A narcissists love bombing.
It takes an average of seven attempts to get out of an abusive relationship and stay out of an abusive relationship. Narcissists, through their many manipulation tactics, brainwash people into losing reality, and they use many Lies to keep their targets hooked. Often people stay because they don’t see what’s happening to them. Then when we wake up it’s like weaning ourselves off a highly addictive drug to break free, we know we shouldn’t be with them, yet without them, we can feel so lost and in so much pain. We know we need to move on, yet the narcissist is on a continuous loop within our thoughts, we would like answers, we would like closure. We can go through questions of. Was it that bad? Did that happen? Was it me? As we struggle to handle our Self-Doubt and begin to think clearly for ourselves again.
Narcissists use so many manipulative games throughout the relationship, and lies to psychology brainwash those around them, one of those is the idolisation stage, and the intermittent play nice stages they take us through during there idolising of us, so we doubt ourselves all the more.
The idealisation stage is where the narcissist will often plan a Fake Future with us.
“Nobody moves in faster than a narcissist who needs somewhere to live.”
They can start planning to live together, weddings, children, homes, cars, how you’ll spend Christmas and Holidays all within the matter of weeks or days of dating or meeting, they also mirroring us, matching us like for like, they are our perfect match, too good to be true. Yet we know this can happen. Two people can meet, click and live long happy lives together, the soulmate we’ve met has shown us no evidence that there is anything wrong with them. Or that they have a personality disorder. The reality we lived at the start is our reality, and it is perfect, with the narcissist it’s based on manipulation and lies, with us it is building our lives, our dreams, and our hopes up with someone we love.
That reality we live in the beginnings can start those doubts within ourselves before the relationship is a few months in, our instincts might kick in, yet as we can not see exactly what they are telling us. They seem so lovely. We can not see what devastation lays ahead of us. So we can then look for outside reasons and excuses for our doubts. Hurts from past relationships. We start to blame ourselves for having doubts, from the start. Even when the things they say don’t quite add up, we begin to question ourselves and not them as there is no evidence to say otherwise.
Some tactics a narcissist might use to hook you onto them, in the beginning, phrases they might say to you.
Songs. A lot of them like to use songs, as with their lack of Empathy, it doesn’t affect them on an emotional level. Yet because we do we relate to the words in the songs, our memories are created with the emotional connects to the narcissist and the music.
In the beginning, those who use songs against us, will them hurt us when we finally break free from them, as when we hear those songs, it can trigger our memories, thus triggering our emotions. Giving things different meaning within our thoughts can help with these triggers.
They mirror us. They have a default setting to mirror you. They will mirror our body language, and we don’t even know they are doing it, as most people can mirror body language, a narcissist will talk the way we do, when you speak slowly they will if you pause they will, if you talk fast, if you like a movie they will if you dislike a sport, they will also dislike it. They like all your likes and dislikes all your dislikes. They have everything in common with you. They will happily agree with your likes and dislikes in the beginning.
They we sit and chat for hours, to learn our strengths, and our weaknesses, so further down the line they can use each and everyone against us, the will not make our dreams come true as they promised we’d do together. Instead, they make our biggest fears come true.
Words they use. They may use sentences like “I’ve never met anyone like you before “ you’re different to the rest” “your special” “ I’ve never felt this way about anyone “ very soon into the relationship. Could not imagine my life without you.” this is mostly used in the idolisation phase along with. ”you’re the love of my life.” or ”I’ve never met anyone like you.” these are hard to tell between good honest people who also say these things if they’re telling you all the exs were crazy that’s a red flag with these statements. With a narcissist, these words are used to hook you in or keep you hooked, even during the relationship if they haven’t anyone else lined up to continue using you.
Taking us out, we shower them with attention, we enjoy their company, and because we are giving them attention, they, in turn, enjoy ours.
In the beginning, they want to spend as much time as possible with us because we have something they want. They may send us lots of lovely messages when they are not with us, as soon as they leave for work, in their lunch break, so we don’t get a moment without them.
When that first issue within the relationship hits, the first disagreement, we know in our beliefs that relationships have ups and downs, and we can cling to those beliefs throughout the relationship.
Most narcissistic people, don’t know who they indeed are, so they go around stealing others qualities and passing them off as their own.
