Cognitive dissonance (not for people in their first steps of recovery!!!!)

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January 27, 2011 - 11:26pm (Reply to #59)
jen79
jen79's picture

Michelle and sick of it

Sick of it is right. Michelle you know if you are, when you imagine the following scenario and you feel thats it. For me it would have been my greatest "success", if he could have seen the loving angel in me, and I could have safed him from his being lost and living in the darkness, then he could have given up all his other women for me, cause I am so wonderful and special and made him heal. with this he would have felt bonded and dependent on me forever and he would have never looked again somewhere else to become happy, god forbid, to become happy on his own. He would have married me, and his vow would have been, you came into my life and saved me and I will always love you for that, my life without you was nothing worth. If that scenario would have made you happy, then yes, you are codependent. And if so, dont worry, 99% of women are programmed to think and hope in this way, we are all conditioned through the media and novels this way.
January 29, 2011 - 6:28pm (Reply to #62)
Susan32
Susan32's picture

Being the angel of purity

I had thought the same way about the ex-Psych professor. His birthday is on the feast day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, as well as the day St. Francis of Assisi received the stigmata (wounds of Christ) I thought I could convert him. Despite his constant insulting of my faith, I still went to Bible studies (without him) and Sunday Mass (without him) When a friend of mine accused me of him idolizing him, I told her that he had expected me to give up church for him. If I had been REALLY submissive, I would've given up on going to church to be with him. He insulted my faith... because Leo Tolstoy did the same thing to his wife Sofia. Leo idealized Sofia as an angel of purity, even in his final letter to her (in which he also insulted her for having basic needs, feelings, he even disrespected her after he died) She was pained when the Russian Orthodox Church excommunicated him (last year, the Russian Orthodox refused to end the excommunication, saying that Tolstoy had made Communism possible) Yet he responded ironically to it. He idealized her, claiming she had saved him, yet constantly coerced her into sex, publicly humiliated her, and made life especially difficult for her whenever she was pregnant. I dreamt of the SAME scenario with the ex-P...that I'd convert him and marry him. Bring him to Jesus. Bring him to God. In an odd way, that final D&D was healing, because I no longer have that dream. I'm not someone else's rescue mission. I'm not the ex-P's personal Jesus. Jesus is Jesus.
January 28, 2011 - 4:13am (Reply to #60)
daisyme
daisyme's picture

chiming in...

am loving this discussion and hope its okay to chime in midstream. i'm a case of "lifetime supply" where i've continually taken him back again and again, obliterating myself emotionally and financially in the process. instead of seeing his behavior for what it was (and running the other direction), i always went back for more. for me, its also about control and because i wanted to win. so...if i could prove to him how special i am and how much i love him by doing all these things for him, i could save him from his demons. he would somehow see the light and we would "live happily forever". (cripes - what a fantasy, but in all honesty, that's where i was/am at). i needed him to need me (so that i could control him) by "helping" him and i think that might be related to being codependent, yea? yikes - am i a codependent N addict? yes! bought some books on codependence years ago but put them away each time after we got back together. Now, after being D&Ded for the umpteenth time, its time to dust off those books! sick of it - totally recognize myself in what you mentioned about being sought after in your field of work. interesting stuff. ps. thank you for these insightful conversations. am new to this forum and it rocks!!
January 31, 2011 - 6:23pm (Reply to #61)
gettinbetter
gettinbetter's picture

Daisyme

I meant to respond earlier but forgot sorry. Chime in anytime sister! you never know when something you say could really help someone else!
January 27, 2011 - 7:02pm (Reply to #31)
jen79
jen79's picture

Sick of it

you got it right. When you demand needs and desires, you begin releasing your inner narcissism that supresed for so long for being a nice person for example for so long, and then he will D&D you, cause you are not his mirror anymore for the light he is chasing. But its also that you demand from him, what you need to give yourself. When you say, why the hell doesnt he want to see me again, why doesnt he love me, how could he hurt me and reject me so much. Thats where you have to look at, you are talking to yourself here. There is where the key to your emotional freedom lies.
January 27, 2011 - 9:53pm (Reply to #44)
michele115 (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Jen

you got it right. When you demand needs and desires, you begin releasing your inner narcissism that supresed for so long for being a nice person for example for so long, and then he will D&D you, cause you are not his mirror anymore for the light he is chasing. But its also that you demand from him, what you need to give yourself. When you say, why the hell doesnt he want to see me again, why doesnt he love me, how could he hurt me and reject me so much. Thats where you have to look at, you are talking to yourself here. There is where the key to your emotional freedom lies. Okay, I understand the first part with the questioning and answering...in essence, whatever questions you ask, you then answer them from what it is you need? If I'm wrong on that - please clarify... BUT, and I've been thinking about this myself trying to figure it all out... For me - I come from a place where I believe my core foundation was syrofoam instead of concrete...and through the years, I've done some work on that. I have been alone and I've grown to be okay alone...longest stint ten years. Now, you say: When you demand needs and desires, you begin releasing your inner narcissism that supresed for so long for being a nice person for example for so long, and then he will D&D you, cause you are not his mirror anymore for the light he is chasing. And we all know that when Narcs see "humans" they run...LOL HOWEVER, you use the word demand...and I think that is a problem right there - I think that we've been brainwashed to believe that EXPRESSING our needs and making them known is a no-no and I think that is crap. Not what you are saying is crap, but what we as women have been conditioned to believe. WE have needs period. Some needs we do fill ourselves and need to fill ourselves BUT it is not out of the realm of HEALTHY self esteem to have expectations. NO, no one can fill every need - BUT when you say...why do you prefer texting as opposed to...whatever...you know what...DAMN skippy, texting isn't good enough and if you are EXPRESSING your need - that's what you're doing and one's partner is either empathetic to that or not and is gonna "meet that demand" or "expectation" or "need" or whatever if they give a fig about you. We get why the narc runs...I get why the narc runs, not questioning that point...but if I'm sharing my body, my soul, my finances, my energy, my love, my feelings, and all that good stuff - yes, you are going to have to meet my needs on a lot of levels. Co-dependency is a factor in relationships, I don't necessarily agree with that label...BECAUSE, then, what exactly is the term for a non co-dependent and if we're just operating on self then why the heck be in a relationship? I don't mean that someone has to be the center of our universe...yes, you go out with friends, you have interests, you have a life of your own...but we're not two separate planets and when I say hey Charlie, you're slacking off now I'm labeled needy and co-dependent. And with this statement: But its also that you demand from him, what you need to give yourself. When you say, why the hell doesnt he want to see me again, why doesnt he love me, how could he hurt me and reject me so much. Thats where you have to look at, you are talking to yourself here. There is where the key to your emotional freedom lies. I am getting the feeling that to a certain degree, yes, the focus is on the self, but not in a way that validates the right to have needs. "DEMAND" that is the word that isn't sitting right. We all have expectations that we expect to be met and within reason in a healthy relationship SHOULD be met. I just made this statement to the Narc the other day when I flat out told him, you tried to brainwash me into thinking that the little things I asked you for were some outrageous expectation. It is normal to want to spend time with your Significant other...it is normal to have certain basic expectation...these guys are walking disasters of selfishness! So in essence, what this is saying to me is that everytime I had the expectation of spending time with him - I should spend time with myself? Then why the heck am I wasting time with him...I can have quality time by myself and be single!...I'm choosing that now, but if I were in a relationship...? why the hell doesnt he want to see me again, why doesnt he love me. I think here, what one needs to think is, this dude isn't demonstrating love in his actions, he isn't invested on the same level I am - so do I jet or do I stay...I'm not going to question the why...and then say it's because I need to love myself more...no, this guy is operating on self and I need to get out cause this isn't healthy and I deserve more...it's not a reflection of me to expect to be loved...that is nothing to be shameful of...we have been conditioned and brainwashed that we shouldn't have Needs!!!! And we have EVERY right to have needs. Babies who aren't nurtured studies show DIE from lack of nurturing! It is a basic HUMAN need to want love and affection. So the key to emotional freedom for me lies in knowing that I have every right to have needs - some rational, some not so rational, but in dealing with people that have a disorder of this magnitude...I'd have to be a robot in order to survive...
January 27, 2011 - 10:16pm (Reply to #52)
jen79
jen79's picture

