Recovery from NPD abuse is an ongoing and committed effort. Blogging about it all is hopefully providing some education and benefiting the recovery process for you all as it is for me.
Now that I have finally accepted that No Contact is the only way to move forward, as every single article, book, video, and blog have all stated, I have started to see real healing.
As I’ve shared, I work at the same place at the same time as my Narc. Our workplace is big, so it’s not often we run into each other and I can do things to help facilitate that. Park in different places, use different entrances, arrive and leave at different times, basically never really keep a routine that is easy to track. But some things you can’t change, like being on the same committees or teams or being in the common areas at the same time. I’m fortunate that these don’t require any real interaction and I’m not subjected to even having to look at him. But when I do see him, I have to occasionally, less and less these days, remind myself of who he is.
Part of why recovery is soo challenging after an abusive relationship is because our brains have been rewired some. Being with a narc creates a drug type attachment or need. They are the best manipulators, so great in fact that even when we feel the abuse when we hear the lies when we are confronted with truths, we still choose to be with them. Somehow we ignore our gut instinct that something is not right. So when we do start to break away, often the withdrawals are great and that can lead to going back, again and again. We will explore that more next week.
In my case, in order to break the cycle, I had to get very real with what exactly would I be going back to. What really would I miss about this person? Is what they offer me, really worth the pain they bring as well? Who exactly would I be getting? Answering these I realized; I’d be getting a man who is a liar. Who less than a couple of hours of leaving his live-in girlfriend, would be touching me, asking to make love to me, telling me he loves me. A man who thinks nothing of having the old supply over to his place where he lives with the new supply. A man who blames others when he doesn’t succeed how he thinks he should. A man who thinks nothing of taking things that aren’t his. Of threatening or actually committing crimes. None of this was nor is, someone I’d want to be bound too or be associated with. My instinct of not being proud to be on his arm was accurate. These are the questions I have repeatedly asked and answered as I have started jogging down that recovery path.
Healing begins, at least in my opinion, when you go no contact, when you get through the withdrawal and once you can truly see the person for who they are. When you accept that you loved the mask, not the face. The face is the liar, cheater, abuser; the mask is the smiling, charming chameleon. Once this is accepted, healing and moving into an incredible transformation can begin.
As we work towards becoming our best selves, sometimes we have to face hard truths. Recognizing the things we may struggle with, the areas that we are not to sure we want to evaluate, and the facts about ourselves or others, is tough. It can be like cleaning a wound, getting the dirt and grime out hurts, but once we do so, we begin to see them scab then scar over.
I am starting to see the scar, rather than the open wound. I wanted to trust he was who claimed. I wanted to believe it was love. I wanted to believe he was not all the things he repeatedly showed me he was. I wanted to believe the lie. The truth of loving a Narc was much harder to face. Cleansing the wound and facing those truths have been painful and a challenge. But the joy that returns when you start to heal, is worth it.
Let’s keep on the road to healing. Keep on the path to becoming our best selves and who we want to be! And when it feels challenging or unbearable, have a set of questions that you ask yourself and answer them honestly. Get real with what or who you are having to recover from.
Till next time…