“Dear Narcissist”

Another good site to follow!

Alternative Recovery from Narcissistic Abuse (ARNA)

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It is with no regret that I send you this letter.  Actually, this letter won’t be sent.  This letter is a reminder of my location; in a place where no wisp of your memory carries any weight.
A funny thing happens when you find a friend.  You expect that they are genuine…”like you”.  You assume that they have some long term idea of what having friends and loved ones means and that they place some level of value on that.  As it turns out, they might not.  Some people feed on parts of you until they are sated and then they have to go find a different, more delectable dish.  That is what you did.  And frankly, it’s pretty grotesque.  But I digress…
I am now glad you are out of my life completely.  
I am glad that any longing for the “friend” I thought I had in you…

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The Shackles of Un-Love

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No man is free who is a slave to himself.

Not being able to love is a bondage.  It’s a bondage to hate and rage, and in the end, grief.  The problem here is that perhaps there wasn’t a lot on the menu when the narcissist you know was growing up.  Love wasn’t served.  Being required to perform, being plastic, appearing to be picture perfect…THAT is what they received instead of true, authentic love.  And being praised for meeting those external demands resulted in what is called “operant conditioning”, meaning they were basically trained to have a performance based value system.

When you look at the cells of the body, you find that they have receptor sites for different things that the cell needs to function.  Being somewhat familiar with biology, I thought it would be a good idea to apply vitamin D topically, since it’s so important to the body, I thought the skin would benefit too- that is until an instructor mentioned that there are no vitamin d receptors in the cells that make up our skin.  So applying this goo topically would be of absolutely NO benefit.

I liken this to the way that you can try to apply love to someone who has no receptors for it.  It doesn’t “take”.  It remains meaningless.  It’s a waste.

I have also thought that perhaps- those of us who have not been “taught” love- having this void in us, we interpret it as evil- when maybe it is just lack.  But if it’s lack, who is responsible for filling that lack?  Who is responsible for filling the lack of others (and we watch those who appear to have it all- love, comfort, a place to really call home).  Also- lack is a vacuum.  If there is no love, only darkness can fill the void.  I think it’s important to note here that maybe- as Robin Williams told Matt Damon in the movie Good Will Hunting:   “It’s not your fault”.  It IS, however, your fault- when you start to actively feed the beast of destruction inside of you and choose to inflict pain on others out of some sort of cosmic revenge plan on Fate, or God for enjoyment and indulgence in a temporary emotional killing spree.

I remember a time when I threw myself away…  I didn’t fit anywhere.  No one seemed to care.  blah blah blah.  I often wonder if that’s the exact feeling that those who cannot love get when they turn the corner and veer into the abyss of hate and destruction.

What you believe about yourself..this is IMPORTANT.  We used to believe in genetic determinism- that our genetic code determined our fate.  We are now learning that the WAY and that WHAT that we think switches certain genetic switches on or off in our genes that either support wellness or illness.  When you believe something about yourself, you tend to act on that belief.  Therefore, if I believe I am evil- I am evil (or I end up being evil).  There is no reason to believe otherwise.  And if I believe that, I may as well do it up right.

I once had a friend who I tried to extend love and friendship to.  Actually, I didn’t even have to try.  I cared about him very much.  I did what authentic people do.  I showed up.  Every day.  I was good company.  I was funny.  We had a good time- it was like being kids (because that’s how I roll).  And then he dumped me.  He didn’t or couldn’t value what I had to offer.  He had to go find what was next, and that’s fine (it sucked) but I’m still not sure what he is looking for.  I think in the end, he just didn’t have the receptors for what I had to offer (like actual honest kindness and concern).

