To Obsess or Not Obsess After the Narcissist

When getting over a narcissist, I believe we must go through a process of obsessing about our experience and over-analyzing it before we can move on.

Our minds must make sense of the chaos and trauma we experienced (i.e. emotional abuse)at the hands of the person we love.

Each of us needs to find an outlet in which to give creative expression and form to what we experienced. To give it some structure and organization so that we can file it away and put it to rest once and for all. For me, this outlet was my book and my music CD.

Once we are able to process the experience, the obsessive thoughts should lessen, but ONLY if we allow ourselves to FEEL.

Fierflie makes an excellent point:

We continue to obsess over them to avoid our pain. It's a drug for us, just like they need their supply.

Exactly, obsessive thoughts are a reaction to anxiety that we feel.

No one likes to feel anxiety so we find ways to numb or decrease our anxiety. One way we do this is through engaging in obsessive compulsive behavior.

Just as a drug, we can use obsessive thoughts to avoid having to FEEL.

It took me forever to figure this out, but when I did, it really opened my eyes.

By obsessing, overanalyzing and staying "in our head" we avoid having to really FEEL the emotions that are trying to pour out of us.

It is for this reason that it's so important for us to encourage each other to move on to Steps 3 through 6 once we have made sense of the madness we experienced and understand what happened to us.

My point is that every step is important. We cannot skip Steps 1 and 2 (Get It Out & Understand It) or it will only come back to haunt us later in life.

But do remember, when you get to the step of trying to Live in the Now, if you find yourself obsessing, stop and ask yourself if you're really having an emotion. Odds are you are having a strong emotion and you are engaging in obsessive thought to avoid having to deal with the real and very present emotion bubbling up inside of you.

You will often find when you are stuck in an obsessive-compulsive cycle of thought that you are trying to avoid having to feel. By obsessing, over-analyzing and distracting yourself with mind rituals, you can easily forget all about what emotions you were just experiencing.

It's like "Mental Gymnastics" in a way because it consists of major mind rituals - Think about it, if you're engaged in Mental Gymnastics, who has time to FEEL?! Not me!

Please don't forget that if we don't process what happened to us by over-analyzing it and obsessing about it in the beginning, it will come back to haunt us later.

So while I encourage this behavior in the beginning of your recovery, I do not encourage it as you begin to move on.

If you find yourself obsessing after you've already worked through the first few steps, you need to stop and ask yourself:

"What FEELING am I trying to avoid FEELING right now?"


I guarantee, you will find that there is a very strong emotion or feeling you are trying to avoid. We have to stop being afraid to feel our feelings. Many of us were brought up to believe that we should never be angry or mad or even sad. This is not realistic and is a very unhealthy way of thinking.

We should never numb our feelings with methods of distraction, whether it be drugs, alcohol, or obsessive thoughts. We must not be afraid to FEEL!

I will talk more in the new book about the importance of FEELING OUR FEELINGS!

Oct 29 - 10AM
sickandtiredofit's picture


All I have are feelings - too many of them, too raw - not even fully evovled, prickly, shards-o-glass feelings. I want to rage and holler at him, but I know it will only make him happy in some sick and twisted way, after he berates me and asks me or tells me, "How dare you..." Three weeks ago, I shook when I thought about how he was going to respond to this or that, while we are still together, I feel less obligated to respond with my old patterns of behavior. No more eggshell tight rope wlaks for me.I want to hold onto this anger to help me get away once and for all from him. Funny thing is he told me all I needed to know from th start, and the only times I should have believed him, I didn't... he said, "I have cheated on all of my girlfriends, I have sent all of my ex's into therapy, I think maybe it wasn't them, it was me and the best one... you want more than I can ever give you - and you make it very difficult to love you" I didn't hear a word of it, well I heard it, but I shut it out. Oy!