Several people used these search terms to find my site recently, so I thought it would be a good idea to write a post to satisfy inquiring minds.
Previously, it was believed that only 1% of the population is affected by NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). However, this figure is outdated and is only an estimate based on the number of people who were diagnosed with the disorder. It’s recently been determined that most Narcissists refuse to seek therapy, and the ones who do don’t stay around long enough to be analyzed. Therefore, there is a much larger percentage of undiagnosed Narcissists roaming the earth, causing great destruction in their wake.
Most victims who start their research on Narcissism come across the DSM’s description of NPD. You know the one…A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by …I equate this to the pre-Socratic belief that the world was flat.
Many professionals are now seeing these traits as obsolete because they don’t give an accurate description of the depth of pathology of the Narcissist’s behaviors toward the people in their lives, such as: the abuse cycle, baiting, blaming, infidelity, emotional blackmail, persecution, and more. I will touch on these traits in another post because I want to get to the question at hand…Is there a happy ending with a Narcissist?
The answer may not be the one you’re looking for, but yes, there is a happy ending, only not while you’re still with the Narcissist. I shared the above information because it’s important to realize why there is no chance of a happy ending with a person with NPD. When the relationship with your Narcissist comes to a dramatic end, as they always do, there are two of three scenarios that will play out. Let’s look at each one individually.
1. The Narcissist’s “happy ending”
After the discard or following your escape, the Narcissist will spend months, if not years, trying to make you believe that he or she is as happy as a clam with their new partner. They will post warm and fuzzy pictures on their social media sites with the new love interest and if you see them together, it will look like a scene straight out of The Notebook. You’ll be left wondering what it is about you that didn’t bring this side of the Narcissist out while the two of you were together. The important thing to remember is that it’s all a charade.
When the Narcissist is in a new relationship, the biggest thing they feel is a sense of relief, not love. They are relieved because they have a new source of supply who doesn’t yet know the Narcissist for who they really are. Consequently, the Narc can extract the greatest supply from the new partner without fear of detection.
But only for so long.
A Narcissist’s fundamental beliefs make it impossible to have a happy ending with anyone, regardless of what it may look like to outsiders. There are one or two websites (that I’m aware of) that may lead you to believe a happy ending is possible, but in my honest opinion these sites are dangerous and lead victims to stay in abusive relationships that don’t end well. The authors of these sites perpetuate the false belief that the relationship’s troubles lie in the victim’s hands and all it takes is more understanding and learning to be emotionally resilient in the face of abuse. While I do think learning to control one’s emotions is a good goal, it will not change the Narcissist. Period. In fact, putting up boundaries and learning not to cry often makes the Narcissist angrier, which leads to heightened rage and maltreatment of the victim.
The bottom line is, no matter what you do to improve your own behaviors and mindset, this will not do anything to change the Narcissist’s belief system or abusive behaviors.
2. Your ending: the-not-so-happy one
Every person who has been victimized and discarded by a Narcissist goes through a period of disbelief and depression. The depth of these emotions vary depending on the individual. Those who are co-dependent, empathetic and/or Highly Sensitive often suffer the most following the relationship’s end.
Codependents agonize the fall of the relationship because they typically repeat patterns that began in childhood when they didn’t get the proper love and affection from their parent(s). Generally, the Narcissist represents a parental figure, and the codependent lives and breathes to obtain their abuser’s approval. However, in spite of giving the relationship 110%, nothing ever pleases the Narcissist, and the codependent is thrown to the gutter, resulting in enhanced feelings of unworthiness and self-reproach.
Empaths/Highly Sensitive people are hypersensitive to the emotions and energies of other people. They are often natural healers and caretakers, both admirable traits to have. Unfortunately, these traits often lead to being vibrationally attracted to Narcissists. This explains the recent focus on Empaths and Narcissists in a relationship. The Empath/HSP is a natural giver, while the Narcissist is in an infinite state of need. They literally attract one another like magnets.
It’s also common to be codependent and an Empath/HSP. The victims in this category suffer to the greatest degree because of the psychological damage coupled with the biological harm that results from absorbing the Narcissist’s negative emotions, often resulting in chronic fatigue, ravaged adrenal glands, and an impaired hormonal system.
While the above personalities generally suffer more following Narcissistic abuse, it’s important to note that anyone who stays in a long-term relationship with a Narcissist will suffer psychologically (i.e., trauma bonding, PTSD) and physically. Long-term stress causes adverse changes in one’s DNA, which leads to diseases including high blood pressure and some cancers. This explains the correlation between abused women being at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
Sadly, there is a great number of people who come out of a relationship with a Narcissist that are so damaged, they never muster the strength to do more than just survive, despite the number of books they read or how many therapists they see. But, it doesn’t have to be that way…
3. The good news – your happy ending is possible
Recovering from Narcissistic abuse is a process that involves extreme mental awareness. What that means is, realizing when you are having negative thoughts and making a conscious effort to overcome them. As always, the grief process comes first, but there does come a time when it is necessary to make the deliberate decision to move forward. With this often comes the recognition that we need to change the thing(s) about ourselves that drove us to stay in an abusive relationship. Whether that involves codependency or the ingrained belief that being a good person means always putting others before ourselves, it’s time to practice self-love.
At the onset, practicing self-love may feel uncomfortable, selfish even. However, it’s really about nurturing your soul in ways that rid your body and psyche of a lifetime of negative energy and limiting beliefs so you can not only feel good about yourself, but love the people around you more effectively.
Next, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of guided meditations. There are two categories that I turn to most often. 1) Guided meditations with affirmations, such as the ones I post Let Me Reach, and 2) Binaural Beats. All of the binaurals are effective depending on the results you want to achieve, but there are some that help repair your DNA, such as the Solfeggio (528 Hz).
Last, but not least, you’ll want to find a way to stop obsessing about the Narcissist. The more you ruminate over them, the less likely it will be for you to break out of the cycle. What we think about the most is what we attract more of into our lives. That’s what I meant when I said recovering from Narcissistic abuse involves extreme mental awareness. The first thing you should do is write down as many ways as you can think of regarding how they hurt you and keep it with you during your recovery. Not as a means to beat yourself up, but as a defense tactic so you won’t romanticize the abuse and fool yourself into thinking you’re missing out.
Your happy ending is possible, but it involves self-work. Many people often report a spiritual transformation in the aftermath of Narcissistic abuse. This is possible for you, too. However, it will involve taking the focus off of the Narcissist and turning it onto yourself.