My Day of Reckoning

I ended a relationship with a girlfriend of 4 years after she had told me that I had been exposed to an STD because she had been cheating on me.  This was the 3rd failed significant relationship in my adult life.  I have twice been divorced.  I have been no contact with my ex girlfriend since I ended our relationship.  Being who she is,  she had to have the last word and make sure her version of reality was planted in my mind, so over the course of the next several days she sent me a myriad of emails and texts.  I read a few of them before I deleted them and I never responded to any of them.  After a few days she emailed me she was through with me and would no longer be contacting me.  Thankfully she’s actually kept her word. My ex-girlfriend’s cheating was the catalyst for my realization that I am the product of a narcissistic family and that my life long history of failed relationships is a direct result of my familial narcissism.

The below is a letter I wrote to myself shortly after this incident with my ex girlfriend occurred:

One comment that my cheating ex-girlfriend made in one of her emails she sent to me after I ended our relationship was that I’d be the perfect catch if only I fixed my issues.  This is the same chorus that’s been beat into my head for my entire life. It’s exactly the same chorus I had beat into me when I was growing up – “you would be the perfect son if only… if only you got better grades, if only you dated the right girl, if only you didn’t hang out with so and so”. It’s a chorus that has conditioned me to believe that love, respect and acceptance is conditional on my performance and if I don’t perform I don’t deserve love, respect and acceptance. It’s led me into relationships with people who are incapable of truly loving and respecting me, because I have no idea what it means to be truly loved, respected and accepted. It’s led me to constantly attempt to fix what I’m told is wrong with me and attempt to mold myself into someone else’s definition of who I should be in order to try and appease my partner while at the same time my partner is continually abusing me, holding every mistake I make over my head, and telling me I’m a horrible person. Unfortunately I BELIEVE THEM that it’s all my issue and I’m a horrible person, when all the evidence is to the contrary! Example: my ex-girlfriend cheats on me and exposes me to an STD and in her mind it’s my fault that this happened because of MY issues! The truth is, there’s no way I can have a successful relationship with the type of people that I attach to, no matter how hard I try, and it’s led me to being unable to have a healthy relationship my entire adult life. My failure at finding true love has led me to self-destructive behaviors to soothe the pain of my failure to find love and acceptance.

I keep getting involved in relationships with women with serious issues where I’m emotionally abused and when I stand up for myself and attempt to point out the bad behavior of my partner, I’m told that I’m “narcissistic” and “it’s all about me” and I BELIEVE IT! To determine if I was truly narcissistic, I took 4 different narcissism tests and they all showed that I’m far from a narcissist and that I’m more likely the opposite, where I don’t stand up for myself when I should and don’t do a good job of establishing and maintaining boundaries. I think that this is fairly accurate, because I tend to stay in relationships that are horribly destructive to me until the very very end when i should have ended them much sooner before I was completely destroyed emotionally.

What’s truly sad is that my failures in my mother’s eyes are self-fulfilling to her. She sends me out into life having no idea what it means to be truly loved, accepted and respected. I proceed to have a series of failed relationships with people that are incapable of true love because I have no idea what true love is. The relationships end dramatically with horrible fallout because I have no idea what it means to be in a truly loving relationship and I can’t properly set boundaries. my mother says “I told you so, your nothing but a failure, if you had done things my way, this wouldn’t have happened to you”. So instead of getting the support I need at a difficult time, I’m told that it’s my fault because I don’t subscribe to the way she thinks I should live my life. 

This letter began my healing journey.

Stephen Bach

17 comments on “My Day of Reckoning

    • Thank you for your kind words, Marci.

      Honestly, I don’t look back in anger anymore at what happened to me. It’s made me who I am, and I like the person I am.

      • Hi Stephen, I just read this and parts of your blog. You just described my life. Your words made me feel a little better about myself and finding a way forward. Peter

      • Hi Peter, and welcome!

        I’m glad you find some catharsis in my blog. Seldom does it seem that others “get it”. When I first started my healing journey, I went searching for what might be available for men who grew up abused and wasn’t able to find anything. This realization was one of the reasons that I started my blog. If sharing my story helps others to find some validation for their life’s experiences, it’s a wonderful positive outcome of my journey.

        Take care, Peter, and best wishes on your healing journey.

