Digging Into the Areas of Your Life Affected by Narcissistic Abuse
What areas of your life have been affected by the abusive experiences with a narcissist:
Were you dependent upon your abuser for financial assistance? Did the stress or depression of abuse affect your ability to take care of yourself financially? Did a court battle use up your resources? Did a court battle result in the narcissist bilching you out of resources? Has their refusal to pay their responsibilities for marital debt or child support caused you to fall behind and suffer financially?
Be very honest and realistic about where you stand financially. Ultimately, all we need to survive and be happy is to cover our ability to take care of ourselves and our children. If you find that you have stress in this area, consider all your options and develop a plan that will allow you to feel stable and peaceful. If once you’ve put your plan on paper and you realize that you’re lacking, follow through with steps to improve your situation in the meantime and include in that plan, your coping skills for dealing with the stress and pressure of financial strain.
Narcissistic abuse is a traumatic event. Most of us who are targeted by this human predator were not prepared to deal with such a departure from normal behavior that we’re left with a feeling of generalized feelings of not being safe, not knowing who to trust, looking over our shoulders and waiting for the other shoe to drop, realizing that narcissists are capable of the most dangerous behavior imaginable: stalking, harassment, death threats, electronic surveillance, theft, turning children against us, smear campaigning, ruining your professional reputation and credibility, lying and perjuring themselves to simply make their targets “pay”. They seeth with envy and retaliation to the worst degree is not beneath them, but in fact they’re rather capable of committing those atrocities with no remorse. The bottom line is, narcissists will steal your soul and identity from you for themselves, and will think nothing of leaving your empty carcass on the side of the road as they speed away towards their next victim.
Here’s a great piece on the emotional and psychological effects of trauma:
Our bodies feel the real effects of abuse. Many of us have PTSD, anxiety, depression and adrenal fatigue. We’re exhausted from fighting with someone who is energized by battle. Our bodies are in a hyper vigilant state, prepared for the next round – not knowing where it’s coming from or when, but sure that it WILL.
Two types of therapies that have received a lot of positive feedback in helping with recovery from NA are:
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy with eye movements or other forms of rhythmic, left-right stimulation. These back-and-forth eye movements are thought to work by “unfreezing” traumatic memories, allowing you to resolve them.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps you process and evaluate your thoughts and feelings about a trauma. While cognitive-behavioral therapy doesn’t treat the physiological effects of trauma, it can be helpful when used in addition to a body-based therapy such as somatic experiencing or EMDR.
One of the ways I’ve managed the physical symptoms of this abuse is to take part in DAILY exercise. A good aerobic workout helps you get all of your pent up energy of emotions like anger, anxiety and fear, out of your body. The commitment to your physical health and well being will pay off in spades for your emotions, mental well being and self esteem. The beauty of an exercise routine is that you can take control of your own body, you can do it at home and you don’t need an expensive gym membership or trainer to begin right away.
Here’s a link to awesome HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts that I build into my daily routine – they can be done right from the comfort of your own home. What’s even better is that this form of workout requires less time to burn fat than more traditional cardio workouts. HIIT Workouts from Fitness Blender
PTSD or Complex PTSD is an all too familiar by product of narcissistic abuse. While we don’t provide specific support for this symptom, we by no means are saying that it doesn’t exist or isnt an important element in healing, we simply rely on the support of friends of the page to tackle this issue head on and specifically focus their resources on this aspect of healing.
Please consider visiting this page for an indepth focus:
Many of our relationships are impacted by narcissism. Those relationships can be familial with our own families of origin, our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, aunts, nephews, nieces, cousins, uncles, etc. or they can be relationships with our own children or inlaws. The important factor here is to determine which relationship is causing YOU the most stress? Why is that stress present? Does the person possess a level of malignant narcissism (diagnosed or not) that poses a true level of frustration or uneasiness in your life?
It’s long been understood that when your boundaries are CROSSED, you will feel an immediate sense of anger. Your gut instinct will kick in and you will feel it – typically in your solar plexus, it will feel like a kick, a slight, a put down, a knee jerk response of angst to a behavior that is typically boundary busting.
You’ll have a chance to consider your boundaries under the “personal development” area, but there’s no better indicator of relationship areas that need improved upon than by using your boundaries as an indicator to what’s wrong.
Knowledge is power in this scenerio – for the more you learn about spotting not only narcissists, but other toxic people, your ability to spot them and act on your intuition will build your self trust and self esteem.
Continue to read and learn EVERYTHING you can about narcissistic personality disorder, understand the manipulative techniques they use to exploit your vulnerabilities to step over your boundaries and enter your life.