Perhaps some of us have been given the insurmountable task of loving those who are bent on destruction.  This does not mean that we are to stay in the line of fire.  What this means is that this cosmic injustice of being “unloved” is made right, in the here and now.  It means that they have someone rooting for them, if we can get our pain and ego out of the way.  For some of us, the destruction is too great and there is no choice but to flee, and this is understandable.  But perhaps- just perhaps- this great and unfathomable love we have is meant to serve a greater purpose than achieving our earthly comfort.  Even Jesus himself said that he had no place to lay his head.  When someone we love decides to go all prodigal, it destroys our hearts and our homes as well.  We don’t have the story we wanted.  But if you believe that this existence is temporary, then maybe we are to be praying for something past this existence.  Maybe we are supposed to be praying for the blindness of our fellow man- because this blindness is going to lead them into an eternity of pain that they already exist in now.

 

It seems, for some narcissists, that the driving force for them is to matter.  And they  will use whatever means it takes for this to happen, even if it’s simply being an insurmountable force of destruction, because let’s face it… tornadoes matter.  Tornadoes get people’s attention.  Most of the time, it means that they will set up a scenario of the tornadic destruction of another because it makes them Godlike and this makes them matter.  Very much.  I feel like it’s a form of power/revenge over the a God who appears to have abandoned or neglected the narcissist somehow.  I think that’s what is at the root of it all.  When man has power over creation, they feel as if it’s the ultimate power a human can have.  Interestingly, this is not true because man cannot conquer the spirit when the spirit is bent on victory.    And mine totally is.

Is yours?

 

Zombie Narcopalypse

Just watching some Christmas “Walking Dead” with the family, and it occurs to me that we are in the midst of our own narcopalypse right now.  It’s been brewing for a while and it seems to be gaining speed.  Yes, folks.  We are right smack in the middle of a Zombie Narcopalypse.  Narcissistic eating machines seem to be taking over.

We have to be on the lookout for narcissist, but even more so- on the lookout for the seeds of narcissism in our own hearts- lest we become like “they are”.  Interestingly- the pain and sorrow my narc brought created a wall in me.  My own narcissistic wall built from the contagious virus that is narcissism- just as the narcissist walled off his own heart from the world.  Many of us erect our own narcissistic boundaries against those who hurt us.  Angry, spiteful walls to forever ban the zombie from ever gaining entry into our lives again.  We just have to be careful that we preserve our humanity  and our goodness for those who can receive it without robbing us of it.

I have wondered if I have become more of a narcissist since my tangle with my very own and I can assure you I have.  Hell yes.  Glad to be it.  Also glad to be able to extend love, honor and respect to those who truly deserve it, so basically, I’m a freakin’ emotional ninja now.  I have the cognitive ability to choose who to be kind to- and I didn’t have that before.  I was conditioned to be nice to everyone.  Think the best of everyone.  This was my belief system- but life doesn’t work that way anymore.  It saddens me to think how many of us were sitting ducks because we weren’t taught to honor our instincts, but were rather taught to override or suppress our urge to flee.  We never even questioned the voice inside that was waving warning flags at every turn.  Now, I teach this to everyone I can.  Honor your antenna- it’s there for a reason.

So in navigating this zombie landscape, what we are in search of is those who are not the living dead.  We are looking for non-afflicted  people to build some kind of earthly fortress against this narcissistic new world.  It’s literally like the days of Noah- if you buy into the story either in reality or symbolically.  There was literally a handful of people who weren’t corrupt.  Used to be pretty unfathomable- but in the last few years- not so much.  My eyes are wide open now.  Narcissist are everywhere, and maybe they always have been.  We were just perplexed by certain people’s behaviors- but now, armed with the internet and Amazon.com, we are enlightened.

I understand the fortress they build.  In understand the unfairness of the reality they’ve been dealt in some cases.  I understand, because my narcissist showed me that whole world, and I have used some of his tactics to overcome my own wounding.  I get it.  But the damage they inflict, due to their own damage, does indeed spread like a plague.  We have to isolate ourselves from this disease in our social and private lives as well as in our own hearts.

In our day and age, we are learning that the brain does indeed change, based on the thoughts you choose to think and what you expose your still malleable brain to.  It’s called “neuroplasticity”.  Medicinenet.com describes it like this:

“Neuroplasticity: The brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.  (Link here.)”

