After you have gone through the painful trauma of narcissistic abuse you are vulnerable, fragile and heartbroken. It is easy to reach for an addiction or a new relationship to distract you from the pain. If you meet someone of the opposite sex who seems understanding it may feel like a breath of fresh air after being devalued and discarded. We crave positive attention, affection and comfort.
True recovery; however, involves finding the courage within yourself to face the dragon on your own. This doesn’t mean you don’t reach out for support from others who understand or those who can offer professional guidance. What it means is that you make a commitment to yourself to stay out of intimate relationships until such a time where you feel truly healed from the abusive one.
In my line of work I have seen far too many people go from the frying pan into the fire. I’ve had clients who initially come to me with the deep wound of narcissistic abuse who disappear as quickly as they come, right into another relationship. The new person in their lives may appear to be everything the ex wasn’t. But within months the client is back with a new wound; another heartbreak.
We can never completely avoid heartbreak. It is a part of life, but we are so much more vulnerable when we are coming out of a deeply traumatic relationship. We are vulnerable to love bombing and other predatory behavior. Those who have had one narcissistic relationship after the other will tell you there just wasn’t enough time in between relationships or they interrupted the healing process in lieu of comfort.
The healing process is uncomfortable. It is painful. We all crave escape from it. But our true strength is not found in escape. It is found in learning to be with our pain and use it to propel us to the next stage of our personal evolution.
How much time is enough time? Well there is no time limit for healing. It is a deeply personal journey and only you can make that call. Only you know when you are feeling strong and ready to enter the world of dating that comes from a deeper trust in yourself resulting in a greater ability to trust the right person.
We often must kiss a lot of toads before we meet our prince or princess. But even the prince will have a few warts. Nobody is perfect! And if you are seeking perfection you are likely to find it in the narcissistic facade. Unfortunately that facade will crumble and our carriage will turn back into a pumpkin but it will run over us first.
One thing many people recovering from narcissistic abuse don’t understand is that you bring with you your own lack of trust, your own fears of abandonment and rejection, and your fears of unworthiness. These are the demons you must learn to confront on your own. If you don’t you will likely unconsciously project them onto the next relationship and even if you haven’t attracted another narcissist you may believe you have. If you haven’t learned to trust and value yourself you will be deeply sensitive to any sign of invalidation, rejection, abandonment and so on.
When you can take the Hero’s journey through the dark abyss of your own soul, then you will emerge a Hero. When you are willing to go through the process of metamorphosis you will emerge a butterfly. If you interrupt that process out of fear, loneliness or desperation you will find you get stuck between the worlds; the old world and the new one. You cheat yourself of your higher destiny; which is to become that Hero in your own life; the one you can trust and rely on to face any challenge life puts in your path.
The journey of recovery is not for the weak of heart. We must call upon all of our hearts strength to persevere and rise above temptation. We must learn to “say no” to the temptations of going back to the life we have outgrown and we must “say no” to any new temptation that would interrupt our process of full recovery.
This can be one of the most empowering and rewarding journey’s you will ever take. Embrace it fully and with appropriate support and you will find within you someone you can truly love and be proud of. Once you reach this level, you can attract a new mate from this higher frequency and have a much deeper, more loving, nurturing and empowering relationship.