I was talking with an old friend the other day. We hadn’t seen each other in something like 15 years. We fell right into the groove of our friendship, but not our old friendship, no this time ’round we are different people, with different experiences. Both of us have come to understand our parents’ narcissism. We’ve lost people. We’ve lost children. Our paths have both crossed rivers of abusive relationships & we’ve both been rocked by tides of PTSD. We’ve both fled from monsters & been stalked. We’ve both devolved fibromyalgia & auto-immune diseases.
We didn’t sit in the cafe & compare our war stories but there was a cool exchange of “Hey… you too? Cool. Glad we each survived that!”. It was one of the most self aware, honest, bullshit-free interactions I’ve had with someone for a long time. I blame it on Namaste.
No, not quite the version they blather on about in yoga classes (though I think that version is quite beautiful). This is something darker but with the potential for so much light…
I think there is a version of Namaste that happens with damaged people. Instead of souls recognizing the divinity in one another, damaged souls are able to recognize the damage in other people. In part this is what allows abusers to find victims (as most abusers were first victims themselves), but it’s also how we (as humans) are best able to help each other. We can look to another damaged soul & say “It’s going to be okay. Where you are now, so once was I.” & extend a hand to help lift them up.
Over the years I’ve acquired a lot of damage. It has become quite easy for me to look at someone and see though the side effects to the cause. I can spot sexual abuse & trauma from miles away. I can tell if you were raised by a narcissist. I can tell if you’ve been stalked. I know Aspergers & PTSD & OCD. I’m acquainted with depression, anxiety, & bipolar. And if you’re open to it, we can have a chat about it. Not because I want to “fix” your life but because I want you to feel less alone in it.