Narcissistic Abuse – Why Does It Take So Long to Heal?


Psychological trauma is the damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a severely distressing event like emotional and psychological abuse.

One of the debilitating aspects of this abuse that is so damaging to targets/victims is the trauma or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from being in this relationship! DEFINITION: Trauma means “injured” AND the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds a person’s ability to cope or integrate the emotions involved with that experience. A traumatic event involves one experience, or repeating events with the sense of being overwhelmed that can be delayed by weeks, years, or even decades as the person struggles to cope with the immediate circumstances. Eventually this can lead to serious, long-term negative consequences that can even be overlooked by mental health professionals especially if psychological abuse is at the root of problem but not actualized as trauma inducing.

This is very important for targets/victims of this abuse because if the clinician fails to look through a trauma diagnosis to isolate the problems as they relate to current or past trauma, they may fail to see that trauma victims, young and old, organize much of their lives around repetitive patterns of reliving and warding off traumatic memories, reminders, and affects. This is very true for many targets/victims that have not addressed the trauma correctly and the negative messages and associated trauma becomes imprinted on their minds for many years. The trauma will trigger memories of the abuse and pull the target/victim right back into the debilitating feelings associated with the abuse. This may not always be on a conscious level but in the sub-conscious where it is always available unless we disable it and enable our old and real belief systems that life is good.

Normal bonding is a biological and emotional process that makes people more important to each other over time. Unlike love, trust, or attraction, bonding is not something that can just be lost or abruptly stopped at will. It is cumulative and only grows and increases but rarely decreases. Bonding naturally grows with spending time together, living together, eating together, being physical, having children together, and even during stress or difficulty. Bad times bond people just as strongly as good times, and sometimes more so.

Bonding is in part why it is harder to leave an abusive relationship the longer it continues. The bonding makes it hard to enforce normal and even healthy boundaries, because it is much harder to stay away from people we have strongly bonded with. An important point to understand is that when leaving a long relationship, it is not always useful to base your decision to leave by how hard it is to break this bond, because it will always be hard. This is especially true in an abusive relationship. Secondly with an abusive relationship only YOUR bond was/is real and based solely on the growth through YOUR love for this person. There was no love reciprocated with a Narcissist just a need to use you as supply or objectify you to meet his/her needs. Leaving or moving on for a Narcissist is a simple act once they have found new or better supply!

Moreover, experiencing extreme situations and extreme feelings such as abuse tends to bond people in a different way. ‘Trauma bonding’ is a term that defines this bond when a person has experienced abuse in a seemingly loving relationship like one with a Malignant Narcissist because of the continual shifting to blaming and the devaluation involve. The ‘love bombing’ in reality is ‘love bonding’ that creates the connection to the Narcissist even though it wasn’t real. So unfortunately the target/victim plugs all of their normal AND learned life experiences into this love – TRUST being right on top of the list. With the devaluation, the distorted and negative aspects of this love also bond and this changes the reality to accepting the good, the bad and the ugly or basically submitting to the abuse because of the extreme manipulation and control methods of the Narcissist

A good example of this distorted love is if a child grows up in an unsafe/abusive home. It makes unsafe situations in the future have more holding power and almost acceptable because it is what they know and have accepted as their normal. This example has a basis beyond any cognitive learning and it is neither rational nor irrational. If targets/victims can come to see that part of the attraction or falling in love included this dysfunctional or irrational bonding, while very unwanted and horrendous, it became a natural process or basically surviving because of this distorted love/abuse. Then maybe they will be able to understand the reality of the dysfunction and manage the situation more intentionally with understanding the reality of the situation or the ‘trauma bonding.’ We have to dig down very deeply to break this negative attachment and the distorted messages.

Intense relationships where distorted love is involved tend to hijack all of the target/victims relating capacity and rationale. It is like a continual state of being so worn out, managed down and burnt out AND always feeling a need or in the position to fix the wrongs to make it right again by accepting the blame ALWAYS! You forget what is really right as it concerns you because you are always having to explain, react, and keep a peace to keep your sanity. Becoming attached or falling in love with a very chaotic and inconsistent person makes it simply impossible to form a consistent reality based connection that goes beyond the feelings of fear, loss, the worthlessness that was imposed on you, feelings of blame and shame, or even normal and good memories beyond the trauma that comes with devaluation. When separated from the abusive partner, the urge to make contact is usually intense because it is the chaotic connection that is alive and makes the connection with them (as horrendous as it is) tolerable in any circumstance. In simpler words your normal reality has been manipulated and managed down to accept a role where you operate within the dysfunction because it has desensitized your rationale.

This is the bond with them and in reality it has always been this way with the Narcissist. Love connected you to this first and that love was manipulated in a manner to manage you down and control you completely. This is hideous dehumanization and such an intense betrayal to a normal human being that if not corrected it can diminish and disable the target/victims perspective of the world, people, and love through their entire life. True recovery requires such a deep desire to dig down deep inside and dispel EVERYTHING that this Narcissist has damaged. It is just not falling out of this distorted love.

