In short there are two answers to this questions yes and no!
You are right to think no in a sense but wrong in another . If you put in the work to heal you will not only get over it you will become a different person.
However for some it will be another story this does not arises out of the impossibility of recovery from such trauma but out of your belief on limitation of recovery. The worst harm a narcissist does to their victim is that they snatch the latter’s sense of power. They make them question their abilities and, worse, their resilience. they also leave them feeling in a pit of despair over their actions which leads to questioning of the validity of getting help and that the situation was their fault in the first place.
That said if you have managed to (physically) escape such a relationship, you have already stepped onto the road of healing. Now, all you have to do is to commit to a complete recovery and not compromise on half-hearted doses of self-love or confidence.
Here are some tips to taking your life forward, if you implement these you will start to notice your power returning and fear lessening.
While ending your relationship with a narcissist triggers the healing process, real development only occurs from going no-contact with a narcissist. It will be a lot more difficult if you share custody of your children. However, you still need to take professional advice implement strict rules and regulations to proceed with communication and child care routines.
Be mindfully present
The basic rule for achieving and living an emotionally healthy life and for healing oneself from a toxic past is to be mindful and to be present. It is also a great tactic to counter the abuse from narcissists as it undoes abusers’ efforts to detach you from your present and from your sense of self.
Once you have distanced yourself from your past and the toxicity around that past, it’s time to rebuild your connection with yourself.
You can start with presence practice or directly jump to mindfulness meditation. The goal is to be mindful of your physical environment as well as to your internal or emotional environment. This mindfulness will allow you to detect and heal all those emotions which your narcissist has planted within you.
Forgive Your False Self
Guilt makes a major part of your emotional composition when you are in a relationship with a narcissist. Unfortunately, this guilt lingers even after you have distanced yourself from the toxicity.
Because shame and guilt make up a huge part of your basic emotions when you are a victim or survivor of narcissist abuse, you need to actively deal with it and counter it with the proper thought process. Forgiving yourself makes one way of letting go of this guilt.
In the first step of this forgiveness process, you have to remind yourself that you are not what your narcissist has portrayed you to be. You are not that flawed person that your narcissist saw you as and made you out to be. The flaws which narcissist saw in you were only a reflection of their self-concept.
You have to constantly and actively remind yourself of this!
Make a journal of times when you negated the opinions and thoughts that the narcissist made/ had about you.
Whenever your inner critic reminds you of those flawed theories, tell it the real stories of success and confidence from your past. Counter negative internal communication with the positive ones.
Forgive Your Past Self too!!
The second step of this forgiveness process will be more complex and may take a longer time to accomplish. As a survivor of narcissist abuse, once you have overcome the guilt of false accusations on you, you begin to question why and how you allowed another person to diminish your self-identity.
You may wonder why you forgot who you were or became someone you didn't want to be.
Dealing with this guilt of allowing yourself to be manipulated is more difficult than dealing with the guilt associated with false accusations made by the narcissist because the former guilt seems more authentic and you add more weight to your negative assumption argument.
Nonetheless, you have to deal with this to move forward, to be in your light you have to be one with who you are now and develop a habit of self love and care.
Unattended guilt about a any phase of your life is a surefire way of keeping you stuck in that phase and in the past in general. It is also one of the things that increases your chances of falling for another abusive person in your quest to finding answers or closure.
Truly your decisions of choosing a narcissist or allowing them or their flying monkeys to question your sanity cannot define who you were at that time and they certainly do not determine who you can become and what you can go on to do with your life.
These choices determine more than just your previous approach to your life and yourself. They show your future progression circumstances, people around you, and your past.
When you detach yourself from the past programming that has caused you to make the choices you made, you will see there is only a little contribution from then that you use that defines your choice of attaching to a narcissist and that it can be one you can let go of and eradicate from your future ways..
When you understand all these factors, forgiving yourself becomes a lot easier!
Accept Your Emotions
While you are trying to forgive your past, you may still find yourself struggling with your prevailing emotions.
You may feel anger and resentment that despite working hard on your emotional health, you fall back into the old patterns of self-loath and guilt.
Judging these emotions will only grow them. Create a routine of writing down your emotions at least once every day and giving each of these emotions your understanding and acceptance. Much as you have to start to accept the things that have happened in the past accepting how you feel about things also helps - a lot!
Once you have outgrown the phase of being a victim and have become a survivor, you need to own this pride. Feel the gratitude of being free of abuse and see the changes in your mindset.
The biggest gift that comes with practicing gratitude is a persistent emotional state of gratitude. It is the power that makes you resilient and ready for the gifts that life throws at you.
To fully benefiting from this mental state and practice, you could include gratitude journaling to your routine. Journaling gratitude, affirmations and working through your thoughts feelings and behaviours or goals in a journal is so helpful. It is a method I use a lot with my 1-1 and group clients to explore - well - everything really!!
Even after breaking free of a relationship with a narcissist,you may feel trapped in the emotional abuse you have suffered during the relationship. This lingering trauma makes this escape to appear insignificant and it can sometimes feel like you are still living the same life.
By stepping out of the relationship you have taken the first step to re-building your life and self once more. In getting the right support, encouragement and help the road to complete recovery and rehabilitation is not as long and convoluted as some people would let you think. I am not going to lie and say it will always be easy, but it will certainly be worth it. When I work with my clients I like to make the work about them and their future so as well as recovery we spend a lot more of our time focusing on their future ambition, drive and self in terms of goals, dreams and working out who they are again! It really is an incredible journey and very much worth it!! :)