Closure

You hear a lot of talk about closure & how necessary it is to healing.  Closure usually seems to involve someone apologizing for the pain they caused & changing their ways.  While that seems wonderful, that is also virtually impossible when it comes to narcissists.

A hallmark of narcissism is never admitting to any wrong doing on their part, let alone admitting to being abusive monsters.  If you have escaped narcissistic abuse & hope your abuser will see the error of their ways one day, you most likely are going to be very disappointed.  I’ve heard of narcissists who refused to admit anything even as they were dying.  Their denial truly runs deep.

This doesn’t mean that there is no hope for closure for victims, however.  It simply means that closure after narcissistic abuse is a bit different than it is for many other people.

First of all, you need to accept that narcissists have no desire to admit any responsibility or change that about themselves.  This is how they are.  Nothing can change that about a narcissist other than the narcissist being willing to improve their behavior.  And that, Dear Reader, is highly unlikely.

You also need to let the narcissist be who he or she is.  I don’t mean that you must “forgive & forget” or tolerate their abusive behavior.  What I mean is you need to recognize that the narcissist is who they are, & not try to change them.  This can be hard, especially when the narcissist is someone you love & want something better for them, but it is also necessary.  Trying to force anyone to change, even when the change is in their best interest, is a form of control.  If God Himself doesn’t force people to change, we as mere human beings certainly don’t have that right!

Part of allowing the narcissist to be who he or she is involves forgiving them.  I don’t mean forgiving them as in everything is fine now.  I mean forgiving them the same way a debt is forgiven.  Sometimes, you have to let go that someone owes you a debt they can’t repay.  You couldn’t expect your unemployed friend to repay you the $100 he owes you, right?  Along those lines, you also can’t expect a narcissist to repay you by showing genuine remorse for their behavior.  Lose that expectation.  It is quite freeing.

Do NOT acknowledge anything the narcissist says about you in a smear campaign or any attempts from others to get you to resume the relationship.  Anything you say or do in this situation will end up hurting you.  Why I don’t know but it seems as if any normal response when these situations happen proves to narcissists & their flying monkeys that you are exactly as terrible as the narcissist says you are, & that you need him or her in your life.

Living your life is also so important!  Live your life however you know is best for you.  Go to work.  Participate in activities that bring you joy.  Enjoy your healthy, functional relationships.  As time passes without the narcissist, you will feel more peaceful & grateful to be free of the narcissist.

Work on your emotional healing.  Leaving a narcissistic relationship is hard no matter how awful this person was to you.  You are going to feel guilt, shame, like you let this person down, like you were unreasonable, anger, sadness & more.  These emotions are normal!  Process them.  Take time to really feel them.  Write in a journal.  Cry.  Beat up pillows.  Take your time to grieve & feel whatever emotions you are feeling.  Do what you need to do to process your emotions & take good care of yourself!

Remember, whatever the narcissist in your life does, you still can have closure.  It may be a bit different than it is for most people, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.  It just takes a slightly different course when dealing with narcissists.

19 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

19 responses to “Closure

  1. Would you say this is like the stage of Acceptance in the Kubler-Ross stages of grief model. I keep being told I need to forgive, but I still go into quite often. I like your analogy of forgiving a debt. I’m told that once you accept the injustice, swallow it down, and continue to accept and move on with your life, eventually it will matter to you less and less. Would you agree? Or have a different perspective?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now that you mention it, yea, I’d say it is like the acceptance stage. That makes sense!

      I think many people think forgiveness means forgive & forget, you never think about the abuse anymore & probably even maintain the relationship with the abuser.. I think forgiveness can be like I said, forgiving a debt. Sometimes forgiveness doesn’t involve the warm fuzzy feelings & that’s ok. I doubt Jesus felt warm & fuzzy when He prayed for those who crucified Him, yanno?

      Hmm… I would say my perspective is a little different. Yes, accept that it happened but also feel the feelings attached to it. Get angry. Cry. Get that out. Don’t let that stuff sit inside. I don’t think it matters less & less exactly, but it affects you less & less. Pretty sure it’ll always affect you to some degree, but less the more you heal. I feel like when you’ve healed from something, thinking about it feels much like remembering a very bad dream. You know it can’t hurt you now, but even so, you’d just as soon not remember it.

