Overcoming Narcissist Abuse, By Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach.
If it is your parents you might have never truly known reality, or who you are, or if you survived childhood without narcissistic people to then get into a narcissistic relationship, they steal you mind, your reality, beliefs, passions, hopes, dreams and happiness is all wiped out of your mind and 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. Where your mind once was your left with so many negative emotions to deal with, overwhelmed, guilt, pain, anger, resentment, frustrated and disappointment.
You have been gaslighted, manipulated, lied to, violated and ridiculed, have yourself been taken apart bit by bit, your realities changed so many times, and you’re 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 of us will have already been isolated by the narcissist, yet once out, you might fear being misunderstood, from 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 the 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 new one. Start by connecting online if needed with those people who’ve lived it.
Anxiety is worry from fears, we can have rational anxieties, if you’re driving and a lorry comes toward you that’s rational, if you 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’re 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, the best revenge is a success. Create those new dreams and take the 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 partner. They 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 narcissists covert and overt put-downs, verbal abuse, criticism, we often then end up punishingourselvessabotaging our own dreams, goals, effortsand future. The narcissist leaves us feeling worthless within ourselvesand our own abilities, as we get programmed to go to them for reality checks, it becomesincredibly difficult to think for ourselves.
Steps to recover from self-sabotaging, write down what they said to you, then look at it from the Prospective 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 ware 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 Of the past for those who’ve not hurt you. Learn about you and to walk away from those negative people, surround yourself with those more alike yourself.
Emotions and memory as narcissistic abuse put you in a constant subconscious survival state of fight or flight, which this survival state is good on a temporary basis, 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 own emotions, 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 true 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 great psychological abuse to your mind, 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 know 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.
Overcoming Narcissist Abuse, By Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach.
Once out, we might even start to question ourselves as to why did we stay? Some of the most smart, intelligent, intuitive people who get entangled with a narcissist struggle to break free, and when they look back often remember those moments that they just knew something was off and questioned the relationship within themselves yet stayed, sometimes before any cracks even appeared, it’s extremely complicated as to why people stay, it’s hard enough for those who’ve lived it to understand why they would stay. Those who haven’t just don’t seem to get it.
Narcissistic people enjoy convincing you, you’re worthless without them, you’re nothing without them, you’ll never find anyone else like them, you’ll never be happy, you’ll never be loved, you’ll never be anything, you’ll never get yourself together, and you’ll never be free. They enjoy going around destroying people and making you think, so long as you behave all will be ok, yet as soon as you walk free all hell will break loose. Breaking free will save you, just do so carefully, you are worthy, you are special, you’ll find someone worthy of you, you will be happy, you will get yourself together, you will be free.
Unless people have lived life first hand with a narcissist they will never truly understand exactly what went on, and the ‘friendly’ advice of “why don’t you just leave.” Or how unhelpful that friendly advice is.
Why do people stay? the narcissists thinking, and what you can do if you’re trying to get out.
First is the love bombing, they start their manipulation from the very start, by mirroring you, matching you like for like, they are your perfect match, too good to be true. Yet we know this can happen. Two ‘normal’ 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 reality and it is perfect, this can start those doubts within ourselves before the relationship is a few months in, our instincts might kick in, as we can not see exactly what they are telling us and this partner is perfect, we look for outside reasons and excuses. hurts from past relationships. Blaming ourselves for having doubts. 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.
When that first issue hits, 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 truly are, so they go around stealing others qualities and passing them off as their own.
For the future, learn your boundaries, know when you need to say no and stick to your no, good people will not try to break your boundaries, your no will become a deal-breaker, learn who you are, asking yourself “who am I.” Activities and things you enjoy for you, learn to love yourself, raise your standards.
They open up our attachment system, 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 to just walk away.
Somewhere narcissists don’t develop this attachment system, or they lose it, meaning they can simply walk away without a care.
Take your time in future, don’t drag it out, yet don’t rush in, someone like you would be happy to take it slow and really get to know each other.
