old friend person from my past found me via social media and used the reconnect to give me the shpiel:
Wow, you’re back from Israel.
You’re such a liar / such a hypocrite / such a failure / such a fraud.
Admittedly, the second part isn’t spoken out loud – but I still hear it. Random people judge me and express that I let them down. I let everyone down when I left Israel. The thing is that most of the time, they aren’t trying to be mean when they let me know (through body language or words or pity) that they are disappointed in me. What they are trying to say is that they really wanted it to work out for me. It was a crazy risk to quit my successful career, take three suitcases on a plane, and move to a foreign country. Even people who hardly knew me heard about it and hoped I would succeed. People think The American Dream is a white picket fence or your name on the door. No, The American Dream is to say “TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT!”
And I really did it.
The biggest miracle of the story is that I 100% succeeded in Israel. I could have stayed there forever… except that I met the narcissist.
These old friends, former coworkers, former classmates, Facebook people, and random acquaintances, they do not know that I was fine in Israel. I had a rental apartment that I loved. I had a soft bed. I had cats. I had lovely neighbors who looked out for me. I lived in a safe town. I had a full-time job. (It sucked but it would have gotten something better in time.) I had transportation. I had meals. I had a cellphone, a tablet, and internet access. I had the luxuries of 21st century life. I belonged to study groups. I was learning Torah with friends and I laughed a lot.
And I had the Holiness of living in Israel, of seeing and feeling God-the-Creator “strolling” in my hometown where He has been part of the neighborhood for 3300 years. There are no words for the satisfaction of living in the Holy Land.
There are 500+ posts on this blog of me crying out about how I left Israel to go after David and then David tried to kill me. Sad stuff. Bad stuff. Evil stuff. You may think narcissists are evil or you may feel they have an illness. Either way, they are destruction walking on two legs.
Next week is my 3 year anniversary of leaving Israel and returning to the west, and honey, I am still not acclimated. It has been extremely difficult for me to adjust to life on the outside. I still refuse to work on Friday nights, Saturday mornings or Saturday afternoons. I still don’t own a pair of pants. I still don’t eat pork or shellfish, and I have had to make a boatload of concessions. Also, I am clinically depressed. No, these years of recovery from narcissistic abuse have not been good years.
But I decided this Shabbat that I forgive the narcissist. I forgave a long list of people who did me wrong and hurt me. I wanted to be done with the pain and anger and live in peace, so I forgave him. I forgave him in my heart and I forgave him out loud with my lips by speaking the words that “I forgive him.”
I’m not going to delete this blog. I feel that erasing the past or whitewashing the sins would be dishonest. (Not my authentic self is the new wording, I believe.) No, I hope to keep writing and I certainly have a very long road of recovery ahead of me. Believe you me, I am far from healed. In fact, I can’t even fake healthy. Nope, I am one messed up little lady.
But I don’t feel angry anymore.
xoxo, Rivka Poorkitteh
“I Forgive The Narcissist.” is ©2016 by Poorkitteh. All rights reserved.
“Purple Clouds” by Mix-of-Dreams. http://mixofdreams.deviantart.com/art/Purple-Clouds-142161618