By three methods we may learn from wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest. Confucius
As the sun set on the last day of 2017, I started reflecting on the year that has past while walking my dog in the park. I can definitely say that this has been the most painful year of my life and I am 50 years old, so this is no small matter. I am still quite bitter about it but I take it as life experience.
This year 2017, I went through an extremely difficult break up from an unbelievably toxic relationship. I learnt about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which broke me further as I realised that the relationship that I had had for the past 2 ½ years was based on lies and illusions. I discovered that my emotions had been deviously manipulated with all kinds of mind games aimed at destroying my self-worth and my self-confidence. These were hard times from which I thought, I would never recover from. I felt like I had fallen down a deep dark pit from which there was no way out.
However, I managed to gather the little strength I had left in me to educate myself about Narcissistic Abuse. I watched countless hours of videos, read numerous articles, underwent CBT therapy and very slowly I was able to crawl my way out of the hole I had dug for myself by staying in a relationship which was doomed from the beginning.
In April I started my blog and this was paramount to my recovery. I was finally able to express my feelings on a platform that allowed me to be myself. I felt as if I could talk about my hurts, my fears and my hopes without being judged. I started reading many blogs from people who had been through the same agonising experience as I had. Whereas my friend and family could not understand what it felt like, I found a whole community of people who could relate to my feelings. They sympathised with me, comforted me and helped me in my journey towards healing. For that I am very grateful.
I also have to give some credit to him for helping me in my recovery because I was not entirely convinced that I was right about him having Narcissistic personality Disorder. I had read about triangulation, gaslighting, the silent treatment, idealisation, devaluation but I was not sure that it was all real. However, through our rekindled relationship I realised that what I denied to myself was indeed the truth. Despite his many apologies and promises, nothing ever changed. He was still lying, whether by omission or by twisting facts. I was still getting hurt by his secrecy and betrayals, so I eventually put a stop to it. It took a lot of abuse for me to end it, believe me, but I could not take it anymore. I have compassion for him and I understand how deeply wounded he is from his childhood, but I cannot allow him to hurt me because he was hurt. I cannot heal his wounds with my love. I was mistaken in thinking that I could.
This said, 2018 looks a whole lot more promising. Tonight I am spending New Year’s Eve with Me, Myself and I but I am not afraid of my own company anymore. At last I can get a sense of peace.
We all learn from experience (well, apart from narcissists) and we become stronger as a result.
The only way is up!
2018 is a new beginning.