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 missing this object consistency, they are unable to maintain deep emotional connections with others.
Write down all those times they’ve hurt you, not been there for you, walked away from you, caused you pain, every time you doubt yourself, look at it and remind yourself who they truly are.
Fear plays a big part in keeping most people with a narcissist. If that narcissist is a family member or a partner.
Fear of letting the family down, fear of judgment from others, fear of failure, fear of mistakes, fear of losing your identity (which you’ve already lost so now your identity is reliant upon the relationship.) fear of financial survival, fear of being lonely.
The narcissist keeps you trapped with their plays of reward and punishment, you fear their reactions and change who you are, walking on eggshells to please them, then when they reward it confirms in your mind that’s it’s your 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 you’ll live especially if they’ve taken overall control of finances.
The narcissist has a deeply wounded ego, they fear losing control, they fear to be inferior and unimportant. So they threaten others to keep control.
Fear is one of the biggest things in life that keeps people trapped in all areas, fear of failure, fear of success. Now it’s not so easy when you’re being threatened, but when you jump over fear, stop thinking about the worst that could happen and start focusing on the best, stay safe, don’t let them know you’re leaving, get out safely, start calling authorities now, get protection orders, refuges. All the help and support you can.
Fear of judgment, it’s time to start thinking, “who cares what others think. I’m a good caring person with good intentions.” they have not lived your life, good people will support you, those who judge you have their own issues and they are not for you.
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, 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 hip from relationship to relationship. (Caring hurt people can also jump into relationships, we all make mistakes and have errors in our own judgment.)
Learn you are far from alone, narcissistic people have tried to destroy some of the most loving, empathetic, intelligent people. People will understand you, people have had eerily similar experiences and know how you feel.
Guilt, also plays a part, especially if it’s your parents, or you have a child with the narcissist.
A narcissist does not feel guilt, shame in a moment, which they will project to escape accountability and escape taking any responsibility.
You have to let the guilt go, or it’ll eat you up, remember what you did in given moments was with the right intentions, forgiveness is for you, forgive your past mistakes, let them go and take the lesson with you. None of this was your fault, you did what you believed to be best at that moment in time.
Gratitude. They will constantly though the reward stage shows you how nice they can be when you behave. As they are not bad all the time, meaning you can find the evidence of when they are good, you’ve lived the reality of when they treat you so well, they are the person that treats you better than anyone ever has, yet worse than anyone ever has. They idolise, devalue and then discard. They will over exaggerate the times they treat you well, and they will underplay, deny, blame-shift the times they treated you badly. Things like if they have destroyed property. “You made me do it.” Or “at least I didn’t punch you.”
Narcissist believes they deserve to get without having to give.
Write down the negatives. Ask yourself. What did they truly do for me?
Empathy. As you have high levels of empathy and narcissist might say things like. “I wish I could be a better person for you.” Or “I’ll change with your help.” You 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.
Turn inwards and give your empathy to you, help you heal, put yourself first then you’ll give the best of yourself to those who deserve you.
Altruism. 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 the effort into the relationship.
Blame. As the project all their faults into you, and blame shift all those negative, you are lead to believe it’s all your fault.
Changing reality on you. As you live the two faces of the narcissist, the admiration face and the envy face, the one where they shower you to get admiration and the one where they destroy you as they are envious of you, you live, see and believe the realities which leave you conflicted.
The switch reality to suit them, often believing their own lies, you will not get the whole truth from a narcissist in a straight way, they might tell on themselves yet this is never directly.
Write down the reality of what truly happened.
Trauma bonding. Due to those highs and lows of the relationship that release cortisol from the lows and the stress and dopamine from the highs, you become addicted to the abuse from the natural chemicals released into the body. You are in essence weaning yourself off a drug.
Narcissistic people are addicted to hitting those highs, and will constantly look for new targets to achieve these or addictions.
No contact is the best, if you have children, grey rock, so limited contact, need to know the information. Business like, boring, get yourself some new hobbies, new routines, things that fill your time in positive ways.
