I wrote this May 4th 2017 and have come a LONG way since. It’s my hope someone, anyone, gets something out of it.
I was laying in my bed last night thinking about my past relationship I had with a narcissist for 27+ years. Reminiscing about how toxic it was but the reminiscing was not in an unhealthy way. I wasn’t focused on the bad, I didn’t start going back down that mental rabbit hole and it didn’t, thank God, elicit any I’ll feelings, anger or hurt like it once upon a time did. After thinking for a little while about this now dead interaction, it seemed like all the names that were “third parties” to our so-called relationship started coming to mind. I imagined that I was having somewhat of a fictitious conversation with him and found myself starting to point out to him how many superficial relationships he’s had since I’ve known him – superficial because they were based on material things, sex and how he could benefit from them – and that he must be the one at fault because he’s the common denominator but even within this make believe conversation, I automatically caught myself cleaning it up and telling him that I could easily say that but it wouldn’t be entirely accurate. See, the truth is, and I’m not sure if I’m going to phrase this right, but the truth is….it’s not 100% his fault! Yes, the behaviors are unjustified and inexcusable but the reality is that we, the narcissist’s “victims” or “targets”, allow ourselves to be treated in such a deplorable manner because of issues that still need to be addressed. The narcissist executes the behaviors because of his or her own deep rooted dysfunctions, but we allow it to continue. To happen in the first place.
Anyway, after thinking about all this, I was blown away by how many others that he’s gone thru since I’ve known him, that most likely have or have had at the point in time they dealt with him, various unaddressed issues just like myself. I felt a sense of sadness and a sense of ‘wow’! People, we have to heal. Whether our trauma/issues/dysfunctions are no longer able to be ignored and brought to us on a silver platter by a sociopath or be it some other messenger….we have to become more self aware, be willing to go into uncomfortable territory, love ourselves and ultimately HEAL. Spring clean the negative in order to bring in the positive!
Self reflection is awesome. Awareness is even better. Once you get it. Most of us know, at least those of us with half a brain or who have experienced it first hand, that being in an unhealthy relationship is emotionally,
psychologically, physiologically and even physically draining. So when chaos breaks out and we go thru it with our significant other, the one we care about, that person that knows how to push the right button or buttons and then walks out, why do we instantly wish that they would come back? Well, there’s obviously many answers to that question depending on a lot of factors, but what I’ve come to realize was that it wasn’t the actual person I was wanting back – after all, why would I want someone whom I just argued and fought with, who just shifted blame in my direction and took no responsibility for their behavior, deflected, lied and attempted to manipulate me and the entire situation to his advantage, to come back into my presence? Shouldn’t I feel relieved that he just left? Shouldn’t I see that as an opportunity to gather my thoughts and regroup? Yes. Well, let me add a disclaimer right after that answer: if you’re even remotely emotionally stable you SHOULD see it from that perspective, but obviously, when dealing with a malignant Narcissist or any other person with some element of a or actual severe personality disorder, it doesn’t work that way. If indeed you ARE dealing with someone like this, then chances are you yourself have some unhealed emotional wounds that need to be addressed. So with that said, seeing it from that perspective will probably be the furthest from your reality in that moment, for hours or even days to come and a lot of times until that other person comes back. Back to ultimately end up going thru it again and again with you. So what is it really that we feel if we’re at least smart enough to know in the moment of that conflict we wish this person gone, the fight to be over and things to calm down and then when they leave, want them to come back?
In my own personal experience, it took me a while to realize that it really wasn’t the person that I wished would stay and not walk out the door, but rather it was me trying to avoid the feelings and mental scenarios that I knew would automatically come as a result of them not being there. Feelings I didn’t want to deal with because they were too overwhelming and draining. Scenarios that I would create, whether real or speculated, that were too painful, such as WHERE he was going, WHO he was going TO and WHAT he was doing. All of those things were the driving force behind why I thought I wanted him to come back – or not leave in the first place. Once I connected the dots about this, I was able to stop beating myself up about having such a stupid desire and finally address the real issue. I was able to take another step forward on my journey to heal my issues and dysfunctions.
