The Narcissist liked to leave me places when he was angry. He did it a lot just by walking away from me in a mall or a grocery store… or if we were out running he would sprint off so fast there was no way I could catch up. I can’t even tell you how many time he drove off in our vehicle and left me crying in a parking lot or on the side of the road somewhere. He typically did it in middle-of-no-where places so that no one he knew could see me.
Every time he did this it immediately put me in the extremely stressful situation of navigating what exactly to do without infuriating him even further. You see it may seem like I had some choices in this scenario, but when you are dealing with a Narcissist nothing is as it seems.
So you are stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere because your Narcissist just got angry and drove off without you… do you….
- Keep standing exactly where he left you: This may seem like a rational idea, this way whenever he calms down and decides to come back for you he will know exactly where to find you. It shows that you cared enough to wait for him, that you didn’t get angry and find some other solution… safe bet, right? WRONG The Narcissist, whenever he comes back will accuse you of not even caring enough to chase after him and try to find where he drove off to. He will call you lazy and tell you that you don’t care enough about your marriage and that you just let him do all of the work. He will claim that this is proof that he loves you far more than you actually love him.
- Try to chase after his vehicle: This one really shows commitment… I mean you are wearing some type of skimpy sun dress and platform flip-flops or heels so running down a coral road at full speed really screams “please don’t leave me, I love you, I’m sorry!” The Narcissist should appreciate this desperate show of affection, right? WRONG. The Narcissist will accuse you of being dramatic and making a scene where someone could have seen you and he would have been so embarrassed. He will also accuse you of not caring about the nice things he buys for you (i.e. those flip flops) which he will now claim are destroyed and can never be worn again. He will also accuse you of being ‘sweaty and disheveled’ and unfit for bringing out in public now which will result in you returning to your torture chamber of an apartment and engaging in a 16 hour discussion with him about everything you’ve done wrong.
- Say “F*ck This” and walk to someplace nearby: Oh you will want to do this so badly… and there may be a beach, a coffee shop, a restaurant, a bench a something nearby that is just calling your name. You can calm down, you can grab a bottle of water from a vending machine, you can disengage, you can play bejeweled on your phone till your eyeballs fall out… all of this sounds so much better than anything else. WRONG. The Narcissist will immediately accuse you of being the selfish nasty beast that you obviously are. He will claim that you only care about yourself and his feelings mean nothing to you. He will tell you that you are obviously not committed to this marriage and that he isn’t sure why he even married someone so flaky to begin with. He will tell you that if you wanted a life where you made your own decisions and did things alone then you should have never agreed to share your life with him. He will probably be the most furious with this option.
- Call for help: This one is also pretty darn tempting except there is one big problem here. Everyone you know in this place far away from your home knew The Narcissist first. These are his people, his friends and he will never forgive you for pulling even a single one of them into your marital troubles. You will stand there crying and fantasizing about what it might be like to get scooped up and saved by one of them… for any of the people who looked at him like he walked on water to see what he was doing now… but you can’t make that move… it’s a no-going-back move and you know it.
So you stand there paralyzed, frantic, having an anxiety attack because you are well aware that not a single option that you have will result in something good. You also know that the “right” answer to this puzzle will change based on his mood, the day, the cycle of the moon, when he last ate, etc. If it worked once, it is not guaranteed to work again… you are literally stuck in a situation where you can never win and no matter what you do, you will get in trouble for it… but doing nothing will result in just as bad of an outcome.
And then you chase his freaking vehicle down the road. In your platform flip flops, in the hot humid weather, carrying your purse, and ugly crying. He slows down when he sees you enough so that you can get your hand on the passenger door handle… and then he speeds up and leaves you in the dust. He does this several times until you are exhausted and you’ve broken one flip flop and you’ve skinned your knee on the hard coral road. At this point you reach the “F*ck it” stage and you gather up your stuff, take off both your shoes and start walking down a side road that you know heads back to your home. You hear his tires screech as he speeds off down the main road at rapid speed. You have 15 minutes or so of pure silence where your brain is telling you… “This is enough” “This is the last time” “What the hell are you doing.” Then his vehicle pulls up next to you. He rolls down the passenger window and tells you to get in the car now. You hesitantly reach for the door handle expecting him to drive off quickly, but he doesn’t this time, so you obey.
You sit in silence for the rest of the ride home. You know this isn’t over but you have no energy and no will power to fight. You know all of your plans for the evening are now thrown out the window. You get back to the apartment and discuss the situation for hours and hours…. you don’t eat, you don’t drink, you don’t sleep. Ultimately this conversation results in you apologizing profusely for everything that you did wrong to make him leave you there to begin with… for all the ways you didn’t make it better and fix the problem. At some point you pass out from exhaustion, sitting up on the couch, still in your clothes from earlier that day. You wake up a few hours later and try again to have a day that doesn’t end in this same type of cycle.