For each person who has experienced a narcissistic relationship, there is a recovery journey, there is no right or wrong way, and there certainly isn’t a one size fits all.
What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. Often it is believed that if you follow the same recovery journey that others undertake you will be fine with that.
Yes, everyone has been manipulated, gaslighted, and for some, they may experience other abuse such as physical, mental, financial, and in some cases sexual, but the recovery journey is very personal.
There are several myths that if you do these things you will recover, what it does do is add even more pressure on the person if they feel they are not following what is being said you should do.
5 Myths About Healing From A Toxic Relationship:
- You have to forgive your narcissist.
Forgiveness is a very personal thing; how can you forgive someone who has spent time and energy systematically ruining your life for their own kicks. What you can do is choose to forgive yourself instead, leaving yourself in a better place for your mental well-being.
- You have to let go of the anger you’re feeling.
Anger is an emotion that is common to everyone, when your life has been left in tatters and you are working hard to heal and rebuild, anger plays its role. Everyone experiences anger in life that is normal, and it has its place in the journey of recovery. As you heal you will feel the anger subside and you will find yourself in a better place, but never allow anyone to dictate to you by using the tired old expresses of ‘let it go’. You decide what is best for you.
- You’ve got to hope your abuser is able to grow up and become a good person someday.
Abusers rarely grow up; they are stuck in their childlike environment as that is all they know. Unless they seek therapy themselves, which is rare, they will continue in their cycle of abuse. You do not have to wish them well, and your feelings towards this person are valid. Walk away and stay away.
- It’s partially my fault for not leaving sooner.
This BS because that is exactly what it is of people questioning why didn’t you just leave leaves untold damage to the person who has finally felt safe to leave, because that is exactly what the keyword is ‘safe’. It also takes strength to leave that needs to be found deep inside. It needs to be recognized that gaslighting plays a huge role in why it takes time before someone can leave for good.
- You have to remain single for a few years before getting into something else.
Yes, being single for a while is good for the soul for some, whilst others feel ready to enter a new relationship, that is a personal choice. Choice is the keyword here too, as for so long the survivor has had their choices removed by the abuser, so taking back that control is a huge part of recovery.
Everyone heals, mourns, and goes through this process at their own pace and for some, that is much quicker than it is for others.