        Stephen

  1. I myself am a 37 year old man who was systematically destroyed by my mother (my abuser). I was diagnosed with PTSD and life long depression. I had spent the majority of my income on therapy. I never ended up marrying and have no children of my own. I have never known true and unconditional love and frankly don’t ever expect to as I finally came to accept things as they are. Reading stories of other survivors clearly shows that the damage is life long. The formative years of human development is exactly that… “Formative”.

    • Hi Martin,

      I’m sorry that you had to endure an abusive mother. It makes for a horrible childhood, and the repercussions of that childhood echo long into adult life, if not until death. Yes, those childhood formative years, done wrong, can truly wreck a person for life.

      I can certainly understand the feeling that you portray when you say you never felt true and unconditional love; a love that respects and understands and can empathize with you. (One caveat here, I don’t believe love to be completely unconditional. I could truly love someone, but they could do things that would make me stop loving them, or make me realize that my love for them is in vain). I have yet to find that type of love either. Growing up in a horribly dysfunctional environment, my definition of ‘love’ was terribly skewed and really didn’t encompass love at all. Learning to love myself and identify what love truly is has been a very difficult part of my recovery process. The programming that I endured from family that I was somehow ‘insufficient’ has continued to echo throughout my adult life. Undoing that programming has been a monstrous effort, but it gets better every day.

      A question for you, Martin: You say that through therapy you have learned to accept things for how they are, which is awesome, but have you ever accepted yourself for who you are? I found that truly accepting myself was paramount in the healing process. Yes, I have flaws. So what? It makes me who I am, and the right person will learn to love my flaws as much as they love my positive traits. I firmly believe that unless I can accept myself, I can’t expect anyone else to accept me. If I am unable to accept myself, I make myself ripe for another situation where I try to mold my ‘faulty’ self into someone else’s definition of who I should be in order to gain acceptance. It means enmeshment and another dysfunctional relationship and yet another repeat of my childhood.

      I don’t believe it’s unreasonable to have an expectation of potentially finding the type of love you seek. Yes, it may be hard for your to recognize it when it does show up, but that doesn’t mean it won’t ever be available to you. Stay positive, and with the right mindset, I firmly feel it is possible for anyone to make peace with their past and pick up the reins on their bright future.

      Best wishes on your healing journey, Martin, and thank you for stopping by.

      Stephen

  2. You know I was very pleased to find your blog. I’m a 43 yo male and have a narcissistic mother and family, it took me 35 years to admit this to myself. The toll it has taken on my life is enormous.

    I think being male is more difficult in terms of finding any kind of support.

    Since admitting to myself about my family’s abuse I have had terrible depression. I have always had an anxiety problem which has left me incredibly isolated. My last girlfriend was also a narcissist, fortunately we did not have any children and in many ways it was my relationship with her that started my journey so I am slightly grateful.

    I just can’t really believe that people like that exist. In some ways though I can thank my mother for many of my generous qualities and I am trying hard to pursue a route of forgiveness as part of my journey.

    At the end of the day I have made all the decisions that I have made, including staying with my dysfunctional family who deny anything was ever wrong with their shit behaviour.

    I look forward to reading your future posts.

    Les

  3. Sorry but to add to my previous post Stephen,

    The one thing I can promise you from reading your post is that you are not a narcissist!

    Like yourself my Mum is a narcissist and looking backwards I have had many, many of them in my life.

    One thing I can assure you that they would NEVER take a narcissism test. But yet they know exactly who and what they are too by the way. It is a mindset I struggle to understand.

  4. Welcome Les!

    I’m glad you found my blog! One of the reasons I started my blog was that when I came to the realizations I did, and went looking for support as a man looking for similar situations, I found crickets. Nothing. Nada. You are completely correct. There is very little support out there for men.

    I can completely empathize with the toll it has taken on your life. I’m the same. It’s been horrid, but thankfully, I have survived, as have you. Be proud that no matter how much others have tried to put you down, you have succeeded! Like you, I have continued the same pattern well into my adult life, surrounding myself with people who are horribly dysfunctional, trying to get it right ‘this time’. And to what avail? I have been divorced twice and have another long term relationship that failed in a miserable fashion. The toll financially and emotionally has been tremendous!

    I can understand the depression. I have dabbled in that world from time to time. When I get real down, I look at myself and say “What do you have to be so miserable about? You have a myriad of blessings that few people have. Even if your family doesn’t recognize your talents, skills and achievements, it does not mean that they don’t exist”. This type of thinking has helped me to round the corner on the times when I get down. I also have an amazing young daughter, whom everyone loves, and we have a wonderful relationship. Having her in my life has helped me more than she will ever know. Having her in my life has shown me that what my family did to me is horribly wrong, but also shown me that I can love someone for who they truly are, and not for what they can do for me. It’s so refreshing to know that I’m capable of loving a child just as they are, and that I’m not like my family, constantly preaching “unmet potential”, etc.

