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The most important thing to keep in mind is that your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you have.
The same things can damage it that damage your other human relations. The deal-breaker is BETRAYAL.
Have you ever felt betrayed? If so, then you know that it is the blackest feeling a human being can have. It is devastating. It is what makes people want to just turn their face to the wall and die.
Because it shows you what you and your suffering mean (are worth) to your betrayer = nothing.
Betrayal severs any human relationship. It puts the betrayed through Hell.
Just think what this means in terms of your relationship with yourself. If you betray yourself to abuse, that betrayal severs your relationship with yourself.
How can this be? Easily. We are composite beings. We are a combination of true inner self and ego. The ego views us as others do. It’s that little voice in the head that takes the viewpoint of bystanders and berates you IN THE SECOND PERSON, by saying such things as, “Why can’t you hit a stupid backhand in? You are pathetic! Here you are, choking again in a big match!”
That’s you (if you’re a tennis player having a bad tennis day) talking to you. But why aren’t you saying, “Why can’t I hit a stupid backhand in? I am pathetic! Here I am, choking again in a big match!”
Answer: You address yourself as “you” instead of “I” to distance yourself from yourself. Because you don’t like yourself at the moment and are disowning yourself, relating to yourself as though talking to a different person.
See what’s happening to your relationship with yourself? You’re not on your side, are you?
This happens to everyone, and it should serve as a strong warning of how easily our composite personality can breakdown, split.
Don’t go there. Never, never, never betray yourself to bad treatment. You sin against yourself when you do, and the act WILL destroy your relationship with yourself.
Unfortunately, if you are the victim of a narcissist, it is safe to say that you have already done so.
THIS is what threatens the victim’s mental health. You have allowed yourself to be abused. You see that for what it is – bending over for it, laying down for it. No matter how blessed people say that is, you know it’s not. You know it is abject. You are profoundly ashamed of doing that.
You hate yourself for it, no matter how hard you work to repress awareness of that to live in denial of it. So, you have committed an offense against yourself (your human dignity). You can never be friends with yourself until you make peace with yourself.
Repair that relationship with yourself. The fruit of forgiveness is reconciliation (ask any theologian).
1. Admit that you have allowed the narcissist to abuse you.
2. Admit that it was wrong to do so, though be fair with yourself and consider the reasons why you were driven to do so.
3. Be sorry that you betrayed yourself to abuse.
4. Make whatever amends are possible and appropriate.
5. Most important – repent = promise to never betray yourself again.
You may recognize those as the 5 formal steps of repentance. They make you forgivable. They allow reconciliation to take place.
Indeed, how can you be reconciled with any offender who doesn’t at least stop offending and give you some assurance that he won’t keep right on doing it? It is absurd to to think that you can.
And just because it’s 3AM and he is sound asleep, unable to offend at the moment, doesn’t mean that a state of war doesn’t presently exist bewteen you. What he did yesterday counts. What he has always done and never promised to stop doing COUNTS.
“Forgive and forget” is a line penned in Hell, not Heaven.
It is absurd to think you can have any but a hostile relationship with someone offending you in any way, especially when they have refused to stop it.
Hey, if the offender stops doing it, you can be friends again. But ONLY if he stops doing it. You don’t have to be friendly to people attacking you or stealing from you in any way. It’s called the human right to self-preservation, self-defense. It’s a Law of Nature. The very idea that you should like and be nice to someone doing things hostile to you is bizarre and absurd.
To the contrary: You stay away from people like that. You build walls between yourself and people like that. You answer their attacks to make their attacks cost them dearly, so as to deter future aggression that you might live in peace instead of under constant attack by them. This is just common sense.
And it holds just as true in your relationship with yourself as in your relationship with others. Simply say, “I betrayed myself to abuse in the past, but I will never do so again, so I am no longer a doormat to be ashamed of.”
Be on your side.
Take those 5 steps to repair your relationship with yourself – especially the last one in which you establish a firm purpose of amendment to never betray yourself to abuse again.
Now you are forgivable. So, forgive yourself. Embrace yourself.
YOU are the one who deserves and needs your forgiveness. And chances are that you are the only one who deserves and wants it.