Can You Love Narcissists?

canyoulovenarcissist

Most times when we read about narcissists, it’s a bad thing.  They are portrayed as bad people because of their innate neediness to be better, to be praised, to be in control and all the other traits that I’m sure you’ve read about in other articles.

But having emerged from being a narcissist’s pawn for many years, I am able to see them in a clearer light and to even love them.  How the heck did I get into this place of peace with the family of narcissism that I’ve been in for so long?  Well, it’s taken me a lifetime, but here’s what I’ve learned and maybe it will help you too.

Narcissists aren’t bad people.  They just live in a fear controlled mindset that they can’t help.  Perhaps it was how they were raised?  Perhaps it stemmed from experiences that they’ve had in life?  Perhaps it’s innate and it’s just how they function?  Perhaps it’s just what happens over time for some people?  The causes may be a myriad of reasons that we probably won’t ever know and really, we don’t need to know.  We just need to acknowledge that their ways of loving are different from ours.

I love my family of narcissists from afar.  Yup, I do.  I can see that they really do love me too in their own way, even though for years, I couldn’t understand their ways.  Perhaps I don’t really understand their ways now either, but I am at peace with them.  Finally.  I may waver on this for a bit longer though, but the glimpse of peace has settled in me recently, the letting go of trying to be and prove my love when theirs was conditional.  I see them in a different light.

At heart, they want what we all want which is love.  But they have to have love shown in their way and their need for control isn’t something they can turn off because it’s powerful to them and very necessary.  And the funny thing is, most of them aren’t even aware of it.  It’s only healthy people that can really see it and I was unhealthy for a long time.  I bought into the whole have to do as I say mentality in order to be given love.  But I’ve learned that I am enough with or without their love and that they do love me in their own way, but not in mine.  And that’s ok for me.  Narcissists lack emotional empathy so they just don’t understand what you’re talking about when you say something about your feelings.  There’s simply no core connection in the narcissist mind.  Narcissists are disconnected, to themselves and to those whom they have in their lives.  Any connection is superficial, even though in their minds, it is a love connection.  But we know what healthy love is – it’s unconditional – and the fact is that they don’t.

Love them from afar.  Allow their cold mood swings to not affect you because they don’t even know why they are doing it.  They just know that in order to put you down, they feel better and that’s what they are craving.  They are superior and they must tell it to you.  It’s like air to them.  And when you don’t supply that love in their particular way, they are angry.  But they don’t know why so they blame it on you.  When really, they are angry with that part of themselves.  They can’t be vulnerable and they hate you for wearing your heart on your sleeve.  They may even dislike you for being so readily available to meet their needs.  It’s a strange dance with a narcissist.  They are unpredictable.  They jump to conclusions.  They make up stories in their heads about you and situations that aren’t true because the truth, in the bare bones truth, can’t be tolerated.  They can’t be wrong.  They can’t be blamed, so they blame you.  It’s a wild ride in loving a narcissist.  For me, I didn’t fight back.  I just took it and thought it was that I wasn’t enough.  But my eyes have been opened and I realize that I am enough and they, in their heart of hearts, don’t think they are enough so they lash out because their view of love is skewed.  There may be glimpses of knowledge that comes to them, but they can’t handle it so they push those bits of awareness away from them quickly.  They can’t go there.  So they prey on your vulnerability in order to make themselves feel better.  It’s sad that they are so messed up.  Don’t be angry with them.  Feel sorry for them because they don’t understand healthy love and the give and take that comes with it.

I’m in a place of forgiveness lately and of acceptance.  Not acceptance of bad treatment, but in an understanding place of acceptance.  While I hate the following phrase, it is what it is, it suits the situation well.  Because you can’t change them.  You can only change your perception.  You can remove yourself from engaging with them or you can limit the time spent with them.  What you need to keep in mind is that you need to protect yourself from their toxicity and you will never be able to make them understand even if you explained yourself for a thousand years.  It would spin a huge fight to call them a narcissist and it would do irreparable damage to the relationship.  Now if you don’t want any part of the toxic relationship, then distance yourself cold turkey style.  But if you are like me, and have to keep some semblance of a relationship because of outside factors, (you still have to deal with them because they are family etc), then allow distance to build up and yet stay barely connected.  Because narcissists are smart cookies.  If you stop feeding their egos, they will notice.  They may move onto someone else, but when that supply runs out, they may be back to you with more neediness.

