I miss the Narcs validation. Years later I find myself wanting to say to her, look what I have done. Like a kid who cleaned his room. A dog who retrieved the stick. I am looking for my reward; my validation. Obviousness a sign of my own insecurities, or is it.

I was never a confident person growing up. I am not talking about just the sort of lack of confidence that would make talking in front of thousands of people or performing on stage a nightmare. I am talking about confidence in the choice of clothing I wore, or what I ate, or what friends I had. Growing up I constantly questioned my own thoughts to guide me through life. I kept to myself and created my own little great world were everything was right. When I was put in a social situation I was always searching for someone to validate that what I was doing was right. Some of that still lingers.

My own insecurities I believe is one of the things that drew me towards her originally, and her to me. That validation she provided me in life in the love-bombing stage. She made me feel like a hero, like everyone else was against me, but she was in my corner. The more she did it, the more I sought it out from her. In effect I was giving her all the attention in order to receive that validation. When she stopped validating me, I gave her even more attention seeking that validation. Because, she was now my only source of it; everyone else was against me. She had me relying on her and isolating me from others and myself.

I slowly forgot to respect myself in the process as well. This made me even more insecure; as I doubted my view as unimportant. If I did not respect myself, how would she ever respect me. But I didn’t care, as long as she validated me, all was OK. So I accepted it as normal. I was now on a slippery slope. One that I do not like to think about how it would have ended up if it was not for an unexpected turn.

That turn? I was becoming successful in my career. I was getting promotions and more responsibility. I could slam dunk any project or responsibility handed to me. I had the respect of my colleges, and those business connections I was making. I was gaining confidence in myself. I ultimately believe it was this confidence that caused the narc to make her next move. The move that would finally let me begin to break free from her death grip. She became disinterested in me, because I did not need her validation all the time anymore, so she started having an affair; which led to divorce.

The crazy thing is, there are still times I want her to say, “boy, your looking good”, or “that’s a nice car”, of “wow, you really got the house looking good”. Worthless, empty, validation. I have to try hard to remember to love, respect, and validate myself. I need to demand respect from others. Not seek their validation. I need to focus on the process, rather than the outcome. No more look what I have built. Look what I have accomplished. Rather let the activity itself be self-satisfying. Self loving. Self respecting.

This is something, that to this day, years after freedom from the narc, I still need to work on. It’s not automatic, I have to work at it. Someday, after many years of a practicing self respect I know it will become automatic. So if you struggle as well with the damage the narc does to one’s soul, your not alone. These things take time.

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Love Story

This week I am going to table talking about the discovery and recovery part of the Narcissist’s abuse for a bit and concentrate on who I was before a victim. I want to share what I am finding about myself, and what I believe made me susceptible to the Narcissist games. For, to truly heal, you must look in on yourself and understand you. You must love yourself.

Life experiences define who we are and what each of us view as ‘normal’. Humans, being typically social beings, look for people to interact with, to learn from, and hopefully grow as a result. Everyone has different experiences and therefore look for something different in life. Some of us are completely happy to march to their own beat. They have friendships, but are just fine with that. Others of us search for that companion to build a love story with. Someone you choose to get intimately involved with and plan to spend the rest of your life with. I chose the latter.

Now, what did I look for in an intimate partner to love for life? Starting at the beginning; I was a shy kid growing up. I remained that was much of my pre-teen and teenager life. I really didn’t date in high school; I was too timid. My parents, particularity my mother, were not interested in seeing me date. I began to fill the void of not dating with a story of what love was going to be for me in my mind. I imagined it over and over again. I became a hopeless romantic, fantasizing about life and love playing out as it had in the stories I heard, the books I read, and the movies I watched. For reason’s I am still discovering, I built my perfect love story as the fairy tale of the knight in shining armor saving the princess.

