If you’re like me you love exploring new destinations, but find the actual experience of travel to be really destabilizing for your nervous system. Traveling with anxiety isn’t always pleasant, but it’s definitely possible with a little bit of planning. Below are my favorite items to travel with to help minimize pre-travel anxiety, while helping to stabilize your nervous system for your whole trip. They are simple, easy to use, and all fit inside of your carry-on!
Adaptogens are herbs that help your body adapt to different kind of stressors, i.e. traveling with anxiety. To be honest, I was never really a believer in them until my doctor prescribed me a blend for anxiety. Damn, they really worked! You don’t have to bring an herbal pharmacy with you on the plane since there are literally hundreds of convenient adaptogen supplements on the market. You can take them in pill form, powder, or tea. I like to bring a few packets of Four Sigmatic’s Chill Chai Latte and drink it on the plane instead of the terrible, artificially flavored tea they serve. I also like to take a dose of the the Life Seasons Adrenal-T blend or the Anxie-T blend (both of which are sold at Whole Foods in a travel size bottle) before I get to the airport to help with pre-trip anxiety.
Alexis Smart First Aid Kit
If you know me or follow me on Instagram, then you know I’m a huge fan of Alexis Smart Flower Remedies (read my review here!). Alexis Smart crafts flower remedies in the lineage of Dr. Bach. The small bottles are TSA friendly & you take them just by dropping a few drops under your tongue. The First Aid Kit blend is a fast acting remedy that can treat acute anxiety. You can take it as often as every 10 minutes until you calm down. Start taking the drops as soon as you feel that first tinge of pre-travel anxiety.
Whole Foods sells Bach Flower Remedies, but personally I have only had true success with the Alexis Smart line. I personally always use First Aid Kit for traveling with anxiety and try to keep a bottle in my purse at all times.
Snacks with Fat & Protein
Airplane snacks and things you could find around the airport are typically ultra processed, high in refined carbs, high in salt & contain sugar & artificial sweeteners. Excess salt, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and artificial food additives like MSG have all been shown to trigger anxiety. Sugar, refined carbs, and not eating consistently can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, which will make traveling with anxiety sooo much worse.
Instead of risking your mood & mental health, pack healthy, filling snacks in your carry-on. Make sure your snacks include both healthy fats and protein to help stabilize your blood sugar and keep you feeling full longer. I typically pack: nuts, single serving almond butter packets, avocado & lime (yes, I make my own guacamole on the plane), gluten free crackers, a few squares of dark chocolate, and fresh fruit. I love these reusable bento boxes that make it super easy to pack a filling, healthy meal for yourself. Is this more effort than just grabbing McDonalds? Yes, but it’s less work than dealing with an anxiety attack. Like traveling with any chronic condition, a little bit of preplanning goes a long way.
An Engrossing Novel
Sometimes all you need to calm your anxiety is to be so engrossed in a different world that you forget you’re even on a plane! But reading isn’t just great for anxiety due to the element of distraction. Studies have found that reading can reduce stress levels by up to 68% and that 30 minutes of reading has benefits roughly equivalent to 30 minutes of meditation. The Harry Potter series and the Kingsbridge series by Ken Follett are my absolute favorites for being transported to another world.
It’s been my experience that certain essential oils have an amazing impact on anxiety. For me, I have found that anxiety is really triggered by asthma. Unfortunately, asthma medication is a well known anxiety trigger, as well, so I do my utmost to avoid taking it. I always travel with a bottle of Breathe blend by Doterra which is an incredible replacement for an inhaler. If you are having an anxiety or panic attack, it can also help you normalize your breathing. For anxiety symptoms I also love Doterra’s Serenity blend, which can be used as an oil or taken in capsule form.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
The constant noise and screaming babies while traveling can lead to some serious sensory overload, leading to an anxiety attack. I use Beats Noise Canceling headphones to drown out the noise. I’ll listen to binaural beats, classical music, or soothing sounds because listening to hours of modern music or podcasts on end can also contribute to sensory overload.