Do you understand what I’m saying?  How do you feel about narcissists in your life?  Sometimes to be with them in like being in a den of snakes so I get it if you have completely removed them from your life.  But I guess I’m a glutton for punishment because I won’t do that as of now.  I’ve got my eyes wide open, but for the sake of my children, for many different reasons, I keep a loose connection to the narcissists in my life.

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in divorce, finding happiness at 50, love and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Can You Love Narcissists?

  1. BeowulfSabrina says:

    Still not getting it. Let myself be dragged into his toxic world for a bit and he disappeared again. Without any warning! The old me would berate myself, wonder what did I do wrong, how could I make it right? And then I know I’ve grown a bit because I know now that normal nondisordered people don’t disappear when they have real or perceived hurt feelings –that this is yet another signal from the universe that I should be grateful for the way he’d being kept OUT of my life, even though he tells me how much he loves me and how we are “soulmates”. Actions speak volumes. Words from a narcissist are meaningless. It’s so hard to love someone so damaged that destroys families and the one person who truly loved him. Sad day, my friend, but I will survive again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • janieleeds says:

      Sabrina, you will survive dear friend because you now know who he is and you can see what he’s doing which is healthy for you. Word salads, soulmates and actions/inactions are clearly not the love you deserve. You’ve come a long way baby and I’m so proud of you! Stay centered. Know you are loved by many people and that his toxic love is not meant to be in your life anymore. xoxo

      Liked by 2 people

      • BeowulfSabrina says:

        Must be an emotional time right now, cos tears are streaming down my face from your lovely and wise response. Again and again, thank you so much. xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • janieleeds says:

        You are loved Sabrina…healthy love is what you deserve. Hold on…I’m here for you dear friend. We’ve been through a lot and we’re still here. You are stronger than you know…xoxo

        Like

  2. I’m trying to keep narcissists at arms length….really long arms…..they are toxic to my mental health!! Great post again!

    Like

  3. TJ Fox says:

    Having kids with a narcissist makes things infinitely more difficult because you have to keep your children’s best interests in mind as well as your own. Even when it comes to extended family and not just another parent that is the narcissist, that is one of the things at the forefront of our minds, how it effects the kids.

    I spent years going back and forth in my head on what was best for my son with regards to his relationship with his father. There are lots of times where I really wish I would have just taken the many, many outs that my ex gave me to remove my son from that ugliness, but I was still convinced that keeping some semblance of a relationship with his father was the best. Mostly because I’d had it drilled so deep into my brain that family is everything and you do anything and everything for family. I know that for my son, it really wouldn’t have made any kind of difference because he is also a narcissist and would have created his own narrative no matter the choices I made.

    With the choice to remove literally every member of my family from our lives with the exception of a distant cousin and a brother I’m leaving a spider’s thread of connection to until he manages to snap even that, I see how much of a weight that has lifted, not just from me, but from my kids. Yes, they no longer have those people and those connections, but they are both so much happier for it and have said so many times. It hurt so much to have to make that choice for them and I’ve made it clear that if they change their minds as time goes on and they want to attempt to renew those relationships, they are free to do so.

    They understand the damage that those kinds of relationships can do. I talk to them freely about how the people in my life have hurt me and what it has done to things like my self esteem. For now, they are perfectly happy with the removal. It would be hard for me if they changed their minds, but I would understand and support their decision even if it isn’t something I can see myself ever making for myself.

    That is all we can do, though. Do what we think is the best for us and our kids right now and move forward. Sure, there are things that I sometimes think maybe would have been better if I’d done something different, but I do not have any regrets because I know I did the best I could at the time. It is easy to look back and think things would be better if done differently, but that is because we can see things differently because we aren’t in that same space and things aren’t the same. I think that is really the heart of all of this, finding peace with what you are doing and where you are and that is exactly what you’re doing, which is amazing and awesome.

