Overcoming narcissist abuse, by Elizabeth Shaw- Life Coach.
When you know they are bad for you, they make you so unhappy, they lie, cheat, steal, manipulate and so many more. It’s soul-crushing. Yet because they came in as the love of your life. As they can treat you better than anyone ever has, then worse than anyone ever has, this causes deep trauma bonds from the chemicals your body releases during the relationship. Even when you see the pattern of abuse, it’s challenging to let go of that love you have for them.
We remember all the good times, then with the emotional connections to those good times, wanting them back, knowing we can get them for a short time, yet knowing we must let go is pure torture for us at times. Most of us bury those negative, horrible times deep down, often blaming ourselves and never really bringing them back up.
As the narcissist downplays anything, they did to you, and gaslights with ”it wasn’t that bad.” ”that never happened.” if you hadn’t then I wouldn’t.” then exaggerates all the good they do and anything we do wrong within they relationship it leaves us questioning if we are good enough, often with more gaslighting from the narcissist of ”you’ll never find anyone like me.” and ”no one will ever love you.” this is an extremely hurtful and confusing place to live, causing cognitive dissonance within our minds. Video to explain more on this at the end.
Think of one moment when they brought you to your knees, either completely lost upset, heartbreak, hurt, and ask yourself. What did I do.? What did I do to deserve that? The answer will most likely be nothing. As no one deserve to be made to feel that way. When they hurt you so bad, they will sit and watch you cry with a glint in their eye, offering no emotional support, for the things they did to you, often twisting it around to be something you caused, no one deserves that, yet because they project, manipulate and blame shift, your reactions to their always provoking and twisting words, we end up blaming ourselves. It’s never ever your fault. Now think of all the good you did for them. Why would anyone treat you so bad? Because they have a problem, not you. They can not accept love, and you are not a problem.
If you want to let go, flip those around, often we don’t because that’s hard, it’s going to be painful, and we want to avoid that pain. The easiest option to go for is the pain of losing someone we love and still loving them, yet this only continues our inner pain, within our hearts and our thoughts, Once you flip it around remember those terrible times, the bad negative times, work through them, you start to distance that love, it may turn hate, anger and resentment as you process all you’ve been through, it’s normal to feel these and more, it’s also normal to not feel some, just keep working on you and keep going until it turns to nothing.
You have to face the fear and the pain to move past it.
You Don’t Need to lose the good times if there was any when you genuinely think back. However, when you feel you love and miss them if you think you want them again, any good moments are not going to help you. Thinking about the bad times and why you’re better without them will.
Thinking about do you really want to live like that in another two years? Five years? Never knowing where you stand with them, never knowing what they will do next.
The pain hurts, and it hurts hard if they left you, or you finally left them. Through that pain, we can often talk ourselves into taking them back when they come for the hoover, or we can try to reach out to win them back, which if we do get them back, the cycle begins again as does the pain. Or we can have the short term pain of learning to let them go, releasing ourselves from the inner turmoil for long term gains. It might not feel that way, to begin with, yet when your comfort zone is no longer comfortable, stepping into the uncomfortable to find fresh new happiness, new life goals and massive gains. Releasing the pain of the past for the joy of your future.
Once you let go, you begin to forgive you and forgive them, and forgiveness doesn’t excuse their abusive behaviour. Forgiveness is for your own peace of mind.
Ways to help your mind move past them.
1. Write down all those bad memories, get them all out to release them, grieve, cry and screen if you need to.
Think of it as someone you really care for showing you this. Put yourself in the ’advisors’ shoes. What would you tell someone you really cared about, what advice would you give those who’ve been through what you have. We most often have the most incredible information for others, yet as the saying goes ”easier said than done.” yet once we take that first step on our own advice. Doing it becomes easier.
2. Talk therapy, Seek help from someone you can talk to who understands you. Talking it all out to get it out of our minds with those who can validate how we feel is incredibly helpful.
3. EMDR treatment, some past traumas that cause CPTSD, can be challenging to shift, eye movement desensitisation reprocessing, is a powerful therapy with a high success rate to relieve psychological stress.