Most of us can evolve for the better, if we choose to.  This applies to the narcissist- but many have found their methods to be far too effective and entertaining to choose the life of the lame and boring (aka: peaceful and harmonious).  Touche.  I get it.  And who wants to go back in time to mine for memories of pain, abuse and neglect?  I really think that they are afraid they might get stuck there like some shitty Hotel California nightmare, so of course they will run as fast and far from the wounds as they can.  Forever.

And hence the Narcopalypse continues….

That’s Just a StretchNarc.

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A while back, I had pondered the “scars” a narc leaves.  It’s too much of an honor to give something that’s healed a name like “scar” when it comes from a narcissist.  This implies that they had the power to wound you in the first place- which may have been true at the time because you didn’t have a list of the “rules” of the “game”.  Frankly, if you’ve gotten rid of a narc, that’s not a scar that’s left.  That’s a mother-freakin’ celebration stamp.  Embrace it.  It’s a reminder of freedom and the battle you fought to own your own soul.

I like to think of those little reminders as “stretch narcs”.  

They are just proof that you’ve grown.  Shot up like a freakin’ weed at some point.  Gained a ton more empathy, got a few frayed edges and learned something.  Good for you/me.  It means that we won’t be needing to engage with someone who is toxic to us ever again- at least not with our consent.  And we now have the tools to spot ’em and flee, or at least enact a little “gray rock” until the threat passes.

Here’s the thing…I understand that we are all messed up in our own special way,but some of these ways don’t work that well together. So while I will sit here and be messed up with my expectations of people treating each other with love and respect, let them be messed up with playing their mind games and engaging in their slippery little exploits.

Let’s just all choose to exist in our parallel universes and call it good.

StretchNarcs are really not that big of a deal in the end.  A lot of people would disagree- but thinking otherwise continues to empower their role in your life.  Just remember to view the marks you may feel you are left with- not with judgement, but with care, compassion and tenderness towards yourself.

Isn’t it about time someone loved you like that?

It’s Been a While…

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This is a good sign.  It’s been a while since I’ve written about the experience.  I was just thinking about the NPS (Narcissist, Psychopath, Sociopath) as the teacher.  I was taught so much by my NPS.  But now, I have outgrown his teaching.  It still speaks to me, but I am more than his student now.  I am bigger.  I am better.

It seems a shame to leave a teacher behind, but there is no choice.  You can’t live in the lesson, even if you want to.  It’s a painful record set on repeat.  It is pointless.

My NPS taught me so many things about life.  It’s a shame that we couldn’t  reach some understanding- some way of benefiting each other, rather than this battle of innuendo and insult.  I have no judgement of the way he is knit together, but I can only withstand so much pointless nonsense.  Yes.  The teacher imparted both wisdom and insanity- and the insanity must be rendered impotent and I have had to end that chapter.  There is nothing more to write there.  Such a shame.

Eventually, those scornful eyes they use to gaze upon us become our own.  Now I am superior.  Now HE is the rabble.  It is sad to say, but truth nonetheless.  Petty games are child’s play, and I am done with recess.

I am not finished writing.  I am not finished evolving and learning from this.  I am certainly not finished hoping that my experience and perspective might offer some comfort or assistance to those who are in the muck of it all.

At some point, it’s true that you fold up this garment of sorrow and put on something new.  For me, I will always have to slip into the garment briefly so I can remember…and continue to strive to attain excellence.  Truly, I think that’s what the experience is all about in the end- for US.

Cultivating Indifference

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If you are an empath on any level and you’ve had an encounter with a narcissist, your world might have been a bit shaken up.  For whatever reason, empaths care about people.  We are like human band-aids.  It’s our calling/mission in life.  I don’t think we can help it.  The problem is, we can get stuck in this ridiculous empath rut where we can’t seem to change our thinking enough to get free from currently and potentially abusive relational situations.