    Liked by 2 people

    • janieleeds says:

      Thanks TJ for sharing so much of your good heart and experiences with me. Truly, I thank you. The kids are standing on the precipice of seeing it all for the first time and not being comfortable with the toxicity. Eyes are opening as they question, but they are still wanting a relationship, strained, but a relationship all the same with ex and his family. I will not be the one to break the relationship until they are ready and then I will stand next to them when that time comes and support them fully. But until then, I can’t cut all ties because it would put the kids in a worse position, so I protect them as best as I can as they (with me) navigate the ugliness in the toxic relationships. It’s been a hard Christmas as much has come to light which they were in the dark about and mostly unaware. It’s been a journey here of healing and seeing and questioning which I have done my best to answer honestly and factually. When the time is right, the ties will be cut with dignity, grace and on their timeline, not mine. They need no more damaging hurts at this time. It’s been a whirlwind of emotions this Christmas. I can’t add to it. I can only support them as they experience it, vent it out and keep healthy love in the forefront of their lives along with honesty, integrity and open communication. I am sure you would understand how and why I’m choosing this path right now even though I’d prefer to be done. But I am letting them do it in their own timing which I keep praying is divine timing. Of course, if something dramatic occurs, I’m a tiger momma first and foremost. But this is a life lesson as well. I am just grateful I’m here with them and that they are here with me.
      You are amazing and awesome. I have learned so much from you. Thank you xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • TJ Fox says:

        What you have going on, while similar in many ways, is still just enough different from what I had. All the ties to the toxic relationships in your life and your kids are knotted in ways mine never really were. My Ex would have been ecstatic if I’d pushed for him to give up his parental rights years before it ever happened. He really didn’t want the hassle and responsibility of a kid and child support and visitation. For you, the Ex is still putting forth something of an effort to remain involved in his own way and your kids are old enough to really be able to form their own opinions and make some of those decisions on their own. Much of the toxic garbage is coming from his family and that part is almost entirely out of your control. You’ve handled the situation much better than I think I ever would have been able to. You are giving your kids the room to stretch their wings and find their happiness in the ways that work for them. That is awesome. You are such an amazing mom.

        Like

      • janieleeds says:

        TJ, thank you for the validation and for your kindness and understanding. While I want the kids to be rid of the toxic garbage, I respect their need to keep ties for now until the time is right for them to let go if that time should ever come and I will be with them to support them. Because I have little family of my own and his is larger, I have found peace in taking it step by step as they detach. But I’m not pushing them. I want it to be on their own timing as I never want the guilt of pulling the proverbial rug out from under them. But the ties are straining by his family’s words/deeds so we are just going with the flow.
        I am sorry your situation sounds much harder than mine. But you brilliantly survived it and protected your darling children for which you should be proud. You are such an amazing mom and friend to me. Thank you TJ! xoxxo

        Liked by 1 person

      • TJ Fox says:

        You know, I don’t see what I went through as harder. I see what you are going through and can’t imagine how I’d deal with it. Both of our experiences are gut wrenchingly hard in their own ways and we are wading through them the best we can. I’m grateful to have you walking along side me.

        Like

      • janieleeds says:

        Me too TJ! So grateful we’ve connected. ♥

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Create Space says:

    Great post Janie and shares huge learning! There is no stopping you now! Happy New Year, one like no other!

    Like

  5. I think they come from a place of insecurity so they have to put down others to make themselves feel better. To be honest in my case because my children were older I cut anyone who was not a positive person out of my life. I’m not sure how old your children are Janie.

    Like

    • janieleeds says:

      I love that you protected your children Elaine from toxic relationships. I am so proud of you. My kids are late teens and because it’s so much family involvement with the illness and I am alone, they are learning together with me to accept love from all family members, but to know the difference between healthy and toxic love. We three grow healthy love and they are realizing the toxic love but they’re not ready to fully let go and so I am giving them time and protecting them as I have all along. It’s a fine line due to many outside factors all of which play parts in our self-discovery and in the emergence of realizations that they are encountering. Slowly but surely their awareness and enlightenment is increasing and when they are ready to let go of all toxicity, I will finalize it as well. Until then, we are riding the storms together. Thanks Elaine xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. fantac.cisse says:

    Wow. That is an excellent and very wise post. I’m particularly impressed with your advise to “love them from afar” and “distance yourself” from the narcissists. I think myself as a forgiving person but I do have the tendency to not tolerate any bullshit and once I want you out, you are out forever… This is a great post, I’m looking forward to explore your blog! ^^

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s