Narcissism & the Twin Flame Fantasy, Part 2
So my last blog, about my experience with a narcissist, caused quite a stir.
I received scores of messages – both public and private – from people (99% of them women), who had experienced something similar – or far worse.
They thanked me for speaking out and saying what they had been – or still are – afraid to voice. Many of them are still experiencing trauma and/or have needed years to recover.
I was shocked and stunned.
Admittedly, I didn’t know all of them personally. But the ones I do know, I sure as hell wouldn’t describe as desperate-for-love push-overs.
These are intelligent, beautiful, successful, kind, talented, popular women with character. They have a spiritual practice (or even career) and they’ve all done tons of “work” on themselves.
I’d have no trouble defining myself that way either.
So something wasn’t quite clicking for me when I was hungrily reading all the literature on the co-dependent/empath – narcissist dynamic and coming across passages about women, who couldn’t cope on their own or who felt empty and needy without a lover.
Before my ex, my life was full, I was doing what I loved, feeling good about myself, had great relationships with friends and family and had been managing my life very nicely thank you.
If anything, after 12 years as a self-employed single Mum, I was “too independent” (or at least that’s one of the things my ex complained about).
So what was going on here?
I’ve been determined to excavate and heal from this crushing love disaster. Shining the light on my shadow is a standard part of my practice. It’s what I signed up for as a Priestess, Yogi & Tantrika.
And I really wasn’t expecting this.
So I’m going to do my best to take a look at what it was that got me hooked into this.
Please be kind as you read this and please don’t send me your well-meaning advice or pseudo-psychoanalysis.
If it is in any way helpful for you, then my work is done. I share to inspire and inform. I write from the heart. And I acknowledge that I am an eternal work in progress.
1. I loved the man with all my heart
I know it’s stating the obvious, but I thought it worth stating nonetheless. Above and beyond everything else that comes next, was the immense love that I felt for this man.
I love quickly. I love FULL ON. I don’t have all kinds of barriers around my heart. And even though I’ve experienced a lot of heart-break, what this seems to have done for me is to simply expand my heart deeper and wider every time.
We both declared our love for one another within a week of meeting. And after that, I opened myself to him in every way. I can hear some of you thinking “are you crazy?!”
Well, no more than most, I’d say. LOL. And if you fit this into the general thread of my years-long devotion to love and sacred relationship (see below), it’ll make more sense.
There was nothing I picked up on in the early stages, that would have had me be wary. Our love felt profound, eternal and mutual. He was totally devoted, caring, attentive and generous. He embodied the most perfect lover I had ever known. And when we met, it truly felt as if I’d known him for lifetimes and we were home.
This love that was so ardently ignited, didn’t just peter out, when things started to go awry. I can’t just turn off that flow of love like a tap. It was my love for him that kept me there, that made allowances, that forgave and forgot, but which also made it oh so painful, when his behaviour shifted towards abuse.
It’s a very strange experience to be abused by someone you love. You know in every fibre of your being that it’s wrong. The violent contradiction of it made my head spin with confusion, my heart and guts lurch with wretchedness and my soul feel terrorized.
I simply couldn’t understand how anyone could treat another this way, let alone someone they loved. And I think I went into denial about it.
And then right when it got too much, he would flip back into normal mode. The charming devotee. And, for quite a few cycles of these Jekyll & Hyde extremes (which were in themselves disorientating), I was somehow able to push it all to the recesses of my consciousness and thaw my traumatised body back into his arms. Which were, by then, the only pair of arms I had to go to in any case.
The place which had been my haven, had also become my hell. And it almost did me in.
2. I believed our union was divinely ordained
This may sound far out and cuck-coo to some of you, but hey, I’m a Priestess, who regularly invokes the Goddess and other deities and I had been meditating and visioning my dream future (including my sacred life-partner) into being for months.
I have been dedicated to the embodiment of Divine Union for over a decade, devoted years to the study of conscious relationship and immersed myself deeply in practices designed to heal, integrate and awaken my inner masculine and feminine.
My life had been expanding at a rate of knots and in the previous year, I had been through a massive healing and awakening process, in which I experienced myself as one with the Divine and caught glimpses of reality beyond the veil.
I’ve also had more than my fair share of crazy, cosmic love encounters over the past 10 years (detailed in my forthcoming book), so the extraordinary-ness of it all actually felt in keeping with the flavour of my life.
