A TAR Tale by Recovery Hippie

Recovery Hippie

As an empath, the desire to love is my greatest fault. Until recently I considered my ability to love and love so passionately to be a strength. The fact that nothing seemed to tarnish my love-joy despite the many failed attempts at romance, was a strength; a sign of resilience and attributing the peacemaker, poet, healer, and protector qualities to my character. However, my experience with a covert narcissist has not caused a belief system riddled with fear, doubt, expectation, and accusation but a total lifestyle. I try  – as the empath struggling to survive – to see the world and my fellow sojourners as equals and as tender hearted wanderers searching for the same pure and honorable treasures, that I myself seek; however, I cannot. They don’t feel like brothers and sisters of distant tribes, they are threats. Blood thirsty pirates raping and pillaging my sanity and emotional well being. Tragically I wake each day knowing that, because I am an empath. I will, from a distance, be unable to see the war paint and scurvy of the the maritime demons until too late, and still feel the prodding and yearning of my soul to fill that void deep within. I will have no choice but to allow the danger to get too close, even though I know better by now. The world that once held passion and opportunity now only holds impending disappointment.

I know that this is a bit extreme to anyone reading this. I use the pirate analogy to make a stern point. The image of the pirate and the sudden shock of an attack out of nowhere, leaving victims dumbfounded and lost at sea – is exactly how surviving narcissistic abuse feels. When the discard comes out of nowhere, without reason, leaving your heart, mind and soul a vessel adrift in the sea of life, the mental fog is dense. I feel that the deck of my ship has been covered in tragedy and left void of life, my sails torn, tattered, and burnt. Now, any attempt to move on, which is the only way to heal, and if not heal, then the only way to continue to live, will be a constant system by which I measure all people against the accusations of my abuser. While in the relationship I was told to abandon all other connection as they did not have my best interests in mind; not my family, not my friends, no one. And I accepted the intents of others as they warned me and brought the negativity to my attention as mutiny. I was also forced to question my own sanity, my own instinct, and constantly doubt my own ability to perceive reality, espescially when it was contrary to  my abuser’s agenda. With that type of conditioning, I now cannot trust my own growth process. “Are my intentions really good with this next move or decision?” became an overarching question in my mind. Always second guessing myself as a trauma response is like spreading egg shells out on the floor, forcing myself to walk barefooted across them and holding myself accountable and cleaning them up one fragmented piece at a time. The days become daunting and exhausting.

I have to remind myself time and time again that I cannot  judge my thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs by the system set in place by an individual who could not – and probably never really did – love me. Doing so only impedes my own happiness, and that was the effect intended by the narcissistic abuse in the first place. I realize now that I fell into the rut of abuse so easily and willingly because of unresolved childhood trauma, still having the desire to be enough, to scale the mountain of unachievable expectations set by my mother and father. How easy it is for me, to subconsciously assume the toxic unresolved emotional beatings from others who are easily pacified by transactional relationships, where I willingly revert to that child who longed for the attention he was never provided but everyone else had, because the times of nourishment and loving acceptance were replaced with indoctrination – and leaving me simply with a channel by which the problems of adulthood were funneled onto my unsuspecting back.

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