Thursday, September 10, 2015
I WANT TO MOVE ON...WHY IS IT SO HARD AND TAKING SO LONG?
I often see that survivors say how long it has been post Narc, and wonder how long it will be until everything is fine again....until they are happy, until they can trust and love again. Recovery is....well, it happens differently for each of us. At times, you may feel much better, then later, not so much. The truth is that recovery is somewhat unpredictable, and even those of us who have been at this for quite some time...for me, 14 years, can tell you that they are still a work in progress, and always will be.
I have an opinion on what this is. For one thing, we all have PTSD, or at least every survivor I and my now wife have ever met. You may be familiar with the issue of “triggers”...things that cause you to instantly feel the old feelings...fear, anger, or pain, for instance...and the truth is that you have no control over your triggers. However, the gradualness of recovery is the gradual lessening of the strength of these triggers.
PTSD...after a while, with treatment, it becomes like an unwelcome visitor and the harder you resist the feelings, the stronger it becomes, so, you learn to accept what you can't change...you learn, gradually, to live with the feelings. I know that sounds like bad news, but it's neither good or bad...it just is.
Then, there are the memories, and the dreams. I found that the med called prazosin, originally for blood pressure, makes the bad dreams better. For your anxiety, which we all have, for some time, antianxiety meds can be a bridge. The depression...not being able to feel the happiness anymore...meds do help. Yea, you likely need meds. I still take prazosin and antidepressants, and I've learned to be OK with that...it's fairly common if you've been in a prolonged narcissistic relationship.
Failure...that's often how we see ourselves after the narc, especially since the narc is still in our heads. It takes some time and experience in the real world with normal people until we see ourselves as just a normal person who lived in a terrible situation.
Revenge...karma.....for a long time, it wasn't that I wanted revenge. It was that I wanted, somehow, for God, or karma, or something, to balance the scales. It took a lot of time before I stopped thinking about this, but I did, eventually. I knew that if I didn't let it go, I'd be wasting mental energy thinking about it. I decided to just live right. Period. In the end, it came out right, but the only justice has been that brought about by my NarcX's own bad judgment.
At first, I was afraid of loving again. This was made worse by meeting another narc, but I got this one out of my life in a few weeks. That helped my confidence. I saw the red flags and I did the right thing. But, it happened again, and again I got the N out of my life in two weeks. I got very cautious, but I wanted, very much, to at last have real love, and I found it, one day, most unexpectedly. And, yes, that helped me a lot. But, my wife and I had to live with the fact that we were both damaged goods...and be OK with that. It helped that we understood since we had both been married to a narc for over 20 years. We were not perfect and still aren't, but we loved each other the way we are. It helps recovery a lot just to be accepted and loved instead of being criticized and demeaned. It REALLY changes things.
So, that's what I have to say. I wish I could give you a short list that would make everything better, but that wouldn't be honest or fair. I remember feeling so bad, so sad, so depressed, so much anxiety...and wondering, “For God's sake, when is this going to end.” Honestly....never. It doesn't end, but it gets a hell of a lot better. Much better. Slowly. Gradually. But it does happen.
I'm happily married, very happily married to a wonderful woman who, imagine this, thinks she married a wonderful man. It was hard and I'm still processing it, otherwise, I wouldn't be doing all this. Every year, I learn more, understand more, and get stronger. But, I've learned that I'm not so strong in myself. My faith means a lot. I lean on God and I lean on my wife, who is so strong....well, we are strong, if we lean on each other.
at 11:59 AM