When a narcissist comes at you with game after game, you just can not get your thoughts around how someone who claims to care for you could be so horrible to you. Yet, they once were so kind towards you, as they play the admiration face and treat you better than anyone ever has, with their attention-seeking face by, mirroring you to future fake with you so that they can exploit you, then when they don’t get what they want outcomes their envious face when they treat you worse than anyone ever has, yet with their many manipulation games, such as, blame-shifting, gaslighting, silent treatments, their lies are their reality, so they tell them with so much conviction and truth, we are often the ones left believing it to be all our fault, it is never your fault for people to treat you so wrong, the fault lays with their disorder.
As you and those around them often believe, they are genuine people with good intentions, understanding that we all make mistakes, care about and look for the good in others. We also most likely didn’t even realise people like this existed. When you work out just how unbelievable they genuinely are, you have the battle of showing others just how believable the narcissists manipulative behaviour truly is, all the narcissist’s fake apologies, false promises and destructive ways, often trying to explain yourself to others while you are questioning everything that’s happened to you. You are left looking and feeling crazy, and for many who have lost everything, for others losing a lot, from hopes, dreams, relationships, possessions, sense of self, trust, self-esteem, self-love, physical and mental health problems, financial health, it’s an incredibly life-draining place to be.
The narcissist personality disorder is on a spectrum, so it varies from person to person how much damage they do to you. Also, we are all individuals, so how much we can take, and how long it takes for us to work it out the narcissist’s manipulative behaviours, as through their gaslighting, they twist and turn through everything you go through with them, just to keep confusing you.
A narcissist infects your heart with lies, Contaminates￼ your mind with distractions, takes your boundaries, your trust, your self-love and self-worth, taking your belongings, and so much more.
One of the things that you have to get your head around is just how believable a narcissist’s unbelievable manipulative behaviour is, to stop giving the benefit of the doubt to those we care about, to lose the doubts they place within us so we, so we can become certain by their patterns of behaviour that it’s who they are, and become certain they are the way they are because of who they are and not because of something we do, so we can become certain of ourselves again, our beliefs, our values, our standards so that we can lower our expectations of them, so they can no longer control how we think, recognising them for who they are so we can be who we are.
It’s challenging to get our heads around it at the time, and it feels impossible to get our heads around it afterwards when you realise exactly who they are, and how they manipulate. During and after a narcissistic relationship, you are often left shocked, confused, living in a state of Hypervigilance, with￼￼ a lack of control over your own emotions as they are left all over from the highs and lows of the relationship. CPTSD, anxiety and trauma bonding are other things to overcome.
Narcissists play so many manipulative mind games to keep you in a trance, to keep you as far away as possible from the truth about who they indeed are. As it’s all so confusing, we often believe the excuses they make up for their hurtful behaviours, as many of their lies like “I love you.” are things many people say, we don’t recognise the intent is to exploit us behind their meaningless words, believing their justifications, their lies makes it easier on us within our minds about what is genuinely happening to us, not realising they’re gaslighting us into not seeing the truth, doubting ourselves, that believing they do care makes it worse for us as we then put up with more, and the worst things about those excuses are within our minds we make them valid. Everything they do is so they can keep their control over you, and their unbelievable behaviour starts at the very beginning.
If they loved you in the ways they claimed to love you. They wouldn’t hurt you in the ways they deny they hurt you.
with the narcissists gaslighting of “you’re too sensitive.” “You’re crazy.” “You know I love you.” “It wasn’t that bad.” They’re shaming, blaming, and humiliating causes us to question ourselves. Narcissists gaslight to distract us from the truth by distorting our reality. Hence, we doubt ourselves, and they further their control.
So how do narcissists make it so hard for us to believe who they indeed are?
1. The idealisation stage when you first meet them, when they are too good to be true, and perfect in every way, you’ve met your soulmate, who is loving, kind, thoughtful, and perfect in every way, they are amazing whilst they are love bombing you, you don’t let it go as it feels so amazing and you want more. As they mirror you, claiming they want all the same things as you.
If the narcissist is your parent, your boss, your friend, they often drop in those intermittent play nice, to get their needs met, which usually leaves us more confused, as last week they were treating us so wrong. Now they are treating us so right that intermittent reinforcements of rewarding us when we do right by them. To punish is when we do wrong by them. However, they blame us for why they had to punish us￼.
2. The Devaluation stage, it’s so confusing and draining￼￼ that someone can change from being so loving and caring to someone so horrible and hurtful. You then find it hard when they, switch to someone you don’t know. You find it hard to understand that someone who loves you so much could treat you the way they do. That first silent treatment, you think you’ve done something to cause it, and they’ll confirm this by telling you it was you. The manipulation they use is is to get us to question who we are so we don’t recognise who they are and work harder to make it up to them for the things they do to us.
