I wonder if there's a place that we get to... coming out of a relationship or marriage where we feel... like we deserve better than we had and yet... not good enough for more?
I wonder... because I know that I was there.
The thing is, what I forgot was, the end of a relationship is such a low point, it's such a small place, so to think of better, ANYTHING feels better than small. We don't yet feel worthy of the strength and beauty that we once were.
In that small, low place of desperation and longing (though I was not outwardly conscious of this), I dated a narcissist. An amorous narcissist, to be exact.
Seductive, erotic, charming, beautiful. He was SO big to me, so grand, so perfect and I was so small...
I feel that every woman should think about this if she is in that place. Maybe some of these words will sound familiar. Maybe this is my own public service announcement.
When I look back now, or especially when I talk about that relationship, people say to me, "That doesn't even SOUND like you!" But it was me, at the time. I was swept away with his promises and kind words. I felt lucky and fortunate that he chose me, of all the women in the world. This beautiful specimen of a man chose me!
And oooooohhh he was very good at making sure I felt so special in the beginning and even throughout our relationship. Ours was a phone/long distance relationship. He was a great listener, a good friend, over the phone. He just couldn't follow through with the actions. I even ignored the hints of this over the phone. In person, he couldn't handle a real relationship. He couldn't be honest. He couldn't commit. He talked a big game... like he wanted to... but his fear was greater than his desire for a true commitment.
I think all of us have some level of narcissistic tendencies. Anyone who's been hurt in a previous relationship will approach any new relationship with fear. This fear of intimacy creates problems in relationships but it can be worked through. If it's a narcissistic personality disorder, like what I was dealing with, it simply may be too much to handle.
I can feel sorry for him, for being so scared. I can look beyond the fact that he dropped completely out of my life when he pleaded for me to never let go. I can move past the friendship we'd had since we were teenagers. I can even still love him with a tiny piece of my heart.
But that doesn't mean that, to love him, I had to be content with breadcrumbs when I was worthy of an entire bread factory. You know, the one he promised me? The one with "happily ever after" emblazoned in every hearty slice?
So, if you're there, if you're feeling like his heart means well but his actions prove otherwise, if you're feeling like you're going crazy because you're sure he wanted the same things as you but now he's not acting that way at all, love yourself through it. What it means is that you're no longer the small, desperate person you once were. If you feel neglected, insane, frustrated, it means that you are ready for bigger, better, truer love than this.
This relationship isn't serving you anymore.
Love HIM through it too. In your heart, send forgiveness to him for believing that he is not worthy of truer love. Send gratitude to him for showing you your worth. Be thankful for the hard-learned lessons.
Now stand up, brush yourself off and move on. The habits of being his whatever-he-calls-you and the identity crisis of defining yourself as his will pass. The withdrawals will stop. I promise you this.
Then you will start to treat yourself the way you wished he would have. You'll start to bake your own bread, singing while you're working, from scratch, with all your favorite grains and flours. Your happily ever after will be yours.
You are worthy of it.
You'll soon learn to BE what you desire in a partner and you will attract that too. You'll learn that you were simply too frightened also but you're not anymore. You're ready. The thought of being alone is terrifying but that will pass too. You'll soon find that you're your own best friend.
You will be ok.
Here are some links that helped me. Maybe they'll be helpful for you too?
Translations: I don't want to hurt you, You're out of my league and other such sayings...
How to deal with a narcissist
Spouse/Mate/Partner of the Narcissist
And a few songs written especially about narcissists. Can you identify with these?:
Thank you to Soldier for being my teacher... for these hard-learned lessons.
And thank you to my Gentleman for being an equal partner, proving true over and over again, and continuing to be the love of my life!