It is natural to be afraid to date again or be in a relationship again after you were abused.
I have interacted with hundreds of people on my blogs and on YouTube. Everyone has questions about if, when, how and who to trust again.
Most everyone wonders how long to wait before making themselves vulnerable to pain again.
Wherever you are on your path, you know things now that you did not know before. No matter how long it has been or how much you have learned about narcissists and cluster B personalites, it is still okay to feel the need to protect yourself.
You trusted your judgement before and you feel like it let you down.
You trusted in humanity differently before and now your reality has been forever altered. It was a crushing realization that there was no going back.
From time to time you even intentionally zoned out and pretended that the abuser was not that bad…maybe they really loved you and just were too broken to know how to care for you.
But truth is truth. The truth is brutal and we take it in small doses at a time….that is …after that first crushing blow.
You might wonder what you might still be missing. What piece is still left out of your puzzle that you might need.
It is not really so much about them as we think sometimes. The narcissists get so much press all over the internet.
Everyone talks about them, how they are broken, how they just cannot help their behaviors. You have probably heard people say that the narcissist was so abused that all they know is how to look out for themselves.
As a child they had to survive and they developed coping skills which included not feeling empathy or compassion for others. The pain of feeling the emotions of others was too great.
Then they grew up and had to keep these same coping skills they developed as children. They only injure others as a consequence of living and surviving the only way they know how.
Well if you were abused in a relationship with a narcicissist or a psychopath you know they did hurt you on purpose. They intentionally controlled you, lied to you, crushed your self esteem and made you appear to others in an unrealistic way.
You had trouble…and still do…getting anyone to believe your story. You feel alone much of the time with the PTSD that the narcissist has left you with.
Not only did you suffer during the relationship but you suffered long after the relationship ended…and are still suffering.
How could you expose yourself to this potential danger again?
Your judgement failed you once…perhaps more than once. You may have taken them back when they told you they could change.
You may have been taken in by a narcissist that seemed to be such a different person than the last one that you did not recognize anything wrong or unsafe about them.
You have spent countless nights ruminizing about the relationship…wondering what you did wrong and what is wrong with you.
Too much attention is going to the narciccists. They even like it even though they would say otherwise.
They are proud of their skills at manipulation. They are proud they outsmarted you.
But they were not smarter than you. You were just a person with a good nature and they took advantage of that good nature.
You did not deserve to be abused. You did not stay willingly in a relationship that you knew would get worse unless you were caught in their traps.
History will not repeat itself exactly. You will not be the same exact person this time that you were before.
This is more about you and less about them. Screw them. They get enough press and attention.
You have learned about yourself from this and you will continue to learn about yourself.
If you are not confident that you can walk away if you see red flags then you should take more time. If you have not learned about the red flags and the typical narcissistic tactics then take time to learn those things first.
The most important thing is that you have the confidence to be able to back off when you suspect something…or walk away when you feel disrespected or uncomfortable.
Relationships are not about forcing yourselves to tolerate another person’s behavior. If they do things that make you feel unsafe or disrespected then you need to be able to walk away.
If they do things that make you confused and you end up spending time justifying their behavior to yourself then walk away.
If they have to give you stories to justify their behaviors then walk away.
Relationships are not supposedly to be about how much you can take. It is not about how embarrassed you can be made to feel and still stand by them .
Relationships are not about how much you can keep your true feelings to yourselves. They are not about having to justify your partner’s behavior to your friends or having to apogize for their behavior to the waitress.
You need to feel comfortable in your own skin that your feelings, ideas and thoughts deserve respect.
You are the prize that another person should desire. You are the person that someone should make sure that they are making comfortable and happy.
You do not have to tolerate behaviors you do not want to put up with. As soon as it feels that way to you then walk.
Do not allow someone to tell you whether or not their behavior should or should not bother you. Your intution is good. Your brain is good.
You have right to feel how you feel. If the things they are saying do not match with how you are feeling then walk away.
If you can walk away when you do not enjoy their company….if you can move on when you feel that the reality they are trying to sell you does not match the reality right in front of you…then you are ready to dip your feet in the water.
If you need practice looking for red flags and walking away when you see them then maybe dip your toe in the water and comsider it practice or self training.
No matter what you must remember that you are complete and entire person all by yourself. You do not need a “second half” or a “better half” …or a “shitty half.”
Another person is to enrich your life and to share and grow with. They are a partner and a friend ….but not the rest of your puzzle.
Your puzzle may be a work in progress but you have all the pieces within you. It is during your own spiritual path that you will connect your puzzle together.
You do not need someone to complete you and it is arrogant for someone to think you are nothing without them.
Find people that think you are Really Something Special and that they are blessed to be able to spend time with you.