My X was the master of everything.
He sold himself as a master gardener, even though he had no formal training, no degree or certificates, and could barely make ends meet with his business or within his own farm. That didn’t matter though, because he could just as easily change that title to subsistence farmer, which had an air of humbleness to it, but left his family in poverty.
He thought he was a master musician and was appalled by anyone’s advice on how to play better. He was a master painter in which some might have called a dabbling hobbyist. He was a master healer, as smart as any doctor out there, and liked to brag that he almost went to medical school. Almost. He felt naturally imbued with the knowledge of a holy man, and liked to impart his spiritual beliefs to those who would listen. He loved telling me the story of how he could still taste the nectar at the back of his throat that his guru gifted him.
He conveyed a confidence in whatever he was talking about that made people believe him, including myself, even if he was lying or making shit up. He lied and made stuff up so much it became hard for me to distinguish the truth. His reality became the reality. And when I wasn’t in the haze of trying to understand what had just happened, and questioned what he said or did, he would deny it and ask for proof. I would then question my own memory of conversations and events. Often, he told me I was imagining things and to stop being crazy like my mother.
He was a master schemer. A master manipulator. A master bullshitter.
With my X being the master of everything came the knowing that I, for sure, didn’t have a clue. I would need him to be my guide. When I gave him ideas and advice about how we could bring in income, he would tell me I was young and naïve, and didn’t know what I was talking about. He was always older and wiser and more experienced. But when I found a job, he complained that I wasn’t helping him and had abandoned the farm.
He would fervently speak with endless verbal diarrhea of all the great things he was going to do with his life while he napped, smoked pot, and watched TV for most of the day. He would call me lazy while I tended to two children, a home, and a job. He blamed me and the children for his money problems and told me we were too expensive. He had a judgement for every person in my life – friend, family, social circle. There was something wrong with all of them. I lowered my standards, making myself small enough so that he didn’t feel threatened by my presence. I gave up on expecting a normal life celebrating holidays and milestones, and having a family connection.
When I found the courage to leave him, he threatened to take my daughter away so I would never see her again. He used my child as bait to control me. He called my parents and told each of them that he had tried to help me, but that I’d gone crazy. He worked on aligning my Mom and Dad against me. My dad believed him. He divided our family.
The second anyone tries to convince you that what you believe is untrue or unreal, stop. Be with yourself for a moment. You have your own facts and feelings that you can trust. Your emotions are valid. You need not apologize. You will grow into greater self-awareness and become confident and self-reliant.
Have compassion for yourself.