Nothing says “I am a Narcissist” quite like a fully modified Jeep Wrangler complete with the word “ATTITUDE” straight across the hood. The Narcissist was always obsessed with his image, and this included everything from his clothes, his hair, his weight, his wife, his dog, and very specifically the vehicle he drives. Absolutely everything could be seen as a reflection on him.
Even though we leased this Jeep, the Narcissist insisted on spending close to $10,000 on modifications to make the Jeep the coolest one on the road. Most people buy a Jeep and dream of off-roading, mud on the tires, camping trips… but not a Narcissist (and certainly not a Narcissist with OCD.) Our dog was not allowed to ride in the Jeep, the Jeep was detailed every other month, and taken through the touch less car wash every week. If there was one thing in life the Narcissist loved with even a fraction of the love he had for himself – it was this Jeep. So, imagine the crisis that ensued when the Narcissist’s most prized possession was hit by a truck.
It’s Friday the 13th of all days (only a Narcissist would experience an event of this nature on such a significant and special date) I am sitting at my desk, overloaded with work and prepping for upcoming meetings that take me through to 6:00 pm. The Narcissist calls my desk phone and says “I’ve been in a bad car wreck, the Jeep is totaled, my head is bleeding, and they want to take me in the ambulance… I need you here NOW.” Naturally, I do what every human being with a heart and soul would do, and I dropped everything and ran out of the building to my car.
While the Narcissist has put me on an emotional roller coaster through hell and back, he has done an impressive job at placing strategic grappling hooks in all of my deepest darkest places. I care about him so much that to my own demise, I often put his well being ahead of my own. (Don’t worry – I am working through this like a champion!) So I was border-line frantic driving over to the site of the accident, thinking crazy thoughts like “oh my God, what was the last thing I said to him… was it mean?? What if that was the last time we talk” to “what if this causes even more issues to his former head traumas” to the reality of “Oh my gosh, what does life look like if we have to try to share one vehicle for the next few weeks” and on and on. My adrenaline was pumping so hard that my hands were shaking, and when I finally pulled up to the scene of the accident I sprinted up the road to him. I ran past the police officer who said “don’t worry he is okay, and lucky to be alive” and arrived at him expecting some sort of dramatic embrace, or maybe just an “I’m so glad you’re here.”
What I got was the Narcissist, taking pictures of his Jeep, holding a bloody towel to his head. His first words to me were “What took you so long to get here?? they tried to take me in the ambulance but I’m not wearing a neck brace!” He then launched into a pretty angry rant about how his entire summer was ruined, his Jeep was totaled, and he had no idea why God would do this to him. He did not hug me, he did not embrace me, and he certainly did not thank me for running out of my job to come rescue him from the evil perils of a neck brace.
On the car ride to the Emergency Room the Narcissist was entirely consumed with texting all of his friends pictures of the Jeep, and he made one important phone call to his office to let them know he wasn’t coming back in. When we arrived and were checking him into the ER, the nurse was trying to get all of his information and he literally would not stop texting long enough to answer her. I filled the role of mom and started answering all of his questions for him. As we sat and waited for the nurses to handle an emergency situation, he began taking selfies with his iPhone. He was actually sitting in the exam chair where they record your vitals, holding a bloody towel to his head and positioning his face on the screen so that you could see the bloody towel, the scratches on his face, and his best blue steel impression. I actually looked around with what I am assuming was a look of pure unadulterated embarrassment on my face to see if anyone else was watching this… or better yet, to see if I was being filmed for some reality ‘caught on camera’ style show.
After he had snapped the perfect selfie (which was immediately shared on his social media channels) I recommended that he call his insurance and start the claim process so that it didn’t get held up over the weekend. He asked me to make the call because he only had 10% battery on his phone and couldn’t let it die. I sat there for the next 20 minutes on the phone with his insurance company making sure that they had all of the information and that his claim was started, while he spent the entire time texting on his phone.
When he was seen by the doctor and the giant gash on the back of his head was examined, he had two primary concerns: “When can I work out next?” and “You are NOT shaving my head!” I literally had to pry the cell phone from the hands of the Narcissist so that the doctor could position him on the bed to staple his head closed. It turns out that to get stitches they would have needed to shave a small patch on the back of his head, so the Narcissist demanded the staples. The Narcissist squirmed like a child and squealed with pain while I held his hand and rubbed his back and the doctor put 6 staples in his head. How this man was ever in an elite unit of the US Military… I have no idea.
On the drive back to his house I had to help the Narcissist with the extreme anxiety and self-loathing that was building up. I’ve learned through 8 years with the Narcissist that any way that I can shift a bad situation into something that means that he is special and unique and serves a higher purpose; will usually get him to a good place. Lately the Narcissist has been obsessed with “the purpose that God has for him” and the Narcissist believes that God’s personal purpose for him is “to be in the exact place that God needs me at the exact time.” Being the smarty-pants that I am, I was able to leverage this purpose to help the Narcissist understand that God gave him his wish in this purpose. He was in that place at that time so that his perfectly modified Jeep with steel bumpers and a giant rear-mounted tire would absorb the impact of the semi-truck leaving him with cuts and bruises so that the small car in front of him did not bear that burden. As soon as he realized that he likely saved that person’s life.. he was okay with all of it.
I picked up his prescription and got him to his house and asked him to take the doctor seriously and not work out for at least a few days. He asked what was wrong and said that I looked like I had tears in my eyes. He naturally assumed that I was so scared at the possibility of him being hurt, that I must be holding in all of my scared emotions. When I told him that I felt hurt that I dropped everything that I was doing to come get him, handled all of his insurance claim, and was there for him through everything only to get yelled at, ignored, and to sit in silence while he texted his friends he didn’t even look like he could comprehend me. He thought about it in silence for a few minutes, quickly defended himself by saying that he was in shock and I should be more compassionate of the trauma that he was experiencing.. and then finished with “I could have called anyone, it should mean something to you that I chose you in my moment of need!”
He gave me a hug, told me I was an angel, and then quickly needed my reassurance that all of the insurance would work out okay and that he would get into a new Jeep before summer actually started. I drove home exhausted, drained, and thinking over and over again “is this real life?!?”