Monthly Archives: May 2014

Signs of Success

I haven’t written in a while because I decided to just hunker down and ride the waves – enjoying the highs, grinding through the lows. But today, I’m feeling pretty proud of myself and wanted to share what I consider to be a personal success. Incidentally, it actually has nothing to do directly with my ex (a nice change!), though indirectly it’s related because it’s about boundaries, and self-love, and making healthy choices.

Two days ago, during my “performance discussion” at work, I was asked to apply for a management position. I work in a small, flat organization where opportunities for advancement don’t come up very often and management opportunities are extremely rare. I was flattered that I was asked, but I told them I wasn’t interested.

They upped the ante.

They asked me why I didn’t want it and offered to tailor the position to me. They asked me to look at the job description and let them know which aspects of the job I would be interested in doing; what changes would need to be made in order for me to accept it. I said I would think about it and promised to get back to them by the end of the week with my thoughts. (I know this sounds almost unbelievable, but this is exactly how it happened. I truly am the luckiest girl in the world to work where I do – they really are this awesomely supportive!)

That night, I couldn’t fall asleep because my mind was racing with thoughts. Two years ago, I had worked my butt off to switch from a 15-year career that I hated to something completely different that I could be passionate about. Last year, they custom-made a position for me here that was exactly what I wanted and, for the last year, I have absolutely LOVED my job.

So, with this offer, I was in a conundrum. We’re supposed to want to be successful right? And that means we should be advancing – getting promoted, making more money, having ‘bigger’ titles… right? And aren’t we supposed to seize opportunities when they’re presented to us? And when someone wants to do something nice for us, aren’t we supposed to politely accept because it would be rude to reject an offer of kindness?

I felt terribly conflicted. The old me would have accepted the offer and moved into a position I didn’t love, because I knew everyone else would think it was a really good move for me. The new me didn’t want to make that move, but felt I probably should. In fact, I was should-ing myself to death and starting to feel really guilty about not being ambitious and pouncing on the opportunity to move up this very short career ladder I’m on.

Then I realized, I have spent years – my whole life really – bending myself around other people, trying to do “the right thing”, making choices that will garner other people’s respect and approval. In many ways, I’ve been invisible in my own life. In the months of self-discovery post-narc, I have come to realize and accept that I have to take care of myself; that I’m allowed to make my own choices and to have my own preferences. I’m allowed to say “No”.

So, today I politely declined the offer.

I told my boss that I’ve worked hard and put in a lot of years at a job I didn’t love in order to finally get to do a job that I do love, and I’m just not ready yet for the honeymoon to be over. I know on paper it probably doesn’t work out to be a ‘smart’ decision, but I’m so happy about it and so at peace with it. I’m finally just doing what I want and focusing on what makes me happy, regardless of what anyone else will think of it.  That’s a new kind of success for me, a life-changing success I think.

In fact, at the risk of sounding a little narcy, for the first time in my life I think I’m starting to fall in love with myself a little bit. It feels super great. 🙂




On Particularly Rough Days…

On Particularly Rough Days...

His Confession

This morning, I was reminded of a conversation with my narc in Fall 2010 during which he explicitly told me about his inability to love, his manipulation, and his lack of remorse. It was his confession.

It came about after he accidentally pocket dialed my work and left me a long voicemail of a conversation between him and his apparent girlfriend planning a trip to Cuba. Since I was cutting him off anyway and had told him to “F* off and die”, I guess he figured he had nothing left to lose and he could bare his soul.

I typed out and saved the entire conversation because I wanted to make sure I’d never forget what a horrible person he was. You’d think it would have been enough to get me to stay away forever, but the following April I resumed contact… I couldn’t get him out of my mind. I guess I just wasn’t ready to accept that real evil existed in the world yet, and I wasn’t ready to do all the work on myself that I needed to do.

Reading this confession now, it’s kind of amazing to me how clearly he was able to articulate what he was doing. For anyone who ever wonders if narcissists are consciously scheming and manipulating – they are. Do they know they can’t love you, even though they say the words ‘i love you’? Yes, they know. Do they care? No, it’s all about them, all the time.

In the conversation below, he’s J, I’m L, his ex-wife is K, and his girlfriend is C. I’ve highlighted the most obvious “I’m a narc” statements.

November 30, 2010
J (6:03) – L. Can’t we just have a conversation for closure?

