Some people just don’t like you… complicated families and narcissism

I know that’s kind of straightforward, but it’s true. Try as you might, you will not connect with everyone, you will not be understood by everyone, and you will not even be given a chance to be seen for the real you by everyone.  Kind of in the same way that life is not fair. It just isn’t.

I’ve been thinking about this recently due to events going on in my life. Boyfriend is flying back to the Midwest for the second time in two months due to his mother being seriously ill. Their relationship is complicated to say the least, as is his relationship with his brother… both are narcissists of sorts, and neither have ever liked me. Why? I’ve never had a concrete reason, I just know that Boyfriend and I have always stuck together and that I could not be used as their pawn against him. Calling me to get information about him didn’t work, and neither did putting me on the spot or trying to create drama that I wouldn’t allow to be created. I refused to play along. It took a little while to see through the phony and to truly understand that game that was being played but I have come to see them both as manipulative, attention-seeking, hurtful, and heartless people over the years.  I just thought they didn’t like me. Only recently did Boyfriend and I learn about narcissism so we can now recognize what was going on, as I mentioned here. Generally, narcissists don’t play fair, and no, they don’t like people who don’t play their games and don’t give them supply.

The reality is that Boyfriend’s mother will not get better and likely die in the near future. Without getting into specifics, most people who begin hospice care do not survive. I admire Boyfriend for being the strong, courageous person that he is to jump back in to the fire, so to speak. While Boyfriend has not only been conspired against and kept in the dark about many family affairs, he has only begun to scratch the surface of truth. Yet he has had to undo the mess his brother helped create over the past five years, with most people in the family blind to  the chaos that both narcissists have dealt in for years. I believe in God and I believe in Karma, so it will be dealt with one way or another.

I am not the most touchy-feely person, except with those who are dear to me, but I help people for a living. Regardless of personal feelings, agreement with people’s’ choices, etc., I am compassionate and try to empathize with people’s pain and suffering. I do my best to connect with the people I am called on to help, and I do the best I can to understand these people and their needs. These people are grateful for me, my team members and the partners we work with who try to improve their lives in the smallest way. That means something to me. When someone can admit to mistakes and wrongs, I can respect that.  I guess, what I’m try to say is that I am having real trouble feeling any of these feelings regarding the situation I described above. I have trouble feeling bad for someone who is suffering now, yet has caused many, including the person I love, great suffering throughout their lives, showing no remorse, admitting no harm, and even justifying repeated bad behavior with “I didn’t do to you what I did to the other person.”

Some people just don’t like you, especially when you stand up for yourself and others against their unfair or simply wrong behavior. In some cases, a level of respect might develop between you and that person because he/she likes a challenge and you brought one. Some people bank on fooling you once, and fooling you twice, and fooling you until you don’t know what happened. This isn’t about me, but the situation does affect me.  I have known this dying person for several years. I would like to feel something about the situation, like compassion or empathy or even sadness for a relationship that wasn’t, but… It’s not there. I tried to have relationships with his mother and his brother and they did what narcissists do: they drew me and then tried to manipulate me and Boyfriend. I’m sure there are other people who have survived something similar with a narcissist that can relate to this. I would like to make peace but there is no peace to be had with a narcissist unless they are out of your life in some way, shape or form. My only hope is that Boyfriend gets to find closure when the time comes, and that the other narcissist doesn’t pick up where narcissist mother left off. I pray that the family can get through this time without the knives coming out, and that the good rather than the greed in all will prevail. I hope that the “Golden” child’s reign is over and that the “Scape Goat” either gets a fair shot to tell his side or finally gets the support he deserves. I am most sad about the damaged family dynamics. No one should ever have to live through this.

I believe that we as human beings all have good within us, but I believe that some people would rather do what is easy, even if it’s wrong or hurtful, so they don’t have to tell the truth or take responsibility for their actions. Some people would rather leave this earth without making amends or telling the truth because it would shatter the fake reality they built for themselves. They have to make the choice…

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell

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Tourist Trap ~ NYC

Rock CenterIn response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt from 02/21/15: “Tourist Trap.”

