The holiday season is not always the most wonderful time of the year, especially for those of us that have ended relationships with narcissists. Seeing happy people celebrating can remind us of happier times and thus bring on waves of sadness.
If you’ve been doing well in your recovery and then BAM!, you see or smell something that makes you miss the good old days and sadness creeps back in, it’s ok! I don’t want you to lose hope. These triggers and memories come up, throwing us back into panic and sadness, bringing with them all the lovely PTSD symptoms. Have no fear: there is a lesson to learn.
That memory you can’t seem to get out of your head is trying to tell you something! We missed the message when the event was happening, but now, with our narc-glasses on, we can review that memory and see what the ‘thing’ was that we missed.
Let me give you an example
The holidays with my in-laws were so different than anything I had ever experienced before. We traveled to Argentina as a family and while it was magical at the time, in my research and self-discovery work, I look back on those memories and clearly see the absolute ‘CONTROL’ I was under. It was well past controlling what we did or what I wore. It was the control that hurt my heart, deep inside. I was not able to speak up, I wasn’t heard. I had to learn that the fairy tale holidays were a mask and they were poison to my soul.
Recovery is a journey, a roller coaster, and the spin cycle of a washing machine, all rolled into one. We go around and around, tossed this way and that – and this is completely normal.
When these feelings come upon us, it’s important to know that you are not going backward. You are moving forward and the lessons that are knocking on our doors for us to hear are essential to our recovery. Be in the sadness and look at that memory – what did you miss? Were you controlled like me? Was the narcissist in your life being mean but then cover it with fake kindness? There is a lesson you need to learn and if you don’t do it now, you will be presented with it again in the future.
Our intuition is knocking, and we must face that memory or feeling and analyze it for the nugget of knowledge you missed. Once you see the lesson and deal with it accordingly, you will fall back on track in your recovery where you were before this came bubbling to the surface.
Stay calm and look for the answers that you missed. Take that memory and dissect it because that is the answer to the lesson.
I recorded this five-minute video to explain this concept – Enjoy!