We all know that the best answer to anxiety is meditation. Of course, sitting still and breathing is last thing you want to do when you actually have anxiety! That being said, being trapped on an airplane is a good way to force yourself to meditate. You may or may not have wifi when you’e up in the air so plan ahead and download the meditations beforehand. For me, I really love the Soothe DI, the Triggers DI and the Emotional Clearing DI from To Be Magnetic. If you are a Pathway member you can download them with the Teachable app. I download a few Joe Dispenza meditations as well, although I don’t do the breathwork on the plane for fear of people thinking I’m insane.
If you’re an online dater (who isn’t these days?) you’ve probably found yourself wondering why guys suddenly ghost. It seems to happen constantly with online dating, things are going great, maybe you’ve met up a few times, maybe you’re even dating, then the guy suddenly disappears. It’s easy to let this send you on an emotional downward spiral wondering what you did wrong to drive away someone so great, so suddenly. But the truth is, ghosting says more about the other person’s emotional state than it says about you.
1) Mommy Issues
Many guys with mommy issues are initially attracted to someone who reminds them of their mother, but overtime the attraction turns to resentment. While they were initially attracted to someone with whom they feel the familiarity and comfort , they also deeply resent their mother for her abandonment, controlling behavior, narcissism, whatever. Eventually, all those resentments end up transferred onto you.
A red flag this might be happening is you often find yourself accused of crimes that feel totally out of left field. For example, you text him to find out if he’ll be home for dinner and he accuses you of suffocating him. You accidentally call him during a work meeting and he accuses you of sabotaging his career. If this is happening it’s possible that he has projected his mother’s persona onto you. Now, he no longer wants to fuck you and needs to flee the suffocation he still feels from her. If the abandonment wound is strong, he might be convinced you are going to abandon & hurt him just like she did. Either way he needs to get out and get out fast before he gets hurt again. Thus, he disappears without a trace.
2) He Was in a Relationship or Situationship He Didn’t Disclose
A lot of guys live in deep fear of female rage and yet do so much to bring it down upon themselves. It’s possible he is married or in a relationship and was cheating. He got caught and was forced to delete you from his reality. Or he was in a situationship that somehow turned monogamous. Either way he doesn’t want to tell you the truth and face how angry you will be. If you keep following up trying to get an answer out of him, you’re much more likely to get blocked than to get the truth.
Some signs he might have been in a relationship: he never let you come to his place, he hid his phone, he canceled plans last minute, he lived out of town, he often claimed to be traveling from work, he was suspiciously private, you only saw him a few times a month.
3) He Has An Avoidant Attachment Style
One of the healthiest things you can do in your love life is to learn about attachment styles, basically how we form or avoid forming attachments in our relationships. This book will teach you everything you need to know. Those with an avoidant attachment style are people who fear intimacy and commitment. The more intimate the relationship becomes, the more they will be looking for the exit. If he ghosted after a new level of intimacy was reached, that’s pretty good indication that he has an avoidant attachment style. For example, maybe you spent the night at his house for the first time, planned a vacation together, or exchanged I love yous and then you never heard from him again. Don’t blame yourself. He is likely suffering from an anxious attachment style that forces him to be repelled by intimacy.
4) He Just Got Out of a Relationship
This one is pretty simple, he’s not ready for the intensity of a new relationship and isn’t over his ex. Unfortunately, he also lacks the maturity to tell you that.
5) He Just Wasn’t That Into You
Maybe he wasn’t feeling the spark. If you’re being honest with yourself, maybe you weren’t either. Too often we get to caught up in the mindset of trying to find someone, anyone, versus trying to find the right one. It can hurt when you had your hopes that something would work out and finally get you off of dating apps and into a wedding dress. But the truth is, if this person was the right person for you, they wouldn’t have suddenly ghosted.
Why Guys Suddenly Ghost: What to Do Next
You may be reading these and thinking, “Oh poor guy, he’s so wounded, I just need to save him!” Don’t. For one because he has made it clear he doesn’t want a relationship and chasing him down will accomplish nothing but hurting your pride and making you look like a love sick 16 year old. But more importantly, if you become MORE interested in someone once you learn they are emotionally damaged, then you have a lot of work to do on yourself. Stop trying to save other people as a distraction from your own pain and get serious about your inner work instead.
