Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse is probably not an exactly accurate term. There’s not exactly a finish line or a point that you can say, “There! I did it! I recovered…..I was sick before. But now…well, now I am completely well again.”
The first problem with that is you weren’t completely well to begin with. If you had been, then you would not have been taken in by a predator.
Predators seek out the wounded and vulnerable. They seek out minds that are conditioned to be affected and persuaded by them.
There is a healing process that takes a long time. It’s an up and down process, kind of like going up three stairs and then down one. …then up four and down one.
Don’t worry about the back stepping, or what seems to you is going backwards. It’s part of the recovery process and every client I’ve worked with has described something similar to that experience during their healing process.
As you move up slowly out of the muck, the mud, and the dark pit of sorrow the narcissist left you in, you will find that there are many things to learn. Your progress will feel like it’s going upward sometimes, and forward some times, and backward or downward at other times.
It is the nature of the aftermath of this kind of a predator. The pain after realizing that the person you trusted was completely untrustworthy the entire time you were with them, is extreme.
You will feel deeply betrayed, because they got you to share your deepest , most personal thoughts with them.
It is like the bible quote “do not give your pearls to the swine (pigs).”
But you did. You gave your best pearls and treasured inner emotions and thoughts to the pigs.
It wasn’t your fault. You were conned. You were manipulated by an abusive, dark person that is a good actor.
You wanted to believe they were for real. You needed to believe they were for real.
Because of this need, you overlooked signs that you might have otherwise noticed.
You rationalized their inappropriate behaviors. You made excuses for things they did, and told your self that this person was just diffetent…intense…broken…in pain.
They told you that they had never met anyone like you. ..They said you were special.
You needed to be special to someone. You needed to be seen and heard the way this person seemed to see and hear you.
And they did.
Well…in a way they did.
They used their skill of “cold empathy,” a term coined by Sam Vaknin, the author of Malignant Self Love; Narcissism Revisited.
You can find his book on Amazon and excerpts to read on Google.
Anyway, this abuser could listen and understand you in a way that other people you know cannot. There seemed to be a special closeness that you never had before and you feel like you will never have again.
Part of you misses that aspect of the relationship. But another part of you knows it was never real.
And therein lies the complexity of this recovery. The cognitive dissonance between the person you though you were in a relationship with and the monster they actually turned out to be.
Yes. They did turn out to be a monster. They intentionally hurt you. The entire relationship was a game to them.
It was a campaign of war against your psychological well being.
They guided you onto a path of danger. There were so many losers that you incurred.
These predators will damage every aspect of your life that they can. This can include financial ruin, misguided direction in work or school, emotional breakdown, physical illness, and suicidal ideations.
This person that seemed so safe, turned out to be the vampire that you had to invite into your house before they could enter. Once inside, they would eventually remind you that you were the one that invited them in. …as If this implies some unwritten obligation you have to them.
That is an illusion too.
Your entire reality was messed with. The way you grew to doubt your own perception of the world around you…that was their intention too.
They systematically drive you nearly insane. They wanted you to question whether or not you could accurately assess things, or tell which way you should go.
You were conditioned to distrust your own intuition.
Somewhere inside you, there were alarms that told you that something was not normal about them. The narcissist explained those alarms away for you, as if they were helping you.
You thought you knew who you were , going into the relationship….or at least that you had an idea who you were.
They made you doubt that too. Eventually, over time, you believed that they knew you better than you know yourself.
What is the main thing in the tool box of the devil ?
These are deceivers of the worst kind. They seek out the vulnerable. Then they hunt you down like an animal.
Hunters never have good intentions for the prey they hunt. The hunter treads gently at first, so as not to scare the prey off. Then they attack it with all they’ve got.
The game is to take down the prey. To overcome it. To trick it. To outmatch it. Then to destroy it.
This is a huge undertaking to overcome. There are many levels of complexity, including the old emotional wounds from your childhood that the narcissist instinctually tore open.
You won’t really recover and go back to the person you were before the abuse.
You will incorporate the things that happened to you into the stronger, wiser person that you are becoming.
There is no finish line you are trying to reach. It’s just living each day, as you grow and learn to live again.
At some point you may have felt that you would never love again..that you would never open yourself up to be vulnerable again by ever trusting anyone.
That is part of the recovery too. It’s a day by day process of living. Life is about connections with others.
You can define what those relationships are to the best of your ability. You can set boundaries.
You can learn the red flags of narcissists and psychopaths.
But in the end, there are no guarantees in life. Not for anyone.
Life is about both the known and the unknown.
Part of your recover process is to learn to embrace the unknown. You will learn to be okay with not being able to control everything.
And you will be okay. Tomorrow is another day. There are amazing people to meet and experiences to have.
You must walk the path you create. You’ll hope for the best. You will find those worthy of your time, love and energy.
And occasionally….hopefully not too often….You will cross paths with one of them…The dark intentioned ones.
You’ll know them by their eyes. You have to look. If you feel that urge to look away, then either run or look right in and see what is there to see.
You crossed paths with an abuser and you will always carry the scars.
But your future awaits you. And the unexpected can be good as well as bad.
It’s okay to be vulnerable at times. And it’s okay not to always know the right thing to do.
After all, you’re only human.