HELPING A NARCISSIST
It is UNHEALTHY to want to bond with an unhealthy person - mentally and emotionally. Spiritually, I guess, it is needed as a lesson to learn our own unhealthiness. Our own wounds.
I knew he was unhealthy, I knew he could do with a help. I saw he was lost. I felt sorry for him. I somehow knew I understand him better than he understood himself.
How can you abandon another in their struggle when you feel you can help? It goes against the nature of mine: helping the weak. So I was there to help! Not to have a relationship (!) but to support and 'heal' him. But are relationhips about SAVING others? If one thinks that they are, they hold an unhealthy idea about what love is: struggle, pain, sadness, frustration, disappointment. Is that what my idea of love was?? Seeing my parents going through a divorce they modelled the exact same… What went wrong?? Me wanting to help someone who didn’t want to help himself. Not the way it would work. Not the way I thought it could work for him. He was seeking support, attention and validation of himself. The ‘himself' he wanted to be - to be liked. He didn’t want anyone to point at his flaws. No way! I felt for him... I felt HIM. I felt his confusion and his sorrow, I felt his guilt and shame. It was genuine. Feelings don’t lie. But I couldn’t feel his thoughts! I didn’t consider his intentions in this - to clean and maintain his mask. Maintain his own illusion he wanted to live up to. He didn’t care about me, nor he did love me! NO! How could he?! He doesn’t love himself.
Yet I somehow expected what I at that time needed. THAT, I didn’t know I needed to give to MYSELF - love, support and care…attention. No, I focused on HIM. And he loved that! Not me. I wanted to validate me - through his acceptance. The need for validation from him was partially the driving force behind my need to help him. To get something from him. I don’t think I would just helped him knowing I won’t be liked by him, knowing he will reject me and won’t care about me at times I needed it most. He kept me there as his biggest cheerleader at times when his mask was heavily indented. At times he hated himself for letting it slip, letting himself be weak. He felt guilty that he let HIMSELF down…that he let others down as a result of that. NOT like others feeling guilty and genuinely ashamed that they disappointed someone, that they caused their pain.
This guilt is about something else. This isn’t about realising the broken boundaries of others. It is a selfish guilt! It is about him braking the boundaries of his own image of perfection. It is a shame and guilt coming from him not being able to live up to his goal. It is a self-flagelation, his own tool of control. And he is happy to use this on himself. He keeps himself in check. This is why the only feelings he is truly capable of feeling are guilt and shame.
Other than those, he doesnt feel....he is cut off his emotions - of his own valuable emotional feedback. Because if he wasn’t he would see what it costs him to keep this mask going. He would start seeing the cracks of this illusion.
He is scared of the death of his pretended image. Because without it he would not survive facing the image lying under his mask (...he thinks). He thinks that he wouldn’t survive the pain. He is so scared of that. The pain of his own emotions as a reaction to seeing the person hiding under his mask. When he is brave enough, he will face the one who he is so anxiously trying to hide.
When HE WANTS. Not when I want! He will face the fear of his own death. He will feel ALL the painful feelings which come with it: the repulsion, the anger and hate, the sadness and despair, the jealousy, the loneliness and uncertainty, the powerlessness... Only then he can start questioning this image. Only then he can start to dismantle it. Only then he can start searching for the truth underneath it....so he can finally GIVE UP the mask…'
Thank you for reading. If my article contributed to understanding yourself, please be generous and share it with others.
Copyright © 2016 Michaela Patel
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