Q: Hello, My ex-boyfriend has NPD. I broke up with him 6 months ago after years of emotional abuse. I am finally free of his control, manipulation and drama. The problem is that we work together and I have to see him 5 days a week. I work about 20 feet from him all day long and have to listen to him brag and put on a show about how wonderful he thinks he is and how wonderful his life is now. Many days I can handle things just fine but others are extremely difficult. I have to listen to whispers in his office with male coworkers, his flirting with the receptionist and his all day fake happiness. My job pays well and I am a single mother of 2 so simply finding another job is not so simple. I live in a rural area where good jobs are hard to find.
My question is this: how do I ever completely break free when I have to be near him 40 hours a week? How can I ever fully move on and heal from the pain he caused me? Just when I think I am 100% over him, I fall into a funk and get depressed about the whole situation. Not depressed that I am no longer with him, but that he caused so much damage emotionally to me and it is hard to move on with such a hurtful person sitting 20 feet from me 5 days a week. Thank you for any insights you have.
A: That is truly a difficult situation to be in. You are going to have to develop a tough skin and a hard heart to be able to continue to work that closely with him. Is there professional help available in your rural area? They could help you develop strategies and coping skills to manage this. I know finding the time is hard when you are working and a single parent but it can help you survive each day. The other alternative is to relocate if there are no good paying jobs in your area. As hard as that is, you owe it to yourself and children to be able to move on and regain happiness in your life.
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