Breakup is never easy. This is especially true if you’ve stayed in a toxic relationship for far too long as I did. I decided it was time for me to end it, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t struggle in the aftermath and continue to do so. I write this piece to help me close the door.
People assume those who had the courage to initiate a breakup often care less about the relationship or that the initiator is usually not hurting as badly. But that’s false. Even though I’m convinced things aren’t working out and the best solution is to walk away, initiating a breakup with a narcissist can be tough to pull off.
It is excruciating and agonizing, to say the least.
What would otherwise be a path to freedom for me turned out complicated as the abuser attempts to do everything possible to regain and retain his status. Narcissists are hypersensitive and they take everything personally because they feed off their source.
The moment they realize they are losing their power over their victim, they will create a plot to protect their image and that can lead to malice. There is no way they are letting go easily.
My abusive partner did not take the news lightly. He foresaw he may no longer exert power over me, and I leaving him was a sign of abandonment. That’s when he launched the fight of my life to show that he’s not done with me yet. He must have thought: how dare I consider escaping when he owned, controlled, and used me as a verbal and emotional punching bag. I was his property. I was there for him to lash out at and to make him feel good.
The news of me initiating a breakup sent him into a frenzy because he would soon lose his source for power and validation. When he noticed that his identity is in question, he made up completely irrelevant excuses that put the fault of the failed relationship to me.
I honestly believe that everyone can change, and people will change when they want to change, that’s it. Everyone has that potential, though many choose not to.
Caught in a dizzying whirlwind of emotional vertigo
Despite having enough reasons to walk out cold turkey, many times I was secretly hoping for a peaceful settlement. He continued to dump accusations of perceived wrongs that made me feel guilty about my decision.
He reminded me of the emotional bond we’ve built together and I’m being ungrateful and selfish now by pushing him aside. His passive-aggressive behavior made sure I’m well aware of the consequence of my action, that I’ll never have another who would care for me like he did, which would be my greatest loss.
I’m constantly sent into a dizzying whirlwind of emotional vertigo that left me wondering what the hell went wrong. A common attempt would be his promise to change, followed by what looked like a genuine effort of reconciliation. He would try to make me feel good temporarily with kind and thoughtful gestures that made me doubt my decision that perhaps I was wrong and unappreciative.
I honestly believe that everyone can change, and people will change when they want to change, that’s it. Everyone has that potential, though many choose not to. However, when they don’t own the responsibility for their actions, chances are, they’re not going to.
He seemed genuinely concerned for a brief period and everything looks promising. That was until I say something or act in a way that’s contrary to his reality and he went back to his manipulating, arrogant, insensitive, and blaming self, draining me physically and emotionally.
There’s nothing more heartbreaking than to find out your source of love and compassion turned out as the cause of toxic damage.
This took a heavy toll on my mental health that resulted in bouts of stress, sadness, and guilt. One moment he would be angry and intimidating, making me afraid and anxious, demanding that I explain my reasons. The next moment he would turn around, apologizing and pleading for another chance to get me feeling guilty and sorry for wanting to break up.
When you thought it’s over, that’s when it begins
Needless to say, there was a lot of confusion and intense emotions at play, wiping out my self-esteem and self-respect. Many times, I’m left to wonder if the display of remorse was in any way authentic, right before he transformed and I’m face-to-face again with the beast who tried to suck me back into hell. I lived in terror because anything at any moment could trigger the next confrontation that could explode into something bigger.
Relationships with narcissists are challenging and the struggle doesn’t end there, whether you are in the midst of it or on your way out. The hardest part came when I finally had the courage to break free. I thought it would soon be over, but that’s actually when it all begins.
The talons of a vampire do not easily release their grip on us all-too-caring empaths.
Unfortunately, not all breakups are the same. A relationship with a narcissist, during and after, can deeply threaten our sense of self. I took a lot of time to grieve as a process of recovery.
I learned that no matter how tough it looks, it’s crucial to maintain the courage to go through with it. I am responsible for my well-being. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than to find out your source of love and compassion turned out as the cause of toxic damage.
The signs of true love vs superficial love
I believe some people are simply more capable of loving on a deeper level than others. Individuals all have energy, but the levels of energy are not all the same.
Although we accept that there is no such thing as perfection among humans, those who can love deeply see and understand what lies beneath the surface. For them, love is not an in-one-moment, out-one-moment concept, which would make it superficial. They can love deeply because they know deeply.
The insufficiency of another person does not make you stop loving them, at best you still love them from afar because true love is a state of being and it’s not sustained on the stable and predictable ground.
Despite having to go through the overwhelming and painful experience, this dysfunctional connection led me down the path toward a deeper awareness of my Self with all that’s around me. It challenges me to reconsider if what we so lightly termed as love is really only towards a persona we create for ourselves and others. And if that’s the case, any lapse in perfection will cause that structure to come crashing down.