If you haven’t made the decision to go NO CONTACT – Please consider taking the power back and implementing this life changing decision! We have a special area of our page dedicated to No Contact goals and frequently post about the benefits of this technique for getting free from the narcissist that abused you.
It’s also important to note for those of us who have been nurtured / socialized to make relationships a priority, please consider your relationship with yourself FIRST and learn to bring discernment, moderation, balance and reciprocity to your relationships. Narcissists are very good at spotting people who make others and relationships a priority and will exploit this vulnerability which will result in your feeling abused by them.
To determine your attachment style in relationships consider this article:
After narcissistic abuse is the PERFECT TIME to focus on developing YOURSELF!
Being honest with and knowing yourself – the good, the bad, and the ugly is incredibly freeing. Use your courage to explore what drives you. What are your values? What motivates you? Ask yourself the tough questions:
How can you build back your self-confidence? How do you set boundaries? Do you know what your vulnerabilities are? What allowed a narcissist to take advantage of you? Was it Lack of self worth / esteem? Naivete? Did you give the benefit of doubt to someone who didn’t earn it through actions because you were focused on and flattered by words? What is it about your own ego that needed to be puffed up by words? This isn’t the area to delude yourself or live in denial. I assure you, self honesty won’t kill you – but it WILL give you the opportunity to improve yourself and areas of your mental and emotional functioning that hold you back from your best life.
Much of my recovery after narcissistic abuse was focused on my own deficiencies. From my upbringing with a narcissistic parent, I was able to identify a number of irrational thoughts that I had about “fairness, justice, honesty and love”. By identifying where my thinking set me up for disappointment and upset, I was able to catch those thoughts and redirect my emotions and behavior into healthier, more realistic responses.
Identify Your Own Irrational Thoughts
What things do you value in life? Are they tangible things like a job, a career, education, a home? Or is what you value less tangible like relationships, humanity, animal treatment, world hunger, etc.?
Many of us who are recovering from being the target of a narcissist, have long lived our lives for OTHERS. If we were raised by a narcissist or spent many years in the company of one who controlled us, we have learned how to put ourselves dead last. Telling targets to spend more time focusing outwardly goes against the spirit of what recovery from being a victim really means. I’d rather modify the advice to say, consider bringing FAIRNESS AND BALANCE into your sense of community. Your relationship with the world at large is one that you will realize narcissistic abuse has affected in that, your levels of trust for strangers and your worldview of the basic nature of others. Where we may have previously believed that “All people are good”, after narcissistic abuse, we’ll realize this no longer holds true. There are very BAD people in this world (narcissists and other psychopaths) and we will need to be prepared for an attack and how to deflect it with no harm to us.
One beautiful way to incorporate your new found beliefs into the community at large is to speak out about narcissistic abuse, tell your story, inform others and help them gain the knowledge that you’ve gained from having gone through this experience. Be there to validate and support other survivors. Your story could be the one told in such a way, with just the right details to impact and save another person from this trauma. Please remember to empathize with the pain and confusion of new survivors who upon first leaving a narcissist,are so engulfed in self hatred, possibly suicidal and lost. Reaching out and helping even if it is just to listen to another as they share their hurt is tremendously cathartic for you as well. This choice will allow you to realize that connecting with others can still feel good, can still be trusted. Sharing your time and resources with safe people enriches both of you. It takes a village to heal a target of narcissistic abuse.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit our community on Facebook, please check it out!
You don’t have to believe in God or a higher power to be spiritual.
You just have to want to get to know yourself and the powers that be a little better.
Personally, narcissistic abuse brought me closer to God. How? In my utter despair, I couldn’t came to terms with the reality that I could NOT do this by myself. My capacity to handle what I believe to be dark supernatural forces that the narcissist brings with them (evil) was not enough. I felt weak, unsure and so confused that only God was able to transform my faith into true hope and action. My reliance on God’s omniscience allowed me to suspend my own thinking and control (my own ego) allowed God to step into my life and take control of the steering wheel that finally steered me away from someone that was detrimental to my well being; my very life.
I’d never faced any addictions in my life, as I don’t think I have what psychologists would consider “an addictive” personality; HOWEVER, the relationship with a narcissist had very much engaged my “addictive tendency” to fixing the problem, my addiction to “righting the wrong” and ultimately my own repetition compulsion; my desire to fix my childhood wounds when presented with someone with similar mental disturbances to my original abuser.
There was NO WAY I could break the addiction without God’s intervention. For me, it is God who I believe in, but for you, it may be another higher power – just please if you don’t have one – FIND ONE. Im not advocating victimization, self blame or reinforcing the idea of unworthiness that you can’t do this alone, but rather, Im advocating realizing where your human capabilities sometimes are lacking in life and reaching out to a higher power helps to cement and patch up those limitations.