“For the past two weeks,” I wrote in my journal on October 25th, 2013, “I have been obsessed, utterly obsessed, with learning about narcissism. For the first time, life makes sense. Memories from as far back as age 5 are logical and validated.”
I had “discovered” narcissism less than two weeks before writing this entry and had much to learn about narcissism — and about effective journaling. This selection is from my “Journal #2 of 7” is interspersed with tips I’ve learned on making journal writing effective.
Journaling is not the time to be polite. Like General Lee said in Gettysburg,
“You must hold nothing back. You must commit yourself totally.”
“Memories from as far back as age 5 are logical and validated. And that in itself is challenging. I am daring to REBEL against THEIR spin on reality.
“I am DARING – and it’s bloody scary – to say that, ‘No, you [the narcissists] are WRONG. Even your understanding is wrong. I am right. I am right about YOU. Even YOU are wrong about YOU.’
“That seems unmitigated gall. It is REBELLING from their MIND CONTROL. Their reframing of their actions and history.
“For the first time in my life, I am saying that I KNOW BETTER.
“And you can no longer tell me what is ‘TRUE.'”
Journaling is the time to be “naughty.” To be angry,
even though the narcissists forced you to always be happy.
Journaling is not the time to watch your P’s and Q’s.
“I revile your reality. I reject it. And I will do what I want, regardless of your rules of RIGHT and SAFETY.
“And this takes great courage.
“My first rebellion — first REAL REBELLION.”
When I first started journaling, I tried to abide
by their rules for my behavior: no swearing, no rage.
Well, THAT didn’t work!
If you can’t trust your innermost thoughts to your journal,
who can you trust?
So, go ahead. Swear. Use every word in the book.
Get ’em out of your system.
Better to take your rage out on a page of wood pulp
than on other people or have it turn inwards
and become depression.
“Oh, I tried before. I cried. I argued. I was very upset, but it didn’t matter. Their Will was Law. And even minor infractions were treated with…direct confrontation…
“I am now rebelling against the assumed system…
(The truth is — and this is galling — they don’t hold on NOR worry as much as I think….)
“I’m just gonna ignore them. Yes, it’s my right to do exactly what I WANT without relation to them. Even if it hurts them. Even if it worries them. Even if it causes them ‘stress’…
“I’m prepared for the stern, guilting [message]…Which will be utterly inappropriate, if it comes.”
And it came. Of course, it came.
A voicemail in that worried tone of voice,
inculcated to cause guilt — true, false or otherwise.
I ignored it. Filled six more journals with emotional scrawl.
And lived happily ever after.
P.S. So can you.