"You held me down, but I got up,
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound,
Like thunder, gonna shake the ground.
You held me down, but I got up,
Get ready 'cause I've had enough,
I see it all, I see it now..."
~~ Katy Perry, "Roar"
As Thich Nhat Hanh wrote, "No mud, no lotus."
Without suffering, there is no growth. Without hurt and struggle, there cannot be beauty.
When recovering from an abusive relationship, you mourn twice -- for the loss of who you thought was your Soul Mate and the relationship itself.
But through the struggle of grief, we become stronger. It hurts like Hell in the beginning, but believe me, as the hurt begins to wane the ability to breathe freely returns -- and with it an empowerment and strength that cannot be rivaled.
Initially you struggle with questions that, to the outsider, sound anything but sane given the situation They see.
"Why did I put up with his/her bullshit for so long?"
"Why do I still miss him/her?"
"Why can't I forget it all?"
"Why can't I forget it all?"
"Why do I hurt so bad and will it go away?"
And on and on it goes for a while.
But eventually, as the clouds clear you see the sun shine down and with it Truth, Love and Light. It's a whole new World. And it is Amazing.
As you meander through the process of healing, you WILL bounce back and forth. You WILL struggle... It's natural.
Here are a few methods you can use to help ease you through the hurt and pain.
~~ Feel Your Pain... Fully ~~ It is essential you allow yourself to feel the range of emotions FULLY. Yes, the person you fell for was a Fraud. Yes, the relationship WAS abusive. But you are here now. Get angry. Be frustrated. Hurt. See each of these emotions for what they are and allow them to come and go without attaching to them. Remember, EVERYTHING is impermanent -- this includes the hurt and agony you're experiencing. DON'T get Stuck. If you are feeling too overwhelmed, seek help from a trusted friend, family member or professional counselor. I know that counseling and a tremendous support system saved my life. There is no shame in reaching out for help. You are not a superhero.
~~ NO Contact ~~ Establish NO CONTACT and MAINTAIN it. It is impossible to heal from the abuse when you leave the door open even a crack. Leave it all behind. There is no healthy future when you leave one foot in the past. Narcs DO NOT change. Holding out hope for a redemption of any kind will only prove detrimental to YOU in the long run.
~~ Educate Yourself ~~ Learn about narcissistic personality disorder and the cycle of abuse. Now this doesn't mean you submerge yourself in a sea of NPD obsession. But it is essential to familiarize yourself with the terminology and pathology of behaviors so you can avoid falling for the same illusion again. The better you understand the signs, the easier it is to avoid in the future.
~~ Ground Yourself ~~ Narcissistic abuse IS Trauma, period. The sooner you are able to come to terms with the reality of your situation the better. The key is to NOT get caught up in the same cycle of doubt, longing, and self-blame. You MUST make the decision to move Forward WITHOUT looking back and dipping your toes in the "What Ifs." Learning self-soothing strategies, such as positive self-talk, deep breathing, and engaging in self-care are essential to healing. It is time to take care of YOU. (I will cover some self-care techniques in an upcoming post.)
~~ Improve Your Self-Esteem ~~ Narcs leave their victims shattered. There is no recognizable sense of self when the dust settles. It is imperative you take the time to look at yourself in the mirror and see the beautiful human being you truly are -- and that includes recognizing the scars, both seen and unseen. Our scars are our badges of honor. We are Survivors. Take this experience and those scars as proof you are stronger than you have ever given yourself credit to be... And build on that.
~~ New Routine ~~ Now is the time to establish the self and life you have always dreamed of being/having. Embrace the possibilities today and the future hold for you. There is NO ONE who can take those from you unless you allow it. And if you are reading this, then you are at the crossroads where you know you've a decision to make. Take charge of your life. Explore all the opportunities that lay before you. Maybe that means something so simple as reinventing yourself or embarking on a new career path. Take up hobbies and interests you were never able to before. Take advantage of the hope, love and life that is before you.
You ARE like the lotus flower. All that ickiness and bullshit you put up with for so long are what have helped you to grow and become strong. Live life. Live love. Embrace Truth. And know that you are beautiful.
In Peace and Love,