Tag: narcissist

Prom Dress Poem – Acrostic

Photo by Lawrence Suzara on Pexels.com

Perplexed, I’m in a mother’s shock. We’re shopping for a posh new frock

Retracted plan to boycott prom, now keen to try big dresses on.

On entry, met by satin swathes, assistant squeaks and jumps and waves.

Met at a gig with mobiles spelling, now two girls giggle, hugging, yelling.

Dresses tried in beige and steel, my girl, a giant in 6 inch heels

Recoils at strapless silicone, while tightening lace and corset bone.

Eleven dresses tried, excited. Select, of course, the first she sighted.

Stroll downstairs to pay deposit. Strip lights buzz while two girls gossip

Sue in denim prints receipt. Decision made, we leave to eat.

#meredithschumann #author #authors #poem #poetry #prom #promdress #promdressshopping #harrystyles #acrostic

What I Fear

Photo by Soumya Ranjan on Pexels.com

A strangely structures circular prose poem.

What I fear about FOOTBALL is the obsession with BALLS.
What I loathe about BALLS is the sheer bloody MACHISMO.
What I dislike about MACHISMO is EVERYTHING there is.
What I object to about EVERYTHING is its overwhelming BIGNESS
I don’t like BIGNESS because it makes me feel SMALL.
I don’t want to feel SMALL because I’m not UNIMPORTANT.
I hate feeling UNIMPORTANT because NOBODY is.
I’m unhappy about NOBODIES because the term is so INSULTing.
I hate INSULTS when they scorn the WEAK.
I fear for the WEAK who may well fail at SPORT.
I totally despite SPORT because it attracts CROWDS.
I don’t like CROWDS because they follow the PACK MENTALITY.
And I am scared of the PACK MENTALITY, especially when it relates to FOOTBALL.

#meredithschumann #author #authors #poem #poetry #football

There's More Than One Way To Bin Your Kin

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Daphne was driven. The life she’d been given
Was clearly no better than bad.
Her husband, a user, a nightmare, a loser.
And she knew that she’d surely been had.

What reason was there, for his ripped underwear?
For his stubble, his hairpiece, his scowl?
And how might he explain his pretences of pain
When presented with spade or with trowel?

If his body was lazy, his mind it was too,
He lived in a permanent mist
Of smoking and drinking and drug-addled thinking.
Of his vices… she’d written a list!

Of how he would curse, in the car it was worst,
Of how he would hate and berate her.
And then he would calm, say ‘I’m sorry, no harm’
And take it all out on her later.

Oh, but how he relied. And how she had cried,
When again he demanded her wages.
She screamed ‘It’s abuse’, but still couldn’t refuse,
For fear of his terrible rages.

On Friday she planted a kiss on his cheek.
She said, ‘See you later, okay?’.
‘Whatever,’ he said. That’s when she wished him dead.
Cos he didn’t care, he had nothing to say and she knew that he’d always
Keep acting that way.

It was all about him, how he’d gain, how he’d win.
It was all about what he could get.
He exploited her caring with his own brand of sharing
A minefield of doubt and of debt.

She lay in the bath, contemplating her wrath,
And thinking of what she might do.
She came up with a ruse for her crime without clues.
And was sure what she needed to do.

She would get her revenge, she would seek out new friends.
She’d prevent her life plunging to hell.
She would simply say ‘Bye’ to the hate of her life
And leave him to fend for himself.

Inspired by Paul Simon’s ’50 Ways to Leave Your Lover’

#meredithschumann #author #authors #poem #poetry #revenge #paulsimon

Room That Smells of Sawdust

Photo by Jaime Fernández on Pexels.com

Even from the double doorway, its clear that the room that smells of sawdust and electrical current, or perhaps ancient floor polish combined with brand new dust. Just the aroma was enough to release a weight into the pit of my stomach, and its name was social anxiety. Social fear, to be precise. Or to be even more precise, the dislike of leaving the house after dark and the even stranger dislike of attending school meetings without a child in tow.

I enter the school hall and find myself a chair at the side, half way back. As I sit I realise that turquoise spray paint decorates each brown chair’s rear. Presumably intended as a blob of identification, the paint has dripped and dropped like the liquid plastic it is.

