How to find your way out of the victim role

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Yes, narcissistic-toxic ex-partners can fuck us mothers up. Depending on the degree of their personality disorder, with an unimaginable destructive rage.

I believed for a while that I had found my “champion ” in my ex-partner, the father of my son. After all, there were also a number of men before him who, in retrospect, I would equally describe as narcissistically disturbed, with a few, albeit encouraging, exceptions.

This man was obviously sent to me so that I would finally grasp the lesson of what the others before him had tried in vain to teach me.

Having worked with a few clients in private coaching in the meantime, and also having heard a number of stories from my Strong Moms group on Facebook, I have to admit that I still got a “milder” guy.

Whoa, there are sick ones out there too!

 

I was a mess right after the relationship ended

I was 42 years old when I moved out with our one-year-old son, and completely emotionally devastated.

I felt insecure, desperate, didn’t trust my perception anymore, questioned everything I believed in. But most of all, I questioned myself.

  • What was wrong with me?
  • Why was I attracting these guys?
  • How could I have let all this happen to me?
  • Why hadn’t I pulled the ripcord in time?
  • Why hadn’t I trusted my gut?
  • What if he was right – and I was nothing?

I had virtually regressed, that is, I had regressed in my personality to a mental state that I had felt for the last time in my early 20s.

For me alone already an absurdity! For me it was always important to develop myself further. To grow. Not necessarily to be “perfect” – but to become better and better in what I do and think.

When I met the father of my child in my late 30s, I was at the zenith of my life – at least that’s how it felt (compared to today, I’ve climbed another 1000 meters from that point 🙂 ).

I felt strong, invincible, brave and incredibly confident. I was a cheerful woman who curiously kept pushing her limits and trying new things.

I earned well in the IT industry as a consultant and trainer, did my training as a coach on the side and had my first, extremely beautiful coaching experiences. In addition, I got my motorcycle license, met very nice people and explored the Alps alone or with my new friends.

I felt much like someone who has just graduated and is ready to take on the world!

So the bottom line is that I was just tailor-made to become the prey of a narcissist.

Because at that point, the essential thing was still missing: the knowledge of my own high sensitivity. I was also only very superficially aware of my own basic needs.

So I was highly attractive for other projections. And so it came as it had to come.

The beginning of the end of this strength phase was initiated. After the stunning, ravishing, drunken love bombing phase, the first shocks followed very quickly.

Arguments that I could not comprehend and with arguments that I could not grasp. Unbelievable mood swings from now to later. Everything became more and more unpredictable. His moods defined my everyday life. His terror, his devaluation, his manipulations found a nourishing ground in me, where actually a healthy self-esteem should have sat.

And yes, but surely: you can be very self-confident at stages of your life and still have subterranean self-worth! Especially if you didn’t feel in your childhood that you were loved, and loved exactly as you are. You can kind of build everything around it, but it always remains fragile and can collapse at any time because the stable foundation is not there.

But that just wasn’t obvious enough to me at the time.

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When I finally fell around my girlfriend’s neck on my 42nd birthday and cried unrestrainedly, I had to admit to myself that there was nothing left of my strength, my zest for life and my courage after a 3.5-year relationship with a narcissist.

Of course, this terrible emotional state was not limited to my private situation. I took the helplessness and confusion into my job.

I had nightmarish meetings at my employer’s European headquarters in London (wonderful opportunities for me to shine in the past), after which I would start crying while still in the conference room. All I could think about was what my Ex would sneer at me again when I was late to pick up the kid that evening after the flight.

I also couldn’t make any new acquaintances because when I opened my mouth to explain why I was a single parent with a toddler, I slipped into justification and yet couldn’t explain the enormity of it.

The bottom line was drama and sacrifice came across to the other person. And this/these went then also immediately on distance. No matter if it was a kindergarten mom or the neighbor.

I think the worst thing for me at that time was the helplessness I felt, something I didn’t know at all from my self-image.

 

Me – a victim????
Me, who always knew exactly what she wanted?

Me, who showed great will and tenacity even as a small child?

Me, the doer?

Me, who so far has always achieved what she once set out to do?

And above all: Me, who always finds a solution, no matter what difficult situation she has been in so far?

This contradiction – and I bet you – could be felt by everyone around me.

Because of course I was not a victim! I just felt like one.

Confused by the brain and emotion washing of the narcissist.

Do you want to feel confident about managing child hand-offs with your toxic ex?

 

​I have not been a victim because I had not done my homework beforehand

I had not dealt with the lessons that were repeatedly laid at my feet: I wasn’t actively working on my self-worth, only on externals that gave me superficial self-confidence. But did not change the core.

I had made the decision myself to enter into a partnership with the narcissist. To have a child with him.

No one forced me to meet with him a second time. No one forced me to move in with him. I was not raped, and I did not feel forced to carry the child to term.

I therefore take full responsibility for the situation.

So do I have to flagellate myself and complain about how stupid I must have been back then?

No.

People are allowed to make mistakes. I am allowed to make mistakes. You are allowed to make mistakes. Just being human implies that mistakes are made!

Mistakes bring us further. They help our development.

Now there are simple mistakes – a typo! – or dramatic mistakes – like the last narcissist in your life.

But all this does not make you a victim, and therefore you should not feel like one.

Take responsibility for this experience and forgive yourself.

Once you take responsibility for the present situation, you are free. Because you can immediately decide to take back the responsibility for your future.

By expanding your power of action step by step. Explore what you can control again. Keeping an eye out for the possibilities that are still open to you.

Every person who no longer sees you as a victim is doing you a huge favor. Every person who tells you, “Okay, that’s a nice buck you shot. What can you do now?” is a godsend for you.

Because that person empowers you. He believes deeply and firmly that you can manage your own life again. That you have full control, even if you don’t yet see and experience it in its clarity.

This doesn’t have to mean that the person doesn’t see your suffering and has no understanding that the ex treated you badly. Loving recognition and encouragement to take the reins back yourself are not mutually exclusive.

If you can’t think of a person right now – let me take that role in your life.

What do you think? I look forward to your comment below.

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