I was cleaning out my desk and I came across this bookmark from AA. Not sure if it came from a convention or some seminar I went to for work – but in any case the AA advice is good for those of us recovering from the torment of being in a so-called “relatioNship” with a narcissist.
Detachment is neither kind nor unkind. It does not imply judgement or condemnation of the person or situation from which we are detaching. Separating ourselves from the adverse effects of another person’s alcoholism (mental illness/narcissism) can be a means of detaching: this does not necessarily require physical separation (From the N, it does require NC/Physical Distance). Detachment can help us look at our situation realistically and objectively.
Alcoholism is a family disease. Living with the effects of someone else’s drinking is too devastating for most people to bear without help. In Al-Anon we lean nothing we say or do can cause or stop someone else’s drinking. We are not responsible for another person’s disease or recovery from it. (We are not responsible for another person’s narcissistic behavior. It is about them, not us.)
Detachment allows us to let go of our obsession with another’s behavior and begin to lead happier and more manageable lives, lives with dignity and rights, lives guided by a Power greater than ourselves. We can still love the person without liking the behavior. (With the N, however, we need to renounce him or her from our lives – we might love the person we thought we knew, but we must realize that they are “dead to us.”)
In Al-Anon they learn:
Not to suffer because of the actions or reactions of other people.
Not to allow ourselves to be used or abused by others in the interest of another’s recovery.
Not to do for others what they can do for themselves.
Not to manipulate situations so others will eat, go to bed, get up, pay bills, not drink, or behave as we see fit.
Not to cover up for another’s mistakes or misdeeds.
Not to create a crisis.
Not to prevent a crisis if it is in the natural course of events.
Very good advice for those in the early stages of detaching from a Narcissist.