Dear Friend… Thank You for Kindly Understanding

Was it wrong of me to be pleased with that…

to be momentarily caught up in a shy inner smile of self-pride because someone had appreciated a quirk of mine which often gets mistaken for something else…

Do I need to be reminded that…

chances are my quirk was not being appreciated at all (unless it was for what it often gets mistaken for being), that the appreciation itself wasn’t really appreciation at all or directed at me for my part of the interaction, but was part of a system a company uses to keep its customers ‘happy’, placate them when the company can’t follow through on an order as quickly and efficiently as the client expects…

and clients expect far more than they used to because we’ve been trained to feel entitled to immediate satisfaction of our wants, needs, demands… and if we order something online we want it NOW! Any delay might cause us to have a meltdown, have a tantrum, get stroppy, throw our weight around like we’re The Donald, give a terrible review on social media which others will see, read, and it will be hard to forget even if there are loads of good reviews too…

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I’m not really sure we can place all the blame for this phenomenon of society being narcissistic on the Americans…

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Maybe you need a bit more context to make sense of things, form an opinion, because you want to understand, need more information to do that, would like to see each scenario in its own setting rather than jump to a conclusion based on a quick glimpse through someone else’s skewed and biased perspective, get on a ranting bandwagon…

A friend of mine will soon be having a birthday…

most of my friends know that when it comes to birthdays… don’t rely on me to remember it, saying anything or do anything about it… when it comes to birthdays I suck as a friend…

the flip side of this is that if my friends forget my birthday, don’t say anything or do anything about it… I probably won’t notice because I sometimes forget my own birthday and if I remember it, it’s no big deal, I’m not expecting people to give me what I don’t give them, and if they do remember it and make a fuss I tend to not be as impressed or grateful as I probably should be…

I have my reasons for this attitude (some of which I’ve written about in posts on this blog… your birthday as a child + narcissist parents = I wish I was dead rather than having to deal with the fall out from the atom bomb which exploded yet again on this particular day every year)… my reasons make pretty awful excuses to present day people who (haven’t been there, experienced that… and even if they have they might have taken a different path, it might have made their birthday more important to them, and thus they expect more from others on that day) really don’t want to hear that kind of thing when the birthday is theirs and all about how they’re feeling… about you having forgotten something which is so special to them.

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the friend who has a birthday coming up doesn’t mind if I forget about it (if it’s an act then they are very convincing), however this year… this year they’re having a milestone birthday and they’re having a party to mark it. They’ve asked for homemade, handmade, personalised gifts from everyone coming to the party… they’ve asked for gifts which reflect the talents they perceive in those they know.

And they’ll get what they asked for from me, but… the other day (several weeks before the party) I suddenly felt inspired to also buy them a bunch of stuff (the stuff is all part of an idea… and the idea is a homemade crazy brew… they’re the sort of person who most likely never got to play dress-up as a child… it’s time that was remedied!).

All the things I’ve bought for them… I’ve already received (it still surprises me how fast you can get something without having to go anywhere to get it or search that hard for it, even when it may be located halfway around the world from you)… except for one thing… the thing which the rest of the stuff kind of revolves around. It’s the centrepiece of the bought gift which is made of several parts.

That thing was supposed to be ‘in stock’, but it turns out the company was out of stock. They emailed me (calling me ‘dear friend’) to apologise, and to offer alternatives which they could get to me ASAP… as beautiful as the alternatives were, I wanted what I’d ordered… the emails went back and forth, and since the company supplying the product is in China, the language in the emails was poetic, polite, and…

I’m fairly certain they weren’t using Google translate as it isn’t that flowery…

I have to admit I almost didn’t want the conversation to end even if a continued conversation meant that the problem wasn’t being resolved…

in theory it’s been resolved (I’ll get it as soon as they get it back in stock, as soon as those who make it make more of it, which should be well before my friend’s birthday) and “thank you for kindly understanding” was their final words to me.

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I hate shopping…

it makes me experience levels of panic…

shopping requires making decisions, decisions can end up being wrong, if you go wrong…

the sky falls, crushes everyone, and those left blame you for what happened – you too have been spared being crushed by the falling sky just so you get blamed by those left, could live with regret, shame, and pay for the wrong decision you made which caused the sky to fall and crush others.

It’s taken me most of my life to realise that the sky didn’t fall as often as I was led to believe it did, and that no one was crushed by it falling (because it didn’t fall!)… except for me by those who made me believe I’d made the sky fall and had crushed others with it…

that the wrong decisions weren’t necessarily wrong at all, someone else just needed for them to be wrong so that they could be right… or they just wanted to torture you because they were feeling a bit tortured themselves and their misery needed company…

sometimes you can go wrong by going right… but you’ll never know you went right and will spend the rest of your life heading in the wrong direction to avoid the right direction which you’ve been taught is the wrong one.

