So you want to leave your narcissist, eh? Good for you! Admitting it is the first step towards the next best part of your life. But first, before you get to the good part, you will have to undergo the process of resolving your karmic debt with this person, which will end up extremely painful, traumatic, lonely or isolating, and well, expensive AF. This may apply to a romantic partner, family member, living partner, co-worker or business associate — it doesn’t really matter the type of relationship; while leaving, major recurrent themes are likely to play out. As an Intuitive, I’m here to be one step ahead and guide you through this process until you feel comfortable recognizing these truths for yourself.
As was true in the relationship, chances are, the underlying assumption was that you were lucky to have them. You were so “beneath” them to begin with. You “lacked” the aptitude, talent, beauty, sexuality, intelligence, social dynamism, or wealth to attract them in the first place, but they did you a “favor” by staying in the relationship for so long. You should be grateful. Not only will they remind you of this, but they will remind everyone they know of how lucky you were to be with them in the first place! Once you make that solid decision to leave and never doubt your choice, they will require you pay them back for all of the times they “loved” or “cared” about you while you were an imperfect human being. And trust me, they’ve certainly been keeping a record.
Here’s why leaving the narc is so costly:
- Putting you at an intentional social disadvantage. A narcissist will initiate a public smear campaign before the victim has even had a chance to process what they have been through or what they are going through. You’ll be so steeped in trauma, trying to put one foot in front of the other and suddenly you’re blindsided by gossip and defamation. Imagine the shame, fear, and anxiety of having to walk into seemingly normal situations (a school, a grocery store, a business) that can now become dangerous — not knowing who you will run into, what terrible things they will have to say to you, or how they will spread further hatred because of your choice to leave. But because narcs are sneaky MFers, they’ll do this so there is little to no evidence trail. Once you wise up and start fighting back to defend yourself and tell your story, they’ll collect the data to use against you as libel or defamation. Them spreading rumors to isolate you from friends and family? Fine. You telling the truth to garner much needed help and support in your time of greatest need? Absolutely unacceptable — and illegal.
- Demanding money. That time they bought you a pair of shoes you didn’t ask for? That time you went to the doctor without their permission (gasp!). That time they took you out to dinner. They’ll want repayment. And yes, they will have receipts. Or, perhaps, they’ll take you to court and sue for the pain and suffering of you leaving them (trust me, it’s real people). So even if you share no legitimate assets together, they will find numerous ways in which they require payment. If you do have assets together (homes, cars, bank accounts, businesses) — whew, watch out, it will get painful and messy and they will believe they are entitled to it all. With no money, no home, possibly no car, it feels damn near impossible to restart your life — or simply not end up homeless.
- You may need new vital documents. If you’re leaving your home with little to no notice, or even a job, you may not be able to grab essentials like your car title, passport, birth certificate, tax statements, and more. You will likely need to order these again and it will become an additional cost you must incur in order to get housing, qualify for electricity and water, get a new job, legally own your car, etc.
- You may not be able to get a new job. If you left an abusive work environment, or if you left an abusive home life in which you were forced to quit your job, your resume may look less than ideal. Employers don’t just care about your skills and aptitude, they largely care about how long you have been at your previous jobs. If your history, due to abuse, is “choppy”, you may have a very hard time finding new employment and remain unemployed for a long time. Trying to explain these situations to new employers often puts a “strike mark” over your name before you can even prove your skills.
- Interrupting normal parent-child bonding. If children are involved in this scenario, your relationship with your child will be severely affected. The narc will intentionally disrupt the normal parent-child bonding that occurred before you left. This is done so that you are put at a disadvantage, always working harder for your child’s trust, respect, and love and so that the narc is always given information by the child which can then be distorted to their benefit. The narc will convince the child you cannot be trusted, are somehow dangerous, and doing something that could harm them. The child comes to associate love from you with danger, which means you will have a more difficult time bonding with them. Both of your heart chakras will be severely affected and it will take lots of time and work to undo the negative programming the narcissist has instilled. People who have not gone through this will not understand why a divorce can’t result in two happy parents and happy children. They do not understand the mental mindfuck of control that a narc will never relinquish so that their devious deeds cannot be perceived by the child. And since you likely do not want to inflict additional pain or suffering on your child, you will not be able to explain the truth to the children involved and they will only be relying on the narc’s version of events until their 18th birthday — or beyond.
- You may need medical assistance or counseling. Going to group or individual therapy after leaving any narcissistic relationship is pretty much standard, and super helpful. I found a women’s-only group therapy to be the most helpful. Individual therapy is difficult if your counselor isn’t very well-versed in narcissistic abuse and its nuances. Additionally, your body is probably going to be ravaged by the incessant, high levels of stress so you will likely need to see specialists. If you have lost a job due to the abuse, you won’t have insurance, which means you may not be able to get proper medical care. By driving you into highly-stressed states, they get “high”, which means you go into the red to support their energy habit.
- Your self-respect and self-worth and now theirs. There is a high chance you will lose both of these in the process of interacting daily with a narc. But as soon as you make the final decision to leave, you will be reminded of the many ways you were always inferior to them. They believe they own your self-worth and because they have convinced so many other people you are beneath them, it will require a very strong person to overcome this form of brainwashing. If everyone else believes you are the scum of the earth, how could you not too? If every time you look into the eyes of friends, family, or acquaintances you used to be friendly with, and you see disgust staring you back in the face, you may begin to believe this about yourself. Remember, that this narc is likely your handler, and therefore, believes themselves to be your “prison guard”, controlling your entire experience here. They have trained you to believe that you need affirmation from them and when you “performed” according to their desires, you sometimes got a small snippet. But you do not need affirmation from the narc or their flying monkeys. You get to decide who you are and how valuable you are.