Guide to online dating part 3

Welcome, today this will be short and sweet, my third tip for you is this; Don’t be afraid to be happy! This one is hard the older we get the more experiences we have. We get hurt and betrayed and though we may try to leave it all behind, the heart remembers the pain, instinct becomes to protect yourself.

The trouble here is that it you give in to that fear your now taking happiness away from yourself. You can’t loose what you don’t have to begin with. Having it and loosing it can be devastating, and yet we survive, we learn. My failures have taught me far more then my successes ever could.

For once I will not say I haven’t got it right yet, for a new adventure is just beginning. One that gives me hope renewed, our connection instantaneous, and each new detail uncovered paints a picture of a bright future. While I have been wrong before that no more feels of consequence, I have a good feeling about this. The sun has finally risen after a cold dark night until next time I will be basking in its warmth.

-The Scarlet Letter

Guide to online dating part 2

Hello and welcome to the second instalment of my tips and tricks for online dating. Though I wonder if how to get less crazy in your life might’ve been the better title choice. At any rate I am back with my second tip and this one really is age old simply moving to a different format.

Make them wait, want to gauge a guys sanity ignore a message they left you for 15 minutes or 1/2 an hour. If your feeling especially saucy leave them on read. Truth is this is something that is likely to happen anyway, we all have lies to live right? Again this is something only telling in the reaction a few messages can be ok answering a question missed, or an extra thought tacked on is fine more then one message isn’t necessary a red flag. However I will say if you come back to 6+ messages, run don’t look back just run. Especially if those messages are on the lines or “hey” “what are you doing” “hello” “what’s up” “where are you” answer me”

That is a whole mess of codependent crazy you don’t want any part of. When I see this here is what I hear; “hey, I don’t like myself so much, there’s a whole inside me and I need you to fill it well not you anyone really but you’ll do. I cant love myself so I will never love you the way you deserve to be loved. I will be codependent and needy, suffocating, jealous, possessive, that is my promise to you.” It May sound harsh but that’s a sign of someone that needs to learn to be alone. Don’t be miss fix it I promise you it won’t work.

Hope this advice serves you well and happy fishing and may the seas bare more fruit for you then they have for me.

-The Scarlet Letter

Guide to online dating: part 1

Ok this one is mostly for the ladies but guys stick around and you may just learn something too. This is a new series I’m going to be tossing out here and there. I seem to be getting my practice in at online dating so I’m throwing out advice for things that I find helpful in the search. Now I can’t tell you how to find the love of your life, how ever if your reading this and you have figured it out please educate me in the comments section. Nope what I am here for is to help you avoid crazy and if your a guy maybe I can help you avoid some mistakes your making by offering up some female perspective. A small peek into what life is like on the other side.

My advice to you today is simple, always refuse the first offer. Now your are your own person, handle it how ever you want but in my case I go for brutal honesty. When asked for my phone number, a meeting for coffee, walk, drinks what ever, it’s often almost after first contact, following a little small talk, I will reject the offer with something like, “no or at least not yet I do not know you very well and would like to talk to you on here(dating site) first, I need to know you better before I feel comfortable doing that.”

The response to this has been split roughly 35-50 % are accepting and even supporting if this saying that it is either understandable or even smart on my part. Any man who responds this way I will continue to speak to, it’s not all good often one word answers, conversations that lead nowhere or occasionally someone better suited to friend then potential paramour for various reasons. How ever these are also men far more likely to have and show respect, to be accountable, generally this group is more likely to be good and decent human beings. This alone is not necessary enough to judge the full core of a mans character but it does lend some insight.

The second group I will call the blockers, because these are generally the people I will block often after telling them exactly what they did wrong. They are the ones that would try and push their way past your boundary. With anything from “oh but your just so pretty and seem nice I really want to meet you.” To “why” my personal favourite “maybe this is why your single” or further insistence coupled with lines like “I’m a good guy” “you can trust me” the fact is no matter what method they use they are disrespecting my boundaries, they are insinuating that what they want is more important then how I feel, and if they can not take no as an answer from a perfect stranger for a coffee or phone number, especially when it is a perfectly reasonable request I shudder to think what might happen if they were in the mood and I “had a headache.”

So there is is that is all I have for you today refuse the first offer and see how they react, I firmly believe you will save yourself a lot of trouble I know that I have. Respect is important in any relationship make sure you get yours. Until next time I hope it helps you narrow your search.

-The Scarlet Letter

Dating in my Thirties

Is there any coming back from certainty?

