Don’t Trust Chemistry…for at least 5 Years

If you’re an empath or a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) you’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt and the coffee mug…we cannot, will not, absolutely not trust physical chemistry between ourselves and potential romantic interests.

What is chemistry? For me, it’s that tingly feeling I get when I give someone I romantically like a hug, or I flirt with him and I say just the right thing that hits just the right note, and he and I become aware that we have an inexplicable chemistry.

Every single time, with one exception (my first love, more on him in a later post) I have only felt chemistry with disordered individuals. I mean, a deep burning passionate desire filled feeling that compels one to action.

Thankfully, it’s this strong “tell” that let’s me know that the person on the other end of this chemistry is most likely not for me to entertain. It’s almost as if now I read that tingly sensation as a fire alarm. Seriously.

When I give an attractive man a hug and I feel nothing? That’s when it’s safe. Weird, I know. But, that’s how I’ve come to realize who is normal “for me.”

I blame the selfish gene. There’s a book about it here. The book introduced the concept of “self-reproducing ideas, or memes, which (seemingly) use humans exclusively for their propagation.” As in, we’re all here for genes to reproduce and nothing else matters except the survival of the genes.

Why would nature want more empaths and narcissists to pair? I don’t have an answer for this, but perhaps the good qualities of the empath and the competition crushing nature of the narcissist is to blame?

Have you ever experienced this overpowering chemistry? Do you trust it?

The upside: At we are aware of nature’s drive to get us to reproduce and we can put some thought behind it.

Gray Rock Strategy: Ignore the next strong dose of chemistry you feel and try harder to make a connection with the guy for whom you felt some attraction, but no burning chemistry.

Homework: Give your number to three people you think you immediately have no chemistry with. Tell me how your experiment goes.

Why is he happy with her? Why is she happy with him? What’s wrong with ME?!

The above questions have to be the most commonly asked by survivors of narcissistic abuse, period. And for good reason.

We know the steps, but for the uninitiated, I’ll give a recap:

  1. First, the Idolize phase
  2. Then, the Discredit phase
  3. Finally, the Discard phase
  4. Bonus! the Reset Button phase

In step 1. they place their soon to be victim on a pedestal. The better they do at this section here, the more likely it is that they will have a lifetime source of supply from this victim, because most people who are unaware of narcissistic individuals will spend a lifetime trying to return to the glory days of the beginning idealization phase.

In step 2. they begin a subtle campaign to knock the wind out of your sails. To undermine your self confidence and self esteem and make you begin to see how lucky you are to be with them. This move is actually pretty ingenious because they just spent however long putting you on a pedestal making you think constantly about how lucky you are to be with them.

Warning: Depending on how healthy your self esteem is you may not see that much of a phase 1 at all.

In step 3. they toss you aside as if you never existed. It’s as if a switch is flicked. You’re simply deleted from their world. This is one of the most disorienting, crazy-making, and cruel experiences a human being (with a conscience) can endure.

In the Bonus! phase (it’s not a good bonus) if you are chosen to experience this phase, you will be reengaged as if they never discarded you at all. As if someone has simply pressed a ‘reset’ button and restarted your association.

Now, once you’ve been discarded, your ex may move on almost immediately. Most often, they have been grooming a new victim during the relationship they had with you. So, without skipping a beat, they are off gallivanting with the new target.

You may be wondering, “Why are they so happy with their new partner and why so soon?”

Listen to me when I tell you this. I’m serious, now. You with me? Okay. I’ll tell you.

It’s not real. None of it.

Now sure, if you want to torture yourself looking at their Facebook feeds and photos and Instagram accounts, then that’s your choice, but I wouldn’t, because then you are letting them win. Win what? Control over your emotions. Dominance over your happiness.

For example, let’s *imagine* (and I really do mean imagine, because I don’t know any of these people personally) that Brad Pitt is a narcissist. So, he cheats on his wife Jennifer Aniston and discards her most cruelly for Angelina, right? He marries Angelina and has 8 kids with her..they’re rich, starring in movies left and right (Salt, was a really good movie if you ask me) and every appearance on a red carpet is covered ad nauseum by paparazzi and mainstream media. If you’re Jennifer Aniston, you could honestly say…”Wow, they look happy. Why is he happy with her?”

Until you fast forward 12 years and get to September 2016: Brangelina Armageddon. Was it real? Was the happiness real? I’d say no. But hey, what do I know, I’m on the outside like everyone else, but…

If I had to make a wager, I’d bet a $1 to a donut, he’s got some issues. I’m no doctor, but serial infidelity can’t be good.

The upside: If you don’t look, you won’t know, won’t be bothered and you’d have the added bonus of keeping your eyes on your own paper. Delete and block your ex and their new flame and anyone that reminds you of either of them so that you can heal.

