This reading on narcissism has helped to clean house of my sketchy friends. I mean it’s OK and desirable to put up with imperfections and idiosyncrasies in fact we love each other for our foibles not our perfections. Not only do I not have to be perfect, it’s better if I’m not.
The latest episode was an accountant I met over at Cafe Beano, Tom. Perpetually in shit with his clients for not getting their taxes done on time, that kind of thing. Seemingly nice guy, conservative but not too rabid, liked to chat about business, a fav subject of mine, so as long as we didn’t stray too far off topic we got along. Politics was a no no, he was too right wing. Art he was clueless as well. Religion? Nope.
I didn’t know that it had to be his topics of interest, otherwise he got bored and irritated, a red flag I just learned about today, I mean I’m recovering from being groomed from birth to be codependent, meaning making my needs and desires secondary to an abuser. Hardwired.
So I had just left Edi, thrown out for speaking up about getting my needs met essentially, and was looking for friends, the coffee shop was a place to start.
Turns out that the coffee shop was a place for those with mental health issues to gather, all the halfway houses being defunded by conservatives in love with reaganomics and thatcherism.
So Tom was the best of a bad lot, charming, educated with a degree in accounting he said, (he lied, never finished), and someone to spend time with. It never occured to me that he should call, or look me up, or ask me how my day is going. That ol codependent thing yanno.
Fast forward 9 years of aquaintenship and he still hasn’t done my taxes which has been ok as I couldn’t afford to pay them, or him, so we just let it slide, year by year. Then this stroke thing happened, I’m suddenly homeless, my old apt. was up 4 flights of stairs, and I need my taxes for last year to prove entitlement for government assistance to get a house set up. In fact if my taxes were done I could have financed my vehicle through the credit union, where they have disability insurance. Oh well, didn’t need that credit rating anyway. Month after month dragged by, I’m still in the hospital and the social worker is saying, what’s wrong, without the taxes done, I cant apply for anything, and Tom keeps saying, soon, soon.
Finally we strike a deal where he can fax the documents, to the social worker, but not file them, with the government (no accountability), but at least she has them, which is useless to me. Tom wants me to mail them, to the feds. I call the tax people and they say that will take weeks, a reputable guy would netfile, have your assessment in days. Hey, here are 4 companies we recognize who will do it for free, just plug in the raw numbers. Tom why don’t you do that for me? Naw I don’t netfile.
So I do that one Sat morning, on my tablet, in the hospital, half paralyzed and sure enough, it’s easy, could have done this months ago. I had been listening to Tom saying how complicated and scary it is and how scary the tax guys are. (Fear Obligation Guilt FOG). Why doesn’t Tom do this, I’m starting to wonder, he’s kept me in hospital so long they are threatening to dump me in the shelter, with 4000 other homeless men.
It was so easy that I did the other missing years on a Sat. morning, getting returns for each year, Tom said I would owe instead. More fear and obligation.
What the fuck? I’m too busy with therapy and finding a place to live to stop and consider but when finally he demands payment, for work that is done late and is incorrect (when I finally did the taxes myself, I got a 600 dollar refund, his work said I owed). Now he won’t take an interac transfer, insists I write a cheque. Uh Tom, I cant write anymore. Well get someone to do it for you. Huh? I’ll send it over the net… No that’s not safe…Huh?
Again, it’s all about him. Tom I pay my bills on the net…So he mails me a stamped self addressed envelope, again I tell him I cant write, its humiliating to ask someone to do it for me, so out he comes with the obligation and guilt yadda yadda.
Best guess is he wont netfile or interac bank because he’s afraid of the net. He covers it by saying how important he is and has important information on his computer. Well so does every other accountant…
So finally I stop and put it together.
Entitlement. Lying about his qualifications. Manipulating with shame obligation guilt. Lying about the bank not accepting out of province interac transfers, lies lies and more lies. No consideration of others, even a guy in a hospital that needs the services he promised, the only consideration is his entitlement to a life free of inconvenience. I’ll get to it when it’s convenient. The guy that almost landed me in a homeless shelter, I got a place by using credit cards overdraft and a decision to have a room mate which I swore never to do. Finally the assistance money came after I had been out a month. If I had still been in hospital, no longer acute, but at 5 grand a day, they would have been forced to dump me in the shelter.
So this relationship goes out to the trash today. Do I feel better? Numb mostly. I realize how close I came to being homeless. Depending on a narcissist. Convinced he was a friend, but I was just a reason to make him look good, (as long as it doesn’t cost him, he never donated to my gofundme, not even buying me a coffee) helping the helpless.
The good thing about dumping them is you tend to thrive afterward.