Paralyzed by fear, she won’t let go of our predator-persecutor
Narcopath: I am happy since I left you, and I’m glad I got out. For the past 16 years we were married, I was just afraid I’d be broke or alone, but I never really loved you.
Translation: I am delusional, maladapted, and guilty of revisionist history, blameshifting, and denial. I can’t give any value to our relationship because it might make me look bad for what I did to you.
Take-away: What you are seeing is the true nature of a Cluster B individual with their behavior on full blast with no fucks given.
Question: Why would a smart, compassionate, beautiful person stay with someone who is clearly incapable of being a decent human being and remain for years only to receive a steady dose of reward and punishment, gaslighting, exploitation, and humiliation?
Answer: The target of narcissistic or sociopathic abuse is often damaged in their own way which makes them cling tighter when a healthy individual would walk away or most likely get away and stay away.
It has been a year and a half since he left, and my wounded inner voice cries out in fear and pain with such torment that she is inconsolable. She doesn’t trust me. Why would she? I have never given her any solace or comfort. I always looked outside myself to others who would provide that external validation. I ignored her, shoved her in a corner, made her invisible. I did not see her. I did not hear her. And as a result, she only screams louder and louder, refusing to forgive or forget.
I abandoned her.
I abandoned myself.
The suffering she shrouded herself in was too much to acknowledge, too painful to unpack.
So I left her behind.
We are alone together now. A year and a half ago, my narcopath ex-husband discarded me out of the blue. I had no family. He had destroyed my relationship with them by abusing them, then making me choose, knowing full well that I did not have the strength or the courage to leave him. I had no friends. Every minute when I was not at work, I was with him. Taking care of him, watching him, guarding him, helping him, loving him. So when he left me, I was completely alone in this world, drifting in an open sea, untethered, lost, abandoned.
She told me she could not live without him. Several times in those first few months, her pulse grew faint, her heart became weak, and I knew she was dying. If she perished, what would happen to me? Would I become an empty shell, a member of the living dead like my narcopath? I wanted to surrender. Stop the fight. End the struggle. Stop breathing. Find peace at last and an end to the pain.
She wailed and wept day and night. It grew louder after dark and through the night as she longed for him to lie beside us, lay his comforting hand across our back.
So I started talking to her.
Me: We are alone now and we need to help each other. We can figure it out. I want to help you, protect you. We have to survive, and we need to find a way to do that together. What can I do to help you?
She: Get away from me and leave me alone. You have never made me safe or helped me in any way. I want him. He made me feel like everything was okay.
Me: He left us. He didn’t love us. He is sick and can’t help us now.
She: I don’t believe you. I can’t trust anything you say. You said you were going to fix him. You lied. You said love was the most powerful thing in the world. Make him come back.
Me: I can’t do that, sweetheart. None of it was real. He isn’t real. It was all just an illusion. Like a dream. And now he’s gone.
She: Nooooo! I can’t breathe! It hurts! It hurts! I’m going to disappear. I am invisible. He made me feel seen and heard and alive. But now I’m going to die.
Me: Don’t leave me. We need each other. I can do whatever he did for you. Let me try. Tell me how. Just tell me what you need.
She: I need his soft words that soothed my soul. I need his hands that touched me and brought me to life. I need his energy that flowed through me like holy healing waters. I need him to help me survive.
Me: I can try to do those things. Please let me try. He didn’t really love us. He doesn’t know what it is. But I do. I know what it is, and I can love in ways he will never understand. Can I try? Please?
She: Nooooo! It hurts. It hurts. Ohhhh! You can’t do anything. You’re weak and stupid. You left me to die. He brought me back to life. Noooooo! I’m not going to listen to you! Noooooo. Go away. Where is he? I need him.
Me: I’m so sorry. We have no choice. We have to do this. Just you and me. We can do it because we have to do it. He’s not coming back. He was not real. He cannot love. If he loved us, he could not hurt us like this, see us suffer, and not even care. But he left, and he knew it would cause us great pain. He didn’t care. He is sick and damaged. I am here. I will never leave you again. Please forgive me and let me try to help you. Please. Let me try to make it better.
So the dialogue began and continues every day.
The wounded child continues to struggle to understand or believe that there can be a reconciliation for the two of us. The trust has been broken. The trauma she experienced cannot be erased, so she is bloody and bruised, dirty, and starved for substance.
The wounded child is another way to think about your ego. This wounded child isn’t the enemy or bad or wrong. It’s just the young child version of yourself that is trying to take care of its needs the only way it knows how. The problem starts when we let that child control our reactions and our lives without recognizing what is actually happening. Having toxic programming, flawed scripts, and early trauma can leave the individual feeling incomplete and ill-equipped to deal with the vagaries of life. The opportunistic narcissist or sociopath is drawn to people with an inner child that is super vulnerable due to insecurity, loneliness, attachment disorders, abandonment issues, and similar challenges. They are the juiciest most succulent prey.
When all of the red flags finally come together to reveal a delusional and dysregulated person with a personality disorder, the healthy person would establish healthy boundaries and exit the relationship without further ado.
If there is any hope that there can be freedom and wholeness following relationships with Cluster B partners, it is in the idea of turning inward and healing from the inside out. It is the only way. Accept it, forgive them, and work on yourself. If you are whole and healed, the toxic patterns and dysfunctional relationships with people who are unstable or mentally impaired will be less likely to happen.
But these things take a while. As for me, it may be awhile. Maybe years. Maybe the rest of my life.
We are alone now, me and my impossible to placate inner child. The source of it all, the patterns of destructive relationships, the dysfunctional self-sabotaging, the addiction and attachment issues with mentally impaired partners. . . . the systemic root of it all is the frightened little girl inside who is damaged and traumatized. She is the key. She must be rescued and healed.
What a petulant little tyrant.
Inconsolable. Cynical. Desperate.
Today, I made her cookies. I promised to take her to see the Christmas lights. We are going to make a 2021 vision board on New Year's Eve. And maybe we will indulge in our favorite chocolate ice cream. I have a date with her to sit quietly and listen to whatever she needs to say.
I see her now.
I hear her.
I have nothing else. And I have nothing else to lose. I am completely alone now. She finally has my full attention.
I am sorry it took so long to find her. But we still have some time.
And so we begin.
Prajinta Pesqueda is a veteran of the war against trauma-induced C-PTSD caused by a 15-year marriage to a covert somatic mid-range narcissist-sociopath addict. She is a recovery facilitator and holds a Master’s degree with an emphasis on guidance and counseling.
Follow her articles at www.pesqueda.medium.com
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We can all heal and be happy and whole.