man behind the mask

The Man Behind The Mask

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by ~ Robin

I remember that night
When he first caught my eye
He had a penetrating gaze…
Never looked away as he walked by.

He made me feel special
Said all the things I longed to hear
At the time I was so lonely
And he always kept me near.

After a while
He stopped answering his phone
I never knew the reason
Why I was suddenly alone.

He was in a bad mood he’d say
And didn’t want me to suffer
I guess I’d miss the red flags
Because they smelled like flowers.

He asked me to marry him
The ring was flashy and impressive
I thought he must really love me
To go through that much effort.

Six months passed
And he was drifting away
It was me, he said
I’d gained too much weight.

He was leaving me for her
And showed no remorse, not a tear
I was completely devastated
How could it not bother him, after all these years?

In the end she left
And he came back to me
He talked of how he adored me
With feelings I thought I could see.

Fast-forward two years
First baby was on the way
I was finally top of the world
And glad that I’d stayed.

But before he could take his first breath
As his little heart stopped beating
The earth swallowed me whole
And further clouded my thinking.

He was nowhere to be found
I often cried alone
He told me I should go out more
After only a few days at home.

He put it away so quickly
But who was I to judge him?
So I wrote off another clue
Like I did with everything.

Then more children came
And life seemed so grand
I still didn’t see it as one sided
There was so much I didn’t understand.

But then I was alone again
And could do nothing right
It seemed like he hated me,
Always trying to start a fight.

It was my hair, my clothes
The way I spoke, the things I said.
Everything was my fault daily
And I felt like I was dead.

He burned through the money
More and more each passing year
The debt, it mounted
And so did my tears.

So for the first time in decades
I started telling him no
If we can’t pay the bills
You can’t buy whatever you want.

He became very angry
And then my things went missing
He told me I was going crazy
And for a while I believed him.

Then one day I was driving
And noticed something wrong with my car
The front driver’s tire was loose again
For the second time that summer.

Later I would find out
That this a common scheme
But why would I have thought that
He would never do that, or would he?

A big storm rolled in
On that fateful day
I called to tell him
That we had to go in the basement.

No reaction, no fear
No emotion of any kind
He never called later
To see if we were all right.

It was that day I decided
That I was not living this life
I took off my rings
And refused to live as his wife.

For the next month he tormented me
And followed me around
He said he put rocks behind my tires
To see if I went out.

I was shocked by this behaviour
So I went to seek help one day
But what I was told
Just blew me away.

So I started reading
And everything fit to a tee
A very dangerous man
Was sleeping next to me.

I fell into the abyss
Sat on the floor for hours and cried
I didn’t want it to be true
My whole life with him was a lie.

I learned I was targeted
For the traits he wanted to steal
And causing me to suffer
Was the only way he could feel.

They manipulate you daily
Cause chaos and confusion
Hide your car keys
And then tell you you’re losing it.

I thought the scariest people
Were serial killers on the news.
Because they’d fooled everyone around them;
Not knowing I was being fooled.

The most devastating part
Was not learning the truth
It was watching him do everything
And knowing for sure it was true.

I decided to tell him
Please go for help, I would ask
And for the first time ever
I met the man behind the mask.

His face contorted
And he became someone I didn’t recognize
At the time I didn’t know it
But I’d just met Mr. Hyde.

Swallowing my fear
I thought I could plead
But the very next day
I found my dogs running in the street.

He’d let them out the front door
And drove away like it was nothing
No guilt, no remorse…
Completely devoid of feelings.

How could he do this?
The sick realization set in
The man I was married to
Was capable of much more.

So I stood up strong
And fought back against his anger
And struggled through the heartbreak
The death of a dream, my future.

He threatened suicide if I left him
And tried to tighten his hold
I found him watching me sleep
Which made my blood run cold.

I still managed to get away
My head spinning, my heart torn in two
The hardest decision I’d ever made
Became the best thing I would ever do.

I’ve fought unseen battles
Over the last year,
But the goal has remained the same
I won’t be controlled by threats and fear.

I’m rebuilding my life
And reclaiming my identity
I’m slowly getting back
All the things that he took from me.

He tried to break me
And he almost succeeded
But those very traits he wanted
Are the ones that move me forward.

If you see red flags
That may seem familiar
Please look them up
And don’t stay like I did.

