As we move into a New Year, we begin with a blank slate, a book of empty pages that we can choose to write whatever we want onto. Let’s choose to make the coming year a good story and a happy one (no matter what time of the year you happen to be reading this post.)
If you have come out of a toxic relationship over the previous year - congratulations. If you are still involved in an unhealthy relationship, then please understand that you do have choices.
First of all you need to accept the situation. No matter how much you may long for the return of the man you met in the beginning, you must accept fully that he doesn’t exist. The man from the beginning was his false mask, an act designed to lure you in, much like a spider builds a web to trap its prey. You cannot change this man, nor can you help him, as much as the rescuer part of your character might want to. True narcissism is a significant personality disorder and he cannot feel things or care the way that normal, healthy, emotionally balanced people do. Unfortunately the closest he comes to feeling is when he hurts other people; it somehow relieves some of his inner torment. The choice you have is to either stay, accepting him fully as he is - the good, the bad and the even worse - or decide that you are going to choose a better life for yourself and your children (if there are kids involved) and leave him.
If you choose the latter, it is not going to be easy, or at least not immediately. Chances are that you have suffered years of emotional abuse that has wrung you out completely and stripped away every fiber of your happiness and confidence. You will have all sorts of things to deal with when you finally leave (outside of any matrimonial issues to sort). Many partners of a narcissist find themselves with a huge amount of anger and grief to process, especially when you realize how long you may have lied to yourself trying to soldier on and keep things going. However the moment you decide to put yourself first and leave an abusive relationship, you take back the control over your life and every step forward is a step closer to finding yourself again – to finding your joy.
Sometimes it may feel like you will never make it back to the person you were before but as time goes on and you eventually begin to heal and recover, you realize you don’t need to. Instead you come to know and understand a better, stronger version of yourself who will never compromise herself for love, or allow anyone to treat her badly, ever again.
May this coming year be the year you have the courage to choose yourself and step forward boldly into your new future, knowing that you are leaving behind anything toxic that does not belong in your life.