Healing after Narcissistic abuse is one of the most challenging, grueling and exhaustive forms of recovery a victim may face in his or her lifetime. When it comes to healing from abusive relationships there is not one particular path that will be suitable for all. The seven stages of grief serve only as a possible reference and not so much as a probable reference because healing from the demise of a narcissistic abusive relationship also entails healing of the soul, mind and spirit.
Recovering from an abusive relationship is not the same as recovering from the loss of a normal healthy relationship with unfortunate circumstances. Abusive relationships are far more complex and daunting than the loss of their healthier counterparts. This is part because once a narcissist has devalued, degraded, demeaned and discarded their supposed “love one” that individual (the victim) will now be left to pick up the pieces and start over. Sounds like every other break up right?…. wrong.
By the time the narcissist has discarded their supply the victim will be left feeling worthless of no value, with no sense of purpose or direction. The victim has devoted their all to this person. Has set out future plans and goals with this person only to go through such despairty, such anguish and humiliation during the final discard. It is the narcissist’s grand finale. It leaves them feeling powerful, superior and feeds their super ego. When the discard occurs the victim will go through the seven stages of grief however they will find that they still yearn and desire to be with the narcissist. Individuals that have never been in or experienced an abusive relationship will have no rational understanding as to why the victim will defend, protect and yearn to be with their abuser. However, those that have been in an abusive relationship most especially with a narcissist, sociopath or cluster b personality will attest to feeling a deep connection with their abuser and feeling an addiction to the cycle of abuse. This does not make the victim foolish or responsible for the abuse bestowed at the hands of the narcissist but rather confirms the psychological findings that is known as trauma bond or better yet the Stockholm syndrome. This occurs when the victim has created an emotional bond in intimate settings with their abuser and therefore creates irrational behavior on the side of the victim in light of a dangerous situation. This will seem very obsurd to an on looker because the rational mind would expect that abuse should express fear in the victims when the emotions being showcased may be the exact opposite.
It’s a part of reasoning behind why so many victims stay with an abusive partner or in an abusive relationship rather than flee. Trauma bonding is a stronghold that will have a victim believing that they cannot exist without this person in their life, even if the person is abusive. A discarded supply will be in such anguish to get any attention of their abuser whether positive or negative as it continues to feed into their addiction for this person. The narcissist becomes the victim’s drug and the victim establishes a role of codependency of the abuser.
The only solution to break the tie and cycle is by going “no contact”. Only by cutting off all communication and ties to the narcissist will the victim be truly able to step up and breath and in due time see the narcissist for who they are. Only by completely staying devoid of the abuser will the victim make headway in their journey of self healing. I want to point out that this is by no means an easy task. Going no contact is a challenge in itself because through trauma bonding the victim stays seeking a hit of their drug. Of course the drug of choice being the narcissist. Going no contact in my experience was a challenge in itself. Though I had a protective order for a year and a half which refrained me from having contact with the narcissist in my life or from him having contact with me, the journey of internal healing did not begin until a year and a half after he regained accessibility to my life and my son’s life. I lived life for a year and a half feeling guilty. I’d wake up at night thinking I was the problem, that it was my hurt emotions that was preventing him from being a father. I was anguished. Little did I know he did not care. It was only after I gave him another chance to destroy me that I acknowledged who he truly was. I was a classic case of someone with the Stockholm syndrome. I had extreme emotional ties and was a picture example of someone with a classic showcase of trauma bonding. In the year that I allowed him the opportunity to reenter my life and my son’s life I reexperienced all the showings of narcissistic abuse. I experienced manipulation, lying, deceit, triangulation. I was humiliated not only at the narcissist’s hands but also by the means of the woman he discarded me for. She called me to tell me he’d never leave her to be with me, that he didn’t even care to have visitation with my son and only did so to keep my mouth shut and that he expressed to her that he didn’t even care for my son. She told me not to be a fool, not to be deceived that he’d always go back to her. Little did she know and will probably never know that he continued to seek me out in any possible manner, romantically or not. It was not until 11 months after that conversation that I put a complete stop to his abusive and manipulative behavior. Only when I confronted him on a rumored pregnancy with her (which he initially denied) that I then decided I was completely and utterly done. She was right I had been fooled and I had been deceived and he did as she said. He did go back to her but she was the fool now. She was the one thinking she gained a prize and blessed to now carry his fourth child when only two weeks prior to my confronting him he had been in my house kissing and holding me looking for my attention and telling me he had nothing to do with her. The thought is revolting, yes. But better the fool is she. I the fool never more, I set myself free. Trauma bonded yes but fool never.
This, my friends is what narcissists do and continue to do so long as they have a foot in. They will cause so much hurt, havoc and chaos in the lives of the ones they “love” (manipulate) and the lives of their children. They have no remorse, they carry no guilt, they have no care. And when/if they are caught they will offer no sincere apology since they don’t actually feel badly. They simply don’t care. They are devoid of such emotions. My narcissist told me that on a few occasions. He also told me “Channel, you know me, you know how I am. This shouldn’t surprise you”. He was right. It did not surprise me. Though trauma bond made me not want to accept it. However hard it would be, after months of research and beginning multiple forms of therapy I decided once and for all no contact was the only solution.
