Another update on this journey… the dangers of reacting

I’ve spoken of hind sight in the past. I’ve spoken of being strong and becoming stronger. I talked as if I knew everything there was to know about Psychopaths, according to my own experiences. I also spoke of Narcissists. I never claimed to know much other than what my own experience had taught me. As it stands right now, I still only understand as far as my own experience, though I had read several articles and personal accounts from people who have lived through those things, too.

I was wrong to think that Psychopaths and/or Narcissists acted in the exact same way, though the similarities are uncanny in their methodology. I was wrong to think that they presented themselves as an evil entity, as a rule. Sometimes their ability to present as a caring, loving person is shocking, when compared to the “Mr. Hyde” they bring out, without a care or any forewarning. In my case, Mr. Hyde was and is a compulsive, sadistic opportunist. My only warning that he was about to do ‘something’, was a look that I recognized, but couldn’t translate the meaning behind it until much later. I had to go through his compulsively implemented ‘gauntlet’ for me, first.

This past year has left me with even more unanswered questions than before, though this time around, I have more peace about it. Just for the record, I hate learning and HATE being tested even more.

Hind sight. It’s the world’s best teacher, as well as the most cruel. It’s cruel, in that to actually gain hind sight, one has to go through the gauntlet, first. Hind sight shows you what you had missed in the smallest details. Those things that, had you noticed and recognized them, you wouldn’t have ever gone “there” to begin with. This is my entire last year.

In my case, this year I discovered that my “intuition” was a bit faulty in the beginning. The man I dated was older than me by 8 years. With me, in my later 40’s, and he in his mid 50’s. I look younger than I am, thanks to my mother passing down her “younger” genetics. He looks like he could be my father, or an uncle. When I met him, he presented himself as a caring, fun-loving man, with a heart of gold. He was a gentleman when it came to me. Persistent, but never pushy. Very patient when asking me to go out with him. Unfortunately, it worked like a charm. Eventually, I agreed to a blind date, set up by his friend. The rest is history. Repeated history, unfortunately. Maybe the reason I trusted him so easily, was because he WAS so patient, and just maybe I felt safe with him because he is older. I could beat the reasons why to a nub, without ever getting a plausible answer.

The baiting started early on in our relationship, though I didn’t recognize it as such, then. Looking back, I can see the same familiar look on his face, prior to the things he would do or say to me. Every single time I got upset, was when he used a situation or discussion to his advantage in order to bait me into a reaction. He couldn’t plan for the majority of those times. He only recognized the opportunity and used it against me, to play my emotions at the time. Much like a drug addict needing a “fix”. Some of the time he used subjects that he and I had already discussed, which were important to me. Other times, he just wanted to “hurt” me to see how I would handle it. Of course, it was always a “joke” that I wrongfully misunderstood, according to him. The poor misunderstood man… How could I be so cruel? That is the picture he is painting to others. **sigh** here we go again…

Hind sight also shows you in your weaknesses. Those areas I thought I was strong in. I knew the subtle signs of Narcissists and Psychopaths. Those things never vary, as I understand. Things like; quick whirlwind romances, where the other claims “soul mate” and “love” early on, the “perfect” things that he would say, that no-one else knew about. Those things that pull at your heart-strings. Those things that your heart and mind long for, the most. It’s amazing to look back and think, “How could I be so stupid!” As I look back, I see that those things were put there by him to make me react, so he could successfully groom me into being receptive toward him, in the beginning, and then into giving him multiple chances to continue to bait me into becoming upset, again. I did. I ignored just those very, obvious signs that something was horribly wrong. I ignored them because I trusted him. I was foolish, willfully naive and still distrusting of what I already KNEW to be true!

Soo… it’s been brought to my attention by a few folks that I need to stop “reacting”. Please pardon the snide feel to this response, but “DUH!” haha! When the baiting is such that it is brought out during the normal act of casual conversation, it’s hard NOT to react. It starts as if he misunderstands something, then WHAM! Out comes the hurtful, tormentuous attacks, meant to hurt or anger me. Always compulsive, and opportunistic in nature. In the course of a normal discussion or conversation, it’s hard to recognize until you are already upset. The battle is in knowing whether or not it is an actual attack meant to get a reaction, or if it’s a normal argument or misunderstanding between 2 people. It became obvious to me, finally, when I began to notice a timed cycle. I started paying attention to his response to hurting me or making me mad. After all, it was a “joke”, right? How did he respond? Was he remorseful when he realized you got upset? Or did he keep pushing for a bigger and badder reaction, only to blame you and your lack of a sense of humor? IE: “Can’t you take a f’ing joke?!” Finally offering a fake apology, “I’m sorry you took that wrong”.

