Every one of us has experienced it. We become aware that we are in an unhealthy relationship…the Narcissist isn’t good for our mental or physical health. After reaching this realization, we decide to break away. Or, the Narc realizes they’ve almost sucked us dry and it’s time to secure new supply. Either way, next comes the tortuous phase of not being able to completely let go. We become obsessed, allowing the Narcissist to worm their way back in or worse… we go crawling back to them.
There are reasons this happens, some of which may be embedded in your subconscious so deeply that even with therapy, you can’t make any logical sense of the situation.
Firstly, when inside the relationship, we are in survival mode. We spend our days trying to get from morning to evening with as little drama as possible. Once we are out of it, we then recognize what has happened along with the realization that we’ve come to depend on them for our confidence and self-esteem. We are unable to completely end it, and it’s not entirely due to being in love, although that’s part of it. The other part is because we want to hear them say, “I didn’t really mean all those things I said about you. I know I told you that you are fat, ugly, worthless, trashy, and that no one could possibly love you. But, none of those things are true. You’re smart, pretty (or handsome), and successful. You can do anything you put your mind to and anyone would be lucky to have you.” We wait for our abuser to have an epiphany, acknowledge the pain and the torment they’ve put us through, and give us our soul back, but it never happens.
We want closure and without it, we stay stuck in the moment. We ruminate on his accusations, “He said I’m a loser, ugly, and worthless, but I never saw myself that way…” Going back over and over to get this person’s approval…to know that we are worthy of love, that we can be successful, that we are attractive and desirable. Any decent human being, no matter how difficult, would feel some element of remorse and apologize…maybe even admit they said those things in a moment of anger and didn’t mean them. The Narcissist will not only re-emphasize that they meant it, but that those things still hold true, widening the dark abyss that is our lack of self-love and self-esteem.
Our inner child resurfaces, chasing after love and acceptance. We ache for our abuser to wrap their arms around us and tell us we are precious. Searching for tender, nurturing words to make the pain go away (the pain they caused)… so that we can go back into the world feeling safe and confident. We try to reclaim the innocent, trusting person that we were before we met the Narcissist. However, when we do that, we are looking in the wrong place. Yes, the Narc stole our innocence and trust, but our abuser cannot be our redeemer.
We can only heal through loving ourselves. We don’t need their validation, we need our own. Somewhere along the way, we began to believe the things our abuser said. Stop looking to them for love and acceptance and look within. For the longer you stay with your abuser, the longer the torment and the struggle. Recognize yourself as a person with a great sense of kindness, honor, and ethics. Acknowledge that while someone took advantage of those traits, it doesn’t mean you are weak. In fact, it’s the strongest people who often have the hardest time leaving the Narcissist because of their persistence in shouldering responsibility and inability to give up.
The Narcissist is incapable of love…any and all forms of it. If you do hear words of love from your Narcissist, it’s because their golden ticket is about to blow away in the wind. You did what you could. Let you abuser go. Go No Contact. It’s the first step in your Journey Back to Self…