind and how it had made him behave. He wanted to quit now. He hadn’t done meth since that day and he planned to quit for good. He needed to. He hoped I would be there because he needed my help to quit. He needed my love. Like a good little caretaker, I felt nothing but love and pride at being so deeply needed. I agreed to stay with him.

I demanded he enter therapy with me – he agreed. I insisted he stop meth AND alcohol right now. He agreed. I set some milestones with rewards for staying off the drugs – after two weeks clean I would get us a super expensive hotel room with a spa tub and sleep with him in the same bed (that was important to him and something I rarely did because I can’t get a good night’s sleep with someone else). After a month clean, I would take him on a trip. Etc.

We did start therapy. Every week he talked about how he hadn’t done drugs  or alcohol for another week. We were happy. Everything was golden. Then came the second meltdown – it took place during our one month clean trip away reward…