I had to laugh at the perfectness of this statement in a text from my friend Laurie. I immediately wrote back and said, “that is perfect! Can I use that for my blog?” She said, “Of course!”
It’s true, though isn’t it? We have to be continually on our toes, watching out for the next dramatic flare-up and worry about whether they are bringing us into it or the kids or both. Everything they do is on purpose. They live to create what they feel is excitement but what “normal” people feel is a rollercoaster ride with no end. It’s exciting at first, you’re trying to figure them out, you are off balance, your senses are heightened and then as it goes on, you are scared, ready for it to stop or at least slow down, then you get sick. The dread sets in and you wonder why you got on the rollercoaster and how you are going to get off. The ride is still going at a dizzying pace, life whizzing by you like trees in a fast moving car and each turn more terrifying than the last. It is impossible to see if the abuse will come to an end or if the conflict will ever resolve and the ride keeps climbing, you catch your breath and then descending, you lose your breath and going through its sharp turns, you hang on for dear life.
Our fear, and frustration and anger and our now negative energy feeds the narcissist and the rollercoaster ride, keeps us off balance. If we do not feed them what they seek, they will amp up or seek what they need elsewhere from our children or parents or friends. The ride goes faster at unsafe levels. Then what happens to us next is we are left exhausted and drained and the narcissist is nourished and happy.
Being divorced offers you some respite but remember, if there are kids involved and you cannot walk away completely, we are simply a pawn caught up in their game. Remember,there are no winners or losers in a game with an abuser. You have to refuse their challenges. It makes you stronger, not weaker. Hell, I refused to show up in court and still won. I took a chance at something that I did not care about the outcome. Only he cared. He was trying to engage me and I refused so he upped the ante and sued me. Okay…no I will not answer your Order to Show Cause and I will not be in Court. It takes them a while to realize you are no longer playing and they no longer have control.
Being divorced from a narcissist IS a full-time job. It is a never-ending battle for us to find peace and for them, it is a succession of never ending battles that replicate a deeply personal war—but one that we can survive and win as we remove ourselves as their pawn.