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“You’re real, and people respond to that,” my chiropractor said to me when I asked him his opinion on whether or not I should get my real estate license.  I’m no salesman–AT ALL–but he feels that my approachability and openness are natural assets to sales.

My client who asked me to think about getting my license and working for her had previously said nearly the exact thing.  In fact, I hear it a lot.  “You’re real.”  I always chuckle to myself, “I’m a real what?”  But, the fact remains that people who know me see me as genuine and “real.”  And, you also know that these posts sometimes get a little too “real.”  I embarrass my kids with my “realness.”

Something happened when everything was stripped from me though.  I stood naked before the world.  Vulnerable.  Needy.  Lost.  All of my sins and failures exposed.  There were some who threw stones and laughed at me, whispering behind my back.  But, there were others who came rushing in to cover me with their own coats, hugging me in reassurance that I was loved and things would be okay.  I found that the only way to truly get my needs met as a human being was to be willing to get real with others about those needs and fears and failures.  I also found that it’s just about the only way to connect on a terrifically deep level.  When you share your worst nightmares, it encourages others to open up and share theirs.  Pretty soon it becomes a circle of affirmation, connection, and encouragement that just isn’t possible when everyone is hiding behind the clothing of a false perfect life.

I found that I kinda like being naked.

So, Bachelor #2’s continued accusations fell on deaf ears.  I have laughed at his antics.

I did not respond to his understanding-but-it’s-a-bummer email, and I unfriended him on Facebook.  I was just letting it go.  As the saying goes, “Not my monkeys, not my drama.”  But, in true abuser fashion, he wasn’t willing to let it all go so easy.

He sent this:  “I noticed you haven’t responded in a while and you have de-friended me from facebook.  I have always been very open and honest, but I understand not everyone feels the same way.  Some like to keep secrets.  In all honestly, keeping secrets is a red flag for me.  People keep secrets when they have something to hide.  I do believe that if someone has nothing to hide then they hide nothing.  I don’t mind when others disagree with me as everyone is entitled to their opinion.  I don’t expect people to fit into my “mold” as this is what makes us unique.  Most, however, don’t like disclosure and I think this speaks volumes.  Clearly, we are different in this area.  I hope the best for you and your children.”

You see why I laughed?  He’s ACCUSING me of keeping secrets from him because, after meeting him ONE TIME for an hour, I simply told him that I choose not to engage in the conversations that demand I defend my home schooling.  I was nice about it, but I let him know that his line of questioning, a second time, was a bit offensive.  Instead of apologizing or even just saying that wasn’t his intention or explaining what he really meant, he has launched into an attack on my integrity.  If I choose not to answer a question–asked by a STRANGER–I must be hiding something.

And, isn’t it big of him that he doesn’t mind when others disagree with him?  A true sign of a humble person.  For sure!

I really love how he let’s me know that my “keeping secrets” from him is a red flag to him.  Ummm, take a hint, Buddy, I’m not responding to you!  I’ve seen waaaay too many red flags with YOU!  It reminded me of junior high, “You can’t break up with me because I already broke up with you!”  Except I was never with this guy.

My eyes are open to this game now, but they weren’t always.  At one point in my life, his tactics would have worked.  I’d been living it my entire life.  My mother accused me of sleeping with my step-dad when I was 12.  She said there could be no other reason that he was nice to me other than that I was “fucking [her] husband!”  Of course, the reality was that he felt sorry for me because he knew what she and my dad were like and how they treated me.  The truth was that she was sleeping with my dad, in my step-dad’s house while we kids were home, and I knew it.  Better to accuse me and put me on the defensive than to have me divulge her dirty secrets.

My ex-husband brought home venereal diseases, couldn’t explain hours of missing time or money, and hid gifts for his lover under his truck seat (which I found).  I was kept impoverished, working, and, for years, without a vehicle, yet he constantly accused me of cheating on him.  Even when I was working and there were multiple witnesses to the fact that I was indeed caught up in a work crisis, he was convinced I was having illicit sex with someone, everyone.

Don’t feed the beast.  My ex quite often told the kids and me the abuse was our own fault because we should know better than to poke the bear.  Shifting blame, false accusations…..it’s how narcissists/abusers/wicked people roll.  Abusers are wicked.  Narcissism is a fancy word for what the Bible calls pride, and that was Lucifer’s ruin.  More on that later.  For now, let’s stop feeding these narcissistic beasts.  Let’s do the healthy thing and walk away.