How to Feel Whole After Toxic Relationships   

aka a Narcissist (with Shannon Jenkins)

Are you bled dry by an energy vampire?


Raven shares the lyrics of Vampire by Olivia Rodrigo

In this deeply insightful episode, we dive into the profound journey of healing and self-discovery with our guest, Shannon Jenkins, an empath who has triumphed over toxic relationships. Shannon shares her personal experience of being bled dry by energy vampires and narcissists, shedding light on the emotional toll it takes on empaths.

Tune in and embark on your own journey to feeling whole again.

S6 Ep 8 How to Feel Whole After a Toxic Relationship with a Narcissist with Shannon Jenkins

Key Takeaways:

>>Recognizing Toxic Relationships: Shannon opens up about her own encounters with energy vampires and narcissists, highlighting the red flags and patterns to watch out for.

>>The Healing Process: Shannon shares her transformative journey toward reclaiming her sense of self and energy, offering practical tips for fellow empaths on a similar path.

>>Reconnecting with Authenticity: Shannon encourages listeners to reconnect with their authentic selves and embrace their empathic gifts as strengths.

Join us as we unravel the layers of healing and growth in the aftermath of toxic relationships, and learn how to shine brighter than ever as an empath. If you’ve ever felt drained or depleted by toxic people, this episode is a beacon of hope and empowerment.

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Shannon Jenkin’s podcast Starting Over and Instagram. Get the Free guide that accompanies this episode by DM’ing Shannon “guide” on IG


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How to Feel Whole After Toxic Relationships” (with Shannon Jenkins)

How to Feel Whole After Toxic Relationships” (with Shannon Jenkins)


[00:00:05] Raven: welcome to the Empath Rising podcast, where we are healing from narcissistic abuse, with human design, taro, and astrology.

I’m your host, Raven, Scott.

Make sure to share this podcast with a friend. Spread the love spread the light. And subscribe./

Today, we were talking about how to feel whole after toxic relationships, AKA with the narcissist. How do you start over? How do you feel whole. And our recorded guest that has shared us with some inspiring messages that will be here in the podcast. Today is Shannon Jenkins. She’s the host of starting over with Shannon. Podcast. She’s inspiring you to do the work. And live a conscious, meaningful and joyful life. She helps through her coaching. You heal and grow after toxic relationships.

If you are a perfectionist, if you’re an empath and you will love to listen to her. Message that she has for us today on how to feel whole. Because so many times we all have experienced this, where we feel like. A piece of our body has gone. There’s been such a trauma bond. Everything is so intertwined. And on top of that, they pretty much are a vampire and they suck us dry. They strip us from everything that we know.

And, , before we dive into this. , episode, I just want to resonate with you the lyrics from Olivia Rodrigo’s vampire. I I’ve heard it before. And then I heard it yesterday and I was like, this is so it. So if you resonate with being in a relationship like this, Then you are going to benefit from the episode. , From Shannon’s message today. So here are the lyrics to vampire. By Olivia Rodrigo. I

hate to give the satisfaction, asking how you’re doing now. How’s the castle builds off people. You pretend to care about. Just what you wanted. I look at you. Cool guy. You got it. I see the parties and the diamonds. Sometimes when I close my eyes, six months of torture, you sold as some forbidden paradise. I loved you truly got a laugh at the stupidity. Because I’ve made some real big mistakes. But you make the worst one look fine. I should have known it was strange. You only come out at night. I used to think I was smart. But you made me look so naive. The way you sold me for parts, as you sunk your teeth into me. Oh, blood soccer. Same fucker bleeding me dry, like a goddamn vampire. And every girl I ever talked to told me you were bad, bad news. You called them crazy. God, I hate the way I called them. Crazy too. You’re so convincing. How do you lie without flinching? How do you lie? How do you lie? How do you lie? Ooh, what a mesmerizing paralyzing fucked up little thrill. Can’t figure out just how you did it. And God knows I never will. Went for me and not her cause girls your age. No better. I’ve made some real big mistakes, but you make the worst one look fine. I should have known. It was strange. You only come out at night. I used to think I was smart, but you’ve made me look so naive. The way you sold me for parts, as you sunk your teeth into me. A little blood sucker. Fame fucker bleeding me dry, like a goddamn vampire. You said it was true love, but wouldn’t that be hard? You can’t love anyone. Cause that would mean you had a heart. . I tried to help you out. Now I know that I can’t. Because how you think the kind of thing I’ll never understand. I’ve made some real big mistakes, but you make the worst one look fine. I shouldn’t should have. No. And it was strange. You only come out at night. I used to think I was smart, but you made me look so naive the way you sold me for parts. As you sunk your teeth into me. Oh, blood sucker. Fame fucker lead in me dry, like a goddamn vampire.

