The depth of damage

It’s a kind of insanity, you know, to be involved with a narcissist. You don’t realize what you’re doing to yourself when you’re involved with one, and if anything, you fight like hell to keep him in your life. I never felt like I left him. I escaped. But with what? Oh, it took strength, courage, resourcefulness to leave. I give myself that. But what did I lose? Well, with children, a lot. Let’s say my relationship with them, while I was focusing all my energy on the N and being devoured – oh, like only a major portion of their childhood, as in most of it. How about my sexuality? In our relationship, sex was a big thing. For me it was an expression of love, sacred. I adored him, and there was nothing wrong that we could do together as an expression of our love – two consenting … Continue reading

Lessons Learned: From Anger to Healing Part 7

(Seventh of a 7 part series) part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 by Zack’s Mom Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. ~ Anais Nin 7. This might sound crazy: Pray for the narcissist. I am not religious, nor am I endorsing a religious path. Here is my thinking: your narcissist is very sick and very damaged. He is not as strong as you are or can be. Pray to whatever higher power you have. It will release your hatred and anger. If you are hateful, you are hooked, and if you are hooked, you are leaking precious energy that could go toward surviving and healing. 8. You don’t have to be perfect. You cannot make up for the narcissist’s deficiencies. Kids don’t need perfect parents; they need good-enough parents. When you do something that hurts or upsets your child, do the restorative work of saying you … Continue reading

Lessons Learned: From Anger to Healing Part 6

(Sixth of a 7 part series) part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 by Zack’s Mom Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. ~ Anais Nin 6. Getting yourself strong gets your child strong. Mirror your child’s feelings. I have found that this simple process lets my son know first that he has been heard, and second that I believe him–something he won’t hear from his dad. My narcissistic ex often told me that my thoughts or feelings were imagined, incorrect, or the result of my own confusion, and now he is doing that to my son. Mirroring is very simple, but deceptive in that it is also very powerful. If my son says, “I hate transitions. I miss you and I don’t want to go to my dad’s house,” I say, “Transitions are really hard for you because you miss me. You hate them because you have to … Continue reading

Lessons Learned: From Anger to Healing Part 5

(Fifth of a 7 part series) part 1, 2, 3, 4 by Zack’s Mom Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. ~ Anais Nin 5. This brings up another related point: Get yourself strong. Go to Al-Anon meetings, go to a therapist, go to the gym if you can afford it, walk around your neighborhood and swing your arms as if you are boxing. Find or create powerful affirmations and repeat them to yourself. Some of mine are I am strong, healthy and powerful. I do not have to act out of hatred. I am bigger than the narcissist. He does not limit my world. Develop a special outside interest that takes your mind away from the ongoing conflict. Treat yourself well, even if it is in small ways–sitting quietly to drink a cup of tea or looking at photographs from a happy time. Your narcissist is not … Continue reading

Lessons Learned: From Anger to Healing Part 4

(Fourth of a 7 part series) part 1, 2, 3 by Zack’s Mom Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. ~ Anais Nin 3. Don’t convince yourself that everyone believes him. I used to think everyone thought my ex was as charming and bright as I once did. But when I met him, I had poor self-esteem and was drawn in by his manipulations. Not everyone will be drawn in. Over time I have come to see that there are plenty of smart people–at my son’s school, in our circle of friends, and even in “the system” who get his schtick right away. Not everyone, but enough that I can tell myself he is not as powerful as I once convinced myself he was. 4. Remember that narcissists organize themselves around conflict. In other words, conflict gives them a focal point for their energies and bullying strategies. If … Continue reading