Michelle

I read your post again. The list exercise is ONLY about getting intouch with yourelf and your needs and starting to make yourself happy while being alone. Its not about that you should not have standards in a relationship, not expressing desires and emotions. If you dont mind, you just broke NC, and I see you are still angry at him and you have every right to do so. This whole threat is about forgiving and starting to make yourself happy and getting intouch with yourself. Its not about the narc and the relationship directly. Hugs
January 27, 2011 - 11:27pm (Reply to #53)
michele115 (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Actually

No, I'm not angry at him at all. I completely understand how he can't control who and what he is. The pain is there because it was a violation... I too see him very much as a victim... Despite what a danger he is not only to me, but to anyone who walks in his path. If you read about the NC you will note that for me, it was to confirm what I suspected because on a certain level, I wondered about this... Moreover, about a month and a half ago, I was actually overboard on "sympathy" trying to see his "human side" and very high on the empathy scale for how much of a victim he was...just as sick as say a cancer patient who had no real control over their illness... Even argued what is the distinction between mental illness and physical illness illness is illness and these poor souls can't help themselves...and I got about 70 something responses telling me otherwise... So essentially, I am genuinely CONFUSED and am open to whatever means and methods are available. So this was never about calling the Narc evil... But I was trying to get clarification...you mention things like for example the text message...and I'm not criticizing what you are choosing because you have to deal with YOU...*and I can't see that post in this screen so I keep clinging to what of it I can remember so please bear with me* I don't think you're understanding me in that when doing this, it would seem that you have to be careful because for example with the text messaging thing... You have a right to say, hey, this text messaging sucks cause I'm worth more...and that doesn't make me needy or empty, or incomplete - I'm demanding respect, and to be considered worth more than a darn text message... Do you follow where I'm coming from? Forgiving is one thing, but sugar coating and then compounding certing things back onto ourselves in the name of forgiveness?...Sounds like re-victimization of the self on CERTAIN points...on CERTAIN thoughts...and that is where I'm trying to get the clarity. I could say...Why won't you spend time with me? and answer: I need to feel close to somebody...so then am I understanding this to mean that I should then say: SELF if you want to feel close to someone, feel close to yourself?...then this would be more an exercise in self exploration to find how the inner self is working...? Is it to gain a greater awareness on how we "manipulated" to get OUR needs met? Is that the purpose?
January 27, 2011 - 11:35pm (Reply to #54)
jen79
jen79's picture

Michelle

I understand where you are coming from, but again, the list isnt about talking your needs down. YOu can also use the list and the question and then create a list of your wants and needs in a relationship. For example. I dont like texts, I want real conversation with my partner. Or I want a man that wants to see me and be with me. The list is not about talking the needs down, its about realizing what your needs ARE. We are on the same boat here, ok? So the list can be used on different layers, getting intouch with your needs, so you give it to yourself, AND knowing what you really want in a future relationship. BUT, there is but here, I know now, asking these question someone is itself a red flag, I dont want never ever again a relationship where I have to explain and ask for that, he either does these things in the list anyway, or he isnt for me. I hope that clarifies the misunderstanding.
January 27, 2011 - 10:05pm (Reply to #45)
jen79
jen79's picture

Michelle

The list isnt about having no expectation from others. I say have them, as high as possible, dont settle for less, and express and demand in a healthy way. This list and the issue here is, I WAS UNHAPPY CAUSE HE DIDNT MET MY NEEDS. And I am waiting now since 1 and half year that he does, and of course he didnt. Its only about realizing what I can do for myself now alone, I am not going to wait till the next boy comes around, till I start to be happy again, but that is exactly how I felt and what I was doing. And I was doing it all my life. If you didnt do that. Then you dont have the same problem as I had, and then you dont need the list of course. Its about becoming passioned about my own life alone. Alone. I never did that before, and maybe some others here have the same problem. And I know, when I am a happy person on my own, I will keep my partner of the hook, and it wont be that needy thing anymore, that I always had.
January 27, 2011 - 10:13pm (Reply to #46)
michele115 (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

I have questioned

Whether or not I fit the co-dependency label? I have a lot of factors in terms of background? But then there are a lot of key things that Don't mesh? And yes, I have issues...in fact, I gotta start jotting them down cause I know some may relate? But I wish I knew where the heck I fit! LOL
January 27, 2011 - 10:44pm (Reply to #50)
gettinbetter
gettinbetter's picture

Not that its any of my

Not that its any of my business but I dont think you meet the codependency label at all. I dont know you but Im telling you I can almost pick them out on here because I see myself in their posts. I think those that have severe severe addiction to the Narc and they just cant move on even when they know he is a narc and understand all of the facts have issues with codependency. It was Betty that suggested the idea of Codependency to me. While I dont know what made her suggest that I believe she saw it in me. The severe addiction to resolving and controlling the situation with the Narc. When I first began to research it didnt fit but I kept on and it absolutely fits.
January 27, 2011 - 11:31pm (Reply to #51)
michele115 (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Sick of it

I got control issues...LMAO! I'll start logging background and such, maybe we can figure this crap out...I'd really love to hear some insight... It's time for the What now phase...Thank the Lord...*or whomever you revere...
January 27, 2011 - 10:40pm (Reply to #47)
jen79
jen79's picture

Michelle honey!!!!!