Well here I am now 34 unmarried and childless, perfectly embodying those millennial traits. As a child of 3 divorces I made myself a promise a long time ago, that “if” I ever got married It would only be once. I had to be sure. Well at the beginning of my thirties I could honestly tell you that I had never been sure, never met that person I knew my life would never be quite complete with out. Fast forward a few years and no I can longer say the same.

To this point I have tried to keep my blogging to the lessons I have learned rather then the stories they emanate from. This one will be different, this one is about the story, in no small part because if there a lesson worth learning here, I have yet to figure it out.

I was once engaged, by then end of my twenties I had a fiancé and a mortgage, after several years of engagement I had made exactly zero wedding plans. One surface level issue or another always left me procrastinating, it was too much money or just not a good time right now. These were the BS lies that i told myself, and anyone who’d ask. I have never been a religious person despite being raised Catholic so “living in sin” wasn’t any sort of bother to me, what was the rush. That mentality just one of many overlooked red flags waving in my face begging for attention.

The truth that only the end and hindsight would show me, was it was that long ago promise made to myself demanding to be kept, he wasn’t my one, and I knew it, even if I didn’t want to admit it. I’ve never broken a promise I made to myself, not even through conscious effort to keep them, something inside, my subconscious always drives me to keep them.

After too many unhappy years together truths could be denied no longer my fiancé and I called an end to things leaving all that red tape to be untangled. The break up period went as normal, had my brooding period of self reflection, and reflection of the relationship as a whole. Hindsight was 20/20 as it so often is. I learned much and fast, making up for lost time I suppose.

Armed with all my new Information and ready to carve out a new life for myself I reluctantly returned to the Meat Market, which is my term of endearment for the dating scene. I then was living in a small town only 5000 people reside there, and if that and being over 30 didn’t make the dating pool shallow enough, I also came from a large family further slimming the pool. On top of all that there was little left for me in that town, I needed a new future somewhere that felt possible and my home town just wasn’t it, it never really had been though the town seems to have its own gravitational pull, many leave, few escape for good.

What all this amounted to was the Internet was my best chance at finding someone, so for the first time in my life I tried online dating. The horror stories of online dating left me more then a little nervous going in, and all I really knew for certain was nothing had worked so far. I had no intentions of finding anything serious or lasting, my goal was simply to meet different people, broaden my horizons, try and get a better understanding of what was going to work for me.

I tried a paid sight first, one that required authentication of pictures trying to at least avoid being catfished. Money well wasted as it turned out, after two months, too many offers for friends with benefits and my ex’s profile being among the first to pop up it was time for a new hunting ground. Now this is were the story really begins as everything preceding this point came with a lesson. A friend of mine had some success on POF so despite the horror stories I’d heard of that specific site I gave it a try.

I set up my POF profile, complete with a few little traps to help me identify certain “undesirables”. Now society tells you that over 30 and unmarried you should be pretty much desperate. This is old world thinking, with the rising divorce rate and the millennial trait of prolonging or even forgoing the idea of getting married and having children your options are anything but limited. For the briefest of moments insecurity had hit me, over 30, I didn’t want kids, nor someone trying to save my soul, no desire to parent a man child, and on top I’m a smoker. It felt as though my options would be pretty bleak. The opposite proved true, there was no small shortage of interested “suitors”. Unfortunately well all you want is one fish it is hard to see the right one when overwhelmed by the whole school, and it seemed any ready to jump on the boat where ones I wanted to throw back immediately. Online dating was a different game and a change in tactics seemed necessary. So for the first time in my life I changed my stance from prey to the hunter.

Becoming the hunter was a game changer although terrifying in its own right. On one hand I felt more exposed, opening myself up to the dreaded rejection. I kept my nerves mostly calmed by reminding myself that it didn’t matter how many people turned me down I only needed one to say yes if it was the right person. I spent countless hours reading profiles, many of them said no more then “ask me” or “will fill out later”. Those became immediate dismissals for me, I found if that was all the effort someone was willing to put into their profile it made me wonder how much effort would they actually put into a relationship.

It took 3 days of going through profiles just to find someone who seemed worth sending a message to, the very act was terrifying especially being the first time I had done so. It felt like eternity awaiting a response, second guessing if one would ever come, I felt vulnerable, a feeling I’ve never been comfortable with. It didn’t take long for my fears to be abated, a response did come sparking a conversation.

I had made myself a set of rules to follow for online dating, no giving out my phone number until conversing for at least a week and then only if there was potential for connection present, no meeting in person for 1-2 weeks after that and only if I felt reasonably sure that who I was meeting wasn’t some form of sociopath. If I did manage to make it to the meeting point I was to provide my own way to and from a public and reasonably safe location. I broke every one of these rules.