So this episode is going to help you regain your blood back, regain your energy back, and to understand how to become whole again. So let’s dive in./

[00:05:15] Shannon: Leonard Cohen famously said, There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. This quote… It honestly changed my life and it is a true reflection of the healing journey that I’ve personally gone on after healing from narcissistic abuse. And you know, what I once thought was the most broken, bruised, insecure, fragile, and ultimately unlovable part of myself was actually the very place that would lead me to the wholeness that I was searching for all along.

For those of you who don’t know me. My name is Shannon Jenkins, and I am a self love and mindfulness coach, and I’m also the host of a top self development and spirituality podcast called Starting Over with Shannon Jenkins. It’s been running for the past two or so years, and every week I have different interviews and solo episodes just like this one.

In which I share about how our rock bottom moments can often be a blessing in disguise. How they can, in fact, not only be the breakdown, but the break open. That we never even knew that we needed. And this was certainly my experience. The most challenging time of my life, while unforgettably difficult. It also woke me up to my true self and all of the various masks that I’d been wearing over the years to avoid or cover deep seated pain, fear, guilt, and shame.

And this is the message that I want to share with you. Today, how you can restore the wholeness that is within you all along after notwithstanding what is a really, really difficult experience, because ultimately. I want you, like me, to learn how to trust more deeply, both for yourself and of life. Trust that even if you don’t have all the answers right now, one day in your future you are going to have that ah ha moment where you go, ugh.

I get it. It makes me think of one of my favorite quotes by Steve Jobs. And he said, you can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. I literally had this stuck on my window during a university exchange year in Paris years ago.

Incidentally, the place where I fell pregnant and started to see the toxicity in my romantic relationship. I didn’t get it then. Not at all. But boy, do I get it now. So I’m going to share with you on this episode a little bit about my story in narcissistic abuse and how I found my freedom, but also four key steps towards healing and filling whole after toxic relationships.

This forms. A bulk of what I do in my coaching and for any of you who would like to have my free guide, which gives a recap of all of this info as well as journal prompts and a lot of aesthetically pleasing photos and colors, which I know us empaths absolutely love. So you can get a copy of that by messaging me the word guide over on Instagram, where I am there at shannonjenkins.

co. So let me tell you a little bit about my story. You might be able to tell from the accent, I’m not sure, but I am Australian and British, and I now live in Switzerland. I’m 30 now, but back when I was 22, I found myself in a relationship with a man that I later learned to be a narcissistic sociopath. So I was definitely unsure of him at first, and I had absolutely an inner knowing that arose out of my body.

That said, there’s something off here. There’s a darkness. There’s something not quite right, but perhaps like many of you, I let my mind talk me out of believing what I knew deep down, because this man, he was charming, charismatic, confident. And over time that Coupled with his attentiveness, his special interest in me, his loyalty, I was completely drawn in.

And I didn’t understand at the time that he wanted to move so quickly, and wanted me to get vulnerable and open up to him so that he could later manipulate me. But that was the reality. A lot of his early behaviours made me give over my trust and love quicker than I expected. And I still recall how in the early phases of dating, he did things that genuinely touched my heart.

And they touched my heart because of pre existing vulnerabilities that I had. And this is one of the key themes for me in terms of doing the work, bringing yourself to self awareness, understanding your patterns, your fears. So key. And this was really the opening up to that for me. But… I started investigating a little bit deeper what made me fall for somebody like this.

So a bit of my background. I grew up in a somewhat unstable household. We moved around a lot. I went to over 10 different schools and we even moved over to the other side of the world. So from Australia to England when I was about 12. I didn’t know my father. I didn’t have any relationship with him. In fact, he didn’t even know I was born until I was about 19.

And I only had females around me. In addition to that, also, my mother never really repartnered, so I didn’t have any model for healthy, cooperative love and connection, but I realized that all of this led to, obviously, the way that I showed up in the world and the needs and the fears that I had, and I, for a long time, didn’t admit to myself that I had these fears.

I didn’t see them. And I wanted to be strong, capable, independent, never really knowing that, in fact, that was part of a trauma response. So I think with this in mind, what became clear was that my ex knew how to soothe my vulnerabilities, let’s say. So in this early love bombing stage, he started giving big demonstrations of love that made me feel safe and protected.