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.”
Call helplines to find somewhere safe to go, the step of getting out is the most important, the rest will follow, you can and you will build yourself back you, change passwords on your bank, take passports and important documents with you. Try to save some money on one side, if you can do so safely.
Repetition compulsion. If you’ve had a similar relationship in past that failed and didn’t get the knowledge as to why you try your best to heal the past by making sure it doesn’t happen again.
Narcissistic people have a pattern, a pattern of repeat, and they blame others, the problem is never within themselves.
Learning who you are, understanding that nobody deserves to be abused no matter what. Knowing and re knowing until you get it. This was never your fault.
Lack of knowledge. Not knowing what you are truly dealing with and who they truly are, believing you can help them and make it work, whilst they slowly sink you and leave you confused. It’s hard enough for those who’ve lived it to understand it, it’s even harder if you’ve never seen it before.
Some narcissistic people know exactly who they are and are extremely calculated in what they do, others it’s instinctive and impulsive.
Learning about the disorder, understanding what you’ve been through, that it did not start with you, it will not end with you, you can not help them, you can, however, help you.
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 to not 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, children should have two parents together.
A narcissists Reality to them is a reality, 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.
Writing down both realities you lived, understanding the difference, knowing that you don’t want to live that way anymore, learning about your beliefs and who you are.
Gaslighting, this is an insidious form of mental torture, slowly designed to brainwash you over a period of time, to not 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.
Write down things that are said, so you can look for your own reality checks, look for obstacles you’ve overcome in the past, find the positives in life. Know you are not crazy you just fell for someone who drove you to the point of no longer knowing who you are. This is a new chapter to walk free, deal with the emotions, understanding your emotions and you better, learn about yourself, develop who you are.
Brain damage, Mental abuse over a prolonged period of time causes brain damage, 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 emotions are in a constant state of high, good and bad, with the narcissist playing nice, those good emotions are heightened to an extreme, then 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.
Once you walk free, these can begin to go back to there normal size, this takes time, it’s happening though so trust and believe in you, you can piece reality back together and you can level your own emotions back out again, it is possible people have done this before you and you can do this to.
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 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 and those false promises from the narcissist has 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 truly 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.
Fill your needs with you, start working within, love and connect within yourself, and find new hobbies that fulfil these needs.
A couple of last theory’s that is my personal opinion. Even if you were around a narcissist where those around you sensed something wasn’t quite right with them, told you to leave. Tried to explain its time to get out and stay out. You could see the good side of the narcissistic person, now it could very well be the gaslighting and blame-shifting that makes you blame you, but you are aware and open to your own insecurities, vulnerabilities, faults and flaws, as you understand that you 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 greatness within you and miss the time to develop it for you.
Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse, By Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach.
The two faces of narcissism, the admiration seeking, and the rivalry. The two conflicting realities you end up living.
The first person you meet is the admiration seeking narcissist, and you live the reality of this time.
The admiration face, be it overt, covert, grandiose, victim, somatic or cerebral, all narcissists want to be admired. To feed their own sense of superiority, to feel special, unique and powerful, they throw massive tantrums when these needs are not being met. Most people want to feel special and loved. Deep down narcissistic people do not trust in others, and doubt they can be loved due to various possible reasons, either a trauma in early childhood, which takes them into the fight survival mode, lacking in the development of object consistency which is formed in the mind by around the age of 2 or 3 meaning people can care about others even if there is a distant, disagreement or hurt, narcissists are missing this object consistency. They might have never developed the natural attachments systems to others in infancy, where they form a bond with the primary caregiver, they might have never developed empathy or limited empathy to truly care for others, or something happened so they removed empathy from within themselves, or simply deep down as they know they are all about themselves they believe others are too, as they destroy others they believe others are out to destroy them, kill or be killed mindset.
