It’s not easy to leave a narcissist.
Focusing on awakening from the fog is a vital step to taking the reins to restore the inner sense of agency and confidence. You need mental clarity to assess the situation you’re in, and prioritize taking necessary actions, in this case, to open the cage door of a toxic relationship, and realize you’ve had wings to fly away along … at the minimum to fly to safety emotionally, inside, where it matters the most.
It starts in the mind, your mind. Not his.
In a sense, physically leaving is the easy part. Taking back your mind, your sense of sanity, belief in yourself and capacity, and breaking out of toxic self-blame or self-silencing patterns, may not be easy, but this is where the real work is, to heal, transform, and protect yourself from getting trapped in the future. You want to start learning more and more about antisocial (psychopathology) and narcissist personality disorders, and how they’re connected on a continuum to profile of perpetrators of domestic violence, rape and assault of women, mass shootings, and what is known as the criminal mind.
The most challenging is learning to let go of the lies and illusions, many of which he instilled in your mind, and to come out of the fog, to forgive yourself for any witting and unwitting participation. This makes it easier to remain focused not only on understanding what is true about these personality disorders, but even more critical, to discover what is true about you — and human beings and their relationships in general — in universal terms of what fosters (or blocks!) health and well being.
A narcissistic psychopath attacks both personal and universal truths about human love.
Reasons make staying away much easier. They point you to the seriousness of these personality disorders, and energize you to learn, and do whatever is necessary, to take action, armed with new ways of seeing and thinking, and doing, so you may replace toxic ways of relating to the narcissist — and to your self — with healthy life-enriching ones.
(In more complex situations, where children and financial constraints factor in, short and long range safety plans will be necessary. Not discussed here.)
Reasons also help you forgive yourself, and understand those still in the fog in non-judging ways, embracing the complexities together of what happens to the brains of human beings when fear and thought control tactics are skillfully applied by narcissists and psychopaths.
Once you do, you can never go back. You’re changed, and the changes place a bubble of protection around you. The narcissist’s words and actions fall flat, neutralized, and you see them for what they are. Pathetic. Infantile. Heartless. Alien to you, because they are inhumane.
There are at least 5 good reasons to leave a relationship with a narcissist:
1. You realize you don’t like yourself in the relationship.
More and more, you realize you don’t like how you feel in the relationship, and how tense you feel around him. You’re more relaxed when he’s not in the room, out of the house or away on a trip.
You don’t like yourself this way.
You don’t like how he makes you question yourself, your sanity. You don’t like how you respond, how easily he triggers to do and say things you hate yourself for afterwards, and the way he uses this against you to get you to doubt your sanity, to believe his diagnosis that you’re “crazy.” And you realize that, while you automatically blame yourself, seek to change, focus on what’s wrong with you, he never owns any wrongs. If he’s unhappy, if the relationship is not good, if the children are acting up, it’s all you according to him.
Even worse, you increasingly feel miserable or bitter, feelings of hatred, for him and yourself, despair, losing hope and the belief you once had in human love, and the two of you.