You’ve played the role of detective and now you are sure that the person you have been involved with is indeed a narcissist….Now what?
More than likely, the relationship is over. The revelation that of the evil that lived within is usually not possible while you are in the throws of abuse. It is not until you are out of the situation that you are able to see things more clearly.
You now know the evil that lurked within…. what comes next?
If you are reading this article you have either left on your own because you have simply had enough of the crazy making behavior or you have been discarded by the narcissist in your life. Either way count yourself lucky and blessed that the chains of verbal and emotional abuse have been broken. The emotional vampire is no longer in your life to suck you dry of your emotional well being.
You are now FREE to find health, happiness, hope and healing…
In this article, I will share with you the many difficult and many times confusion feelings you are bound to feel on your path to peace and healing. I have said many times before in previous articles on this subject, that your relationship with a narcissist was not normal, your break up will not be normal.
Although, the journey at times, will not be an easy one, I will promise you that the destination is more than worth the price you will pay for your peace again.
Hope and healing is on the way.
There are so many layers to recovering from narcissist abuse that you must take the time to heal from the trauma that you have experienced. You must recognize that you have experience an abusive situation and with that, comes the process of understanding what you went through, validating your experience, seeking the support you need AND taking the necessary time to heal.
This process will take time and a lot of it. Give your permission to feel every emotion that you are bound to feel. It’s all going to be okay.
It doesn’t matter if you have been entangled with a narcissistic partner for one month, one year or for decades, you will need time to process what happened to you. This is particularly true, if you have never experienced life with a narcissist before meeting “ Mr. or Ms. Pretend Wonderful”.
In my two previous articles on narcissism, I have discussed the negative impacts a relationship with narcissist will have on your emotional life. It is because I have discussed these impacts, I will not go into great detail in this article. If you have not had the opportunity, please read my other two articles, “ When Love Becomes A Lie” and “ The Narcissist’s Tool Box Of Tricks Exposed”.
This article will mainly focus on the process of recovering and healing after either you have decided to leave this madness or you have been discarded by the narcissist.
The process of recovering and healing from narcissistic abuse is very complex and different from any other break up. Even in a breakup where some one did something awful to you such as betrayed your trust ,a breakup with a narcissist is fundamentally different.
It is for this reason it is imperative that you take the time to process what happened to you in that relationship, seek out others who have experienced what you have experienced as a way to validate what happened to you. It is in the process of validation that you can understand that you indeed are not alone and this is not an isolated experience that only happened to you.
I found myself in a relationship with a narcissist and it was very hard for me to understand how I could have possibly ended up in that situation. My recovery was complex because my relationship with him was complex.
From being targeted, to systematically manipulated, having this tornado rip through your life is confusing, it’s complicated and it is something that you must process in order to get beyond.
When the narcissist entered your life, you were targeted for a specific reason to provide precious narcissistic fuel for the narcissist. This is the ONLY reason a narcissist gets into or stays in a relationship with ANYONE.
They are not capable of love, intimacy, empathy or emotionally connecting with anyone. They will only fake emotional connectivity in the beginning during the love bombing phase and when they are trying to lure you back into the abusive relationship. When you first realize that you were targeted, it will be some what shocking to your system.
This is the first element of this type of relationship that makes is so different than any other relationship. You were systematically targeted and seduced and groomed by another person.
Narcissists target and groom their victims and amazingly use the same tactics child predators use to abuse children. I know this is disturbing and shocking, but it doesn’t make it less true. You will not only feel disgusted by this revelation, you will feel violated.
As a former victim of narcissistic abuse, this was one of the things that disturbed me the most. To know that I was targeted and groomed was the thing that bothered me the most.
It was because I was intelligent, loving and thoughtful. It was simply because he saw something in me that he thought he could exploit to precious narcissistic supply. He just didn’t count on the fact that my kindness should never be taken as weakness. This was something he gravely underestimated in me.
During the love bombing and seduction phase that I discuss in great deal in my previous article, “When Love Becomes A Lie”, after the narcissists targets you, they will carefully study you to find vulnerabilities that they can use to manipulate and control you.
During the love bombing phase in the beginning, they will groom you with phony compliments, gifts and romantic gestures and outings to flatter you. There will be nothing that they won’t do for you buy you or get for you. They have studied you and has listened to exactly what you desire in a mate. They willing and freely give you whatever it takes to win you over.
