I was so deep into depression I knew I had to start doing what ever I could to claw my way out before it got to a point of no return. It’s detrimental to your self esteem when you are so wrong about something you thought was so right. SO right, that you would have put your life on the line for it. When you’re THAT wrong, You start to question every decision you make.
I just retreated into myself and tried to stay in my own bubble and work on that. I did what ever I could to make the Narc happy and to win back his admiration.
He convinced me I was projecting my issues and insecurities from my past onto our relationship. Even though I was sure I worked through my issues of past relationships that had infidelity, I agreed this could be a possibility bc I also suffered from abandentment issues dating back to infancy.
Ultimate journey Christian classes:
I took a class at a local church that dives deep into things like that (from your past) and uses techniques through the bible to help you work your way through them. I knew I needed this class and planned to take it before I met the Narc. It was a hard and an emotional experience but it definitely helped me heal a ton with things I’ve been through in my past (l highly recommend this). The Narc acted very supportive at first but weeks in he became upset bc he couldn’t see why I couldn’t just talk to him about all of this and had to go to strangers to talk to (but anytime I tried to I was shut down bc I was being too negative). He was conceived they were going to tell me to leave him.
Reading and researching:
I grew up with a mom who was manic and bi-polar. So I’ve always been curious about mental health and how certain disorders develop in people. I Understand some is due to a chemical imbalance, some is developed through experiences and your upbringing, and some are just situational. I knew I want a depressed negative person – so I knew mine was situational. I just had to figure out how and why I was depressed and change it. I would read self help books and articles. I’d listen to podcasts, audibles, Ted talks, you name it – gimme gimme GIMME!!! Give me ideas on how to get out of this. I read anything I could that had to do with depression or being a more positive happy person.
I’m a writer. Writing has been my outlet since before I can remember. At this point in my life I wasn’t writing. Back in 2009 I was writing a book about my mom’s life. I was about 40% away from where I wanted to be to compete it. Which that was huge to me. Everything I had on it was taken during a home invasion while living in Germany. I was so devastated that I lost all my work that I haven’t been able to ever write like I used to (believe me, I tried). But I forced myself to start journaling. I also started keeping track of everything. I have lists upon lists of things I’ve done, reasons I fell for him (I don’t think one thing still held true to who he was at the end), things I do for him, things I’ve bought him, and a break down of where my time, energy, and money went. I had to know if I really wasn’t going all in (like he claimed) bc if I could do more then I would. Everything I did was for him more than being for “us”. One of the best things that came out of him is I was so depressed I forced myself to start writing again and now look at me.. 😂🙌.
Praying my way through:
I started praying. I prayed all the time. I prayed anytime I had a negative thought. I prayed before bed and first thing when I woke up. I prayed while cleaning. I prayed while driving. I would just talk to God – asking, begging, pleading for him to show me what I’m supposed to do. Was I supposed to stay or leave. Once I knew I had to leave, I couldn’t. My mind and heart were all in. I had given up so much for this relationship. It was supposed to be IT. I tried to leave but couldn’t. I got guilted or tricked back in. I wanted him to love me like I loved him and he was good at acting like he wanted that to. So I prayed… I prayed and prayed and prayed some more. I prayed for God to show me the Narc’s truth over and over again. And he did.
I’m gonna go “hippie” on you for a sec:
I am an introvert and I recharge by being alone. Certain tasks or people can be a lot more draining than others. Once I realized he might be a narcissist, I considered the idea that the reason I felt I had no energy and was depressed was bc he was draining me and I could feel his negative energy.
I got into yoga, meditating and prayer. This helped A LOT. It helped calm my nerve pain that I get anytime my anxiety/blood pressure raises. If I’m somewhere I can’t do yoga, I can do breathing excercises and prayer which will bring the pain level down. Yoga helped with the insomnia caused by my depression.
Yoga recharged me faster then just sitting around by myself, when I was drained.
**end hippie rant.
And bonus, it will get you tone!
Letting it out in tears:
I was the type to hold on my tears, so I decided to let it all out. I cried. I cried a lot. I cried myself to sleep (Sometimes while he laid and fell asleep peacefully next to me), I cried in the shower, I cried while driving in my car. I would listen to music and cry. I would pray and cry. I couldn’t believe my life had gotten as low as it was when I was just the happiest I had ever been. I traced memories back to the beginning wondering where it went wrong. I did play by plays of everything. What did I do that made him not look at me like he used to. Or was it even ever real?
