What Narcissistic Abuse Does To You.

you can not change a toxic relationship. It’ll only ever change you.”

If it is your parents, you might have never indeed known who you are, or if you survived childhood without narcissistic people to then get into a narcissistic relationship.

Narcissists steal your mind, your reality, beliefs, passions, hopes, dreams and happiness. They are all wiped out, and in place of those things, you’re left with so much confusion and so many emotional and psychological scars to heal from, fears of not being understood, fear of the unknown, fear of loving, fear of freedom, fear of pain, fear of anger, fear of judgment, fear of failure. From the narcissist mind games, you are left with so many negative emotions to deal with, overwhelmed, guilt, pain, anger, resentment, frustration and disappointment.

You have been gaslighted, manipulated, lied to, humiliated, exploited, violated and ridiculed. You have been taken apart bit by bit. Your realities changed so many times, left a shell of your former self.

Once out, there are things to process and go through to learn who you are again and to heal.

You might self isolate. Most narcissists will have already isolated you the best they can. Yet, once out, you might fear being misunderstood by law enforcement, family and friends, fearing no one will understand or believe you. You might feel ashamed about the behaviour you once accepted from someone that you should have never accepted. So instead of getting back out into the real world and facing the pain of the past relationship head-on, we can end up self-isolating ourselves, to protect ourselves from more pain, from reality, from judgment and reactions from the narcissist, anxiety and CPTSD also play a big role in this.

Start Healing from self-isolation. This starts with you. If you expect to meet negative people, they will most often appear why a lot say, “I attract narcissists.” We have to change our approach to stop attracting them. We have to stop invalidating ourselves stop accepting behaviours from others that we would not treat other people like. And only accept Behavior from those around us of how we behave towards others. Turning inwards and learning to trust within ourselves for who we are, learning our standards and not letting them drop, learning to love ourselves, learning our own personal boundaries and that our no means no, getting back out and doing the things we love for us, either going back to old hobbies or trying the new one. Start by connecting online if needed with those people who’ve lived it.


Anxiety is worry from fears, and we can have rational anxieties. If you’re driving and a lorry comes toward you, that’s rational. If you are in supermarkets and something triggers you, even though you are safe, if that panic begins, it can be hard at the start to bring yourself out of this.

Start healing anxiety, Create a morning routine, look after your mind and body, take walks, get up and brush your Teeth, choose good food, meditation, yoga. Learning your triggers, then get an anchor thought, or picture, or bring yourself to the present moment. Tell yourself, “I am safe now.” Count down from 30 and focus on those numbers.


CPTSD. Complex post-traumatic stress disorder. Difficulty in controlling your emotions, feeling hostile and distrust towards the world, emptiness, like no one gets it.

Start CPTSD recovery, know your triggers, talk to those who understand what you’ve been through. Give yourself time. EMDR treatment helps a lot to overcome CPTSD.

Fear of doing something you love, fear of failure and fear of success. As narcissistic people are so jealous and envious, they punish others for success or put others down. This conditions your mind to lose interest in acknowledging your own achievements and ability, your own self-worth.

Start to heal, first acknowledge and write down anything and everything you’ve achieved in your own life, look at others that are doing something you love, study them, see they can to see that reality that you can too. Use any painful emotions from the ex to drive you to prove them wrong, and the best revenge is a success. Create those new dreams, and take steps to get you there. Mistakes are allowed. We all make them, learn and go again, do not quit on you.


Self-sabotage, narcissistic people infect your minds on so many levels, parents or partners. The condition you through gaslighting, silent treatments, and another manipulation to lose your own though and in its place also from many put-downs is their voice. They twist arguments and words, so even after the relationship has ended, or you’ve distanced yourself from your parents. Their voice is still in your head, you talk to you, how they talked to you. Thanks to the narcissist’s covert and overt put-downs, verbal abuse, criticism, we often then end up punishing ourselves, sabotaging our own dreams, goals, efforts and future. The narcissist leaves us feeling worthless within ourselves and our own abilities. As we get programmed to go to them for reality checks, it becomes incredibly challenging to think for ourselves.

Steps to recover from self-sabotaging, write down what they said to you, then look at it from the perspective of someone you’ve really cared about. What would you tell them? Whenever you recognise their toxic words, stop yourself and explain to your own mind, that’s not your thoughts. Start with something small they said you couldn’t wear or didn’t look good in and wear it, something they stopped you doing and start doing it.

You no longer trust yourself or those around you. You know longer trust in your own judgment and intentions or the intentions of those around you. Someone you once trusted has destroyed that. Your normal cautions become hypervigilance. The narcissist breaks your trust so many times and through things like triangulation when they have said. ” your friend doesn’t care for you.” Or “your parents use you.” They gaslight your reality of those around you.

Steps to recover, learn to tune in and listen to your instincts. They know what they are telling you, even when you do not. Look at friendships if you can think Of the past for those who’ve not hurt you. Learn about yourself, and to walk away from those negative people, surround yourself with those more alike yourself.

Emotions and memory as narcissistic abuse puts you in a constant subconscious survival state of fight or flight, which this survival state is good temporarily, on a long term basis is grows our amygdala in our brain which houses our emotions. As we can convince ourselves, the narcissist has positive traits as we’ve lived that reality and play down the negative traits. With the help of the narcissist projection and blame-shifting, we end up believing the abuse isn’t as bad as it is as it’s easier on our own emotions. As our amygdala grows, our negative emotions are on a constant hyper-vigilance high, so our subconscious plays this down to help keep control of personal feelings. Also, with all the gaslighting, our hippocampus shrinks, which houses our memories, making it easier for our reality to be distorted.

Steps to recover, once out writing down the memories that come to you, the reality you were drip-fed and the actual reality, dealing with the emotions as they appear, screaming them out, crying them out, writing them out, releasing the past bits by bit.


Sense of self. The narcissist has caused significant psychological abuse to your mind, and you start to question and doubt yourself in so many ways and no longer know why you love or hate.

Steps to recovery, first know it’s understandable to lose yourself, it’s also ok, just realise now is the time to recreate yourself, find who you are, and what you love, then never stop, look for new hobbies, new goals, new dreams, new outcomes, ask yourself ” who am I.” And keep going until you know, then when you remember to keep developing who you are, plenty of people lose themselves and who they are, and you’ll not know any reasons behind it at that moment, create the reasons by creating yourself for the future. Look for a time in your life something didn’t go as you wanted, yet six months, two years later, it worked out for the better to show yourself it is possible.

Remember, it’s all baby steps when a baby learns to walk, they stumble and fall, they get up and go again, your reprogramming your mind, and recreating your life, your allowed steps back, get up and go again, you can and you will.

Take back control of your life.

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Click here to sign up for the full, Break Free From Narcissistic Abuse, with a link in the course to a free, hidden online support group with fellow survivors. 

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To help with overcoming the trauma bond and anxiety course.

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All about the narcissist Online course.

Click here to learn more about narcissist personality disorder.

The narcissists counter-parenting.

Click here for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse, and information on co-parenting with a narcissist.

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.

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