    I definitely empathize with your position that it’s hard to believe that such selfish people truly exist. Narcissistic selfishness is so far out of our paradigm that we can’t wrap our head around it. Thankfully, it’s not necessary to wrap our heads around their behavior. What is necessary is that we identify the behavior and take measures to distance ourselves from it when it occurs. I would encourage you to not worry about understanding their behavior, and worry about you.

    I understand the desire to stay with your dysfunctional family. I hope that with your knowledge about them, that you are able to set and maintain sufficient boundaries with them so that you aren’t dragged into a new melee of gaslighting and devaluing. For me, I have found that going No Contact has been the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s amazing to me how they continue to show their true colors after no contact, reinforcing my no contact decision again and again.

    Les, no need to apologize about a second post. This is your programming at work. It’s like apologizing for breathing. Just post! That’s what this blog is here for; a place for people in similar situations to gain some validation and be able to relate. So post all you want!

    I’m quite confident I’m not a narcissist. I loathe the idea of taking advantage of others for personal gain. I also loathe engaging people only when I need them to do something for me. Unfortunately, when dealing with narcissists, it’s quite common that they will project the “narcissist” label onto me when I fail to do their bidding. I’ve learned that someone calling me a narcissist is typically a dead ringer for that person being a narcissist. So when someone calls you ‘selfish’ or ‘narcissistic’, realize that they are projecting their selfish narcissism onto you.

    Thank you for stopping by, Les, and I wish you all the best on your healing journey!

    Stephen Bach

  5. Hello

    Stephen, when I read that you took four narcissists tests to find out if you were narcissistic, I felt sadness for you. I feel I can empathise with you as my sister ‘diagnosed’ me with NPD from a book and as I (probably a little like you) can’t trust my own judgement sometimes (probably most times), I read everything I could on NPD, took tests and questioned my closest friends on whether they thought I had NPD (even though I thought I didn’t) and got a resounding NO! The worst blow for me was that my sister told me I had my father’s traits. When I questioned her it turned out that it was my perfectionism, like our father’s that was her bugbear. Our father was verbally abusive and overstepped the boundaries when it came to disciplining us – even so, I don’t believe he has NPD. My sister has received no therapy whatsoever and in my eyes shows signs of having mental health issues. My mother has had severe mental health problems throughout her life and has narcissistic qualities. When we were children and saw her getting help (from psychiatrists), I would sometimes ask, “What about us?” (as in your children) and her first response was always, “What about me?!” (as in herself). Apparently, because we children didn’t show any signs of destructive or disruptive behaviour, it was assumed we were coping. My sisters and I were incredibly obedient for fear of being punished and (according to my therapist) developed coping strategies to deal with the highly dysfunctional, unpredictable and fearful environment we were living in. We (children) all had OCD but our parents were too wrapped up in themselves to notice.

    When I had my first round of therapy in my early twenties, the therapist said that I didn’t trust my sense of reality and that I didn’t know what was normal (acceptable behaviour) and what wasn’t. I have major issues with recognising boundaries. I didn’t even know what these were until I was given some examples by the therapist. I’m in my early thirties and about to embark on my second round of therapy. The first therapist told me I’d probably need more later in life and I was a little naive to think I didn’t. It’s only recently that I’ve realised, “Oh s***t, I need more therapy.” I didn’t think too much about my lack of maternal instinct until now as I always thought it would kick in in my thirties, it still hasn’t and now I’m not surprised why. I’ve got no desire to have children and nor does my partner which eases the pressure immensely. What happened has had an even bigger impact on my life than what I could conceive at the time. I’ve been in abusive relationships in the past as I wasn’t able to recognise the abuse and I most recently have been the subject of bullying at work (not the first time) – again, I couldn’t recognise what was happening until I had a full blown panic attack in the office. I took a few days off sick and in this space I started to question this person’s behaviour. A couple of my dearest friends told me the the man was a classic bully. Why couldn’t I see that til it was too late! One of the counsellors I contacted through a work scheme told me I had been groomed for two years. What has screwed me up is that management think the problem is mine because the bully acts like the nice charming guy and I look the hysterical one.

