The narcissist’s “x-ray vision” is strictly limited to the traits, qualities, and behaviors of his would-be and actual victims that are useful in subjugating them and converting them into sources of narcissistic supply. The narcissist’s arrested personal development, his massive psychological defenses, his poor reality test (his grandiose and persecutory fantasies), and his cognitive deficits render him incapable of true, profound, and comprehensive insight into others and into the human condition. Shared from Narcissist, Psychopath, Abuse.
Once the relationship with the narcissist ends we must rescue ourselves.
All *victims of narcissists know how extremely difficult it is to cut ties from them. And then once no contact is established, victims find themselves trying to pick up the pieces of their destroyed lives. Many victims write that what they want more than anything is to find closure. Some hope that they can somehow obtain that closure from the narcissist. Others are convinced that closure is impossible. All victims wonder, at some point during their recovery journeys, if they will ever find a way out of the darkness.
The good news is, YES, closure is possible. And no, it will not come from the narcissist! It must come from you. This journey to recovery and closure does not have a timeline or any set pattern. You will find your light, something will give you the motivation to keep going and come through the darkness. No matter how difficult try to hold onto the light and it will get stronger and stronger.
The first step in healing from narcissist abuse is to stop all contact with the narcissist and let go of the illusion. As tough as it is you need to see that’s all he was; an illusion. And the only way to do that is to let go of the image you had of the person you loved. Unfortunately and sadly, that person never existed. He or she was only a mask the narcissist created in order to mirror and manipulate you. As crushingly hard as it is and as much as it hurts, the only way to find freedom is to stop believing in that illusion.
I clearly remember the immediate intensity of our relationship. I thought he was the perfect partner for me! He seemed to understand me so well, and we had all the right things in common, he was passionate and dedicated to us. It almost felt too good to be true! Then when I discovered that I had been so deeply betrayed by him, in ways I never imagined were possible, I realized it always was too good to be true. All of it was a lie…except for me and my feelings for him. I was real, and my feelings were real. I found it very difficult to let go of the illusion. I could not believe that someone who lead me to believe we were soul mates for life would do this to me. In the midst of the intense pain, as I progressed through therapy and looked back at he relationship it dawned on me; even if he had apologized for his abuse, had offered me closure, could I believe him? The answer was a resounding NO! I was living in a phantasm of a relationship.
An encounter with a narcissist is not like a normal relationship, which means the aftermath is going to be very different from a typical breakup. For many victims, their recovery is overwhelmed by so many WHY questions. For many and certainly for me those questions need to be answered in order for healing to occur. Victims also tend to blame themselves for what happened. Not surprisingly others do not understand what you have been through. They usually make insensitive statements like; “Why did you stay?” or “Why didn’t you see the signs?” or “It takes two to tango.” To find the answers from my ex with no contact was not possible so I started to look for answers by learning about narcissist, their personality traits and behavior in a relationship which gave me some understanding of WHY?
But narcissists are abnormal! At the time of the encounter, you did not know that people like this exist. You were innocent. Be ready for others to discourage you from “focusing on them”—they might imply that it delays your recovery—but researching narcissistic and psychopath behavior helps you make progress in your healing. By learning to recognize the common tactics and games of psychopathic predators, you will realize that the abuse was never your fault. By learning how the narcissist mind works, you will realize you were set up from the very beginning. And when it all begins to click for you, that’s when you start to reclaim your power!
As you heal, you will find yourself moving back and forth through the stages of grief that are unique to the aftermath of an encounter with a narcissist. Allow yourself to feel all emotions as they come over you, which will most likely happen in waves. Also, allow the thoughts of the narcissist in when they overwhelm your mind, even though you may feel as if you are going crazy because you can think of nothing else. Continuously pushing the obsessive thoughts away can be more harmful than helpful. You most likely are experiencing symptoms of PTSD, and it is important to find professional support that can help you work through the trauma of what has happened. In my case I went on medication, went through therapy and other healing techniques. You might require all or some of these resources to help you work through the suffering. I came out of the relationship totally believing as my partner told me on many occasions that I was crazy. Attending a psychiatrist who reassured me that I was not crazy, but that my mind was, in fact, damaged from mental abuse was significant to rebuilding my self-belief. Therapy along with exhaustive research into narcissist relationships gave me the validation I was seeking. Amazingly, the more I stepped into the pain instead of running from it, I began to see and understand the abuse at a deeper level. It was/is also a very important self -discovery process, what was my vulnerability to such abuse? It’s that self-discovery which I hope in the end will give me the closure I so desperately need.
“[They] count on our shame to keep their secrets. They know that exposing them means exposing our failings. That’s what makes them so powerful. They manipulate us into these situations then sit back and watch us squirm between protecting ourselves or blowing the whistle.”
I deliberately use the word *victim as against survivor – a person who is deceived or cheated, as by his or her own emotions or ignorance, by the dishonesty of others, or by some impersonal agency: We are always victims by the very nature that the abuse took place. Being a victim does not mean we are not survivors.
After Posts – On The Edge ‘After’ is dedicated to educating the public regarding the nature of psychological abuse by and personality traits of narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths and its cost to individuals and society.
‘After’ posts shares professional and expert knowledge for victims of mental abuse, to help them understand their trauma, rebuild self-belief and self-esteem, and support them in their resolve to be free from the abuse.
3 comments on “Surviving Narcissistic Abuse”
It is writing like this that makes the day bearable. You are spot on – people who have experienced “normal” relationships and breakups just do not get it.
Professional help is necessary for me as well. The gift is connecting with others who understand. This two prong approach is key for my healing and growing.
Our experiences are fairly ‘textbook’ which actually makes it palatable.
You are spot on about closure – it needs to come from within. With a black soul, no remorse resides there so, they just move on looking for the next supply to their crazy.
Like you, I just keep reading, writing and making videos to document this incomprehensible journey.
Best to you and the others who know the truth about these predators.