I’ve considered this blog for a while now. Thinking about it – mulling it over, noodling. And then I realized that the very reason that I’ve been holding back on starting it is the reason why I wanted to start writing it in the first place: fear.
We live with fear all the time. Fear of being alone. Fear of looking stupid. Fear of not being accepted. Fear of being dumped. Fear of being wrong. Extreme cases of fear get their own category; we call them phobias. Agoraphobia: fear of leaving safety. Acrophobia: fear of heights. Arachnophobia: fear of spiders, not to be confused with Arachibutyrophobia, which is a fear of having peanut butter stick to the roof of your mouth. We even have a name for a fear of the northern lights: auroraphobia. And by the way, not all words describing phobias begin with the letter “A” although there does seem to be a lot of them.
Then there are all the famous pronouncements about fear that we are supposed to soak up during childhood so that as adults we aren’t stopped by fear (I have a lot to say about being stopped by fear; I’ll come to it later if you’re willing to wait): The only thing we have to fear is fear itself (Franklin D. Roosevelt). Fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind (Dale Carnegie). He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat (Napoleon Bonaparte). Pretty ironic, considering what happened to him. Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world (Ralph Waldo Emerson). We are more often frightened than hurt, and we suffer more from imagination than reality (Seneca). Good stuff, really, but the fact is that fear is often maligned.
It’s a biological imperative that’s designed to keep us safe so that we can procreate and ensure the survival of the species. If we don’t fear things, we will fall off cliffs after being bitten by spiders because we were fearless enough to leave our safe abodes so that we could watch the northern lights in the middle of an otherwise very dark night. And the worse part is that we won’t be able to cry out for help because we will have peanut butter stuck to the roofs of our mouths. Why then, does fear get such a bad rap?
Almost universally, we see the conquering of fear as heroic, romantic, swashbuckling. It seems that if we don’t dump our fears, that we’re somehow wanting, somehow less than human; we’re anemic, watery cutouts who don’t deserve to be trusted. We will fall apart at the most inopportune time and become needy of rescue ourselves.
We judge others based on how well we perceive them to be handling fear and we are unreasonably proud of ourselves when we feel that we have overcome fear. However, it can be liberating, freeing in a way that allows us to really live, to be able to leave our houses knowing that there might be cliffs and spiders out there and that the northern lights are a marvel, not a menace.
The fact is that we need fear, but we can’t let it get the better of us – we have to use our judgement about it, but that’s where it gets tricky. That’s where uncertainty and hesitancy creep in, causing us to second-guess, to look for answers, for direction. If that weren’t the case, then we wouldn’t have a huge industry selling self-help materials. Therapists of all stripes would disappear. Life management courses would tank. The idea of asking a friend or elder for advice would become quaint.
We would all know what to do, all the time. And I’m glad that I don’t, because otherwise, I wouldn’t have gone on the journey that I did when I married a narcissist. I wouldn’t be here to tell you about it and about what I learned about myself and about fear and about how it has helped me to find happiness and contentment in my life.
So if you would like, join me and I’ll tell you all about it.
18 thoughts on “Is There a Narcissist in Your Life?”
Wow! Oh my gosh, this was so powerful! yes! We need our fears and our journeys, no matter we may label them. I am so happy you found happiness and contentment. I can’t wait to read more.
Thanks! It was a nasty experience but because of it I became a wiser, and dare I say, better person.
This blog was completely fascinating. This is such an important topic you are writing about. I applaud your courage. Cheers.
Reblogged this on In the Net! – Stories of Life and Narcissistic Survival and commented:
I am away for a few days and thought I would reblog this old post. Have a good weekend, everyone. 🙂
I love this post… I developed agoraphobia (or maybe it was social anxiety) and was reluctant to leave my house. Even when I left (because I absolutely had to) I couldn’t wait to get back. I’d rush through whatever it was I needed to do all the while thinking – I need to get back home, I need to get back home, I need to get back home. It was… Well, debilitating! More so because nobody seemed to understand why I was “being like that.” I’ve since managed to get the fear under control, but deep down inside, I only feel truly comfortable when I’m at home in my house.
Thanks for a good read, Lynette. Enjoy your weekend too. 🙂
Thank you! 🙂
I think that most of us experience periods where we tend to be more or less fearful or happy or angry, depending on what’s going on for us. I have learned to trust myself more (a lot more!) and let myself be tired or happy or sad. And sometimes we need to be brought up short by those who care for us, but I think most of us know when this is true and needed.
Lovely! I look forward to reading more.
Thank you! 🙂
Love these quotes!
Thank you! 🙂
An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been doing a little research on this.
And he actually bought me dinner due to the fact that I stumbled
upon it for him… lol. So let me reword this….
Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this subject here
on your web page.
I don’t come visit you enough. Very nice; achieving a balance between the ability to form a healthy assessment of consequences vs. being a prisoner of the what-ifs. 🙂
For some reason, I’ve only just found your comment, so my apologies for not responding sooner.
Thank you! 🙂
Great post and very fitting with what I am facing in therapy
Thank you. 🙂
Good luck with your therapy. I found it very helpful after I got my ex-narcissist out of my life, but yes, conquering my fears in order to get the most out of it was daunting at times.
Thank you 🙂