We only texted for a few days over the app before I gave him my phone number. The infatuation for me at least began before I ever heard his voice or saw him face to face. I am a Sapiosexual, and he had a beautiful mind. I still remember the anticipation preceding every returned message, the electric like excitement every time I heard my text tone, hanging off every word he typed and marvelling at how so much of it paralleled things I had thought or said. I also remember the nervous excitement of when he asked if I wanted to talk on the phone for a few minutes, which turned into four hours that felt like minutes and ended with us bumping up our first date by a day deciding neither of us could wait any longer.

Out first date was magical, not your standard dinner and a movie kind of date. I bought myself a smoothie prior to meeting up and we opted to for a simple walk in the park. We had an instant rapport and easy flow of conversation, the walk in the park turned to a change of location to a beach more walking and talking then we hiked up to a look out point where we shared our first kiss. Sparks flew quickly answering the question of whether or not we had compatible chemistry. The sun set yet parting ways was an eventuality we weren’t ready to face so more locations talking and kissing continued on, the fireflies were out and thicker then id ever seen them in my life adding a little majesty to the evening. For the first time in my life I experienced things I thought where no more then Hollywood BS, I actually trembled, my knees shook, and my legs turned to rubber. The connections I felt intellectually, emotionally, and physically where stronger then any I had ever known. It wound up being early afternoon the next day before we inevitably parted with out hooking up, though we agreed on exclusivity before the dates end.

We started as long distance, but with efforts made on both our parts the miles between us were of little concern, aside from the fact that absence makes the heart grow fonder which only added to my already out of control infatuation. In the days, weeks, and months to follow my feelings only deepened, and I felt happier then I can ever remember being. It felt for the briefest of moments that after the long dark night the sun had finally risen in my life, the world opened up and I revelled in the possibilities.

He met my best friend and some of my family, I met his brother and some of his friends. We had our little summer adventures exploring beautiful spots in nature, enjoying hikes a few drinks and most of all each other’s company. There was talk of finding a place together, planning out when we would at least start looking. There was an easy natural progression and nothing ever seemed forced and for a moment it truly felt like happily ever after wasn’t too far off. I fell harder and faster in love then I had ever before and my heart opened in ways I never would have thought myself capable of.

Our wonderful summer wrapped up with a Labour day weekend camping get together with his friends. It was an amazing weekend filled with cold drinks, good food and great company. Now looking back on it I would describe that weekend in two words, ignorant bliss, as I never would have guessed what was going to follow. It turned out to one last grand hurrah, though neither of us knew it at the time. As I reluctantly went home afterwards I remember feeling happy and at peace, awash in the glow of new love, already looking forward to when ever we would meet next. The future felt so bright, and now if I could go back to our parting I would give him one last kiss, and say goodbye, because in a sense that is the last time I would see him alive.

The next couple of days we texted back and forth, and everything was great, until mid day Wednesday, I was at work with only an hour and a half left in my shift when I got a phone call on the store line. It struck me as odd immediately because they paged me by name rather then simply paging my Department as normal. I picked up the call and on the other end was a social worker, she had told me that the man I was seeing had been in an accident and that he had told her to call me and tell me he was ok.

I know shock hit me for a moment the endorphin rush kept me in a serene state as I began rattling off questions she did not have the answer to. I got the hospital name from her at least and contact information. It took about ten minutes before the shock gave way to the flood of worry. I was on the way to the hospital with in 15 minutes of receiving that call having slammed together an over night bag just in case. The drive itself was about 3 hours normally, I reached the city at rush hour and I managed to forget my credit card back home making hospital parking even more of an ordeal for me. It was nearly four hours before I would actually lay eyes upon him. Those four hours were torturous, what if questions swirling around in my head, my heart felt a little like it was going to explode and my throat felt like I swallowed a golfball, I knew nothing beyond that I had to see him. For all the things I feared for him the reality was worse then imagining. Though it would be over a year before it all came to light.

I stepped into the emergency room I could see his foot had a cast, then a full length leg brace topped that, laying atop a plastic board that hinted to the back injuries he sustained. The most worrisome of all was the washed out grey colour of his skin, especially having scene a healthy tan just days earlier. His dad whom I had not met yet was sitting in room watching over him, I stumbled out a very awkward “hi I’m the girlfriend” at which point His eyes flickered open and the awkwardness went up a notch as he said “hey…. my dicks not broke.” I laughed, relieved to see in the face of it all he had kept his sense of humour. Though his injuries were so numerous I would later go on to joke that I didn’t realize that was the whole list. In the beginning he seemed the same just injured. I doubt I’d have handled it half as well, I deeply respected his force of will and strength of spirit. It made it easier for me to be positive about it, I believed in him and I believed in us I thought that it wouldn’t be easy but we would come through the other side of this stronger for it.

