- Stage One
- Dating After Divorce ~ The Seduction Conundrum…
- Let’s Remake the Rules
- Let’s Stop It! Just Stop! Get Real!
- The “Talk”
- Tips to know when it is NOT time to declare your intentions… whether you want to be exclusive or not.
- When is it time to declare that you ARE dating others or WANT TO BE EXCLUSIVE?
- From Toxic to Triumph
- You ARE Worth Fighting For
- Cough Up the Condoms Fellas
I didn’t write this blog to entertain, or make you laugh. If I’d understood the dynamics of my narcissist/codependent relationship I wouldn’t have wasted so much of my life trying to make it work. I’m not telling you to stay in your relationship or leave. I want to give you tools to evaluate where you stand. This may convince you it ain’t that bad, but it may be that you identify with too much. Enough to set you free.
There are no easy steps if you’re steeped in a toxic relationship of any kind. If there is an easy solution for you, high tail it and go have a glass of wine. Thinking of the array of toxic relationships this morning reminded me of mistletoe. Go ahead…roll your eyes and wonder what kind of nut I am, right? I’ll explain…or try to.
Mistletoe is a parasite we’ve romanticized. We tie bows with glitter on it. Link it to Santa and Christmas and celebration. If we pass beneath a succulent clump of it, we’re compelled to kiss a lover. It’s cool, clever and fun…or is it?
Truth is, it’s a parasite that will eventually suck the life out of the tree/host/whatever it attaches itself to. It can’t thrive or survive on its own. Neither can toxic people. They need a target for the angst bottled up inside of them. Someone to project it on before it eats them alive.
Most of the time, they don’t know this. Don’t get it. They just do what they are compelled to do. What they learned to do as children. How they survived being abandoned, blamed or beaten mentally or physically. The literature suggests that narcissists aren’t born, they’re created. Sad, but you didn’t do it. You can’t control it and you cannot fix it.
Too simply put, their self-defense becomes self-absorption, and it swells with time to a sense of entitlement. They matter. Period. Their ability to empathize, internalize or care how what they do makes you feel, or affects you, was shut down. Turned off. Gone. This is not a healthy relationship to have. Not for you.
If your boss, lover or spouse finally pushes too hard and loses you, they’ll be on the hunt for another source, and it’s about more than the slot in their life or work environment you filled. They need a source of admiration. Think mistletoe, sucking really hard to get what it needs. This source also becomes their target, the object for projection of their internal angst. They desperately need both.
In the meantime, until they have re-sourced, this empty-slot-limbo-after-you-leave throws them into such turmoil they often apologize, scramble, grovel even, to keep you. But it won’t last, and if you relent and return, eventually they punish you for making them quake and cave. Therefore…it gets progressively worse as time goes on.
There is a huge cost to letting go…guilt, love, responsibility, memories have deep roots, can tear your heart out. Sometimes it’s our fear of change, of the unknown, grooming, programming, that keeps us in the cycle, but there can be an upside if you dare to detach. Let them go. It took time before I realized it would set me free to the degree it has. You’re a prize worth winning. As you heal, you won’t need to blame them anymore, but you do have to stop making excuses for them. Remember, you didn’t do it. Can’t control or fix it, so take care of yourself.
Trust me…though I love my new apartment and the kick-ass view, it isn’t about that. I left some pretty incredible things behind. It isn’t about that either. Good, bad, indifferent, succeed or fail, I now own it…me. Ripped the mistletoe out by the roots and didn’t know it would create a surge to spread and reach out to embrace my entire world and life in a new way. I’ve made room for true friends, new experiences, failures, achievements instead of using my energy to survive and compensate for the toxic draws.
Whatever you see or don’t relate to in this article, whoever you are, be kind to others, make a stand when you need to, and take care of yourself. You’re worth it.