Beyond educating the reader on the topic of narcissism, sociopathy, and psychopathy, my aim here, in this space, is to bring the audience into my journey as a writer, a survivor, and a life lover. The writing process, my road to recovery and everything in between will be addressed, all while the sequel to Inhaled is being written.
Here we go!
ULYSSES AND THE SOCIOPATH
So. What inspired me to write Inhaled, a book about becoming unhinged, about sex, about emotional abuse? Why did I think that my story was better, more original, worthy of being shared…publicly? What made me think that my narrative was so much more compelling than the millions of stories already being lived, as we speak, by other victims of emotional abuse? What made me think that I was so special, that my circumstances were so unique, so singular? And what about emotional abuse? Isn’t it considered to be the tolerable abuse, the forgettable abuse, the softcore abuse, the type many of us have been taught was part of the living “à deux” experience? Is it really interesting to talk about such a lukewarm topic? After all, if you can’t see it, does it really exist? Rhetorical question.
The truth as to why I wrote Inhaled is quite simple. I wrote to cope, to survive. I know. Unoriginal. Strange events-strange to me, the straight, good girl- started to unfold in my life, prompting me first to loosely document them in a journal. Slowly but steadily, though, the feelings accompanying these events started to crush my everyday life. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t eat, sleep or think. These manifestations of distress became the signal. They became the springboard and platform from which I would structure my story, the real writing allowing some air to reach my lungs and oxygenate the mind.
Along the way, confused, I somehow decided I would remain in a twisted and dangerous relationship, betting against myself, pulled by an unhealthy curiosity, knowing something was not right. Transfixed by a visceral need to stay and observe him, I allowed myself to become a voyeur, a vulgar voyeur, a common voyeur, and an unapologetic voyeur. I knew he was crazy; I knew everything about him spelled danger, trouble and dishonesty. Yet, I wanted to know, fully, if the monster was real or just an illusion. I wanted to dissect his ways, unearth his secrets, dust off his mask and remove it from his face even, completely, all from the comfort of his home, his bed, his couch. An overzealous anthropologist is what I transformed myself into. Like Homer’s hero, Ulysses, I decided to tie myself to the mast of the empty vessel that was his home, thinking I wouldn’t succumb to the charm of my siren’s songs, his words, his promises, his lies.
Yes, you see, sirens come in all genders, mermaids to some, mermen to others. They strike under whatever form guarantees a catch, securing the wreckage, using their silences as much as their chants to numb your defenses and pull you inside their world.
Like Ulysses, I heard the voice of those sirens. I exposed myself to their melodies over and over again. Like Ulysses, I wanted to indulge, thinking it was safe to do so, thinking that I was strong. Stronger. But unlike him, I ended living with those sirens, sharing minute elements of everyday life with its king, my handsome Triton. I ate with the creature, slept with it, played with it. Ulysses was able to navigate successfully and pass the siren’s seductive island, resisting its pull, pursuing his journey. Mine, my ship, well…it anchored.
To what extent I survived remains to be seen.