Narcissistic Recovery: Last night’s date

I am joy filled this morning.

Yesterday would have been the Narcissist’s and my anniversary and I felt very little about it.

On some level, though, I was feeling a little lonely yesterday. It surprised me a bit. After a week spent visiting family and needing to be “on” all the time, I was looking forward to getting home and being introverted. And yet, as soon as Friday rolled around, I longed for socializing.

Nothing big, mind you, but I recognized I was missing my friends. I hadn’t connected with any of them much while I was away and I missed my people.

I loved spending time with my family, but family members can be too attached, TOO empathetic.

Yes, there is such a thing as being too empathetic. Sympathy is appreciated, but empathy can sometimes be a burden.

Because of this, there’s a certain level of dishonesty that’s somehow necessary with my family. I need to protect them from scary thoughts and feelings. I can’t let them know everything about who I am and what I feel, because they will feel it with me to an extreme degree.

This is love, and I know and appreciate it. Yet it can also be a weight. They aren’t equipped to handle the workings of my heart the way I am.

I experience myself constantly and am well practiced at it. They are only exposed to flashes during our interactions. And they are too attached to me, and they experience fear and panic if I am not wholly happy.

Thus, I have to monitor myself carefully, phrase things in a way that will not cause alarm, and keep much to myself.

My friends love me and empathize with me, but they also trust me and my strength.

We can joke about the pains of the heart and the struggles of being human. We also discuss a variety of other topics and can transition between them all seamlessly.

Yesterday, I longed for time with my friends.

However, nobody happened to be free, and I decided to take myself out for a glass of wine by myself. I hoped I might meet a random stranger and enjoy a little small talk.

I did, and it was fine, and I enjoyed two glasses of wine while in the company of fellow bar patrons. Then the people I had been chatting with left.

(Side note: I didn’t realize until this moment, as I’m writing this, how powerful it is that I was comfortable going out and chatted with strangers like I used to before meeting the Narcissist. Only a few short months ago I was so crippled by memories of constant disparaging statements about my social skills and, as a result, intense social anxiety, that it was difficult to leave the house even when in the company of my dearest friends.)

Earlier in the morning, I had texted a little with the gentleman I had a date with a few weeks ago. I had asked him if he might be free to join me for a glass of wine that afternoon, and he was, but not until 5:30. My plan for the day was to duck out of work a little early and be home by 5:30, so I replied and said that wouldn’t work for me. I respected my desires and my boundaries, didn’t over-accommodate, and suggested perhaps we could meet up sometime next week. He responded positively and we left it at that.

‘Lo and behold, when my second glass of wine was empty and I was considering a third, and my conversation partners had left, it was 5:27. I texted the gentleman to see if he might want to join me.

As it turns out, he was just leaving his office, and his office was only a few blocks away from where I sat. Within ten minutes he was by my side.

We sat together for an hour and had a drink together, and it was really quite lovely. I remain very impressed by him. He’s thoughtful, considerate, smart, an easy conversationalist and seems a genuinely sweet person.

I am delighted he was able to join me and am delighted at the prospect of getting together with him again at some point.

I appreciate, too, that he is looking for the same type of companionship I am. We are both recovering from intense situations and both want a bit of a connection with a member of the opposite sex, but neither are interested in more. Knowing this makes being with him comfortable and easy.

There is nothing threatening my boundaries or making me feel uneasy.

It wasn’t until after I got home that I realized how remarkable a day it had been. Work went quite well; I had the opportunity to work on a new project, learn new skills, problem solve and be creative. It was wonderful. I reconnected with friends a little. I had a nice little date before getting home before 6:30. I had time to enjoy the rest of my evening on my own and recharge my poor exhausted introvert batteries.

It was easily the most pleasant and emotionally gratifying April 6th I’ve enjoyed since the day I first met the Narcissist.


  1. I have found in my journey that there is nothing as valuable as a community in which I can be entirely authentic about what is bubbling inside. Like you, I can not be entirely open with my family and must guard against revealing “too much”

    I’ve been fortunate to find such a community. These are people walking the same path that I neither have to hold back from or explain things to; they just get it. I can’t think of anything that has been more healing than this. To be able to show up authentically and honestly and have your wounds be truly understood by someone who has endured similar trials is a greater balm then I ever could have imagined.

    I hope you have something similar. If not, I hope you find it.

    1. “To be able to show up authentically and honestly and have your wounds be truly understood by someone who has endured similar trials is a greater balm then I ever could have imagined.”

      Were truer words ever spoken? I am glad for you, friend, that you have this, and very grateful that I do as well. Much love to you.

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