The highs and the lows

Most days, I feel like I am at a point where I am stronger than ever before. I feel that I am finally seeing things clearly. I feel like I have started healing the things that hurt deep inside. I feel like most of the time I am optimistic and happy and complete… but I definitely still have moments where I feel sad.

I have moments where I miss the man I thought I was marrying, where I miss the future I thought I would have. Lately those sad feelings have shifted to feeling sad about how bad things were. I look back at memories, at the things that I thought I was happy about in life on some level… and from where I stand today it just hurts to see how far away from normal and far away from happy it really was.

This weekend I had many moments of joy and happy, and it made me look back on the past in a different light. I think that is the reality of the process of unravelling the web that the Narcissist has made and finding myself again.

The Highs:

  • I got to see my ‘Divorce Anthem’ Drive by Oh Wonder live in person in all of its glory. The universe worked its magic and the band was in my town literally 2 days after I looked it up. Oh Wonder was amazing and getting to dance to their music live and feel that music in my soul was definitely a high point of my weekend
  • It was father’s day and my dad’s 60th birthday, and I got to spend time with my family. Time that wasn’t judged, time that I didn’t spend walking on eggshells, time that I could just be myself. We had a big family cookout and literally 4 people, some family and some friends of the family came up to me throughout the day, hugged me, and told me “It is so good to have you back.” I had to stop myself from crying on a few occasions. Towards the end of the marriage I had a big fear that my dad would die before I had the chance to make things right. Both of his parents died young and I knew I would never forgive myself if I lost my dad before I could fix my relationship with him. Celebrating his 60th felt like a big milestone not only for his life, but for our relationship.
  • I am fostering a rescue puppy from Puerto Rico. He is 8 weeks old and being able to take care of him, focus my love and energy on something, and get that snuggly feel good oxytocin has been amazing.

The Lows:

  • The venue where Oh Wonder played is one that I have seen several concerts with The Narcissist. It was weird to be there without him. It was weird to be so excited about music and want to share that with him. It was weird to think about the memories of being at those concerts. They were times that I thought were fun and good memories, but experiencing it without him and with friends who love me was just so different. It was so good. I was so at ease… I felt like I could just be me, and that is something that I can’t even explain.
  • Last year, Father’s day weekend was the last time I can genuinely remember having fun with the Narcissist. I don’t remember all of the details around why.. but there was a lot of pressure from my family to spend time with them over Father’s Day weekend. The Narcissist came up with the idea that we should just get away for the weekend and have some time for ourselves. We escaped out of state to an adorable resort that had themed cabins. We stayed in a ‘rustic’ themed cabin that had trees inside, a fireplace, and an amazing steam shower lined with river rocks. We laughed, we drank champagne, we slept late, we made love, we genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. My favorite memory of that weekend is when we tried stand up paddle boarding. We had our Border Collie with us in a life vest and she was riding on my paddle board. The Narcissist threw her frisbee, she jumped off my board and sent me flying into the river. Then she proceeded to knock him off his board trying to get out. I laughed so hard I cried. The two of us where in freezing cold water, with mucky mud on the bottom and God knows what else swimming around below us. There was no power or control, there was no being perfect, there were no eggshells… it was just fun. The memories that I have from our marriage that are “just fun” are so few and far between it breaks my heart. Its sad to look back and remember things like this because my ideal marriage would have so many of these memories, and they would not be clouded by the ‘negatives’ around it. We ran away from spending time with my family and when I look back now, I wonder if the reason that we had such a blissful weekend together was because I showed the Narcissist that I would put him above everything else in the world, including my family.
  • Having this adorable little puppy around makes me miss my dog… the puppy actually found one of my dog’s toys under my bed that I had no idea was there and it nearly made me cry. Mostly, thinking about her makes me sad that I didn’t get to have a ‘normal’ relationship with her. I willingly gave up my dog, and did not push the Narcissist on the matter. In my opinion, he needs her… he is somewhat dependent on his relationship with her… she is far more submissive and obiedient than I could ever have been. I was okay with this decision because I know he will take amazing care of her… he will buy her the best food, the best toys, he will get her the best healthcare. She is a herding dog, she needs a strong alpha presence and a lot of exercise and he will provide both of those things. What I feel sad about is that our dog’s entire existence was controlled by the Narcissist. He literally wiped her butt with dog baby wipes after every time she went to the bathroom. He wouldn’t let her be around certain people, she had to sit on her bed when she came into the house, she had to sit on her bed after eating dinner, she got bathed and groomed more times than I can even explain. She NEVER had a taste of people food. He was very particular on the rules about what she could do and couldn’t do. She was the most well-behaved dog I have ever seen, but she was neurotic as a result… she didn’t know how to function without having orders to obey. I swear he even got jealous about the love and attention I would give to her. I felt like I had to be a bystander in the relationship with the dog.. and that is not my instinct. I have a strong maternal ‘momma bear’ natural instinct, and man it took a lot to push that down and just stand by and let him control the dog too. I can only imagine that it feels that way to have children with a Narcissist too.

I mostly feel sad that I thought things were actually good sometimes with the Narcissist. I thought things were normal. I thought that those little bits of good that I was fed over time was worth all of the bad.

What is great about the things that I am realizing more and more and more is that I now know I am a good person. I know I deserve love and I deserve to be happy. I know that I have so many amazing traits to give to someone who deserves them and appreciates them. I understand now that there is nothing wrong with the things I want in life. There is nothing wrong with wanting to have a relationship with my family, there is nothing wrong with wanting to snuggle my dog, there is nothing wrong with wanting to have a drink at a concert, or wear my freaking flip flops because they are more comfortable than my heels.

I am far from ready to let someone else in .. but today and every day going forward I am focused on loving myself, and loving the things that make me me… and I have confidence that the universe will send me someone who loves those things about me without wanting to change me, control me, or make me feel like a bad person for just being me.

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