I admit that this one will sting. This entry is tough to report and I agree, this post might not be for everybody. However, I am not reporting this without reason. No, not at all.
I have been discussing the details of our internal narcissist. In which case, the inventory behind mine starts in my early life. Therefore, I offer this as a qualification as to where my misleading began. Of course, I know that this is subjective. My experiences were limited to me, a young man with a challenged version of life, angry, resentful and unsure of myself and everything else around me.
The word “Me” or “I” is used often because everything was drawn back to me. Sometimes introspectively and most times selfishly, I define my past with hopes to use a humble narration. There is no pride here or ego or need to save my face. Instead, my goal is to display my state of being overly self-involved and selfish. This did not come without its own science.
By no means did I come to these conclusions until much later in life. Yet, all the same and be that as it may, my internal narcissist grew from a seedling and spread like a weed. Until one day, the center of my wrongs began to compile around the same defects of character.
Yes. I have this part of me which is insecure and afraid. I have an old routine which only knew how to protect myself – and even if this was at the risk of someone else or someone I loved or cared for, I had a small center in my mind that was always waiting, always expecting and always dealing with the impending doom, like a letter in the mail that had yet to come.
I reflect back to a memory when my tongue was coated with a film of contempt. It was nighttime in the early part of December. My so-called partner and I were waiting for a tip from a manager at a local fast food joint. We knew this place the same as we knew anywhere in the neighborhood. We knew the kids who would show up to play at the arcade, which was part of the eatery. We were part of this town yet we were nothing more than two wannabe stick-up kids looking to pull off a job. So, in other words, our reasons for being there were less than legal and, therefore, names and places have been changed to protect the less-than innocent.
I was young and crazy as ever. My ambitions to succeed and live the straight life were overrun by my short sighted doubt. I was on probation. I was angry about not having a traditional childhood. I was angry that I never finished school and that college did not work out for me.
I had no future or reason to see anything worthwhile. My Father was gone and my Mother was not the same person anymore. My Brother was about to start his new life, which of course, he was the celebrated one. He was a college graduate and I was the dropout. He was the hero and the popular one. But me, I was the lost child. I was the scapegoat. I was the one whose name came up in conversation and members of our family would roll their eyes in a pitiful regard; as if to say, “Oh,” and refer to me as nothing more than mentally disturbed.
Or so I thought.
This is the mindset that I lived with. Moreover, this is what led me to believe that I could only be a stupid dropout, or a thug, a waste, an ex-junkie, or some kid who was lucky enough to pull a trick and beat jail – at least the first time.
But so what? As I saw it, life was inevitable and dying was equally inevitable.
At the time I was completing a probationary sentence and awaiting a trial for an assault in the second degree, which meant that I intentionally and willfully looked to cause serious physical harm to someone else.
Was this person so deserving of pain?
Or, was this a reflection of me?
As I saw it, good things happened to bad people and bad things happened to good people.
Better yet, what goes around comes around. (Isn’t this what people say?)
No good deed goes unpunished. Isn’t that right?
And to me, if this is so, then karma was angry and strict like an old school nun, standing with a scowl in a classroom where corporal punishment was the rule – eager to discipline, eager to swing with a ruler, eager to cause fear and delegate pain in a manner that went beyond remorse.
If it was true that what goes around comes around, then it also seemed true that, at best, my part in this cycle was at the bottom or in the under-belly. I deserved this because this is who I was and this is who I deserved to be. I was like a scavenger or a bottom feeder. I was a demon, dwelling below the currents and swiping at the heels of those who’d pass by.
There is a point to all of this. However, before moving on with this scenario, my point is clear. My early history left a mark on the maps which eventually became my future. This is where my cognitive traps became dangerous and my thinking errors took me in a hopeless direction.
I saw no benefit in believing in the future. Besides, the future was for old people. And me, I swore that I would die before I ever grew old.
I believed in the selfishness of the moment.
You have to take what you can. Share nothing. Give nothing.
I believed there was no such thing as victims – there were only volunteers. So, choose your spots.
Don’t get caught. Take advantage.
Steal if you have to; but either way, no one is giving anything away, at least not without strings attached.
The idea of unconditional love came with too many conditions. In which case, this meant I would have to allow myself a moment to be humble. This meant that I would have to dare enough to be vulnerable. As crazy as I was, I was never brave enough to care for anything else more than I cared for myself.
You have to take it!
Whatever “it” meant; you had to take this whenever possible and me, I took whatever I could.
In full-disclosure, I stole and I connived. I manipulated and lied.
I was the beast that people claimed me to be.
I admit to this.
This was me. Of course it was because who else could I be?
I tried putting the halo over my head. I tried the nice-guy approach. I tried to get along but the harder I tried, the less I seemed to fit.
The harder I tried to wear the halo it seemed that my horns would knock it down. And again, this was me, alone and angry, hurt and tired.
I admit to this.
I admit to the thefts of my past. And wholeheartedly, I admit to the exact nature of my wrongs.
I admit to the thefts and to the ability of my heartlessness. But to add color, I consent that these are the detailed reasons which mapped my behavior; therefore, this is what charted me along the pathways of my own self-destruction.
I offer this to you as a person in long-term recovery. But more, I offer this as a person who lived through the wreckage of my past. I am now the fast-forward model of a person who I never believed could exist.
That was then and this is now.
I was never tough nor hard or even strong. However, my rage and my will compiled into an intent, which promoted my ability to act like a sneak-thief, hiding in the darkness and quick with a switchblade.
