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The Things People Tell You About Yourself

Posted on: February 1, 2012

He made me believe that he knew me better than I knew myself. He had been studying me for 10 years and had a gift for the written word. I believed what he wrote (many, many poems) and said about me—whether it was when he loved me or when he was very angry with me—I believed these to be truths about my core, my essence.

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Yet—I would never trust my parents or brothers to accurately describe me to that level of specificity. [Disclaimer.] You are the one who’s lived your life, so who really knows you, after all?  So, how was it that this man on the sidelines observing me for most of our friendship and making assumptions could feed me invalid truths about myself?

Once we became involved and it crashed and burned, I felt so bad that I believed everything he said about me, to me, while dissecting “me.” It could have been because of my guilt. More likely, it was because he detailed his observations—about everything, not just me—acutely. He was so persuasive in selling his ideas of reality that he wrote my life story and sold it to me.

I don’t know how it happened, but I began to believe things about myself, terrible things that even my closest friends and therefore most critical critics would say are inaccurate.

How I could believe the b.s. when I have such an incredible support system is beyond absurd. He did apologize later, saying he was very bitter and had many heated moments, that he “didn’t mean everything he said.” But words sting beyond time, and those have had a lasting damage on me and my view of myself.

He convinced me that I was incapable of truly loving anyone, and because of this, I would never truly be loved. Retrospectively, I think this stemmed from the bare-bones truth that he could not justify the fact that I did not love him. I couldn’t quite justify why I didn’t either, at the time.

But being nice on paper or having a great companionship or sex life or whatever doesn’t mean it’s right. There is something that has to be there beyond all of those things, and I wasn’t feeling it. He got one thing right: I loved being loved. But being dishonest with myself eventually led to being dishonest with him. Years later, I realized his “love” was just some fabrication of his imagination, his idea of me that he super-imposed upon me rather than who I actually am. I could not live up to his fairy tale; he never really was a part of mine.

What I’m getting to is this: You know yourself better than anyone else. Don’t ever listen to someone who tries to tell you otherwise. You’ve got one you, you’ve got to live with you, and you damn well better live for you, in the life you want to live. Be authentically, lovingly yours. xo

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2 Responses to "The Things People Tell You About Yourself"

Don’t beat yourself up. You were dating a classic narcissist. A certain type of toxic person who knows how to “hook, line and sink” their prey. They observe carefully, then provide what you ask. They will do anything to win you over, then carefully rob you of yourself so they can feel better. You become a corpse…they move on to feed elsewhere. Stitch yourself back together and count your blessings, in particular, his absence! And always listen you your family and close friends!

Love,

Mom

Believe me, I’m not! I think that’s my issue… who was the narcissist? I loved being a muse and took full advantage, but once he realized I didn’t love him back, he could not handle it. He succeeded in making me feel guilty for not having a feeling, something out of human control, and I’m contemplating that. There are much deeper issues I’m trying to address than something so textbook or black-and-white as you suggest. And for the record, no one around me objected or intervened; I had to get out of this myself.

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