In rereading Mansfield Park recently, I noticed how strongly Jane Austen emphasizes the need for self evaluation and self improvement to ensure the proper development of one’s character. How different from life today. People engage in improvement of their physical selves through diet and exercise and of their financial selves, but how often in contemporary life do you hear anyone discussing the habit of self reflection and self improvement?
Thirty months have passed since I ended a relationship with a pathological liar with sociopath tendencies. For the most part, I am far removed from the relationship now. I can go a few days in a row without thinking about it. I remember when it was impossible to even get through a minute without thinking about it, back in the first few weeks, and of training myself to not think about him or his betrayal for five minutes, then an hour at a time. It took a long time and a lot of slow painful, draining emotional work. It has taken its toll on my spirit.
I think back upon that time as a traumatic event in my life from which I am still recovering. The term ‘soul damage’ repeatedly comes to mind. I am finding that similar to most traumatic events, I get triggered into thinking about it again when certain things happen in my current life. Last week, the sudden death of a friend triggered the feelings of trauma. I began to feel re- traumatized and began reliving parts of it again. The feeling of initial shock, of denial, that it was happening.
In reviewing the event this past week, I realized that the experience had made me aware, thirty months into the future, of things, mostly within myself, which I had lost through living through his betrayal. These are all things which I possessed prior to hearing from him back in 2007. Some of these things I have partially recovered and others I am still working on. Some just are gone from me, and I don’t know how to go about getting them back:
What I Lost
Faith in Life
Sense of Direction
Hope for the Future
Belief in Love
Belief in my worthiness
Belief in my dreams
Faith in my Intuition
Ability to Trust Intimately
Sense of Worth
Sense of Personal Power
Belief that I was special
Belief in my Sexuality
Faith in following my heart
Peace of Mind.
Belief in Soul Mates.
The magical feeling that my life had come full circle.
Belief in sexual partnership/sexual union between two people as being meaningful
Sense of self
Feelings of magic and wonder in the world
Sense of having my feet solidly on the ground.
Faith in myself to make the right decisions.
- Why Should We Dance? (psychologytoday.com)
- What’s your trauma? (ladybria.wordpress.com)
- Lacking Belief in Yourself (leaplikeafrog.com)
- A Systematic Review of PTSD Prevalence and Trajectories in DSM-5 Defined Trauma Exposed Populations: Intentional and Non-Intentional Traumatic Events (plosone.org)
- Separation from faith and love (starrystez.com)
- Trying to learn about liars and analyzing him and us. (paralysisanalysis.wordpress.com)
I was quite appalled on Sunday night after watching the episode, ‘After the Lovin’ on NBC’s ‘Harry’s Law‘. One of the episode’s story lines featured a narcissistic man, Tommy, who was in a relationship with several women at once and lying to all of them. When the story line began, one of his girlfriends was suing him.
Tommy, the narcissist, got caught because he had bought several pairs of the same style shoes for his five girlfriends for Valentines‘ Day gifts. As it turned out, two of the women ran into each other and figured out what was going on. In addition, under questioning by counsel, Tommy admitted to telling each of girlfriends at the onset of each relationship that he was impotent and subsequently could only offer companionship and cuddling.
The plot thickened. Next, Tommy told each girlfriend that her own unique love had revived his dormant penis, which resulted in each of the relationships becoming sexual.
While telling this story to counsel, Tommy appeared like a slimy jackass. The woman who had brought suit asked him how many other women he had told the same story to and was visually hurt when he told her that he’d been sleeping with four other women at the same time. She then explained how special Tommy had made her feel, by spinning his lies about her love curing his impotence. I was really hopeful at this point in the narrative that we were going to see a narcissist shamed on national television for lying to and cheating on women.
However, to my utter dismay, the narcissist then turned the tables. Tommy convinced the woman and the lawyers that the only reason he had lied and cheated was because of his own low self esteem. Tommy justified his behavior by painting himself as the poor guy whom all women broke up with. “You would have left me too, ” Tommy told the woman. And then the whole scene changed, with everyone looking sad and sympathetic for the sexual predator. And that’s how it ended! No settlement to the victim, no shaming for the perpetrator!
Shame on you, NBC. With all the public awareness growing about pathological relationships, your writers should have done the right thing and not let this slimebag wriggle off the hook.
I visited the ‘Harry’s Law’ webpage to see what, if anything, was written about the episode. I found a quiz about the episode called “You Be the Judge” and took it.
The quiz consisted of one question about each of the story lines. The one about Tommy’s treatment of the women was, “Tommy deserved to be sued by his scorned lover” (http://www.nbc.com/harrys-law/games/you-be-the-judge-211/a8e125c2417d65ba72dc01f5bfd5a0ef)
How infuriating. Tommy didn’t scorn his lover. Tommy systemically lied to and cheated on five women at once, and then was made to look like he was the victim. What if Tommy was HIV positive or had syphilis and infected all of his lovers? There is nothing funny or socially acceptable about lying to and deceiving multiple sex partners.
Maybe we should boycott NBC until their writers revisit this story hold Tommy accountable for his actions.
- Toxic Men and Toxic Relationships (justsaynototoxicrelationships.wordpress.com)
- Out of the FOG – Top 100 Behaviors & Traits of Individuals who suffer from Personality Disorders (faithandmeow.wordpress.com)
- TV Review: Harry’s Law – “After the Lovin'” (blogcritics.org)
- Finding Effective Help in 2012! (psychologytoday.com)
- Trait Examination or Character Assassination? (my.psychologytoday.com)