Feeling A Bit Empowered. Is It Right?

Another old post im just now publishing. Enjoy.

I connected the dots and did the math. Trust me, despite the title, I’m not gloating or feeling like I’ve one-uped the former narcissist in my life and it definitely doesn’t give me joy and happiness to say this, but it did give me an element of peace to be able to come up with a new perspective on certain aspects of the now defunct relationship.
Anybody who has ever been entangled enough with and in the line of fire of a narcissist knows about the idolize, devalue and discard phases. For me, my devaluing came in the context of it being all too obvious that while i was once “up here” in his eyes, I eventually became seen as “down there”. Last on the list. Bottom of the totem pole. Worthless. A liability. Non-beneficial. Not about anything. It then dawned on me how to some extent, whether he’s aware of it or not, it must get to him knowing that someone who (in his eyes) has nothing, isn’t about anything and who has basically fallen from grace doesn’t even want HIM anymore! Not physically. Not emotionally and DEFINITELY not for any intellectual contributions. The standard of thinking is that someone “like me” usually​ would be happy to be thrown a bone by someone “like him” (whom he sees as the bees knees and superior to, at the very least, those he’s currently devaluing). When having to acknowledge that even the lowest of the low (in his eyes) doesn’t even want him, I can only imagine what that does to his already child like fragile ego. I don’t want to take solace in knowing that my rejection, regardless of the reasons​, is acting as a blow to one’s sense of self – real or not – but SOMEWHERE in there, it helps ME with my healing.

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It’s Time To Become

I wrote this May 4th 2017 and have come a LONG way since. It’s my hope someone, anyone, gets something out of it.

I was laying in my bed last night thinking about my past relationship I had with a narcissist for 27+ years. Reminiscing about how toxic it was but the reminiscing was not in an unhealthy way. I wasn’t focused on the bad, I didn’t start going back down that mental rabbit hole and it didn’t, thank God, elicit any I’ll feelings, anger or hurt like it once upon a time did. After thinking for a little while about this now dead interaction, it seemed like all the names that were “third parties” to our so-called relationship started coming to mind. I imagined that I was having somewhat of a fictitious conversation with him and found myself starting to point out to him how many superficial relationships he’s had since I’ve known him – superficial because they were based on material things, sex and how he could benefit from them – and that he must be the one at fault because he’s the common denominator but even within this make believe conversation, I automatically caught myself cleaning it up and telling him that I could easily say that but it wouldn’t be entirely accurate. See, the truth is, and I’m not sure if I’m going to phrase this right, but the truth is….it’s not 100% his fault! Yes, the behaviors are unjustified and inexcusable but the reality is that we, the narcissist’s “victims” or “targets”, allow ourselves to be treated in such a deplorable manner because of issues that still need to be addressed. The narcissist executes the behaviors because of his or her own deep rooted dysfunctions, but we allow it to continue. To happen in the first place.

Anyway, after thinking about all this, I was blown away by how many others that he’s gone thru since I’ve known him, that most likely have or have had at the point in time they dealt with him, various unaddressed issues just like myself. I felt a sense of sadness and a sense of ‘wow’! People, we have to heal. Whether our trauma/issues/dysfunctions are no longer able to be ignored and brought to us on a silver platter by a sociopath or be it some other messenger….we have to become more self aware, be willing to go into uncomfortable territory, love ourselves and ultimately HEAL. Spring clean the negative in order to bring in the positive!

A Spin On Healing?

Healing from trauma, dysfunctional thinking and faulty mindsets that originate from negative childhood experiences to narcissistic abuse as an adult can be a long, hard, intense and overwhelming journey. Sometimes you feel like just giving up! I can definitely speak on that. I always here about self love coming first before anything else but my problem with that is this: How does that work? What’s the process? Where do you start? I mean, if you’re someone who has always felt ugly, unworthy, devalued, not good enough, unimportant and basically just worthless no matter what you’ve accomplished or how much others have seen things in you that you don’t, then where does that person even begin to find value in themselves? I’ll be honest –  affirmations and mantras don’t work for me. They are nothing but words coming out of my mouth that I don’t absorb nor believe. Words on repeat like a broken record. I can tell you though that reading the right books on healing and listening to podcasts has helped me TREMENDOUSLY. I don’t think I’d be as far along as I am if it wasn’t for those two mediums and the help of my higher power. 

