Ending a relationship with somebody with narcissistic traits is one of the bravest things you could ever do. These toxic individuals often leave you confused in the relationship—hooked onto the sporadic displays of love and affection and struggling to redeem yourself in their eyes throughout their periods of indifference.
Leaving them is likely to leave you with a lot of hurt and confusion that can be difficult to handle, especially when many others around are unlikely to understand the depth of the pain you’re undergoing. Abuse is deeply traumatizing, and healing can be especially difficult. Here are some tips to help you start the process of recovery:
Acknowledge the abuse
Recognizing your experience with abuse is the very first step towards healing. You might find it difficult to accept your loved one’s behavior and intentions towards you in the middle and may often find yourself making excuses for them. You might even be willing to take the blame yourself to not have to face the pain of admitting that someone you loved could hurt you to this extent on purpose. Educate yourself about narcissistic behavior and identify the tactics that narcissists use to make it easier to understand your experience.
Set clear boundaries
It’s important for your mental health to cut off all contact with the narcissist after ending the relationship. You might find it extremely difficult to go 0-contact when you’re addicted to their presence, and it’s normal to feel tempted to let them back into your life. Block their number, deactivate your social media, do whatever you must to keep them out of your life until you’ve healed.
If going no contact is not a choice, set a clear boundary that you will leave if they get abusive, and restrict your communication to a platform you don’t use for anything else.
Once you understand that your relationship definitely was abusive, you might be left with a well of self-criticism. Remember that no one deserves abuse, and the way they acted wasn’t your fault whatsoever. Forgive yourself for falling for their manipulations instead of judging yourself for letting it happen at all.
Understand that your feelings might stick around
Love is a difficult emotion, and you can’t really control it. It’s not always possible to stop loving someone even if they hurt you, and you might find yourself holding on to positive memories with that person, wishing that you could experience them again. Recognize that it’s not essential to your healing process to stop loving them; you can recognize their bad behavior for what it is and still continue to love them from a distance.
Get individual counseling services in New Jersey
Our licensed mental health counselor at Stem Wellness can help you get through this tough time. We understand how difficult it can be to regain your sense of self and return to your normal life after a harrowing experience like this. We can help you reclaim your self-esteem and rebuild your trust in yourself and the people around you.
Contact us to book an appointment today.