After a relationship with a narcissist ends, people often wonder why they miss the narcissist even though the narcissist was abusive and cruel. After all, it just doesn’t make sense to miss someone who was the source of so much misery in our lives. It just doesn’t make sense to grieve the loss of someone that caused us so much unhappiness.
Nevertheless, many of us do miss the narcissist. And, if you are one of them, don’t hate yourself or beat yourself up, because you are not alone.
It is easier to understand this phenomenon if you understand the basics of the narcissist-created relationship.
A narcissist is all glamour and glitz in the beginning. He/She will be the perfect mate. A dream-come-true. It’s as if they honed in on exactly the type of mate you needed to complete yourself -- and your life -- and then they magically became that mate. You are now living in a fool’s paradise.
But it wasn’t as magical as you think. The narcissist FAKED being that person, so in need of his/her narcissistic supply that they would go to any level to achieve it. And one of those levels is pretending to be whoever they think will ideally match the person whose admiration they are trying to exude. To win your admiration they needed to win you, and to win you they had to become the man or woman that you desired in your dreams.
You fell in love with someone who never actually existed. A Chimera.
A Chimera has many meanings and definitions, but ultimately it is a deception. A misconception. A Chimera is composed of multiple elements, oftentimes carrying duel identities, bloodlines, or genetics. In mythology a Chimera is part lion, goat and snake. In genetics, a person may carry two different blood types at the same time.
In our minds, a Chimera is a vision or experience that is made up of our hopeful dreams and/or our wishful thinking. When we encounter a Chimera, it is a trickery, which deludes our minds into believing we see those dreams come true. Concluding, a Chimera is an illusion or fabrication of our mind. The narcissist, a master of disguise, zones in on your hopeful dreams of a perfect mate (for you) and then sets out to create an image of that person. He becomes your Chimera.
The real problem lies in falling in love with this image. When the image dies it’s as if your partner has also died. You will grieve the loss of them, as anybody would grieve the loss of someone they loved. It is hard to fathom that the person you loved – and grieve over the loss of – never really truly existed. Knowing this does not help with our grief. Yes, they may have never been the person that you fell in love with, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t grieve the loss of the person they pretended to be. After all, you loved that person. Even though you fell in love with an illusion, a mirage, or a character in a play, your love was real, even if they weren’t.
Combine this grief with other factors that also happen at the end of a relationship with a narcissist, such as the latent realization that you were abused. Oftentimes with the narcissist, the abuse is so subtle, so well diguised or so gaslighted that we aren’t even aware of being abused until after the relationship has ended. Even sadder the narcissist has a way of making us feel guilty about ‘forcing’ the narcissist to abuse us. We may even blame ourselves for being abused! Either way, our grief is compounded when we finally see the abuse of the last months/years of our life more clearly.
The third factor, which makes us grieve at the end of a relationship with a narcissist, is when we realize that we really weren’t all that special to the narcissist. We were important to them only as long as we supplied their ego with narcissistic supply, but totally dispensable when we saw them for who they really were, behind the ‘act’ and stopped supplying them with the admiration and adulation that they needed.
Remember, when your relationship with the narcissist ends, you will grieve and you will be sad – and you will have every right to do this. You will grieve the loss of your dreams, you will grieve the loss of all those months/years you invested, and you will grieve the loss of your heart’s innocence.
Read more about grieving the end of a relationship with a narcissist.
Advice on Breakups
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