It has been sad that when a narcissist is exposed with his games, lies, manipulations and slander – that in their mind it becomes war. It’s literally like they feel as if they need to fight for their life! Meaning, although the narcissist may be fooling, manipulating and playing games with multiple people at the same time, it’s a totally different story when they are found out by multiple people in the same time frame! I was privy to seeing my narcissist, what was in my opinion, him losing control. It seemed like his maliciousness, lies and uncaring attitude had recently reached an all time high because not only were these actions directed towards the usual ‘victims’, but now i saw people who had always been on the ‘off limits’ list now become targets in his line of fire. Even my dog fell victim to his out of control dysfunctions but that’s another story that I DO NOT want to talk about right now.
Without going into too much detail, their was a situation that occurred a few months ago where relationships went sour, tons of accusations made and just an overall mess involving many people. Oh yes, my narcissist played the role well, having us all convinced he had nothing to do with it – even me, who has known him the longest, knowing how he is and knowing what he is capable of, never thought that he would cross this line with the people involved. In the end though he told on himself during one of his fits and rages. Revealing that ultimately he was the culprit who did the deed that caused relationships to crumble while sitting back and watching trust be broken between people, secrets told (I believe mainly, if not ONLY, by him) and family members throwing other family members under the bus. I also found out, after the fact, that he told some of MY secrets and added a few things to them, slandered my name yet again, and told some of the most RIDICULOUS lies that even the people he was telling them to knew better! No, none of this is foreign territory to the narcissist but when it happens over a short time and to people who he has always held some kind of boundaries with in certain areas, then it’s my belief – at least with MY narcissist – that they were at a point of desperation because they were losing control. I’m also a Christian, a firm believer in God and yes, I do subscribe to the “you reap what you sow” belief which is why I truly believe that where he is now (jail) is just the beginning of God dealing with him and his bad behavior. In Christianity there is a believe by many Christians that when God begins to deal with a person, they often get worse before they get better. I believe this is the beginning of the storm for my narcissist and I’m believing that one day in the future I’ll be able to blog about his miraculous turn around. In the meantime, I continue to make great strides on my journey to heal from childhood trauma and narcissistic abuse.
Just wanted to share something which is what I call a bit of self revelation based on experiences that I’ve had with the narcissist in my own life. Because I have a few friends that also have narcissists, psycho and sociopaths, emotionally abusive partners and overall unhealthy relationships in their lives, I always remind them of this point in hopes that it may give them some hope to feel empowered:
It goes without saying that people treat you the way that you allow them to. Of course, it’s not always so simple when we have issues that most likely originate from childhood. But the one thing I had absolutely no problem reminding MY narcissist of, is that without me and all the other dysfunctional women in the world, HE WOULD BE NOTHING! He’d have nobody to prey on, live off of, to impress with HIS fantasy realities of himself or play these ridiculous manipulation games with! He’d totally be up a creek without a paddle! Although knowing this doesn’t make the pain go away, always remember that YOU ultimately have the power. Even though you’ve given it to him or her, you have the right to revoke it the moment that you come into the realization that you deserve better!
I recently did a Facebook post that went something like this:
“It took me a while, but I’ve finally come to accept the fact that when you’re in a relationship with a Narcissist, NOTHING you do will ever be good enough. I would have never been thin enough, pretty enough, or submissive enough. No amount of material possessions or giving him what he wanted emotionally, physically, and psychologically would have made one bit of difference. I now KNOW and ACCEPT that these were not MY issues to take on, but they were things being projected on to me because of HIS own demons that he refused to deal with.”
The point I want to drive home is exactly what the title says: Accepting It As It Truly Is. Believe me, it’s NOT an easy task and embarrassingly, I have to admit that although it didn’t take me 20+ years to acknowledge his behavior and know that it was unacceptable (and yet I continued to deal with him due to my own issues, but that’s another blog in and of itself), it did take me 26 years to finally ACCEPT things about myself, about him and about me and him as a unit which led to me being able to put a label on our relationship dynamic and ultimately leading to resources that would help me on my journey to heal.