So when my this man contacted me – the very day after I had conducted a powerful invocation ceremony – and presented himself as all that I had asked for, I didn’t doubt this was the Universe cosmically delivering my prayers.
And, at first, it really was EVERYTHING I had asked for.
So when things started to feel “off” and he began to behave differently or even in ways that alarmed me, I kept coming back to my unwavering belief that the Divine had brought us together for a higher purpose.
I simply couldn’t countenance (and then didn’t want to) that such a perfect manifestation wasn’t meant to be.
And so I saw it as my responsibility to make things work. Partly in gratitude to the Goddess for her bounty. And partly as my divine task in really practising what I preach.
With hindsight I can see how this belief, coupled with the Twin Flame Fantasy, kept me locked in way beyond what was healthy.
Far-out as my belief in cosmic manifestation might seem however, I have since read about paranormal/dark energy interference in such apparently predestined love-matches. My experience fits the description to tee. Crazy, but thought-provoking.
I’m certainly feeling way more cautious these days about ritualistic invocation, sex magic and guarding my energy field!
Of course, now that I’m on the other side of it, I can see the higher purpose of all of it. It’s been one hell of an arse-kick into addressing my issues around self-belief, boundaries and loving too much. Ultimately, I got what I needed, not what I wanted. And I’m grateful.
3. I believe that conscious relationship is about facing our shadows together
Every book I’ve read, every course I’ve taken, every expert I’ve interviewed and every experience I’ve had, has taught me that relationship brings up our shadow: our unhealed wounds, our psychic and emotional unconscious, our patterns, fears and defences.
So for years now I’ve known that, welcomed it and urged the Universe to bring it on in my passion for truth. I know that relationship is the fast-track to transformation, so I’ve been longing for a partner with whom to really dig deep. And I’ve trained myself (and taught others) in ways to communicate effectively and build authentic intimacy.
When my ex told me he, too, wanted a conscious, committed, tantric relationship, I made the mistake of assuming he meant the same thing as me and that he understood the role of the shadow. But he didn’t - on either count.
Only this wasn’t immediately apparent. At the start, he made a convincing display of transparency and awareness, that had me fooled.
But once I was “all in” and the problems started, his transparency and awareness evaporated, to be replaced with such a staggering arsenal of defences, that I found it impossible to communicate or connect with him meaningfully.
And yet I persisted. Which only made matters worse. For every time I communicated in the transparent way I have learned and am used to, he got triggered. Every time I suggested a different approach to resolving our differences, he defended or evaded.
Yet in the classic narcissistic double-bind, he was also quick to taunt me for my “failure”: “how come you can’t resolve our issues if you’re such an expert at tantra and conscious relating then, huh?!”
It was as if my being needed time to catch up with the reality. There was so much cognitive dissonance going on. (He loved me, loved me not. He said this, then that.)
So firmly did I believe in the inevitability and necessity of our shadow work, that I made it both an initial excuse for his behaviour (“Oh, that’s just his shadow”) and a spur to greater commitment (“this is really confronting and painful. There’s clearly something really big for us both to see and heal here. What a wonderful opportunity! How can I engage him in our conscious exploration of this?”)
What I initially failed to recognise (and eventually admit to myself), was that he was neither capable of honest self-assessment or conscious dialogue, nor willing to explore either his or my shadow.
And in my co-dependent need to resolve things together, I failed to pull back and start my own deeper shadow work without him.
Had I known I was dealing with a narcissist, it might have been different. But I had no idea such a behavioural tendency even existed.
What this experience has taught me is that, although I have naively persisted in optimistic love-and-light-land for decades, some people simply are not reachable – by love, reason, compassion or conscious communication techniques.
And that there is a corresponding part of me that feels a strong need to reach – to connect, to love, to be heard, to find mutual understanding.
So in my passion and love-blindness, I had hooked myself up with the perfect mind-fuck: living proof that I was crap at my job, by way of a man who was impervious to authentic intimacy.
4. We had made a commitment to one another
A few years ago, I wrote some marriage vows and then, on New Year’s Eve, spoke the vows out loud and married myself.
It was a commitment I made to my inner masculine and to my self in a sacred ceremony, to be the ONE I was waiting for and cultivate the inner union and profound eternal love I aspired to