Life After Long Term Narcissistic Abuse



I spent 24 with a covert narcissist.  This was after growing up with a covert narcissist and an alcoholic.  I am 6 years, 3 months from the date my covert narc moved out, and I believe I am now in the final stage of recovery.  Of course I thought I was in the last stage about a year ago, but apparently, this is the gift that keeps on giving and there is one more stage:  living the new life.  Sounds ridiculous, I know.  This is what it is like.

Six years ago I crashed on a deserted island, & here is what happened.

Basic Survival.  I spent the first year learning how to survive.

Accepting my new reality.   Year two was spent walking around in a daze, day by day gradually accepting the fact that this new island was my new life.

Building a New Space. Year three was spent building a shelter.  All alone, I learned how to create a shelter that protected me from the elements.

Establishing a New Normal. Year four I spent prettying up the place, and establishing a new routine.  I became comfortable in my shelter, and I created a life.  I established a daily schedule including exercise, gathering food, exploring my new surroundings, and meditating on my new life.

Tweeking this New Life.  In year five I woke up and looked around and, instead of sinking into the next stage, I decided it could all be a bit better.  I redecorated, rearranged, reestablished everything.  Busywork.

Living Forever. In year six I woke up one day and started to cry.  I hadn’t cried in 2 years, so it seemed out of place.  I couldn’t figure it out; why was I suddenly crying?  I had my shelter, I’d worked through the loss/separation of my old life, I was surviving and actually thriving as well as I could in this new place.  What the hell was wrong this time?

One day I sat down and looked around at all I’d built.  I marveled at myself for the strength it took.  I admired my resilience, my ingenuity, my tenacity, to make this new life for myself.  And it dawned on me:  now it is time to live.  Now it is time to live this new life, day after day after day after day.

Honestly, when I first landed on this island I felt fairly sure, in the back of my head, that none of it would last very long. I was bound to die quickly, so really all I had to do was fill up my days with necessary busy work and wait for the day I didn’t wake up.  But that day never happened.  I woke up.

That is where I am now.  I kept waking up.  The cancer that was supposed to kill me failed.  No more living day to day, waiting to die.  Now I have to figure out how to live, a limited, not at all what I expected, single life.  A life that presumably will last a long time.


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