Monday, August 02, 2010

Overcoming Narcissism

While out in California I had the opportunity to spend time with my dad's wife. "D" is a very nice lady who I had the opportunity to host at my home some 15 yrs. or so ago. However, 15 yrs. is a long time to have gone without one on one time with someone and sometimes it's just not that easy to fall into the simple give and take conversation with someone whom you're not very familiar. Heap on top of that, meeting your sister for the first time in 18 yrs. and having your family along for the ride and well, there's just a lot of personal stress involved.

So yesterday, I received a call from "D" asking if I was mad at her or if I'd heard something about her that made me change my opinion of her..........


Okay, so this is where it gets weird and because you, dear internet, have only the most minimal of grasps as to just how insane my extended family is, this post will probably only make sense to just me.

A few days following the somewhat awkward visit at the home of my little sister, "D' called my other sister 'Deb' (who she's NEVER met) in order to ask her if for some reason I was angry with her, "D". I was out shopping with my daughter at the time the phone call was received but my husband was there and realized the sort of questions my sister 'Deb' was fielding and asked to speak with "D", because he's just awesome like that. Following roughly an hour long conversation "D's" feelings were soothed and she seemed to understand that I held no animosity towards her.

A week and half later we settled in back home and I decided to send cards to the family to thank them for their hospitality. I sent one to my dad and "D", once again assuring "D" that all was right with our world and if anything I was distracted by the overwhelming emotion of it all.... Meeting my little sister, meeting my little sisters family, my family meeting her family, seeing my dad, viewing old family photos, memories good & bad... Needless to say, I was caught up in my own head and I guess, I wasn't very good at making conversation.... which I guess, can be misconstrued as "Alright, I'll sit with you but I'm not going to like it.".... I guess?

So yeah, yesterday "D" called me and once AGAIN asked if I was angry with her... Had I heard something about her?... Did I not like her anymore? An hour and a half later and I think I've FINALLY convinced her, after several apologies, that she did nothing wrong and I am to blame for the lack of communication. "D" told me she wanted to hug me as we sat there together, in my little sisters house, sort of staring out into space, at a loss for words or meaningful conversation. And now, all I can think about is how much I wish she had. I really needed a hug right then, even though I didn't know it at the time, I was just too disconnected with thoughts and memories.

It's so sad really, the chance to bond with a special person, a golden opportunity missed. All because of my narcissistic tendency to dwell in my head and not in the moment... And "D's" narcissism over whether or not she was liked.

I must take note and learn because it was such a waste of precious time and opportunity.

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Blogger lime said...

my friend, i will grant i don't know all the specific family dynamics but you've shared some with me in the past. also i must say you have NEVER struck me as narcissistic. i don't think the overwhelming emotions of the situation leading you to a certain reticence as you tried to reconcile it all on the spot should be labeled as such either. i would encourage you to be gentle with yourself. and i wish i were close enough to give you a hug right now as i tell you this.

12:01 PM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger EmBee said...

Dearest Lime, You are such a dear and consider your hug graciously received.

BUT, I must add that I do need to learn the lesson of being cognizant of others and the effect my actions or in this case, lack of action might have on them, despite what I might be grappling with at the time. Perhaps narcissism is too harsh of a word and 'awareness' might be a better term.

3:14 PM, August 07, 2010  

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