I struggle to accept that my childhood sweetheart, the love of my life, was and is mentally ill. It pains me not just because of the sadness I feel for him, but what does my desire to be close to him reveal about me? The drama, the consternation, the other women…how could this be my default setting? The shaming I would endure for the simplest request, the explosive temperament when not met with complete agreement, the reframing of my every thought, the degrading of my friends; How could this this feel like home? As the fog begins to lift, and I find myself in the stark aftermath of my own reality, I grieve the loss of so much lost time. I wonder will I ever feel good living in a drama free, normal life. So much of my identity has been the girl forever leaving abusive relationships…looking for the “right-guy.” While I know with my adult intellect the end will always be the same hurt filled, abusive, and abandoning scenario with my narcissist, emotionally I can’t help but to hold some adolescent hope, and it was that very immature hope that drove the healthy adult in me to therapy. It is here in the office of a stranger, I have begun to uncover my truth. This truth is bitter! It is a very difficult task; accepting my narcissist is mentally ill. However, with the help of a good therapist, I have begun to see that narcissist are mentally ill. As I begin to really understand who I have aligned myself with, and how any contact with him will only result in more crazy, the commitment to separation from him, albeit painful becomes unwavering!
It is very difficult to think of the person you once loved as mentally ill. Not all relationships end because of mental illness. However, if you have been in a relationship with a sadistic, predatorily, narcissistic supply seeking, adrenalin laden narcissist; then you have been with a mentally ill person. Think of the peculiar, odd, exchanges with your narcissist. As you list the incidents, ask yourself are theses the behaviors of a person that is mentally sound. Compare these behaviors to a person that you know and admire. Would this person you know and admire act in kind with the behaviors you have just listed.