Once, I came across emails of him flirting with a girl. So, I carefully planned my breakup four months before telling him about it. I grappled with trust issues for a while, but eventually found a healthy, loving relationship.
What I was doing was dubious, but it was out of the ordinary.
Nisheet* was charming, articulate and, within days, he began finishing my sentences.
Before I could get a grip over myself, I had changed beyond recognition. I knew I was dealing with a cold, sick individual who wanted me to doubt my own logic, but I found myself assuring him instead. I also know that it seems impossible that you can carry on with something so damaging for one-and-a-half years.
I found myself second guessing everything Neeraj told me, even cross-checking ‘facts’ with his sister (they were always false). Eight months into the relationship, Neeraj admitted that he made money by hacking into accounts of US citizens who approached him to investigate their spouses’ infidelities. It was only over time that I realised how being with him made me insecure, paranoid and on the wrong side of the law, away from my family and friends.
He made subtly-concealed threats of self harm if I left him, and I panicked because I cared. He made people, especially girls, feel special with his charm and glib talk, and smoothly bitched about them in their absence.
Soon, he admitted that his real name was Neeraj* and, because he helped the cyber crime cell, he had faked his identity (another lie). If I argued against the pathological lying, he confidently claimed I couldn’t see the ‘truth’.
It is amazing how parasitic and leech-like it could get.
I disagree with people who say this happens only to the not-so-confident lot. It gets easier to break free if you have a good dose of self-respect, but there isn’t any immunity from someone like that.
With time, Neeraj’s lack of consideration for the law, and for most people around him shocked me. Neeraj steadily isolated me by asking my friends to stay away.