If none of that makes sense… don’t worry, it means you didn’t grow up with a narcissist (or two) as a parent (this kind of parent treats everything like an emergency and you, their child, are both the cause of the emergency and the first responder, the clean up crew, and the one they sue afterwards).

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(and don’t worry… this particular friend of mine does not read my blog)

This experience has been intriguing…

it highlighted several things for me…

mostly what it showed me was that I am no longer a hostage to old patterns of behaviour from which I thought I would never escape…

while I did get a visit from the ghosts of me past… I didn’t engage with them in the way that I used to. When the feeling of panic started to rise and promise the usual hell once I get caught in its wave… I simply stepped back onto solid ground and found it to be actual ground which was solid.

I wouldn’t have even got as far as shopping before… I’d have dismissed the inspiration for the gift…

if I had got as far as shopping… I’d have probably settled for ‘safer’ gifts, convincing myself that my idea was stupid and to go with something the person wanted or could use in a more practical manner…

if I had got as far as shopping, and buying exactly what I had been inspired to get for my friend, and had then been contacted by the company to tell me I couldn’t have what I wanted easily… I might have settled for one of their offered alternatives (funnily enough when this happened I was doubting the choice I had made, wondering if I should have gone for something else… the company not having what I had ordered and offering me options made me realise that I wanted exactly what I had ordered and that the decision I made was the right one…)

if I had got as far as I did get, I still would have found the emailing with this company very difficult… because I would have worried that I was being a ‘bother’… in a similar way that they were claiming concern that they were bothering me by not being able to provide me with what I wanted when I wanted it…

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Just goes to show that everything that happens to us in every moment of every day, however mundane, ordinary… there’s a lesson to be learned, an opportunity to grow, an insight to be seen, and… a birth day of some sort to be celebrated.

I’m still a mess… but now I’m more of a me being me kind of mess than a me trying not to me me at all costs type of mess…

So…

What about you,

has anything happened recently to you which gave you a chance to see old you versus new you…

which released you from an old pattern or showed you that you’d let go of an old pattern…

which just turned out in a dear friend… thank you for kindly understanding manner?

 

 

7 thoughts on “Dear Friend… Thank You for Kindly Understanding

  1. What you wrote about making decisions – oh my. It’s like you were inside my head. I understand completely.

    The fear of being wrong, of the sky falling (and storms of locusts and boils and sores) has at times completely paralysed me, especially when I was younger. I’m one of those people who faked it to make it; I forced myself to do what seemed right, while trying to ignore the cacophony of fussing and whining background noise. I still have a tendency to freeze, particularly if someone is losing it and pointing it in my direction.

    It’s gotten a lot better more recently. As you say, I’ve been able to separate that past reaction from what I am now, to step on solid ground and know it’s solid.

    It’s good to hear that it’s better for you as well – you can thank yourself for kindly understanding.

    Great piece, Ursula. πŸ™‚ It will likely strike a chord for many ACONs.

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    1. Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

      Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug, and sometimes you are the a bison crossing the road πŸ˜‰ that must have been an awesome experience!

      I think getting older does indeed bring a certain wiser approach to all the mess inside… If you live through many years of falling sky, falling sky is no longer what it once was.

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      1. It was an awesome experience. πŸ™‚ I’ve seen lots of animals here esp black bears. It’s been incredible.

        Yes, sometimes I am the bison crossing the road – or just standing in it and staring at the oncomers. πŸ˜‰

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  2. Happy for you and your change. I’m still working on that plus a lot more. However, I think [maybe] I am changing in a few areas but man….is it hard! I was the scapegoat And the caregiver. Sometimes it’s still difficult to understand how my mother could tell such outrageous lies and my sister – the one closest to me in age and the one that depended on me for so much – believes her! And, at the same time, this same sister says that “mother speaks with forked tongue.” I know – I am asking too much especially when She is the Golden Child now that I have “changed” and “have secrets.” Boundaries Are a bitch to a narcissist, aren’t they? It’s even more difficult to understand how a lie told to her in 1988 would still be relevant when she knows my behavior is nothing like what she was told. Ah well…I finally chalked it up to her not being very smart, which I hate to say is true, though she does have some creative talent. Unfortunately, she is so insecure she makes no attempt to use it…and her new found wealth with a husband is what makes her “special” now. It is sad that she is unable to understand that I am not impressed by her various “things.” But then, both parents were so why should I expect her to be different? I’m glad you have friends that understand you. Both me and my husband must cultivate some friends as we both relied on family too much and now that reality has set in… funny how it may only appear in our old age, isn’t it….we have a lot of work to do. Enjoy your posts though I sometimes do not understand them. Perhaps I am not as far along as you to do so. Keep them coming so I can continue leraning..and changing.. for the better.

