These past several months have been…well, something, all right. They’ve been bumpy and rough, much like Royal Lane in 2007 Dallas, which broke parts off my truck.
I’ve been scratching my head, trying to pinpoint it. Oh, it’s multifactorial, of course. And those multifactors start swirling into a giant saucer-like cloud-system that starts to collide with other giant saucer-like cloud systems, to create a mega-giant saucer-like cloud-supersystem. And…yeah.
There’s the anticlimactic “what now”ism that comes from finishing a big project, like, oh, a Masters degree. The good news is that I finished (!). The dark side is that…well, I kinda forgot what life was like before school, other than a lot of daytime ID channel, which I’ve sort of burned out of. (Well, I only had it on 24/7 for 3 full years, after all.)
There’s also the helplessness that comes from being in extended lockdown; we’re not, we may roam the quiet countryside at will, but my parents can’t come out to play, and we can’t bring our marbles into their community to play with them, either. I wish like hell I could; I would even bring wine.
And then there’s the dark journey that is the discovery of narcissism (oh, don’t worry, that’s plural, and pertains to both past and present), as I come to the slow, sickening realization that I’m not sure I’ve ever had a non-narcissistic partner–ever. At newly-43, I don’t even know what a very healthy long-term relationship even looks like. A while back, it dawned on me that my marriage partner might be a narcissist. Then I thought “nah…it’s something else“. Now I know.
But wait!–there’s more. Then come the inward thoughts of wondering what the hell is so wrong with you, what broke you so hard, “who hurt you??”, that leave you wondering about yourself. What is it inside some of us that makes those of us in this position keep picking these types over and over again?
Then, after watching more informational videos (YouTube has a treasure chest of this stuff, as well as associated topics like hoovering, shame-rage cycles, devaluation, and discard), you realize that the magical recipe that makes you pick these people was actually baked into you during your own childhood development because….surprise! Your parent(s) was/were a narcissist(s) too (at least I only have one; and one is one too many). And if one parent wasn’t, they may have even been an enabler, or at least a codependent (I had one of those, too).
Consolation prize: I got to learn a lot of new words!
It Pays To Increase Your Word Power and shizz.
And never, ever forget good ol’ astrology. I hang my hat on it, because it’s just that sturdy of a hat-rack. Solid oak, made in the USA, even. Saturn became a backstabber, transitioning from friend to foe, and is about to launch a challenge on me of fantastical proportions.
Another consolation prize: I see this coming in advance, and I have (some) time to prepare.
To make a long story short, I’m getting my shit together. I’ve got a grand plan, and hopefully it’ll stand up to whatever the universe has to hurl at me. This consists of insisting on becoming familiar with things that I should have been familiar with all along but had been kept from me and with which my familiarity was not encouraged, and even taking over things that maybe I should have taken over all along but for one reason or another had not, thus far.
And of course, there’s the self-care. Never, ever forget the self-care. And it goes beyond watching YouTube’s goldminely haven of narcissism and depression videos, too; it’s about reinforcing your neutral-to-positive philosophy, sharpening your skills, learning new ones, constructing a healthy routine, putting yourself first if you’ve neglected yourself for too long (guilty…), proper priorities and time management, balancing out the areas of your life (a little bit of this and a little bit of that), staying in close touch with your inner circle and cultivating a mutual support system, staying physically and mentally active, and so on. Never forget those inner circle peeps; they can save your ass.
I’m not quite there yet. I’ve backed off the “what went wrong??” videos, but I haven’t popped the Pilates and yoga DVDs into the player just yet. I’ve seized control of the kitchen, but I have yet to master more than a few recipes. I go walking when I schmooze with inner circle peeps by phone, but I haven’t yet begun strength training or much other activity, unless iPhone Solitaire on the couch counts. I do watch very healthy videos of Buddhist wisdom, but I have yet to resume reading for pleasure.
The rest will happen, I’m sure. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s pulling myself out and walking my path alone, even when partnered. I try not to heap my shit on anybody else or burden them down with it. Besides, there are so few people in my position, that finding the eye of a needle in a haystack is easier than looking for people who really really know what you’re going through and won’t judge you for it.
That’s life, shit happens, grab a helmet. And much like my then-broken truck on Royal Lane, call a tow truck, fix the parts, and keep on going like the tank of stainless steel you are. And try not to listen to “Alone” by Colin Newman (fan-made video on YouTube, from the movie Silence of the Lambs) or “Two Worlds Collide” by Inspiral Carpets (official video on YouTube) too much. No matter how you feel them so hard(!!!).