I know these words so well because I’ve etched them on my heart. I first heard them, like really heard them, whilst in a session with an intuitive healer 4 years ago when I was broken, weary, and experiencing the lowest form of self esteem that I can remember after the worst relationship of my life.
I had been so desperate to be loved and accepted by another human that I had willingly handed over my energy to a nasty, controlling man who belittled me and made me feel crazy and guilty all at the same time. I was so attracted to him and at the same time consumed with anxiety about what might happen if I sneezed, let alone breathed.
But it wasn’t always like this. The beginning of the relationship was like a fairy tale. He was everything and did everything that I had always dreamed of. He promised me what I wanted to hear, and he even seemed genuinely to want what I wanted in life.
Our energetic attraction was incredible. I literally felt magnetised to him.
But then I started to notice that he was missing the kindness gene. He would only do things for his own benefit, and if he did do something that seemed altruistic, he would make sure that everyone knew about it to give him praise.
He would be outraged at me for going to the toilet in the middle of the night for how it had disturbed his sleep, and he would criticise my physical form, my contemplative conversational style, and my differences to his personality on such an extreme level that I began to believe I wasn’t a worthy human to exist, let alone be his partner.
As a Sensitive Soul (HSP) my empathy for his own suffering meant that I rarely felt empowered to do anything that wasn’t for both of our best interests. Including breaking up with him. My concern for how that would make him feel kept me in the relationship, when all of my internal red flags were screaming at me.
I counted myself lucky that I never lived in the same town as him. That we only saw each other when we made plans to do so, and only dated for a few months.
Even still his energy and affect on me was so strong that I had lost who I was completely that year. I would spend time with him, feel like the worst version of myself, and then resolve to walk away and never see him again.
The time we spent apart I started to feel myself coming back. The fragments of who I was would start to collect energetically and I would start to feel almost good again.
And then he would make contact and the cycle would restart.
I felt like I couldn’t get out. Like I was in an energetic jail, and my own form of hell. Constantly feeling panicked and living with a high level of anxiety.
But finally the universe threw me a bone, and he decided to go travelling for a long period of time, leaving me with the space to finally heal. Or so I thought…
The aftermath of this relationship left me a wreck. I had never seen myself so low before. So lacking in the ability to understand how I could have let this happen. At that point in my life self love seemed like a place called Utopia that I would never find.
So I consulted an intuitive healer to help me find a path forward.
She was digging around in my energy that day and then finally got to the bottom of where my pain was coming from.
‘Oh’ she said. ‘You’re waiting for someone to come and save you… That’s why you’ve just gone through that horrific experience with a narcissistic man. You let that happen. In fact you called it in. You were so willing to hand over your power, because you didn’t want to deal with it all anymore. But the experience broke you. And after giving away your power like that you’ve hit rock bottom.
So it’s time to face the truth and own it. Babe, no one is coming to save you.’
I giggle nervously. ‘Oh yeah, haha.’ I try to dismiss the message that she is wanting to convey.
‘No. You didn’t hear me.’ she says. ‘Let me repeat. NO ONE is coming to save you.’ A long pause ensues. And it hits me. ‘Oh fuck.’ I say with a heaviness of realisation I’ve never felt before.
‘You wanted him to save you. That’s why you put up with that toxic behaviour. But as painful as that was, he was a gift. He was your messenger. You are your own knight in shining armour. You pulled yourself out of that unhealthy relationship, and it’s time to save yourself in every other way too.’
That was the beginning of my self love journey in earnest.
It took a nasty controlling and emotionally toxic man for me to get it. For everything I wanted I needed to put my self first. Self love. Self honouring. Self saving. Self respect. Self soothing. It all started with me. I couldn’t hand over my life, my decisions, my emotions, my freedom, my responsibilities, my choices, my wellbeing, my boundaries and expect to live an amazing and fulfilled life.
Narcissistic relationships, as painful as they are, have a purpose. They are here to teach us to love ourselves, and that no one is coming to save us but ourselves.
4 years of serious self focus, self love, making difficult decisions, creating boundaries, being brave even when I was scared shitless, letting go and trusting — I now love that I am my own knight in shining armour. I even gave myself that name to remind me.
Self love is always a journey, but holy shit is it worth it! And no one can take that away from you.
My biggest learning from this was to not go seeking for that which you lack. Create it for yourself first. Then no one can take it away from you, and you can find the other who not only complements this aspect of yourself, but enhances it through their own version.
You got this. You are your own knight in shining armour.