stuck in a moment

Leaving the Door Open for the Narcissist

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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…

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Annie Duffield says July 11, 2014

My roommate showed me your blog this week, since she has recently left a relationship exactly like this. However, initially it was all encouragement and discussions about her ex and how HE was a narcissist, etc. What I didn’t expect to happen was for me to realize one of the most abusive relationships I was ever in (3 years ago) was with someone exactly like this. We have had many conversations within the last 24 hours about all of this and I have forgotten more things then I remembered about that relationship. I also recognized that I have buried so many things and didn’t go through the proper therapy to heal in a way that wasn’t damaging to my character, integrity, and heart as a person. Good news is I HAVE recognized that over the last few months, and more so this week, and I’m anxiously/nervously/excitedly waiting my first therapy session next week in almost 2 years. I know there’s a lot hidden inside that I can’t recall right now and thinking about wading through all of that frightens me but I know it will help me to continue on the track of being a better woman. Thank you so much for writing all of this so clearly and explicitly. I never realized such people were in existence until I got out of this relationship but in my family and with friends, we all brushed it under the rug and moved on. I’m finding that wasn’t the best course of action and I NEED to be aware of these types of people in order to continue on my path to healing. Thank you again, following your blog for sure!

    Kim Saeed says July 22, 2014

    Thanks for stopping by and for sharing, Annie!

    I’m glad to know you are excited about your healing journey. There may be ups and downs, but in the end only happiness awaits. Best of luck <3

Deborah says December 19, 2013

So true, we can only heal by loving ourselves… It took me two years to learn the narcissist didn’t love me..and that was two years after he ended it. He convinced me it was my fault. I now know that I didn’t know what love was really.. And I now know that journey of self love has to start inside…Why we endure that kind of cruelty when we deserve so much better blows my mind… But in the end I guess its a journey. This journey leads us through a long and painful dark night and on this journey we need others. We are blessed to find them in this cybercommunity…thanks for sharing your experience with us Kim, imagine how hard it was for people suffering in the past and not having the internet to find out the truth about their suffering. God bless.

    Kim Saeed says December 20, 2013

    Many people come out of their relationship with a Narcissist thinking they were too weak to leave. But, there is much more at play, including trauma bonding, co-dependence, and neurological addiction. True, many of us failed to set boundaries and were replaying past events (such as childhood) in an attempt to resolve those hurts, but it’s not really weakness, it’s lack of awareness. I’m glad you got out.

    Yes, I can only imagine the pain of those in generations past who had no idea about personality disorders and were forced to remain in abusive situations because of ignorance and social norms. As you said, it’s part of our journey, and there is a gift in the curse if we only seek to find it.

Kim Saeed says December 4, 2013

🙂 Thanks for dropping by. It’s always a pleasure!

navigator1965 says November 29, 2013

The inner child analogy was very good. Well done, Kim

    Kim Saeed says November 29, 2013

    Thank you, Navigator…any input from you is encouraging and well-received.

isurviveddomesticabuse says November 29, 2013

Stripping them from me. I want him to tell me how much he messed up again. And how terribly wrong he was about everything. I guess it’s just my low self esteem. I should be able to tell myself that and not crave it from him.

    Kim Saeed says November 29, 2013

    I know where you are coming from…in the end, we only end up angry with ourselves for falling for it yet again.

    I cannot tell you how much your comment means to me. To know that I’ve helped you not only to keep from going back to your abuser, but that you know you need to love yourself to heal…those things are the whole purpose of my blog.

isurviveddomesticabuse says November 29, 2013

Kim, I don’t know how but this email couldn’t have come at a better time. This is the first time in 1 month since I left that I’ve cried. I’m crying because I miss feeling loved. I know the agony that comes with it and I’m not ever going back to him but he had this way of tapping into my deepest emotional needs… and Then

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