The Very Thought of You

“The very thought of you… and I forget to do… the very ordinary things… that everyone ought to do… I’m living in a kind of daydream…I’m happy as a king…And foolish though it may seem…..To me, that’s everything”

I can hear the melody in my mind, humming as I type those lyrics. It’s a song by Natalie King Cole, daughter of the great Nat King Cole. My mom and I used to listen to her in the car when I was young. Little did I know it would be a perfect description of love bombing, facade, mirroring and the crazy making after a discard… thoughts turned to torture. Or, as my therapist called it once, “mind fucking”.

I think a lot of us can relate to the initial stages of a relationship. Maybe there is excitement, butterflies, electricity. All you want to do is be with that person 24/7. It is hard to go back and function in your everyday life. Focusing at work is a joke, and you have an extra “pizazz” for life that wouldn’t otherwise be there.

Intense immediate bonding, fire-like chemistry, over the top compliments, constant texting and spending time together with no time to self, gifts, the relationship moving too fast, hot and cold behavior with hesitant to no commitment (this is to keep you coming back – you are on their hook now).

When Natalie, in the song says,I’m living in a kind of day dream”, it is because you are. The character impaired has placed a cloak over your eyes and you are now seeing only through the lens he wants you to see through. This is the ground work for the crazy making and instability you will experience later on.

This initial phase, “Happy as a King”, as it says in the song, could also be named love-bombing and it is actually quite sadistic when you really begin to dissect the methodology. It is an INTENTIONAL presentation of a falsified person, studying your likes, dislikes and what matters to you most in order to mirror those aspects BACK to you, to make the connection. This person is not real, in fact they are incapable of attaching. It looks like they can attach, but in actuality they believe their own facade and chameleon like traits, all while planning strategic ways to “woo” you in. This is natural for them because it is the way they have survived and navigated the world. (that is not an excuse for their behavior – just a fact)

Don Hennesy describes it like this: “The skilled offender will not reveal his inner world at the beginning but feigns a world view that makes him more attractive to his target. He has no real interest in being liked but knows that it is an essential requirement to get and maintain control. It is not the behavior that distinguishes abusive and non -abusive men but it is the difference in their intention, and the validity of what is revealed. In an abusive relationship the target woman will reveal her expectations of a prospective partner and the skilled offender will become that person. Skilled offenders are the ultimate conmen.”

During these initial stages the program is implanted and the result? Undying loyal devotion from an unsuspecting sweet, kind, precious young woman who’s been waiting for a ‘godly man’ her whole life. The church told her to serve the Lord and she’s been diligently doing this, so when a ‘godly man’ comes along – what better way to serve the Lord than together? She has wanted a godly man to build a life with, from the very beginning, he knows that, and begins to exploit the fact.

Our hopes for this life outcome have been built up for us Christian gals from the time we were placed in the church nursery. Sadly, it has done more harm than good, as women every where sit in churches on Sunday mornings and hide DEEP DEEP cuts, bruises and wounds internally, from the very place that should be safe to share.

What about this implanted charade? It is a falsified identity, that now, the woman loves and cares for. Her dream for family is all wrapped up into a hologram.

Let’s go back to the song: and I forget to do… the very ordinary things… that everyone ought to do.

That’s right. A symptom/manifestation of abuse – confusion, destabilization, feeling unsteady, self-doubting, forgetting where you placed keys, appointments, work assignments, getting sick frequently, having no energy for basic tasks like showering and laundry. Literally. We begin to forget reality.

Why? Because on a daily basis you begin to be devalued in very COVERT and subtle ways. These are tactics to keep you under control, keep you for HIS agenda, and the supply for HIS self-esteem and ego. Your kindness, love, affirmations, genuine care and empathy are all things that never developed in his brain – and he wants them – so he slowly learns the language you use by being your authentic self, and now, it can APPEAR that he has these things too.

He is with you because YOU are serving HIS AGENDA – in some way shape or form. Maybe you give him status at work? Maybe your kindness makes life super convenient for him and he is using you. Maybe he is devouring you sexually, all while saying he doesn’t want to ‘use you’. Or perhaps, he just likes the ego boost by knowing you’re still on the line, and you’re not going anywhere. He doesn’t have to commit to you – but he knows you are there waiting.

