March 12, 2018

The Mark’s Manifesto: Conned by Narcissists, We Rise Again.

We’re not the first or the last people to be conned by narcissists.

They had us at hello, but it wasn’t the hello as much as the disarming smile that crept beneath our careful defenses.

Charm so often disarms, and the fortresses of our hearts were breached. We were raided and left in ruins—or at least it certainly felt that way in those days and weeks and even months of looking back at the signs we should have seen but didn’t.

While we go back to building our defenses, they go whistling merrily along on their way.

Relationships with narcissists can wreck us.

They leave us questioning our judgment, examining our belief systems, and even poking holes in our self-esteem. How could we not see it? I’ve been there more times than I care to admit.

As an empath (or Highly Sensitive Person), I’m a little more susceptible to being the mark of a narcissist than I’d like to be. After the last round of heartache, shock, drama and betrayal, I decided that I needed to write The Mark’s Manifesto.

Yesterday, we were conned; today, we rise again. This is for all of us who have been burned by narcissists and who have had enough.

This is The Mark’s Manifesto:

Yesterday, we were conned.
Today, we rise again.
We won’t ever be marks for a narcissist again.
Sugared smiles and empty words will only alarm and not charm.
No, we won’t be taken back into your arms.
We won’t be defeated, and we won’t feel ashamed.
We’ll take responsibility, but we’re not taking the blame.
We won’t take on guilt for all the lies we believed.
We won’t feel embarrassed for being deceived.
We won’t be gaslighted or tricked into believing
That you didn’t mean all your goddamn deceiving.
All your honeyed words were dripping with lies
To open our hearts, our wallets, our thighs.
We have learned lessons that ripped us apart,
But we will rise stronger and love worthy hearts.
We were the marks, but we won’t be again.
Yesterday, we were conned, but that was then.
We won’t ever be marks for a narcissist again.

Our hearts are broken, but they won’t stay that way. When we’ve been burned by a narcissist, the best thing we can do in the aftermath is heal and try to avoid repeating the experience in the future. It’s not easy because the narcissist is often charming in a way that seems trustworthy.

In addition to the manifesto above, we might want to keep these three things in mind going forward:

Take people at face value. We need to listen to what they’re saying and not just hear what we want to believe.

Look for red flags. In the past, I’ve often overlooked red flags because I made excuses. It’s easy to assign a reason to a behavior. We all have reasons. But we need to cut out the excuses and take the behavior at face value, too. We don’t need to make exceptions to our core values.

Be real with our support system. Friends can hold us accountable. When we’re honest about our relationships, our friends can often spot the signs before we can. Being honest with ourselves and our support system can help alert us to the presence of a narcissist.

Being broken by a narcissist is one of those life experiences that is becoming all too common. I hope that we can all rise up stronger and commit to loving hearts that will love us back in kind. It wasn’t our fault. We weren’t to blame. But it’s time to get stronger and reclaim our hearts and lives.


Bonus: How to Bike Every Day




Author: Crystal Jackson
Image: Wiki Commons
Editor: Travis May
Copy & Social Editor: Catherine Monkman

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