When The Masks Come Off

All relationships are about personal growth; especially the toxic ones.  They teach you what behaviours you will and will not tolerate. They teach you how to recognize red flags, toxic behaviour, damaged goods and even more than that, they teach you how strong you are.

Narcissists and abusers are masters of disguise.

Whether you are about to leave a toxic relationship, you often reflect on the relationship, the toxicity, the time wasted, and the love that was given, and you wonder how you could have gotten into something that is so bad for you.

You beat yourself up for the fact that you got into it, didn’t see the red flags, stayed, wasted time, wasted energy and so on.

This is what I need you to know today.

All relationships are about personal growth; especially the toxic ones.  They teach you what behaviours you will and will not tolerate. They teach you how to recognize red flags, toxic behaviour, damaged goods and even more than that, they teach you how strong you are.

Leaving a toxic, narcissistic or abusive relationship is about using the relationship as a tool to help you to choose more wisely the next time.

When a relationship is so abusive that it lowers your self-esteem to the point where you question “everything”, all the time, second guess yourself, doubt in your capabilities, think that you are going crazy, even when you know, that you have skill or talent in that area, then its time to make a choice.  Do you stay, to keep the other person happy, or do you go to finally live your best life?

The toxic, broken or abusive partner will not be happy until they have damaged others to the degree that they are damaged.  They will take their time. 

At first, it’s a beautiful love story. And then little by little, the skill of the abuser, narcissist or toxic individual, will show up. You won’t notice it at because you still believe in the persona that was presented to you in the early days of the relationship. 

True story time.

A broken individual will try on whatever persona you need them to be, for a period of time so that they can win your heart. Knight in shining armor, attentive lover, amazingly skilled and well rounded in many areas of life, charming in public, gracious host, well the list can go on forever. 

And then little by little, the real guy or gal will show up. At first, it will feel like a little annoyance, a nudge, that something is off.

They usually choose people who are nice. People who are kind and generous, compassionate, and loyal.  They see those traits as weakness. And they want to make sure that you hurt, either physically or emotionally. 

It starts small, perhaps as a small complaint, or a suggestion as to how you could do something differently.

Then it moves up to constant complaints.

Next, they have you questioning if you do anything right at all?

Then the complaints become more constant, until one day, you are working so hard to make everything feel good for them, look good for them, and literally become a prisoner in your mind and even in your own home. You begin to question what you are good at, whether your friends are truly your friends. You give up hobbies, you distance yourself from family, you become a homebody, because, it doesn’t feel good to try and put on a happy face out there in public. You know that people will be able to see thru that because unlike your toxic partner, you cannot hide your feelings.

The sudden shock for you is when one day, you realize that the person you fell in love with is standing in front of you and you don’t recognize them. They have become a complete stranger to you. It’s like a switch was flipped.

You wonder what happened to the person you fell in love with. Where did he/she go? You just want them back. The truth is, that they tried something new, to get you into their arms, and it just didn’t fit with their true self. And when they show you who they really are, run. Do not walk; run. The toxic, narcissist will destroy you.

Little by little, you start to realize, that while he/she tried to be someone new, they will always be themselves until they do the work.  This broken person tried to take away the self-esteem that you may have worked on for years or even decades.

One of you finally decides to end it. When you finally do split, you beat yourself up for not seeing they were or noticing the red flags.

When we are in love, we often see the red flags, but quickly tell ourselves, things like:

1.             they are going thru something at work

2.             they are going thru something with family

3.             they just need time

4.             they just need a little space

5.             it will all get better

6.             that is so unlike him/her

7.             why did I do that? Is should have done… instead.

8.             That other man or woman; who keeps showing up, is nothing to worry about. 

And suddenly, you find yourself alone again. 

You feel:



Cheated on 

Lied to




I want you to think of this as a time to regroup and remember; who you are when you have forgotten.

Who were you before the relationship began?

Whom do you want to be now that it’s over, or about to be over?

What do you need to do so that this type of thing will never happen again?

Many survivors of these types of relationships never overcome them and become victim to yet another broken individual who comes into your life. 

Want some good news?

This is a learning opportunity. It’s a chance for you to begin again.

Once you are out of the relationship, you will feel all of the stages of grief and you need to allow yourself to feel them. It’s healing.

Some of you will want to stay in this safe place you have created for yourself. Having said that, it doesn’t mean you are safe, it just means that this is what you know and for some, what they have known their entire lives. 

Life after narcissism can be hard for a while, and I would encourage you to do the following:

1.    Reach out to family and friends you may have alienated because of the relationship. They are waiting with open arms.

2.    Take some time to heal

3.    Practice Self Care

4.    Hire a coach who works on Self Esteem and Relationships. Book Your Discovery Session here.

5.    Start a new hobby

6.    Reframe your thoughts

7.    Practice Positive Self Talk

You can do this. YOU CAN!


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