I woke up this morning feeling good. I’ve been feeling somehow…changed since my epiphany a week ago. I have been a little more grandiose acting, which I think is partly due to the outer mask of inferiority and worthlessness falling off during my trip down the rabbit hole.
In church I prayed for humility and asked God to not let me become too full of myself and to keep things real. Because I know grandiosity will be my defeat in the long run and the things I have planned ahead could be ruined by that. I never saw my grandiosity before, but then again I kept it hidden, even from myself, under an emotionally self-flagellating, almost masochistic social mask.
I was excited about my daughter’s big news. She wanted my malignant narcissist ex (her father) there also, so I knew it had to be pretty big.
Her boyfriend (well, fiance!), Ryan, asked to speak to us alone, separately, and actually asked each of our permission to marry our daughter. How chivalrous and old school and gentlemanly that was, and of course I said yes. I think he’ll actually get down on his knees and propose formally once she picks out a ring (they’re at the mall tonight). Anyway, I like the guy. He’s humble and quiet and financially stable. My ex also gave his blessing.
I found myself mouthing corny old cliches like, “I’m not losing a daughter, I’m gaining a son” and “never go to bed mad at each other!” (I said the same thing to my ex when we married but of course we always went to bed mad). So I had to laugh at myself for that. Suddenly the bustling, fussy mother-of-the-bride mode took over and I started spouting all kinds of ideas for the wedding. It’s going to be small and informal, possibly outdoors, most likely in April, right after her 23rd birthday.
Knowing what their news was in advance (mothers always know), I had brought over the tea-length informal wedding dress I wore when I married her father in 1986 (actually I found it in the prom department and it was a lot cheaper than similar dresses found in the bridal department). I made her try it on; it fits her almost perfectly . It’s a little loose in the bust but she can wear padding or have it taken in, depending on whether she wants to go fuller on top or not). She’s an inch shorter than me too, so the dress is slightly longer on her but that’s okay and actually looks better a little longer.
The first picture shows what the dress looks like on her.
The second shows the same dress on me at my own wedding 29 years ago. She wasn’t interested in the ridiculous 1980s headpiece I;m wearing, but I can’t say I blame her for that. 😀
I was feeling expansive and loving everyone after the wine I had and the announcement, and I started thinking how nice it would be if there could healing in this family, if there wasn’t always so much drama and animosity. So in my tipsy state, I decided to approach my ex and tell him I thought we were both narcissists, and then apologize for my part in the mess our marriage became.
I told him I was a covert narcissist (and explained what that was because he didn’t know), he did two surprising things. First, he told me he didn’t think I was a narcissist (after gaslighting me for years telling me I WAS one!)
I told him why he was wrong, because covert narcissists don’t act like grandiose ones. I explained a little about the mechanics of the narcissistic mind, and about the false and the true self.
Then I told him (gently) that I thought he was a narcissist too, that in fact I knew he was, but I didn’t hate him for it.
He said that based on what I’d said (he trusts my opinions about psychology since I majored in it and always impressed him with that line of knowledge) he knows he may be a narcissist. But then he told me he had something even worse–Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD)–an actual diagnosis, which he’d known about for months. It came around the time I wrote this rant about his being rewarded for being a potentially homicidal psychopath. Obviously, my BPD rage was coming out in that article but it makes me laugh now. I can’t believe how much I’ve changed since I wrote that. It’s kind of embarrassing to read it now, even though I had every right to be mad as a caged hyena.
He still was able to gaslight me a little though, and said I was “manic” and “bipolar” about my excitement about both the wedding and my plans for my two blogs down the line and a possible book (an idea’s finally forming in my mind about what the book will be about but I’m not saying anything yet). I realized (with more than a little embarrassment) I was being a little grandiose (since my epiphany, I’ve become VERY aware of my narcissistic behaviors when they come out and have to catch and stop myself sometimes), but here he was calling me “manic.”
But at least he isn’t denying he’s a narc. Although we will never again be friends and I still avoid him as much as I can (low contact), I can tell he’s mulling the idea that he’s a narcissist in his mind and somehow I think that could lead to a kind of understanding, which would be nice with our daughter’s wedding coming up sometime early next year.
Also please see my article, 5 Reasons Why You Should Never Tell a Narcissist They’re a Narcissist