Tag Archives: healing crisis

What To Expect When You Leave A Narcissist

There are some common stages a victim of narcissistic abuse goes through after leaving the narcissist; I thought it might help some people to know what to expect because many victims seem surprised by the intensity of their emotions and how they are feeling. Intense feelings are scary.

The victim of narcissistic abuse needs to know what they are experiencing is normal and they will get past it. Here are 10 common steps victims take after leaving the narcissist. They are not in sequence and you may feel them alternately, or feel past a stage only to relapse and feel like you haven’t healed at all.

1. IN CONTROL. Initially you may feel energized, almost on a high, …… empowered; because you are taking your life back and finally standing up to the narcissist. But that is short lived I am afraid. 

2. MISSING HIM. As reality sinks in you will miss the narcissist as if a body part has been cut from you. You will feel like the desire to contact him is so strong it is out of your control. You figure that if he would just give you closure you could start to heal but he blames every thing on you and refuses to take any blame.

https://ladywithatruck.com/2017/08/04/i-am-so-ashamed-why-am-i-missing-him/ 
3. WITHDRAWAL. Like anyone going through withdrawal, the ache is a physical pain, you will come up with dozens of reasons why you NEED to call him. Things that really are of little importance all of a sudden must be dealt with by him and only him. A flat tire, the cat has a fur ball, a letter came in the mail for him. 

Fight the urge!!! Go for a walk, call a friend, anything but contact him, check his social media or contact his friends and family. 

4. BARGAINING .You “bargain” with yourself, all you need is to hear his voice, or see him…… you will be strong. Or you just HAVE to tell him what you think of him or try to hurt him like he hurt you. But just like a junky, you can’t “do just a little”, you  will fall into his toxic web again because it hasn’t been long enough. 

When will it be long enough to not affect you? When you no longer want to see him, when you have nothing more to say to him, when the love is gone, the anger is gone, and you actually never want his pathological toxic fog hanging over you or any where near you. 

5. CRYING! You may cry none stop for days on end. I couldn’t believe how many tears a body can produce!! I sat for hours, unable to even focus on TV, staring blankly into space, I had to remind myself to blink and breath. I even thought I could die if I just forgot to breath. (No. It doesn’t work. You can’t will yourself to die)

After a while you will be able to function a little bit, go to work, grocery shop, get dressed. I used to allot myself time for a really good cry before putting my makeup on. I could go all day without breaking down for the most part but on the way home I would be sobbing.

Sometimes I would go for a day or two without crying and then out of no where it would hit me like a bolt of lightening and I would have tears streaming down my face.

Relax! It is normal no matter what other people might say about you needing to “just get over it and move on”.  Trying to NOT cry or feeling bad about crying only compounds the problem. Then you are berating yourself and feeling bad about feeling bad.

6. OBSESSING.  You become obsessed with figuring him out, what he is doing and why. You are hooked on the “game” of solving the real live game of Clue life with a narcissist becomes. You read all about narcissists, compare notes with other victims on supper forums, you feed off of the shared stories; “OMG!that’s what my ex did!” Or “you think that’s bad, MY N did this……!” 

You may try to talk to old friends face to face about what he did or doing but you will quickly notice people turn away from you and minimize what you went through or simply don’t listen. 

You talk about him and the relationship ad nauseum, even you ate sick of talking about him. But he is all you think about. You relive the whole relationship over and over again. You analyze why he did the things he did, you try to “catch” him treating his new woman badly or cheating on her. 

You feel you have lost all your social skills. You have forgotten how to make small talk, it all seems so trivial and pointless. You fear you will never find your “old self” again.

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/ladywithatruck.com/2013/08/29/retrain-your-brain/amp/
7. MOURNING. You mourn the death of the relationship; your dream, your fantasy, your hope. He may be an asshole and lying to the new woman but he used to be your asshole and now she is the one with hope, even if it is false hope. You long for the those brief moments when he was “loving”, you knew he was lying but he cared enough to lie. I used to pray he would tell me any lie, no matter how feeble and transparent it was; so I could continue to lie to myself. 

