“Im Ready to Move ON!!!” – Why Does Recovery Take So Long?

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Speaking with other survivors / targets of narcissists, I’ve identified that there’s a common & rather grave concern about the amount of time it takes to recover from narcissistic abuse.

Recovery from this trauma waxes and wanes with such unpredictable and strong waves that it’s not difficult for even the seasoned “veteran” among us to get shaken up a bit by the years that seem to drift by while we’re  WORKING ON THINGS. It feels as if we’ll never get better.

Ptsd certainly presents a conducive hyper alert state anyway, triggers can result from the most unlikely sources and there you are, trembling – struggling to stand up to someone who’s bullying you, calling you names or threatening you or some other version of narc memories as if they’re happening currently in loud and vivid color.

The areas of our lives that are impacted by narc abuse are so far reaching that it deeply sinks into the cores of our beings, our identities – and stays with us like an unwelcome visitor. Not one area was NOT affected by this abuse: Our Emotional, Mental, Spiritual, and even Physical  lives forever altered by narcissism. It makes sense why each area of repair takes a very long time before we feel completely recovered from narcissistic abuse.

Life circumstances always seem to draw us back into the trauma. We vividly relive the moments we were muted and taunted by a terrorist who said they loved us.

Events on the job make us sensitive. Too many times, reminders exist in the office bully who finds you to be a sweet target. If we’ve mastered the art of avoidance, we run from job to job, hoping to find an environment that doesn’t threaten us.

People we bump into, socially remind us ever so slightly of the way the narc squinted, jerked quickly around in response to a remark, on and on, too many seemingly innocuous triggers to list.

We may have failed relationship after failed relationship, with one after another, and question what we are doing wrong – which leads us back to validating what the narc said about us all along – that we’d end up alone. We fear they’ll always have a hold on our future; this ghost of our past.

We may hear that the narcissist is up to their old tricks, getting away with their crimes all over again or hear that the narcissist is succeeding somehow and have feelings that the narcissist is doing so much better than we are: permanently scarred and traumatized, while they dance off into the sunset, unscathed.

We may have vengeful thoughts or desires for karma to hurry it’s arrival only to feel guilty for not forgiving or moving on sooner or “with more grace” or sportsmanlike conduct.

When did WE become OUR OWN ENEMY?

Is this a permanent flea we’ve picked up from the narcissist? Are we now tied forever to the darkest part of our lives?

Although we know we are responsible, how do we delete these memories or make them fade to black and white? How do we make them less powerful?

I didn’t use to be so fearful of people. I had the impression that every person I met would be a friend. Now, I worry that every person will be an enemy in sheep’s clothing. This protection seems to be a new requirement after narc abuse; for how can we imagine not building this boundary when to not do so, would be to our peril? Every person we are getting to know is a potential predator. Once we’ve been traumatized by a narcissist, our innocence is forever stolen.

The realization that it’s been SO DAMN LONG, is no other way to put it: DEPRESSING. I hear this time and again. When I share with someone who’s been out quite a long time, it surprises me to hear we share the same sentiment:  “When the hell is this going to be over!??” Again and again, I hear, “When you find “the cure” let me know!” These are people that I admire greatly and consider VERY STRONG people yet, they’re struggling to let go of fear, anger, retribution, and even hate.

I may not have all the answers, but I can honestly say, I am completely OPEN to God, to give me the answer to this one last piece of the puzzle…HOW DO WE PUT NARCISSISTIC ABUSE BEHIND US, 100%, ONCE AND FOR ALL?

Stay tuned . . .

Posted on May 16, 2014, in Narcissism. Bookmark the permalink. 83 Comments.

  1. My girlfriend Samantha Layne decided, after 1 and a half years of being together, she needed to find who she truly is and in doing so feels she cant be with me.

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  2. I live this daily. I went no contact May 31, 2016. He has stayed away but I hear he asks about me and even asked e friend to talk to me for him. She told him “NO”. I still can’t get him out of my head. I’ve tried everything. Hypnosis was a new suggestion I may try. Ugh. I wouldn’t wish this hell on anyone.

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  3. Omg its been 4 yrs for me. I’ve not had another relationship I’ve been working solidly on myself. The one area where I feel its still obvious that I am struggling to recover is my weight. I was always slim and fit before I met Narc but 3 years of being called “fatty” took its toll on me. I feel now I might be ready to start meeting new people but my weight is really putting me off doing so and no matter what I do I can’t seem to lose it. I was talking to a friend and she suggested that I am holding onto the weight as protection. To ward off anyone who might be superficial like a Narc. She could be right but its getting me down. So much so I found this site googling how to get over Narc Abuse after so long….

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    • Hi Monica,

      I know you posted in December, but I was just notified that you posted to this site and I felt inclined to respond to you. I hope you are doing okay since you wrote your note.

      You are not alone with not having been in another relationship since your Narc abuse. It has been three years for me, no relationship, and still struggle with trust. Some people jump right back in the frying pan after their Narc experience with someone else because they do not like being alone and soon discover they have repeated the Narc pattern once again. There are others who get involved after Narc abuse who may hit the jack pot with a “decent” person. But do those involvements last?

      The right path to healing is taking time out from having a partner in your life to fully grasp why the experience happened (people vary in the time it takes to heal). We must accept that it is “us” who needs to rewire our subconscious patterns, we simply will not enter into healthy relationships unless we realize that it is “us” who allowed these mentally disordered people into our lives in the first place. In other words, we have the power to control who we allow in our lives. If they are toxic, get rid of them. When the full blown narc abuse occurs it is usually when the disordered person has their victim all mentally prepped and ready to begin the nasty web of dysfunction and manipulation. Note: Narc’s or personality disordered people are aware of what they are doing.

      I was conceived by a narcissistic mother and psychopathic father. From the beginning, my mind was absorbing dysfunctional actions and speech from the people who were supposed to be my loving caretakers. That information became deep seeded into my subconscious. I have discovered that the psychological aspect as to why we allow personality disturbed people into our lives is due to the fact that our subconscious is familiar with the pattern of abuse. So we need to learn to identify quickly how these personality disordered people operate. Once you recognize these people you will see them everywhere. It really is disgusting how many of them there are amongst us.

      After that over-the-top, crazy, eye opener experience three years ago, I went back to get a second masters in behavioral therapy. I wanted to comprehend what occurred in that horrible involvement with that man and to prevent that insanity from happening again in my world. I also do not mind helping people who have suffered at the hands of personality disordered people, but I am mindful of my own self-care management. So Monica and anyone else, this is my note to you in hopes that you are moving forward and not remaining stuck wasting precious time reliving what the abuser left behind as his calling card. He/they are thieves who enjoy robbing good people of their goodness.

      Please seek out a life coach, they are awesome, that is the field I am in. You will notice that any weight gain will slip away as you move forwards and reach your goals. You will become who you are meant to be inside and outside. Your mindset will become strong. Please remember you are a beautiful person who deserves a man worthy of you.

      Hugs to all of you and speedy recovery.

      (My writing is not to be plagiarized, copied, or shared. I notice when I have commented on various blogs that there other posters who look for material to write about and copy what I have written. Readers be careful what you read as most posters on the Internet are not trained in the mental health field, but I like the ANA site).

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  4. I am going through the Same. I seriously need help. I am
    Blessed. I have good friends. I have my good son. I am
    Happier without my narc ex. Yet I struggle in my day to day activities. When will that day come where I ll
    Even forget my narc ex ever existed??

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