You might have carried guilt and shame throughout the relationship, shame for things you did that you didn’t really want to, not feeling good enough as a person, guilt for being too scared to stand up for yourself. Also, guilt and shame as the narcissist manipulated you into believing you’re not worthy and you’re not good enough. Then you are left with low self-esteem and no longer feeling good enough or worthy.
Guilt is when we feel we are wrong in a choice we have made, and shame is when we are humiliated or believe we’ve been foolish. Often it’s around manipulative people that create those feelings of shame within us. Those narcissists who feel a need to pull others down to feel better about themselves, People who blame us, shame us. Those who judge us shame us. Those who invalidate us shame us when we don’t understand and observe their projection, so we absorb and take their opinions about us on as our own. Their willingness to pull others down their lack of empathy to care says more about who they are as a person than it ever will you.
During recovery from a narcissistic relationship, as the narcissists lie, exploitative behaviour as more and more information comes to light, we feel guilty for taking them back, guilty for being their flying monkey when we didn’t understand narcissism, guilty for being an enabler when we believed their lies, shame for the actions we took. Our self-esteem is shattered. We can feel so low, empty and worthless.
You have to realise that guilt, knowing if you had understood at the time, you’d have never put yourself in the situation. Wanting to help someone and seeing your good in them makes you a loyal, loving, empathetic person. It was never that you weren’t worthy of them. It’s the narcissist who was unable or unwilling to recognise your worth. If you’d have known who they indeed were and not the person they sold themselves to be, you wouldn’t have done any of the things you did. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. It’s to learn and move on, not to keep you trapped in your past.
You have to realise you need to let go of the shame you carry for doing something you didn’t understand. You need to release that guilt and shame, knowing it’s in the past to move forward.
Rebuilding your self-esteem is one way to do this.
Self-esteem. Which most often has been programmed throughout your childhood, as most parents aren’t consciously aware of building children’s self-esteem, most people don’t understand their own self.
So when in a toxic relationship with low self-esteem, we make excuses for others behaviour. Were they hurt in the past? They were having a bad day. Did I cause it?
While you’ve got low self-esteem and believe yourself to be the problem, you don’t see clearly as to how others are mistreating you. They actually reinforce the self-doubt you have about yourself. Lowering your self-esteem even more.
You may not have been aware of this on a conscious level. You might have had it programmed into your subconscious throughout childhood, from parents, friends, and even teachers putting you down, starting to underestimate yourself. Yet, you might have found yourself always attracted to that same type of person, the one with the confidence, those who seem to be able to be themselves, exaggerating grand stories about themselves, as we don’t understand their confidence is arrogance and hiding the shame they carry, that they will one day place into us. Or you might feel they are attracted to you. Narcissists are envious and seek to exploit those around them.
After you’ve left the narcissist or they left you, your own inner critic then continues to put yourself down. It’s mostly your subconscious programming as others have programmed you to think this way, so now you need to program yourself to what you want to believe.
How to rebuild your self-esteem is all in rebuilding your inner belief system.
Write down those negative thoughts about yourself. Write down who told you.
Examples. ” I’m not good enough.”
”I’m ugly.” ”I’m too skinny.” I’m too fat.” “I’m not capable.” “I’m stupid.” “I’ll never be anything.” then write down the name of the person who put that thought in your mind. Your narcissistic parent, the playground bully, ex-partner. Then go back through, cross off what limiting belief is in your mind. ”I’m not good enough .” and write. ”I am good enough.” do it with them all.
Instead of beating yourself up, learn to love yourself for who you are. If you want to change something, take action to change it, but only ever change it for you. Not for others. Not for society, only ever for yourself.
You have to learn to value who you indeed are.
Keep doing it to reprogram your limiting beliefs and rebuild your self-esteem.
Catch yourself talking negatively to yourself. And tell yourself to stop it. When you stop it within yourself, you will no longer allow others to, as you will have raised your internal standards. It’s a learning curve as most of us want to be validated by others, but you don’t need it. Only you need to validate yourself. Don’t let others define who you are. Only you have the right to define yourself and do so positively.
Part of our human need discovered by Tony Robbins is growth. Filling these needs in positive ways helps us to recover. Therefore self-awareness and self-developed is growth, and you’ll be filling your own human needs up.
As with significance, once you learn to feel significance within yourself. You’ll also be adding to this need in a positive way.
Love and connection. Connecting with your inner self, developing your inner voice. Learning to love who you are for who you are.
Certainty. To be certain of your own beliefs. Your own values. To be certain of who you are and who you want to be.
Uncertainty. Taking chances, stepping out of your comfort zone to try new things. To discover what your own likes and dislikes are.
Contribution, once you find and define who you are in a positive way. You’ll be able to not only contribute to others. But do so in a positive manner.
Life begins right after you start to program yourself as to who you want to be and not what others tell you to think you should be, you’re never too old, and it’s never too late.
Nine types of people you should never trust.
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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.
Overcoming Your Fears.