FWIW, it's incredibly common for victims of narcissists to, upon researching narcissism, believe that they are in fact the narcissist. It is part of the abuse cycle, you've been made to think that everything that goes wrong is your fault. That even stating your boundaries is somehow an affront to your partner, or controlling.
They say that if you are asking yourself if you are a narcissist, it's unlikely that you are. Glad you got that reassurance from your IC. I too went through a chunk of time where I thought I might be NPD or BPD. IC has reassured me that I'm not. She has spent a lot of time reassuring me that my setting of boundaries was not controlling, it was protecting myself. But I also know that there is always room for confirmation bias, and of course she is only getting my side of the story.
Though I will say, I have spent an awful lot of time making excuses for why it's all my fault, so she's heard "his side" as well, at least what I was able to interpret from the cryptic shit he said in the last few weeks. My trauma wound is also still really fresh, so I think we'll also have to see what pans out once my mood stabilizes a bit more.
Problem with BPD is that it almost completely overlaps with C-PTSD, with only about 2 major symptoms that would make it a BPD diagnosis instead of C-PTSD. And given my history of emotional abuse from the SAXH, plus a little bit thrown in from my Dad in childhood, C-PTSD is the more likely diagnosis.
It's funny, because up until the A, I would have said I had a healthy self-esteem as well. I had worked really hard to get to that place too. I didn't know what DBT was back then, but now that I've researched it, I've realized that I was doing a lot of that stuff for myself already. I was intentionally challenging narratives when I would feel insecure or uncomfortable. I wouldn't automatically jump to a negative conclusion about something someone said. I allowed my intuition to bring out good, bad and even neutral possibilities in almost all situations. IOW, I wasn't choosing to have a entirely negative outlook, like many learned mental schemas will have you do, I was in fact challenging those schemas.
I dressed how I want, ate what I want, didn't wear makeup because I didn't like it and didn't feel pressured to just to "fit in." I said what I felt, and didn't feel bad for having an opinion. I was clear about my boundaries, and didn't make apologies for them. I felt healthy, and whole.
But his exit A really fucked up how I view all of that. I now almost every session of IC need reassurance that my behavior in being confident, setting boundaries etc. was not in fact controlling, and did not contribute to the downfall of my marriage. He had/has me convinced that it was, emotionally, even if logically I can see that it wasn't. That's what emotional abuse does to you though.
Is it possible that you have C-PTSD from living with your narc mom all those years? Long term, sustained emotional abuse will do it.
I still have that great long post to reply to you guys, but I have today off and am about to go pick up DD20 for a girls day, so that will have to wait 'til later.
Oh, and coco, re: the smaller red flags you noticed - different political leanings than you, religious when you are an atheist, materialistic - yeah, all of those were on my list too. In trying to be non-judgmental and accepting, I decided that I should accept these things for what they were. If I could be accepting of him, then he would be accepting of me, we could both live together knowing that different is different, not necessarily wrong. However, I learned that doesn't always work, if you have a particularly manipulative person you're dealing with. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being of any particular political leaning, or religion, or even of liking nice things, but some people twist what would be considered good, ethical ideologies to fit their own agendas. His ability to twist things to fit his narrative should have been of more concern to me than his actual political leanings or religious upbringing. Oh well, live and learn.
Oh, but did want to share a brief update. After I had that breakdown the other night, I kind of had a breakthrough of sorts. I met some new people on set at work the next day, and due to some delays, we had a significant chunk of down time in the middle of the day, and we all got to talking. I kind of got into more in depth conversation with one girl and one guy in particular. I didn't even realize what had happened until after we had stopped talking, but all of a sudden I thought, wow, did we just vibe a little bit? Through a little bit further of conversation later in the day, I think, in fact, we might have?
Soooo, long story short, I think I have a crush on a guy through work? I'm terrible at reading signals now. I've been out of the dating game for nearly 8 years. He could just be a super nice, amiable guy. He has a really, really nice smile that has a way of sucking me in. I can't help but question myself and think that he's just a nice guy, with a nice smile, who is being nice, just as I would be nice to anyone. I would love to find out if there's something more to it than that, I'm just not really sure how.
I think we've had some good, albeit short, convos. Not particularly flirtatious, but I also wouldn't necessarily expect that in a work environment. Unfortunately I haven't been able to talk to him too much, even during our down time, because my supervisor is a hawk and even if we are standing around waiting until we are needed like we are supposed to (there's a lot of "hurry up and wait" in our industry), she gets weird about anyone talking to anyone outside of our department. Problem is, this job ends in about 2 weeks, so I kind of have to make a move sooner rather than later.
Arrggghh it would be so much easier to gauge if we were out at a bar or something. I feel like when you're out, and you talk to someone of the opposite sex for a few minutes, you can immediately tell if something is going to happen or not. But at work, they could just be making conversation because we all have to be there for 10 hours+, and it makes the time pass.
I've recruited a work friend to help me suss out the situation. We'll see if it goes anywhere. If it doesn't, well, I'm trying to look at this positively in that I'm not dead inside!
ETA: I'm well aware of my fragile state right now. Which is why I think I'm being overly cautious about potentially reading into anything. I still have my DBA chip, and I intend on keeping it! No. More. Assholes
[This message edited by HeHadADoubleLife at 12:12 PM, January 28th (Tuesday)]