By endlessly recreating our harrowing experiences, we unwillingly and defiantly collaborate with our abuser to perpetuate his or her evil deeds. It is by moving on that we defeat our abuser, minimizing him and his importance in our lives.
It is by loving and by trusting anew that we annul that which was done to us. To forgive is never to forget. But to remember is not necessarily to re-live.
Forgiving and Forgetting
Forgiving is an important capability. It does more for the forgiver than for the forgiven. But, to my mind, it should not be a universal, indiscriminate behavior.
I think it is legitimate not to forgive sometimes. It depends, of course, on the severity or duration of what was done to you. In general, it is unwise and counter-productive, in my view, to establish “universal” and “immutable” principles in life.
Life is too chaotic to succumb to rigid principles. Sentences, which start with “I never” are either not very credible or, worse, they lead to self-defeating, self- restricting and self-destructive behaviors.
Conflicts are an important and integral part of life. One should never seek them out willingly – but when confronted with a conflict, one should not avoid it. It is through conflicts and adversity inasmuch as through care and love that we grow.
Human relationships are dynamic.
We must assess our friendships, partnerships, even marriages periodically. The past is insufficient in itself to sustain a healthy, nourishing, supportive, caring and compassionate relationship.
It is a good pre-condition, perhaps a necessary one – but not a sufficient one. We must gain and regain our friendships on a daily basis. Human relationships are a constant test of allegiance and empathy.
Remaining Friends with the Narcissist(IMPORTANT)
But can’t we act civilized and remain on friendly terms with our narcissist ex? Never forget that Narcissists (full fledged ones) are nice to others if:
(1) They want something -narcissistic supply, help, support, votes, money… They prepare the ground, manipulate you and then come out with the “small favor” they need or ask you blatantly or surreptitiously for narcissistic supply (“what did you think about my performance…” “do you think that I really deserve the Nobel Prize?”).
(2) They feel threatened and they want to neuter the threat by smothering it with oozing pleasantries.
(3) They have just been infused with an overdose of narcissistic supply and they feel magnanimous and magnificent and ideal and perfect. To show magnanimity is a way of flaunting one’s impeccable divine credentials. It is an act of grandiosity. You are an irrelevant prop in this spectacle, a mere receptacle of the narcissist’s overflowing, self-contented infatuation with his False Self.
This beneficence is transient. Perpetual victims often tend to “thank God for little graces” (God being the narcissist). This is the Stockholm syndrome: hostages tend to emotionally identify with the terrorists rather than with the police. We are grateful to our abusers and tormentors for ceasing their hideous activities and letting us breathe for a while.
Some people say that they prefer to live with narcissists, to cater to their needs and to succumb to their whims because this is the way they have been conditioned. It is only with narcissists that they feel alive, stimulated and excited. The world glows in Technicolor in the presence of a narcissist and decays to sepia colors in his absence.
I see nothing inherently “wrong” with that if you can handle the heat and understand you will always be undervalued and unloved.