When you’re doing your best to move forward with your life, and the narcissist seems to act as though they hate you so much. Yet, they will just not leave you alone. Why?
First, why it’s hard for most of us to let go?
Firstly due to those highs and lows, our body releases high levels of dopamine in the good times and high levels of cortisol in those stressful times. It’s natural for our bodies to release these, yet when it becomes regular, our bodies can become addicted.
As the relationship in a negative way meets all our human needs, and when we do anything that meets three of these needs positively, neutrally or negatively, we become addicted. A narcissistic relationship meets all these needs, both positively and negatively. So we become addicted, and like many addictions, it’s hard to break. Love and connection, we are in love, and we do genuinely care for them, we are lead to believe they love us, we are connected, our empathy is opened up, and we genuinely care and want to help them. Even when they are in our face-threatening us, we are connected in a negative way, uncertain as to what will happen next, certainty, we are certain we are in a relationship, uncertainty as we never know when they’ll walk out of the door, where they’ll be from moment to moment, day today. Significance we feel important when we get it right, and they are happy. We feel insignificant when they are serving us with the silent treatments, lying, invalidating, cheating. Walking out on us. Growth, when they come back with false promises of change, marriage and all the rest, we feel like we are growing together, for it all to come crashing back down. The contribution we feel like we contribute to filling their needs most often losing our own needs.
It’s incredibly hard for us to let go of narcissistic people, we can cycle around years of drama, negativity, psychological and sometimes physical abuse, without even knowing what’s truly happening to us, yet one day, one moment in time, and it can be an insignificant moment compared to some of the things that went on, we just decided enough is enough and know we have to get out, even then most of us don’t know why, it’s hard leaving behind someone you believe you love, especially when we are trauma bonded and when we don’t truly understand the importance of why we need to break free and the severity of the situation we are in, it’s even harder as we often don’t even know ourselves towards the end, so we can no longer see an outcome for what we want for our own life, all our hopes, beliefs, dreams, respect, dignity has been stolen from us, stomped on time and time again and crushed in some of the cruellest calculated and manipulative ways, by the very person we loved and cared about with all our hearts, that we believed felt the same way about us.
We have empathy and care for others on a genuine level, and we want to see the best in them, help bring out the best in them, care for them and hate seeing them destroying everything, not realising they are destroying us, we were their hostage, and our job was purely to learn and escape.
Or they might leave us, and on some level, we know it’s for the best, yet we are still left crushed, in pain from all those lies, trying to piece back reality.
Either way, it hurts. Either way, we are left trying to put reality back together of things we didn’t even know where possible, people we didn’t even know existed. The realisations hit one by one, and most of us are left wondering if it’ll ever end. Those lightbulb moments, wondering if it’s our imagination, or through the narcissists gaslighting questioning if we are genuinely crazy, it’s just all so unbelievable, then most of us stumble across something on the internet that rings true, a quote, a post. A message, a word, and we start looking, the more we learn, the more we see, we see we are not alone, we see it’s not our imagination, we are not crazy, we were duped, tricked, fooled, gaslighted, manipulated and lied to, then often still with self-doubt in our minds comes the no wait, it can’t be true, can it? Or hang on, am I the narcissist? Was it me? As our minds have been programmed over time to blame ourselves, to pick ourselves apart, to look for faults within ourselves, some of us hit anger and resentment. How could they do this? How can they mistreat people and get away with it? How did I not see?
If you care for others and can put yourself in another’s shoes, you are not a narcissist, most people can have a trait or two, from those with confidence to those feeling down on their luck, if they don’t have the other characteristics they’re not a narcissist, and neither are you.
How can narcissists mistreat others? They simply lack the empathy to care. How did I not see? How can you know what you don’t know or understand when your mind has slowly been taken over, to walk, talk and think exactly how they want you to.
At some point, and this varies from person to person, we let go, we lose the addictions, we learn what we can about narcissistic personality disorder to help us, and most are still learning long after recovery, mainly to make sure we don’t repeat that mistake with someone ever again.
When you’ve not realised what you’ve been through and are still in the depths of all the self-doubt and confusion, it can be challenging when they come back with false promises to stay away and let them go.
Being the target of narcissistic abuse is one of the most confusing experiences we can ever have. We live in a war zone of psychological￼ warfare without even knowing that’s what it is. Just when you wake from one nightmare, they deliver you another blow. It’s genuinely one of the most soul-destroying experiences I’ve ever lived.
