We have had lots of new people sign-up on the board lately. While I'm sad that you have to be here, I'm glad you found us because it means you have made the first step in the path to breaking free and finding yourself again - the path to recovery. I lied to myself for years that my relationship with my ex-narcissist-husband (EXNH) was fine. Years, I tell you. I lived in total denial for a very long time.
It's hard to admit that prince charming is a total fraud. No one wants to admit that. Why would amyone want to admit that? I know, I didn't want to so I lied to myself for years, 8 years actually. Unfortunately, the longer we bury our head in the sand, the more brainwashed we become. Thinking I allowed someone to emotionally abuse me didn't sit well with me, but I had to admit I did. Finally understanding that it had nothing to do with me made a big difference in my willingness to accept what had happened. They really can put a spell on us. I truly believe this.
For me, it took certain events in my life, which I wrote about in my book, to finally force me to open my eyes and look at the reality of my relationship with brutal honesty. When I did, it changed my life. I realized I had been lying to myself for years.
When many of you sign-up for this board, you often state that this new knowledge has opened your eyes or changed your life for the better. Every time I read that, it reminds me of the huge "aha moment" I had when I finally allowed myself to be honest with myself about my relationship and look into the true meaning of narcissism. My EXNH joked from day one about being a narcissist, but at the time, mid 90's, there was very little known or written about narcissism. Thanks to the Internet, Sam Vaknin, a book by Christopher Lasch and my willingness to finally be honest with myself, a light went off for me that has never stopped burning.
That light is the light of truth and knowledge. There is nothing quite like being honest with ourselves and living in the moment to set us free. While it's terrifying at first, it give us our lives back, don't you think? When we can finally do this, we are free. I will never lie to myself again. We don't need to because we don't need to be in a relationship to be ok, but that's another subject. I digress.
Back to my point, I'm happy you're here because it means you're finally being honest with yourself. It means that you have finally opened your eyes to your situation and are ready to do something about it. That is the biggest and hardest step of breaking free from a narcissist and finding yourself again. It's the hardest step because no one wants to admit the man you are madly in love with doesn't love you and never did. I loved and adored my EXNH. The realization that he was not who I thought he was shook me to my core. How any of us ever trust again is beyond me.
The fact that you're reading this makes me very happy because it means you are finally understanding the man who has eluded and confounded you for years, months or even decades. Once you understand a narcissist, it explains everything. You realize you do not need to put up with the abuse. There is nothing you can do to change his behavior. He has always been this way and there's nothing you can do about it. The only thing you can do is look out for yourself at this point.
Some may say we were unlucky in love, but that doesn't mean that we will always be unlucky in love. Not by any means. In fact, this knowledge means we finally have permission to allow ourselves to break free and experience true genuine love, which does exist. Knowledge is power. When you realize what a gift we've been given with our newly found knowledge and honesty, you should realize your life is just beginning. At least, I hope you feel that way. I know that's how I perceive it!
I'm not saying the struggle to break free is easy or quick. It's hard work and it's a journey, but there is a shining light at the end of the road to relationship recovery that we all must keep in mind as we try to get over him or her.
You are on the verge of a whole new life simply by the fact that you are reading this website. You know what you must do. You either accept this man for who he is or move on because he's never going to change.
None of us should think twice about whether or not we deserve true, genuine love or not. We all do! We have one life to live. This is not a dress rehearsal. This is it. I want to experience real, genuine love with someone and I refuse to accept any less. As Lady Gaga says in her Paper Gangsta song: "I refuse to accept anything less than fabulous!" :) I know you feel and deserve the same!
Remember, narcissists are great actors and they do a wonderful job of "talking the talk" and telling us how much they love us, but you must understand - narcissists are incapable of love. What they share is not love, it's a game and we are their pawns. We must get out from under their spell. With the support of others who understand like no one else because we've been through it ourselves, we can get out from under the hold they have on us.
We will trust again and true love is possible. We can't rush it though. We must be patient with ourselves and as Betty said, take baby steps. It's about progress, not perfection everyone. Remember that and remember you are not alone. We are all here for one another.
I apologize for not being on the board lately, but I've been traveling for work quite a bit. St. Louis last week and NJ this week. I just got back from Jersey today. We have our first support group coming up next Friday, 8/27 in Chicago and then our first Chapter meeting in London soon after that! I have much catching-up to do with everyone.
Thanks for being here for one another. Lots of love. xoxo