L (6:05) – No. I don’t believe anything you say anymore.

J (6:08) – What if I promised to be honest with you? Don’t I owe you that. I’m not trying to weasel my way out of stuff. I just feel gross inside. I can’t imagine you feel good about stuff. Please L?

L (6:10) – You are gross inside. You’ve owed me honesty since day 1. Too late.

J (6:12) – You’re right. I would still want to talk to you. I’m not expecting you to like me after. In fact you probably would hate me more after. But I don’t know. You play piano great and I was so flattered that you liked me that’s the truth.

J (6:15) – Well it would be a load off to get everything off my chest.
J (6:33) – I wish you didn’t say you wish I would die though.

L (6:43) – I mean it. Now leave me alone and go ruin someone else’s life. It’s what you do best. K was right.

J (6:44) – You actually wish I was dead?
J (6:47) – You lie then too. You made it sound like you were sooooo worried about me and my drinking. And then you hear me talking to a girl about planning a trip to cuba and you wish I was dead? You were never genuine either then.
J (6:52) – I didn’t ruin your life though.

L (6:52) – Fuck off. We both know this isn’t about Cuba. It’s about a history of lying and manipulating to suit yourself. Get the fuck out of my life.

J (6:56) – That’s not true. I didn’t want anything from you. If this isn’t about Cuba then why are you basing everything on the conversation that you heard. Did I say I was some angel? Fuck. Can’t we just discuss this?
(J – unanswered phone call)
J (7:05) – Sorry I keep bothering you but I hate this.

L (7:08) – Please leave me alone. I don’t want to be friends with you.

J (7:10) – Ok I’m sorry. I am. I wasn’t trying to make you be my friend I was just trying to talk with you. Just to let you know what was going on. I’m sorry I am.
J (7:16) – I’ll leave you alone after but are you sure you wouldn’t have a conversation with me before?

L (7:19) – I’m tired of being hurt by you. I don’t want to hear anything from you anymore.

J (7:21) – Well what we would have talked about wouldn’t have hurt you I’m sure. It might have explained a lot thought.

L (7:25) – I don’t know if you have any idea what hurts me. A decent person would just say what he’s thinking instead of manipulating for a convo

J (7:28) – Firstly. I’m not a decent person. Well I think I am but have been acting indecently. And I feel like if I ever told anyone the truth inside me that everyone would hate me. My whole life is a lie. It’s a lonely feeling. Sorry I’m not trying for sympathy. I just need to talk to you. Can you do me that one last favour maybe?

L (7:28) – No
L (7:29) – It’s bullshit that now after 8 months you want to be honest, when it suits you. Fuck that. I deserved honesty every fucking day.

J (7:30) – Do you want to know? Or are you thinking I’m just going to lie again?
J (7:38) – Can I say one thing to you now that is the absolute truth?

L (7:40) – What

J (7:42) – Because I know you hate me now I feel like I can unload all this charade I have been living. I have to lie to everyone else because they think I’m a nice person and I don’t want to ruin that.

J (7:44) – I guess I’m saying I felt like I had to lie cuz I knew what I was doing was despicable
J (7:47) – You have no idea what I’ve done L

L (7:49) – Tell me

J (7:51) – I want to. But it’s a lot. Too much to type. That’s why i wanted to call.

L (7:52) – Have you done anything that will endanger me? eg AIDS

J (7:53) – No I haven’t.
J (7:56) – I haven’t “slept around”. That’s not what I’m talkin about at all.

L (8:02) – I don’t want to talk on the phone with you. If you want to get this off your chest, you can txt or email or let’s just say goodbye for good

J (8:05) – Ok well i really don’t want to text it. But just let me say that I do think you are a great person. I was and am too emotionally fucked up to appreciate and cherish it. I am in a state of such despair that I will use anything and anyone if I think it will help me get through another week.

L (8:08) – You need to get help. I knew you were using me that way. If you had been straight with me I would’ve stuck by you as a friend for years. I feel sorry for you. You were broken as a child. But i hate how you treated me and other girls. It’s not ok no matter how bad you feel. And I’m afraid of what [your son] is going to do to (little?) girls because I don’t believe anyone is going to get him the help he needs.

J (8:12) – And you were right L. I toyed with you. I wanted you to love me. I made you think there was a chance so you would keep loving me. It made me feel like I had value. I mean I didn’t like that I was using you but I was more concerned with my self preservation. I liked that you loved me. I like that someone who played piano and everything loved me. I knew I could never love you or infact anyone back but I craved that love anyways.

