Where are you in your relationship with a narcissist? You found this article because you are either thinking of leaving a narcissist for good or you have left already.
With both scenarios, you will find this article beneficial!
I won’t lie to you- leaving a narcissist is one of the hardest things you will do in your life.
But you can leave, and you need to leave to save your own mental health and your life altogether.
Being in a relationship with a narcissist is not the same as leaving any other relationship.
You can’t “just leave” a narcissist. After you end a relationship, a number of things happen.
Whether you are thinking of leaving or you’ve already left, this article will prepare you for what to expect after you leave a narcissist.
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Things That Happen When Leaving A Narcissist For Good
You will miss them
Yes, you will miss the person that’s caused so much damage to your psyche and life.
Being in a relationship with a narcissist is a lot like being hooked on a drug.
They wine and dine you at the beginning of the relationship with love bombing.
Then, after the honeymoon phase wears off you begin to see the real person behind the fake facade.
By this time, you are dependent upon what the narcissist says and does to you.
You swing back and forth emotionally between walking on eggshells and wanting the love and affection they gave you when you were first together.
Unfortunately, it will never go back to that fairy tale beginning stage of a relationship because that’s not who a narcissist is.
They only made you believe that to hook you into the relationship and then begin abusing you to fit their needs and wants.
But guess what? It’s OK to miss them. But just because you miss them doesn’t mean you need to go back to them.
You will be blamed
There is a term known as narcissistic projection. Narcissistic projection is a way for a narcissist to blame their shortcomings and character flaws on you.
So, odds are, if a narcissist is blaming you for cheating with no evidence, they are actually the one who is cheating.
Whatever the narcissist is doing, even the abuse itself is blamed on you.
This will leave you feeling a host of emotions including:
-Walking on eggshells
-Second guessing your own reality
When I left the abuse, I was told that “I didn’t love him enough to stay and try to make it work.”
This left me feeling hurt and worthless at first. Then, being away from the narcissist, I started to see the light and what he really meant.
It’s not that “I didn’t love him enough,” it’s that I didn’t stay because I didn’t want to take the abuse any longer.
His narcissistic projection also told me something else. He expected me to continue to take the abuse he dished out at me.
Many narcissists even go on to further discredit you by claiming your “crazy,” “bipolar,” or “messed up.”
This is all projection. The truth is that the narcissist is the one with mood swings and messed up behavior that they forced you to endure.
I guarantee you are an extremely empathetic and kind person and put everything into the relationship only to receive nothing back, even love.
You’ll experience a grieving process
After leaving a narcissist for good, grief is a very real emotion.
The life you worked so hard to cultivate with someone else is now over and dead. You have to grieve through that.
While every grieving process is different, many people go through similar grieving phases but not in the same order.
You may even swing in and out emotionally of grieving for the life you once had with a narcissist.
The stages of grief after an abusive relationship are the same grief phases you go through when someone you love dies.
The stages of grief are as follows:
Note that not everyone moves through every stage of grief in that order.
Many cycle through the stages and not in that order.
There is no right way to process grief, and you never know how you will react to it until you leave the abuse.
You will start to question everything that happened in your relationship and why
After you leave the relationship and separate yourself from the control, manipulation, and lies of the narcissist you will go through a type of “awakening.”
An awakening after narcissistic abuse happens when you are no longer influenced by your abuser and you’re finally able to see the light.
It’s the truth behind the lies that you’re seeing and realizing for the first time.
This only happens when you leave.
If you’re still with a narcissist, it’s difficult to get out of the emotional abuse cycle and confusion inflicted on you by gaslighting.
Related Articles: 19 Signs You Are Being Gaslighted
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12 Signs Of Manipulation Abuse
You will be stalked
“You can’t just leave a narcissist.” This is a true and accurate statement.
The narcissist has worked hard over the months and years to cultivate you into a shell of the person you once were in order to use, control, and manipulate you.
They don’t want to let you go and won’t easily either.
Many narcissists will stalk their ex-partner with unwanted following, monitoring, constant text messages and emails, gifts, and even more manipulation.
Often times, it becomes so bad that you may feel threatened, intimidated, and scared and may need to get a restraining order to protect yourself and get out of the cycle of abuse.
