You’ve found this post. So I’m guessing you are doing “the search?”
You know…the search through every possible piece of information to confirm (which you are trying to desperately deny) that the relationship you are in is toxic.
This is the confirmation post, written especially for you, by someone just like you.
Let me tell you a story. Humour me and read till the end?
He was tall and charming as f*ck. I was enchanted by his seemingly acute eye for detail. He was smart. Like really smart. Smarter than me, and that was hot.
Our first date was at a waterfront café. He didn’t have enough money to pay for the meal. Red flag? Yup.
I ignored it and continued. He waited. Sex wasn’t a “priority.” The beauty was found in all my “flaws.” I was built up regularly, and yet, he seemed to be just out of reach. He fell in love with me on day three, and “I love you” slid right out during a moment of closeness.
He missed my birthday. I broke up with him. He traveled to apologise and took an entire weekend making it up to me.
Sometimes, he was wholly available when it was important. Other times, he dragged his feet.
I felt like I was constantly guessing, constantly pushing, working for this beautiful relationship with this exceptional man. I fell. Hard.
The sex was incredible. I felt like a stunning goddess. I pleased him. He pleased me. Sex became the glue.
If there were parts of me questioning “Why he said that?” or “Why doesn’t he seem as committed sometimes?” our coupling would blow the doubts out of my brain until the next afternoon when sinking nausea returned.
His ex was “crazy, selfish, and unkind.” I remember a moment when I sided with her. I was concerned that perhaps she had a reason for this behavior.
I cried more tears for this one-year relationship more than I have in all others. The pain was a deep, soulful ache. I knew I needed to leave. My friends couldn’t stand him. My family eventually despised him. I willingly gave up my loved ones for him.
The second birthday was missed. We broke up. I left. He stalked me. I went back only to find the same issues each time.
I did the search. My stomach heaved as I read it over and over—the traits of a narcissist.
My grief fueled the bargaining I did with God, hoping to find a way to heal the relationship or, at least, find a way to survive what was to come next. Leaving was easy, but no contact was the hardest part.
We can read article after article. They will tell us about the same traits, and we will find ourselves relating to the same painful stories.
The truth, though, sweet human, is this:
There’s a reason you are here reading this.
You already know the truth in your heart.
When you finally leave, block their number. Delete their contact details. Take one day at a time. An hour if you need to.
Recovery is hard. It takes years and, sometimes, a revisit to the sh*t storm this person had placed you in.
The most painful part is the realisation of how little you valued yourself in all of this. How you took for granted the people in your life who held real value.
I’m here to remind you that almost everyone struggles with addiction—a bond of some sort. Maybe drugs, alcohol, trauma, adrenaline, sugar, television, or exercise.
To recover fully, you need to become the coach you would be for a friend who’s struggling.
Offer yourself regular encouragement.
Plan and stick to short to-do lists.
Do the activities that make you feel proud of yourself.
Celebrate small wins. “I got up before 10 today. I went to work today.”
Even if it’s one small thing, do that.
Exercise. Walk, run, swim, scream underwater, dance. Move your body. It will inevitably save you.
Drink water. Take a multivitamin.
Know that you’re not alone in this. You can survive this. It’s just a long uphill battle.
It’s not your fault. You’re not defective. The narcissist goes for the brightest, sweetest, most promising fruits.
From my heart to yours, my wish is that this brings you hope. You are worthy of loving and kindness. It starts with you—be loving and kind to you. Especially when you don’t feel like you deserve it.