And, you know, I remember one memorable gift he gave me was a portable phone charger after a night out. I was in London, I was on a night bus, I was drunk, my phone ran out of battery and I couldn’t get home. And The following day he said, I never want you to get into that situation again. I want to help you.

Please feel like you can call me if you, for whatever reason, don’t have enough phone battery. Here is a portable phone charger. I remembered this because it got me right to one of my deep needs and a core fear, that of being unprotected. And all these things added up to me believing that I had found my soulmate.

I share this with you because I You know, I want you to have that moment, that pause, that reflection where you go or you think back to the relationship. Has there been a time where something has really touched your heart that you remember and why? Why? What was the deeper need or the deeper fear that was being allayed?

This is honestly so key to finding the freedom that you’re looking for. So for me, after a year, after all of this initial love bombing and things started changing, he started becoming more controlling, more grumpy. more critical. And I could not make sense of that. How could somebody be so loving, so generous, so seemingly empathic, to then suddenly criticizing me, my abilities regularly.

I learned at a later date that this is cognitive dissonance, as it’s called in psychology. It left me making excuses for his behavior because I didn’t. I didn’t know how to reconcile this, right? It was like, well, I think this is the real him, but maybe it’s just the stress, or maybe it’s because it wasn’t.

It was the de masking of his true self. And in essence, what has happened, to give you the full circle, I left when our baby was very young. And we ended up having a two year long legal battle that was full of dirty, malicious tactics worthy of a Netflix dark TV series. I don’t know, I couldn’t even watch these shows like you or others because it made me feel so anxious and it was frighteningly similar to my experience.

But in the end of that, I was granted full permission by the Family Court of Western Australia to relocate to Switzerland, which is no easy feat, I’ve got to say. Uh, international relocation cases are very, very complicated and difficult. So if any of you are going through that, boy, do I feel you feel free to reach out for any help as well if you need to.

And I fell in love and I fell in love with somebody who was kind and gentle and honest and it’s just the most fulfilling love I ever had. And I should also add that I got sole parental responsibility for our son, which was also pretty significant. I think a reflection of quite how difficult it was as well.

But I know that this love that I now have would not have been possible without doing this work. Because quite honestly, there was a part of me that felt like I was not deserving of this kind of love. I was afraid of abandonment. I was afraid of not… Being the kind of person he wanted me to be. And then there was also a part of me, old, hyper vigilant, survival mode me, that saw him as being soft and somewhat boring.

But I know that that old me did not feel whole. I know that that because of some of the traumas that I’d faced in my childhood and the fact that I was just running around in eternal busyness and thrill seeking and pursuit of achievement to mask all of this

but step by step I’ve learned how to soothe that part of me has a lot of deep mistrust that part of me also that feels like I’m unworthy and undeserving. I know how to soothe that part. And I know how to step forward ,

and I can honestly sit here and say. Um, perhaps four, five years later, I’m so, so proud of the work that I’ve done to heal. And I cannot, I honestly cannot believe the life and the love that I have now, but I know that this is a reward for doing that work. So I want you to know that even if you can’t see it yet.

Like one day this is all going to make sense and you might well be able to look back with a smile and lightness in your heart, grateful for the wisdom and confident in your ability to actually change on a deep level. This might be a bit of a controversial point. I see a lot of people focusing on getting their life back after toxic relationships, like feeling like themselves again, but my perspective, my truth is that that old self in a way that you knew is not actually me.

what you want. It’s just the only reference point you have because you can’t see the next version of yourself yet. The version of yourself that is stronger, wiser, more kind, more loving, more peaceful, present and happy than ever before. But that is the goal, or that should be the goal. It’s not restoring what was, it’s accepting what is, and it’s equipping you to step into your next level of expansion.

And this for me is where spirituality has been a really helpful force in my life, let’s say. Because it helped me to learn how to get more comfortable in uncertainty. I started learning how to trust the process in the unfolding of my life instead of being more operating from a place of fear and tension.

Because the thing that I know is that There will be opportunities, random or seemingly random encounters and wonderful people that will come into your life that you can’t even possibly imagine yet. You don’t have foresight on that, but it doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen for you. You know, there were so many moments during my own separation and my own abusive legal battle, I should say, where my trust wavered.

I mean, I was overwhelmed by heavy emotions. I was struggling to get quiet and listen to the whispers that said just keep moving forward. But what I found was that in those moments of immense resistance and fear, There would be unexpected little boosts that helped me keep moving forward so much so that my mantra ended up becoming trust the weight, embrace the uncertainty, enjoy the beauty of becoming when nothing is certain, anything is possible.

