Life has been a dream…

Life has been a nightmare.

One of these days I’ll have to type out the full story of what happened. It’s all so much. I’ve tried before but never been able to properly capture a timeline.

Something weird happens to your mind when you have been a victim of narcissistic abuse. It fragments. Day to day living is a fight for survival against an enemy you think is your partner, as you fight the feelings brought on by abuse that you aren’t sure is happening.

And then once in awhile it hits you: “this is fucking insanity”

But slowly or quickly you compartmentalize or rationalize or de realize it back away so that you can continue trudging on through an unnecessarily laborious day to day experiment in Stockholm Syndrome life.

Then finally one day the narc or you yourself sets yourself free.

For me I ran away in the middle of the night… well day, but the narc was asleep. He would sleep for days on end. It was fucking miserable. I don’t know why I thought I had to be there. He had brainwashed me. But in doing so I ended up staying there so long that I lost all my friends and family. Nobody understood what I was doing. They thought just drugs. I’d never done anything like this and for good reason. I’d never had a dark triad narc mind control me into my own death of sorts.

The person I used to be had died. I was unrecognizable. I was a blank slate nearly, having just realized I’d never had any real fun in my life prior, due to my shitty outlook on absolutely everything. I was an entitled victim, like every homeless person and narcissist. But all hope wasn’t lost for me yet. I had for the first time begun to foster a sense of self awareness and a spiritual awakening would be the direct result of this death of the former me.

At first I’d have a little too much fun. The kind that makes you so insane that you don’t even know you’re crazy or should not be wearing a tutu with a tool belt as your every day outing clothes. I was a bit too free but once I reeled it in a bit, sorted through some of the trauma and most importantly was given a name for what I’d just been through (Narcissistic Abuse) and could start delving into the research of that, then I’d be on my way to becoming a whole new, more creative and happier, more present version of myself.

But first I had to get away.

The narc would often cry and tell me I was the only person he had and if I wasn’t there he didn’t know what he’d do. The guilt of that coupled with my codependency and people pleasing personality defect kept me hostage for nearly two years.

Luckily a friend started visiting me while I was up there. My friend monnie would come and just kind of hang out, make me dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets and then we’d go jam at the practice space I’d been paying for but not able to use because the narc never seemed to actually get around to playing music. Just talking about it, collecting the proper gear and rearranging it all over and over but never did I or he actually get to play music.

But monnie just wanted to jam and in doing so I realized that I’d been zombie walking through what had been a blessed career as a musician. I put in almost no effort and got back maximum payoff. So I didn’t appreciate shit. By this time my career was in the toilet and through our jams which mostly consisted of songs inspired by the men seeking men ads of Craigslist I learned to have fun and rediscovered my love for music.

Monnie had just been in a relationship with a guy that went schizophrenic on her watch. She’d play recordings to me of him saying she hires black dudes to come rape him in the night when she would be off living in the walls of the house with her secret baby, only to come back to surgically remove one of his testicles or steal his perfect specimen blood.

While not nearly as bad, my narc one day went “full psycho” and thanks to those recordings I knew what the deal was. After all in the beginning he’d told me he’d been diagnosed disorganized schizophrenic. Now today I know that what he is probably is gifted but what he has is an awful and skeptical outlook on life. Because really the only difference between a schizophrenic and a psychic medium is the psychic medium views their experience as a gift while the schizo believes he is sick. Once more going to show that subscribing to society’s beliefs makes you sick and miserable.

I was finally ready to make a break for it after the narc went full psycho which was preceded by his mom moving to a new house and not giving us the forewarning address. Understandably. But that had broken the narc and now despite my three different homes he expected me to kick it and go homeless with him. And to pay for everything as I had been doing for two years.

I drove away while he slept and as I got on the freeway towards my dad’s house I started to realize all the things I’d lost. I wasn’t speaking to anyone in my family but my dad. All my friends had ceased talking to me except Monnie of course.

“I have nothing…. I began to cry. I have no one!….
I’m free! I’m free! Oh my God I’m free!!!”

I was weeping at 65 miles an hour as I realized that for the very first time in my life I was free from people I thought I had to live my life a certain way in order to please. The lies I had told that I’d thought would be what they wanted to hear had all been exposed. I was free to just be myself, whatever the fuck that looked like.

I was finally free, which was ironic since the narc had just told me the night before that I’d never know what it feels like to be truly free. I finally knew. I still know. Freedom is the feeling of being able to unapologetically be yourself in all ways, all the time, in front of whoever is present and not care what they think. It’s not living in fear of the judgment of other people who are supposed to love you in the first place but maybe really just love you when you’re doing well. Not when you’re down and out.

I’d go on to learn a lot of lessons about living with integrity and the massive importance of living a radical honesty lifestyle and how that’s essential for one’s happiness but for just a minute there I allowed myself to have freewheeling devil may care fun with no sense of consequence and no thought of an existential nature. Just pure, reckless, arts and craftsy, drug fueled fun. And it was incredible.

It was hard to see the floor of my bedroom back in those days. Photo by Travis Keller