Once in awhile, you read something that resonates in a core sense. In a way that clicks as though you could have written the words yourself: details could be switched out and circumstances may not be identical but the feelings, the emotions, the timeline, the abuse. It all lines up like a parallel to your own life.
Recently, this came up in my Facebook feed. This article about what you learn after leaving a narcissist. And there were a lot of words put into this article, a lot of thoughts and a lot of heartfelt emotions that I just…get. That I understand. Divorcing a narcissist is not like divorcing a sane person. No matter how bitter, difficult, or ugly a divorce with a sane person is…its logical. It follows a path. It may have pit stops, it may have detours, but it follows a predictable path.
With a narcissist, there is no path. Its more like a forged trail through bush country with only your own skin and wits to keep you alive. Its never, ever letting your guard down and always assuming the worst. Its learning to expect ulterior motives, plan for nasty reactions, and assume that even things that require no fight will, of course, lead to a fight.
Its also, realizing that this is how you lived. Its not how you live now, but you get frequent reminders and the further out you get, the more horrifying it feels in some ways. This is how you lived, at one time. With every action and every word being subject to criticism. With dismissive behavior being the norm. Entering every single argument, no matter how mundane, with a wall of iron because you knew, you just knew it was going to get ugly.
And that wall? That wall was very neatly pressing against my inner voice. My internal compass, if you will. The piece of me that said, “this is not okay” and “this is wrong” and “you don’t deserve this”. The thing is, over the years, I became a pro at kicking that internal compass until it didn’t work anymore. And when it rose up, fighting, I ignored it. I shut it down, and I ignored it to the point that I didn’t even really know who I was or what I wanted.
So. Fast forward to now. I surely would love to write out that I know what I want and I know who I am and while I do, in a way, the issue is that my internal compass is marred, so to speak. I lost it, for so many years. Ignored it, buried it, broke it. I didn’t listen to it, because I could not resonate. My internal compass said, this is wrong but this was my life. This was my husband and my family and my home. And now?
Now, my internal compass says all kinds of nutty things like let down your guard and soak up your life and trust in the universe and believe in love and grasp this. This is great, right? The problem is, I’ve spent so. many. years. ignoring this: my internal compass. Ignoring my voice. My gut. My heart. Listening to it? This is a new thing, a learning curve.
In the words of my psychic/medium friend: if you don’t let your wall down a bit, nothing can ever get through. Common sense, right? The universe has delivered me a tailspin, wrapped up in a dose of magic and romance, and my gut reaction? My faulty compass? Says this isn’t real. Watch out.
My head knows the truth. My heart knows the truth. But the part of me that put up that wall, which I envision as concrete and barbed wire, feels untrustworthy of that voice. I believe it, I know its true…but years of damage from PC has me doubting my own gut.
And yet. This wall came down so easily, so simply. And more than that: I wanted it to crumble. Its frightening and amazing and shakes me all at once. And it reminds me that life is simply…what it is. Our tales are not etched in stone and our stories are always, always open to a bit of editing. The path is not straight and sometimes…sometimes, the universe really does remind you that everything happens the way its supposed to…even if its up to you.