Time is a funny thing… it goes by in the blink of an eye, yet it can feel like a lifetime at the same time. That is how I would probably describe this past year… I cannot believe how fast it has gone by, yet where I was this time last year literally feels like a lifetime away.
It was one year ago that I moved out of my home with The Narcissist and embarked on a journey of rediscovering myself, healing from the trauma that The Narcissist caused me and finding my own path to happiness.
This blog has been there with me along the way. It started as a way for me to get everything out of my head and out of my soul and out into the world. It helped me feel lighter in the beginning. It helped me find others who understood what I was experiencing in a way no one else could. It helped me continue to move forward. I’ve tried along the way (and I believe have been successful) at showing the truth of what I have gone through… sharing the good, the bad and the ugly… providing helpful information and resources… and writing about the hard things, the things that scared me.
So, in keeping with that spirit this post is intended to be a very honest view of where I stand at one year out!
- I can honestly in a completely non-cliche kind of way say that I am happier than I have ever been before. Is my life “perfect”? No way Jose. Do I absolutely love it anyway? Heck yes! I am literally in love with my life right now. There are still things I want to change or improve but I genuinely love where I am and am excited to see where life brings me next. This is the kind of happy I day-dreamed about when I was still with The Narcissist and was worried that I would never be able to achieve without him. I would have never been able to achieve happiness like this with The Narcissist, and every second of this is worth the hardship of leaving.
- I have not even once regretted my decision to leave The Narcissist. Even in my moments of sadness or depression or loneliness… I have never regretted leaving. The take-away here is that even my worst moments without The Narcissist have been better than my best moments with The Narcissist. I have missed having a person, I have missed elements of the life that we created together, but I have never regretted the decision to leave.
- I’ve learned that I am actually a really amazing person. I’ve been following the things that have interested me over the past year. I’ve read about them, I’ve researched them, I’ve started doing them. My life shifted from being one of total self-centered-ness beside The Narcissist to one that is so full of unique interests and activities and includes so many different groups and people. I am doing martial arts, I am going to be a beekeeper this spring, I started a hip-hop dance class, I’ve been a foster mom to 5 rescue puppies and this blog has turned me into a huge advocate for domestic violence and emotional abuse victims. Finding myself and learning to love myself has been a huge part of this process and it has been amazing. Not only did The Narcissist continually tell me that I was not good enough or a bad person, but he restricted me life in such a way that I could never even entertain the things that make me feel passionate in life. Essentially he made me the person I was and then endlessly berated me about how terrible I was for it. That little voice inside of me that used to shout “that’s not true, I am a good person!!” has been validated in the best kind of way.
- I’ve made it through this without becoming jaded. I made a joke last week about how “my black soul” was jaded and moody. My sister laughed in my face and said “Your soul is made of nothing but sparkles and unicorns and rainbows.” It was a funny exchange, but she really got me thinking. I could have come through this and ended up angry and dark and hating everyone… but I didn’t. I don’t exactly know how I did this, but I think that finding my own happiness has been the secret to it. I am so genuinely happy with where I am today that it is hard to be mad about any of it. It all brought me here, it all made me the person who sits here today typing this… and this person is happy! I think the other part of it is that I wasted so much time being unhappy with The Narcissist, I can’t imagine wasting another second of time being mad and jaded over it all. I learned my lesson!
The Still In Progress:
- I still haven’t finished paying off The Narcissist induced debt. I should finally be out of that hole this summer, but this has been one of those frustrating after-effects of The Narcissist. I tried my best to split up assets and debts in a fair way during the divorce process and not make a big deal out of things because my end goal was getting through the divorce without The Narcissist holding up the process and making a mess of things. There have been times where I wish I kept more of the assets and fought him for that money he lied to me about… but at the end of the day I got away and that is what counts. I have been paying all of my bills on time. I have been saving money. I am in a far better financial state than I ever was with him, but it will feel like a huge milestone when those last few items are finally paid off for good.
- I miss my dog a lot. I was looking through photos last night and got really sad looking at all the pictures of my cute little puppy who I haven’t seen since last summer. This was a sacrifice I knew I was making so that I could really go no contact with The Narcissist, but it doesn’t mean that it has been easy. There was definitely a huge element of loss for me with the divorce, and none of it really had to do with The Narcissist. I had to grieve many things… like the dreams I once had, like the image that I thought my marriage would be, like all of things I had accumulated over 8 years with The Narcissist, and like my dog. That grieving process still sucks just like any grieving process does.
- I still haven’t been able to talk to my parents about what I’ve been through. This blog became an amazing tool for me to be able to let people know what happened in my life without having to go through the emotional experience of telling them. I chose to share it with my friends and some members of my family. For whatever reason I still have an emotional hangup of filling in my parents on some of the details. It is something I am working through but I think it is worth noting.
- I still go to therapy every week. Things still pop up for me. I still get triggered by certain things that bring up a lot of emotion. Every now and then I still have nightmares. We still use EMDR and Brainspotting to help me through those feelings and process all that I’ve been through. I have no idea when I feel like I will be ‘done’ with therapy. It has been a big part of my healing journey and was one of the biggest reasons that I started to realize what was really going on in my marriage. I plan to keep up with it as long as it still feels helpful.
It has really been an amazing year and I am so grateful to all of you who have been actively reading, commenting, or contacting me through this blog. It has been a huge part of my journey and I am so glad to have had these interactions with you.