Feeling alone is real. Yet ironically when I feel alone, I know I am good company. It is the feeling of separateness and isolation that drives anxiety. Yet so many of us are filled with feelings of isolation and feeling alone. Erich Seligmann Fromm (German social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist and author wrote “The deepest need of man, then, is the need to overcome his separateness, to leave the prison of his feeling alone. The absolute failure to achieve this aim means insanity, because the panic of complete isolation can be overcome only by such a radical withdrawal from the world outside the feeling of separation disappears-because the world outside, from which one is separated disappeared.” My unqualified, unprofessional take away from this writing and what I did to help myself change is as follows. I have come to realize that the real hard work of narcissistic abandonment recovery is a kind of retooling. If I am luck and work exceptionally hard, I may break free from the narcissistic entanglements. However, that means reestablishing inroads into “more normal” without a map! I now realize, breaking free from the narcissist is only the first step. Trying to simply replace one Mr. Narcissist with one Mr. Normal is not as easy as it sounds. I was drawn to my narcissist and him to me because of mutual kind of understanding of the world. Our understanding of the world is steeped in trauma. As a result of the same kind of trauma, he becomes a predator, filled with hatred and internal anger that rages against all who come too close to really see the “ugliness” that he feels defines him. I am his compliment, his prey. I am equally angry turned sad and to some measure self-loathing. These rhythmic backdrops created the music he and I need to continue our dark dance. So as a result, just separating myself from my narcissist did not in and of itself bring me joy. Finding a “normal” “replacement and hoping to slot him in the empty place was equally dissatisfying. I had to separate from my narcissist, but then I had to retool myself. This was an arduous task of letting go of all the known including; people I loved, notions that guided my behavior, practices that while familiar were counterproductive to my end game. Then kicking, screaming, pleading with myself and those left I had to find peace. Yes, finding peace is about internal connection and self-love, but also about learning to love outside myself in a healthy way in healthy place. Learning to love yourself does not mean simply to isolate or to be OK with a standard of alone. It does mean learning to love yourself and renegotiating with the world. Creating NEW circles of influence, friendship and companionship requires effort as well as the ability to handle disappointment and rejection.
Day 78 You Assignment
Make new friends, open up your friendship circle. Do not get discouraged in the process of making new friends, it is not always an easy process. Make goals, for me ( and this was not a good idea) I began with the large scale hoping to find Mr. Normal-Right to fill in the gaping empty space Mr. Narcissist left in his wake. I now think about my life in baby steps. This month I would like to make three new friends and see where it goes. Today, I will make it a point to talk to new people in my known circle of influence.