I’ve essentially been on hiatus for the summer months… from work, from stress and from writing. The good news is that I landed a wonderful job where I am currently being valued and respected and using my skill set in an awesome way. The other good news is that I’ve had thoughts flowing around in my head with the urge to get them all out on paper again, so here I am! 🙂
So one of the things I was up to this summer while I was not here writing was dating. I met someone who seemed very steady and calm and go-with-the-flow and the absolute opposite of all the things that The Narcissist was. We dated casually for most of the summer until I broke things off in August. You see, this person waved a glaring, big, fat red flag in my face and I didn’t ignore it!!! (You gotta celebrate those little healing moments people!!)
So what was the red flag?? I was with friends at an event for the day. This person knew where I was going to be and who I would be with and had been at the event in years past so had an idea of how busy and crazy it was. When I wasn’t responding to this person’s text messages they went crazy. By the end of the day I had 15 text messages, 2 missed calls with voice mails, and the person had even sent my best friend a direct message through Instagram. You can’t even imagine the triggers that were firing off for me as a result… and they took some work to get through. Lucky for me, I happened to be with my people at this exact moment… my people that talked me through my trigger feelings of (guilt, bad, apologize, redeem yourself, blah, blah, blah) and helped me remember that I did nothing wrong in this situation and that this behavior was extreme.
While the person did not know all of the gory details of my relationship with The Narcissist, I did say on several occasions that I was in an emotionally and physically abusive marriage and had been through a lot of shit. So after this red flag waving party, I composed a message explaining that the behavior was just not okay for me and that there were some things I would never accept again in my life and that this was one of them. While the person begged for a second change, I absolutely knew that I was doing the right thing when the qualifier was thrown into the mix…. “I would have never acted that crazy if you had just responded to my messages… it was 8 hours since your last text!!”
There it is… the icing on the top of that freakishly huge red flag. The classic manipulation of “I wouldn’t have done X, if you had done Y.” I cannot tell you how many times The Narcissist used this on me in one way or another. It is a slippery slope, and just reading it I knew I could never be with that person again, there would be no second chances given.
Do I think that person is abusive? No I am pretty positive that the person wouldn’t physically hurt a fly. I do think that they are extremely immature, insecure, possessive and not trusting. For someone else, maybe these things could have been worked through and healthy boundaries and expectations could have been set. But let’s be real, I wasted 8 freaking years trying to make something crazy work and I just don’t have the energy to do it again. So I walked away.
I missed this person. I missed having a person to spend time with and talk to throughout the day and share whatever was going on in my head with. I missed the chemical highs of having a physical relationship with someone again. I even started to question my own co-dependency issues when I found myself missing said person and thinking that it wouldn’t really be terrible to settle for someone with issues just to have someone. And then I would remember the creepy triggery feeling I got reading that qualifying statement or seeing 15 missed text messages on my phone, and then I remembered all of the things I settled for when I was with The Narcissist and then I hit myself with a big “what the EFF are you thinking?!?” and then I moved on.
So I guess the moral to this story is that just because you ignore the red flags and wind up with one psychotic, abusive, narcissist does not mean that you are doomed to repeat that cycle over and over again. I was enjoying a casual relationship and when something popped up that was unhealthy, I set a boundary and I stuck with it. I worked through the very short time period of feeling blah about losing a person, and now I am back to being me and seeing if there is someone else out there that might be a sane and healthy compatible person for me.
I am pretty sure that this is what healthy looks and feels like.