For as long as I can remember, I yearned to be loved by someone. I felt very alone in my life.
You could say I had a very strong “Prince Charming” complex. I believed that someone was going to show up and complete me. I was a hopeless romantic, clinging to the idea that we are all “half of a whole” until we meet our soulmate.
Combine that belief with codependency and a serious lack of boundaries, and I was a prime target for a toxic person.
A few years ago, I met someone that swept me off my feet and before I knew it, I was deep in a whirlwind romance. Within a couple of weeks, this person told me that I was their soulmate and I felt like my heart could have burst with joy.
I thought to myself, I could finally breathe because I had met “the one”.
Prior to this experience, I had my fair share of somewhat unhealthy relationships but none of them shook me to my core and changed the trajectory of my life. But you can probably predict what happened next.
The perfect illusion was shattered a couple of months into the relationship when the narcissist revealed his true colors to me one evening at a party.
It felt like I had come face to face with a new personality.
The day after everything took place, he claimed he didn’t remember what had happened but was “remorseful” and “sorry.”
Although I stayed in the relationship for much longer than I should have after that incident, something inside me had been awoken and it no longer felt like I was in the same daze. I knew that something wasn’t quite right.
A few months later, the narcissist put my life in danger with his reckless behavior.
That decision gave me the courage to walk away… temporarily. I would be lying if I said I didn’t fall back into one of his hoovering attempts to get me back. He claimed that he needed closure and I ended up falling back into a semi-relationship for a couple of weeks with him. I never told my friends that because I knew how they would react and I know I wouldn’t be able to explain why I was acting so foolishly.
I believe that he wanted to be the one to “end” things, so he dramatically told me that I had tried but wasn’t good enough for him.
He walked out of my door and that was the last time that I ever saw him. The person who had promised me the world brought nothing but ruin into my life.
By this point you are probably wondering how on earth this changed me for the better, considering there was nothing positive about my relationship. However, the bad things in our life have the potential to shape us just as much, if not more, than the good things do.
I wasn’t myself after exiting that relationship. The happy, positive, loud, and joyful girl had been replaced by a shell of her former self.
In the aftermath, there were nightmares, flashbacks, confusion, and overwhelming anxiety and depression. It went on for over two years after I left.
Perhaps you are in a similar situation. Perhaps you have just left a relationship with a narcissist and are wondering how things could ever take a turn for the better when all you feel is pain.
As hard as it is, lean into the pain as it most likely has something to teach you and you could emerge an even stronger and better version of yourself.
My experience dating a narcissist forced me to face the behaviors that I had been ignoring for as long as I can remember.
It forced me to face my insecurities and desire to be loved by someone so badly that I continually let toxic people walk into my life.
It forced me to face my codependency and my willingness to always put someone else’s needs before my own.
It forced me to accept the fact that I would never change my patterns if I didn’t take the time to work through my past traumas and begin to love myself.
The truth is that many of us have been or are in a painful relationship because we have let someone into our lives that we trusted that ended up hurting us.
It is amazing what we end up tolerating when we love someone.
I am sharing my story with you in the hope that if you have had a similar situation or are in a similar situation, that you can see a silver lining.
No one deserves to be manipulated or abused. Ever. However, know that there is life on the other side. There is hope and sometimes we can take the most painful of situations and they will make us an even better version of ourselves.
Now I stand up for myself and other women.
Now I use my voice because I know how powerful it is
Now I only accept healthy relationships that involve trust, respect, and unconventional love.
I wish nothing but the same for you.