Finally, I am all caught up! For this week’s question, Calen has taken us back to Philip Simmons’ book Learning to Fall.
Have you ever tried to change someone in your life?
How’d that work out for ya?
It’s not something I like to admit, but yes, once I did try to change someone in my life. I am not proud of it. I believe everyone should be whomever they wish to be, but when you live with a Narcissist, you’d do almost anything to get them to change their ways, to become the loving companion you always wanted. No matter how bad the idea is.
He wasn’t so bad unless he drank. One or two beers was fine. He was tolerable. After that third beer, he became a condescending asshole, a tyrant, know-it-all impossible jerk. I tried to get him to stop drinking. It would work for a week or two and then he would begin drinking again. I tried to roll with the metaphorical punches, but Narcissists love passive people. They are easier to control and I allowed him to control me for nearly 12 years. I reacted to his horrible behavior and he fed off it.
Sometime in late 2012, I’d had enough. I’d been in therapy for about six months with a wonderful, supportive therapist. She encouraged me to make changes. I also decided to choose a guiding word for the year – Acceptance. Over the course of 2013, I stopped reacting to his negative attitude and just accept it. I’d been learning Mindfulness as a tool to help with my mental illnesses. Whenever he went on a rage, I would become mindful. Whenever he ranted and raved, I went within, centered myself and became mindful. I learned to accept the life I lived in, my circumstances, and how I reacted to my Narcissist. By the end of that year, I knew I would be leaving him soon. There was no changing him, only myself.