L'esprit de l'escalier or l'esprit d'escalier ("staircase wit") is a French term used in English for the predicament of thinking of the perfect retort too late.
This is a problem for me in daily life, 'staircase wit", I don't get things said in time. Sometimes us Aspies process things a little bit too slow to keep up and it can be a hard feeling, to know they got over you another time and you sat there with your jaw fallen open and didn't say anything. Narcs usually hit by stealth which makes this even more of a possibility for some of us. With age, I learned to be dish it out, as a Christian I actually have to watch this tendency in myself not to blast with full froth at rude service people and the like. Today I have asked myself "Why was I so quiet in the face of the narcs?" There are things I regret not having said. However having been so silenced, and so effectively rendered isolated and alone in the family system, I often have to remind myself, "You did say a lot!" and no one listened!
There were many times I stood up for myself and may as well been talking to a wall, so while my intellectual mind now knows I could have said anything from cursing them out to hell and back to the most cutting remark on planet earth, it would have not made one wit of difference. Perhaps some of those lost moments haunt me now, in some of ponderings at times that I "lost" the family in not standing up for myself early enough or in the way that worked where my narcissist mother could circle the wagons so effectively.
Perhaps all ACONs have this feeling of "L'esprit de l'escalier". We blame ourselves way too much for things beyond our control, thinking the right words, actions, defenses and more would have changed things the way they went, I am realizing how much of it was out of my control. However we need to be careful, with sociopathic narcs, the words really didn't matter, they had no interest in listening and there was no way they were going to. The best words in the world would have mattered not. This blog I suppose is my way of having my "final word".