The Unexpected Health Issues Narcissists Can Cause
Preface: I have always been lucky in life from a physical physique and health perspective. Granted I kept myself fit and ate healthily but it was as part of an overall lifestyle and never a conscious effort. Following my move to Bulgaria, a country with an incredibly healthy climate, I had not had so much as a cold in the 4 years before I met my narcissist girlfriend.
Lets be clear – your narcissist does not want to make you ill. Your narcissist does not want you ill in any way, not because your narcissist cares about you or your health but because ill people have this one terrible feature – they need looking after.
It took me a while to realize that every time I was ill my girlfriend would have some huge family problem she had to go to her parents house to attend to for a few days. And why was I ill? I was a healthy fit person. Well I started to ask the same question when one of my friends said “are you sure Debby isn’t trying to kill you?? I men your always having bouts of vomiting and the shits – Danny never has any” – he was joking but it got me thinking. I realized my girlfriend and I never ate together – I was far too embroiled in my new mysterious business collapse so my ever loving girlfriend would make something for me to eat at my desk. Distractedly Id eat it whilst trying to work a way out the latest inexplicable catastrophe. When I started paying attention the chicken was not cooked properly, the salami smelled, the rice was re-heated from 5 days ago. She was going through the motions she knew she had to do – feed me to keep me alive – but there was no actual care involved. If the cheese had mold on it – put it in a sandwich, he wont notice and it was making me ill on a regular basis.
They were the good days. When the stress levels start to ramp up past the point a human can take, substance abuse is, almost inevitably, the next step. My narcissist girlfriend made this step super slippery and easy to cross. Frequently bringing lines of methamphetamine already racked up, on the special black glass coasters she had bought for just that purpose. Arriving at my desk without ever being asked. What, for 20 years, had been a very occasional weekend habit was transformed into a daily necessity, the wheels of its progression oiled on a daily basis by my girlfriend. Amphetamine based drugs are not involved coincidentally with narcissists, the narcissist likes there partner to be “strung out”, strung out people are both easily manipulated – they miss many of the key tell tail signs – and strung out people are easily triggered. No one is more strung out than a guy with a failing business who’s girlfriend brings him a line of methamphetamine every couple of hours!
The downside of constant methamphetamine use for the business man is not your teeth falling out; its the shaking and twitching – this tends to draw attention from others in business meetings. But once again my loving girlfriend was there with a solution to help me. Alcohol. Alcohol, I discovered, with her help, stops the shaking and the twitching. But too much alcohol masks the affect of the meth and too much meth masks the affect of the alcohol. Very quickly your on a spiraling escalation of meth and alcohol abuse. For me it was rapidly accelerated by my loving girlfriend “looking after me”. An endless stream of plates of meth and glasses of wine brought to my desk. Combine this with the stress from endless inexplicable business catastrophes, constant narcissistic abuse, little or no sleep and 18 to 20 hours of work every day and you have a lifestyle that is going to lead to one or two health issues.
The first organ to fail was my Pancreas. Id had a few problems with it 20 years before after an ill advised foray into the delights of the unregulated “artisan” cheese making found in the remote villages of rural France. But 12 months of stress, drugs and alcohol saw it relapse and saw me in hospital for a couple of one week stays. My girlfriend was quick to point out to people she “nursed me back to health”, I thought that was overstating the importance of her presence on the 5 minute taxi ride to hospital, as she was not seen again for the duration of each stay.
They were the OK Days. There is a point where 24/7 narcissistic abuse, no sleep, drugs and alcohol go past the body’s base line ability to cope; both the body and the mental health start to rapidly collapse. The first big sign was when I noticed a rapid and profound loss in muscle mass. I was a muscular guy, one of the lucky ones who maintained a high level of muscle for a low level of effort. But one day I looked a little “weedy” in the mirror, three weeks later skin was hanging where it was no longer stretched taught over muscle, the two flights of stairs Id once carried a 250lb wood burning stove up were now a tiring, exhausting slog. Id lost over 30lb of muscle in 3 weeks. Ive subsequently found it is a biological response to really extreme physiological stress, not for everyone but some. The body mistakes the extreme physiological stress from the multiple abuse sources for the physiological stress of starvation and begins to digest your muscles as food. Now this may not sound good, but its worse than that. Digesting muscle as food releases a ton of toxins into your body, it makes you very ill. So that was another week in hospital having saline solution pumped into my veins to flush the toxins out.
Now we get to the bad days. By this point I’m skin and bones and a total nervous wreck, I watched a video of myself on the CCTV and I literally could not recognise the man in the video. A hunched shacking, constantly twitching, fidgeting, skinny man was sat at my desk. Every couple of minutes he would get up and pace the room nervously and then sit back down at my desk. He would pick up the phone, put it back down, up again, back down, up again, back down, move it to the other side of the desk, up again, back down, stare blankly at it, get up and walk the room talking to himself, he would hold on to things as he walked the room as if unsure he would not fall over without support. All the time fidgeting and twitching, the fingers of his hand touching his thumb one after another as if counting, 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4, over and over agin, one cycle a second. Back down at the desk, opening his journal and flicking through it before loosing interest and turning to the computer screen, fingers trembling so much he was constantly double clicking on the mouse button, the resulting errors making him angry and ………………. I stared for a very long time in total disbelief at what I had become.
But worse was still to follow. I was rushed to hospital in an ambulance, no girlfriend by now, she no longer lived with me. Just visited for sex or narcissistic supply, alternating between the two reasons for visiting. There was no single cause for the illness – it was the general overload of the body’s organs, “Early stage multiple organ failure” was the description and it would be the first of three visits to hospital for the same reason. My pancreas is damaged and will never recover. My liver is enlarged but will recover as long as I no longer abuse it with alcohol. My gall bladder is damaged but again will recover. My heart has an irregularity but Im assured its not a big issue. And finally I’m now diabetic, Type II Diabetes resulting from the pancreas damage – that’s a pain in the ass. It came to light 2 months ago when I had a sudden bout of blacking out and hitting the floor like a sack of potatoes. 10 days in hospital for that one.
That’s six, one week plus, stays in hospital in an 18 month period – and 3 of them after Id completely separated from my narcissist.
We all know that stress is damaging to the human body, I have not even touched on the immune system suppression stress causes. That leads to endless day to day maladies. But very few people ever experience the level of stress the victim of narcissistic abuse endures as they try to live in a world where reality is no longer solid. Where facts are things you remember only as a concept from a previous life. I have had a divorce in my life, the death of my mother, owned several businesses and had 2 business failures. Id rank them as follows out of 100 “stress units”
Owning a business 40
Business failure 50
Mothers death 60
Living with high level narcissist 95
The only thing I can imagine would be more stressful would be living in a concentration camp and being actually tortured on a regular basis with no idea when it will all end – that I would give 100 units.
When drugs and alcohol become part of the narcissist’s tools the abuse crosses over from just mental and becomes physical as well. The stress alone is plenty enough to hospitalize you in the long run but add the substance abuse and you have a recipe capable of inflicting life long health problems.