Spiritual Growth and Emotional Maturity Comes From Pain

I can hear a chorus of “I will stay emotionally stunted thank you”. This kind of education is not what I need, whatever I am supposed to learn from this CAN NOT be worth this kind of pain”








You say that because you have never felt truly at peace. 

I have said many times before and I fear that I sound a little whacked out, but for many people there is a wonderful reward at the end of your healing journey. Something about suffering brings us to a beautiful place of self awareness and compassion for others where we relax and know without doubt that we deserve to be treated with respect, we know our boundaries and we defend them without doubt, we trust our gut and although we care about people and the world, ultimately we don’t care enough that we would jeopardize our principles and ideals for anyone. 


As much as no one can be blamed for the abuse of the narcissist we stay with them because we need or want something from them.

– Maybe with some victims it is the fact that by comparison we look really good. We get stuck in martyrdom, being victims relieves us of being responsible for our behavior (he made me do it), if we are so busy fixing someone else we can’t look at ourselves and no one else will either. If he is always sabotaging the relationship we can’t be blamed if we aren’t a good partner or if he is always in crisis we don’t have to worry about our own shit.

 – The pain has become part of us, without it we don’t know where we belong, what our purpose is, we have made the narcissist our purpose in life. That is unhealthy even with the healthiest of people, we should never made someone else our purpose to live, to be happy, to feel useful and valued. YES love them, want the best for them, support them in their dreams, encourage BUT when you are constantly cleaning up their messes, explaining why what they are doing is not working for them, when you are constantly having to check up on them, make excuses for them, and you are thinking, “He would be lost without me, I can fix him, he has so much potential he just needs me to bring it out” ; it is not a loving mature relationship. You are parenting your partner, not loving them in a healthy way, in fact you are being an over protective parent.

When you are constantly fixing the problems your child makes your child never learns from their mistakes and that is the same with your adult relationships. When we fix things for those we love we are in essence telling them that we don’t believe they can do it themselves. We are showing them that we feel they are incompetent. If they don’t pick up the ball and fix their own problems, then they should live with the consequences. If they leave us because we didn’t bail them out financially or because we protected our boundaries, then so be it because it is not a healthy relationship of give and take, mutual respect and will not be able to grow. You spend your life parenting your spouse and being disappointed by them, until they drain you and move on.

You must remember that you are dealing with a 3 year old in an adult body. Most 3 year olds learn from their mistakes, grow empathy, learn right from wrong and slowly we teach them how to function in society and be responsible caring adults. A narcissist does not mature, he stays at 3 years old emotionally which is very scary, a full grown person, usually highly intelligent, with good looks or exceptional charm, who has mastered imitating emotions of others yet has the need for immediate gratification like a 3 year old. I don’t know about you but I sure the hell wouldn’t want to raise a 3 year old for the rest of my life.

– Three year old’s will tell you they hate you one minute because you said they have to eat dinner before desert but they will have their temper tantrum and a few minutes later they love you again. They will come up to you and give you a great big hug and say, “I sure love you mommy, can I have a cookie?” They will blame other children for things they did. They tattle tail on the other kids, if they don’t like a toy and haven’t played with it for months, the minute you decide to give it to charity they throw a fit and they can’t live without that toy.

Any hope of reasoning with them is usually pointless and you do what? Give them a time out? send them for a nap? If they throw a fit you are able to physically pack them into another room kicking and screaming, but when the 3 year old is 6′ tall and weighs 190 lbs, good luck!!

– The other reason you might stay is; you have so much time and money invested you are afraid that the minute you leave him the magical transformation will occur and all your efforts will be reaped by the next woman. You just KNOW that all your efforts are going to pay off sooner or later and the longer you hang in the more determined you are to see payoff for your investment. Like the gambler who has lost it all at the casino but knows the machine has to pay off eventually and he is willing to mortgage the house in order to gamble until he wins back what he lost. In most cases he ends up losing everything and all the people who loved him.

Another reason is your self worth is dependent on his approval, for the first time in your life you felt loved for who you were, just as you were, unconditionally and totally. You felt beautiful and adored and you don’t want it to stop. You think no man will ever love you like he did, no one else could possible love you just the way you are. Why not? Everyone has flaws, no one is perfect and they all find love, why wouldn’t you? What if he died, would your self esteem and worth die with him? It is time to find your worth and believe in it.