    Thanks Stephen for writing your story. I also recognise there is a lack of support for men who have been at the hands of this kind of abuse. I hope you find someone who can give you the kind of love you so deserve.

    • Hi Rose!

      My apologies for not replying sooner. It seems that as my blog gets busier, I keep falling further behind in responding to comments, but hey, at least my typing is getting better!

      Your story rings very close to home for me. Yes, growing up in an abusive environment means that I had no idea what ‘normal’ is, and I continued to lack the necessary boundaries to keep me from repeating the past. I was well trained to be fodder for abuse, which led me into a multitude of abusive relationships after leaving my family of origin. I was literally ‘narc bait’.

      I can completely empathize with not trusting your gut instincts. Again, this is a product of growing up in an abusive environment. When I have constantly been gaslighted and told my instincts were wrong, I learned not to trust them. This led me to making rationalizations that I should never have even considered making in order to keep the status quo, saying things like “They didn’t mean it” or “it’s not really that bad”, when the truth was, they did mean it and it really was that bad. My instincts had been telling me for decades that the behavior I was continually exposed to was unacceptable, but I chose not to listen to my instincts and instead continued to attempt to rationalize my abusers’ behavior, continuing to fulfill my role as a codependent, and continuing to lack the boundaries I needed to keep myself from engaging in another abusive scenario.

      Healing is a journey. Your therapist was definitely correct. As we peel back the onion on our past, we often find new areas that need to be addressed. It’s important that we address those areas so that we can continue to heal. I didn’t learn to be a doormat for abuse overnight, so it’s unrealistic to think that I would heal overnight. If I hop in the car and drive from New York to Los Angeles, I can’t magically transport myself back to New York. I need to get in the car and work my way back to New York, revisiting some of those sights that I passed along the way. It’s important to make that journey back. To revisit those old sights and re-frame them from a new perspective with your new found knowledge. Unless those bottled emotions are properly dealt with and accepted, they will continue to impact the future.

      I think it’s ironic how people with PD’s will attempt therapy. Most of the time, their attempts at therapy are a means for them to obtain validation that their predicaments are not their fault. As soon as the therapist attempts to point out their contribution to their plight, the PD individual will normally immediately stop therapy or find a new therapist. I went through a similar experience with my parents when I was a young boy (see https://thenarcissistsson.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/charles-manson/). I was taken to therapy as the “identified patient”. Once the therapist started recognizing the true dysfunction in my family and how I was mistreated by my parents, my parents nearly immediately stopped counseling.

      I think it’s also ironic that our abusers will often diagnose us with NPD, etc. My mother has been known to say that I’m narcissistic. My NPD xGF also told me several times that I was “crazy narcissistic”. The truth is, when I didn’t continue to just lie there and subject myself to more of their abuse, I was now being ‘selfish’ and ‘narcissistic’ in their eyes. Yes, my role was to take their abuse. I had no rights at a person, so daring to stand up for myself meant that I as suddenly being ‘selfish’. The truth is, yes, I was being selfish, but not in a narcissistic fashion. I was being selfish in a healthy fashion. I was establishing boundaries and refusing to continue to accept their unacceptable behavior, behaviors on my part which my abusers found unacceptable.

      Thank you, Rose, for stopping by and commenting, and best wishes on your healing journey!

      Stephen

  6. Stephen,

    My wife of 30 years is supportive of me 90% of the time. The other 10% feels like sabotage to me. It is sabotage(her issues). At any rate, I can put this in perspective at my age and say that at least it’s not the other way around 10% support and 90% sabotage, like it has been having a narcissistic mother. My wife recently did not support me, and it has triggered a whole cascade of emotions and behaviors to take care of myself. It’s like my own Pandora’s box. One of the ways I take care of myself is to read about what I am going through. I ran across your blog and subsequently the UGA survey on this the last day it is still open(the universe is speaking to me..right?!?) My hope is that I will find more healing here.

    Al

    • Hi Al, and welcome!

      I’m sorry that you grew up with a narcissistic mother. It’s an upbringing I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Good for you for breaking free! Many never do, and go to their graves in denial.

      I hope that you find more healing here, too. I’ve certainly been humbled by the number of people that have reached out to me and shared their stories, both through email and through comments on my blog. Helping others to find some validation in their own experiences is definitely a positive outcome of my life’s journey.

      That’s great that you’ve been with your wife for 30 years! Congratulations! I’ve been married twice and haven’t reached half of that with both marriages combined! If your relationship with your wife is 90% supportive, you are doing very well!