The injury count started at 37, 17 of which where broken bones including 5 ribs and 2 spinal column breaks as well as the bone holding his ankle in place, add in the torn ACL and injuries to his hand and it was clear his mobility would be limited for some time to come. Somehow I think I took that harder then he did, at the time he was counting his blessings to have survived, while I was already fretting for him, knowing his active and outdoorsy life had just taken a severe blow, and how many things he loved it would be a long time before he could do again. Still though I only saw it as a bump in what promised to be a long and potentially still happy road.

I tapped some vacation time so I could be there, for him but for myself as well. It was easier not to worry when I could see he was alright opposed to hours away. My initial thinking was at least I could keep him in good company until he got to go home, though it would turn out to be 3 months later before he would be discharged.

The next few months were hard but still rewarding, I came to visit him in the hospital as often as work and life would allow. I’d bring him a stash of cookies or cupcakes nearly every time I visited, simply because I knew he was suffering and in our time apart it helped me to feel like I was doing something. It wasn’t much but it helped ease my control freak nature in a situation where nearly everything was beyond my control.

It would take two months and some rather disheartening news before his mental state took a downturn, but when that pendulum swung it swung with full force, and he was placed on mental health watch. Despite knowing it was an issue neither our medical system nor WCB seemed to care about his mental health. Even now I look back and wonder had they actually done something when the problem presented itself would the outcome have been different.

With in weeks of this the first signs of falling were already swirling in my mind. When I expressed my concerns or what later turned out to be stark premonition, he reassured me that my fears were unfounded. Even then I knew the seeds that could sew our destruction had already been planted, but I wanted to believe it was up to us whether or not they would bare fruit.

The next year together was increasingly hard, looking at every next bend or small piece of his life reclaimed might be enough to turn the tide but all he seemed to get was worse despite his many efforts. I watched him die, not all at once but a piece at a time. With every part of him that faded away so too did parts of us I had so deeply cherished. By the end our relationship had devolved to a couple of texts a day, and I saw him maybe once every couple of weeks despite now only living ten minutes apart. Even when I did see him I missed him, in body he was right beside me but everything else seemed long gone. Our relationship had become like sand, the harder I tried to hold on the more slipped through my fingers.

Even when we broke up I started the conversation though it was a final plea for more, all I asked for was words, even that was too much to ask. A clear sign that breaking up was the right move. My heart had already been breaking a piece at a time for a year, clinging to false hope that there was any real coming back from this. The end didn’t seem to change much except for one thing, what last shreds of hope disintegration to nothing and his death of self became even more real to me. I wish I had been merely heartbroken, the overlapping feeling of anger, betrayal or otherwise have left that a little easier for me to cope with, the memories that fill my mind would be the bad ones. Instead what filled me was grief, my mind clinged to the happy times, the good memories, and the thoughts of what could have been. It has been said that no one wants to speak ill of the dead, seems I don’t want to think ill of them either.

Grief seems to have a more lasting effect, in it life seems to lose It flavour, living is no more an accurate description, more simply existing, just going through the motions. Grief is heavy and you carry it with you everywhere, after enough time has passed you might forget your carrying it, but it’s always with you. At least that is my experience with losing my brother, he’s been gone for over half my life now, but I still miss him, I still wonder about the man he would have become, and the who I might have become not affected by such a loss. It is said that time heals all wounds but I have found in some cases it merely dulls the pain.

As much as I know I am grieving my ex, I can’t deny the fact that I am also grieving myself, in my self grief I have found a new stage one I suppose to replace the anger stage which seems to elude me. That stage is fear, fear for the connections I may never be able to build with another again, fear for the feelings I’m not sure I will ever be able to feel again, fear for what has and will become of me, lastly fear the walls that have built around my heart will never again crumble and fall for another.

Moving on is never easy though ultimately necessary, because with it with out you life goes on, it’s keep up or get left behind. Aside from that in my own way it’s my attempt to honour the memory of the living dead that once was my paramour. I believe neither the man he was nor the man he turned into would wish me to spend the rest of my life pining away for what once was but never will be again. I don’t want that for myself either, it would not be fair to either of us. In my attempts to move on the changes in me have become increasingly more apparent, though it is still too early to determine their permanence. I have given up on the notion of ever being married, my belief in soul mates or “the one” seems to have all but disappeared, and I no longer hold any faith in life’s platitudes like “everything happens for a reason”, “life will work itself out.”, and even “it’ll get better.”

