While The Narcissist pops into my head less and less these days (strangely last week while watching male figure skating haha), the blog has been on my mind pretty regularly. I am still tracking comments and contacts, and seeing the regular flow of traffic that is still coming to this site is just mind-blowing. I want to keep posting and providing information for those of you who are still dealing with the mess of a current Narcissistic Personality Disorder situation or cleaning up after one, however for my own healing it’s hard to stay in that emotional space for too long. So I promise to keep this info live and try to write when something strikes me that might be important.
The past almost two years have been quite the whirlwind of relationship experiences. There have been some good, some great, and some downright ugly encounters…. but the good news is that I learn more about myself through each experience, and I get better at speaking up for what I want and need every time. I fell in love this year too… with someone extremely different from The Narcissist and it’s been a ride figuring out a real relationship. Actually, when my parents met this person, their first reaction was “Wow, NOT pretentious at all!” so I think they set the bar pretty low for my decision making post-Narcissist. haha The thing I probably still struggle with the most is speaking up for myself in terms of what I need out of a relationship, or how I feel about things. I still go through that slight panic of feeling like something bad will happen when I do, or that the person will just discard me or that it will all somehow boil down to me not being good enough. It takes work, and I am glad that I have my best friend around to keep me accountable for these things. She reminds me on the regular that I have every right to ask for what I want in a situation… and she has no problem telling me when she doesn’t think I am being strong or truthful in my communications.
I’m also struggling with figuring out what feels like a healthy balance of relationship and life with a person. My marriage to The Narcissist was an all-consuming unhealthy world where everything centered around him or “the marriage” as he would try to claim. I wasn’t allowed to spend time with friends or family, shoot I was barely allowed to make a decision without consulting him first. He had to know where I was every second of the day, I was constantly keeping him updated with my schedule via text, he would call me at random to make sure I was doing what I said I was doing throughout the day. I had a total overkill of communication and contact at all times. I think I’m having a hard time with a new relationship that is much more flexible and a new person who very much has their own life and values alone time too. I notice that sometimes I feel panicky when I don’t hear anything from the person over a period of time (this was always a sure sign that The Narcissist was pissed at me about something.) I also struggle with feeling like the time spent together and the communications just aren’t enough… like without a smothering I’m not feeling loved enough. So I’m working through that shit… on a daily basis.
Otherwise I think the thing that is most challenging about dating at 33 is that by this time in life, we are all carrying some sort of baggage around. We’ve all had relationships that have gone wrong, some of us have marriages that have failed, children, etc. etc. It feels so much more complex than a young 20 something because everything factors into how we shape a new relationship. There are triggers, there are soft spots, there are added fears and worries. Sometimes I wish I could just go back to that innocence and hope and trust that I feel like I wasted on The Narcissist.
No real surprise here but that healing is still happening… and it happens a lot faster when I focus on the mucky areas and work through it. I mentioned a few things above that I am aware of with my new relationship but there are small things in every day life that still jump out at me and need attention.
It’s sort of funny because the image at the top of my blog “She is fragile today, but her heart will heal” has been on my refrigerator since I started this blog. It’s the very first thing that came to me when I put my new magnetic poetry magnets up on the fridge. I’ve recently added a few new poetry kits (including a dirty words one, haha) and I had some friends over a few weeks ago who were playing with the magnets. I just happened to notice this week that that sentence is no longer there. The words were pulled and used in some other poems…. it’s just gone. At first I felt a little bit sad, but then I kind of just laughed about it. Like “wait a minute!!!” this is exactly how healing works…. you start and that pain is the center of everything, it is all you are focused on. Then slowly it’s still there and it is still in the room with you but you go through everyday and rarely stop to notice it. Then one day, when you don’t even know it’s happened… it’s gone. It felt like just the right way to lose that sentence… to the giggles that ensued from writing dirty poetry on my fridge with friends.
Thank you for reading, and for all the love and support throughout this journey. ❤