I have asked myself that question repeatedly over the years. Did I really sign up for this crazy? The narcissist relationships that have me bugging out with insomnia? I’m a fixer by nature and over the years, I repeatedly put myself last and others first. So when someone else had needs/wants, mine went by the wayside.
That was mistake one. It was a childhood role that developed due to my family, but stayed with me. It was a belief I held staunchly as I thought that was part of being a good person. I’ve learned that it’s been detrimental to me and spiritually, probably a little ego driven as well, as it developed. I mean, there’s that satisfaction that you’re making things good for everyone around you, but not if your needs aren’t being met. I was so fully engaged in making life good for everyone else that I lost sight of what I wanted/needed. I lost myself in the process of trying to be the good wife, the good mom, the good everything to everyone with whom I had a relationship. You know, the good girl syndrome.
Through the experience of divorce, I realized that it’s not my entire responsibility to make others happy and to lose sight of my own needs. The fact is, that we need to be our own advocate first (not selfishly mind you), but to proverbially put our own oxygen mask on first and then help others do the same. You know that line from when we fly, right?
I lost a lot of self-worth when my ex left because I couldn’t help him to be happy and I couldn’t fix our marriage all by myself because, it takes two people to make or break a relationship. However, time heals, offers us peace and it also lets us see the past in a clear way.
But back to the original question(s): Did I really sign up for this life situation? Did I agree to all of the narcissists in my life teaching me to deal with all the crazy I’ve experienced through toxic relationships? Did I lose sight of myself? Did I think that being the good girl all the time, in all ways, was how I was to live my life? Did I neglect me by trying to please the narcissists?
Answer: Yup. I think I did. And maybe you did too.
Because it’s a challenge to find the balance in relationships. Those that are takers to our being givers, overextend their power over us. We can, like I did in the past, roll over and take it until we either wake up and release ourselves or are cut off by the relationship failing or divorce.
Don’t mistake me, I grieved for along time, unable to see the truth. I held fast to it being MY FAULT ENTIRELY that he left. And I admit, that perhaps if I had stood up on my own more instead of being intimidated by pleasing him, that we could have both been in a better place. But now, I’ve seen that it was simply preparing me to be at peace within myself, to improve myself and to stand up for me and to concentrate on my needs without walking on eggshells in a marriage with him and his family.
And it feels good now!
So take heart if you are in a similar situation. You’re not alone. Many of us have walked this path and we are here to help you. But you have to help yourself. Take the good out of the experiences, the knowledge and the wisdom you’ve developed through these relationships and use them for your betterment and understanding.
Hold onto the nice memories and let go of the ache that comes with a broken heart. I’m not being trite in saying this because my grieving process took me a along time to heal. And I’m still a work in progress.
But I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of love lost, toxic relationships released and being on my own. And guess what? You can too! Reach out when you need a friend. We aren’t supposed to do this all on our own.