The trick in life is to find out where you belong. Once you find out where you belong, you will be happy there. Frederick Lenz
“Ladies, we are back where we belong!” Those words uttered by my dragon boat captain after we reached first place in the national league resonate with me, because after the upheaval narcissistic abuse caused in my life, I feel that I am finally back where I always belonged. Despite what I may have thought at the beginning of our relationship, I did not belong with him, and I certainly never belonged to the darkness of his world. I belong where I am now, in the light of my world, where I was meant to be, in the company of people who love me and respect me.
Now that I do not have to kowtow to him anymore, I have time to take care of my own interests and things are going amazingly well. I can plan, organise and I do not procrastinate as much as I used to. The feeling of dread that I had about moving forward without him has all but vanished. I have finally regained control of my emotions. There are still the occasional flashbacks, but they are becoming less and less frequent and his memory is fading away.
On the leisure font, as I mentioned before, my dragon boat team came top of the UK national league. I love racing. There is such a great sense of anticipation, waiting for the start of the race. It is very exhilarating. And when we cross the finish line first, the feeling of elation is wonderful. I have also started Pilates classes on a Monday evening with some of my team members. I was quite sceptical about it at first, but it is very beneficial. After the first session, I had the best night sleep I had had in a very long time. My body was rid of the accumulated tension. It felt good. During narcissistic abuse, my body was like a compressed coil spring. I was unable to relax. the tension was unbearable and led me to having suicidal thoughts because I just wanted to rest. Luckily, these days are over!
On the home front, I have started making my house into a home again. I have redesigned my garden, rearranged furniture in some of the rooms and now I feel safe and happy. For the first time in about four years, I organised a dinner party with my friends. I cooked a nice meal (tomato and onion tarte tatin, stuffed leg of lamb with ratatouille, peach and strawberry fruit salad) and we had a very enjoyable ‘girl time’ until the early hours of the morning. I was back doing what I used to be famous for: being a great hostess. With him, I never invited people. He was a wet blanket, always spoiling everyone’s fun unless he had someone to impress or seduce. He did not drink alcohol and, as a bodybuilder, his diet was restricted to only chicken and rice every day!
On the work front, I have just been appointed senior tutor with a lot more responsibilities than I used to have. My timetable is quite gruelling, but I will get used to it. I am coordinating all the tutors working at elementary level and I am going to train as a Google educator. I like the intellectual challenge. It is a long way away from the dire, boring, mind numbing things that I used to do with him. Who cares about booty gains and six packs? I certainly do not. But that was the world I was in with him, all about appearances, shallow endeavours. I would rather have a conversation about literature than the size of someone’s glutes! I do not understand how I could ever have been swallowed into his world. It seems alien to me now. But that is what narcissists do. They suck you inside their world and try to make it yours. I never belonged in that world. I tried to make it mine for his sake, but it was not my world.
Now I am back in my world. A world of values and loyalty. A world of kindness and love. A world of understanding and empathy. A world where people can be who they are not what others want them to be. I am back where I belong.
It has been a rough journey to get to that stage, but I made it and I feel good here.