Anyone who has ever been hurt by a narcissist knows the pain lasts a long time. People tell us to just get over it and move on, but it’s not that simple. In order to heal from the aftermath of a narcissist, we must obsess about it before we can truly move on. Below are six reasons why:
1) TO UNDERSTAND IT
Before we can even think of moving on, we must educate ourselves on the pathology of the narcissist’s personality. Only then, can we truly understand we did nothing to bring about their sudden change in behavior from extreme over-valuation to total devaluation.
We must understand and accept that the eventual neglect and abuse experienced in a relationship with a narcissist is inevitable and realize they will keep coming back to give us more until we put a stop to it.
In order to feel alive, the narcissist needs our validation. We understandably confuse their continual return to us for love. Unfortunately, it is abuse and until we recognize it for what it is, it can be quite difficult to end the vicious cycle.
2) TO GET IT OUT
We owe it to ourselves to process our pain and honor our feelings. Unfortunately, many of us have been programmed to “suck it up” and dismiss our feelings, which only causes us to remain stuck in a state of pain. Our on-line community of support offers a safe forum where members can express themselves and share with others who understand what it’s like to try to love a narcissist. This process takes time and no one should be given a limit on how long they need to “Get It Out.”
3) TO STAY AWAY
The only way to truly break free from a narcissist is to establish and maintain a rule of “No Contact.” This process takes time and often more than one attempt. You must treat the narcissist as if you are breaking a toxic drug habit. You must realize they have become like a drug to you. Just as the narcissist needs others to validate their existence, they have now programmed you to believe you need them in order to survive. It is critical to understand this feeling is only temporary and a direct result of being brainwashed, but can only be overcome by establishing “No Contact” and deprogramming from the narcissist.
4) TO GET REAL
The only way to “Get Real” is to confront feelings many of us have been taught to avoid – Anger and Fear. Many of us are conditioned to feel shame for feeling any feelings of anger, but anger runs deep. If we avoid our anger, we internalize it and it turns into depression. It is ok to be angry about how we were treated in the past. We must acknowledge and honor our feelings in order to release them and move on. We are entitled to feel the way we do and we must validate these feelings in order to heal.
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; You are the one who gets burned.”
- Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta
Getting real also means that we face the truth about our relationship, which can be quite difficult. Facing the truth means we have to make changes in our life that will not be easy. It takes courage and time to “Get Real.”
5) TO WAKE UP
To “Wake Up” means we reverse our habitual pattern of trying to avoid pain by allowing ourselves to feel the moment and understand what it is we are meant to learn from it. To accept uncertainty and stay with it is the path to true awakening. We should never avoid our own personal experience thinking there is something better out there. We must totally commit to our reality. Only then do we experience the world fully. We must stop thinking we can just run away. Only when we don’t hold back and prepare to escape, do we experience life and truly find ourselves. Commit to staying in the moment. Things become very clear when there is nowhere to escape.
6) TO HEAL
When we learn to heal, we learn to lighten up, relax and go easy on ourselves. Many of us find it easy to have compassion for others, but have very little for ourselves. It never occurs to us to feel it for ourselves. Living life with an unconditional love for ourselves changes everything. We get rid of the “should haves” and the “could haves” and gradually discover ourselves by being honest and staying in the moment. Without any agenda except for being real, we begin to find ourselves again. This is the key to our recovery.
Once we find ourselves again, we can finally stop obsessing about the narcissist. However, until we understand the narcissist and process our feelings, I honestly do not believe we can successfully move on.
I wrote my first book “It’s All About Him” in order to process my feelings about my marriage to a man diagnosed with pathological narcissism. It was a memoir...a catharsis. It was not a veiled attempt to get back at my ex-husband. In fact, my ex-husband signed a waiver allowing me to share what I learned with others because he agreed it could help others understand the personality disorder of a narcissist.
I wrote my second book “The Path Forward” to provide a course for recovery. The six reasons I outlined above are the Six Steps I lay forth as the path for getting over a narcissist in my second book and the foundation of our on-line community of support at www.ThePathForwardNow.com
STEP 1 – UNDERSTAND IT
We educate ourselves on the personality of a narcissist.
STEP 2 – GET IT OUT
We find an outlet to share and express our emotions.
STEP 3 – NO CONTACT
We accept the only way to restore our sanity and regain control of our lives is through "No Contact."
STEP 4 – GET REAL
We no longer deny reality and are ready to face our anger and fear.
STEP 5 – WAKE UP
We tap into the power of our mind to awaken our spirit and find ourselves again.
STEP 6 - HEAL
We have a newfound compassion for ourselves and commit to live in the moment.
Once we learn to see the narcissist for the person he or she really is, we are finally able to free ourselves. We realize we do not need this person in our lives to feel whole and complete. We were whole and complete before this person entered our lives and we will be whole and complete once we end our relationship with this person. It is the narcissist who is preventing us from being truly happy. It is so important you understand this. NOTHING stands between you and your true self, but the narcissist in your life!
Please note: At a certain point, it is critical to stop obsessing about the narcissist. While it is part of the initial healing process, one must eventually shift the focus inward. If you are having difficulty breaking free from obsessive thoughts, please refer to my blogs below on reducing obsessive thoughts or purchase my second book “The Path Forward,” which discusses these strategies in more detail: