Powerful article that hit home explaining what we went through and what happened to us as a result of such abuse.
Feels good to know I am not alone, and that there’s hope in recovery from Narcissistic Abuse.
From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist!
So many times we question many things that surrounds this abuse from a Narcissist. We feel extreme anxiety, hopelessness, stress, angst, depression, low self-esteem and we keep returning to the same question of when will we finally move on and heal from the effects of this Narcissist and the abuse? It is like being on a merry-go-round by ourselves and all we want to do is get off! Well the answer is right there – we have to get off of that Narcissist’s merry-go-round and put the energy into our PERSONAL recovery and that starts with education/knowledge and then moving away from anything and everything Narcissist. You CAN’T change the Narcissist, heal them, move them to love you, or anything – so PUT THAT ENERGY BACK IN YOURSELF because you CAN change, heal and move forward!
One reason healing and recovery is slow and we fall backwards is because we need to be educated about this abuse FIRST because we have had no real experience to really understand it as well as why we reacted as we did and fell into these destructive patterns. When all is said and done we are dealing with what we believe are those normal emotions and the withdrawal of breaking up, but it is much deeper because it was emotional/psychological abuse!
To truly understand this abuse and how we managed to live with it (and through it) as well as the destructive unhealthy patterns, we need to purge everything out of us so ‘time’ is part of the equation of recovery, and EVERYBODY recovers at their own pace. BUT your voice is the very first step to validating this abuse by talking about it and finding your way to other people that have experienced the exact same patterns that you have and then from there the truth will light your way to recovery. A Narcissist is NEVER going to tell the truth about anything yet alone offer any type of closure or admit that they abused you, so remove them from the equation completely – this is about you becoming healthy again. Once they KNOW you are on to them they start maligning and destroying you to your immediate world (friends, family, co-workers) because they fear exposure. They start on their horrendous smear campaign to make you out to be everything wrong, a liar, damaged, mentally ill, etc., and basically destroying your integrity. That is just more of the abuse and again them displaying MORE chaos and diversions to keep you under their control, silenced, and dragging you back into the emotional and psychological manipulation, confusion, and TRAUMA. So, information is healing power and we need this from the experience of others to lead us in the right direction so we don’t keep stumbling and falling back into the abuse.
We were conned into a relationship we BELIEVED was love and slowly but surely we were managed down, controlled, extorted, devalued, dehumanized and then discarded. We were like prisoners that were locked up in our own mind because of this psychological war that a Narcissist waged with us, but we didn’t know it was a war. The Narcissist not only infiltrated our minds but also our lives to isolate us through triangulation with our friends and family as well as smearing our integrity. That is similar to what prisoners of war experience with brainwashing and accepting their roles as well as their captors too. The world of a prisoner of war becomes so small and is usually only shared with their captor and the four walls that surround them. Their whole life is managed down and controlled by their captor and that prisoner’s reality is broken down and destroyed by the isolation and brainwashing they experience. It is intentional just as the abuse at the hands of a Narcissist was/is. This abuse psychologically captures the target/victim’s reality and it methodically destroys it through psychological tactics that are meant to demean, devalue and DESTROY the target/victim. A Narcissist is a very disordered person that disables and destroys people to take what they need and discard us as damaged goods! This was never a battle that WE knew about, we believed what the Narcissist pathologically manipulated us into believing in the beginning and that was that we were in a committed and loving relationship. That is one incredulous tactic to use on a person that only describes and shouts out a very deceptive agenda to extort.
How does a person with normal empathy wrap their head around a Narcissist? What words are appropriate – did we love a person or did we love a Narcissist? Now ask yourself to completely justify your choice and it is troubling. Your mind is or was constantly in a circle of trying to believe that they were real as they brain-washed you into believing with their ‘love bombing.’ Then you have to face the reality that so much of what you believed in as well as accountability on the Narcissist’s part becomes so much so into question when we are devalued and discarded. The new truth will conjure up so much trauma as it concerns the Narcissist moving on so quickly as well as the hate they are throwing back at you and you ask yourself over and over again WHY! This conflict is beyond confusing to deal with because you are a person that only KNOWS love and practices empathy, so you are left trying to find some avenue of goodness in them (the Narcissist) to reconcile this especially since they put on such a display of love in the beginning. There is NO avenue of goodness here because it was abuse!
