There are things which I used to do,
which I no longer do.
And there are things which I do now,
which I did not used to do.
Have I changed?
You could call what has happened… change,
simply the opening of eyes,
the waking from a dream,
The skies are clearing,
the clouds of intoxication are disappearing,
my feet are on firm land,
and I’m drying off after a swim in the waters of delusion.
I thought I would suffocate breathing such thick and poisonous fumes…
I thought I would drown drinking in such heavy and turbulent liquid…
It went to my head,
filled it with bubbles,
But when these bubbles explode they cover everything with sickly sweet.
The clouds of intoxication did not come from drugs,
the waters of delusion were not those of alcohol,
but they were fabricated by man,
I grew up in the land of make believe,
in a castle in the sky…
which is not as pretty as it sounds.
It was Hotel California,
and the only way to leave.
was by leaping to your death…
a leap of faith,
in the possibility of escape,
from the twisted, clinging tendrils,
which keep you trapped in a dream,
a dungeon disguised as a fairytale castle.
There are places where everything is upside,
but appears as though it is the right way up.
Insane in the membrane,
but the membrane thinks it’s sane.
Chase the rainbow to find the pot of gold,
the happily ever after,
riding on a unicorn,
following the yellow brick road,
paved with good intentions,
down the rabbit hole…
Living in someone else’s dream come true,
they wished upon a star,
rubbed a magic lamp,
met a fairy godmother…
Their Aladdin’s cave,
Your Chateau d’If,
Their elixir of life,
fountain of eternal youth,
nectar of the gods…
powering their Wizard of Oz,
creating their Wonderland.
One ring to rule them all…
going around in circles,
binding you in darkness.
I used to believe what people told me about themselves, their lives, about myself, my life, about others and their lives, about the world, about reality…
I drank from the cups they offered me.
This is something I used to do,
which I no longer do.
I now only drink from my own cup.
This is something which took me a while to do,
as I was told that to do so was,
very bad manners,
the worst kind of intoxicating delusion.
Have I changed?
Perhaps it is others who have changed.
perhaps there has simply been a shift in perception which has created a shift in reality,
the perceived reality.
*post inspired by the 7 of Cups in tarot.
This was a card which turned up all the time in my tarot readings.
In the Thoth tarot deck, which was my favourite deck due to the illustrations rather than the interpretations, it is known as Debauch.
Debauch… my mind loves that word, but does not love what it represents. To me. My perception of it.
I used to hate getting this card, because I didn’t understand what it meant, what it was saying, what message it was giving… now I understand, and it was right. I used to think it was wrong.
Have I changed?
I loved this. “I grew up in the land of make believe, in a castle in the sky…which is not as pretty as it sounds.” You describe so well the crazy journey many of us have traveled.
Thank you 🙂
Make believe is everywhere, we all grow up with it, in lands of different kinds of make believe, in castles of one sort or another… we sometimes think the make believe of others is pretty compared to ours, because it is far away in the distance, because we think ours is not… not pretty as it is too close up and we can see all the flaws like in a magnifying mirror. Make believe is not just a part of narcissistic families and narcissistic relationships. But it is particularly obvious therein, once we see it… and it can take a while to see it.
Sometimes make believe inspires us to create… and sometimes it works in other ways, subtly undermining foundations, destroying.
We all have a personal journey. It’s up to us to understand our journeys… whatever they may hold, wherever the path takes us. It’s up to us to turn our curses into a blessing. As you do so well 🙂
or getting your shit together
good for you, regardless of how we call it!
Every day is an exercise in sort of getting my shit together 😉
Shit makes good fertiliser for growing healthy and nourishing stuff! It can also work in other ways, I try to keep it healthy (or at least my version of what healthy is – which could be my own make believe).
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I agree 100% with you.
You are a very wise girl, I wish I was able to drink from my own cup… BTW, the tarot card hunting me is “le pendu”, stuck in a rut..drawn by my beloved Nparents and engraved in my brain. I haven’t succeeded to break free yet. A huge heap of toil.
