September 30, 2019

Things I’ve Learned by Loving (& Leaving) a Narcissist.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Elephant Journal (@elephantjournal) on

There are times in our lives we meet people at just the right time.

We meet just the right person to show us how strong we truly are. These are people we meet who guide us on the right path in life.

Some call them angels when they show up out of nowhere and gently lead us on our journey. But, angels have many faces—heck, even the devil is merely a fallen angel. Life decided my guiding angel would be a narcissist.

Most of us have either loved a narcissist at some point in our lives or we have heard of someone who was in a relationship with one. It seems that many of these relationships are between an empath and a narcissist. Empaths love and feel deeply and wear their emotions on their sleeves. A narcissist is often unable to feel anything but hate and rage. A “perfect match” of opposites.

But, sometimes that perfect match was made in order to shove you onto the path that life really wants you to be walking down instead. We have a way of showing up every day for life by putting on the masks of who the world wants us to be—so much so that we forget who we are.

After failing at every relationship I was in, I was convinced it was my issues that destroyed them. What my issues were, I had no idea. I just knew for a fact I had to be the problem. I was tired of falling in love (which I do easily) just to have my heart ripped out one more time. So, I decided like a lot of people who have been hurt too—I was done with relationships. I had to change my life.

So, I sat on my living room floor burning incense and screaming out to the Universe to give me a sign of what I was supposed to be doing. “What is wrong with me?” I screamed, “Do anything and everything you need to break me and change me.”

Well, when you scream out to the Universe like that, life hears you loud and clear! 

Many of us pray to a God of some type or the Universe for guidance. Yet, are we truly open to listening to what life is saying to us? We have all been at our wit’s end about something in life and screamed out, “Enough already!”

But what if you’re living the wrong life and no matter how many times life gently pushes you, you still seem to totally ignore those little nudges. I know for me, I needed life to take a baseball bat and knock me to my knees to finally wake up. Life must have known this also.

Not even a week after I screamed at the Universe, I met him—the man of my dreams. He knew all the right questions to ask. He was persuasive with his words and before I knew it I was falling in love, there was no stopping me.

When we love a narcissist they feed on our emotions. We have read all the self-help books that say run away and do not look back when you see the signs. But, sometimes we cannot take a single step forward, we are too exhausted from riding the emotional ups and downs of their mood swings. We do not know what will set them off next.

They have us convinced it is all our fault. We are the ones with the problem. They love us, we are difficult, we are miserable, and all they want to do is help us. We are lost in a world of uncertainty. Uncertain of who we are anymore. Uncertain how we got in this predicament. Uncertain what we are to do next.

I just remember the day I stood looking in the mirror and had no idea who was looking back at me. That was the day something inside me clicked and I realized I was numb to the world. How did I get here?

Fast forward, and it has been over two years since I left him (it wasn’t easy).

I learned many things loving and leaving a narcissist, may they be of benefit to you, too:

>> Who I really am. Sometimes we get so caught up in how others view who we are, that we forget who the person is in the mirror.

>> It is easy to lose yourself when you fall in love with the wrong person. Love does not understand why they are hurting us. No! Our heart just keeps telling us to love harder and deeper.

>> What love really is. It can be real or it can be fake, but if we do not have healthy boundaries they both look the same.

>> I thought I knew what love was and that if I loved deeper and if I was a better person, the man would love me for who I was. This is being dependent on another person for our self-worth, also known as codependency. When we are hurting inside we cling to anyone who pays attention to us. We start to believe all the things they say that is wrong with us.

>> Loving a person who doesn’t truly love you shows you how far you have fallen. But, it also teaches you how deeply you can love.

>> I had to take all the love I was giving to him and turn it right back around and love myself that much harder.

>> How to let go. Love is a funny creature that grabs hold of our heart and we lose all sense of our judgment.

>> When we break up with someone we love deeply we must find a way of releasing the pain, heal, and let the memories fade a bit.

>> I journaled daily to get the poisons out of my mind, the ones that he planted in my head.

>> We have to fill the void to let go fully. I dated myself and built healthy boundaries. I learned who I was and enjoyed being alone with myself.

>> When we are in a toxic relationship we lose friends and sometimes family members who do not understand the hold this person has on us. Heck, I still cannot understand how I fell that far.

>> When we do break free we have to let the process of grieving the relationship run its full course.

>> When we reach the end of the journey we need to look at ourselves in the mirror and forgive ourselves. I had to forgive myself for staying as long as I did.

>> Then we must forgive them. I know this sounds impossible, but they came into our lives for a reason. Let the lesson sink in and forgive them, so that you can be fully free.

>> How to love again. I took the time to heal and build healthy boundaries. I created a life I loved and I promised myself I would never again settle for less.

>> By writing my affirmations of gratitude I changed my way of thinking. I become more open to life and allowed my journey to change course when I felt my boundaries being violated. I learned to trust my gut and go with it.

It is not an easy road, leaving a narcissist, and yes, nearly three years have gone by and he still contacts me from time to time.

I can assure you it gets easier and before you know it, days have passed, the tears get less, and the pain subsides.

I’ve learned that what you scream to the Universe better also be what you’re prepared to tackle. I don’t recommend burning incense and screaming at the top of your lungs to the Universe. But, heck if you have to just understand that sometimes life comes with suffering, and once life rips you open you get it. You understand why the pain is there so you can stop fighting and turn down the right path.

To date: I wake up every day at 4 a.m. and journal only my goals, dreams, and positive thoughts. When a negative thought comes into my mind I write, “STOP” and then journal the things I’m grateful for.

I have a man in my life now, one I never would have met had I not gone through all that emotional pain and had not learned to open myself up to the journey of life.

I have my dream job and I am going back to school to fulfill my life’s passion for helping others.

Everyone has a different journey and just because someone comes into your life and stirs it up, does not mean that you cannot gain control back and mix up the recipe a bit to create your own masterpiece.


Read 16 Comments and Reply

Read 16 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Christina Martin  |  Contribution: 10,090

author: Christina Martin

Image: Hyun Lee / Flickr

Image: elephantjournal / Instagram

Editor: Julie Balsiger