Here’s a really f*cked up thing about being married to a narcissist. After so many years, the line separating where he ends and I begin, seems to have gotten a little blurry. And, I find myself constantly, second-guessing myself. Wondering…[more like panicking, fearing, being terrified of finding that] perhaps….just maybe…. Am I a narcissist, too?
I know, it’s crazy, right? How do you not know if you’re the abuser, or the abused? You’ve got to know these things…right? Well, I guess not, because some days, I’m not sure who is who anymore. And some days, that really freaks me out. Of course, the thing that keeps me from totally losing my shit, is knowing, for certain (well, as ‘for certain’ as I can be after years of gaslighting, and mind-f*cking, anyway), that if I am, in fact, a narc, then at the very least, I am what I’ve heard referred to as a “healthy narcissist”. I’m sure of that much. The rest is a bunch on confusion soup.
See, I’ve read probably a hundred lists, detailing all the signs, symptoms, warning, and red flags, of a narcissist…. and to be quite frank- I fit a lot of the signs. I hang my head in shame here…But, then again, I feel like my reasons, for why I fit into these descriptions is totally explainable. And simple….It’s because of him!
But there you have it…again, another sign…not taking accountability. Ugh! I’m being completely confusing, aren’t I? OK, well- I’ll give you an example.
On one site, I read that a red flag that you’re with a narcissist, is that he won’t let you get a word in edge-wise, during an argument. He believes that his point of view is the “one and only right one”, and there is no need for you to even speak, because you’re already wrong. And, I admit it. I do this. Not to everyone though…only to my husband, and only when I know I’m right- which is pretty often…OK, almost always…but you know what? I can’t help that.
I’m not trying to be arrogant, I swear! I’m just being honest. I’m a really smart person- aside from that whole ‘married a narcissist’ thing. Obviously, not one of my brighter moments- and, as a smart person, I wouldn’t be arguing with my husband about something, unless I knew, for sure, that I was right (or, in the right). And, really, how could I NOT be right? He’s a damned narcissist! Even still, though, I wouldn’t argue unless I was well-prepared to back it up with some serious “fact-age” (Yes, that’s my word, I made up, just now. And, yes, you may use it, if you like), but, I can totally see how I could come off looking like an insufferable know-it-all, or as though I’m not interested in his opinions, since I’m always so damn sure I’m right. This leans heavily towards the “Narcissist” category.
Of course, there is one important factor to consider, I think. When I’m debating someone, other than my husband, I do actually take the time to hear their point of view. I really try to understand where they’re coming from. This is why I also happen to be a rather persuasive person, as well. This knack, I have, for understanding another person’s point of view. And see now? That’s empathy, which narcissist’s don’t have… but, since I am only showing empathy to others, and narcissists mainly act nasty to their primary supply source… maybe I’m on a spectrum?
Maybe not. Who knows? See, the biggest thing is that many of the narcissistic traits, that I display, are only in reference to my husband- and my dealings with him. I only dismiss his “side”, or his “feelings”, because his “side”, and his “feelings”, are all lies, or genius little mind-f*cks. Here’s a good example of a conversation in progress:
ME: Yeah, that was during the time when you thought giving me the Silent Treatment, on a regular basis, was a good idea. By the way, do you understand how traumatizing that is for a person? Some women end up going crazy, or trying to hurt themselves, because of that bullshit.
HIM: You kicked me out, and told me not to call you. You said that if I wanted to talk to the kids, I should call the house phone, so as not to talk to you. I was trying to respect your wishes, since you seemed to get so upset every time we talked. I didn’t want you to be upset, or cry…
ME: Yes, I did say that, but let me see if I can explain this in a logical way…..ummm…. oh, I know! How about this? While this may come as a surprise to you, there does exist quite a ENORMOUS difference between, “Please don’t call me”….and “Please become completely indifferent to, and invalidate, my very existence”… Was that not clear to you?!
HIM: Well, we were separated….and…
ME: Nope. Uh-Uh…I’m not even going to sit here and listen to you try to rationalize and excuse your abuse. Forget it.