You do drink from your own cup. And do it often. It’s just taking a while for you to get used to the taste of it, it’s delicious, but your brain keeps thinking it’s disgusting because your parents twisted things around. Trust your taste buds! Rewrite how things taste.
I love ‘Le Pendu’ as that card is that of the world seen upside down. It’s the card of ‘crazy’ wisdom. And relates to this experiment (I’ve linked to the first article in my search results about it so it may not be the best write up on this test) – http://www.theguardian.com/education/2012/nov/12/improbable-research-seeing-upside-down
My fathers favorite play/movie was Brigadoon, which he named all his boats after, and is I think the embodiment of the narcissistic magical delusional story. He would even play the role on occasion wearing a Scottish quilt/skirt and playing bagpipe marching band tunes over the intercom when leaving the docks on our boat. I started taking the helm of a 46′ yacht, docking and undocking and got to be better then them, at the age of ten and eleven, not long after my brother started molesting me…talk about sky-high sandcastles. My brother even hooked me up with the child-molesting male babysitter my father hired at that time too. Life was good, god a pity them sometimes.
I know Brigadoon. I enjoyed that film, but knew it was a fantasy. And soon moved on to other films. Getting stuck on a film, on a fanatsy, is a good metaphor for NPD.
My father’s favourite book/film was The Tin Drum – about a boy who refuses to grow up in a sinister manner. Kind of says it all about my father.
Someone once got very pissed off at me for saying that narcissist always tell us they are narcissists, but they do tell us, it’s just that we don’t speak narc-speak so we interpret what they say using non-narc speak.
Everything a narc loves (and hates), tells you that they’re a narc. We’re just not listening or understanding what we hear, because we want to hear and listen to something else. Which is partly why narcs are so contemptuous of us.
If you review all the things, films, songs, books, etc, which the narcs in your life love (and hate), they’re telling you who they are. It’s uncanny!
I couldn’t agree more…”that narcissists always tell us they are narcissists…mine told me all I needed to know in a month of hanging out with her. It was all presented to me but she’d do it mostly when we were drinking together. Her real self was showing and she was sharing her true life story, how she wanted to be mothered, taken care of, saved, told what & how to act etc. Since NC I have become more clear- I think she was hoping that I would accept her no matter what. I did comment on this blog about her liking Little House on the Prairie. Now that I am more clear and know she is very simple in many ways- I think she liked it because she was stuck at Laura’s age and saw herself in that fantasyland of sorts. The good ole days when she had no responsibility but to herself & she was taken care of. The problem is that she is now an adult (married & kids) and she is still unable to care & love herself- sadly she’ll never figure out how too. I tried to help her with that…a lost cause and they know it too but never learn. It’s a lost cause and I love how you always say- I can be who I want to be and she can be who she wants to be…got to accept that some people are just the way they are and even though they appear to want to change, it’s not our job and people with NPD don’t have the insight or wherewith all to do it anyways. It’s futile.
Accepting narcissists the way they are has been instrumental in helping me to deal with the dynamic, and has clarified a lot of my confusion. It has also helped me to accept myself. To not get trapped in the swirling vicious cycle of is it them, is it me, whose fault is it, who is to blame, etc.
They are the way that they are, the way that they are happened to them way back when and they got stuck being that way. They can never accept themselves, therefore they can never accept us either. But we can learn to accept ourselves and accept them… and accept that the twain shall never meet in a way which is healthy for us – what’s healthy for them…? No idea.
They are simple, that is what can be so charming about them. It is also what is a nightmare about them. Their simplicity causes endless confusion. They see the world in a certain way, known as ‘splitting’, everything is either black or white, right or wrong, good or bad. Us versus them, me versus you. Hero versus villain. But reality is not one thing or the other, it’s all the shades in between too. They never get that and they don’t get that about us, that we are not just one thing or another, yet they keep trying to put us in one box or another, because they want to safely be in a box labeled ‘perfect’.
