The aftermath of narcissistic abuse can be brutal…even worse than the abuse when you were in the relationship. If you are wondering why you seem to be in worse shape now, than when you were in the relationship, you are not alone.
The narcissist intentionally caused you to become addicted to your role, and your identity, that they made you accept. During the idealization phase they bombarded you constantly with messages and phone calls.
This was to intentionally alter your chemicals, in order to create an addictive bond with them. This is a very addictive bond, in which the brain and the body become dependent upon the dopamine release when you think about the narcissist, or hear their voice.
You were conditioned to crave this interaction, their approval, and their validation of your reality. Within a month or so, your brain began to be unable to regulate your stress level without the narcissist regulating them for you.
This is part of their design. The narcissistic psychopath intentionally creates a chemical addiction in you. This makes their Silent Treatments, and dissapprovals , during the Devaluation phase that much more painful.
After all….is there any relationship you have ever bern in…other than with a narcissist or a psychopath…that caused you such high levels of toxic loneliness, feelings of emotional disregulation, and mental pain…..when you were apart from them for a few days….or did not hear from them for a few hours, when they had promised to call….
This is addiction. It has physiological evidence in your brain. You could see it, if you had an MRI machine handy. This is intentional and this is what the Love Bombing is all about.
It is also why they revert….although temporarlily…to the idealization phase….anytime they feel they are losing their hold on you. By reverting to the idealization phase temorarily, the narcissist confuses your brain as well as creating a chemical explosion in you.
Those feelings of having that adfiction satisfied come back, and for that…you will not….and cannot leave them. Your brain always craves that next fix of chemicals and the narcissist knows this.
They intentionally use this addiction to manipulate you. They hold a power over you, like no other person can.
And when the relationship ends, you go into a terrible withdrawal of these chemicals that you were trained to be addicted to.
You crash fast and hard. The symptoms are similar to that of any drug addict that has been cut off from their drug of choice. It is not your fault.
It is not your fault. It was done without your consent. You never asked for this. You never saw it coming. You never saw it happening to you.
The withdrawal from narcissist or a psychopath is terrifically painful, and grueling to go through. You are the most vulnerable during this stage of recovery, to be hoovered back in by the apologetic narcissist.
It is understandable why victims go back to the narcissist, if they attemt to hoover them bac. In within the first six months. The chemical addiction and withdrawal symptoms seem to have a painful hold on survivors of a narcissist, for 6 months or more.
So why does your life fall apart? It is like what any other addict experiences. All aspects of your life are affected….from your emotional and mental states, to your physical health and immune system.
Keeping up with daily living activities is very difficult. Going to work is difficult. You become sleep deprived from insomnia, because your brain cannot self regulate your nervous system.
You are not crazy. A person that told you they cared about you, intentionally messed up your brain. They would do it all over again if they got the chance….and they may try…
Being tortured by someone you loved…and probably still love….is the worst form of betrayal.
Many cases of narcissistic abuse end up in the financial devastation of the victim. But long before the end of the relationship, the victim is living fat below what is humane and normal.
Because the narcissist does not see you as an individual human being with rights and boundaries, your living conditions are of no concern to them.
Basic needs for healthcare, spending cash, healthy environment, and safe living environment are often refused by the narcissist. The victim lives behind closed doors is despicable, inhumane conditions, that they are too embarrassed and ashamed to speak of outside of the home.
Even after the relationship has ended, and the victim begins to interact with other victims, this is a dark secret that is kept hidden. There is extreme shame about having to live in sub-human conditions and it is even hard to explain.
Since the victim is so used to being doubted and gaslighted, this secret is never talked about for fear of re-traumatization. The victim just cannot take any more minimization or disbelief of their reality.
They also cannot tolerate any more shaming than they have already endured from the narcissist, and from others who disbelieved any parts of their truth.
This post is just to let you know that other victims have also lived in sub-human conditions at the hands of a narcissist. It may be one of the most powerful ways the narcissist controls you.
When you are suffering just to exist, there is no energy for anything else. Your self esteem is completely crushed and you fear letting anyone into your home to see how you live.
This has the effect of completely isolating you from potential helpers, friends and anyone who might try to bring any light of truth into the dark reality tunnel the narcissist makes you exist in.
Narcissistic abuse is painful. You can experience such grief in the midst of being emotionally abused that you feel hopeless.