Deep down they are empty, feel insecure and worthless, yet they are not brave enough to bring these insecurities and vulnerabilities up and heal these wounds within themselves, as that inner true self is so painful, they long for admiration from those around them. Narcissistic people do actually want to feel loved, and they definitely want and need admiration, why in the Beginning they come on so strong, yet as they don’t know who they truly are within themselves, they mirror others, they will choose a target out of desperation to be with someone, also because they see a quality within that person that they admire and want, so they will mirror you.
The love bombing phase.
Love bombing is cruel and sometimes calculated manipulation when someone tricks you into believing they are something that they are not. You get lavished with, gifts, attention, time, effort, emotions, flattery and grand gestures, they like all your likes, and dislike all your dislikes, fill you with false dreams. Learn all about you from your deepest insecurities to your favourite foods, they, in essence, turn into you, they match you like for like, leading you to believe you’ve met the one, your soul mate and all your dreams have come true. It’s all manipulation, to feed you a reality that they can never fully deliver, it’s easy to spot when you know what to look for, not so easy when you don’t and believe and trust that others all have good intentions. Love bombing is used to create feelings of obligation within the target.
Once the narcissist realises the target is human and has flaws, and can not live up to the excessive demands of admiration the narcissist needs to keep their true selves hidden and keep their ego stroked, as love can not sustain them alone, they can not grasp the ideas of mutual acceptance or that others have flaws and no one is perfect, communication, boundaries, respect, compromise. They are very tunnel-visioned and only see it their way. Love feels unsafe to them, they feel they can control admiration.
The admiration face.
I am great.
I am special.
I am perfect.
I know how to handle people.
I am powerful.
I am better than all the others.
They don’t go straight out and say it. They instead put on the charm to draw you in, or the woe is me so you empathise with them, want to help them, as they are treating you so right, you couldn’t imagine anyone would want to hurt them, if you’ve been hurt in the past you can relate to them.
This love bombing phase is your reality at that moment, it might well be an act and a trap on their part, as you can not see the act to you it’s real, and it builds you up to living in such an amazing high.
As they believe in their own greatness, they have a magnetic pull to them, and those who don’t fully understand them are charmed and taken in by them. If you don’t know and don’t understand it’s extremely easy to fall for the love bombing. As they swoop in and sweep you off your feet, your not aware this person is bad for you until you’re in too deep. Then when reality hits of how toxic they are, it’s hard to break free as you’ve lived the time when they treated you so right.
The real person is the rival narcissist.
A narcissist sees all others as rivals to them, they are extremely jealous and envious people, when someone is getting something they want, or the narcissistic person sees the target as doing better than them and seeks to destroy.
When they are not getting their own way, as they feel entitled, they take this as a deep criticism and the tantrums begin, slowly breaking down your boundaries, with triangulation, pity plays, guilt trips, and more, this is usually done slowly over time, with the added gaslighting which is psychological manipulation making the target lose their own reality, they seek to take out those who they feel are not severing them as they should, not admiring them as they should.
As they feel shame, and they do not like the feelings of shame for the things they do, they blame shift and project, to escape responsibility, often telling that many lies they believe their own reality.
The more the manipulate targets into doing exactly what they want, the more the target loses a part of who they are, leaving the target, hurt, confused and often alone as the narcissist will have most likely isolated them.
Yet when the target does get something right the narcissist will offer intermittent plays of the nice side, to confuse the target even more.
The narcissist slowly devalues the target, through put downs, either covert. ” are you really going out in that.” To the overt. ” you look awful in that.” Taking you down bit by bit, criticising, where you go, what you do, how your treat them, how you treat others, what you do wrong, then when they need you again they lift you back you.
You end up so lost and confused as to who you are, who they are, often isolated so you only have them to go to for a reality check, leaving your reality even more confusing.
The rivalry face.
I am better than all the others.
I want others to fail.
I need to be the centre off attention.
Everyone should take care of me.
They also might not straight out hit you. (Some do, and some don’t.) this can leave you even more confused.
Living with the nice narcissist and the evil narcissist is confusing, you’re in the twilight zone, living in fear walking on eggshells to avoid an outburst if you don’t do right by them.
