This one has surely been a much longer chapter in my “book of life” than I ever wished I had allowed it to be. My only hope is that at least ONE PERSON reading this now is in the midst of the struggle and will glean some helpful insight and strength out of it to walk away from the narcissist in his/her life that is wreaking havoc on every part of your existence. For once you have loved, grieved and then fully closed the door on a narcissist, you will NEVER AGAIN allow one into your heart… but first YOU have to close the door. Because they never will.
Since that first moment I started to fall for the narcissist, the uncanny power he had over my emotions never really seemed to make sense to me. I was a smart, well-grounded woman who was strong, confident and able to sniff out an imposture from a mile away. I knew what I wanted, how I wanted it and was fully in control of doing whatever possible to obtain it. Yet just a few months in, I found myself tangled in the intricate web of a spider I couldn’t manage to smash. On the days I was too happy, I was annoying. On the days I was too sad, I was “debbie downer” and unfun to be around. And then, of course, there were the days when he did something wrong and somehow it always became my fault. “I’m sorry but I did ____ because you did _____.” It was never a genuine, I’m sorry, I was wrong and I apologize for hurting you. In some way, every reaction of his was caused by a callous and childish action of mine. Many of you might have felt the frustration from trying to love a person like this. You aren’t even angry by their actions, you are just so frustrated that they literally just can not EVER accept any blame. Their inability to see or find any fault in themselves pushes the blame onto others and you find yourself questioning everything you did/do because they have brainwashed you to believe you are the cause of every issue that arises. Narcissists are very retaliative if they believe another has achieved what they desire, exposed their insecurities, or refused to be under their control. It truly is all about control… over your emotions, your feelings, your heart (although they truly don’t want love and don’t even know what it is or how to feel it).
I remember the days I spent searching for all of the reasons why I was never good enough, but at the same time he wouldn’t leave me alone… wouldn’t go away and close the door. Somehow he always found ways to find out where I was, what I had been up to, whom I was dating… it was the “don’t want her but don’t want anyone else to have her” syndrome. Later on into the demise of what could ever be considered “dating,” it turned into a “friendship” that, of course, always had benefits to him. In a matter of an hour, a conversation could go from “how are things at work” to “I can’t wait until I get you in bed to (insert whatever verb you want here, but you get the point!). I was always incredibly confused as to how “a friend”- one who 97% of the time also had a “serious girlfriend”- could all of a sudden transform into someone who was SO into me – delving out compliments galore and wooing me with kind remarks and confidence builders like no other. But the second he got what he wanted and established that he still had control over me and could manipulate me, the game was over. Interest, compliments, kind words, hell even a “hope you made it home safely,” all went away. It was silence and shunning for at least a few days, often weeks… until he needed “the high” I/we provided again. Looking back on it will absolutely make you feel as insignificant as you are in the narcissist’s mind, so I don’t recommend that on your way to healing. It was never about you, or you NOT being enough… it was, is and always will be about power and control. While you are “under the spell” they can control your feelings, emotions and ability to walk away from the situation and close the door; but the second you show signs of defying them, they will cease communication and retreat away out of fear that their power over you might be fading and you have, in fact, seen the REAL person they are. Facing that and owning up to the wrongs they have done year after year will always be too much; instead, they will move on to another victim less strong-willed, less smart and less defiant.
Shannon Alder, psychologist and writer, describes it perfectly: “Narcissists are angry, spiteful takers that don’t have empathy, remorse or conscience. They are incapable of unconditional love. Love to them is giving only when it serves them. They gaslight their victims by minimizing the trauma they have caused by blaming others or stating you are too sensitive. They never feel responsible or will admit to what they did to you. They have disordered thinking that is concerned with their needs and ego. It is not uncommon for them to hack their targets, in order to gain information about them. They enjoy mind games and control. This is their dopamine high. The sooner you distance yourself the healthier you will become. Narcissism can’t be cured or prayed away. It is a mental disorder that turns the victims of its abuse into mental patients because it causes so much psychological manipulation.”
Like anything else in life, the more you study and sharpen your knowledge about a subject, the smarter you are about said subject. Narcissism is the exact same way. After reading tons of blogs, articles and even a few books (message me if you want to know the titles, they were all wonderfully helpful), I began to feel completely “at ease” that the pain, suffering and confusion I had suffered over the last 5 years was NOT just me. I hadn’t done anything wrong or not been enough for him… I was just not “controllable” and that indefinitely opted me out as a candidate. I used to remember telling him “i know all of your flaws, all of your bad sides and terrible secrets and wrongdoings.. your shortcomings and your complete failures.. and I still love you anyway,” never knowing that is EXACTLY what a narcissist DOESN’T want. Unconditional love is not something they know, want or strive to have. I remember several really bad arguments where words were exchanged and I left the conversation saying “you have been a terrible person to so many people in your life that were good to you and one day karma is going to kick your ass and put you nearly in the ground and you know who is going to be standing there at your bedside when no one else even cares because they all say “he deserves it”? ME! I will be the one standing there because I have seen you at your absolute worst and I still gave you my best.” Little did I know, that was nothing even close to what he wanted, nor was capable of accepting.
If you are walking down a path to escape a person like this in your life, or maybe you are still recovering from one who did irreparable damage to you and your heart and mind, I want you to pray this prayer with me: Heavenly Father, I know you hear the breaking of my heart. I know you feel the reverberations of pain and disgust that are echoing from my soul and it pains you to hear me questioning myself- YOUR perfect creation. Father, in these days and the ones ahead of me, please equip me with the strength, courage and grace to close my ears to the pain and lies told by the narcissist. Quiet his/her demeaning mouth and help me to completely close the door on someone and something that is not NEARLY what you had in mind for me. Your plan, Lord, would never include someone who would denounce your very creation and make them question their worth. Your plan DOES include unconditional love, genuine apologies, responsibility for each person’s actions and maturity to be dedicated to hearing and healing when things go awry. Lord, help me to see that this “ending” is just the beginning of a beautiful life of happiness you have planned for me. Help me to close my ears to the negative, bitter words of the narcissist telling me “you will never find someone like me and you’ll be single the rest of your life.” Lord help me to dig WAY DOWN DEEP and know that no one – not even a narcissist- has power over YOUR plan for me and my happiness. While I battle this road to recovery, keep close to my heart and my mind to protect me from the lashes out of anger or the sly words of seduction from the narcissist that beg me back into their tangled web. For I know the plans you have for me.. and they DO NOT include false, half-ass, unapologetic, irresponsible, conditional love from a narcissist. AMEN!
For those of you reading this whom have been lucky enough to find “the one” without having to suffer through the pain of a narcissist, congratulations. You are truly lucky. But I would be willing to bet there is someone in your tribe, a co-worker, a family member or even a stranger that could benefit from hearing these words… from continually, night after night, praying that prayer until they are able to shut & deadbolt the door to their narcissist. All I ask is that you share this with them… shed some light on the situation and help them understand that, though the narcissist may have them brainwashed to believe that THEY are the problem, there is absolutely nothing wrong with them and the sooner they can get away from said toxic human, the better their life will be. Not all of us have an easy love story… and some of us are still writing ours… but no one deserves to feel alone, alienated and mentally, psychologically and often emotionally abused by a person who has a REAL disorder – narcissistic personality disorder. Knowledge and enlightenment is power. Power to walk away and open your heart to the life God intended for you.