…are mourn the loss of someone who hasn’t died, and the loss of something that has.
It’s been several months since I went no contact with my narcissist. Some days have been quite nice, almost blissful. Other days, not so much. I’ve always been a rather logical and methodical person. I’m also mindful of my health, though I’ve never been draconian in my pursuit of fitness. I’m most certainly a Type-A personality but not to the point of being controlling or anything so myopic. I prefer order to chaos, clean and tidy to disheveled and unkempt. So when my narcissist first came along, her being a like-minded, Type-A personality was a welcome breath of fresh air. Little did I know that I would wind up holding that “fresh breath,” too afraid to exhale, over the next 4-½ years.
I’ve always tried to live a relatively healthy lifestyle. I’ve never been one to partake of forbidden fruits – I don’t do any sorts of “recreational” drugs, smoke, or drink alcohol, I don’t even drink coffee, tea, or sodas. I know, I know. I hear it all the time, “How do you get through a day without coffee or cola?!” It’s actually not difficult since I’ve never relied on stimulants to give me that extra oomph. My narcissist had the same approach to life, health, and diet – it was fantastic to finally find someone who didn’t criticize my healthy choices. However, she’s also vegan, whereas I’m an omnivore, so there was some minor criticism of my eating seafood – I love shrimp! “Cockroaches of the sea,” she’d say in her Russian accent. But, boy, are they ever delicious cockroaches!
The thing is, over the course of our time together, through the magic of trauma bonding, I didn’t realize just how much of my life began to revolve around my narcissist. There would be mornings I would get up to leave for work, with more than enough time to brave morning traffic, and I’d look at her sleeping so peacefully. I would kneel down at her bedside, gently move the hair back from her face, tuck it behind her ear, and kiss her forehead. She’d stir, open her eyes, and smile up at me. In that moment, I would become so moved that I would find myself weeping tears of unbelievable joy, professing my love for her, telling her how I just wanted to stay with her. Some days, I was up to an hour late going in. Other days, I called in and spent the rest of the day with her. I was so deeply in love with my narcissist, I was willing to jeopardize my livelihood and quality of living to be with her for just a few more hours. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it an addiction. If that were the case, I would never have been able to go no contact and maintain this level of separation and isolation for a day, let alone a week, or these past few months since we last spoke.
I know this is a somewhat loquacious prologue but I say all this to share with you the fact that my narcissist was my everything. Walking away from her, and what I thought we had, was honestly the hardest thing I have ever had to do thus far in my life. I share all this with you, transparently, in the hopes that you can know when I tell you, “I understand your pain,” I sincerely do understand your pain, your longing, your heartache. I know the sheer unfathomable volume of love you had in your heart for someone who had nothing but emptiness in their heart for you, and yet you continued to selflessly and endlessly pour your love into them, and a slowly decaying relationship, never fully realizing that theirs is an emptiness which can never truly be filled – a hunger that will ever be unsatiated. I know the depth of love you gave was unequaled, as though your heart was a small china cup and someone was forever pouring gallons upon gallons upon gallons of pure, unconditional adoration, adulation, devotion – worship of another person – into that tiny little cup of a heart of yours, and it just overflowed, endlessly and beautifully. I know what it’s like to lie next to someone in the dark and break down in hot, joyful tears of yearning and endearment because the feelings of love are too uncontrollably overpowering. I get it. I have loved, like you. I have lost, like you. I have hurt, like you. I still hurt, like you.
So what do you do when your reason for looking forward to tonight, to tomorrow, to the next time together, is gone? You have to remind yourself that, if you could love the wrong person with so abyssal and unending a love as this, imagine how wonderfully you could love the right person. That’s pretty scary, huh? To actually contemplate loving someone who is worthy of receiving that love, your love, with an even greater, deeper, more unconditionally and all-encompassing fervor and intimacy than what you gave so freely to your narcissist. But just imagine your pillow stained with tears of joy over loving someone who loves you equally – perhaps even one or two heartbeats more – and they’re lying right there next to you, smiling at you…because of you. Imagine someone loving you so deeply that the thought of being apart from you for even a day, knowing they’re going to see you that night, anyway, is simply too much to bear, so they go in an hour late to work or they call in and spend the rest of the day with you. Wouldn’t it be magnificent to be loved like that?! To be loved by someone else the way that you love?
How alone do you feel, right now, longing to have that with someone, but having nothing with no one? If my words echo your longing, your hopes, your pain, your aspirations, then you are not alone. If one person feels this, if one person longs for this, if one person yearns for this depth of compassion, passion, romance, desire, lust, longing; love, you can rest assured another person does, as well. And every day you spend lamenting tearfully over the loss of a love that was unilateral, is another day you deny someone, who is deserving, the ecstasy of sharing something absolutely amazing that is joyously reciprocal. So what are you waiting for? “Seek, and ye shall find.”