Kevin was an extremely controlling, pathologically jealous and pathologically envious (Chapter 94), insecure little man. I always had to be careful about what I did, what I said and who I spoke to. If I said something, did something or spoke to someone he didn’t like (most often another male), he would wait until we were alone for him to get angry at me. If I mentioned a man too many times, he would assume that I had an interest in this man. There were many occasions in which I had to reassure him that I was not interested in other men. However, he would always accuse me of lying. Slowly, I started to talk less around people as I was always afraid that I may do or say something that would upset him. As a result of withdrawing myself, he would tell me that I was being cold to people and isolating myself. So either way, I couldn’t win.
He also had this controlling stare which I could feel from a mile away. He would stare at me whenever I interacted with other people and whenever I seemed to be enjoying myself. With his stares, I could always see the rage in his eyes. Usually it was accompanied with his jaws clenching and his head lunging forward, like he was questioning, “What do you think you’re doing?”. It was so uncomfortable and as soon as I saw his rageful stare, I always felt the pressure to stop talking to whoever I was talking to or stop doing whatever I was doing. This including talking to parents (especially fathers) for my job. It’s this sort of intangible control that allowed him (and essentially all narcissists) to get away with abuse because he would then say, “I’m not controlling you”, and I wouldn’t have any tangible evidence to prove otherwise.
I believe he was envious of my life in general. There was nothing good about his life, not because he was born to be this way, but because he wanted to be this way. It was much easier for him to garner sympathy as a means of control to get whatever he wants. He chooses women who are better than him and then destroys them because he is envious of what these women have: happiness, confidence and independence. Narcissists, like Kevin, are empty people with nothing to live for in their lives. They get extremely jealous and envious when they see how much better you are than them.
Despite his controlling behaviour, he would make sure that I did not think that he was controlling. For example, whenever I told him that I was going to Skype with my friends, he would say, “Yes, of course. Take as long as you need. I would never stop you from doing what you want”. Whenever he said this to me, it was so confusing for so many reasons. Firstly, his words contradicted his actions (as always). There was one time when I took quite a while Skyping with a friend, he came up to my room to see what I was doing. He looked very dissatisfied. Also, it was double standards as, whenever I came to his room and he was on the phone or Skype, several times he has slammed the door in my face. Yet whenever I was on Skype, he believed he was entitled to come into my room whenever he wanted to. Secondly, a normal person would never have to emphasise something like this. Only those who emphasise something like this are those who are actually guilty of it.
Throughout the relationship, I often felt that he was watching me whenever I was in the canteen. Whenever I spoke to others, I could feel he was always watching me. He seemed to know where I was and what I was doing at every moment of the day. I was always stepping on broken eggshells. And I suppose that living in an isolated village of three hundred people with limited transport gave him even more control over me.
I recently started a new job. I was so happy because I realised that I could talk to anyone about anything without someone constantly watching over me. I don’t have to be careful about what I say out of fear of being yelled at. In Belgium, I always cut my conversations short out of fear that I may upset Kevin, whereas over here in my new job, I have long conversations with both male and female colleagues. We can chat about anything. They are so friendly. I feel so free!