Tag Archives: narcissism

Some Love Stinks

"You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I'll rise!" -Maya Angelou

“You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise!”
-Maya Angelou

His odor was unbearable. His wretched bird-breath was just another indication of how rotten to the core he was. As they neared the hole, she felt her grip loosening, on purpose…

Ginger let go. She gave a small twirl of celebration as she did a free fall into the hole. She descended into darkness. Her constant fear of him was replaced with a fear of what might await her at the bottom.

Her thoughts were moving slowly, struggling for clarity in a surreal fog. The air was damp, kissing her cheeks with salty lips.

He’d come into her life so quickly, he seemed to eclipse her very existence. He took charge, and he made assumptions that were not accurate. Had she been more secure, she bravely would have disagreed. But he was an overwhelming and powerful presence, so sure of himself, as if he were a gift. Ginger blamed herself for being too cautious—there was no stopping him—still something made her feel uneasy. He seemed so interested in her. She was swept away, literally felt like she was floating. They were “dizzy in love,” he’d said.

He quickly professed his love for her and gave her a nickname, Toad. He told her Ginger was just too long to say all the time, so he would be calling her Toad. She thought the name was degrading but was sure he didn’t mean anything by it. Perhaps it was just as he had said, and she should look at it as a term of endearment. She didn’t want to hurt his feelings or spoil the mood.

He called to her constantly—wherever she was, he seemed to be hovering nearby. She was flattered but had an underlying feeling of being prey to his predator. Never had anyone cared so much where she was and what she did. She lost count of how many times a day he told her he loved her. “I love you, Toad. Do you love me?”
“Yes, I love you too,” she always responded, as if under a spell.

It was not long before they were nesting together. Soon he told her she was his perfect soul mate. She thought he really didn’t know much about her—he never asked or seemed to care. She decided it didn’t matter—he could make her laugh with his quick wit, usually at another’s expense. He seemed to be more important than her, to have everything she thought she lacked. Assertive, brutally honest about what mattered to him, intolerant of other beliefs, bold—even brazen and insulting in his speech—somewhat intimidating. He constantly bragged about his accomplishments. She had to admit, the list was impressive. How lucky she was he loved her. He was actually impossibly accomplished. Although…she saw no evidence of his past accomplishments anywhere. At times she felt more like an assistant to his life and his grandiose plans for them. She learned all she could about things he cared about, even if it didn’t interest her much. He didn’t know her interests—she was just Toad.

It was all moving so quickly. Soon they had their first fight. She was tidying up the nest, as she often did. He demanded it be neat for someone of his stature. That day, he escalated a benign conversation into a needless battle, accusing her of horrible thoughts and intentions. She was shocked at the shear velocity of anger being leveled at her! The accusations and insults came at her, rapidly firing with what seemed to be a studied precision. Each one a direct hit on her heart. She watched him rant, deciding there would be no defense. To engage him would just enrage him more. She didn’t have to win every battle. She had only known him a short time. She never could have imagined he was capable of so much anger at her. She thought she had only tried to please him.

Then she smelled it. It permeated her nostrils as she witnessed him vent. She could still hear him, but the smell was overpowering. His voice became chatter in the background of his horrible stench. She silently fielded accusations as they sailed at her. They didn’t even sound like anything she’d done, all twisted as they were with his malice. She had abandoned him when she was talking to the neighbor; she should never leave him alone. She was selfish, uncaring, ungrateful, and didn’t really love him. His face was filled with contempt as he went on to tell her she was just like all the rest. He told her she was lucky he loved her because she had all kinds of things wrong with her. Her face was not quite pretty. He’d had much prettier share a nest with him. She never said the right things. She didn’t do a good job on the nest—as a matter of fact, she was a pig! Her clothes were wrong, and she was fat. Until, finally, he explained he was only trying to help her because he was so much smarter.