With aching stomach and creaking back, I watch as the Amazonian in front of me sweats profusely. She wiggles her feet with skin yellow-dry and scaly, and for a second I’m sure that she’s an entirely different form of creature than human. Still, she seems very nice – smiley, chatty and sociable – so she’s better than I am.

As the hall fills with the white noise of other peoples’ unintelligible chatter, I feel as though I’m the only person alone. The only person resentful at this time imposition, and this weird return to high school education that all parents must tolerate. But, I’m not tolerating.

A man gesticulates in front of the projector screen. His black jacket with red arms makes him look like a superhero. I realise I’ve forgotten my glasses and know I’ll need a superhero to see the PowerPoint’s text. It isn’t just the blindness that makes me feel out of it. I’m just lost. Dazed. Unseeing. Unhearing. I want to go home.

A beautiful tattooed woman takes the seat next to me and I am temporarily distracted by her punky purple hair and multitude of silver rings. The youngest child of two snuggles contently on her lap and I hear him telling his mummy that he loves her.

My eyes blur as I look at the school’s handout. None of the words make sense.

I look again at the Amazonian as she presses her feet onto her soles, and for the first time I notice her ankle tattoo – a lizard climbing. I’m grateful when a latecomer takes the seat next to her as it enables me to concentrate instead on the smoothness of the young lad’s fuzzy scalp. He’s a little lad, but big too – on the verge of adolescence or perhaps just past it. He rests his head on her shoulder and she kisses the top of his head.

My heart melts and the school presentation begins.

#meredithschumann #author #authors #fiction #shortstory #shortstories #schooldays

