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How Can I Get a Narcissist to Let Me Go Emotionally ?

From the U.S.: I was idealized and devalued by a covert narcissist.  I thought that the next phase is supposed to be “discard” But that didn’t happen. I am the one who had to distance myself from her.

She kept me around and kept using me to cater to her needs and wants.  When I distanced myself from her, she made several attempts to win me back but I didn’t buy into it. She had let me go in a sense that she stopped bothering me for favors.

But being that this is not someone I can’t avoid completely, I have caught her staring at me and even giving me an angry look. I want her to let me go emotionally also. When we used to be close, she would express her grudge and obsession towards other people who had left her life years ago. I was frightened to hear her talk about them with fresh emotions as if the conflict with them happened yesterday. I am wondering if a narcissist ever let go of her former narcissistic supply emotionally.

I’m really sorry you find yourself in this position. Not all narcissists follow the same pattern. Some discard their target. Others like this person, perhaps, can’t let go of the control. My guess is that she can’t stand it that you, not she, called it quits. To a narcissist, that is unacceptable. She’ll do whatever she can to make it clear to you that she is still in charge.

It’s unlikely that you can get her to stop making you uncomfortable. All you can do is try to get as far from her as you can. You say you can’t avoid her completely. Please reconsider whether that is so. If, in fact, you have to interact with her or be around her, you need to develop some emotional shields so she can’t get to you. Be careful. If you distance further, she may escalate. You may need help and support to manage this. A therapist can help you learn how to stay safe while you detach.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

from Ask the Therapist

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