I am back east visiting family for the week and there are, as expected, things happening that are triggering memories of the years with the Narcissist.
The trip, despite this, has been thoroughly enjoyable.
My stepsister and her kids left yesterday morning. My sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and my brother-in-law’s parents left this morning. It was a joy to see and spend time with all of them.
Now that all the out-of-town guests (except me) are gone, I can relax. It’s been a whirlwind of activity and events since my flight landed four days ago. My extrovert energy is severely depleted. I am overwhelmed, emotionally exhausted, and eager for downtime.
These feelings of emotional exhaustion, of craving some introvert time but having to keep going regardless, triggered memories of my years with the Narcissist. This was how I felt most of the time during those years.
Perhaps because of this, I had a dream about the Narcissist last night. In the dream, he had created a comic book for me to read and I found it in my purse.
I then wound up trapped in a room, held captive and forced to engage in a conversation with him about the book.
Everything about him and the comic he created played like he was a kind of cult leader. His manner was that of a person teaching disciples the lessons of a religion.
He knew best and anyone who argued with him was simple.
I haven’t dreamed of him in a very long time. My attitude in the dream was close to what it might be if I saw him in real life now. In the dream as in reality, our relationship was in the past and he no longer had influence over me.
His goal, in the dream, was to receive a hug from me. He felt it was very important for my healing. He wouldn’t allow me to have bodily autonomy and make my own decisions about my body, my state of mind, my opinion about my healing process. He argued and continued arguing and wouldn’t let it go. Anything I said was negated. There was no way to gracefully leave the conversation or exit the physical space.
At one point in time, I longed for hugs from him. I cried after the breakup for months knowing I’d never feel his arms around me again.
Last night, in this dream, I feel physically nauseous thinking of his touch.
I could have given in; it was just a hug and what harm would it cause? And then, presumably, I would have been “allowed” to go on my way undisturbed.
In the dream I was fed up; just as fed up with ignoring my own feelings and needs and ideas as I had become in real life while in a relationship with him. In the dream, I knew my desires and my mind had value, and there was no reason to give in to his ideas about what was good for me.
I knew what was good for me and I knew it wasn’t him.
He wouldn’t let it go. It was important for my well-being, he said, that I accept a hug from him. As was always the case in real life, I couldn’t get him to respect my point of view or allow me any semblance of agency.
I tried to maintain grey rock and disengage but ultimately, as he continued to disparage me, I lost control of my temper.
I screamed obscenities and hurled names at him.
I swore, I cussed him out up and down, I called him every name I could think of, I was as nasty to him as you can possibly imagine.
I screamed at him like I did those few times I lost control when we were together. Except this was far worse because there wasn’t a relationship to maintain and I had no reason to care what he thought of me.
It was a very frustrating and upsetting dream.
I didn’t wake up feeling redeemed or powerful. I felt ashamed. Ashamed that, even in a dream, I could find no graceful way to get away from this thoroughly unpleasant person. I did not behave in a manner in which I was proud.
I am with family this week. I am noticing how respectful we are in our discourse. We listen to one another, we honor each other’s views, we appreciate the various ways we each look at the world.
This, to me, is love. There is a lot of love in my family.
The Narcissist does not know love. The Narcissist is not capable of love; only of battle. I see now how silly it was to ever attempt to get a Narcissist to see my point of view. The Narcissist is only happy when someone admits defeat. The Narcissist does not know how to be a conversational partner. The Narcissist cannot admit that he or she is equal to another, and is not capable of respectful discourse.
I am happy and grateful this week that I was raised in an environment where we learned these traits. I am relieved to now recognize what it feels like to live without them.
I will never again allow myself to get close to someone who behaves otherwise. I will feel sympathy for them, but I will do so from great emotional distance from now on.