I emailed the essay to a friend for an objective opinion, and when I checked for her reply, I was stunned to find a notification saying that someone commented on a post from nearly two months ago about that dang Wall Street Rock Star. Anonymous wrote:
. . . all from a married man of 50 with a wife and two kids living in cyber fantasy land. It's a sickness and it's very sad, I know this because I'm his wife
I'm feeling like a bastard at a family reunion, and I wouldn't even go out with him. Maybe he never really went out with anyone. If his wife took the trouble to make a comment, I figured she must have wanted someone to know the truth about the situation. So here it is for all to see instead of buried in the archives.
Another surprising truth came to light last week. It turns out that the old friend I was pondering the other night at the new moon is not a narcissist after all. He was simply hurt and infuriated. As it happened, he apologized nearly two years ago for any and all extreme statements he made while angry - but he wrote a letter that I never received. It's always my policy to cut someone some slack when everything that went wrong falls into the category of Human Frailty. The frailty involved in that episode was compounded with the involvement of the US Postal Service.
The mail in my complex gets screwed up every time the regular postman has a day off which is roughly twice a week. It's easy for the mail to go astray. Not only is there a woman in my building with the same last name, but there are a couple of neighboring buildings with almost the same street addresses. Many times when someone gets a misdirected letter, they leave it on the counter in the mail room for the proper recipient to find or for the letter carrier to take over to the correct building. It sits for days until somebody throws it away.
With time, that relationship will probably mend since we've been friends for more almost 35 years. I'm not so sure the relationship I'm currently lamenting will ever recover. There are signs that maybe he's not a narcissist either. I'll just say lots of us act like teenagers when we're under pressure, and teenagers are naturally narcissistic. I often react like a teenager, but I'm sort of the opposite of a narcissist. It's no better.
What's important is the ability to accept that the people you care about are acting in good faith even when they're acting like turds. Thinking about old Shakitking from Plenty of Fish and my own divorce, I know sometimes even people who have good intentions fall short because they can't help it. Buzz Kill never told me the truth about money - he told me what he wished were true because of his own issues. In the end, it was more important to him to hang onto his issues than to make a change for the sake of his marriage. Sadly, I continue to believe that if I were better, staying married to me would have been more important to him.
A comment I recently deleted suggested there were unpleasant truths about myself I didn't want to face. He didn't take into account that I fight every day to tell myself they aren't true and that I am not as bad as my nasty Internal Mother says. Only very rarely is someone's real mother as bad as the Internal Mother. She can be a raving Medusa. I learned about that rotten Internal Mother, in an excellent book by Marion Woodman, Addiction to Perfection: The Still Unravished Bride. It's an examination of anorexia and obesity from a Jungian feminist perspective, hence the Medusa archetype.
Thank goodness I'm strong enough now to keep that internal Medusa at bay. I'm able to manage situations that used to knock me into a crushing depression for weeks without being on all those meds which is quite a victory.
I still struggle, though, and I'm not sure I can last much longer at my job without chasing Beena around the classroom with a wooden spoon. It is a great consolation to know that my coworkers would send up a rousing cheer even as I was escorted out by security. Nobody likes that cow - except our boss which is why Beena still teaches at our little school.
Here's my horoscope for today:
Keep pushing until you take things to a new level at work or in your love life. You can make amazing progress, though it may feel at first as if you're asking for a little bit too much.
Very appropriate since today marks the beginning of NaNoWriMo -- National Novel Writing Month. I'm finally going to write that book I'm supposed to have been writing when I've been fooling around on the blog. Fortunately, I've been pecking away at it these last few months, so I've already got some thousands of words. The idea of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words during the month of November. Quantity over Quality. You're supposed to start from scratch with a brand new idea, so I'm already bending the rules to suit myself. I expect the folks at NaNoWriMo don't care. They're glad to see people across the country writing.