“Why,” I asked myself, “why would the proud owner of a custom-built, chrome-wrapped Lamborghini jump the green light in a drag race against much cheaper, rusty old ‘sleeper’ cars? Was it inexperience? Excitement? Adrenalin? A mistake?”
It took over a week to figure it out because, like so many victims of narcissistic abuse, my common sense has been severely damaged. Why? We’ll get to that later.
So why did Mr. Lamborghini jump the green light? Because he was terrified of losing to a rust-bucket with nitro under the hood! It wasn’t a mistake, inexperience nor adrenalin. It was a choice.
Common Sense, deceased
See if this sounds familiar. It takes you forever to figure out cause-to-effect. It takes you forever to play out a scenario to its logical conclusion(s). When the details of cause/effect change, it takes you forever to figure it all out again and adjust accordingly. And when people behave erratically or unexpectedly, it takes you forever to figure out what is really going on with them.
Me too! That’s why I’ve come to the conclusion that our Common Sense is another victim, another casualty of Narcissistic Abuse.
Hey, it makes a lot of sense! Think about it. Narcissists deny the evidence of our own eyes. The logical conclusions we make. The conviction of our intuition. They rewrite the past, present, future and themselves with their silver tongues, insisting we take them at face value and never read into anything they do or say. Reality is their plaything. Facts can be twisted, truth altered, logic gaslighted past all recognition.
Pretty soon we begin to live as though the Altered Reality they’ve “created” actually exists. We react to the “reality” the narcissist created rather than to real reality. In my article Don’t You Dare Show Pain –Smile! Smile! Smile! I called living in this altered world “Living Symbolically.” Abandon reality, truth, fact and common sense all ye who enter here. Among many rules for Living Symbolically, the most important rule is simply this:
Behave as you would if life and people were perfect at all times, no matter what happens. Don’t respond to the situation. Respond to the “perfect” world.
To do this, you must abandon your Common Sense. At first, it was at the narcissists’ insistence. Then it became a way of life. Let me give you a few real-life examples from my life.
Rediscovering Common Sense
With my bandage-covered-still-healing Common Sense, I finally figured out why it took my narcissists six months to respond to my original No Contact letter and why they did not then ask to know why I was stepping away, even though I offered to tell them. Took me five years to figure that out!
With my newfound Common Sense, I finally figured out why a narcissist of my acquaintance yelled, “I hate pornography” with fists upraised for emphasis. When I stopped taking the statement at face value and realized, “That much drama means only one thing: the opposite of their statement” then things started making a whole lot more sense.
With my resurrected Common Sense, I dared to put the pieces of the puzzle together. To remember a narcissist who avoided certain sights, did certain things, said certain things, feared certain things. Suddenly, a cohesive picture emerged…sending me into profound shock.
With my healing Common Sense, I suddenly realized that I was asked “Did So-and-So ever molest you?” about one particular person. There were many people in my life who could have molested me…but I was only asked about that one, that particular one.
With my strengthened Common Sense, when I read that when Jessica Willis of America’s Got Talent fame was called “demon possessed” by her rapist when she confronted him, then the scenario where I was accused of being in league with evil powers finally has an inkling of context.
You have to dare! Dare to entertain the opposite of everything your narcissist said. Dare to see their “yes” as “no” and their “no” as “yes.”
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Dare to have the thoughts, feelings, insights, observations and intuitions the narcissist forbade you from having.
Dare to make connections between things.
Dare to kick against your brainwashing, to defy your mind control.
Dare to trust yourself, not them.
Dare to think the unthinkable.
Dare to rewrite history.
What steps out from the shrouded mists of the past may shock and horrify you. It may shake the foundations of your life. It may trigger tears so profound and powerful, the capillaries in your face burst from the pressure of those sobs. (Been there!) It may send you into silent shock, for days.
It will also set you free.
Healing your Common Sense is a slow, careful business. You can’t snap your fingers like Dobby the House Elf, and suddenly have simon-pure Common Sense. Like all healing from Narcissistic Abuse, healing your Common Sense takes time and careful attention. But it’s kinda fun! The first time we suddenly see through all the crap to what’s really going on is a wonderful moment indeed!
What is it Martha Stewart always says? “It’s a good thing!” 😀