3. Discard stage, it is devastating, heartbreaking and confusing how they can just move on so fast, that the new person can not see what the narcissist is doing, that they can vanish on you like that, use you the way that they did, that the new person will not look at what you’re telling them, how the narcissist can just discard you and possibly their own children to one side, that they are more willing to impress a complete stranger than take care of their own family, even more, when they come back to try to take those children off you, confusing and scary that they portray you to others as crazy, telling others all that they did to you, you actually did to them. Frustrating￼ that people believe them, but don’t understand what you are telling them, hurtful that they can be so cruel, so heartless, how they can treat you that way after all you did for them.
4. The hoover stage. It’s confusing. They can walk back into your life like they did nothing wrong, twist it all around. Hence, you believe it was all your fault, annoying how much you want them back, how much you miss them so much, draining that you can not let them go, you can not stop thinking about them, you can not stop caring about them, unimaginable after all they have done, that you still love and care for them and want to help them.
5. The Smear campaign stage, it’s scary the lengths they will go to once you finally break free, smearing your name to children, friends and family, sabotaging your jobs, your home, dragging you through courts. Worrying just how hurtful someone you thought once loved and cared for you, could be so destructive and hurtful towards you.
6. Afterwards, you find it questionable how you didn’t see the red flags sooner, how long you put up with their behaviour without knowing what was happening, how you didn’t get out before. For some, it’s weeks, months, ten years, twenty years or more, depending on the narcissist you had the unfortunate path in your life of the meeting, Finding it hard to wrap your head around￼ who they are, strange how many people read from the same book, realising￼￼ how many are out there, how many have suffered the same fate as you ￼at the hands of a narcissist, how they all have the same traits and manipulation techniques, it’s unbelievable how you never spotted the pattern they use in all that they do, how your story’s and feeling are the same as so many others, well believe it’s true, real vampires do exist, under the name of the narcissist, what they are is true, what they did to you, those before you, those after you, and those around you is all true. It’s hard to understand￼ that they can not change, that they don’t see what they do as wrong, that as much as you tried, they can not be helped, well you tried so start to believe that they can not be helped, they’ll never see it from someone else point of view, therefore as they don’t see themselves as the problem, they can not change, they change their manipulation, they change their lies, they change their partners, they never change their true selves. They have a disorder, and that is who they are.
Narcissistic abuse ￼leaves many ￼an empty shell, no longer knowing who they are, no longer knowing reality, full of emotions they don’t know what to do with, feeling unable to move forward with our life without them. It’s even harder how those around you don’t always understand what’s happened, or those who had seen signs don’t understand why you didn’t get out sooner, some even asking why? Rather than asking the abuser why they would treat someone that way? When you’re trying to work out what’s been happening in your life, and those around you don’t understand, it makes a difficult journey to re-discover even harder.
There is plenty of people who understand, which is why we need more awareness, and to get the help, support and understanding of those who need it.
You will never get answers from a narcissist if you want answers. You’ll only get more lies and false apologies from them.
Don’t think about the motives of why they do this until, You learn and really understand what the narcissist personality disorder is, so you know exactly what they are, what they do, so you can make sense of everything that’s happened to you.
You need to learn that narcissistic people have a different reality from others.
Find people who understand what’s happened, as those who’ve not experienced it first-hand, will not understand it.
Know who you can trust, who want to help you.
Rebuild yourself, learn to listen to your instinct. If someone is too good to be true, they usually are. We all have our faults.
Try and have evidence if needed for court or mediation. Keep messages, take photos etc.
Accept some people will not see who they indeed are, leave them with the narcissist.
Do not try to out them, unless you are fully recovered, you have evidence, and you know that it will plant seeds of doubt in those around them who, they’ve also manipulated.
Read read and read some more until you genuinely believe precisely who they are, and you know exactly what a narcissist is, whist recovering, learning about them will help you understand and recover.
At the same time, don’t let them and the past control your future, use the present to shift them from within you mind, overcome anxiety and CPTSD, while focusing mostly on the future you want for your life now, in all the darkness keep looking for your light and you will find it, what do you enjoy, what things make you want to leap out of bed? Find those things, smile more, create new opportunities for you.
You will heal, and you will have a much happier life.
You can, and you will.
The cycle of a narcissistic relationship.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
Click here for Elizabeth Shaw’s Recommended reading list for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse.
What is and handling the smear campaigns.