It’s been a while since I’ve written a narcissism post.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I think I might be coming to an end with these posts. I only planned on writing the one post, but received so much feedback that I thought maybe I should explore narcissism a bit more. I’m glad I did. It’s been helpful. The community I found was amazing, broken and gorgeous. I hope more than anything that we all find the peace we deserve.
I set writing about narcissism aside a while back. I found myself getting too bogged down in the past and in thoughts that made me sad or angry. It started feeling bad to write about it. I found myself second guessing every thing I wrote. I heard more and more stories and felt like maybe I was just a whiny baby and should suck it up.
I got over that shit, though. I know what my past meant. I know that I was injured. I know it played a big part in making me into the walking ball of anxious awkwardness that I am today. I’m getting better with that…well, not the awkwardness and the anxiety. I’m getting better at accepting it.
I wrote about decisions and how adult children of narcissists have difficulty making them, but it was a generic post. This is more specific. I also wrote before about my abysmal relationships with men and how I’ve had multiple failed marriages.
I was a commitment-phobe . I remember, very clearly, when I was 23 years old, walking down a church aisle wearing a lovely off the shoulder wedding gown with a borrowed veil and thinking I can always get divorced. Not a big shock when it ended in divorce.
The second marriage and the entire relationship was spent in a haze. We definitely needed to self medicate to keep moving forward. He started getting ill from drinking too much and started attending meetings. I just spent a few weeks of finding it difficult to sleep and moved on. It was apparent within a very short period of time that we were in no way suited for each other sober.
Then Randy and I got together. He wanted to get married.
No. No way was I getting married again.
I would not embarrass myself by getting married a third time. I would not have people talking about me and judging me. Two marriages were barely acceptable. Three and you’re in the freak zone. Besides, marriage obviously meant very little to me anyway. I wanted to be with Randy, but I didn’t want to get married again.
He very quietly explained that getting married shows a level of commitment. He also pointed out that we both had children and that we talked about having one of our own and that getting married might wrap that whole family up in a neat little bow.
He probably didn’t use the ‘neat little bow’ analogy because that sounds nothing like him. This was well over 17 years ago. I don’t remember the words but I sure as fuck remember the decision. The marriage part was inconsequential.
I decided to commit to Randy. I wasn’t sure what that really meant..other than entering into a long term relationship with this man meant taking it through to the very end where one of us has to learn to live without the other.
We got married because Randy wanted it. That equaled commitment to him. I agreed because I knew it was important to him. I also agreed because I realized that worrying about what other people thought of me wasn’t going to change whether or not Randy and I were married. I had commitment decisions to make. The only people that had any business being in that decision were myself, Randy and our children.
My commitment didn’t start as couple number 8 at the Sedgewick county courthouse. My commitment to him began the moment I made a decision to commit.
I’ve had a hard time with decisions my entire life. I spent most of my life terrified of being committed to one person (other than my spawn…they got instant commitment). And now Instant Karma by John Lennon is going through my head.
This decision to commit might be the first time I made a very solid and life changing decision. It felt good.
The commitment still feels good.
Put two people with their own sets of idiosyncrasies in a relationship without nearly enough time to get to know each other before moving in together, then add 3 kids between the ages of 8 and 12 and then with in two years, add an infant. We were nothing but a huge recipe for disaster.
You guys get when I say ‘idiosyncrasies’ I mean ‘bat shit crazy issues’, right?
Disaster recipe or no, we made it work. We both had tons of luggage, but we helped each other unpack.
It took years, but we were committed to each other and that’s what people do who care for one another. They help each other out with their shit. Even when it’s hard.
What I’ve learned about commitment is that there is a comfort in commitment. It’s a safe place to exist.
I’ve also learned that making a commitment isn’t a one time decision. Every single day that we are together, it’s because we have made the decision to be with each other. I’m very happy to keep making this decision. Randy makes me crazy sometimes, but I’ve never woken up in the morning and thought, today is the day I no longer wish to commit to my husband.
It occurs to me, that if I can make this decision, and it’s a damned fine decision, that I can start to trust some of my other decisions as well.