It is not within our realm of understanding, so it keeps us continually wrapped up with self-doubt and justifications. The truth is that the ‘love bombing’ as amazing and reinforcing as it was to us is no less destructive than the devaluation process or the discard because it was the force behind the Narcissists agenda to gain our trust and move us into the cycle of this abuse AND what got us here today. The road to recovery REQUIRES a crash course about this abuse so we get our REAL ‘ah ha’ moment about the reality of our situation. Even with the truth in mind our emotions will have to be dealt with in a sort of grieving process to move forward because the situation was purely diabolical within the manner that we were conned. Unfortunately, the emotional aspect (love) of this abuse does not go away even with our ‘ah ha’ moment and THAT is what keeps you locked up in the justifications and trying to fix what we were basically ‘blamed and shamed’ into believing that we destroyed. Just another trick on the Narcissists part to keep us confused and on this terrible roller coaster of ‘emotional ups and downs.’ They are like ticks that attach themselves to our skin sucking our blood or very life force! If and when you try to remove them their head stays lodged in your skin causing great damage because their infectious poison remains inside of you. Without treatment you can suffer for the remainder of your life. BUT trust me that in time the pain will lesson with the truth, knowledge, education and the support of other victims/survivors. It all starts with your voice and talking about your situation.
A Narcissist will make us their punching bag for their inadequacies through rages. Their aim is to force us into a co-dependent role and their possession (object) to use at will – that and to gain control over us, our emotions and our life. We are not prized by them as an equal partner but taken for granted as long as we give them supply and even that is probably a bit too complementary as to them having ANY feelings for us even as supply. This is a dehumanizing partnership we have with them because we were only the NEXT object in a Narcissist’s long past of using and abusing people. It was just our turn because of an unfortunate twist of fate that landed us right in their web of lies and deceit, or a predator finding its prey.
Recovery is a process that demands that we separate ourselves from the Narcissist that is inside of us as the result of living or being with that Narcissist. The Narcissist has crippled you (us) and assigned you a role as they do to every target/victim. We HAD to develop coping mechanisms with him/her. EVERY day we were forced (controlled) to “walk on eggshells” and develop our own false self to support their every need. It is nothing even comparable to BEING a Narcissist it is just defining what we become and that is NS or Narcissistic supply. It is a direct result of the elaborate arsenal of tools that the Narcissist uses and the result of the trauma and abuse inflicted upon you (us) by the Narcissist.
With all of that being said, great efforts are required to abandon a Narcissist and physical separation is only the first step. Next psychological separation is also required and that is the catch 22 in our recovery. Establishing a new reality that puts all of our old beliefs about this relationship to rest forever. We can abandon a Narcissist physically but our psyche is slow to abandon the Narcissist. The abuse is lurking there rendering its existence at every level of our reality. It is twisting and distorting our every thought as we reach out to find closure in response to the many years we were with them. The Narcissist’s words and actions live within us as an inner, remorseless voice, lacking any compassion and empathy for our real being. The Narcissist is there in spirit long after he/she has vanished physically. This is the final bow of the Narcissist or their final curtain call, the proxy abuse, as well as the blame and shame that has to be purged out of us as if this was our fault or we deserved it. That is what emotional and psychological abuse does to a good and loving person – disables them until they repurpose themselves back into life.
Just like the analogy of that fast ride on the merry-go-round, my only salvation was to jump off at all costs and get my feet back on the ground and my bearings back again. This was not a simple process because this Narcissist made sure to set the groundwork to make those nearest and dearest to me believe that I was a bad person and derelict – so that ground was shaky at first. This was an insurmountable situation that I had to venture into without any course of action to resolve any of it quickly. I stumbled through it and had to let go of many things that were important to my life and become a survivor. Day by day I acquired the truth as well as knowledge to move forward. I didn’t look at any of the losses at first, I realized that my survival was based on becoming healthy first and then to rebuild from there. I had to concentrate on ME and only me because I needed to be healthy once more. I had to step out of the fog and take each and every day as part of my freedom that provided me clarity to heal and move on little by little until I survived this war that was waged against my life. They just don’t walk into our lives to take supply and then discard us, they have to destroy us to make themselves feel better or superior in the process and to bury the evidence to avoid exposure.
They will put so much time into their agenda to trap someone new and take them down to their level, but we do break free from them and their little battle rages on with life that forces them to keep searching for another person. They don’t ever look back on their life with fond memories, or fulfilled dreams because they don’t have a REAL life. Their own biological children become targets/victims and suffer from the fallout of their abuse and quickly become like every other person they abandon. They have no past, present or future – only the destruction, loss and loneliness that they have inflicted upon others that RETURNS to them tenfold. There is no happiness or ‘new’ love in their life, just another target to abuse and a new game for them to play AND distancing their past so it doesn’t catch up with them. You have the heart, soul and mind to grow from this destructive time you spent with them. You can love again and you have the spirit and goodness from your past life to reprocess yourself and bring yourself back again. Unlike a Narcissist that is in a constant battle with life, you are resilient because you know unconditional love that heals and have empathy to grow as rational, functioning and normal human beings do! Don’t waste any of your precious time thinking about them because they are not giving you a single thought – know this as the truth! No/minimal contact to move forward! Greg