Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from a member of my SPAN (Support for People Affected by Narcissism in relationships) online support group, a well-educated male who has chosen to be identified by the name Manager Poet. He also happens to be a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and I thought his perspective was interesting and that it may be able to help a lot of people. You might also want to check out this post on the differences between male and female narcissists.
I have learned much about the female gender through experience and academically (books). I still marvel at how ignorant I am of the trials and tribulations you go through in this world. Without sounding creepy, much of what I learned about love was from my mother and grandmother.
I was blessed with good relationships.
Both mom and I had been abused at different times physically, but mainly emotionally by my dad. EMDR therapy in 2014 helped me immensely to deal with my wounded inner child. I’m not comfortable at this juncture going into much detail regarding that.
I now understand what a narcissist really is.
My first marriage (27 years) was to a narcissist, as I now understand what a narcissist really is. Tools like eHarmony, counseling, and personality tests gave me the confidence to believe that I had finally found the love of my life. I ignored what I now understand to be the red flags of a personality disorder being broadcast by my then-fiancée and soon-to-be wife.
I could drone on and on but I won’t, based on the following universal truth: the more you poke at an old turd, the more it stinks.
Physical and emotional intimacy should go hand-in-hand.
For me, emotional and physical intimacy go hand in hand. It took me a long time to learn that but I did. Like I’ve mentioned before, as a male, we are wired differently.
I believe you can love people who have varying degrees of flaws. You must decide what flaws (benign) are character-driven and what flaws are common to the human experience.
I will say I don’t consider personality disorders as a flaw (benign). A personality disorder, to me, is the equivalent of a donor getting rid of malignant cells by transplanting them into your body/mind over time. There is no happy ending for the recipient.
The Power of Touch in Relationships
I’m not much of a poet. It is how I journal sometimes. I leave you with this.
Touch is a truly wonderful gift one gives another. You first learn of its significance from your mother. As I entered into adolescence, I viewed touch in a totally different way. I thought more of touch as just a roll in the hay.
Love gives birth to what touch should be.
It’s when the two become one, don’t you see.
What happened next, I’ll never understand.
The gift of touch was slowly being banned.
Seeking touch from others in different ways, a massage, a haircut and a wash, didn’t fill a growing void. Touch as a gift from my love was slowly being destroyed. I thought that perhaps I could earn more touch if I would try all the harder. Yet in the end, she had no more ardor.
As I recall, there was a sick experiment done long ago. Some babies got touch, while the others were told no. The infants who were touched seemed to thrive. Babies denied touch all but died.
Woman or man, it does not matter. Denying another touch causes a soul to shatter.
Any one can learn to touch another if you so choose. Ask yourself, ‘How could being affectionate ever cause one to lose? ‘
For now and in the future, I will cherish any touch I receive. Even if it comes from my stylist, though that may be hard to believe. When someone washes your hair with such finesse, it is hard to not feel so blessed. Reclining, warm water flowing over my head, her hands moving through my hair gives my touch deprived soul rest.
Being who I am, I am willing give the gift of touch. The question still remains, ‘Am I asking too much? ‘ One more line and then I’m through.
What does being touched do for you?
Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Resources
- The QueenBeeing SPANily, Official – We consider this to be the best narcissistic abuse recovery support group on the web. Offers several subgroups and features a vigilant, compassionate admin team full of trained coaches and survivors, supporting more than 12k members. SPAN is an acronym created by Angie Atkinson that stands for Support for People Affected by Narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships.
- Other Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups – We also have separate groups for each stage in your narcissistic abuse recovery, as well as some for those who have moved past recovery and are evolving into the next stage of their own life. Survivors have unique and individual needs, even when they’ve moved on – so we’re still here for you.
- One-on-One Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching – If you prefer to get more personalized support in your recovery, you might like to schedule a session with one of our coaches to plan and execute your own narcissistic abuse recovery plan.
- Find a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Therapist – If you’re looking for a therapist for narcissistic abuse recovery, either because you cannot afford coaching and want to use your health insurance or because you have additional issues you need to address that do not fall within the realm of coaching, you will want to find the right therapist for you – and as far as we’re concerned, that therapist must understand what you’ve been through. This page offers assistance to help you do exactly that.
- Where Are You in Recovery? You might not be sure exactly where you fit in and what level of recovery you’ve achieved. If that’s the case, you’ll want to check out this self-assessment to help you determine exactly where you fall in the stages of recovery from narcissistic abuse. Once you finish and submit the assessment, you will be given resources for your own situation, along with recommendations of which groups to join.
- Which Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program is Right for You? If you aren’t sure which program you want to utilize to facilitate your recovery from narcissistic abuse, this self-assessment will help you decide.
- Check out my book entitled Your Love is My Drug: How to Shut Down a Narcissist, Detoxify Your Relationships & Live the Awesome Life You Really Deserve, Starting Right Now.