We only attract what is a match for us, so on some level you were a match for someone who wasn’t emotionally available. While getting a better idea of why guys suddenly ghost can help you find closure and make better dating decisions in the future, try not to fixate on figuring out why he disappeared. Working on your own issues, building a full life, and focusing on friendships is more important right now. That’s exactly why I designed my Post-Ghost Autopsy sessions, to help you get closure after ghosting, become aware of the issues that led you to be attracted to someone emotionally unavailable, and move in the direction of healing & manifesting love.
One of the biggest red flags that you may be in a relationship with a narcissist is that you have an ever growing list of things you aren’t allowed to do. Either because he has directly told you aren’t allowed to do those things, or because you doing those things always leads to an argument. There’s also a growing list of topics you can’t broach because you’re afraid of causing a fight. More and more you silence your thoughts and your needs, because it just isn’t worth the potential argument. But the list of things the narcissist won’t let you do is so long you inevitably slip up.
Being in a relationship with a narcissist is like living your life walking through a minefield. Any wrong move and everything could explode all around you. Your fight or flight response is always activated and you can’t even remember what relaxation or safety feels like. You are constantly exhausted, afraid to speak up, but you just can’t manage to leave the relationship.
If your partner doesn’t let you do any of the things on this list, either through direct order or through sabotage, that is a big red flag for a toxic relationship. If you have already left your narcissist or are in the process of leaving, keep reading! This article will help validate some of the weirder aspects of your experience. Validation is one of the most important elements of healing after narcissistic abuse.
Note: I use “He” to describe the narcissist in this article. This is just to make my life easier when writing. In reality, there are plenty of abusive narcissistic women in romantic relationships, gay or straight, and even in friendships. Don’t be put off by the gendered or even romantic language; this article can help you better understand all of the narcissists in your life.
1) Have Any Privacy
If you’ve been dating a narcissist, you probably know a thing or two about projection. Projection is when the narcissists accuses you of doing the exact thing they are actually doing. Most commonly in relationships, the narcissist will accuse you of cheating, when, in fact, they are the one who is having an affair. He will then become obsessively paranoid and jealous. The narcissist will go to incredible lengths to get access to you computer and cell phone. He will likely manipulate you into sharing all of your passwords with him, “I knew you were hiding something from me!” he’ll say if you refuse.
The narcissist will go through your phone, email, social media, journals, trash, work notes, absolutely anything to erode your sense of privacy and to maintain his sense of control. Whatever he finds he will punish you for and hold against you. A picture from Halloween three years ago with a male friend? “I knew you had sex with him. You’re such a liar! I forbid you from ever speaking to him again!” Compromising pictures? Gossip about a friend? Emails about your boss? He will forward them all to himself and threaten to release them if you ever try to break up with him. Of course, he’ll frame himself as a hero, claiming he just wants people to know the truth about who you really are.
2) Find Career Success
The narcissist always needs to be the center of attention. As a child, he likely suffered neglect from his parents and their love was doled out based on his achievements. If he had siblings, his parents encouraged competition instead of bonding. When the narcissist sees you, or anyone else for that matter, receiving attention or success, his wounded inner child registers it as a threat to his ability to have his needs met. He will lash out at you accordingly. The narcissist will humiliate you in front of your colleagues, get too drunk at the Christmas party, have an affair with your coworker, sabotage you before deadlines, pretend to get sick right before you have a big meeting. He will do anything and everything to prevent you from finding success and fulfillment outside of your relationship.
3) Have Friends They Don’t Approve Of
Control is the name of the game for the narcissist and having people in your social circle he can’t control is a threat to his power. What if they identify his behavior and tell you to leave? It’s not a risk he is willing to take, so he will slowly start to wear down your friendships. He’ll talk badly about your friends to you and start ugly rumors about them. If you still insist on being friends despite the lies he’s told about them, he’ll say, “I can’t believe you would be friends with someone like that. I guess birds of a feather flock together!” Then he’ll threaten to break up with you. He’ll delete messages they sent you before you see them, then convince you they don’t actually care about you. He’ll throw a birthday party for you and only invite the friends he approves of and tell you your other friends never responded to his invite. In reality he never invited them. He may even threaten your friends if they don’t stay away from you. And wow, you can forget about having opposite sex friends. When you’re dating a narcissist, everyone in your inner circle becomes a target.
