Wednesday, November 10, 2010
My life has been saturated with narcissist who I had surrounded with endless praise and devotion... receiving nothing but loneliness, grief...not to mention a lost life. One day (not long ago) I came to myself and knew it was time to start living life on my own terms. In truth, I am not complaining. I have traveled this path to soul healing long enough to know that, as an adult' 'I' had created the mess I found myself in with my freewill and 'I' would have to cooperate with God to get me out of it using the same freewill.
Not an easy trip. As I set out to learn I soon discovered that there is no quick, painless fixes. But as usual even the decision to learn caused a great light to appear on my path as books, articles, FB Blogs, people and insights apparently 'just happened' my way. One day I picked up the August 2006 Real Simple Magazine and found an article by Merrill Markoe called Enough About Me and my education continued in the ways of narcissism.
I CAME TO KNOW:
With a narcissist you walk a fine line...you need to 'SHINE" but "ONLY' in a way that cast a favorable light on them. Be very careful that you do not shine so bright that they end up not in the spot light. Do not under any circumstance shine so bright that the attention is directed toward you and not them.
"Narcissist put the self in selfishness. They tend to give gifts that only reflect who they want you to be and will benefit them. You end up feeling selfish because 'the gift' is useless and does not make you feel like you. Because O Brilliant One!! It is not 'YOU'... it is them.They get no pleasure in buying you something that reflects 'your' uniqueness. Many of these 'gifts' had cluttered my life for years."
"Narcissist consider you selfish and self-centered if you make a decision that is different from theirs. Over the years I have turned a huge amount of my money and life over to them just to prove my love and keep the peace."
Because of the endless negative comments over the years "I felt like I needed to stop endangering my relationships with such unacceptable behaviour as having my own taste in clothes...make-up...hairstyle etc. "My parents laid the ground work in my soul that created a magnet in me that drew narcissist. It was all I had ever known and became a comfort zone from hell.
The writer went on to say, that "...narcissist are people who cover up feelings of shame and worthlessness inflicted during their screwed up childhood by doing whatever it takes to maintain the false sense that they are very special and therefore not bound by ordinary rules. This requires them to surround themselves with people who will constantly pump them up by agreeing with them about everything."
"Why do they act like that? Because they have never fully outgrown a phase of infantile behavioural development, and essentially live in a world that is one person big. Therefore when you fall for the undeniable charm of a brilliant narcissist and enter into a relationship with them it is kind of like being annexed by an imperialist country. Your borders have now been erased. The sub-text of all future interaction will be, "Whats mine is mine and whats yours is mine." Welcome to a world where there is no you.
"His or her needs must become your needs. It is not enough for a narcissist to be the center of his own world, he must also be the center of yours."
As I read that article I had a serious 'wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee-moment' and realized that, I too, had,..."spent most of my life as an admiring audience, acting as a vent for their anger, as a Fan Club President, or an incompetent maid for the narcissist around me. If I was not mirroring them, or praising them I was proving I was a separate person and thus a threat.n a narcissist fragile world view. When I demonstrate that I have ideas they tend to totally reject them and take it as a personal affront."
The revelation that rocked my world and was a bitter pill to swallow was when the author said, "...I began to see these people not as just a wounded soul who I could give enough, love enough to empower them to change and have a normal relationship with, but they were actually strangely predictable robots whose limitations would always be greater than their capabilities."
Victor Frankl, while in a concentration camp, said, "When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves," and while that is a true truth to give up on them ever behaving with any any degree of empathy toward us is heart wrenching. As a Christian, the death of expectations removed the fuel that had propelled me forward for years. Gone forever was the dream that by treating them with kid gloves, loving them unconditionally, and praying would transform them. I had to face the brutal fact that I was not their Savior. As I wrote in The Search for Peace: A Woman's Guide to Spiritual Wholeness .. Jesus was and I needed to let go.
To even try to interact and explain how I felt when they do such and such only set me up for an attack and the very feelings I wanted to share become ammunition against me.
According to Merrill Markoe the ONLY practical method for coping with a narcissist is ...
#1 Change your expectations.
#2 Maintain emotional distance.
#3 Stop trying to please un-pleasable people.
"We actually have only two choices...either agree with whatever they say, or pick up and go else where. To stay is to understand that a healthy relationship is not a possibility. To fight is to confront an irrational wounded animal."
With all these insights tucked into my soul my life is in the process of doing a 180...The Journey In Black & White continues and clarity comes.