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”
via Enlightenment Superpowers – TV Tropes
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.”
via Revenge Tropes – TV Tropes
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.
Thanks for the reminder.
I’ve sought revenge, and it only kept me entangled and enmeshed. I can tell anyone from experience, it’s pointless and fruitless. You can actually beat a narc at their own game, but why even wasted the precious time and energy? It’s not like they’re going to suddenly ‘get it.’
What irks me the most is, the extreme betrayals, and it was all just a game with my mind, emotions and life at her leisure and pleasure. She projected all of her wounds upon me to carry, while she just skips along to the next poor sucker. I still haven’t found how to stop carrying those wounds. It’s like we exchanged lives. I would like to get to a place that this was an evolutionary experience for me, but the healing process is excruciating and exhausting. Heal onward.
Thank you for sharing.
Thank you 🙂
I watched an intriguing film the other night – Frank and Cindy. It’s based on a documentary that a filmmaker made about his parents. In theory he started filming them because his mother kept telling the same bullshit story and he wanted to record her because when he confronted her about it she denied that she said and did the same thing over and over. She kept saying she had changed and things were going to change. Her son wanted to show her that nothing ever changed. As it progresses you hear about incidents that happened, and each incident seems to have all these versions of it which have been told and getting at the truth is nigh on impossible. At one point he catches his mother out in a lie, at first she denies lying but then she laughs it off and sort of says that it doesn’t matter if she lied.
The betrayals are hard to process partly because it’s not just about them and what they did, it’s about us and our part in the story, and how confusing it is to understand the part we played in it. It’s difficult to get our logical minds around the fact that we trusted someone whom we now see as totally untrustworthy. Their lies make it impossible to know if there ever was any truth at all, and it makes us question our own truth.
When our reality shatters in that way, it’s hard to muster the energy to build a new reality, and that leaves us adrift in a strange sea.
Keep on keeping on.
The thing I did to dull the pain (which just caused more pain and even delayed the inevitable) at the time was to drink strong craft beer and smoke as much pot as I could get my hands on. First it was the alcohol that stopped working. I wasn’t getting drunk anymore and with the slight buzz it still gave me then, the pain seeped through.
Since then I have put them both down and am still working through it all. But it mostly comes down to working through the family of origin stuff because it’s why I got where I was in the first place.
Today (ironically) is the anniversary of my narcissistic fathers death. I’m feeling numb at the moment about it, but I know there is pain underneath it.
One of the things which occurred to me recently with regards to my own family of origin is that I got so used to feeling pain that it became normal to be in pain. I was thinking about this because I have a chronic shoulder ache which hurts most of the time, I realised that I’d gotten used to it, couldn’t recall what it was like to not have it since I’ve had it for more than a decade, and I was wondering what it would be like if that pain suddenly was alleviated. Would I notice, would I miss it?
There have been a couple of moments here and there when I haven’t felt it, but I can’t remember what that was like because it now seemed like such a fleeting thing.
Somehow the two things are connected in my mind, perhaps because we often talk about shouldering the blame, or a burden, having a chip on the shoulder.
Is numbness perhaps how our system takes a break, shows us what it’s like to not feel the way we usually feel? Is there a purpose for numbness which goes beyond the usual labels we apply to it?
The weirdest thing which struck me while contemplating my father’s death is that I can finally like things about him. I couldn’t whilst he was alive because it always ended up with me regretting having liked him as he usually did something to make me dislike him again. But now he can’t do that.
I wonder if I’d be able to do the same thing with my mother.
Perhaps the numbness is relief, and part of the pain is the melancholy which goes with that kind of relief. There’s a sense that we should feel bad for not feeling bad.
A book which I found rather helpful with figuring out family of origin issues – Sanity, Madness and the Family by A. Esterson and R.D. Laing. It’s about their study into the causes of schizophrenia and it created a huge stir when they published it because they went against conventional thought. I found it insightful in the way it presented family dynamics.
