I Fell For A Narcissist — Then Prayed For A Miracle

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My boys and I pull into the church parking lot. I put the car in park and ask them to say a prayer before we head into Sunday Mass.

“Let’s pray for a miracle for Dad,” I say.

“No,” they say. “It’s time to give up.”

My husband has been escalating and behaving badly. He’s begun uncharacteristically drinking, and he’s been diagnosed with a lack of empathy and a narcissistic personality disorder.

I’m shocked my children refuse to indulge me. My typically spiritual and positive children have universally had enough. All three of them share the same emotion.

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I coax them into it, “Just one prayer,” I say. 

“Okay,” they say.

I fell for a narcissist then I prayed for a miracle.

At some point, it wasn’t fair to me or my children.

It’s what made me deny a powerful narcissistic truth. It’s one I learned in therapy. Our psychologist marriage counselor told me an individual with a narcissistic personality disorder would rarely/if ever be cured.

I refused this fact emotionally.

And then I refused it spiritually. I believed in miracles. My faith told me all things were possible. I respected and believed our counselor. I just relied on a higher power for my husband to be the ‘rare’ exception.

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I did myself and my children a disservice.

There are many who believe narcissists can be rehabilitated. But, my husband didn’t have a few narcissistic characteristics. He had multiple narcissistic traits along with a trademark lack of empathy.

He had a narcissistic personality disorder and was diagnosed on the severe end of the spectrum. This critical lack of empathy is what makes treating a narcissist unsuccessful. It prevents a narcissist from seeing outside of their own world and into the world of another.

An alcoholic may have a moment of sobriety. A gambler a moment of financial sobriety. At this time, they may see the reality of their addiction. They may feel the emotion that accompanies their realization.

A narcissist never has a moment of emotional sobriety.

For this reason, a narcissist does not believe they are a narcissist.

A lack of empathy creates essentially one world. The narcissist’s world. You can’t reach the narcissist. A narcissist doesn’t live in reality. They live in their perception of reality. You can’t put empathy back in an individual. It’s a developmental stage we receive in childhood.

These are compelling and powerful narcissistic facts.

I learned them during the years I spent in counseling and researching a narcissistic personality disorder. A part of that time was spent while I was still married to a narcissist.

But, my faith is compelling and powerful.

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I held onto it.

It’s a blurred line between reality and spirituality.

Our belief tells us we don’t have to give up. We can believe in all things. We can believe in redemption and restoration. We can believe in hope and healing.

Why would we possibly give up on the one we love? Why wouldn’t we continue to see the best despite the worst of them? But, narcissists can be emotionally, financially, and, in some cases, physically dangerous.

Refusing to give up on a narcissist can be detrimental.

Believing in a narcissist can be worse.

Children outsmart us. Mine did. They reminded me I needed to surrender. If my faith was strong, it was already showing me the path I was meant to walk. They knew it while I continued to deny it.

I fell for a narcissist then I prayed for a miracle.

At some point, it wasn’t fair to me or my children.

It made me deny a powerful narcissistic truth.

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Colleen Sheehy Orme is a national relationship columnist, journalist, and former business columnist. She writes bout love, life, relationships, family, parenting, divorce, and narcissism.

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.