It’s not easy having to pick up the broken pieces someone left. You feel shattered and every time you try to mend things, you only end up cutting a deeper wound.
Having to mention that person is never easy, but even if you don’t, somehow they’re always at the back of your mind. It seems like you can never entirely let go of the thought of them.
What’s unfortunate is that they somehow represent your past and the person you’ve become. Healing is easier said than done, but we know it’s a must.
It feels as if no one can really understand the way we feel after narcissistic abuse. I can’t even begin to explain that feeling – the state I found myself in.
On the other hand, there’s that feeling of freedom present as well. It’s just buried somewhere deep beneath all of the trauma I’ve experienced these past couple of years.
When you’re under the pressure and control of a narcissist, minutes can feel like years. You’re always dreading the next time they’ll show their true face and hurt you yet again.
It took me a couple of tries to wriggle myself out of that post-abuse state of mind I was in. For a moment, I thought I was experiencing Stockholm syndrome and that’s when I became scared for myself.
Fortunately, I merely managed to get out of the jaws of a monster that had been holding my mind hostage for so long. And I can’t afford to go back there, ever.
The trauma almost completely ruined me and I can’t imagine what would it be like if it was to happen again. However, the focus word here is “almost.” There’s still that glimmer of hope left somewhere in the back of my mind that’s urging me to go forward.
Oh, the number of emotions I’ve felt from the moment I realized I was finally free from those chains. It took me a while before it dawned upon me that I was finally free.
Up until that very moment, life as a whole was a burden to me. But now, I feel like I can really make things work and start from scratch once again.
You just really have to learn how to love yourself after narcissistic abuse. It’s not easy but no one said it would be either. It’s the start of your personal road to recovery.
1. Accept the past and embrace the future
The sooner you make peace with what happened, the sooner you will forgive yourself. I know it takes a lot of courage to do this, but it’s an inevitable must.
It’s one of the first steps you need to take on your healing journey. Ignoring the past won’t help you heal. That way you’re only sweeping things under the rug.
This won’t bring you any good. Quite the contrary, you’ll end up with a big pile of rubbish that will have to come out sooner or later.
One way or another, you’ll be forced to acknowledge what’s taken place and you’ll have to remember all the horrible things you’ve gone through.
Therefore, it’s a lot easier if you just take a quick glance at everything that’s happened recently. If you reconcile at the right time, there won’t be a need to rehash it all in the future.
Speaking of the future, it might look a bit wobbly to you after all the narcissistic abuse. You’re new to this world that’s free of victimization and free from the chains of that awful person.
You’re not really sure what you should look forward to, what things you have to seek in life. It’s okay; take your time to understand yourself first.
Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to step into the adventures life holds for you. You won’t know what awaits you if you never even try.
2. Trust and rely on yourself
This is something that you’re completely not used to. It’s one of the narcissist’s remarkable traits that made you so unsure of your words and actions.
It’s something called gaslighting, where an abuser twists their victim’s image of reality. They do that in order to instill confusion and self-doubt.
As a consequence, you start depending on the narcissist for further support and approval. This way, they’re derailing you from your everyday life and the people you love the most.
However, that was all in the past. You’re here now, safe and sound, away from that narcissism. Life after narcissistic abuse is hard, and it’s even harder when you have to start all over again.
The way to learn to love yourself is to begin to trust yourself. There’s no one who can knock down your confidence ever again.
Make sure you’re aware of the fact that you’re the only person you can fully trust now. It’s not an easy journey, but it’s bound to help you heal properly and get back on your feet.
3. Give yourself time
Speaking as someone who’s recently been through narcissistic abuse, you shouldn’t force yourself into things. I know some people say that it’s the best strategy to help you get going.
However, if you need a little time and space for yourself and your thoughts, it’s fine. There’s nothing wrong in wanting that and it’s not too much to ask for.
You simply need time to soak it all in and process it. Once the realization hits you that you’ve freed yourself from narcissistic abuse, it’ll take some time to swallow.
It’s just that you’re so used to being mistreated and offended constantly that you need time to adapt to this new regime.
You know how they say, time heals all wounds. Well, you should allow yourself enough time to heal from this. If you try to rush things, it won’t bring you any good.
Learning to love yourself all over again is like riding a bike. You haven’t done that for a really long time, but deep down you’re sure you can. Maybe you just need a little push and off you go.