4) Feel Confident
The narcissist’s control over you relies on your total lack of confidence and self worth. You may have entered the relationship a confident, secure woman, only to have your self worth slowly eroded through abuse, lies, and manipulation. Now, you’re a shell of your former self, afraid to voice your opinion, doubting yourself and your sanity, and allowing the narcissist to make all of your decisions, including what you eat and what you wear. Any time you find success, develop renewed confidence, or act like your old self, he has to shut it down. He will tell you how fat you are, that everyone thinks you’re a bitch, that all your friends talk shit about you behind your back, that you only got your job because your boss wants to sleep with you (and you led him on, of course).
He’ll tell any number of lies and invent any evidence needed to convince you that you are weak, pathetic, mental ill, unlovable, and unattractive. He wants you to believe that you need him around in order to function and that he is your only chance of finding true love. In reality, he is an energetic parasite sucking all of your life away. You were better off before you met him and you will be far better off when you are finally able to leave him.
5) Enjoy Intimacy With Family
Anyone the narcissist can’t control is a threat to him. Anyone who has influence over you is a rival to his influence. Anyone with whom you have established intimacy is a threat to him having his needs met. So is it any surprise the narcissist doesn’t want you to be close with your family? In some cases, he will try to alienate you from your family entirely, similar to how he will handle your friends. Other times he will try to manipulate your family against you. Of course, this will all happen while he is playing the perfect boyfriend/husband/son-in-law. I’ve heard too many cases of a woman going to her family and saying, “I think I need to leave, Greg.” Only for their family to say, ” How can you say that?! He’s the perfect husband! Why would you want to break apart your perfect family?!”
“Perfect” is always the red flag. No one and no family is perfect. The narcissist creates the smoke screen of perfection to hide his abuse. If you try to leave him, he may turn to your family and manipulate them against you. He may try to convince them that you’re having a mental breakdown. He’ll accuse you of cheating, developing a drug problem, abuse, things which he himself is guilty of, not you (projection). He may even create and plant false evidence. He’ll become their knight is shining armor, swearing to save you. When your whole family is a party to the gaslighting, it’s almost impossible to actually leave the narcissist.
6) Lose Weight
Don’t get me wrong, he’ll tell you he wants you to lose weight. Right as you’re about to leave for a party or walk down the aisle at your sister’s wedding. He’ll take food out of your hands and humiliate you in front of your family on Thanksgiving. But when it comes down to your diet and exercise, he’ll sabotage it at every turn, bringing home treats you can’t resist, making you late for yoga, and refusing to let you go to the gym because there are too many “creepy guys there who just want to hit on you.”
Why? He doesn’t want you to have any success. He’s painfully jealous of every one of your accomplishments. He also doesn’t want any other man to notice you. He may even try to convince you to cut your hair, stop wearing make up, and dress more conservatively. But most importantly, he doesn’t want you to have any self worth. The stronger your sense of self, the weaker his grasp is on you. If you get too strong, too confident, too self assured, you might wake up to his tricks and leave him. Abandonment is his biggest fear.
7) See a Therapist
Again, the narcissist does not want you to have intimacy with anyone aside from him, this includes your therapist, heck, it even includes your doctor, your boss, your college professor. But why he really narrows in on your therapist, is because deep down he knows his behavior is wrong and that a professional will be able to spot it. The very last thing he wants is for a professional to call him out and help you to leave. The narcissist will do everything possible to stop you from going to therapy. He’ll pretend to be supportive and offer to take you out to lunch before your appointment, only to take you to a busy restaurant and get stuck in traffic on the way home so you end up missing your appointment. He’ll park outside your therapists office and beg you not to go in.
If your therapist is of the opposite sex (or same sex for same sex couples) he will try to convince you that your therapist is trying to sleep with you. He’ll try to convince you that your therapist has it out for him and just doesn’t understand the love you share. Actually, your therapist understands exactly the love you share, which is poisonous, and that is what he is afraid of.
