If you are like most people, you want some sort of closure when a relationship ends, some sort of compassion, or emotion, or answers, or an acknowledgement of wrong doing…something, anything–and that is totally normal. And normal people often part ways in some sort of normal way–normal people don’t just up and leave a relationship out of the clear blue. And normal people aren’t cold, uncaring and cruel; and the definitely don’t try and destroy their partner emotionally after a relationship either. However, if you were dating a Narcissist, you weren’t dating someone normal, so (unfortunately) you won’t get anything close to a normal reaction from them in any situation, and especially not during a break up. If anything you’ll be left feeling utterly betrayed, in shock, angry, dropped like a hot potato, and wondering what the hell just happened.
When most relationships end, it feels something more along the lines of this:
When a relationship with a Narcissist ends, it feels something more along the lines of this:
The lack of closure you’ll get from them is just one of the many ways that a Narcissist will hurt and let you down. You see, by definition, a Narcissist is someone who lacks empathy and remorse. Never is this more clear than when a relationship with one ends. The victim is often left emotionally destroyed, and the Narcissist doesn’t seem to be upset in the slightest. In fact, odds are they’ve moved on and you’ve been quickly replaced by someone new–as if your relationship (even if decades long) never even mattered.
I’m sorry to say, this is because the relationship didn’t matter to them–at least not in the way that it mattered to you. In fact, your relationship mattered to them for a completely different (and more disturbing) set of reasons. The reasons a Narcissist gets into a “relationship” is for some combination of money, sex, attention/ego strokes, food/clothing/shelter, social status or public appearances. They may have played the part of the loving, doting significant other really, really well, but it wasn’t because they ever truly felt that way about you. Narcissists are incapable of forming real bonds with people. They play this part of world’s greatest person only because that’s what they need to do to worm their way into the lives of their victims, and to get what they want. They are a lot like Nigerian scammers in this way, but they generally don’t hit you up for thousands of dollars at a time, instead, they attach themselves to their victims and slowly bleed them financially and emotionally until one of you leaves. (This leeching off of people is why Narcissists are referred to as being “parasitic” in nature.) They get what they want by conning victim’s into thinking that they are their soul mate, and they do this by creating an intensly emotional experience for the victim. I know that’s really hard to believe, and it’s even harder to hear and accept, but it’s the sad, cruel truth.
But why did they have to create this intense emotional expereince?Why did it have to end so painfully? All the added pain, and drama and lies just seem so…unnecessary.
I consider all the unnecssary pain, drama, lies and nonsense to be their “secondary gain.” Meaning that the pain and hurt they causes isn’t necessarily the primary reason they get into a relationship, but to them causing maximum pain is the icing on the cake. Because Narcissists are constantly need to feed their ego, everything, and I mean everything, is about them. The reason being is that your suffering lets them know they are important, and the more suffering they can cause, the more important they feel. This is how their ego gets fed. Unfortunately, positive ego strokes (compliments, positive feedback and attention, etc.) aren’t enough. They need to really know that they are significant. And the best way to do this is often by building someone up to the highest level, and then knocking them down as hard as they can. They want to hear how hurt you are. They want to hear you crying and begging and pleading for them to stay or how crushed you are. They want to hear how much you loved them with every ounce of your being, and now you are left to pick up the pieces while they move on. A normal person would feel some guilt and sadness about this, but a Narcissist feels elation. This is one of many reasons Narcissists are also called “energy vampires”. They suck the life out of their victims, and then toss them away. Getting caught up with an Narcissist is one of the biggest emotional roller coasters you’ll ever ride, as the good times are really good, and the bad times are really bad.
Whatever you do, don’t contact them and let them know how hurt you are
Again, if you are like most people, you’ll probably want to contact them and let them know just how hurt you are, dammit. After all, your head is probably spinning from just how crazy things happened. One moment you were in love, and the next they left for someone else. You want them to know that they devastated you. You want them to feel bad or guilt. You want to hear some sort of reaction out of them. …And maybe you will even get one, but it won’t be sincere. If anything, they’ll be so drunk off your pain, that they’ll make a mental note to come back later and feed on you some more. They wanted you to suffer, and then they wanted to hear all about it. It’s a huge power trip for them knowing that they can pupperteer someone like this.
So how do I get closure?
Well, the bad news is that you won’t get it from them. The good news is that they did you a huge favor by ending the relationship. Believe it or not, you are one of the lucky ones. You can start by getting closure by closing that door, and never contacting them again (if you can’t cut off contact due to kids or some other reason, go “Gray Rock”. Join a support group. Talk to other people that have been through this. Journal. Be kind to yourself. Surround yourself with friends and family, and just be patient. The pain won’t last forever, even though it feels like it will. Just know you aren’t alone.
The best thing you can do after a relationship with a Narcissist ends is to not share any feelings with them whatsoever. Don’t let them know that they were or are significant to you in any way. You need to match their level of disregard and nonchalance–it hurts them to know you don’t care and will be fine without them. It means they are losing at their own game, and that will really get to them. Cut off contact with them, and don’t allow them to slither back into your life–because odds are they will. The next phase of a Narcissistic relationship is called “Hoovering”, and it’s something you need to be prepared for.
My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.
Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.
It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
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- Episode 168: Live Stream with Angie Atkinson - September 4, 2018