It seems all I can truly do is try to keep pushing forward and recognize my mind may change one day, that somehow this dark path may one day emerge into light, but I do so with out the hope of these things ever happening. To have been so sure and yet so wrong has shaken my faith in certainty itself so even if I ever find certainty it’s hard to believe I will ever be able to trust in my own certainty. Any lessons not previously learned that I could possibly see are horrifically depressing and so I will simply close with…

There is a silver lining in my dark clouds, my story isn’t over. The battle between feeling and reality continues to wage. It might feel over, it might feel like I should just throw in the towel, but I know well enough to know that isn’t reality. There a many blank pages waiting to be filled, only time will reveal what those pages will be filled with, honestly I couldn’t even hazard a guess where I will be a year from now let alone 5 years from now. Even if I could guess I wouldn’t because I have found one certainty in life as sure a bet as death and taxes is that time makes fools of us all.

Investment

I have long believed that the past is no place to live, I don’t forget it because it has taught me a lot. The past cannot be changed it simply is, so to learn and move forward is the only logical conclusion to me.

The present is where I should dwell and my mind is slowly adjusting to that. Truth be told I have had a terrible habit of living in the future, though it doesn’t exist yet, and it never seems to respond to my design. It seems the habit has evolved from investing, I don’t mean on a financial scale but a personal one. It seems perfectly human to put your time and effort into something, trying to build something more for yourself and your future. Seldom does one invest with out hoping for some kind of return on that investment, be it personal, emotional, or financial. The harder you try the more time you sink in the more invested you become and the harder it can be to let go.

The trouble here becomes if you believe hard enough in a sinking ship you will drown on it. I will tell you I’ve spent my fair share of time drowning. Sitting there with my bucket scooping out water as hard and fast as I can continuing to sink deeper into the cold wet inky abyss. The ‘I can fix this’ mentality all to often leaves me failing to recognize when I should simply abandon ship.

Life is unpredictable, beyond that it is uncontrollable, and never promised. So I must learn to let go of the future and live in the now. Accept the fact that sometimes things must fall apart to make way for better things.

Living with Narcissists: Part 4

Can a narcissist love?

This question is one that has weighed heavily on me. It is one thing to feel as though I was unloved as a child, but to know it with any certainty is a cold truth to face. I am guilty of always wanting to see the good in people, cursed by my very nature to believe the best in them. The trouble with this nature is it can be blinding toward real truth when we choose instead to see that which we want to see, ignoring what is truly right in front of us.

In hearing stories of other victims that in so many ways parallel my own, and they speak in harsh and clear terms, as if they too struggle against their better natures to see the the truth. Each one states a narcissist is incapable of love. To hear it from the predators angle he too spoke in no uncertain terms, stating to his kind a child is not a person in and of themselves but a mere extension of the Narcissistic parent.

While a narcissist may outwardly seem to love them self like no other, it is a mask, a facade, one made even to themselves, covering up the self hatred that lies beneath, or at least so is my understanding of it. So if I am only viewed as an extension of a self that doesn’t love itself then how can I be loved.

The cold truth is that I can not, not truly. Even if I could it would not be as I view love to be. Something colder, more material, and conditional. Sadly this is the only form of love they know. Looks good on the outside, shiny and glittery yet no substance with in. In understanding this certain things take a new form of clarity for me, the greatest example I can think of is I am told by other that my mother does say nice things about me, just not to me. I have made jokes that she seems to like me better when I am not present to enrage her. Now I understand that is the extension of self at play, my accomplishments used to make her look better in the eyes of others and provide that positive fuel. The cold truth is it’s not about me and never was.

It is funny though, in this process I had to ask myself what does it matter, and admit that it truly doesn’t. I could theoretically have concrete evidence saying they do or do not love me, no matter which way the scales tipped it would not change a thing. My desire to see the good in people would have be believe their love is there yet that very same trait would have me finding fault in myself for where I found their love to be lacking, because it is hard to see the fault in others when constantly seeking the good. It’s time to admit it simply doesn’t matter because that’s what best for me. Until next time, thank you for reading, and I hope you all take some time to do what is best for you, what ever that may be.

-The Scarlet Letter

Living with Narcissists, Part 3

Parental Paradigm

For as long as I can recall I have felt like something isn’t quite right among my family, inside my head lived this ideal of what my and really all families should be. Impressions of the media and society only seemed to fit this sort of profile. I could never understand why people who loved each other would treat each other in this way. To point out flaws, to engage in endless and numerous yelling matches eventually devolving to silence, avoidance, never resolution, and so every old fight could be rehashed and tied into any new or existing one. An endless cycle of hostility and devaluation.

