Today’s post is going to be a bit short. I was recently faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to end a friendship of almost 30 years. A very close friend lied about something that was paramount to me. And this wasn’t the first time it had happened. However, unlike before where I overlooked their flagrant fabrication, I decided it was time to draw a line in the sand and execute a decision by which to stand firm.
Author: David Page 1 of 9
Did your narcissist fit the mold of the stereotypical narcissist? Mine certainly didn’t. I’d say she was about a solid 90-95% match, but definitely not 100%. Of all the things where she fell in line with the tried and true definition of a narcissist – self-absorbed, unfaithful, egotistical, immature, manipulative, dishonest, and deceitful; a life rife with double-standards aplenty – the one facet of that multi-faceted mold she never filled was the role of financial vampire. However, that’s not to say I didn’t invest a sizable amount of resources into her life and the planned future that would (fortunately) never come to fruition.
I‘ve heard it said, “The hardest apology to accept is the one you never got.” The thing about apologies, especially when they’re not sincere, is they really mean nothing when you know the person was fully aware of their actions when they hurt you. Every sling, every one of their arrows effortlessly pierces your flesh, impales your heart, and our narcissist offers up a mere halfhearted apology as you sit, stunned, staring at this new wound they’ve inflicted? Think about it. Does that apology carry any real weight when they’ve done whatever it was they did a hundred or even a thousand times before? When you know they’ll do it again? Lather. Rinse. Repeat, ad infinitum. After all, an apology without changed behavior is nothing more than manipulation.
After quite a bit of introspection, I’ve decided to venture back into the dating pool. It’s been well over a year since I walked away from my narcissist – time I’ve spent healing, rebuilding, and recreating – and while I’m not eager, per se, to become involved with someone, I will admit to missing sharing special moments with someone special. But then it occurs to me, “How do I know I’m ready?”
In an article a few weeks back, I shared that my narcissist and her husband had moved to South Dakota. Up until news of their migration, I knew one of two possibilities was only a matter of time until fruition: either I’d run into them at some point, someplace in town, or they’d move and I’d (hopefully) never see either of them again. Truth be told, I really didn’t know how I would feel if either or possibly even both events transpired. So when Veronika told me that Julia, my narcissist of 4-½ years, and Arty, Veronika’s ex-fiance of 4-½ years and Julia’s new husband, had moved, a part of me felt great relief knowing I’d never chance seeing them whilst out and about in our fair city.
Hello, fellow survivors, and happy anniversary! It was one year ago yesterday I wrote my first article heralding the chronicling of the before and aftermath of the 4-½ year ordeal that was loving a narcissist. Honestly, at the time, I had no idea where I would be a year later. All I knew with any degree of certainty was that my psychological and emotional fortitude were shaky, at best. In point of fact, even my awareness of a broken self was viewed through a fog-like haze – the lingering aftereffects and resultant fallout of my narcissist’s remarkably successful gaslighting and trauma bonding campaign. The really twisted thing is, even after all of the emotional and psychological manipulation, triangulation, abuse, and multiple infidelities, I still missed Julia, my narcissist. As with most victims of a narcissistic relationship, I had been conditioned to equate abuse with love; and I missed it. Yeah, I was pretty messed up.
How many times did you willingly offer up your morals, scruples, your inalienable sense of right and wrong, as a sacrifice to your narcissist? How many times did you forsake your ethics or virtues to appease the narcissist and their self-entitled sense of goddom? I did so more times than I care to remember or admit. And I suspect you did, as well. Although I’ll confess, with Julia, my narcissist, it wasn’t initially an in-your-face expectation or demand. No. She was far too adept at deft manipulation to be so blatantly obvious, at least for the first 3 years of the relationship. It was only toward the end, in that final fourth year, that she went from strongly suggesting to adamantly demanding. “If the person I’m with doesn’t believe this (faith-wise), eat this (diet-wise), etc., then it’s not going to work.” For you see, once their talons are sunk deep in your flesh, all that’s left is to squeeze till there’s no more breath.
“Everyone who hurts us becomes terrible.” Veronika’s words to me this past weekend. Apparently, my narcissist of 4-½ years, Julia, and her new husband, Arty, had just moved from our fair city in Tennessee to South Dakota. Needless to say, I was more than mildly pleased at the prospect of there no longer being any possibility of running into them when out and about. Mind you, it’s not so much that I still harbor any ardor for Julia. In fact, it’s quite the polar opposite. However, I also have no desire to see her and the person whom she was surreptitiously seeing behind my back during the final months of our relationship as it was writhing in its death throes.
Several years back I read an article about elephants. Yes, pachyderms. Specifically, it was why they don’t free themselves from captivity by simply walking away when they’re staked to the ground. Think about it. There’s no way that tiny wooden stake driven into the ground by a single man with a hammer could possibly keep a three-to-six-ton elephant in place. And yet, it does. But how? You see, when a baby elephant is brought into a circus, for example, it’s intentionally staked and shackled. At first, the baby elephant fights and pulls at the chain and stake but to no avail. Elephants are actually quite intelligent creatures and, as such, it isn’t long before the elephant understands its efforts will be fruitless. It accepts its fate and stops fighting. In that moment, it becomes a prisoner. The thing is, as the elephant grows older and larger, at some point s/he could very easily pull that stake up by simply walking away. But it doesn’t because it’s been conditioned to believe it can’t. It doesn’t know just how strong it really is.
This is a picture of me. Being a dad to the world’s most amazing 12-year old boy, I’m generally the one behind the camera. But, every so often, albeit rarely, I find myself in front of the lens. So why did I post this particular picture? Because a good friend of mine recently saw it and commented, “There’s just something about that picture. You look so…happy.” Well, truth be told, on that specific day, I was happy. Quite happy, actually. You see, on that day, I was with my narcissist.