Do you think that April Fools’ Day is fun?
Do you enjoy playing pranks on others?
Do you like to fool people into believing something then burst out laughing because you were just kidding and they took you seriously?
It’s just a bit of fun, no harm intended, right?
We all need some light entertainment every now and then or we’d be crushed by how heavy life can be.
How do you feel when others do to you what you have done to them?
Do you enjoy it when others play pranks on you?
Do you like it when others fool you into believing something and then laugh because you took them seriously and they were just kidding?
It’s just a bit of fun, no harm intended, right?
They needed some light entertainment to lift a heavy load… lift their spirits out of the depths into which they had plunged.
They’re not really laughing at you,
just as you weren’t really laughing at them…
This is just a silly bunch of questions, there is no right or wrong answer, you’re not better or worse, more or less good or bad, whatever answer you gave.
So if you thought long and hard to give the answer which made you appear in the best possible light…
This is not a test of character or personality, there are no points awarded, no gold stars to give out or take away. You also won’t find any lectures here unless you twist the words to sound that way – that’s up to you.
You will find what you seek… or not… because you didn’t really want to find what you said you were seeking, maybe.
Ming-Hua: Why didn’t you ever tell us you could fly?
Zaheer: I wasn’t sure I could. Only one other airbender in history had the ability.
Ghazan: How did you figure out how to do it?
Zaheer: I found true freedom. I am no longer bound to this earth by worldly desires. I have entered the void.
—The Legend of Korra, “Enter the Void”
Do you know why I like asking questions,
why I often start off my posts asking you, whoever you are, questions?
Have you asked yourself that question?
It’s been asked now… doesn’t matter who asked it.
Is it a gimmick or something more than that?
Am I interested in what you think or am I trying to get you interested in what I think?
Since this is a post which claims in its title to be about narcissists, at some point it’s going to get to the point and make whatever it has done so far tie into what it said it was going to be about…
this is that point.
If you’ve ever been attracted to a narcissist…
(they are attractive… hindsight just ruins that for us)
you will reach a phase where you feel like the biggest fool in the entire universe,
who has had one almighty prank played on them,
and who believed something that they then got laughed at for believing,
and were told that they shouldn’t be upset about it because… it was a joke and so no harm was done, right?
And this will make you so many different types of angry it’ll shock you at how much rage you have within you,
especially if up until then you saw yourself as a rather calm, kind, nice person.
These colourful fireworks… who knew you had it in you!?!
It is one of several disturbing revelations which come from that experience known as a relationship with a narcissist.
Your reactions will disturb you, and what you do to stop being disturbed may be even more disturbing.
One of the ways you may deal with the disturbing aspects of the experience is to take some rather bizarre and twisted solace in the ‘fact’ that narcissists are ‘evil’. They’re manipulative geniuses, monsters of the most fearsome kind, Bond villains, vampires, Satan’s children, and a whole host of other mythical personas and fictional tropes.
“You don’t care about anything except you. You just want to persuade people that you love ’em so much that they ought to love you back. Only you want love on your own terms. Something to be played your way, according to your rules.”
— Jedediah Leland to Charles Foster Kane, Citizen Kane
There is some value in thinking that way, especially at the beginning of the nightmare of freeing yourself from that other nightmare known as your narcissist and the influence they have had on you.
The problem is that when you fight monsters… you have to be careful because you may become the very monster you’re fighting and not notice it, just as the monster you’re fighting hasn’t noticed it.
I’ve heard some disturbing things come out of the mouths of people who thought they were the good fighting the evil…
and I’ve been one of those saying those sort of things, thinking that somehow it was okay when I said it,
after all… I’d been pushed to my limit.
It’s only a long time later on that you may realise (and once again be disturbed by it) just how much you walked in the shoes of the very people whose shoes you swore you could never walk in.
who once seemed like a dream, your ideal made real,
became an incubus or succubus (depending on gender),
they let you down,
disappointed your expectations for them,
for your life of blissful success achieved… of a dream come true.
When that bubble burst over you, over them, over others, over it all,
the gods within who put all their eggs in that basket,
got scrambled and deranged,
had a psychotic break inside of you,
confusion engulfed you,
you thought it was all your fault…
To redress the imbalance you needed to spend some time making everything the fault of your narcissist,
they’d blamed you for it all,
now it was their turn to get blamed for it all.
