Ignorance was my bliss until the day I was discarded by my five-year partner, who I now refer to as my narcissist. No one understood that the end of an abusive relationship felt like walking out of a warzone. He stripped parts of myself I would never get back.
I held on to this belief system tightly as I endured a storm of contempt, lies, and manipulation. It held me in a state of denial and false hope that things would get better when it was evident; my relationship was sucking my soul dry.
The worst part of healing a broken heart is forgetting what I felt like before. Before I met my narcissist, I wore ignorance and naivety like a badge of honor. I believed in fairytale love. I believed in soulmates. I believed in spending the rest of my life with the “one.”
I felt so much pressure to find a long-term partner in my twenties. I relinquished my needs to sustain an image I was cool with a man around my arm. His interests became my interests. His hobbies became my hobbies. I even downgraded my taste in tea from Harney & Sons to Lipton because that was his preference. My codependency held me back from having a voice in this relationship as my self-worth was tethered to his heart.
I often wonder what my life would have been like if he ended up being the man I wanted him to be. Would I be married? Would we have bought a house? Would I still believe love conquered all? I know for sure that if he gave me everything I thought I wanted, I would have never experienced the beauty of autonomy.
If he gave me everything I thought I wanted, I would still be wearing my rose-colored glasses. I would still be thinking of ways to please him, his friends, and his family, and put myself last. If he gave me everything I thought I wanted – I would never have known what it is to choose myself.
Things did not work in my favor because I was not meant to stay where I was. I was meant for the life I have now. The life I have now is freedom, peace, and solitude.
The dreamer part of me has been replaced with a realist who has a healthier concept of love: compatibility and emotional interdependence conquer all. I had to learn the hard way to get this relationship mindset. It was a constant trial and error of experiencing firsthand everything I didn’t want in a relationship.
I now have the strongest relationship with myself. I trust myself in ways I never did before the heartbreak. I now understand a partner should complement you, not complete you.
No one can strip you of your worth. No one can rob you of your identity. No one can deny who you are because you have always been whole exactly as you are.