Ways to Recover from a Narcissistic Relationship

There are many ways to cope with the abuse that has been done to us. Those who have been the victim of narcissistic abuse have two options. To stay a victim or to become a survivor. I chose the latter. I am only 7 months out from a nightmare with my narcissist and I still have to deal with him because we are going through a drawn out divorce battle with children, but I have been making little discoveries of what has helped me along the journey to rediscover myself and I wanted to share those with you. Please feel free to comment and add any that have helped you.

First and foremost,

Go NO CONTACT, unless you have children with one, then go as little contact as the court will allow.

Adopt a theme song. This sounds funny, but it really works. One of the joys of breaking free from my narcissist has been the rediscovery of my love of music. I had let my love of listening to music drift from me when I was with my narcissist. He robbed the joy from my life in many ways. Now, I find myself listening to upbeat music again that makes me look forward to future. My theme song is “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone. Each time I hear it I can’t help but dance.

Pick a new perfume or cologne. A scent is a powerful thing, when a person chooses an aroma it is extremely personal to their tastes, and by applying it to their body they are sending it out to the world as an extension of who they are. Everyone has a favorite perfume or cologne. But the other day, I tried something new and I couldn’t believe the effect it had on me! It did not remind me of “me with him,” it was like I put on a fragrance that was just all me, now. It instantly added a boost of confidence as if I were going through a metamorphosis and becoming something more beautiful without him.

Make a list or two or three. This list can be what you learned from your last relationship. It can be what you are looking for in the next relationship. Or it can be what you want to accomplish in you life during the next 5 years. But a list is helpful because it allows you to identify your priorities, you weaknesses, your mistakes, your strengths, your goals. Seeing your thoughts down on paper can jog your mind into making it happen.

Listen to old music that you used to listen to before you met your narcissist. This helps you to remember how you use to feel, it helps you regain strength and confidence of who you used to be. You begin to uncover who you really are, not who he or she made you into.

Take care of yourself, without guilt! Get your hair done, get that pedicure or massage. Just do something that makes you feel good about yourself. Don’t forget to eat well and try to work some exercise into your daily routine. Even if you start small, it pays big dividends in your self confidence and health.

Take a trip on you own. I am working on making this happen. Someday, I dream of going to Ireland or Scotland. I have heard that traveling by yourself is an amazing way to soul search. I don’t have the money or time to do this now, however, even just spending a day by myself without the internet or phone can be nourishing. In my case, it will have to do for now.

Read good books that interest you. It is so comforting and healing to let you mind escape the present and focus on bringing a story to life in your thoughts.

Do things that your narcissist forbid you to do when you were with him or her. In my case, that is pretty much anything.

Believe that you CAN!

Meet with old friends, or make new ones. You may be surprised at the response of old friends if you try to reach out to them. I was.

Talk to a support person, join a group or find a therapist who specializes in recovery from narcissistic abuse.

Look at old pictures of yourself before your narcissist entered the scene. You will be amazed!

I moved back to my childhood home after leaving my narcissist. I was up late one night just exploring my old bedroom. Looking under my bed, I discovered a treasure trove of who I used to be. I pulled out this wooden box filled to the brim of pictures of me with old friends, travels and adventures. I couldn’t believe at who I was looking at! I was happy, confident, fun, exciting. I forgot who I use to be. I come across a picture that I took when I was up in the sky parasailing in Jamaica. I forgot that I had even done that! I couldn’t believe how badly I disassociated with myself when I was married to my narcissist. He tried to destroy who I was and replace me with what he wanted me to be. It made me sick to think that I almost let that really happen. But now I am the warpath to win myself back!

Plant your feet, find yourself again and soon you will rise up tall and strong.  You will be surprised how beautiful you can grow.  Know that you are not alone, you can win this battle too!

How to go NO CONTACT with a Narcissist When You Have Children with One

It is a widely known rehabilitative step to go “no contact” with a narcissist partner. This means to stop all forms of communication. No phone calls, no visits, give back all gift attempts or mail, cut all ties with that person completely. It is truly the only solid way to break free from the narcissistic emotional abuse and begin on the long, twisty path to healing. I sure wish I could, but you see… I have children with my narcissist.

I have to abide by certain laws of the court, maintaining just the minimum amount of contact as possible. It is a difficult situation, definitely not for the weak and weary. However, coming out of a seven year roller coaster relationship with a narcissist, I am nothing but weak and weary. So what do I do? What does anyone do? I take it one day at a time while building up my defenses.

First, you must find a support system. I am so fortunate to have my amazing parents and my brother to look to. Also, I am so lucky to have good, true friends that were always there but on the sidelines just waiting for me to come back. I lean on them to listen to my tales of woe. Just talking and writing about it has helped me so much. I find that when I speak or write about what I have gone through, somehow it is released into the atmosphere and weights are lifted off of me. I know that I will get through this, and you will too. Daily I am unearthing shreds of hope and strength that simmer under the surface for my two beautiful children. I cannot afford to fall apart. They need me…I need me. We deserve to get through this and live a life that is good and pure and full of possibilities once again.

Second, cut as many ties with your narcissist as humanly possible while staying within the bounds of the court’s requirements. But because of the children, I cannot just change my phone number, or move away. I have a chain that still binds me to my narcissist. However, I have lengthened it as much as possible. It is ironic that when we were together and my narcissist was gone for a week at a time for his work, he would never ask to speak to the children on the phone. Even when I would try to put him on the phone with the children he would say “No, they don’t make any sense when they are put on the phone anyway.” However, now that we have left him, he INSISTS to talk to the children EVERY single day. Interesting that he never cared before, but now that he has lost his power over me, he struggles to hold onto any bit of control he can grasp. He knows that it puts a crimp in my day to have to be available to put the children on the phone. He never says anything different to them, it is always “I miss you, I want to hug and kiss you.” Same old sayings the conversations lasts about 30 seconds. Then when the children do try to speak, he just talks over the them and they get frustrated. They want to get away from him on the phone as fast as possible. It is sad and ridiculous.

Third, go through an intermediary as much as possible. Anyone who was once involved with a narcissist knows how disrupting their communications can be whether text, email or phone. So, it is greatly recommended that you use any means possible to limit these stressful interactions. One resource out there that is helpful regarding child visitation schedules is an online calendar. These are nice so that you don’t have to have gratuitous contact with your narcissist when setting up visitation. A few examples of online calendars include Custody Junction, and Our Family Wizard. In addition, it can be used as a tool to help keep track of your narcissists actions and in-actions.

Fourth, stop caring about what the narcissist says. Easier said than done, I know. But now that I am equipped with knowledge of how a narcissist operates, I am much more resilient to his disparaging comments. I don’t play into his petty, pathetic hands anymore. If he gets out of line when calling to talk to the children, I just say something cryptic like “I am not going to hear this, this doesn’t concern the children” and I hang up the phone. It is actually quite liberating!

In a nutshell, going no contact with your narcissist is not a luxury afforded to those who have children with one. However, there are numerous ways to limit that contact by elongating that chain that binds us to them. With a few changes, a cast iron spirit and a strong support system, facing our future free of emotional abuse is a beautiful prospect. There is light at the end of the tunnel.