Wasted Years Mourning a Narcissist: Reclaiming Our Lost Selves and Thriving
[Update 10/17/14: This post went viral back in the spring when a popular Facebook group posted it.]
In The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the character Grushenka had been mourning for years for the love of her life, after he married someone else. But the wife died, and he came back, wanting to marry Grushenka.
However, in the course of one evening, Grushenka discovered that this guy was actually a scoundrel and a con man, who only wanted to marry her because she had done fairly well for herself financially.
That evening was sufficient to break her of her grief, and make her wonder how she could have spent all those years mourning this guy who clearly did not deserve her love. Then she was free to pursue her passion for Dmitri Karamazov.
It is the same when we mourn a narcissist. I have grieved and waited for exes to come back to me, exes who lied to me, who abused me, then dumped me. When it finally hit me just what I was grieving and waiting for, the grief began to go away.
I have grieved and waited for Richard to come wanting to restore a friendship with us. Two and a half years I’ve waited for this! But when the character of the narcissist becomes clear to us, we can finally stop grieving and move on with our lives.
Richard’s character, too, has now become glaringly clear to me. I am trying to cut off all contact with him, period, including this blog, for my own mental health, and to work on forgiveness during Lent, by blocking him.
But he has been resisting and trying to keep me tied to him by going all over town with his Android phone, using various internet connections, to stalk my blog every day instead of once or twice a week, because he knows I want him to go away.
He figured out how to bypass the blockers, and has read the posts explaining why I blocked him, so he knows very well that my motives are to move on with my life and forget him, yet he keeps this up to taunt me.
It is a sick, sick game, and tells me that as much as I did not want to believe it, he is indeed a narcissist, apparently a malignant one. Maybe even a sociopath. That I need to get free of him and never look back, never mourn him again.
I have every right to do as other bloggers do, and keep tabs on who’s reading what, to tell me what posts are popular, who’s coming back, etc. etc. I shouldn’t live in dread of what I will find in my statistics.
Over and over again, I find websites on grieving narcissists, which say that we begin to get over them and reclaim our lost selves when we realize they never actually loved us.
Maybe we dated them for a few months or a year, maybe we were married to them for 25 years, maybe they were a pastor who love-bombed us and then spiritually abused us, maybe they were a parent, or a friend of 5 years.
Maybe we’ve waited for years for the narc to come to us wanting to restore a relationship on healthy terms.
Julie Anne Smith’s blog was started three years, I believe, after she left her spiritually abusive church, because it had traumatized her so much that she wanted to spare others the same pain.
It’s perfectly normal for us to go through this pain, denial, grief, and eventual acceptance. It can take years. I’ve seen bloggers who have been writing for years. But if we keep going, it happens eventually.