Gray Rock Strategy: The thing about being with the wrong person is, they are not only a negative in your life, but they are robbing you of the time you should be spending with the right person. Delete and block.

Homework: Try to calculate all the time you spent with your narc. Then try to imagine what beneficial things you could do with that time instead. For example, did you know that the average American adult spends 15.7 years of life watching television? In that amount of time, I could have a PhD in rock climbing, I could volunteer at least 5 years worth of time, I could develop a few new patents, etc. You try it and let me know in the comments how you would spend your reclaimed time.

Let’s talk about the Discard

I’ve known and thought that I loved 6 different personality disordered individuals in my lifetime. I felt like a magnet for these lopsided relationships.

I remember each way I was discarded:

  1. I was cheated on in such an obvious and disrespectful way.
  2. I was served with divorce papers by surprise to my mother’s house when I didn’t live with my mother.
  3. I was punched, hit, and almost forced to be locked inside my own bedroom closet.
  4. I was dragged across my living room floor until an “Indian burn” was formed on my arm. I still have this scar to this day. It’s permanent.
  5. I was told to move out of the house.
  6. I was told the “friendship” was over and it was my fault, for no specified reason.

Thinking about these discard experiences, it feels as though that can’t be the truth. It feels like it happened to another person. And in a way, of course that’s true, because I am such a different person now. And in many ways, I am still the same.

I don’t tolerate B.S. anymore in any form.

But I do still find it hard to speak up immediately about the B.S. I witness.

Really, it just makes me tired to witness evil. That’s one of the things about being an empath. Our energy is so easily affected and drained.

Are you an empath? Take this quiz.

The upside: The only way to truly appreciate a good relationship may be to witness a bad one. Whenever I get in a new relationship, I will appreciate the heck out of him!

Gray Rock Strategy: Take inventory of your crappy relationships. What happened that you will absolutely never tolerate ever again? What boundaries can you identify were trampled over?

Homework: Write down every romantic partner you’ve ever had. List 5 pros and cons of each relationship.

Okay, so if you’ve been discarded and you’re spiraling…like, the pain is so intense and you feel like you can’t breathe, I have a special gift just for you, because I am just now starting my blog and I’m not overcrowded just yet. And, I truly want to help people conquer and slay the demons of narcissistic abuse.

 

I didn’t land on Gray Rock, Gray Rock landed on me.

How did I get here?

That’s what I was wondering as I considered how I had allowed myself to be manipulated and taken advantage of by a person 10 years my junior, with whom I was practicing, as Lena Dunham states, “platonic bed sharing.” Platonic bed sharing is that most humiliating pastime of sleeping in the bed with someone while no sex, or affection, or attention is shared. No cuddling, no snuggling at all. In a word? Pathetic.

I stared at the ceiling asking myself, “How did I get here?”

The answer for me at that moment was, “You gave away your power, on purpose, out of fear and self loathing.”

I was pretty satisfied with that answer. And then of course, came the next obvious question: “Why??”

This was a far less satisfying thing to ponder…why would I intentionally give away my wonderful spirit and energy to someone who (for reasons other than bed sharing) made me feel less than good enough?

I’m pretty certain now that the reason was I just didn’t think I deserved true happiness. I know now that even though the person lying next to me didn’t want anything to do with me romantically and was emotionally unavailable–so was I.

He was the perfect instrument for me to use to hurt myself. Some people are cutters, some are compulsive tattoo consumers, some are binge eaters, but I would get a “friend” with (very few, if any) benefits and proceed to almost kill myself using their soulless, demonic, empty heart and lack of affection to hurt myself.

Many of us have seen the research that says that emotional and physical pain activate similar brain regions. I hadn’t ever read that research and I knew that, because that was my weapon of choice, a constant onslaught of emotional abuse. I was self destructive in the sense that no low was too low for me to go in pursuit of being taken advantage of.

I really thought these individuals–get this–would value how much I deferred to them and never stood up for myself. LOL. I can laugh now, but wow…where in the world would I have ever conceived of such a notion. I actually thought that was love. How foolish I was.

In every post:

The upside: Playing small actually means you’re acting to hide a big talent. More on this to come.

Gray Rock Strategy: Find out where you’ve hidden your needs. That’s it. Just locate where you put them. For example, when you are lonely, do you bother to tell yourself that? Do you bother to experience the fullness of that sensation? Or do you bury it and stuff it down inside?

Homework: The next time you feel anything above a 5 on a scale of 1-10, visualize or write down where you would imagine that feeling is coming from. What does it feel like to feel it? Get in touch with every detail of your every feeling.

*Hint: We’re about to fall in love with ourselves, again. Slowly. And for good.

Until next time, Rockstars…

In the comments below: Who here can relate? Have you ever used a human, that only Ted Bundy could love, to hurt yourself?