J (8:15) – And the sex thing – this is uncomfortable but i think you know that I didn’t use you for sex but i probably shouldn’t have gone there with you but i wanted to keep you “into” me so I knew that would do it. Fuck L. It is so lonely when you lie. Ppl see that I’m upset and I have to constantly make shit up. Fyi, [my son] doesn’t have computer access anymore.
J (8:17) – There is tons of shit I could say.
J (8:18) – Maybe “god” or whatever made me call you that day to blow the lid off the thing.
J (8:20) – Btw. The reason I left that night was because I couldn’t breath. I can’t be around anyone for too long. I can’t keep up my bullshit for that long. It’s fucked. I can’t even explain it.

L (8:20) – I was already on the edge over the weekend. I knew what you were doing with me. I needed you to admit it. That call was a gift for me.

J (8:22) – I felt you slipping away and I hated it. That’s why I tried to get sexy talk going with you that day. And you weren’t having it. I felt like my facade was wearing off.

L (8:26) – Your facade was thin for months. I kept thinking if I showed you I wasn’t going anywhere you’d eventually come clean and I could be a good friend for you. Which it seemed like you could really use.

J (8:29) – I don’t even come clean for myself

L (8:29) – Btw I don’t know that banning computer access is enough from what you told me. I’m genuinely scared of what he’s going to become.

J (8:30) – I am rarely honest with myself let alone other people

L (8:30) – My two cents. You need to quit drinking, get on anti-depressants and get therapy to deal with the shit you went through as a child. And you need to stop dating. It’s so unfair to girls. So unfair to hurt them the way you do, cause that much pain to ppl who don’t deserve it

J (8:32) – The only reason I can look at myself in the mirror is because I know that what I did was me trying to survive. I was legitimately suicidal and the only thing that would distract me for a while was some plenty of fish date or something. I felt guilty at first but after a while I didn’t care anymore.

L (8:34) – Bullshit. There are other ways to get help when you’re suicidal. It’s never ok to treat people that way.

J (8:34) – I know. I don’t have the strength or motivation to do that right thing. I wish I was different.

L (8:35) – I wish I could warn girls about you. It’s not right. At least just use girls from intimate encounters for god sake. Making girls fall for you is just cruel. Horrible and cruel.

J (8:36) – I don’t even want intimate encounters

L (8:37) – I know you don’t but it’s not fair to the others. My friend was a suicidal alcoholic. He has 1 person who cared, took him to rehab and his life turned around. You have options.

J (8:38) – Well I’m not dating now. I am going to try and have a relationship with C.

L (8:39) – I figured. When did you decide that?

J (8:40) – Probably when I realized I had no choice. When I couldn’t pay my bills. When I freaked out and she didn’t seem to care.

L (8:41) – Well if it keeps you away from all the other girls in the world then that’s good news for everyone

J (8:42) – It’s still a lie though

L (8:42) – Well that’s for her to figure out I guess. I hate you for what you did to me over the last 8 months. I’m glad it’s finally over.

J (8:45) – It’s fucked up but I feel like I am more at ease with the role of being hated. It’s like I don’t know.
J (8:47) – L. If you’d have lived near me I probably would have moved in with you or something crazy like that. Maybe it was a convenience thing. I don’t know. It wasn’t all lies. I enjoyed our time together and our discussions and stuff

L (8:51) – Was your relationship with K based on lies too? Or did this start after her

J (8:53) – I loved K more than anything in the world and I still do. Nobody matters to me except her. – and I hate that.

L (8:53) – But you treated her like crap too

J (8:54) – Yes. Well the drinking and stuff didn’t help. And I was controlling. I didn’t realize what I was doing to her til it was too late.
J (8:55) – But I don’t want to be alone. I’m terrified of that. And of being abandoned.

L (8:56) – Everything you do, all the choices you’re making, are setting you up for a lifetime of that. I knew quickly you had abandonment fears. You need help.
L (8:58) – Thank you for finally coming clean. I know you did it for you, but I needed it. I’m going to go now. Good luck with your life.

J (8:59) – I know you hate me. But just so you know I wasn’t taking pleasure in hurting you. I wasn’t trying to hurt you – the dickish thing about me was I just didn’t consider anyone else’s feelings when I acted.