Keep Moving Forward
I started therapy about a year after dating the narcissist for the first time in my life. Although things appeared perfect on the surface of my life, it didn’t matter. I had an amazing support system, a healthy relationship, and I was still falling apart. In fact, I was acting out on my new partner and projecting things on him that were based on the trauma from my past. I was drinking more than I should have been, which led to me saying things to him that were extremely hurtful and not true. I realized I was getting worse emotionally, not better, and it was time to do something before I continued to spiral out of control.
You cannot heal unless you protect yourself and start rebuilding your life and emotions…that was most likely torn to shreds. You were in a situation that was flight-or-fight, and as things calm down, you may feel like everything is crashing down…on you all over again.
There are things that you can do to speed up the healing process. I’m not saying that you will ever be completely fine, as I don’t know the extent of your trauma. There could have been years or even decades of abuse, many people never even leave these unhealthy relationships which is heartbreaking. But if and when you do leave, you can take steps to rebuild your life in the healthiest and best way possible.
Block his social accounts. Block him from everything, and leave no account unblocked. You have to cut off ALL contact with him.
Even after I finally texted the narcissist, telling him to never talk to me again, I let one account slide. I blocked all of his social media accounts…except for his profile for his art business. I wanted to keep a tiny piece of him, whether I would admit it or not. I became obsessive, checking it at least once a day, and it just made me angrier and angrier. The only way to start healing is by letting go and trying to move on. Holding on to the anger and pain is going to keep him alive in your heart and mind.
If you allow him any kind of contact…he will sneak back in. Even after I broke up with my ex, I started to respond to his texts after a few weeks. I eventually agreed to meet up to collect my things.
The next thing I knew, I was spending the night at his place and we were talking about getting back together.
I allowed him to suck even more of my time and energy from me and eventually he had the upper hand, discarding me when the cards were in his favor. It wasn’t until I cut things off completely and blocked his number that I began to heal.
Rediscover everything you have to offer. You have to face the trauma, and let it go. This means recognizing the patterns and not falling into them again.
After months, years, or decades of being torn down and told you are nothing, you’re going to feel like nothing. This is the ideal time to do things to build up your confidence and engage in self-care. This looks different for every person but personally, yoga helped me heal. In the calming moments of rest after a challenging class, I felt a release and often would cry because I felt like my I was letting go of something painful. After a few weeks of self-care and being patient with myself, my heart was beginning to feel okay for the first time in so long.
I had never wanted to do therapy, but it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This isn’t to say that it’s easy…it’s not. At times it’s extremely painful because you’re working through the trauma.
In the beginning, I kept having dreams about my ex in which he was always silent in the room with me and my new partner. No one else could see him, and his back was always turned to me. Even in my dreams he didn’t acknowledge my anger.
My therapist said this was likely due to the fact I hadn’t let go or faced the hurt. I was carrying it with me into my new relationship, and it was already affecting us. Although what I went through wasn’t fair, it wasn’t fair that I put the blame or project things on my new partner. So, I began to accept what had happened to me. I acknowledged that the narcissist had lied. I acknowledged that he had hurt me. I acknowledged that I was not the one to blame in the situation, and I no longer had to let him influence my life or my thoughts. I was a mess as I worked through these feelings, but after a few weeks it began to fade away…and I felt so much better. It was as if a weight had been lifted off.
I had a string of emotionally abusive partners before I dated the narcissist. I don’t know if it made me more susceptible, I just know I kept allowing people in my life that didn’t respect my boundaries or needs. In the aftermath of our demise, I realized it was time to take a break from dating. I had spent years pouring myself into people who didn’t give me back what I needed, and he was the final straw.
Healing is different for every person but I hope these are some suggestions you can apply to your own situation as you begin to work through the trauma you may have endured.