To them I am the sensitive one, thin skinned, reading too much into things, or the way I feel is unfounded and outright ridiculous. I could go on like this for some while, due to the years of blame shifting, projecting, guilting, and devaluing I have memories to draw from. I have learned this is normal for one who is placed in the black sheep role, and we are commonly placed in that role for the rebel heart that beats in our chest, because we are the ones that will open our eyes, that will see there is a problem even if no one else will admit it, and the most likely to speak out against it. This is an empathic quality, truth seeking, the trait of honesty so ingrained with in us that we are predisposed to seek truth. The factor of simply being empathetic also lines with the pattern of the black sheep, our softness seen as a weakness to be eradicated.

For as unhealthy and even toxic as I am aware my familial relationships can be, their relationships with each other strike me as no better. I have always known the Romantic relationship between my parents looks nothing like that which I want for myself. I often made the joke that the only thing that has kept my parents together is a mutual love of fighting, only know do I realize how apt an observation that was. Along with the one that my family are people who like to push buttons get a rise out of me and others. So many pieces of the puzzle were right in front of me all this time, I just could not see the full picture.

In better understanding the needs and motivations of those with N.P.O. At its variant levels, does everything finally begin to make sense. The frequent fits of rage, and screaming matches in a marriage would be seen as unacceptable by most, but in a marriage of two narcissists its a frequent supply of negative fuel, a surge of power, it scratches an itch with in them neither could scratch with out external forces. Because that itch is never permanently satisfied the seemingly destructive cycle continues, yet they are both drawing something that they need from this exchange. It could not and does not make sense to me in a way that I can truly understand because I don’t have that itch, I derive no pleasure from others pain, quite the opposite in fact. I am glad that the information is out there and so accessible. Understanding is helpful, it adds weight to words I have been telling myself for years and helps me to fight against the things imprinted on me from such a tender age. It also is helping me to let go of that life long fools hope that somehow it can get better, that our relationships can be repaired, transform into something healthy. One of the greatest sins of an empath is the desire to fix, but you can’t fix someone who does not think they are broken, truly you can’t fix anyone you can only help them fix themselves, and so truly we can not help those who will not help themselves.

This is a difficult journey for me, it is difficult for me to truly acknowledge my parents flaws when they are perfect, just ask them they will tell you. Also to admit to myself and openly that I am a victim and survivor, it feels like weakness, yet this is necessary to turn it into strength. The strangest part of all is learning that somewhere beneath the trauma and manipulation I work to move past, I might be perfectly sane, after a lifetime of believing I am on some level crazy. Unfortunately most monsters are not born they are made, the behaviours they exhibit, the white hot rage that seems to burn with in them, all symptomatic of a larger problem they themselves can not and will not see. Any attempt otherwise has not and would not change that fact. It makes me sad for them, and sad for me that there is nothing I can do to alter this. All I can do is try to accept this is not my failing, nor my responsibility.

Until next time.

-The Scarlet Letter

Living with narcissists, part 2

There are different kinds of Narcissists and among each blanket group lies multiple subtypes each prone to different tactics and different needs and understanding of those needs. When you cross that line to the empath side there are also different types of empath and subtypes among them. In learning about this I have come to understand more about myself, how I came to my assigned role in my upbringing.

Years of gaslighting have left my reality and myself distorted. Above all the greatest question raised is who am I really? Many of the traits I possess and feelings I have are learned, I tell myself this is good if they are learned they can be unlearned, if my brain can be taught to feel these things, it can learn they are fabricated, and begin to deconstruct them. In order to do this I need to separate what my core traits are, what is symptomatic of the abuse I have suffered, and what has grown from the seeds planted in my mind in childhood and well tended and fertilized in subsequent years. My first step into separated out the tangled web that is me is classification. For broad range classification there are 3 types of people qualified as being empaths. Bare in mind this is empathic in the sense of displaying empathy not the more super natural sense of the word.

