When my eldest son was in his early teens, he loved his trick bikes and was quite good at jumping hills. We’d go out to the dirt bike jumps before the days of cemented skate parks. I was adamant about helmets, elbow pads and knee pads.
“OMG, mom. I look stupid!” He’d say.
He’d put them on, but just like I changed clothes after I left the house as a teenager, he took off his uncool protective gear when he was out of my eyesight too.
Then one day he bit it. Jamming down a hill, peddling his heart out, he crashed, straight into the gravel. His arms were like mincemeat, his face scraped up, and he was injured quite seriously.
I might have said I told you so, but more, I nursed his wounds, with pillows propped under his gauze covered arms, I felt so bad for my kiddo’s pain. Now, as a father, he requires his children to wear protective gear. Experiences like that aren’t forgotten.
There’s a saying; something about not standing in front of someone else’s firing squad. I think on that tonight. No matter how I explained to my son about head injuries and what could happen to him if he didn’t wear protective gear, what mattered most to him was looking cool to his friends and fitting in where he felt comfortable. He still has scars from that accident.
Life experience has taught me a harsh but valuable lesson. If someone is standing in front of a train, don’t attempt to push them out of the way. I’m not talking about suicide here. I am talking about life situations.
I am an outspoken Empath. I see much. One of the difficult parts of owning this state of being is remembering that even when I can see what is coming for someone, I have to let them have their own experience. Sometimes we have to just let the train wreck and decide whether we want to be a part of the cleanup crew.
By the way, that doesn’t mean you should let your kids ride bikes without protective gear.
When situations arise in adult relationships sometimes it’s best to step back, float up to an observational space and assess from all perspectives. I have to accept that sharing my experiences, information, insight and perspective doesn’t guarantee someone’s protection, because they may choose to reject it or even interpret it as judgment so they don’t have to accept any truth in it. I know this mindset because I’ve lived it. There have been many times I placed my ethics aside, just to have what I wanted, made myself believe it was good for me, then paid dearly in the end.
I was in an abusive relationship many years ago. It didn’t happen right away. There’s always the love bombing stage. For some narcissists this can be years. My self esteem had waned to nearly nothing, and I convinced myself that this man would be good to me, was just working on growing himself, and so I dove in.
Months later, after being choked in an elevator, running for my life, having my head slammed repeatedly against a wall as my helpless younger, pre-teen son stood by, my then partner was finally arrested.
I received a phone call from the assistant district attorney.
“Do you know his record?” She asked me.
I replied that I didn’t.
“Ah, well let’s see, pimping and pandering and kidnapping.” She read the former charges he’d been incarcerated for.
I asked him about them when I accepted his collect call from jail. He had an explanation; an ex-girlfriend who just had it out for him and since he was a guy, he got stuck with the charges.
“Ah.” I thought. “How messed up they did that to him.”
Need I remind you that I had been choked, beaten and exposed my child to domestic violence just weeks earlier? This is the depth of a narcissistic mind controller.
I went to court on his behalf, because you see, I was the One. He was going to change for me. I asked the judge to grant him counseling because, well, he just had anger issues. My abuser. I stood and pled HIS case.
Not my case.
Not my kid’s case.
He didn’t win and was incarcerated. I was at the prison doors when he was released. I took him back. News flash. He continued to abuse me until I finally left. Fled would be a better word. I fled.
I sat and listened to a domestic violence counselor, who the assistant district attorney asked to call me, beg me not to be with this individual.
“They never change, girl. Not the narcissism that comes with being a pimp, ex or not. It’s in their DNA.”
Still I didn’t listen, believing that I was the one who would be special. There is no telling where I would be or what would have happened had I not finally gained the courage to leave and never look back.
I ponder now on those days understanding that this time in my life was extremely indicative of how I viewed myself. I assess my life now, and what I still must rid in order to continue growing and becoming better as a human being. I know my worth. I am in control of me. I say when, where and how. I stand on my feet. No one will ever abuse me again. There is only one chance to see the signs of narcissistic behavior in a potential partner, and I am a ghost.
I must always realize where I am in this life’s journey, focusing inward and ask myself the question I am asking myself every day.
“Is this situation/relationship/friendship contributing to my greater good?”
Every situation can contribute to our good if we choose the path which yields fruit.