I still have conversations in my head with the exN a lot.
(exN = the narcissistic ex-partner, otherwise referred to as, “the Narcissist.”)
Often, I inadvertently fantasize about having to deal with him in some situation or another.
Perhaps, he’s sick. Or perhaps, it’s some other reason. Somehow, he’s in need and it’s on me to help him out. Saying no isn’t an option.
Or, rather, saying no is an option (because saying no is ALWAYS an option). But, something about the situation makes saying no undesirable. Somehow, saying no will make me not feel like a good person, and I know it will be something I’ll regret.
I can’t say no to a person in real need. It’s just not in my nature.
Imagined need, sure, I will easily say no. Need that repeatedly only exists out of laziness or because of poor decision-making, I do not feel it’s my responsibility to help mitigate.
But I digress.
The exN is still in my head sometimes, but not in the way he used to be.
I don’t fight with him when he’s there. I’m emotionally detached from him. Well, outwardly, anyway. Inside, I’m usually seething with rage.
The point is, these scenarios I envision? I don’t think they’re memories or imagine moments about the exN, specifically.
I think I’m subconsciously writing stories again.
I haven’t written any fiction in well over a year, but now, scripts for interactions keep running through my head.
The interactions I am imagining are not with the exN. They are with a character based on the exN.
Because, let’s face it… The exN was pretty generic. He was your average, over-entitled cisgender white dude.
Ah, it does make me feel gleeful to refer to him as generic and average. He thought himself above everyone in every possible way. He would often say that calling him “average” was the worst possible insult. His fear of being average was so prevalent that his username both online and in his video games was based on this flawed self-image, this idea that he was not average.
Unfortunately for him, this is exactly what he was. His intelligence, athleticism, leadership skills, looks, social abilities, and so on were all middling at best. Those friends who knew him would likely say I was being kind in that assessment, in fact.
He is the character the protagonist is with at the beginning of a romantic comedy or Hallmark Christmas Movie.
He’s the jerk who says things like, “Look, you’re just going to have to choose between me and [insert one: your family, the business you love, saving this adorably quaint town from financial ruin, enjoying Christmas, etc.] or that’s it, this relationship is over.”
It would be nice if the exN being in my head again was something I could use in my writing, but the situations keep being oddly specific.
For example, there’s a home decorating game I’ve been enjoying lately (Design Home. Don’t play it. It’s ridiculous and stupid and crazy addictive). As a player, you must vote on the designs created by other players in order to submit your own designs and win money and additional pieces of furniture for your collection.
As I said… I’m embarrassed about being hooked on it.
While playing, I often feel the exN sitting next to me, criticizing how I vote. He nags me while criticizing, saying he wants the game to be something we play together, collaboratively, while mocking or openly insulting every move I make.
When I don’t want to do what he does, if I want to sit and be quiet and not play together, or I don’t agree with him in any way at all, he makes a statement insulting my character. Which, of course, makes me frustrated and angry.
It’s one of many scripts that are in my head, one of many that was followed countless times with him.
But is it worth writing about?
There are so many of these stories, these little scene snippets. I’m tempted to start playing with them to see what comes out of it.
Yet… I’m also fearful. I am afraid my writing a character based on him will get me locked into a headspace where I am thinking about the exN more than is healthy. It is what happened before when I have tried writing stories that incorporated the exN. It happened when I took the writing seminar last fall.
Without the focus of the work to channel my headspace into, I was left simply existing within that headspace, remembering what life with James had been like and how having experienced that trauma impacted what might otherwise have been a fantasy-fulfilling night with the Galway Guy.A Twist on Life, “Regrets“
It’s a curious thing, having these images and scenes flowing through me and not being sure what I feel like doing about it. Although… it does seem like a waste to not use all these little ideas that are popping into my head all the time…