I have often been one to tell you I’m the nicest person you will ever meet until I’m not. I have Narcissistic traits and tendencies. I’m sure right now you are thinking “everyone, or almost everyone has some narcissist traits.” Your absolutely right and it takes cluster of narcissistic traits to qualify as a narcissist. What I initially believed made me unique and truly all together strange, was the massive pendulum swing in my collective behaviours, the empathic traits in me are strong and yet there are points in my life my Narcissistic traits have all but dominated my kinder gentler traits. More over when my darker side has emerged I have never felt anything less the justified or vindicated in my actions. The lack of guilt and even feelings of satisfaction derived from these times have left me wondering if I was a Narcissist or even a full on sociopath. The truest irony of this is it took a sociopath for me to understand why. I speak of H.G. Tudor the sociopathic Narcissist mentioned in my last post. Narcsite.com being one additional resource I have found and also highly recommend. His breakdown of empaths is wider and more comprehensive then any other I have come across. Several videos speak about the super or supernova empath in some detail. They differ from regular empaths and codependents in some substantial ways, one being that they had more Narcissistic traits and stronger in nature then the other two groups, but still less so then the narcissistic groups at the other side of the scale. Their empathic traits strong in nature, he described it as a spot light and a candle. When the spotlight is on the light of the candle is barely noticeable. After a period of abuse the super empath reaches a state of critical awareness and decides enough is enough, when that happens they will either leave the relationship, or enter a supernova state where the empathic side or “spot light.” Is dimmed, allowing the Narcissistic side or “candle” to shine brighter, at which point they will deny the narcissist fuel, or use their own manipulation tactics against them, they will fight back and wound the narcissist repeatedly.

This hit home to me, every word resonating with me. What an intelligent hunter to have so thoroughly categorized his potential prey. He also explained that in the dimming process the empathic traits have not gone anywhere and the dimming is only temporary, the empathic traits are wired into our DNA.

So who am I that’s my first answer right there I was simply born to want to be a source of good in peoples lives, to be a giver, and to view this as a gift not to be taken for granted or advantage of. I was born to give of a place of strength, I recognize this trait blends in with a tendency to overdue it at times which is symptomatic of growing up never hearing but always feeling like love was conditional. Things like this I believe are important distinctions to make, I simply cannot fight my own DNA. How seemingly impossible it is that a man I have never met and has never met me, could tell me more about who I was born to be, then I was even aware of myself. Of course these traits do not encompass the totality of me, but it does explain some of my conflicting natures, and why I would be a prime candidate for the black sheep role in my family. It also makes me realize that parts of me have been dulled I don’t shine as brightly as I should as is my birthright, and I begin to see where things symptomatic of my trauma have played their roll, chipping away at the true me. How strange it is this far into my journey only now do I see the path to finding out who I truly am is less about learning of myself, and more of forgetting the things I have been taught of myself. It is quite the rabbit hole I have found myself down, surrounded by some hard truths, no turning back now. There is something real down here calling to me like a siren song, and I will find it. Until next time, the hunt continues.

-The Scarlet Letter

Living with Narcissists!

As of late I have found myself devouring every ounce of information I can obtain on Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Both from those who have it and have stepped forward to tell their story, to those who are victims of someone with N.P.D. sharing their experience, their findings, and their journey to healing. To be perfectly honest, this is something I have intended to do for a long time but until now I have put it off. I was raised by narcissist’s both with elements of overt and covert alike each one favouring the opposing side. As it seems anyone who has been a victim of gaslighting especially as a child will tell you, your reality is manipulated to suit the purpose of your abusers. After a lifetime of being told I’m “sensitive” “dramatic” or that things did not happen as I remember, that I am “ungrateful” and “selfish”. My sense of self worth severely damaged by being constantly diminished or invalidated by those who were supposed to love me most.

My self worth doesn’t even seem to be my greatest loss in it all, my sense of self or self identity suffers to most to this day. I was encouraged to pursue my parents interests and no others. Achievements that fell in any other areas were ultimately disregarded and/or diminished. The narcissists in my life were/are lesser to midrange narcissists, not the full on psycho or socio paths who are fully aware of what they are doing. They have no accountability for their actions even with in their own minds, and so anything viewed as an attack for their own perceived reality was met with anger, or other forms of punishment like silence, distance, or passive aggression.

One video I watched suggested that 90% of the depression an adult child of narcissistic parent(s) is caused by repressed anger. In hearing these words it was like a switch went off in my brain, and my anger has begun to unearth from its shallow grave. So my anger it’s not so repressed anymore or at least not all of it, I have little doubt there is more yet to surface as with buried emotions sometimes it’s a gush and sometimes it’s a trickle. As it surfaces I’m left with this conundrum, I have been struggling my whole adult life with issues imprinted on me by the narcissists in my life. What should be the most satisfying one might think is to confront my abusers, make them face their crimes against me, in some foolish hope of an apology and some sense of closure. These are things a narcissist will never give you. They have zero accountability, their lack of empathy and inflated self worth makes it seemingly impossible to understand or care how you may feel. Worse still like an emotional vampire they will feed off your emotional reactions to them good or bad. Any source of information I’ve encountered has advised against confrontation of a narcissist, and a life time of experience in the rebel and black sheep role has me inclined to agree.

