The Inevitable Futility of Wishing on Stars

There are two terrible truths about narcissists [1] – whether you’re talking about personal relationships, workplace environments, or certain politicians.

First, they will not stop. It will not get better. Not ever.

You cannot appease a narcissist or bargain for peace. Any respite you get is because it’s convenient for them.

A narcissist will manipulate and use you any way they can. If you give in, that just means they will push harder and manipulate you more the next time. Narcissists rely on intermittent reinforcement, giving you just enough of what you want so that you don’t give up. They keep it up so much that you don’t even notice how they’re still fucking your life over – financially, socially, however. You just get used to it that you start thinking of how they’re taking advantage of you as “normal”.

Sometimes it’s bad enough that the positive reinforcement is just “They aren’t making my life bad right now.”

Rest assured, they will ruin your life more when it’s convenient for them.

It. Will. Not. Stop.

My abuser got upset when I finally broke and said “Look, just tell me what hoops you want to go through so I can visit my son. Anything you want me to do, I will do. Just tell me what you want me to do, I’ll do it. Please, instead of changing the rules all the time and making me jump through hoops.”

I gave in. Completely. But had I pointed out what she was doing, and for that, she kept my son away from me for years. She still tries to poison him against me, even though he lives here now.

They. Will. Never. Stop.

And that brings us to the second terrible truth: Narcissistic abuse only works as long as the abused person puts up with it.

It’s hard to say that without it sounding like blaming the victim, I know. And yes, the narcissist will – for a while – try harder to make you miserable so that you crave the “reward” of them not arguing with you. But giving in will just keep it going.

That’s because you, dear reader, are still thinking of the abuser as someone whose behavior will finally, somehow, get better.

That’s the wrong way to think of it.

Instead, think of the abuser and their abuse like, say, a lake.

A lake you’re face-down in.

A lake where you’re drowning in their abuse.

The lake will not move, or drain, or evaporate. [2]

So it is up to the abused person to stand up and get their face out of the water… because the water will not go away.

Nobody – not anybody – else can pull a codependent victim of narcissistic abuse out of the water.

Once the abused person decides to stand up, once they start to stand up, you might be able to help them.

But you can’t make the victim pull their head out of the water. You can’t make them realize that what they consider “normal” is actually drowning.

I wish you could. I wish someone had been able to do that for me.

Ironically, the abused person will probably blame themselves for drowning. I did.

I wish I hadn’t lashed out instead. I wish I hadn’t defended my abuse or my abuser and hurt those who loved me and wanted the best for me.

The abused person will say it’s their fault. They’ll say it’s their problem. But thanks to the narcissistic abuse, the victim will not realize that they are the ones with the power to change the situation.

Actually changing the situation is not easy, not at all. It’s fucking difficult as hell. I would rather go back to BASIC training than go through that again. Even being around it makes my pulse race, my stomach clench up in nausea.

Even though the path can be very long and very hard, the decision to start, the choice to want a better life, a life free of the abuse… that’s as simple as deciding you want out. It’s as simple to choose to be free of the abuse. It is as simple as allowing yourself to imagine that things are not hopeless. It is as simple as starting to work toward the life that you want to have.

But it is the victim’s choice, and their choice alone.

Yes, it would be nice if the narcissist would change their behavior.

It would be nice if it wasn’t up to the abused person to choose to get out of the situation.

But the narcissist will not change.

It is up to the abused person to decide what they want with their life.

Wishing for the narcissist to change is as futile as wishing on stars.

Trust me.

I’ve tried so fucking hard.

Featured Photo by Hunter Bryant on Unsplash

[1] Or those with narcissistic behaviors.

[2] For the pedantic, even the water level goes down, it will only happen after you’ve drowned. So fuck off and quit trying to enable the narcissists.

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