It’s a quote by Mandy Hale and. I had one of these moments, I’m not sure whether you’ve ever had that before, where I was in the car, driving, having all of these self doubting, overwhelming, negative thoughts, I started saying, I can’t do this anymore, I just want to give up, was it right to separate, should I just give up resisting and keep the peace, should I allow him back into my life like he wants, then lo and behold, a song by Destiny’s Child came on the radio.

You’ve got to know it. Everyone knows this song survivor. I’m not going to sing it cause I’m absolutely terrible, but it’s like, you know, I’m a survivor. , I’m not going to give up. I’m going to work harder. I’m going to make it, et cetera, et cetera. And this song, I blasted it on the radio with my windows down, my hair blowing.

I was driving to the beach. My son was so young in the back at that stage. And I just said to myself, okay, this is a sign to keep moving forward. You’re on the right track, even though that this is hard. And I had a few more moments like that where , it just felt unexplainable, you know, I ended up meeting my husband completely unexpectedly.

He was in a position to help me. I also left my relationship with no money, but it turns out I was in entitled to an unexpected family provision after the birth of our son. And then several grand came into my bank account at the exact, I mean, exact moment I needed to put up a rental advance on my own place to be able to start over independently.

And then the day that I moved in, this almost brings tears to my eyes. The day that I moved into my small place with my eight month old son, there was a full rainbow over the top of my house. And tears just sprung to my eyes and I held him and I said, we’re going to be okay. And I soaked up that feeling, that trust that I’m being helped, that I’m being guided, keep walking forward, help will come to you.

I think what I didn’t know, but I’m so convinced of now, and this is what I share far and wide is that. By doing this inner work on yourself, this is what is going to bring you the long term transformation that you’re looking for. That transformation that brings you your peace, your joy, your sparkle back and makes you feel whole again.

And it’s all about getting better. Not getting bitter. So with that in mind, here are some four key steps. The first one is identify your protective self. This is such a big part of healing everyone. Honestly, it’s like realizing that you have your true self under there somewhere, but that true self that was there got hurt.

at some point, usually in childhood, and you built a protective shield, you put on a defensive armor around that wound. And the thing is that protective self has probably been running the show in your life for quite a while without even being aware of it. This was certainly my experience. I did not know that I had such a strong perfectionistic protective self.

Like, I… I did not realize that me constantly striving, being busy, regularly overwhelmed was just because I was avoiding feeling the shame that I had stored deep, deep, deep within. So I think, and there are many, many types of protective selves. I’ve just described the perfectionistic one, which is what I found myself in, but also another is like codependency.

You know, this is somebody who has buried deep within an inner sense of worthlessness and not enoughness with a. A fear of rejection and abandonment and the protective mechanism around that is to prove the opposite by always caring for others or by being very compassionate and helpful by being a peacemaker.

These are all types of protective selves, but you know what? You don’t have to hate it. In fact, you shouldn’t at all because it has served you for probably a long period of your life. You have been rewarded for that. It has met your needs, and that’s why it can also be so hard to let go of. But, there is a purpose to letting go of it.

So we’re going to come on to that. That is the second part of this, is really learning how to let go of that protective self. Or, at the very least, not be caught in its trance 24 7. Am I still perfectionistic? Yes. For sure, I have those tendencies. But rather than letting it control my life and lead me to constant overwhelm and burnout, I have a toolkit to soothe that little Shannon who just wants to be loved, and enough, and feels like praise and accomplishments will bring that to her.

Can you see the power in this? Naturally, letting go of this protective self or this defense mechanism that you’ve had for quite a while, I’ll be honest with you, it sucks. It really does. At first, it’s hard because you’re finally faced with the things that you’ve been avoiding. And this is literally why I have such high respect and admiration for anyone who does this work, because I know it’s not easy.

It does demand courage, but I also know how life changing it is. You know, I’ve had so many memories of working with others, of opening up, sharing these painful memories, experiencing them in our bodies during a retreat, and people just having this. It’s childlike joy and vibrancy and aliveness in their face afterwards.

Honestly, it’s so beautiful to see that you can really visually see the weight lifting off of people, which is the exact opposite to what your defense mechanism would have you believe, which is, oh my goodness, if you finally reveal your true self, you’re going to get found out and it’s going to be a disaster and you are going to be rejected or abandoned or unloved, right?

So, forewarning. Expect that there will be resistance to this, excuses, escape routes, avoidance mechanisms. You may experience numbness or other physical sensations like feeling blocked or tight or empty. Or maybe this is one that came up for me feeling like I found it so hard to get a handle of my emotions, feeling so overwhelmed.

