Or did you get your hard-earned degree in Narcissist Avoidance?
Yesterday one of my clients (who gave me permission to share this story) told me she was feeling sadness and regret at having wasted a year and a half of her life in a relationship with an abuser.
While I didn’t diminish or minimize any of the pain she felt over healing from her trauma, I did invite her to tell herself a new story about it.
“Girl, you didn’t waste a year and a half of your life. You earned your 18-month Associates’ Degree from Narcissist Avoidance Academy. You learned all the signs and red flags of toxic relationships, and now you’re done, and you don’t ever have to be in one ever again for the rest of your life.”
Maybe you spent more than 18 months in your toxic relationship. Maybe you spent 5 years. Girl, high-five because you got your PhD!!
Doesn’t that feel better? And – admit it – isn’t it true?
If you’ve come out of a toxic relationship, you can now declare that you are complete with your experience of allowing any of that kind of energy into your life, and that you are not in agreement with it happening ever again.
If you could believe that the painful experience of your toxic relationship could now serve for you as a guarantee that you will never again allow another one like it into your life for as long as you live… wouldn’t that almost be worth it?
You’re done! You graduated!
Yes, it was one of the most difficult programs you’ve ever been through – I sure know mine was. Hell, I didn’t limit myself to my Violent Controlling Sociopathic Narcissist major, I signed up for a double-major in Whiny Self-Loathing Self-Sabotaging Narcissist too so I could be an expert in both! But now I’m done, and I don’t ever have to take that course again, because I chose to learn the lessons.
So don’t beat yourself up over wasted time, because those years may have been the best investment you’ve ever made in securing yourself a bright and blissful future in which you are so able to walk away from any relationship that does not meet your standards that the universe will have no choice but to present you with one that fulfills all your wildest dreams!
This degree was harder than NYU and took me twice as long to earn, not to mention all the exhaustive extracurriculars. Frankly I’m fucking proud of it.