Rosie’s Chronicles: Alice is not where she says she is.

3. Rosie Chronicles/Introductions

God, that wine was good. She wished she could have another glass and sink back into the sofa while her friends gossiped, laughed and joked. Just to be there was food for the soul, a dose of normality once a month. But she had to be on her way, she had to get back home before her husband did. Not to cook dinner, or to help her children with their homework but simply to be there for him, and only him.

Ardmore ceramics

He was a jealous man; jealous of her time, her friends, her family and sometimes she even wondered about her children. It felt like he was jealous and critical of anything that made her happy. Of course he would never admit that. He’d become a master at twisting whatever she did and said into something negative. Having an innocent cup of tea with the ladies would be ‘selfish,’ one way or the other, a betrayal even.

Alice had learned early on in their marriage that it was easier just to lie. Tell him something he’d like to hear, appease him and make him feel like he’s all she ever needed.

She remembered the first day she’d driven from Durban to his farm and the excitement she had felt about a future with this man and the possibility of a life in the country; of a rose-studded garden, barefoot children, horse riding, log fires in the winter, riverside picnics and big, happy family gatherings. She remembered his smile when she’d arrived at the farm gates and how happy he was to see her. He’d called her four times on that trip, just to check where she was and whether she was okay. She had thought it was sweet – how he cared about her safety and how protective he was. But these days, he was never at the gate waiting and never smiling – only enquiring.

Ixopo countryside

Alice’s phone started to ring. She knew it was him. He’d be asking her where she was and what time she’d be back from her ‘beauty treatments?’ She rushed out of the noisy lounge and into the quiet of the kitchen to answer her phone.

“Hello darling, yes, I will be home at five. I’m about to leave Pietermaritzburg.”

She ended the call and breathed in deeply, composing herself before she re-entered the lounge. Pietermaritzburg was an hour from home. But Ixopo was only twenty minutes from home. She needed to say good bye to her friends, pick her children up from their playdate and get home to make dinner, all within an hour. As she knocked back her last sip of wine and was about to leave the kitchen, someone spoke to her.

‘Madam, don’t forget your scarf.’

Gladys handed Alice her scarf and for a brief moment, the women locked eyes – acknowledging something familiar in each other and that ‘this kitchen’ was definitely not in Pietermaritzburg.

Rosie’s notes: On being in a relationship or targeted by a sociopathic narcissist

A few years ago, I experienced sociopathic narcissism for the first time. Before then, I had no idea people like this even existed! And I was completely unprepared and unaware at the time of how to handle people with this personality disorder. Since then I have met a number of people who have had similar experiences and most of the time, much much worse than what I ever experienced.

As strange as this may sound, this experience has been one of the most empowering experiences and life lessons I have had to date in the way of ‘staying true to myself.’ It also has opened my eyes up to a whole a new world of which I knew nothing about before. I have seen first hand how dangerous this personality disorder can be for those in a relationship with someone who has it or anyone who has been targeted by such people and how important it is to identify it early on and to hold onto your ‘true self’ as if your life depended on it. The next post I will be publishing will focus on this subject and what I have learned through my experiences and through other people’s experiences and lessons.

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