Finding meaning in our abuse does not happen quickly. It may take several years before we can even begin to see something meaningful in the abuse we have suffered. But until we find that meaning, it will be very difficult to move past the anger, pain, and victimhood. Once we find meaning, we feel strong, capable, and even proud of ourselves for having made it through such a long and difficult stage of our journey. Once we find meaning, anger can turn to joy, pain can turn to strength, fear can turn to compassion, and we will know where we are going in our new lives.
But how do we even start to find meaning in the horrors we suffered at the hands of our narcissist? We each have to find the path and the meaning that works for us. One path that often helps is to think of life as a learning journey, then to look at what we may have learned from our experience with our narcissist. If we fought hard to get away from our narcissist, then we may have discovered new towers of strength in ourselves. As we grew to understand narcissism, we surely gained new depths of understanding of the human mind and soul that will help us understand other humans, their pain, their coping strategies, their function and dysfunction. Maybe we came into this life situation to try to help the narcissistic soul, and whether we see it or not, maybe we did plant a seed in that person that will help them at some time in the future. Or perhaps our journey is to help other abuse victims. Our experiences as a victim, our struggle to survive, and our battle to break free can all become powerful tools to help others.
Finding meaning and purpose in our abuse turns the weakness into strength. We move from feeling that our abuse was some random thing that happened to us because we were too stupid to see it and protect ourselves, to realizing that we chose this journey in order to find new strength, to help others, to understand the suffering of others, and even possibly to help the narcissists themselves. Victims are not the weakest members of society. We are usually the strongest. We survived our abuse without becoming narcissists ourselves! We did not respond to the pain by distorting our true selves! Our soul, our personality, and everything that we are is still intact, unlike the soul and personality of our abuser. WE are the strong ones. Finding this meaning will help us move forward into new lives of helping others, helping ourselves, feeling proud of our journey and even prouder of our success as survivors and thrivers!
Now we no longer ask ourselves, "Why did this happen to me?" Instead, we ask ourselves:
- Why did I choose this path?
- What have I learned?
- How did this make me stronger and more loving?
- How did this make me a deeper, fuller person?
- What can I do in my life right now with all this newfound knowledge and strength?
- Now that I have graduated from the university of narcissism, what wonderful thing will I do in the rest of my life's journey to give even more meaning to this experience?
The answers are inside of us! We just have to believe and dare to look inside! Finding our meaning transforms our lives forever! The caterpillar trapped inside of a cocoon of abuse becomes a beautiful, strong, confident butterfly, and the metamorphosis is complete. Fly fellow butterflies! We are free!