May 27, 2011

Processing Grief and Loss: After a while (it gets easier)

you can end a relationship with a narcissist but it never fully ends. Not really. Not if you have children and familial bonds, linking family members for time and all eternity. 

You can work through your feelings and move on with your life. BUT (and this is true for most partners of narcissists) you can’t erase the narcissist from your life. Not if you have children, who will marry and have children, and they will want to share their lives with both parents who have become their children's grandparents. 

And there you are:

     Standing in line at your daughter’s wedding
     Waiting in the hospital for your grandchild’s birth
     Christenings and blessings and family reunions with your X
     Accepting lonely holidays when the kids are with your X
     Watching him build a new life with a supposedly ‘better’ (younger) family
     Being told of his happiness (at your children’s and your expense)
    Breathing deep when pinched pennies are spent on a new relationship. (Isn’t it nice you were  frugal for thirty years and didn't replace your lost diamond so she could have one?)

We do these things not because it's easy. We do these things because we are willing to bear our discomfort, making life much easier for our children. All these indignities and more are born with stoic grace by a woman who knows her worth. 

This poem supports me on days when it is tempting to agree with the rat bazturd's beliefs that I'm replaceable. Like a toaster oven. Or a hat rack.

After a While
by Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
Holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't always mean security.

And you begin to learn
that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child

And you learn
To build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow's ground is
Too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in midflight

After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers

And you learn
That you really can endure
That you are really strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
With every good bye you learn.

Hugs all,


  1. Hmmmm...did I or didn't I post a comment yesterday? i thought I did! :)

    It does get easier with time -- and while time doesn't heal wounds, time does sweeten healing with the distance it places between then and now.


  2. CZBZ I am working on a post about yesterday today and tomorrow. May I include a link to this post to add the poem to the reading? I like the line So you plant you own garden instead of waiting.

  3. Dear Ruth,

    Please do! Be sure to credit Veronica A. Shoffstall as the poem's author.

    This poem was forwarded to me via email several years ago and it's taken some detective work tracking down the original author. Her poem has been credited to other people, it appears.

    Finally, it seems I've found the True author of this beautiful poem (unless informed otherwise, that is!)

    I look forward to reading your blog, Ruth!


  4. Hello dear Louise,

    Lovely to read your thoughts about time creating distance. You're very right---time does not heal all wounds. Not the way people might want to believe.

    I'm always inspired by women's dignity in the face of indignities. Like what I wrote about yesterday.

    It amazes me that she can stand in a wedding line with the maN who betrayed her (and the womaN) and still be at peace within herself. She acknowledges and accepts her feelings without reacting and thus ruining her daughter's joy.

    There are quite a few women who have inspired ME because their love for their children, becomes a guidling light through the morass of emotions, despair and yea...cynicism. Not that "I" would know anything about cynicism. ha!!

    I ask HOW they were able to stand there next to a rat bazturd-X and his rattish girlfriend-wife and they always say, "I did it so my daughter/son could have a beautiful wedding without me ruining their day."

    Each time we bear up to our good intentions, we increase our tolerance and resilience and pretty soon, those feelings don't ruin "OUR" day/life either.

    This takes time of course. Maybe years. It doesn't happen after reading ONE self-help book or watching ONE marvelous lecture or ten sessions of CBT. It's a daily practice. This is what I know.

    I am not there, yet. I will be.


  5. Parabéns pelo seu Blog.
    Suas postagens são bem fundamentadas e interessantes.

  6. This is a poem I haven't seen in a long time. My friend gave it to me, in calligraphy, and I still have it somewhere. It sure is timely for me to read it now. Seems like every time I come here, I read exactly what is on my mind. Thank you CZ.

  7. This poem has comforted so many people, myself included! "and you learn and you learn and you learn."

    Say, isn't it rewarding being able to say that we 'learn'?????

    Some people never do learn, ya know?

    Big hugs,

  8. I am Rat Bazturd.

    My name appears here on your blog in a post or two. Is it a mispelling on your part of "rat bastard" ??

    1. Rat Bazturd is a satiric misspelling of the "Selfish Bastard Philosophy."

      So tell me, how did you come up with your pseudonym? Did you MISSPELL it or is it a serious miscalculation on the originality of your name? Believe me, if you study human history for awhile (when you get through high school, that is) you'll notice that "rat bazturds" are par for the course. Nothing original. Nothing special. Nothing to be proud of. Nothing worthy of emulation or praise.

      So claiming to be THE rat bazturd of all rat bazturds is a specious delusion, a narcissistic perception.

      Not to pick on you or anything but you DID accuse me of being a lousy speller and gee whiz, you didn't even flatter me first?!??!!!

      Seriously now!! Do you really think my blog is "All About You?"


    2. It's a deliberate misspelling of "Rat Bastard". I rememember years ago hearing Joe and Brian's taxi driver friend (played by Tony Shalhoub) mutter "that rat basturd" under his breath at anybody who did him wrong.

      From the sitcom "Wings", but that may have been before your time! When I joined a couple of online gaming sites, that's the nick I wanted to use. Didn't want it rejected for not being PC, so I deliberately misspelled it and got a double joke out of it.

      I also had a FB page as Rat Bazturd, but I shut that down about a year ago. And, I'll thank you to keep your amateur wannabe psychoanalysis to yourself in my presence, if you please! :)

      Take care!!

    3. Well, if you're a serious reader, then pardon me, Mr. Rat Bazturd.

      Are you serious about studying narcissism or were you just googling your name when you stumbled on this blog?


  9. Oh, please, it's a totally no harm, no foul. And yes, your instincts are right; I was simply Googling my nick.

    What piqued my curiosity is that somebody else had come up with the exact spelling, the deliberate switch from -ard to -urd. Leading to the implied joke when preceded by the "t". In retrospect, that should not be a rare occurrence, as I'm sure there's thousands and thousands of people with the specific mindset or possessing certain traits that would lead them to this, je ne sais quois, quirky? tendency.

    However, that's not all. Out of that initial pool of people, how many would decide to change the "s" to a "z" ? What do you think? It would be a common occurrence, or only a few great minds think alike?

    I think I need to add a smilely!


    1. You have a sense of humor, I'll give ya that! If you look at my sidebar, you'll see that I call my X a rat bazturd. Ha! Considering that YOU might have been HIM, I was pretty nice, don't ya think?

      Since my nick is CZ, I used a Z instead of an S. And since my X is a narcissist, 'TURD' was more appropriate than 'TARD'. Ha!


  10. It's a small world after all, yeah? In my case the -TURD was a combination of humorous self-deprecation and a slap in the face to the easily-rattled. As an additional measure, I switched the "s" to a "z" to bypass automated spelling sensors, thus increasing chances for acceptance of my nick.

    I must admit I'd never had any contact with your blog until now. I'm just now starting to free-range around the site, grazing here and there as fancy strikes me.

    Now I'm wondering if you might also be able to use the term narcci-tard (narccitard?)to describe the afflicted. Those that haven't yet achieved self-realization. It might be a sticky wicket what with the undesirable reference alluded to by the final syllable. This would be the infamous utterance by actor Kirk Lazarus.

    Regardless, I wish you the best always.



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