Narcissists may never be able to learn (at least not in a way which evolves them from where they are stuck), but they teach us an awful lot and we can learn. I have learned a lot about myself through my interactions with narcissists, the most important lesson I’ve learned is to accept being very human, and to enjoy what that means even when it sucks 😉
It is a trap…who is to be blamed. I’m done with it. I played a part and she did too. Initially, when I was sorting stuff out I needed to harden my heart and sort it out & reallocate the blame. But once you figure that out & realize what you are dealing with, you realize “they may never be able to learn.” They are not in touch with themselves really- in the sense that we are. It’s a disconnect that is hard to fathom and everything they see, hear & do filters through this screen- it taints all of their interactions & is toxic to people that get close to them.
I liked what you said about accepting all that goes along with being human- joy, sadness, hate, love, suckiness & goodness- gotta feel it all if you wanna experience it all. Thanks Ursula:)
The greatest gift I gave myself was to let myself be human and see how wonderful it is, all of it.
I was constantly brainwashed by my parents that being human was a bad thing. My mother thought making mistakes was the worst crime I could commit… and being around her I came to agree with that. I was a ‘mistake’ because I was not what she wanted when she deliberately had a child, she had me to ‘fix’ her relationship with my father, and then when the ‘fix’ made things worse rather than better, she blamed me for everything – at least I served a purpose even though it was not the purpose I originally was intended to serve.
That sort of situation can drive you crazy trying to make any sense of it. Especially if you believe their version of themselves, of you, of reality.
In my parent’s eyes everything was a mistake, a weakness, a bad thing – except for them. Yet my father thought those things about my mother and she thought those things about him, but they saw themselves as gods who hated other gods. It was all okay as long as they were not humans.
The offspring of gods is expected to be a god (just don’t ever be a better god than them) – but what does the offspring want?
As far back as I can remember, even before I knew what I was wishing, I wanted to be ‘normal’. To be human… because I wanted to be myself, and I am a human through and through. I cry, I laugh, get angry, get sad, get silly, euphoric, enthusiastic, depressed, I make mistakes, I occasionally get stuff right, I’m intelligent, I’m stupid, I’m flawed, I’m ugly, I’m beautiful, I’m a mess, I’m sometimes tidy, I can be an asshole, a bitch, insensitive, cold, sensitive, empathic, warm, a sweetie… all things very human and part of the adventure of being.
Narcissists can’t do that, they’re afraid of it. They have so many rules, rules to avoid fear, living, being human, and those rules grip the heart tightly and squish the life out it, of them and others.
Live and let live… they can’t do that, but we can 🙂
My short stint with a narcissist was plenty and I am a grown adult who already knew who I was prior to meeting her. I lost myself during the friendship and recovery has involved regaining trust in my world. Anyways, I always wonder how you did it- or are doing it-honestly it amazes me. I love how you say that the most important relationship is with yourself and I agree but I’m also intrigued on how you only “drink from your own cup.” I tend to be very self reliant too and this is OK but I am happiest when I soften more and let myself be more dependent & trusting of others. Do you ever feel like this?
What I mean by drinking from my own cup, is that I know myself. I’ve taken time to get to know myself – the ugly and the pretty sides. This is who I am, I may not always like it, may wish I was different, but… wishing and being don’t always meet. I accept myself as is… and try to work with that as it is. I am accountable and responsible for my life, and for how I experience life and others. I rely on, trust, depend upon myself to make choices for myself. I create my own reality, just as others do.
If I decide to trust, depend on, rely on someone else… I am making that choice. They have not made me rely on, depend on or trust them. I have chosen to do that, even when I tell myself that I haven’t and they made me do it… I chose to let them make me do it.
Things gets blurry when we don’t rely on, trust and depend upon ourselves first and foremost, when we expect others to do what we need to do for ourselves. How can someone else do for us what we need to do for ourselves. They might try but… they are like us. They have their own needs too. Their own issues, etc.
When we decide to trust someone… we need to get to know them, really get to know them. They need to do the same with us. Then the trust will be built upon knowing and understanding. Empathy and compassion, etc.