If you’ve ever had a garden, you know what it’s like to cultivate your plants- to nurture them into a healthy state of growth and strength.   This is a good and necessary thing to do.  We nurture those things that we need to flourish in our lives, and of course, good nutrition is something we need to fully embrace to be healthy.

In dealing with our individual narcissist situations, we learn that the best antidote is avoidance.  Total avoidance.  Like choosing a narc-sterile environment.  To do this, we must detach and to detach, we need to disconnect ourselves from our addictions to the high we feel when things are “good”.  This is where our greatest work lies- within our own physical body- coming off our own addiction chemicals.

Not Easy Stuff.  We’re talking hardcore addiction.  Our drug is not found on the street.  We are the drug factory. 

I remember a time when I was devastated by the sick and ridiculous plot of another human being- I remember knowing that I needed I had to exhale it all out into the universe to some power that could take it for/from me.  It was literally all I had- my breath.  It was the only way I had of releasing it all.  As it turns out, it’s kind of important to release what author Candace Pert calls “The Molecules of Emotion”- literal/physical chemicals in the body that need to be released so you can physically and emotionally stabilize.  I had to work to release all this in any way my body told me to.  Your body  knows the way out (listen to it).  Once you are feeling a bit more sure-footed,  you can then move on to what I call “Cultivating Indifference”.

Cultivating Indifference is really teaching yourself how NOT to care- which is really difficult when you are an empathic or deeply emotional person.  All those caring things you would do for someone- you have to specifically NOT do them.  All those endearing thoughts you would think about someone- you have to begin to unthink, because when you allow your brain to stay on that deeply carved path that it’s created, it will never know another way.  This is information we now understand about the brain.  You have to literally unwind your love from this person.  Bit by bit- incrementally.  You take a step away from the situation, set some small boundary and then let your brain acclimate to that space.  You do all of this over and over until you see some changes.  Then you do it some more.

Indifference is really important.

It is total detachment from any outcome of a situation- good or bad.  The “situation” becomes irrelevant to your life.  It is not weighed down with either love or hate, even though there is often a bit of angst (or stark raving rage) happening in your heart prior to reaching this emotional nirvana.  Indifference is what sets you free.  That’s why you want to grow it like a flower in your life and save your love and concern for the things that really matters.  It takes too much energy to care about things you can’t change.

Pay attention to the ways you are feeding the addiction and make the choice to change them.  It is conscious.  It is deliberate.  And if you feel like you just can’t unfeel your feelings, you have to decide to change your reality.  Subscribe and read about that in one of my upcoming posts. 🙂

The Value of Love in Narcissism

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The concept of “love” to an narcissist is a joke. There is no substance. There is no meat. There is nothing they need in “love” except one thing: Power. Other than that, your pleas of love and devotion are meaningless. With a narc, it’s more like “show me the money” or something else that’s tangible/valuable in a narc’s eyes.  The only purpose love serves in the life of a narc is in it’s ability to ensnare those who believe in it to create emotional and practical slaves.

In reality, love really is kind of Hallmarky. Kind of wishy washy. Kind of marshmallowey, worthless and pathetic. At least it can seem so. Until you actually need it, that is. When you need it, it’s everything. When you need it, it’s a lifeline to hope and comfort and some shred of emotional security to keep you from feeling completely alone at the end of the road.  That’s why they like to keep us around.  They are hedging their bets so they don’t wind up on their deathbed with no one waving goodbye.

Some of us get this love stuff, though. That’s why we invest in it, and each other.

We know there will come a day when the love we give and the love we get is all we have left. The last thing we might experience in our lifetime may well be the feel of a hand holding ours in our last moments on earth. But this doesn’t happen unless someone cares. This doesn’t happen if you haven’t dished out a little genuine tenderness in your time wandering the planet. If you haven’t cultivated some caring, the only person present at your death bed may simply be someone who’s been paid to be there to change your diapers as you near the end of the road.

