I frequently--more times than I can count--hear from men and women who are trapped in a severely painful pattern of returning to their narcissistic spouse or narcissistic parent. Each time they go back they believe that life with the NPD is going to be different. This is not true. With very rare exception --Once A Narcissist Always A Narcissist! If you are involved with a narcissist it may help you to repeat these words to yourself and recognize that you can no longer tolerate sharing your life with this highly pathological person.
I use the word "torture" ("the action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a
punishment or to force them to do or say something, or for the pleasure
of the person inflicting the pain") in the title to emphasize how
impossible narcissists make our lives with their multiple cruelties.
Sadistic, cold, controlling, treacherous--they gain pleasure from
weakening us, to have ultimate control over our being and in some cases
to destroy us.
You don't deserve this. You didn't when you first
became involved with this person. If you are the child of a narcissistic
parent, you happened to be born by fate into a highly pathological
family. First, know that this is not your fault. You are not to blame.
children grow up only knowing cruelty and torture. This is how their
identities are shaped. The idea of being loved, feeling peace,
protection or freedom is not part of their psychological repertoire.
They have a prisoner of the gulag mentality and that is not surprising.
We tend to repeat what we have experienced early in our lives. Some
children have a sense that their narcissistic family members or their
narcissistic spouses are very disturbed and they make a break for it
Being a child of a narcissist lingers in the psyche, mind
and heart. This innocent person did not get the bonding, loving touch
and kind words of affirmation that he absolutely needed. He was
criticized, thrown away, discounted and in severe cases---tortured.
would anyone return to this horrid scene of psychological massacre that
almost killed our souls. Because human beings tend to repeat what they
know, what is familiar. A child raised by a narcissist who feels
undeserving and worthless and un-entitled will be drawn to partners who
have a similar personality structure and will abuse them.
and over again the victim returns for more abuse, then leaves, then
comes back and on it goes. In some cases the victim is broken and this
Don't wait any longer. Understand who your
narcissistic torturer is--through and through. Then make a decision that
you will sever this non-relationship. Do the work of healing yourself
through the methods that work best for you--excellent psychotherapy (Be
careful--don't choose a narcissistic therapist), yoga practice that is
gentle with emphasis on the breathing that quiets the nervous system,
getting the sleep that you need and deserve, discovering and using your
creative gifts, finding and nurturing loving and caring relationships.
know that you will end this cycle of abuse and torture. I have faith in
your decision and action to change your life along the pathway of
healing and wholeness and yes, peace.
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.