Then when we finally do break free, finally have had enough, they’ll either not leave, or they’ll leave and cause mass smear campaigns and destruction to our lives. They often move on extremely fast. No one falls in love faster than a narcissist who needs somewhere to live or to prove they are not the bad one. A vast majority also come back for the hoover, they mess with children’s minds, as we try to heal ourselves, they have game after game to play, the only way to escape this is to stop playing, they thrive on our attention and emotions, once we stop playing they might up their games, still not playing and no reaction is best. As kryptonite is to Superman, no reaction is to a narcissist. Observe their behaviour don’t absorb, when theirs a bottle of poison if we drink it, it will infect our bodies, if we just look at the bottle it will not when we absorb their negative words it confuses us and infects our minds when we observe it doesn’t. We see clearly what they are trying to do. By observing, we soon see a pattern and know what’s coming next until they eventually fall silent on us again. Use that quiet time to heal in case they do come at you again. You’ll be stronger and wiser and so much happier. Some narcissistic people, the narcissist psychopaths, especially you, might need to be prepared to move miles away from so they can not find you.
The difference between them and us.
Narcissist selfishness, putting the wants of themselves above the needs of others.
We are selfless, putting the wants of others over the needs of ourselves.
Learning self-respect is to put our needs before the wants of others.
If you breathe out to give your breath to another, to someone who’s desperate for your breath, your oxygen and keep doing it only breathing out one minute, two minutes, three minutes, keep going someone really needs that breath of life, at some point, you’re going to give in or pass out, feel bad, at some point you have to take a breath in (self-care.) to which a narcissist will then accuse you of being selfish. Yet to survive, you need to take that breath in (self-care.) before you breathe back out (give back.)
So why can a narcissist not let go of us?
It can be a day, a couple of weeks to twenty years later, and most narcissistic people seem to reappear.
One minute we believe they do love us, the next we know they hate us with a passion, whatever we do for them it’s never enough, they always want more, they might be the ones to have left us, so why oh why will they not just move on with their lives and leave us alone?
Stalking our social media, now some of us also do this to them, for answers, that closure they never gave us, our human curiosity, nature, this is normal if you’ve done this don’t worry, just start looking at ways to stop yourself, one is when you want to look, instead of looking, acknowledge you want to, tell yourself you’re not going to, as when we do most often, we are left feeling worse, instead tell yourself to do something else something positive, learning what you’ve been through, going for a run, reading a book, whatever you enjoy that’s good for you. When we truly connect with people, when we love care, we want answers from them that narcissists never give. We must give them to ourselves. Narcissists stalk our social media to look for cracks, either things they can use against us or ways to squeeze back into our lives if they think we have something of value to offer them. To the narcissist, It’s all about finding ways to keep power and control over us. Not all will stalk our social media. If you can block them on everything, watch out for eBay and YouTube messages, some have been known to do this when blocked on other platforms. Watch out for friend requests. Some are online surveillance cameras for the narcissist.
When you’re still in a relationship, they can hate us, giving us the silent treatments, making life as difficult as possible. Yet, they will not leave while they’re getting the negative response or positive if we are trying to create peace again. Both emotions serve them. Hence, although they do not care for us, they like the things we provide, whether that’s a home, money, cleaning up after them. The many messes that they make not just in the house, in personal life too, having an affair after affair, they’re not interested in damage control, to them it’s not their problem, and it’s up to us to fix it, or shut up and put up with it.
A narcissist is all about control, and no one throws a bigger tantrum than a narcissist who is losing control of someone else’s mind. If you ended it with them, they might beg, plead and promise change, or will simply not move out. Some get physically aggressive, so that I would never recommend ending it in person on your own with them. They just want the control of you, if you leave them or they leave you, and you are doing well, you then have something to offer them, and they want it, they want what you have and to take it from you, happiness that they can not achieve for themselves. If they discard us, as soon as they get a wif of us doing well, they’re either go all out to win us back or punish us as when we are doing well without them it dents their pride and ego, to them we shouldn’t be able to live without them.
They are self-entitled, and they believe they are entitled to have who they want when they want.
