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Delayed grief to breakup from narcissist

(13 Posts)
MoreThanAMum80 Sun 22-Oct-17 00:48:26

I broke it off with my asshole narcissist boyfriend of a year and a half, 2 weeks ago. Over the past two weeks I’ve felt happy and calm and content and more confident than I did in the year and a half that we were together. I barely thought of him and just got on with my life and enjoying it without his shit verbal and emotional abuse. I was enjoying being me without constant criticism and demeaning. Then today I started having moments of sadness and even tears. There’s literally nothing to miss about this man and I can’t even pinpoint what I loved about him.

Anyone have any insight as to why I’m having such a delayed reaction to the breakup when I consciously know there’s no reason to be sad and every reason now to be happy?

merrykate Sun 22-Oct-17 02:45:33

It clearly took enormous strength to break up with this man. The initial feelings of relief and pure adrenaline probably got you through the first stage, and now you're probably mourning the relationship and what could've been. It's perfectly normal. You've taken the first step. Just keep going and don't look back.

MoreThanAMum80 Sun 22-Oct-17 03:19:49

@merrykate funny thing is, is there there isn’t a ‘could’ve been’ because if there was, it would’ve been. He was nothing but a facade and a lie. I’m mourning a lie essentially. It’s infuriating because I’m not a stupid woman. In fact I saw red flags from the start but I ignored them or made excuses for him.

ponyprincess Sun 22-Oct-17 08:29:52

There must have been something. If only the right decisions were always the easy ones! Let.yourself grieve the end if.the relationship.that's normal even relationship

daisychain01 Sun 22-Oct-17 08:37:10

Sorry to say it this way but you’re contradicting yourself.

Relationship do start with hope, that there is a future together. You will have had an attraction towards this man, and you even said yourself that you were in denial. So in other words you continued seeing him for over a year and having the relationship even though all the signs were that he was an arse.

Now it’s all over, your initial strength to kick him to the curb has been replaced with the disappointment that it’s all over.

MoreThanAMum80 Mon 23-Oct-17 01:43:09

@daisychain01 unless you’ve been in a passive aggressive abusive relationship with a narcissist and been mind fucked for 18 months, you shouldn’t go pointing fingers. It’s overcoming the chemical and emotional bond and dependence. So unless you’re a robot with the inability to form an emotional attachment to another human being, you should know that you can’t just turn feelings off.

CoyoteCafe Mon 23-Oct-17 01:56:01

Narcissists can really mess with your head. It's really different from any thing else. It's hard to explain it to people who've never been through it. Have you seen the Out of the Fog website? It helped me make sense of what had happened.

The narcissist in my life wasn't a love interest, it was a friend. None the less, once I was free, it took a few months to get my head back together. My emotions were all over the place. I couldn't make sense of the relationship when it was going on because she sucked the life blood out of me, so once she was out of my life I gradually re-hashed the whole thing, figuring out how she had manipulated me the way she had.

I don't know that what you are experiencing is a delayed reaction to the break up. It might be a delayed reaction to the relationship. All that stuff happened, and you couldn't think straight about it when it did. You couldn't show your feelings. You may have been told how to feel. Some of what you are feeling right now might be things you weren't allowed to feel or express while in the relationship.

So yeah, now at times your emotions are all over the place. But that's OK. It's OK just to feel how you feel, and let it pass when it is done. You don't have to feel a certain way. You don't need to beat yourself up over being sad or hurt or anything else. It's just a feeling, and humans have feelings.

Congratulations on being brave and starting a new chapter in your life.

MoreThanAMum80 Mon 23-Oct-17 02:25:01

@CoyoteCafe you explained it perfectly. Thank you for that. And I will definitely check out that website. I feel it’ll take me a few months to truly gain clarity and get my head neck to where it needs to be.

CoyoteCafe Mon 23-Oct-17 02:31:47

For me, feelings came in waves. I would randomly make sense of things that had happened. I went back and forth between being ecstatic and overwhelming sad. I eventually found my center again, but it took a while.

My best advice is to be gentle with yourself. Just breath, even if at times that is all you can do, just breath. It will get easier.

albedo Mon 23-Oct-17 08:02:07

Oh I've been there! Being with someone with narcissistic traits is an endless mindfuck. They set you on an emotional/validation rollercoaster that is difficult to step off, because the rewards are intermittent. And your emotions have been manipulated and used against you so tapping back into them can be unsettling.

You need to give yourself time to feel your feelings. And after 18 months there's probably a lot! Feelings that you weren't 'allowed' to feel, feelings that you were told you were crazy for feeling, the underlying fucking fear which comes from being in a relationship which you secretly know is eroding your sense of self but being unable to move on.

It sucks but it won't last forever. However, I found that the time to get over the relationship was longer than you'd think given the length/shittiness of it.

Maybe do some reading, if you haven't already, about narcissism. But don't go too crazy. At some point it'll be time to look at how you can guard yourself against people like him going forward.

Which is done by... boundaries, self esteem and a strong sense of self.

Easier said than done I know smile

But, you've already shown amazing strength and self awareness in extracting yourself. Stay strong, distract yourself and talk to others about what happened to you. And maintain no-contact with the ex.


Greypaw Mon 23-Oct-17 10:00:17

I’ve been there too, and really feel for you. Like yours, the relationship lasted 18 months and for a couple of weeks I felt totally high on adrenaline and sweet, sweet freedom. Then it collapsed and it’s been the hardest process to get over it. Not like a normal relationship at all.

I put it down to traumatic bonding after all the IDD cycles. And all the cognitive dissonance that you have to plough your way through. The only thing I can suggest is to turn your attention to yourself - give yourself time (it took me a good three years to properly get over it, and sometimes I still relapse), recognise you probably have some trauma, work out what you can do to feel grounded and soothed. The key for me was to start thinking of it as an addiction, which meant (eventually) avoiding anything that reminded me off him which would trigger unhelpful ruminating, find something else to focus on, have go-to activities for when I thought of him or was missing him, and to block all social media so I didn’t go looking - stuff like that keeps things in the present when it needs to be left in the past. I also did some pretty extensive therapy when I wasn’t getting over it.

Narcissist relationships are a total head-fuck, you have my sympathy. It’s unlike any other breakup I’ve ever had, because of the nature of it all. Well done for breaking away. The tips on Narcsite may be helpful when it comes to staying away.

woollyminded Mon 23-Oct-17 10:07:46

I had a narcissistic man as a boss (owner of a very small company) and it was bad but I imagine not nearly as bad as being in a relationship with one of them. It's so weird, they get into your skin and I think you just have to let the layers flake off. Mine's just been on the telly, kept seeing the trailers and it made me feel a bit sick but it turns out he made an utter arse of himself, complete strangers got the measure of him in a moment, so that was most gratifying grin.

Keep your chin up, this too will pass flowers

MoreThanAMum80 Mon 23-Oct-17 17:34:07

@albedo @Greypaw thank you ladies so much! It helps immensely to hear from other people have gone through this. Today isn’t as bad and I have yoga and meditation that I go to when I’m feeling down. So I’ve been doing 2-3 hours of power yoga a day! Needless to say I’m getting fit fast, but it keeps my mind occupied and brings me back down to earth. It’s a life saver! I just need to stop beating myself up for sticking around for so long

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