8. ACCEPTANCE.  He goes on a smear campaign. Little had you known he was slagging you long before the relationship ended and now no one believes you because he has convinced them you are a paranoid psycho butch that made his life hell. After all, he seems so happy with the new woman, it must have been your fault. And if it was so bad, why did you stay so long and not say something sooner? Huh? 

Anything you say at this point is just going to sound like sour grapes and revenge. 

You are going to have to accept that the only closure you are going to get is that you were involved with a personality disordered person who will never make sense or admit to any wrong doing.

https://ladywithatruck.com/2014/04/24/when-people-dont-understand-the-mind-of-a-narcissist/
9. PARANOIA. It will seem like you are surrounded by narcissists. At every turn you run into another one trying to take advantage of you. This is a very vulnerable time, the first narcissist that comes along and tells you how fantastic you are will take away all your insecurities, you will feel renewed, healed from the N by this honest loving guy who treats you with kindness and understanding. You will have forgotten that is how it always starts with a narcissist and before you know it you are out of one frying pan and into another one. That is why it is vitally important to not date too soon.

You are not being paranoid when you think you are surrounded by narcissists. More than likely you are going to realize that some family members are narcissistic AND a victim is a narcissist magnet. 

As you start living true to your core self you will notice some family members and friends will not like the new you. The people who have always been able to manipulate you and used you for passive supply will try to stop your personal growth and self awareness.

https://ladywithatruck.com/2017/08/05/recipe-for-a-really-good-pity-party/

10. FINDING YOUR BEST SELF INSTEAD OF YOUR OLD SELF. Number 10 is strictly your choice. You can bury the pain, continue to do what you believe other people want you to do, like pretend to move on and find a “nice” guy who treats you right. (As if you were looking for an asshole last time). It has been useful to research narcissists and learn what you are dealing with.  It helps to know they can’t be healed and their brains are deformed. It helps to hear the stories of other victims and know you aren’t the only one who got sucked in. 

But, you will never find your old naive self. Remaining a “victim” by continuing to obsess about him, stalk him, “out” him, and expecting that telling people how hurt you were in your last relationship is going to somehow protect you in the future is futile and self defeating.

Some people get stuck in victimhood. In many ways it keeps them attached to the narcissist and being a victim has become their identity.

Personally the last thing I wanted was to be an eternal victim, living in fear of being unable to protect myself from the narcissists in the world. You really can’t get away from them so how do you protect yourself?

https://ladywithatruck.com/2017/07/08/when-will-i-be-my-old-self-again/
Well THAT shold be enough reading material to keep you busy for awhile.

There are more things you go through, I have included links to some posts that delve more deeply into some of the topics but there are more Posts throughout the blog.

And one more for good measure.

https://ladywithatruck.com/2014/02/07/dusty-journals-of-a-healing-journey/

Recipe For A Really Good Pity Party

I love a good pity party, don’t you?

I hate to brag but I have to say, I am a bit of an expert on them. Perhaps a few of you have even been to one of them; you brought the cheese and I supplied the whine.

The problem with pity parties is; the guest list keeps shrinking, friends all of a sudden are “too busy to attend” and those who have attended a few start to roll their eyes and say things like, “OH for God’s sake! Get over it already!!!”

You start to resent your friends who just don’t understand and you may have gotten angry with people like me who suggest you do some soul searching and personal growth. Why should you have to do all the work of healing and improving; you didn’t do anything wrong! The victim’s mantra becomes, “It’s not fair!”

Why do I have to suffer, work on myself and face the ugly truth when the narcissist hippity hops into the sunset arm in arm with “his” new love of his life?

I’ll let you in on a little secret; 99% of the population don’t ask to be hurt, physically, financially or emotionally. Shocking I know! But a fact none the less.

Another truth is; No pain no gain.