Just Keep Breathing

‘Just keep breathing,’ he said.
‘You’ll be alright,’ he said.
‘I’ve got you,’ he said.
And with that, the man who’d been my rock and my love for the last fifteen years let go of my hands and waved me goodbye. It sounds cosy enough, but as he unlinked his fingers from mine, I plummeted from Floor 65 (the marketing department of my employer for the past seven years) to the ground. That’s what happens when your lover suspends you from an office block window.
His face was the last one I saw, and that smile as he watched me flail and fall – I think that was the only genuine emotion he’d ever shared. At that moment, when our skin lost contact, I knew, categorically, that I’d been right about him. Not all along, obviously. Only Lissa had known who he really was. And she’d known right from the earliest moment.
You know how they say that events of your human existence flash in front of your eyes as you pass from mortal life to eternal death? Well, I concede the truth of this.
As I fell, a flickering, fast-action film played behind my eyelids, and unsurprisingly, the film of my life omitted my earliest years. The fast-playing cinematic odyssey began only at the moment I met Artie Shaw.
I trusted his name. It was reassuringly working class and Northern – I made an assumption that he was reliable, down to earth and generally nice.
(Of course, I had no idea at the time that he’d changed his name as a tribute to Arthur Shawcross – the American serial killer – but in deference to his psycho hero, only used a shortened version of the man’s name – Artie Shaw.)
It was only four years after meeting him that I became aware his birth name was Adam Smith, but when I met him, just before my twentieth birthday, on a Duck and Partridge-organised trip to Alton Towers, I didn’t know.
‘Call me AS. Or Artie Shaw. Whichever version you like,’ he said, as he lightly and almost imperceptibly pushed away my best friend, Lissa. She scowled at him and continued the scowling all the way to the amusement park. But AS, AKA Artie Shaw, AKA Adam Smith, appeared unbothered by her disapproval. He barely looked in her direction, and I can’t pretend that I wasn’t flattered. After all, he was, and still is, the most amazing looking man. Skin so soft, and virtually hairless, eyes dark violet, and hair reaching his shoulders in curled black coils. Even as I fall I still don’t believe there is another man so surface beautiful in the whole of humanity. Though, behind his eyes there’s an unmistakable ugliness.
On that hour and a half coach trip, we talked mainly of music. Back in those happier days I was into the band James, and he took the mickey. Of course he did. Artie was far cooler than I would ever be, so was, of course, a fan of Nirvana. Later we spoke of badminton too, and I was shocked to discover that he’d watched me playing the previous day at the gym.
‘You looked hot,’ he said. He didn’t concentrate on my game or my power shots – he just thought I was sexy, that my breasts were bouncy, my legs were long and muscled, and my hair was ‘nice and shiny’ and parted in the middle. All surface. Just as he liked it.
I know this now. But back then I’d never met another person like him. He seemed to charm the entire pub or bus or room on every occasion he spoke, and always gathered himself a crowd of enthusiastic hangers-on.
And he was interested in little old me.
Lissa told me right from the first moment that I needed to keep away. She warned me not to get involved, but who listens to their best friend when a gorgeous violet-eyed man who could have had his pick of every girl (and many of the boys) in the pub shows interest?
It didn’t help that my mum and dad were as charmed by him as I was, and so was my flatmate.
Lissa was the only one who saw through the surface charm.
‘He’s lying,’ she’d say. ‘I don’t trust him. You shouldn’t either’.
‘But he’s lovely,’ I’d say, and put her concerns to one side. What best friend could ever compete with Artie Shaw, the most delectable male being ever to be born?
I should have realized what was to come when I tried to organize a date night out.
‘Can’t darling,’ he said. ‘It’s a night out with the lads tonight.’
‘Since when?’
‘Since forever. Cuppa would be nice, darling.’
I filled up the kettle and texted Lissa.
‘Fancy a beer, stranger?’ I wrote. Her response was immediate – ‘Yep, Grey Bull at 8. OK?’ But it was only two hours off, and I had to make dinner and have a shower and dress up a bit. But when Artie saw me preparing myself, he charmed me into staying at home.
‘I’m expecting a delivery, darling. I feel terrible, but…’ Of course, I agreed. But as soon as Artie left the house, my rebellious streak kicked in. It rarely did. But the rebellion continued to increase with every brush of my make-up. I arrived at the pub only a couple of moments later than Lissa.
She directed me into a corner with our drinks. I was dressed nicely but not fancy, in my expensive jeans and a tight but not revealing t-shirt. I wore boots with small heels and my hair was down.
Suddenly, Artie turned up at the other side of the pub.
‘That’s why I suggested coming here,’ confessed Lissa. ‘He’s here a lot and you can hear his voice echoing from the next room. Am sorry to tell you this, but he’s usually with another woman.’
‘Why haven’t you told me before?’ I gasped.
‘I couldn’t find the right time. I’m sorry.’
So, this was why Lissa had deliberately selected a small nook, away from passing customers, the bar and the toilets. Instead of this being our sweet, clandestine night out, it had transformed into a spying session!
His voice did carry. Every sentence he announced as in the style more of a political broadcast or speech. I half expected to hear rapturous applause and whistles and cheers after every one of his proclamations. But I hadn’t seen who he was in the pub with.
Once the shock began to dissolve a little, I asked Lissa if the woman was always the same. She shook her head.
‘Perhaps they are workmates or girlfriends of his mates?’ I suggested.
‘Does it sound like that to you?’ she said, her expression grim.
I listened again. There was plenty of giggling, and even more of that sonorous know-it-all voice. Well, that was a change. I was beginning to think negatively about him. I couldn’t remember ever admitting there may have even been the tiniest trace of anything untoward in any element of his personality.
I couldn’t’ remember precisely what served as my final trigger. And I couldn’t remember another night out with Lissa that had comprised of almost no talking.
But when I heard Artie referring to my beloved dog as the ugliest creature ever, I exploded inside.
‘Don’t do it,’ whispered Lissa as she looked at my face crinkling up with scarlet rage. ‘Don’t confront him here. No good will come of it. Honestly. Please!’
But I couldn’t and wouldn’t listen. Not at that point. I suddenly realized what I’d been hiding from myself. This guy was a no good narcissist, and probably worse.
I had to restrain myself from vaulting over the bar and clubbing the arrogant bastard. Instead, spoiling for a fight, I restrained my fury and marched out of our nook, like an ill-tempered Jack Russell, with Lissa at my heels.
Flash forward eighteen hours. Change location to my office building. And remove the entire cast of observers and Artie-fans.
And here I am, falling. You’d think that panic would warm me, but all I feel is chill factor. My immediate removal from the pub had made local news. And after that, my eighteen hour hostage status had been updated to potential fatality. On the ground, reporters hovered. Cameramen smiled. Observers observed.
I’d been dangling for twenty minutes before that bastard let go. And as I fell, I watched as the hostage team ensured the correct position of the safety inflatable intended to prevent my entire body from breakage. I landed.
I hit. I bounced. I stopped screaming.