The idealisation stage and the above tactics plus many more. Open up our attachment system, and this is developed in early childhood with our primary caregivers, the attachment system if developed opens our ability to attach to another on an emotional and physical level. When you are emotionally connected to someone, it becomes harder just to walk away.
Somewhere narcissists don’t develop this attachment system, or they lose it, meaning they can simply walk away without a care.
We have object consistency developed within ourselves from early childhood, meaning we have the ability to care for others even when there is distance or conflicts, as we can maintain an emotional bond we can bounce back from the negatives and forgive them.
Narcissistic people are also often missing this object consistency, and they are unable to maintain deep emotional connections with others.
Fear plays a big part in keeping most people with a narcissist. Fear of letting the family down, fear of judgment from others, fear of failure, fear of mistakes, fear of losing our identity (which we’ve already lost so now our character is reliant upon the relationship.) fear of financial survival, fear of being lonely.
The narcissist keeps us trapped with their plays of reward and punishment, we fear their reactions and change who you are, walking on eggshells to please them, then when they reward with intermittent idolisation, it confirms in our mind that’s it’s our fault. (It was never your fault.)
Fear from threats they make that could be the covet. “You’ll wish you didn’t do that.” To the overt. ” you’ll never see the children again.”
Fear of where we’ll live, especially if they’ve taken over all the control of Our Finance’s .
The narcissist has a profoundly wounded ego, and they fear losing control, they fear to be inferior and unimportant. So they threaten others to keep their power, dominance and control.
Ego and pride, which also falls under fear, proud of your family, worries, judgment and prejudice from others, how could you of all people stay in an abusive relationship? Why could you not see? Why could you not help them? There’s got to be a way to help them and make this work, what can you do to change the dynamics of the relationship and make it work. You’re pride and ego is to help others, support others and do your personal best.
A narcissists pride and ego is to help themselves, and nobody falls in love faster than a narcissistic person who needs to prove to all others they are not the one at fault, why most will hop from relationship to relationship. Often before one relationship is over. (Caring hurt people can also jump into relationships; we all make mistakes and have errors in our own judgment.)
Guilt also plays a part, especially if you have a child with the narcissist.
A narcissist does not feel guilt, shame in a moment, which they will project their behaviour onto others to escape accountability and escape taking any responsibility, removing any feelings of shame.
Gratitude. They will continue through the reward stage shows, just nice they can be when we are under their control and acting how they want. As they are not bad all the time, meaning we can find the evidence of when they can treat us right. A narcissist can treat us better than anyone ever has while treating us worse than anyone ever has. We’ve lived the reality of when they treat us so well. They idolise, devalue and then discard, even those temporary silent treatment discards. They will over exaggerate the times they treat us well, and they will underplay, deny, blame-shift the times they mistreated us. Things like if they have destroyed property. “You made me do it.” Or “at least I didn’t punch you.” As they exaggerated all their good points and downplay all their bad point, you believe that if you try harder, then they do genuinely care and put effort into the relationship.
Empathy. As you have understanding and narcissist might say things like. “I wish I could be a better person for you.” Or “I’ll change with your help.” We have a lot of compassion, forgiveness and want to help heal people.
A narcissist either has very low levels of empathy or no empathy; they simply only act like they care if it meets a need of their own.
Financial control. Most will control you financially, they’ll either become dependent on you and suck you dry, get you into heaps of debt, some taking loans in your name without you knowing, or they’ll get you to give up your home and your job, so you’ve nowhere to go.
Narcissists believe they are entitled, their mindset is. “What’s yours is mine, what’s mines my own, and if I give you something that’s still mine.”
Lack of knowledge. Not knowing what we are indeed dealing with and who they truly are, believing we can help them and make it work, get back to what we had In the beginnings, while they slowly sink us and leave us confused. It’s hard enough for those who’ve lived it to understand it, and it’s even harder if you’ve never seen it before.
Reactive abuse, if they’ve prodded and poked and chipped away at you, even the best of people have their limit if you’ve reacted it’s hard not to blame yourself. They may have also filmed it to use it against you. The narcissist relies on your reactions so they can twist the story.