You can’t fix it or try harder
Hoping it will change
You will lose yourself in the process
And they will stay the same.

The strongest people have risen from ashes
And rebuilt their lives
And I don’t remember the last time
It felt so good to smile.

Always remember your self worth
And insist on respect
But most important of all
Never let anyone steal your happiness.


If this poem resonates with you, download your free questionnaire below to see how going No Contact could change your life!

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Maria says July 24, 2015

Everytime I read this poem, I get goosebumps because this is my life written in poem. Leaving is the hardest thing to do, but once the fog has lifted, there are no words that can describe how good it feels to be able to smile again.

angie harrop says January 28, 2015

I too enjoy writing poetry but this poem , by far is the best ive read in a very long time. Very well put. It amazes me how these individuals are so predictable behavoirally yet so many of us end up relating so well ro this poem. Thanks for the inspiring words. Loved it.

mysm2000 says January 28, 2015

This is one of those times when the “Like” button seems too ambiguous. I like that you’ve shared it — look at the responses — people you’ve touched, probably in ways you can’t imagine. It is so important to share these stories — they let others draw strength and know they’re not alone. Not “Like”, but “Thanks”.

Surayya says January 28, 2015

wow my heart was beating faster and faster as i kept reading this so well described poem of a NARCISSIST..Anxiety attack!!!

jorobinson176 says January 28, 2015

Reblogged this on Jo Robinson.

Ether says January 28, 2015

‘He tried to break me
And he almost succeeded
But those very traits he wanted
Are the ones that move me forward’.

Here is the key for everyone. Trust in your personal power it is much, much greater than theirs. Build it up into a shining light in the world. x

    Robin says January 28, 2015


    Well said! And thank you everyone for the kind words.

    Surayya says January 28, 2015

    Esther, very important observation you made and thanks for pointing it out to us.

Tracey says January 27, 2015

My life written in poem! Thanks

VickLyn says January 27, 2015

Thank you so much, Robin. We can learn to live again…

Debra Sutton says January 27, 2015

WOW. This was so beautifully articulated, thank you so much for sharing.

Persia Karema says January 27, 2015

Reblogged this on Blog Of A Mad Black Woman and commented:
A sad, but inspiring poem by Robin.

Persia Karema says January 27, 2015

It was so sad to read what Robin had been through. She managed to escape, and this is definitely something she should be proud of. This is a very powerful and inspiring poem.

a free bird says January 27, 2015

I just completed 7 days NC & I’m very pleased with myself. After 4 1/2 yrs. this is the millionth time I’ve left him but the 2nd or 3rd time I’ve left for any extended amount of time. I had no clue the monster I was dealing with until this last year of hell on earth, when he threw that word around, narcississt, to define me. I’d already been aware of the fact that everyone has a healthy dose of narcissism to some extent. It’s necessary for the ego to function. It is only in mal-adaption that it’s over developed. This is my understanding after weeks of reading.
This poem accurately portrays my personal suffering minus the children. I am grateful daily that we do not have children together. Money, he will not work. He lives off others. He’s a user. Women feel sorry for him. Be’s got stories! His own and others he’s stolen and made his own. Including my own. Yes you can win by standing up to them and letting them know you see them. I saw in him my very own struggles. We had similar childhoods. I guess, looking back, I did believe my love could fix him. But I told myself that if I could change and learn to manage my reactions then anyone, including and esp he could change. And he did! We both did. But all his changes were based on keeping his “supply”. What a waste of time and effort. No I won’t go there. Like my parents houses, individually, that time was yet another training ground! I came away stronger than i have ever been. And trust me, I am stronger than even I knew! I have endured all the tactics of his oh so typical Narc behavior and still he could not break me. I felt broken. He saw me as an easy mark but got sent packing. And now that I am awake and aware I see his feelers for what they are. In the past his silence was deadly. I’d beg and plead for his return. Now I know what he’s doing and it’s so obvious I just laugh and just hope and pray it doesn’t get worse. He will move on. The internet, esp fuckbook, uhm, well, I blocked him from the start. I couldn’t handle the endless flirting or outright lies. Ladies, a prom snapshot does NOT mean he’s actively involved in his children’s lives. He, in fact, is not. He was a drunk, fat, pain in the ass until me. So since his M.O. is silence, the feelers he put out are easily ignored. So full of shit, i smell you coming. At this point going back, I would deserve all I got! So far loving him has not been worth the price I’ve paid. I esp did not like him spitting in my face. I am so aware now. I am able to see what a return to him will bring. I can clearly see what will happen if I do. It’ll be allowing him the opportunity to berate me for leaving. He’ll swear up and down he’s over it and every chance he gets, he’ll scream his rage about the very thing he said was done. I’m tired of spinning. I will not be so easily drawn back in. Those unsealed parts of me that needed that man are slowly bwing integrated. I am loving me so deeply and completely there is no room for him. And each day I make it that I did not reach out for him is a huge success. Six months from now I’m throwing a party!

