How a relationship with a narcissist can cause lifelong trauma and how to heal
It is challenging and exhausting being romantically involved with a narcissist. Moving on doesn’t end with simply physically leaving, packing up your belongings, and building a new life.
Women, for instance, go back to their abuser an average of seven times, even if she was the one who initiated the termination. During one of these times, she may lose her life.
If you’re fresh out of that relationship, you’ll blame yourself and fall prey to their requests to meet because they’d love to apologize and thank you—during which they’ll hook you back.
They’ll intermittently appear and disappear from your life, especially when you’re starting to live better again because they don’t want you to have a good life without them.
Sometimes, you’ll miss them and want to reach out. Or you continue keeping in touch because you think that’s the polite thing to do, and that’s how the narcissist continues to subtly poison you, impeding your healing.
Leaving is the first step; it’s staying gone that’s the real legwork of healing from a narcissistic relationship. Gone from them in your head, body, and soul.
Here’s what you’ll need to do to heal from your experience with a narcissist:
No or minimal contact
If you do not have any more entanglements with them, keep it that way. Do not even dream of becoming friends. Keep accountable to someone you can contact when you want to communicate with the narcissist. If you have joined responsibilities and assets, engage professionals and intermediaries. This applies even to going to your previously shared property to collect your belongings.
Stop bulling yourself
You may be physically removed from the narcissist, but they can often live in your head. Abuse trains us to blame ourselves. You may realize that you’re angry with yourself for everything—not recognizing the abuse, falling in love, staying too long, or even leaving. You’ll blame yourself for many things you continue to do, but don’t.
Make new memories
Perhaps you’ve had tons of memories in a place you used to frequent with your ex. And you really enjoy that place. You don’t need to taint that solely with the past. Make new memories in activities and places with yourself or people you trust.
Don’t do this alone
You can pick up books and articles about breaking up with a narcissist, but chances are, you’ll be fumbling with the DIY process and losing heart. When it comes to this type of trauma, working with a professional who can help guide you through it is extremely important.