I started reaching out to people trying to figure out if I was crazy. At first I stayed in a small circle of people I trusted and knew the Narc but new him enough to still love him no matter what I said (When is YOUR friends and family, they can be more biased toward you and could end up hating him). I needed someone who could be honest with me. If I was the problem, I needed to know. Luckily I had a few good friends who have been through this before. They helped me see through the lies and tactics used that kept questioning myself. They were patient with me and wouldn’t belittle my decisions/reasons to stay. They listened and gave advice where needed. They shared their stories and lessons learned. It was therapeutic and healing to know I wasn’t alone and I wasn’t crazy.
Therapy is like going to the gym for your brain:
I started counseling. I lucked out bc finding a good therapist can be a daunting task and a lot of people will give up before they find a good fit- I had a friend who knew a great therapist so I took her referral and never looked back. I have never been against counseling but I had done so much research on the subject that I thought I had enough information to “fix” myself. I’ve pulled myself out of depressions before. But this was much worse than I had ever experienced before. I was up to try anything at this point. If I was destroying my relationship, I was gonna do what ever it took to fix it. I went in trying to figure out why I was so irrational and demanding. Why is it, that no matter how understanding or positive I thought I was, I was still being called selfish and negative. My perception HAD to be off and I needed a professional to help me get it back.
Therapy helped keep my focus on bettering myself. I started making decisions that were good for me and us and went back to the feisty, flirty, hard worker, big dreamer, life lover, that he fell in love with……. And you’d think that if everything is how it “should be” and if we are both healthy individuals that actually love each other and want to help each other grow, then the best thing I can do for him – is to get better and become myself again. But as I got better, he got worse.
I can’t remember exactly how long I was in therapy before we realized I was in a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship, but I’m 100% sure my therapist knew it before I did. I was still battling the idea that he loved me, it’s just that he didn’t know HOW to love me – even though he knew how when we first met 🤔.
It took awhile for me to fully grasps the idea that I was baited and used and that it was all a lie. I would go back and forth with what I believed and what was the truth about the person I so quickly gave it all up for. I didn’t want to believe it was all fake. But I didn’t want to hold on to something that wasn’t real either. And do down, I knew I would let go, but only after I did everything I could.
Leaving- Removing yourself from what is toxic: When I suspected and then confirmed cheating, it was an easy ‘let go’. The guy I thought he was would NEVER do that to me – so this confirmed that it was all a lie and allowed me to walk away knowing I did everything I could. (I prayed about this and it was a big eye opening, faithful and grateful moment for me.😊 More details in seperate blog) I grabbed a couple days worth of clothes and left for my sister’s. As this was happening I was almost sure I’d be back in the house within the next day or two..
I dotted all my i’s and crossed all my t’s. I left no stone unturned. I searched for answers where ever I could. I fact checked and then I fact checked the fact check
Road to recovery:. After walking away I immediately knew I made the right decision. Waking up the next morning at my sister’s- The heaviness in my chest and on my shoulders lifted. Knowing I didn’t have to be under his thumb anymore, Knowing I didn’t have to constantly wonder what I did or am doing wrong. Breathing came easier and so did the smiles. I knew after one day- there’s no way he could talk me into going back.
I didn’t expect to recognize myself so quickly after leaving him. This person I knew I was came bursting out of me like it just got released from prison. And the doubtful broken person he created was dead. I was now unstoppable again. I got to do things I knew would better me without having to defend my self growth. I was on the road to recovery and that road was paved in endless possibilities. The skies were bluer here. I was FREE!!
Although I am happier and love my life and where it’s headed. I still battle the side effects the relationship left, on a daily basis (It’s been five, almost six months).
I’m still in counseling and will continue to need it. I have nightmares that trigger insomnia and nerve pain. I dream that I’m back with him and I don’t know how or why. I’m panicking bc I knew how hard it was to get away, why would I let myself go back?! I immediately feel trapped And I can feel the depression come flowing back over me like a wave working it’s way from my head – when I realized I have to start all over- then down to my heart which I can feel breaking as the depression rushes through it to quickly fill the rest of my body. I can feel The depression warm my body, but not in a good way. It’s more of a burning sofacating way. I feel regret and disappointed that I could let myself down like this, again. I usually wake up crying or gasping for air bc the heavy feeling was back in my chest and it weighs on the lungs, making it hard to breath. I also have ones where I catch him cheating again but during real life, questionable events in our past that I overlooked before…
Waking up in a full blown panic is not only good for the insomnia but it then raises my blood pressure which triggers my nerve pain 😆👍🏻 that I will have for the rest of my life bc of this relationship. But at least I’m out and free.. 💁🏻♀️🙌🏻. I’ve worked through these and will continue to do so. Luckily the nightmares aren’t as often as they were and I have learned how to somewhat control them and the nerve pain through yoga and other “Grounding” exercises that my therapist taught me. 😊
Life is good. God is great. I am not at my best yet, but I’m working toward it- I’ll never stop trying to be better than who I was before.