Lost and Found5 min read

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This is my story of crafting my self-identity after a toxic relationship with a narcissistic human. I loved and cared for her deeply, but I love myself more. So I did what I needed to do. I got the hell out.

She entered my life. She became my life. All my thoughts, feelings, hopes, words, and actions were subservient to her. I didn’t realize I was suffering from identity-loss until I was strong enough to get out of that situation. But that’s exactly why I felt numb during the time I was with her. When I left I felt myself unsure of what exactly to do or how to be…as if I vanished.

I realize I’m not alone. I feel a lot of resentment and anger still, but I can and already am moving on. I’m going to come out more dignified, stronger, wiser, and assertive than ever before.
As a part of my healing (and hey who knows maybe this story will help someone) but I had to take a step back and understand her personality. She was literally a shapeshifter. She changed her thoughts, feelings, and emotions to manipulate me at any given moment. Not only was my ex a narcissist, she was an addict. A heroin addict. Spending a year of my time with her I noticed she would say completely different things about herself to different people, but in reality she never knew who she was. She was too focused on short-term gratification. People’s attention, energy, and resources is what fueled her. Similar to the way she chased after the drug she fiened for, my attention, energy, and resources was also her “high.” Her sense of self is rooted in manipulation games.

I was vulnerable. I saw her as a “tortured soul that needed someone to show them compassion and support” I wanted to help her. I wanted to show her that life was not just black and white and that she didn’t need drugs to be happy or feel okay. I tried showing her you can be high on life. Off of the connections, bonds, and vibes shared with others. But little did I know what I was in for. With everything she shared with me, and seeing that she was struggling in a toxic situation,I felt empathetic, hungry to help.

So I invested my time. My energy. Myself, to her. But that wasn’t enough, it was never enough. Now that I’m on the outside looking in, I sit and wonder how the hell I didn’t see this landslide occurring, or why I didn’t stop it sooner. But the helplessness and isolation created an emotional and mental blockade. At one time she had complete control of me. Resistance wasn’t working anymore so eventually I gave up trying to regain control, and eventually entered “survival mode depression.” Incompetence and anxiety hit me hard. I depended on that monster for comfort and felt like I existed for her. Everything I did was for her. I breathed for her.

With her I hit a plateau. She tried to hold me back and guilt me from going out and doing things with my friends, family, even going to school. Saying “your family sucks they don’t deserve your time are you really going to leave me to go hang with them?” Or “school is expensive and a waste of money, you probably won’t even use your degree anyway.” These wheels spun for months for her, but her road hit a dead end. I don’t breathe to please her anymore. She tried putting me down and making me feel uncomfortable in my own skin, but I know she only did that to make me feel as if SHE was the ONLY one who could ever want me or love me, out of fear of losing me. She constantly criticized my abilities, making me feel small and worthless. She always implied I’d fail…but…she did it indirectly to try and come off as a “realist” in disguise. I always caught myself wondering what she would say or how she’d react before I said or did anything. It was like walking on eggshells and glass.

But now I look back on this dark chapter in my life with and I can say that I don’t regret being with her. Because of her I am now a stronger person in many ways. She wasn’t a mistake, she was a lesson. She didn’t make me a fool, she made me wiser. She didn’t break me, she made me stronger. Pain is growth.

Today I’m living my best life. I’m thankful for every breath I inhale. I’m surrounding myself with supportive people and building bridges with my friends and family. The ones she pushed me away from. I’m doing things that I was told were “unrealistic” im enrolled in college for my Business degree, quit smoking cigarettes, changed my diet, and work out consistently. I’m living on my own terms. I’m committed to myself. Mind, body, and soul. I wake up everyday looking forward to being productive and working towards achieving my goals and being the best version of myself. I’m moving slow and steady, Moving with a unifying breath. Setting boundaries and standing my ground. This life will be spent feeling alive, joyful, loving myself and others. I’m committed to my best life and looking forward to my future more than ever before. Blessed and grateful to be here.

Thanks for taking the time to read.

Story submitted by Tayler