When is it time to stop the grieving and obsessing about the ex narc and move on with your life?
I am afraid sometimes I give a mixed message on the blog, one minute I am telling people that they should take all the time they need to heal and the tears and talking about it constantly is normal and necessary in order to heal; and the next moment I am saying to not dwell on the past and force yourself to think of something else and not obsess about the ex. So which is it?
It is both! Yes you have a period of time where you replay the whole relationship in your mind because you have new knowledge, you know what they are now and your mind needs to reevaluate the whole relationship with this knowledge and come to terms with the truth of what you were dealing with. There are new realizations, lies are uncovered, they meet someone and you must deal with them moving on with the new love of their life. All that stuff has to be processed.
But that is “processing” and not obsessing. There is a difference, there is a difference between negative self talk and reframing your thoughts so you are not keeping yourself in the victim mentality. Our brains only know what we put into them and the more we think a thought the faster our brains go to that thought, we embed it deeper every time we think about it, so it is going to take longer to heal. Some people never do because they embed the negative thoughts so deeply and get comfortable in the role of victim that its’ too much work to try and change their thought patterns. They don’t know how to be anything but a victim.
Some times, and I felt I was verging on this, my identity had become “victim”, “look what he did to me”, “I am a good person, I was only ever good to him and I gave up so much for him and look what he did!” We forget how to talk about anything other than what a horrible person he is and how victimized we are. You know what? people get really sick of hearing about how horrible he was, that is why it is good to have a place like this to come to, to vent; but people are a lot more receptive when the victim is doing things and talking like they are working on their own shit to get over it. If people see you trying to get better, working on yourself and not just wallowing in self pity; they tend to be a lot more understanding and empathetic.
Then there are the people, like James’s ex Karen, who didn’t want to let go of being the victim because it kept her attached to him in some way. If she was still a victim, she was still in his life and she was in his. Every time she called one of his new women to warn them, she pissed on her territory, she let them know she was still the victim! He had to think about her, sure he was using her to create triangulation but she didn’t see past the fact that he was still in her life. If she would have healed and stopped obsessing about him she would have had to let him go and she couldn’t do that. He was her asshole and she was not letting him go, she had forgotten what it was like to be a whole person, she got comfy in the role of victim, until she drank herself to death, a sad, lonely, bitter, hate filled, venomous, joke. Now that is pitiful, and I do feel sorry for her, I wish she could have found a place like this where she could have maybe found healing instead of drowning herself in booze and self pity.
NO, it is NOT easy! I know that! Believe me I know! But if you want a fast track to healing you are going to have to put in the effort and stop thinking of yourself as a victim and reframe it to being a survivor and from there eventually you get to a point where you are no longer a survivor, you are just you; the best you that you can be and the narcissist is responsible for the positive changes you have made in yourself and the peace you have attained because of the healing you had to do.
I tell you this from 4 years of experience, I like to think it will not take you 4 years to get to this point if I share what I learned along the way. I am the one with the scythe going ahead, making a trail, marking the trail, putting up a warning sign to not take that route, follow me, I know the way, don’t take that fork in the road, don’t take that dead end. I walked in circles sometimes for months, lost, not knowing which way to go, you don’t have to do that.
I have found that now people gravitate to me and they want to know more about domestic abuse and narcissists because I have changed my way of relating to people, not because of some external change, it happened within me. Just like when I wailed for 2 years about not being able to do it one more day until the light went on that I had been doing it for 2 years. nothing changed in my life, my situation has not improved at all financially, it has gotten worse so how is it that I can have inner peace and not be crying and consumed with worry 24/7? Because I changed the way I view things, I changed MY way of thinking. I no longer see myself as a victim and not in control of my life, things are not happening TO me; life is happening and some how I will survive like I always have and things will unfold as they should.
Yes James did some horrible, horrible unforgivable things to me but I refuse to let him effect my whole life with his toxicity, I refuse to cling to that negativity and relive it over and over again, keeping myself beaten down. By reliving the events over and over again you are finishing the job they started. They planted the seeds and you keep fertilizing them, watering them, nurturing them and they grow in your mind, keeping you down, keeping you weak and full of self doubt. That is why it is so important to do the self analysis and take each part of you and only keep the parts you like and are truly you and throw away the rest of the crap!!