When you realize you've been the victim of a narcissist (and I do not use either “victim” or “narcissist” lightly or casually), one of the greatest pains is the way that it calls into question the healing and growth, or even pleasure you may have experienced with that person.
A relationship with a narcissist can be an incredible catalyst of growth. Sometimes a super painful relationship is the rapid path to awaken the part of you that does. not. negotiate. about your worth and your deserving. It is natural to grow immensely as a result of this relationship.
(Please note that I am NOT saying that these experiences, which are often abusive, are *good because they make you grow.* I'm saying that you are a thing that will grow, and the greater the challenge, the more you will grow.)
I think most of us are on the same page about this.
But what I don't hear spoken often enough is that sometimes these narcissists are also channels for legitimate healing, even as they abuse you, or right before they abuse you.
I've known narcissists with potent sight and energetic ability. I have felt *real healing* and known it was real because it lasted beyond my realization that the relationship was out of integrity.
This applies double if you went to the narcissist *willing to heal* or hired that person to heal you. If that was a relationship you thought would transcend all the patterns, if you believed in the gifts of your guru.
I want you to know that any and all healing you experience is real and it is yours. Even if it came through someone who later hurt you. Even if it came through someone who continually hurt you. The healing was real.
It can be so confusing, because if the healing was real then does that mean I needed it to be that way?
No. These are absolutely 100% separate things.
You did not have to be abused. The abuse is not the cost of the healing. People who have healing gifts have the responsibility to use those gifts with integrity. It is not on you if a healer is out of integrity--you're not supposed to have to be looking for that. These containers require an immense amount of trust right from the beginning, a level of trust that would often be negated by the kind of inquisition you might have to do to discover that this person is out of integrity.
Narcissists are good at what they do, even as many of them do not do it consciously. They have real charm, real connectability, real spiritual and energetic and cognitive gifts.
What they don't have is the willingness to truly see themselves, and that is how and why they do harm.
Understanding this difference has allowed me to distance myself as soon as I realize what I'm really dealing with. The damage of this approach is minimal compared to when I let these events cast doubt on all my other choices and my connection to my intuition.
Sometimes the only way to know someone is a narcissist is to trust them, to relate deeply with them. Sometimes there are no signs, because the root of narcissism is the unwillingness to see all of oneself. You won't see that someone is a narcissist until you know them well enough to show them a part of themselves they don't want to see. Many of them, especially ones in the healing space, are willing to see a lot of themselves, and will seem like they are in integrity for a long, long time.
I am only interested in being a trusting person, and that means I've run into a few narcissists and I'm sure I will again in the future. Now, as soon as I see it, I create the distance I need, and I keep all the gifts from that relationship with a grateful heart.
Because I gave them to me, regardless of the channel, and then I kept myself safe.