Forget the codependence thing, forget the label. He is an ass, he is shallow yes, and maybe yours didnt had any good traits at all and all you fall in love with was just yourself that he perfectly mirrored you back in the very beginning he met you. I can see in your posts, your buttons are disordered and if something is wrong with you. Correct me if I am wrong. He is disordered and you dont HAVe to see any goodness in him at all to move on. Its just one way for me that worked and maybe for others as well. So lets see you have issues, you made mistakes, you are not perfect and you maybe a little bit crazy, crazy in love were you maybe, at least I was. Who cares. All what you need to know honey is, its ok you were that way, its ok you dont like him, its ok to be angry and its ok that you now chose to be different. Your post above you ask about it can be ANYTHING? Yes, it can, I admired his creativity and his courage to live his dreams. And I was codependent in a way, I was unhappy and unfullfilled and demanded he makes me happy, though I didnt do that to myself, never. The gift he brang me, was showing me to never abandon myself. I projected all my needs and pain onto him, and he also projected all his crazyness onto me. The projecting thing goes both ways. And it doesnt justify anything of his abuse. But it explains alot to me, and it I see now why he did the things he did. I do, you dont have to. maybe you are different and stronger than I ,and maybe your narc is just an ass. Such things exist as well loool. And I can see now why I stayed, and sticked onto him, cause I needed to learn certain things about myself. I always wanted to be the perfect happy sunshine girl. And I didnt allow my dark side at all, I judged it, and this has cost me alot of energy, cause in the dark side is where alot of power lies. I could see myself in his dark side, so I could understand it better after I accepted it within me, if you cannot, then you dont. Maybe you just fell into the trap of the beautiful mirror of yourself. I can say, I was also attracted to his darkness and I wanted to fix it, cause I didnt allow these parts within me.
January 27, 2011 - 11:43pm (Reply to #48)
michele115 (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Jen...BINGO!...Yes, this is where I am

The projecting thing goes both ways. And it doesnt justify anything of his abuse. But it explains alot to me, and it I see now why he did the things he did. I do, you dont have to. BUT I DO... maybe you are different and stronger than I ,and maybe your narc is just an ass. Such things exist as well loool. STRONGER?...EEEH, I DUNNO...IT PRETTY MUCH KNOCKED THE WIND OUTTA ME TOO...LOL BUT YES, HE IS AN ASS! And I can see now why I stayed, and sticked onto him, cause I needed to learn certain things about myself. YES! ME TOO I always wanted to be the perfect happy sunshine girl. And I didnt allow my dark side at all, I judged it, and this has cost me alot of energy, cause in the dark side is where alot of power lies. WELL NOT SUNSHINE, BUT VERY ACCOMODATING THEN GOT PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE WHEN I GOT TIRED OF MAKING MY WANTS AND NEEDS KNOWN AND GOT CRUMBS THEN YES, ACTED OUT MY CRAP... I could see myself in his dark side, so I could understand it AND FOR ME, I COULDN'T SEE MYSELF IN HIS DARK SIDE, CAUSE WHILE I HAVE A DARK SIDE, WE ALL DO, I COULDN'T RELATE TO THE EXTENT OF HIS DARKNESS?...I FELT A BAD ENERGY AND I WOULD FEEL A BAD PULL IF THAT MAKES ANY SENSE AND IT KINDA RUBBED ME WRONG AND KINDA TOOK THE LIFE OUT OF ME? I COULD FEEL IT? THE PULL OF ENERGY FROM ME? AND I'M NOT AT ALL INTO METAPHYSICS AND SUCH BUT THAT IS ABOUT THE ONLY WAY I CAN DESCRIBE IT... better after I accepted it within me, FOR ME, SINCE I WAS A VICTIM OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE AS A CHILD, WHAT I ACCEPTED WAS WHAT I'VE BEEN RANTING ABOUT ON THIS THREAD - THAT YES, MICHELE WILL SPEAK UP NOW, MICHELE HAS NEEDS, WANTS, AND RIGHTS AND MICHELE WILL EXPRESS THEM AND DEMAND THEM BECAUSE SHE'S DENIED THEM AND ALLOWED HERSELF TO BE EXPLOITED AND WILL NO LONGER TOLERATE SHABBY BEHAVIOR. MICHELE DESERVES LOVE, MICHELE DESERVES AFFECTION, MICHELE DESERVES TO BE A PRIORITY RATHER THAN A OPTION, MICHELE DESERVES TO BE SERVED TOO!...THAT IS WHAT I'VE BEEN WORKING ON ACCEPTING...ALTHOUGH NOT FULLY FEELING FULL AND COMPLETE YET... if you cannot, then you dont. Maybe you just fell into the trap of the beautiful mirror of yourself. RIGHT NOW, IT JUST SEEMS LIKE A TRAP, BUT I CAN SEE WHY HE WAS DRAWN TO ME...HE USED ME...PERIOD. IT WAS CONVENIENT AND I MADE MYSELF ACCESSIBLE THROUGH BEING NAIEVE. I can say, I was also attracted to his darkness and I wanted to fix it, cause I didnt allow these parts within me. I WANTED TO NURTURE, AND FIX AND PROTECT TOO I WAS DRAWN TO THAT NEED TO WANT TO DO THAT AND ITS TIED TO MY CHILDHOOD. SO YES, MAYBE BECAUSE I DID NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY BUT NOT SURE, I THINK FOR ME IT WAS MORE ABOUT BEING MOLDED TO TAKE CARE OF OTHERS AND COMPOUNDED BY THE FACT THAT AS WOMEN BY NATURE WE ARE NURTURERS...AND PROTECTORS, AND FIXERS AND WE NEED TO LEARN DISCERNMENT. WE ON THE SAME PAGE NOW JEN?...lol
January 27, 2011 - 11:53pm (Reply to #49)
jen79
jen79's picture

LOOL Michelle

if you could indentify with the extend of his darkness, I would be worried about you lool. Of course you cannot, its not possible, if you could, you would be a narc, what you are not. LOOL.
January 27, 2011 - 7:13pm (Reply to #32)
gettinbetter
gettinbetter's picture

for me it lies in

for me it lies in codependence. I bet ya atleast half of the people on here have issues with codependence. I can almost see it now. I see some people speed thru recovery. It happened to them they accept it and they go on others it takes longer and I think it all has to do with codependence. Ok people Im not assessing anyone here. Its just my opinion. I have read and read and observed and observed. I can almost pick out the behaviors and the questions a codependent would ask.
January 27, 2011 - 8:31pm (Reply to #43)
becsta777
becsta777's picture

sick of it

Yep - I totally have codependence issues. I thought I knew all about it and I totally didnt, but a few months into my recovery, looking for answers, I came across many websites covering codependence and a chord was struck. I realised I was looking to other people to make me happy... its interesting, but I seem to stumble upon answers just as I need them. I'd been reading a lot about codependency online and then I found a great book on it in a thrift store - I found myself nodding along to almost everything the author discussed! Just reading that stuff is enough to divert your usual ways of thinking, to get further down the road to recovery!
January 27, 2011 - 7:45pm (Reply to #41)
apple
apple's picture

Wow!!

I'm co-dependant as well but I don't really understand it very much. He was the first person I ever let have the control/power since I've been an adult. I never felt like I had any power or control as a child.
January 27, 2011 - 8:38pm (Reply to #42)
gettinbetter
gettinbetter's picture

Well its been a puzzle for

Well its been a puzzle for me because honestly I came from a good home. I think because I was one of two and honestly I was the "good one" never got in trouble always brought home good grades etc.. I think that was probably the basis for me codependency and being a pleaser. I also read that it can happen in people that come from happy homes where abuse IS NOT present. Its born out of naievte. I also believe this my situation. When the Narc came into my life the first time I was only 22 he was only the second "serious boyfriend" I had and he really did a number on me emotionally and it stretched over a period of years. This is where my truama bond and codependence I believe took root. Im not sure which one came first the chicken or the egg but I believe that its rooted in the first experience I had with him some 20 years ago ever since then my people pleasing has been thru the roof and I really cant stand to have anyone not like me. I think it came from trying so hard to be everything to the narc round one. Anyway since he resurfaced it really ignited the codependence it me with a veganance and I have been addicted to him this time even worse than the first time and he lives hours away from me now. I dont see codependence discussed here alot and I dont know if Im right but I can almost pick out the codependents on this board that is if they post alot. I dont know its something in the behaviors and the questions they ask that seem familiar to me and I can see it. Who knows if Im right. It was Betty that first suggested Codependence to me and It wasnt until I read that codependents can emerge from healthy homes that pieces began to fit. Oh and lets not forget the control issues. I have control issues big time. My obsession with the Narc was my loss of control I became addicted to controlling him and the situation. The more I realized I had lost control the more anxiety I had and the addiction increased. As part of the trauma bond I feel/felt compelled to control the outcome this time. Obviously I was unable to and hence here I am. A mess but enlightened
January 27, 2011 - 7:34pm (Reply to #33)
strongerthanever
strongerthanever's picture

