New Beginnings After Narcissistic Abuse

Carrie Wynn

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Starting New.

A new relationship is most likely the last thing you’re going to be thinking about after you leave your abuser. I hope that it’s the last thing on your mind…because it’s time for you to be selfish and put your needs first. Regardless of if you ignore the pain and try to shut things out, you are going to be affected by what you endured. As a plea from someone that didn’t deal with her pain right away —

I implore you to take all the time you need to heal and work through the trauma.

Eventually, you may feel like you’re ready to jump back into the dating world. But this time, I hope that things are different. I hope that this time you are seeking a healthy relationship that equally serves you as well as a new partner. I was very blessed and I managed to find that relationship with someone. The first few months were completely fine, and I was in the bliss of the honeymoon phase.

But as time went on, I realized there was something I didn’t want to admit to myself: the lie that I was the same person as before I met my abuser was completely untrue.

I had completely changed the way in how I navigated a relationship. Jealousy, fear, rage… so many emotions I had never experienced prior began boiling up to the surface. I began wondering how I could even explain to my new partner the way I felt out of control. In the beginning, it was scary to open up, but I knew if I didn’t explain I wasn’t doing myself justice. I was acting completely irrational and he was doing nothing wrong, it was unfair to both of us. I began putting together an explanation that would help him understand where I was coming from. I hope that some of them speak to you as well and can help you navigate a new relationship when the time comes. Perhaps you could title it “Dear new partner.”

Dear New Partner: When you’re angry, I instantly shut down.

I know that disagreements are part of a healthy relationship, but when you raise your voice, I instantly shut down. Thoughts that aren’t because of you begin flying through my mind. Are you going to hurt me? Are you going to yell until it’s my fault? I’m sorry because I truly don’t know how to argue in a healthy way or even voice my opinions. I’ve been told to be silent for so long, that when someone asks me to use my voice I’m having a hard time finding it again. Even if you’re mad at something that has nothing to do with me, such as at a bad driver, I’m afraid that I’ll receive “the wrath.”

Dear New Partner: I need you to reassure me sometimes.

I know that you’re not ignoring me, or taking long to respond to my message on purpose. You’re working late, or are spending time with co-workers you hardly get to see. But my mind is constantly racing and insecurities are coming up. Touch base with me. Text me that you’re going to be out for a few hours and that’s why you can’t respond. I’m used to being out of the loop, and I just need you to take the extra time so that my mind doesn’t go into overdrive.

Dear New Partner: I’ll have emotions that may seem crazy.

Jealousy, fear, confusion… so many feelings that were completely new to me. I always prided myself on not being a jealous person and was able to maintain several long-distance relationships. Now, you leave for a couple of weeks…and I fall to pieces. Please know it’s not you. Please know that I trust you completely, but I have an irrational fear that seems to take over. Know that I am in therapy and identifying tools for when these emotions arise. I recognize it’s not healthy, and I am working through these feelings in the best way that I can.

Dear New Partner: I need you to listen and be patient.

There will be times that I may share stories with you about my past that are painful and personal. I need you to listen, because you can’t fix the pain that was inflicted, the damage is already done. I need you to be patient, because they are close to my heart and I can’t tell you all of them at once. You may feel like I’m keeping things from you, but I’m not. I will continue to tell you these stories on my time.

Dear New Partner: I love when you respect my boundaries.

You understood why I didn’t want to move in with you after a few months of dating. A younger version of me would have jumped in headfirst. The new me was afraid — I wasn’t ready at all. Now after almost two years, you haven’t brought it up once and you’ve respected the time and space that I’ve needed. We still live apart, but I’ve had the time to get to know every side of you so that I know exactly what I’m getting into. Thank you for letting me figure out exactly what I wanted.

Dear New Partner: Your kindness has played a part in my healing.

You picked me up and took me on a date mini-golfing. You cooked me an amazing dinner. You picked me up so I had a ride. You recognized that I was miserable at my job, and helped me update my resume and practice for my big interview. You have been so kind to me. I’m sorry that I’ve taken it for granted at times. I thought I deserved to be treated well, instead of appreciating what you were offering.

It won’t be easy. I cannot promise that all the scars will fade, I don’t know if they will. But I believe you can work through them and embrace the amazing things that you deserve. It just takes a lot of work, self-care, and facing the things that are scary, but you absolutely have to try.

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I am a writer & relationship consultant that primarily deals with narcissism, overcoming abuse & trauma, and self-love. Contact me @ Blog: carriewynn.com Instagram: carrie_wynnmusings

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