I made biscuits and gravy for breakfast on Sunday. While the biscuits were baking, and the gravy was thickening, that yummy, warm, fresh scent filled the kitchen. I had a flashback to my Dad being the one making this exact breakfast. I love these moments when I have a scent and memory that go together about my Dad, I breathe it in and have complete peace for a few brief moments.
Achieving unity – oneness – with ourselves, with our loved ones, with our friends and working associates, is the highest and best and most delicious fruit of the 7 Habits. Most of us have tasted this fruit of true unity from time to time in the past, as we have also tasted the bitter, lonely fruit of disunity – and we know how precious and fragile unity is. – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
I was living on the bitter, lonely fruit of disunity while I was with Aeron. When you are in a relationship with someone who has narcissistic tendencies and destructive behavior, there isn’t any room for two. They only have time and space for themselves, you aren’t an equal, you are a possession.
Just to set the scene, here are a few signs he is a narcissist ::I use he because it relates to my experience::
1. No empathy – most people care when you’re upset, but a narcissist will focus on how he feels, and how upset you just made him.
2. Sense of Entitlement – He feels entitled to things/successes even though he hasn’t earned them.
3. Exaggeration – embellishing everything, dramatic.
4. Needs excessive attention – He needs constant attention and becomes moody or upset when you’re attention is on something else.
5. Possessive and controlling
6. Behaves like he is the center of the universe
There isn’t any room for unity as a couple if you are in a relationship with someone that has these characteristics. When I was with Aeron, I thought that if I tried harder, did better, was prettier, skinnier, worked harder, cleaned better, made him happier, etc, etc, etc, that he would finally love me and we could be a happy couple. The truth is, he never wanted to love me, or anyone, more than himself. I deserved better than that.
The worst part of leaving was that I felt everything that he was incapable of feeling. I felt the pain of a relationship lost because I had put so much hard work into it, I felt bad for hurting his feelings when I left him, I felt awful for saying no each time he asked me to reconsider leaving, but because of days gone past, I knew his promise to try and to change was a lie.
There is in each of us so much goodness that if we could see its glow, it would light the world. – Sam Friend
Set your sights high, the higher the better. Expect the most wonderful things to happen, not in the future, but right now. Realize that nothing is too good. – Eileen Caddy
I set my sights high when I left Aeron, but recovering from the damage has taken so long that I’m only starting to look at them. I feel like I’m not done fighting because my sister’s husband is so much like Aeron, her relationship being so much like my last one in many ways. I see the weight of neglect in her eyes, I had the same look. I hear her put off her own feelings because he hasn’t cared about them since the beginning, and it breaks my heart.
I wish I could show her a picture of her sights set higher, of what she deserves to feel in this life; love, unity with someone who loves you, joy. How do you create a picture showing the weight that you carry by being with an emotionally destructive partner?
When we set exciting worthwhile goals for ourselves, they work in two ways: We work on them, and they work on us. – EDGE Learning