By Kim Nelson
5 minute read
I can honestly say that the experiences with the narcissist were shocking and horrible. They shook me to the core. But they also shook me awake.
I learned that all the stuff the narcissist said to me didn’t describe me at all. She was describing herself.
I saw through the lies and I saw her patterns. I questioned her and that is why and when chaos was piled upon chaos.
I was grieving the loss of my mum, and this person who claimed to love me, to be my friend, who I was giving my everything to, didn’t even ask if I was ok.
She never gave me the support, sympathy or comfort that I needed. Just constant criticism and name calling.
Until one day, it hit me.
I could see exactly who and what she was. And I nearly lost it, almost felt violent, but then I remembered who I am. Remembered that the rage isn’t me. It is her.
I remembered all my great qualities. I decided she couldn’t take away all these great qualities away from me. They are what define me. They are what make me who I am.
Rather than going crazy as she was hoping I would, I remained kind, patient, respectful and compassionate…and it drove her crazy instead.
For a time, once I had called her bluff and said ‘no more’, things got pretty low.
Things get hard before they get better
There were days when I didn’t want to go to work. This was about not wanting to be around her as we had worked together, and it was also about the company that did nothing about the bullying they supported by enabling her behaviour. I couldn’t accept either.
I stayed until I just could not be there anymore. So, eventually, I left.
Things were hard.
I was swinging from victim to drama queen. ‘I’m ok’ to ‘I want revenge’.
I was confused. At one point I wrote a letter to the narcissist saying I forgive her and hope she gets well soon.
I was upside down and inside out.
And then one day I thought…What now?
After all the pain, grief and anger started to subside, I saw where I needed to heal.
I also realised my own pattern in the relationship. I had been, yet again, putting someone else’s needs before my own and giving away what I needed.
I decided this is the time I start giving me what I need.
So, I asked myself what do I want? Deep down inside, what do I want from my life?
Looking within & taking action
The first answer was, I want to learn Maths and English. This was something I wanted from way back.
I had been thrown out of 2 schools without exams of any kind. I also needed these for my CV as they are needed here in England.
I tackled Maths and passed, and then started English in an adult learning centre.
This was the turning point. This was the start of things looking up.
Not only did I enrol in an English course. I also enrolled in counselling skills, mindfulness, meditation and a self-awareness course. They were all calling me somehow. They all tied in.
Starting these classes was a massive step. I was feeling so depleted and wary.
Not for one second have I regretted my decision to start answering that question ‘What do I want’.
Life changing moments
Doors have opened for me in areas I never would have dreamt of before.
First, I was invited to be a volunteer in classes, then I was trained for a program called ‘Talk English’, and now I teach 2 classes of my own learners.
Then, I was invited to speak about learner journeys, addressing rooms full of people sharing my story. I’ve been humbled by those that have told me that I inspire them to start their own journeys.
Sharing my story has also been healing for me.
I have also met very supportive people including classmates and tutors who have enriched my life.
When back in that dark place of hurting from the narcissist, I would never have thought any of this would be my path.
It’s true what they say, leap and the net will appear.
This is how leaving narcissistic abuse behind changed my life. And I know this is just the beginning.
Yours can too. You can create the life you want. Trust in yourself and your own judgements. Ask yourself ‘what do I want’?
And share your story if you can. Your stories whether of the abuse or your recoveries will help others.
Please come forward and tell them. By looking out for others in sharing your wisdom, knowledge and experiences you raise awareness and help others. And when the time is right, you heal yourself even further.
There is life after narcissist abuse. It isn’t an overnight cure, it is often painful and tiring. But you are worth getting through the darkness.
Leaving narcissistic abuse behind changed my life.
Who knows what things are waiting for you around that corner? Leap and the net will appear. Leaving narcissistic abuse behind will change your life too.