What I have Learned During 20+ Years Living in Hell

Maria Anna van Driel
2 min readMar 18, 2023

On the bright side of dealing with any relationship with a narcissist, there are a few valuable lessons that I have learned during my 20+ years of living in hell.

Photo credit: Maria Anna van Driel

1. Monsters really do exist. It is not your job or in your capability to tame the beast.

2. You can’t lose something you never had. And you are not giving up on someone who never exist in the first place.

3. Sticks and stones can break your bones but words can be just as shattering. Bad as they hurt, their words do not define you.

4. A piece of sh*it is a piece of sh*t. Regardless if you sprinkle it with fairy dust or dowse it with perfume, what lies beneath is still nothing more than a piece of sh*t.

5. Never let anyone show you they don’t care more then once. Or have a ‘f*ck!’ with your name on it or are blind to your worth and value more then once. Because, snakes only shed their outer layer of skin as they are getting bigger.

6. The most important person that you ever meet in your entire life is the one who is staring at you in the mirror. Take care of you because the only person who can save you is you.

7. And the most valuable things you will ever own in your entire life are your soul and your sanity. You are worth and deserve so much more than the narcissist will ever give you.

Photo credit: Maria Anna van Driel

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Maria Anna van Driel

In 2020 I realized I was trapped in a toxic relationship since '00. In Aug. '22 I found the strength to break away, flip my life to become a psychotherapist.