For instance – I am absolutely terrible when it comes to remembering red letter days. I often forget my own birthday, so if someone expects me, trusts me, to remember theirs… then they do not know me and are going to be hurt. I don’t want to hurt them, but it’s going to happen in this particular case… unless I go out of my way to not be myself (which is stressful, which means not drinking from my cup but drinking from someone else’s).
I don’t expect anyone to remember my birthday. That would be hypocritical. I’m not hurt when they don’t. They often surprise me when they do… I mean really surprise me as in I’ve forgotten and they just reminded me 😉
If they are the sort of person who loves remembering people’s birthdays, regardless of whether other people recall theirs, and whether other people want such a day to be remembered – that’s them drinking from their own cup. That’s them being themselves.
And that’s what it’s about. People being themselves. Getting to know who people really are. And trusting and depending on them to be who they actually are… not who we want for them to be for us. That includes narcs… they are who they are even if they are trying to be someone else. If we know that’s who they are, got to know them, expecting them not to be a narc… that’s our choice.
That’s sort of what I mean. Hope it makes sense 🙂
Yes it makes sense, thanks for your explanation. I am trusting my initial reactions to people more than I ever have. I used to give people lots of wiggle room to show me who they were. Which is fine but when I initially met my ex narc friend I would have described her as having a weird vibe, but she was pretty reserved. Other times I recognized her in situations where she was the center of attention but would add some line of pity in the interaction- I get annoyed by that- feeling sorry for yourself shit but with an air of arrogance to it. It was evident even then.
You know how to sort through stuff like a maniac. I think what I was thinking was that in order to really know yourself, you need to drink from others cups too. I think you have obviously done plenty of that and that was beneficial too in learning who you are. Even though your parents cups & all narcs cups are full of soured milk they tend to be presented in beautiful & shiny chalices. You get too close, drink (trust) and then realize it’s not what you thought & they told you it was wine(they lied)-and you decide to spit it out (in their face preferably). ha. You decide to drink from your own varnished chalice which has the sweet taste of an aged cabernet & you begin to see the truth and know who you are. Ahhh. Stupid visual but kind of fun.
I think the visual is really good. I could taste it 🙂
I use those kinds of visuals all the time to figure things out, to capture an idea and remind myself of things because the visual mind taps into and connects to more and can do it in an instant. Visuals are the language of our subconscious/unconscious, so when we use them we can communicate more efficiently with ourselves, we can get through to the parts of us which aren’t that interested in our verbal mind’s blah blah. Visuals incorporate our senses, our intuition, our instincts, and can tell us something with one image which our verbal mind would need to use many words to describe.
For instance, trying to explain in words to yourself your experience with your narc friend would take a long time, however using a visual can do the same thing in an instant – a shiny, beautiful chalice full of soured milk. And those visuals are very useful for navigating the world of people and the cups they offer you to drink from. Next time someone offers you a beautiful, shiny chalice and tells you it’s full of wine, your visual will remind you that it might indeed be wine or it could be whine which has soured the milk.
I still take sips from other people’s cups, because interacting and sharing and seeing the world from someone else’s perspective is a part of life, it is fascinating and can be a wonderful experience. However I am aware that I’m tasting their drink, and that their drink is not my drink. Their drink may be more delicious than mine to my taste buds and they may help me to brew a better version of my own drink. But at the end of the day, my cup is my cup, and their cup is their cup, sometimes we exchange recipes 🙂
I used to visit fortune tellers regularly and get my tarot cards read often, at least once a year (only because I found myself not making any decisions until I went to have my cards read and if I didn’t like what they said I would keep going hoping for a better outcome) I haven’t been for 20 years now. I would be curious to see what they say now. I never really studied the cards. I found it very interesting to read the definition of the 7 cups card.
This was an excellent post! I hope you don’t mind me reblogging it.
I’ve only ever been to a couple of tarot card readers, and I was not impressed. I could see they were telling me what they thought I wanted to hear, they were trying to ‘read’ me rather than the cards, and that was irritating because they missed their mark. I even had one tell me I had a curse upon me which needed removing (which they could do at a ridiculous cost to me). That was it as far as i was concerned. Talk about make believe for profit!
