How do you see your life choices? Do you view mistakes or painful memories as a regret or a lesson? Do you focus on the negative aspects of those moments or allow them to fuel you to a better life?
I tend to be a lesson viewer myself. More often than not, I do not regret things. Figuring that experiences are just part of our life journey and even the ones that I might not do again, I wouldn’t change either. Trying to see it all as part of my life adventure and evaluate all; good and bad, to help me be a better person.
These past 4 years have taught me so much. About humanity. About abuse. About love and myself. I have no desire to go through these years again, but I can see value in what transpired that serves me well now.
Here is a list of things I’ve learned from being attached and detached to a narcissist:
1. What real love is and is not. “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” seems the best way to sum this up. Love is not something easily forgotten or transferred from person to person. Real love is not fleeting, not fake and not abusive. Real love is an action, not a word. The Narc doesn’t know what love is, so looking for it with one, will leave us depleted. Real love starts with self. Knowing that we are worthy of love. This experience showed me what real love is supposed to look like; by showing the opposite. Lesson learned.
2. How terrifying abuse can be. Being called names, bullied into submission, having someone use their physical stature to intimidate, all of those things are not loving and not ok. If it goes as far as physical pain, property damage or ignored boundaries, this is not loving and abusive and necessary to get away from. We should never be afraid of someone who claims to love us. We should never fear for our children, family or self-safety. Abuse comes in many forms, I’m thankful to have learned the signs, now I know what type of person to stay away from.
3. How resilient humans are. How fantastic our desire is to be better today than yesterday. How even when someone wishes to tear you down, you can rise above. That we are capable of so much more than we even know and sometimes it takes getting away from someone that is bad for us, to discover our greatness. To see our true selves. To create an even better existence than before. There is freedom on the other side of it all. I thought I was strong before, but coming through this, I know I’m even stronger.
4. The awesome power of silence. When we stay silent, we have time to gather our thoughts. To assess what we have learned and what we can do moving forward. Silence brings a lot of reflection and allows one to move past the pain and abuse and be even greater. And silence allows one to regain control. Remember Narcs only care about supply, staying silent does not allow them to get any more from you. Silence is a mighty sword. Use it for peace and protection.
5. The healing power of forgiveness. I apply this to self-forgiveness. (Forgiveness for others we will discuss at another time) When we recognize the guilt and shame that we carry because of allowing ourselves to be fooled, abused and lied to; we can start to heal. We have to learn to let go of what has happened and forgive ourselves for being there in the first place. Forgive the part that believed the lies and accepted less than deserved. Forgive the part of us that desired love so much that we were vulnerable to a narc. When we recognize our own need for self love, when we accept that we were prey to a narc, not because of something that we did, but because of that part that loves others well, we can learn to turn that love to ourself and heal.
Our past experiences can teach us so many things when we want to observe from the present moment. From the place of self-care rather than anger or sadness. Our mistakes often can lead us to beautiful places, if we stop to observe them. Learn from them. No regrets. Just valuable lessons.