Hi Miss Emily-

I wasn't going to write back since, like I said before, I'm sure your inbox is crazy full. But I started reading a book and from ALL the books and articles I've buried my nose in on the psychology of relationships and disorders...yes disorders... this one has shed the most light on all the confusion. I know neither one of us in that "relationship" was healthy. As Susan Elliott puts in her book, Getting Past Your Breakup, "Healthy people don't dance with unhealthy people." So I own and accept my part in this for sure and always have really. I made my own decisions and dated him willingly and mutually.
Anyway, I'm pretty excited (at least for the moment), because the content of this book I'm reading seems to be spot on in a lot of areas. The book? Narcissistic Lovers by Cynthia Zayn and Kevin Dibble, MS. As I read (and note I'm only about a quarter of the way in) I'm having these light bulb moments. Now, of course, I'm not a psychiatrist or even a therapist, but so much makes sense now and I'm much less confused about both of our behaviors within the relationship and after the breakup.  Again, I don't deny my responsibility and I can't diagnose the guy, but if he's not a candidate for NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) I'd be really surprised. Knowing this has changed my outlook on him, myself and the other women in his life. In fact, I pity them, because they have no idea and are still part of his life and in positions to be very emotionally devastated. And I'm the lucky one, because I'm free and clear of that drama. Because of this, my depression is lifting. I'm feeling more confident about myself and, as I was reading today, I could feel my self- esteem rebuilding. And I could feel the awareness and new knowledge actually seep into my mind. I actually feel like I have some semblance of my own power back...right where it belongs! Just wanted to let you know. I was feeling really awful when I wrote you. My self-esteem had been stripped, and I couldn't understand much of what had happened to me -- loss of self, feeling more depressed than I had ever in my entire life, etc. Asking, if I was so special, how could he move on (or move in with her, like moving in for an attack is more like it) so quickly? Now I know. And now it makes sense. And yes, you are so right, a life on an emotional roller coaster isn't the way I want to spend my days. He was deadly to my health and I'm glad he's gone. Even if I am left with residual physical effects. I can recover.  That being said, though I've had this epiphany, I realize that I'm not ready to dive back into the dating world. I've got things to learn, and my life to rebuild. I know that I would be in danger of getting involved in yet another dysfunctional relationship. I'm much more interested in going it alone, learning who I am, deciding what I like and enjoying my life as my own for now. Last night I saw a bumper sticker that said, "Grace Happens." I thought, "Oh yeah, when does it happen for me?" Well, I got the answer. Today...today it happens for me. Again, thank you for being "out there" in cyber space. I appreciate you.:) happy