He stopped as abruptly as he’d begun. A look of smug satisfaction broke out as he saw her fear, the tears rolling down her cheeks. She was crying because along with being awful, he smelled so freaking awful. Skunk, onions and old tobacco. He acted sweet again, as if nothing had happened. But her emotions—and his smell—remained raw, keeping her steadfastly in the fear zone. Why had she never smelled him before? Perhaps she didn’t want to. She wanted to believe the illusion he’d created for her, a brainwashing of sorts. All she saw now was a very bad situation.

He interrupted her thoughts calmly now, but with a threatening undertone: “Toad, I want to go out, and I want you to come with me.”
She was afraid not to agree, so they took off.
He always had her hang on to his talons. He told her she needed to “hang on,” while he reserved his strength to concentrate on navigating and flying. Also, that she should not bother him during flight. She was not sure what she was supposed to do if she ever got tired. He had become so cold, so fast. It seemed more natural for him, being mean.

She welcomed the wind rushing her face. She had noticed the hole on previous trips, but this time it really got her attention. She didn’t know where it went, but it didn’t matter as long as it went away from him. She no longer felt she lacked what he had—she didn’t want it. She just wanted to be Ginger again.

As she fell, suspended in darkness, emotions arose and dissipated like waves. She felt strong by choosing to save herself. Her fear quieted down. She decided calling fear love, as he did, didn’t make it love. A different kind of love filled her as his spell was broken. She felt connected again to who she was—not Toad. She was overwhelmed by her feeling of wholeness. She had learned her lesson. The feeling of love swept through her in a safe, warm vibration. She would be fine. She loved herself enough at that moment to know that she only needed to stand up for herself. That she lacked nothing. She felt perfectly unique—exactly as planned.

The entire experience seemed part of a larger picture of her life, somehow intentional. She was good enough to do and be whatever she decided. Nobody could take this feeling away from her without her giving it away. It felt like such an indestructible strength, a super power! She didn’t need approval or anyone to tell her how to live.

She was almost blinded by the bright light as she was gently deposited on a shoreline. Colorful shells glistened in the sunlight. The smell was gone. Ginger was Ginger again, only better.

Jens has perfect music to go with this story, lots of wisdom on her blog if you have not visited yet!https://3wwwblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/30/for-christina/

Choices

"I don't trust people who don't love themselves and tell me, 'I love you."... There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt." -Maya Angelou

“I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me, ‘I love you.”… There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”
-Maya Angelou

Mia sat in the middle of the two paths, determined to muster up the courage to take the one Chester was not taking.

Mia couldn’t think of any one thing that caused the shift in her feelings about Chester. They had been together so long; perhaps it was many small things. But one thing she was definitely tired of was feeling invisible. She was no longer content to follow Chester, the “King,” around while he hunted and scratched and intimidated everyone. He ignored her except to illicit constant praise from her and continually ask if she loved him. Her now mechanical answer of “Yes” avoided an argument, most of the time. Other times, when she answered appropriately, he countered that she didn’t love him and started an argument. Life had become so exhausting. She felt empty and confused. At one time she truly did love him. His abusive behavior wore her heart out. Now she just pitied him.

She was restless as she watched Chester start down one of the paths. Staying back, she vowed to hold her ground no matter what. Her heart was flip-flopping wildly with a mix of excitement and dread. She sat with the feelings in her heart—an ending and a beginning—a yearning for a purpose yet to be identified. She felt if emptiness could explode, it would certainly happen if she stayed with him.

