Suffering at the hands of some one who can never really love us hurts. We dont choose to fall in love. At the outset of the relationship with a narcissist they will promise you the world, there is a long list of stories of how they loved others so much but were repaid by ingratitude and selfishness. The truth is they were the selfish one whose demands came first, but you wont know this for some time down the track in my experience. There will be red flags but if you are basically a kind honest giving person you wont have a radar for this kind of deception or little things they do will stun or shock you out of left field. If you have known love before these things do grate but being a kind person you give them the benefit of the doubt.
This morning I had a long conersation with a close friend who married my ex partner’s sister. The entire family was shattered by their father’s addiction but none of them have sought recovery, they instead have taken out their pain on partners, keeping up walls of impenetrable defence against deeper vulnerabilities that true intimacy requires.
When I first met my ex he decided it would be bad to be in a relationship with me. You’re too vulnerable” he told me. On some level he perhaps knew he could cause damage but I didnt fully understand narcissism before this and so I debated as to how strong I was, although vulnerable too, knowing true deep strength rests on vulnerability. Now I know for a true relationship to have survived he would have had to own his part and face his own vulnerabilities and this was something he could not do. When he dumped me 4 years later I got all the blame often for things I did out of healthy self protection and sadly I then believed him, it has taken over 4 years of therapy to work through the part my own low self esteem played in sealing a fate where I tried to attach to someone who could never love all of me and tried so desperately to change into someone I never could be.
All of this is on my mind today as someone reblogged the first poem of mine ever published by a super kind blogger just over 3 years ago yesterday. The poem was on the pain of that narcissistic relationship and has also been published in a book by someone else recovering from narcissistic abuse. Having it reblogged showed me how far I have come 6 years out of that deeply painful dark night experience which launched my blog.
As I witness others struggle to break free of relationships with narc partners or parents I am reminded of the deep pain that comes from loving someone who cannot fully love us back.its like looking in a one way mirror and we can become like the nymph Echo who in the tale of Narcissist who sought his love and attention in vain and nearly died from the emotional hole of starvation left deep inside.
Pulling our energy back, learning to love and sooth ourselves is in the end the only answer. Looking for healthy others who understand is also so important. In the end our healing comes from knowing we loved a wounded soul who couldn’t break free of the prison of their illusion and defences. We may still love them but we can no longer sacrifice our own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health for them. Its like pouring valuable longing and life energy down a drain when we so sorely need it for ourselves and to nurture healthier relationships.