Our Garage Door Got Quieter: A Small Victory that Means So Much
People often ask me, “Why does it take SO long to recover from narcissistic abuse?” They might be weeks, months, or even years out of the relationship and yet still feel beaten down and void of energy. Narcissistic abuse takes a huge toll on its victim. It interferes with every aspect of your life and affects you in your very core.
I could almost feel the claws of narc abuse crawling around inside me. It attacked my confidence, my energy, my motivation for life, even my soul. While it does take time and great effort to recover, I am here to tell you, “There is life after narcissistic abuse!!”
Every little sign of recovery is a victory and offers great motivation. Look for the signs that you are healing. Some are more obvious than others, but all are equally important. The more obvious ones are sleeping better, eating better, and laughing more. You start looking forward to each day and what it brings. Life is becoming more enjoyable again.
However for many of us, these signs just aren’t there. Sleep is still a struggle. Our body doesn’t feel right. Anxiety levels are high, and stress is a daily thing. You struggle to even get out of bed in the morning. “Will I ever heal from this?” you ask in desperation.
The answer is YES!! You will heal! You cannot rush it though. It absolutely takes time!
Some signs of healing are so small that they go completely unnoticed. My boys and I experienced one of those subtle signs. Our garage door got quieter!! This may sound crazy, but it is true.
A few months ago, I had started noticing that I was no longer hearing the garage door when my youngest son got home. We have lived in this house for 13 years, and I have always heard the garage door. I was surprised, but I really didn’t think much of it. I just figured that I was busy doing something each time and just wasn’t hearing it anymore.
My oldest son came home from college for winter break. One night, when I got home from work, he was surprised when I walked in the house. “I didn’t even hear the garage door, and I always hear it. I think our garage door may have gotten quieter while I was away.” he exclaimed. He said that he had noticed this a few times now and seemed puzzled by it.
That was when it dawned on me. Nothing had changed with the garage door. It was the same door and opener it has always been. The garage door had not gotten quieter. But something had definitely changed! We were no longer on high alert, anxiously waiting for the abuser to return home. The garage door was a trigger, announcing his presence and the need to go back to protection mode.
He no longer lives in the house and has been gone since December 2018. It took almost a year for this realization, but we no longer hear the garage door. Funny enough, about a week after this realization, my youngest son asked me if I had done some work on the garage door. When I asked him why, he said, “Because I think it has gotten quieter.” This made me laugh!
I had not done any work on the door. Nothing had changed there. The work was inside each of us. Our own efforts at learning to relax and trust life again were working!
Look for the small signs. Baby steps may be small, but those first steps of life mean SO much!