I know the stages of grief you are talking about. I am only now finding my way to acceptance. I could go around and around all the stages and never hit acceptance. I actually caught myself in the bargaining stage, thinking I was accepting! I would go "ok, I accept this", but inside I was still waiting and hoping for change. Most recent example: We are all big readers in my family, and we all like certain topics. For dad it is war stories and the like. Since I am the Garage Sale Queen, I would find books for dad and always have a nice little stack for him when I went to see him. After I stopped communication, I still collected the books and mailed them to him, in my mind I was just demonstrating that I loved him. When he would get his books he would call and leave a thank you message, and ask me to call him. So about a month ago, I am driving around with all these books in the backseat that I know I need to mail, and I got to asking myself what my motive really was. It hit me that I was keeping a door open "just in case", and still vying for some form of approval, and therefore still hanging on to the old way of things. So I donated the books. It hurt to do this, as it felt like I was shutting the door a little more, but it was necessary to help me travel toward acceptance, and away from my two favorite steps, anger and bargaining. I have never really moved out of anger, either, till now. So there was no room for acceptance with all that going on.
When I get into fantasy thinking I try to run the whole picture through. I picture the conversation we might have, then, knowing him like I do, I remember what I know he will say, and I remember how that feels, and I lose the fantasy, rather quickly.
NPDs' are Forces of Nature. They will only change when they are able to admit that they are the creators of pain in others and themselves, and the hallmark of this disorder is that they will not admit that. They violently will not admit that. Dad would rather have beaten me, sold me out as a "bad kid", whatever, than admit that he had issues. He'd rather be alone today, than admit that.
I already know what it takes to set something right with a person we have harmed, and a verbal "I'm sorry" doesn't cut it. We must make amends, as in change the behavior, which for an abusive NPD means counseling and real dialogue. Picturing dad doing that at this point makes me think "HA!"
Acceptance is coming slowly, but I do like acceptance moments, hours or days. And the distance between one acceptance time and another is shortening as time goes on.
Soulful, next month it will be one year since I stopped talking to dad. I remember so well writing out all that pain and hurt to the forum and you being there. Thank you so much. I love the internet. It took years for me to find people who related to my stuff, but here we have a gathering of the common interest. A whole year. You really helped me in the decision I made, and I am grateful.