One year ago was my first full day of freedom. I had moved out of the home I owned with the Narcissist. I moved while he was at work. I did not let him know my plans to do so.
I woke up after that first night away feeling unbelievably well rested. I slept so soundly I hadn’t rolled over even once.
The cats were with me when I woke. They got used to the temporary living arrangement quickly, although they never really got over being confined to our basement living quarters.
It was a gorgeous day. My friends who had so graciously allowed me to stay with them were both out of town. I had that first day in their home to myself.
I sat in the garden and read. I cooked a more labor-intensive than usual dinner. I made sure their cat (who never really got over being confined to the upstairs) received some love and cuddles. I put away my meager belongings and I nested.
It was the first day in a long time that I was able to live without fear. I could putter. I could spend my time as I wished. I wouldn’t be punished or disparaged for some perceived slight. I could simply… Live. I could breathe again.
I cried a lot that day, thinking about the Narcissist.
I didn’t know how he was reacting.
Thinking he might be delighted to get home and find me and the cats had simply vanished made me cry.
Thinking he might be sad, that there was some possibility he had once had real feelings for me and, like me, was saddened to see us part ways, made me cry.
Mostly, though, I cried for myself and my own pain.
There was no hope of ever hugging him again. There was no hope of any friendship or forgiveness or closure.
The relationship had been over for over six months but I was in limbo that entire time. I was not free of him but was not connected to him either.
One year ago today, he was out of my life almost completely. I still needed him to finish his refinance of the house and complete our settlement, but my communications would only be with the escrow company from that point forward.
I would never interact with him again.
Today, I am feeling the freedom anew, in a way I didn’t feel at liberty to last year. Over the past few days, I’ve felt some sadness, thinking about those “never seeing him again” feelings.
I know he didn’t love me, but I did love him, very much. The fact is, while I’m recovering from the narcissistic abuse I’m also recovering from a broken heart.
These seemingly conflicting feelings coexist in me. I loved someone who was horrible to me and for me. When I realized the abuse I knew I needed and deserved to walk away. And yet I also hated having to do so, hated that he wasn’t the man he’d pretended to be for me, hated that I’d been in love with a ghost, a projection, a man who was a husk of a human being and not sane or balanced.
I had to mourn the relationship while I was realizing the extent of the abuse I had suffered. Once I was out of the house, those realizations started flying at me incessantly. The horror I had endured was finally becoming something I understood. I finally was able to see how abnormal a relationship it had been.
I didn’t miss the man. I wished for a last hug, a real goodbye. I had that thought often. But I didn’t miss him.
I didn’t miss spending time with him, having him in my life. I never did, not once. By the time I ended our relationship I was at the end of my tether, screaming to be free. When I was, I never longed to be tethered again.
It’s been a full year since I last felt the anxious, scared, in danger feelings of narcissistic abuse. It’s been a full year of feeling remembered feelings. It’s been a full year of being safe.
I feel something that had been tight loosening in me today.
I feel a joy I’ve been missing.
The sun is shining. The windows of my new home are open and fresh sweet smelling air floods into my physical space and my consciousness. I take a big, deep gulp of it.
I have been free of him for a full year. I am free.