When you meet someone who is everything you ever thought you wanted, needed and more, as you are living your dreams with them at the start, in that idealisation stage of the relationship, and that is your reality of that moment in time, you see it you believe in it, it feels so good. You want to hold onto it and never let it go.
A narcissist is a con artist; they sell you a dream and deliver you a living nightmare.
Walking away from your dreams and away from the reality that you once lived when they were so kind and caring is hard.
It’s hard to walk away from any relationship. It’s hard walking away from someone you fell so deeply in love with, walking away from a narcissistic relationship takes courage and strength.
When it comes to narcissistic people it’s even harder to do, as your mind is in a state of confusion and stress, with two different reality’s playing out, as they manipulate through gaslighting, projection and blame-shifting, so you end up blaming yourself and believe you’re at fault. Thinking if only you’d change you’d get that person you met back, that person who is just an illusion.
As the power struggle continues while you’re trying to keep true to yourself and they are trying to keep control within their own lives and over you. Whenever you give in, that person you met reappears, leaving you doubting their bad behaviour and to believe it’s all your fault. It was never your fault.
The narcissist is also living in a state of mixed realities, deep down they are insecure and vulnerable continually searching for someone to fix them, and when their inner faults are not fixed, they will then punish people, as they only want their reality. They can only cope with the reality that they are good and everyone else is bad, where most people can see their own faults narcissistic people can not, and the toxic relationship is formed.
You have one partner that is hurting and will take everyone down to heal that hurt. Another who might have been hurting before and will definitely be hurting during the relationship, that’s doing their best to heal the other person not realising it only harms themselves, both end up full off inner turmoil and self-harm, the narcissist in a negative way, yet blaming all others, you are doing your best to help, yet blaming yourself. It brings you more pain and discomfort.
And then I realised by helping you I was destroying me.
So even though you might know within yourself, it’s not healthy why do you stay stuck?
Love bombing. The idealisation stage. Narcissists know how to hook people in, and this is a manipulation tactic to feed you that false reality, making you believe and feel like the luckiest person alive, that you’re living out your dream. Then this confuses you when they stop acting this way, causing cognitive dissonance as your mind is trapped between reality’s and beliefs, also trauma bonding the dopamine released from the high and the cortisol from the stress of the lows.
Gratitude. We all know people make mistakes, and when you’ve seen how good they can act, you make excuses for bad behaviour as no one is perfect. Their gaslighting of events helps keep you in a trance. If they provoke and you react, then you’ve got reactive abuse, which the narcissist will blow way out of proportion as to why everything is your fault, yet with projection and blame-shifting. They will play down the part they played or any wrongdoing on their part. You can always find evidence of when they are a good person, again causing that inner conflict within your own mind, finding ways to make excuses for the bad and focus in on the good. They will do their best to make you feel grateful when they have done something for you. Yet make you feel bad if you don’t do something for them.
Empathy. You have high levels of understanding within you, do your best to relate to how others feel and help them best you can try to heal them, help them and give way too much of yourself, you have compassion and understanding and want to help people through their pain. Unfortunately, you’ll give and give and give, and all the narcissist will do is keep taking.
Cognitive dissonance, as they play on and exaggerate all their good qualities, refuse to accept responsibility, and they will play down all their bad, gaslighting you with. “It wasn’t that bad. That never happened. If only you’d. You’re crazy.” your inner conflict with your own mind causes devastating emotional turmoil.
Repetition compulsion, performing the same acts of behaviour and never getting different results. If you’ve had one toxic relationship and didn’t heal, you might try to fix the past in your present, and you can carry the trauma from one relationship into another. Narcissistic people prey on those who’ve had past traumas.
Guilt, the guilt of walking away, guilt of not trying, then the guilt of splitting up the family, guilt of the past.
Fear, the fear of the unknown, fear of reactions, fear of what others would think, fear of loss.
Trauma bonding, the highs and lows of the relationship cause trauma bonding from the high levels of dopamine to the cortisol, you are basically on natural drug fix within yourself.
Financial abuse, the abuser will find ways to control your money, either by being the breadwinner and controlling how much you have or being a leech and draining your finances. They can guilt you into giving them money, or guilt you into not wanting to ask for more.
Pride and ego, often when you’ve been isolated, especially if those people tired to warn or help you, your pride doesn’t want to let you reach out to them, fear they might reject you, fear no one would believe you.
You have to protect yourself and heal once you realise you’re in the never-ending cycle of a toxic relationship. The best way to do this is to get out safely.
It’s incredibly hard to leave, once out you’ll be wiser and stronger. Working on you and who you want to be, releasing, guilt, pain, fear working through the past to leave it in the past.
It takes on average, seven attempts to leave an abusive relationship. Some manage less some it takes more.
Keep working on who am I? keep building new dreams, keeping working on your beliefs and your boundaries, your hobbies.
Make sure you eat well and sleep well. Try getting some exercise.
Remember it’s baby steps all the way, you’re allowed a couple back just keep going, you can, and you will recover.
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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.
Why the narcissist always thinks they are right.