When I arrived in Toronto, I saw David for the first time in four months, and he had lost 40 pounds. He was very proud of his new look and showed off his smaller frame to me. “See, Rivka, now I can wear my skinny jeans.”, he said happily as he twirled to let me see his butt. Silly man. I was happy he lost weight, but he was telling the wrong person.
Because he is a narcissist, poor David has an unhealthy obsession with his body image. Officially, he has been diagnosed with an eating disorder. As a narcissist, he needs constant reassurance that he is still pretty and that women desire him. It seems shallow to need to be complimented all the time, but actually it comes from inner pain and not from superiority.
One of the things that David never understood about me is that I don’t see his physical body. When I look at him, I see his potential body, his astral body, if you will. His physical body hardly ever registers with my mind. In fact, I used this anomaly to help me maintain detachment from his narcissistic drama. Once when David was being mean to me, I forced myself to look at his face, to see him as a real flesh and blood man. I was shocked how old and worn out he looked! At that moment, he was ugly! –so I switched back to the David of Light. It was easier on my eyes.
I wanted David to know that even though he is going to grow old, he is going to become bald, he is going to become flabby, he is going to become weak, he is going to get liver spots on his wrinkly old hands, his skin is going to sag, and his whole body is going to deteriorate, I wouldn’t care. It will never make any difference to me because I don’t see his physicality and this is normal for me. I thought that I was the perfect wife for a narcissistic man because as he grew older, got fatter, got sicker, and lost his hair… I would have remained oblivious. His appearance in my vision does not change as his body declines or improves. Not only would I tell him that he was beautiful, I would actually believe it in my heart. As he said, “I can look at something ugly and see it as beautiful.”
Sadly, I could not explain these truths to him, because it would have hurt his feelings. All the narcissist would hear is, “You are going to grow old and be ugly.” He really is trapped in his own disease.
I had such intense feelings of attachment for David. I felt the most sublime, pleasurable, ecstatic, and unexplainable JOY from being near him. It makes me happy just to remember. The problem was I wanted to touch him all the time. I literally wanted my hands on his body all the time. It was weird, but worth the turmoil because the dopamine was so extreme. Even given my obsessive physical desires for him, I held myself at bay and refrained from touching him because he was also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. His boundaries needed to be respected. I did my best. The point is he never believed that being near him made me happy. “Not happy”, I would tell him, “ecstatic. It makes me feel good to be with you. You make me feel good.” He never believed it and he never believed me. I guess he thought no-one could love him if they really knew who he was.
A bit of useful information he taught me: Eat raisin bran every day. He said he lost the 40 pounds by eating as much raisin bran as he wanted each morning and each evening before bed. The fibre made him feel full and cleaned out his digestive tract. The most important part, though, are the raisins. “Raisins make you happy.”, he said. It’s in the Gemara.
One day, I went to visit him in the “pink womb”, his salmon-colored apartment, and he surprised me with my own box of raisin bran! I was so excited. You’d have thought he bought me a box of diamonds. I couldn’t wait to eat my raisin bran because it was a gift from my David. We had left the Idealization Phase ages ago and gifts were few and far between now. Plus it was such a thoughtful gift. He was worried about my health and happiness. (Actually, it was more likely that he wanted to be seen with a thinner Rivka. He had a reputation to protect. LOL) Oh, it’s funny how I believed that his evil plans were actually for my own benefit. “I’m doing this for you, Rivka.” Grrr. I hate it that my new understandings of Narcissism have to pollute my beautiful memories of our relationship. I don’t like rewriting the past and I mourn the loss of innocence and trust. Narcissism ruins everything.
“Raisin Bran.” is copyright © 2014 by Poorkitteh. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.