The reality is most of us have been in a bad relationship. Most of us have been in a terrible relationship. Let’s face it, most of us have been in a lot of bad relationships. Most of us have been in a lot of terrible relationships. Personally my mother showed many characteristics of being a malignant narcissistic sociopath and this set me up to willingly date them unaware.
I don’t know if I attracted them per sae, as I attracted a lot of girls growing up. Somehow they always managed to be the ones I was in a relationship with however. Not always, but a large percentage of the girls I dated turned out to be exactly like this. Even once I started learning about narcissism, sociopaths, Jezebel personalities, Delilah personalities, ect. when I was younger they still managed to trick me every once in a while.
Many times I found myself feeling extremely depressed and unhappy with life when I was in these relationships. It didn’t happen overnight which is part of the trick. I would have seen it if it happened suddenly and without a well executed plan of attack. Often times it can take weeks, months, or even years to fully carry out their plan. Little by little, they start to whittle away at your foundation. At the same time they send out a psychological flank in one of your most vulnerable positions.
You wonder to yourself, how did this happen? I was just eating and drinking with my buddies, playing cards and enjoying some good fun when all of a sudden there was movement in the bushes. Little did we know there was something lurking, watching, waiting. We begin to worry, doubt, and fear what could be hiding in the bushes. Is a cute free range rabbit? I don’t think so. It’s too big. Suddenly it stops.
You look around and everything seems to be normal. Perhaps it was just the breeze you think. So you go back to having fun with your buddies. You are enjoying the freedom and liberty of life. The sunset is beautiful. The buzz starts to kick in from the beers. Another buddy comes back from the lake with some fish and another with a small boar he shot while taking a shit. You feel great, laughing inside, suddenly out of the corner of your eye you see several shadows dance across the tree line.
You look over and once again see nothing. This time you take no chances and send out a small team to recon and another to setup security just in case. Meanwhile you gaze through your binoculars as your spotter and long range shooter setup near by. All reports come back and it’s all clear. You see nothing and start to doubt your own leadership abilities. You wonder if you are starting to see things. You tell your team to come back and enjoy the rest of the night. You drink a few extra beers to calm the nerves and pass around a few jokes with the guys.
The sun has set, the moon is high in the sky, the forest is quiet, and the pond is still. All is peaceful on the top of the hill. A few guys are still playing cards while another is setting up his hammock. One’s passed out with a giant smile and a cigar still stuck to his lip. You can’t help but laugh and smack it out of his mouth.
This is when it happens. Those shadows become demons and the rustle of the bush turns into a full on assault. You scream not only for your platoon but also as a rally cry. You run for cover firing every chance you get. You see your platoon in total chaos as they run for their weapon dodging bullets and fire. You grab a grenade from your waste band, pull the pin, and throw it as far as you can as you take position and start cover fire.
The only thing racing through your mind is doubt and fear. You can’t believe you let your self and your men get caught sleeping. You question your leadership as you slap a new magazine in and chuck another grenade. This is when you see it. You see the flank charging in. With one last effort you grab the M240 Bravo and try to cover. You yell for your team to get down as you spin in rapid fire.
When the smoke clears there’s nothing left. Your hobbies, your dreams, your personality, it’s all gone. Your clip runs dry and all you here is click click click.
This is where I found myself many times during and after a relationship like this. Building your confidence back up can be extremely difficult. Getting yourself, your hobbies, your life back can be one of the hardest things ever imaginable. You look around at all the dead bodies and wonder how you could ever recover. You question who you even are anymore. Whether or not your personality is what it is or what it even is.
The only thing you can really do is bury the dead. As you start to walk away and realize everything that has occurred, your doubt becomes curiosity and your fear becomes depression. It’s a fuzzy feeling and quite hard to put words too, as your mind goes blank and your body pushes forward. You dust off old habits and hobbies that bring back some cognitive function. You feel the cool fall breeze biting your nipples as you go back for a sweatshirt before wondering to yourself how it all happened.
You stay up late reading internet articles like this one. Questioning your existence and what it is you’re doing. You start to realize you’re not alone and many men have fought this very battle. You’re filled with rage and joy while laying low as a survivor. You start to remember your wants and desires, your dreams and hobbies. Your shown a mission and objective with an achievable goal.
This is where true growth comes from. Self reflection and honesty. You see your self for who you really are. What you really are. As it becomes obvious looking in the mirror. Don’t let yourself get stuck in the process, because we have a very short existence. Wasting your time bashing and hating might build your confidence but it won’t bring you to a place of consistent joy, you’ll be left sitting in the camp staring at your boy.
This is one area I truly struggle in, and that’s remaining humble. The ability to build confidence without hurting someone else can be difficult in this society. Especially when it’s so easy with no responsibility for your actions. You can personally see many times I have lost my humility from passion, emotion, or rage. It’s easy to do.
The only way we get through this is with a well educated platoon. Where each member has a unique tool set to add value to the tune. Where we truly argue and debate as men, with no topic off the table with true ideas and opinions to validate. Staying inside the camp of death you can’t revitalize who you are.