The sad truth is that not all therapists will be able to see through his games and manipulation. If you opt for couples counseling, be wary of the ways he tries to manipulate your therapist. If you find that your therapist has become a party to the gaslighting (known as a flying monkey), leave immediately and find an abuse counselor. Most narcissist experts will tell you that Narcissistic Personality Disorder is almost impossible to treat and that narcissists never change, so don’t expect therapy to fix your relationship.
8) Go Out Without Them
He’ll bombard you with horrific stories of women being kidnapped, then install a tracking app on your phone so he always knows where you are. It’s for your own safety, he’ll tell you over and over. Don’t you see how much he cares about you? How could you go on that bachelorette trip to Cabo when you know he’ll be crazy with worry about you while you’re gone? Still plan on going? He’ll tell you a sob story about his abandonment issues. How could you leave him when he’s in this vulnerable state? He’ll even invent a beloved aunt who died while on vacation in Mexico. Don’t you have a heart? Really, you STILL plan on going?! He’ll feign sickness right before you leave and beg you to stay and take care of him. If you still go, he’ll break up with you just as you get to the airport, telling you how abusive and neglectful you are. He needs a REAL women, with a heart, who knows how to take care of a man. No man could ever love a heartless woman like you.
The truth is, the further you get from him, the more his grasp on you weakens. He also doesn’t like the idea of you being alone with other women who you may talk about your relationship with. Inevitably resulting in someone pointing out how dysfunctional and unsafe your relationships actually is. It’s common for narcissists to forbid their victims, ahem… girlfriends, from even speaking to other people about their relationship; he claims they’re too jealous of your relationship to trust. Actually, he doesn’t want anyone to see behind his smoke screen. He also knows that the less social support you have, the harder it is for you to leave him.
Ultimately, the narcissists biggest fear is that you will leave him. All of these tactics listed above all come down to him trying to prevent you from escaping his clutches. In order to leave, you are going to have to seek professional help from an abuse expert, set up safety precautions, and seriously educate yourself about the dangers of narcissistic abuse. Leaving the narcissist will likely be the hardest thing you ever do, but it will also be the best thing you ever do. And it might just save your sanity… and life. Check out my blogpost here on how to safely leave a narcissist.
Ready to start dating again? Working with a matchmaker is a safe, easy way to get back into the dating world. Join my free database here to be considered as a match for one of our clients, totally free of cost for you.
Fuck Boys: Where the fear of intimacy meets the need for validation.
As a matchmaker, and a woman, I have come across many so called “fuck boys.” But what is a fuck boy? My definition is “a man who craves your validation, but fears intimacy with you.” Some people describe a fuck boy as, “a guy who wants boyfriend privileges, but not boyfriend responsibilities.” In my opinion, the core of the fuck boy is the duality between his fear of intimacy and the validation he craves which can only be received from intimacy. That is why being with a fuck boy is so fucking confusing! But better understanding the fuck boy and what causes his fuck boyish ways will help you to avoid the emotional traps of the next fuck boy you encounter.
It’s important to know that the fuck boy’s fear of intimacy doesn’t begin or end with you. It isn’t even contained to his love life. He has likely created an entire lifestyle that allows for isolation. Maybe he is a workaholic or works remotely. Maybe his day is so regimented with diet, exercise, work, etc… he has no time for deep friendships or a relationship. His friends & family likely complain for lack of attention & birthdays are often forgotten. The fuck boy isn’t afraid of loving you; he is afraid of being seen & nearly every person in his life is included in that fear. The point is, his inability to love you, has nothing to do with you and everything to do with his own dysfunction.
What’s the best way to deal with a fuck boy? Not to. His fear of intimacy is deeply ingrained, likely stemming from withholding parents or other childhood trauma/neglect. It is not your job to heal another person. It isn’t even possible or ethical to heal someone against their will. Actually, the fact that you’re drawn to the fuck boy implies you have your own wounding that desperately needs attention. The best thing to do when you find yourself attracted to a fuck boy is to go deeper into your inner work and figure out why you are drawn to someone who is emotionally unavailable to you.
Being pulled into the dysfunction of a fuck boy will only cause pain & existential distress. With the fuck boy you may experience the most intense emotional & physical intimacy of your life. This is their suppressed need for intimacy bubbling up. The intimacy feels far more intense exactly because it has been suppressed and therefore holds a deeper emotional charge. Intense does not necessarily = good.
