One of the most frustrating and damaging aspects of being in a relationship with an NPD person is that you can’t get closure on any of the things that are bothering you or upsetting you about the relationship.
You can often find yourself locked in a kind of mental ‘tug of war’, where you feel you’re being constantly pulled out of your own version of reality, and of truth, over to seeing things from the NPD person’s warped perspective of what’s really going on. (I.E, you’re to blame for everything, and they are perfect.)
The main reason this happens is because NPD people can’t accept that they are wrong, flawed or imperfect. They can’t take responsibility for their own negative actions, thoughts and behaviours, and they have to see themselves as the ‘victim’ of circumstances.
And not infrequently, you can have overlapping personality disorders, with NPD and BPD habits, for example, present in the same person. When a person is simply unable to accept, under any circumstances, that they have done something wrong or hurtful, or acted incorrectly, that’s the single biggest signpost I know of flagging a potential NPD problem.
I think NPD people were probably unfairly blamed, criticized, shamed, punished and eviscerated so much as children - by the NPD people in their own lives - that the thought of taking responsibility for anything they do as adults, even the really bad things, simply overwhelms the brain too much, leading to their mentally-ill behavior. (Again, I’ll describe the science describing how the brain reacts in another post, God willing.)
But for now, we’re still looking at how YOU can disentangle yourself from these very emotionally disturbing relationships and people, without having to go for the ‘no contact’ nuclear option. One of the single best ways of defusing the emotional fall-out from dealing with these people is visualisations.
Visualisations allow your brain to process all the upset, hurt, anger, fear etc that is part and parcel of dealing with emotionally-abusive people, so that all that negative energy doesn’t get ‘stuck’ in your own physiology and soul, where it can start disrupting your own emotional and physical health, if its left to accumulate.
The following visualization, called ‘The River’, will help you to stop playing emotional ‘tug of war’ with the NPD people in your life, where you’re endlessly reliving their last comments, and the last ‘confrontation’ you had with them, because you’re trying to re-establish and re-assert your own truth in the face of all their lies and evasions. It’s helped me a lot, and I hope it’ll help you, too.
THE RIVER VISUALISATION
As with all visualisations, it’s best to do this when you are alone, sitting or lying down in a comfortable position, and where you feel safe - i.e., no-one is going to barge in on you, or interrupt your experience. Also, turn your mobile phone off!
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