“This kitty cat lost her mind
Been lookin’ for a star-sent sign that I’ll be alright
Look to the skies”
—”Rainbows” by Kesha
It’s been a year since I started this blog. At the time, I wanted to show everyone that there’s life after narcissistic abuse; that you can move on, be happy, love again. While life was still very hard then, I was sure I’d pull though and make it out from under the narcissistic storm. Sometimes I feel like I’m making great progress along that path. Sometimes I feel that I live in purgatory, constantly paying for the sin of being conned by a narcissist fifteen years ago.
On the good days I feel like a city that was razed by fire, but is being rebuilt. There is very little left of my old self on the outside, but the foundations, the bones, of who I am are still there. Those foundations are in the same place they’ve always been, there are marks of all the living that happened in the city before the fire came. Some of the pipes and sewers and curbs, those sub level infrastructures, are broken and need to be repaired before the city is rebuilt. Some parts are just fine.
In this leveled state, I can choose out new building blocks. The city doesn’t have to look the same. I can find new materials for the walls, new plots for gardens, designate new uses for the remaining infrastructure. I don’t have to conform to any of my preconceived notions of what a city looks like. I just have to figure out what I like.
Figuring out what I like and not absorbing the preferences of others has been the hardest part. I’ve found a connection with my body through aerial yoga. I’ve found new music to enjoy, new television shows, new foods. There are several new artistic expressions in my repertoire. I’ve lost 43 lbs by finding new respect for my health. These are obviously good things.
They are also scary things. Trying new things and, my most recent endeavor, making new friends, is scary at 35. It’s been a long time since I did something new and alone. I don’t know what I’m doing and often feel very insecure, but I just keep going and showing up.
The bad days have different degrees of difficulty. During the best of these, I’m standing on the edge of the narcissist’s storm, buffeted by the wind of his total lack of consideration for others. Plans get canceled or changed at the last minute. Decisions are delayed. Things get put on my credit card because he’s missed the deadline to reimburse child related expenses. While these things aren’t ideal, I can live with them without much additional stress.
On the worst days I feel like I’ll never be loved. I’ll never find a partner. I will aways be alone. I will always be fighting battles against him. My anxiety is hard to control on those days. Sometimes I have panic attacks. I hide from my children and cry. I don’t always know the trigger, but it goes back to a foundation that has been scarred by repeatedly internalizing messages of “You’re not good enough” and “This is all your fault.”, phrases that are the hallmark of narcissistic abuse.
I have moved on. Sometimes I’m even happy. The love thing, though, I’m still not so sure about that.