"He is going to flip the script. It's what they do." -- Dr. Bottello, my psychologist.
Surviving narcissitic abuse is one helluva journey. When you finally get out of it, it makes you realize how much your life was turned on its head. As a person who managed to live 40 years of my life with loving, grounded men around me, I was not prepared for the, excuse my French, "mind fuck" of this type of a relationship.
Flipping the script—or making the other person out to be the one with the disorder or the abuser—is in the narsisstic abuse playbook. I knew this was part of the game and was warned it would happen but I wasn't prepared for how it would make me feel to endure it. I mean, come on, right?!?! I knew it was coming! But I'm still human and it still hurts to be the one on the receiving end of abuse in the relationship and the one who is now painted as the abuser.
I remember asking both of my therapists if I am truly OK. Do I have something wrong with me? Was I not seeing it? Seriously, was HE right? Maybe he was on to something I couldn't wrap my brain around. Welcome to life after this kind of abuse. I was thankfully told by my psychologist and my therapist that no, my personality is fully in-tact. No splintering. While I do tend to dissociate from my inner child (due to childhood trauma), I am NOT suffering from a personality disorder. I am simply recovering from three years of narcissistic abuse.
I'm not gonna sugar coat it. Recovering from this type of relationship is not easy. It's a slow process of coming back into myself. You're groomed to always think of your partner constantly—tending to needs, anticipating reactions, doing whatever you can to get back to the good part of the relationship and not piss them off—that it's not easy to just move on, like many people suggest. It's easy for them to move on because when the gig is up, the gig is up. Sure, moving on from the relationship is complete. Repairing the residual go-to reactions and conditioned behavior, well, that's another story. Thank God for family, friends, and therapists who understand who I was before this relationship and who I am now.
I'm stronger now, that's for sure and getting help from many sources.
I'm rereading The Four Agreements and focusing on this one in particular.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
I saw a post on instagram that talks about how narcissists always treat the public better than those close to them because they're obsessed with how they appear to others and their self image. It's why many struggle to believe the victim's story but it doesn't mean the abuse isn't real just because other's can't see it.
I totally understand not believing no matter what is presented or felt. I really do. No one could have told me any differently three years ago. I believed what I wanted to believe. I could love him better than the many women who had let him down. It must have been their fault. I was sure I was different.
Now, I'm becoming a very discerning person who still believes in human goodness but also stands up for herself no matter what and fights to not take things personally.
Hey! I just realized I'm flipping my own life script...and this movie is about to get really freakin' good! :)