I receive many letters from women about meeting men, going on a few casual dates and soon finding themselves falling for someone who does not fit the image of the charming person they thought they had met.
Such relationships can range in length from a few weeks to few years. The devastation they cause in their wake is nothing short of astounding.
The pattern is always the same: a period of idealization followed by isolation, gradual devaluation and ending with either a discard by the narcissist or the target leaving, though not without struggling with a pain few can understand.
Dear Abused Woman:
I feel your pain. It’s like coming face to face with death while your heart’s still beating. It may be the hardest thing you will ever face, but in the end, it will liberate you. There is a power deep within you that’s been waiting to be unleashed. A truth that’s been calling your name. This is your time.
Even though it may scare you, your reaction to what had happened is right. The things he did and said to you were alarming for a reason. This was abuse — sometimes overt, sometimes subtle. Sometimes clear, at other times disguised. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t have searched for answers. Your intuition knew. You don’t have to doubt yourself anymore.
You are right to realize that you can never have a trusting bond with someone who chronically lies. It’s impossible. That’s why it hurts. But the most precious form of trust is the one you have with yourself. It’s about being in tune with how you feel and listening to that little voice inside. That’s the beginning of healing. It’s okay. You can trust yourself.
Whether you classify him as a narcissist or a psychopath, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that this experience has shaken you to your core. His ruthless, calculated tactics, his dismissiveness of your feelings and blaming it all on you are a part of a sick game you can now opt out of. You have that right. You are inherently free.
You’ve been caught in an emotional, addictive maelstrom with passionate highs and frigid lows. You know what it’s like to feel completely loved one minute only to be rejected the next. But this bond you have with him is not a safe bond. It’s trauma bond and it can be excruciatingly difficult to break. What happened was not your fault and had nothing to do with your intelligence. You were conned, tricked and emotionally manipulated. You can forgive yourself.
Having encountered evil in human skin and survived, you’ve been through the hardest school of life. You slew the dragon. You graduated. And as long as you refuse to be lured again and ignore that small voice within that knows the truth, the lessons are forever yours.
It is time for you to speak your mind. It is time to share your story. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Millions of women suffer every day. By giving your voice to the movement, by saying NO to abuse, you help us end this silent, global epidemic.
What comes next is your healing and rest. What comes next is cultivating self-compassion, returning to your center and slowly beginning to dream again. It’s time to let go of false hope and shift your focus to caring for and celebrating YOU.
The pain will fade, the bruises will heal and a new future will dawn. It always does. Stay on track, ask for help. A brighter future beckons. Remember — you are not alone.
If you are suffering from the shock of being subjected to narcissistic abuse, have a look into my FREE three-step SOS program available on my website.