The most exciting and terrifying words people say in my Facebook group – ‘Screw you, I’m choosing me’: “I’ve moved out”
It’s exciting: YEAH!! We want to celebrate with you!!!
It’s terrifying: Sadly this means different things for different people. And it doesn’t necessarily calculate to moving on.
In fact about 80% of people in the group don’t have any intention of moving on – some won’t even attempt it, even though they know it’ll benefit their wellbeing. It could even extend their lives!
So just because you move out doesn’t mean you’re moving on. There’s still a battle ahead – don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a one-step process.
First, everyone should be aware that moving out when you’ve been in a toxic or abusive relationship is the most dangerous time – particularly when there’s been domestic violence.
A narcissist/psychopath/sociopath will turn on the charm more to hoover their targets in so that they can choose the discard. Not because they genuinely mean their apology or that they really want to try things again. They just don’t want to be the one that’s left: only they will do the leaving when they choose to do it.
So if you’re choosing to leave, you’re making them feel powerless, rejected and abandoned. You should probably know though, they’re not sad they’re losing YOU though – they’re sad they’re losing control. I’m not saying this because I’m psychic (believe me, you’ll see for yourself soon enough!) but because I’ve been there. I know this for sure.
If you think you’ve experienced pain before in this relationship – if you think that you’ve reached rock bottom and that’s why you’re leaving – you haven’t felt anything in comparison to the torture this person could put you through for leaving them. Trust me on this.
Sadly, this is the point in toxic partnerships when people are killed – homicides and suicides are most likely to occur. I DO NOT want this happening to anyone in this group which is why I keep promoting that you need to say “Screw You! I’m choosing me!” If you don’t say “Screw you! I’m choosing me!” your healing journey is going to be A LOT harder.
And I really want everyone who’s experienced a toxic relationship to choose themselves over all others – once and for all.
So here are three mistakes people make when moving out that really cause my heart to sink:
❌ You let the Narc move out – assuming they have another source
Reality check: right so are you just hanging out until they come back on their terms again? Just in case?? In this scenario there’s denial and not much else: you’re still very much in that relationship – maybe just in triangulation. Get one on one support and take the opportunity to move out!!
❌ You’ve moved out: but you’re scared you’ll be stalked
Reality check: you need to do your homework once you move. Update your safety plan. Know your exits. Make local connections. If you’re still scared: where’s the leak? Have you told mutual friends where your living? Is there a way they can find your new address? I’ve seen news articles where legal systems mess up on this. If you can – say you live with parents or friends on court documents, and try to avoid giving your address to anyone for at least six months to allow things to settle. People don’t need to know your address – you can meet people up the street for coffee. Where it’s schools/playgroups make sure they’re aware this is highly confidential and not to release it.
❌ You’ve moved out: but they know where you live in your new place
Reality check: I know – I know, their charm is hard to resist, I get it. But unless you’re planning to leave your boxes packed and move again next week – there is absolutely NO POINT in moving if you’re just going to tell them where you live. You may be arguably safer staying in the home and walking on eggshells than moving out and doing this scenario. This scenario is the one that pisses narcissists/psychopaths off the most and that is most likely to encourage separation abuse and a large retaliation.
The other thing I want you to know is this:
You should never EVER dare a narcissist or psychopath to do anything, no matter how unrealistic their threat to you may seem. Don’t get cocky – because they will find a way to do it. It may take you completely by surprise but it’ll happen, and you won’t be prepared. So instead: prepare for every threat to eventuate (no matter how bizarre it seems). This doesn’t mean conform – it means get set to use your courage to fight against what may be ahead.
My greatest lesson in my recovery was that the police and our systems can’t protect us. At the end of the day – no one can watch us 24’7 to ensure our safety. No one. People need to pee. People smoke. People have families. We – the people who have been in these relationships – NEED to take responsibility for our lives and protect ourselves. And this is why we need to take the best actions to ensure our self-preservation and safety going forward.
If you’re in one of the above three scenarios, have a think about how important your life is to you.
Oh – and trust your instincts no matter what.
Don’t listen to advice from others, just trust yourself. Ignore the self-doubt and cognitive dissonance self-talk saying “They’re being nice again, maybe I got it wrong!”
It’s a lie and you know it!!
Listen to the instincts that tell you the level of safety you need to ensure your protection. Pay attention to the instincts the day you move out, and the day after … not two or three weeks down the track. (Those who feel empathy would calm down, YOU will calm down – but those who don’t: pretend that they’re ok, but during that cooling off space they just get angrier and angrier and angrier, and this is how separation abuse – the worst (and often deadliest) form of abuse – can occur.)
So if you’re moving out – do it bravely and stick to the decision. There are no half-ways or gray areas when it comes to this, particularly when you’re in an abusive relationship.
Move out properly and then you’ll find you can move on.