The result is the same whether dating or married. You are there to serve HIS NEEDS and his PURPOSE. In marriage, there is no commitment either. Often times there is pornography involved or other addictions (some that are socially acceptable) which keep him from diving into his own vulnerability and truly exposing himself. Exposure is their worst nightmare – so they will continue to exert power and control in order to hide and get what they want. Essentially, he wants his cake and eats it too. ALL the benefits of relationship and NONE of the responsibility, vulnerability and emotional work to be a securely attached, healthy individual.

Where does this leave you? Worn out. Exhausted. You know the sky is blue but he continues to tell you the sky is pink. When you are brave enough to begin to confront him, express your needs and ask for what you want – somehow by the end of the conversation you are THANKING him for listening or APOLOGIZING for something you did not do wrong. Again, these are tell tale signs you are with a man who only wants you for a purpose.

In the fog we remain confused because we are living by his standard of reality. Remember that implant that happened during love bombing and the initial facade phase? That’s still in there and working overtime to keep the spotlight on you and off of him.

Is it me? Maybe I did this? Maybe next time I can try this? Should I explain it to him this way?

I’m living in a kind of daydream….

Now, this daydream has become a nightmare and it haunts us every minute of everyday. Our nervous systems are in hyper vigilance all the time, our brain is letting go of basic facts and objects because it is focusing on solving the “problems” in our relationship. They aren’t relational problems – they are a person problem, called “the abuser”, and it is so sneaky and under the radar. Do not let ANY pastor, friend, parent, therapist or marriage counselor tell you otherwise!

It breaks my heart and I wish this wasn’t the reality.

And what of the last phrase in that song lyric? .And foolish though it may seem…..To me, that’s everything”

Sadly, you will seem like the crazy one. You will appear foolish to your community when you up and leave an abuser who has the REST of the world eating off of his golden spoon. He is praised for his leading, teaching, preaching, service, ministry, parenting, kindness, humor, charisma…. and the list goes on. Only you know the truth, and as we leave so does our reputation in the community and often times the family system.

I know. It happened to me, but I knew the truth – and so did my Heavenly Father. I learned that I did not have to prove or justify myself to anyone. The abuser could run his smear campaign, and I rebuilt my whole life from a safe distance away, and To me, that’s everything”

Even though Natalie sang a love song – she inadvertently inserted a BATTLE CRY in the midst of these sappy codependent lyrics. OUR FREEDOM IS OUR EVERYTHING, and I will fight for mine as I encourage you to fight for yours.

If you have left or have been discarded – the detoxing process from a manipulator/narcissist/predator/character impaired, is EXCRUCIATING. Most of the time is spent sorting through the self-doubt, finding reality and clarity and UNhooking yourself from the dream he allowed you to believe. He led you to believe that you were something special to him, and you could build a life together. Sadly, he cannot attach and can only USE you.

Here are some things that have helped me ‘UNhook’ from a man like this:

  1. Everything you are experiencing are symptoms of narcissistic abuse: own that reality – it will equip you to grieve.

2. Validate yourself with resources! This will keep you in a place of clarity.

3. Make a list of everything you had ‘wrapped’ up in this man. What did he lead you to believe? Family? Growing old together? Enjoying grand kids together? Having a child of your own together? Being a part of his family? These things were part of the hologram he cast over your vision. They were not real.

4. Gather your people. This is long and painstaking, make sure you are in a community of people who can listen to your stories and reflect the truth back to you. This will help you stay in reality and out of cloaked mindset.

5. He doesn’t get to take your kindness, generosity, love, devotion, dedication and loyalty. These are who YOU are, and they are a GOOD part of you. Those were YOUR investments. Try to separate those good investments and parts of you from him. He has NOTHING to do with those things – they are YOUR gifts, and you have a right to grieve your investment.

My Dear Sister,

This is a very hard and oftentimes lonely journey in our grief. You do not have to do this alone. There are women who will walk through this with you, step by step. You can be validated, seen, heard, loved, and held as you travel the intrepid waters of betrayal and abandonment – no matter how covert the abandonment has been.

Betrayal Trauma Support Groups will be starting April 10th through My Dear Sister Counseling. If you are interested please reach out, here on the site. Space is limited.

I see you and already believe your story.

You are not alone.


Rochelle Sadie

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