Monthly Archives: March 2014

Tired of being tired

I’m so tired of the dreams. Every night I dream about him. They’re never happy dreams, he always treats me badly as he would’ve in real life and I feel bad all over again, as I did in real life.

Last night, I dreamed that we were on a trip together in Europe. We were taking the bus to our next destination which he had arranged; I didn’t know which town we were heading to. I fell asleep on the bus and when I woke up he was gone, and he had taken my bag with him. It had my passport, my money, my cell phone. I was completely stranded. All I had was a few bills of Canadian money and no idea where to go or what to do next. I just sat on the bus dumbfounded trying to figure out what to do next.

The dream continued in the disconnected way that dreams do and eventually we crossed paths again. He just shrugged off my anger and frustration about ditching me, and made some comment about how he did that because of something I had said or done that had offended him. I just stood there in disbelief at how mean and vengeful he could become over the smallest, unconscious transgression. I woke up feeling sad and exhausted.

Then I came to work to find an email from him – first one in at least 1.5 months. (No contact has been going pretty well – I have a reliable text blocker so have no idea what he’s been texting, and he’s only called and left a message once. It was just a matter of time I suppose before he’d try email.)

The subject of his email was: “Dream”.

I just have to tell you this dream because it was so vivid. I never usually remember dreams so that makes this doubly strange

so you and i were on my bed and we were cuddling and you had your head lying on my leg.  I looked down at you and you were smiling and I was smiling and I was telling you that things between us were just so perfect.  I looked at you and said something like “wow things are so great right now it doesn’t seem real”  and then you looked at me and your smile disappeared and you were just starting at me with a dead pan look.  And right then I knew.  Then I said “oh my god this isn’t real is it”    then you started to turn to dust right before my eyes and you disintegrated and blew away.  Then I thought Id woken up but I was still dreaming and I couldn’t figure out if you were even real. I was thinking that maybe you never existed at all.    Then I finally woke up for real.   It was so freaky.   and sad too.

I hope you haven’t blocked me or I guess I’ve typed this for nothing. 

Reading this made me so sad, remembering the cuddling, remembering his face when he was being kind.

And then I felt pleased that he has dreams about me too; that I’m not completely replaced by the new supply, whoever she may be.

And now I just feel drained. I wish he’d leave me alone. I’m exhausted and I want this whole thing to be over. He’s so not good enough, I just want him fully in my past as soon as possible. I’m so tired of being tired.

Addendum:
Interesting response from a friend who never trusted narc:
“i am very skeptical about this. it sounds made up. turning into dust and disintegrating? he’s lying to you.”

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I am not an acquisition

Today I played piano for the first time in a long time.

Piano and I have a long history together. As a young child, piano was my nemesis. I was told I was talented, and subsequently regularly threatened, scolded and punished for not practising enough. I hated it and, first chance I got, I gave it up for drums.

As an adult, piano and I became good friends, but only in private. I was so used to not being ‘perfect’ enough that I never wanted to play in front of other people but finally, after much patience and encouragement many years ago, I played for my fiance at the time. He said, “Wow, it’s so different from how my mother plays. She’s always so worried about getting all the notes right.” He couldn’t have struck my insecurities any more perfectly, and I never played for him again. (He later explained that he meant that I played “with feeling”, which his mother didn’t, but it was too late, I was back in my shell.)

Through the four years that I knew my narcissist following that previous relationship, he always wanted me to play for him. He swore he would respond better than the previous guy, but it somehow never felt safe. In fact, after a little while, I just stopped playing piano altogether. Every time he asked me to play for him, I just responded that I hadn’t played in so long there wasn’t any point, it would sound terrible. That was my out of ever having to let him into that part of my life, until this past new year’s eve.

On new year’s eve, I got just drunk enough that I finally caved when he asked. I tried playing a few pieces, but each one sounded terrible, so full of mistakes. I was miserable. I felt like a little kid again being forced to play. I even had that horrible pit in my stomach. He didn’t do anything wrong, but nothing about it felt right. I told him I wasn’t feeling good about it and stopped.

So, all of that messy history is why it’s kind of a big deal (to me) that I played today and that I loved it. I felt relaxed, at peace, like I was reconnecting with an old friend, and I wondered why it had never felt right to me that narc was so tremendously eager to have me play for him.

And then it finally clicked.

To him, being able to claim some kind of ownership to someone he deemed talented – especially musically talented – was something he felt gave him great value. He loved bragging about it.To him, convincing me to play for him was nothing more than an acquisition. Another notch in his belt of superiority – he was better than my ex, he could get me to do something nobody else could. No wonder nothing about that experience felt good to me.