Depression and anxiety can overcome your heart, your mind and your soul. Healing from this extreme level of multi-layered pain takes time.
You are not alone. Living in sn abusive environment is like living in hell. Your reality can become twisted all around by the abuser, who does this intentionally. They get some sadistic pleasure from confusing you and stripping away your identity.
All kinds of symptoms can arise, even months after you are out of the abuse. The psychopath or narcissist wants you to still think about them after they are gone. It feeds their addiction to attention and grandiosity.
You feel small and insignificant…and like you are living under a heavy weight that you can hardly move underneath of.
You can heal and regain your sense of self. Keep having faith in yourself and imagine the things you want out of life.
You were conditioned…probably from childhood…that what you want does not matter. But why do someone else’s dreams matter more than yours do?
Don’t give up. It gets darker before it gets lighter. There are moments of crushing darkness but the light is still out there waiting for you.
There are other victims who care and can help to lead you out. Talking to people who have not been through narcissistic abuse can retraumatize you. Try to find people who have been there and have gone through the darkness into the light.
Let tbe veil of illusion come down and let the light come in to heal your broken heart and wounded soul.
You stopped by this blog most likely because you have been in, or are still in an abusive relationship. Whether it is physical abuse, mental abuse, or emotional abuse, you are still going through a psychological trauma.
Trauma has certain similar affects on the brain that are experienced by the victim. The symptoms can continue long after the relationship has ended. Whether it was abuse by a partner, or from your family, or even at work, narcissistic abuse leaves scars.
Please visit my YouTube Channel for videos to help you to understand abuse, how to identify the red flags of abusers. and help with healing from narcissistic or psychopathic abuse.
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You do not deserve to be abused in any way.
Physical abuse is what people think of when they hear the term domestic violence. People who are enduring other forms of abuse often do not seek help from places that help domestic abuse victims.
Emotional and mental abuse is also abuse.
It is devastating just like physical abuse is. Victims of physical abuse say that they endured severe psychological damage from the mind games, the demeaning, the verbal assaults and the gaslighting of the abuser.
Victims of physical abuse often have PTSD from the emotional aspect of the abuse.
The nightmares and the flashbacks are due to the fact that a person filled with darkness entered their minds and manipulated their perceptions of reality.
Abuse victims are made to feel inferior to the abuser.
They are made to live in fear of disagreeing and disobeying the narcissistic partner. This is the same for victims of emotional / mental abuse, whether or not there is physical element to the abuse.
Many agencies that offer assistance to abuse victims recognize that you can be abused without being hit or struck in any way. There is still a constant fear of the abuser. There is a fear of what they will do if you cross them.
Living like a slave to a person that you loved and tried to care for, is torture. Living like a slave to a person that claims, or once claimed to love you is torture.
The abuser is skilled at knowing how to trick you into revealing things about yourself that they can use against you. They know how to elicit the strongest emotions in you.
Once the honeymoon, idealization phase is over, they systematically destroy your soul. They suck all of your life energy and your will to be yourself.
They strip you of your ability to love and take care of yourself.
You know only how to cater to the narcissist. You become brainwashed into thinking that you deserve the abuse or that you are not really being abused at all.
Abuse is abuse. Abuse is abuse. Abuse us abuse.
Domestic Abuse, narcissistic abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse….all can cause PTSD . You will end up with emotional flashbacks that are triggered by certain things that remind your brain of danger or trauma.
For people into NLP triggers are called NLP anchors. The difference is that NLP anchors can be good or bad. They might be pre- existing from a past trauma or created to ease the effects of trauma.
They can be put into your mind intentionally to bring about a certain mood or mental state. This is a functional or a therapeutical use for them.
Back in the days of Pavlov, triggers were discovered as a tool for behavioral modification. You know…Pavlov’s dog.
Every time Pavlov fed the dog, he rang a bell first. After a while the dog salivated at the sound of the bell even without the food being presented.
This is how our minds create associations between certain triggers and a corresponding emotional response.
I have ring tones that I hate the sound of. There are songs I cannot listen to. I had such anxiety connected with my ex calling me or not calling me that the sound of my old ring tone makes my blood pressure rise.
Some triggers are related to incidents and some are related to specific poem. Some triggers are related to time periods or ongoing abuse. Others are related to break ups from our ex.
