The very first lesson we need to walk away with is how to set boundaries with the people in our lives. You don’t want anyone ever again to cross those boundaries. You don’t want anyone who feels unsafe to even put their toes up to the line. This will be the fastest ticket to happiness.
Take every day simply day by day. Try not to look too far ahead or worry too much. Get up and deal with that day and the emotions that come with it. You have to face each day head on in order to move into a happier place and heal.
You need to learn to trust again and part of learning to trust again is working through the grieving process with purpose. I had a few people tell me how long it should take me to grieve and to move on. No one has the right to tell you how long it should take no more than anyone has the right to tell a parent how long it should take them to grieve the loss of a child. Just take it day by day. You may have a day when you cry all day or stay in bed, that is okay. You may have that ONE day but the next day you need to pull yourself out of that bed and deal with your emotions head on. If you need help doing that, then seek professional help. Going through this process is the only way you will be set free and finally be happy.
I won’t lie to you. You will have days that your soul and your heart is in such a deep dark place. The pain is unbearable and you can’t face the world. Or at least I did. If it had not been for my boys, I probably would have curled up and died. The narcissist was still abusing me, finances were difficult, divorcing on top of my new responsibilities were overwhelming. My kids were hurt and angry and upset. When they would come back from their mandatory visits I felt like FEMA after a hurricane and had to deal with them and all their emotions. I felt like the narcissist got to be the fun parent and got to have the fun time with our children and it sucked but I just kept working through it day by day and I knew my day would come. I knew the narcissist was like a new video game and eventually the novelty would die off and it did. I knew if I continued to be consistent and honest in my love and support, it would be abundantly clear. I also had a few friends in place who called me. They knew when to let me sink and deal and they knew when to come and pull me out of bed. Find that person and ask them to call you once or twice a day just to check in.
Happiness is a decision. There were many days I hid my pain so that my kids would not worry and I found within a few minutes or hours, I was happy. I was enjoying my kids and if I really took the time to not think about the narcissist and his next move, I was happy to be out. I was happy to be making decisions on my own. Hell, I was happy to make mistakes with no repercussions from the narcissist.
Choose attitudes and behaviors that make you happy. I did this even when married. Drove the narcissist crazy. You have to be able to manage your emotions so if you aren’t doing that in a healthy way then seek help. Be grateful. No matter what he did, I was always happy and grateful that out of this dysfunctional mess he had created, that I had my children. I knew they were blessings and they made me happy. Find people to surround yourself with that are happy and accepting of who you are. I had church and then I also made new friends with a spiritual community and found their healing acceptance and friendship is just what my spirit needed.
The best thing I ever did for myself was to open up and love and trust again. It helped me to realize that I can do normal. I can have a healthy relationship and that someone does accept me for who I am. It was refreshing. It was a breath of fresh air. I breathed him in every chance I got because I just could not believe I could be this happy and independent. To be me and loved!
The narcissist will still try to control you and still try to make you unhappy. Learn to be happy and to tune the narcissist out. The narcissist has drained you of your self-esteem, your normalcy, your life. Learn to be happy and love yourself and your new life. No matter what was going on, I knew that my future would begin when I could learn to be happy.