6 Weeks With a Covert Narcissist
Continued from 4 Types, 16 Characteristics, and 20 Traits of Narcissists
Picking up where I left off, I invited my homeless narcissist (“N”) to cohabitate with me. While he insisted he was an empath, I began to research the differences between empaths and narcissists. The definition of empath did not seem to resonate at the time. But in reality I didn’t much care, as I was being love-bombed and didn’t even know it! (Editor’s note: Love-Bombing was unintentionally left out of the first article of narcissistic traits. For those who are as naive as me, it means to shower one with excessive adoration and attention in order to gain control or significantly influence their behavior.) Physically, his dark skin, trim and toned body, washboard abs (and LOTS of tattoos) fit perfectly with this dad-bod. Sex was very comfortable for both of us.
After picking up his belongings from three different places he’d been staying, we began to settle as roommates. He found space for his things, despite the fact it crowded my things, and I’m a tad OCD. I knew N would not be contributing to the rent, but his mere presence thrilled me. He had no mobility, but he did have a SNAP card from Arizona (his previous residence) that worked in New Mexico, and he covered groceries to the extent that the program allowed.
I didn’t have an expectation as to how this arrangement would work. I did know that we would not be exclusive. After all, we had found each other on SCRUFF, and each of us had accounts on at least two other gay hookup sites.
When together, our MO involved getting spun on meth and looking for potential sex partners on our phones. He was very charismatic and savvy online, and knew exactly how to find the perfect mate du jour: you had to be good looking, you had to be a bottom, and you had to PNP (Party and Play). Most of the time he’d find that profile, and hop in an Uber and go. Sometimes we’d find a willing participant to stop by. If, by say 2 or 3am neither of us had found anyone, then the two of us would have sex.
Most covert narcissists are of the Vulnerable type — hiding their real personality traits to mimic an entirely different persona to the public and their “supply”. They are of the Inverted sub-type, and often have child abandonment issues. N has an 11 year-old son living in another state.
There were also times when we would participate in three-ways or group sex. N was one who didn’t care what drug he was doing, as long as it felt good and he could stay hard, thus the constant quest for Viagra and/or Cialis. At times we would do Trimix, injected directly into the penis. This all seemed very naughty, nasty, and sinful, which felt liberating, but somewhat sadistic, which is a rung on the narcissistic ladder where you don’t want to be. This kind of sex hadn’t been in my vernacular. Vanilla sex did not include things like pumps, electronic stimulators, and slings, while simultaneously experiencing it on a combination of meth, “Molly”, and/or GHB.
N’s dealer was a “good” friend, who would often make our place his last stop of the night. We would often be up until or after dawn, and I wouldn’t remember how the hours had passed. For whatever reason, probably because of the meds I take for my own bipolar illness, I was always able to sleep, and began to question N why we could never get a normal night’s sleep. He explained that polyphasic was how he slept, which requires only a couple of hours of sleep 1–2x/day. Rarely did he sleep with me in my bed — he would either be out on his escapades or would fall asleep on the sofa. I started to hunger for normality — so one day decided we would take a road trip to a nearby National Monument. Sure, we were still smoking meth, but even with that, in a weird way, it was the best day we ever had together.
N had no interest in current events or politics. If the news came on, he’d leave the room. One day while we were driving around he asked why the flags were flying at half-staff. I said it was because of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He then asked, “who’s that?”
About four weeks in, money began to run thin for N, but never once did he ask me for any — that is not a covert narcissists way. Since street drugs were cheaper and more varied in Phoenix, his solution was to go there, score, and sell in New Mexico at a much higher price. However, he had no way to get there. His most likely ride turned him down, so I did a Jim Jones and dove right in. I was recently retired, had no time constraints, and liked road trips. I didn’t think about the ramifications of being busted, and I was still on probation for a DWI. This, knowing that both of his parents spent time in jail for the exact same thing: transporting narcotics with the intent to distribute. I said that I only had one stipulation: that he return to Albuquerque with me, to which he replied “of course”.