One of my favorite tourist traps is New York City. As I am sure you figured out already, I am a Yankee fan! Yankee Stadium in the lights

After a seven year hiatus from NYC, I took a three-day weekend trip in June 2014 to visit my younger brother, who lives near  East Harlem. This was a pretty relaxed mini-vacation and it was meant to celebrate my brother’s birthday, which was great because I got to spend time with him and a few close friends, meet his girl and relax.  I was on a budget so my goal was to have fun but not buy or spend too much, and I succeeded. Too bad the Yankees lost to the Red Sox! In my previous five trips to the other Yankee Stadium I  acquired a perfect winning record and, I have to say, the vibe was not the same as I remember in the older stadium. Still, I enjoyed seeing the sites at the newer stadium, got to see Derek Jeter play in person one more time, and my brother and his friends were wonderful company. Kid, D-Nice and Marvin

Patsy's PizzaSince I haven’t visited my brother or NYC in a while and I had seen many of the big attractions on past trips, one of my objectives was to see my brother’s daily existence – his neighborhood, his commute to work, the places he frequents, and reacquaint myself with a few of his friends whom I met the year prior when they visited Chicago, as well as play a little tennis. I was very lucky in that the weather was beautiful, my flights were on time and that my brother and I got to really hang out, eat good food and talk, which is not the same over the phone.  My first choice of food was pizza because, regardless of what Texans think, they don’t really know about good pizza. We ventured to Patsy’s Pizza (2287 1st Ave NYC 10035, http://thepatsyspizza.com/), as my brother gave me a walking tour of his neighborhood. We were starving by the time we ate, and I thought it was the best pizza I had eaten in awhile.  If you are in the area, check them out!

RFK Bridge near my brother's place
RFK Bridge near my brother’s place

One thing I didn’t get a chance to do on previous NYC trips was play tennis at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY. Being a tennis player for most of my life, I have watched on TV many great U.S. Open matches, and I was very excited when my brother suggested that we book a court. The rental courts serve as the practice courts during the U.S Open and you are able to walk through the grounds, see outside of the large stadiums, the statues and take in the scenery. USTA statue While I am no longer at my best, we had a great time on the court on a beautiful day and we will both cherish the opportunity to have played where the greats play. I enjoyed soaking in some of the tennis history, reading the list of champions, seeing photos and walking through a bit of Corona Park. I think I even saw the concession stand where George Constanza ate his sundae! As we made our way from the subway, I caught a peak of Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, and we took a few pictures by the Homerun Apple that had been a fixture in the old Shea Stadium. Court 17

Armstrong stadium

There is no shortage of places to eat any and every type of food you can imagine, but I can always eat breakfast food and pizza. For breakfast on Sunday morning, my brother and I ventured over to Fetch Bar and Grill, a dog themed-restaurant that partners with Animal Haven to find homes for dogs and cats. The food was good and reasonably priced, and the service was fast and friendly. If it had fit into our schedule, Fetch seemed like it would have been a fun place to grab a drink. Another place we stopped in passing was Pie Face, where I picked up a little birthday dessert for my brother. They had a great supply of mini-pies in many varieties, and upon looking them up, was sad to learn that they closed most of there NYC locations. However, I came across Two Little Red Hens (An American Bakery), which I would like to visit for a dessert on a future trip. Created with Nokia Smart Cam

While I don’t have a return date in mind, New York City remains one of my favorite places to visit. I experienced a lot of the big attractions on my first two trips, and feel fortunate to have seen the view from the top of the World Trade Center five months before 09/11/01. The view was absolutely beautiful, and on my second trip, unfortunately, I saw the personalized memorials and  the last of the ruble and debris being removed. 

courtesy of latitudeslife.com
courtesy of latitudeslife.com

One of the reasons I like NYC so much is that you can find whatever it is that you are looking for –  shopping, culture, art, sports, music, food, indoor activities, outdoor activities, and all walks of life. One suggestion I would make: with a budget, target a few places or activities on your must-do list and plan for them.  Some events and tours required advance purchase of tickets or fill up fast. I have had fairly regimented trips but been flexible and it has worked well.  New York City is one of the major cities that sells a pass that enables you to visit multiple museums and tours for a flat fee rather than paying at each place, including the Guggenheim, the Top of the Rock, MoMA, Metropolitan Museum of Art and 70+ more places. 

Times Square

Long Island City

 I would personally recommend each of those places, as well as South Street Seaport, the Empire State building, the Staten Island Ferry and the Roosevelt Island tramway, and Yankee Stadium, which I have seen over 6 different trips. My only wish about this last trip was that, other than the Yankees game I didn’t plan much and then learned about places that my brother and I would have enjoyed… I guess they will be on my NYC tour.

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell

* All pictures unless noted are posted courtesy of Chrellie

Me and my brother