Since your time with the Narcissist do you ever find yourself wondering if you really are just an asshole? I lost all my “friends” (I use the word “friends” loosely and in quotation marks) so maybe I AM just an asshole. During the time with the N, I also very slowly learned boundaries and how to stand up for myself. (Which has actually been a very very good thing.) But more than a year later, I still have those occasional moments where I say to myself, “Maybe you just ARE an asshole!” But I realize that being with someone so cruel and abusive (and the gas lighting and mind games) that the N played were designed to rob me of all my self esteem so that thinking I’m an asshole would be his objective.
I went on a date with a man who I really believe was married ….. (there were a few signs)…..and dating still scares the holy crap out of me, so I drank too much on the dates. (I wasn’t falling down stumbling drunk or even “drunk” at all, just comfortably tipsy.) And today I was talking about it with my adult son and I said, “He really was a nice guy….but I think he was married…..and I was terrified of dating…..and so I drank too much and I don’t think he liked that I drank so much.” And my son said, “Would you just listen to yourself??? You find a way to justify the bad behavior of anyone!!” He continued, “I could punch you in the face right now and tomorrow you’d say it was your fault because you talked too much.”
Wow. Just wow. Now, my son would NEVER hit or harm me, he was making a point and a very valid one at that. He is a young adult with a very old soul.He made me really stop and think again. He’s right, I can find a way to justify almost anyone’s crappy behavior and make it into my fault (The guy was married, I called him out on it, he didn’t like that and he broke off the dating, but it was my fault for drinking too much…….. HUH????) I have to remember that because I have boundaries and a sense of what is right or wrong in the way people treat me (dating a married man is definitely NOT Ok) does NOT make me an asshole. The narcissist wanted me to think that I was an asshole……wanted me to think so, when, in fact, it was him talking about me behind my back about how horrible I was (abusing and stalking him and all is what he told people, which was totally fabricated) and THAT was why people didn’t like me anymore, NOT because I was just an asshole who didn’t treat people right and agree with them when I should have.
I had another friend recently. (I don’t think I do anymore.) I knew him for many many many many years and felt safe with him. We would occasionally “hook up”. So when I asked if he had plans for some of the holidays, I got ignored. When I asked if he would like to attend an event with me, I got ignored. So I got tired of him ignoring the questions and I said, “An answer would be nice, at your convenience of course, and if the answer is NO, then that’s fine, just say No.” Well, because I just asked for the respect of receiving an answer to a question…..I never heard from him again since then. (Which was what prompted the whole “maybe I am just an asshole” debate inside my head.)
And here’s my point. The Narcissist/Abuser/Sociopath wanted you to think you were a worthless, no good, piece of crap so that you would depend totally on him for everything. So that you would surrender and do whatever he wanted you to do. So that you would go along with his boundary crossing ways all allow him and his friends to walk on you and abuse you. The less self esteem you have, the more control they have over you.
You’re not an asshole. You’re not worthless. You’re not a piece of shit or full of shit (as I was so often told and called). You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are intelligent. You are deserving of respect and love and courtesy just like anybody else. You deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. You are allowed to have your boundaries and people are NOT allowed to cross them
We have to get rid of all these old tapes that keep playing inside our heads telling us that we are less than and not worthy and that we have to just settle for what anyone wants from us. Not true, not true, not true. We are worthy. When I discovered boundaries, I was called a “bitch” to my face from someone who had been in my life since I was a child. Well, if bitch means you’re not a doormat, then please, yes, I AM a bitch. And realize that people do this to you because they LIKED the you that was the doormat. You’re not anyone’s doormat anymore.
Peace and love,