I once offered an explanation to help people understand my position. I was broken.
I experienced traumatic events which disturbed my better judgment. I lost the value of my moral compass at a young age; therefore, there was no empathy or sympathy. There was only hatred and turmoil.
In my explanation to help a counselor understand me, I explained that a broken soul will only know how to care for its own. Since the eyes are the window of the soul, I looked for whatever window that would let me climb through. I would use everything and exhaust every option. I would infest this place like a vermin and when nothing was left and the so-called hostage was no longer an option – I would move on until I found someone else to take care of me.
Keep in mind, everyone gets picked on. Everyone gets bullied. Everyone gets hurt. Hence, my decision to become outrageous was due to the outrageous things I experienced.
Why be nice?
Why trust anyone?
I believe the acronym was D.T.A
Don’t Trust Anyone –
I couldn’t trust anyone.
I couldn’t believe in a good orderly direction or the benefit of goodness.
But do you know why?
The answer: Why would I trust anyone if I could not trust myself?
I knew that I couldn’t be trusted.
I knew that I was always looking for the angle.
I didn’t want to be the last person to get the joke; or worse, I didn’t want to be the last to find out that the joke was on me. I assumed people would always take advantage so it seemed to be best to get “them” first before anyone ever got to me.
In fairness, this was exhausting. I couldn’t trust anyone. I couldn’t confide in anyone. But more, I could never let my guard down or be myself. I couldn’t rest.
There is no wonder I was about to implode. There was certainly no future ahead of me. I was going to live fast and leave behind a young corpse.
It was just this simple.
I go back to this night which took place before the last time I entered into drug treatment. I was so loud and boastful. I was cruel to the point where I could smile while stealing from a person, right before their eyes.
I admit to some of my interests in the field of organized crime. This is who I wanted to be at the time.
I wanted to be ruthless, I wanted to be this, relentlessly. I wanted to be venomous and dangerous; this way, nothing would ever hurt me . . .
So, I could be safe.
My partner and I were sitting in a fast food joint when a tall slender man ran through the double doors at the side entrance.
I can still see him in my mind’s eye. This happened 30 years ago and I can still see this moment in my head.
The man was feminine in stature. He was tall and thin. He wore a red jacket and had light blue jeans on and white sneakers, which were fitting for the time.
He was scared. Perhaps looking back, I understand why he was scared. “Somebody call 911!”
Either it was me or my partner who asked, “What happened?”
“She’s dead!” said the man.
I pointed to the payphone which was on the wall.
“So, go call 911.”
I was not moved or sad or afraid. I was cold and heartless. We walked outside to settle our morbid curiosity. There she was, laying in the middle of a busy street with a dark halo of blood, spreading out from her head on the blacktop pavement.
She was looking up. Her stomach was flattened but her face was untouched. Her eyes were still and she lay there, beautiful as ever, a young Mexican girl, with almond shaped eyes and tanned skin. Her hair was black as the night and her the whites of her eyes were wide-opened as if her last living view was in shock that she was about to die.
She was running across the street to deliver her very first paycheck to her husband. Then a car hit the young woman. This was the feminine man who ran in to call 911 and then he quickly left the scene. His car struck the woman and threw her into the air. A second car hit her and then lastly, a limousine ran her over.
I remember gazing down at her. There she was, right in front of me – innocent and undeserving, and sweet – perhaps a descendant of an Aztec or Mayan ancestry; a young mother, wholesome as if to be a representation of the Great Beloved Mother, herself – Holy Mary, the Mother of God, yet, I looked down and I felt nothing, as if I were the devil.
There were bystanders awaiting the ambulance to come. And me, I went back to my slices of pizza because after all, I was there to pick up a job. She was dead. And to me, there was nothing anyone could do about it.
She was gone and so what if she lived a good life. So what if she was proud to earn her first paycheck and give this to her husband.
I was quiet about this. Mainly, I minded my business.
I can recall a young woman telling me that I was heartless. Then she asked, “What if that was your girlfriend or your sister?”
My partner answered her, “Sweetheart,” which he said with every ounce of sarcasm and strictly to be condescending. He added, “If that were any of those people, that guy sitting on the hood of that limousine would be dead and so would everyone around him.
I didn’t move. I didn’t make a face or act as if I cared.
So, I assume by now you might want to understand the point.
Well, I think it is only fair to explain that my point is not to explain that I used to be heartless. My point is not to brag about the callousness which I felt for much of my life.
No. That is not my objective.
Instead, I am outlining something with all its intensity to deliberately show where I came from.
Whereas now, I am 30 years older and nearly 50 years of age. I am an ordained minister. I am an advocate and mental health professional. More evidently, I am not the monster that people claimed me to be.
I have learned that we take on the details of our life and turn this into armor. However, we can arm ourselves and build a shield, but no matter how fast we run, we can never escape ourselves – and no matter how thick the armor is, no one is impenetrable.
I was looking to find my place in this world. I wanted to find safety. I wanted to find a way to keep from being a target or volunteering to be someone else’s victim.
And sure, I had a gun. I wanted to be tough.
Do you know why?
I was afraid . . .
This details my past. However, I am sure if we look at the so-called bullies in our daily life or if we look at the gossips and the slanderers, they are murderers too. They assassinate characters on a regular basis – it doesn’t matter why. All that matters is them and their precious vanity.
All that matters to a narcissist is how they can use your resources before running out of their own –