I started dating looking to fulfill this love story I created in my head. I was so naive, and still so shy, it was a recipe for disaster. I was constantly framing my relationships in the story so much, that I did not get to enjoy and learn as I feel I should have. Looking back at my first encounters with people I chose to enter a relationship with, I always wanted to rescue them. I wanted to make the day easier for them, fix something for them, or make them feel better, all as a show of my affection. I wanted a princess to sweep off her feet, put her in my coach and drive her to our castle to live happily ever after. I remember truly story boarding it all in my head. Once I found her I would be her everything, and she would be my everything. I would do anything to stay atop that horse as her knight in shining armor. That is what I was supposed to do as a loving partner. I knew no other way.

So I gave myself to anyone I dated. I really did. After a few failed attempts at the fairy tale I started to learn. I learned that relationships were two way, and I had to be more than a knight on a horse and she had to be more than the princess. However, I kept turning to that original fairy tale in my head. Then one day I found the girl I wanted to spend my life with. She was so sexy, outgoing, happy, and full of life. I just wanted to be part of it. My friend introduced us and she instantly rejected me. Unexpectedly, that rejection did the opposite of what I expected. It drove me wild. With that the games began, and I did not even know it.  After a few more attempts she started to show notice, explained her life to me overnight. Told me how she was struggling threw life, dealt a bad hand, but wanted so much more. If you have not guessed it, I dove right in and rescued her. Rescued her from what I was told was a different path than she wanted to be on. She was stuck there because of family and friends abandoning her. So I listened to the story, I helped her, and we became one mindset. It seemed like destiny. I was so absorbed in the rescue of my Narcissist lover and could no longer see any other story. It was our love story.

Shakespeare once wrote a love story. You may have heard of it, Romeo and Juliet. Two kids fall in love; they decide to marry even though the families will not hear of it because they are enemies. Romeo decides to run away, Juliet fakes her death because she can’t live without him. Romeo really takes his life because he will never find a love again, such as her. Shakespeare wrote probably the truest love story ever written, correct? Did he? I believe he was writing a story of how lust, infatuation, romanticism, and the story we create of love in our heads can destroy us if we are not careful. Look it up sometime; there are many out there that have taken a different look at this play such as Joseph Pearce in his post ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is not a Romance.

I still am discovering why I built up my story of love as I did. Quite simply, I believe I was emotionally underdeveloped for my age. So when another great story teller came along and filled in all the chapters I was missing, I was hooked. Now, if only those chapters were real or true. As we know, they were not. The narcissist lied to me over and over to paint this picture of my perfect partner, that I had created in my head. It’s like she knew. The narcissist is good at reading you and mirroring your deepest needs and most sincere qualities. They have none of there own, so the steel yours. Therefore, I thought it we were soulmates, I thought it was the love to last a lifetime. I was wrong. 

I am now divorced from the narcissist. I see the world, love, and life differently now. I nearly fell for others with NPD qualities since, but have learned to discern those traits, and part ways with those that possess them. In hindsight, with the emotional intelligence I own now, I could have re-written my love story. Where then, would I be now?

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What If I’m Wrong

1+1=3 (Wrong Answer)

What if your wrong? What if this person that hurt you, or is hurting you, is not a narcissist? What if he/she is correct and you are the one with a problem? What if your the narcissist? What if?

It does not matter! Your feelings are all that matters. Own them. Whether you were with this person for a long time, as I was, or this was a short encounter; whether they left you, or you walked out, all that matters are your feelings. If you are here reading this, you are feeling something that brought you here. Some confusion that you can’t make sense of. How can this person I loved be so harsh? I don’t recognize them. Where is the person I loved? You are asking these questions because your partner built up this false image of themselves. An image you believed in, and fell in love with. Suddenly that person you loved is gone. I not speaking in the physical sense, but rather psychologically. You have been discarded in the narc’s mind like a used tissue. So now you are going to be treated differently by them, but he/she will continue to use the same tools that made you fall in love with him/her.

The narcissist always told you what to believe, correct? Think about it for a moment. Is he/she trying to do that now? Is the narc telling you what to believe again, but this time in a directly negative and derogatory manner. Are you still believing what the narc is telling you? You want to understand, and since that person won’t explain to you what honestly went wrong in the relationship, you begin to blame yourself as the narc has trained you to do. There is no one else left to blame.

