I am so far removed from the state I was in, and had been in for so long. I could/can feel progress but how tangible is that progress? It’s hard to find at times. It really started almost a year ago when I saw her in that restaurant not the first time with him but the second. It was my last check. Is she? Isn’t she?… a narcissist. Well when she acted like nothing ever happened it was all the confirmation I needed and I resisted an urge to pay favor.
As a matter of fact I yelled at her. Her fuel and reaction be damned. Sort of proud of that Matt. He was a mess. Still in love… maybe, trauma bonded definitely. I don’t think I realized how difficult that day was until after reading the countless posts, reddit’s, quora’s, videos of people telling their stories. They were in their 5th, 10th, 15th year of cycle after cycle. The constant love bombing, devalue, discard, and subsequent hoovers and faster narcissistic victim cycles.
How do I know I am better? I am far more impacted by my current relationships than my former. I have re-established a bond with my sister. I think about my kids all the time. I try to foster my friendships. I am learning lessons here about life and applying my wisdom from what has happened.
Hailey does not stop being around in one way or another. Darcey and I were out one night and had someone mention her by name at this event. We were both like wtf. It turned into me telling this person my story. Somewhat dispassionately. I just explained the story in a factual way. Her jaw dropped.
What was funny was that Darcey couldn’t resist. She called her a dumpster fire amongst a few other things. Which is funny and true but we had to ask this woman not to share any of it. Just because she could always hurt my family.
Narcissistic rage is no joke. They feel no consequences simply because they don’t care. The only leverage is their ego. She doesn’t want to be the whore of the town. Although I am not sure that train hasn’t left the station. But who cares she’s earned whatever someone says about her. Just as long as my family isn’t dragged into her story.
What prompted me to write a post? Well I miss my readers and the community. I also wanted to let you know I am very good. But I also have been spending sometime that I spent blogging responding to victims helping them out with my knowledge. It’s not easy to compile all this information to understand what it is they go through. What it is they need to do and what are the patterns they will see. I am stunned by so many that can’t seemingly get away.
It’s hard you try to help without knowing every aspect of who they are. I have read and watched a ton of content. But not everyone is going to consume information like I do. I wish there was a simplified version to explain an introductory version if you will… Like Narc victim 101. I would refer people to the narcsite. But you have to do a great deal of piecing it all together.
Then I came across this video by Dr. Ramani. It’s like a greatest hits, it focuses less on the Narcissist as much as on the victim. It also made me feel validated. Everything I spoke about before seems true. Because I felt it and was able to tie it to something. But also because this person who has spent decades with victims has also said it.
She describes healing, what you should do, and what the narc abuse cycle looks like and how it impacts victims. It is just a natural conversation but touches on so many of the experiences in a high level but comprehensive way. It mentions about living well as a form of healing and sticking it to them. This is a form of healing getting your best version and self respect back.
She provides analogies of being careful talking to a victim and invalidating or rushing the healing. She says “if someone is punched in the face, you don’t say well why did you put your face in front of their fist.”
Additionally as a victim you aren’t accountable. Healing is understanding what happened, allowing time, continuing to resist. Because your narc dealer will come around again for one more hit. Mine did for over a year. There is no action for the victim to take other than gradually shift their focus from that relationship to themselves and learning the lessons. It’s about “taking yourself back” as Dr. Ramani so profoundly put it.
I had started that process so long ago. And it doesn’t happen overnight, it happens in gradual increments. Think of it as a percentage increase and sometimes there are setbacks. I am probably in the high 80’s to 90’s where I still think about it but in terms of past tense and learning and growing. But I am more inwardly focused. What am I doing next, what am I looking forward to what I am concerned about? Not so much as what happened? All the manipulation and machinations are sort of figured out and the reasoning behind it has been identified. There is not much left to reconcile in my heart and head.
If I am speaking to someone about what happened it blows their minds sometimes. It’s difficult to comprehend in its entirety. Nearly impossible to see “why” without having experienced it so I don’t expect those that haven’t to understand the horror of the highs and lows, and the recovery from that trauma.
But this probably begs the question what is left to recover from. Well there are the triggers and trust of future relationships. Getting fully back to my open minded open hearted self. That is what is left. Is making myself capable of opening up those things for future relationships. Trusting people and most of all trusting myself. Not that I will never attract a Narc again. But knowing what I know and applying it in the future.
This all seems like a simple concept. But the part that is not in there is it happens at it’s own pace. I don’t think there is much for a victim to control other than the trajectory. Resisting the trauma bond, finding yourself again, and applying what you have learned. That last little bit is so Yoda I want to rephrase. “Learn you will, apply you must.” Hope everyone is well.