Mmm, it’s delicious to think about sometimes, isn’t it — making that mofo writhe in misery to pay for the pain and destruction he’s caused. It’s justice, with flair and attitude. And, how hard can it be? Spraypainting “assclown” on the side of his car, lobbing dozens of eggs at his house, or getting him drunk and, when he falls asleep, drawing daffodils on his forehead with permanent markers. Tying him down and tattooing “I hurt people” across his clavicle. Posting unflattering pictures of him in the post office with the FBI Most Wanted, or in public restrooms with “Pervert” written on them.
Ahem. Not that Aunt Alex spends much time daydreaming about such things. (This is true. I’m usually thinking about Italian food.) But it’s perfectly healthy thought-play, orchestrating revenge scenes in your head, and the more elaborate and creative, the better. He hurt you, and you’re allowed some justice-dreaming.
But what I encourage you to think about doing is very, very different from what I encourage you to actually do. Your wanting the narcissist to suffer is completely understandable, and it’s wonderfully fortunate that the best way to make him suffer is also the best thing for you. See, all that stuff above feels good to us as revenge, but he’ll actually love your retaliations because it’s just more attention directed his way. The technique to make him really suffer is — wait for it — ignore the living daylights out of him.
Shun him. Obey the “No Contact” rule. Sit shiva for him, so that he’s dead to you. However you want to put it, the plan is for you to have nothing to do with the narcissist. This leaves YOU going on with your life and putting the pieces back together, and HIM squirming in his toxic juices.
This is the BEST way to make a narcissist pay, and the BEST thing for you, but it’s not perfect. The missing will be excruciating. And the ignoring him will make him try really, really hard to get your attention. Resisting these efforts on his part will be monumentally hard for an emotionally generous person. It’ll be a giving person shutting out someone she’s loved, who says he wants to get back together — a pretty dangerous situation. For that reason, shutting him out won’t be fun, or easy, or likely to be successful the first time. If he catches you in a weak moment, it’ll go like this: you’ll shut him out, he’ll beg to come back, you’ll allow him back into your life, and he’ll be just as destructive and assclowning as before (if not more so). This isn’t a bad thing, because then, when you ignore the crap out of him the next time, you’ll KNOW what you’re in for if you let him back. Experience is a great teacher.
That putting your life back together part doesn’t get talked about much, and it’s critically important to keep from being vulnerable to another narcissist. Beefing up boundaries is a mandatory part of recovery. And letting all the air out of his tires while he’s at a bar meeting another woman, releasing a box of snakes in his house, and posting his picture and a detailed list of his mental and physical shortcomings on the “news” page of your town, are perfectly splendid ideas best left unexplored.