Cognitive Dissonance, this is where your beliefs don’t match your realities. Yet, as they show you one reality that matched your beliefs, especially in the beginning, it’s hard to see what’s truly happening and causes inner conflict within your own mind.
Beliefs. That you should stand by and help your parents that raised you, you should keep the family together, and children should have two parents together.
A narcissists Reality to them is a reality, and they do not care for others opinions. Narcissist beliefs are, they are better and more important than all others. They will seek to destroy those who don’t conform to their demands.
Gaslighting, this is an insidious form of mental torture, slowly designed to brainwash you over some time, not to be able to get to grips with reality, to confuse your state of mind, to leave you feeling crazy, anxious, lonely, depressed.
Narcissistic people use this to keep you trapped and to keep you hooked on them, to go to them for those reality checks.
Brain Damage., Mental abuse over a prolonged period of time causes brain damage, and it shrinks your hippocampus which houses your memory and with all the gaslighting it makes it incredibly hard to see and remember facts. It also grows your amygdala which houses your emotions, so all your feelings are in a constant state of high, good and bad, with the narcissist playing nice, those good emotions are heightened to an extreme. When they hurt you, those negative emotions are also heightened to extremes. So you end up running on lack of memory with an emotional rollercoaster of extreme highs and lows.
Human needs. As Tony Robbins said anything you do, any actions, feelings or emotions that meet three of your human needs, either, negatively, neutrality or positivity and you will become addicted. These are a certainty. You’re certain you’re in a relationship, uncertainty, you never know what’s happening next, significance, you are usually doing all you can to provide and help them, contribution, you give all of yourself to them and trying to make the relationship work, growth, temporary when you get it right, the relationship goes well. Those false promises from the narcissist have you believing they will change, and your dreams will come true. Love and connection, when they play nice, you feel loved, due to your empathy, attachment system and object consistency, you feel genuinely connected to them.
Narcissistic people fill their human needs in a negative, quick fix and sometimes violent ways. They feel significant, certainty and connection when they are threatening others.
Even if we were around a narcissist where those around us sensed something wasn’t quite right with them, told us to leave. As we could see the good side of the narcissistic person, now it could very well be the gaslighting and blame-shifting that makes us blame us. Still, we are aware and open to our own insecurities, vulnerabilities, faults and flaws, as we understand that we are not perfect as most of us are all imperfectly perfect in our own right, we simply care for others want to help those, want to understand more about them, don’t want to quit, until we’ve exhausted every single option to change, then and only then can we walk away and bolt the door shut to the past. Begin to learn more about ourselves, within ourselves of who we are, who we want to be, what makes us work, what makes us and others do what they do, feel how they feel, care on a deep level and learn to help ourselves first then those who want to be helped, and walk away from those who just seek to destroy others.
We have a great view of perceptions and can see others ideas, viewpoints, now a narcissistic person can only see their own, whereas we are open to ideas and taking on board other peoples points of view.
Now is the time to work on you, believe in you, you are worthy, you are special, you are loving, you are kind, you do deserve so much better, someone who is willing to try all they can to help these people, to hurt even though they know it’s time to walk away, to develop themselves and to learn, to let go of the past, to be able to look into it and understand it and move forward without regrets, you did all you could at those times with good intentions with the knowledge you had. You have
Trauma bonding with the narcissist.
Trauma bonds are both psychological and emotional, and you cannot just fall out of a trauma bond like you can fall out of love.
Trauma bonds are caused by the idealisation stages of the relationship with the narcissist, and your empathetic loyalty to those you care about. The manipulation you receive from, the love bombing, then abuse. It keeps you off balance and hoping for that nice narcissist to come back.
Traumatic relationships cause natural hormones to be released, like adrenaline, cortisol, in such high levels, it becomes addictive.
In the idealisation stage, and the love-bombing stages you get the dopamine hormone, that is so intense, and you simply become hooked on the dopamine release.
With this pattern of hormonal release, it becomes extremely addictive, within the body and the mind.
After the trauma bond has been created, it’s hard to stay away from the narcissist as we lose the intensity of these hormones. We often mistake ourself for being in love with the narcissist when we are not. It’s worse it’s a chemical and emotional bonding to the narcissist. We become dependent on them as a direct result of the abuse and inconsistency.
