It is effortless to become locked in the victim mentally after being mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, exploited or abused by a narcissist. No one could blame you after everything they have put you through. Unfortunately, that victim mindset only serves to keep us locked in the painful past and helps our depression spiral further out of control. When you’ve been gaslighted by a narcissist, left with guilt, anger, resentment, self-doubt and self-blame, once you start to wake up, most often, we can go through all the was it me? Was it them? It’s them. They are an abusive narcissist. No, could I be the narcissist? No, they are the narcissist. Then they seemed to move on without care while you’ve lost so much and work through all the devastation they leave in their wake.
A narcissist is extremely calculated on playing the victim when needed. They thrive off the attention they get from those around them; they will abuse victims. They will downplay, or deny their behaviour, provoke the real victim to get reactions, often in public or while filming them and exaggerate all the reactions so the narcissist can gaslight and blame-shift onto the victim. ”If you hadn’t, I wouldn’t. ” That with the fact your emotions were running on a high and you lived under constant fear and stress in a state of hypervigilance￼, you can be left feeling like you are indeed the narcissist. If you don’t exploit others, if you have empathy for others, you most likely do not have the disorder. Just like negativity breeds negativity, when around narcissistic people, it’s incredibly easy to become drawn into their toxic world. This can lead some people into unwittingly becoming an abuser to their abuser, turning to the survival coping mechanism of fight. Some victims can become locked in power struggles with certain types of narcissists, getting drawn into the games. With the trauma bonding and becoming unwittingly addicted to the drama of the toxic relationship, your behaviour can become increasingly narcissistic, even though you’re not a narcissist. Then the victim who fawns, meaning they conform to their abuser’s demands for fear of what the abuser will do if they were to step out of line, making excuses for the narcissist’s behaviour, is left thinking, ” It wasn’t that bad.” Often with, the narcissist telling them, “It wasn’t that bad.” Or believing they deserved it, again with the narcissists gaslighting of “If you hadn’t.” Still leaving the true victim feeling like they are to blame.
You are not to blame, yes, we all need to own up to any actions we did, but we also have to recognise when we’ve been force-fed lies through many manipulative tactics. Had your beliefs, values, boundaries and much more taken down, left believing you’re not good enough, accepting behaviour you should never have accepted, through fear, Intimidation and many more. You have to accept responsibility for your own behaviour, not at the start, as at the start, you’re most likely blaming yourself for everything. At the start, you need to pass responsibility back to the abuser, the rightful owner, for the things they did to you. Then work on you.
Lose the self-blame, as it’s not all your fault like the narcissist had told you. Yes, you may have reacted at times. That’s human nature. You have to accept the part you played. You must also pass responsibility back to the rightful owner for the role they played, except you didn’t get out sooner, be Thankful that you are out now and that you can now move forward with your life.
You also must lose the victim mindset. Yes, you’ve been through a hideous experience. I know that, and I understand how horrible it feels once you first get out. It is just the start of your journey, it gets easier, and it gets better. You need to grieve the loss of the hopes and dreams you had, accept you can not and will never be able to help them. You can only ever help someone who is willing to help themselves, and if by helping them, they continue to cause you pain, that is on them and not you. People can only learn from their own mistakes, and people can only change themselves. Understand the reality of what actually happened and who they really are. Still, to move forward, you need to shift out of that victim mindset, as it’ll only hold you back. What helped me do this is focus on the fact, that the narcissist will always play the victim role to all others, part of the reason they can not find true inner happiness.
You can find your happiness again, and to do so, you need to move forward from the victim mindset. We are human. We make mistakes, we fail to realise what’s truly happening to us, the most intelligent people get sucked in by these people, and unfortunately, you are far from alone in this.
The past and the victim mindset only serves to keep us trapped in the past and our emotions locked on past pain, so the past, even when no longer around our abuser, stays with us in our present.
You have empathy, you care for others on a deep level, you want to help, support, learn and grow, you can see things from others’ points of view, and that’s an incredible talent to have. Nothing is wrong with this at all, yet you must learn that although you have the ability to do this for others, you need to do this for yourself first. All the effort you put in to help them, you now need to put that effort into helping you.
You have to take yourself to the next level, which means finding the lessons learned from the experience so you don’t repeat them in your future. Some of us had narcissistic parents and never understood, meaning we went from one narcissistic relationship to another, accepting those behaviours as normal that we should have never accepted. Now you have the newfound knowledge and wisdom of those lessons learned. You can move your life forward into a new happier direction.
Developing your knowledge and understanding of what you went through to allow yourself more awareness.
Going no contact or grey rock doesn’t mean you want to hurt them. It means you need to save yourself, and you can start healing. It takes time and works from within yourself, but you can do it, others have before you, and you can show others they can too. Once you forgive yourself and lose that victim mindset, you can begin your journey to rebuilding your self-esteem, self-trust, self-love, learn and create new boundaries for yourself so you never get into that situation again, learning to trust yourself and tune into your intuition. You can learn to trust those around you, as you’ll have a better understanding of those who love and care for you and want the best for you, those who respect who you are for who you are and don’t want to knock you down and walk all over your boundaries to destroy you, any way they can.
You’ll find it second nature to remove toxic people from your life and surround yourself with positive people, where you pick each other up, respect and care for each other.
Create yourself a whole new belief system by taking your responsibility for your actions ( no one deserves to be treated how a narcissist treats others.). Still, you have to claim back your responsibility, and not all the responsibility, as most narcissists leave you feeling like you are solely to blame. You were not. Creating for you a new belief system on what you want from life now, a new blueprint of where you’d like your life to go, ask yourself. What direction do I want to take now?
If you put no postcode into a sat nav, it’s not going to know where to direct you. If you keep putting the same postcode in, it’s going to keep taking you back to the same place. If that place brings you pain, you need to change the postcode. So work on creating where you’d like to be six months, two years from now, then see why you want it, and focus on that outcome. You will find a way. You will find the resources so long as you stick to them. It’s ok to take a detour now and again. Just keep that new dream in mind, whatever that is for you.
You are no longer a victim. You just didn’t have the knowledge to understand the situation and what was happening to you until you made it out the other side as a survivor. While you stay in victim mindset, all the things the narcissist throws your way will only keep you down. Once you take back control of your mindset, understanding what they are now trying to do, you’ll have a better coping mechanism within yourself to deal with it all the right way and move forward with your life for yourself.
Creating yourself a different thought process, perspective helps you move forward to a happier life, as your old thought process and perspectives are what put you where you were.
Now it’s time to listen to people’s actions and not just their words, not make endless excuses for those who hurt others. Help and be kind to those who are kind and are willing to help others.
Only you can take back your power and your control, of your own mindset and the direction you want to take your own life now.
You can achieve and accomplish anything you put your mind to. Once you’re strong enough to take action to make it happen, you can make yourself strong enough, if another human can do something, it’s possible, and you can, and you will do it too.
Keep going. You’ve got this.
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Click here for Elizabeth Shaw’s Recommended reading list for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse.
Detaching your thoughts.
How narcissists invalidate you.