Now you’ve done it. Forced to choose between your own sanity, your future and sense of self, and the arbitrary, absurdly selfish whims of a mentally ill manipulator, you’ve chosen the high road to peace and clear thinking. You’ve broken up with the narcissist.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE!!!! CALL HIM!!! Beg his forgiveness! Yes, he’ll wiggle with glee at your showering him with this attention and taunt you with ambivalence or outright haughty insults as punishment for your taking control of your own life, but hang in
there! You might still be able to resume your place in his whacked psychoworld!
OK. I know. You miss him. We all know how that feels. But, now, let’s take a peek at this ‘missing’ thing.
I assume we all agree that with narcissists, we’re generally dealing with two people: The guy he is, and the guy he pretended to be. You miss one of them. I take it we all know which one.
Pretend Guy is gone. Deceased. This hurts. This really hurts. It needs to be mourned. In addition to the loss of Pretend Guy, you’ve got mucho grande abuses heaped on you by Actual Guy. Topping off this pile of misery and trauma, Actual Guy and Pretend Guy inhabit the same body. Only another psycho wouldn’t be thrown into a tailspin by the surreality of it all.
When he calls you after the breakup, he sounds just like Pretend Guy! ‘You’re alive!,’ you think. ‘You’re not dead! Yes, YOU are my true love! You’re finally back! Oh, WHEN can I see you?’
Whoa, there, Sister. Let me spare you a tiny bit of hurt here by having us skip ahead to where he slams you again and you wake up in the harsh, cold world of Reality. Things just got even worse. Pretend Guy is still gone, Actual Guy is still abusing you, Pretend Guy and Actual Guy are still the same guy, AND now any baby steps into healing you might have made just got deleted into nothingness.
And you wonder how he’s feeling. Of course you do; not only are you sensitive and caring (narcissists don’t pick hardasses for partners), but you’re conditioned to feel that way. The entire relationship was about him and his wants and needs. He literally trained you to think of little else. The real you, the pre-narcissist you, doesn’t want an abusive, mentally ill, inconsistent, selfish freak, ridiculous in his pandering for attention, chock full of contempt and inner conflicts that spill out and burn you. The real you wants a real partner.
“Hey,” I hear one loyal heroine say. “Don’t talk about him like that! He’s NOT an abusive, selfish freak! He’s…. Well, OK, he’s an abusive, inconsistent, selfish, ridiculous, freak, but he’s MY abusive, selfish freak!” Oh. Sorry. Hey, didn’t I see you last week on Jerry Springer?
For the rest of us, we need to heed the experiences of my online friend Lin. Lin’s man came on strong. Charming. Wonderful. They married, and he immediately became selfish, cold, and ambivalent about their marriage but refused to leave; he was unempathic, wildly defensive and manipulative. He was a Narcissist. Lin knew something was morbidly wrong, but she stayed; he’d grow distant, she’d work to make it better. How long did this go on before she read the writing on the wall?
Friend Lin stayed with her narcissist for three decades, until she ‘selfishly’ left him to preserve the remaining shards of sanity she had. I wonder if she has any regrets about leaving and wishes she could have him back, or if she has any general advice for the rest of us. Let’s ask her, shall we?
Aunt Alex: Hey, Lin. Do you have any advice for the gals out here who are on the fence about their narcissist partners?
Lin: G E T! O U T! I WENT THROUGH YEARS OF HELL. I SHOULD HAVE LEFT THIRTY YEARS AGO. I WANT MY THIRTY YEARS BACK!!!
Hmmm. Well, don’t pay any attention to her. She should have stayed for 31 years; maybe THEN he would have changed. Besides, YOUR narcissist is different! HE’LL get better! He will! I swear! Please, just take him back and get him away from the rest of us…
When we leave the narcissist, it’s because the abuse has gotten intolerable. Afterward, when he calls us and pushes the buttons he knows extremely well, the temptation to give him another chance can be overwhelming. We’re hurt; we’re mad; we want to recoup some of our losses; we love him and want it to work; we just can’t believe that anyone would be so warped as to hurt us that way, so we want to give them the benefit of the doubt. All roads point to trying again with the narcissist.
Except for one. Reality. Which is Truth. Reality is Knowledge, and Honesty with yourself. It’s Your peace. Your health. This road points in the opposite direction, away from the narcissist. Yes, it’s an uphill road, but if you can invest in the climb, the view from the top is spectacular.
Does it seem like if you just invested enough love and time in the narcissist, well, it just can’t help but to get better?
Our Lin spent 30 years wanting her narcissist to get better. I wonder if he started to get a little better around year 10. Or year 17. Year 23? Year 29? Is Lin content that she tried hard enough to make the relationship work? Let’s ask Lin.
Aunt Alex: Hey, Lin, are you glad you spent 30 years in a ‘relationship’ with a narcissist?
Lin: AAUUUUUGGGGGGHHHH……. AAAAAAACCCCCCKKKKHHHHHH….
Sorry, folks. Apparently I said something wrong.