4. If you’re stuck with them in your headspace and you don’t want them there, think of the present moment. When they subconsciously crop up. Consciously remove them from your mind. Pattern interrupt technique helps with this. I’ll add the video at the end.
We also have to work on ourselves, our present and our future, so we begin to focus less on past hurt, and I know some are more than hideous, but you deserve a much happier life, so by working towards future goals, it helps us focus more on things that are good for us.
The human needs to help you heal.
A narcissistic relationship also fills your human needs at a subconscious level, this also keeps you addicted to them, as anything that meets three of these, through behaviour or action, we become addicted, so how do we become addicted to them?
Love and connection. You love someone, and you have a partner, you’re connecting when they treat you right in a positive way, yet connected when they treat you right in a negative way.
Significance. At times they make you feel insignificant, so fill it negatively, at times when they want your help, you feel good helping them, so it gets filled positively.
Certainty. Your certainty your in a relationship and have routines, and sometimes the certainty is positive sometimes negative.
Uncertainty. As you never know what mood they’ll be in next, what they’ll do next. Why they are doing what they do, a narcissistic relationship fills your need for uncertainty.
Growth, when they come back, and you try again, you feel like you’re growing and changing together, this never truly fulfils growth as it’s only ever temporary.
Contribution. All the things you do for them, fills your need for contribution on a sky-high level, as you’re always giving more and more to them while you slowly lose yourself.
As Tony Robbins said, who discovered the human needs. You can fill these negatively, neutrally or positively, and when you do something either by, action, emotionally or experience and when one thing fills three of these needs, you become addicted. So narcissistic relationship is highly addictive.
You can fill these needs in other ways to break the bond.
You can be certain getting out isn’t going to be easy, when you hit the breaking point, you can be certain it’s what you need to do, and when you get out you need to focus on the long term goals, find your certainty in other areas until and find your happy self again. Start will the simple steps, creating new routines, for you and how you want to spend your day, consciously being thank full and telling yourself you thank full for anything that is certain in your life right now, even brushing your teeth, so you’re unconscious starts to fill certainty until you’re ready to build on those foundations.
Love and connection, reach out to old friends and family or reach out to those online who’ve lived through the same to get you started, not always easy with anxiety, taking those first steps to help overcome this.
Significance, feeling this need up can be done by helping neighbours, volunteering, recognising you are a good parent if you have children, finding a job you love where you give back, driving lorry’s, health care, hairdressers, builders etc., whatever you enjoy, where you can help others, chat to others whilst earning money to live.
Uncertainty, when creating new routines, starting new hobbies, new courses, meeting and talking to new people, this creates a level of uncertainty, life is full of uncertainty, so keeping your feet grounded and just taking it step by step, tacking one new thing at a time or more if you can handle more, we are all Individuals so go at a pace that suits you.
Certainty, when you are making those new connections with new friends, when you’ve settled into your new job, when your routines are in place, asking who am I ? Or what would I like out of life? Learning to fall in love with yourself again, learning your Boundaries and becoming certain of behaviour you will and will not accept from others. Learning to listen to those instincts even when you don’t know what they are telling you, most often we go against them when we don’t see what they are saying, and when we look back at those times we often regret not listening to them sooner, remove that regret it’s ok, we all make errors in judgment and try to do our best by others often doing ourselves an injustice, all we can do is let the past go, leave the mistakes in the past and take the lessons with us.
Growth, learning from our past is growth within itself, learning new skills, joining team sports, readers groups, learning to play an instrument, whatever it is you would like to do for you, if you enjoy it and have a passion for it this will be far easier, as anything we start learning can be a challenge at times, especially if we’ve never done it before. If we enjoy it, it helps us get unstuck in those times we become stuck.
Contribution, what can you contribute to those around you? What skills have you learned? We are all special, and we can all help others in some way, learning to give to those who appreciate us and learning to walk away from those who take advantage of us, again listening to our gut feelings.
You can, and you will recover from this.
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