Healing from Narcissistic Abuse – Optimism vs. Realism

I had another thought regarding thinking through the lessons I’ve learned from my ex.

The other night, in speaking with my ever-loving, eternally optimistic father, he told me that “maybe <your ex> is finally learning to give and take”.  Surprisingly, out of my mouth I heard “No, Dad… that’s not true at all.  There wasn’t give and take.  He took… he got all that he wanted and needed… he was able to have someone take care of the kids both days while he did his show, he maintained looking like a loving father because he “allowed” his kids to go to their friend’s party which he hates having to take them to, and he was able to keep the kids past his normal time so he looked like someone who cares about seeing them.  He “gave” nothing.”

That’s a good realization for me.

I have my Dad’s traits:

–  Always look on the bright side (duh… this blog).

– Forgive and forget (duh… years in an abusive relationship)

– Look for the good in everyone

From  my mom, I get the trait of “being naive and that’s okay”, as well as the “co-dependent, give up my life for you” trait.

What I didn’t learn was to really see people for who they really are.  I never wanted to believe there were truly evil people in the world.   From that, I oftentimes could make friends with the grumpiest person in the room.  But why in the world did I even want to make friends with the grumpiest person in the room?  If he’s grumpy… then let him sit and rot in his own grumpiness, right?  But I never approached life like that.

As a matter of fact, I often wondered why people were cynical towards other people.  Why doubt what they tell you?  Innocent until proven guilty, and even then there had to be good in them.  I was nice to everything … even the worms that I put on my hook when fishing with my dad as a kid.  Just before I cut them I told them how sorry I was about it!

So now I learn… it’s not my job to save the grumpiest.  It’s my job to learn to see the truth for the truth.  Don’t sugar-coat it, accept it.  It is what it is, and no… not everyone has good in them, and that’s okay.  I just need to accept my gut feel about them and steer clear.


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