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You Don’t Know It’s Poison Until You Realize You’re Dying

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Three years ago, I was so much in love, I couldn’t even hold a real conversation with anyone.

I could look at you, and it would appear as if we were holding a conversation.  I was probably nodding in the right places, but I likely wouldn’t have added much.  I wasn’t doing it on purpose.  If I knew you well enough, I’d probably let you in on my secret that I had absolutely no interest in pontificating on any deep subjects. 

I couldn’t explain why though because I didn’t understand exactly what was happening at the time.  Understanding itself would have required too deep of an analysis.  Now, however, I can look back and see that my own brain was resisting the intellectual realm because dwelling there too long forced a retreat from the emotional one.  Back then, that emotional electricity could have had me rationalizing whether robbing banks was acceptable just to keep the waves pulling me under again and again.

Ambushed by my own brain.  And I thought I was so smart.

It was like being on cocaine 24/7.

I relished the “letting go,” because I knew for a fact that I’d never been in love before.

He let it take me over too.

In the right hands, it wouldn’t have been dangerous.  I trusted him.  That’s what he counted on.  That’s what he induced.

Normalization doesn’t happen all at once.  It happens one tiny betrayal at a time, until he’s split in two–

Which one are you?  The good one or the bad one?

–and, then, so are you.

*  *  *  *  *


Now, I can look at you, and it will appear as if we are holding a conversation.  I will probably nod in the right places, but I might not add much.  I’m not doing it on purpose.  If I know you well enough, I might let you in on my secret that I would love to pontificate on deep subjects, but I can’t focus very well on them right now.  Sometimes I have trouble accessing the intellectual realm, because there’s been a short-circuit in the emotional one.

I wanted that sensation of drowning.  I didn’t want to actually drown.

Now I’m just trying to swim.

Kristen Milstead

Kristen Milstead is a narcissistic abuse survivor who has become a strong advocate for finding your unique voice and using it to help others find theirs.

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