Pain is a motivator.
It’s downright terrifying when the relationship with the narcissist ends. The realization of what we were involved in and the degree to which we realized we’ve given our identity away for mere exploitation is unfathomable. The nice news is that there is an inverse relationship between depth of pain and propensity for change.
Once FREE, I began the daunting but rewarding journey of searching the depths of my soul. I stepped up and took full responsibility for the way I allowed the narcissist to make such inroads into my psyche. I realized how more than anything, BOUNDARIES were necessary to protect my identity.
I began by accepting every emotion I had; even if I judged it as being “good or bad”. I stopped denying how awful I felt and started being compassionate towards myself. The attention to my own feelings for the first time in years, allowed me to train myself to be comfortable with honoring myself.
Once on the road to honoring all my feelings, I began taking responsibility for all the cracks in my character that allowed the narc to set up shop in my world. Why was I so desperate for love? Why would I accept less than respectful treatment? Why would I give up all the things I loved about myself and my life to try to please another person? Why did I not respect my own rights and follow through with consequences when the narc busted my boundaries again? Why did I ignore all the red flags? Why did I stay with the relationship once I knew how toxic it felt to me?
Everyday for nearly 6 months, I lived asking myself questions that sometimes, I had ZERO answers for. It took a lot of faith and hope that it would get better. Sometimes at night, I’d lay crying myself to sleep and calling out to God to just please comfort me through the pain.
My answers came in my own self reliance. The more I spoke and honored my true feelings without judgment, I embraced myself with acceptance. The more self acceptance and compassion I showed towards myself the more my actions reflected that I deserved it. I learned to not let anyone, EVER, treat me less than how I treat myself. This alone weeded out so many undesirable characters because I was no longer desperate enough to be willing to settle.
This has been my saving grace, because I’ve stepped up to others and asserted my boundaries. I was fully prepared to walk away from any person who did not respect what I asserted; surprisingly, THIS VERY ACT and the fact that I TRULY was able to walk away – CHANGED MY WORLD.
We may have been targeted but that doesn’t seal our fate forever.
Our choices in the aftermath determine our path.
Let’s make good ones.