Thursday, August 30, 2012

Narcissists Are Like Cockroaches

For every one narcissist you find in your life, there are dozens more you just haven't seen yet. Well, maybe not that many, but if you have one, you usually find another or so. Having been raised them, we seem to attract them to us in other areas of our lives. They are drawn to us, and we are drawn to them until we learn better. Although it was probably just bad luck that landed me a narcissistic neighbor, but I digress.

I write this because I have now realized my best friend, who I mentioned bailing on plans with me in my last post, has significant narcissistic traits. I wouldn't go so far as to say she has a full blown personality disorder (yet), but she is definitely a very selfish and opinionated person. These negative traits are being magnified by her current unhealthy fad diet, which is adversely affecting her serotonin levels. Serotonin being that wonderful neurotransmitter that not only helps regulate mood, but also appetite, sleep, and even bone mass. Basically she has lost the ability to regulate her negative traits, which were only a minor nuisance to me previously. Then again, perhaps they were only minor back then because I lacked insight into myself and my NM?

But it isn't just me seeing this. Her behavior has been irritating all our other mutual friends, and more so than usual in those who I have learned tolerated her only for my sake all along. They provided a fascinating and enlightening third party perspective on my relationship with my best friend. I am a much stronger person today than I ever was in the past, so I can face and accept the truth. My best friend has always taken more than she has given, and I let her get away with it. I just couldn't see it until now. Although it was much milder and more subtle before she started her crazy diet; there would be eye-rolling, will-she-ever-shut-up moments, but none of this severe stuff that made me dislike her and actively not want to see her or be friends anymore.

I'm not going to just cut her out of my life though, we have a long shared history that can't be replaced, and I know her better than anyone else. I know just how insecure she is, just how much she hates herself. I know that each and every put down, every piece of snide, irritating, or opinionated bullshit that has comes out of her mouth is just a pathetic attempt to make her feel better about herself, to fill that emptiness she feels inside. But I also remember the past year or so she was doing really well, growing up and managing her faults better. I hope maybe someday she will be that person again. So I will simply change how I engage her, lower how valuable her friendship is to me and the esteem I hold her in. How she behaves is up to her, but ultimately I expect a gradual growing apart that will be cemented by her if she ever moves out of state like she wants to do.

Too bad I realized all this shit before I agreed to be bridesmaid in her wedding next year. I sense an impending bridezilla.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hair and Delayed Reactions

So I've been quiet lately and way behind on the blogs I read. I recently went off birth control and my body is going a little crazy readjusting. And then I found out I had bad knees that will eventually cause me more problems than they are right now. I thought they were just strained from over use, but no, turns out I have defects in my femurs and my knee caps are angled instead of straight. So I've been moody and depressed. But otherwise, there isn't anything exciting going on in my life and no new developments with NM.

However, I'm planning to get my hair cut and a new hair style. This is a big thing for me. My hair has been virtually unchanged since I was little and my mother decided it was too much work to keep the bangs/fringe trimmed because my hair grew so fast. It's not that NM never gave me the option to change it when I was in grade school and onward, but I simply didn't know what to do with my hair. So it's always just been long (often uneven at the ends because I almost never get it trimmed), and parted one way or another. I didn't even know there were hair style options that were wash and wear besides long and simple.

NM knows how to do her hair, but she wasn't inclined to teach me. She was only interested in braiding my hair because she liked to (and complains now how I often wouldn't let her). She'd buy E-Sis and I curling irons and curlers, but were clueless about how to actually use them and she didn't show us how to. For the longest time all I knew about blow drying my hair was flipping it upside and zapping it until it was dry (and ugly). I still don't know how to use a curling iron or curlers, though I'm interesting in learning now. It literally was not until this year that learned how to use a round brush to dry my hair straight and neatly.

Still, I'm a wash and wear kind of gal. I don't want to have to get up extra early to do my hair. So at dinner I was talking with a much more hair and fashion savvy friend about what would be a good hair style for me, and telling her how I was anxious and that changing it was a big deal for me. I almost wanted to cry just talking about it. I'm anxious because I don't know how a new hair style will look and I want to pick something that will look nice and that I will like. I don't want to be stuck waiting for something ugly to grow back out. And then E-Sis, who cares nothing about her appearance and has no sense of empathy, decides to chime in, saying to just not do anything drastic to my hair. I tell her when it's been unchanged for a decade or two, any change is big change, any change is drastic. Then at one point, she tells our friend that I'm "afraid of change."

Which brings me to delayed reaction part of this post. The woman who has never moved out of her parents home has the nerve to tell me that I'm afraid of change? Me, who has moved out, married, and traveled out of the country, is afraid of change? But I didn't react to that at all until DH and I left and he mentioned it. It would have hit me the next day on my own, he just sped up the process. Anyway, I seem to have delayed reaction to things that should make me angry or hurt. It's like I don't notice it right away, not until I examine things after the fact. Obliviously I smile and nod until later I realize that I'm offended. I don't know why it happens.

Perfect example: the other day a friend cancelled plans for this weekend that were made two weeks ago, because there's a surprise birthday party for a friend. Then she explains yesterday its for a person she's trying to become with friends with!? I was all like "Okay, cool" but today I realized that really stings! I could have done without my friend giving me that much detail about the reason. So becoming friends with that person is more important than honoring a prior engagement with an older friend? What am I, second string? Sure, Adela has and will always be there, right?  She'll be the fallback when you've got nothing else going on? She won't mind, she's always so accommodating!

Well not anymore, that's going on your permanent record, friend. Next time something like this happens I won't be so accommodating and I'll call you out your rudeness.