It’s the cycle of hormones, our body and mind have become so addicted to, and after being programmed by the narcissist, we are left hooked. It’s an addiction to the cycle rather than the person.
When we look at the facts and find them, we often no longer respect them. We don’t trust them, we may fear them. We don’t like how they behave. We probably not have much in common with them. This is not love, and never had been love. We don’t want the narcissist because you love them. It’s the trauma bond and programming of our subconscious mind that being in any form of relationship with them has now caused. We may think the narcissist will change to that person we first met, and the cam for a time, as it’s an act, they soon revert back to causing us a lifetime of pain. We can to try and justify to ourselves that we can help them, we can make it work, why we take them back. When we just need to realise that for our own peace of mind we must break free, as a narcissist will never change, they have a disorder, all of them is who they are, no excuses, they have a disorder.
If someone is hurting you, cheating on you, lying to you, undermining your confidence, telling people lies about you, gaslighting you manipulating you. They do not care about you. The Narcissist only cares about themselves. They are abusing you, and it is as bad as it seems to you. Truly listen to how they speak. It will always somehow revert back to them unless you catch them out. Then, of course, it’ll be twisted around to being all your fault.
There is no excuse for a narcissist to abuse you. They don’t love you, and you no longer love them, you need to do is break the trauma bond, which is hard.
To break the trauma bond, you need to talk to yourself and work out that the narcissist is abusive in so many ways, and they never change. You need to start living in reality. Accept the truth. Look at it for what it is. It’ll never change. You need to acknowledge that someone who loved and cared would not constantly treat you this way. They will not change. You need to realise that you do not like them. You have empathy and emotions you’re allowed to be upset and grieve, in fact, that’s a vital part of the healing process from the trauma bond. You’re losing something that was once valuable to you. Even if that person you first met never actually existed, just a narcissist hiding behind the mask-like a vampire hiding from the sun. A narcissist will draw every bit of your energy emotions and personality always from you often leaving you empty. That’s ok it happened because you’re a good person that likes to see the best in everyone, But what can you do about an empty glass. Yes, you can fill it back up. A building starts with foundations. You can build yours again, with more knowledge than you had before. Turn you into a better you. The narcissist would not help fix you if the narcissist was to smash a glass on the floor, so it’s completely broken. That narcissist can not come in say sorry to it in the narcissist’s way of “ I’m sorry you jumped out of my hand glass” and put it back together it’ll never happen. You’re allowed scars. Now picture that glass back together with pretty sparkly glue. Yes, exactly you’ll not go to who you were before, you can make yourself better than you were before with some added touches. You’ll be more aware of moving onto good people who don’t want to break you in the first place.
Feel how you feel now if it’s hurting you, your children or your family. If this is how you felt last year and you gave it another go, you know it didn’t work because here you are again. You can, and you will break this cycle and when you do your life will be amazing. Others have done it, and so can you.
Take each day as it comes. Start by living in the moment. Baby steps to help you get to where you want to be. You will feel better soon enough, and before you know it, you’ll feel great.
You need to create strong boundaries with the narcissist to gain your self-respect and lots of self-care. Who cares what they are saying, they just want to destroy you as narcissist hate seeing others happy as they can never be truly happy. You can be, and you will be. You can accept accountability they can not.
You also have empathy, so it’s ok that you wanted to help them change and be a good person. There is nothing wrong with you. But you do however need to realise that, you tried, you gave it your all, it’s breaking you, and you’re no longer a happy, confident person and you need to walk away from the narcissist forever. Then you need to put all that effort you put into trying to help them. That effort needs to be put into helping you. Yes, you can change. You changed who you once were for the narcissist so you can change to who you want to be now.
Yes, it’s hard, but you can do it. Acknowledge your feeling your allowed them. Writing them down, journaling can help.
Make a list of fantasy then write the reality it helps
Example. Fantasy “ They said they would cheat”
Reality “ They cheated.”
When you acknowledge it out loud or writing it down, it helps, the chemical component of the trauma bond will lessen over time, thus making it easier to move on.
Yes, it’s hard, but it helps break the trauma bond.
Stay strong and keep going. You can, and you will recover from this.
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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.
More information on what keeps people trapped.
Video to explain why not to argue with a narcissist.