Why do I miss him so much? I can't understand how I could wa

Why do I miss him so much? I can't understand how I could want someone back who ruined me.

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[15]
Feb 16

I only just found this website. Your question is what has brought me the most relief tonight just knowing I am not the only one questioning themselves like he "trained" me to do so many times. I'm six months into a separation from a 26 year marriage to a narcissist. He had an affair which I "dealt with" for two years only to have him turn our three children against me by telling them I also had an affair. His lies are Oscar-worthy. So, why wake up out of a sound sleep actually missing him? It makes me feel crazy. But that is nothing new. Try this..when you feel like you miss him, get a dry erase board and marker. Write your name on the board. Then, with a paper towel begin erasing your name slowly...letter by letter. That will help you to remember that is what this person did to your very being. They are not capable of love. You deserve more. He was not what you thought he was to NO fault of your own. Those of us who have survived a long-term relationship with a narc aren't perfect. We brought our own issues and such to the relationship, too. HOWEVER, having said that, we are not the ones incapable of love. They are.

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[104320]
Feb 17

@justbeachy Welcome to SG!... I am truly sorry for your devastating experience in a narcissistic relationship. I, too, was married to a controlling, emotionally abusive, covert narcissist for 30 years. He was covert, shy, quiet, and unassuming, and was able to fool everyone into believing he was a great guy. But privately he was extremely manipulative, sabotaged every effort I made to improve myself. He was also emotionally and verbally abusive enough that I had no sense of self, or identity; and had suffered severe depression for years, believing everything was MY fault. Mine is a long story, but suffice it to say that when I finally began to recover from the depression, his true colors began to show. He became enraged because he was losing his total control, which resulted in my abandonment. He withheld money, and I was left in a life or death struggle for survival; which I am happy to say, not only did I survive, but I was also transformed. We are all so much stronger than you’d ever think possible. I am glad you’ve found our site; as SG is a safe place to talk to genuinely caring and understanding people, without judgment. We are all victims/survivors of narcissistic abuse in this group. We gather strength from the support that surrounds us here; as well as validation that what we’ve gone through was real, and we are not alone. I’ve copied an article that I think you will truly relate to. It seems you really get it, with that example of erasing your name; and yourself. It is called, “Gaslighting: A Slow-Burning Emotional Abuse Tactic:”

“In my work with people who have survived narcissistic abuse, I find that many have endured a devastating form of emotional abuse called gaslighting.

The film Gaslight (1944), starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer, is based on a 1938 play from which the term originates. In the movie, Bergman’s character falls head-over-heels in love with her significant other, played by Boyer, a dapper gentleman with classic signs of narcissism. Boyer’s character rushes Ingrid into marriage after a whirlwind romance, before she has any time to process the speed and savvy with which her suitor has wooed her.

Swiftly, the couple is married and moves into a London brownstone, whereby Boyer slowly inflicts an insidious form of emotional abuse that leads Bergman to question if she has lost her sanity, believing her captor as having omnipotent power.

Boyer literally dims the gaslights in their flat every evening, without Bergman knowing that her partner is playing mind games with her. Boyer slips away to the upstairs attic every night to create a climate of unease and brainwashing. When Bergman questions if Boyer has witnessed the flickering lights, he denies having any knowledge of such incidents, and gradually implies and insinuates that Bergman must be “going crazy” or “seeing things.” With time, Bergman believes she is losing her mind because she depends on Boyer as her window to reality.

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The film is an excellent example of how emotional abuse can slowly creep up upon an otherwise healthy, innocent target, only to overwhelm and devour the abused person’s sense of reality, self-confidence, and personal power over time.

Gaslighting in this day and age can exist simply by an abuser denying the confirmation of reality to a target. The abused individual could be a love object, family member, or colleague. Typically, such a lack of validation or confirmation of reality is a slow or insidious process wherein the targeted person gradually comes to doubt his or her sense of what is. Initially, the abused person may question if he or she misunderstood the situation, and often believes that the abuser knows better and has superior comprehension of the circumstances. With time, self-esteem is also stripped of the abused person until he or she realizes he/she has been denied trust and honesty with a loved one.

In my practice, I see many individuals who have endured such abuse either in their families, love, or work relationships. Psychotherapy can be helpful in healing from this form of trauma. Often, healing involves allowing the abused person to narrate his or her story in as much detail as possible, such that the person can in effect master his or her trauma and become empowered to lower the cognitive dissonance that rises oppressively in such an abusive relationship. As mentioned in my prior article on cognitive dissonance, this confusing state of mind occurs when an individual holds two diametrically opposed ideas, and the result is tremendous anxiety, which can include obsessive thoughts, panic attacks, and depression.

Cognitive dissonance can be one of the results of the emotional abuse tactic of gaslighting. Bergman’s character held in her mind that her lover, Boyer, had the best of intentions for Bergman and was protecting her from her own unraveling mind. Doubts slowly crept up in her mind that her lover may have ulterior motives. The horror of fathoming that Boyer’s character could be sociopathic/narcissistic created a suspended state of denial for Bergman, who then further suppressed her own reality of the situation, sinking into utter despair and apparent anxiety and depression.

With the help of a skilled therapist who knows how to support survivors of narcissistic abuse, people can thrive and restore their confidence in themselves. Mastering the trauma by narrating a story helps to synthesize facts, even contradictory and confusing facts/emotions caused by gaslighting and cognitive dissonance. With a compassionate, nonjudging psychotherapist, the abused person then learns or relearns how to trust his or her perception of the abuse history, thereby strengthening the individual to release the trauma and any associated anxiety. Increasing coping skills in moving through anxiety and depression is also essential, in addition to mourning the loss of the abusive relationship.”

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GirlKitty's picture
[10670]
Feb 17

@justbeachy Welcome to the group! I know where you're coming from, I was with my ex-narc for 24 years and it's been a long recovery. I still struggle with forgiveness, both for myself and the narc. I've read I have to forgive to move on, but that's very difficult to do. You made an excellent point, they're incapable of loving anyone but themselves. They need us, but they can't feel real love us. We're just minions to do their bidding. I also love your dry erase board exercise, that's very true! I hope you're doing okay with your separation and I hope this weekend has been good for you.

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