Once the fuck boy realizes intimacy has occurred, he will use insults, physical distancing, ghosting & other distance creating mechanisms to squash any connection & attachment that he has accidentally let slip through. This will likely be combined with a desperate need for validation. He will ask you for compliments & reassurances & in doing so project his insecurity & need for parental validation onto you. Although the fuck boy may claim he doesn’t believe in monogamy, his need for validation will likely make him jealous, wanting to know where you’ve been & if you are seeing other people. He needs you to chase him & only him in order to feel good about himself. Anytime his self worth is feeling low, he will push you away just to watch you chase him again. It’s a sick game in which your pain is required for his ego pleasure.
The cycle of intimacy & distancing can occur every few days or every few minutes. But the end result is always emotional torture for you. When the fuck boy tells you he doesn’t want a relationship, you better believe him, because doing otherwise is committing to a cycle of dysfunction that will leave you emotionally bankrupt & doubting your own sanity. In this case, the fear of intimacy, may very well be contagious.
Have you read 1984 or Brave New World? Something that caught my attention as a matchmaker is in both of these dystopian realities, romantic love is illegal. What is so scary about love to Those Who Seek to Control that both Orwell & Huxley made it major plot points of their novels? Why would love need to be illegal in totalitarian societies?
Why do you think the media is constantly berating us with images of failed romance & broken marriages? Why do you think we are told that monogamy is unnatural & impossible? Why has dating been gamified? Why are we so jaded about love? Because falling in soul deep love shatters our allegiance to false realities. Mind control is always based on fear. Love & fear cannot coexist. When we are in love, we are far less susceptible to fear based mind control.
Being seen & loved fully is the ultimate revolution. True love is an ascension into a new way of being. It is a stepping stone to better understanding the Divine. Falling in love is accessing our greatest power as humans, our ability to connect.
In a monogamous soul bond, we create our own world with our partners, which becomes a practice in crafting our own realities, in creating paradise on earth. When we trust in our ability to create our own worlds, we can’t be controlled. Is it any surprise Those Who Would Keep You Small, want you to stay single, swiping, sleeping around & empty?
Right now, we are in a moment of global shift towards a Love centered reality. Because of that, more soulmates are reuniting now than ever. The vibration of soulmate reunion, shifts not just their lives, but the entire collective. It was never meant to be a challenge to reunite with your beloved & as the days go on it is going to get easier & easier to manifest them. This is literally the perfect time to set you intention towards calling in your soulmate & the transformative powers of love.
If you are single, now is the time to melt the blocks of false programming & open your heart to love. Revoke your consent fully & completely from any programming that says you are unworthy of love & that finding a mate will be hard. Revoke your consent from the FALSE programming that all men cheat. Revoke your consent from programming that makes you cynical about love. Soften. Open the space in your life to reunite with your Beloved because I assure you, it is coming.
Have you ever wanted to talk to an ex after a breakup to get “closure?” I’ve heard a lot of women say this, and while I don’t believe you should rely on another person for closure, speaking to an ex (after much healing and time apart) can be helpful in your own healing journey. But when it comes to breaking up with a narcissist, they will never change or mature, so it is absolutely imperative that you find a sense of closure within yourself, without your ex’s participation.
So what is closure and how to you get it when breaking up with a narcissist?
Closure means the wound has healed. Maybe not perfectly or completely, but enough that your energy isn’t pouring out of it on a daily basis. That takes work! The word closure actually comes from an Old French word meaning barrier, fence, or boundary. When it comes to breaking up with a narcissist, closure has a lot less to do with healing face to face conversations and a lot more to do with creating boundaries that keep you safe so you can find healing within yourself.
Closure comes from within. If you are relying on someone else to get closure, it’s likely never going to happen. Image someone stabs you and you have a huge bleeding wound. You know you should go to the doctor to have it sutured, but instead you say you are going to wait until the person who hurt you goes through medical school and learns wound care before you get medical attention. That’s kind of like what relying on your ex for closure is like, especially when that ex is a narcissist.
