Now is the time to learn from it. More on that later.
2. The narcissist is not two different people or a troubled person who just occasionally has bad days.
This is dangerous magical thinking that kept us stuck in the relationship for as long as it did and can keep us mired in confusion even after the relationship is over so that we don’t move on.
It’s the cognitive dissonance of trying to figure out exactly who the narcissist actually is: How can two people have seemed to exist in the same body? How can someone have been so kind and yet also treated me so horribly? How can someone have acted so loving and then said and done things to me that I never expected to ever experience in my life from another person, especially from someone who claims to love me?
The idea we must come to terms with is that their primary goal is always to act on their own behalf and extract what they want from others in every social situation, including romantic relationships. Narcissists are manipulative people whose behavior is self-serving and bound to be hurtful, but sometimes doing nice things for you served a purpose.
It’s not confusing at all when we understand this.