It is the right choice, but it will also be one of the hardest choices you will ever make
The effects of Narcissistic abuse can be absolutely horrific and can be prolonged for months, years, or even more.
Breaking up and leaving someone that had subjected you to this form of abuse isn’t going to result in a normal breakup, because you haven’t been in a normal relationship.
Years ago, I dated someone who put me through narcissistic abuse. It was something that I had never experienced and the horror of it completely changed my life and my outlook on relationships and people in general.
In fact, it was a very long time before I began to heal, and it is something I believe I still have to work through at times because of the trauma that followed the breakup.
Based on numerous accounts of people who have experienced this, and from personal experience as well, here is what you may feel after cutting ties with the abuser in your life.
You may feel uncertain about everything
Throughout a relationship with a narcissist, you will be constantly broken and worn down until you may have found that you have entirely lost your sense of self.
Therefore, even though you have left them, you will find that you are constantly struggling to trust your reality.
I had to completely relearn how to trust myself and personally, engaging in therapy was extremely helpful to validate the trauma that I had experienced.
You may feel strange to not be living on the edge
After spending months, years, or decades walking on eggshells it will be a change to not be constantly looking out for someone’s feelings.
If you were in a relationship with a narcissist he/she likely blamed you for everything that happened to them, even if you had no involvement.
When I was in the situation it felt like every interaction had the potential of being a ticking time bomb.
I carried this fear with me into my next relationship.
Even though it was healthy and a safer place, I realized I was waiting for the shoe to drop and it took me much longer to open up to someone new.
You have to relearn how to trust yourself
When you have been gaslighted for an extended period of time it will result in you struggling to trust your own memory or to believe yourself.
The same goes for manipulation. Someone has been pulling your strings like a puppet for so long that you haven’t been running your own show.
This is completely normal, and you have to realize that after being gaslighted and manipulated for so long you were taught to not trust yourself.
I began to realize that my feelings were valid, but I was constantly on edge for some time, as I had been in a situation where nothing I felt was valid.
You may experience PTSD
When you are in a situation of constant trauma your body will often be in constant flight or fight mode.
Just because you have left doesn’t mean that you aren’t taking some of that anxiety and stress with you.
Narcissistic abuse is one of the most, if not the most terrifying things you will ever experience.
There may be times that you feel emotions overwhelming you for reasons you can’t explain. There may be movies or songs you can’t listen to because it takes you back to that horrific time.
For over a year after I left my emotions were completely out of control. I felt like I would break down for no reason at the most inopportune times because a situation would remind me of one of the many traumatic experiences.
You will have to relearn how to feel true joy
The first step to doing this is to allow yourself to feel sadness. The second is to forgive yourself.
You are not to blame for what happened. You likely embody amazing traits that drew a negative energy to you, because of how brightly your spirit burns.
I blamed myself for a very long time for what had happened.
I thought that for some reason I was deserving of the way I had been treated.
When I accepted that I wasn’t to blame I began the healing journey to allow myself to feel joy again.
You will be able to finally reclaim your life
If what I have described above sounds difficult and hard, it’s because it is going to be hard.
When I left the abusive narcissist in my life it was the most painful thing I had ever experienced. Because of the trauma bond that we had formed, being discarded by him was unlike anything I had ever felt.
At first, I allowed the pain to consume me. I allowed it to follow me when I moved to another state. I allowed it to dictate how I acted in future relationships.
Eventually, I realized that I had a choice. I could allow this experience to rob me of joy and happiness in my life or I could begin the journey to healing and claim the joy that I deserved.
I chose the latter and I hope with all of my heart that you do the same.