Some of the signs and symptoms of being stuck with this trauma. The target/victim and survivor can come to find that it is almost impossible to relate to anyone, even family or friends, except superficially. This trauma creates a feeling of being totally alone, and totally empty, and very damaged. Then is seems that going back to the primary abuser will help you overcome it or fixing this to make everything right again AND release from the pain associated with being separated from them. It SEEMS normal in this state of trauma to believe that even though something is so horribly wrong that leaving isn’t an option even though it is real and there is something horribly wrong with staying. Most of the relationship was a huge manipulation that managed you down to accept a submissive role, feel shame, etc., and then processing all of this along with that blame AND real love you believed in. You didn’t outwardly accept this distorted love, you were TRICKED/CONNED into it or psychologically abused. The Narcissist said to you in the beginning “I love you,” he/she didn’t say “I love you and I am going to ABUSE you,” but that was their agenda.

To go a bit further complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a common problem for survivors of abusive relationships. The symptoms which are many include a feeling of emotional numbness or feeling like one of the walking dead. You feel like you are completely engulfed and surrounded with this self-protection like the aftermath of a destructive tornado that completely destroyed your entire house. In reality it is despair. You lose faith, hope, joy as well as the love you THOUGHT was real. This was all real to you, the memories, the time together, the emotions and everything else that you were conned into believing. It is a hideous abuse because you gave love, you believed in love, you believed in them, you gave yourself completely to this love because this is what we grew up believing was normal and then this Narcissist destroyed this image of real love and damaged this belief so completely that you are trying to heal from this.

That complete distorted thought process has to be removed from your psyche to rebuild your belief system. It is a matter of realizing now that there are two types of love, ‘real’ and ‘abusive.’ It is compartmentalizing and understanding that real love can and does exist as well as predators and distorted love. It is putting your trust back into yourself so that your new lessons will keep you safe from one of these monsters should you encounter one again. It is also you putting your trust back into yourself so that you can establish a real life that includes REAL love. It is you believing more in yourself than allowing this abuse to define you forever.

Now a little further! There are many obstacles and many distorted messages or the feeling of being in shock. Unfortunately this is a normal part of the process that is directly related to the abuse that requires some time, education, and deep soul searching to correct. Why are we in shock when we had a real sense of this? Well we didn’t want to believe that we were basically with a destructive monster and we were only justifying, apologizing, fixing, and living in the shadow of fear and control. Who wants to believe that the love they invested in is such a total sham or abuse? Who even knows how to believe in a manner that precludes all reality and a belief system we all grew up with that allows people to love normally. It sounds like brain-washing and basically it was. It is necessary to correct this trauma to destroy the negative messages and purge the blame from this Narcissist out of our heads – and it is of vital importance to do this in the beginning or whatever stage you are at now! Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen and many stay locked up in this trauma their entire lives.

If I could give an example of a devastating shooting at a school where lives are lost. What is the first thing that is done after the event? The school provides the surviving students with trauma counselors so that the trauma doesn’t manifest itself in the survivor’s lives forever. Overcoming this hopelessness from the trauma doesn’t happen overnight, it takes intervention, hard work and awareness or defining it for what it is – TRAUMA. No one ever imagines they will be witness to a terrible shooting, nor do we believe we will be in an emotionally/psychologically abusive relationship with a Narcissist, but both are real and both yield trauma. We are aware that these situations can happen, but we don’t have the tools right there with us to recover if we experience such a traumatic event. It also takes a willingness to try, fail and still persisting to get through this. Most importantly, it takes a strong will to have self-compassion to fix yourself to move forward. Another important aspect is realizing that the abusive Narcissist is not part of this equation. They were/are the attacker in this situation that acts out to harm good and unsuspecting people. As personal as this situation was, as well as how this love felt familiar and real, you are still dealing with a highly disordered creature and a predator. This is self-help not yourself and the Narcissist’s help. They will only bring more trauma into your life and pull you back into the abuse.

You CAN be in control of this situation! BUT you will slow your progress to a screeching halt if you go to the trouble of fulfilling the no contact rule and then obsess about making contact. It totally defeats the purpose of no contact if you keep an ongoing dialogue and connection. As they say you can’t see the forest for the trees!

Think about the reason why you may obsess about these monsters and make contact. It is because we want them to validate all of that emotional expenditure that we provided through loving them and NOW the pain and having to grieve the abuse and some sort of closure! It won’t happen because this Narcissist would have NEVER put you in this position in the first place if he/she REALLY knew love or better yet REALLY loved you. REMEMBER they are ABUSERS and they aren’t going to turn around and fix this or you because their agenda was to control, disable and harm you. If you think they are going to suddenly realize your worth, when no other human being in this world has any worth to them beyond an object to use, then you need to do a reality check until you get to the point that you understand that they are destructive and dangerous to you and your life.

