Acknowledging the grief, the losses, and the whole truth of the devastation after a toxic entanglement with an abusive narcissist is a critical piece to realigning the inner compass that is there to guide and protect.
Teasing apart the “shoulds”, the imagined futures, the denial and distortions from what is real and raw is a part of the process of grieving.
Allowing ourselves to turn toward and feel this deep sense of loss that is intertwined in the body and in the mind may open a door to a new way of being.
Acknowledging and holding the very real suffering may widen our perspective so we are ultimately able to see the gifts and unclench from the story.
Can we forgive ourselves for being deceived and abused?
The most important thing that I lost after 18 years of marriage to an abusive narcissist is:
- my unconditional sense of misplaced loyalty and misguided responsibility to others at the expense of myself.
- a particular type of innocence
- giving unearned trust to others
If the losses and the emotions tangled with the grief are not held with kindness, clarity and a courageous intention for balance and equanimity our hearts can become hardened.
Grief can transform into an endless wave of unrelenting anger, resentment, and regret that forever colors our vision of the world and transforms us into individuals who are cynical, seething, and/or forever victims.
The anger can show up as our unrelenting clinging to black and white ideas of how things “should be” or “should have been”.
It can show up as endless tears of frustration for losses that seem unbearable and unfair.
The anger can be directed towards ourselves and sabotage our physical and emotional health.
Lack of trust without conscious awareness that is fed and cultivated can leave us more easily triggered, hyper-vigilant with quills raised, isolated, defensive, and in a constant state of fear.
This leads to misery and a heavy burden that becomes too heavy to bear.
Unprocessed grief lingers and tears at the fabric of compassion and forgiveness that we so desperately need to bring towards ourselves.
This can become our default way of being and seeing life.
Left undigested within the wholeness of who we are; we can now be unintentionally cultivating a compass that continues to distort either through a hard lens of distrust or through a lack of protection for self.
When grief is not acknowledged and felt in the body, the heart closes and hardens, and the mind spins.
There are losses. There is deep sadness. There are also profound lessons.
There are opportunities to see the gifts of wisdom, courage, and kindness that allow for clearer seeing.
There is an opportunity to see that we can now align our compass and bring conscious choice and skillful action to our chosen path.