Because I had been raised by abusers, I used to think that I could handle difficult people. I see the traps long before most people do, and I thought seeing them meant I could manage to avoid them. But I learned in the hardest way possible that I am not immune to abusive people in my present. I can manage abusive behavior, but it takes its toll on my mental, emotional, and physical health. For me, being around an abusive person, even if I am not the one being targeted, triggers all my past trauma.  It literally feels like poison in my body. When it comes to narcissism and other incurable personality disorders, the only solution is to get far away.

Toxic people see an opportunity in me to be their codependent. You see, I have empathy. I am a hard worker. I have integrity. I play nice and get along with others. I allow others to have the spotlight. I prefer to let my own actions speak for themselves. I believe in the principles of “yes, and.” I am a peacemaker. I don’t demand much maintenance. I make others look good. I am narcissist candy. 

I can’t even blame the narcissist for finding me so tasty because I tend to take all the responsibility for being this way. 

I am healing, and what I know for sure from this journey is I can’t live under anyone’s thumb any more. It’s heartbreaking to close the door on relationships I once treasured because there is no way to continue in an equitable, healthy way. It’s heartbreaking to realize that my agreeableness was the only thing holding the relationship together to begin with. It’s heartbreaking to walk away quietly from toxic people and realize they really don’t even notice or care. It was a one-sided relationship, and I had exhausted myself holding it up. I duped myself again, thinking a narcissist cared about me. 

Also sad is the thought that I am prone to repeat this pattern. I’m working on it, but I am worried about my future ventures. I like that I am a peacemaker. I like being humble and caring. I value the qualities that make me who I am, but I don’t want to be a target for jerks. For me, it means being very selective about the people I allow in to every aspect of my life, and letting go of the ones who don’t reciprocate compassion and understanding.

 
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