Ending the Narcissism series, that was never intended to be a series. I went where I was led.
Examining and researching narcissism brought me back to an old reality of which I often peer back on with nostalgia. I romanticize the good times and forgive and forg- (chaos is a mode I understand and often mistake it for comfort, so the “bad” never really factors into my nostalgia).
In examining ME and my relationships through a scientific psychological lens – everything is less rosy because the relationships are examined without my heart or nostalgiac bias. There was nothing romantic or smooth about how I functioned in those relationships or how those people functioned with me. None of it could really be defined as love. Trauma bonds, for damn sure.
However, I am grateful that it has thrust upon me evolution. Reflection. Self-awareness. Forgiveness. Grace. Humanity.
These relationships were terrific lessons, and that is how I peer back on them now.
I often share that what I hope anyone can take away from my experience is to save yourself the time I gave up so easily; however, the most I can offer you is information to make the best decision for yourself.
The hope you have in a “toxic” relationship, the hope that gets you through each day, is a fucking noose that you are slowly but surely tightening around your neck. And the narcissist you are engaged with isn’t going to ask you why you’re tightening it. They aren’t going to cut you free – they don’t even notice the rope. Your “lucky” if they even notice you.
We are taught not to quit. Not to give up on others. To have empathy for others. To lift each other up. To give. To love. To forgive. However, there must be a balance. There must be keen awareness. There must be reciprocity. We must nourish ourselves, so we can aid in nourishing others.
Once the bell has been rung, there is nothing we can do to undo our trauma. We know that. We know that we are responsible for our choices and our actions. So make a choice for yourself. You can do it. And if it’s difficult for you to leave, try to unpack what part of you needs this, wants it, accepts it? Therapy is fantastic for this. Understanding what compels you to stay can help you understand what YOU bring to the relationship. If the relationship ends and is left unexamined, you’ll only recreate the same relationship again and again.
Being in a narcissitic “toxic” relationship is a solemn place to be. However, it can change. Things can be different for you. The life and the relationship which you envision can be a reality. While in these “toxic” relationships, I had the capacity and strength to do the work, but I instead fixated all my resources on the other instead of myself. We cannot do the work for anyone else. We can only do it for ourselves. You can move through all of this and create peace. I am an example of that. It came from a lot of internal work and therapy, and from that, I am happily married to a true partner. I hope the same for you when it’s your time.
Good Morning All!
This is the final post on Leaving a Narcissistic Relationship and it’s centered all around you and healing (which I will share more about next week).
Being honest with yourself and having awareness surrounding the relationship is crucial.
All the hope we’ve blinded ourselves with and the investment can make this very difficult. Focus on taking care of yourself and loving yourself the way that you did them. Offer yourself the forgiveness you consistently offered them.
If you have any healing tips, please feel free to share them in the comments below.
Digging a bit deeper today on the topic of Leaving a Narcissistic Relationship.
One thing I want to add to this post is that in no way should anyone feel pressured to leave a narcissistic relationship before you/they are ready. When it is ENOUGH you will know. When it becomes too painful to stay – it’ll be your time.
On Friday, I’ll be sharing the final part of leaving.
If you have any tips to add or anything that I left out, please feel free to leave it in the comments.
Low key flexing my killer PowerPoint skills.
This week and next, I’ll be diving into narcissism! Ironic, eh?
I feel pulled to discuss this right now for multiple reasons, both personal and otherwise.
I won’t be sharing a book on Thursday; instead, I’ll be doing another post continuing the examination of narcissism. In this particular post, I have pulled information directly from the DSM-5. I intentionally did this because I am not a psychologist and because science overrides my general knowledge on the topic. It’s essential to believe and pull from science. Am I right?
Y’all know I am a big fan of trying to understand human behavior. I believe that understanding and being able to identify these characteristics is massively important. It helps us navigate our social relationships and has the potential to decrease our suffering.
I have suffered because I did not understand this personality disorder. I had STRONG beliefs that I could influence this personality type to, in my personal experience, be more empathetic and loving. Of course, that belief stems from my own issues, which I will dive into – shit, that’s all I ever dive into.
For those who can identify these traits within their intimate relationship partner, I will be posting resources on October 1st (you can also DM me, and I can get them for you). The most significant misunderstanding about being in a narcissistic relationship is, if the abuse of narcissism were physically visible, it would be one of the most devastating depictions of a physical assault.
So here we go, narcissism.
While in my earlier relationships, my therapists, friends, parents; shit, most everyone, but my earlier partners would always tell me how “resilient” I was.
