It is always interesting (as a former therapist and pastor) to be in therapy. It truly is proof that we can often help others, and not see our own issues. My therapist Tonia will often say something and I have a BFO! Yes, a BFO! It is what I call the blinding flash of the obvious! And yesterday I had a BFO, and it made me wonder if I truly earned my graduate degree in clinical psychology.
Tonia and I were going over one of my few heartaches that I’ve had in life. I am very open about dating so people assume I’ve been in and out of several relationships. In reality, I have not been in many serious relationships. Yes, I’ve been on A LOT of dates in the last 6 years, and I discussed that as well! However, I’ve only fallen in love a few times, but they were enough to give me PTSD! So, I was explaining to Tonia how ridiculous it is that we (me) often hold on to feelings and admiration for people who don’t deserve it.
I was selling my point by saying, “We” which she made me switch to “I.” Okay, so I find it interesting that we will often hang on to someone we know is not “our person.” They will be long gone, and we will obsess over all the mistakes we think we made to run them off! We believe the failure of the relationship was all on us. After all, If we had been less needy, attentive, or more successful then they would not have left! We begin to believe it was all on us, and we could make the relationship work if we just had another chance! Simply put, we keep them on a pedestal long after we should have buried them under it (not literally).
My brilliant therapist then said, “Tony, that is what a narcissist will do to you.” BOOM! There was the BFO! How did I miss it? I was a licensed mental health counselor, I served baby Jesus and the adult Jesus, and I love any book about relationships. I missed it because there is no one more intoxicating and captivating than a narcissist. They will use their beauty, charm, and stories to build a pedestal to the gods, and you (I) will put them on top of it!
What about you? Do you find that there is someone you are dating or have dated that you know is treating you poorly, but you can’t seem to let go? As you read that they came to your mind; so let me ask you this, “Do they have you wondering if everything…even the abuse is your fault?” Let me give you a few more things to look for:
- When is the last time they said they were sorry with nothing to gain? Meaning, they don’t just apologize when they know they have gone too far, and you are about to leave (not for the first time)?
- When you disagree with them do they attack you or shut you out? They use phrases like, “You are crazy” and then remind you of all they have done for you?
- Do they always seem to be the hero in every story they share?
- And when they aren’t the hero are they the victim or martyr?
- Do they love to tell you about how much others love them? Careful with that one, some just want you to know they are a good person.
- When have they admitted they aren’t good at something…anything?
- Would you consider them to be petty? Very small things irritate them?
- Did they make you believe the future was bright, but never deliver?
- Does what they say they believe match their behavior?
- Did they tell you they love you one day and disappear the next? They may then explain that love is not enough to stay with someone like you (passive gaslighting).
Obviously they may not have all of those traits, but if a few made you literally say, “YES” out loud then beware. If you are behaving as if they are amazing, and yet feeling insecure and horrible about yourself…you are likely with a narcissist.
We often hear people say the word “narcissist” is used too often, but I personally believe it is much more common that we once believed. Then again, I have been a pastor and “entertainer” so I chose professions where they are very prevalent. I have also met some incredible women over the last 6 years who shared their stories with me, and while I know there are two sides to every story…I do know for a fact that there are a large number of beautiful, talented, and intelligent women thanks to narcissist. And my concern is that many of those women have not learned from their mistake.
Well, that statement got your attention. In the next blog let me explain why I believe many of us…sorry Tonia, why I am attracted to the narcissist personality, and have repeated my mistakes. The bastards/bitches are addictive!
Let me leave you with this, in the beginning of a relationship a narcissist will make you feel like you are a King or Queen, but it is simply to make sure you are one day their servant. After months you’ll realize you only do what they would like to do, go where they want to go, and rarely (if ever) get your way. One minute you wil never feel more loved, and the next you are’t sure they remember your name. They have the ability to suddenly abandon someone, and make them feel broken and confused. You deserve better!
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