The whole time my narcissist was in my life, I struggled with the idea of trust. I felt like I couldn’t trust him, but felt I should be able to because he was the man I loved. Because of all his harrassment about my friends, I started to feel like I couldn’t trust other people in my life and, for a while, I really alienated myself from all my friends. I was so confused.
Now I know I can’t trust him, but after reading so many articles and personal stories about narcissism, I’m in that paranoid phase of feeling like everyone is a potential narcissist. I’m calling it a phase because I’m really, really hoping it’s just a phase.
Recently, a new guy expressed interest, messaged me to say good morning and that set off sirens for me, thinking he’s starting the love bombing phase. Too much contact, too soon. Is it? I just remember that’s what my narc used to do – it’s too familiar, but does that mean it’s not normal? Does that mean it’s never ok to say good morning to a new interest? I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought in the past, but look where that got me…
And in another case, an old recently reacquainted friend made a joke instead of giving a straight answer and I immediately recoiled. I started reviewing every stage of our reacquainting and fit everything into the narc phases. Am I making it fit, or is he really a danger to me?
I feel like right now I can’t tell the difference, which is scary. I know being vulnerable attracts narcissists like moths to a flame, so I’m trying to keep my guard up with everyone just in case. But I also know that narcs are geniously intuitive and would be able to sense my vulnerability regardless, so there’s no fooling myself into thinking they wouldn’t be able to sniff me out in a crowd. It’s up to me to strengthen up and get my boundaries solidified. I guess I just don’t know how to do that without isolating myself.
I wish there was a secret question only survivors knew, that we could use to sort out the narcs from the good ones. In the absence of that, I think I’m just going to keep not trusting for now.
After all, I think we all learned from our narcs the importance of trusting our instincts. Maybe all of these worries and paranoid feelings are my gut’s way of telling me I’m just not ready to get out into the ‘real world’ again just yet. Well, I think I can at least trust that.
Just found a great article about learning to trust again after emotional abuse! https://www.psychopathfree.com/showthread.php?6123-Article-Trust-After-Emotional-Abuse&p=86718#post86718