Leaving a narcissist is never easy…
To the outside world it would seem obvious that you should just ‘get out’…. but as we all know when it comes to the leaving part – and even after you go – you may really struggle with the decision.
When deciding to leave a narcissist you are likely experiencing a myriad of emotions. Fear, regret, guilt, ‘what if’s’, and ‘maybe he or she could change’.
You may still be holding on to the hope that this relationship could turn into everything you wish it was meant to be.
You know that if you leave this is a big statement, and unless you are willing to mean it and follow through, there could be dire consequences.
It is so hard to upset the dream of this perfect partner, or this incredible life you thought you were going to have with the narcissist, and truly once being hooked by a narcissist every part of your emotional addiction is trying to keep you hooked to the narcissist for many reasons (explained in detail in this article.)
The truth is virtually everyone, before empowering themselves (which means healing our unhealed parts) failed many times at leaving the narcissist.
They often stayed far too long in the relationship, and after leaving returned to the abuse time and time again.
For so many reasons, painful confusion and torment makes it nearly impossible to firmly believe and stick to: I have made the right decision to leave.
The Narcissist’s Tricks You if You Try to Leave
The narcissist is an expert at confusing you. He or she wants to retain you for narcissistic supply. And this means that narcissist will hit whichever emotional button causes you the most angst in order to affect you and keep you hooked.
You don’t have to still be in the relationship, or living under the same roof to be providing supply, as long as the narcissist keeps his or her hooks in to you.
If this is the case you will be still granting attention (which may simply be you obsessing), and you are still prey.
If being abandoned and discarded are your greatest fears (childhood programs of unavailable parents), the narcissist may act as if he or she doesn’t care when you’re leaving. This will cause you to fall into a heap “I can’t believe I mean nothing to you!”, start contacting the narcissist for some show of ‘care’, and thus go back for more abuse.
The narcissist still has control over you and knows it…
If the narcissist is jealous and controlling, and you have inner programs of despising feeling smothered, distrusted and controlled (parents who ran your life and violated your boundaries) the narcissist will try to make your life a living hell if you leave.
He or she will strip you of your assets, gain more control of your life and create so much angst, threats and trouble that it makes it very hard for you to leave, or once leaving you may feel ‘forced’ to come back to try to stop the onslaughts.
The narcissist will attempt to punish you horrifically. Understandably, if this is your dynamic it is very important to plan your departure mindfully without the narcissist knowing.
If your blind spot is ‘empathy and guilt’ (childhood programs of being conditioned to feel that you are only lovable when you are self-sacrificing yourself to what a parent wants you to do, or the inner childhood program of ‘If I help heal you I will be safer’) the narcissist may cry and plead and declare “I love you, I know I need help, please don’t desert me. If you love you won’t abandon me!”
Leaving the Narcissist Triggers Our Greatest Fears
The truth is – the pain you are about to go through is a huge old Inner Identity wound exploding into your consciousness in full technicolour.
You are about to face extreme abandonment or punishment or guilt (or all three), and any of these painful emotions are the very opposite of the love you thought you had signed up for when you entered this relationship.
These are your old re-activated childhood wounds, and when we re-open old wounds (that are not yet healed), they hurt – horribly.
They feel like you are dying.
The narcissist is the master of targeting our old wounds and ripping them open.
This is the very method a narcissist employs to control us against all of our logic, and all of our better judgement.
Our old unresolved wounds, when heavily triggered by the narcissist, don’t make us run away they make us attach even more.
And when we don’t take responsibility for these wounds, and don’t recognise, accept they exist or put our focus on healing them, they can be activated very easily, and the pain is horrific.
They scream at us, and in our panic, we make terrible decisions and we feel completely powerless.
These old unhealed wounds keep driving us back into the clutches of the narcissist if we try to leave – or they don’t allow us to leave.
The reason is: if we don’t take responsibility for these inner wounds we will do everything in our power to try to get the person who is bringing these wounds up for us (the narcissist) to fix these wounds for us so that the pain and panic can stop.
Through pleading, coercing, confronting, crying, raging, manipulating, retaliating, trying to force accountability, pleading helplessness – and every other method we can lay our hands on, we try to make the narcissist stop doing what he or she is doing – and we feel like we will disintegrate if we can’t make this happen.
What we forgot to understand is: these are our wounds, they were already present.
The narcissist just knew how to play on these wounds but they were always ours.
How our Mind and Emotions Behave When We Leave
When we have unhealed parts, that we are not fully focused on healing, our mind jumps in to try and stop the pain.
The problem with this is our mind does a terrible job of this…
Our mind tries to get solution from everywhere other than where the pain is really going on (inside us).
And when our mind believes that fixing or changing the outside is going to stop the pain, we lose focus and drift further away from the pain’s origin – where it really needs to be healed.
When our mind is in charge, rather than take responsibility for the healing of our unhealed parts to get true relief and healing and to stop our pattern of being narcissistically abused, we second guess ourselves, or feel like we have ‘missed something’ .
Something feels incomplete…and…our deepest survival fears are triggered and we obsess into the fears and the stories of ‘How will I survive?” and ‘I may always be alone’ or ‘My life is finished’.
If we are not aware, we can easily hand our power over and stay, or cave in and go back to the narcissist.
In this broken state we can feel drawn to not taking responsibility and have the outside fix us.
Taking responsibility feels REALLY HARD at first. But the more you do it the easier it gets.
You aren’t going to get well by just leaving and try to get on with your life. You need to commit to you.
This is why it is imperative to commit to healing yourself as soon as you can, and realise this is not actually about what the narcissist is doing to you before or after you leave…
This is about healing YOUR unhealed parts that the narcissist is belting you with.
And when you do you will be able to leave healthily and powerful with greatly reduced levels of confusion and pain.
Because once you do heal these parts, the narcissist will have no hold over you again, he or she has nothing to belt you with, and you will not be a match for the same dynamic ever again.
It took me at least a dozen times of leaving the narcissist before I really understood these vital points.
I really hope this helps you leave your narcissist successfully and if it did I would love to hear your story in the comments.
If you have already left the narcissist, do you have any other important lessons that would help someone who is yet to leave? Please share them in the comments below and I will add the most helpful contributions along with your name into this blog post so new readers can benefit from your insight.
Thanks for reading.