There are some triggers that we are well aware of where they come. Other ones may be related to trauma from our past from when we were very young or even infants.
There may be triggers that create emotional flashbacks for you that are from periods of time that you have blacked out from your mind…or I should say that your brain blocked them out in order to protect you.
The first few weeks to months after an abusive relationship can be filled with startle responses and severe physiological responses to triggers that remind you of the abuse.
Although every so often I am out somewhere and a stranger’s phone rings with the very ring tone that is now taboo on my cell phone.
There are times when we suddenly feel severe anxiety and have no idea what caused the onset. This can sometimes be an emotional flashback to a trigger we are unaware of.
That is a very tricky one to figure out. You would have to write down all the sights, smells and circumstances that were around at the time of the anxiety attack.
You would have to keep a log of those things each time you had an unexpected, unexplainable anxiety attack. Then look for anything in common between them that was never part of your environment when you are calm.
To make it even more complex, triggers can have more than one component to them. It might not be candlelight or the smell of roses individually that triggers you. It could be the combination of the two of them that does it.
Certain emotional triggers can be healed or at least the effect can be lessened through NLP techniques. Other ones may be harder to deal with than others.
The ones that we cannot identify or do not know what they were caused by are the worst ones in a way. At least as far as there being any hope for treatment.
The more severe the trauma, the more severe the pain from being triggered
Talking about your triggers or unexplained emotional brain attacks is the first step to healing or at least lessening the feeling of alienation or isolation due to PTSD or Complex PTSD.
Know you are not alone. There are others of us that understand.
How can I feel okay after the relationship with an abusive person ends? Why do I feel so lonely and miss them?
You will not feel ok, at the beginning. It is very painful and I empathize with the extreme emotional trauma of the breakup. Due to the tendency of a narcissist to become blended with you , when you break up, it is hard to function without them. They will do much better than you and recover faster.
The illusion is that they are very needy of you and that you are their angel and savior. It seems like they should have an emotional crisis and be in the same pain you are after the breakup, but it is usually much more painful for the victim.
You actually loved them and felt real caring for them. You probably still worry if they will be able to survive without you. But they are good at getting people to the things they want and need them to do. They will manipulate them with flattery, and a seemingly humble deferring to their expertise.
They will then appear as a helpless, victimized person who is desperate for the other person’s help. They will get help and be able to find people to be there for them. Believe me.
You can let that worry go, and that will help you to start with. You do not have to feel guilty about breaking up.
The other reason you feel pain, is that the narcissist was involved in every aspect of your life and in every part of your day. There is no thing you can do, that does not make you feel like you should be doing it with them. You feel like you should be consulting with them, checking in with them, getting approval from them.
You temporarily lost your individual identity to this relationship. It will take time to get it back and learn to make your own choices without feeling guilty. Remember, in healthy relationships, people do not have to get permission for everything they do or include the partner in everything they do all day.
There was a feeling that you thought was love from them, but it was their need to be in control over you and over everything. They scolded you if you did not call them bout your plans and also if you did not schedule your day around them.
You become used to scheduling your day around the other person. It feels like you are working as a team to d that, but the question is,”How many times did they ever, work their schedule around you? How many times did they ever put your needs before their own?”
In contrast, “How many times did you rearrange things for them because they told you it was an emergency? How many times did you sacrifice and put your needs before theirs??”
Part of you knew that this was not right. You knew that if they really loved you, then they would put your needs as a priority sometimes, especially when you were suffering for some reason. But what happened every time you needed them to help you? They suddenly had a crisis that was much more important than yours. Something suddenly came up that was a life and death circumstance with their job and they had to tell you “NO” this time.
How many times did you ever tell them no? What happened when you did try to tell them you could not do something?
How many times did they tell you “ok no problem” when you asked for something? When they did do something for you, how many times did they remind you about it? Did they use it as an excuse not to do anything for you, for a long time after that?
On the other hand, how many favors would you do for them in a row? When you tried to say “N0” to the 20th favor they asked, because you were overloaded, how did they respond? Did they make you feel like a bad partner? Did they mention the one favor they did for you? Did they seem to completely forget all of the other things you have ever done for them, like they did not exist?
Yeah, been there, done that.
It is going to hurt. But it will get less over time. The more of your identity you get back, the better. The more you become comfortable with making your choices and running your own schedule again, the better.