That’s the only word I use to describe this current season: Incubation.
Immobilized, full of pain, surrounded by brilliant light, under scrutiny, from myself.
I finally escaped the toxic relationship with my Narcissistic Ex. And no, I don’t use that diagnosis lightly. It’s highly pathological. And no, I’m not full of hate and disdain for her. I view her a victim of herself, like we all are. A victim who hasn’t learned to take back their power. And no, I don’t think she’ll ever be able to. The damage is too severe, too pathological for any capacity of self-awareness, for any ability of self-awareness, for any personal responsibility that translates to authentic discovery.
Maybe that sounds pessimistic, or harsh, but she is not in touch with herself, her damaged self; the shame is too severe, too persistent. And I’m not sure she’ll ever be broken enough or hit bottom hard enough to experience the rawness that leads to the vulnerability of seeking help from outside herself, which requires relinquishing the incessant need for self control, which manifests as ego.
After seeing each other a second time around for about 8 months, and living together for just over 6, I had to call it quits. I was getting physically ill. The drama and conflict never seem to subside. The good that I held so dearly to began to pale when I began to fully realize the steady decline of my well being. Boundaries can only be set and crossed so many times. The feeling of defeat, of never being good enough, never doing enough, became a nauseating constant.
Why I decided to draw the line doesn’t matter. When you know it isn’t going to work, you know. You know when you’ve put everything in you have to put in. You know your conscience is clean, despite what they try to convince you. Despite their attempts to make you feel guilty for otherwise benign and innocuous behavior.
I decided once she was fully moved out that I would remain in no contact. It’s the only way to avoid the manipulation. She’s contacted me every 2-3 weeks since then, in some capacity, either directly or indirectly, through texts, through sending pictures, through invitations on social media, through mail, through apologies. But I just will never forget how pathological she is. How manipulative. How insidious her lies are. I have nothing to say, mostly cause I no longer care. Is there trauma? Absolutely. The same trauma I carry with me from my childhood as a result of my narcissistic/ abusive/ sadistic father. But do I really care about her? No. Is it difficult to move on? Yes. Have I? Absolutely.
The same week I decided to permanently end the relationship I sought out a therapist. A psychotherapist, who specializes in Narcissism and mood and personality disorders and some relationship therapy. I’ve been to therapists my entire life, and I cannot say that I’ve never gone as deep, or explored the emotional topics as I have with this therapist. I’m not sure anyone ever understood me. I’d see therapists for years. 2 years at college. 3 years at college. 5 months here. 4 months there. But it never made a difference.
I’d always feel frustrated, like I was going through the motions. “Give it time. Develop a relationship with them. Allow them time to understand you.” But it never came.
This gentlemen is a listener. He asks questions. And some how, whether it is because I was emotionally broken after my abusive relationship, or he just encouraged me to open up in ways that other therapists totally overlooked, I do not know. But I do know that I’m connecting dots. He recommends relevant books on the subject, and probes and pushes.
I’ve revisited my childhood for the first time in my life in an effort to identify faulty brainwashing in an attempt to undue poor emotional coping methods due to various childhood trauma. It’s been refreshing. Confusing. Very confusing. Very emotional. Angry. Sad. But… good. Somehow.
I talk about how my ex has permanent damage that I truly do not believe she will ever escape. Her sense of self is so damaged, and her capacity for empathy so absent, that I do not see how she could ever connect on a vulnerable level with anyone, and form a meaningful relationship of give and take.
The damage she’s sustained or just developed is so traumatic, that her personality developed in a way to remain forever distrustful and skeptical of others motives, to always think about self-preservation, to always be on the look out for threats, especially by those who are suppose to love us. Everything is a threat. Everything is paranoia. Her self worth is maintained strictly on the validation by those around her. She supplies herself with endless relationships with men who flatter and fawn after her. She has but two relationships with females, and both of these women are very damaged, and live 4 and 10 hours away, hardly an opportunity to form a basis for intimacy.
And her and I are not all that different. I empathize with her state immensely, which is a major part of my weakness and downfall with these kind of relationships: I rationalize for them, I want to be the savior, to heal and fix and love back together.
I struggle in many of the same ways.
The major difference is I have no desire to be vengeful, hateful, angry, or maliciously hurtful.
Her on the other hand. “I hope you die alone. You are obsessed with me. You are lazy. You never cared about me. You are the worst person I’ve ever met in my life. I cheated on you because you made me. I lied to you because you made me. If you didn’t do those things I wouldn’t have cheated or lied. ” The constant invalidation of my feelings and my reality, the gas lighting, the walking on egg shells.
And I swear to god… I never did anything but try to please this woman, an impossible task.
But I can relate. On many levels.
So I’ve been working on myself.
Working on restoring my sense of worth on a deep emotional, authentic level, something I cannot say I’ve ever felt. And I still don’t, but I’m trying to work towards it. Whatever that means.
I’m focusing more on my job, focusing on myself. Doing my best not to date. Doing my best to rid myself of my co-dependency.
Working with my therapist to root out toxic trauma.
Take responsibility for my life. Reframe relationships, values, motives. Etc.