She watched as Chester arrogantly sauntered down the path, and then suddenly stopped. “Why aren’t you following me?” he asked with a curled lip and the usual sneer in his tone. He started back to where she was, “It’s your job to follow me; I am the King!” he roared.
“I’m not coming.”
Mia was shocked by the calm in her voice. There was no turning back now.
Chester escalated his demand for her to come with him, roaring loudly and becoming a tyrant. The more abusive he became, the more she dug in her heels while he unwittingly convinced her to leave him.
“I want a happier life. I’m tired of walking on eggshells around you,” Mia said, calmly. She felt the power she’d given to Chester flowing back to her. Her confidence was buoyed as she held his glare.
Chester put his nose in the air. “Fine, I will easily find someone else to take your place; I’m the King, and nobody disrespects me like that. I am better than anyone else; you will never replace me. I am the most cunning and ferocious in all the kingdom!”
He stomped off down the path, wishing secretly she would change her mind. He did not like to be alone at all. He didn’t like being with him either. What would he do without someone to blame for all that goes wrong?

Mia let out a deep breath, immediately feeling giddy. She followed her heart down the other path.

It was the first time Mia had ever been alone. She was struck by how wonderful it was to think uninterrupted. Although she was still jumpy, she gradually started to relax as she inhaled the fresh air. Had it always been so sweet? Her new freedom was intoxicating as she drank in all the sights and sounds. She could do anything now. Nothing could stop her! Only…she had no clue what she wanted.

Mia decided to try an experiment. Everyone she met on her path was there to teach her something, she thought. She would leave herself open without judgment about the messenger. As she settled into her game, she spotted a lovely giraffe out in the field munching on the high leaves of a tree.
“Excuse me, may I ask you what you’ve learned from life?” Mia asked in her softest voice, trying not to scare him.
“Well, the first thing I’ve learned is not to talk to lions!” Max said.
“Please, I mean you no harm. I am searching for answers,” Mia pleaded.
Max acquiesced, sensing something about her was different.
“Okay. I will share with you the most important lesson I have learned: Never be afraid to reach for what you desire your life to be. But always with detachment and acceptance of where it leads you. Staying in the stage of desire all the time will make you unhappy. You will miss the beauty life has to offer each moment, especially for you.”
Max turned and walked away, his long neck swaying gracefully as Mia shouted after him, “Thank you so much! I think I understand.” She found the encounter so exciting and insightful. She decided that was exactly what she was doing. Leaving herself open to life, enjoying each moment.

Several hours went by before Mia came upon a stand of trees. She watched in amazement as the monkeys swung from branch to branch, tree to tree, like chattering trapeze artists. One monkey spotted her and yelled, “Lion!” All of them scattered, except one who looked very old.
“Why didn’t you run in fear with the others?” she shouted up to him.
“I have a good feeling about you, and I am way up here with ample time to go to a different tree, should that change,” Ogdon said confidently. He looked at her curiously and asked, “What brings you here?”
Mia looked up at him and said, “I want to know what life has taught you.”
Ogden scratched his chin thoughtfully and tilted his head to the side.
“I’ve learned that thoughts are like tree branches. There are no bad ones, as they are just thoughts. Only hold them long enough to determine if they make you feel loved and strong, or if they are weak and unsupportive. Then, let them go—don’t hang onto them or you will stay stuck there. Always look to grasp the next thought that makes your heart happy and strong. You naturally will share that happiness. Likewise, if you grab and hold onto weak and unsupportive thoughts, you will stay stuck and share those too.”
He nodded affirmatively, pleased with himself, and looked at Mia.
“Oh, that was very nice! Thank you for sharing that with me.” Mia walked back to the path feeling like she had so much to learn—but realizing all she had to do was ask. Everyone seemed to have something to offer.

Mia continued walking on the path when she noticed a wildebeest strolling towards her. Well this was most fortunate, as Mia loved wildebeest—they were delicious. She was very hungry; it had been a long time since she had eaten. She was proud of herself, finding how capable she was. She could do anything that needed to be done, on her own. Chester had always informed her otherwise. The wildebeest had not spotted her yet, so she moved off the path into the bushes.
As it strolled by her, unaware, she lunged from the bushes, latching onto his neck and taking him to the ground.
“Please don’t hurt me!” he pleaded.
Mia remembered her promise to herself, to learn from everyone on her path. Reluctantly, she released him, using every ounce of self-control as he lay bleeding.
“I hope you will forgive me. I want to ask you something. What have you learned from life?”
He strained to lift his menacingly large head with its shaggy mane. Resigned to his destiny, in a weak voice he said, “Know when it’s time to leave. Realize when you have gleaned all you can from your current environment, and have the courage to seek greener pastures. Enduring something that is not likely to change is just fear of change. Don’t stay where there is little nourishment for the mind, body and soul. We do this every year when we migrate,” he said, wistfully.

