When you are in a relationship with a partner who is narcissistic you might be asking the question “is this about me?” I have so many clients ask me if they might be the narcissist. Because when all is said and done you are the one who really seems to be suffering. So if you are the one feeling so much intense pain and your departing partner seems to have already moved on without a care in the world, it is an easy assumption that “it is me.”
I have written extensively on the topic of narcissism because, in my own experience, it was an important piece for me to understand the crazy making behavior. Crazy making behavior can drive YOU crazy and you feel crazy. But when you come to understand narcissism you also come to understand that pathological narcissistic behavior is absolutely crazy making. It doesn’t make sense and you are left scratching your head at best and diving deep into the dark side at worst.
When you really love a person and realize that person could move on without skipping a beat it demonstrates the shallowness of that love, at least on his/her part. That is a very painful reality to face. Especially if you are a deep feeling, emotionally connected, empathic or sensitive individual who gave your heart and soul to that relationship. You wouldn’t have given your heart had you believed only one of you was dancing. You were led to believe that your partner was also participating fully in the dance. And when you realize how easy he/she could switch dance partners it is a slap in the face.
One thing you have to realize is the narcissistic, crazy making behavior is not about you. It is about the narcissistic individual in your life. You are in no way responsible for that behavior. You didn’t cause it. It was happening long before you ever entered the picture and it will continue long after you have re-created your life in a much better way.
You can breathe a sigh of relief that his/her narcissistic behavior isn’t about you, however you still have to grieve the loss of that relationship and the pain of the betrayal. And in most cases you have to grieve not only for yourself but for the person who has stuffed his feelings so deep that he doesn’t have access to them. You have to understand that the narcissistic person did the best he or she could. He/she has been programmed since early childhood to avoid what is perceived as dark or negative emotions and also any kind of true soul searching or inner reflection. The relationship is doomed from the beginning because these processes are necessary for a healthy, whole relationship. You can rest assured that he or she won’t be leaving you for the “perfect love” because perfect love doesn’t exist for any of us. We are the love we give and receive and if we don’t have access to that love within ourselves we will not be able to create it on the outside. Plain and simple!
If you find yourself attracting one emotionally unavailable partner after another then you need to examine what it is within you that is magnetizing this into your life. What are the programs you are running? If you have a program, which is a deep seated subconscious belief, that “I am unworthy” you will attract people into your life that mirror that for you. If you have a program that says “I am unlovable” you will attract that mirror. If you have a program that says “nobody has ever really loved me” you will prove that to be true by attracting mirror after mirror of those who cannot really love you.
We can change the results in our lives by changing our programs. But how do we identify what programs are running? Sometimes you can simply look at the feelings that have been provoked as a result of your most recent relationship and write them down. What are you feeling? If you are feeling unloved, unworthy and incapable then these are likely your programs and your most recent relationship is bringing you the opportunity to examine these programs, to clear them and to change your attraction energies.
The mistake most of us make is getting involved with a new person to reflect to us our worth and value instead of taking sufficient time to go deep within and find the value within ourselves. It can be tempting to get involved with someone else who makes us feel “good” when we have been feeling bad about ourselves. But when you give someone the power to make you feel “good,” you also give that person the power to make you feel “bad.”
I’ve had people tell me they were feeling really good about themselves before getting involved with the narcissistic person in their life and now all that confidence has been destroyed. I would be willing to bet that confidence was based on something outside of yourself rather than a really strong sense of self derived from your relationship with the divine. We attract people into our lives that mirror our unconscious wounds. If you have not been shadow diving lately there is no time like the present. It is easy to hide from our shadow, especially if we aren’t in a relationship. There is nothing like a good dysfunctional relationship to bring all of our hidden issues to the surface.
If you are just coming out of a relationship and are hurting, this is actually a great time to really look at your wounds. Rather than trying to find a quick fix to feel better, try instead to sit with your pain and see what it has to teach you. Get out your journal and write what you are feeling and experiencing. Get in touch with the wounded inner child and see what he or she has to tell you. How is that little child feeling? Rejected? Abandoned? Confused? Lonely? Hungry for attention? Wanting Validation? Desperately needing to feel loved?
None of these feelings are wrong, shameful or bad. They are genuine feelings that originated in your childhood. Give your inner child the safety and space to express her feelings without judgment. Feelings are not weak! But the narcissist in your life will have enforced the idea that feelings are weak, because he is afraid of his own feelings and probably tried to shut you down as well. If you suppressed your emotional nature during the course of the relationship you may have a lot on your plate once you come out of it. Because everything that has been buried alive will be surfacing.
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to have all these intense feelings coming to the surface at once. But nature is somewhat kind by giving you only as much as you can handle. It may feel like too much, but you must trust that you are never given more than you can handle. You may need to learn some new techniques in how to handle intense emotional energy, but you can handle what is on your plate.
The reason you might feel that the period of time you are in intense emotional pain is prolonged is because you are being given the opportunity to process through one layer at a time. Once one layer is processed through the next comes up. There can be many layers to grief and suppressed emotion. Especially if you have been stuffing for most of your life!
I had a dream that I was outdoors peeling away the husk of a corn stalk one husk at a time and weeping uncontrollably. It was a powerful vision of how we process our grief. One husk at a time. But in the end there is a sweet, sunny yellow treat revealed in all of its glory. It is here we see the sun again and can find a new kind of joy in our lives. We will attract our future mate from this place of authentic joy, rather than the need for external validation of our beauty, our worth and our value.
If you need help understanding the programs that are attracting painful relationships into your life, you may want to contact me for a session