Day 13: Carry On Keep Romancing, Carry On, Carry On Dancing

Turned to my teenage music. Savage Garden. Crazy how some tunes have a way of transporting you to your happy place.

Last night was fun. Missed Bachata course with Rilke but had a lovely time – first at the T-Haus (funny how it’s hard for people to recognise me these days, my physical transformation is quite something) and then at the park meeting up with his friends.

There was a moment where I missed J, just one singular heart wrenching moment – cause a friend of Rilke’s is also a Fleming – and he sat there cracking the worst “Flat Joke Friday”. Hmmm… I’m beginning to see that most Belgians look alike/have similar features, and similar sense of humour. A very weird thing indeed.

But, apart from that one singular moment, – nothing. I was more consumed by work (tight schedule), studies (cause another exam next week) and my up-coming date (yes got asked out) on Sunday.

So this morning when I woke up to quite some work to be done, while prepping to meet Chreggles this noon – it felt good! Meeting the right people, having the right friends and work colleagues, can fill us with a wealth of inspiration and energy. Cause they leave us feeling happy, energetic, enthusiastic and positive inside-out. Something I realised that I was not feeling since 25th of March. When J proposed that we be “scared together”. Big words for a small man. Pity.

Again, I went through his messages last night. As a writer this helps boost creativity but as a human this is heartbreakingly painful. Last night, it took me a while to realise that I was in a romantic relationship, with a narcissist. Research from 2019 suggests, that narcissists can be very charming and their abuse typically begins slowly, after they’ve made sure that the target has fallen hard and fast. It’s no wonder I fell for him. During the love-bombing phase, he was outright loving, kind, and generous. J made me feel special and adored with gushy compliments, and affectionate displays. I cut him off the gifting part which, later I realised, made him uncomfortable in his manipulation strategy. November till mid-April felt so intense and overwhelming that I, someone who recognises manipulation techniques, could never stop to consider whether J might be too fantastic. Then slowly he started to corner me, negging me by calling me radical for my assertions, and use manipulative tactics along side with his equally toxic “best” friend (birds of a feather flock together), J began to replace the gifts and declarations of love to corner me, and muzzle me: making it his way or highway.

Of course if you hold a mirror up to a narcissist, that person will simply say they were just living their lives and want to be happy. Or, that you push them in the right direction, and make you feel that you are in-charge, while slowly pulling the carpet from under your feet! It is rarely the case that a person with NPD is innocent, there are some – who are aware of their “shortcomings”. And then there are some who’d admit to playing manipulative games. In the process, you’ll always be left confused about their motivation. But their tactic is always to gaslight, playing innocent, while flipping like a switch confusing you, and asking you multiple times a question that would automatically make you feel sorry for them: “D, do you think I’m incapable of being in a relationship?” Innocent and heartbreaking. You’d say “no, I’m here ain’t I?” Trap. The moment you keep confronting them with facts – they rage, fight, and when you stop fighting back – they will ask you to leave.

I remember sharing a post around early-to-mid February that read: “RIP to all the guys that lost a good girl because they weren’t mature enough to keep her.” J had asked if he’s considered as one of those guys (when we had our mid-monthly disagreement, cause right at the middle of the month he is truly prone to all sorts of mental turmoil, and I was prepared to call it off). My reply was: “only time can tell”.

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