We all talk to ourselves every day – nonstop conversation, making decisions, and telling stories. So often, this is a good thing – how else would we navigate through life?
Often, though, we hurt our own feelings in these conversations and stories. For example, we make up a scenario where we are imperfect, and someone else is perfect – smarter, prettier, more talented. Or we tell ourselves that they are intentionally trying to hurt us.
However, most of the time, those stories we tell ourselves simply aren’t true. We just hurt our own feelings by thinking they are. So we act based on assumptions and false info.
When you’ve been with a narc, you’re even more prone to doing this. The voice in your head might even sound like them. That was dumb. She’s so much smarter than you. Why can’t you be more like that? Nothing you do matters to this household – I could easily just hire someone to replace you. (Yes, another quote from my narc).
We see their social media and tell ourselves that he’s so much happier with the new girl. Why wasn’t he this happy with me? Why didn’t he treat me this good? What’s wrong with me? We make up this perfect fantasy life they must be living…heartbroken over the loss of a life which someone else is living. He’s living his best life, and I’m stuck here. Why does she get to live my life? Right? You’ve thought that…
The reality is we know everything about his outward appearance is a lie. It’s just the story we, and everyone else, tell ourselves because the narc is a master manipulator and liar.
So why not tell yourself a new story and use it to make yourselves more empowered and confident feel better about life and yourselves. You are not “stuck” anymore – you are now free to do whatever you want without criticism or abuse. Remind yourself about the life you know they live behind closed doors because you’ve been there.
If you find yourself thinking about things that upset you, tell yourself a new story. You are the author of your stories. It can be anything you want. For example, when you think of your ex with a new person, have her wearing a clown hat and him talking like Donald Duck as he criticizes her like he did you. What were the things about him that you liked the least? Tell yourself those stories.
Physically write a list of all the bad things about him and the relationship, and keep it with you at all times. Then, when you find yourself romanticizing him or your relationship as some happily-ever-after love story, you can read the list and replay the reality in your mind. See them as they really are, rather than you would like them to be. Finally, realize the story you are making up is not the truth, and you’re only hurting your own feelings.
A Note from the AuthorI am not a therapist or life coach, and I don’t pretend to be one on the internet. These blogs are my thoughts, perspective, and experiences based on my nine-year relationship with a malignant narcissist and my healing journey since leaving him.
The ideas suggested are simple for a reason. Trauma rewires the brain, and healing needs to start with simple, doable steps.
It’s also not my intention to imply this is a gender-specific issue. My blogs are written from a woman’s perspective because I am one. Men suffer from emotional abuse too. I hope they can overlook the gender terms and adapt the content to be relevant to their own experience.
All my best to you,