I wore a fragrance that was a signature scent for his sister. As a result my narcissist volunteered to buy me a new perfume. Good to his word, he took me to the mall, and we began trying to find a fragrance that was not reminiscent of either of our past lives. We arrived early, and over coffee talked about the fragrances we associated with both the good and bad parts of our lives. I remember sharing with him in great detail, my mother’s love for Chanel fragrances. (In fact, the smell of Chanel #5, still sends a shiver down my spine.) As a result, over the years, I stayed away from that line. The mall opened and we began our search. Happily, we agreed to a rose sent by Cartier.
Sometime later he returned from a business trip, and thought to surprise me with a bottle of cologne… You guessed it, new, and straight from the Chanel counter! In truth, I liked the scent, and thought very little of it, until after our break up, and a birthday gift from my son. My son noticed the brand of cologne on my dresser, and as a surprise bought me Coco-Chanel for my birthday. All of a sudden I was neck deep in Chanel! It was in this sweet scent of lost Chanel induced memories that I made the connection. My narcissist used the Chanel story, and fragrance to actually hurt me! But it was not until after the break up, my son’s gift, and time in therapy that I could see the connection. In a triumphant, and deliberate act of what I consider healthy reframing, I conscientiously made a choice. I have embraced the fragrances as my own. I now associate my son’s thoughtful resolve to both the Chanel fragrances.
Do not be held hostage by, vulnerable to, or defined by past sensorial memories. Rather define yourself by the choices you fearlessly make today. It is in a vibration of today’s reality, we begin to rediscover, and love ourselves. I have shared this blog not as a caveat never to share your inner truth, rather in hopes to help you shed light into those dark places. As light illuminates the dark places we can see into them not as frightened children, but as grown adults safe from the tyranny of narcissistic parents as well as narcissistic relationships. Think about all your senses, sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound. Make a list of the sensorial stimulus that could trigger a bad reaction from deep inside ….songs, foods, perfumes etc… Once you have identified those things, you have one of two options, reframe or discard. Do not be caught off guard. You are in control. There is power in that!