They will shower you will constant attention, daily and multiple texts to let you know that they are constantly thinking of you. They do this to create an instant bond and to get you dependent upon the constant flattering attention. They do this to gain your trust and access into your life and into your head.
Once they gain access to your trust, your life and your head…. they’ve got you.
The relationship will progress at lightening speed because the narcissist wants you hooked fast BEFORE you have the change to figure oout what and who he is. Once they have you, they start to create chaos and control over you. Their ultimate goal is to control and manipulate you. It isn’t because they ever liked you. There was NEVER any feelings for you, even in the beginning.
This is another reason, it is so traumatic for many who have experience narcissistic abuse. To come to terms with the fact that the person NEVER liked you in the first place, is a difficult pill to swallow.
After you realize this fact, you have to deal with the guilt and humiliation you are bound to feel. You feel guilty and even ashamed and may feel that you let yourself down. You didn’t stop the danger that posed such a threat.
Not to mention well meaning friends, will make comments about how you could have stayed in such a relationship. This further compounds the shame that you already feel.
I certainly felt the shame. How could I have been so stupid, I thought. After all I am a nurse, how could I have not seen this. I can not tell you how many times I asked myself that question.
It wasn’t until I realized that it happened to me because my mind is NOT mentally disordered. The narcissistic mind is mentally disordered and they are highly manipulative. They spend all of their energy learning how to manipulate and destroy people. If you are not a manipulative person, it will hard for you to recognize manipulative moves.
So give yourself a break you aren’t stupid. You are simply not a manipulative person and that is an excellent thing.
Another reason a break up with a narcissist is different is the issue of trauma bonding. When you are in relationship with a narcissist, you have experienced emotional trauma and the aftermath of this trauma will be confusing to you, your friends and family.
Many times, victims of narcissistic abuse will experience trauma bonding with the person that actually abused them in the first place.
While you were in a relationship with a narcissist, over time you were conditioned by the narcissist to dependent on validation from them without you even realizing it. With the constant attention in the beginning, you felt flattered.
They complimented you excessively, and it felt wonderful. You somehow felt validated of your worthiness in their eyes. Of, course this was all during the love bombing stage as they were conning you. All of it was an orchestration of the EXPEREINCE of love WITHOUT them actually being in love with you.
Once the devaluation stage began and they started the process of discarding you, the controlling, insults, blaming, lies and manipulations begin. They may have even told you that no one else will ever find you attractive or ever love you.
The more they told you this, the more you believed it. Over time you be convinced that they are right. Hitler once said that ” if you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
If you have been told a lie enough you WILL start to believe it. You can count on it.
When the narcissist is gone from your life, no matter if you or they left, many victims actually miss the person that abused them. If you think about it when we are hurting our first inclination is to turn to those we are the closest to for comfort.
In the beginning of a relationship with a narcissist, the fake closeness they showed you to hook you in, was amazing and no doubt provided you a level of comfort that you have never experienced before. Even though your brain knows that intimacy was fake and that person never really existed, your heart hasn’t yet caught up.
For many this phenomena of actually missing the person that manipulated you from the very beginning is confusing and troublesome.
Add to that when the narcissists is gone from your life, many times they will start to initiate a smear campaign against you. They have to create a scenario where you were the one at fault and never them.
So the story about their crazy ex they told you, well guess what… this is the story that they are now telling the new target about you. The new target that they are now grooming the same way they groomed you.
You will have to endure the calculated attempts on their part to hurt you by flaunting the new target so that you can see them and realize how much you are missing out. They are messing with your head to make you feel that the problem couldn’t possibly be them, and they couldn’t possibly be this horrible person because their new target is so happy with them.
Trust me when I tell you, that part is an illusion as well. The new source of supply may be a happy in the beginning just as you were when you were being love bombed. Don’t be deceived she will be treated the same way you were treated. You may never see that side because she will suffer in silence the same way that you did.
His flaunting his new love IS deliberate and intentional to hurt you. They want to hurt you even though they were the ones who either discarded you or you left them because of THEIR abusive behavior towards you.
There’s nothing normal about that.
Don’t believe the hype, the new target will suffer the same fate that you did and just as the target before you. Trust me there are a string of them that you know nothing about, that the narcissist has done the same exact thing.
The narcissists life is full of short term relationships that either they discarded or the other person found them out to be the fakes that they are and left them.
Another element of why the break up is so different is the very high probability of the “hoover”. There is a constant drama that the narcissist probably will come back to abuse you again.
