It has been a while since I write on this blog, and the reason is simple: I have not had the strength to write, given that I have been dealing with a grieving process that is reaching its end. I am presently in my classroom after having one of those special classes in which the group of students connect and resonate with the message you are trying to communicate to them; we were discussing levels of analysis in the humanities, and how each one is an important piece to understand the jiggzaw puzzle of being.
As the lecture progressed, I was examining my own struggles by applying the concepts under discussion to some of the memories that have been troubling me. One such memory is that of my former partner, a person whom I love deeply, but whom I will never be able to understand fully. As if in an existential jest, I fell in love with a person who could be characterized under the heading of ‘narcissism’, a very complex disorder which I have been trying to understand. My thesis was that by better understanding what I thought made my relationship impossible, I would be able to move on, not only by undestanding both our roles in it, but by grieving her absence in a way that would make sense to me. The one big trauma stemming from this bond is the fact that I came at a complete loss in terms of making sense of what happened; nothing seemed to make sense, let alone be true; everything felt like a mirror of a mirror of a mirror, a guessing game… as people who have dealt with similar circumstances report in their own reflections of a narcissist’s unrequited love, via tactics such as gaslighting, flying monkeys, love bombing, etc. (all of them happened to me in some way, shape or form). The more I found out, and the more I understood why these things were purposely being kept from me, how I was a puppet to a person’s narcissistic supply, the deeper the wound and the pain… particularly because I was convinced, as she had me conditioned to believe, that I was at fault.
By understanding bit by bit the complexity of how this disorder operates in relationships, trauma bonding in particular, I was able to place myself in a scenario I knew would mean the ultimate rupture with her. On the one hand, I had the option of accepting that my love for her was such that I was prepared to suffer her disorder until I died; on the other, that my love was a projection of a person that did not exist. That is to say, I had the option of letting go in order to learn to love myself, instead of hating myself as it became apparent while grieving that I was with this person because I believed love was supposed to be a mixture of pain and punishment. I seized the opportunity to be in my own company, even if this meant being left completely alone with my own hatred at myself for having allowed so much abuse. I was scared shitless at first of the implications of this… to name the most important one: the complete loss of my innocence by accepting that we can fall in love with people who mean us harm for their own benefit. It really is true that we allow the type of love we think we deserve into our lives; in my own grieving process I realized that the sort of love that I thought I deserved, was that of punishment and suffering, a masochist’s, because I have never come to grips with that tiny voice in the back of my head that tells me that I am undeserving of real love.
This is the point of this post, that understanding can imply an enormous amount of pain as it forces us to accept our roles in the things that hurt us. I went head-on into a toxic relationship and did my all to make it work, albeit it destroyed me in the process. Getting out of it and keeping to the no contact rule has been one of the hardest things I have had to do in my life. However, in so doing, I proved to myself what I am capable of, that I do care for my wellbeing, and that I do want to be loved by someone special; I am not fully well yet, but at least I have a semblance of hope for my future relationships.
I want happiness and love; to be in a relationship with someone who is honest, wears her heart on her sleeve for me, and whom protects me through and through. I want a partner, a person with whom I feel safe to be myself with, to whom I can fully trust my heart. I know it is possible, it is a matter of learning to love myself first, and to let go of those who do nothing but belittle me. In this age of narcissism, in which everything is measured by who is better at hiding their true selves in a game of cat and mouse, there is nothing left but to have faith in the idea that there are real connections to be made; that there are luminous people who are waiting to be found and understood. Honestly, I want to be found… I want it with all my heart.
Let us stop caring for painful and complicated relationships, they are overrated.