You gotta laugh!
I posted this on my instagram earlier today:
And I just want to say, because I didn't make it very clear in that post, that in these situations, I am not talking specifically about abuse/narcissists,/narcissistic abuse/emotional abuse. I am more so referring to how people who are insecure, display narcissistic behaviour (not the same as NPD) or how mean and miserable people behave.
I talk about childhood trauma alongside narcissistic behaviours because I see how the things that happened to me as a child show up in others. I also talk about the two because I do no believe that everyone has NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) but I do believe that all of us display traits of narcissism and as Dr. Ramani says using narcissism is a descriptor of behaviour and this is how I use it. I can not remember what the video is called that she speaks about it in, but here is one of my favourite videos from Dr. Ramani here. I can not diagnose people nor tell people that they are narcissists and nor do I want to, however I can see behaviours and traits quite clearly and will highlight these.
That all being said I am going to tell you two different stories of two different people at two different times who tried to manipulate me or control my actions and failed, and then tried to punish me for not doing things their way.
When I first fled from my mother, I was homeless with my two cats Tia and (rescued) Cleo, I was assigned a support worker who found a cat organisation that would look after them whilst I was finding emergency accommodation for myself, but they couldn't immediately accept them. I had recently became acquainted with someone, who was introduced to me via a mutual friend of ours and she also loved and had cats. I was temporarily staying with my cousin in North London and she lived not too far from there, however she was moving to South London within a matter of days and she was happy to take them until the cats organisation was able to pick them up.
Dropping them off was a nightmare, as she decided that it was fun to have my cats sitting in their pet carriers for hours, whilst she was galavanting around soho. Now I get it, she's doing me the favour and she didn't have to take them, so I didn't say anything and I desperately needed them to have a safe space for a few days, as they (cat org) couldn't come any earlier. She eventually said that she had left a window open and that we (me and my friend who helped me move my stuff into storage and the cats) could basically get in (after hours of calling her and getting updates). So we made our way up to her house, got in and let the cats out of their cages and set them up, they were so scared bless them.
As I mentioned, she was moving to South London and she asked me to help her with the cats and moving some of her stuff, she had hired a man with a van and with great difficulty with 5 cats and 3 cages (one was on her lap) we got them in. Before I went to her house I had gone to my storage unit to pick up some supplies; I hadn't washed my hair in weeks at this point and I just wanted to have clean hair and get some rest. Whilst we were packing away her flat, someone had put my bag with my hair supplies into the van and when I realised, which was about 5- 10 minutes after I had left them, I called her to say if she could just wait wherever she was so I could jump on a bus and meet them; and she refused stating that one of her cats is sitting on her lap and she's worried (rolls eyes). As a cat mom, I get it cats get very scared whilst travelling, however they will be fine, plus she was going to South London, they would be in the car for a while, 10 more minutes wouldn't hurt! I forgot to mention that she had asked me to go all the way to South London with her to unpack her stuff, mate I need to wash my hair, I was exhausted mentally (I had been attacked by the way), I was struggling mentally, I had been on the go for days at this point, I had one day of sleep and after that I couldn't sleep properly (which lasted approximately 2.5 years after that) and she wanted me to go all the way to South London to help her unpack her stable home, whilst I was homeless and travel back to North London?
When I said that I wasn't going, she decided to "punish" me by not waiting for me at the nearest bus stop (I didn't even ask them to turn around) so that I could get my stuff and I can't help but to think that she done it on purpose. It was as if she was forcing me to go to South London by any means necessary. In the end I called my mutual friend to get it for me and we met in a neutral location, he really saved me and I can not thank him enough!
I remembered this story this morning and I laughed because she really threw her toys out of the pram when she didn't get her way. There is so much more to her and her behaviour, like her accusing my cats of giving her cats fleas (they did not have fleas) when they already had them! Indoor cats can get fleas too people!!! She was also wildly jealous of the friendship me and another friend had and came between us; I remember crying of grief of losing my closest friend. I loved my friend Chi so much, she looked after me like an earth angel and loved me like a sister, I miss her so dearly and the loss of her friendship made me realise how we can also grieve friendships and different types of experiences, it isn't just death.