Years ago I joined a gym and started weight training. I had been bulimic for years, endlessly dieting and bindging and I was looking for an alternative way to keep my weight down. I had no idea how much it was going to hurt!! I hurt in places I didn’t know could hurt. There were days brushing my hair brought tears to my eyes. Days I walked like I had a broom stick up my butt because my glutts were so sore from doing lunges and to top it all off! I GAINED WEIGHT!! because muscle weigh’s more than fat. I wanted to quit numerous times but something else I wasn’t expecting started to happen; my confidence started to grow and as my body got used to exercising the pain grew less intense and became an indication my muscles were building. I started to look forward to a little discomfort because I knew I was improving. Another amazing thing happened, instead of my scale being my crutch and best friend, I started trusting my own body and how it felt. Instead of gauging my self worth on the numbers on a scale; I drop kicked the scale out the back door and started relying on how I felt, how my clothes fit and how great my ass looked in jeans. The added bonuses to working out far surpassed any pain. Although I don’t go to the gym any more I never brought another scale into my house. With my heart condition I am supposed to weigh myself daily to monitor whether I am retaining water or not and I refused to ever have another scale in my house. I was afraid that if I started weighing myself everyday I would once again start obsessing about my weight and letting the scale determine my mood.

Where am I going with this??

I found the same sort of thing happened to me when I started to actively participate in my own healing. Don’t get me wrong; I can still throw a damn good pity party and when I do I am all in!! I can throw temper tantrums, scream and cry “It’s not fair!!” better than any 3 year old. Then I take a nap.

The theme of my pity parties are no longer the narcissist but life provides amble opportunity for self pity. After leaving the narcissist it is easy to blame all your tribulations on the N. You get sick, if your ex hadn’t been such aN asshole you would have someone there to make you chicken soup.

The car breaks down; if your ex hadn’t left with his secretary you wouldn’t have to call the tow truck yourself.

You would have a wonderful life if you hadn’t dedicated how ever long a time to the narcissist. You would have a successful career if you hadn’t moved to be with the N ……. etc etc

No one knows what would have happened if you had not met the narcissist. But, unfortunately, in life, we don’t get to yell “DO OVER!” As much as wishing you could change history makes for a great pity party, it doesn’t change anything.

I am almost 60 and you would look at my life and think there are many things I wish I could change in my past. But whenever I look at my life honestly, if I were to change anything I would have to give up something good in my life.

So in answer to your question; “Why do I have to improve myself and learn a lesson from my relationship with a narcissist when he gets off scot-free?”

Because you can.

The narcissist can’t grow a conscience, he doesn’t want to change, he can’t feel, he will never know what it feels like to love someone unconditionally. He is doomed to live a life filled with paranoia, plotting, strategizing, living a lie, always afraid of being found out.

You do have a choice though. You don’t have to do the inner work or self improvement. You don’t have to take control of your mind, your happiness, your life. You don’t have to live true to your core self, set boundaries, or be the best version of you that you can be.

There are many ways of coping with the devastation left behind by the narcissist. You can dull the pain with booze or drugs. You can find a new man and “fall in love”, you can stay bitter and dwell on what the narcissist did to you or is doing now.

My ex had one of his victims drink herself to death. After they split she made outing him her life purpose. For 15 years she obsessed about him, until she died a bitter drunk. I vowed I was NOT going to end up like her. There was no way I wanted my ex to think he had that much power over me.

Victims of narcissistic abuse credit all sorts of things for their healing, God and prayer, meditation, yoga ……… you name it, and whatever works for you is great and totally a personal choice.

As with weight training; I discovered there were bonuses to self analysis and self improvement that I had not anticipated. When I stopped looking for a bandaid solution or quick fix and started doing the hard lifting, I started to notice that the discomfort I felt upon disecting myself was well worth the inner peace I was gaining.

It seemed every time I brought up the most pain or had an “Aha” moment I would feel lighter, more at peace. Then one day I had this incredible feeling of inner peace come over me. It was a rebirth, a feeling I had never experienced before, I couldn’t help smiling, like I had a secret no one else was privy to. I have never lost that inner peace, my health may be failing,  I might not have a dome to my name, I may not like where I live but I have inner peace.

I am not the only one to experience this sense of well-being, I have heard from many survivors they also had it hit them out of the blue when they started working on being their best self.

It is what separates the victims from the survivors.

A victim gets stuck in their brokenness and being a victim becomes their identity. They take no responsibility for their happiness and pain.

