Last night I found myself asking the question: Is there any situation that’s more eye opening and reality revealing than being in a relationship or close interaction with a Narcissist? I’m not talking about someone who’s narcissistic, but rather someone who’s been diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In my opinion, the answer just might be a big no. The only thing that I could think of that even comes remotely close is that of being in a drug addiction. Both scenarios force you to take a long hard look at yourself and ultimately address any core issues and dysfunctions that are unhealed that are at the heart of the toxic chaos you allow into your life. One uses a tangible tool that has the capacity to destroy your body physically and mentally. The other requires a living being to be the tool or messenger if you will, that most always deeply affects your mental, emotional and potentially physical condition. Regardless of which scenerio you find yourself in or if unlucky, you find yourself in both, one happening as a byproduct of the other, but the starting point always being the same: those parts of you that have always told you that you’re not good enough or you’re not worthy or that you have to compare and compete in order to stay in the game and HOPE to be noticed. Those parts that yell so loudly over and over and over “pick me! choose me! let who I am be enough to not be swayed to leave me! love me – flaws and all!”.
That person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder that used to be in my life was finally given an ultimatum by me and I stuck to my guns about it. And I thank God every day that I did! To say that I was tired is such a cliche. I had BEEN tired for over 20 years but never took that first step that would ultimately free me from HIS world of chaos, deceit, ATTEMPTED manipulation, lies, cheating and the list goes on a mile long. Three years ago is when I heard a voice say to me so clearly, “it’s time”. That was the beginning of my journey to heal. It’s been rough. There’s been a lot of taking 3 steps forward then 5 steps backwards. A lot of questioning myself. A lot of game plans that I thought would allow me to be able to deal with this type of person. Then the day came when I hit my breaking point. I gave him an ultimatum – either he chooses me and shuts the door to all the other females and inappropriate relationships as well as all the doors he leaves open as a plan B or……..IM shutting the door on us and any type of relationship or interaction for good. Now mind you, prior to this I had tried to give him and us every opportunity to try and make this work. I will even goes as far as to say that MAJOR compromises on my part were offered but one thing I WOULD NOT give in to was marrying him AGAIN. And he knew this. Which is why I believe he used this as his trump card 🃏 aka his excuse not to compromise and be willing to give me what I NEEDED from him. Inevitably all this led up to that ultimatum. Yes, he attempted to manipulate the situation, spin it, twist the FACTS of it etc…….none of it worked because the truth of the matter was I wasn’t being swayed. I was no longer sweeping our reality under the rug. Not this time. He had a choice to make. I guess deep down I knew that either I wasn’t going to be the one he chose or if I was, it would all be superficial, deceitful and temporary and I’d be right back in the same predicament. To fast forward, that moment came. That moment during a conversation when he said in so many words that he chose the others. That he chose to keep doing HIM. That was one of the more painful moments between me and him but even in that moment, I literally felt a burden released and a weight lifted off of me. In that moment I felt free. Free from his chaos, free from that mindset I had been in that had me feeling like i had to compare myself and compete with all the other females and situations that I took a back seat to INSIDE that bus he always threw me under! I was free to finally be able to set my mind on all the future healthy situations and relationships life had in store for me! In hindsight, i realize that was MY Independence Day. I do want to say however that my decision to close that door for good in the event i wasn’t the “chosen one” didn’t come over night. I actually pondered it, prepared for it, went thru all the emotions and even grieved for what I knew was coming. It prepared me to stand strong in my decision.
I said all this to say that even though he chose other females, other situations and other things that he thought were more beneficial to his shallow and empty shell of a self, I didn’t lose. I actually won. I now have peace instead of chaos in my life. No more giving my time, energy and any part of me to someone who only offers deception, lies, cheating, maliciousness, slander and insincerity in return. I’m free, I’m healing, I’m moving forward and I WON!
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.
We hear a lot about the negative aspects of Narcissists and the devastating effects their actions have on the people that get involved with them. I myself am no stranger to it all. I was involved with a Narcissist for 27 years and a few years ago is when I went through the peak of his narcisstic abuse and saw what he was really made of for a concentrated 10 months. Of course, for the couple years following the 10 months, it was the after shocks of the abuse that lead me to start on a journey of healing childhood trauma and old wounds. Given all that, although I didn’t like all the pain and hurt I suffered those months, nor did I like having to acknowledge the reality of what was going on with me, with him and with us as a unit, I must say that I AM grateful that it happened because of what it forced me to face about my own self.
Narcissists do a lot of damage. Narcissists are very damaged people themselves. Their seems to be a common theme among the information that’s out on these type of people: they’re rotten to the core, there’s no hope for change and we need to just flee at first red flag. The majority of things that you read about these people are how they operate, signs to look for and the life altering negative impact they have on someone who is involved with them. I get all that and yes, we need to know these things but I also would like to propose that another aspect of narcissism be taken into consideration and placed wherever it may be the most helpful in your life. I propose that we somewhere remember that no matter how devious, calculating, manipulative, uncaring, selfish and devaluing they are or can be, among other things, a Narcissist didn’t just wake up one day and decide to become just that!
A Narcissist becomes a Narcissist because of trauma or negative influences in their own life at an early stage. True, their may be some biological factors involved but even on that level, can we not say that the individual with this personality disorder is just like the other people who suffer different kinds of personality disorders who have it come full circle given the right stressors and environment, possibly because of predisposure? I guess in summmary, all I’m saying is that we focus mainly on how bad these people are, and rightly so in order to help victims of narcisstic abuse heal but I also have come to believe that understanding that most of these people have suffered their own kind of abuse at an early stage that has caused them to feel the need to create this false persona and uphold it at any cost. I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this that you, like myself, know that the core being of a Narcissist is filled with shame, low self esteem and a few other negative feelings and the fact that they can’t bring themselves to accept responsibility for their actions let alone see the cause and effect of them, just makes them look even worse in society’s eyes.
We focus on the damage they do, the lives they ruin, how void of genuiness and true self they are but as I eluded to earlier, if we remember that something bad happened to THEM at some early point in time that had a profound impact on molding he or she into the sociopath they are today, maybe that can open up some kind of compassion in us that can make healing just slightly more bearable.
Compassion. Not for the Narcissist, but for you.