Love Bombing is the unique phenomenon of blanketing potential sources of emotional energy with messages, texts, calls, and overwhelming flattery. I experienced this twice in 2013, and together, along with the diagnosis of lupus, it put my world in a definitive spin for nearly two years. Having spent my mid to late childhood with a physically and emotionally abusive narcissist, I should have seen the signs, but honestly I was in an amazingly low spot after publishing my first book. So I walked right into it. My bad.
The first turned out to be a new publishing house complete with relationship. That’s right, I made the mistake of mixing business with pleasure and started dating one of the partners shortly after my indoctrination. Man, did I feel the love. Seriously, they couldn’t stop telling me how I, lowly author of one mediocre novel, was going to be the next big thing. Now, none of them had actually read my novel. Since pulling it from the shelves and doing a heavy content edit, similar to what I do for my clients, I found massive holes and weak motivations. In short, it needs help, but that was missed by my new courtiers. Nope, they weren’t hearing any of it because they were after me, not necessarily my work. Strange for a publishing house. Meanwhile, one wanted me to send secret retweeted messages to their former lover, the other showered me with an ABC list of the ways they loved me, and the third was on fire with passion about the major publishing houses to whom he’d sell my blockbuster novel.
The second love bombing came from a potential business partner. I was it, according to them, and we were going to take this industry by storm. My sincerity and skills and knack for inspiring people was just the ingredient they needed to grow this thing into the clouds. Oh, and the calls. So many calls and messages and talks about who wronged them and how, then why they were so happy to be working with me. How I had such an ability to cut through the crap and be supportive. Meanwhile it was look at this, read that, is this person stealing from me, that person is a codependent b—-.
And I was supportive of both until I no longer had the energy to keep up with their constant demands and need for attention. So exhausted, then ill beyond belief and exhausted. Both wanted exclusive rights to my being, but neither were going to get them. Sadly, had I not gotten sick, this might have gone on for a very long time. Thankfully it didn’t, though neither situation ended quietly because not embracing the narcissist’s dream is akin to saying it isn’t worthy, which is ridiculous.
This equation has two sides, and my part was feeding the monster. Having been taught to be a skilled people pleaser, I have an almost intuitive ability to understand people’s needs. It isn’t magic, it’s a way to avoid conflict by satiating and calming the beast. It means constant and blanket unconditional acceptance of every behavior or thought. It means not speaking out when something is wrong and swallowing every opinion that contradicts their view of the world, no matter how paranoid or unrealistic the view.
I fed them out of insecurity and fear and the ominous uncertainty of the empty future before me. Single mother, alone in the middle of nowhere, barely surviving and too proud to tell anyone how bad it had gotten. I wanted to be around people with answers, people who were in control, and somehow managed to find my way back to a sickening yet familiar place, something I thought years of therapy had conquered.
The pit of our past is vast and grows even when we try to ignore it. We are essentially wax figures fashioned from a series of events and people. We live in a large wax museum, waiting for the world to heat up enough so we melt away. And I have several times over the years, at least melted away the shell of experiences that no longer serve me.
But now I’m coming out.
(Yeah, I’ve been dating a woman for almost a year now. She’s wonderful, and I love her.)
However, this is another type of coming out, something I should have done a long time ago. This massive secret and the events above almost made me walk away from writing, editing, and everything I’ve grown for many years now.
I’m a Recovering People Pleaser who seeks out narcissists when I feel insecure or lost or need someone to control everything about me so I feel wanted and worthy and loved.
Whew. Now I’m sick to my stomach, but it’ll pass soon.
Here’s where we’re going next… *steamers and glitter*
I’ve made some mistakes whilst navigating the waters of writing, publishing, and editing. Some bigger than others, and a few I’ve yet to clear up mainly out of fear, but I’ll get those cleaned out by March. Others I simply have to live with, acknowledge, and move on. But to what?
It begins with separation, not the complete walking away I originally planned. My content editing and spiritual stuff people will find under Ranee Dillon, and my fiction under K.C. Charles (currently growing on twitter @authorkccharles.)
I love content editing. I love form and structure and watching an author craft amazing masterpieces because nothing is more magnificent than being witness to the birth of new art. I enjoy writing and crafting and sometimes I want to share those worlds with you, other times they’re simply a form of temporary escape. Both are a part of me as flesh to bone, so walking away from either due to misjudgement and mistakes is incomprehensible.
What do I stand for? Hmm, I guess this is where I begin to figure that out… again.
1) Writing is an art and craft. Both should be respected.
2) Treating people poorly out of fear, ignorance, and insecurity is unacceptable.
3) Speaking up and being direct, even when it isn’t popular. (This one is a constant work in progress.)
4) Showing respect and expecting it in return.
5) Kindness and compassion, but drawing the line at taking on other people’s issues. (If I wanted to be a therapist, then I wouldn’t have gotten my degrees in Economics and Design.)
6) Publishers, editors, and agents work for authors, not the other way around. (Think about this one. You pay them for a service, they don’t hire you for a job. It’ll take a while to change this dynamic, I know.)
7) Understanding that no one has the answers to fix or change my life except me. And I definitely don’t have any answers for them.
8) //*Under construction.*//
So, that’s why I deactivated my accounts and why they’re back up again. It’s going to be a bit of a struggle to get my sea legs back. I’m still searching for medical insurance and care, so my road to lupus remission is going to take time, but we’ll get it done. While I sort that out, I’m slowly returning to work and the human race. I suppose we have to come out of our shells at some point because eventually we outgrow them, then they shatter, and we’re left exposed and vulnerable. But I don’t fear that as much anymore, and that’s a start.