The other day I wrote about watching Star Wars Episodes I-III for the first time and seeing sociopathy in a main character. I often find examples of narcissism and sociopathy in movies. You know, we often feel very alone after the horrors we’ve dealt with, but there are so many examples in popular culture, that it becomes clearer that many people have had to deal with bullies, narcissists, sociopaths and other jerks. I know that not all movies are realistic, but so many of them feature a “good guy” and a frustrating, infuriating “bad guy” who seems to have the upper hand…until the good guy finally wins.
For those of us who have had to deal with a narcissist or sociopath, we often lose so much of our lives. We lose friends, our reputations, our peace, our faith, money, homes, family…so much. Too often, the only way we can escape the turmoil of a disordered person and their campaign against us is to leave everything behind and start over. And it’s not fair! But you know if you try to continue living your previous life, the abuser is never going to stop harassing you even if it’s only by smearing you or using flying monkeys to attack you. Sometimes we try to hold on, but we keep getting burned, so we finally have to accept that we have to give up and walk away to save ourselves.
***Warning: there may be spoilers for Star Wars Episodes I-VI***
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
This is something I struggle with. Why should I be the one to give up my social life while the sociopath who abused me so badly gets to stay and have fun…with all my old friends? It isn’t fair, and I can’t pretend it is. But…that’s the way it is. So, watching Star Wars I-III the other day actually worked out well for me–especially with Episode III Revenge of the Sith. As I was sitting and watching the movies, I actually had a revelation. This set of prequels ends with the good guys losing. It ends with devastation. It’s not fair. The good guys are torn apart and evil takes over after fooling so many people. Innocent people die. Most of the good guys are killed. What kind of ending is that!?!
But here’s the important message I took from it:
Sometimes good doesn’t always win…immediately. There will always be horrible people in the world, and we can’t avoid them. They are out there and sometimes, they will do cruel things to us. Sometimes, we will be hurt. Sometimes we will have to accept our losses. At the end of the movie, the two remaining Jedi–Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda–go into hiding. At that point, they know they don’t stand a chance at fighting Darth Vader who has just turned to the dark side or the Sith Lord Palpatine. If they tried, it would kill them and destroy any chance for good to win. So they accept the temporary loss and wait patiently. Nineteen years will pass before the events of the next movies occur and they have a chance of defeating the evil that has taken over.
Now, I know this is just a movie, and we aren’t going to destroy our personal Death Stars and Darth Vaders in the long run, but so much of what writers create for movies is based on human emotions and experiences. Watching the end of the movie with the good guys sadly accepting what has happened, then retreating, reminded me of how we have to escape a narcissist. Let them take what they got. What’s important is surviving. Accepting. Patiently rebuilding our lives for something far better. It isn’t going to happen overnight.
Much of the terror I have experienced with my narcopath ex is related to the fact that I did not leave my social life altogether. And he’s not going to stop until I do. As long as he has any clue where I am or who I talk to, he’s going to be smearing me. Although it’s a loss, the best thing to do is to retreat entirely to heal and protect myself. Which is exactly what the good guys in Star Wars Episode III did. They quietly went away instead of throwing themselves into the fire for Darth Vader to finish them off. Their loss was temporary, but they made the best of it. By the end of the original movies, their patience had paid off and the evil empire was defeated.
By the end of the day of watching the prequels, I’d found the movie with its fight between good and evil to be very inspiring.