You are manipulated from the start, in the middle and the end, even after you break free they come at you with further manipulation and games.
It’s painful, confusing and causes so many psychological problems within your own mind.
To heal, recover and move forward, understanding the disorder and what effects it has on you, and learning to understand yourself, learning who you are. Your beliefs, your human needs, your boundaries, so those red flags become deal breakers.
Overcoming Narcissist Abuse, By Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach.
Even the best of people have their own limits, those who are good, kind, generous, loyal, loving people have their limits, we are human after all. When people chip away at you, push all your buttons, use all your insecurities and weaknesses against you, send you into a state of fear, anxiety and depression, most people react, to try and release all the stress, heartache, pain and emotional build-up, only this then ends up with us feeling worse, as we are left feeling like we are to blame, guilty, and more lost into who we truly are.
Definition of reactive abuse.
Reactive abuse happens when someone who’s been abused, manipulated or controlled, either physically or psychologically, reacts to their abuser, standing up for themselves, either by screaming, shouting, slapping, spitting, throwing things, either throwing insults with the words or lashing out physically. That’s all the abuser needs to then blame it all on the one they’ve been provoking.
Why they use it?
A narcissist will provoke you, to get a reaction from you, just so they can blame it all on you.
The real victims often then believes they are at fault, the narcissist will only ever tell their side of the story to others in the smear campaign, the one where you looked bad, what you did to them, what you said to them, they’ll not tell people the lead up to what happened, its just further manipulation to play the woe is me victim to those around them and make you feel like your in the wrong and need to apologise.
abusers love the reactive abuse as it’s proof in their minds, that the person who reacted is unstable and crazy, that the one who’s reacted is mentally ill, they will use it against you for years to come, narcissistic people rewrite their own history, they change the stories they tell themselves, they are never accountable, they tell so many lies they often believe their own lies and reality, and they will use reactive abuse against you for years to come.
They have been known to.
Install cameras in the home, and edit footage.
Film reactions and show others.
Edit their messages out and show others.
Call the family to calm you down.
Call friends to come and help.
Give you the silent treatment before a special occasion, then when you arrive they are good and you look grumpy.
Take to doctors to get you on antidepressants.
Call the police.
The innocent party is the one who often makes excuses for the narcissist’s behaviour and is often left blaming themselves, a narcissist might do this but in another twisted manipulative way, where the true victim might say, In the beginning “if I’d have not done this then they wouldn’t have done that.” Or “they are tired.” Things like. “I’ve not been at my best.” A narcissist will say. “I did all I could they just abused me.” Or “I tried to help they are crazy.” A narcissist will always play the victim for years to come.
ways they will cause reactive abuse? First, they provoke, then they gaslight, project and, blame shift.
They will provoke, prod and chip away at you.
They will start an argument out of fresh air.
Say backhanded insults.
Use your insecurities against you.
Lie to you.
Change events on you.
Triangulation with other people.
Say blatant hurtful things.
Upset the children.
Upset you any way they can.
Threaten family and friends.
Then when you get upset, they will escalate the situation until you snap. You’re then left feeling bad for lashing out, saying hurtful things, being angry, and you apologise and do your best to make it up to them. Even though you know your reactions were wrong, you end up blaming it all on you, not paying attention to the part they played.
We can not control what they say or do, even when the relationships are over, we can however, learn to control our reactions.
They trick you into it.
The worst part is, your reactions are your reactions, fooled or not, and we have to own up and take responsibility for our own actions as that’s something they are Incapable of and what separates us from them.
Who started what is irrelevant, if you are with someone who brings out the worst in you, (even the most caring people have a breaking point.) a narcissist will argue with anyone and everyone, if you’re behaving out of character around certain people, if they bring out a side you don’t like about yourself, it’s time to break free.
