Narc Files: Family Heirlooms

My Narcissist was a black hole of neediness. He required that I constantly be pouring love, affection, confirmation, etc. etc. at him. He needed constant proof and evidence that he was the most important thing to me. He was exhausting in every sense of the word… and he literally sucked the life out of me.

The thing about black holes is that you can never fill them up… no matter what you do, no matter how much you sacrifice… it will never be enough for a narcissist. All that you will achieve is emptying out all of your own resources until you have nothing left to give. The Narcissist did this to me slowly over the years. There were things I realized I was sacrificing, and things that I gave up without realizing what I was letting go of.

Despite everything that I gave up, there was one tangible thing in particular that I was successfully able to hold onto and I am so thankful I never sacrificed it to the Narcissist.

When my grandmother passed away when I was 18 years old I inherited a family heirloom from her in the form of an antique large diamond ring. The ring had belonged to my grandmother’s aunt and it was something that my grandmother wore every single day. Luckily, I never actually took possession of the ring for a number of reasons and it remained safely locked away in the family safe-deposit box.

I can vividly remember several heated discussions with The Narcissist about this ring once he knew of its existence and had an idea of how valuable it could be. At first the Narcissist tried to urge me to take ownership of the ring. Then he tried to turn me against my parents by indicating that they were using the ring as leverage over me and that they would never give it to me unless I was doing everything that they wanted me to be doing.

At some point we got into a very heated discussion because The Narcissist essentially wanted to know that he was more important to me than the ring. He started asking me questions about why I wanted it and what the value of the ring was to me. I explained to him that this ring was a vivid visual reminder of my grandmother who I adored. I also explained that I loved the idea of a family heirloom and having something with a fascinating story behind it that could be passed down to my children.

He came back to me with “so are you telling me that if we were in debt and needed money you would not sell the ring?” (Questions like these are very treacherous with the Narcissist… if you don’t answer them exactly how he wants to hear them it can get scary fast.) I thought about the answer for a few moments and I told the Narcissist… “If we were in a bad situation and there was no alternative, yes, I would sell the ring to help us… However, it would only be a last option for me, and I would be absolutely devastated to do it.” The Narcissist then launched into his own personal advertisement about how there is nothing that he wouldn’t sacrifice for our marriage and that he can’t understand how a physical thing could be more important to me than he is. He also indicated that a family heirloom that didn’t have anything to do with me and him was not worth passing on to our children.

I was able to avoid ever having to “prove myself” in this scenario by making the plea to The Narcissist that I didn’t want the ring. I told him that I believed that my parent’s were using the ring to have power over me and that they would only try to manipulate me with it. I told him that it wasn’t worth all of the drama that would come along with it. I never discussed it any further with my parents, and I let it stay safe and sound and locked away in a bank. In reality, I was petrified that if I actually had the ring, the Narcissist would force me to sell it for money and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to live with myself for doing that. So I took the easy road out in a sense and instead of standing up to him, I let it stay safe.

After my divorce, when I decided that I was going to sell my wedding rings from the Narcissist, I decided that I was also going to take ownership of my grandmother’s ring. I had it appraised, insured, sized, and cleaned… and the day I picked it up from the jeweler’s was the day I sold my wedding rings. I walked out of the jeweler with a gorgeous antique piece of jewelry on my right hand that reminded of a strong and powerful woman who I loved very much. The feeling of wearing this ring and the memories that come along with it made my left hand not feel so naked anymore.

Almost every day, I glance down at this ring and am reminded of one single way in which I was able to stand my ground, I was able to work around the Narcissist’s manipulation… and I am very thankful. I am thankful that I didn’t give up absolutely everything for him… including myself.

 

8 thoughts on “Narc Files: Family Heirlooms

  1. I used to use the EXACT same analogy to describe my ex – a black whole of neediness. I even told him to his face once that he was a bottomless pit of need and that no one could ever fill him up.

    Man, this post…I didn’t have any heirlooms on the line, but it reminds me of all the times I kept things safe by pretending to have no interest in them, or not mentioning them in the first place. As long as he didn’t know about it, whatever “it” was, then he couldn’t use it against me. By the end I rarely shared anything with him about my life or my interests. I kept myself as bland and neutral as possible.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Laura, YES!! I could never show the things I really cared about, I had to be indifferent to everything and then fake extreme excitement for the things that he cared most about. It is exhausting work and by the end of it all I didn’t even recognize myself!

      Like

    2. “Man, this post…I didn’t have any heirlooms on the line, but it reminds me of all the times I kept things safe by pretending to have no interest in them, or not mentioning them in the first place. As long as he didn’t know about it, whatever “it” was, then he couldn’t use it against me. By the end I rarely shared anything with him about my life or my interests. I kept myself as bland and neutral as possible.”

      Oh, inDEED.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! The real crazy-making factor for me was that I would start all these weird behaviors because of the things he would do… then he would criticize me for being a bad person for doing said weird behavior. It is an endless circle with them!! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think of him as “A Black Hole of Negativity.”

    I keep all the precious bits of myself tightly TO myself.

    Grey Rock all the way.

    SO GLAD YOU STILL HAVE YOUR RING!

    Liked by 1 person

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