This is a great question, Janemarie.
Says it all for me. This is exactly what I struggled with as well. I got that he was a PD and highly disturbed. I got that I was used and sucked into his seedy world of sickness and manipulation. I got that he would never love me in a way which resembled anything healthy. I got that I could no longer consider him to be a part of my life on any level and that the relationship had been a farce.
Now what. I was still left with me. My heart, my feelings of love. What I felt was real regardless to what he felt. Just because he was playing me, hurting me, and the ultimate discard, STILL did not take away the fact that I had invested my time, life, and heart in him.
I tried the anger, hate, revenge, route. THAT did not work well for ME. I felt like the primary reason I was angry was because I was trying to find a way to GET RID of the tremendous hurt, pain, and longing for a DIFFERENT him feelings. I could only stay anger for a day or so and then I would go right back into my true real feelings.
This was a nightmare I thought. One day loving him and then the next day hating him, just so I would not have to feel the love anymore. THAT was way too painful and no way to live.
What I finally came to was: I did love him and I did not hate him. He is sick and this is NO reflection on ME. I did not cause or create this, it is him and it is what it is.
I began to accept him for what he is and me for what I am. We are not the same; we are two different people. I no longer had to pretend that I did not once upon a time love him deeply.
The next thing which came to me as a natural result of acceptance, was:
I began to explore forgiveness of not only him for what he did and what he is, also me for having been sucked into this in the first place.
Believe it or not, it was easier to forgive him than myself. I felt the fool and my ego was bruised and I struggled with acceptance and forgiveness of myself more than anything else.
I am NOT the type of person who can go through my life with resentments and anger towards anyone for any length of time. It eats away at me and I don't like it. I need to find a way to put everything that happens to me in perspective so that I can move on from it.
The next thing that I found happening to me was forgiveness for my father. He was the chief culprit afterall. He was the one who set the stage in me for all the men who were to come after him. He taught me and trained me to settle for less and to allow myself to get into this, try to fix them, save them, cure them role.
I decided that I wanted to shed that role once and for all, basically that I wanted MYSELF back.
By accepting and forgiving my father, I was able to at LONG LAST realize that what my father did to me was NOT my fault and therefore what the N/P did was not my fault.
I was a sweet loving child who had a Dad who was sick and the damage done was something which I had been carrying with me my entire life.
The relationship with the Narc as bad as it was forced me to look hard and deep into MYSELF for the solutions and although this has not been an easy process, facing those old fears, in me, it has been a life changing for me.
I am not the same person I was before the Narc. I have a new understanding of myself and the world around me. I have taken off my rose colored glasses, become more real and balanced as a person. I no longer look to another to bring me hapiness. I fully grasp that our happiness comes from within ourselves and if someone else can share in this great and if not, it is o.k. and right to LET THEM GO.
I have Goldie back and perhaps for the first time in many years, since that little girl was turned into a people pleaser, caregiver, for people who never did or never will know how to love her as she loved them with her entire heart and soul.
I love this scene from the movie Adaptation. This is a dialog between the two main characters, twin brothers.
*Charlie Kaufman: There was this time in high school. I was watching you out the library window. You were talking to Sarah Marsh.
Donald Kaufman: Oh, God. I was so in love with her.
Charlie Kaufman: I know. And you were flirting with her. And she was being really sweet to you.
Donald Kaufman: I remember that.
Charlie Kaufman: Then, when you walked away, she started making fun of you with Kim Canetti. And it was like they were laughing at *me*. You didn't know at all. You seemed so happy.
Donald Kaufman: I knew. I heard them.
Charlie Kaufman: How come you looked so happy?
Donald Kaufman: I loved Sarah, Charles. It was mine, that love. I owned it. Even Sarah didn't have the right to take it away. I can love whoever I want.
Charlie Kaufman: But she thought you were pathetic.
Donald Kaufman: That was her business, not mine. You are what you love, not what loves you. That's what I decided a long time ago.
Donald Kaufman: Whats up?
Charlie Kaufman: Thank you.
Donald Kaufman: For what?*
*Charles Stuart "Charlie" Kaufman
For additonal support, to join one of our support groups, or to speak with Goldie directly, http://www.lisaescott.com/blog/goldie