Your heart broken by a two-faced narcissist… So how do you trust again after being in a narcissistic relationship?
I work with a lot of people who, metaphorically speaking, have been hit by the runaway car that is a narcissist.
At first, understandably, they arrive at their sessions confused, heartbroken, obsessed, and addicted to the traumatic bond with the narcissistic person they were involved with.
Eventually, though, as they get better and do the challenging job of regulating their nervous system, they begin to consider (gasp) dating again. And when they do, the question each of them always asks is:
“How do I trust again after being in a narcissistic relationship?”
The answer I give is never one that they like, but it is one that each client must accept if they are committed to improving and not repeating the same pattern again:
You learn to trust yourself first by mending and repairing the cracks in the broken relationship you have created with yourself.
Because yea, the person you were involved with may have done terrible things. Yes, you may have been lied to. Yes, you may have been misled. Yes, they drove you crazy and made you question your sanity. Yes, they did all of those things and maybe, possibly, probably more.
However, at some point in the relationship, you began to feel that maddening dissonance between what they were saying and what your body was telling you.
You started to get that “oh oh” feeling at the mouth of your solar plexus that told you something was wrong. And instead of listening, respecting, choosing and trusting that feeling (i.e yourself), you chose them and ended up betraying yourself.
You ignored yourself, your knowledge and your intuition.
And chances are the time you were in a relationship with that person is the time you did that to yourself over and over and over and over again.
To make it more clear, let me give an example for you.
At some point, they lied to us. And on a bodily, somatic level, we know they’re lying: we’d get a little whisper of a hint that something wasn’t right.
Sometimes it wasn’t even a whisper. Sometimes it was a scream!
But instead of paying attention to our body’s warning signals, we bypass the somatic fire of 5 signal alarms going off inside of us and choose them and their reality over ourselves.
We betrayed our relationship with ourselves to maintain the one we had with them. And in doing so, we unconsciously choose madness.
That ongoing act was the breach of self-confidence that needs to be resolved in order to move forward.
That is the relationship that needs to be addressed. And this is how we heal.
Most of us mistakenly believe that learning to trust again has to do with others. But that’s not where trust is built. Or at least, that’s where it’s built secondarily.
Where it must be built first is within ourselves.
We must make peace with the part of ourselves that we betray and trample on the most; we must take responsibility and rebuild trust with the insider that we ignored or gave little or no respect or consideration to.
And we must do that where we have least confidence: in our relationship with our inner knowing and our bodies.
When we do that, we create self-confidence and the necessary foundational boundaries in ourselves, creating an organic trust in the world and the people around us. This is because we have developed the ability to become better at reading, listening and respecting the signals that our bodies, intuition and knowledge tell us.
We become more trustworthy.
So if you’ve been in a relationship, or a few, with someone who has or has shown narcissistic adaptations, the path to healing doesn’t begin with finding a different, better, or good man or woman to prove you worthwhile. trusting The road to recovery begins with becoming a good caregiver and listening to your body’s signals and establishing over and over again that you are trustworthy with YOU.
You do this by acknowledging that you betrayed yourself first (or also).