When truly heinous things happen, in our lives, it’s natural to look at the events and think, “Why me? What did I ever do to deserve this?”. On the other hand, when things are going really great, we tend to think we’re super “lucky”, or “blessed”.
It may not seem like a big deal, but when I look at something as simple as how we ascribe responsibility for the good things, versus the bad things, that happen in our lives, I see evidence of a society that is painfully lacking in self-love. A society that is all too willing to accept that bad things might happen to them as a form of some kind of cosmic punishment, but believes that when blessings come… well, that must be pure luck, and not the result of anything they did.
Once we’ve been enmeshed with a narcissist, and tangled up in his web of deceit, abandonment, and abuse, we are baffled as to what we could have possibly done to deserve such treatment.
In this way, I think we all tend to be a little narcissistic. As though the universe so entirely revolves around our every thought, word and deed, that we just automatically accept the fact that the circumstances of our lives are, in some way, our doing. So, when the narcissist comes along to destroy everything we hold dear, we tend to wonder what we are being punished for.
Today, I want to propose a new way of looking at your relationship with your narcissist- and this applies to both those still in the relationship, and those who are in the process of recovering from it.
What if what you did, to deserve being preyed upon by a narcissist, wasn’t something ‘bad’? What if the narcissist chose you because of something ‘good’ you did- or something ‘good’ about you?
What if the narcissist is NOT a punishment?
“What, what, WHAT?!”, you say? How can that be so? Well…let me try to explain, because I think that there is a much healthier way of looking at the situation, that helps to empower you- rather than shame you, or make you feel guilty about the pack of gum you stole as kid (as though that could possibly be the reason you attracted the attentions of a narcissist).
I know I’m an oddball, when it comes to the things I believe, but I just can’t bring myself to believe in the concept of an unconditionally loving universe- or creator- that would punish me, or judge me, for being as human as it made me to be. That just doesn’t make any sense to me.
I could never bring myself to believe that my experience with a narcissist is some sort of punishment (not that it didn’t feel like one). But, I also believe that we create our own realities, and so I must be responsible for drawing in the narcissist, somehow. The question is- WHY?
My theory is that every one we attract into our lives, is someone who has the potential to help us evolve, or who has the ability to help us heal, in some way…and the narcissist is no exception. I believe that we were attracted to our narcissists because, instinctively (not with any conscious awareness), we knew that this person could help us heal our inner-wounds, and bring us closer to living at our full potential. In addition, I believe that the narcissist chose us as victims because something inside of him could sense that we had the power to end the private Hell they live in.
The victims of #narcissistic abuse tend to be very sensitive, and conscientious people, on the whole. People with well-developed empathy skills. They excel at forgiving, and loving others unconditionally. Oddly enough (or not), these are two, out of the three, ingredients necessary to heal a narcissist. Coincidence? I think not.
The reason narcissistic abuse is so painful is because the narcissist is skilled and uncovering our deepest, and most unconscious, wounds- and then triggering those. Unfortunately, as a society, we’ve been trained to feel pain and think, “This is bad. Get rid of it.”, when really, we ought to be thinking, “What is this pain trying to show me? What is it trying to heal?”
Instead of taking responsibility, for something painful that is happening to us, or being done to us (emotionally/psychologically), we instead tend to look at the source of our painful feelings (usually a person), and we ask ourselves what is wrong with that person, that they should cause so much pain.
And, it’s not like the person doesn’t have wounds, too. My point is that toxic people come into our lives to really poke at our weak spots- to bring our attention to something that needs healing within us- and do so in such a way that we can NOT ignore it. The narcissist is meant to get us to heal.
Unfortunately, by the time most victims encounter a narcissist, they are missing the third, most vital ingredient- or it is in pretty short supply. That is what causes so much pain, and also what thwarts our inner-healing. That ingredient? Self-Love.
Self-Love is the key to healing all our wounds, and helping others to heal their wounds. Self-Love is what allows us to feel safe looking within ourselves, for the answers to our pain and suffering. The truth is that the narcissist has no more power to cause our pain, than he does to heal it. We are the only one with the power to do both.
The narcissist simply pokes at an already raw, and exposed wound. Sadly, most of us do not feel safe enough to look within ourselves, for the source of our pain. For most people, looking within for the source, means experiencing feelings of shame, or guilt, or inadequacy because, the wound is seen as a weakness, and somehow, we all seem to believe that we shouldn’t have any weaknesses.
People seem to have this crazy belief that they should be perfect. And, that harboring any inner-wounds (whether they’re consciously aware of them, or not), makes them somehow defective- or weak. Feeling pain, as a result of someone triggering that inner-wound, sets off feelings of shame (that the wound exists in the first place, and was allowed to be exposed), which makes us want to blame someone else for that pain (when, in truth, we ought to love ourselves enough to compassionately look within to heal the source of our pain), which then leads to guilt over the blaming (because, on a subconscious level, we know that we are both the cause and cure, for our own pain), and so we repress, rationalize, or justify, why someone else is causing our pain.
All of that just leads to more shame and self-hate because, deep in our soul, we know that it’s our job to take responsibility for our pain, and love ourselves enough to heal it.
There is a mass confusion, in the world. People constantly mix up the concepts of ‘blame’, and ‘taking responsibility’. The whole downward spiral of shame, blame, and guilt, is the result of this mass confusion. People confuse having to take the blame for something, as being the same as having to take responsibility for something. And, the two things, couldn’t be more different.
Taking the blame for something means that you made that thing happen. You were the cause of the action, word, or event that caused a negative outcome. Basically, you were at fault.
Taking responsibility for something means that you may, or may not, have been at fault, but you are making it your business to make the situation better. You are owning the power to make the situation right, for yourself. In taking responsibility, fault is irrelevant.
Taking responsibility, for every, single, thing that happens in your life, is the ultimate act of self-love. It says, “No matter how badly anyone hurts me, I love myself enough to look within, make any necessary changes to my own behavior, judgments, or beliefs, and then forgive all parties involved, in order to heal the wound, and make the situation better.”
Without the critical aspect of self-love, we fall victim to the shame/blame/guilt/loathing cycle, and our inner-wounds, over time, start to fester. And while we may remain largely unconscious to that festering wound, inside of us for many, many years, all it takes is the well-times appearance of a narcissist, to break hell loose.
IF we can find a way to start loving ourselves more, then we can’t be triggered by the narcissist anymore. We no longer have to look back at our own behavior, and feel guilty or ashamed of how we reacted to the narcissist. We don’t have to blame the narcissist for those original wounds. We can simply forgive ourselves for being perfectly imperfect, and take responsibility for making ourselves, and our situations, better- thus, rendering the narcissist’s tricks an trials, completely ineffective.
Here’s to ineffective narcissists,
~The Narcissist’s Wife
Comment below, if you’d like: Do you love yourself? Did you you know that most people confuse confidence, with self-love… and the two are not indicative of each other. You can be confident, and still not love yourself. It came as a shock to me, when I realized that I didn’t really love myself!
How do you decided if you are loving yourself, or not? I’d love to hear what you think.