As a child, I loved the fun house. Looking into distorted mirrors, I was thrilled to see something other than what was real. As far back as I can remember, this is what I craved. What was it about reality that was so disturbing, or at least so undesirable to me? A child’s enchantment with the house of mirrors at a carnival seems normal enough. But for me, I see it now as a symbol of a much, much deeper problem in its earliest stage. A soul sickness that would grow like kudzu over time and threaten to choke the life out of me.
Narcissistic abuse and my addiction to being on the receiving end of it has all but killed me. (And it has almost done that several times.) I cannot explain how or why my eyes became open to this a few short weeks ago, but I do know that a profound shift in my makeup has occurred since that time. I think it is like a blind person who undergoes a successful operation and is given instant sight. (ok, that may or may not happen like that, I don’t know, but you get the idea.)
Once the eyes have been opened, you cannot go back to life as a non-seeing person. And it is for this that I grieve. All my life I have been angry. At them. At myself. At situations and life itself. At God. Once my eyes were opened to the realities of NPD and living with narcissistic abuse, the anger, for me, simply fall away. I am not angry at the sick ones anymore. I am not even angry at myself. But I am so, so sad. (And a bit frightened.)
I loved illusion. And so I attracted people into my life who were masters at creating illusion. I fed them by “oohing” and “aahing” at their wonderful gift to me, a hand-picked fantasy just for me. The problem is, I have yet to encounter an illusion that lasts. I think it is in the nature of illusion to change and warp and distort. Like the passing of time moves and alters a shadow. Something which appears to be that which it isn’t cannot remain constant. Because it isn’t.
How sad it is that someone came by and straightened out all the mirrors in my house and now all I can see is things the way they really are. Which leaves me with a really long list of fallen fantasies to grieve over. Like the romance. And the promises. And the vacations and travels left undone. And the house with the picket fence that will make everything bright and new again. You get the idea.
So, fine, I’ll take the time to grieve. I’ll forgive them all and myself too. And maybe through this process, I’ll heal enough to know what to do next. I’ll heal and I’ll learn how to face my fear and make sane decisions for myself, my life and my children. Because I have bought into the lie that I have been the insane one for a long time. And I guess, in a way, I have. But in a different way than I thought. Like my insanity was reflected back to me through a crazy mirror too. Which I guess makes sense, why wouldn’t it be?
So here I sit, pouring my heart out over the internet to a bunch of strangers (who feel more familiar to me than those who are supposed to be closest to me in my real life), trying to make sense of it all. I know my ex is toxic. His NPD glares at me daily as we battle for custody of our teenagers.
And thank God for this new knowledge and support because I am learning how to stop feeding it and stop battling and just trust the truth’s ability to be heard.