Narcissist in our Midst

The narcissist considers herself to be intelligent, complex, analytical, logic-based, and something of an enigma. 

To the stranger she seems strong, secure and in tune with her own needs, and she loves to exploit that, but the reality is that her character is underdeveloped, pitiful and weak. It’s a weakness which seems strong – she energises when required to fight, she seeks a battle which will enable him to (over and over again) establish what she feels is his superiority over the remainder of the human race – the fools and the decent, responsible people who (by and large) willingly comply with what is required for a smoothly-run society. 

But the fools’ general acceptance, our general acceptance, is what keeps the world running.  Narcissists mistrust that.  Perhaps they outwardly demand political change and overhaul, but once again they’re often hiding their own truth behind a facade.  A narcissist needs those very systems as much as the rest of us do.  Without those systems they would not survive, as they do not have the character to effectively support themselves – they need the financial backup of the state.  Perhaps they hate the police and law and order in general, but would be the first to make the call if a group of youths were getting a bit too rowdy.  There’s a constant and underlying hypocrisy at play.

‘My’ narcissist: she’s surly, sturdy and intimidating.  You can’t put your finger on exactly what it is, but there’s something uncommon about her body language, about the way she holds her neck and shoulders, about her stance and about her stare… It may be indefinable, but it is certainly not quite right.  Not quite trustworthy.

And if you’re the person I think you are then you feel things, you think things, you empathise and always try to look at the brightest glowing embers of your fellow humans.  You probably also try to view shortcomings as challenges or chinks in otherwise flawless armour. And guess what – you’re just the type of person my friend and her narcissist comrades are looking for.  They need you to make them function and each will draw you into their world by love-bombing you early on – so you’re inclined to think the best of them in later times of cruelty and pain. 

At first there will be gifts and compliments and tolerance, but soon (and these things start small so you can’t always see them till it’s too late) you’re backing away, defending yourself, constantly dealing with insults and unpleasantness and unhappy times. 

If you are happy, the narcissists give you reason not to be.  You look to outside your relationship for relief, only to find that they destroy those relationships, or even destroy the people themselves.  Soon you, the empathic being that you are, will be providing the narcissist with precisely what they require, perhaps out of fear – or perhaps through misplaced loyalty… or perhaps (and this is one of the reasons why their love-bombing is inevitable) the hope that all this may be just a temporary phase they are going through.  It isn’t.  It’s permanence and it’s reality.

Narcissists give you nothing but flattery, commands, insults and grief.  Why? 

Because this person can only take.  And you can’t heal a narcissist – not ever.  This person will never be changed because, to change, first you need to want to change and understand that change is required. 

But narcissism is egosyntonic.  No narcissist may tolerate any thought or statement about themselves which challenges their own existing belief system.  They cannot accept that they may be unpleasant or might benefit from some form of behaviour management, and they are certainly not people you would ever find studying a self help book for nuggets of truth and assistance. 

Consider asking someone what, if anything, about their personality they would change or like to work on. Most of us thoughtful types would surely put forward a suggestion – perhaps we’d like to remove our negativity or gain more confidence or decrease our gullibility or take command of our lack of self control…. whatever.  Most of us have our suggestions.  Some of us have a great many.  Narcissists, on the other hand, would state with great bombast that you must be crazy if you think that it’s them that’s the problem.  They are perfectly in control.  They are just right as they are.  They are perfect.  This is what they do – projecting their own mental condition back onto you and to anyone who dares question them.
After all, this is simply a game, the game of narcissistic life, and, yes, a narc will play till the end.  But they will play only by their own rules as those are the only ones acceptable to them.  When you wish to play another version of life – the normal, not narcissistic game, no matter how many times you may try to explain, the narc will say, ‘No. You’re a fool, that’s not the game’.  You, your thoughts, your possessions… all inadequate, all wrong, all pathetic – so they say. 

So why won’t they let you go? Why do they hold onto you if you are so inept?  Because you, you poor ordinary soul, are his lifeline and link with normal humanity – his victims.

