It’s Narcissist Friday!
After your battle with the dragon, you still feel the pain. The tiny tips of the dragon’s claws are like the sharpest needles, and some of them broke off under your skin. Now their poison continues to bring pain and weakness. But it also draws you to the dragon. It’s like there is a link between you that you cannot sever.
It still hurts. It still hurts a lot. What the narcissist did was so wrong. None of it makes sense. So, you have studied narcissism, and you have watched. You want to know everything about your abuser. Some of it is so that you can avoid him in the future. Some of it is a desire for revenge. Some is the strange fascination that comes with an incomplete story.
When the narcissist hurts people, it so often doesn’t make any sense. There are feelings of confusion and loss tied up with the anger and pain. You have so many unanswered questions, questions that threaten your identity and peace. Was there something wrong with you? What really happened? Was it never real? The friendship, the love, the fun—was it all a lie? If so, why? What was the purpose, and why would someone do that? Betrayal does more than cause pain. It undermines our confidence.
And there’s something else we need to admit. The things that tied you to the narcissist in the first place, the charm and attraction, are hard to replace. Narcissists often radiate an exotic presence that makes others seem tame, almost boring, in comparison. Most narcissists are charismatic and desirable. They have a certain magnetism that others lack. The feelings you had with the narcissist, when things were “good,” are hard to imagine with anyone else.
So, you may be drawn back to the abuser. You want to know what he’s doing. You might say that you are concerned for your safety or the safety of others, but that doesn’t really explain why you visit his Facebook page or talk with his friends. Nor does it explain why you are so angry that he/she has moved on.
I have heard stories of victims who stalk their narcissists. A grim obsession holds them so they scour social media for mentions of the one who hurt them. They want to know who he is with, what job she has, and where he lives. Some have found themselves driving by her house or his job, perhaps hoping to catch a glimpse. They might try to move on, but end up comparing other potential friends or heart connections against the narcissist.
It’s anger and fascination and pain wrapped into one. The relationship, the drama, is unresolved. No justice has wrapped things up. No last word or final act has brought closure. The raw wound still hurts.
And some of the memories are so good. Victims hate to admit it even to themselves, but the narcissist was exciting and stimulating. Maybe that was thirty years ago, but nothing has come along to replace those feelings.
It is not unusual to find yourself almost obsessed with your narcissist. The hooks narcissists use to insert themselves into our lives connect with sensitive areas. The sensations of pain and pleasure are not often far apart. The narcissist made it seem like he/she wanted to and was able to meet the needs of your heart.
So, here’s my advice:
Throw some cold water on your face and understand what is happening.
This is part of the narcissistic relationship, this connection that makes your heart feel like a yo-yo. No one should be surprised by this when they have learned about narcissism. Nor should it continue. It is not good for you.
Listen: the narcissist knows those hooks are still there. He would love to know that you visit his Facebook page to check on his relationships. He probably already does know that you have asked his friends about him. She may well have seen your car drive by her house. And she/he loves the idea that you are still connected.
When the narcissist makes arrangements to see you again, he expects that something in you will welcome him. She believes that you need her. The plan was to tie your identity, your sense of self, into the narcissist so that you will never challenge, never abandon, never fight back. You are supposed to want the narcissist for the rest of your life.
So, volunteer to be your friend’s “ice bucket” victim. Shock yourself back to reality. If you want to leave the narcissist behind, do it. Don’t stalk him. Don’t visit her Facebook or Instagram or whatever. Walk away and stay away.
Fill your life with something else. Just like any addiction, the thrills provided will be hard to find anywhere else. But life is more than thrills and excitement and stimulation. There is also happiness and love, which will bring fulfillment never found in the addiction. There is a good life after the addiction.
Talk with Jesus. Ask Him to fill the emptiness that pulls you back to the one who hurt you. Ask Him to fill you with His love. Ask Him to remove the hooks, the needles that got under your skin. Ask Him to help you move on.