I used tarot to do my own readings, and I mainly used them to focus my thoughts. To have a conversation with myself, in the same way that I use astrology, psychology, philosophy and everything else. We project, so we can learn from our projections about ourselves.
There are some sites on the internet which do tarot, but they can’t tell you anything, it’s you who tell yourself things through the cards. It’s how you access your intuition and instinct, unconscious, subconscious, etc, and chat with it.
I like this site – http://tarotsmith.com/ – as some of the decks of cards are unique (fascinating illustrations by independent artists) and so are the interpretations – but it’s still just me talking to me, using something (a card) as an intermediary.
I should point out that I partly grew up in Italy where tarot cards, the minor arcana, are used as playing cards in several card games. Cups, swords, coins and clubs (sticks) replacing hearts, diamonds, clubs (clovers) and spades. So tarot cards were never mysterious or magic to me, they just had intriguing illustrations. And so I explored and found that they had other uses, which I also explored.
We’re always communicating with ourselves… but are we listening and hearing.
Thank you very much for the reblog, always a compliment 🙂
Reblogged this on Ladywithatruck's Blog and commented:
I love this! had to reblog this post from Upturned soul (I love her blog name also)
Thank you very much 🙂
It looks like you have all the makings of becoming an N as a child. Looks like you suffered instead. But wouldn’t it be nice to freely wreak havoc out in the world and still be able to fall blissfully asleep every night?
If you think that narcissists sleep well at night… you haven’t understood what spurs a narcissist to behave the way that they do. Or maybe your narcissist does not have NPD but has ASPD instead… in which case the scenario changes entirely. A Sociopath with narcissistic tendencies is different from a narcissist.
To figure out your particular story and experience, it helps to understand which one you’ve been and are dealing with. It also helps to understand your own psychology – this is a vital factor.
Our psychology affects how we experience the psychology of others. How they affect us and what we do with that.
Narcissists suffer, and because they suffer they cause others to suffer – they pass on their wound. They blame others for their suffering and that justifies for them what they do to others. They see themselves as the good guy and every one else as the villain – those villains deserve what they get for hurting the good guy.
Sociopaths don’t do that.
Your suffering, your pain, could make you behave narcissistically – you could pass your wound on to those who don’t deserve it. Because someone else hurt you, you may hurt others. You may not mean to, but when our anger and pain, our suffering, has us in its grip… we let our anger and pain do the talking and doing for us. That is what a narcissist does. We don’t mean to… but just because we don’t mean doesn’t excuse the fact that it can happen.
How many people, women, do you ‘hate’ because you were hurt by a narcissist female? Do you now suspect all females may be a narcissist in disguise because of this woman, this princess who turned out to be a witch?
Figuring our pain and anger and experiences and relationships out requires looking at ourselves in a mirror which does not reflect how pretty we are and how ugly everyone else is back at us – none of us is the fairest of them all. We can all be ugly, we can all be beautiful, usually we’re a mix of both.
The difference between me becoming a narcissist and me not becoming one (if I am indeed not one – you decide for yourself what you think I am or am not, and I’ll have my own opinion about it too – both views can exist in the same place and we don’t have to agree) was that I became consciously aware of my suffering, I became accountable and responsible for it, and chose not to pass it on, not to blame everyone else for my problems and suffering, but to deal with it myself, to see where I was to blame for my own pain and suffering and do what I could do personally within myself about it. I chose to work on my 50% blame. I’m still working on that because that is life and being human.
All humans wreak a bit of havoc out in the world… all humans think their havoc isn’t havoc but order and think the order of others is havoc. Narcissist are just more extreme and obvious about their hypocrisy. So we spot them and then blame them for everything, while we sleep well at night or don’t because we’re angry at them… how dare they sleep too when all our anger and pain is all their fault.
Narcissists often wonder how we can wreak so much havoc in their lives and sleep at night.
Judging by how popular coffee is… I’m not sure anyone in this world is sleeping well.
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