Seven hours in a car can seem like an eternity with a covert narcissist. As the result of a couple of arguments, I received the passive-aggressive and silent treatment, both of which they are so known for.
Once in Phoenix, I was totally ditched the first night. N was very anxious to see someone. The next night was spent in debauchery with others at a beautiful home of a friend of his. The next couple of days he came and went, sometimes including me, sometimes not, sleeping here and there. We were supposed to leave on a Sunday but he had not scored so we remained. We had one nice evening, getting take out from The TeePee, my favorite Mexican restaurant there, and ate it on top of a mountain overlooking the city.
It wasn’t until Tuesday afternoon that he scored, and I was extremely pissed off about the late hour. I also felt like I had food poisoning from what was my favorite Mexican restaurant in Phoenix. While he was doing his business, I reserved a room at a hotel in Globe, AZ, just 90 miles out, so that we could get a start. Neither of us liked driving at night. When he got back to the car, I asked him to drive and to set the GPS for Globe. And away we go! He began to rage, but I was too tired and feeling too sick to pay much attention. After about an hour on the road, traffic came to a standstill which, when I awoke, the rage continued, along with a side of word salad that I still can’t figure out what it meant to this day. I was trying to figure out WHY he wanted to stay in Phoenix when I had insisted that we leave as soon as possible since we were already late. Then the blame game. Then the gaslighting. Classic.
Once in Globe, I got the silent treatment again. About the only thing N said in more than 10 hours was that he was going back to Phoenix. How he was getting there I did not ask, as I did not care at that time. By 10:00 in the morning, he was gone, and I was driving back, alone. That was the last time I saw him, but it wouldn’t be the last time I would hear from him.
I received a text message from N a couple of days later, asking me to find his social security card in one of the bags he’d left behind, and to send him a copy, front and back. No “how are you’s, how was the trip back, I’m sorry”…just not in their nature.
In the process, I came across two leather satchels, containing what appeared to be the contents of another person’s identity (passport, social security card, birth certificates, credit cards). I began an immediate search on the Internet for this person. I was glad to have found him, alive.
This person, who I will call “E”, for empath, turned out to be one of N’s recent exes. When I phoned E, he said he could not talk because N was at his house — he would call me when he had privacy. When he did phone me back, he said he had let N back into his house, even after a physical altercation that left E hospitalized earlier in the year. E did not press charges at that time, but he wanted N out of his home. I soon found that there were three warrants out for N’s arrest — one felony (another physical altercation), and two misdemeanors. E asked me if I had found any jewelry in his belongings, and I had, but the most expensive and precious pieces were gone, so that was probably what N had been living on. I sent all I found back to E. This is all probably why N relocated to New Mexico. Eventually, E called the police to get N out of his home. He was arrested and spent at least one night in jail. Is he now among the homeless ranks in Phoenix? Did he find someone else to love-bomb to start the whole process over again?
Most have said I should just throw the remainder of N’s belongings away. I guess there is a part of me that feels sorry for him — I wouldn’t want that done to me. Will he ever be back to retrieve them? I doubt that he will ever attempt to Hoover me, but his discard message, which I received via email, was as evil as they come. This is verbatim:
“Fuck you Art you will never hear from me again. I’m coming to get my things real soon just know that you fucked up a lot of things for me (blaming) you dumbass not even knowing the whole story but oh well you fucked me and all because I chose not to respond to your messages (lieing) very adult like you fkn idiot go get high and fkd like you normally do or try to but your too ugly and fat don’t know what I was thinking! (Demeaning, bullying, belittling.) Anyway I have someone coming to grab my things (he’s burned all bridges here) from you just letting you know.”
You may find yourself tangled up in a web someday. Your journey may not look like mine, but the process will be similar. In every situation I’ve read, this is how it goes. Love-bombing can feel good, but if you begin to experience any of the traits demonstrated here, run as fast as you can. Six weeks is a best-case scenario.