After a long hunt, I finally found a new therapist. We meet once a week. We meet through a secure video chat during this COVID crisis. She’s very results-oriented, compared to my previous therapist in Alaska, who really was more focused on listening, holding space for my pain and validating my worthiness, which really, was exactly what I needed.
Now, we’re focused on moving past the trauma from X. We set goals. She gives me stuff to read. I wasn’t ready for this before. I am now.
Last week she gave me an article to read about the stages a relationship with a narcissist goes through. While not exact, they can be some-what predictable. I’ve wondered about whether or not X was a narcissist. I’ve struggled with this label. My previous therapist said, while she couldn’t give him that label, there is a spectrum of narcissistic behavior and he definitely fell on it. Still, I resisted. A childhood friend shared that she thought he fell in that category. Still, I resisted. But I read this article. It basically told the story of our marriage. And while the stages at the end happened in slightly different order for me, they all happened.
It says, “Once the relationship has ended, the narcissist will move on as if nothing happened. They won’t even remember what it was like to experience the love and care of [their partner].” I’ve known this to be true from the beginning. Even when well meaning friends and family would say, “He’ll realize what he lost, ” I knew he wouldn’t.
Then the article says, “The narcissist will move on and find another victim to fill their needs.” And just like that, a massive weight was lifted.
I don’t know why, this time around, it makes complete sense to me. Perhaps this is the shedding of lies and the confusion of subtle manipulations finally dissipating. But I feel free. I truly feel in my gut that this wasn’t about me. I truly see that he is just very, very broken. I finally feel separate from it all.
I’ve had so many revelations repeat themselves throughout this healing process, I know it’s possible that this might not be “the end.” But I have never felt such a strong shift, a shift that has lasted at least a week! I really do feel detached. It’s so good.
I’ll keep working with my therapist. We’re going to look for the red flags that I missed, so I can be aware moving forward. We’re going to spend a lot of time on building me. I’m ready to move on with my life.
Therapy is good. If you’re stuck, be brave. Reach out and get help. It helps.