The psychologist I saw

The psychologist I saw immediately after the breakup had me read, "Women who love too much" just for that purpose of codependency. Where it came from? An emotionally absent father who cheated and denied it. A father who did not make time for his kids; who took separate vacations than his family; who bought fly rods instead of shoes for us; who worked when we came to visit him which was once or twice yearly. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get my dad, nor my Narc to be there for me, love me for who I am, and be trustworthy or honest.
January 27, 2011 - 8:23pm (Reply to #34)
alittledark
alittledark's picture

I Am going to find that book

StrongerThanEver your post hit home with me as I am sure is the case with many others. And I believe (SickOfIt) that I am a codependent. It was rumored that my dad cheated on my mother. My mom and dad divorced when I was an infant and I lived with my mother and grandparents. When I turned seven, my grandmother finally persuaded my dad to take my sister and I in because she could no longer "handle" us she said. At that time my mom was beginning to show signs of clinical depression. My dad had already begun his life with the OW, married and had two daughters. What a struggle it was to leave my mom and immediately after that my mom had a psychotic breakdown. My dad was hardly around because he was a long-distance truck driver. My sister and I had the classic wicked step-mother, although my half sisters and I all grew up to love one another deeply. My sister and I were never allowed to get emotionally close to our father out of pure jealousy and insecure feelings from our stepmother. And my dad never really had a decent backbone to stand up to her. I have always longed for a strong, superior, affirming, loving father...and what girl doesn't want to feel like a princess? Sorry to tell my whole history here, but my sisters and I all feel so scarred having come from a very dysfunctional family....Children were meant to live in healthy, loving environments and I get so angry when today's society puts so little importance on child-rearing and parental responsibility...and not to mention abstinence...but that's a whole other forum, lol. I do not want the peace which passeth understanding, I want the understanding which bringeth peace. --Helen Keller

I do not want the peace which passeth understanding, I want the understanding which bringeth peace.
--Helen Keller

January 27, 2011 - 8:36pm (Reply to #38)
strongerthanever
strongerthanever's picture

alittledark, I know what you

alittledark, I know what you mean. My dad was engaged, before he died, to a girl close to my age and before that, there was another young woman with 2 small girls. I was jealous and pissed. My mom even asked him why he was going to marry this woman...now, tell me this isn't narcissim! His rationale was that she was younger so he can retire and she will work; and she already owned a home; and he could help with raising of her kids. NOTHING about loving her! Then my mom asked him what made him think he could do that when he wasn't around for his own 2 daughters. His reply was that since he screwed up with his own, he can do better this time around. Um...we were in our late teens, early 20's. My mom tried to explain to him that it isn't too late to make things up. He didnt want to do that hard work. Sounds so much like my exNarc (fiancee) who married a girl 14 yrs younger than he and I and with 2 small kids. I thought to myself, "OMG! He is really like my father!" Bonding with my son would require too much work. 2 little girls that have a daddy already, not so much and since he has admitted how he treated my son to his family, it is time to "make things up" to the Universe, to his family to do image control. He had this poor girl move to another city 30 min away from where she teaches. Her 7 yr old goes to the same school and the 3 yr old is at a home daycare close by. So, now the 3 of them have to travel in horrific traffic because HE got a job further South than her work. It is a "let's live in the middle so you go one way, I go another." But the thing is, he is ok with having 2 small kids, after a long day, hungry, tired, now sit in the car for a 45 stop n go commute home. And guess who cooks and cleans for the family? She does! He tried to get me to move further South too to the same town because he wanted to relive childhood memories. Yeah, not going to happen when I made 2 times more money and then he wanted me to take a huge paycut to move. I stood my ground. I am so grateful I dodged that bullet...marrying my father.
January 27, 2011 - 10:14pm (Reply to #39)
alittledark
alittledark's picture

It doesn't make any logical sense

I can't handle my emotions and have so fewer ties than you do with your narc....I would have been like my mom in your shoes right now and gave up mentally. How can a human created by a loving God not have any empathy...not enough empathy to love their own children. How old is your son now? How is he doing? I feel so bad for you, but you seem very strong...heck, you'd have to be to deal with all that indifference and lack of feelings from your Narc. The narc I fell for has children and I feel so sorry for them. The eldest son which is in pre-school (I think) has the same empty stare as his dad and even though the dad showed me pics of him and his son...I wonder about their relationship...I'm sure there isn't much of one in reality. I'm glad to hear that you stood your ground and didn't move. I do not want the peace which passeth understanding, I want the understanding which bringeth peace. --Helen Keller

I do not want the peace which passeth understanding, I want the understanding which bringeth peace.
--Helen Keller

January 28, 2011 - 12:06am (Reply to #40)
strongerthanever
strongerthanever's picture

alittledark, my son is 13

alittledark, my son is 13 now. He is doing very well. He is getting straight A's in school (except for gym of all things), in the Boy Scouts, wants to get into martial arts. I found a place but, need to get there and check it out. He is a sensitive guy but you cant put much past him. The exN would say mean things to him, snap at him, or just ignore him towards the end. My son withdrew and was moody. Um...I would think so! We were all depressed in this house because the exN suffers from major depression. He has suicidal thoughts too and is known for extreme highs and lows. I do think bipolar is also at play. I've seen that high before but he was seeing other women behind my back while claiming i was the love of his life. whatever! Many times I was not strong. It has taken me nearly 2 yrs to feel better about myself. Not wake up with panic attacks, emptiness and complete loss. I lost him, his son, his family. that life i lived was gone within a blink. It is hard to deal with. You know what, the exN son has that empty stare too. he has no emotions. His family told me that when he was a baby, he would not react to your talking, tickling, touching...NOTHING! And his son would do evil things to my son and his toys. He also would attack his younger sister (mom married another guy...exN and her never married. used her for sex). She has been teaching the son that exN is not his real dad. He isn't allowed to call him Dad, he calls him by his first name. One time at his brothers house exN was teasing his nephew and his son said, "dont listen to him. he's a liar". Between the mom and him, he's screwed up. I wonder if he is torturing his new stepmom's little girls yet like he does at home. What has given me peace is understanding this: I want a man that can be faithful. Has integrity. Will be there for me. Treats my kids right. He has this pattern that I found out about because I was able to connect with an old college friend he used for sex. In fact, his relationship with her was the same as his sons mother. So, i know he repeats. He repeats everything. Just because he married a women he was dating for 6 months is not love. He was afraid, bored, on a high, after a major depression episode. He knows he is mentally ill but, chooses not to do any work on himself. He married to run away from reality. He married her because here he was 43, hates his job, nothing to show for 10 yrs of being a teacher, living paycheck to paycheck, poor credit, lonely, no friends. I am the complete opposite. I need an equal.
January 27, 2011 - 8:34pm (Reply to #35)
becsta777
becsta777's picture

a little dark

I had that book "women who love too much" for years and I could never relate to it. I actually borrowed it from my ex boyfriend's mother to read on the train! I found a book a few months back called "co-dependent no more" which I found really excellent... I guess different books and writing styles will resonate with different people though, but just thought I'd mention what worked for me :)
January 27, 2011 - 10:27pm (Reply to #36)
alittledark
alittledark's picture

