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Narcissists and Closure

Updated on July 2, 2017

Most people who have had to deal with narcissists are very traumatized and many feel unable to move on because their feelings about the abuse and the relationship cannot be resolved, especially when it is a family member, such as a parent. Narcissists cannot give you closure. They have no interest in your feelings or in helping you feel better. They certainly have no interest in helping you move on from their sphere of control, and they are never going to admit any wrongdoing on their behalf. If they do, it will be framed in such a way as to mitigate it somehow or to blame you for their behavior: "I'm sorry you think I did something wrong" or "I'm sorry I reacted badly to you treating me badly" and so on. You will not get closure or anything helpful from them. In fact, all you will get is more abuse. Your feelings will be mocked, marginalized, invalidated and dismissed. Your pain will be minimized and discarded. Narcissists are incapable of reacting any other way. They don't see your pain as real and they cannot relate to it, therefore it doesn't affect them and therefore they don't care.

Asking a narcissist to give you closure is like asking a fish to ride a bicycle: you are asking someone to do something they are not capable of, who sees no need to do it in the first place. Your reasonable requests and justified feelings are wasted on the narcissist. The narcissist does not comprehend or care about any of it. As far as they are concerned, you're over reacting. You're making it sound worse than it is. Or, you were the abuser. you were the one who did such horrible things, and now you have the audacity to come to them for closure after you ruined the relationship? Asking the narcissist for closure is pointless. You will be blamed, attacked and rejected for your trouble. To the narcissist, you asking them for closure (and therefore an admission of wrongdoing on their part) is an invitation for abuse. Or worse, it indicates to the narcissist that you are still hung up on them, that you still need them and that they still have power over you. This tells the narcissist that they can still manipulate you, and that is all you will get. You will be jerked around, left hanging and talked in circles. Waiting on closure from the narcissist is like waiting for gold to fall out of the sky into your lap. It ain't coming.

Victims of narcissists have to learn to accept that they will never get closure from the narcissist and move on anyway. You have to create closure for yourself. You have to learn to let go of the anger and the injustice and the guilt and the shame. You have to realize that you were in a toxic situation with a sick person. You have to learn to let it go. This may sound trite, even offensive to some people but it is the only option you have. If you cannot make it OK for yourself by yourself, then it'll never be OK, because the narcissist is not going to help you. You have to help yourself. It takes time and it takes work but you really can move on without acknowledgment or validation of your pain from the narcissist in your life. After all, you survived the abuse. If you can do that, you can do anything.


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