      I understand the Pandora’s box feeling. When I first broke down my dam of denial regarding my family, the ensuing flood waters of emotions nearly drowned me. It was more than I could manage for quite a while. I missed nearly 2 weeks of work. I couldn’t eat or sleep. I just paced back and forth in the house. It was hell. It was what had to happen. It was the beginning of my healing journey, however unpleasant.

      I hope you were able to complete the survey. I received an email from UGA that they had nearly 1000 participants with all the websites that shared their survey. That’s great! Results should be available in 6 weeks or so. They will be emailing me the results and I hope to publish them on my blog.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Al, and best wishes on your healing journey.

      Stephen

  7. My son calls me a Narc and has gone no contact. Why? No clue. I hugged him, told him every day and showed him with my actions how much he meant to me, tried to do everything to boost his self esteem. Listened to everything he said, allowed him his own thoughts, choices and never called him a failure. He called me a “c” a lousy b, broke my rib – all before he was 16. Yet I never turned my back on him. Yes I made mistakes so did his dad. I’ve apologized for things I know I did and said that were wrong. He hasnt spoken to me since March. I have a 3 month old grandson I haven’t met. My son can’t seem to think enough of me to talk to me and tell me what I could have done that was so horrible that he wouid cut me out of his life. I have no sense at of entitlement and this is not all about me. Because he refuses to have an adult discussion and mend fences, he will not forgive and instead of the grief – I’m now angry and am moving towards not wanting him back in my life either- it’s not healthy for me or my husband. He’s 30 about the age most of the estranged adults are decided giving everyone a trophy was a bad idea. He can’t blame me for his alcoholism either. His choice. I am feeling much healthier without having to worry that he’s going to drive drunk and hurt himself & someone else. So call your mom, you will regret not doing so once she’s gone

    • Hi Accused, and welcome!

      Yours is the first comment of this sort that I have received, and I find it very intriguing!

      Reading over your story, I’d like you to take a step back and try to look at things from a bit more emotionally detached state (if possible, I know it’s hard to do):

      What I read:

      You did everything you could to encourage your son as he was growing up; to boost his self esteem; to help him to think for himself. You did everything but cater to him (maybe you did that, too)

      Your son then repaid you by calling you names and physically assaulting you and ultimately cut you out of his life.

      One question: Did your son ever apologize for calling you names or assaulting you, or did you ‘deserve it’ and you ‘made him do it’?

      My take: It’s not you that’s the narc, it’s your son.

      Why I say this:

      – You found your way here. A narc would NEVER research narcissism. My NPD exGF called psychology “psychobabble” and was adamant that it was pointless… unless, of course, she was calling ME a narcissist!

      – Your son called you a narcissist. This is a huge sign of a narcissist, based on my experience. The more of a narcissist a person is, the more likely they are to accuse others of being a narcissist.

      Why? Why do narcissists call everyone around them narcissists? Because it’s all about them! They want worshipers, not free thinkers. They want minions, not equal contributors. If you have your own thoughts and opinions, you are being selfish and inconsiderate in the narcissist’s view, and he / she will quickly point out how ‘incredibly selfish’ you are for daring to think of yourself, and paint you a narcissist in their dim view. Your mission, as defined by the narcissist, is to sacrifice yourself to the needs (whims) of the narcissist. To do otherwise means banishment from the privilege of being in the narcissist’s presence.

      Your son has a huge manipulation tool at his disposal with his child. He knows it, and I’m sure you know it, too. It’s most likely why he chose now to go no contact.

      My guess: He’ll be back. When he needs something.

      Good luck to you Accused! It sounds like you are in a quite difficult situation. Ultimately, he’s 30 and an adult. If he chooses to ignore you, then that is his choice. In my opinion, your best move would be to respect his choice, but set clear boundaries for reestablishment of your relationship with him, because I would surmise he will come back at some point.

      Calling my mother? Sure, I could do that. I would receive no benefit from it. She’s dead to me now. I don’t miss her. At all. It’s hard to miss someone who was never there for you, never supported you, never took responsibility, and blamed you for each and every family issue, going all the way back to childhood. I don’t miss her, and I certainly don’t miss the drama surrounding her. The only person that benefits from my having a relationship with my mother is my mother, and based on how she’s treated me, I’m not about to do her any favors.

      Best wishes on your journey, Accused.