Hi Becsta777

Thanks for that title. I will try to find it at the library as well. I have a lot of reading to do. I am reading a book right now called: "Disarming the Narcissist"...and I know what you may be thinking....am I planning to try to disarm my narc? No, I am in the process of taking out the garbage, lol, but this was the only title in the small bookstore about Narcissism when I was browsing at the mall last week. There is some interesting info. about cognitive and schema therapy. In this book written by: Wendy T. Behary, LCSW (hope I am giving credit correctly) it talks about how there are 18 schemas that "show up in adulthood as dysfunctional life themes." and goes on to say: "schemas are derived from disquieting childhood and adolescent experiences where fundamental needs are not adequately met, thus interfering with healthy and stable development." I don't know...I guess there will be a lot of different psychology behind different personality disorders. I grew up trying to figure out my mom's schizophrenia, was certain I wanted to work in the field of psychology, but, now after my run-in with the narc...you couldn't pay me enough to work in that field of work. I'd much prefer to put my energy and resources into providing my children with those fundamentals they need for a healthy personality. I do not want the peace which passeth understanding, I want the understanding which bringeth peace. --Helen Keller

I do not want the peace which passeth understanding, I want the understanding which bringeth peace.
--Helen Keller

January 28, 2011 - 3:51am (Reply to #37)
becsta777
becsta777's picture

A little dark

I read a book a month or so back that made a huge impact - 'reinventing your life' by Jeffrey E Young and Janet S. Klosko. It talks about schemas and lifetraps, and how these lifetraps are formed in childhood. There was even a whole chapter on narcissism and how these therapists successfully treated a couple of narcissistic men. I'll have to look out for the narcissist disarmament book! I've been ordering a lot online of late. I just read another called "wolf in sheep's clothing" and its all about covert manipulation and how to identify and deal with it. much love xo
January 27, 2011 - 3:55pm
Briseis
Briseis's picture

I don't know who said this.

I don't know who said this. Someone like Albert Einstein or Mark Twain . . . but he/she/it said "A mark of intelligence is to hold two opposing ideas in your head at the same time." Now we aren't talking about intelligence here, unless it's emotional intelligence, or maybe emotional RESILIENCE. Maybe that's it. To be able to look at yourself and say "I really f*cked up here" and ALSO maintain a loving attitude toward yourself is what I think you are talking about. I can look at a lot of aspects of myself, more than ever before, and honestly say I don't like them at all . . . but I accept them, they are part of me. It's the same as accepting other people, warts and all. Accept yourself warts and all. In order to be "right", you do not have to be PERFECT. In order to be "wrong", the Narc does not have to be ALL BAD. It's an insult to yourself to paint the Narc completely black because if he hadn't had SOME good qualities, you'd never have gotten together with him and stayed as long as you did. And not one of us is so superficial and shallow as to have fallen for JUST the flattery and charismatic bullshit charm the Narc used on us to reel us in. There were other qualities about him that run deeper that were good and attractive, too. The narc is a human being, albeit with a severe life long mental disturbance. Who he would have been if his character/personality had been intact and healthy is a different story. What makes him awful is that disturbance. The disturbance is so destructive that it overwhelms any good he may have intrinsically had. For us, it's the opposite story. We screw up, make huge mistakes, and make terrible decisions. Yet, we are overwhelmingly more healthy and ain't no one alive on this planet who hasn't gone completely over the edge and royally f*cked up at least twenty times. I can rattle off a list of what was "good" about my Narc. But it does not in any way tempt me to give it another try. NOR does it cause me to question myself at all. I agree this is a more advanced recovery type issue. The reason this is important is because of what it does to our relationship with ourselves. If all we are willing to do is paint the Narc all black, then we aren't looking at our part in the whole thing. Anytime you are on the 100% justified and "good" end of the stick, you are in a kind of delusional state. It just doesn't work that way in real life. We all played a part. It goes without saying we played NO part in getting or deserving ANY abuse whatsoever. But we STAYED around for more, risked the most precious gifts of husbands/families/our very own soul AFTER we knew this was a very bad situation. What about that? We know that we did this because of trauma bonding and brainwashing. And that it is our responsibility to undo it, to go back and get more honest with ourselves than we've ever gotten in our lives. To pinpoint the exact times and areas we abandoned ourselves. Whether we meant to or not, whether we were brainwashed or not, we still DID IT. That is taking responsibility. There's no blame, just recognition and self honesty. To be able to hold all this in your head at the same time is called PEACE and SERENITY. It is called ACCEPTANCE of what is. It is a balm for the soul. It acknowledges reality and doesn't try to fix it up. It looks reality straight in the eye without flinching. If you can do that, what can take you down?
January 29, 2011 - 8:09pm (Reply to #29)
Susan32
Susan32's picture

Finding serenity

Thanks for your lovely post. In a way, I still love the ex-Psych professor. Not a romantic love. Not a sexual love. Definitely not a spousal love! It's more the unconditional type. It's the same I have for my baby nephew, with whom I don't expect emotional reciprocation or intellectual discussion... because he's a toddler. I remember after the final D&D, telling the ex-P to go be happy with his girlfriend, that we were incompatible, we were fighting too much, we were TOO DIFFERENT. As my therapist said, a normal man would've rectified the situation, acknowledged my feelings (and his), and we could've gone our own separate ways peacefully. We might not be friends, I might not have gotten a gorgeous custom-made wedding invite... but there would be no cognitive dissonance, no anger, and while romantic rejection hurts, it would've been more of a bruise than a deep wound. At the end of "War and Peace" (the ex-P's favorite novel), Pierre is described as seeing himself as good&bad, but idealizes his wife as completely good, thus considering himself a good person... we know where this leads. I saw "good" qualities in the ex-P (this is poignant, bringing some tears to my eyes). His love of the intellect. Idealism. His desire to teach others. Sadly, his disorder sabotages any light within him.
January 27, 2011 - 5:22pm (Reply to #14)
michele115 (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Brieseis...

