Date: Present day “Can you feel compassion for him?” The psychologist’s tone was neutral. Heallen tuned into her feelings. “Yes.” She truly did feel compassion for her ex. For all of the narcissists in her life. For their experiences. Their shame and inner pain. For a long time, she’d understood the terrible circumstances that typically led to a narcissistic wounding, and her heart softened for the trauma these people had suffered as children. She explained her ex-husband’s childhood and relationship with his parents, adding, “It’s no wonder he became narcissistic.” The psychologist nodded. Then, among the feelings, she recognised a different kind of compassion. Compassion for herself. It felt good. Warm. Like a huge, snuggly bear hug. She smiled. “Feeling compassion helps me to stop being a victim. Helps me to move on and heal. Helps me figure out why they did their horrible shiz, and why I let them. “Feeling compassion for them has shown me how to feel compassion for myself.” She looked up at the psychologist’s kind face. “It makes me stronger, and more my true self.” [...]
Date: A week later “Enough!” Heallen slammed the wet tea towel onto the kitchen bench, and marched into the lounge room. She rifled through the magazine rack, searching for the issue with the article that had so offended her last week. “Aha!” There it was. She thumbed the pages as she sat down, yanking the magazine open to the right page. And settled back, and reread the whole article. And read it again. She sighed. “Damn.” She had no idea how showing compassion to her husband, or to any of the people who regularly dissed her, could help her. It made no logical sense. But that tiny voice at the back of her mind hadn’t gone away. Actually, it had pestered her and pestered her until she was more angry with it than with her bastard husband. So she'd decided to give the idea a go. At least see how the experiment went. “Right.” Decision made, Heallen pondered what compassion for Him would feel like. Anger, resentment, frustration, envy, fear all roiled around in her belly, taking turns to claw [...]
Date: About 10 years ago “What the freak?!” Show compassion to a narcissist? Yeah. Because showing compassion to the friggin’ bastard for all his shiz over the years made sense. “Why should I? Why is it always me who has to take the high road? When does he ever show me compassion? Huh? When?” she yelled at the glossy page, picturing the author of the offending article as a faceless, New Age, barefoot hippy without any real experience with trauma. Heallen tossed the magazine onto the seat beside her. “I’ll show him compassion for being nasty. IF he ever apologises,” she vowed. As she stomped around the house, preparing veges for dinner, waiting for Katy and Mark to wander in from school, she muttered curses on her horrible husband. And ruthlessly squashed the tiny voice at the back of her mind begging her to reconsider the idea that compassion was the best way to heal from abuse. “What a load of New Age crap!” In the next blog post, Heallen storycharges her attitude about compassion for her abuser.