      Stephen Bach

  8. Hey Steve, guys (& girls)
    My day of reckoning came when my parents paid me one of their rare & torturous visits. I was sitting on the sofa having coffee before leaving for work when my mother came & sat with me.
    After my marriage break up it became evident that my mother thought I was vulnerable & now was her big chance to up the ante on me. She had developed a well rehearsed series of four word for word, negative questions which culminated with insinuations that I was mentally unstable.
    On my day of reckoning I answered her last question with this question. “Why do you always ask me these questions, I’ve answered them many times”?

    What I witnessed next from my mother was so unbelievable it is almost hard to describe. Her eyes glazed over, her face contorted & in a drawn out voice that was not of her but very deep, guttural & demonic she bellowed “I’M YOUR MOTHER”. I almost expected her head to spin 360 degrees, I was stunned but calm & said “does that give you the right to treat your kids however you like” & in the same deep, guttural, demonic voice she replied “YES”.

  9. Hey there Stephen!

    My name is Stephen too, and from having read your blogs, I felt as if I had to take a step back because for a moment, I felt like I was reading my own autobiography. The only thing I would have had to change would be a few of the players, and a couple scenarios. Otherwise, it was like watching a bio of my own life.
    I grew up in a household with two other siblings, an enabling father and a narcissist mother. My sister now lives in the US, my brother and I returned to the nest. When I was a teenager, I started teaching myself languages and writing to pen pals in Europe and Asia as a way to find some joy in life that was full of fear and anxiety. When I turned 18, I wanted to save my money and have the same adventures and experiences that I would hear about when I would get a letter or postcard, but the answer from my mother was NO! On top of that, I was put in a special education class from the age of 10 onwards, which was run by an equally narcissistic woman who would invalidate me and use a certain four syllable word word that began with the letter ‘p’, and sparing no opportunity to use it to shame and debase. This became a favorite word to use as a weapon to discourage me from pursuing the things that interested me.
    Learning languages became a passion for me, and I was always so fascinated by Russia and the culture that I decided to teach myself the language. Naturally, the magic word was brought out of the arsenal to discourage me and make me conform to the rules set both by my teachers at school and my mother at home. During the era of Perestroika in the USSR, I acquired a couple of pen pals in Moscow, and was excited at having just received a response back from my first actual contact with someone behind the iron curtain. My mother immediately responded with the magic word and forbade me from writing back because she figured that this was how the KGB would infiltrate and run a dossier. I did respond anyways, but was forced to take out a post office box in order to keep it private. All these years later, and with a former KGB agent at the helm, I have yet to hear from someone at Lubyanka or the successor FSB.
    Needless to say, I did go on to become fluent in Russian as well as having been there too. But on the flip side, I could have made something of it and had a different life outcome had I had the support. I was accepted to university, despite the predictions that I wouldn’t. I visited the dean of Slavic languages at the university who conducted the interview in Russian. Based on my responses to her questions, I was allowed to enter at the third year level. In the end, I was forced to cancel my plans for university because of money and my parents refusal to support my endeavor. When I returned home feeling depressed at my perceived failure, all I got from my mother was; ‘I told you so, but you didn’t listen. It’s your own fault, so don’t be blaming anybody but yourself.’
    It wasn’t until I contacted a psychotherapist I will call Tatiana, from Novosibirsk, Russia, that I had subscribed to online that the word ‘narcissist’ came up as the word to describe this kind of behavior, and it totally fit. Recalling how we walked on eggshells around my mothers temper, siblings siding against siblings until it’s their turn to have a disagreement, social isolation, gaslighting, Tatiana also brought my attention back to the three failed relationships, saying exactly what you have just said about your own; I proceed to have a series of failed relationships with people that are incapable of true love because I have no idea what true love is. The relationships end dramatically with horrible fallout because I don’t want to be alone, and I will use cognitive dissonance to try and rationalize rather than run for the hills and save myself from further abuse. In the end, I too have no idea what it means to be in a truly loving relationship and I can’t properly set boundaries. my mother also says “I told you so, if you had done things my way, this wouldn’t have happened to you”.

    I have been watching French language YouTube to get my French out its dormancy as well as to start a new job this week. I need to start saving money and would like to move to Montreal, and go NC to exit from this place in my life.
    True, the grass is always greener on the other side, but by relocating myself far from the toxic surroundings of the place where I am now, I can begin to learn new behavior and develop a new social surrounding. Maybe even learn what it is to be loved and accepted without being a doormat.

    I could write more, but I think this is enough for now. You get the picture.

    Thank you for taking the time to let me express.

    Steve

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