They want to punish us, the smear campaign, they will spread rumours, to anyone who’ll listen to their stories and lies, from spreading gossip to neighbours, the new supply, friends, family, some will even get in touch with our bosses and work colleagues, a narcissist just wants to win at all cost and to their own minds. Their lies are their reality. Why they tell them so well, and narcissistic people will gather an army of flying monkeys and enablers, gang stalking in some cases, to help with their smear campaign. The smear campaign is so they can play the victim or the hero, gaining attention and admiration, get their story across and heard and believed, as they want to win. They want everyone to side with them. A Narcissist actually has Little self-worth and are incredibly fragile. Even with those who play on their confidence, it’s all a mask to hide their true selves from others. It’s all attention-seeking. They also settle for negative if they can not get positive.
When they come back promising change and to work it out, to them, it’s all to feel great power, those who give in to their charm as most of us have at some point, to when we have finally had enough and know we’ll never go back, narcissists enjoy the challenge, they want to win, they want that power, a positive or negative response and they’ll be happy, no response is soul-crushing to them, so most will up their game to get some form of a response.
Overts might call you, message you, drive past your house. They are looking for reactions. When those who are the victim do this, they are looking for answers.
Coverts are most likely to watch you from afar.
Being stalked is terrifying. When we are trying our best to move on, and they just appear, we are unsure of what they might do next—questioning if we are being stalked or not. Trying to co-parent and having our own children used against us in a variety of hiddious ways, while we don’t understand how they can treat their own children this way and how they can not see they are hurting their own children while blaming us for their children’s pain, it’s all to cause us more pain, they do not care for the children or us, they care about themselves and winning at all costs to others. They continue their hurtful games while we question how someone can treat their own children this way? Afraid of what to say or do for the best, children are hurting having contact, as are we. Yet, children hurt with no contact, being judged by others if we do stop contact, worrying about the effects on the children if they don’t see them or if they do, it feels like constant warfare from the ex and also our own minds trying to work out what would be safest and best for the children to have a happy childhood and grow into adults that don’t need to recover from their childhood.
Lack of empathy, narcissists simply do not care for what pain they cause us. They are only interested in filling their own needs, they might have moved on, they might be love bombing someone else, yet most still try to win us back with false promises or try to destroy us through their manipulative games, further abuse while co-parenting, abuse through family court either divorce or custody, smear campaigns, any disruption they can cause in our lives most will try.
Still together or separated, when they play nice, this is all an act, further manipulation to meet a need of their own, this is to cause us to doubt ourselves, to question ourselves. Are they really that bad? Yes, they are. They offer intermittent reinforcement of the person we first met, which confuses us and thus getting us to conform to meet their needs only.
What can we do?
Remember, narcissistic people create a thought system within us that locks truth and reality out and locks in lies and the narcissist’s reality. Once you get that first lightbulb moment of what’s truly happening, you then have the power to dismantle those thoughts that don’t serve you one brick at a time. As you release those thoughts, release those bricks one by one, your thoughts become lighter, they become clear, you become happy.
Start by losing the fear. They plant seeds of fear in you and, with toxic words, help that fear grow. Fear is how they keep a hold on you and your life, how they keep your thoughts locked on them. How could they do that? What will they do next? Healthy fears are reasonable. They are there to serve us, looking before we cross a road, not jumping in the deep end of the swimming pool if we can not swim, etc., being fearful of people no, being cautious and prepared, yes.
Through their manipulative words, they plant fear into us that they will be the last person ever to love us. They drip-feed poisonous words, so we fear to be alone that much we hold onto the very person destroying us. This is to phycological and emotional manipulate us into staying with them no matter how badly they treat us. Unknowingly to us, our subconscious starts to believe we are not worthy of a kind love and don’t deserve any better. You do deserve better, so much better, and there are good people who will love you and treat you right.
The fear of judgment from others, the narcissist, might well have already started a smear campaign. They may have threatened they would ruin you. Rise above, anyone that believes the narcissist is not for your life, and they are welcome to the narcissist and lies. You have better people to look for. Anyone that believes them over you does not deserve a place in your life also, don’t look bad on them. They are being manipulated just like we once were. If they apologise days, weeks, months or years later for believing that narcissist accept that apology, remember what it was like for you.
The fear of violence, most violent people just act on impulse without threats. Those who threaten just want to manipulate you into a place of fear. Guard yourself, be careful, be prepared, don’t let that fear stop you from living your life the best you can. Stand up to them with protection orders from the authorities. When you take a stand, build your boundaries and say no more, most bullies back off.