Thank you for sharing 🙂
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I do share the same feeling you have about pain. When i realized my parents were not as the others, I sensed i accepted as normal so much pain. And yes, to me nubness is the vehicle of melancholy.
The strangest experience I’ve had in recent years, since I started sharing my story, is realising that so many people seem to have similar parents to mine, and therefore also have had a similar experience. We all seem to think this experience is unique to us, then we find out that it is not. That is probably the weirdest pain.
We all feel alone, blocked from connection with others because of our experience… but we’re in this aloneness together with others, yet all doing it separately.
maybe people in real life don’t talk about it as the whole process is to isolate us and unconsciously we lie to ourselves; somehow it was easier for me when i used to make myself believe that i had a real family.
I find it’s so much better to see things as they are, it hurts less than trying to maintain a lie or fantasy. Took me ages to get to that point simply because experience taught me the opposite until it flipped around.
There is so much strength in you.
Yes, I definitely believe that the physical correlates with the emotional. I noticed a tightness in my left shoulder blade dissipate after deciding I would be severing ties with my very narcissistic sister, albeit while she was laying into me about how awful I am.
That being said, that shoulder blade pain has something else behind it and I’ve had it since, but it did go away for a period of time.
The numbness, could be relief, or to take it a bit further, a defense. For me, feeling emotional pain while growing up went unattended to so I wonder if my mind and body just kinda said, “What’s the point of feeling the emotions that go along with the pain when they don’t bring any nurture or resolve anyway?”
Or as in relief/defense…the emotional body has taken so much it kind of callouses over.
Just some thoughts.
Thanks for the book suggestion. I’ll check into it.
I’m reading The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk. I like the way he thinks about trauma caused by child abuse and neglect. It seems that he thinks that most mental illness is a result of trauma. I just read a page in his book last night where he talks about a woman who was reliving a particular trauma annually. She was dx’d with schizophrenia and hospitalized for it. But when she worked through the trauma with him, she was ok and stopped reliving it.
The most common experience we may come across when sharing how we feel with others is that what we share triggers something for them and our story gets lost under their story. What we share becomes about what they subsequently share. Their feelings/emotions in reaction to our feelings/emotions become more important. This is particularly the case with narcissists, and more so when you’re the child of a narcissist parent.
Grow up in a family dominated by a narcissistic parent and the one lesson you’ll learn is that whatever you’re feeling… doesn’t matter… someone else has it worse than you, so stop complaining, shut up. Shut up and listen to the narcissist (the one who is voted most likely to have it worse than you) complain and never shut up about whatever it is that is hurting them this time.
When our feelings/emotions are invalidated in that manner (repeatedly) they don’t go away, or dissipate, because they’ve been blocked. It’s like cutting off our circulation… it’s just that what is circulating is more abstract that blood, and harder to see. We may feel it at first, but later on we may lose the ability to feel it, perhaps only feeling the blockage through a pain elsewhere – but we may not connect the two.
Those blockages do seem to be reflected physically/mentally.
One of the things I noticed with my parents was that they always seemed to benefit from having one of their tantrums. It was almost like an elixir of youth and long life. Whatever they had been suffering from physically would be alleviated by a screaming fit. I often wondered what it would be like to let loose and spew like they did, but I’ve never been able to bring myself to do it. Closest I’ve got is writing posts/rants. It does feel good to get it out, to release it from the system. But when you’ve been used to the blocked position, it can be difficult to unblock those blocks.
The book you’re reading sounds really interesting. The connection between trauma and physical pain/mental conditions is a fascinating subject.
Thank you 🙂
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I can vouch for tantrums (or something along those lines) don’t always work. I’ve had them myself and they’ve only served to make things worse and instead of feeling relieved I feel drained and more stressed. Not to mention it makes me hate myself even more for behaving that way.
I like what you said about emotions here. And it made me think…when they’re blocked/invalidated, they have to go somewhere. And if you can’t release them outwardly in a way that will work in releasing them, then they will go back inside. It’s not safe to let them out so they get stuffed and buried inside the cells of our bodies, brains, all our organs. And there they stay, dormant. Until…
The blocks are released for some when something triggers a traumatic event.
