Living with a narcissist is painful and exhausting. It’s a situation in which you’ve entangled yourself, and no matter how bad you want out, it’s not that easy to just leave.
But after you’ve hit rock bottom, after you were robbed of your self-esteem and self-love, you realize you have nothing else to lose. He has taken everything from you. So you decide to leave. You decide to take your life back into your own hands and do with it the way you please. Good for you!
But the battle doesn’t end there, not for you.
This is an exciting time for you. You’ve made a big decision. You’ve made the right decision. But the road ahead of you is full of bumps. You have to be ready to take them.
You have to be mentally and emotionally prepared for the healing process that is about to happen.
Breakups are awful, but breaking up with a narcissist is especially hard. You’re going to have mixed feelings, and your mood will change rapidly.
In order to face the changes that are going to happen, it’s better if you know what to expect and what is waiting for you.
Here are some of the things you’re going to experience after breaking up with a narcissist.
1. You feel anxious
Breaking up with a narcissist doesn’t have a happy end. Either he is going to discard you or you’re going to leave him, but he will keep coming back, using all kinds of hoovering tactics to get you back. Either way, it’s not going to be pretty.
You’re not going to be okay. Breakups are bad, especially this one. You know you won’t get any closure ever, and you get nervous because you know he won’t leave you alone. You know he will disturb you in some way—it doesn’t even have to include contact.
This drives you crazy and forces you to live anxiously, scared for what is going to happen next.
What to do?
Make sure that it’s really over. Try to go no contact with him. If it doesn’t work, just be as unappealing as you possibly can. Even if he is bothering you, once he realizes that you’re no longer interested, he’ll leave you alone.
Once you put things where they belong, the anxiety will tune down, too. Just give it some time.
2. You’re obsessed
You won’t let go that easily. There are a million questions you want to know the answer to. You want to know did he ever really love you? Did he care about you even a little? How could he do this to you? How could he forget about you that fast?
The ghost of your diciest relationship will haunt you because you didn’t get closure and you never will. You will hang on to the bits of the relationship you have left because you aren’t still at ease with what happened.
What to do?
You’ll try to find answers to the questions that are bothering you, but eventually, you’ll let go because you’ll never understand what happened. You are not a psycho like he is. You can’t understand how his mind works and why he did what he did.
3. You’re defending him
To be able to accept what has happened to you, you’ll try to rationalize his behavior. You’ll try to find excuses for the name-calling, for the mind games and the abuse you’ve experienced while you were with him.
You’ll try to give yourself a good enough reason why you stayed with him, and that’s why you’re going to make excuses for his behavior—to make that experience a less painful one.
You’ll come to the point when you start missing him, so you’ll start doing the same thing all over again. You’ll defend him and think that maybe he wasn’t so bad after all. Don’t fall for this. It’s just your reason, trying to make it hurt a bit less.
What to do?
Don’t fall for the tricks your mind plays on you. The truth is, you don’t miss him; you never did. You were captured by his spell for so long that you got used to the toxic surrounding. You thought it was a normal environment to live in.
That’s why you crave it. Ignore those feelings, and just remember all the horrible things he has done to you. If you take him back, he will do it again.
4. You don’t feel the excitement
When you are with a narcissist, you’re used to all the drama happening around you. Something is always going on, and now that you are finally at peace, you miss something.
It’s a cruel thing to say, but actually, you miss your narcissist. You don’t miss him for the love or the way he treated you. You miss him because now that he’s gone, there is no more craziness around you.
It’s all too quiet, and after dating a narcissist this may come as a surprise: You’re not used to having things in order.
What to do?
Find something to do. Find a hobby. Find the passion that is lacking in your life. Start doing anything that makes you happy, even if it’s the most trivial thing. It’s one step further to actually being happy.
5. You are lonely
What happened to you is not that common. It’s not like a regular breakup. A lot of people who have just gone through a regular breakup can relate to each other, but there aren’t a lot of people who’ve escaped narcissistic claws, so you don’t have a lot of people to relate to.
That makes you lonely like you’re the only one out there. That makes you ask questions such as: Why me? But, you’re not alone. There are so many people around you who’ve been through the same as you and are quiet, the same as you.
What to do?
Join support groups, and talk about your problem. Don’t keep things to yourself because you’ll crack open. You can’t keep those emotions inside and deal with them alone.
Talk to your friends or support groups, maybe a therapist. Whatever it is, choose something because you need support right now.
6. You are doubtful
You were gaslighted in your relationship with a narcissist. You were told you’re crazy; you’re making things up. You were told you overreact, and you are the cause of all the problems, even the main reason why the relationship fell apart.
So when you find yourself in moments of loneliness, it gets you thinking. You become doubtful of yourself. You start thinking that maybe your narcissist was right. Maybe you really overreacted to some things. Maybe you should have been more understanding. Maybe it’s your fault you broke up.
What to do?
Can’t you see? He is still manipulating you in your mind even though you broke up. This is just the result of all the abuse and mind games you’ve been through.
The mindset he planted in you is still kicking out once in a while, and it feeds you the ridiculous thoughts that go around your head.
7. You are ashamed
Now that you finally, clearly see what a terrible person he was, now that you see all the horrible things he did to you, you feel ashamed for not leaving sooner.
You feel like a fool because you didn’t leave a long time ago, but no one who was in your situation left right away. We all think we can help someone, that we can change the person because deep in our hearts, we believe there is some good in everyone.
Unfortunately, that is not the case with people who have a personality disorder. They cannot be healed. They cannot be convinced to do anything different than what they’ve imagined.
What to do?
Just let go. It’s not your fault. His manipulations were designed to completely obliviate you. His goal was to make his victim stay for as long as possible under the impression that things are going to get better.
8. You’re angry
After some time, the sadness and suffering start to fade, and it all turns into resentment and hate. You channel your pain into hatred. You couldn’t do this while you were in a relationship, so you’re doing it now when you’re finally free to think by yourself and act the way you feel.
What to do?
Be angry. Let it all out because you will feel better. After some time, you’ll realize that hatred is not going to get you anywhere, and you’ll calm down. Just be very careful not to reach for revenge.
You have to know that there is no way to beat a narcissist. The only way to hurt a narcissistic man is to cut off his supply. Ignore him completely, and make yourself unavailable.
Just don’t do something stupid in the attempt to hurt him because he will use it against you, and you’ll end up being the hurt one.