Unbelievably, it has been nearly 4 years since my narcissistic ex-wife left for the last time, and over 3 years since our divorce, the one that I didn’t want, was final. On one hand, it seems like it just happened, while on the other, it seems like ages ago.
I have been dating the same woman for over a year, with a couple of month break due to some communication issues, so I think I can honestly say that I have “moved on” from my narcissitic ex-wife. This is after a couple of years of dating far too many woman, sadly spent mostly looking for someone just like my ex. My current girlfriend and I have done a LOT of things together and had many adventures, something that I shared with and really liked about being with the ex-N. We have even done many things that I said I would never be able to do with someone else, gone places that, to me, were “sacred” and something that I could only do with the ex-narcissist, places that felt far too special to repeat with someone else.
Here’s the thing – while I have enjoyed doing those things with someone else, there is something missing. It really is that simple, yet that difficult. I have thought about it, evaluated it, tried over and over to figure out what the difference is, what is missing, and I just cannot find the answer.
Case in point; just this last week my girlfriend and I visited a baseball park that I had only been to with my narcissistic ex-wife. This was truly a special place, at least in my mind, and something that I wasn’t sure I would ever be able do with someone else or even visit again. I was adamant that I was going to break through this barrier, one of the last things or places of significance to me that I hadn’t revisited or been to with someone else, and I successfully did so. Yes, there were moments where I had to fight not to reminisce too much, had to stay focused on the present, but I didn’t feel overwhelmed about it. With that said, it simply didn’t feel the same or have the same “impact” on me.
I honestly believe that part of it is that narcissists live in a child-like world. There is some kind of Peter Pan like magic about them, at least with my ex there was. I did feel like a child when I was with her, allowing me some level of escape from being an adult I suppose. Activities had a giddiness to them that I hadn’t felt before. Because “things” don’t feel quite the same when I do them with someone else now, I find myself longing for that old feeling, for that unique and special quality that things or activities seemed to have when I was with her. No, I don’t want her back, and I haven’t spoken to her in over 2 years, even though I do still occasionally see her at work. But I do miss that… that feeling, whatever it is.
I continue to question if I will ever find that feeling again. I certainly want it, but I also suspect the only way to get that feeling again is by being with yet another narcissist, someone who can create that special imaginary world. Maybe it doesn’t have to be that way, but I will admit that in my entire life, I have never experienced that mesmerizing quality with anyone else. Maybe I am trying too hard, resulting in my missing something that is actually right there in front of me. Sadly, I don’t think so. At this point in time, I have mostly fond memories of my ex-narcissist, but luckily I can also easily recall the craziness that occurred during the final devaluation and discard. I do not want to ever go through that again.
So now what? I know better than to think that I can simply find that feeling with someone else, as I have ample evidence to the contrary. I also know that my ex will never change, as I have had the luxury (if you want to call it that) of observing her fairly close up since our split, either seeing first hand what she is doing or being told by mutual friends what she is up to, and it is never good. Like narcissists do, she continues to repeat the cycle over and over, leaving a trail of bodies in her wake. Yep, as much as I wish that I had some kind of ever-lasting impact on her, I didn’t and was simply another part of her life’s crazy travels.
Is it possible that I will find that “feeling” again. I am truly starting to doubt it. That doesn’t mean that my life isn’t enjoyable or that I don’t have fun or a good time with my girlfriend. Maybe it’s a good thing, an indication that I’m not with another narcissist, that I won’t be left reeling in anguish at another unexpected departure.
Maybe it is true that we can’t experience childhood again, and yet somehow, the narcissist allows us that ability for a short time, until it is time for them to move on and share the fantasy with someone else. I do long for that feeling, but I am not ruled by it. Maybe when I stop searching for it, trying to find it, it will find me instead. One can only hope.