Today, I’m so glad he’s out of my life. He will never hear me play again, and he will never use any part of me or my life to feed his narcissistic supply ever again. From now on, everything is for me and me alone. I am not an acquisition.

If he walks like a narc and talks like a narc…

Not long ago, I wrote about how I’m having trouble trusting people now. In particular, one of those people is someone I’d been friends with 15 years ago who reappeared in my life last summer when his marriage ended. Throughout the Fall, I’d started thinking he was this amazing guy I was probably meant to be with – so smart, funny, attentive, active, handy, successful. That’s why I couldn’t understand why, after my realization that my last ‘love’ was a narcissistic sociopath, talking to this guy was suddenly setting off huge alarm bells for me.

I saw him this weekend for the first time since October, and now I’m 100% sure he’s a narcissist. I’m actually so proud of myself for not ignoring my instincts, or making excuses for him! I sat, I watched, I saw:

  • He thinks he’s smarter than everyone else.
  • He lacks empathy.
  • Conversation always goes back to him.
  • He presents insults as though they’re jokes.
  • He called his ex “crazy”.
  • He has multiple girls in the works right now who “all want a long-term relationship” with him.
  • He’s already begun telling me how to feel and how to act. (“Just be in the moment.” That’s familiar narcy advice…)
  • When I pointed out a few weeks ago that he was the one who didn’t confirm the date, he joked about being “a scoundrel and a hack” but still didn’t confirm the date. Then a couple of weeks later he still hadn’t confirmed, and said ‘I am the worst at sending confirmations. Feel free to hold it against me’ even though I hadn’t made a single comment about it. (Interestingly enough, in the Fall he’d had no problem confirming a date…)

When I saw him this weekend, I mentioned that right now I don’t trust anybody. I thought I’d throw it out there to see how he’d respond to the vulnerability. Would he empathize? (Doubted it.) Would he try to learn more to study who to shape himself into? Would he note it as his opening and immediately increase contact again to start the lovebombing? (Which he had done last Fall.)

Well, I’ve mentioned my inability to trust to a few friends and he is literally the ONLY person who responded by becoming defensive. His immediate response was, “Now I’m afraid to speak, I don’t want to end up on the wrong side of that.” If he’s on the up and up, why would he think that he would end up on the wrong side of it? The next day he sent me a message, “You know I think you are amazing. And I know this is a difficult time. I am happy just being your friend. (as always) I just wanted to get this out because of the trust issue. I don’t want to be on the wrong side of that.” All I hear is ‘I’m just going to keep telling you that I am who you want me to be – just believe what I say and forget about your feelings. ‘

Same as what had happened with my narcissistic ex, this guy also has immediately increased contact, and every message is about him. Even when it’s about me (‘I wanted to send you this article, it made me think of you’), it’s still about him (‘I got it from a girl I’m dating, I don’t really know what’s going to happen with that relationship’ blah blah).

I’m over the moon happy that I can trust my instincts. I had a feeling about him over the last month and a half, and my gut was right. As I told my best friend yesterday, any guy that’s worth being in my life will not need me to make excuses for his behaviour, he’ll just behave decently and honestly. I’m done making excuses for people!

So guess what buddy. You walk like a narc, you talk like a narc, and you stink like a narc. You’d best be moving on. I know I am.

narcissist chicken

Video

First Kiss

This video gave me such a huge smile today. I lived vicariously through the pairs of strangers as they awkwardly looked at each other, nervously giggled, tentatively kissed and then passionately connected. It was so beautiful and touching.

That’s something to look forward to after a long and tumultuous relationship – that first kiss. So deliciously lovely. How lucky for me that I get to have at least one of those again in my future. 🙂

Same dog, old tricks

This weekend was h-a-r-d. On Saturday, I found myself crying most of the day, mourning the death of my naive belief that people in the world can be trusted to be fundamentally good people.

On Sunday, I went grocery shopping to a store I rarely visit, and was struck with flashbacks to a day I had gone there with my ex. Those were the early days when I knew something didn’t feel quite right, but I still really hoped that if I was patient and accommodating enough he would grow to trust me enough to let me in. Little did I know there would be no end to the hoops he’d want me to jump through and there was nothing to let me in to. There was no reason to hope.

Now, it has been 3 weeks of no contact, and 6 weeks since the breakup. Last night I got a text from him: “I haven’t drank since last Wednesday. It’s been hard. I’m not telling ppl cuz I’d have to admit I was drinking too much. I know you aren’t going to respond and I don’t expect you to. I just thought you would want to know.”