She was touched that he would share such profound last words. That is what she had done with Chester, left for greener pastures. She thanked him as she watched him die. And with tremendous gratitude, she dined solemnly, accepting that she was still a lion. One with a greater understanding of life and how connected everything and everyone seemed to be. It seemed she already knew what she had just learned—that all paths lead home, to the same amazing universe within everyone, no matter their role in life.

Synco-Pal

“All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else.”
-Mae West

“Everyone has guides,” the old man told Phoebe. “I see three standing behind you; a man and two women. Can you tell me the man’s name?”

Phoebe was not sure why she always attracted these types. Perhaps she had a face that begged to be talked to, if you were living on the ragged edge of reality. She tried to ignore him as she waited for her pizza. He had to be in his eighties, with dyed black hair and food stains on his shirt.
“The name?” he persisted.
“Bart,” she blurted out, recalling the famous phrase, “I’m Bart Simpson, who the Hell are you?”
Maybe that would satisfy him. She turned slightly away from him. She hoped he could read body language as well as he did the ethers. He shook his inky hair.
“Nope. It’s longer than that.”
Where is my pizza? she thought.
“Bartholomew,” she said in exasperation.
“Yes! That’s it! You must Google him.”

With that, he turned and walked out the door—no pizza, no food, nothing.
Phoebe arrived home with her pizza and set it on the counter. She no longer felt like eating. The fluttering in her stomach had become a regular thing since turning in her last robot, Troy. It was her third. She’d hoped that Troy would be “The One.”

The government, in all their wisdom, had decided there were too many single women. And they were not good for the economy—they didn’t spend enough money. Two years had passed since the deadline for all women over the age of 28 to be paired with a mate. If they were not in a committed relationship they would be required to enroll in the Synco-Pal program, or pay a penalty.

Trillions of tax dollars were used to develop the perfect male companion robot for single women. Over the probationary four months he would learn and synchronize with all her likes and dislikes. Together, as a couple “in love,” they would spend more and help the economy. Since the Synco-Pals had no visible means of support, the women had to support them. One of the Synco-Pal’s key features was that he demanded expensive gifts to promote “happiness.” If gift demands were ignored, a report would be transmitted via the Synco-Pal to the agency overseeing the Synco-Pal program. The woman would be fined in the amount of the gift not purchased.

Phoebe’s Synco-Pals kept malfunctioning. They were fun and complimentary, attentive and sweet…up until they moved in with her. Quickly, they would become critical, intimidating, messy, demanding and argumentative. He would start to devalue her with insults about her physical appearance, intelligence and capabilities. His demand for expensive gifts would go well beyond extravagant. Once the gift was purchased and given, he would quickly become dissatisfied with it, thereby requiring a new gift. After six months all traces of love, compassion and empathy had vanished. They became just plain mean and sullen. All three had been exactly the same; Troy was the last. She had nicknamed him Syco-Pal.

Having lost faith, she opted to take advantage of the grace period of two months after a “Turn In.” Phoebe decided she was going to do some research. Certainly she couldn’t be the only one experiencing devastating software glitches.

Phoebe interviewed other women, including one who actually worked for Synco-Pal. Her findings were disturbing. One in twenty five Synco-Pals had the all-encompassing software glitch she had experienced. It was a factory defect, with no upgrade. One in five had a glitch that made them difficult and annoying to be around, also no upgrade. There were millions of them out there. She was emotionally exhausted, financially devastated, and felt she had tried to be “a patriot.”