It wouldn’t surprise me if those who have let love sail right by while in some hot pursuit of other (“more important”) things felt some deep, gaping, ginormous black pit of regret when they hit the empty years precluding their demise. It might then be something they think they should have investigated a little when they had the chance.  J.Giles had it spot on. Love does stink, but it’s also worth cultivating when you encounter someone even slightly worth having around. Regret is a cruel cellmate in the endless prison of your own soul, once all of your bullshit and pointless escapades have faded into a blurry memory.

But try to tell that to a narcissist.  It’s like speaking a Martian sign language to a blind Neptunian.  There is no connection.  “Does not compute.”  The only choice we have is to abandon the spaceship altogether.  In the economy of emotions, love is either everything or nothing at all.  When pertaining to a narcissist- it falls into the latter category.

So chin up.  Love those who can be loved.  Grieve for those who cannot.  Live your days with as much sunshine in your heart as  you possibly  can, because in the end it’s best to understand that the value of love for a narcissist is zero.

 

Photo via https://www.flickr.com/photos/126193407@N07/

Unsubscribed

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I have so appreciated the insight of H. G. Tudor as to how the narcissistic mind operates.  He’s outstripped ol’ Sammy Vaknin as far as letting us tinker around in the inner sanctum of the narc brain, but his total, incessant glorification of his narcissistic style has just because so nauseating, I can’t look at another post.  I mean it’s just gotten unbearable- these constant reminders of how a narcissist thinks.

Isn’t that how it is in real life?  We get so sick of the incessant ramblings of the king and his new clothes stories that we just have to break away.  Eventually we see that the king is nude and he doesn’t even have a good body.  We bought the idea of his splendor for a spell, but they just end up being a grotesque fraud of a human being.  Damn that seems a harsh way to view these people, but I’ve had it up to here (please picture me reaching as high as possible- and pretend I look just like Angelina Jolie).

We have to unsubscribe to their issues.  I had to unsubscribe to his blog.

I mean really, he is doing us a service and should be paid handsomely for it (because it will get you free- look at me).  But at some point, just as in real life, you look at your narc and say “hey buddy” (or “buddette”) “if I hear one more GD word out of you, I will spew forth the most violent and putrid vomit from which your entire being will never recover”.   I totally mean that.  Up to my eyeballs in narc bullshit.  The “power” my narc had is fully expired and he now exists in some pathetic basement of my brain where the toilets are always clogged and there are never any toiletries (and only a single solitary square of toilet paper clinging to the cardboard roll- for all of eternity).

And yes.  I am uber bitchy right now (and embracing it).

I will end this rant with a thanks to H. G. and a wish for YOU to be utterly disgusted with the narcissistic nonsense you have to put up with- enough repugnance that you will finally break yourself free.

Lose a Narcissist, Gain Your Soul

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I remember what felt  like a tremendous loss.  I remember my mind feeling blown to shreds.  I remember the ache to have my beloved back.  I remember the ceaseless prayers for him.  His family.  His soul.

Lawd, I was precious.  Toxically naive.  Who would have thought that someone could be that pure?  Oh sure, I have had my failings and fallings, but wow… this…

It took a few years to get here.  To this place of nauseating clarity.  To know that the creature is past all hope for living as a human on this planet.  Not sure if he sold his soul (or if that is really a thing- I suspect it is).  I have no hope that he will change.  And why should he?  The creature gets along just fine here.  My only hope has been for a deathbed conversion, and even that hope is being swallowed up by my indifference for all things “him”.

And the thing is- it’s his loss.  It really is.  I have shaken the quivering old me off- the one that trembled with concern for his soul, and I am a blazing fire of me.  It’s pretty cool.  I love those who can be loved and let go of those who can’t be.  There is nothing I can do for them.  I can somehow help and hope for those who choose to wrestle their demons down and I will fight alongside them, but those who have forfeited their soul?  I got nuthin’.

So here’s the punchline.  What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?  Better to lose the whole world (the narcissist and his/her world) and gain your soul back.

Onward. ❤