It isn’t entirely your fault. I’ll start there. Usually, the types of people who end up with narcissists are really replicating a relationship they wish they could change. Maybe it was with a parent or some adult figure who was a narcissist themselves. Maybe it was your first real relationship where you did fall in love but the person’s shortcomings left you with a void.
You see, the thing narcissists teach you about love is that it’s something they can give and take. And they do. Unconditional love is there but it’s there under a level of control and power. Narcissists need to feel they have some control over you.
When you teach someone love is something someone can give and take, they enter the world and enter relationships after that thinking they can change one’s mind about how they might feel. This leads to almost relationships and even more toixc ones.
They enter relationships thinking there is some on and off switch when it comes to emotions. They enter relationships thinking they have to prove they are worthy of one another’s love.
This leads to toxic patterns of accepting less than you deserve. Then when a relationship does not work out instead of realizing it was the other person’s fault or lack of judgment. The victim goes into self-blame and taking complete ownership of an entire relationship.
Relationships with narcissists are not a balance of give and take and blame is never equally divided but rather projected onto the victim.
When you’re in one of these relationships long enough, you begin to blame yourself for everything. A narcissist allows you to take ownership of all of it. Because nothing ever is their fault. Things that aren’t your fault they are making you feel like they are. And instead of realizing you aren’t to blame for some of their problems, you are putting all of it on yourself. You begin to see yourself through their lens but their lenses are ones that are skewed. While they are all about blame, victims of narcissists are all about taking ownership even of things that aren’t their fault.
So the baggage you walk away with in every other relationship you see is immediately taking blame for things. Someone does something wrong to you and instead of calling it like it is and walking away, you try to understand.
Instead of being angry someone canceled on you, you look at it from the eyes of a narcissist point of view, “maybe it was a bad time.” “Maybe I asked too much.” “Maybe it was me.” The greatest lasting effect narcissists have on people is controlling where the blame comes and goes.
When you are a victim you think everything is your fault. You fall into a pattern of apologizing too much because that’s easier than standing up to the person who is wrong. And even if you know they might be wrong, you will never do something about it.
That’s the effect a narcissist has on you is taking away both your power and your voice because you’d rather be silent then fight someone who never feels like they are wrong and they will take you down for even trying to test them.
When a narcissist relationship was a major one in your life, you look for people exactly like them. Because if you can replicate this relationship and win over their love and affection, maybe it’ll fill that void. People do it subconsciously without even realizing it.
You sit there wondering why you run in these circles with these same people? Under the surface is someone who is still seeking that validation and love they never got in an early relationship.
But to break the pattern is the hardest thing. Recognizing this might be a familiar pattern you follow in your life is the first step. Next, comes with forgiving someone who will never be sorry. Because a narcissist won’t ever give you the apology you deserve. But that doesn’t mean you can’t forgive yourself for accepting less than you deserved and change.
You can’t control what has already happened and you can’t control how it emotionally affects you but you do have control in where you go from here.
And you can realize you choose these types of people to fill a void. You can continue to ignore the red flags you see in the beginning. Or you can step away from that. Seek someone who isn’t like every other person you’ve gone for in the past.
It isn’t your fault you might have fallen into a narcissist relationship early on. But you have a choice now to continue that pattern or start choosing someone who teaches you, you don’t deserve someone who picks and chooses when they love you. You deserve someone who loves you consistently.