Earlier this week, a fellow survivor of narcissistic abuse, Stephani, posted a tweet that really hit home. I’d never before contemplated this aspect of being involved with a narcissist. Consider: when we were first being groomed to become our narcissist’s new source, did it occur to you that every step you took in their house was you walking on the narcissist’s previous supply’s proverbial grave? Did you grasp that every whisper so deftly uttered in the still of the darkest night, betwixt the most passionate of embraces, was an ethereal utterance within a mausoleum of warm linens and cold cottons? Did it ever register that your Eden was built on the resting place of the soul of your narcissist’s previous victim? Yeah. Me, either.
It’s been quite some time since last we spoke. I’ve thought about you these months and sincerely hope you’ve been doing well. Moreover, I hope you’ve not only been able to break free from your narcissist, I hope you’ve been able to stay free of their control and any of their duplicitous hoovering efforts. This may sound somewhat trite but I was reminded of a story of hope a few weeks back and wanted to share it with you. After all, we can all use a little hope if/when we’re feeling down, especially around the holidays.
An elderly couple was about to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary and were being interviewed. The interviewer asked question after question about their marriage and time together but noticed that the wife was answering every question while the husband remained absolutely silent. Finally, he directed his last question to the husband, “You haven’t uttered a word this entire time. I must ask, to what do you attribute making your marriage last 70-years?”
Have you ever noticed that we very often dream about certain things while, not at the forefront of our mind – perhaps not even passing thoughts in our consciousness, possibly buried deep in the recesses of our daily thought processes – they invariably find their way to the surface as we slumber? Case in point: I dreamed about Julia, my narcissist, a few nights ago. It wasn’t a bad dream, per se, but then any dreams in which she’s present aren’t particularly pleasant.
“I said, ‘Do you miss her?'” came my friend’s reply. We were out having lunch and, I supppose, being single for these last two’ish years, he wondered if I missed Julia, my narcissist of 4-½ years. It was a question I wasn’t expecting. And, to be honest, I didn’t know how to answer. Do I miss her? Well, if I’m being honest with myself, the short answer is, “Yes.” But the long answer? Well, it’s long.
“The floor is worn from my pacing, soul restlessly distraught from my obsessing. My love, I want no more of you. When I found you, I was at peace. Now, you leave me in pieces. I resent what I’ve allowed you to do to me. I willingly gave you my all, only to be left with shattered and shadowy remnants of me. Devoured, you consumed me completely.”
Regular readers may recall my perspective on forgiving my narcissist, Julia. If you’re not a regular reader, or perhaps don’t recall my position, in essence, I refused to forgive Julia because, as with all narcissists, she was fully aware of her actions, completely cognizant that all of her lying, cheating, manipulation, triangulation, trauma bonding, gaslighting, and abuse wasn’t only unforgivably unacceptable, it was wholly unconscionable. And yet, she did it anyway without hesitation, remorse, or regret. And for that, I have stood by my decision, lo, these 18 months, to never forgive her.
“You’re the only one who can save me.” Or so I thought. Discard phase after discard phase, time and time again, I kept turning to my narcissist, Julia, thinking, hoping she could satiate this hunger gnawing away within me. That she would quell the empty echoes silently reverberating in my heart and my mind, quenching the fire that seemed to sear with a great fury what little bit of me, of my soul that remained after her latest in a long line of departures from my life. It wasn’t that I was longing for external validation, needy or clingy. To the contrary, I cherished my solitude; however, I’d had a taste of how amazing love could be, at least how amazing Julia made it seem in the initial love bombing phase – and I craved more of its addictive sweetness! But here’s the kicker; if Julia had been a normal, emotionally, and psychologically healthy person, if she had been someone who was genuinely kind, loving, and selfless, she most assuredly could have been the one who would have offered the deliverance I sought. But she wasn’t because she isn’t.
“I love you, but I hate you. I miss you, but I’m better off without you. I want you out of my life, but I never want to let go of you.” Ugh. I can’t even begin to count how many times I was faced with this unbelievably painful and confusing conundrum. On one hand, I absolutely detested Julia, my narcissist, for hurting me in all the various ways she did. Albeit via simple manipulation through (yet another) discard phase, triangulation through jealousy and insecurity via the multitude of men in her reverse harem, or the old tried and trued infidelity epiphany.
Happy New Year, my beautiful! I sincerely hope you were able to celebrate yesterday with a renewed vigor and lease on life. More importantly, I hope you started your year narcissist-free. I remember my first narcissist-free New Year’s Day. It seemed hollow, empty, as though it was missing something…aside from the obvious. The thing is, over the previous 4-½ on-again, off-again years I’d spent with my narcissist, Julia, I’d celebrated two of the four New Year’s Day’s with her. But this time, the most recent celebration, I knew she’d never be coming back. And honestly, I was sad. But it was a happy sadness.