And then there is “I stay because I love him” I was there, I was just too dang stubborn to give up, I was not going to give up on this relationship. I didn’t want to change him, I “just want him to be the man I fell in love with” NOT AN OPTION!! sorry.

I think I was a combo of all the excuses plus I am an Aries through and through and they are a stubborn lot, I hate to give up, at times I went back to him and I didn’t even know why, because he asked? I knew it wasn’t going to be any different but I had been fighting for it for so long, I lost sight of the fact that he was not what I wanted any more. There was pride stuffed in there somewhere, along with jealousy, and disillusionment, (I was determined to not give up my fairy tale) and I felt sorry for him many times.

It is said that a person will go through the same experience over and over again until they learn the lesson, even if that means they have to relive it in the next life. Oh Lord, help me! I do not want to do this again!!


I watched this TedX Talks this morning and I could see myself in it so clearly and I thought, “that is what I am trying to convey to the people on my blog”. Watch it here.

The way she refused to give up her dream of having a child, the angels that were put in her path to try and guide her yet she clung steadfast to her dream; to get pregnant. I clung to James like that, no matter what else came along, who came into myself I was so focused on that one goal I didn’t see the signs I was being sent or if I did I ignored the message. I knew that every time I was away from James I was successful, it was pretty obvious, he picked up in it, everyone did after a while, Whenever I was with him I had to run with a permit on my truck because I couldn’t afford the insurance. Every time I was on my own I had a place to live but if I went back to him sure as shooting we ended up homeless, away from him my truck ran, with him it was always breaking down. Without him my life was calm with him my life was always in chaos. AND on top of all that, he treated me like crap! What was I thinking? I didn’t want to hurt, I knew it wasn’t going to work, I knew what he was doing, I knew I wasn’t happy but damn it I didn’t want to hurt. It is comparable to my fear of dentists, I suffered years with tooth aches and abscessed teeth and ashamed of my teeth,unable to smile because I was afraid of the dentist. But it was an inevitability, it was not going to go away on its own, I was going to have to go to the dentist so why prolong it? But I did and I ended up having to have extensive painful work done that probably would have been less painful if I had gone sooner. Some times life sucks and we have to do things we don’t want to do but we have no choice and so it is with the narcissist. You don’t have to like it, you can go kicking and screaming or you can hang on for dear life. You are a big person, I am not here to convince you to leave your partner, I am here to give you the heads up I didn’t have, the knowledge of what you are dealing with. How can you be expected to make a major life decision if you don’t have the facts? I am here to give you the facts and then it is up to you. 

There are web sites that seem dedicated to being a place where victims of narcissistic abuse can congregate and all bitch about the abuse they all suffer because of the N. Every one knows what they are dealing with but no one changes their situation they just have a place to have a pity party. 

I will bring whine and cheese to your pity party if its because you are having a hard time with no contact, or you are having self doubt, but if you choose to stay with the N I get tired of sounding like a broken record.

You will either learn the lesson this life time or the next.

Some people might even leave the N and still not learn the lesson they were supposed to learn and they will end up in another relationship with a narcissist. The narcissist is just the catalyst for motivating you to seek the lesson you are supposed to learn, he is not the lesson! That is why although learning about the narcissist is critical to you so you know what you are dealing with but to learn the lesson you have to dig deep in yourself and get to know yourself intimately. The N unconsciously does some of the work for you (sssh don’t tell him that, he will take all the credit for your spiritual growth). The N tears you to shreds and leaves you in a million tiny pieces and that is when the lesson starts, when the hard work starts. You start putting those pieces together, putting you together again trait by trait, mistake by mistake, lie by lie (lies we were told about ourselves by parents, friends, lovers and ourselves). I have discussed the process many times and the post can be found in the category names Self Improvement and Self Discovery. 

