N is for Negation.

When we (me and DH) went back home for my MiL’s funeral in October of 2012 we had 4 days after the service to see family and friends.  DH’s best friend – Lou (let’s call him) – lives an 1 hour away and we were able to see him a few times.

There were a few things that bugged me from our visits.  I recognised right away, Samy’s (Lou’s wife) N behaviours.  She is covert in her behaviours and I feel that I am getting better  at seeing her behaviours in real time.  Even after recognising them I walked away still feeling like something was off – you know the feeling.

I racked my brain and I gave up on it for a while.  And then one day it hit me.  Maybe it was from something I read but I saw what Samy had done.  She had negated.

I didn’t call it that when I was replaying the conversations in my head:

Lou absolutely loathes his job.  In fact, every time we see him he talks about it.  When he came to visit my FiL before the funeral he talked non-stop about his job.  The visits before that he talked all about his job and how much he can’t take it.  DH and I listened and listened and I could relate to his situation well – I had a job I loathed and it can consume your thoughts and eat up your life.  Most of the time he would end the conversations with potential solutions.  It has been 2 years.  And still we listen. 

One night we went out to a bar for drinks and he again proceeded to talk about his job.  I started to tune it out until at the end of the conversation Samy says to us: “I just tell him he should just be grateful for having a job”.  

Her comment bugged me.  She was negating his feelings.  Her behaviour suggested that he wasn’t grateful for his job.  Never once did DH or I assume he wasn’t grateful for having one in a slow economy.  And subtly she was trying to tell us that she is this awesome wife by telling him to look at the positive.  The fact of the matter is that one emotion does not negate another.  He feeling disappointed and frustrated at work does not equal ungratefulness.  She is simply saying that his current feelings about his job deny the existence of his gratitude for having a job.

That was like saying I can’t love DH and at the same time be angry at him for leaving his shoes in the hallway for the 254th time.  When I’m angry at him I still love him.  When I am jealous of my friend I still am at the same time happy for him/her.  One emotion does not negate another.

When we saw them after that incident this past holiday break something interesting happened.  DH and Lou left to go pick up the pizza and during the car ride Lou begins about his job.  But this time Lou immediately says after complaining ‘Oh but I’m grateful I have a job.’  My DH says to him “Because you don’t like your job doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful for it, it just means you don’t like it”.  Samy was brainwashing him and it was working.  On a side note, go DH!

N is for negation.  It is like one thing cancels out a million other things.  Kinda like getting a gift from an N after they have treated you badly for the past year.

xxoo TR

When they come back

8 years.

8 freakin’ years.

I haven’t written about her before: my best friend at university.  She was out of my life before I realized just how unhealthy we made each other.  Before I knew about N.  We were friends for 7 years.  All through uni and a few years after.

8 years ago was the last time I had any contact with her.  Until recently.

I never really thought about her.  She only grazed my mind when I started understanding N.  I remember thinking: she is out of my life, amen.  So, it was done for me.  And neatly and analytically filed it away as a great learning experience about friendship.

We both are narcissistic.  We got our self-esteem from each other.  So sick.  We would insult each other subtly just to feel better about ourselves.  Maybe the only good thing about our friendship was that we were each other’s supply so maybe I wasn’t so narcissistic to my other friends.

She contacted via e-mail.  Since then I changed my e-mail but she searched for me on LinkedIN.  My fault, my profile is open for recruiters.  Unfortunately, LinkedIn doesn’t have the option of blocking your profile to Narcissists.

Her first e-mail to me felt strange, uncomfortable.  She ended the e-mail with ‘Miss you tons.’  All I thought was: 8 freakin’ years, seriously.

My natural tendency was to say: she is still very much N but I stopped myself.  If I am changing so can she.  I believe people can change.  Her follow-up e-mails were about the same: no questions about my life and her telling me details of her life and the one detail that upset me: she has 2 girls.  And my heart-ached.  It is a physical pain.  To see the Ns in my life become parents.  She is number 4.  Their children: next generation bloggers.

Bravo, she managed to insult me subtly in the e-mail.  After 8 freakin’ years.  She still found  a way.

She had wanted to meet up during my holiday visit back home last December.  She blew me off and came back with an excuse some time late January.  I stopped.  Enough.

Then today she e-mailed me.  She did ask How are you?  With a follow-up of how busy she has been this summer and she is maid of honour in a wedding; blah, blah, blah.

I don’t know if I will respond.  Part of me wants to see if there is an alternative motive to her contacting me.  Like a free place to stay in Europe.  My sick way of trying to prove myself right.   2 of my so-called friends have done that and I heard from them when they found out I moved and never again after their visit.  I am judging her harshly and at the same time trusting my instincts.