They will trick you into reacting, so you are fully aware your not perfect. ( no one is.) they will threaten to tell others as they know you are not happy with your own behaviour as it’s not like you. They know you feel worse about yourself, they wear you down, slowly over time, so you no longer feel good enough. You lose your integrity and stay trapped in the cycle of abuse.
Gaslighting is an insidious form of psychological manipulation where the abuser gets the target to question their own reality and sanity, they will gaslight you with things like.
” you’re just insecure,” if you think they are cheating.
“I was only joking.” They were not, but to escape accountability and pin the blame on you.
“It didn’t happen like that.” It did but they want you to forget what they did.
“You’re losing your mind.” Again so you think you’re going crazy and blame it all on yourself.
“I never did that.” They did, they just want that part wiping from your memory.
Projection is a defensive mechanism, commonly used by abusers, they are defending themselves against unconscious, traits, beliefs, actions, to escape accountability, it’s a combination of blame-shifting and gaslighting, distracting the target from what is really happening, whilst getting the target to blame themselves. Things like. “you started it, accusing me, then who knows what you’ve been up to.” or. “If you didn’t talk down to me, you’re always having a dig at me.”
Blame shifting, this is when the narcissist has done something wrong, then they dump all the blame onto the target, to avoid any feelings of remorse or shame, also to escape accountability. They will play the victim, downplaying or avoidance of what they did, and making what you did to be far worse. They bring up your tone of voice, or how you spoke down to them, as they know you have a caring emphatic side, they will guilt trip or pity play, there could be the accusations, covert ” if you hadn’t I wouldn’t.” to the overt ” you hit me, you abused me. I did nothing wrong.”
After provoking a reaction from you, where you’d like to communicate with them, some will go into the silent treatment, either the one where they stick around, ( the present silent treatment.) or where they disappear, they want you to beg and plead for forgiveness, Silent Treatment is psychological torture, and causes great pain to the brain, you’re left looking to yourself as to what you did wrong, how you can make it up to them, and when you do, they’ll bring back the intermittent niceness as a reinforcement to your mind, that you were wrong and they were right, leaving them to believe their realities, and you questioning yours.
This all leads to cognitive dissonance, the target ends up full of self-blame, self-doubt, feeling like they are the narcissist, feeling unworthy, feeling grateful, that the narcissist who’s a bully and a con artist will take you back, changing who you are time and time again to please them, trying to help them whilst you slowly lose who you are. When you can see different realities, one that matches your beliefs and another that is constantly being rewritten on you, it’s hard to see it whilst you are living it, it takes time to work it out once you break free.
If you’re still with or around someone who brings out the worst in you when you think. “This isn’t me, this isn’t how I behave.” That’s when you have to take note of the people you are surrounding yourself with, and change something, when you’re not being true to yourself, when you are constantly questioning yourself and your own integrity, this is what narcissistic people want, they want you to be confused, to feel like you’re going crazy, to keep you out of reality and in their reality, unfortunately, most become in such a trace that by the time they start to wake up, they are trauma bonded, scared, or don’t have the means to leave, plenty have left scared, got out safely, left with nothing and are living much happier lives, it’s all taking that first step, make the choice for you, for your health, wealth and happiness, change one thing at a time and it’ll change everything for you.
What can you do?
If you can no contact, get out safely and go no contact.
If you are still with them, or for whatever reason can not go any contact, have children with them? Is a boss? (If you can change job do.) or would mean cutting other family members out, respond do not react, the best method is the three R’s, Retreat, Rethink, respond, and only respond if you really need to, keep response to the point, say it once and do not let them take you off-topic, avoid being alone around them, avoid spending too much time around them.
Stop the blame game, it’s the past its irrelevant now, blaming keeps it in the present, you need to focus on the here and now and create new visions and dreams for you, holding onto, anger, resentment, guilt, pain, regret, will only harm your future, let it all go, for no one else other than you. Learning all about the disorder, who they are, why they do what they do, gives you better understanding in healing and how to handle ones in you life on the low end of the spectrum, also how to avoid them in the future, you also need to focus on building your life back up, to who you want to be, and how you want to live.