I get what you're saying and I was kinda on that path before and I kinda felt that I was being off track by thinking that way. Now here is where my question is... IF we are to believe that the Narc operates on a false image...he is basically a shell... Can spin lies, webs of deceit the whole nine because he is operating on a false self... Granted and valid a victim of a mental illness...and I had a very long post about this about two months back where I was trying to embrace this notion... Then, no he's not EVIL so to speak...but what really can we glean is good about him that we can even begin to claim to have even really and authentically experienced to even say...well, he was this and he was that When in the end, we're all here cluster screwed wondering just WTF happened, who he is, what he was, why are we in the shape we're in...the whole NINE... If we've been told, and read about and edumacated that it was all an ILLUSION then how the heck to do we now backtrack and begin to start to embrace his so-called goodness when we have been in an illusion the whole darn time? How...that's what I don't understand...I'm not saying he's evil, vile none of that - but essentially, he's the frigging toaster he tried to make us believe we were... So good, bad, evil, saintly whatever...who cares at this point - speaking for me... What I am saying is that yes, this might be possible in dealing with non-disordered individuals when we've been hurt and trying to heal...normal people can hurt us too...but how the heck do you formulate this with a Narc? If it were possible I don't think we'd be so screwed as we wouldn't be talking about them and illusions... How the heck can you find the "good" in a person you never authentically KNEW because what you knew of them and of the relationship in terms of who THEY were, was ALL an illusion?
January 27, 2011 - 8:30pm (Reply to #27)
Briseis
Briseis's picture

That really depends on how

That really depends on how you define "good". And that's gonna be different for everyone. My Narc had a fantastic sense of adventure. He was willing to take calculated risks and up until the very end, could pull them off. He could manifest dreams. This didn't involve his malignant narcissism at all. It was what he would have been had NPD not destroyed him. It's that kind of stuff I'm talking about. They co-existed, unfortunately, within a person who is basically a plague on humanity.
January 29, 2011 - 6:52pm (Reply to #28)
blueeyes
blueeyes's picture

This is what it's all about.....

Briseis wrote: "My Narc had a fantastic sense of adventure. He was willing to take calculated risks and up until the very end, could pull them off. He could manifest dreams. This didn't involve his malignant narcissism at all. It was what he would have been had NPD not destroyed him." This is an exactly what happened to m 2nd H. He would make up scenarios in his mind, and to him they were real. He sometimes didn't have to say them aloud, I would just know where his head was after a while. I have thousands upon thousands of examples that would leave my friends jaws dropped if I dared t tell them. I don't bother because before I was educated on PDI's, I wouldn't believe half the crap tha happened inside this condo. It did happen so I do my best to keep those stories here. The demise of my marriage was I stopped enabling his lifestyle. That's it.
January 27, 2011 - 6:07pm (Reply to #26)
jen79
jen79's picture

Ok Michelle, I just saw your other post down

Let me explain. See, for me, I see now, he was my walking and talking shadow. Thats why I felt so complete with him, he presented the thing that I supressed. The bad girl, the aggressive, the abusive, the name calling, the irresponsable, the immature, the disordered jen. Yes, all of this above, and yes I say disordered too, psychotic, crazy, out of control. And admitting it, was a total relief for me. And I see that all these things, if I didnt let them out, they will one day or later break out again and control my life in an unhealthy way. So he brang me a great gift, I only have to look at him and see what I hate in him, and what brang me so much pain, and I know what I have to do now with me, where my work lies. And its not only accepting these things, but using them for my good. Alot of energy and power lies there and creativity. And thats for example one thing I see now in him that I admired, his creativity and freedom in work, his courage to follow his dreams in terms of work. I can see now the good in him, cause I can understand better why he did certain things. And I mean I understand them with my heart. Cause all I hated him for, are things I burried deep within me and I never let them out. Lets say, its not good in what you expect, its seeing again his humanity. Seeing him again as a human being.
January 27, 2011 - 5:50pm (Reply to #16)
jen79
jen79's picture

Michelle and Becsta

No you should not. Forget the how, and forget the should. Its not something you "should" do. And never forget, that every narc is different, they showed up similiar behaviour, but still they were different. I couldnt find anything good about him at all, for very long time. And its not the purpose of the shadow work, to find his goodness again. I started the shadow work, cause I knew I need to release some fear and negative beliefs about myself. The side effect was, that after I started it, I could see MY narc clearer, and saw he is not evil, he did bad things yes, and it looks evil yes. But he is not. He is not only bad. I started this threat, maybe I didnt explained it very well, I started it to say, that the real conflict is not coming at you, or lets say it other wise, my conflict with the narc didnt come at me, it came from me. Yes he is master projecor and manipulator, but I did the same, and it doesnt matter who started, that he hit a spot within me and pushed a button is what mattered. If you feel comfortable with seeing him now that way, then this is ok. Its not something you HAVE to do, its only one way out of the dissonance, if its still there. Forgive me when I write posts in a way that sounds like this is the only way, as I told you, I have this know it all, and want to be always right thing loool. I am little bit fanatic, when I found something that works for me. :))) shadow at its best.
January 27, 2011 - 6:08pm (Reply to #24)
becsta777
becsta777's picture

Jen79

This shadow work has me intrigued. I want to check it out further...is there any particular book I can find? I've been reading like a fiend lately! I cant get enough :) xo
January 27, 2011 - 6:17pm (Reply to #25)
jen79
jen79's picture

becsta

Read: "the dark side of the light chasers" from debbie ford. This is a real great book, and dont be afraid, you will really find it relieving.
January 27, 2011 - 6:00pm (Reply to #17)
michele115 (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Jen

The issue for me isn't about shoulds...or hows so to speak... For ME... I can see and be accountable for how I ended up entangled despite the signs... I can see as I mentioned before the shades of GRAY... within myself...I can see them and accept them. BUT, it's not about even seeing the narc in any particular light...when I say how...to me...essentially, the Narc is playdough. This is neither good nor bad...the narc is void of empathy or feelings for anyone but himself... cannot put himself in anyone elses shoes...SO, yea, I might say, Oh, he did a nice thing for me...BUT that does not equate with a Narc can be nice...BECAUSE the motivation for being "NICE" was tied to what he would benefit from in relation to HIMSELF...he wasn't being nice to be nice, he wasn't being nice for me, or for anyone else but for himself...that makes him...many things but the correct term is NARC... If I say, oh, but he was especially sympathetic to me when my hamster died...well, yes he was, but it was FEIGNED sympathy because once again, he operates from a self image...he LEARNED how to emulate emotions, they are not genuine...so it leaves me at a dead end there too... NOW, if I were to say, the Narc is very strong, he lifted sandbags and carried them to the shoreline because HIS house would have been flooded - because again, if he were to do it for us for OUR house, it would be for image...then the only thing positive I could say is...The narc is strong...and that is a good thing...BUT it has nothing to do with character... SO...this is where I'm very very confused...
January 27, 2011 - 6:40pm (Reply to #23)
jen79
jen79's picture

and Michelle

another thing, you know you made your peace with it, when you see, I dont like you and you dont like me, and my only problem was that I tried to get someone that I dont like to like me. Do you understand, you dont have to like him. Its only about seeing who played with part in the game, and that it was a game and that you dont want to play that game anymore.
January 27, 2011 - 6:14pm (Reply to #18)
jen79
jen79's picture

Michelle

nice and genuine, these are your two things. See you dont have to find it wonderful. You dont have to say, oh how wonderful that he only thought of himself. The question is, does it make you still angry very much, or not. Example: Lets say, you really really still have a problem with him having been not nice to you just for the sake of being nice but for selfish false reasons, if you think about it, it still really really hurts you, and your whole body is getting tight. Thats what you have to look at then, have you ever been that way in your life, being nice so someone maybe likes you, in a really non genuine way? If you now get defensive inside, nooooo, there is where you have to look at, and when you have accepted it, then maybe you can see that he did this out of desperation or whatever. If you can say, yes I was that way, and I still dont like it that he did that. Then this is ok. You made your peace already with it and you chose now that you dont want such thing anymore in your life. Its not about seeing him in a glory light again.
January 27, 2011 - 7:20pm (Reply to #19)
michele115 (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

For me...