A survivor takes what happened to them and uses it as a catalyst for personal growth. They own their pain and take control of their lives again.

I continue on my quest to become the best me I can be, not because I feel broken any more but because I know no one is ever completely their best self. We all are flawed, “becoming” is a life long journey and it includes learning from others, adjusting your belief system, examining your prejudices and judgements. It means living your life as a person who you are proud of.

I love Ted Talks because you can usually find a few talks on any topic you can imagine, especially self improvement.

Here is a link to a few you might want to start with.

https://www.elephantjournal.com/2017/08/life-is-gonna-suck-but-it-needs-to-5-hard-but-helpful-truths/

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Am So Ashamed – Why Am I Missing Him

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I received a comment on the blog today from a woman who was confessing she had contacted her ex and didn’t understand why she had when she knew what the outcome would be. Why did she continue to torture herself?

In an attempt to find answers she had gone to a counselor and afterwards had suffered pangs of guilt and was fighting the need to contact her ex and his family.

Many people, including the victim do not understand the emotions the victim goes through. This is all very normal.

There is nothing “wrong” with the victim, it is all part of the healing process. I thought my reply to Alice may be of use to others, so here it is;

Please do not beat yourself up over contacting him. You learned a valuable lesson and won’t do it again. Sometimes we need a reminder of how bad it was. I slipped up a few times myself, called and then beat myself up for it, “How many times does he have to kick me in the teeth before I stop torturing myself??!!!” I finally got to the point where I was able to fight the urge to call. I still got there urge once in a while even a couple of years out but I knew it would pass and I would ask myself what I expected to happen if I did call. Even IF by some chance he was pleasant, I didn’t want him back, and it would only confuse me. I knew any contact would eventually end in me getting hurt.
I was also accountable to the people here, how could I preach no contact and call him? So if being accountable to us here on the blog helps you stay no contact, by all means be accountable to us but no one can judge you for it.
As for the counselor session making you feel guilty and like reaching out to him and his family.
For one thing talking about the relationship is going to bring back old feelings, stuff you may have even pushed out of your mind and it is going to bring on what I call a “healing crisis”.
You may feel as bad as you did when you first split or even worse, just try to be patient with yourself and ride it out.
Your brain is having to process the whole relationship from start to finish in order to finally deal with it and file it away.
While in the relationship you didn’t know what you were dealing with, now with the new knowledge you have about who and what he is your mind is reviewing events through new eyes, without the rose colored glasses. Things you though were true were lies, you will have new realizations and aha moments.
The human brain can only process so much pain so more than likely your brain didn’t acknowledge some painful experiences because it was overloaded and in survival mode. As you heal and are strong enough to handle it your mind will allow these buried memories to surface so you can deal with them.
You may think it is better to just leave them buried but they will surface at some point, maybe 10 years from now at a totally inappropriate time. You could be in a new relationship and something triggers you and bam! You can’t stop crying or you are angry for no reason. Better to deal with it now.
Just know that it will pass and allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come up. Don’t tell yourself you “shouldnt” be feeling that way, just feel them and release them. Cry, punch a pillow, scream…….. whatever you need to do and then go for a walk or soak in a tub.
Write a long letter to your ex expressing what you are feeling. Hand write it because your hand will get tired before you ever finish it. Then leave it for a day and reread it. I bet you will have revisions, add to it and erase some of it. Leave it again for a day and reread it again.
Do not ever send it to him but maybe give it to your counselor to discuss.
The first time I went through a healing crisis it scared the cap out of me. I thought I would never heal and had not made any progress. I felt like a big wave at the ocean had crashed down on me and was sucking me under and I panicked, thrashing around, gasping for air. And once I stopped fighting it I was able to ride the wave, breath and it would pass, taking with it a lot of my pain and leaving behind and sandy beach with little treasures (new insights, new strength, like an awakening) like the ocean does. The ocean always leaves behind new treasures when it rolls back out to sea.
These waves of healing may come as a gentle wave sometimes and at other times knock you right off your feet but they always pass and they always take garbage when they go and leave you refreshed and with new insights.
I started to look forward to them because I would feel so much better afterwards.
I hope this helps.