It was a little hit of dopamine because it was internalized validation that I was doing something right.
My resiliency, combined with endless well-shots of hope, was a blessing and a curse. If you’ve seen the Garth Brooks documentary (mockumentary??), you’ll know what I am talking about, if not, grab a drink and go watch it!
My well cocktail of resiliency and hope carried me through A LOT of traumas. Buuuuuut, to a degree it also kept me in those situations. My hope that one day, his words and actions would line up. My hope that he would follow through on promises made. My hope that one day love would reign supreme and there would be no more lying, cheating, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, verbal abuse, mental abuse, and of course the punch heard ‘round the world abuse. My hope that one day I would be worthy of the love I felt I gave. Man, was I resilient.
It was during my relationship with Jerry when I began writing seriously. I was trying to make meaning out of what happened between Jerry and me in our relationship and trying to learn from it (hey-o still do). I needed to pour my heart out, even if it was into a void, it was better than either Jerry or Cameron because they were more incapable than a void. I needed to understand the role I played in those relationships so I didn’t continue to recreate the same shit sandwich.
Later (after massive depression and hella therapy) this same hope and resiliency, lead me to my husband.
Resiliency isn’t something which merely applies to relationships which reek; although it’s the experience I am talking about. We see resiliency shine through massive amounts of trauma. Fill in the blank: war, abuse, neglect, injustice, all of the shit happening in our world right now, etc. Things of which I am privileged and fortunate enough not to endure personally.
I recently read an article from the NY Times, “What Makes Some People More Resilient Than Others,” by Eilene Zimmerman. She interviewed Dr. Southwick who co-wrote a book on resilience and he stated, “Many resilient people learn to carefully accept what they can’t change about a situation and then ask themselves what they can change.”
I write because I have to. Whether or not it’s absorbed. I write because it is my way of trying to make sense of my past and often failing (Sweet Creatures plug – Link in Bio) but I am learning A LOT! I’ve learned while in a relationship I co-create a reality with another person. Meaning if they suck, well, I have to accept that because I cannot change it (Lord knows I have tried. I have tried) and I must instead draw my attention inward to change what I can control and that’s me.
Each person is unique. We all need to find our way and at our time. Resiliency allows us to challenge ourselves to go within and learn about ourselves. To question. Which leads to more questions. We then use community and resources to advance our knowledge and then we share it because at the end of it, were all transmitters of what we possess within.
As per usu – I hope you find a nugget in this. If you do or know someone who will share it. I ain’t making shit off of it. We’re human. Life is tough. Whatever we can do to help each other out – fuck it, let’s do it!
I am here again
Reality fades out of focus
The past and present begin to blend
I am ruminating in the memory of what we had
The memory of what I wish we never had
Our lives could have been different
If we would have tried
But we remained the same
Burning scars unto one another with our words
Drowning in our actions
Forgetting all the hope
Forgetting all the promises
That were made to one another
Wrapped up in each other’s words
Tangled in our selfish love
On the verge of forever
But couldn’t mend broken hearts for the better
All your lies and confusion
Simply appeasing my delusion
Until I finally surrendered
A coward when finally it was too much
I escaped a life
So hurt, so unloved
The pain and suffering
Was too much
A new life now
Void of our existence
Do you ponder the memories
“Summer nights under the stars”
Wondering the same as me?
I am filled with regret
For hurting the one I had loved most
I was simply trying to love you
Yet for eight years I wasn’t allowed too close
Too close to see the cause of all your pain and sadness
The fault of all the madness
The pain I caused to you
Was merely a reflection of me
Which took time and distance to see
Please forgive me for the ruins I left behind
In the shadows of the darkness, I have yet to find
Please forgive me for the loss of innocence that made us blind
And keep us held hostage like the ties that bind
I am sorry I wasn’t there for you when things got bad
We were at once, the best friends we had ever had
I am sorry I didn’t have the courage to acknowledge my weakness
Instead, I claimed victory and reveled in your weakness
I am sorry
I hope for you a life filled with promise and peace
I hope for you a love that grows with you
Accepting you for all your imperfections
While relishing and delighting in your restless wonder
One who refuses to surrender
When you push her too far
Knowing she must self-sacrifice
To push you closer to who you truly are
Time has past
Past is time
You are a stranger to me now
Yet, inside of you dwells the heart I once loved so deeply
Inside of me are memories that have yet to fade
They burn in low slow light day by day
From a distance, I will send you my love
And hope that someday “you’ll forgive
Because I know you’ll never forget”
The time for amends is lost
Now there is only room for regret