If you asked me five years ago which career I wanted to be in for the rest of my life, I would have replied, “An elementary school teacher”.
In fact, that’s exactly what I was doing five years ago.
After working in the banking industry for years, I began to feel a niggling emptiness. While I made pretty good money and enjoyed decent benefits, the fact of the matter was, I wasn’t doing anything noble. I wasn’t leaving behind a legacy that I would be proud of when I got older.
One day I realized banking was no longer for me when I found myself eight months pregnant, rolling a box of banking sign-up forms on a dolly to a local business as part of my job. I was selling my soul to a corporation who cared nothing about me as an individual, and there I was pimping out their products to people who didn’t really need them.
That’s when I decided to go back to college to become a teacher.
It was hard at first. I stayed full-time at my banking job, enrolled in college full-time, and raised my two older sons and their new baby brother. On top of that, I was still in my abusive marriage to a narcissist.
Looking back now, accomplishing all of that had to be divine guidance. In fact, I’m sure it was.
How it all began
Those of you who’ve been following me a while or have worked with me may know I started my student teaching in Egypt. I was still with my narcissistic Ex then and I left everything behind to be his second wife and complete my internship in his country.
I was highly codependent and thought I was doing the right thing for the sake of the son we shared. Can you imagine? I agreed to be a second wife!
At any rate, it was during my stint of student teaching at AIS Egypt that the first political uprisings began and all US citizens were evacuated. (In true narcissistic style, my Ex said the uprisings started because I’d wanted to come back to the US so badly. As though my sheer will alone had incited the riots and subsequent evacuations!)
I finished my student teaching requirements in the US.
About six months after my return, I got my own apartment, moved out of the place I shared with the narcissist and served divorce papers on him. His response was to quit his job and move back to his country, thereby abandoning his only son who was merely 20 months-old at the time.
I taught at a local public school system for three years. In order to make ends meet, I taught during the day and tutored after school. Although I was constantly exhausted, my newfound freedom made it all worth it.
Fast forward three years. I loved my students. I loved teaching. But because of SOLs and the shady practices of school administration, I knew I couldn’t stay in that career. I began considering alternatives.
The Dawn of Let Me Reach
Back at home, I’d started a blog as a way to express my creativity. However, I’d not yet begun writing about narcissism because, after visiting several therapists, I was told I’d only needed to create better boundaries and my marriage would have worked out better. No one could seem to help me with my debilitating acute stress symptoms and intrusive thoughts, so I took matters into my own hands. I began working on healing my self-esteem, my inner child, and rewriting the narrative scripts that kept running through my mind.
In the meantime, I wrote blog articles for people aspiring to be entrepreneurs. And to my delight, I started to gain followers.
However, I felt a strong pull to tell my story of abuse. After about six months of writing about entrepreneurship, I completely transformed my blog. I still didn’t recognize I would be writing on the topic of narcissism, but a seed had been planted and at that point, I simply wrote what came to me. I definitely had a muse back then…a muse who would guide me over the course of months and who would help me turn my blog into what it is today.
This is around the same time I learned of the Law of Attraction and how our negative programming must be shed in order to truly live. You can read my first purposeful article here: Moments of Self-Loathing.
I was onto something. I researched narcissism after learning about it during a Google search. I discovered I’d been the target of narcissistic abuse. Like everyone else who stumbles across the topic, I wanted to know everything about it. I wrote more articles and gained more followers. I recounted my personal experiences and readers could relate.
For the first year and a half, I wrote article after article, did more and more research, and began to contemplate how I could help others out of their own toxic relationships. I became certified in life coaching, the Law of Attraction, and considered going back to school to become a licensed therapist.
I offered pro bono coaching for about six months. What I learned was that the typical life coaching progression didn’t really apply to narcissistic abuse victims.
I also learned that traditional therapy wasn’t helping most people, either. I knew I had to figure out a way to help people out of the darkness of abuse, but I had to make some tough decisions. I quit my after-school tutoring job, started working as a part-time substitute teacher, and began to truly focus on what heals people who have been narcissistically abused.
It was tough financially. I sold everything I had of value. Heck, I even sold my plasma. I did odd jobs such as running gigs on Craigslist. I created resumes and tutored people in English. Yet, in spite of all that, I often didn’t have enough money for a simple cup of coffee.
Some days, I just wanted to give up and go back to the 9 to 5. I missed having a steady paycheck and being able to leave work at work. I missed having benefits. But, I knew I had a purpose to fulfill. I also knew that living a life of mediocrity wouldn’t make me happy. So, I kept going.
Today, Let Me Reach is one of the top sites in the area of narcissistic abuse and recovery.
What this all means for you
I truly believe that devastating situations can be catalysts for transformation if we let them. We don’t have to live lives of conformity or stay in abusive relationships. We don’t have to be victims of generational dysfunction or do things the way our parents and grandparents did them. We don’t have to hang onto dead dreams because we’ve been told we should.
All of us – including you – have the power of choice.
That doesn’t mean it will always be easy. I’ve had my moments of menacing madness along the way. I’ve been scared, confused, and unsure of myself.
But, what I didn’t do was give up. I kept putting one foot in front of the other because I knew as long as I did that, my destiny would unfold in the way it was supposed to. I trusted in God and The Universe to take care of me.
And they have.
Many people just like you who have been victims of narcissistic abuse often aspire to help others because we, as a demographic, are healers and light-workers. It’s the Empath in us.
While not everyone will go on to become therapists, coaches, or healers, many of you will. We are in the middle of a global shift designed to enlighten, educate, and heal.
If you’d like to help others find their way out of the darkness of narcissistic abuse, but don’t know how to get started, I can help. Indicate your interest by filling in the form below and I’ll be in touch soon.
To your future,
I am interested in starting my own recovery blog so I can help others overcome narcissistic abuse - and live healed and empowered lives!
Kim Saeed is a narcissistic abuse recovery expert on a mission to help abuse survivors to heal, find purpose, and live joyfully after No Contact. She also hosts a podcast called Heal, Grow, Evolve, where she aims to help people create meaningful lives and relationships after emotional abuse. Listen and subscribe at www.healgrowevolvewithkim.com