Jenny says January 27, 2015

What an inspiring poem…. Line after line resonates…. They truly are all built the same…. Devious … Cruel… Unfeeling… Whereas you and me and countless others do feel and do care .
I left mine after a year long discard where he stopped having sex with me…. Became interested In transsexuals and tried to engage me in deviant sex… He had erectile dysfunction with me… But this after 6 years of abuse…. Huge red flags waving from the first weeks if his love bombing… The weekend we were found out to be having an affair and I moved in with him ( 30 year married ) I discovered he was also seeing someone else…. Yet I stayed …. Another 6 years of cheating, moods, disrespect… Im weeks of no contact now and the fog has lifted…. I now see him as the pathetic lifeless corpse that he always was….his parting words were ” I will improve my life now I’m rid of you” . … He blamed me for his heavy drinking… His interest in deviant sex…. His boredom .. His rages… Said he wasn’t like that before he met me… That I brought out the badness in him! Utter rubbish…. I know i didn’t… It was always there…. Fgs one night we got drunk with a friend of his and he tried to instigate a threesome! Said he was testing me! He was more concerned with how it had affected his mate than me…. He destroyed me .. I had a breakdown eventually … Off work for 6 months…. Now my friends say I’m back.. I’m fun.. I’m relaxed… I’m smiling more… We can get over these monsters… Thank god Robin that he’s gone… Live your life…. You are free…. Love to you x

Nancy says January 27, 2015

So true of my life. Forty-five years before I figured it out. Getting better everyday!

Anonymous says January 26, 2015

.I’m so sad for you as I’m reading this. And am hoping you are piecing your life together little by little. . I have and am doing well. The more and more I learn about these narcs the more I realize how similar all of our experiences are. GODSPEED Robin. You will survive…..beautifully written heartfelt poem.

DG says January 26, 2015

This poem so fits me and the situation I was in. The red flags waved from the beginning, but I was too blind to see them for what they were. After being disrespected, mistreated and hoping that things would get better for so long, I became numb to the pain. I wanted to trust and love him, even though I saw him for who and what he truly was. Some people are cunning, devious and ruthless…and he is one of them.

I became a shell of my former happy self. I was constantly called derogatory names, criticized and blamed for all of his life’s disappointments. Now that I have removed myself from the abusive situation, I am slowly regaining confidence in myself and returning to the old, happy and confident me. It took me over three decades to make that hard decision to let the illusion go, but it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I couldn’t change him, but I could change the way I felt about him and “let go.”

Thank you for the inspiration.


DD says January 26, 2015

I have a similar story and I feel better everyday I have been away from him.

RecoveringSiri says January 26, 2015

I love this so much. Thank you for the encouragement. I never got this far with my soon to be ex husband. He left me once he found out the other woman was pregnant. The other woman is worse than him and she actually controls everything now that she has his child. That is so crazy to me because he used to be so controlling when it came to me but with her, it’s like he lost his man hood and she runs everything. She is beyond crazy but he sticks around. He can’t tame the beast so he keeps trying and it keeps the “spice” but I call it chaos. He won’t talk to me. If i ever reach out to him, he doesn’t say anything. Instead, he allows her to respond to me through his phone. It’s like he’s completely someone else. I admit, half of me is jealous. The other half is grateful I can now move on. I know God will bless me with someone “normal” and that can love me unconditionally. I can’t wait to meet that one. 🙂

Teri says January 26, 2015

Wow, this really hit home!!! I left him several times only to be hoovered back in and I kept holding on to the illusion I did not have any children with my narc but I gave my entire self for 18 years to my man behind the mask!!! Thank you.

angellock7 says January 26, 2015

Wow, very well said. My life was the same.

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