Happy New Year, my beautiful! I do sincerely hope you had a wonderful holiday celebration. And, more importantly, I hope you were able to celebrate it narcissist-free. If you weren’t, if you “caved” and went back or took them back, don’t beat yourself up. I did the same thing three years in a row. It’s bloody near impossible to break the ties that bind, especially at and around the holidays, and moreso when it’s someone you genuinely love. But guess what! It’s a new year and a new opportunity for you to live your life free of narcissistic abuse. And that is the happiness you deserve!
Some people have voiced concerns that, even as survivors of narcissistic abuse, “judging” someone to be a narcissist is malicious. I think we need to clear this up: there is a vast difference between judging and assessing. In judging, unlike assessing, a person will generally find one’s self making a decision about something or someone based on few-to-little facts and little-to-no empirical data. Conversely, in assessing, we are forming an evaluation of a person (our narcissist) and or a situation (the relationship) based on educated intuition, firsthand information, and personal experience. So when we “judge” our narcissist, we are doing so from our vantage point from within the relationship, whether it’s ended or we are still ensnared in its demonic clutches, and how we are/were treated by the narcissist in that relationship. That being said, there is simply no quantifiable benefit in whitewashing the inherent darkness of narcissistic abuse. Narcissists manipulate, distort, deceive, decry, and denounce any and all goodness that is their victim. To assert otherwise, especially when addressing survivors of narcissistic abuse, is simply turning a blind eye to an undeniable and unforgivable truth. But, more importantly, it minimalizes and diminishes the hell we have endured.
So, did you? Did you turn a blind eye to your narcissist again and go back or take them back? Hopefully not. I hope you started this new year free of your narcissist and the hell that they call ‘love.’ If not, if you relented, if you went back, if you once again fell victim to their lies and duplicitously deceptive declarations that they had changed, that they finally had an epiphany and would love and appreciate you as you have desired, you are not alone. And, honestly, you are not to blame. As detailed in the post from December 14, 2019, What If I Never Get Over Her/Him, you are fighting an uphill battle between what you know and what your body is telling you to do on a biochemical level. You aren’t weak. You are human. And if you rush the process of healing, if you try to force this last breakup with your narcissist to actually be your last breakup, you’re only prolonging the agonizing experience of not being genuinely mentally and emotionally ready and able to move on and you will, most assuredly, return to who and what hurt you. Don’t misunderstand, I’m by no means advising you to return to your narcissist ad infinitum. I’m simply saying if you aren’t emotionally or psychologically ready to call it quits, give it time – your heart and mind aren’t strong enough to permanently walk away, not yet. But they will be soon enough. And you’ll know that time when it comes.
The thing about forgiving and or moving on when it doesn’t organically come to fruition, most especially when it’s forced, you’re placing additional anguish and grief on your heart and soul that they simply don’t need. And if you’re an especially religious or spiritual person, you might even be feeling undue pressure to prematurely forgive your narcissist from other sources. Statements such as “You can’t truly move on until you can forgive them,” frequently fall from ignorant lips. Honestly, that’s balderdash. Part of the process of healing is being understandably angry at and with your abuser for however long it takes to no longer feel that vexing angst, just as is grieving the loss of someone who hasn’t died and the loss of something that has – the process of grieving takes time. Only forgive if you decide to forgive. And only when you are ready to forgive, never before. Regular readers know my stance on forgiving our narcissist – Nope! Not gonna happen. But, “Why?” one might ask. “Petty much?” others might counter. I’m by no means petty. And I’ll happily share the ‘why.’
Think back to all those times when you were out with your narcissist and in a crowd, especially at a social or family gathering. Weren’t they just amazing?! The way they fawned all over you, stuck by your side, excitedly extolled and exuberantly exclaimed all the spellbinding wonders that comprise you – they made no bones about how lucky they were to have you. Wasn’t it a welcome change from how dark and disparaging they normally were when you were alone with them? And therein is the question of, “Why?” answered in full. They chose to publicly lavish you with praise for others to witness. But the deplorable way they treat(ed) you in private is who they truly are, at their core, a reflection of their inner-repulsivity. We must realize and accept that the warm glow of the public praise we basked in, albeit temporarily, was a conscious choice our narcissist made to manipulate, not just us, but the entire audience for whom they put on such a superfluously stellar performance worthy of an Oscar. So, no. I refuse to forgive someone who is not truly penitent. And I absolutely refuse to bestow my grace and mercy upon someone who behaved so reprehensibly and unapologetically and who is not the least bit contrite over the pain they authored or the damage they wrought.
But this is my decision. I am most assuredly not attempting to sway you one way or the other in yours. If you are capable of extending your magnanimous love to encompass all the wrongs your narcissist perpetrated against you and absolve and dissolve the myriad of their transgressions within your heart, I sincerely applaud your pure spirit. Either way, just remember, this is solely your decision. Your family, (mutual) friends, and even your religion and religious leader/s have absolutely zero right to force their values on your life or guilt you into doing something you either are not ready to do or are not able to do. I have read a number of stories from people who have claimed to forgive, but they then state, “There are days I have to forgive all over again.” My beautiful, if you truly forgave someone, and assuming they do not continue coming into your life thus re-injuring you and or reopening old wounds, forgiveness is a one-time pass that shouldn’t require revalidating. Otherwise, if you rush grieving, forgiving, and healing, you actually do none of the three. A mistake so many people make, including me at times, is forgetting that this journey of healing is not a linear progression. It is, instead, cyclic, meaning that you are going to have to most likely re-experience and relive painful and negative emotions several times over before emerging on the other side of these tidal forces, drenched but cleansed and healed. This is just as much a part of the process of grieving as it is of healing.
So, however you spent your New Year, I sincerely hope it was a happy New Year, even if it was with your narcissist. I remember my narcissist and I celebrated a wonderful 2018 New Year’s. We watched the Russian New Year celebration which is days long – yes, literally. She told me all about this famous Russian celebrity and that, filling me in on all the sordid and sundry behind-the-scenes of Russia’s famous film and television personalities. I have to admit, it was actually quite fascinating. Believe me when I tell you those Russians definitely know how to throw a soirée. But, as wonderful as our New Year’s was, true to form, my narcissist and I couldn’t even make it one month to Valentine’s Day. Go figure.