How to let yourself love again after surviving a toxic relationship with a Narcissist.

Once I finally figured out that the man I was married to was in fact a full fledged narcissist, it made it easier to comprehend his mistreatment of me. However, it was still very difficult to endure. For years I thought that I was the problem, because narcissists shirk responsibility by placing all blame on the other partner. However, his emotional disorder was the thorn in our marriage. No amount of love will flip a narcissist. And a narcissist cannot love anyone because they are incapable and lack the emotional key.

So after you emerge from a toxic relationship with a narcissist and are starting over, the dilemma becomes one of trust. First, how can you ever learn to trust another human being with your heart again after what happened to you? Second, how can you even begin to trust yourself and your own judgement after making such a blunder? The key to figuring this out is to understand what the signs of NPD are, what attracts the narcissists to you and how you feel about your own self worth.

I was terrified to attempt dating after my marriage ended. I waited nine months before I went out with someone, who happened to be another narcissist! Only this time, I saw the red flags on the first date and listened to my gut. I am glad I got away from that impending disaster well before I could suffer any damage. After that, I decided I was done because I was apparently attracting narcissists like flies.  I became forced to take an honest look at myself to try to pinpoint what it was about me that was reeling them in. 

I am very open, always have been, evidenced by my blog and you will see pretty much everything is on the table.  Also, I am too nice and I have strong sense of empathy.  All these are good, when offered to the right people but severely damaging when offered to potential predators. Once I realized that my traits were working against me when dealing with people I just met, I exercised more caution and I decided that I was better off on my own and I just focused on what would fulfill me. 

That decision turned out to be the best decision I could have made, besides the decision to leave my narcissist. By being honest with myself and asking what would make me happy, I set into motion the wheels that would take me to where I am today. I am in such a better and contented place. I always focused on my children, but then I began to put focus on myself. I started to build confidence, character and determination to make my own happiness. Beautiful experiences happened to me after I broke away from my narcissist. I realized that I became stronger because of the struggle I suffered through.

I am now grateful each and every day when I wake up free from that monster. I learned that I did not need anyone to be happy, to feel fulfilled. I figured out who I was again, I found me, and I loved being me! I thrived with my time alone. However, it wasn’t until after I began to love who I was again and I quit looking, that real, mutual love rolled me over like a freight train!

What is “Narcissistic Supply” anyway?

After taking a lengthy respite from writing about my experiences with my narcissist, I am now diving headfirst back into the murky waters. Looking through my old posts, I just realized I never wrote an article solely about narcissistic supply. I am glad you are wondering what this common phrase encompasses, because it is essential to understand what it means and what role it plays to the narcissist. It is quite simple but complex at the same time.

As I described in a previous blog post, due to the very nature of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, the narcissist must at all times be in a state of idolization. They achieve this delicate state by absorbing other people’s emotional reactions to what the narcissist either says or does. Narcissistic supply is fundamentally these very emotional responses and feedback the victim gives the narcissist during and oftentimes after their toxic relationship ends.

Supply can be either positive or negative, it does not matter in what form it takes, as long as it is provided. The “supply” is the narcissist’s drug and if they miss a dose, they will go to great lengths to unearth some. Narcissists need a constant stream of narcissistic supply in order to function and boost their insecurity and feelings of ultimate control over other people. Without their supply, the narcissist goes into crisis mode and their whole world shuts down. They are incomplete.

The reason the narcissist needs this form of supply is because narcissists are missing the empathy component. They do not have the ability to really care about another human being’s wants and needs, therefore they are incapable of truly loving anyone other than themselves. The narcissist only cares about what he or she wants and needs. Because they have no ability to have authentic emotional responses, they feed on the emotional responses of others. This strangely resembles the Death Eaters in Harry Potter that sucks the life out of their victims.

If the response is positive, the narcissist soaks it up and revels in the praise and adoration from others. However, if the response is negative, the narcissist still rolls around in it deriving sick pleasure because they see that their actions or words are negatively affecting others. As a result of inflicting torment, the narcissist witnesses his control of those around him. This power goes straight to their ego and they thrive on it, as sick as it sounds. So when you retaliate against a narcissist, you may feel good that you got a jab in at them.  However, to the narcissist, you are feeding them the supply that they crave.  They are not hurt, to the contrary, they love seeing you so upset that you say or do something that they can take and twist and use against you. “See, look at yourself!  You are acting crazy!” In turn, it validates them.

There you have it, narcissist supply is a hell of a drug. Deprive them of it at all costs and they will be quicker to slink away and leave you alone.

 

Rollercoaster Relationship with a Narcissist.

A few months ago, I woke up from a dream that seemed so real it made me dizzy.  I always have taken my dreams with a grain of salt.  In the past, I have met people with skepticism when they discussed their dreams somehow giving insight to what was going on in their lives.  Well, I have learned many lessons these past two years and feel that a deeper understanding of what is going on in your life can absolutely manifest in your dreams from time to time.

In my dream, I was stuck in the back car of a roller coaster and my Narcissist ex husband was in the front car with the kids and no matter what I did, I could not get to them.  That dream so completely summed up my relationship over the past 7 years with him.

In a relationship with a narcissist, there are extreme highs and extreme lows. They put you on the pedistal and toss you down into the pit, as I have described in a previous blog. When things were good, they were great, and when he was displeased over one thing or another, (no matter how trivial) things were horrible.

Now that I have broken away from my narcissist, life is inconcieveably better. The best thing I have ever done was to leave him.  I have a job I love, my kids enjoy their school and I finally finished building my dream house!  And just then, wouldn’t you know it…when I was happy to be on my way, on my own… I stumbled upon meeting a good, honest, and intelligent man who loves and respects me and my family.  And I met him only 2.3 miles from my new home as matter of fact!  It is funny because I swore off internet dating, as that was how I met my ex narcissist 8 years ago.  Since I entered the dating scene, I vowed that if I was ever to date anyone in the future, I would have to meet him face to face purely by introduction or by accident.

Eventhough I have been guarded since leaving my rollercoaster of a relationship, I have had two years to reflect on who I am and what it is that I want.  I now have the confidence in myself to trust my gut again. I am determined not to make the same mistakes in future relationships.

That is something that toxic relationships with narcissists do, they rob you of your joy, your confidence and your ability to trust and love others by shattering who you are. Whereas, a healthy relationship is meant to build you up, not break you down.

I am enjoying where this relationship is taking us.  It feels incredibally rewarding to trust and love again. He gives me space, but makes room in his life for me and treats me like I had always hoped for.  It is funny how something as simple as being listened to when you talk can make you feel so loved. He always makes time to talk to me about my day, and he actually seems genuinely interested in what I have to say. I no longer feel like my thoughts and opinions don’t matter.  I am loving every day of our journey together and haven’t seen one red flag yet and it has been 6 months.

I see what my narcissist is doing in his relationship since I left him. He is up to the same old tricks.  My ex narc had only been alone one month before he snagged his next victim. Irena is a 26 year old Ukrainian”au pair.” He got her pregnant after three months and they are aleady pregnant with baby #2, and it has not even been a full two years since she landed on US soil. I see how he drives at least 300 miles every other weekend and has moved another 3 times since I left and plans road trips and plane flights on a whim, dragging her and the baby along. I vividly remember how exhausting it was trying to keep up with him when he was on one of his roaming tangents.

I am so greatful that I jumped off of that rollercoaster, that is one ride that I will never board again.