It’s been a really difficult few years…..since about 2009. And “really difficult” is probably a huge understatement. I read somewhere that pain and discomfort means you are experiencing growth…..moving beyond the current place that you’re at into a new and unknown territory. Being involved with an abusive relationship with a narcissist left my life in shambles, I lost everything that it took many many years to build. When I hear myself tell the story, I can hardly believe it myself. I still wonder how it happened and how it went so far. It sounds like a tale out of a psychotic movie. How can one person turn every friend you have against you? Well, after reading about 15 books and countless blogs and talking with many other people, I have a pretty good idea how it happens but my brain still won’t process it and accept that it’s possible. I’m not sure my brain will ever understand…..I don’t possess the brain of a sociopath in order to think like they do.
I spent a very long time trying to become amicable with the narcissist. (I will refer to him as “N” from here on.) And I found that amicable is just not possible with this kind of person. They have no empathy for your pain. They will say the right words one moment (and you think you’ve found that person you fell in love with) but then in the next second attack you with venomous force. It takes a very long time to realize that “amicable” is never going to happen and you have to finally let go of that hope. There will be no friendship.
Like a death, I believe you go through stages. The first is anger. “How could you do this to me??” You seek and seek for explanations.(And your seeking could go on forever until YOU choose to stop.) You seek compassion. You seek understanding. Nobody (except for those who have gone through it themselves) seem to understand. People will even tell you “Get over it already. Move on.” But the N plays such a mind game with you that it is incredibly hard to just “move on” like you would after an ordinary break up. We try so hard to understand something that a normal person (who does possess empathy and compassion) will NEVER understand. This phase can take a very long time to get through. You may find you develop physical ailments related to carrying so much anger. There is no easy solution. Talking to a qualified counselor is an option if you can find one who understands the victim of a Narcissist. (Not many do.) You can join support groups. I have found countless women who have experienced the same thing I did. That alone is a huge comfort. There are also many books you can read and blogs that will help you to understand.
After the anger phase, I believe the grief phase begins. For me, it is not a grief of “lost love”. I finally see him for who he is. I understand that the man I fell in love with was an illusion. He knew how to play the role of Prince Charming to the world but behind closed doors, he was a demon to be feared. And, yes, I feared him with every ounce of my being. I don’t miss the screaming, cursing and name calling with his spittle hitting my face as he cursed me. What I grieve is the loss of my way of life. I lost most of the people I considered friends. Of course, in retrospect, you realize that these people were never your friends to begin with if they could believe such crazy lies about you that he told. I miss the social groups that I belonged to for many years that I now find myself ostracized from. I miss being able to pick up the phone and connect with people. I have 3 people left in my life locally that I can connect with. I learned how to do everything alone. (Which is hard but worth being able to do.) I think, for me, the holidays brought out the grief. There were no parties, no gatherings, no friends. The holidays emphasized my loneliness. Yes, I have made new friends but it is not the same. New friends already have their own social circles and families and it takes a very long time to be accepted and fit in. It’s not the same as having life long (or many year friendships). But we also know that in every ending is a new beginning. I did go to some gatherings. People were kind. But for nearly every one I attended, I cried all the way home.
Sometimes we need help getting past the pain. We have to seek out therapy and in some cases we have to seek out medication. While I believe medication is a last resort (for me anyway), today I started a prescription of an antidepressant. I have high hopes that taking it will help me to crawl out of this black hole that I seem to be stuck in. Depression is a horrible feeling. (And of course if you feel suicidal, call 911 immediately.) It’s a huge thing for me to start an antidepressant and to admit it. And even more than that…..I am praying that it works. I suffer from not only depression but Post Traumatic Stress stemming from a culmination of 3 abusive relationships, anxiety and panic attacks. I am ready to feel better and have my life back.
I realize that in addition to the medication that I have to do other things to take care of myself. I need to fill my mind with the most positive and inspirational stuff I can find. I have to do things that give me joy. I have to eat properly. I have to get enough rest. I have to exercise. Today I started the medication. Tomorrow, I turn over a new leaf and seek out those things that bring me joy. I will eat better and exercise too. Just getting out and sitting in the sun can help you feel uplifted.
And more than anything else, we must know and remember that it will be OK…….if not today, then one day soon. It will all be OK. And while our memories remain (we would never want to “forget” and repeat this experience again), we can find love, joy and peace once again. So take one small step (or big step……going on medication was definitely a big step for me!!) towards your goal. You are never alone.
Love and peace,