A true challenge after narcissistic abuse. But we need to lift ourselves up from the marshes we waded through for so long. We need hope! Yep. So no sledge hammers or bombs, as far as the eye can see, here!
Depending on where you are personally in your healing process, you might either laugh this post bitterly in the face, or you might nod wisely, smile, and say: Yes, love will return. Either is fine. I myself am still leaning towards the bitter smile, most of the time. But there has been a small shift, lately.
For starters, I’ve discovered that I don’t like the narcissist anymore. Sure, I can still feel the seductive pull, the addiction, the molecule-sized grains of love left in me, for his broken soul.
But I’m seeing him clearly, now. He has almost no redeeming qualities, to like. And I certainly don’t trust him further than I can throw him! So, liking and trusting, two rather important cornerstones of love, have crumbled.
So, I’ve started thinking about my future. And I’m feeling a small spark, somewhere inside. I’m wondering to myself who my future partner might be.
Where do we meet? Are his eyes a deep green, or a warm hazelnut shade? Which quirks will I love and which ones will drive me crazy? I wonder what he’s doing right now. Maybe sitting on the other side of town, a bit sad, after a hard break-up. (Don’t worry, love, we just have this healing business to work on. Then I’m all for building a wonderful future, together).
What I do know, is that he’ll have empathy. He may not always understand me instantly, but he will make an effort to. He will not use lies, other than tiny white ones. We’ll dare to lean on each other, but both of us will be careful to never lose our own selves. We’ll have normal fights, with honesty and trust underneath the conflict. Neither of us are perfect. But I can feel that he’s a good man.
However, I am not yet fully healed, to be more accurate; still quite damaged and very scared, to have another try at love in the real world just now. So I’ll put together a plan for my healing. Then focus on that as much as I can. But, being the last(?) die-hard romantic, I think I’ll put a temporary face to the man described above, anyways!
What? A girl can dream, can’t she? Yes I know, I know. A man like Aragorn in Lord of the rings probably doesn’t exist in the real world. He’s too.. perfect. He’s brave, humble, faithful, loving, noble, and protects those close to him. And he’s very easy on the eyes, for this daydreamer. Even if I can’t approach real men at this time, watching this fantasy character weirdly enough gives me a little hope that there can be honest and caring men out there. After all, a real man created this character and his traits.
I’ve always been into fantasy novels and wonderful adventure movies with a touch of magic in them. I don’t think there is anything wrong with being a dreamer, really. Dreaming has always been a light for me, in dark times. If you have been a victim of narcissistic abuse, I think you should allow yourself as many dreams as you want. In fact, immerse yourself in all the dreamy, beautiful literature/movies/art that you can find!
You’ve been in darkness for so long. I think dreaming/experiencing beautiful, magic stories, can help in making our minds start believing more and more in the idea that happiness and love, are possible, again.
So, do I still believe in love? Despite the darkness I lived through; Yes, I do. Falling in love, and watching that love grow stronger is, for me, the most wonderful experience in the world.
But what we must carry with us always, is that we need to love ourselves. It goes without saying, normally. But, we weren’t able to do this properly, when in the fog of a narcissistic relationship. We were too busy just surviving. And it’s likely we had wounds from earlier too, which made it hard for us to love ourselves fully. Now we must find that love, and use it as our shield against ever being abused again, by someone.
When you feel confident that you’re healed enough, go look for love out in the world. Or don’t. Just explore other things, if that’s what you need to do. You’ll be fine, either way. You Are Enough!
Lotr-pics: copyright/ownership New Line productions, inc