She found the odds as bad as the human relationships. They ended in divorce 50% of the time. Was being “in love”—and fitting into what society and the economy marketed to—worth it?
She felt manipulated. Why wasn’t her contribution to the economy and society good enough? Perhaps the government spent too much? They certainly had on Synco-Pal. If they didn’t waste so much, they would not need so much from her.

With two weeks of grace left, Phoebe was surfing the web, continuing her research. She remembered the old man from the pizza place and decided to Google “Bartholomew, guide.” She had no idea what a guide was—some woo-woo thing most certainly. A woman in New Mexico claimed to channel this Bartholomew character. Phoebe was entering the twilight zone. She ordered the book. She read the book only to discover it was full of thoughts and concepts familiar to her on some level. Yet she had never seen or heard them anywhere in her life. There was a shift in her consciousness as the information made complete sense to her. There was love, and there was love.

The “love” that society embraced, encouraged, and marketed to was actually nothing more than attraction. It was conditional—not all abiding. Behave a certain way, and you will be loved. Quit, and you will no longer be loved. Attraction/repulsion. Like magnets. The thoughts are not always loving. Phoebe was quite familiar with that emotional roller coaster. It comes with lessons to learn. About love. What you believe you lack, you find in the other person. You are attracted, fall “in love” with what you believe you lack—and what you believe will make you whole. Then you act certain ways, hoping to prevent a loss of that “love” or that sense of wholeness. It was that whole, “You complete me” thing. Phoebe thought many would deny this is true, protesting theirs is “true love.” But there are always conditions to being with another person.

Hmm…That’s a lot of power and responsibility I give to someone, Phoebe thought. So if I look to them for my happiness, and they are not happy…I will have to wait for them to be happy before I can be happy. Well, that’s messed up.

The other “love” was all-abiding. Unconditional. All your “good” traits and all your “undesirable” traits would be loved equally, as what makes you whole. They complete you. A perfect specimen of humanity. And here’s the kicker: this love is attained by you loving and accepting yourself, exactly as you are. No conditions. Ever. You just agree to love yourself, always, as a part of everything and everyone. As a result, you feel love and compassion for everyone else. Love yourself for wanting to change and grow—all the time, with no restrictions. It never goes stale.

The fluttering in Phoebe’s stomach stirred as she realized she’d been sold a bill of goods about life that was not in her best interest for a long and happy life. She also noticed Syco-Pals were not included in this ticket to nirvana—it was an inside job. They function by sucking stimuli from the outside world; they’re empty inside. If everything and everyone has a purpose, why Synco-Pals? She concluded that who better to force you to love yourself than someone who makes you feel bad and inferior about being you? Someone who fills your life with chaos and stress, lies, fear and manipulation? Yes, that must be their purpose. That said, they’re mean and she was through.

As she sorted her thoughts, her stomach fluttered something fierce. She mentally surveyed her life like a hawk flying over her personal landscape. Life was pretty much the same as it had always been. But she had changed, seeing it all from a different perspective.

Phoebe grabbed her car keys, hoping some fresh air would settle the now unbearable fluttering. After driving for a while, she pulled into a parking garage. She got out to stretch her legs and climbed up on the ledge, breathing in deeply. Little by little, all the seeds of change she had planted was each in itself a metamorphosis. Each growing stronger on its own, watered with her commitment and love. As the cocoons were shed, she burst forth in flight.

Phoebe flew away to a beautiful new life. She decided paying the “single woman penalty” was a better deal.

Hey everyone, go to Dan’s site and play “Add a line.”  Hurry, I have a feeling it’s going to get way out of hand…

I added: As Gina’s anxiety and fear mounted withing her chest, everything in her told her to get as far away as she can, and NOW!  She turned and ran for the stairs, but they were nowhere to be found…

Your turn!

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