For someone who got over a difficult partner or loved ones, I feel you. Whatever you went through was not an ordinary break up nor a temporary family situation. It was a difficult road that we took to save whatever left of us. We deserve more than a pat on our back for taking care of ourselves, for putting our needs first more than anyone else. People may not understand our life's choices and see it as selfish. It's okay to be judged by others without knowing what you went through. What matters is, you are not alone in this journey. #reborn #renewed #healing
What recovery looks like? In my case, after narcissistic abuse. I've done a lot of self help research, I replayed videos, audio books, podcasts over and over again to remind myself not to go back to the old patterns. I confronted those skeletons in my closet. Those broken pieces that I'm afraid to touch, for the fear of flashbacks and going through again what hurts the most that I'll never get over it. Triggers...
When something reminds me of a painful memory, I used to make myself busy and ignore my feelings. I learned how to stop in the middle of whatever I'm doing and validate myself. When we come from an abusive partner or dysfunctional family, we lack self esteem and there's always a need to seek approval. We do things that are outside of our comfort zone in order to please them and in return to be validated by our loved ones.
As a healthy adult, we no longer need to hear from anyone that we're beautiful, we are wonderful, or amazing. You are ENOUGH.
When we have low self esteem, we have lots of insecurities and we carry them all the time, on any given circumstances.
When I was dating, I always see to it that I had to have all the qualities of a good partner, pushing myself to be someone that I'm not. On top of that, there were mind games too - that I had to fill in the blanks whatever he is feeling or thinking and labeling me for being selfish and insensitive. I felt shame all the time, thought it was my fault for not taking care of the other person's needs.
What's my life look like after narcissistic abuse? Dating is still hard for me. I'm trying to put myself out there. I get triggered by familiar situations and I always find myself putting up walls before they get to know me well, have doubts on their intentions when they shows kindness and concern.
All of my senses go up - ALERT! if I see a man showing signs that you need to take care of him or fix him, I retreat on my safety shell. Same with women, if she has too many issues of her own and thinks that she needs a man to save her from her own misery, the relationship is set to fail even before it starts. Why? There's no one who can fill us, no one can make us happy if we have unresolved issues with ourselves. We will never be satisfied even if we have loving partners who puts our needs first because we are empty inside and those loved ones around us will get tired trying to fill those holes for us.
I met my narcissist not knowing that I was codependent, a self love deficit individual, walking around and finding "true love". He showered me attention, care, sympathy - I felt all my needs were met. Then a walking on eggshells relationship turned out. I questioned myself what went wrong why the relationship turned sour? Was I even enough? Am I not putting too much effort? Do I had to change myself in order to match his personality? -- so I thought.
SELF CARE - a word that I didn't know and the only thing that I forgot what it was like to take care of myself above everything else.
If you find yourself not ready to date, not ready to see anyone, not ready to accept new people into your life.. don't force it. If society is pressuring you with the question, "why are you still single?", they never know what you went through, it's easy for them to say. It's hard to reach the point of gratefulness of my existence. I wake up every morning thanking the heavens that I am present at this very moment. I promise that I will never neglect myself again over someone or other things that are temporary, no matter what the conditions are. That I am ENOUGH.
So if you are looking to date or hoping to start a new relationship, always check with yourself first. Are you happy without rules, without conditions, no butts and ifs?
**This post is a continuation from my write up on Medium. You can find it here:
Advocate of authentic self. Lover of life. Passionate on understanding humans. Serving with a purpose, one day at a time.