Tuesday, March 29, 2016

On Narcissism.

It's funny. You keep posting about me. You keep coming back into my life and demanding I change things. Recently, you attacked my business, threatened to sue me, and said that I must remove any reference that we ever were friends or ever had a professional relationship. And now, you post about me being a narcissist. Oh, you don't use my name, but you tag my ex in it, so everyone in your little world can know you're talking about me. Guess I can do that same here, then, since I never use your name. It's funny tho, you calling me a narcissist. "He doth protest too much."

So I took down your songs. Not because you're right, mind you, but because...well, because maybe you are right. We didn't ever have a "professional" relationship, or even a real friendship. It was so goddamn one sided with you...I provided my services, recorded your music, helped finish and re-record what Ben did before he died, out of love for his memory and out of friendship for you. Yes, I was an amateur, but you couldn't afford anything else so I did it for free. And while I have the legal backing, and I only posted what I did, I just took it down. Why? Because why would I want to associate with a never was like you?

For the ten years of our friendship, you just took. Never gave. You lived in my dorm, for free, because you couldn't pay your rent. So I sneaked you in, and you lived with me for weeks. You ate my food, used my shower soap and shampoo, and generally, used me. 

When we did music together, you were such a god damn premadonna. You were extremely talented, sure, but you never could get your shit together to do anything about it. You literally drove everyone out of our "band" with your petty selfishness. You treated us all like slaves to your talent. I booked our paying shows. When Ben was alive, I was the one to pay him. I was the one who drove your broke ass around to job interviews, shows, picked you up from that friend's house up on the hill when you were living with him, when you lived with John. I stopped you from getting fired from the pizza place numerous times.

I introduced you to your first real girlfriend and supported you, even though she was a royal bitch who couldn't stop trash talking your friends. She started feuds with Kyle's (ex)wife and mine, and wouldn't allow you to see her. Oh yeah, that's right, it started when you lived with me, again, and we accidentally walked in on you two having sex.

Man, I had your back all of the time.

But apparently, I'm the narcissist. Ha, it's like you've never even read the damn definition. It fits you to a T (pun intended, asshole).

The criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:
  • Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
  • Exaggerating your achievements and talents
  • Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
  • Requiring constant admiration
  • Having a sense of entitlement
  • Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
  • Taking advantage of others to get what you want
  • Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
  • Being envious of others and believing others envy you
  • Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner
Weird. That isn't me. And no one in my life, including my counselor, would describe me as such. Well, maybe that crook my ex took me to see, but after talking to some of his peers, I wouldn't be surprised if he loses his license. But that's another story. 

But it sure as shit fits you. I'm not a psych. But I was your friend for 10 years. And so were several others. Those who know you best call you a narcissistic asshole. And I guarantee, any honest psychologist would agree. 

My former relationship and my current one is none of your business. It never was. Just because I confided in you did not put you in charge of deciding my life. Yes, I screwed up my marriage with my ex, and so did she. Who is at fault is not for you to decide. And it never was. And no matter what you and your wife's opinion of my relationship status, it doesn't mean you get to come into my life again, and again, spewing your hatred. My life is none of your business, it never was, and it never will be. 

I mean, you're a special kind of sick fuck, demanding I take down anything having to do with Ben, your "brother in law." Yeah, dude, you married his sister four years after he died. You sure like to re-write history, like he was your best friend and that marrying his sister all those years later gives you right to use his name. It doesn't. Your relationship with your wife is none of my business. I have my opinions, too, but that doesn't matter because it's none of my business. But Ben was my friend before he was yours, and neither you nor your wife get to dictate that. Ever.

Anyway, I guess this is the end of the rant. It's weird that my ex and I can make peace, but you just can't let it go, even though it never had anything to do with you. Unless, you know, you're compensating for something. Maybe you did something you regret, and you're terrified of your wife finding out? Is that why you have painted me into some kind of villain, and you just cannot let it go, a year and a half later? "He doth protest too much."

Who knows. But it's none of my business. Just like my relationship is none of yours. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Open Letter to My Ex "Best Friend"

An Open Letter to my Ex Best Friend.

You said we were best friends. I was always there for you, for over ten years.

When you needed a job, I helped get you one. When the manager tried to fire you, I told him not to and defended you. When we were roommates and you were too broke to afford food, much less shower soap, I just gave you what I had. When you couldn't afford to drive to our recording sessions because your car broke down again...I drove. When we went on our first "tour" to upstate Washington, I drove.

When you turned into a stoner and abandoned your friends for awhile, including me...I was waiting with open arms when you snapped out of it.

When you started dating that girl who became your first real love, I celebrated with you. When she showed her crazy side and made you cut out your friends, including me...I was there waiting when you came back.

When Ben died, we cried together. I tried to help you finish the album we had started so many years before with him, even though we were no longer a band. I did this because we were friends. Best friends. When you decided to leave for Nashville, I encouraged you and honestly thought I would hear you on the radio someday. I told you not to forget about the little people.

When you found your true calling was to join the military, I celebrated with you. You joined the Army and I was one of the first to call you after you graduated boot camp. When you deployed to Korea for two years, we spoke constantly via email, Facebook, and Skype. You felt lonely and depressed and unsure of your mission, and I helped remind you of where you had been and how far you had come.

Then you came back and got married. I was your best man, and I still smile when I remember the look in your eyes as you saw your bride. I celebrated with you that day as you committed to the woman you loved. When you felt lost and hopeless in navigating your role as a warrior and a husband, we had many, many conversations to help you navigate this. When you still struggled with it as you returned from Korea, I had your back as your brother and listened to your struggles.

When I had my own demons I fought, as my marriage crumbled due to my failures and the abuses of my wife, I sought solace in my brother. We spoke often and at length, in phone calls, emails, and text messages. But what I did not know then was that you were saving these exchanges to use against me. That you would later take the advice you gave me and give it to my (now ex)wife, to tell her to ruin me. To send her carefully edited versions of our conversations, making YOU look good and me look horrible as I confessed to you my struggles.

You stood on my neck to make yourself taller.

When I sent you emails of your struggles to show you that you were human too, and not the infallible person you made yourself out to be, you sent me back vicious, hateful half truths and lies. You literally told me that because we did not share the same struggles...that you were and have always been better than I.

Once again, you were cutting me out of your life. Once again, because you could not stand up to your partner and tell her that I was your best friend, a flawed human being, that had stood by you in your struggles and welcomed you back with open arms a hundred times. No. You decided that I was not a flawed human being who had made a mistake. You decided that I was the sum total of my failures, twisted my words, and invented more failures.

You stood on my neck to make yourself taller.

You, my best friend, walked away from me when I needed you most.

I guess, as I write this, and look back upon our long history...I should have seen it coming. I guess we were never really friends at all. I was merely a pawn in the game of your life...and when I no longer suited the narrative lens you wished the world would see you by, you discarded me like so much rubbish. Again.

You stood on my neck to make yourself taller.

I honestly hope you find the happiness and contentment you were seeking as we had those conversations. I miss you brother. But now, looking back on everything...you never really were my brother, were you?

You stood on my neck to make yourself taller. And you'll never, ever feel badly about that.