It’s kind of like Ladyhawke, the 1980s movie in which a European bishop loved a woman, except that…he was a bishop. She’d fallen in love with a man, and the bishop became so jealous that he cast a spell/curse on the two, in which the woman would be human by night but a hawk by day, and the man would be human by day but a wolf by night. Always together, eternally apart.
The man set out on a quest to kill the bishop during an eclipse, which is a night without a day and a day without a night, at which point they would both be human, and the curse could be broken.
Nobody in my world is turning into any animals at sunrise or sundown, nor are my ex and I always together, unless you count text messaging. But there are parallels, at least on some level.
It almost feels like the curse, the spell, the tie that binds me to him, that potent attraction and the grieving that goes with the loss, is beginning to weaken. Maybe. On one hand, I did text with him all day yesterday (bad me!), and I did so at the expense of some of my to-do list items (boo again!).
But something changed yesterday, that makes yesterday different from the rest. The difference is my own indifference. He said the usual provocative things that, even though I replied to them, I did so without emotion, and this time, I wasn’t faking my stoicism. I watched through clearer eyes as he spun around and around in his circular topics and circular questions and indirect, vague communication.
I saw him for what he is, and it actually became less attractive to me. I called him out on more of his tactics. I refused to get dragged into his word salad, his deflection, his shapeshifting.
The only way to win is not to play, I know. However, sometimes that’s too tall an order to scale at one time, and success comes in baby steps. If I couldn’t resist texting him, at least I could do so with emotional armor. And the win for the day was that I didn’t even feel worse like I always did after texting with him before.
It’s a small win, but a win nonetheless.
Maybe there is denial in my strength. Maybe my strength itself is an illusion, a house of cards, held up only by my saying it is so. Time will tell, won’t it, gorgeous ones?
I did manage to knock out most of the items on my to-do list anyway. I did what I’d never dared do before, which was to sign off leaving him in the state he was in, which was a layered sludge of anger, fixation, denial, fuming, and rumination. Maybe that was cruel, but some people you just can’t fix. Each person is responsible for fixing themselves. Some people need a lot of fixing, but you can only lead a horse to water. I tried to lead a really dehydrated horse to a top-notch Fiji Island spring water source, but he simply wouldn’t drink–and he even spat it out at me. So, no more leading; he can find his own water once he realizes his own thirst.
I’ll be over here, healing well, even if gradually.
And the healing is indeed going fairly well. I discovered a few things, made an important decision.
I decided that other than some “Unpacking Narcissism”-type posts that reflect back on how things unfolded and what ultimately happened (which may continue to be more the norm, for a little while), for the purposes of sharing that information with others who might come across it and really need it, the bulk of my focus–of both my life and my writing–is going to be proactive.
In other words, what am I doing to heal, and how do I feel afterward?
On a personal level (other than blogging), I’m finished unpacking narcissism. I know who and what I’m dealing with. I know the academic information – traits, characteristics, patterns, tactics, predisposing factors, brain abnormalities, the changes in the brains of those undergoing long-term narcissistic abuse, and so on. I know they’ll never change, no matter how convincing they portray themselves (“But I’ve changed, baby!”). I know I can never go back. It’s over, gorgeous ones.
After several months of off-and-on binge-watching videos on the subject, I have my answers, I know what I need to know about narcissism, and now I’m finished devoting time to learning about him and the other narcissists in my life. They’ve been decoded, explained, and I’ve had my “me too!” and “so that’s why” moments.
Now that I have my answers, and that I do know what I’m dealing with, and that they are who they are, it’s time to move forward. It’s time to shift the focus onto myself and my healing, becoming whole.
Those of you in the know probably know I’ve been watching Melanie Tonia Evans on YouTube. You would be correct. I like her because she advocates moving past the “what went wrong?” stage, learning about them to better relate to them or to vindicate and validate our own experiences, and to take a more proactive approach, centering ourselves on self-compassion and self-partnering.
I think this is crucial for letting go. We can only think about one thing at a time, and the more we focus on ourselves and the healthy relationships and activities we have in our lives, the less we’re going to think about the narcissist(s), and the less room we have for them in our lives. If we’re thinking about our own proactive healthy living, we’re not thinking about them. They can only enter our minds, hearts, and lives, if we make space.
Don’t make space, gorgeous ones.
It does no good to keep talking about them, thinking about them, checking up on them, learning about them, analyzing them, trying to figure them out, trying to teach them, etc. It’s not healing, it’s not constructive, and you don’t feel better afterward. It’s understandable to ruminate, analyze, and hyper-focus; the brain is wired for that in times of stress. However, that means we’re still letting everything be about Them (even though we’re trying to move on, and then we wonder why we still feel miserable). Before you knew it, your life became Them, and even after you’ve left, it’s still all about Them. And we often let that happen. (Guilty.)
Even yesterday, 80% of my (long) journal entry was about him. That’s been true for the past year and a half. His actions, his emotions, the emotions he elicited in me, things he said, jokes he made, fights we had, yada yada.
Where is Me in that equation?
Where did I fit into my own life?
I’ve kept a journal off and on forever, and when I look back at even two years ago, I’m amazed by how much richer the journal entries are than they have been more recently. My own personality shines through in those past entries as I work through my thoughts, decisions I was making, options I was considering, opinions I held, projects I was working on, goals I had. Over the past year and a half, there has been none of that. I didn’t completely lose sight of who I was, but I certainly lost focus.
Journals are telling, gorgeous ones. I do highly recommend keeping one, regularly.
So, from here, there’s nowhere else to go but up, and by that I mean uplifting, up-leveling. My only discussion of the past will have a specific purpose, and that purpose is to inform others. But not to dwell. I’m done dwelling. I’ve done it long enough. I’d rather document my proactive steps, my progress, my healing and wholeness. And those are also the only videos I will watch and articles I will read from here on out – no more Narc 101.
That’s in the past, after all. One crucial step is letting go of the past. Learning from it, sure, but learning even more from the present. Because that’s where the lion’s share of the learning happens.
And it’s how the curse can be broken.
Thank you for visiting, gorgeous ones! Time for an NET session for me; I’ll post an update if it yields anything relevant. 🙂