Brake the isolation, most narcissistic people isolate their targets from support through fear of judgment and not being believed, left with irrational anxieties and CPTSD. Most of us then go into a shell and self-isolate after the relationship is over. This only causes us further harm, break the fear, go and apologise to those we were isolated from. Most are good people who, in truth, might have tried to help you, could see something was happening but couldn’t understand what. They love you, will forgive you and will help you. Also, reach out and make new friends starting with those who’ve lived it and understand so you can support each other. When good people come together and speak up, awareness is raised, and bad people can no longer hide away from their destructive ways.
Emotions, become unpredictable in your emotional responses. They know your weaknesses, they know what buttons to push, they have studied you and know how to get to you, how to trigger you, how to take you down. Explain and defend yourself less to them. If you genuinely feel the need to defend, don’t ask questions like. “Why would you feel that way?” Or “what makes you think that.” Unemotionally pass it back to them, narcissistic people struggle with these questions. You can watch them squirm twist and turn, pulling out all their games and tricks to get a rise out of you, emotional response and when they don’t this confuses them, be warned some will up their games, some walk away easier than others, keep control of your own emotions. No contact is best. If you have children, then your silence speaks volumes to their games, let your thoughts and feelings out with good understanding people, stay silent to the narcissist about their games when they aren’t getting the emotional reaction they expect from you towards them, this makes them uncomfortable as they have lost control over you.
Remember it did not start with you, and it will not end with you, they have a personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, it’s who they are and how they live, we can not help them, and until a method is found for helping them, they only thing we can do is walk away and save ourselves.
Purpose and a vision, you have a gift, whatever that gift is, cutting hair, cutting grass, cleaning windows, looking after children, teaching, lawyers, talking, writing speaking, there are so many gifts out there, even though it’s a gift we still have to learn, find your gift, what you enjoy for yourself, use that to create a purpose for your life, then create a vision of the outcome and take steps to get the outcome you desires, that vision will help you through those mistakes and keep you focused.
Self-confidence- creating inner self-confidence within your own abilities, look for times you’ve achieved in the past to create a picture of what you can do, watch your thoughts, remove self-doubt that others planted there. It’s a learning curve, yet you can. Take care of how you talk to yourself, how you dress, how you stand and how you smile, positive thinking that you can do it, you are beautiful, you are strong, you are worthy.
Rise above circumstances and petty things. Hard to start when they are firing things at you and igniting your anger and resentment. Or the unbelievable actions they have taken, but once you stop reacting, once you stop letting their negativity control your emotions, now yes we are human so that it might hit in a moment, yet when we learn to deal with it at that moment within, take action if needed, let it go if not, then take out attention and focus away from them. ( as that’s why they do it attention.) and bring it back onto ourselves and our life’s journey now. They become more and more insignificant.
Become an expert on yourself, learn what triggers you, what provokes you, your insecurities and your vulnerabilities, heal them for you, you’re allowed to have them, we all have them, just make sure you accept them so others can not use them against you. Know or relearn your beliefs, your values, your boundaries and your standards. Know with good intentions their no right way or wrong way. Genuine people will love you for who you are. Theirs only your way.
Get enthusiastic, be passionate about your life, create new dreams, new visions and get passionate about achieving them. Take steps to do so, ” Rome wasn’t built in a day. They were laying bricks every day.”
Be prepared. Know your enemies. When we observe, we notice a pattern in their behaviour—also listening to words instead of taking them in. They do actually yell at themselves. Blocking them, deleting them, moving, getting out restraining orders, occupation orders, non-molestation orders, take a stand for your rights, boundaries up and do not let them cross, keep as much evidence as you can, especially if co-parenting, everything via messages, save them all and watch your responses. Retreat, rethink and respond. At the same time, preparing for your future and taking massive action to achieve your new dreams.
Rely on you, look inwards, accept responsibility for you. Give responsibility back to the rightful owner for their behaviour, ask for help from good people when needed.
Self-discipline, it’s all a learning curve to discipline your emotions, your responses, your actions, your words. You can do this.
You will not change what you tolerate, take action to change. No longer accept behaviour you would not serve to others, walk away, leave them be, focus on you and your life now. You can, and you will.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
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