I’ve been writing about my recovery (much more than what I’ve posted) and it dawned on me that this Trek we are on, recovering from narcissistic abuse, might be similar to submitting Mt. Everest. Once the idea occurred to me I started reading up on Everest and I am stunned by much of what I learned. I think it is is safe to say that the climbers who take this trek and Crazy! However, there are many parallels. For example:
- Climbers know they have a 25% chance of dying. I knew that staying in my relationship was slowly killing me. From what I’ve read the incidence of asthma, copd, and even cancer is much higher among those in a narcissistic relationship. While I didn’t voluntarily sign up for it, I did risk my life for my relationship.
- Climbers pay to risk their lives! The cheapest trip I found was 20K. Costs go up to 150K! I paid to be with my narc. I helped him pay off his marital debt, I gave him my inheritance money to buy a house and I gave him all of my savings to open a business. Throughout the years I continued to pay, when I denied myself while he blatantly spent.
- Climbers spend weeks on their trek. As they move higher and higher on the mountain, they spend time acclimating to the reduced atmosphere. In a relationship with a narc, we spend weeks or months in each stage of our take down. For weeks we are love bombed, then we get the silent treatment. For weeks we are put back on the pedestal, only to suffer weeks of gaslighting. All along, we are being acclimated to accept the conditions of the trek we have unknowingly agreed to.
- Climbers suffer cognitive dissonance the “death zone”. The death zone is the final push to the summit, the summit and the ascent. At any of these times the climber’s brain could swell and he could die. I suffered cognitive dissonance so severe that by the time my relationship ended I felt dead, and had felt that way for years.
- Climbers rely heavily on Sherpa’s to reach the summit. Survivors of narc’s need trained Sherpa’s, i.e. therapists, to recover.
- Climbers go with a group but are ultimately on their own. Even a Sherpa will abandon a climber. For the most part, regardless of how much they have paid, or how well regarded they are on their “team”, they will be sent back to base camp and left behind if they become ill. I have been on my own for years with my narc. Any time I couldn’t keep up, because of illnesses, or lack of finances, my narc left me. Often, he dropped me off at the hospital and literally left me.
- Climbers who can not walk are left to die. Healthy climbers walk right by them in their summit attempt. Once a climber can’t walk he is assumed to be a goner and others (mostly) ignore him and let him die. We also, are left to die. We spend weeks, months, years, being unable to walk, unable to function, and our narcissistic abuser just walks right past us. There is no way our narc will save us, especially if it interferes with his goals.
- Climbers who die on the trek are left on the mountain. This really blew me away. There are youtube montage’s of the pictures of each body, out in plain view for all other climbers to see. In fact, one body must be stepped over for climbers to summit (that body recently disappeared). I often wonder what would have happened to me had I stayed in the relationship. I know I would have died and, if I had, I would have become a perpetual monument for my narc.
- Many climbers who reach the summit and successfully ascend say they will never do it again. I am board with this! I don’t envision ever getting into a relationship again, let alone one with a narc!
I feel grateful that I made it off the mountain. I feel like I reached the summit of hell and have begun my ascent back to the real world.
It’s a great place to be and I won’t go up that mountain again.