NORMAL people, when they are trying to play with you to get a “rise” out of you with no mal-intent, will be horrified when it becomes clear that you have been hurt. They will stop the joking, and apologize immediately, explaining their intent. Those who are Narcissists will NOT! Their level of “joking” is comparable to the schoolyard bully, who tries to hurt someone because its fun. Period. These assholes never grew up. It’s up to us to learn how to keep from being targeted.

We will always be targeted. It’s human frailty at it’s best. However, we don’t have to be victims to their game.

Personally, I need to learn how to trust myself and what I already KNOW! Regardless of how I might FEEL! One thing I am grateful for is that I did stand up for myself, this time. I was still targeted and victimized (in a way), but in time I called a spade a spade. I stopped trusting his “caring” facad, which was only there to keep me “reeled in”. It’s a good thing to give someone the chance to change, but when it becomes just another series or a cycle, spoken from a consistent script (“Please, let me show you. Let me prove it to you. I’m changed. I just want to earn your trust again…”), be kind to yourself and walk away. What do his actions prove, following his exclamations?

Don’t be fooled into thinking being friends is something to strive for, after everything is done. That is just another opportunity given to the Narcissist, to keep playing with his favorite (for now) toy. Walk away and never look back.

This is a lesson to myself, which I embrace. I hope you are able to glean something for yourselves through this entry, too.

P.S. I thought I would let you in on, “the look”… it was the look of a ‘suspicious

This is the closest to the actual look he would give me, directly before baiting me for a reaction.
This is the closest to the actual look he would give me, directly before baiting me for a reaction.

observer’. That’s it in a nutshell. Its one you can pinpoint if you’ve ever seen it from someone. Suspiciously mindful. As if the person was watching for something, like getting caught or a desired reaction. Almost fearful. Strange. I could describe it from the beginning. I recognized it as the look that always proceeded the ‘attack’, for a lack of a better word. It always proceeded the stunt, the baiting or pushing for any reaction from anywhere.

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3 thoughts on “Another update on this journey… the dangers of reacting

  1. Narcissists and psychopaths are skilled manipulators. They tell us what we want to hear and we cling to those words during the abuse. We think those words are the ‘real him’ speaking. It’s not. There’s a line by Oprah Winfrey, which I wish I’d known earlier in life. ‘When someone shows you who they are, believe them.’!

    1. They are so skilled at figuring out your “hot” spots… areas you have struggled in, etc. Mine used to say, “You aren’t alone anymore”… I sobbed like a little baby, the first time he said that to me. He also knew of my love for music, and ability to play most instruments by ear. He knew how I struggled over the years with other’s who would consider that love, a threat. He would say, “I support your love for music!! Whatever you want to try, I’ll fix it for you…”.. Stupid me, thought he was being sincere. We had talked off and on over the year prior to dating. He knew of my history with the Psychopath, and I may have even used that label, while talking to my hopeful. The jack-ass played me like a frickin harp. Me, who was so convinced I had grown so strong… Never claim ‘arrival” in any area… you are bound to be tested for your strength. When he started to show me the side of him that baits incessantly for a reaction, it was pretty early on. Looking back, I see that horrible look on his face, each and every time. He couldn’t hide it. He was oblivious to it. I, on the other hand, saw it and it made me cringe each time, though I didn’t know what it really was, or why he had that stupid look on his face. I could describe it though, and did a few times to him.. finally telling him what I learned about that look’s meaning. I told him I had learned to hate it, and to start digging my fox-hole when I saw it.

      I don’t hate the man, though I wish I could. I do hold him in utter disdain though. Disgust. To think that this man, knowing what I had been through and the fact that HE was the first one my heart ran to, was only playing a sick, twisted game with me. Calling it “love”.

      Love does not torment… Ever!

  2. Pingback: What if The Abusers Changed? | Nyssa's Hobbit Hole

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