How I Got Over An Agonizing Narcissistic Relationship & 4 Ways I Found True Self-Love
The initial phase of every relationship is always flowers and rainbows. You are blindsided by newfound love and ignore all the red flags of a narcissistic relationship.
Your heart gushes with love and adoration every time you receive a text or a call from your beloved and serotonin is doing somersaults in your brain.
My relationship was the same too. When I met Rishi, I felt that I had met my soulmate. It was an instant connection and if I was not delusional, I would even go to the extent of saying that there were guitars and violins playing in the background when I met him.
I believed that I was finally living my fairy-tale and little did I know that it was the beginning of a nightmare.
I was in a relationship with Rishi for 7 years. The warning signs of a narcissistic relationship were present but just like every gullible fool in love, I chose to ignore them or even worse I took it as my responsibility to change him.
Don’t get me wrong here. People change but narcissists hardly ever do. They make you believe that they have changed so that they can fulfil their needs and wants and once you are no longer in the position to provide them anything they take the first exit.
Rishi was a narcissist and I was in a narcissistic relationship. When you are constantly experiencing abuse, you tend to normalize it and after a certain point of time, you even begin to accept it.
Rishi never hit me but he targeted my self-esteem and my sense of self. He would nit-pick my flaws and make me feel inferior to myself. In every fight, he would flawlessly manage to put the blame on me and belittle my feelings.
By the end of our relationship, I felt drained and empty. My dependency on him had increased tremendously and the sea of guilt and shame made it incredibly painful and difficult to leave him.
The hardest part of healing from a narcissistic relationship is to accept the fact that it was an abusive relationship and a major part of the abuse was not your fault.
I would have never healed from the narcissistic relationship if I had not gathered all the courage and strength in me and left. Very honestly, even after I left, I had a strong urge to take him back and reconcile our relationship.
I would force my brain to believe that Rishi only needs extra support and with time he will change. That is the biggest mistake one can make when dealing with a narcissistic relationship.
Fortunately, I succeeded in leaving him. The days that followed our separation were downright heartbreaking. I started experiencing panic attacks and my anxiety touched the roof.
Let me share with you 4 ways I healed from a narcissistic relationship and found true self-love:
1. I Accepted Who He Was and Who I Am
We often fall in love with a made-up image of who the person can be rather than who they actually are. Rishi was emotionally unavailable and manipulative at the same time. However, I convinced myself that it was only because he had a tough relationship with his parents.
After I left him and started taking therapy, I gradually learned that people have a choice to either repeat their past or learn from it and take accountability. Rishi’s past was not my responsibility to heal but it was his, and his past experiences were no justification for the emotional abuse and manipulation.
And in my pursuit to heal him and support him I neglected my needs and wants. I had my rough days too but I would hide away my pain because I never felt acknowledged or validated in that narcissistic relationship.
It was always Rishi’s moods, his convenience, and his needs that were met in the relationship.
When I put myself first and stood up for what I wanted he would pull away or make me feel guilty for being ‘selfish’. But after a certain point I could no longer put up with his emotional abuse and the more I accepted myself and my wants, I was able to walk away from the narcissistic relationship.
2. I Put Efforts Into Therapy
The best decision I made for myself and my mental health was to take therapy. I have amazing support from my friends and family but they can only help me to a certain extent.
Their love for me would always cloud their judgments and I wanted real growth and real growth needs you to accept the dark parts about yourself too.
Therapy gave me a non-judgmental and safe space where I was able to freely talk about my narcissistic relationship, my feelings, past experiences, and childhood. I learned so much about myself that I became a lot more self-aware than before.
The best thing that I got out of therapy is that it helped me to fall in love with myself. It boosted my self-esteem and I felt free and liberated from all the things that were holding me down.
My therapist supported me at every step as I healed myself from the narcissistic relationship and found acceptance with everything that had happened.
3. I Started Living For Myself
When you are in a narcissistic relationship no matter how much you give or do you will never be enough.
I gave my all to Rishi including my time, money, and efforts. His needs became my priority and I neglected myself. In therapy, I understood that my need to please him and keep him happy comes from my deep need to seek validation from others.
Gradually I learned how to prioritize self-care and do things that benefit me instead of feeling guilty for being selfish. I have set boundaries to protect my inner peace and that has not only improved my health but also blossomed my personal relationships.
4. I Forgave Myself
Finally, and the most important part of healing from a narcissistic relationship is to forgive yourself. I felt stupid and naïve for putting up with so much emotional manipulation and toxicity and all in the name of love.
My belief system had shaken from its core and it took a little while to accept and let go of my mistakes and everything that I put up with. I have an incredible amount of love within me but I also deserve to experience the same love I am willing to give others.
Hence if you are stuck, healing, or healed from a narcissistic relationship then always remember that guilt, shame, and feelings of inferiority are all a by-product of being in a narcissistic relationship and the most amazing thing you can do for yourself is understand that the relationship was more of a reflection of who they are rather than who you are.
I feel liberated ever since I got out of the narcissistic relationship, went to therapy, and took conscious efforts to heal myself from within. I even found a happy, stable, and fulfilling relationship and I am super grateful for everything that happened because it shaped me into who I am today.
If your gut is feeling anxious or restless in a relationship and it is bringing out negatives more than positives then I urge you to listen to your gut and explore the reality the way it is rather than from what you feel it is supposed to be.
And professional help is always available for you to make sense of your feelings, clear the confusion in your head and attract the kind of love you actually want and deserve!