Happy Healing!! peaceful

7 thoughts on “Spiritual Growth and Emotional Maturity Comes From Pain

  1. Tifa

    Sorry all.. me again. I think I can tick off all of these things listed in all honesty when I was with my ex N. Life is measurably better and for the most part I feel good. Sadly I am worried I’m experiencing something along the lines of otsd. Hard to place what we all feel at times like this. But as much as I’m trying with new job it is hard. I think because it’s close to where he lives. I find myself going along the motorway and looking out for his car. When I’m there it’s like I’m constantly looking over my shoulder. Not because I miss him and want to see him. But because I am genuinely frightened about seeing him again. Have never felt so vulnerable in my whole life. Yet when I’m in my flat and the city it resides in I’m so much better. Sadly I’m looking at jobs more local. In part because it would be cheaper. Lol running a jeep cherokee is expensive but then she’s like my child on wheels haha! 😉 Whereas I used to be perfectly able to work amongst individuals with challenging behaviour I think at this stage in my life it’s too much. I hate what he has done to me right now. But am confident this will pass or at least manifest into something more manageable if not better. I would say to anyone still involved with an N.. please RUN!! While you’re picking up the pieces of your life sadly they will be carrying on as normal. I wish anyone still in the throes of such experiencing all the love. Despite my comments it does get easier. I know right now it’s a bump in the road for me. Just sucks to have to make so many changes, but recognising what I need to do in order to feel better is definitely something. X x x x


    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Tifa, don’t ever apologize for commenting, I love it when people comment, that’s what we are here for, to share and get support!
      You are doing extremely well, believe me!! You are so much further along than I was at your stage, further than a lot of victims. .
      I still have a hard time going to the town where he was living with the ow after dumping me. He doesn’t even live there any more! I stopped doing business in the area when he did still live there because I drove myself crazy whenever I was there, looking for his vehicle, or thinking I saw him (not because I wanted to see him, just because) and often times I did see him. He had a way of popping up out of seemingly no where and I think it had me jittery and our brains get thought patterns embedded in them and it takes a long time to reprogram your brain. It still defaults to the N even though you are not with your ex any more the brain automatically defaults to thoughts of him because all your brain knows is the past, until new memories are made to take the place of the ones of the N that is where your brain will go. Does that make sense. I know what I am trying to say but not doing a very good job of it I’m afraid! haha
      It is like when a certain song comes on the radio and without even knowing it you realize you feel happier or sadder or whatever emotion your brain connects to that song. There are songs like Phil Collins Rain Down On Me that make me cry because of my first husband and that was over 25 years ago. But it no longer hurts, it is in fact a sweet nostalgic memory now. Not that i think memories of the N will ever be sweet and nostalgic but you know what I mean.
      I think you very well could be suffering from ptsd (I thought for a long time trying to figure out what otsd was lOL) it is very common with victims of an N. Have you seen a doctor about it? Maybe some yoga or meditation would help. I found I could not handle the least amount of stress after being with James. I have gotten much better but at first it seemed the slightest thing could throw me over the edge. I was always on edge, either angry, easily frustrated or crying over silly things. My emotions were always heightened. Give it time.
      You are doing great!


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  3. Abby

    Hi there, thank you for this article. I believe whole heartedly that
    “spiritual growth and emotional maturity comes from pain”. and I am working so hard on this. I recently, barely, drug myself out of my 15 year marriage to a narcissist, for the third time. Now, not surprisingly I guess, he professes to have realized how verbally abusive, and how bad treated me, and is making so many promises. Telling me loving things that I always wished to hear, begging me to “come home”. My gut tells me I cannot trust it, and I cannot go back. But I have caved before, only to be disappointed. I am trying so hard to work on my self doubt, childhood wounds, self esteem and self love so that I can grow past this, and not be tempted by him anymore. Just reaching out for some words of wisdom, and support from women who have walked this road before me.


    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Abby, please do not go back !! I know how convincing they can be but believe your gut and believe me THEY DO NOT CHANGE EVER!!!! There are many post on here to do with when he apologizes and wants you back. Just click on the category button and a list of categories will drop down. If you go back it will only be worse than ever before.
      What actually is happening is, you are healing, he sees that, you didn’t curl up in a corner and die like you were supposed to so now he has to come back and make sure he still has control of you and to do a better job of destroying you the next time. I was listening to Sam Vaknin the other day and he said the N is especially insulted if a woman leaves and does well for herself, the N takes it as a personal slap in the face, and he will want to exact revenge for her recovering. He wants to be so almighty powerful that women never recover from a relationship with them. Sick I know, but the truth. End all contact completely so that you aren’t hearing his lies, you can’t have self doubt if he can’t get to you. The only reason you are tempted is because he can contact you. NO CONTACT eliminates that problem.
      Be strong!!


  4. Daisy

    Hi Carrie,

    Your website is truly helpful in the mixed of all kinds of emotions after leaving an N! Is there a link online where I can hear what Sam had to say about women leaving, doing well, and what to expect from the N? I’m kind of in the same situation. Best to be prepared and not to close my eyes and think he’s just really silent.


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