When we find ourselves in relationships with narcissists it is easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of romance, gifts, and promises of happily ever after, but once the honeymoon wanes it is an entirely different story. At first we may feel as if we have been given the world but in the end our world falls apart. How did we miss the important clues?
The first question most of my clients ask me is “how do I get beyond this.” The second question is “how can I be sure I will never do this again?”
If you are a co-dependent, people pleaser, fixer, rescuer type of personality then it is important to look for signs within yourself of a desire to rehabilitate the narcissist in your life. I get as many emails asking me “how do I fix him” as I do “how do I fix myself.” The first part of getting better is to let go of any need to “help” the other and turn your focus on yourself. Yes I am asking you to be self-ish.
What often happens in a narcissistic relationship, after the honeymoon period wanes is you will find yourself doing more, giving more, and trying to be more in order to get back to the honeymoon. If you think about it, all the narcissist has to do is invest a few months of “pouring it on thick” and then he/she gets to bleed the rest of the relationship for all its worth. It only takes those few precious months to hook you in and get you fully devoted to serving the other.
We find ourselves giving all that we have within our emotional reserves to keep that relationship alive. It is not surprising nearly everyone coming out of a relationship like this says “I feel my soul has been extracted.”
Our soul is comprised of our life-force energy, our emotional energy and when we deplete ourselves trying to give everything we have to keep our relationship alive, we drain away the lion’s share of our life-force. We forgot to ask ourselves, somewhere along the line, what is “that person” doing to keep the relationship alive? What emotional resources is he/she investing in this relationship? Who is taking the responsibility? Who is the one really putting forth the effort?
We get conditioned to respond to crumbs of love, affection and attention and rather than putting our own attention on how we are emotionally starving to death, we learn to be grateful for those few crumbs we are thrown along the way. We develop a type of emotional anorexia where we can’t see how we are starving until it is almost too late. I say almost because if you are still here, reading this, you can recover.
This is such an important topic that I have decided to make it the topic of my show this week. Let’s talk about how you can start becoming much less self-less and start really paying attention to your “self.”
Learning to put yourself and your own needs first is crucial not only for your recovery from narcissistic abuse, but also when you are really tuned in to your own needs you will be much more aware of outer attempts to extract your life-force energy.
Since most of us have been conditioned in some way, since early childhood, to be selfless, it comes very naturally to us. True self-care is a learned art and absolutely necessary for your well-being.
So please join me Tuesday at 4pm PST as we ask the question “What’s In It For Me?”