Starting on the road to recovery.
Starting on the road to recovery: However, it is that we get to the truth we can never go backward again. We are taking the first step forward, and we will only continue to see more and more truth. We must ride this wave the whole way and it may knock us over and under the raging water, BUT we will be able to get our head above water again and swim back to shore because the only alternative is to drown, and WE CAN’T DO THAT. We can never again live in a pretend relationship where hatred is love that every word spoken to us is really just a lie, or that a Narcissist who is incapable of caring/loving another person can or does care or loves us. They are Narcissists and we cannot do ANYTHING to change that or them – WE CAN’T fix them or the relationship.
From my Book: Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything Else in Between with a Narcissist
We have to face this truth, as painful as it may feel and painful it will be AND there is no getting around this. But if we have been with OR lived with a Narcissist for a significant portion of our life, then we are very much accustomed to pain and being managed down and that is what we are working through or ALL OF THAT BRAINWASHING. This pain feels very different, lonely, isolated, and scary. We can get through it. We can’t ever go back to the world of Narcissistic lies and betrayal. We can never go back; we have to go forward – WE HAVE TO.
We must be able to recognize that this relationship wasn’t based on love, but upon control tactics (fear, shame, and guilt), unmet emotional needs, dysfunctional dependency, brainwashing, betrayal, constant managing down and projection. WE have bought into the lies that this Narcissist has told us! “No one will ever love you as much as me.” “You’ll never find anyone as wonderful as me.” “You’re crazy if you think anyone else would want you.” “You don’t know how lucky you are that I put up with you.” “You owe me after everything I did for you.” GUESS WHAT they believe this BS and nonsense because they are disordered and damaged and have created this false persona that supports their delusions. They leave a trail of destruction that goes way back to the first days they were able to speak. We were managed down to accept these lies hook, line, and sinker and sadly pair this brainwashing with a very small handful of good memories. This brainwashing was a very powerful, distorted belief that kept us (and keeps us) from moving on and then disables us AFTER THE FACT making it difficult to have a happy, healthy relationship with someone new – ESPECIALLY OURSELVES.
Despite the relentless abuse, rage episodes, mind games, projection, gaslighting and demoralization, SOMEHOW, we believe we are still in love with these Narcissists on some level and possibly we will always love them. These messages continuously play behind all of our attempts to reach closure and YES through our recovery – it is part of recovery, and we must live it! This attitude or thought process is evidence of how the emotionally abusive Narcissist brainwashes or programs their targets. It is akin to an addiction, and our addiction is to the drug of our choice and that is this Narcissist. A drug alters our mind when we ingest it, and brainwashing and programming from a Narcissist ALSO alters our mind when we ingest and internalize their messages. Like an addict that will continually justify their returning to the drug of choice EVEN though it is damaging their mind and life and is basically destroying them – it is the addiction message that keeps the addict going back. That message is also in us and what causes us to relapse. The message has altered our mind to believe in the Narcissist against all the odds and truth that they are bad for us. In time with education and support we will deprogram this message and be desensitized to it. But we have to always be cognizant of the fact that the message is in our subconscious and destroy it so it doesn’t start replaying itself or we will fall backwards into the abuse pattern again.
It is a fact of life that it takes time to grieve the loss of a significant relationship and that includes normal and ABNORMAL ones. No matter how abusive your Narcissist is/was, you still need to mourn the loss because it was portrayed as normal to you (just more of the brainwashing.) This may be confusing because ending a relationship with an abuser should ultimately feel like an act of liberation and freedom, but for many, it is also experienced as a huge loss. Not the reality of the loss of the monster Narcissist, but the loss of the ideal fantasy image that was first IMAGED or constructed in your head by the ‘love bombing’ and that is the real relationship you keep wishing back. In reality this is just a false image that had very few fleeting moments of real sanity. It is a fake persona the Narcissist created for us through the BIGGEST lies and manipulation or the love bombing to lock us into their agenda. The man or woman as well as the relationship you loved, and miss do not exist! What exists and remains in your mind is the ‘what ifs, or only if I did this, that or what not, or worked harder to fix this’ THEN everything would have been OK – it is just DENIAL of the truth and a manipulative ploy of the Narcissist.
Think about the many thoughts that have gone through your head like, “if only he/she weren’t so crazy,” or “If only he/she weren’t so cruel,” or “If only he/she wasn’t such a liar,” or “if only he/she wouldn’t have cheated,” Or “if only I would have tried harder to make this work.” None of that is realistic because no person should feel inclined to take blame for such outrageous “if only this or that’s.” How about this – the person you were with is not a fully functional human being and a predator that meant to destroy you through dehumanizing and abusing you. There or no “ifs” in that reality.
If you think you can help the Narcissist to see the truth about themselves or the way they treated you in the relationship in order to get them to change, you are only in denial. Even when this Narcissist is hurling the most abusive poison at you, in the Narcissist’s mind, they believe that they are being magnanimous for pointing out the error of your ways, so you can improve yourself and be the person THEY DESERVE. In their mind, you should be grateful that they take time from her their busy schedule to criticize, abuse and be condescending to you. When they cheat on you it is because you deserve it for not meeting their every need – and they justify it as being your fault that they had to find WHAT THEY NEEDED elsewhere. They see nothing wrong with it, or that they lied to cover it up, or that YOU better never do the same thing to them. The sun rises and sets on them. They create all the rules and never abide by any of them. This is what a Narcissist does – AVOIDS reality and allow themselves the freedom to do anything they want at will because they are completely entitled to do so no matter how it may harm somebody else EVEN their own biological children! So how do we fix any of that – we DON’T.
You DON’T bargain with someone so that they treat you well. Being treated with kindness, decency, consideration, respect, and acceptance should be a prerequisite for an intimate relationship (or any relationship,) not something you are rewarded with for meeting one of the Narcissist’s unreasonable demands or if the Narcissist is trying to manipulate you into fulfilling their agenda by making you a source of supply. Either a person is capable of a reciprocal relationship, or they are not. It doesn’t matter what you do or how nice, patient and understanding you are with a Narcissist. They are what they are, a controlling, cruel, abusive, emotional predator, and bully. You can’t appease a bully or persuade them to be nice to you. If you do, they will only see you as weak and bulldoze you all the more and that is what the Narcissist does in the devaluation stage. This predator will always devalue and discard EVERY person that has some sort of relationship with them. They are omnipotent and superior in their own minds. In the reality they are damaged, dysfunctional, and destructive abusers – but you will NEVER get them to see this.
When you see that they have moved on the old messages start replaying in your mind. Obviously, this is all your fault because they have successfully moved on with someone knew. They seem to be in love and that only reinforces those old messages to start playing back in your head. Those are the messages you have to shut down completely with the truth that they are a Narcissist, and they abuse everyone. Then you must let it go or reinforce that truth every time you feel weak or fall backwards and contact them.
What else can an abuser that has the track record of a thief and criminal do but pose as the wonderful partner or lover to someone new? Didn’t they set the same trap for us? Didn’t we fall for the huge love bombing con? Isn’t this their modus operandi or method of operation? Yes, yes and one more YES for good measure! They HAVE to do this because they can’t afford the bad publicity or draw attention to the truth that they are disordered and an abuser. They have to be able to trap the next target/victim because they need to harvest supply every single moment they are awake. Without it they would be an empty shell and wither away. Their darkness can never be allowed to surface, or the world would reject them, shame them and cast them off the face of the world. Criminals don’t ever want to be caught! An abuser is nothing more than a criminal with ill intent to extort our love and lives!