The aftermath of an abusive relationship can seem more painful than the abuse we actually withstood during the relationship itself. The darkness of the predator looms over us, both in our conscious minds and in our dreams.
Weird nightmares awaken us in the darkness of the early morning hours. The shadow of the psychopath seems to be palpable and real. It is as if they have burrowed their wau deep into our subconscious brains.
In many ways that is true. The gaslighting has affected our subconscious. Cognitive dissonance has created confusion, as our brains struggle to sort out who we were actually in love with….the false image that never really existed? or the person that actually inhabits that body that slept next to us at night?
You feel violated….raped…like your emotions and your soul have been violated in a crime.
It is an invisible crime. No one can prove it ever happened. The evidence is left in the form of PTSD, depression, nightmares, anxiety and often times suicidal thoughts.
It would not surprise me if a good percentage of suicides could be attributed to some form of narcissistic abuse. That is… if anyone knew what they were looking for.
Even the victims often have no idea what has happened to them.. Why their brains are no longer functioning the way they used to. .. Why they have lost their motivation to live.. to work….to socialize. .. to take care of themselves….
It is a “failure to thrive” syndrome. The narcissistic has stripped their victim of their dignity, their self esteem, their sense of self….and their confidence in their ability to perceive reality properly.
Narcissistic abuse Syndrome is….
Loss of ability to prioritize oneself
And difficulty finding anybody….including therapists…who can understand or help at all
Lack of validation of your trauma
Executive function problems
Fight or flight responses
This is why it is so important to spread awareness and to validate the victims. The tendency to want to self-isolate is strong.
Some level of solitude is needed for introspection, but too much isolation can be destructive.
The psychopath infects the victim with a virus-like program to self destruct. They want to leave you broken and crushed.
You are not alone. None of it was “all in your head.”
Share your experiences with people who will validate you. Having your story disbelieved by people willonly re-traumatize you.
image from lawsofmondern man tumblr blog
It is extremely tempting to keep checking on what your ex is up to. They count on this and will intentionally pose for pictures that will bother you, and then post them on their facebook page. They want you to see them havint a great time with the new target.
The narcissists gets fuel (narcissistic supply) from knowing that you are jealous of their new partner. They will intentionally take that partner to places and activities they told you they would not do with you. This is to rub salt into your already painful wounds.
For all you know they dragged the person to those places and they did not really want to go. You know how powerful the narcissist is at manipulating. If course the partner is going to smile for the pictures, because they do not want to look bad on facebook.
You are being mind controlled by the narcissist. They want you to think that this time the relationship is real, and that you missed out because you were not good enough for them. But it is all the same game.
The pathological narcissists works in cycles. They repeat them over and over again. The idealization and devaluing….the triangulation of the new target with the ex lover. They gain lots of narcissistic supply from triangulating you with the new partner,because they are causing jealousy in both of you.
They are mentioning you to the new partner. Your name will likely come up from time to time, just so the new target knows they have to stay in line, if they want to keep the relationship. The narcissist will tell lies about you in any number of ways. They may tell the new partner that you are still interested in them…or that you were better at something that they are.
This is all part of garnering fuel (narcissistic supply). You are playing into their hands, just the way they planned, by checking on their facebook page and other social media. In order to heal, you have to go No Contact for real.
Checking their pictures and activities is still a passive form of contact. You need to heal and regain your identity. Unfriend them and let them stew about that. It is the best way to get back at them.
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.
One of the things that people never believe, unless they have experienced it first hand, is how dark malignant narcissists actually are. The lengths they will go to destroy you is terrifying.
They will slowly convince you through gaslighting that there is something wrong with your mind…to the point where you actually question your own reality. This is very difficult to snap out of after you are no longer in tbe relationship, and impossible to fully detach from during tbe relationship.
Wondering about whether or not you are perceiving situations correctly is so terrifying that it can slowly cause physiological changes in the brain that are the same as various mental illnesses.
I believe that many people with mental illness were abused by a narcissist or a psychopath during their lives and have no idea about it. Children growing up with a malignant, toxic person do not have any frame of reference of what normal is.
Some adults realize that they were exposed to instances of abuse as children or teenagers, because the incidents they are able to identify are either of a physical nature that caused injury, or of a sexual nature.
They are not aware of the constant mind manipulation and intentional gaslighting which occurred years before the abuse they can identify as abuse. The incidents of physical abuse are terrible, but there was continuous mental manipulation which caused the brain to begin to show signs of mental illness like anxiety disorders, severe depression, OCD, and suicidal thoughts.
Many victims of abuse as adults, are reopening emotional, and psychological wounds that were already caused during childhood.
Adults that cannot recall any physical abuse often do not see their abusers as abusers. There are narcissists that get away with manipulating their children’s reality, their self esteem, and their perception of the narcissistic parent. Narcissists want their victims to feel at fault for the abuse, making the victim unable to identify the abuse as abuse.
Those of us that came across the terms malignant narcissist, gaslighting, and mental abuse are in the minority. Imagine how many people are walking around, thinking there is something innately wrong with them, and they do not realize that their psychological state was inflicted upon them by another person, just so that person could use them to feed off of.
Malignant narcissists are not just arrogant, delusional people. They are malicious, exploitative monsters that cause their victims to become confused about their own perception of reality….to the point that they doubt their own perceptions and cannot even identify abuse as abuse.
Is it any wonder that children brought up this way end up ensnared by another abuser? When the abuse begins, the victim doubts their own ability to perceive what they feel, see and hear. They discount abusive behavior, and are easily gaslighted into believing it is not abuse.
Psychopaths target people that have already been broken by a narcissist. They know what signs to look for. They know how to test you, in order to see if you will respond to their brainwashing.
You have to reprogram your braim to get rid of the viruses that were installed into you. Otherwise it is difficult to recognize abuse when it starts.
Predators look for the best targets for them to destroy. These people have an extreme darkness within them.
Your brokenness after narcissistic abuse is not a reflection of any weakness in you. You saw darkness up close and such a level of darkness is contrary to your nature.
The narcissist intentionally mislead you about who they are, just to exploit you. They shared tender moments with you and caused you to be vulnerable in front of them.
They pretended to be vulnerable with you. They made up stories and lies to get your sympathy and attention. They did all of this to drink your soul.
Any compassionate person that tries to bring light into another person’s life, and then finds out that the person they fell in love with was a lie, would experience a period of brokenness.
The narcissist causes victims a soul sickness, by extracting emotions from you, by methods you did not consent to.
You are going to feel broken for a period of time. Then you will begin to feel better….Then a new realization will come upon you about the narcissist that you had not considered…and you will feel like a weight has dropped upon your chest again.
You may come up and down several times, as the “red pills” keep coming and choking your throat. But you will be walking ever forward on your path to greater strength and greater clarity.
Narcissistic abuse is extreme suffering, but it will revitalize you as you learn greater ways of self love. You will learn to assert boundaries and you will learn to pay careful attention to how people communicate with you.
Victims will end up better off thsn their abuser will end up. You will realize over time that you have power over your reality. ..while the narcissist will always be ruled and controlled by their reality.
You are not alone. Keep your loving heart alive. There are people worth sharing it with. Now you will be able to gain the tools to differentiate between narcisdistic psychopaths and people with their own inner light…which the narcissist lacks.