In the same manner that people with Cluster B personality disorders feign emotions, I have had to mimic their manipulative masterminds. It has become a matter of my mental and physical survival in what has become the cold and harsh world of this empath.
I was raised by an adoptive father who has full blown Narcissistic Personality Disorder and an adoptive mother who was raised by a mother who had Narcissistic Personality Disorder, who then raised me with narcissistic parenting as well. She became the Flying Monkey of my Narcissistic father who treated me as his Emotional Partner because he didn’t have anything in common with my mother. So he smothered me and took over my life. My activities became his activities. Many of my friends saw this as a parent who loved his child and was just involved and were envious if they had parents who were absent from their lives. But my dad took it to a completely different extreme. Every. Single. Activity. I did, he was overly involved in. He was a co-leader of my girl scout troop. He was the Band Parents President of my band. He made a point of getting in close to MY friends, to make sure that my friends even sided with him whenever I was upset about something like teenagers get. I couldn’t even have friends who were on my side. It has a name. Emotional Incest. I was my dad’s surrogate wife.
My dad would do inappropriate things too. He was struggling with his sexual identity at the time (still does). At the time no one knew he was gay yet. We hadn’t caught him yet. But I had my suspicions, I just hadn’t told my mom yet. He found it funny to ooze out his gayness in other ways like sending postcards of naked men or men in bikini’s to other men (friends of his) anonymously and would send them from different states when he’d travel to try and throw them off so they wouldn’t know it was him. He told my friends about his little scheme. One of my friends who was laughing about it and placating him, my dad decided to do that to. He warned him about it, that he was going to do it and said it in a joking manner, but then he did it. A freshman or sophmore boy in high school receiving a postcard addressed to him in the mail of a guy in a bikini….awesome!!!! I am so lucky that friend and his parents had a decent sense of humor. That could have gone really bad.
It would make sense that I while still under the thumb of my dad, that I would be easily wooed by someone who on the outside seemed to vastly different from my dad, yet somehow apparently something deep inside of me knew something felt like home to me.
After meeting my birthdad, I also found out that my husband is much like him as well. In looks, mannerisms, the loner status, the background in how things went with the ex-wives, the rock music and rock musician potential (one having led more of the real lifestyle and one lacking the opportunity to but having the innate ability for it), both who ooze the brooding pessimism, etc….So even without having met this man, there was something encoded within me to have chosen these traits when choosing a mate.
It is said that we keep having situations attracted to us until we resolve them. And obviously this is a prime example for me. It is even more true to have been said for girls marrying their dads and boys marrying their moms, the Oedipus Complex. Apparently, I have fallen right in to that trap.
Yesterday I met with a friend who explores spirituality and psychology and philosophy much in a similar fashion to the way that I do. As we were discussing my present state of mind and how to become unstuck from my sick cycle of a carousel, she spoke of my need to forgive myself. She felt I needed to stop my self loathing and needed to forgive myself. I struggle with this concept because many of my hang ups were created from my childhood, when I was innocent and didn’t do anything to deserve the manipulation that was done to my mind which has become the voice which continues to play in my head on constant repeat. When she asked me to name one of the things that I struggle with that started when I was young and still continues, I named that I never feel smart enough. It turned into quite a visceral reaction (another thing I struggle with that I medicate in order to temper because that is something many people can’t handle about me, and it does become too exhausting for me as well). Feeling smart enough is a hard thing to feel confident about when I still have my dad letting me know (just a week and a half ago) that he doesn’t think so (even though I know he does), and my husband making comments that make me feel dumb from time to time. I have constant reminders when I might not be street smart enough or have an airheaded moment. They are always pointed out to me and I am made fun of for those moments.
I am starting to come to a conclusion that I am caught in another cluster cycle. One of a different strain this time, however. The headgames have just become what I do with some people in my life. I had to become good at them in order to mentally survive my childhood. Ignorance isn’t bliss in my world. With my intelligence constantly being challenged, I don’t like to feel as if the wool is being pulled over my eyes. I don’t like people thinking they can outsmart me and have control over me. I have tried to take the high road with these people, and when I have they only find some other way in the heat of the moment to take advantage of the fact that I am an empath and I don’t think fast on my feet and fear confrontation. And so I end up “losing” most fights. And so I have ended up playing their games back to them. Subtly letting them know in their own language that I am on to them and everything they try to hide from me and every way they try to get in my head. I let them know I am two steps ahead of them always. I never let on exactly how much I know but I always let them know in some way enough that they know the jig is up, and I watch them do a 180 and change their tactics.
Some people probably wonder if I do all of this manipulating and headgames, then doesn’t that make me a cluster b also? If you ask any of my nornal friends, they would all tell you that I don’t play any of those head games with them. I only do it with those who start them with me for survival purposes. One of these days this wolf will shed her sheep’s clothing and show that she really is the dominant wolf and she won’t be afraid of the vicious wolves any longer. For she has no need to scare with fear and gnarled teeth. She will lead with confidence and boundaries.
There is a question out there that asks, “Have you ever been so mad that you are calm?” I could also substitute the word mad for hurt. There have been a couple of times in my life that I have gotten to this point. And when I have, I have numbed out. I have flipped my Humanity Switch. The most significant time in my life that I did this I had done it for a span of about 4 years. It was after I got out a a relationship with an abusive ex boyfriend who was probably an NPD, and had just figured out about my dad being gay and confronting him about it. It was during this period of time that I ended up falling prey to my current situation. It seemed so opposite of everything I had known but subconsciously I must have known deep inside it was a return to home base, to the familiar.
My song of the day: Sheep by Pink Floyd