But then I could suddenly just cut it off too, especially in relationships with others. And I recognize that was just a dissociative mechanism. Funnily enough, what actually helped was really staying open and realizing that people would love me. Despite or because of my vulnerability. So underneath all of these protective layers, these protective mechanisms, we are going to find what’s underneath our core wounds, our shame, our fear, our inadequacy, our pain.

And the third step that I want to share is about resolving that. And, you know, this is actually more simple than a lot of us realize as difficult it is. And I think it’s because the power lies in just staying with it. Literally, no fixing, no talking yourself out of it, not analyzing, not judging, just being with.

Whatever feeling there is there, feeling not enough, allowing yourself to actually feel that and release it, making space around it and crucially showing yourself love and kindness through it. That’s why I say no judging, right? Because in those moments, that’s when we’re often like, Oh my goodness, I’ve had to get you together.

I don’t know if I can swear, sorry, but like pull yourself together. Why is this? Or you should be able to handle this. Et cetera, et cetera, all of this comes out, but don’t just allow it to be there. You know, the most transformative healing events or experiences I’ve had in my life is when I’ve genuinely allowed myself to feel, to sob, to tremble in fear, to have tears rolling down my face.

And I’m so familiar with it now. That, and it will still occur, you know, I will still have those core wounds that play out, but they don’t grip me as much as they used to, and that’s kind of part of the process that I try to teach people, like it’s that the triggers, they aren’t so alarming anymore, but there is such, such power in Allowing this to be instead of spending your life running away from it.

So what if you did just dare to sit, to lean in, to allow, to accept? What I know for sure is that your life is going to change for the better. And you’ll be much better placed to take the practical steps you need to take as well. Such as, let’s say, setting boundaries with a toxic ex partner. Or even in my instance, for me, it’s come up with starting my own business.

It showed up in a different way. Like now I have the same thing with the perfectionism coming out with how I show up for other people online. It’s just being mindful of that witnessing, allowing, seeing what is going on deep within and then making a different choice. And this is really what it means to go down to the roots, to treat the causes, not the symptoms.

And this brings me on to my final point, which is about feeling whole again. What is this healing work for, really? Like, it’s not so that you spend your life in eternal misery or sadness or grief, anxiety. No. It is so that you feel light, free, peaceful, more loving, more joyful, more whole. You know, I frequently ask my podcast guests a question at the end of each episode and that is, what is something that you used to believe that you no longer believe?

And the most frequent answers I have had relate to this sense of being unworthy, of being not enough, of being broken, but that they’ve woken up to the truth, the truth that is their inherent worth, their natural wholeness. There’s a wake up call, and often it can be in a moment, it can often be in a period, what we sometimes call dark night of the soul, or these existential crises where everything seems to be breaking down.

But on the other side of it, like I said back at the beginning, it is the breakthrough, the break open that you need, because you realize that, Wow, you don’t need to be stuck in the trance of this pattern anymore, always trying to prove your worth externally through validation from others, through success or achievements, through being of use or a positive contribution.

Sure, you can go ahead and do those things, but you’re not doing it with the same fear based energy as you once were. So what is at the core of feeling whole again? It is this. It is not something that you have to accomplish. It is something that you realize. It’s like believing that the sun doesn’t exist because it was always covered by the clouds.

Like no, remove the clouds and the sunshine will pour in. It is there. It was always there. And it always will be. One of my favorite quotes is from a poet called Rumi, who said, Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and remove all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

You are not broken or unlovable. You just have a false belief that you are. And that is something that you have the power to change. That unconditionally loving and loved soul that you truly are is always there within you. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. I do hope that it has inspired you or touched your heart or given you the courage to continue doing this inner work and please know that you don’t have to do it alone.

You know, even just listening to this podcast and many others like all knowing that this is a part of the human experience, right? Like, and we can find community and connection through it. You know, there is not a need to be independent and asking for help is not a sign of weakness or embarrassing. You know, It’s people are there for you and let’s support each other.

So if you do want to have my guide that accompanies this episode, please do message me the word guide or DM me guide on Instagram at shannonjenkins. co. And if my voices resonated with you, then feel free to check out my podcast, starting over with Shannon Jenkins, which is available in all of the usual places.

[00:31:27] Raven: Thank you so much for investing in yourself today to become more empowered and listening and tuning into your own inner voice. Join our empath healing community for [00:31:40] free and receive your free 10 day live NARC free audio workshop. Grab your copy of the empath and the narcissist book, either on paperback, hardcover or audible.

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