The Mind Game of Falling for a Mask…

I’ve given this a lot of thought over the years and I don’t have all of my ponderings on the topic nailed down, so just go with me for a moment, if you will, while I think out loud…

I’m thinking…if you fall in love with a mask…were you:

  1. Falling for a personality that your imagination created? One that the narc never possessed?
  2. Falling for what the narc presented to you, because they sensed what you wanted to see?
  3. Falling for a persona the narc handcrafted after they did the field research to say that most people enjoy that particular made up personality more often?

I’m just wondering partly, because, if you reread those 3 points, it almost looks as though I’m saying “Was it your fault for being actively gullible, or was it their fault for being actively a con artist?” And I don’t know the answer to that question.

I’ll have to think on it some more…but I also wonder:

  1. Is the face I saw, the same one the latest victim (who appears so happy with the narc) is seeing? Or do they create different faces for different victims?
  2. What if…(I do realize this is far out) but what if, narcs aren’t narcs to everyone? Or what is the point of someone being a narc if you don’t see it while you’re with them?

For example, I once contacted an ex of my narc’s while we were together, right? And I was digging for clues as to whether or not my narc was a narc when he was with her. From the anecdotal evidence she provided, I could conclude that he was. So then, I did what anyone would do, I tried to make her see my point and agree with me.

Although, she saw my point, she refused to agree that he was a narc. So, does it matter? If he never showed a narc side to her and merely “symptoms” but none so drastic, then…to her he isn’t a narc.

I must confess: thinking these thoughts makes my head ache. And at the end of the day, I have to deal with what my personal reality is. If someone gives me an experience of them, then that’s what I go with. I no longer concern myself with what anyone else’s experience of them might be.

The upside: Even if you are the only person in the world to have a specific experience of a person, place, or thing, your experience is valid and does not need a co-signer.

Gray Rock Strategy: Try and brainstorm on any tell-tale signs or behaviors you may have displayed that helped the narc target you as a victim. I once read something that stated that narcs can spot potential victims by the way they walk.

Homework: Have a friend videotape you at a time you are not noticing that they are filming. Does anything about your appearance or your walk say that you may be a good potential victim?

Out of the Mental Fog – Awakening from C-PTSD

I cannot help but to reblog truly exquisite writing. I mean, the kind of writing that captures exactly what I want to say myself, but better than I could have said it. That’s what the work below is to me. Enjoy!

Solving codependency? Easy!

Exquisite writing. Today is reblog day!

Confessions of a Recovering Codependent

Codependency – what is it?

It is a heart wound. It is the rational fear that you will not be loved enough. That fear did not come from nowhere, it is supported by experience. It happened. At crucial times, the love you needed as much as air to breathe was lacking, and its absence caused damage – if nothing else, it hatched this terrible anxiety that short-circuits even the smartest minds.

There are critical times for learning certain skills. Feral children who miss the language window, for instance, will never use words. Similarly, a certain amount (and quality!) of love is vital at certain stages for certain things, such as self-soothing (the reason toddlers need to carry a blanket or a teddy bear), motor skills, brain development, self-confidence, resilience, strength… etc.

Codependent people are often labeled ‘needy’ and ‘clingy’.

Well, they’re starving.

To use an inelegant simile, would you be…

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Healing

I think this is such a beautiful piece, I’m going to repost it on gograyrock…Enjoy

Boundless Beauty

I would not be flattered if I were you thinking of me

It’s not what you imagine

My eyes no longer reflect love

Each day that I’m reminded of you

There is not one pleasant memory 

My heart only feels the pain of your indifference

I cannot forget how my suffering gave you a ‘high’

I cannot fathom how my adulation resulted in your anguish

If there is any positive learning from this event, it is this –

Heal those who suffer quietly – this insufferable pain

 

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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.

If Their Lips Are Moving…Then, They Are Lying

Meghan Trainor sang it best. “I know you’re lying, ’cause your lips are moving” 

Here’s the thing about narcs, they are liars. Period. So, you really cannot listen to anything they say. The thing I see most often that worries me to no end is people who give any sort of weight to what those deceivers say. For example, if a narc tells their target source of supply “I think you’re putting on weight, you may not want to wear such bright colors, it just makes you look fatter.” Clearly, this is a terrible insult; however, the proper response is one that a) focuses on the motive behind what was said and ignores b) what was actually said. 

A mistake would be for the target to say to themselves, “I have been putting on weight, maybe I should just stick to wearing black.” 

A better exchange would be the following: 

Narc: “Could you not talk while I’m watching the game? It’s annoying and distracting.”

Target: “There were a million nicer ways you could’ve made that request, but then again, you’re not nice now are you?” Then gets up and leaves.

Or this:

Narc: “Your hair looks hideous like that, why’d you change it?”

Target: “Because it’s mine and I can” Then gets up and leaves or stays and ignores the narc.

Whichever way you go about it the key is to act as if whatever mean thing they’ve said was spoken in a language you don’t speak and don’t understand. 

The upside: Use the things they say to try and figure out what their motive is, it could be to simply lower your self esteem or it may be to relieve you of your money or time or resources, but the funny thing about narcs is they are woefully transparent. It is actually really easy to manipulate them, because strangely enough, they never see it coming. More on that topic in another post.

Gray Rock Strategy: Listen to the emotion behind the words and not their actual words. Listen to the cadence and tone of voice. Listen as if you were an alien trying to figure out human communication, what if anything can you discover once you stop focusing on the words being said?

Homework: Review past text messages or emails as long as these will not be a trigger for you to make contact with the narc. Don’t read for comprehension, read for emotional content and motive.

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.