It’s easy to think ‘things will be different this year’ or maybe even if you’re heading towards waking up to your situation, ‘this Christmas is his (or her) last chance.’

Be aware that at this time of year, many of us will be more vulnerable and more insecure than usual. Let’s face it, all the Christmas movies are based around two people resisting then finding love for each other or family Christmases with Mum, Dad and however many children. The pressure to have a ‘happy family Christmas’ is huge, only acceptable to shun if you’re about to have a romantic love fest with your ‘better half’ (f**k I hate that term)! Emotions are heightened but beware, it’s easy for real issues that need to be addressed to be blamed on the pressure of the holidays. 

If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist or recovering from one, you can multiply the intense feelings by at least ten. The fear or dread of their mood swings, insensitive comments at best or abusive ones at worse can hang over you like an inescapable dark cloud. Using your kids against you, competing to give them the best time or opting out as much as they can. The list is endless and generally adds to all your Christmas stress by about 1000%.

Love Bombing

If you’re still in the love bombing stage of your Narc relationship (so obviously you’re unlikely to even realise this is where it’s heading), I could probably quite accurately guess at least some of the presents you’re going to receive — the big gifts and the meaningful gestures, the secret gifts he’s never given anyone before. The ‘I’ve never felt like this until I met you’ BS they’ll use to draw you in even more deeply than you already are. The cards, the poems, the ‘thanks for sticking by me despite the difficult circumstances/my past,’ the ‘here’s to many more now I’ve found my soulmate’ manipulative lies.

Love bombing also goes in cycles to ensure you stay committed and crazy for them and their love and attention. Christmas is a perfect time for them to step this up, but also to break your heart. It might not be for the first time, but my hope for you is that it becomes the last.

Protection & Recovery

The key to your recovery from a Narcissistic relationship is realising that they will never change, that they are master manipulators who are highly skilled at doing the “Poor Me, I’ve just had such bad luck with my batshit crazy exes…bla bla bla.” Or they’ll just laugh things off so that any insecurities you may feel can be dismissed. They may blame their behaviour on bad memories of the holidays or on missing a loved one (despite being anything but loving towards them on special occasions they HAVE been with them). They will do contradictory things to gaslight you and amp up your confusion, forcing you to justifying them in your head as being kind and loving but hurt and damaged, rather than just plain nasty and narcissistic. Obviously if we KNEW they were nasty, rather than only questioning some aspects of their behaviour, we wouldn’t find reasons to make excuses for them and to stay stuck in a destructive relationship with them. 

Depending on weather you’re in the love bombing stage or the abuse is overt or covert, you are in the prime position to have you world rocked over Christmas, either in a seemingly positive way (via love bombing), negatively (via an overtly abusive narc) or a combination of the two (as is typical for a gaslighting covert narc who dips in and out of love-bombing to ensure the cycle of abuse continues and to strengthen your trauma bond with them).

I implore you to protect yourself from getting your hopes up this Christmas. It will help to remind yourself of the abuse you’ve sustained over the year, the questions you’ve had to ask your partner or yourself, doubts from any untruths or even minor trust issues when things didn’t add up. These will have probably been put back on you as being insecure, needy (which they will encourage as they know it’s a sure fire way to hook you in), or just disregarded as you being paranoid or overly sensitive.

Review what you have survived

After taking steps to try to protect yourself this Christmas, I then want you to look at what you’ve already survived:

What has been thrown at you to try to bring you down but left you still standing?

How many times have you continued to be an amazing mother, daughter, sister? A loyal friend, an effective employee?

What can you take from your experiences no matter how negative they may be, to prove to yourself how resilient you are?

How have you handled other people’s opinions? Supportive friends and family, professionals as well as good intentioned but perhaps not so effective support, or contact and interference from your Narc’s family and/or friends, even his new ‘supply’ (aka new partner):

How have you celebrated your power if you drew a line in the sand and said enough is enough, I’m not going back this time?

Drawing the line

When I finally left my three (yes THREE, wtf 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️) abusive relationships, even though in my oldest and most recent ones I was still being told they couldn’t live without me, still promising me they’d change, that they couldn’t imagine a future without me (despite their contradictory behaviour, even when one of them had already found a new supply but still couldn’t give me up), it gave me a sense of pride in myself and helped so much on my recovery journey because I was just not prepared to continue to put myself through his constant covert and sometimes overt abuse, obsessive jealousy and false accusations anymore. I made a stand for myself and for my children too by saying enough is enough, we are done and I’m not going to be sucked in yet again.

I urge you to draw that same line. I know you feel terrified about what life will be like on your own, maybe even how you’ll survive emotionally and/or financially. I was lucky enough to have my own house and financial future, my kids, my dogs and so many truly amazing friends, so I know I am SO much luckier than so many others, but I was still scared at giving up the broken dreams. When I left my husband I had to work like crazy on my ‘Money Mindset’ so I didn’t allow myself to walk away with little to nothing just for an easy and peaceful resolution. It’s one of the reasons why I help women with their money mindset now.

I know it can be as scary as hell, but it can also be one of or the most liberating things you can do for yourself, and your children if you have them. It can give you the biggest sense of freedom imaginable. I guess it’s a bit like jumping out of an aeroplane; until the parachute releases you’re not entirely sure if you’ll survive what can feel like the most terrifying decision of your life. But the parachute does release and it not only saves your life but gives you a taste of freedom that can’t be beaten. 

So many women don’t take that leap and it breaks my heart. But I have to keep the faith that they are just not ready yet but that one day, with the right support, they will be.

I see you, I hear you

To anyone going through this, I see you and I hear you. I see you and I hear you through your denial, through your pain, your brave face, your social media posts weather they be honest and vulnerable or carefully curated. I see that masked look of sadness, doubt or brokenness in your eyes. I see you through your silence and hiding, through your suffering.

I know you feel as though no one understands, no one can be hurting as much as you are or have. There are so many of us who have suffered like you have, although everyone’s experience and suffering is unique.

These are the people who will help to catch you when you fall. I am 100% here for you and will hold your hand when you take that leap so you don’t have to take it alone.

Sending you love, strength and healing at this time of year and always.

Liz xxx

6 Responses

    1. I choose peace but I am learning that others don’t always allow that to be an option. I also support justice and I let the universe deliver the rest in the form of Karma, I don’t need to give it any kind of helping hand.
      I also recognise that it is essential to still have boundaries which can be mistaken by others as still holding a grudge or wanting revenge. It’s not revenge or comeuppance at all (I had some elements of this at times early on, but not for long into my journey of healing). It’s a fine balance to have boundaries and ensure they are firmly and confidently communicated and one that I’ve found particularly hard, because naturally I am a very loving and forgiving person and do give people multiple chances (hence why I have accepted more than I should have done in the past). There just comes a point when you learn that to stop the cycle of abuse, the cycle of trust being built up and then broken again and for the sake of your kids not just yourself, that enough is enough. For me it happened when my ex said he ‘just wanted to move forward and not back’ which I’d heard multiple times but he’d never managed to do. I looked at him and it hit me like a bolt of lighting ‘Liz, you can’t do this again, you can’t trust anything this man says now, you need to do what is right even though you want to see the good in him like you always have.’ That was the day I changed! It made him mad that he no longer had that power over me, it made him worse and we were subjected to even more, but in the long term it is the right thing to do. I am harder because of what I’ve been through, but I am still me, a loving, forgiving person who always sees the best in people, but I am also wiser and more equipped with the skills and boundaries needed in order to live a safe and happy life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.