In finally being willing to come to terms with being a victim it has opened new levels of self awareness, I now understand so much better why I feel the way I do and the way I did regarding the parts of this I have already managed to deal with. In delving deeper into what Narcissism is and the great variance among the broad term, learning what tools are in their chest, what sort of people they prey upon, and largely the victims who have spoken up and what they have felt and their childhood experiences, all the sudden I see the connections between so much that is me.

Back to why I am angry, I’ve been manipulated, slowly and methodically taught to hate myself, so well versed In manipulation that to any outsider looking in my life must be idillic, branded a liar, a drama queen, and over sensitive, no one but me, not even my parents could see that this was abuse, planting seeds of self doubt in my mind, it must be me, I am sensitive. My emotions never validated, often denied the very expression of any, belittled caused a sissy. Only now years later do I understand it’s not my fault, the feelings of inadequacy I feel no more then projections of my own narcissistic parents subconscious emotions, every thing they could not face in themselves projected onto me. Beyond being angry at all that was done to me, and the after effects I am still working on, is the anger of knowing no matter the reason or understanding offered, no matter the approach taken, they will never take accountability for their actions, our relationships will never transform into healthy ones, that even though they are wrong and have always been wrong if there is any hope to heal it is myself I must change.

Every mental health issue I have, for every negative emotion that plagued me I have learned are directly symptomatic of narcissistic abuse. The feelings of isolation, loneliness, being misunderstood, and difficulty trusting others, are not only all related to narcissistic abuse, they are specifically related to those with narcissistic parents who have been branded by said parents as the black sheep or scapegoat. Furthermore the child branded in this way is commonly second born, which I am. The more I learn the more I am shocked at the parallels so many people from different countries, races, backgrounds, have stories that resonate so strongly with in me. Their experiences and memories and feelings mirroring my own. I have learned something powerful, though I feel alone I am not alone.

For someone who has never been through it it’s a difficult thing to explain, when asked what they said it can be difficult to come up with anything all that bad, because often the don’t say anything that sounds all that bad. Such is the danger of gaslighting, the do not tell you outright that you are bad, they use subtle manipulation, and plausible deniability, to lead you to find that conclusion on your own. When you try to call them out on it they make you seem like the crazy one “I was just joking, you have no sense of humour.” “Your being a drama queen” “your sensitive or thin skinned.” “You need to buck up.” Phrases like these and many more are the calling cards of a gas lighter.

If your reading this and you want to learn more about Narcissism and it’s favoured victims empaths, firstly stay tuned because this is not the last I will speak of it, but secondly there is a source I have found fascinating, informative, and offers a perspective I would never have expect to be shared. That of an Elite Narcissist as he self identifies, or psychologically termed a psychopathic narcissist. A wolf In wolfs clothing, he offers full transparency on everything but his true identity. The name he goes by is H.G. Tudor, he has a Facebook page entitled “Knowing the Narcissist.” Has dozens of fascinating videos and interviews posted on Facebook, as well he has published several books I am quite intent on buying. I highly recommend checking him out.

Slow learning!

Well it appears I have been slacking again, it’s been a while since my last post. I could tell you it’s time constraint or exhaustion, but I think it’s more then that, a stalled feeling In myself and in my life until tonight. Not that I can say I have gained much momentum but tonight I have come to a powerful realization.

Expectation is the mother of all disappointments. My own self expectations are no small source of my own misery. Today I begin to draw my lines between desire and expectations.

The ultimate truth is beyond all expectations life seems to have its own agenda. Things will happen when they happen and expecting it to come any sooner will not make it so.

For so long now I have been all to certain that life has been teaching me an unending lesson in patience. I missed the obvious question, why am I so impatient. What was behind that impatience. Now I see it is expectation. This year has been a hard one in identifying things internalized in childhood and trying to break those chains. This is no exception. Pressures placed on me by others in my youth evolved into u realistic pressure and expectation I’ve placed on myself to this day. It is time to accept that I cannot force the will of the universe, nor should I blame myself for things beyond my control.

Expectation for things yet to pass hinders my ability to credit myself for the progress I have made, rather it sends me swirling in a cycle of self dissatisfaction for the progress I have yet to make.

Not all is black and white, life is made of many shades of grey. I believe it is alright to keep the desire for more, and continue to expend the effort towards that end, but let go of the expectation that it will happen at all let alone on my time line. Expecting myself to be able to make things happen before life allows them to is a fools errand and one I have run too long.

Well that is my food for thought for today, until we meet again.

-The Scarlet Letter