The past year feels like 12 rolled into one.
It's been an entire year since I learned about NPD. Almost two since BPD. We have been in the middle of a pandemic for over three months. And I mostly hated myself the entire past 365+4 days.
|[Me, just over a year ago]|
This year was nothing short of horrific, disturbing, heartbreaking, educational, and traumatizing.
I still don't have the right words to describe my emotions. But give me a few of these frozen to-go drinks and a bottle of wine and you just may get to hear all of my feelings (and if you're lucky, I may throw in a free Insta-like on a photo I definitely wasn't supposed to like). Seriously restaurants, let's cool it with these heavy pours.
Currently, I still read a lot of Pinterest quotes and message boards. Sometimes they're the only things that make sense to my brain. Though it's hard to read that people still deal with the effects of this 20 years down the line, it is helpful to read that I am not the only one who has had to experience this because one of the most consistent feelings is the lonely feeling like no one has ever been through something like this. Because it's not a physical issue.
You already know what has happened and transpired the past year but if you're new here, love of life -> gaslighted, cheated on, destroyed me -> moved in with and married (fact?) the love of his life -> he treats her like she's a human -> I got stuck trying to put my life back together, while simultaneously trying to end it.
I never knew there were people in the world who would do something like this to others, who are unable to communicate like an adult despite being an adult, and literally judge the crap out of you for no reason except to make themselves feel better. I try to work on seeing the good in people which apparently gives me some serious rose-colored glasses. Which is ironic because everyone knows how much I need my glasses to see clearly.
The effects of gaslighting, cheating, lying, confusion, all of the other BPD/NPD buzzwords, are no joke. Fortunately, I wasn't formally diagnosed with C-PTSD but I can assure you all of the symptoms were there. Depression is a beast I had never experienced before. Trying to end my life? 30 years of living and never a thought until January.
Signs of cluster B abuse are subtle. You get put through serious ups and downs that end up fucking with your head. A riddle for you: If at 9 AM we are breaking up and not good for each other but at 12 PM we are going back to my favorite vacation spot in a few YEARS (implication of a future), which one is it? Which do you believe? There's a reason that it's called crazy-making.
In addition to the scientific stuff I learned, and that the girl that I was cheated on with is essentially my twin which will never not be creepy, I learned other things.
Like if or how many one night stands a girl may have had has 0 reflection on the goodness in her. As long as she didn't cheat on you or betray your trust, it should have 0 effect on how thoughtful, caring, kind, strong, generous, loving, etc. that she is. Oh and if she doesn't want to talk about it? She has the right to not to and you respect that.
That reaching out to friends for help is OK even when you don't want to. Or think you don't need to.
That people can pretend for way longer than you realize. I can barely tell a small white lie without my nose flaring out giving me away, some people can pretend that are or want something else for so long.
Trying to hide your emotions make recovery longer and harder in the long run. But long runs can help clear your head. No, I haven't lost my sense of humor.
If someone in a relationship starts randomly accusing you of something, especially if they are NPD/BPD, chances are they are telling you what they are doing. Which means this last situation may not have been the first time he cheated on me (Chicago? Europe?).
Find outlets to channel your depression and anger. I finally decided to write my book and it's been the most therapeutic thing. Except for realizing there's just not enough pages to document the traumatization I went through. Based on preliminary feedback, it sounds like this book may help a lot of young girls and I hope I have a positive impact on at least one person's life.
If someone is insistent that they are a piece of shit, just believe them. Don't try to convince them otherwise. Even if you at the time didn't think they were a piece of shit and don't understand why someone could think that of themselves.
Make a list of the things that make you interesting, that make you you. Especially the things that were taken from you. You have to be your own cheerleader and remind yourself that you are strong, funny, kind, thoughtful, caring, smart, and capable of so many things.
You're allowed to have hobbies and goals at any age. You are allowed to wake up early and run on Saturday mornings and want to beat your times in races. You can start as many Pilates series as you want. Dreams propel us forward.
Walking on eggshells is not a quality way of life. I can't tell you how many texts I sent to friends trying to figure out what to say because god forbid I said the wrong thing and it sent off a chain of events. And no I didn't realize that's what was happening. I thought I was being mindful and respectful of another person.
And most of all, that recovery isn't linear. It's something my therapist has been saying for a year. There are going to be huge ups and downs. Some days or weeks I'll be on top of the world, and other days I'm depressed as shit.
In addition to my hope that one day I'll get to live my life as carefree as he (they) are, I hope that one day he'll realize the damage he did, but that requires working on one's self and unfortunately, those with NPD/BPD, lack empathy and think they do no harm, nothing is ever their fault.
Which is how people like me end up thinking it was their fault but it never was. None of this was my doing and how someone treated me was a reflection of what they think of themselves.
I'm glad she gets the best of him. I'm glad she doesn't know what I got put through and the truth about what happened. I don't know how I'd react if I was in that position. I do know that looking at my Instagram stories won't do her any good though. I've said it once and I'll say it again, you got my life and go enjoy it. I'm just trying to heal, there's nothing to be seen or jealous of. Unless you want to race, and in that case I'm down because my speed is coming back and I'm so excited.
But, I promised my mother that I'd live, so I am forced to move forward, and as I recover, the spiciness I used to have comes back. Watch out world.