Once a narcissists enters into your life the chances of them attempting to come back after a break up is very high. They are not coming back because they realize how wrong they were OR because they miss you.
They are attempting to come back either because the last target didn’t work out, they are bored, they are looking for more narcissistic fuel from you or they just want to see if they still have power over you. They want to see if you will take them back after they have treated you like trash.
If they don’t hoover you, consider yourself lucky. Many victims actually feel further rejected, if the narcissists does not try to hoover them. Which further confuses victims, not understanding why they actually feel this way about someone who has treated them so horribly.
Having to deal with the possibility of a hoover from your ex is another factor that is different from a normal breakup. The hoover is meant to either lure you back into an abusive situation, punish you for leaving in the first place OR exercise the narcissists use of power over you.
That is their only motive…PERIOD
Once you removed yourself from this merry-go-round of confusion, pain and emotional abuse, you must never go back for any reason. Going no contact is the ONLY answer, ignore their calls, texts or attempts to see you
Do not give them a response of any type. If you have children with the narcissist, have only limited contact with them, as it pertains to the children.
There will be times when you will experience loneliness. Trust me your narcissists knows this. You will miss those daily texts and phone calls that use to fill your day. You will miss those weekend dates that used to fill your calendar.
It is in those times that you are vulnerable, that you experience the feeling of desire to go back to your abuser. If you have not started dating someone else and have not found someone with whom you feel a connection with, this another time that you will become vulnerable to going back into an abusive situation.
Many victims at that time buy into the feeling that their abusive must have been right to say that no one else out there will ever love them. During these times the victim will many times contact their narcissistic abuser or take their calls or attempts at contact.
When you start to miss them, realize that you really don’t miss THEM. You miss the person you thought they were. The person you are mourning wasn’t real.
You must remember this when they are trying to contact you as it will be hard to resist their efforts. Should you go break down and take their calls and get back with them the abuse will only get worst. You will not only feel guilty about going back but your recovery will be set back.
If you fall back into their clutches and end up sleeping with them again, this will all be apart of their plan to continue to abuse you. It is very common for narcissists to use sex in their over all plan for their victims. EVERYTHING is calculated.
In my interview “The Narcissist Your Mother Never Warned You About” with clinically diagnosed narcissist HG Tudor, we talked about how the Narcissistic uses sex to abuse their victims. You can listen to and other free interviews by clicking on the following link @ www.queenadventures.com/interviews
It is because of these and many other complex issues that only victims who have experienced them can truly understand what you are going through. Well meaning friends, can’t understand,your family will be confused, you may be conflicted about these feeling as well..
What I will say to you is that there is both healing and hope after narcissistic abuse; However, you won’t find either of these going back into an abusive relationship with you ex.
Your healing will come in the form of being patient with yourself and forgiving yourself. You were targeted for the narcissistic twisted agenda. You have to realize that it is hard to recognize evil and deception if your mind doesn’t operate that way.
This is the reason you didn’t recognize the narcissist when they entered your life. You know now and you are empowered not the let this happen to you again. If you come in contact with another narcissist, you will be able to recognize it early and get and stay out.
Understanding that you are not alone, there are many others that have experienced abuse from a narcissistic partner. Seek them out, there are many support groups online.
Seeking professional assistance from a licensed counselor is also a very good idea to mentally process the tornado that ripped through your life. It’s important that you give what happened to you a name.
One of the hardest things for me when I left my narcissist was a friend saying to me that said he was” just a jerk” and that is really didn’t matter as long as he was gone. By saying that she invalidated my experience and minimized what happened to me.
If you give what happened to you a name, you can start to move forward from being a target of abuse to being a tenacious force to be reckoned with. A force that believes in you, and your right to be loved and respected.
You deserve to be loved and respected.
A force that doesn’t give up. A force that will be stronger and more wiser the next time around because of what you’ve experienced. a force that will one day, be a beacon of hope for someone else that may go through the same thing that you went through.
Lastly, get rid of the guilt and shame after it’s all over, they have no place in your healing journey. You did nothing wrong. You are smart, and most worthy.
The narcissist is very picky and selective, they chose you to make them look good. Hold your high and claim your victory. The responsibility for creating the chaos in your life, lies with the mentally disordered person that entered into it.
The chains of abuse no longer have power over you. You are unchained, you are free to fly. You may be bent but you are not broken.
Please share your comments in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you.