Life with a narcissist is a form of hell, and just about the most unpleasant time you will ever experience.  They say one thing and when you question them about it they deny it (that’s called gas-lighting).  They project their weaknesses onto you.  They demand their narcissistic supply (a supply of attention, good or bad, which keeps them fired up and makes you unwell, confused and hurt).  Oh yes, they hurt you.  They make excuses and give the hurt a reason, but my God, how they hurt you.

And it’s all for one reason – because of their desire to control you and keep you with them.  Not out of any kind of love, because this person won’t experience love as you or I know it, but out of their need to be with someone who meets their need for control.

Complex aren’t they, these narcissists?  Well, they’d certainly like you believe that – that they’re full of intense mystery and hidden depths – but the reason they need to intimidate, bully, hurt and siphon off your powers is because they have none of their own.  You see, at the start of their lives, when the emotional self was maturing, they stagnated.  They’ve never moved on towards full emotional maturity or into a state of taking responsibility for their own actions, growing their own true personalities, developing their strengths and improving their weaknesses.  They’ve remained in a semi-toddler state going through the functions of being a real human being, but not actually managing.

It’s all an act.  The only thing that isn’t an act is the nastiness.  And you, the normal, the empath, the victim, the enabler, had better get out when you can, as soon as you can.

Narcissistic Contempt (guest blog by Sun Paige)

I’m a good person, I say to myself over and over.  So why is this happening to me?

Have my actions led to this?

Surely life isn’t so unjust that these things be allowed to happen without just cause and without future consequence?  What about karma?

The chair wobbled under me, my centre of gravity corrupted by this burgeoning mass in my belly.  My baby.  Our baby.  Six months inside already and just another three to go. 

But nobody gets to put their feet up anywhere near Him.  I’m accustomed to both his looming presence and the atmospheric malevolence accompanying it, but this acclimatisation comes at great personal cost.

My friend calls him a knobhead every day. I smirk but it isn’t quite right. He’s more than that – and less than that.  Weak and feeble inside – and that’s what I need to keep telling myself.  The worst thing that ever happened to me – and the best thing too. He unintentionally gave me the gift of this bump inside me, the first one that’s stayed with me till such a late date. I’ve learnt to see good where I can in the world. I can see it here – in this baby growing.

The chair doesn’t seem strong enough to take my weight.  I don’t want to be here. On another chair next to me are boxes that need storing in the top cupboard, high up and built into an alcove in this tall-ceilinged terraced house. 

And He refuses to fetch the stepladder.

The chair wobbles under me.  My centre of gravity is pulling me forward, but I manage to reach out and grab a low cupboard handle.  It wobbles too (the screws are loose) and I shriek.  The top box of three falls to the floor but I manage to right myself as I feel the beginnings of tears in the corners of my eyes. 

He shouts at me.

‘What the hell are you doing?’

‘Putting stuff away.  Somebody has to,’ I say.

‘Well, I’m not.’

I know he’s not.  That’s why I’m doing it, that’s why I’m unsteady on a chair because this guy, this physically healthy, tall and strong guy is ‘scared of heights’ to such an extent that he’ll encourage his six month pregnant partner to balance unsteadily.

Meanwhile what’s he doing?  He’s reading the news on my computer, a symptom of his obsession with the facelessness of projected tales. It’s the nearest to human interest he can manage.

We had a meal at posh pub to celebrate my new job – I paid. 

He didn’t allow me onto my own computer, but on the few occasions he wasn’t there to watch over me, he set up keystroke tracking software. 

I organised babysitters so we could erect a large set of wardrobes, but he didn’t move from the bed. 

We saw his ex in Morrisons, and she looked down at my growing bump, then back up at me with pity and compassion.  I should have introduced myself and asked for the rationale behind her pitying look, but I didn’t need to. I already knew. 

I should have told her he’d already been controlling my food intake, that he was quick to anger, and that he was controlling.

So, don’t let them in. 

Whether they be friends or lovers or bosses or co-workers, or parents or children…

Don’t let them in. 

Tell them what you think.  

Accept when they inevitably disagree. 

Allow them to demand conflict, but don’t get involved. 

Just walk away. 

Never be less than yourself, no matter how small they try to make you.

I know.

I’ve been there. 

On that chair. 

Doing what needed to be done because I knew nobody else would. 

But I was wrong. 

I should have kicked him into touch. 

I should have kicked him out. 

That’s the problem when you’ve been brought up to be too nice.