serious stuff

Feeling like a Phoenix

Yesterday I woke with a sense of peace I haven’t felt in a long time. I felt strong. I felt whole. I actually felt a wee bit taller!

The evening before I’d finally allowed myself to enjoy some beautiful, well deserved and righteous anger. I wasn’t out of control or crazy. I was focused, steely and utterly, totally furious.

That wonderful, focused anger has burned away so many of my darkest feelings. I feel more like myself again.

I’d gone to visit the man I’ve loved, unconditionally, for 4 years. He’s messed me around a lot and I’d reached the very, very end of my tether.

For four years I thought of him as a sweet and loving man who’s sometimes moody and difficult. I finally came to the long overdue realisation that he is in fact a moody and difficult man who is occasionally sweet and loving.

After my epiphany I just looked at him – for a really long time. I admit I did this partly to make him uncomfortable and to see what he would do (evil grin) but mainly I was testing myself. He’s been mean and hurtful in the past but through eyes blinded by love he still looked beautiful to me. However, that glorious anger had burned away the rose-tint from my eyes as well. I looked at him, and looked, and what I saw was a man I no longer felt anything for.

Once I’d decided to, I left and walked home still simmering with anger but already starting to feel some relief. I chatted online a little with someone who knows him much better than I do, and he gave me the clue I needed to make sense of things – Narcissism.

I found this excellent article this morning – Narcissistic Love versus Unconditional Love – which made so much sense of my experience these last years. The whole thing is great, but here’s the bit that really spoke to me, that helped me understand my particular issue:

Some people believe that sending/giving unconditional love will help, but here’s the thing: narcissists don’t want unconditional love. Unconditional love requires openness and honesty. It requires facing fears, feeling difficult emotions and being open to change. In the narcissist’s mind, these are all awful things that are to be avoided at all costs.

So, when it comes to helping narcissists, every time it seems you are getting somewhere, you are faced anew with an impenetrable wall. Face it, they want to stay behind it. It’s not your fault that you cannot love or be loved by them, they were never available for real love in the first place.

I could never be good enough or love him enough because the game was always being played by his rules – and those rules could often change without warning.

I could sit here wallowing in the thought that I’ve wasted a chunk of my life – but really, I haven’t. I may have been in love with a man who was pretty much the product of our shared imaginations – but I did love him, deeply and truly, and that’s a good thing to have done. He is what could be described as a Magnificent Bastard and – when he feels like it – can be exciting, sexy and tremendous fun to be around. I had some truly excellent times with that man – and I know I’m going to miss him.

But I think I’ve finally admitted to myself that I can’t help him or fix him or love him enough to make it all better. I have to put all that behind me and just take care of myself now. I have to find a new dream but I’m feeling hopeful again.

I feel like a Phoenix – and maybe just a wee bit taller…

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