HIM: See? You can’t even let me explain my feelings, or how I felt…you don’t even care to hear….
ME: You’re right. I can’t even….you wanna know why? Because I’m not interested in how YOU felt…Last I checked, you weren’t the one who was traumatized by MY behavior! So no… REALLY don’t care much about your feelings right now…especially when you’re trying to share them in defense of abusive behavior.
HIM: See? Again! I can’t get one sentence out…It’s either I just agree, and say ‘Yes, Dear’, or you start an argument, and escalate…
ME: You’re projecting. That is what YOU do…or would do, if I gave you a chance right now. You’d “explain your feelings” by telling me your whole long rationalization of why it was OK to traumatize your wife, and treat her like disposable garbage, and if I said anything other than “I totally understand why you acted that way”, you’d accuse me of being argumentative, and just like now, escalating.
In this situation, I’m not starting an argument. I’m simply stating that I have a right not to sit here and listen to you try to justify your abuse. If that hurts your feelings, I’m terribly sorry, but not as sorry as I am about the fact that I had to go on anti-anxiety medication because your f*cking tantrums, caused me to have severe panic attacks.
HIM: Well, in a ‘partnership’, it’s supposed to be about both partners… and compromise….and I just think….
ME: Well, then you better just stop thinking then, because listening to a person, who doesn’t have the first CLUE as to the concept of ‘partnership’, or ‘compromise’, try to tell ME about partnership and compromising… well, that’s just ridiculous.
HIM: You’re right…Yes, Dear.
ME: Don’t patronize me.
HIM: I’m not. You’re right. I’m sorry. Can we just be nice now? (Of course, this is always said in a tone that says he is either, (a) completely bored, or perhaps recently shot with a tranquilizer dart, (b) talking to a small, furry animal of some kind, or (c) just snipped at me… depending on his mood).
So, there…that’s the basic overview. You can see that, yes, I do cut him off a lot, and yes, I flat out tell him that I’m not interested in his side. But, that’s only because if I let him talk, he gaslights, crazy-makes, or confounds the whole issue with his half-truths, and rationalizations.
But is that just ME rationalizing and justifying shitty behavior?
Another (quick) example of a sign of narcissism, that I fit pretty damn good…is that whole “sense of grandiosity” thing, I guess. Not just because I happen to be a smarty pants (a.k.a. insufferable know-it-all), but I am also convinced that I am destined for greatness, somehow. I believe that, in some way, I will change the world. I believe I have special talents, and that, if I apply myself enough, that I will achieve something that no one else has ever done, nor even attempted (as far as I know). I believe that it is my destiny to do this thing.
So, does that make me a narc? I don’t know. The big kicker here is that, when you’re a narcissist, you’re unconscious of your behaviors. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t know what you’re doing. You do…you just don’t comprehend the “why” part, of the doing it, and so it all gets twisted, and reality gets a little tweaked, and your motives are rationalized to the point where you actually believe what you’re saying.
So, now here’s the million dollar question………
Do I believe all these things about myself because they are based on actual reality? Do I say I’m smart because I’ve got the IQ to back it up? (yes) And do I believe that I’m destined to change the world because I’ve accomplished something amazingly amazing? (ummm….well…..no…not yet, anyway…..but I’m working on it. Does that count?)
I guess the reality is that I DO exhibit a lot of narcissistic behaviors, and I justify those behaviors by saying that the only person I act that way toward is my husband- because I am defending myself from his abuse. But does that matter? While I have compassion, and empathy, to spare [Dear God, Thank You!], and therefore I know that whatever brand of narcissism I happen to exhibit, it isn’t the destructive, malignant kind, does that really excuse me not giving the same due consideration to my husband, that I would any other stranger? I know lots of people would say that yes, I am excused….but I don’t know.
‘An eye for an eye’, will only get me so far, I think. Because if both of us are blind, how long before both of us are narcissists?
To Freedom, Love & Fearlessness
And, to having the freedom to love without fear
~ The Narcissist’s Wife ~