It was only after he told me I was responsible for his getting that girl pregnant that I firmly and boldly stated “I am not responsible for your actions, you are responsible for your actions. I am only responsible for my actions.” Classic move by the narcissist, never taking responsibility, always blaming their victim for anything and everything. In a perfect world I’d go no contact, heal and be done with the remnants of my past. Unfortunately we don’t live in such a world and simply because he is the biological father to my child I would not be able to do no contact as he has a legal right through a court order provision to have limited visitations with my son. What I did have however was an online community of survivors and thrivors of this type of abuse that uploaded and shared their experiences, research, content and personal and professional advice. I decided to implement no contact as best as I was and am able to in my given circumstances and I will attest that not giving the narcissist a foot in and giving them as little attention as necessary will give way to peace and pave the path to internal healing. No contact means respecting yourself and your worth that you are worth more and deserve more than what the abuser has given you. The abuser doesn’t see you as you are. Rather as a reflection or extension of themselves until they get bored or sick of you. In my case I am an educated professional. A woman with a graduate degree, some Harvard University education, a state position as well as my own business consulting for nonprofit and profit organizations, a woman of faith, who likes to dress well, stay in shape, eat well, keep a classy home and maintain a classic lifestyle. In my opinion and many other’s opinions I am a great catch, ideal wife material. However to the narcissist I had no qualities. I had nothing to offer, nothing of value or substance. The irony right?. I mean, I was literally told these things. Only difference was the last time he stated these comments I fired back. I was starting to build up my confidence. I was finally starting to recognize my worth.
You see, the narcissist will build you up one moment and in the same breath then tear you down. This abusive and tumultuous cycle is a form of gaslighting which is used to break down and brain wash victims. Simply put you will not win with a narcissist. You will be a hampster on a wheel going in circles and never getting anywhere. The relationship was doomed from the moment you said hello, from the moment the narcissist laid eyes on you. You became a pawn in his world of delusion.
Therefore you must be two people at once when healing from a narcissist. The parent that is patient with their child while their child is in pain and the parent who disciplines and keeps a tight leash on the child.
By setting and maintaining boundaries you are ultimately saying “no more”. You no longer allow the narcissist to have a foot in. You keep all forms of communication that are absolutely necessary to be addressed in a business like regard. You take back your control by no longer feeding their ego and their need to feed off of you. Boundaries and limitations are healthy and necessary. You no longer put the narcissist’s wants or needs before your own because your time and effort needs to be directed on building up your own worth and trusting in yourself that you will take care of and protect yourself as you should. You will gain clarity, respect and a sense of self. You never lose when you lose a narcissist. Never.
I had to swallow my pride when I was humiliated by that girl who told me he’d always go back to her when in fact he was and he did. I had to swallow my pride when after our first and only conversation she put as a status “time heals all wounds, love does too”. Of course it hurt, as did the collage of memories she’d post on her account. I then blocked her. Seeing that her level of maturity was to reiterate home that she was his and he was her’s. She was claiming her territory. The obvious signs of her insecurity of her relationship with him was when she told lies that I was talking to his friends. Lies about me so that he’d leave me alone. In reality her blocking me only allowed him to triangulate furthermore as he would continously state he was done with her though in reality she was carrying his child. Should I be upset with him or with her? The reality is I was already on a different level. I was already above them. So many lies he told to me that would echo in the longevity of their relationship. He lied to me that he was done with her but in fact had impregnated her, now bringing a fourth child with a fourth woman into this world. Sad.
These are the type of people to stay away from. Decievers that will manipulate whomever to get what they want from whom they want, and with no regards for the other parties involved, how I was affected or my child or the experiences we endured. They don’t understand,nor will they ever nor will they care because it only consist of what affects and benefits them, it’s all about them. In this case it was all about my narcissist and this girl.
But when we educate ourselves and see people for who they are we see that we are called to rise above them. We rise above it all. We are better than that and in many ways we are better than them and then we fight to persevere and overcome and tap into our potential and become better versions of ourselves. We thank God that we are not like them. We don’t seek out to hurt or lie to or about another to appeal for our selfish gains. We give it to God, establish boundaries and limits and continue on our path with class and grace. And we become better. Better than who we were and better than them.
And it is our job to not let them bring havoc into our lives. Not ever again.
Therefore do not give the narcissist a way in to destroy. Do not have casual friendly conversation to give a foot hold. Do not friend them on any social media account. Do not go looking on social media for any information or to be nosey. Do not do it. Respect yourself. Don’t belittle yourself to the level of garbage. Do not do it. You do not care. For these people are below you, they are shady, manipulative and garbage; the narcissist, the new supply and all those in connection. Stay as far away from heartless ruthless self motivated individuals. Do not let any of them into your circle. Not now, not ever. Let them be happy with their selves and their choices. In time God will show you and you will be redeemed.
You never lose when you lose a narcissist. Never.
No matter how amazing they may have made their new life, new relationship, new family. Always remember how they treated you. The abuse you endured. The humiliation and disrespect you enfaced and continue believing….
You never lost. You were set free.