Yes, part of the process of healing is surrounding yourself with non- toxic, supportive people and people who are just overall contributors to your life as opposed to those that take away from it. Also known as Energy Vampires, Narcissists, Sociopaths and the list goes on. However, it dawned on me through my own crazy logic and maybe even a touch skewed that in addition to me probably getting ready to say something that’s been said before but just in a different way, that like it took a person or group of people, a situation or multiple situations or a combination of all the above to have created your issues and faulty mindsets at an early age, then doesn’t it stand to reason that the same holds true for the reverse? Yes, you do need to work on seeing value in who you are and acceptance of yourself in the moment but I believe that doing that can only get you so far. Just like it took external factors to create dysfunction, I believe that a person also needs external factors in order to create optimal healing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you need to rely on external factors to find worth and value in yourself, that you need to rely on other’s opinions about you or that you need to live up to someone else’s standards in order to find your identity. I just believe that part of the healing process is surrounding yourself with people that can validate and support your positive thinking about yourself. You see, it’s easier to perceive negative things about yourself at an early age because you don’t know any better. The events that happened to you and the people that you’re around are what you rely on and see as your reality. Once becoming an adult you have the option of seeing things differently because now you don’t have to depend on anything or anybody to tell you who you are – YOU define and determine that! 

My take away is this: work on yourself, come to value and appreciate all that you do have and all their is to you. Whatever makes up YOU. Even if once upon a time you were like me and could list a lot of things about yourself that you appreciated and held in high esteem and knew were valuable characteristics to have but, because you were in a long-term relationship with a narcissist you allowed yourself to throw everything away that was valuable in your eyes and probably a lot of other people’s eyes because you convinced yourself that even though you knew these things were valuable about you, you didn’t have the things that he or she found appealing, beneficial and important in his eyes about someone. I have good communication skills, I’m articulate, I’m very loyal, I’m empathetic, I’m not an Einstein but I was in the gifted program in elementary school and according to my mother I taught myself to read so I think I am somewhat intelligent and I’m a Capricorn! All of these things I know are good qualities to have and all of these things I know our marketable when it comes to finding a partner and cultivating healthy, meaningful friendships. However, none of these things meant anything to the narcissist in my life. I mean, they did as long as they served him some purpose and benefited him or made him look good in front of others but I guarantee you that someone else who had, and I’m just going to get specific here, more sexual endeavors, to put it mildly, in the bedroom and was willing to do a little more than I was and someone who had more material things and financial means that he could manipulate and benefit from always always outweighed the positive things about me because that’s when the scales slowly began to tilt and I slowly but surely started falling from his superficial grace. From that pedal stool he once had me on for so many years. That was just the nature of the beast I guess. Thank to God, LITERALLY, I was eventually able to tip the scales in my mind and come to accept that what HE placed value on was nothing but superficial qualities and at the end of the day they were qualities that don’t define a person and they aren’t qualities that make a relationship. So to that person who used to be in my life suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, to you I say: Have at it! Continue to bed hop, be emotionally unable to give or receive sincerity and true love and continue to be that empty shell of a person that will constantly have to come up with ways to reinvent yourself and keep the mask from falling off because I’ve moved on, made progress with my healing, my childhood wounds and have the peace of knowing that I will never ever again go through what I went through with you and be treated the way that you treated me because I am over allowing toxic people come into my life and have a lasting effect on it!

Amen.

I Dont Want To LEARN To Love Myself, Flaws and All!

Maybe I should rephrase that title to: In A Perfect World, I Would Already Love Myself  because truthfully, I wish I didn’t have to learn this. I wish that it just was. See, in my sometimes messed up logic, if there’s things about you that you don’t like or even hate, then forcing yourself to accept them is to me an element of the Band-Aid Factor. You may accept them, but that doesn’t mean at the end of the day you’re any closer to liking them. It’s like you’re just going along for the ride. When I look in the mirror I don’t want to have to put in extra work forcing myself to come to terms with something that I see that I don’t like. I want to be able to look in the mirror, see a flaw and keep it moving. I don’t want to have to go on some journey only to arrive at Acceptance Alley. I’m not saying that when I look in the mirror that I want to see perfection because I know that even in a perfect world, that will never happen. I just hate that I’m having to exert so much energy on liking myself. Real talk.

Dealing With This Phase Of The Healing

Last night I found myself asking the question: Is there any situation that’s more eye opening and reality revealing than being in a relationship or close interaction with a Narcissist? I’m not talking about someone who’s narcissistic, but rather someone who’s been diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In my opinion, the answer just might be a big no. The only thing that I could think of that even comes remotely close is that of being in a drug addiction. Both scenarios force you to take a long hard look at yourself and ultimately address any core issues and dysfunctions that are unhealed that are at the heart of the toxic chaos you allow into your life. One uses a tangible tool that has the capacity to destroy your body physically and mentally. The other requires a living being to be the tool or messenger if you will, that most always deeply affects your mental, emotional and potentially physical condition. Regardless of which scenerio you find yourself in or if unlucky, you find yourself in both, one happening as a byproduct of the other, but the starting point always being the same: those parts of you that have always told you that you’re not good enough or you’re not worthy or that you have to compare and compete in order to stay in the game and HOPE to be noticed. Those parts that yell so loudly over and over and over “pick me! choose me! let who I am be enough to not be swayed to leave me! love me – flaws and all!”. 

