51. Projection

Kevin would twist everything and project his own insecurities and defects onto me. He never apologised. He did not know the word “sorry”. He would instead tell me to stop putting my responsibilities onto “other people’s shoulders” when in fact that was exactly was he was doing. When I told him that, he would say, “Fine, I’ll be the guilty one if you always want me to”. But the fact was, he WAS the guilty one. This is known as projection. Projection in narcissism is when an individual projects their own actions, thoughts, feelings and beliefs onto someone else. It was impossible to argue with Kevin as every single thing he did was always projected back onto me. Whenever I asked him exactly what responsibilities of mine I blamed others for, he could never specify anything.

He would tell me that I always got angry at him for no reason and that I had to control my emotions when in fact, whenever I got angry, it was because I was retaliating to things he would do or say to me. Every time I raised my voice, it was because he was already shouting at me. He always accused me of starting fights when I was only retaliating. It is in my every right to retaliate if I feel I am being unfairly treated. And it was always him starting fights but projecting the blame onto me. He could start fights out of nothing just to trigger a reaction in me and then accuse me of starting fights. It was what he got off on. And when I retaliated, sometimes he would respond with, “Nikki, I can’t take this anymore”. He began to say this when I was in Singapore, after I had attempted to leave him countless times. He was twisting around what I had been trying to do for such a long time so that leaving could be on his terms. I had told him countless of times that the relationship was finished and that I could not take it anymore but each time, it was as if he did not hear it. Then he took my own words and projected them onto me.

Other times when I retaliated to either his raging or unjustified blame, he would say, “I’m really afraid of you”, “I’m really afraid of what you could do to me”, or, “Look at yourself in the mirror”. This always took me by surprise and left me confused giving me cognitive dissonance as it was him who was the one so obviously coming across as the intimidating one, yet he was accusing me of behaving exactly the way he was behaving. After learning about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I now understand that narcissists can only project what they are doing and how they are feeling as that is all they know. This has left me wondering, to what extent could he have done to me?

He was stressed all the time. He would stress over the tiniest of things. There was this constant negative ambience around him. Yet he would always accuse me of being stressed. Which was true. I was stressed – from being around him. He was sucking the life out of me. But he never admitted to his stress. It was always projected onto me.

He always told me that I needed to focus on my “issues” and that I needed psychological help, when he was really diverting the fact that he was the one with issues and he needed psychological help. Whenever I tried to put all the facts about his behaviour in front of him, he would always divert the topic by saying that I had “issues to deal with”. He was constantly trying to take the focus and attention off his behaviour.

At the beginning of the relationship, he was accusing me of being cold and unaffectionate when I did not think that that was the case. In fact, he was the cold and unaffectionate one throughout the relationship but he projected that onto me so that he could blame me and he did not have to make any effort in the relationship without taking on the blame. Whenever I showed him affection, it would go ignored and rejected. Whenever I tried to reassure him that I was not interested in another man, he would accuse me of lying. Again, he was the one lying to me throughout the relationship but he would project that on to me.

He always told me how much he loved me but he never showed it. Even the way he told me showed no warmth. He never held my hand, he never kissed me, he was always criticising me, he was never interested in my presence (yet I was not allowed to be absent). It was all very confusing. Whenever I told him that his perception of love was distorted, he would twist it back around and say that it was MY perception of love that was distorted. His words were so empty – no wonder twisting and lying was so easy for him. Now I understand that whenever he said, “I love you”, what he really meant was, “I love to use you”.

He constantly told me throughout the relationship that I was the one with the problem. That I was crazy. That I needed to seek help. That I had confidence issues. That I needed to control my emotions. Yes, I had lost my confidence and yes, he had changed me. And yes, I was becoming a little crazy from his gaslighting and the way he projected his defects and insecurities back onto me. But these were all issues he had which he twisted to make it seem like I was the problem. He shouted at me, patronised me, controlled me and talked over me. And whenever I stood up to him to not talk to me like that, he would yell at me and say, “I will talk to you how I like”. He believed I was his object. He had no right to talk to anybody however he liked.

He made these absurd projections because these were the only emotions he understood. He could only project emotions he felt back onto me. He was incapable of feeling anything else. Narcissists, I have learned, are physically incapable of feeling love and empathy. That is how they can destroy people without feeling remorse.

He was always accusing me of being unclear when he was the one hiding things. He only knew how to project things that he was actually doing. When I did not want to go to Spain, he called me selfish, when in fact, during the relationship, I had done so much for him and he had done nothing for me. He was the completely selfish one but he projected his own selfishness onto me. I had moved to another country for him, helped him financially, and was always there for him emotionally. I don’t see that as being selfish, yet he showed no appreciation for anything that I had ever done and nor did he do anything for me, and he had the face to call me selfish. He was the selfish one and projected it onto me because he only knew how to be selfish.

When we went to mölkky tournaments, as soon as he started playing badly, he would start losing his temper. Sometimes I got really annoyed because his mood would affect the game and I would feel under pressure because if I missed, he would get angry at me too. However, the more moody he got, the worse my performance became. Sometimes I would tell him to calm down, and the times he lost his patience with me, I would show my annoyance to him. Then he would twist it around saying that I needed to calm down and that everyone could see the way I was treating him, and  that I was losing my temper for no reason. This was triangulation and gaslighting. He made me believe that I was treating him badly and that everybody thought so too when in fact, I was annoyed because he was moody because he was not playing well and that was affecting my performance and whenever I missed, he would lose his patience with me. It was a cycle. He never took responsibility for anything – no matter how important or unimportant it was.

When I told him that I was not happy that he decided not to come to Spain when the reason I had moved to Spain was because of him and because I wanted him to be happier and have a better life, he then said, “But you were the one that said, ‘Ok, let’s go to Spain’”. How did he have the face to say that? The face to project it back onto me? I initially said “Ok, let’s go to Spain” because I could see how miserable he was and he was projecting his misery onto me. I would not have moved from a full-time job in Belgium where I did not have to pay bills and rent to a part-time job in Spain where I did have to pay bills and rent. I did it for him. And instead of showing appreciation for what I had done for him, he twisted it around and projected it back onto me. He disgusts me. Nothing but a sick, little, disgusting man.

Every time I tried to explain to him my thoughts, my feelings and my perspectives on how I felt in this relationship, he would tell me that my views were distorted. When I tried to explain his own behaviour to him and how it made me feel in the most sincere way possible, he would tell me in the most sincere way possible that my views were distorted. He was incapable of listening and absorbing what other people had to say and understanding how his actions made others feel. He believed that his perspectives were always right and that he was never in the wrong, which is typical of narcissists.

Not only did he project his behaviours onto me, but he would project them onto his brother too. Kevin had government mail sent to his brother’s address because his residential status was still in France despite it being illegal. Kevin could never do anything the legal way. However, he said that his brother never forwarded him his mail when he asked him to. The irony is that Kevin was incapable of doing the exact same thing. When I had asked him to send some of my belongings to me in Singapore, I never received them (Chapter 69). He couldn’t do anything when asked unless it was to impress someone. He was the completely unreliable and hopeless one. He just projected his faults onto other people. He was the one that couldn’t get off his arse to go to the post office. Lazy, selfish and unreliable.

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