The memory that comes up from the traumatic event may be fragmented, and likely will be. This I imagine can start someone down the road to recovery, although it could lead to worse things, like those symptoms that get labeled as mental illness.
And yes, it’s true about reading other people’s stories for me. That gets pretty obvious in my comments. lol. Someone writes their story and I write how I relate from my own life, generally.
Sometimes I can really feel their pain though and I prefer to address that somehow, especially when it’s something that is so much worse than what I’ve experienced.
Awesome discussion and your welcome for the book mention. It’s a bit academic but not so much that a ‘layperson’ can’t understand it. My eyes just glaze over when I try to read the text book type of stuff but this book isn’t having that effect on me. 🙂
When people share their stories with us, it’s natural to share our stories with them, and we can all benefit from that kind of sharing, as I have with you. It’s a brainstorming session in some ways, and it’s not just trauma which is triggered, it’s also the healing within the trauma itself.
I read something a long time ago which said that when things which lie buried within us make their way to the surface, it’s often because we feel safe enough now to deal with them. We may not feel that way when we have a flashback of a trauma, and we may want to rebury it because of everything which comes with it, but our system has checked our status and thinks we’re ready. There’s been a subtle shift in us, in our lives, and that brings out the things we haven’t yet dealt with. It’s like we’re saying to ourselves – you can take this bandaid off now and let this wound heal but it will hurt and it may seem yucky.
It’s funny how our systems work, it’s never quite the way we think they should. 🙂
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The movie sounds about right. I’ll watch it tonite. I’m in need of a good film right now.
I don’t know what it is, but the whole thing just stinks. She did some seriously nasty and sick shite I’m still having difficulty processing. I’m still hurting and she’s just carrying on like it’s just another day. I don’t know how I didn’t know. We’re just not told these people exist.
I like strange seas, but this has not been a fun adventure. I’ll get there eventually, but eventually doesn’t seem to be coming as quick as I’d like.
Thanks for the encouragement. You look wicked sexy hot in your birthday foto btw.. ❤
Thank you 🙂
It will always stink. Some stinks remain to remind us of what isn’t good for us. Humans have a forgetful mode… sometimes this mode is useful, and sometimes our system needs to override our ability to forget so that we’ll never forget.
You may never be able to process it all. Some questions will never be answered in a manner which satisfies. Life isn’t a movie where all loose ends are tied up.
We are told that people like that exist, we just tend to assume that they exist anywhere but here, usually in fiction, and that we’ll somehow never meet one. That’ll never happen to us… until it does, then suddenly what we didn’t think was real becomes too real.
People tell us personal stories about other people who came into their lives and wrecked them, narcissists are not a new type of person, but if we don’t have our own personal point of reference for a person like the wrecking ball in someone else’s life, we may think they’re exaggerating. We may find that other people treat our stories that way too.
It seems we all have to learn the lesson the hard way – that seems to be the preferred way of learning for humans, even if humans hate learning things that way.
We don’t want people like that to exist in our reality so we pretend they don’t until they make it impossible for us to keep pretending. We don’t like it, it hurts… that hurt and what we do to heal it… is a valuable experience even if we wish we could have lived without something which is valuable that way.
Good point about the stench. And all the fragmented pieces have come together, so I’ve taken hiatus from seeking answers. I’m just left with this feeling of emptiness. I guess it’s time to refill in newer and better ways.
I certainly wish life was like a movie. Stay calm and love Jason Stratham. 🙂 I always liked the book Les Miserables. But life doesn’t seem to unfold with kind closures sometimes.
I seriously had no clue these freaking people existed. I knew of the serial killer and violent type socio/psychopath, but not someone who comes into your life and just sucks everything away emotionally, mentally, spiritually and even physically, intentionally with pleasure. Hustlers, swindlers, break ups, divorces, death.. I’m very familiar with, but truly nothing in comparison. Maybe I missed that class.