Blame them for everything,
turn them into a witch and turn yourself into a hero for burning them.
as much as this can be helpful in the early stages of recovery,
it can end up trapping you in the very thing you’re trying to escape,
because it paints you into a corner with the same black and white brush with which you’re painting them into a corner
(painting them into that corner makes you overlook how much it does the same thing for you),
and the story.
You’re basically stuck in the role of the ultimate fool,
and that shit hurts,
and keeps hurting no matter what you do to make it stop…
in some ways what you’re doing to make it stop is actually making it hurt more.
“Revenge is sweeter than life itself. So think fools.”
If you’re the fool that you’ve painted yourself as being, albeit a good one (which is not much of a consolation if you read articles which tell you how much others will take advantage of you because of it),
and the narcissist is the genius, albeit evil (which tends to be portrayed in articles as a super-genius that is super-human… which almost seems super-attractive because it’s supernatural), that you’ve painted them as being,
what hope is there for you when it comes to ever trusting yourself to make good decisions in future relationships?
The fear that you’ll end up with another narcissist,
because you’re cursed somehow,
(and finding the blessing in this curse isn’t something you feel able to do… too exhausting and not worth it, unless someone else does the work for you, and then you can give them the finger if it the cake they baked didn’t leave you with a baked smile about your experience after you ate it)
because you’re a delicious fool most attractive to evil geniuses,
will drive you as nuts as your narcissist did.
You’ll spend your time and energy trying to protect yourself from them,
(or find a hero to do that for you… but do you trust heroes anymore, your narcissist dressed up as one, remember that?)
poring over red flag lists (which can be accurate, however they may end up being used inaccurately and may make you paranoid about everyone – and also make others paranoid about you, as your efforts to be less of a fool come across as the sort of behaviour that may send up a red flag),
and overly judging others for every word they utter and gesture they make,
you may end up rejecting everyone because (by this time as far as you’re concerned everyone is a potential narcissist, except you of course…or including you…) letting anyone in… could be letting the wrong one in.
The real problem is,
the judgment you have of yourself,
and how that judgment of yourself affects you,
the fear it provokes,
the fear of trusting yourself…
because you fell for a narcissist…
and are still falling because of that fall.
The fall will have no end,
you fell into a bottomless pit…
as long as your narcissist is an evil genius,
and you are their fool.
You’re not a fool.
Perhaps you were foolish…
that’s debatable, and it’s a debate worth having and not just from the black or white angle on it.
(is your ’empathy’ really the problem, is your goodness really the tool of the devil, is your self-esteem… really shattered beyond repair or has it simply found a new way to get its ego kicks)
You were taken in by an April Fools’ Day prank,
believed what someone wanted you to believe,
and it hurt to do that,
because you thought you were better, smarter, than that.
You were the exception… that’s a mighty high pedestal from which to take a nose-dive.
“I need a hero!
I’m holding out for a hero till the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong
And he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight.”
— Bonnie Tyler, “Holding Out For A Hero”
But you’re human…
and being foolish is a part of being human,
It’s not always logical.
There’s no magical cure for being human,
although many will try to sell you one and many will buy one…
the domain of narcissists includes people selling you snake oil for your pain…
(it can be hard to tell who is the narcissist and who isn’t…)
and perhaps it is something which doesn’t need a cure.
Think of it this way…
who is the bigger fool,
the one who gets fooled by a prank or the one who plays the prank,
the one who believes or the one who sells the belief,
and then laughs at others for believing what they were selling.
The boy who cried wolf… how did he end up?
House: At the end of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” the wolf really does come. And he eats the sheep… and the boy… and his parents.
Chase: The wolf doesn’t eat the parents!
House: It does when I tell it.
The evil genius… what do they fear the most?
Perhaps they fear being a fool,
being a human,
their laughter… are ha-ha tears which tear them apart.
Sometimes we’re torn apart by similar things…
being torn apart can feel awful,
can be horrible.
It can also be the experience which shows you what really matters,
what really has value.
We may see weakness in ourselves where they see it,
but we also find strength in those things which they believe only hold weakness.
Don’t let them prank you into believing that being human is foolish…
it is foolish sometimes,
but that kind of foolishness is also a source of the wisdom which comes from allowing ourselves to be fools.
If you fall for an April Fool today…
don’t curse yourself,
have a laugh,
let it lighten your load rather than add to it.
You don’t have to carry the shame of a passing cloud in the skies of your life.