When I was finally discarded, I instantly felt threatened. I remember waking that following morning (OK, I did not really sleep at all that first night), I feared I was about to loose everything, I feared she would do anything to destroy me; actually kill me. Instantly, I was in self preservation mode, protect me at all costs. Almost as if I was dropped into a war zone. I instantly felt like a soldier that had zero knowledge of what he was about to face. It was such a strange feeling. Hours before, I was in bed, crying. I just lost the love of my life; she left me for another man. Left me with children, to raise on my own. What was I going to do? That following morning, that all disappeared. All that was present was this fear of danger. Her mask fell off. I was now seeing the real her; and it was like looking the devil in the eye.
While this was my first marriage, this was not the first break up I had ever experienced; I had many before being married. I can tell you, this felt very different from any breakup I had with anyone before. In fact the feelings I was having were completely confusing to me at the time. I was experiencing an awakening. While I was not conscious to it while I was with my narcissistic partner, my mind always knew she was bad for me. When she left, all these repressed feeling and thoughts came rushing forward. I didn’t sleep for a long time. Now that my heart was broken it was no longer clouding what my mind was trying to tell me all along. My mind wanted it’s turn to speak. Speak it did, 24-7, there was no time for sleep. I processed a lot in those sleepless nights. Very hard things; things I did not understand, things that were causing me great fear.
That feeling of fear grew and subsided throughout years of recovery. The path of recovery was never linear and consistently confused me as the feeling of fear would build within me and then fade away. I would have tremendous days of confidence and happiness, and then one word or email from the Narc would send me in a tailspin. Years later it is still there sometimes; much less than it ever was. It is there so infrequent now that it has allowed my mind to travel in a eye opening direction. In the direction of true introspection, and very clear retrospection. After a traumatic experience like the Narcissist discarding you there will always be triggers that take you back to moments in the experience. Moments that you will begin to relive and try to understand. I have learned to channel what I am feeling about the memories into real healing. The healing is coming from reflecting on what I was really feeling in those moments. Let me explain…
One evening I was talking to my current girlfriend about day to day life. She also was married before. We talked about what we handled in the household, what our partner did, and so on. During one of my explanations I was triggered. I was explaining I did most of the grocery shopping, and thoughts came rushing back in a way I never saw before. I started reliving those evenings in my head. Leaving the house to go grocery shopping late at night, after a long day. I started to remember it was one of my most peaceful moments in my life. Getting out of the house, away from her, was peaceful. That recollection got my gears turning and all sorts of memories started to come back. Memories of how all my anxiety attacks would happen when heading home to her, never while heading out. All the times I would collect the kids, run home, and get dinner ready, being on edge as I tried to have everything ready for her arrival. The dreams I would have as I slept, about how much simpler life would be single again. The constant uncomfortable feeling I had in a social situations involving her, but I was completely at ease in social environments that did not include her. The list goes on. I came to realize I was always on edge around her.
The need to protect myself at all costs was there, but buried deep within me. My mind was constantly trying to tell me to get away. It was causing me physical pain and fear to try to snap me out of it. Panic attacks, numbness in my limbs, tension in my jaw, grinding teeth at night, headaches. I would not listen to my mind and body though. All I could remember was all the happiness this person brings me. I was waiting for that next great loving moment with her. My heart was blinding me from the truth, while the rest of me was slowly dying. Deep down, buried in my subconscious, I always knew how bad she was for me. They say listen to your heart. Well guess what, your heart can be fooled. Listen to it all, your mind, your heart, your body, your soul. Love yourself, protect yourself, feel your emotions; then love another.