You may recall my post a while back telling you that I thought it was time (past time) for me to shred all those documents that I had printed out and highlighted while consuming blackberry Merlot. I didn’t get 1/4 of the way through the stacks before I found the following article. It was one of many that was too good to send through the metal teeth.
The author of the article is “Lynn” – she has some very good thoughts to share –
“Getting emotional closure means that you can “close the book” on your situation and its associated pain. You can put that book of pain on the shelf and you will no longer have to take it down and read from it on a daily basis.”
Tha elusive closure that survivors almost universally seek is most likely not ever going to be found by looking to the Narcissist. There are a couple of reasons for that. First, a mature resolution to a relationship requires both people to respect each other and validate the other’s feelings leaving each person’s dignity in tact. In other words, it usually consists of an empathetic exchange that includes validation. That isn’t the Narcissist’s forte.
Secondly, a Narcissist generally doesn’t want to provide closure in the sense of closing a door on a relationship. How then could he /she come back and seek out supply again someday in the event that he/she needs it? So, clearly, that’s not the direction one ought to be looking for closure.
Rather than looking to him / her or even to what you can do immediately to find it for yourself then, perhaps the first step is to try identifying what the feeling is you envisioned getting from that closure. It could be a number of things. For me, I wanted validation that it wasn’t all me. I wanted recognition that I had made some kind of difference in the Narcissist’s life. I wanted recognition of my hurt. Of course, none of that ever happened.
In terms of satisfying the need for closure then, while it may seek logical to go to the person causing your pain for some recognition of it, asking the Narcissist to recognize his/her role in your pain is like asking a mosquito to apologize for biting you. It’s just what Narcissists do. They generally don’t apologize because they don’t admit they’ve done anything wrong.
I think we all have a need for resolution, for feeling like we’ve assigned a satisfying meaning to our experiences, regardless of how painful and make sense of it before we can close the book on that chapter of our lives. I think we naturally yearn for a beginning, middle and end – a moral to the story. In my opinion there is no inherent meaning to be found in the suffering we experience at the hands of a Narcissist. It’s just what it is. It’s pain inflicted through interacting with a disordered person and there is not amount of reasoning in the world that makes sense of that or their thinking, or of their “feeling” about us in retrospect. The meaning is going to come from what we each assign to the experience ourselves and that doesn’t come from making sense out the Narcissist and what he/she felt or what he/she thinks. It comes from what we decide to do with the experience; what we find out about ourselves that may have led us here; and what meaning we individually assign to the suffering going forward, not looking back. I choose to use the experience to in retrospect, to grow, to give back, and to alleviate suffering if I can. At least that’s my goal.
Closure for me was a journey to acceptance, a realization that even though my life had changed irrevocably because of this experience in some ways, it need not define me and it never truly did. I did not ever deserve to be treated as if I had no meaning, not by anyone. I refuse to let it change me though, or harden me, or make me into what he would have me be. I can dress this wound myself. I can figure out how to dig down and find the resilience I need to rise up again. It’s up to me to decided whether I’m going to use this experience as an excuse or rather, as a way to live a better life. The N has nothing to do with that and he/she gets no credit for it either. If I tried to give that relationship meaning it would diminish all the true and wonderful relationships in my life.
The following few lines may be simple, but may be of some help:
You loved him/her and he/she hurt you without remorse.
There is no sense to that.
It was wrong.
You didn’t deserve it.
That choice was never about you.
It was about him/her.
That’s the closure most survivors would want could they have it, I would guess: to hear that very thing. You won’t hear it from him/her, you may not get anyone else to recognize it who know him/her…but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. You can tell yourself the truth even when nobody else can. When you believe it, that’s when you can begin working on you.
Someday, you will see him/her for what he/she was and is: nothing more than a shadow. His/Her significance in your life will diminish and yours will blossom as you will realize that you are so much more that anything that has happened to you, including the unnecessary pain and devastation you’ve felt at his/her hands. Make your own meaning from this. He doesn’t get to define this for you. You have so much to give and many people who would welcome whatever that is will do so with open arms and grateful hearts. That’s what you deserve. We all do.
My thanks to “Lynn” whoever and wherever she is.
Thank you for sharing your insight.
I hope you have blossomed where ever you are.