After years and years (and YEARS!) of challenging relationships, phases of hating my entire life (or so it seemed), and spinning my wheels to “fix myself” so I could find that elusive thing called happiness, I accidentally stumbled upon what’s actually been going on here. I can’t even believe it! And it’s not my imagination!
The first book that got me REALLY pondering was “How to Kill a Narcissist” by JH Simon. It familiarized me with exactly WHAT a narcissist is, how they act, how they think, and how to deal with them – at least a bit better. Do I know a few of those? OH YES. We all do. Narcissists LOVE themselves. It’s all about them, their reputation, their world, their motives, and their schedule. It’s their way or the highway. They’re the people that will seek and destroy you once they’re “done with you” or you’re no longer providing something you need. (And they don’t hesitate to let you know, either – and chances are good they won’t be very kind about it.) Spoiler alert: WALK AWAY. Avoid and ignore! That’s exactly what they don’t want!! Because fighting with you and/or proving they’re better than you is WAY more interesting. And it’s adding fuel to their fire.
But what about the other confusing relationships? You know the ones…where the person is all nice, kind, takes care of you and surrounds you with all kinds of love…to suddenly ignore you after the “honeymoon phase” in your relationship is over. You start getting hints about their selfishness, but nothing is outlandish. They have plenty to say about how their day went, but don’t ever have anything to contribute when you’re trying to tell them about yours (or it reminds them about something that happened to them…which of course was MUCH worse.) Do you ever feel like you’re talking to the coffee table because they can’t put their phone down long enough to look you in the eye? Do you feel like you’re constantly doing everything with no help, much less appreciation or even acknowledgement with a simple thank you – then they get all angry and irritated when you bring that up (because all you do is complain)? Can you count on one hand the number of times you’ve heard “I’m sorry” because clearly YOU did something to deserve it? Do you find yourself doing favors for them because they nicely ask you, but when you ask them for even the most simple favor, they have other plans?
It’s all so surreal. One moment, they’re bringing you flowers and composing the SWEETEST cards or notes ever! Then the next moment, they’re completely ignoring you, even if you have something huge going on and you could REALLY use someone to talk to? Empathy is definitely not a concept they can grasp! And sympathy is for funerals.
Yeah… “narcissist” isn’t *quite* right. But what is it? Mood swings? Adult ADHD? Manic Depressive Disorder? I looked and I looked… Sure, some of the symptoms lined right up! But like with the narcissist tendencies, nothing seemed to fit the bill.
Then I stumbled on another book, thanks to Audible’s suggestions, based on my reading and searching history. “The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist” by Debbie Mirza changed my life. Her book explained ALL of it. These people are narcissists, too…but they’re just NOT the loud, obnoxious kind. They’re WAY more damaging. These are the people you fall in love with and would do anything for. They “love bomb” the heck out of you when you first get together. (You had such an amazing time and connected on so many levels!) Now…those great times and laughs are few and far between here and the dark side. They make you wonder what’s wrong with you, make you hate your life, they take away your confidence, and make you seclude yourself away from everything you know and love as if you’re a turtle.
I have to tell you: it’s MUCH easier dealing with all the antics when you KNOW what’s going on. It all makes sense AT LAST! I’m so very grateful with this priceless knowledge. If this is you, too…it’s time to do some research and soul-searching. Is this something you can continue to endure? Is this something you WANT to endure? Gather up your “people” so you’ll have a support system! No matter what you decide to do, your people will help you get through anything. They’re good like that.