Collateral Damage

The most important thing when dealing with a narcissistic person, so I’ve found, is not to take the hurtful things they say personally. Because it’s not about you, it’s about them – it’s never about you and always about them, no matter what. Knocking you down is never about keeping you low but about keeping them high – your feelings are incidental, nothing but collateral damage in their interminable quest for puffed-up perfection.

They need to feel good about themselves, and so you must be kept forever not good enough in their eyes in order for them to facilitate and fulfil their own fantasies of grandiosity. And so it’s never about deliberately hurting you, it’s more about salving their own suffering, ironing over their own inecurities, denying the desperation ofย their own delusions of grandeur. You are a mere inconsequential bit-player to their shining main protagonist.

To have an ongoing familial relationship with a narcissist, you must remain steadfastly strong enough to refuse to see yourself through their compassionately deficient eyes. Instead you must recognise their inherent weakness, pity their perpetual inability to see the reality of anyone or anything as existing outside of their own distorted worldview. Only then can you be free…

Daily Prompt: Narcissism


Complicated, but never Empty

Sometimes life just feels like one long string of complications, one after the other like individual links joined in a chain, each complete ‘O’s of disbelief in themselves but together making a whole new incoherent mess of my own making. But at least it never feels empty: Hollow at times, but never empty.

I’ve survived complications with my birth, with my physcial health, with my mental health, with relationships, with work, with education. And I’m still here after fifty-four years, still sorting out complication after complication in life, full to the brim with confusion and emotion and living as best I can…

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Empty

Daily Prompt: Complication

Arse Before Elbow

I was born a month premature, in early December 1963. My mum went into labour several weeks before I was due, suffering with the exeedingly dangerous extreme high blood pressure of pre-eclampsia.

To add insult to injury, I then presented as a transverse breech, literally trying to enter the world bottom first, and so in the end I was born unceremoniously by emergency Ceasarian Section in the middle of the night. I was immediately whisked off to whatever the 1960s version of the Special Care Baby Unit was called.

I remained in an incubator for however long it took to stabilise me, while mum remained dangerously ill in a different part of the hospital. Not the best bonding experience for either of us. Mum always said she didn’t feel like she’d had a baby – she felt more like she’d had her appendix out.

My dad always joked I tried to come into the world in too much of a hurry, arse before elbow, and have continued through life in the same vein. He’s probably quite right, even now I’m not one for biding my time and doing things in the ‘right’ order… ๐Ÿ™‚

Daily Prompt: Premature

Slight Exaggeration

Sometimes I can be prone to slight exaggeration. OK, perhaps even a lot of exaggeration. I don’t necessarily mean the obvious blatant kind of linguistic exaggeration we all do about a million times a day (see what I did there?) but more a subtle, unintentional over-emphasis on (perceived) negative intent towards me.

For example if someone speaks harshly or abruptly to me for any reason, it feels like I’m being shouted at, and so I react as if I’m being yelled at even when the person is not actually raising their voice that much, if at all. So when repeating the conversation to someone else at a later date I’ll sometimes recall that so-and-so shouted at me, often only to be corrected, and I generally find on reflection I have to concede.

The thing is, I’m not deliberately attention-seeking or playing manipulative mind-games when I do this. It’s more that as an inveterate people-pleaser, emotionally I feel crushed inside to be so confrontationally critiqued by anyone. It’s as if the smaller and more insignificant I feel the larger and louder my ‘aggressor’ seems: A raging torrent to my tear-drop drip. I metaphorically shrink in size as they grow in stature, and so my language reacts to my memory accordingly.

I don’t like that I still do this at my age, still tend to speak so passionately from the heart in the heat of the moment instead of consulting the cool head of reason for clarity. It upsets me always to feel so vulnerable, and I wonder if it’s something I’ll ever grow out of, or if I’m always going to react in this over-exaggerated way?

Daily Prompt: Slight

If you got it, flaunt it…

Somebody up there has a seriously wierd sense of humour giving an introverted depressive like me blonde hair, blue eyes and a well-endowed chest. (Oh, and to cap it all, I have B+ blood – be positive, ha bloody ha, very funny I’m sure.) If you got it, flaunt it, they all say. But however my outside form may present to the world, my inside always remains far more fragile than flamboyant.

When people tell me to ‘be myself’ they usually mean ‘live up to our blondes-have-more-fun party-girl expectation’ rather than my preferred ‘curl up quietly on the sofa in your pyjamas with only a cup of tea and a good book for company’ way of being. The amount of times over my lifetime that various people in varying situations have labelled me ‘reserved’, and have complained disappointingly to my face ‘Awww… you’re no fun…’

The thing is, I don’t want to have to wear deliberately frumpy clothes to hide my somewhat voluptuous figure, and I really don’t like the restrictive feeling of things being buttoned up tight to my neck. So if a glimpse of my cleavage is on show, if my jeans sit comfortably snug across my curvaceous bum, if my skirt hemline sometimes sits above my knee, don’t necessarily assume I’m nothing more than a dumb blonde.

Sometimes I feel a little bit like Jesssica Rabbit in ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’, who reminds Eddie Valiant that she’s not bad, she was just drawn that way. Not because I’ve ever looked in any way as gorgeously drop-dead sexy as Jessica, but because the outward perception of her inward character due simply to visual expectation resonates deeply with me. I guess underneath it all I’m just not a flaunting it kind of girl… ๐Ÿ™‚

Daily Prompt: Flaunt