I often wondered why I seem to be “addicted” to my narcissistic ex. I loved him. Deeply. And we shared some truly amazing times together. Often though, and because of all that happened, I became hyper vigilant. On more than one occasion, he accused me of being obsessed with him. And he was right. To a degree. I drove myself sick with worry and paranoia. I found myself doing and saying things, that was totally out of character. As the saying goes, when you go looking for things, you wont like what you find. So it was with us. I was so disgusted with my behavior, that I brought the matter to the attention of my therapist. His response? The behavior was characteristic of people who had gone through the same experience.
Then I came upon the article below, also written by Shahida Ariba. Read the post before this one, and it will make things clearer. I must have re read items 1-4 more than 10 times. Now, I understand why I was willing to accept intermittent rewards, the constant switching between hot and cold, withholding of affection. The days and nights spent alone with no contact. Many of you might not relate to this post. It’s for me really. A reminder of how I desperately tried to put the pieces of my life back together. How I tried to understand what got me to such a dark place in my life. There are so many deep-seated, long-standing issues that needs to be dealt with. In comparison to the changes that need to take place, it’s still early days yet. See you on the other side.
Until the next post,
Your Brain on Love, Sex and the Narcissist: The Addiction to Bonding with our Abusers
by Shahida Arabi
Many survivors of narcissistic abuse are confounded by the addiction they feel to the narcissist, long after the abusive relationship took a toll on their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Make no mistake: recovery from an abusive relationship can be very similar to withdrawal from drug addiction due to the biochemical bonds we may develop with our toxic ex-partners.
Understanding why we are addicted permits us recognize that our addiction is not about the merits of the narcissist, but rather the nature and severity of the trauma we’ve experienced. It enables us to detach and move forward with powerful knowledge that can propel us towards greater agency and healthier relationships than the ones we’ve experienced in the past. In addition, it challenges the victim-blaming discourse in society that prevents many abuse survivors from gaining…
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