The Legendary Narcissist | Recovering from a Narcissistic Relationship

Browsing Posts published in October, 2007

Many people use Twelve Step Programs to recover from addictions. I have recently begun to wonder if they might be applied to recovering from Narcissistic Lovers. The third step is crucial to recovery. It is an uncomplicated request, all things being equal. It only asks for willingness to believe that one’s sanity can be restored, it doesn’t demand it. Freedom from anything that restricts us begins with the desire to be free.

I completely understand that part of my struggle has a lot to do with releasing the past, accepting my human foibles and moving on. The 12 Step program is a sequential process that disallows advancement to the next step before completing the step before. This causes me to dwell on willingness. How does one become willing to become willing to be happy?

 

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My Narcissist’s father was the leading story in the local news on Monday.  He won the Nobel for Economics. Congratulations to him! I know this man well. He’s delighted me with many imaginative conversations and we celebrated holidays and birthdays together while I was in a relationship with his Narcissistic son.

Over the years, my partner’s father became like a surrogate father to me.  My Narcissist’s father is a great man who has, gratefully, been acknowledged for his life’s work before dying.  His inherent humility during the telephone interview I listened to and the video I watched was characteristic of the wonderful man I had come to know and love.  His is a gentle soul who has endured so much in his life.  He escaped Nazi persecution and came to our country from Poland with $25 and a will to survive who has forged a path to extraordinary recognition among his peers.

 

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Tonight’s reflection regards obsession. I learned my Narcissist’s chosen spiritual path was Scientology when I became exasperated with his definition for the word evaluation. Because I felt it would improve our interactions, I was compelled to learn more about Scientology. As I began to study, I found many interesting concepts which I still embrace and apply. For the record, I am not a Scientologist.

It is a well known fact that Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, redefined many common words for his new religion. There is a PDF version of Scientology’s Tech Dictionary that I’ve perused over the past 5 years. In that text, the word obsession is defined as returning motion on something where there has been too much motion thrown at the individual on that subject. Generally, emotion is classified as energy with mass that has motion.

The emotional abuse my Narcissist inflicted on me was very subtle at first. I knew something was wrong but it was impossible to isolate the problem. When I realized how he was affecting me, my first impressions about him kept me from believing he could be so cavalier about the havoc he was wreaking in our relationship. As his negative reviews of me increased in frequency and force, I became obsessed with defending myself. It felt necessary to return that motion which was overwhelming me with doubt about who I was.

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My Narcissist used to describe a skill he had learned when he studied something called Polarity Therapy. He said it was necessary to empty himself emotionally in order to empathize with another and remove their pain. He claimed to have super awareness of everything that was being emoted in his presence, so much so that he lost himself at times when he was in a room full of people absorbing all their emotions. While we dated, he made several references to the ways in which he changed while he was with me. Was he an emotional shape shifter who, like a chameleon, adapted to obtain his Narcissistic supply?

The paradox of his opinion about himself is, of course, lost on him. I juxtapose this reflection about the empathetic being he describes himself as with the demon who stood on my driveway and raged at me on the day of my mother’s funeral when I was alone and completely defenseless against him. Even if we set aside the fact that he and I had been in a romantically intimate relationship for years, can a highly empathic person be capable of inflicting such extreme emotional abuse at such an emotionally critical time? I doubt he has any empathy whatsoever. His purpose was clear … he timed it perfectly.

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