I am getting a little or a lot more clearer in what you are saying... For me for example... Facing that I had this great need for approval...and so perhaps in a way was engaged in some form of manipulation myself although perhaps unaware in that perhaps subconsciously alhtough the signs were there, they were ignored because on some level, if you're into I think it's Freud...that we keep replaying our childhoods until we feel we've mastered the issues... So perhaps manipulation....BUT...to another degree, I also believe I loved him...and I also believe that ALL normal people have a touch of psychosis, neurosis, and all other kinds of ailments. including a certain extent of narcissim and this is ALL healthy... SO - when I look at this disordered individual, I can "empathize" with his traumatized soul and how he is disordered as a result of his trauma, etc...and is completely unable to relate on the same level... And for that reason I don't hate him... But to see this "shadow" of myself through him as well so to speak...I can't see that because of the extreme and the magnitude in which such disorder exists... Again, I can see how on the surface, for a normal person, who might be acting vain, or self centered, or bratty whatever...how we "react" negatively and "hate" those things in others we see in ourselves. I used to be a teacher and in studying psychology on a general level, we were taught that sometimes that one kid who just gets on your darn nerves that you secretly just love to hate *and I say that in jest cause kids are kids...BUT the ones who pluck that nerve...usually you are reacting cause they are the embodimient of that bratty inner child within YOU...so I get that. BUT...in dealing with a Pathologically severely disordered individual...that is where I'm having a problem thinking that this kind of work could be used in the instance of a NARC... I am not criticizing or dismissing...HERE is where the HOW comes into play... What kind of thinking would one have to have in order to get to that place in light of all of the stuff I mentioned above? For example...how have you been able to do this knowing what you know about narcissism etc.... Yes, I've argued, it is an illness like any other, they can't help themselves, etc...however, their stuff runs so deep, it is so peverse, that I can't quite say that they are the invert of me, cause yea, we all have dark issues we are complex...but I don't think it runs THAT deep for us... It's not about denial of those things within ourselves that are whatever we want to label them... It's about how perverse, exxagerated, and the degree of dysfunction...that part is not a mirror. We can all be self centered, selfish, we tell lies from time to time...that is human behavior. These characters are exploiters...and yea, we can be too, but not to that degree... Or else, it would seem that to do this would make me a repressed psychopath...no?
January 27, 2011 - 8:13pm (Reply to #20)
jen79
jen79's picture

Michelle

Its not about the degree of your narcissism. And the shadow work is about that. The core concept is a spiritual one, the one is all and all is one concept. That everything is within us, and we are in the everything. So this is not about you supressing narcissism, and being different than any other this way. Everyone has a shadow, everyone. If you dont have one, its because you are not standing in the light (like the narc). So its not about realizing that you are as sick as him, and as outragous narcissistic as him, AND its not about labeling you as a inverted narcissist. Its about things that you suppressed thats all. Lets say, you feel now a great deal defensive inside that he might be, the real disturbed sick being he is, that he is your shadow, and you feel that is not true. Thats where you have to look at. And I dont mean to say, you are sick. I say maybe its admitting to yourself that there is some insane aspect within you, that went back for example, cause you missed the drama, just an example. Its not about repressing a label, or a hidden truth about you, its only about traits that you might suppressed, cause you were taught, that they are sick, wrong, not acceptable. Lets say, you now learned that being like them is really bad, and you really dont want to be everything but like him. And thats ok, if you chose to do so. Its not serving you though, if you suppress or deny then parts of you, that could serve you in a certain way if you release them in a healthy way, for example being a little bit crazy and insane, can serve you well, when its about creativity, or taking some risks, and getting new experience, like now, that you broke NC, this might seems insane to you, it maybe it is, but its also couragous that you went back to see how you will respond now with your new strength and wisdom to an old situation and maybe you can now finally move on. Its also, great when you are a little bit selfish, it can protect you from overgiving and people pleasing and setting boundaries, and it can help you to fullfill your own needs through you. If you suppress that, cause you think its wrong, you judge yourself, you feel guilty, and you will then act it out in a subcounscious way, and maybe trying to manipulate outer circumstances by trying to be nice person to get approval from other people, which is not genuine. Thats what its all bout.
January 27, 2011 - 11:53pm (Reply to #21)
michele115 (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

On this last post Jen

Yea, I think I got it!....LOL...finally...so here's the question... Now what?...LMBO! and I am lacing serious as cancer with a dash of humor here...
January 27, 2011 - 11:58pm (Reply to #22)
jen79
jen79's picture

No what? I have no idea lool

I did the whole process sO I can start to think again of my carrier and finances, which I couldnt think of in any way, cause I was still so full of pain with him. Now what. Its weird now. All the drama has left me, and I start to get familiar again with the normal new jen. I was so used to with victim jen, full of pain jen, that I feel almost like something has died within me lool. So I guess its time to move on.
January 27, 2011 - 5:39pm (Reply to #15)
becsta777
becsta777's picture

Michele..

I know what you're saying. Just like the rest of us, I thought I 'knew' my narc, but since he's left I hung out with one of his friends a few times and noticed they had a lot of similar mannerisms and beliefs etc. This man is a lot older than the narc and I think he used him as a mentor of sorts. I wonder if they can just take on so many different layers of persona that their true self gets lost in the end. Its hard to see the good in them when you can only see them as an empty shell - I dont know exactly - I think its time that helps. I was only involved with mine for a short albeit traumatic time, so, a year on I am starting to feel I could possibly forgive him. I'm trying to see the good in him as a human being. That he's still a person with hopes and dreams and feelings, a weak man-child with deep insecurities and unstable self esteem. He's damaged and I know he would hurt me again given the chance. Of course, it always helps to hear news that things aernt going so well for him :) I heard some juicy stuff the other day and it brought a smile to my face and a little feeling of validation too.
January 27, 2011 - 4:25pm (Reply to #12)
venuslovedpluto
venuslovedpluto's picture

Briseis...

Right on. I'm with you on all of this. Just for clarity, hope no one thinks I was suggesting that anyone here is less than intelligent for getting sucked into Narcland. I just meant that from my own self-reflection, I spent the dips between the rollercoaster rides beating the hell out of myself because each time it did go badly, I felt monumentally stupid. Foolish. I almost hate him for that, for seeing that and so much pain in me too, not giving a rat's ass. Yeah I think this is later-stage thinking because I can't ponder it anymore. I'm scared it might have me sympathizing with the N a bit and that can't happen. But it does make me happy because I think this whole experience will amount to a lot of serious growth for me. For all of us.
January 27, 2011 - 4:32pm (Reply to #13)
jen79
jen79's picture

venuspluto

This is true, its for the end of recovery, when you are ready to accept and forgive. Dont force yourself there, hating him and saying he is evil, serves you very well, its also part of release. So dont go there yet, if it doesnt feel right for you. You will feel it, when it is time, you will just feel relief. If not now, then its too early, and you cannot shorten up the recovery process. Hugs to you.
January 27, 2011 - 4:12pm
venuslovedpluto
venuslovedpluto's picture

Oops I read it...

