I have been dancing the ‘Narcissists Waltz’ with my narcissist for 16 years. The pattern of emotional abuse has left an indelible track mark in the carpet of our relationship, each bent and broken fiber representing another hurt in a long pattern of disappointment and pain.
As I sit here today I have so much clarity regarding my situation with my narcissist. I see what he does, I can recognize the patterns as they are happening. I am beginning to very aggressively uncover and remember past hurts, real hurts that I have suppressed. I am reliving those events and, probably for the first time, feeling the pain that I held under the surface in an effort to “maintain” the order in my life, as dysfunctional and abusive as it was and remains to be.
I have seen and continue to see the effect it has on our relationship, our child, our pets, our extended family — of which only his side remains because I let him convince me that my family was no good and we pushed them out. This has effected our friendships as well — all of “our” friends are his friends and their wives because, like my family, I let him convince me that I didn’t know what a true friend was because I didn’t have any and we pushed my friends out. Not surprising although all of my friends are his friends wives, he has friends outside of those circles as well. I can also clearly see the effect our relationship has had on me professionally.
My self-esteem has been battered and I am tethered to the beliefs, emotions and fears that he has implanted in me through a combination of aggressive manipulation and gas-lighting. His success at undermining my self-worth really opened the door and paved the way for his manipulation to take hold. I never saw it coming. I knew that he was difficult, or “rough around the edges,” but that’s because he’s been so hurt — so victimized in the past. First by his family growing up, then his ex-wife.
He must have seen me coming a mile away and I fell for him — hook, line and sinker. After that I was easy. I can’t even count how many times he’s muttered that under his breath over the years. “You’re so easy,” hewould say, laughing, I used to think he was playfully teasing me — now I understand.
So without beating it to death, here I am. I have made TREMENDOUS strides at recognizing the dysfunction, recognizing my pain, recognizing the effect that this is having on every aspect of my life, recognizing that it is in my hands to effect a change and recognizing that I HAVE RIGHTS.
I HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAPPINESS AND PEACE. I HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIVE UNCONDITIONALLY AND WITHOUT JUDGEMENT IN MY HOME. I HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE HAPPY.
I HAVE A VOICE NOW!
So why can’t I shake the guilt?
I even know WHY I feel guilty. I feel guilty because I feel sorry for him because he is so good at becoming the victim, under any condition. There have been times that he has done something outlandishly wrong and somehow I end up apologizing to him. I SEE IT NOW. I feel sorry for him because I believe that he really doesn’t see his role in all of our dysfunction. I believe that he believes what he’s saying, although by virtue of his ability to turn his charm on and off at will and depending on the company present, I should believe that he is just manipulative. I EVEN SEE THAT.
He claims that the only issues between us have stemmed because I’ve changed. He’s correct, I have changed. After almost completely losing myself I have identified the source of my disillusionment. I have changed because I am pushing back — finally — against the abuse. Of course, I have asked him to grow with me — to seek professional help with me to mend this fissure that exists and is growing between us. We can and we should work on our communication issues together, but he refuses. So while he is claiming to be the victim because I have changed, he is choosing to stay the victim by not trying to fix this with me.
I get it all — so why can’t I shake these feelings about him??? This is not easy for me to admit!!!
IT’S SO ODD, EVEN TO ME.
I SEE IT ALL NOW, YET MY FEET ARE STUCK.