Life Post-Narcissism: Volume I

He sucked me in with SO MUCH FUCKING ADORATION, that I could not see straight for months. It was as if I was walking around with a blatant sign on my forehead : "empath, loves healing others, loves empowering others, and just had her heart smashed in a identity-shaking divorce to her high-school sweetheart."

That was the truth. I was all of those, and it made my hungry, hopeless heart even more vulnerable to the coldest, most destructive fucked-up relationship of my entire life...and I know that you know what I mean. 

It didn't matter that he habitually cheated on me no more than 6 months into our relationship. It didn't matter that he had a raging porn and phone-sex addiction. It didn't matter that he put me down, only so he could feel the power in bringing me back up. It didn't matter that he lied about literally everything, on any given day. It didn't matter that he regularly, purposefully withheld affection from me, only sprinkling in moments of redemption just long enough to leave me hopeful that it could last longer than 24 hours.

His charm, his deception, his ability to warp my perception and make me feel alive and special, also created HIS SUPERPOWER: manipulation. And FUCK was it powerful. He gave me so much of what I craved, yearned, and needed at a specific time in my life, that it just could not ever be dismantled by the emotional, mental, and physical abuse that soon followed. It was a vacuum for emotional disparity and stability. 

Life never felt stable.

And despite the dysfunction of the relationship with him, was the newfound fucked up relationship I had WITH MYSELF, and friends...that is by far the most challenging relationship to repair. I eventually said enough was enough, and cut him out of my life completely. But, did you know that it took me almost 7 months of re-building myself quietly behind closed doors in order to work up the courage to leave him. My heart had left him, but my physical self couldn't do it. I was that deranged. That scared. That confused. Every single day.

After finding the strength in admitting that I had made a terrible mistake in making him my 2nd husband, I ended it. It was over...but the fog was just being lifted, and the destructive lie of a life I had been living for over 6 years, was visibly apparent. I was alone, living with myself (which let me just say, felt like living in close-quarters with a roommate you cannot fucking stand)...

Except now, things weren't the same. The reflection had changed.

  • I did not trust myself.
  • I did not respect myself.
  • I did not appreciate myself.
  • I did not see myself. 

I had no sense of intuition AT ALL. I hated myself for becoming trapped, emotionally. I gave myself zero grace or forgiveness in what I allowed to transpire in my life. 

It was a shit show that I revealed to VERY FEW PEOPLE. <enter shame>

Shame told me that I couldn't tell people. Shame told me that I was a dumb bitch for being in the situation. Shame told me that no one would believe me or see me the same way through this experience....

...and you know what? Shame was right about a lot of that. This experience alienated me from many people who truthfully could not handle my truth. They couldn't handle being fooled by him. They couldn't handle being deceived by my life.

The irony: neither could I. The thing that shifted my life, my relationships, my career, my emotional health, my reputation, was also the thing that kept me from sharing it and dismantled many adjacent relationships in my life. 

It was my ground zero.

My (relative) fresh start. 

Next time, we'll talk about how my success only made matters worse, and was the eventual catalyst to the end. There are many misnomers associated with success, and its time we talk about the truth.


emBODY|BOSS was a brand I created, born from this rubble, which I will share in subsequent 'embodiedAF' blog entries and embodiedAF podcast episodes. Both will serve human beings unedited truth, wisdom, and insight into the truth about painful experiences, audacity, and how to create the life of your dreams THROUGH the shit-storms. THANK YOU for subscribing and following along with me. You are appreciated.

Writers note: Dr.Chanelle Yoder is a physical therapist and respected storyteller, course creator, business owner, + mentor. Any comments or questions can be directed to [email protected]. This particular entry was inspired by the real-life vulnerability of @docjenfit, in response to her recent recollection of the aftermath of a destructive, deceptive relationship with self-help influencer, author, mogul, and athlete @lewishowes. I admire her integrity, work ethic, and heart so much. 


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