Whether you were in the relationship with the Narc for one year or 10 years (or more), it'll take the same amount of effort to heal. No matter how you begin your healing and recovery journey, please know that it won't be an overnight success story.
You'll go through the stages of grief - depression, anger, denial, bargaining. And often round and round, up and down. You'll wonder if you will ever stop thinking about the Narc, and why it's taking so long to heal.
Don't force the healing process. As with any loss in your life, you need to let yourself properly grieve. I know that sounds weird, considering the abuse you went through. But hear me out.
Despite the abuse, you are still an amazing person with so much to offer the world. It's going to take a while to find yourself again. To rediscover who you are.
Here's a list of things that I did to guide me in my healing and recovery journey:
1. Do something good for your soul. Do something that will not just make you smile, but will make your whole body happy. Something that will make you feel good deep down inside. Take up a hobby that you've been eager to try, go hiking in the woods. My "good for the soul" thing? I began volunteering at my local animal shelter. It really has done amazing wonders for me over the last year!
2. This one's important - You need to allow yourself to grieve and be angry. I know I said it a few paragraphs ago. But it bears repeating because I've seen what denying oneself the ability to grieve can do to a person. I've learned that if you suppress your grief and anger that you can actually cause yourself to get physically sick. Allow yourself to feel the anger, acknowledge it. But don't dwell on it. Staying stuck in anger or grief will hold your healing and recovery back.
3. Find a good therapist who is knowledgeable in narcissistic and emotional abuse. I am grateful that I found a women's center in the city I currently live in. They specialize in mental health, individual and family counseling, and social services. Many areas have similar therapy centers. (There is also such a thing as a bad therapist, too. So if you begin seeing a counselor and that person doesn't "jive" with you, then find another one.)
4. Keep a journal. I don't write in mine all the time, but I find it especially helpful when I have those moments of anger or frustration. It doesn't have to be poems. It doesn't have to be a "Dear Diary" type thing. Just a free flowing journal entry. Write whatever comes to mind. I remember one entry where I went on for over 4 pages of my anger and hatred I had for my NX on that particular day. And you wanna know something? I felt SO much better afterwards!
5. Spend time with friends. I've found that getting out with my friends and getting back into enjoying life itself, that happiness will follow. You see, with my NX, I couldn't be myself. He hated my quirkiness...he thought it was too childish. But with my friends, I no longer have that barrier to keep me from letting out my weirdness or silliness. I love to laugh and have discussions, to be silly, to talk to my friends about whatever. The more you allow yourself to open back up to all the possibilities that life has to offer, is when you'll begin to feel that freedom again.
6. Daily affirmations. I know that might sound strange, lame or odd, but it really has helped me. Each night before bed, I repeat to myself, "I am strong. I am smart. I am worthy. I am capable." I say each sentence slowly, and repeat them at least 6 times. (Sometimes more!) If you are with a therapist, ask the person to give you a handout of affirmations. Or you can Google the topic....there's plenty of information out there to get you started. You will find something that works for you.
7. Join a support group. I found a TON of support groups on Facebook. They have helped me immensely! I know it's not quite the same as an in person support group, but it has still helped me in so many ways. You can also contact your local women's shelter or domestic violence hotline, and they can also point you in the right direction of support groups in your area.
No matter what you do to assist yourself on your path to healing, please keep this one thing in mind. The more you work on your healing and recovery, the easier it'll be to regain your self-esteem. Narcs aim to strip us of our self-esteem. That is how they keep us hooked. They make us feel like we're damaged goods and no one else would ever want or love us. I know that I am not completely healed by any means, but I am not where I used to be. And my NX knows that. He knows that he will never be able to bring me down again.
What things have you done to heal? Comment below. And as always, I appreciate you sharing your stories with me.
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Greetings, my warrior survivor friends! Welcome to my blog. I'm Julianna, the owner and creator of this site. Check out the My Story section to read about why I started this blog. Thanks for stopping in. And feel free to comment on any post, share your own thoughts and stories. I would love to hear from you!
The Top 10
Here you will find my most popular posts for easier discovery.
How Narcissists Make Sure You Never Solve Problems In A Relationship
The Fake Apology
How I Lost My Identity
Effects of Emotional Abuse
Emotionally Abusive Behaviors
Tightening Your Facebook Privacy Settings
Why You Should Never Defend Yourself Against The Narcissist's Smear Campaign
Going No Contact: A List Of What To Do And What Not To Do
An Open Letter To All Survivors Who Just Got Out Of An Abusive Situation
The Great Manipulator
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The content of this site is told from the blog author/owner's personal experience of dealing with a male Narcissist. Narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths are both male and female, and come from all walks of life. Furthermore, the content contained herein is not intended to be a replacement for medical or legal counsel. This blog's sole purpose is to provide support to those who have endured Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse.