“End Game” with your Favorite Narcissist

It was several weeks ago that I began marking passages in a book Every Man in this Village is a Liar by Megan K. Stack. She is a reporter and the book recounts some of her experiences reporting on wars.

The passages I marked in the book had to do with war, of course. But that is not why I marked them. The passages, to me, spoke on a different level- dealing with a narcissist.

Please note, in NO WAY am I saying dealing/living with a narcissist is similar to experiencing war. I am simply making a connection between the two, as Stack’s words struck a cord with what I had been processing as of late.

I have written a lot about narcissism, but do this less and less with time. I have begun thinking about the “end game” with a narcissist, that either has exited one’s life or remains in one’s life (for any number of reasons) but in a much more limited role.

Prompting me further on this quest was a recent blog by Lynnette about moving on after a narcissist.

In the book by Stack, she recounts the following sentiment about the war,

“A battle had begun, and so there must be a climax, there must be a resolution I expected something to happen, in the end.”

And I think this relates to how many of us feel once we get our feet on the ground and our head on straight and our heart working again after having a narcissist in our lives- we want the climax.

We expect some type of resolution, perhaps a battle royale, words to be exchanged, an apology, we want to fight and express all that we underwent, we want some inkling of awareness on the narcissist’s part about the damage caused (in our dreams).

We think about payback. We think about compensation. We believe in karma and make an altar to it.

Basically, we want the culminating act to this drama with a soundtrack and everything!

After spending so much purposeful time and energy on understanding ourselves, the dynamic, and our own recovery, which is often a symbolic walk up a steep hill, we expect to keep climbing- onwards and upwards.

But with time, we feel the energy plateauing. We either remove the narcissist from our lives, or if unable to do that, we become more adept at handling the narcissist.

Still, though, we may be looking for something…we are just not sure what.

Again, Stack’s words comes to mind.

“You sense that you have already lost something in the war, so you stick around waiting for the missing parts to come back, to restore themselves, …”

Perhaps we are waiting for those missing days or years. Those parts of ourselves that went AWOL during this time of trauma to somehow come back and restore themselves.

In the end, I like what Stack wrote about war –
“You can survive and not survive, both at the same time.”

And I wonder if this is how many feel upon healing from a narcissist.

The “end game” may not really be the “end” we imagine. We are changed by the experience and we become something different than we imagined. We are wiser, more aware, but more cautious too. We have replaced naivete with awareness, soft boundaries with firm borders.

In the end, we come to understand that we have been resolute in our own restoration and perhaps that is the only “end game” that really matters.

—-
I hope my treatment of Ms. Stack’s quotes makes sense. They are used with the best of intentions.

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17 thoughts on ““End Game” with your Favorite Narcissist

  1. Closure, comes to mind. I think it’s something you’ll never get from a narc. This is exactly where I am in my healing process. Thank you so much for putting word to it and sharing.

  2. The “end game” is left hanging. There is never really any “closure”, because there is no two way communication with understanding. What will be the end game? Will the narcissist explode in a fit of irrational behavior? Will anyone be hurt? They really leave their victims in a state of fear. My ex would threaten to haunt me until I die…he does…I keep on living and moving.

  3. Awesome post! No one knows what the “end game” is from a narc but I can tell you that it does get easier with “no contact”, especially as children get older, becoming adults, and their contact is limited also.

  4. They make perfect sense to me! And I can actually totally relate, and with a totally different matter! Love that, it makes so much sense, that we want to package it up and tie a pretty bow on it so we can move on – and that just really won’t happen, and that we can survive and not survive at the same time!

  5. This really helps a lot, dear Kimberly. As I have mentioned to you before, your posts regarding the narcissist in our midst have helped me more than you can imagine. The end game for me with the narcissist was pure and utter removal. Left with loose ends of “no apology”, I had to make peace with it. But the peace had to come with not allowing their energy to permeate my surroundings anymore; in their mind, no ‘wrong-doings’ were ever committed. So my peace has been created without their words. Thank you as always my dear! Cher xo

  6. Thank you for the reference and callout! Much appreciated. 🙂

    I think that there is a strong connection between the quotes from Stack’s book and surviving narcissism. I’m not suggesting that surviving a war is the same (no, not at all) but most people don’t expect to be attacked in their own homes, either. I had to take many precautions after I got the narcissist out; as my therapist reminded me often, it was a very dangerous phase. As an former military person, I can say that at least this is your job. You know it’s dangerous, you expect it and you’re prepared for it. Finding this in your ordinary life is such a shock – at least it was for me.

    • Good point about “ordinary life” vs being in the military with this type of energy. It’s different when you expect it. I do have to say, I was shocked to see the topic of your blog posting, as I had obviously been processing the same thing. Cheers to our lives continuing to get better!

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