No matter how much I cut into and emptied myself to accommodate his needs, it was never enough for him. Instead, it became what was expected and never appreciated.
Looking back now, I feel I was the abusive narcissist’s dream.
I had a well of compassion, empathy, and understanding which I freely shared. I could easily forgo my needs if it meant that the other would be happy. I enjoyed simplicity and it didn’t take much to make me happy. I was also very committed.
To him, all this made me “special”. That is what he called it but he rarely engaged with it in any meaningful way. More importantly, to him, this “special” side of me meant that my needs wouldn’t ask much of him.
At the same time, my commitment, compassion, and empathy would form a good foundation to feed his ego and his lacking self-esteem.
By being good to him, I learned just how malleable I could be and how empty I could become and how ill it all made me. In the end, I couldn’t recognize myself. He had taken all the joy I had felt in my heart and replaced it with his hate – the hate he felt for himself.
He would call me the most horrible things and not remember he had said them. His actions contradicted his words and he would say anything to get the outcome he wanted. I wasn’t even sure if he believed in what he was saying and if he actually recognized that he was speaking to me.
When I left him, I needed to discipline myself to spot and disassociate myself from all the negative thoughts within me that were his own. I had to empty myself once again but this time I was emptying myself of him in order to embody myself. I called this the act of “re-membering myself”.
Re-membering meant recalling, naming, owning as well as re-aligning myself with my own mental and physical strengths in order to release the hold of his false abusive projections.
It meant moving through my wounding, all those foreign fears within and those echoes of my former selves in order to re-align with my deepest values and my talents that linked together to form my own truth.
Initially, this was hard because I felt so tangled in his thoughts. I became depressed and the world around me seemed to get dark but I was determined. I knew in my heart that the darkness I was facing was really the darkness between two choices. I could see them clearly.
The darkness of ignorance in which I could play both the victim and the judge, expecting the next relationship or situation to be different and to “save” me from myself. Or the darkness of opportunity where I could work with the energies presenting themselves to me, own my fears by changing my relationship to them and transform my self and my life in the process.
There was really only one choice. And it would take all the magic I had left in me – my courage, my heart, my perseverance, and my creativity – to embrace this darkness of opportunity.
It became the work of re-membering myself and for me, this came through writing.
Writing helped me free my truth from his lies. It allowed me to detach and gain a new perspective on the difficult emotions and thoughts that threatened to overwhelm me. It allowed me to tap into the flow of my intuition and sometimes I felt the pages wrote themselves. I would go over the words, cut and redefine.
The act of writing satisfied that transformative creative instinct in me and it started to reveal to me the parts of myself I had forgotten – my love for the liminal, for mystery, for the world, for potential.
Writing was my way of tapping into my own depths, creating something from myself that I felt was meaningful and that I could share but that always remained my own.
The photograph of the roses was taken by me in the Franciscan Garden located in Prague’s New Town.