There is no progress in blaming others, but I refuse to feel bad for the narcissist. It is possible, even likely that he suffered trauma in his childhood but that does not make his actions acceptable. Maybe, when he was still a young child, I could feel significant empathy towards him. The narcissist I know is a grown man who stood almost a foot taller than me and outweighed me by over one hundred pounds. If that is not intimidating, I shudder to think of the perception my children had when they were young. Regardless of his size advantage, he held nothing back while raging and thundering at us. I may understand part of why you were damaged, but I will not feel sorry for you.
Draining boiled pasta water into the sink is a trigger for me – every time. Chopping onions, doing laundry, mopping the floor, planting a garden and driving – these are just some of the mundane everyday activities that start a movie playing in my head. I hear every word, see each expression, smell the scents, and experience all the fear as if it were happening again right now. Even after all these years the memories still give me pause, and I must consciously stop the movie playing and add a narrative that explains these events are in the past. Remembering past events is not my choice but my reaction to them is, and I choose to see the ridiculousness of the people who hurt me. It makes them seem small and less threatening which helps me keep moving forward.
Chronic migraines brought me to my knees, and I have no desire to return to that position. Some days I feel good and energetic, ready to take on the world but my body has limits and forces me to adjust. Instead of pushing through it I must slow down and rest, or the consequence will be severe and painful. It is a dance I am still learning and a new way to face life, much different than the way I was raised. There is no use in me overexerting myself if it leaves me in bed with agonizing pain for days afterward. Conservation and the careful use of precious resources is a priority in this new phase of my life.
How naive I was to believe the person I married was sincere when he professed his love for me and his desire to have children and live happily ever after. I understand even those with the best intentions are unable to have lasting love and successful marriage. The most painful truth I discovered was that everything was a lie and that I was manipulated from the very beginning for the sole purpose of fulfilling his demented ideas. He never loved me, is unable to love his children and we were merely another stop on his never-ending journey to make everyone else believe he is a wonderful person. He has this insatiable drive because he knows how dark and rotten he is causing him to spend unlimited amounts of energy building his false self. Truth, as painful as it was, released me from the agony of life with him.
It must be miserable being a narcissist no matter how much attention they attract. Deep down they know they lack in so many ways and this frightening reality fuels their insatiable needs. The desperate moves made to obtain and keep their narcissistic supply burn bridges and ruin relationships causing them to be on the lookout for the next victim constantly. There is no stability, comfort or love – only masks, lies and insincerity. No matter how miserable they are, admitting to the farce that is their life is far more painful than merely continuing the game. They are willing to inflict damage on all they come into contact with, sparing none, in a pitiful attempt to maintain their fake persona.
Numbness prevailed for many years before I was forced to confront what happened entirely. I had a desperate desire for a memory delete button just to get rid of all the garbage in my brain. Facing the reality of my past experiences is necessary for me to continue healing and move on. Sometimes a buried memory will reveal itself, shaking my damaged foundation, but I understand the trembling is necessary. Continuing onward each day, not knowing how long the journey will take, is alone an incredible achievement.
The beginning of my healing journey started with removing myself from an abusive situation and cutting off contact with the person creating it. The one time I sought help while still in a controlling, abusive relationship I faced fierce retaliation leading me to fear ever seeking help again. Towards the end of that relationship couples therapy was recommended by the family physician, but as some of you may know, a narcissist does not seek therapy except to prove themselves right and attempt to prove the instability of their partner. Fortunately, our therapist was very intuitive and experienced with narcissistic behaviors which threw my ex into a furious rage and a near assault on the aging therapist. This experience crystallized my resolve to escape and pursue a new life.