Stop. Stop blaming yourself. You would not feel this way if this person was honest throughout your relationship. You are dealing with someone who will never give you the answers you are looking for. That lack of closure is causing you to doubt yourself. This is normal and healthy. You are not the narcissist. A narcissist would not try to understand. Because he/she is superior, he/she does not need to understand someone’s feelings. The narc has none. If you were the Narcissist you would not be doubting yourself. You would not have the ability to look in on yourself, you would not possess the empathy needed to truly love someone. The want to understand why is normal. 

You are not wrong. If you feel a certain way, no one can tell you your wrong to feel that way. These are your feelings. You also can not make a person feel a certain way. How someone feels is completely controlled by that person. Everything the Narcissist tells you about how you ‘make him/her feel’ is just another level of inability to own their feelings; therefore he/she attempts to control yours. In doing so, they make you doubt yourself. It works. It worked on me for a long time. Until one day the masked was removed and I saw her true colors. Those colors scared me.

The narc will tell you that you are wrong, they will continue to slander you to others, gaslight you, and hoover back at times professing the want to speak with you. It is all part of the game they play. They play it day in and day out. It really doesn’t matter if he/she is actually diagnosed as someone with Narcissistic Personalty Disorder. If you want to label this person that so you can find tools to deal with them, that is your free will. You are not wrong.

At the end of the day it really doesn’t matter who is right or wrong. It matters to choose to live a happy life, to rise above the pain and the past. The sooner you can realize that, the sooner you can begin to heal. You may not do it overnight, but it will come. Don’t hate yourself with doubt. Love yourself by embracing your feelings. Trust yourself.

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Best Worst Experience

Burnt Forest

I was lucky, my relationship with the narcissist ended the day I found out she was cheating on me with another man. When I confronted her about it, she walked out. She barely looked back, other than to blame me for everything. I can hear you saying to yourself as your reading this, lucky, how is that lucky.

I would have never been able to make that decision; to leave her. So I find myself lucky that she removed her mask and showed who she truly was and walked out, if just for a brief moment. In hind-sight that was not the first she cheated, just the first time she was caught. Consequently, I find it fortunate that she made the decision easy by walking out. A week after she disappeared and was not heard from at all, she tried to come back. I said no. I wanted to say yes at the time, but something in me said no, not until we are good again. She gave me a confused look, I held my ground, and she walked out again. Little did I know, that moment was the beginning of something great.

I view the experience of being discarded by the narcissist as the best worst experience in my life. It hurt, was deeply confusing, and caused my health to fall to nearly fatal results. It is something I would never wish it on anyone. However, it turned into most mentally, emotionally, and physically transforming event in my life. Anything the world throws in my path can be faced, I am no longer afraid. What I lived through could destroy a person. I chose not to let it; I survived and I am recovering. I deeply feel that I can accomplish anything and don’t fear the unknown or bad people anymore. I am now invincible.

Situations in my life since have tested me. I pull from this experience and everything I am learning during recovery to face these situations head on. Laughter replaces anger in some cases. Laughter, because I feel I know what the person is thinking, what they are trying to do. Therefore, it has little effect on my emotions and I approach it logically, almost business like. That’s not to say that I don’t feel anymore. Feeling is natural and should not be suppressed. Surpressing feelings can cause greater long term problems. The road to healing is through those feelings. I just listen to them with a different mindset and heed caution that the person causing the feelings may be doing so to knock me off my feet logically. It’s a delicate balance, but one I understand now.

I never would have gained this useful insight, this ability to be in touch with my thoughts and emotions, if not for the hell the narcissist put me through. So, in a weird way, I am thankful. Thankful for this terrible low in my life, that I could grow from. Sometimes you need to burn down the forest to let new growth flourish. The narcissist burned down what I thought was life, and from it came new personal growth.

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