My life, for a stretch, was turned on its head.
I had to change churches and social circles.
My children had to do the same.
Being secretly bullied by a “trusted” friend is one of the toughest things I’ve lived through.
But I lived through it.
And I’m hear to tell you there is life and light on the other side.
Eventually, I had to forgive her.
There was no alternative if I wanted to live peacefully, with myself and with others.
Someone can only continue to hurt you if you hold on to the anger.
Forgiving them releases the emotional ties you have with that person.
It allows you to move on with your life, free from the baggage of holding resentment and grudges.
The first step is resolving to forgive. Make up your mind to do it.
Work on forgiveness every day if you have to.
Realize that forgiveness will happen in stages. One day you may feel totally forgiving. The next day the anger returns. This is normal. Forgiveness is a process. You’ll get there eventually, if that’s what you want to happen.
Keep reminding yourself that the only way to truly get past the abuse is to forgive. Forgiveness is something good that you’re doing, for you.
The narc doesn’t care if you stay seething mad. In fact, he or she would prefer that you did.
If you pray, make it a habit to pray for the person who hurt you, especially if they betrayed you, asking God to give them the grace so that they can become the person He wants them to be.
If you don’t usually pray, try to get into the habit of just wishing your tormentor well. This, believe it or not, will help you get past the pain they’ve caused.
It might be a good idea to read books on forgiveness. I wrote a book called How To Forgive A Malicious Person. Because I know how difficult it is to do. This link will take you to a blog post that contains tips on how to forgive someone who will never apologize.
Also, learning why certain people have a propensity to hurt others is helpful.
That’s because it allows you to see that it’s their flaws, and not yours, causing the problems.
It may also be helpful to learn all you can about various personality disorders such as narcissism, and how it may apply to your particular situation.
Here is where the Internet can assist you in moving beyond what has happened.
There are wonderful online forums populated by people who’ve survived a relationship with a toxic personality. (Just be aware that disturbed people have found these forums too. So be cautious with sharing personal information.)
How To Get Over The Devastating Effects Of Adult Bullying
(This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything, I receive a referral fee, at no extra cost to you.)
Here are some more tips for recovery. Recovery is our goal and it’s doable.
- Keep reminding yourself it is their problem. Narcissists are unable to empathize or relate to others honestly. This is a big problem. For them.
- You may need to distance yourself. Both from the narc and from others in the same orbit. I know this stings. But it might be your best option. Narcs have a way of infiltrating our social lives. So they develop “friendships” with our friends. You should strive for permanent distance from the narc. But think if it as temporary space from the others. They too are fooled by the narc’s deceptive charms. It won’t last.
- Forgiveness happens in stages. So be patient with yourself. You may think you’ve already forgiven someone, only to find yourself once again dwelling on the pain and frustration. Just keep working on it. Being betrayed by someone you trust is excruciating. I can personally vouch for that.
- Try to understand the psychological dynamics of malicious people. They do this because they are broken. They hurt others to find “relief” from the emptiness they feel inside.
- Try to develop compassion for the narc. As strange as it seems, this can help you heal. The ONLY reason someone would go out of their way to hurt someone else is because they are very sick. View everything your narc does through this lens. Soon you will learn to pity this miserable creature. You will see him or her as pitiful, instead of powerful.
- Recovery happens in stages. Be patient with yourself.