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What Do You Get When You Mix Alcohol with Narcissism?

by | Nov 15, 2023 | Life Lessons, Life with an Alcoholic, My Stories, My Struggles, Relationships

What Do You Get When You Mix Alcohol with Narcissism?


I still remember it like it was yesterday. The excitement of a new relationship. The flutters. The nerves. The pounding heart.

It was a chilly January night, we’d had a double date and enjoyed each other’s company. We talked, we laughed, our hands brushed against each other, and the sparks flew. I had recently ended a toxic relationship, and this felt like an answer to my prayers. I was smitten.

Our first kiss took my breath away. (Maybe it was in that moment that my heart and my brain switched places, leading me down a very misguided path.)

As our relationship progressed, I continued to feel like I couldn’t breathe. Only it was for different reasons. I was walking on eggshells daily attempting to avoid triggering behavior that was out of my control. I was living in fear.

I’ve heard narcissists described as emotional vampires. Well, let me tell you; that is unbelievably accurate. That first night I met him, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. He dazzled me with his charm, he swooped in while I was vulnerable, and he preyed on my compassion which he viewed as weakness.

I ignored the red flags flying everywhere, denied my friends and family who begged me not to continue down this road; and defended him to those who saw the reality of who he was from day one. I was blind. Delusional. Lost in love.

I’d never met anyone involved in the kind of life he lived. It intrigued me; but mostly, I thought it was a weak period he’d grow out of, of that I could fix him. People in my world up to that point didn’t operate the way he did. It was beyond my comprehension at that time. I dismissed his irrational, abusive behavior as emotional wounds. Wounds I had the power to heal. I excused his lies, aggression, abuse and out of control drinking as a phase. A phase he’d soon grow out of because of his love for me.

I was wrong.

He proved me wrong over and over again during our 10 years together, and he continues to prove me wrong since I ended the relationship.

When I got engaged to him, I did so believing that I would have a partner. Someone to do life with. Someone to lean on in times of struggle. Someone who loved me for me, not what I could do for him. I believed I was going to marry someone who wanted the same things I wanted. Who was ready to support me and his children in life.

Again, I was wrong.

Being with an alcoholic with narcissistic personality traits sets you up for a lifetime of frustration, loneliness, and pain. I took many of the things he did and said personally for a long time, and still struggle with the pain it has caused me and that it will inevitably cause his children. However, I have come to understand that it is simply not about me. There is nothing I could have done or said that would have been right, and many things will never make sense. I will have an eternal hole in the place of many unanswered questions. The truth will always remain twisted, and the reality of who he is underneath the image he presents to the world will likely never change.

I found myself in a constant loop of trying to explain the truth to someone who was set on twisting it. It was like living in a fun house. Everything was distorted. On the outside, he presented the image of a loving, fiancé and father. Even I bought into that image many times. Despite the many times he proved that was, in fact, a lie, I still wanted to believe the lie. My heart wanted him to match the image he created of himself. Because of his alcoholic soul and narcissistic heart, I found myself in a twilight zone of manipulation. I was sucked into the vortex, and like a vampire, my emotions were sucked dry.

I spent hours a day trying to get him to be on the same page as me. To operate in the same world as me. To be truthful. To have a genuine emotion and express it. To care more about his family than he did himself.

No matter how hard I swam away from it, I was inevitably sucked down into the undertow of his reality. A reality that left me wondering at times if he was right and if I, in fact, was the crazy one.

Leaving someone like that is almost worse than being with them. Especially when kids are involved. Kids bind you forever; so even though we need to walk away from the insanity, we can’t ever fully walk away; and ending that relationship just brings all the insanity up to the surface. At times, it felt like I was engaged to Satan himself.

Dancing with the devil is scary. Initially, all I saw was the glimmer. The light of the fire. The warmth it provided in a time that I was cold. As time went on, I began feeling the heat in a different way. I got burned and then expected the person who put me in that fire to heal my wounds and get me out. The thing is the devil will never take you out of his fire. He needs you in it.

I had to get myself out of the fire, and with help from the people in my life who live in light, not flames, I was able to escape. The intensity of a relationship with someone who has substance abuse issues, as well as other personality disorder traits, is much like living in a fire pit. The light is too bright, the heat is too much to bear, and once you’re in, it’s very difficult to get out. Once you do get out, it’s inevitable to escape without some burns and evidence of the hell you just endured.

Here’s the good news.

Wounds heal. There will be scars and reminders of the life you left, but scars are evidence you survived something. My relationship and my departure from an emotional vampire left me breathless. I am still learning to breathe again. But I am getting there. I am two and a half years into my healing journey, and I know there are many breathless days ahead of me, but I have stepped away from the fire, allowing the pain of that love to die with the fire. The ashes are ugly, and they will always have influence over me and his daughters in some capacity. But beauty can be created from ashes. Time has healed the wounds and covered the scars, and because of that, I can breathe again.

Allison Rose



Allison Rose

Founder at Filter Free Bullsh!t Free

Entrepreneurship is my addiction, Sharing my story and empowering others is my passion. My girl gang, my family and tequila shots fuel my soul & calm my head. I’m here to inspire and to be inspired.

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