I posted the poem separately so it would be a clean page to re-blog.
I was given this hand-out during a support group for families of people who have been hospitalized with severe mental illnesses. It is very difficult to watch someone you love self-destruct by making poor choices, unhealthy choices. This was (and still is) a huge frustration of mine when dealing with my narcissist ex-boyfriend, David. I couldn’t stand it that he made the same mistakes over and over again. I reminded him that Albert Einstein zl said,
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.”
My David is a narcissist who has mega-extreme PTSD, and a bit of multiple personalities disorder, for good measure. Of course he confided all this to me well after I was hooked. The PTSD is his standard greeting. “Hello, I’m David and you should feel sorry for me and give me charity because I have PTSD.” The narcissism is the secret weapon that causes him to make the same crappy choices over and over again, leaving him miserable. And he denies the MPD. However, I lived with him. I agree with the doctor on that one. But this post is not about David.
I went to the support group because I needed help coping with the pressures of his illnesses and I discovered my own source of illness. I had no idea that I was feeling such frustration because of my own need to control his illnesses and his recovery. I wanted Power of Attorney for Healthcare so I could be in charge of his treatment. David had been treating himself for 20 years and was getting worse with each passing day. He had become accustomed to so much craziness that I doubt he even knows ‘normal’. I think he never knew ‘normal’. I thought that if I were put in charge, he would finally get proper treatment. I was convinced that he could recover. He could become happy, loving, able to hold down a job, not severely impoverished, a contributing member of society, etc. – and I, Rivka, was going to swoop in and save him.
My first session in the support group was very helpful. I met other people who were hurting just as badly as me because someone whom they loved was mentally ill and making unhealthy decisions, while they were forced to watch from the sidelines, unable to help in any way. Just talking about it was a great release. I was frightened at first, but I felt so much better afterwards. There were about 8 families there: fathers, mothers, sisters. Everyone was being affected by the mental illness of someone else – or the narcissist who had them under their control and had taken them away from their family. You never can tell who is going thru what.
I wrote this worksheet on 17Dec2014, about 5 weeks after I survived the suicide. Today, 15June2014, I think I have regressed. I don’t think I would be able to look at myself so honestly again. I have a lot of work to do.
Ways I became Sick by being with David:
by Rivka 17Dec2013-12-17
NotaBene: Although David is a world-class Manipulator and a card-carrying Narcissist/Psychopath, he did not create my illness all by himself. Something must have existed in me, sleeping perhaps, waiting for the external cause to activate it. I had a deficiency in my DNA, Steve would say. David exploited my weakness.
Summary so far:
• The Psychopath did not create my illness.
• I wanted to control him. This is sick thinking.
• I made myself anxious. I forfeited my own serenity.
• I wanted to protect him, but that’s God’s job.
• I have to control my own dysfunctional needs.
• I have to make boundaries to protect myself.
• I would have traded my own vitality for his!
• I am terrified of letting go.
“Letting go is not to be in the middle, arranging the outcome; but to allow others to affect their own destinies.” In the middle is exactly where I wanted to be. I would be the Savior, the Redeemer. I want people to say, “Oh look what a mess so-and-so was; but then a Good Woman came along and put him straight.” I have repeated this pattern over and over. It is time that I accepted responsibility for my own flaws.
G-d saved me with an open miracle; but did I realize that just like I am not in control of when I live or die, also David is not in control of when he dies?
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