A study on the concept of Nothing
How incredibly informative it would be if people could truly understand that the opposite of love is not hatred but indifference. It would force them to recognize the pathological relationships they are stuck in that are destroying their lives in some way. Many ACONs struggle for so long with their narcissistic parents because we all have memories of some apparently benevolent acts.
We look for "benevolent" acts in our history with the narcissist as a sign that they must love us "in their own way". We think that if they didn't love us then surely we'd know it because we think we would recognize the opposite of love. We think love's opposite is active hatred. I disagree.
Not to say that our narcissistic parents don't display actively hateful behavior, by the way. They can and do. But we are perplexed by the times when they seem to be acting loving toward us. (The operant word here is acting.) So we come up with explanations for the bad behaviors and give them a pass. Our narcissists tutored us well on how to do this.
I believe the hallmark of our relationships with our Ns seems to be the often overtly callous indifference we have suffered from them. They are indifferent to our best good. Indifferent to our humanity and individuality. Indifferent to our needs. Indifferent to our feelings. They nothing you.
Real love is other-centered. It is outwardly focused. (See 1 Corinthians 13 for a description of what real love looks like.) It involves self-sacrifice. It is always benevolent in its motivation. I've already pointed out how malignant narcissist means malevolent. Evil. Intent on doing harm. Please don't confuse anything the narcissist does as coming from a loving motivation. To do so is to continue to be their prey.
If we can understand the utter disregard of our personhood that is encapsulated in the word indifference, if we can let ourselves acknowledge the awful truth that these people are incapable of anything approaching real love, then can we see our way clear to cut loose even if these people call themselves our parents? I think so.
This indifference explains the sense we get of having our souls sucked out of us. Love fills us up. Indifference reduces us to husks. These people are toxic waste. Poison that will kill your soul first and then your body. We can forget ever feeling guilty for distancing ourselves from them because we think that on some level they must love us. Love is incapable of indifference because indifference is its antithesis. The narcissist does not love you. Never did. Never will. There is no room for such nobility of purpose and action as love in the narcissist's heart.
Indifference is what I feel for my parents. Bit by bit, as I began to understand the revelation of their narcissism, I was able to distance myself from them. Now I feel nothing for them. I don't have active, seething emotions that one would call hatred. No, I nothing them. They do not merit the emotional energy of hatred. They merit nothing. One can say that their indifference toward me all my life has finally come full circle back to them. My indifference is different from theirs in an important sense.....it contains no malevolence. I do not stay in their lives and torture them with my indifference. I have completely removed myself from their sphere so as to not afflict them with it. My indifference is in place only to save me. Not to hurt them.
The narcissist feels nothing toward you. My recommended course of action is that you get the hell away from them forever before they completely corrode your life. Then set on a path toward indifference. There is healing for your heart there. The narcissist doesn't merit anything from you that requires as much energy as either love or hatred. The wages for their actions toward you has come due. What have they earned? Nothing. As in, you owe them nothing. You feel nothing. They are nothing.