Thursday, January 20, 2011

He's SO big and you're so small...

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

LoveFraud.com

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!

16 comments:

  1. How did he display NPD?

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  2. Well, he had already been diagnosed with PTSD. He constantly talked about exes and how he was mistreated. He would get very upset and often angry if women didn't pay attention to him. He would withdraw and give the silent treatment anytime I would question his motives about our relationship or if I was unavailable to him when he wanted me to be there. He ran hot and cold throughout the relationship. Very hot when he wanted an ego stroke from me and very cold if I asked for more.

    Need I go on?

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  3. I LOVE this post. It is a huge leap from who you 'used' to be to now, I can just tell. And I am glad you have an equal partner in GJ, that is huge. This is beautiful.

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  4. My last comment did not post. I hope this goes through.

    Yes, but was he grandiose? My ex had similar traits, but was not a big self-promoter, so he just fell into the emotionally stunted category. Just curious?

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  5. Bravo to you, T....for being able to learn from this relationship and pass those lessons on to others. :-) You're awesome.

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  6. Such a powerful message T. I am currently trying to deal with someone like that and just over the last few weeks realized there would never be future with him. I still care so deeply for him or should I say, the man he so often portrays but never lives up to. I am slowly trying to move on emotionally and feel worthy of something more fulfilling. Thank you for giving me some clarity. You're amazing...

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  7. *hugs*
    *sniff sniff*

    Educating myself. Learning. Great to share the resources. At some point, I'll be ready to write something like this.

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  8. What an amazing post!!! Thank you for writing this, I got so much from it.

    Does he happen to live in Iowa? This sounds exactly like someone I was involved with who lives there and I live in a different state. Down to him having PTSD, the narcissism, not wanting me to "bail on him" but he could do it, all of it. I ended having any contact with him a couple of weeks ago, after the last time he could not follow through with this words. I know he will not change. I will admit it has been so difficult to not pick up the phone and call him or text him, but I stop myself from doing it. Lately I have been wondering how much longer I will feel the loss.

    Thank you again.

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  9. That was truly a very incredible story. It was also thought provoking and makes you think about your own relationship and possibly say is this me too? Great job again.

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  10. Just as i was trying to understand the realness, as i was seeing people living the soul, as i looked at someone trying to find the truth of the truth itself.....
    You are real, you found your soul and you're living. Thank you for sharing and i wish you a great journey ahead. Drop a prayer for those seeking that they find and feel the truth you have now...the universe listens to enlightened souls :)

    Cheers

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  11. You freaked me out for a minute, I thought you going to say that you and your man had ended things....

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  12. @Anon You asked was he grandiose? Honestly, I didn't spend enough time in his actual presence to tell you how he was with others. HE thought he was a big deal and got very upset when others didn't agree.

    He was a very angry person when he came back from war, especially. I've heard that PTSD can bring on full NPD. Perhaps he's ok now? I really don't know. I wish him well.

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  13. Yeah so this made me tear up a little. I know exactly how all of this feels. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this.

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  14. 'The ex' was a narcissist, on top of being very impulsive. Imagine THAT combo. Ugh, it was terrible. In his eyes, he did NO wrong. And he's still like that.

    Bravo on sending such a strong message, T. I love it! Because it's so true. And I love your bread factory analogy!

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  15. I love that you are coming to terms with him and sending him loving thoughts and wishes. This means that you are truley ready to let go of that part of your life and let more love in! You amaze and inspire me daily!

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  16. Living through all this now. Know he isn't good for me, he cheated on me a lot to stroke his ego and hold up his fragile self image. After 33 years I need to get out before it destroys me. His narcissism ruled our lives and ended up ruining our marriage.

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