Self Pity Is Not Black And White

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines self-pity as: a feeling of pity for yourself because you believe you have suffered more than is fair or reasonable. Well, I present to you that it’s more than that. Not only is it more than that, but it’s also not that black and white. I personally have a problem when someone tells another person to stop feeling sorry for themselves. It’s been in my experience that when a person feels sorry for themselves, aka self pity, that usually means that they are expressing how they are feeling about an unfair situation that has happened to them BUT with the intention of illiciting a particular reaction from their listening audience: sympathy, sorrow, etc. To me, that’s what self-pity is. I say this because for me, the fact of the matter is that while I take responsibility for my choices and behaviors in my life, I can also trace back to a point of why I do the things that I do and where my faulty mindset all began. Unfortunately there are those that will mistake this as placing blame and wallowing in self-pity. No. These are just facts about myself and when I talk about them, I’m not expecting others to feel sorry for me or to cut me any slack. There is a difference between expecting a reaction that will support the wallowing vs a person truly believing that as their reality due to issues, dysfunctions, etc.

I’m a logical, rational, connect the dots type of thinker. A lot of people have dysfunctional mindsets and for some you can’t just tell them to stop feeling sorry for themselves or simply tell them that they have a choice and that they have to take responsibility for their own behavior. That may be ultimately true to some extent but not only is it not that simple, but there’s a process in getting to that point. For some, this mindset, this way of thinking, is all that they know. To tell somebody to stop feeling sorry for themselves and in the same sentence also tell them what they need to start doing as a solution to stopping this “self pity” is a little passive aggressive in my opinion and can definitely bring on a defense mechanism, which is counterproductive and not a good motivator at all! People shut down when they think you’re attacking them. Everyone is unique. Those who meet the criteria I just talked about and who really do feel sorry for themselves because they blame others, constantly paint themselves as a victim and rarely look at the part they play in their misfortune are the ones who really do need to hear “stop it! take responsibility and change what’s within your power!” but those who come from a place of truly internalizing and/or personalizing every negative thing that happens to them because of faulty belief systems from a young age, well I believe they need to hear something different other than “stop feeling sorry for yourself”.

So I present to you, that self-pity is not just black and white. It’s your mindset, it’s your beliefs, it’s your expectations, and it’s your come from in addition to the words that you speak.

Generalizations

A This will be a little off topic from my usual posts lately, but I have to blog when the feeling hits! Earlier I was thinking about something that led up to me pondering the question, “why do a lot of women who have had a bad experience or even several bad experiences with men within a relationship tend to come up with generalizations about them?” For example, we’re probably all familiar with the “all men are dogs” saying. I’ve also heard about what “all guys” do when they want to leave you at the moment – they start an argument so that they can go to the other woman. Personally, as a female, I don’t subscribe to that. Yeah, I get it. It’s easier to blame something or someone else instead of looking at yourself and definitely there are men and women that use this unnecessary tactic. I’m also excluding relationships where personality disorders are a factor. First of all, you can apply that theory to PEOPLE in general – starting an argument just so one can leave. I don’t think its exclusive to men. Second, the narcissist that used to be in my life did not have that problem or should I say that theory didn’t apply to him. He was too much of a control freak and his mindset was that he was going to do what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it, with whom he wanted to do it with and he didn’t have to tell you anything about it and believe me, if part of his leaving was to get back at you, trust me you were going to know exactly what the deal was!

Maybe I’m too self aware and that’s why I ponder these ridiculous questions but it seems to me that when women adopt this mindset of applying one behavior to all men, not only do they have to process and heal from the bad relationships, but now they have to overcome the faulty thinking that they’ve adopted about men in general which, in my opinion is not only extra work but also makes it more difficult to get into a healthy relationship in the future. I say, take each interaction, relationship or even friendship on a case-by-case basis. Definitely learn from past mistakes, but part of the process of learning from them is not about attributing the mistakes of the previous to the current. If you’ve had a series of interactions where you feel that the men have had similar negative ways, then maybe it’s time to look within and find out what it is that keeps allowing you to be involved with men that exhibit these behaviors or what it is about yourself that you may contribute to the unhealthy combination. And just to be clear, in no way, shape or form am I justifying bad behavior, bad choices and toxic people. I’m saying that instead of taking the default mindset of thinking that the male species are all born with the same DNA strands when it comes to certain things, maybe it’s time to look at all the factors involved – which includes you!