You didn’t respond to my comment about your birthday foto, so you missed the April Fool joke. 😛 J/K though, You know I adore you. Love you later. ❤
I did think it was strange that you said I looked sexy, but I figured that was because you are odd 😉
You have the worst behind and the best ahead of you, which is sometimes a bigger challenge than it seems. You can get so used to and addicted to the drama, and feeling awful about it, that to let it go and move forward seems more frightening than the horror from which you’ve been trying to extricate yourself.
The emptiness can become a home which we’re afraid of furnishing because we made such a mess the last time we did it. You’re going to be fine – time to embrace the fine.
I love your hair in the picture and it was nice to see another side of you. Can’t you just take a compliment! I think you’re a hottie, and nothing odd about that.
You are exactly spot on.. It seems like I’ve forgotten how to live, and very afraid I’ll ‘fail’ again. However, I am embracing the time for healing, rest and recovery.
Thank you for sharing and understanding.
Of course, I got April Fooled. I was both fool and fooler, but coming to terms with that wasn’t easy. Then, I had to recognize, with my sister’s help, how I’d desensitized myself to what had occurred in my family. I’m not at the stage where I can like my mother yet, but I was happy to read that that’s happened for you with your father. Maybe, after your mother passes, you can appreciate the good things about her.
I can say that this is starting with my ex-narcissist. He hasn’t passed away (that I know of) but enough distance is growing that I am beginning to be okay with appreciating the good things. I knew those things were there, but I was so messed up about everything that I couldn’t tell if those things were fake narcissist things or real things. All my interactions with him became suspect.
I think there is a purpose for numbness. Or maybe, automatic pilot. During my sister’s illness I had trouble remembering all sorts of things, new and old. It’s only now that I’m seeing how bad it was. I just wanted to go somewhere and be with it, but I couldn’t. My phone became a lifeline -everything I needed to do and say and remember was in there. Maybe your long-term shoulder pain was your body’s way of reminding you that you’re you, that you’re more than a coping machine. I’m here – nudge, nudge.
Good post. 🙂
Doubt if I’ll ever like my mother the way I can like my father now, but… you never know. We always end up surprising ourselves. I may have used up my likes for her a long time ago when I used them to cope with her and all that came with that, whereas with him I sort of used up my dislikes. I don’t know… to be continued 🙂
Dealing with someone else’s illness is one of the hardest tests in life. They always seem to handle it better than we do. For them sometimes it is when things come together, for us it’s when it all falls apart.
When it all falls apart… sometimes that’s when we find ourselves and we sometimes find others there too.
But survival mode always kicks in… it’s hard to just stay there in that place, we’re always being prompted to keep going.
I’ve just finished watching a very intriguing TV show – Happyish – it’s sort of supposed to be funny, and it is, but it’s also so much more than that. It’s got some awesome insights into the human experience of just being so effing human it hurts all the time. People finding private places to scream. Imaging they’re aliens and hoping to be rescued from the planet earth life. The ‘spin’ we put on things.
Thank you very much for the nudge nudge… much appreciated ❤
It occurred to me that my real crisis is that I have no crisis to deal with… I keep waiting for someone to shout – April Fool!
It’s interesting how you say that with your mother you used up your likes and with your father you used up your dislikes.That’s definitely been reflected in your writing but I wouldn’t have articulated it that way until I read the distinction you made.
Yes, my sister handled it much better than the rest of us. She reminded me that she “had had a good long life” and that her time was up. She was in many ways very pragmatic about it. The rest of us, yes, were a big mess.
It’s very unsettling when the crisis, especially when it’s long-term, is over. You suddenly find yourself with a bunch of time on your hands and feel wrong about feeling better about it.
We’re such an odd bunch.
You’re welcome. 💕
We are indeed an odd bunch 😀
I am not sure if you’ve heard of http://astroarena12.blogspot.de/ … That’s I think so far one of my favourite and the most insightful blogs about astrology. The articles are written brilliantly, so it’s worth checking if you haven’t before. Especially now that you’re in the kingdom of T Pluto and Uranus. I feel you, and I feel me… Tough times… 🙂 stay insanely sane!!!
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