I laughed this morning because I remembered everything but more specifically that situation, at the time it was painful and I felt indebted to her because she was doing me a favour and she absolutely was! However she did not have the right to treat me that way, and I thought about how people who are intimidated by or think that you are less than them, treat you. Which brings me to my neighbour. My neighbour invited me around for a drink a couple of weeks ago and I found out that he is a painter and decorator and lawd knows how much I needed work done in my home! It's been over a year and I desperately needed most of my rooms painted and wanted to convert a cupboard into a wardrobe. I said to him that if he could let me know when he was free and we could arrange a day for him to come and his rebuttal was "I'm a £100 a day you know!" and I said:
I left it at that, this was Monday, the next day he knocked on the door (out of my sleep btw) to talk about what needs doing, so I showed him (my house was a mess...eek!) and he was like okay cool, I can come tomorrow afternoon to start and at this point it made sense as I had a zoom call with my colleagues and I did not expect the work that we were doing to take such a mental toll on me, plus I had not been sleeping properly prior to that. He knocked wednesday morning and I was like: "you know what can we do tomorrow afternoon" as I was free and he suggested Friday morning and I agreed as I was free all day. Looking back I realised that I should have left it till the week after, I felt pressured and overwhelmed due to being tired so I take ownership of being rushed and allowing it.
So he comes Friday morning and starts in the kitchen, the day before I had gone shopping cause I wanted to get my xmas shopping out of the way and I had also cleaned up the kitchen which was a mess >< I was EXHAUSTED! I just needed a few days to sleep, everything had finished for me that week, and it literally was the last hurrah before xmas. When it came to "helping" me move stuff out, which he said he would do, he didn't, I did it all by myself and he didn't do anything- again cool, it's my house and he is doing work for me- even though there was paint on my white goods, but anyway...
On Friday he said to me that he needs gloss and he was going to get the boards for the closet, so I said okay, I assumed it was for Saturday but he never came, he never came Sunday then he showed up on Monday morning. Now with hindsight and sleep, it makes sense that he took the weekend to stop and rest and start on Monday but I did not hear him say that he was coming on Monday, so I was shocked that he was there at 10 (on the dot rolls eyes). I asked him to give me 1/2hr as I wasn't dressed and he came back about an hour later and asked if I had bought the gloss and I said no and that I would get it tomorrow as I was tidying up and I hate going out when it's busy. Rather than just explain that he needed it for the next day because he was going to finish the kitchen in the morning, he proceeds to say "you aren't very motivated are you? Why didn't you get it on Saturday? I did! I went to get the wood?!"
Now you know what, it makes sense that he needed the gloss for Tuesday morning, now that I look at it with a fresh brain, some common sense and more information (that he was coming back on Monday, not Saturday), however at the time I was so tired and clueless, which I told him this and I explained that my eyes were hurting me. Clearly that was not enough and he proceeded to say "how are you tired, it's not like you had a man up in here last night" and I asked what that has to do with anything? So let me get this straight: The only way I am legitimately allowed to be tired is by having sex with a man? Not even going to lie, I don't know what I was feeling but there was definitely confusion and laughter (in my head) at the stupidity of that sentence. I did, however, feel extremely annoyed at his accusation, and he had the cheek to say that he wasn't going to argue with me after arguing why I was tired : /
I later conceded and went to pick up the gloss and other items that he requested and it was a good thing I didn't go on Saturday as I would have had to go out again.
Before I put in the order, I asked him if there was anything additional that he needed, I listed everything that was in the basket and asked about filler and he told me that he didn't need it as I had some there and so did he. So I put the order in (click and collect) and went to pick it up. I don't know what he needed it for to be honest but when he came back the first thing he asked me was for the filler and I realised that he had done that on purpose; I asked him like 4 or 5 times is there anything else and he said no! He was playing games and I realise now why his children don't bother with him! He also tried to overcharge me, which I will never understand the greed of some people, word of mouth in the trade industry is so crucial!!
I'm not saying that he is a narcissist, I don't think he is at all. He is just a miserable old man that wants things his way and thinks that the world runs the way he believes it to be. The "joke" that he made about me not having sex, so I couldn't possibly be tired is wildly inappropriate and I am tired of men, especially, thinking it's okay to bring that up with someone when you don't even know them. Sex can be a trigger for some people and I wish people would stop talking about it or using it as conversation starters or "jokes"
In conclusion, people are miserable and have a lot of audacity, if you are not in the position to stand up for yourself (like I was in the first story) please listen to your intuition or what feels right to you- she wanted me to let my cats stay with her instead of going to the cat organisation, which would mean that she could control if and ever I got them back- and do not accept poor or coercive behaviour. Build up the resilience to be able to stand up for yourself. If you are able to, like I was in the second story, question them, call their bluff, make them feel uncomfortable! Don't let people feel comfortable in disrespecting you, especially not in your own home!
I am really proud of the way I handled the second scenario and it shows how far I have come and how well I am doing! These situations aren't always karma or they could be a lesson and karma at the same time, but through healing you don't have to let emotionally immature people affect you in the long run.