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I have two questions for the group that I am thinking about.

NowImNarcFree's picture
[26265]

I have two questions for the group that I am thinking about.

1) When you move forward after leaving an abusive situation, how do you tell the difference between "normal" disagreements or conflicts and something that's really wrong? (Most recently, someone did something that really bothered me as I described in another post, I told him, and he apologized and will never do it again. I'm trying to figure out how I can know if it was a normal interaction or a big red flag? And how to trust my judgement, either way?)

2) Recovering from abuse is a time to learn to trust your gut, listen to yourself for the first time, acknowledge your feelings, etc. But how do you trust your own judgment, after realizing that you have made such a HUGE misjudgment in the past? I know I've made a lot of progress personally but I am constantly questioning myself since I did allow myself to basically be brainwashed for 10+ years and was blind to it most of that time.

What are your thoughts?

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NowImNarcFree's picture
[26215]
18 hours ago

@pickone Thank you for your response and the list of red flags! I'm going to have to make my own list.
My counselor also had me make a list of things I would look for in a romantic partner and in a friend, and choose 3 qualities that were the most important.

I think one thing that I really want to get past at this stage is comparing new people to my ex. I am constantly thinking, "wow, this is so much better than the time my ex did ___!" Or, "in that situation, my ex would've done X abusive/gaslighting thing, but this person reacted like a normal, empathetic human being!" But that was the only "romantic relationship" in my past so it feels like my only reference point sometimes. (I have to put that in quotes because it was actually an abusive situation, not a romantic relationship but a sad excuse for one.)

Anyway, thanks again for your thoughtful response.

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NowImNarcFree's picture
[26215]
18 hours ago

@crowningglory19 Thank you! The counselor I see specializes in trauma and she seems very happy to see me getting to be vulnerable again while still realizing that I can have my boundaries and protect myself when appropriate. I think my red-flag detection is stronger than I realize -- I get set off pretty regularly by small things that don't sit well with me. And some may be harmless or normal, but to me they show it's not someone I want to be overly involved with. The guy I'm talking to is definitely very gentle and extremely...stable compared to the ex. Like his kindness doesn't depend at all on what I do, what my opinion is and if it is different than his, what boundaries I set. But sometimes there are also innocent things that can be triggering that aren't related to being a narc but just related to my memories of the past. Like a word or expression that my ex used to use, a TV show or song he liked, etc. That I think will just take time so those memories aren't so fresh.

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[2450]
15 hours ago

Very true, it's good you recognize that, just let him know and ask for patience in it. =) <3 I am happy for you!!

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