      Liked by 2 people

    • ibikenyc

      Hi, dougrross! I’d noticed your absence and have been wondering how you are 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you for missing me! I had long haul covid. I may ramble here.. I made the mistake of letting my mother come back to my house to “care for me”. It was like the movie Misery. She’s gone now, I got my key back. Not “no contact”, but definitely Gray Rock. It was very scary. I think she wanted me to die, and that she would inherit my stuff. I changed the will a while back. She was rearranging and redecorating. Filled my fridge with foods she liked. No laundry. No helping me up the stairs to get a shower. No logging on to get me a doctors appointment. But lots and lots of time screaming at me about all of failures to her over the years. None of it made any sense. All projection. She accused me of abandoning her, when she is the one who literally left the state.. Stuff like that. I was to weak to fight back at the time. It’s over now. She’s gone. She no longer has a key to my place. I am safe. I know I have to forgive her eventually. But dang… This was a TOUGH lesson!

        Liked by 1 person

        • WOW!! As if covid wasn’t bad enough on its own. I’m so sorry you went through all of that!

          Please don’t rush forgiveness. Process all that you feel & forgiveness will happen. You have to process everything first though & that may take some time, especially considering just how horrid she was to you.

          Liked by 2 people

        • ibikenyc

          So sorry about your experience with COVID 😦 Glad you’re back and, I assume, better now.

          Oh, no. This sounds like a nightmare. “Misery,” indeed. Nothing like kicking someone when they’re down. I’m so angry at her on your behalf! Where do they get the nerve?!

          Very glad she is gone and that you survived. If you can, I would change your locks.

          There is no need to rush to forgive her. IMHO it’s far more important to make sure you first give yourself plenty of time to heal from what sounds like a genuinely traumatic experience.

          {hugs}

          Liked by 2 people

          • Thank you! It was very scary. It comes and goes. I had such little control over my body as it was. And then to be bombarded. It was a traumatic experience. I had changed the locks already, but had foolishly given her a key. I stole it back off her keychain on her last visit. So she can’t come unanounced anymore!

            Liked by 2 people

            • ibikenyc

              Yes, I’ve read that the recovery is sometimes not a straight line. I hope you continue to overall feel better every day.

              You go! Good for you for taking back your key! 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

  2. ibikenyc

    Well, they don’t admit to any wrongdoing because they never perpetrated any!

    {{{{{EYEROLL}}}}}

    Like

    • Night Wind

      My biological father was probably one of the worst abusive Narcissists I’ve ever known of, and when he died he actually wanted his epitaph to read: “I regret nothing.” I don’t recall one time during his entire life that he ever took responsibility for anything. Even after I went ‘no contact’ with him, he went about saying that I was nothing but a selfish ingrate. You’re totally right, these scum feel zero remorse and live and die in deep denial.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for missing me! I had long haul covid. I may ramble here.. I made the mistake of letting my mother come back to my house to “care for me”. It was like the movie Misery. She’s gone now, I got my key back. Not “no contact”, but definitely Gray Rock. It was very scary. I think she wanted me to die, and that she would inherit my stuff. I changed the will a while back. She was rearranging and redecorating. Filled my fridge with foods she liked. No laundry. No helping me up the stairs to get a shower. No logging on to get me a doctors appointment. But lots and lots of time screaming at me about all of failures to her over the years. None of it made any sense. All projection. She accused me of abandoning her, when she is the one who literally left the state.. Stuff like that. I was to weak to fight back at the time. It’s over now. She’s gone. She no longer has a key to my place. I am safe. I know I have to forgive her eventually. But dang… This was a TOUGH lesson!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jarilissima

    Closure seems like such a moving goal post for me, like I can never reach it. Only because the narcissist is between me and my mother, and I’ve been unable to let go of the need to communicate with her. Right now we have minimal contact, even though we are both adults.

    And the very first thing you mentioned is so true! I thought I would get closure by confronting my abuser with proof, but nope! They truly will never admit to having done anything wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is really how it feels, like moving the goal post! It’s always just out of reach…

      Minimal contact is a wise move. If you plan on going no contact, it’s a great stepping stone because it shows you what you’re capable of. If not, it means less opportunity for her to hurt you.

      Yep, they never admit to it. It never happened or if it did, it’s your fault.

      Liked by 2 people

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