You get beyond all the manipulations and abuses that you formerly allowed to get past your lack of boundaries. You protect yourself from abusive others. You win. You spend some time alone. Along this healing journey, you learn to cherish being alone, knowing that you're no longer being hurt, rejected or repeatedly disrespected. You get alone and you get happier.
Then you take steps to get out there into the sunlight of relationships again, meet new people, venture out, make the effort, then you go through this path of meeting people, then figuring out where they're harming you, closing the door, healing, going out, meeting new people, and you rise. You shed a lot of friends. You close a lot of doors. You open new doors only to close them when you see the truth of how they hurt you in the places where your own boundary holes exist. You heal to a higher level of self love, and the quality of people in your life becomes better and better.
And these new people in your life, at the center of self love are loving towards you and kind. They treat you like you're welcome, not like you're worthless. They respect your boundaries. They love who you are. They appreciate you, compliment you and treat you like a jewel. They don't envy you; they want to see you be the best you can be in every way.
A few people are in-between, but you learn to go with this flow, and only let certain people in so far. Only if they're safe. You go slowly. You run your own self by your intuition.
At first, being down to this core level of self-love relationships with others, you may feel uncomfortable. After all, you're not used to this at all--but you know you can't go back to crazy making, gas lighting, boundary busting, flying monkeys. You see them and they're no longer able to hook you. You also cannot happily be alone, because you're hardwired for relationships.
So there you are.
Feeling strange to be around people who actually care about you unconditionally because you are you.
Feeling strange to be complimented and given kudos for just being you.
Feeling strange to talk to a friend just as a friend, and not as their narcissistic supply, echo or mirror.
Feeling strange to relate one-to-one with another being at this higher level of consciousness that you hold.
Feeling strange not to feel the need to prove yourself.
Feeling strange being honest and real.
Feeling strange that you're not worshiping an image.
Feeling strange to notice weaknesses and to experience your own vulnerability.
Feeling strange to be afraid of intimacy and closeness since it's not been available in that lower-level mess of people in your life before.
And you go through that strangeness. Like exercising for the first time, or eating healthy, you learn to relate healthily, love truthfully. Loving people for their own sakes, not for what they give you or you give to them, but for who they are.
There is a point where you get beyond the abuse and down to the core of who you are and then you grow and build bad ass friendships and incredible relationships with people that are equal and mutually satisfying.
There is no shame in this. There is no shame in going through people and protecting yourself. There is no shame that you had to learn the hard way. There is no shame that you didn't know everything but had to go through stuff to learn the truth about love and relationships. No shame at all to say goodbye to hurtful others and be awkward for a while with new, nice sweet people who truly care about you. No shame for not having this all along.
It's okay to be right where you are. It takes as long as it takes. You can start anywhere at any time.
It doesn't feel normal at first, but if you stick with it. Stay away from the bad ones and migrate towards the good ones, eventually, that will be all you know. And you will continue to grow.