broken up with a narcissist

You’ve broken up with a narcissist: Now what?

Carrie Gajowski
Feb 27, 2024

Who are you after narcissistic abuse?  Narcissistic abuse can leave us feeling frantic, horrible about ourselves, beaten down, and unmotivated to move forward. And if you decide to keep up with how your ex is doing, you might find yourself feeling EVEN MORE discouraged. You may see them moving on very quickly while you are left wondering how you are going to get through the next 10 minutes. We may be curious about what they are doing and how they are living without us. They might have told us that we were the love of their life and their soulmate, yet they seem to be existing just fine without us. 

Many of us leave these relationships thinking that we did something wrong and that somehow we are the broken one and that we only needed to do something different to change the outcome. Generally speaking, that isn’t true. That is something the narcissistic person might want you to believe so that you can do and give more to them. 

So what can be done to begin the healing process?  Here are some tips as you move forward to rebuild your life:


      1. Gray rock/low contact/minimal contact: Gray rock means to have no contact (or minimal contact) with your ex. This will help you get the time and space from that person, so you can begin to focus on yourself. Your entire relationship was built on taking care of the narcissistic person often to the detriment of your own wants and needs. Contact with them can start the cycle of abuse all over again and won’t help you put distance between you and them. 

      1. Acknowledgment: This process could be very painful for you. A narcissist knows how to trigger our deepest wounds and insecurities. Once they are out of our lives, we are left to pick up the pieces and acknowledge those wounded places within ourselves. 

      1. Learn about narcissistic abuse for a time. It can be helpful to learn about abuse and how it happens. Also, take some time to learn about the red flags that can help you as you move into new relationships in the future. You can learn how to spot issues before they happen.

      1. Find people who can be supportive of your process. Family, friends, colleagues, and support groups can all be helpful to you. Your support can also be a beloved pet.

      1. Learn a new skill, a new language, or a new hobby. This is a time to learn what you like and want in your life. This can also help you move forward. 

      1. Start checking in with yourself and identifying what you want and need regularly. It is a way of acknowledging yourself and validating that your feelings matter and that you matter.

      1. Find whatever closure you may need. Write your thoughts down. Express yourself in some way. You may or may not get the closure you want or need from your ex. How can you move forward?

    Recovering from narcissistic abuse can be a complicated journey. Remember to take care of yourself along the way. You can do it!


    clear directions therapy

    Hi, I’m Carrie.

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