Finally, I am all caught up! For this week’s question, Calen has taken us back to Philip Simmons’ book Learning to Fall.
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.
This is The. Last. Time. I will use this blog for anything political. In fact, I am cutting ties with all news for the foreseeable future. I won’t read it and I certainly won’t listen to it. If it sounds like I am apathetic, I am not. I am saving myself from four years of triggers from a Narcissist. That’s what Trump is and since I lived with one for 13 years, I know exactly how he is going to treat this nation.
Here are some traits of Narcissism:
- They don’t show their true selves. In fact, they wear many masks and change them rapidly to be whomever they think someone wants them to be at any given point. This is not to benefit YOU. It only benefits THEM. It is part of their “charm” package. It’s how they reel people in.
- They don’t incorporate security into relationships. Instead, they like to keep you on your toes, guessing their next move. This is crazy-making and they are masters at it. You will never feel safe.
- They never allow you to see them as the bad guy. In other words, they are always the good guy because they always blame YOU.
- They don’t like to lose control. Narcissists are control freaks and they will do whatever it takes to stay in control. If they lose control, they get extremely angry and you become the target of the rage, even if you weren’t the cause of the loss of control.
- They won’t let people prove them wrong. They will argue that they are right until you begin to believe it too. They will deflect, defend, make up lies, and follow you around making their point until you either agree or pass out from exhaustion.
- They don’t see others as equals. They see themselves as the greatest, the smartest, the best at everything they do or say. If you try to prove yourself as their equal, they will destroy your life by any means possible.
- They never have sympathy. They can feign something that looks like sympathy, part of not showing their true selves, but make no mistake, they have no true sympathy or empathy. They will laugh while you cry. They won’t care how hurt you are or how much pain you are in. If it doesn’t concern them, they won’t care.
- They don’t do anything that doesn’t benefit them. Did they buy you something nice? They want something. Did they compliment you? They want something. They are always looking for what can give them the most benefit or the best deal. If you give them what they want, you’ve opened yourself up to abuse because eventually, they will come collecting.
- They don’t take orders from others. This is because they think they know everything and you are so insignificant that you cannot possibly contribute anything new.
- They don’t like to admit they have feelings. Many people say they have no feelings, but you can bet they do. They are actually more fragile than you are and more capable of covering up their weakness. Slights can turn them into raging maniacal madmen/women.
- They don’t listen. They are just waiting for you to shut up so they can make it all about them. What they want to say and what you will have to listen to. Remember, they already think they know everything.
- They either don’t stick around, or they will get rid of you if they become bored. So long as you entertain them on some level, they are there. The moment you stop, they are out of there. They love and crave attention.
- They don’t pick unattractive friends. Those closest to a narcissist will usually be quite beautiful and of the upper-crust of society, at least as far up as they can get. It has to benefit them in some way.
- They don’t normally give compliments. Instead, they prefer to be complimented. If they do compliment you, they want something in return.
- They don’t like to be polite. In fact, they speak their minds no matter how rude or demeaning their words are. Since they are far superior to everyone else, they do not need to abide by polite society’s rules.
Do any of those sounds like Trump? If you think so, be prepared to be collectively abused for the next four years. Right now, he is infatuated with all the idolization he has received in his rallies. He will lovebomb the American people for a while, so long as they keep feeding his ego. If he is called out for misbehavior, he will gaslight us as he has throughout his campaign by denying facts, deflecting, and continuing to lie no matter how much evidence is stacked against him. This is to make the American people second guess whether there was something there there.
I lived with the anxiety and crazy-making for 13 years. When I finally escaped that life, my nerves calmed down. However, this election cycle, especially in the last 6 months, has only heightened my anxiety. I was definitely triggered. I cannot afford to be engaged in this nightmare of a world the US is about to embark upon. For my own sanity, I have to let go. I will continue to be an advocate for Mental Health, but not in a political way.
So, this is me, signing off on politics. Disengaging from the crazy-making to come. Good luck, America. You asked for this with your vote.
Time for another catch-up post. This one from June 28th. Calen has perplexed me with this one. Mainly because the title and the question seem to be at odds with one another. Here’s the question:
I’ve been thinking about this one for a couple of days because of the juxtaposition of the title and the question. This is not a bad thing though. Many of the things that have made me feel small throughout my lifetime have encouraged me to take a stand. I will give you some examples.
I am a middle child, and throughout my childhood and even into my young adulthood, I always felt “small” in both comparison and contrast to my older sister and younger brother. I was never perfect enough, or loud enough and often left out of opportunities within my family. Sometimes, I still feel small, unwanted, unloved and abandoned. I still feel the sting. However, I didn’t let that smallness prevent me from becoming a self-sufficient woman who went to college and earned three degrees.
I also know the smallness of being stigmatized due to mental illness, not only from society, but also from family and friends. I’ve been shunned, gossiped about, called horrible names, and even lost jobs because of my mental illness. The only way I know to stand up in this instance is to tell my story with the hope that someone out there who has mental illness will hear or read my words and know they are not alone.
And lastly, I’ve known the smallness of living with domestic violence at the hand of a Narcissist. No one can cut you down and make you feel less than human than a Narcissist. They pride themselves in shredding you of all sense of dignity. And because they see you as property to be held onto, it is difficult to get away and stay away from them. Again, only by leaving and telling my story to others, can I take a stand against domestic violence.
This week’s challenge is What makes you feel vulnerable?
My biggest vulnerable spot is allowing myself to get too close to people online. I have this knack for getting attached to people, enjoying their company, and conversing back and forth with them. It takes me a while to fully open up to people, but it seems like when I am the most comfortable with them, something always goes wrong. They break off contact with me. This has happened more times than I care to admit. And I never know why they break contact. I don’t know if I said something wrong or misinterpreted something. I get no feedback from them. They are there one minute and the next minute they are gone. This has forced me to be a very guarded person. I don’t like being this vulnerable and I don’t like having to caution myself. But I also don’t like being hurt and a few times I was hurt so deeply that I fell into depression. The worst one happened last May and I ditched a whole blog and went off the grid for several months. I am a highly sensitive person and when someone is upset with me, it breaks my heart. But when I cannot even reach someone again to make amends, well, that is the worst part.
I am also vulnerable to narcissists. I seem to be a magnet to these kinds of people. Just about every man I have dated (and one I married) has been a narcissist. Someone explained it to me like this: “Since they have no feelings, they are attracted to those who feel too much.” This is probably true since I am an empath. I don’t know if they want to be around me so they can mirror me or destroy me. What I *do* know is that a couple of times my relationship with these men very nearly did destroy me. Twice I have escaped just in time to save my sanity. Now I know the subtle clues and I look out for all of the red flags that they send out. It has made it quite difficult for me to even think about dating again.