...and maybe I shouldn't have but here's to hoping I can trust myself at this point. After having ridden the rollercoaster from hell about 800 times, I really have zero desire to try that out again. I still think about the pull it had though, which confuses me some because I like to think that I'm an intelligent person, I know I didn't hop back on just because I was hopelessly attatched to the guy and deluding myself about his character. I'd noticed his passive/aggression years ago, and the mean streak that could peek out when he wasn't getting his way. I saw the other side of these things too though and also understood the abuse that likely led to it. These things actually kind of (I know it sounds nuts) balanced with my personality in ways that worked when we weren't butting heads. Which was 90 percent of the time, for the bulk of the "relationship". (I'm not in denial about the fact that he was lying to me about huge chunks of himself and his life though) :( The passive/aggression worked with my temper. He was pretty composed and rarely outwardly offended if I'd snap at him or act like a jerk or a flake. He'd let me know in his roundabout way. I also saw it as boyishly charming, not gonna lie. I liked that he didn't get in my face about things, wasn't aggressive, I saw it as a vulnerability of sorts for some reason. Weird- I know. Even the mean streak wasn't too offensive to me because each time it happened I knew why, could see through it to the vulnerability and adored him for it. This is where I have to be careful though. At times I've wondered if I'm a narcissist too. I had a boyfriend at age 26 that I was crazy about. We bonded, spent a lot of time together, but I resented his mom being somewhat manipulative & a big focal point of his life. Sometimes his friends too. I loved his artistic side but caught myself feeling threatened when he became more involved with his interests- playing guitar a lot & going to art school- I wanted to be his priority. Then he moved to San Diego (I'd known when I'd met him that it was possible) and I was crushed. I missed him so much. I was so jealous of the 2 friends he'd moved out there with, upset about his life without me. It was rough on both of us. After 3 months of my crying, back and forth flying out to visit, always so sad to be back home without him, he eventually moved back so we could be together. So...he's back...it should've been awesome...he even proposed...but then things changed. I'll never be able to explain what happened next, I'm still confused and sad about it. Maybe I lost respect for him for giving up San Diego to move back and into my apartment with me? Maybe I don't love myself so when he proposed I thought there was something wrong with him? I'm not sure but I am pretty sure I D&D'd him. I withdrew, I told him I was unhappy. When he bought a mountainbike rather than pay a credit card bill (debt), I lectured him and I wasn't kind. He was sweet and affectionate, I became cold and distant. One night we had a fight after I'd chatted with another guy for a few minutes at the bar we were at together. When we pulled into the parking lot at home, I tossed my ring out of the car window and left him outside by himself- sobbing, searching the grass for it. I was doing this stuff, allowing myself to, but I can't explain- I was horrified at the same time. It was like I was outside of myself and some other mean, nasty girl had taken over. He left me shortly after and I swear I lost my mind. I tried everything to get him back but he was long gone. For years I thought I'd been testing him. Afraid that he'd leave me maybe, knowing we hadn't been together for long enough for me to feel totally secure about his character, I decided I'd tested the crap out of the poor guy and he'd "failed". That was until I found this site. I knew immediately that my current ex is a Narcissist but secretly feared that I am too. What if? I'm loveable, pretty sure. I'm definitely empathic, so that doesn't fit. I have healthy self-esteem I think, I'm not a girl who thinks I'm special or beautiful or all that. I don't like hurting people in any way, it makes me feel sick inside. That doesn't fit. So what the hell am I? Am I normal? Was that my shadow self and I was testing his limits with that, trying to make sure this man who wanted to marry me would accept all facets of me before I made the vows? Like, on some subconscious level? I'm not sure. I still grieve that loss though, no doubt about that. I loved him SO very much and I know he didn't think so by the time he left. I guess it comes down to what we will and won't, can and can't accept from another person and the communication that should bridge that. I'm an older, somewhat different me now, I don't think I'd behave that way with anyone again. But I have wondered about my exN in this context and what really motivated his behavior, it's all so very complex =(
January 27, 2011 - 5:08pm (Reply to #8)
becsta777
becsta777's picture

Venus...

Hey, I've asked myself that question "am I a narcissist myself?" so many times. My therapist says that just asking that question usually means I'm not one. But I think we all have narcissistic tendencies at times. There is a lot of power in narcissism, and it can be an attractive coping mechanism. For example, I've been involved on and off with narcissists for years and I've been hurt really badly. After being with a narcissist, I would often get involved with someone I was able to manipulate and control quite easily. I knew I wouldnt really get hurt and it felt safe to be with them. I think Narcs do this too when they seek out vulnerable people, the threat of being hurt is minimal and the feeling of control and power to be gained is intoxicating. So, essentially...I was being quite narcissistic in my dealings with certain men as well. The difference between me and an NPD affected person however, is that I felt guilt after doing what I did. Insane guilt and anxiety which caused physical illness and ultimately led me to end the relationships. I wanted the power and the control, I wanted the strength and the flimsy boost to my self esteem it provided, but my ability to empathise with my 'victim' always made me cut and run. I felt just awful about causing pain like that and I still feel guilt and sadness when I think about it today. In hindsight, I can see that my repeated dealings with narcs and my own need to manipulate are indicative of low self esteem. These narcs were trying to show me something but it took more than ten years of narc best friends and boyfriends to decipher the message - 'stop running away from yourself, accept the good and bad, the warts and all - get real!' I don't know you well enough to say you have a low self esteem, but it might be worth checking out. I always thought my self esteem was high, but I realise now that I was relying on external factors to boost it. My looks, my job, my friends, my MAN etc. Self esteem is all about how we feel inside, when those external things are taken away we only have ourselves. I found a great book about beating low self esteem with cognitive behavioural therapy. Its really easy to follow and its from the 'teach yourself' range. I'm still angry at the narc, but I'm starting to accept that he is a human being and not an evil monster or alien. He acted like a massive jerk and I dont want to be anywhere near him or his friends ever again, but I can see that I may be able to forgive him in another six months or so. Forgiveness doesnt mean we are excusing their behaviour or inviting them to do it again, I think it just means that we are letting go of the anger and hatred in our hearts and moving on. But it cant be forced...as you said, anger and hatred serve an important purpose in the healing cycle. Everything comes naturally eventually. much love xo
January 28, 2011 - 10:58am (Reply to #9)
venuslovedpluto
venuslovedpluto's picture

Wow, Becsta...

...thank you. This offered me bigtime insight. I got together with (San Diego guy) after a relationship that had left me feeling abandoned and helpless. After 2.5 years together (B) moved to Chicago to be a cop, leaving me behind like -thanks, been fun, see ya- . Ouch. This makes so much sense. Also, at the beginning with (SD guy) I'd been dancing topless at a gentleman's club to pay for college (Gasp! I know, but I freaking loved it) and he hated it, pressured me to quit. Which I resented. So all of this stuff makes sense, I really should've considered the entire picture. I just felt so bad about doing that to him that I zeroed in on myself and the awful thing I'd done, ignoring everything else that played into it. No wonder those relationships failed. I was trying to exist contradicting, denying myself all over the place. And expecting my boyfriends to love me in the ways I needed, where I needed, around this mixed up dynamic. Wow, relationships, people are so, so complicated- how does ANYONE ever keep it together?