Narcissists often use “closure” as an excuse to reenter your life, so it’s important to have a plan in place for your safety, healing, and closure. Read on for a detailed 5 step plan for getting closure after breaking up with a narcissist.
Go No Contact
When breaking up with a narcissist, it’s important to understand closure and what it really is, because your illusion of closure can easily be manipulated by your ex to keep the door open on your relationship.
One of the aspects of narcissistic abuse that makes the relationship so exhausting and damaging, is that narcissists are experts at getting you to let them back in, no matter how much they have hurt you.
Remember in the beginning when they bombarded you with love and gifts? When you thought, wow s/he might just be the one. When you were bragging to your friends about how you were dating the most romantic person ever? That was the fairy tale before the nightmare. But when it comes to breaking up with a narcissist, they will pull out all the stops, and then some, to get you to let them back in. They will tell you they are addressing all their flaws, they’re in therapy, they will tell you a sob story about their childhood trauma. They will promise to never hurt you again and threaten to kill themselves if they do. They will say all of these things and more all while buying you expensive jewelry and making you the most romantic dinner you’ve ever seen.
But how did you end up back at dinner with your narcissistic ex? Maybe they wore you down. Maybe they begged. Maybe they said something like, “I don’t want to get back together, I just want to talk. I’m in therapy and my therapist thinks we could both use some closure.”
That makes sense! Closure is healthy, right?
When it comes to breaking up with a narcissist, you need to know that closure is an illusion. Closure is the crowbar they use to pry open the door back into your life. Closure is something you are going to have to find on your own.
That’s why it’s so important that the first step of getting closure after breaking up with a narcissist is going no contact.
Set Up Safety Precautions
Think of it this way. A narcissist is an addict, validation is the drug, and you are the supply. Have you seen the crazy things addicts do when they are cut off from their supply? You need to think of the narcissist as a dangerous junkie who wants to use you to get their fix. It is important not to downplay the fact that leaving a narcissist and going no contact can become a dangerous situation.
It’s hard to focus on closure and healing when you are afraid for your safety. You need to put safety measures in place for your peace of mind, as well as your physical and emotional safety. Here are a few suggestions.
–Change your number. Even if you block a narcissist, they will find ways to contact you. They will buy burner phones or have friends reach out. To really cut off contact, you might need to change your number completely.
-Set all social media to private and change your handles. The narcissist will create new profiles to digitally stalk you and leave hateful comments on your posts. Set everything to private and don’t approve people you don’t know. You may also want to change your handles so the narcissist can’t find you and continue to keep tabs on your life. Also keep in mind geotag usage. You don’t want to tag yourself at a location if you are still there and you don’t want to tag yourself at the same place multiple times. The narcissist may start hanging out at that place hoping to run into you there.
-Alert security. If you live in a neighborhood with security or an apartment building with security or a doorman, let them know. Share with them that you have an unstable abusive ex. Show them the person’s pictures. Ask that this person not be allowed in under any circumstances. Many security professionals have dealt with this situation before and may have some added insights or security precautions they can recommend.
-Get an alarm system. Easy, not very expensive, and will help you sleep better at night. You can also ask the alarm company if they have any additional recommendations.
-Move. I’m not saying you should sell your house and move to a different state, although some women do end up doing that. But it may be possible to move. If your lease is up, don’t renew. If you live in an apartment community you may be able to move to a different unit. Ask your management company if this would be possible. Explain the situation, share any documentation including letters from your therapist and paperwork from the police. They may be able to help you out and let you move into a different unit.
-Consider a restraining order. You will need to work with the police on this and you will need evidence. Do not delete any messages your ex sends you, as tempting as it might be. A restraining order is not a foolproof strategy, but it will set a very serious tone to your ex and provide the evidence you need to carry out some of these other strategies. It can also enrage your ex and cause them to lash out, so please be sure to have security measures already in place.
These strategies may seem time consuming and even expensive, but you can’t put a price on your safety or peace of mind. You have been making the narcissist the center of your world; it’s time to put your wellness and safety first in a concrete way.