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    1. Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

      Working our way through the twisted mess narcissists create can be hard work for the mind and heart. They do a lot of things which don’t make sense, which aren’t logical, which seem to go against what they say they actually do, need, and want, and other permutations of that theme.

      Narcissist parents turn ‘love’ into a game of human chess and they make the rules up as they play… they are the only ones allowed to ‘win’ the game. Challenge their rules and they will tell many ‘awful truths/outrageous lies’ about you.

      The ‘outrageous lies’ are most likely viewed by your mother as ‘the awful truth’ – the awful truth about you, others, life, etc, is a favourite of narcs. They often believe their own BS (esp. if they are a covert narc), think their lies are actually the truth – and that everyone else is deluded, lying, has it wrong, and they are going to enlighten the world with their words. It is always hurtful, shocking, painful, provoking, confusing, dramatic, and difficult to argue with because it doesn’t usually have substance to it but it does have a tendency to stick once they’ve said it… the way rumors, gossip, fairytales, stick in our minds even when we know it’s fantasy.

      The reason your sister would choose to believe your mother over you, over what she knows from experience about you… if she’s The Golden Child, she’s terrified of what would happen if she angered your mother, went against her, argued with her, the way that you do as the Scapegoat.

      When it comes to dealing with narcissists, many people take the path of least resistance… and if their identity depends on the narcissist, then buying into what the narcissist is selling is the only way to maintain that identity. You can only remain a Golden Child if you buy into and support the regime of a your narcissist parent(s). A Scapegoat can opt out, rebel, give the narc parents the finger because they’re damned whatever they do, but the Golden Child is stuck being the ‘good’ one who believes what they are told, does what is expected, and ‘drinks the coolaid’.

      If your sister was no longer living the role of the Golden Child she would then have to think for herself, decide for herself who she is, what she wants, what is good and what is bad… this could mean her having to review the life she has lived and what she has been taught to believe since the beginning.

      Being special, especially if that ‘special status’ is brought to you by narcissists requires sacrificing freedom, independence, and thinking for yourself. The bubble is a delicate structure…

      As for “Perhaps I am not as far along as you to do so”… we’re all on our own path and our ‘progress’ can’t be compared as you’re you and I’m me. I ramble a lot and get lost on wild tangents πŸ™‚

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  3. Dam girlie…I just love your writing. I so relate to you’re thought patterns. No need on my part, (my dear friend)to try and kindly understand…some people just “get it”. Thank you for the reminder that were not all “alone”(those of us who understand) I feel that if everyone had these perceptions…the world and relationships would be a very different place. I also feel that a lot more people realize truths about themselves, as well as others…however they cant, and refuse to come out of denial. To admit to themselves…I know so many in this condition…you can see them listening to you, but not wanting to hear the good, the bad, the fugly…so very sad. Choices, choices, choices. Thanks to you, today I’m choosing an “up side” soul…lol.
    And thank You…for kindly understanding.

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    1. Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

      I woke up this morning having a conversation with myself about – what if the way I perceive everything is completely wrong. This lead to me wondering – What if my mother isn’t who I think she is and was and has been, and it is actually me who made her into that by perceiving her that way due to something in me. Of course if I spent two seconds in my mother’s company I’d immediately have my perception of her confirmed because she is batshit and I’m not the only person who perceives and experiences her that way.

      A question like the one I woke up with is (a normal sort of question for me to ask of myself) a reminder that our reality is in many ways held together by our perception of things, people, the world… and sometimes it’s a good idea to question it, but questioning it won’t necessarily mean that we won’t end up exactly where we are again.

      However sometimes questioning our perception, opening ourselves up to alternative views, can alter our reality or at least how we experience it… and while this can have positive results, to get to those positive results might require navigating choppy waters of uncertainty, doubt, and the unknown – which can be terrifying and thus we may stick with the devil we know, our comfort zone (even if it’s a prison of sorts) rather than venture beyond the known.

      You’re an adventurer of mind and spirit… not everyone is designed that way.

      Years ago I read a quirky book – The Infinite Way by Joel S. Goldsmith – I don’t recall that much about it other than one thing which he said that struck a chord. He said that there is a ‘point of no return’ when you explore consciousness, and once you cross over it you can never go back to the old way of thinking, being, etc, and this can alienate you from those who have yet to cross it (and may never cross it).

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