Gone are the days when I thought that a significant other is what I needed to define my life as successful and whole. I recognize that I idealized an outcome, I played rescuer, caretaker and defender of my character for the sake of an outcome I wanted. I had it all wrong.
Narcissist, borderline personality, sociopath, Narcissist – there’s the pattern. Twenty years of my life spent in toxicity being degraded, disrespected, devalued and ultimately systematically deconstructed.
I think the last Narcissist was the worst in that I really allowed myself to believe in growing old with someone again and for the first time I allowed myself to completely be me again. I was vulnerable, totally vulnerable. As much as I revealed myself, so too I lost myself over the 330 days that played out under the narcissist’s agenda.
“Why do I keep finding these people?” I ask my therapist.
“It’s not about why you find them or how they find you, it’s about why you keep them around? Why you become dependent on them?” she responds.
I don’t believe in happy endings right now. I don’t trust that my person, the one I deserve is out there. I don’t trust in “love” and romance.
My therapist’s response to that is that he is out there, you just need to know how to weed through the unhealthy ones to get to him. We are going to get you there. This does not breed optimism for me but I trust her and I will follow her lead.
The scariest part of the conversation was “healing requires time but the only way to fully heal will be to apply what we learn about what you want and need in an actual relationship.”
Firefighter – still in the picture. My analysis paralysis got the best of me. It is not as sleazy and valueless as I assessed it to be. There’s more talking than there is tawdry. We share motivational videos. I share ten years of divorce wisdom. He reminds me that I am wise and my heart isn’t complete stone. He reminds me that I cannot be a rescuer or caretaker; I have healing to do. He reminds me that a good strong hug is nice. When he keeps me company via text as I make my way home from a west end Heart and Crown, he shows me that some guy’s actions do match their words. I’m grateful for that. Feel no feelings still applies. It needs to. Our paths have crossed for a reason, we will allow the universe to show us what it is. I think we are simply lamp posts…
October 2015, is the last time I went to that west end pub. Like a giddy school girl, I awaited the entrance of a dashing gentleman with butterflies and nerves. A hug had me believing in magic and my girlfriends questioning exactly what I was drinking. “It’s just a hug! Calm down weirdo.” There was the charismatic gem who disappeared into the night.
Self-Care after the Narcissist:
My therapist has labeled the last nightmare a Narcissist. Of course, I Google and return to my therapist wondering if I am a narcissist. She assured me it’s not the case. I came across a helpful article that tells me it’s not uncommon to feel this way in the aftermath.
So, therapy is one way I am working towards healing. Kickboxing is another. A six week weight loss challenge is helping get me back on a healthy track and keeping me focussed in the now. I stop and savour moments in my home that strike me. Like, all of my children in gathered in my bedroom giggling, FaceTiming friends on my bed which has me laughing. Time with friends. Finding artistic ideas to endeavour in soon. A lot of self-help reading. A LOT. Loving Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule.
I reflect on what I think is important in a significant other. If I think of it as a traditional personal ad, so far it includes:
-Must have friends. Must spend time regularly with said friends. Must have compassion and empathy for others. Must be handy. Must be honest. Must not have interest in Craig’s List for any reason but particularly the sexually deviant sexual sections. Must be authentic – don’t refer to me as “Beautiful” and then “Hey, beautiful or Hey, gorgeous” every other woman on the planet. Must keep opinions or suggestions about how to parent to themselves.
That’s all I’ve got right now.
I love music. I think music speaks to us and whatever we are going through at any given time. I tend to latch on to one or two lyrics in a song that resonate with me.
Silence by Marshmello ft. Khalid. “I found peace in your