Work With A Domestic Abuse Center
You may think that sounds dramatic and unnecessary. Maybe your ex was only emotionally and never physically or sexually abusive, so why would you go to a shelter? It’s a misconception that abuse shelters are just for those who have been physically abused. A domestic abuse center assists men, women, and children, gay or straight, who have dealt with any kind of intimate partner abuse, whether that be physical, emotional, or sexual.
Contacting your local abuse shelter or domestic violence help center is a huge step towards getting closure. Having been abused by a narcissist, you likely have been gaslighted. That means there is a small part of you that may still be wondering, “What if I am crazy. What if he really is just trying to love me?”
Talking about your situation with a professional is going to be one of the most validating experience of your life. It will knock that self doubt right out of your head. When I was trying to leave an abusive relationship with a narcissist, a friend’s mom put me in touch with a counselor she knew at our local abuse shelter. The counselor called me and asked, “Does he tell you he loves you to death?” “Yes.” “Then you better believe him.”
Never before had someone voiced and validated my fears so clearly.
Her saying that changed everything for me. She then walked me through how to leave, the plan I needed to make on how to escape, and how to do so with the least amount of risk to my safety. I truly would not have been able to leave without this support.
Your local domestic abuse center is also going to be able to recommend resources to you for your physical safety, as well as emotional healing and closure. Most can provide therapy with one of their counselors in house, often at a free or reduced rate. But if they are unable to do so, they will be able to recommend the top experts in your area.
If you are unsure of who to reach out to or are unsure if you are experiencing abuse, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Again, this comes back to validation. Validation is such an important part of the process because being in a relationship with someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a profoundly invalidating experience.
Educating yourself, whether that be through reading, working with a therapist, or attending a 12 step group, will help you close the door on this relationship by creating space between your emotional involvement and your psyche. By understanding NPD through a clinical lens, the next time your narcissistic ex tries to use a classic tool of manipulation, you will be able to recognize this behavior as a symptom of his/her disorder. You will have the insights of renowned experts and therapists validating your experience. You will be able to breathe and seek out one of the tools you learned through your research, rather than getting sucked back in. This isn’t a perfect practice, but overtime you will be able to use your research to shift your perspective and your response.
Educating yourself isn’t just validating, it is also going to help you better understand your ex, yourself, and your dynamic. When you really integrate the understanding that your ex isn’t just manipulative or flawed, but actually suffering from a personality disorder that most therapists agree is incurable and nearly impossible to treat, I promise it will be a lot easier to have compassion for the both of you and walk away.
I recently put together a list of books I recommend to my clients who are breaking up with a narcissist. You can find that list here.
Go All In On Healing
One of the most important aspects to getting closure after breaking up with a narcissist is learning to put yourself first. The narcissist likely demanded your undivided attention, guilted you for having friends or hobbies, and made their emotional outbursts the center of your universe. Your relationship with the narcissist has likely robbed you of your relationship with yourself.
Maybe the most healing thing you can do right now is vow to fix that. Take a moment to promise yourself to put your wellbeing first now, no matter what.
I have seen women who due to a lack of awareness, education, and healing have dated narcissist after narcissist. Truth is, I have been that woman. And if your attraction to a narcissist stems from unresolved childhood trauma, there is a real risk that could happen.
That’s why the moment you realize you are in this dynamic you have to go all in on your healing. Many women are pulled into this dynamic with a narcissist due to childhood trauma. Many were raised by a narcissist or co-dependent parent. Sometimes people who tend to be more empathic are easily drawn in by a damaged narcissist. The point is, you not only have to heal from the trauma of this relationship, you also have to be willing to turn inwards and find out if there was any trauma that drove you to this relationship.
By no means am I trying to blame the victim here. What happened to you was horrific and not your fault. What I am saying is that the process of self discovery and healing that can come after leaving a narcissist can be deeply empowering especially after such a disempowering experience. It may be painful, but looking inward with ultimately free you from this dynamic and open up space for life altering healing.
Ultimately, the tools you use for healing will vary depending on what works for you and it will take a lot of experimenting. For me, I found hypnotherapy, Theta Healing, and homeopathy to be my go to strategies.
Ready to start dating again? Working with a matchmaker is a safe, easy way to get back into the dating world. Join my free database here to be considered as a match for one of our clients, totally free to cost for you.
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