Life after a Narcissist

Recently, a woman asked about how to let go of memories of her painful relationship with a narcissist.  The relationship had ended 6 months ago but she reported haunting memories that caused her to lose sleep, interfere with her concentration, appetite, and social interactions.  She asked for suggestions.

Aside from initiating counseling and addressing such directly, I also suggested the following:

Identify some items you have that symbolically represent these memories/aspects and perform and exercise.  Collect these items and decide on a way to destroy them, i.e. burning them.  Then prepare them to be burned as you burn them, notice ANY hesitation you have before you burn them.  If you do, stop the process and spend time right then thinking and writing about why you hesitated.  This hesitation reflects that there is a part of you that wants to hold on to these (painful/haunting) memories or aspects of the relationship.  You then need to ask yourself WHY?  Why do you want to hold on to this thing(s) that are painful to you?  What are you getting from it?  This is then something you need to discuss with your therapist.

The narcissist is sick/unhealthy.  Yes, we know this but we all have unhealthy parts.  And, our unhealthy parts and the narcissist’s sick parts can, at times, fit together.  The fact that they fit together is not a sign that we are pathological.  What we do with the fact that our parts fit into the pattern of the narcissist’s part is to learn about them (through discussion with a therapist) so that, in the future, you are more aware of these parts and can safe guard them the next time you are contemplating starting a relationship.  A classic example of this is the young woman who is intrigued by the “bad boy”.  After a number of broken hearts, she learns that she has to watch out for that type of guy and avoid them.

Things to consider…