A wrote a couple of blogs and articles about this a while ago. They got a huge amount of traffic, so I guess there are a lot of us embroiled in relationships with a narcissist. It’s got to be the worst form of co-dependency, for every reason under the sun.
A narcissist – it’s even a horrible word to type! – has one world view: themselves. They are the beginning, the middle the end, the here and now and the hereafter. They have no awareness of the impact of what they say and do on anybody. In fact they have no awareness that such a thing even happens at all. Seriously, they’re not trying to con you, they just don’t see it.
They’re very consumed with the impact of what everybody else does and says on them, though. They think that that makes them the most sensitive and aware people on earth. At some level they’re very conscious of how inadequate they feel, so they always feel as though they’re under attack. They believe they’re the biggest martyrs, that they make huge sacrifices for everybody and that nobody appreciates them.
They’ll say whatever they need to say to dump their repressed anger, and then they’ll feel great, and they’ll go on to chat about their fascinating lives and how important they are.
You, of course, will feel like crap, but that doesn’t concern them. Because they won’t be aware they’ve dumped. They’re never aware of you. You’re a convenience to them, you’re not a real person. Their emotions matter but yours don’t.
They’ll use you emotionally, suck you dry until there’s nothing left of you. Conveniently they won’t be aware they’re doing it. So long as you let them, and so long as you understand them and feel compassion – because you know that at the core they have no self esteem, and you know what a terrifying place that is to be – they’ll “love” you.
But if you have needs they won’t notice them, not the way you notice theirs. If you tell them nicely, they still ignore them. Everybody else sees what’s going on, and they get so frustrated with you “why don’t you just leave”. You don’t know what the answer to that question is either. You just know that it’s becoming so painful that even to talk to them leaves you feeling as if somebody tore your skin off and then took a giant cheesegrater to you.
Eventually you get to the point of no return, when you hear yourself saying to yourself “I can’t go on like this any more”, and you get simply assertive. You say “I need you to hear me” – it can be something very simple.
They turn on you like a pack of wolves. They have absolutely nothing in their memory bank of all the times they’ve used and abused you. They accuse you of being mentally ill and unbalanced, ungrateful. You believe them.
Why would you want to be in a relationship with somebody like this? You don’t. And gradually over time you learn that you don’t deserve to be treated like that, that you do have value. That truth is not something which can be bent by those who don’t want to take responsibility for their actions. And you know finally that if you want to, you can walk away.
Even though they’ve hurt you so much you don’t know how you’re ever going to recover, it’s the hardest thing in the world to do. But you have to make that choice for yourself. If you don’t, you’ll never step out of your history, and you can kiss your life goodbye.
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