No one should ever feel scared or intimidated by someone else!
But the question remains- Why do narcissists stalk their ex-partners? Because they need you!
They need the “love supply” and attention you devote to them.
Without you, they are missing their constant need for admiration and attention they crave.
You can get paranoid
Because you are being stalked and pursued by a narcissist, you become a little paranoid.
You constantly look over your shoulder when leaving your house.
Every time your phone chimes with a incoming text message, you’re scared to look at it fearing it is your ex.
It’s an uncomfortable situation to be in a state of fear and panic when all you want to do is get space from an abuser.
But the thing is, narcissists don’t allow you to have space.
They break down every physical, emotional, and even sexual boundary you create to try and protect yourself.
They break down every boundary you have and they do it because they see you as someone who they have dedicated a lot of time into controlling you.
They don’t want to give up that control so easily, even if it is at the expense of your own safety and sanity.
Related Articles: Emotional Abuse Is Abuse
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You’ll face an identity crisis
You’ve probably asked yourself, “How the hell did I end up in this situation?”
This is the leading question you need to find the answer to.
During this time, you will go through somewhat of an identity crisis as you begin to live a new life away from the narcissist.
You have gotten so use to the control, deception, and toxicity of the relationship that you consider it to be “normal.”
You don’t know how you got in this abusive relationship, let alone when the abuse really started.
The thing about emotional and verbal abuse is that it never starts suddenly and overnight.
A narcissist trickles small elements of abuse tactics. This technique is preplanned and purposeful.
Once you leave, you have to break that cycle and begin to think for yourself.
However, when you’re leaving a narcissist for good, you are not the same person.
Many confident, smart, and outgoing people meet and fall head over heels in love with a narcissist, only to have the narcissist break you down to the point where you no longer feel any self-worth at all.
You’re left looking in the mirror and not really recognizing the person you have become.
Instead of being a calm, put-together person you once were.
You are now overly anxious and may even have developed depression or PTSD from the abusive relationship.
That’s the true reality of narcissistic abuse.
It damages you in ways you can’t imagine. And worse yet, those abusive scars that are left are not seen by others.
It’s a constant suffering you are left to bear and recover from.
This is where self-care and self-love come into the picture.
Spend time with yourself to pursue all of the things you couldn’t in your relationship.
Go out with friends you’ve been isolated from. Find ways to pamper yourself to slowly build your self-esteem back up.
And above all, you will need to work through the emotional damage to heal your body and mind.
The best way to do this is with therapy.
Eventually, you will be discarded
The discard phase of narcissistic abuse happens when a narcissist no longer needs you and finds a new “narcissistic love supply.”
How the narcissist charmed you into a relationship when you first met is the same technique he/she is using now on someone new.
Narcissists, deep down, hate themselves and lack self-love. That is why a fake persona is created.
But they feed off of others’ empathy, love, and attention.
They love to receive a constant flow of attention, which is why many narcissists are prone to cheating or jumping from one relationship to another.
They discard their old partner, whom they no longer control and manipulate, only to find another victim to feed their ego that craves attention and admiration.
They cannot feel unconditional love because they have never given it to anyone.
So, a narcissist discarding you for someone new is similar to the feelings you had in grade school toward a crush who sat next to you in class. It’s that superficial!
Please, don’t be dismayed over them discarding you. This is both a good and a bad phase.
It’s nice when a narcissist discards you because they may stop stalking and harassing you.
However, the bad thing is that it hurts immensely to see someone you love just enter into a relationship with someone they claim is their “one true love.”
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Leaving a narcissist for good is one of the worst periods of your life.
You will question everything including your own self-identity.
Just because you have left narcissistic abuse does not mean it just disappears.
No, narcissistic abuse leaves scars and may even take years to heal from.
When you leave the abuse, that’s when the real work gets started—healing yourself.
You need to heal emotionally and find your inner strength to recognize that you are stronger than you think and you don’t have to put up with the abuse from anyone.
If you ever feel scared, degraded, controlled, or intimidated, it is not OK.
No one should feel that way about someone who is supposed to love you.
Hopefully, with time, you will be able to grieve and heal the wounds left by the narcissist.