I broke a promise today. I’m breaking it right now, as I type this, as a matter of fact. It wasn’t really a big one, but I’m still sorry about it, even though it’s probably not a huge deal to anyone but me.
I’m blogging before I finish my article on what narcissistic abuse actually is. I did give myself an out at the end of my last article by mentioning that I would publish it if I didn’t experience any other technical difficulties and, sadly, I’m still without my computer. Nevertheless, I let it sideline me for a couple of weeks. This is week three without it and, I can’t lie, I’ve lost my momentum and am feeling depressed, but that’s neither here nor there. I really don’t want to give any more of my energy to it, as that’s a downward spiral I can’t afford to slip into. (With any luck, I should finally have my computer back just in time to leave for New York to see my nephew & sister next week.)
Additionally, the narcissistic abuse article is incredibly important to me, and I don’t feel I can do it justice solely using my phone. I want to make sure I get everything right. So far, I have more than 20 different abuse tactics to define, explain, and give personal anecdotes about. I want the article to be a reference people can go back to if need be. I want it to provide readers with the language and tools they need to understand what has happened to them if they are currently (or have ever been) in an abusive situation.
There has been so much on my mind lately, and I really needed to write it out, so here I am again. I finally decided to stop stopping myself. I’m trying to deal with all of my feelings about the end of my marriage and concerns for other loved ones’ health problems (serious in a couple of cases), along with everything I’m still working so hard to heal in myself. I fear I’ve had a setback. The last few days have been indescribably difficult, but I know healing is not a linear process.
Before I go any further, I want to make something perfectly clear. I don’t believe my future ex-husband is a narcissist. I think he was severely damaged by the same kind of abuse I was, but in a fundamentally different way. I forgive him for the abuse, because I understand he needs help. Furthermore, he wants help. He is truly sorry he’s ever hurt me (I can feel it), but he still can’t completely control how he reacts to perceived threats and attacks. Moreover, he has never abused our children. I think it’s because he’s never felt threatened or attacked by them. I’m the one who is capable of making him feel that way, sometimes no matter how I approach a topic. We both have major healing to do… Alone. We don’t need couple’s counseling, because that part of our relationship is over, but we do need to co-parent and we both want to be friends. Our marriage was built on the illusion of a friendship that was formed before we were. (That’s why it was an illusion.) The friendship was never actually there, and I’ve spent my entire adult life feeling very alone because of it.
It’s better to be literally alone than with someone who makes you feel that way, but I don’t want to be alone forever either. I have been all my life. I’m pretty over it. I do want an actual partner…someday, in the very distant future after I’ve done a whole lot of inner work. I’m not trying to involve anyone else in this mess anytime soon. It wouldn’t be fair to either of us. I definitely want someone who legitimately cares about what I think and how I feel in my life at some point, though. I’m still young. (I’m not even 40 yet.) I want a best friend I can trust, love, laugh & cry with, and come home to everyday…someday. Not soon. But that brings up an entirely new set of concerns I shouldn’t even be concerning myself with yet. They are there, though, and they bubble up to the surface when I really start to think about the effects of certain aspects of the abuse and my profound, lifelong loneliness. (You’ll probably notice me put it that way often. It’s because “profound” is the only way to accurately describe it.)
Dating, though. Yikes. It’s a terrifying prospect to anyone who has been married to the same person for as long as I have been. How do you even meet someone? (I met my soon-to-be ex in high school.) How can you tell if they like you? (I haven’t been single since I was 17 years old, so I have no clue how a healthy, adult man shows interest in a woman. I’m guessing it’s different than how a teenage boy shows he likes a girl… Let’s hope so anyway.) And, unfortunately, there is yet another layer (or more) to this when you’ve been sexually abused, harassed, assaulted, and raped at different times throughout the developmental stages of your life.
Luckily, I really don’t have to worry about trying to date right now. I’ve accepted the fact that it’s going to take an unbelievable amount of time and hard work before I’m ready to go down that road with anyone, but the thought always seems to send me in the same different direction, if that makes any sense. (My train of thought is all over the place right now, but I don’t think it’s completely derailed.) I’ve actually started on my next article and plan to publish it at some point tonight. (Probably late. Or perhaps tomorrow morning?) In case you’re curious, it’s about “sex daggers” and how it feels to have them thrown at you (and other stuff), especially if you’re highly sensitive for any reason, like I am. Stay tuned…