A feeling of despair will sometimes overwhelm you when you think about the close bond you once shared with your ex. You can’t help but miss him. It was likely the most intense romantic connection you have ever had with another person and the thought that it was never really in the way you thought it was or wanted it to fill you with sadness.
You will have to grieve twice: once over the loss of the relationship itself, and once over the loss of your understanding of what the relationship represented.
The scope of the abuse you experienced in this relationship is difficult to describe and can be hard for others to understand or even sometimes believe if they haven’t been through it themselves. In addition, you may feel different from other people because of what you’ve gone through and it may be difficult to relate to others right now.
As a result, you may feel like you are alone with your experience with no one to talk to, or you may even feel like withdrawing from social activities altogether.
There were so many times during the course of the relationship when he twisted the things he had done back to you. You were blamed for his actions, you were gaslighted, and your angry reactions to the abuse were used as excuses for why the relationship fell apart.
You were called jealous and crazy, emotions he purposely manufactured in you. Now you may start to second-guess everything. Am I making a bigger deal out of all this than it really was? Was it as bad as I thought? Was I being unreasonable? Is he even a narcissist? Maybe he was right and it was my fault.
When he wanted to hurt you or control you, he knew just what your insecurities were and what to say to try to put you down. That verbal abuse accumulated in your head over the course of the relationship and crept into your thoughts occasionally.
In the back of your mind, you sometimes wonder if he’s right. After all, what was wrong with you that you stuck around and let someone say those things to you for so long? Maybe you really are worthless, you may begin to think.
Over time, the doubt, anxiety, shame, and sadness begin to fade and you acknowledge the magnitude of the wrongs that were done to you. You allow yourself to feel indignant over the pain and suffering you went through, how that pain and suffering were denied while you were still in the relationship, and how you have continued to suffer because of it.
You are no longer in denial about everything that happened and start to accept the relationship for what it was.
The longer you’re not in contact with a narcissist, the more his influence starts to fade. Slowly, you will begin to feel your mind clearing. The confusion about who you are without him in your life melts away as the world starts to make sense again.
The relationship also takes on a dream-like quality as you continue to process it. You know you still have a long way to go, but you feel the first glimmer of hope that you will be passed all of this someday. You will never be the same person you once were before breaking up with a narcissist, but you will be stronger knowing that you survived this relationship.