My mother passed away a few months ago. There are times of sadness, nostalgia and fondness because she was a Jekyll/Hyde personality, capable of normalcy and warmth at times. Much of how I feel is a vagueness, and a numbness. I don’t think about her much. When I do, usually I silently say: “My life is not your life Mom, and it doesn’t have to be — in fact, it shouldn’t.”
At the same time my mother was dying, I had begun the process of completely letting go of a 33-year friendship with a woman I deeply cared about who had long been using the friendship for Narcissistic Supply. I wish things could have been different, but they weren’t. Not thinking about it helps me to move on. Also, journaling and blogging intensively for 6-9 months was very cathartic and healing.
I’d like to say one other important thing:
The contents of the article below is a place to start. Ultimately, however, we need to cut what some people call “Cords of Attachment” and “Psychic Ties.” Otherwise, my experience is that we can’t truly move on. Detaching and grieving is a tricky thing. Sometimes we find out that we don’t really want to move on, there’s a kind of perverse enjoyment we get out of making our abuser suffer, and we also actually love that person.
Truth be told, we still actually want a better relationship with them. However, it’s important to recognize that many times a better relationship is not possible. That’s when we end the relationship. The more effectively we do that the better off we are, and so is everyone else. But there are also times when we need to own up to our stuff and do the things that will improve the relationship. If that truly doesn’t work, then we let go completely. — JoyfulAliveWoman
Grieving a Narcissist — a letter by NickySkye
My heart goes out to you in your recovery. Grieving the loss of a relationship with a Narcissist has many layers. They are not the usual layers of grieving a healthy person. The problem is that some of the layers ARE the same as grieving a healthy person, but then there are layers reserved only for the loss of a relationships with a Narcissist, which are not understood by the ‘civilian’ population and can ONLY be understood by those who have survived a significant relationship with a Narcissist. (Emphasis by JoyfulAliveWoman)
In a healthy relationship break-up one grieves:
- The dream of love not continuing.
- The break in the continuity of the familiar.
- The pain of saying goodbye.
- The sadness of the exchange of ill will in the parting.
- A sense of loss.
- Living with the nostalgia of things one used to do together, broken memories of past pleasures.
- Hope interrupted.
- Well wishing put aside for self-survival.
- Those are typical feelings that can come up after a break-up of a healthy relationship.
But with grieving a Narcissist there are other ingredients, not available to the public understanding, such as:
- The nightmare of going from being idealized to being devalued (or never being valued at all).
- Discovering the web of lies on many levels.
- Coming to terms with the terrible, terrible understanding that one was not an object of love but a source of Narcissistic Supply. That in itself is so painful that it has many stages of comprehension. (emphasis by JoyfulAliveWoman)
- The dawning of understanding that one’s nostalgia and tender memories of affection for the N were corrupted by the N’s agenda.
- Not being believed by people about some of the weird things the N did and feeling isolated in one’s grief more than in grieving a healthy break-up.
- Discovering with some horror, mingled with relief of a strange kind, that the person one loved was not the person one thought one loved.
- Everything about the relationship shifts into the garish clinical light of the DSM-IV. One’s object of former love is now something of a lab specimen, “a typical N”.
- Not being able to let go with love but having to let go only with understanding.
- The closure itself has the sadness of knowing the ex is disfigured, deformed but always dangerous.
When one hears one’s healthy ex is having sex with a new person, married, or has gone on in their life, there is a sting of sadness, the nostalgia for ‘what could have been.’ That itself, the astringency becomes part of the detaching. And as time goes by that sting becomes a well wishing, including the ex in one’s loving prayers. The ex gets woven into the fabric of one’s fond memories.
But with an xN, news of their present life always bring chills of fear and twinges of unresolved grieving. Who are they hurting now? Will they ever come into my life again? Was I not important to them, was it all that for nothing? Knowing about the N’s need for Narcissistic Supply one cannot help thinking “will they come back for my Narcissistic Supply? Was *my* Narcissistic Supply something they treasured and miss?”
But in the light of day, understanding the Narcissist means that one is not valued for who one IS but only as a commodity, for Narcissistic Supply — empty, meaningless Narcissistic Supply.
After the detachment is physically complete with a Narcissist there is the nagging abyss of “was that all for nothing?” It’s a terrible loss and there is nowhere to go with that loss. It’s static. It doesn’t evolve into lost love. It just remains as a loss.
Grieving a Narcissist is a burden, it’s a hole in one’s life.
Love, Nicky Skye
Cutting Psychic Cords and Ties With a Narcissist — when things need to improve between you and another person (especially for ongoing relationships, and those that have already ended, such as No Contact with a N, or a former abusive spouse, friend or lover)
How To Get Rid of A Narcissist — when the person should be completely gone from your life you take these steps, and also cut psychic ties and cords of attachment.
^only you will know and only you can decide which is the proper course of action. Listen to your logic, reason and inner voice. Put it all together and take action. Unless of course, you want to perpetuate the entanglement.
How to Stop Attracting Abuse From a Narcissist — take responsibility for your part in inviting and allowing abuse.