I literally became nauseous. I felt so angry and hurt. This man ALWAYS becomes ‘a better man’ when he’s away from me. It’s SO unfair.

In the earlier days, I would’ve messaged him words of encouragement and pride – that’s great, I’m glad you’re making a positive change in your life. That would’ve been his foot in the door.

In later days, I would’ve messaged him words of anger and resentment – oh that’s nice that you finally decided to make a change, how lucky for the next girl. That would’ve been his foot in the door. He doesn’t really care which foot gets in, as long as he can push his way in somehow.

So this time I decided not to give him a foot in the door. Yes, I’m angry and I’m hurt, but I’m also a lot smarter. This guy is a liar and a manipulator, who’s to say he actually even quit drinking? I suspect there’s more to the story – there always is. ‘Well, I quit drinking wine but I still drink vodka sometimes‘, or ‘I quit drinking when I’m home alone, but I still drink when I go out with people because (blah blah)‘. Or perhaps it’s all mirroring for the new victim – maybe her ex was an alcoholic, so he’s going to be pretend to be this great guy who’s got it all together. Yeah right, we’ll see how long that lasts.

This man cannot be trusted. Same old story. Whatever he thinks will hook me, he’ll do it. Of course he’s going to pretend he suddenly now can offer the things that mattered most to me (that he denied me when we were actually in a relationship). I’m sure the drinking is just one of the many weapons in his arsenal. I just have to keep remembering these are all lies and manipulations.

Thank goodness I found online support that taught me No Contact is the only way to go. This guy is the same old dog with the same old tricks. But this time, finally, I’ve got a new trick and he can go fuck himself. No contact baby. Never again.

blah blah blah

How to stop being a target for narcissists

Many of us wonder ‘why me?’ and ‘how can I make sure this never happens to me again?’  Well, recently I watched a video that a did a great job of clearly identifying the 7 most common characteristics of people who are targeted by narcissists. The characteristics align well with other things I’d read, so I decided to use this video’s list as my starting point for trying to figure out some answers.

Because I’m a girl who loves organizing information into tables and spreadsheets, of course the first thing I did is create a table and shape it into an action plan! I listed all of the characteristics that were identified in the video; then how I demonstrated those in my words, actions, and beliefs; and finally, based on all of that information, what I thought I need to work on going forward.

My table looks like this:

Narcissists target…. Things I do/ did Things I say/ said Things I believe Need to work on
Poor boundaries
Hungry for love
Kind, compassionate, loving
Self-sacrificing
Naive in trusting
Lonely
Idealist

It’s been an interesting exercise, and very revealing! I highly recommend it for anyone in the beginning stages of healing, or for anyone noticing they’re caught in a pattern of attracting one narcissist/sociopath after another.

As an example of the kinds of things I noted, here’s my ‘poor boundaries’ section:

Narcissists target…. Things I do/did Things I say Things I believe Need to work on
Poor boundaries Didn’t express boundaries clearly and consistently

Justified making exceptions to boundaries (first step to the boundary eroding completely)

Allowed things to progress physically faster than I wanted

Allowed him to come to my house soon after meeting

“I don’t know if I’m ok with this”

“I guess it’s ok”

“I never thought I’d do something like this”

“That’s ok” (even if it’s not)

People make mistakes and deserve second chances

You have to be flexible and compromise

Identifying boundaries around amount of contact, respectful behaviour, trusting my gut, sex, etc

Daily checking to make sure I’m adhering to the boundaries

Practise communicating boundaries, saying no

Checking in to see if I’m compromising or compromising myself

Make a steadfast rule about how long I have to know someone before they can come to the house (or me to theirs)

In the ‘things I say and do’ columns, I tried to focus mainly on that time at the beginning of a relationship when you’re just meeting or on the first few dates. That’s when the narcissist is sizing you up and starting to dig in his/her claws, so that’s the time to be especially vigilant.

I tried to be specific in my ‘need to work on’ column, so it almost becomes a list of reminders and/or a to-do list. I’m not just going to work on better boundaries, I’m going to especially focus on reinforcing those boundaries where I know I tend to slip. I’m not just going to try to be more realistic than idealistic, I’m going to try to accept that not everybody deserves a second chance.

I’m always looking for resources and tools that others have used in their healing, so if it’s at all helpful to you to see what my completed table looks like, you can download it here. I’m sure I’ll be tweaking it as I think of or notice more things that I do/say/believe, but for now I’m really excited to have some concrete things to work on. I WILL NOT be a victim again!

Image

If you find someone who makes you smile

if you find someone