Seriously ask yourself if you could imagine your Narcissist saying: “I’ve been emotionally unavailable, I’ve had NUMEROUS affairs, I intentionally manipulated you, gas-lighted you, tried to drive you to the point of insanity, ignored and silenced you, blamed you for everything, projected darkness onto and into you, constantly ignored your needs, used you, extorted and stole from you, and made your life a living hell AND I WAS ABUSIVE. Then imagine them saying that they suddenly realize your worth and how valuable you are to them and they want to be together with you to fix ALL OF THIS. First why would you want a person that has taken you down so far to ever be any part of your life and secondly they are NOT emotionally available for you or anyone and they are off and abusing their next target/victim! They are like criminals living out a life of crime. Don’t forget how they smeared you, your name and then tried to destroy your integrity to avoid exposure and the truth of what they are. How could you forget ANY of this in a manner to accept them back into your life – and then how many times have you accepted them back into your life to end up abused over and over again. You must move TOTALLY on and away from them being anything in your life. Forget them completely so you can start recovering because it is integral in surviving this abuse AND moving forward.

To truly move forward to recovery you can’t make your abuser (the Narcissist) the focal point of your life AND your recovery. They are what they are and you have had personal experience which more than enough defines their character and agenda! You have to make YOU the focal point of YOUR life. This time of grieving, healing, and regrouping with you is an opportunity to get real about the relationship that has just ended and you have to look at you and your relationship with open eyes and the reality that it was abuse. So many times, I have heard targets, victims, and survivors say that they want to be able to get past it all, to move on, and they want it all to just be over with so they can live again. The wanting is only part of the battle, a very important part, but the rest of it takes longer and demands introspection, education, support and the need to accept that this Narcissist was AND always is a potential danger if you let them be any part of your thoughts OR life. There is no magical kiss from the prince/princess Narcissist that will awaken you from this this doom, because they are the one that gave you the apple that poisoned you in the first place! Your own care, love, and self-compassion will awaken you and return you back to a fulfilling and real life!

Now some clinical information about the Common Features of PTSD from emotional/psychological abuse. These are consistent symptoms that identify the abuse as a psychiatric injury and different from a mental illness. That is an important differentiation to make so that you don’t internalize a message that says you cannot overcome the effects of the trauma and live with it as YOU being the sick one. The Narcissist is definitely the dysfunctional person in this equation that disabled you!

• An overwhelming desire for acknowledgement, understanding, recognition and validation of their experience.
• Fatigue with symptoms similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
• Extreme anger from feeling the injustice and almost seeming ‘manic’ instead of motivated for recovery purposes, “obsessive” instead of focused, and “angry” instead of passionate to fix yourself and regain order and reality in life.
• A desire for revenge.
• A tendency to cycle between reconciliation/forgiveness and anger/revenge where objectivity and reality become a causality.
• Feeling extremely fragile, where formerly the person was of a strong, stable character.
• Numbness, both physical and emotional (inability to feel love and joy.)
• Clumsiness.
• Forgetfulness.
• Hyperawareness and an acute sense of time passing them by.
• An enhanced and hypersensitive awareness.
• A constant feeling that you have to justify everything you say and do.
• A constant need to prove yourself, even when surrounded by good, positive people.
• An unusually strong sense of vulnerability, victimization or a feeling of persecution!
• Occasional intrusive visualizations connected to an extreme anger.
• Feelings of worthlessness, rejection, a sense of being unwanted, unlikeable and unlovable.
• A feeling of being small, insignificant, and invisible.
• An overwhelming sense of betrayal, and a consequent inability and unwillingness to trust anyone, even those closest to you.
• Depression with occasional sudden bursts of energy accompanied by a feeling of “I’m better!”, only to be followed by a full resurgence of the symptoms a day or two later.
• Excessive guilt about your situation and why you can’t overcome this.

A couple other facts about trauma: Intellectually, you lose from 50 to 90 percent of brain capacity, which is why you should never make a decision and why you feel so lost and empty when you are “in the trauma zone.” Emotionally you don’t feel anything and your spirit is disconnected. Physically all your systems shut down and you run on basics. When your system starts to recover and you can handle a bit more stimulation and energy, THEN real thoughts emerge that will guide you back to reality and help you process the information and start on your road to recovery!

Trauma can be caused by a wide variety of events, but there are common denominators. There is frequently a violation of the person’s familiar ideas (belief system) about the real world and of their human rights, putting the person in a state of extreme confusion and insecurity. Recovering from a traumatic experience requires that the painful emotions be thoroughly processed. Trauma feelings cannot be repressed or forgotten and should be treated immediately or as soon as there is a realization that you are caught up in the trauma. If they are not dealt with either directly or at any other point in your recovery, the distressing feelings and troubling events replay over and over again in the course of a lifetime, creating this condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Every bad moment in your life will connect you with those negative messages that the Narcissist manipulated you into believing and you will feel those old feelings of worthlessness. You will always feel like you are not good enough. Events do not always define you especially negative ones, but sometimes we define ourselves through these events especially after this type of traumatizing abuse. The Narcissist taught us to blame ourselves and if that message is still cycling in our heads from this abuse we will let it define us forever. Whatever inner resources people need to mobilize to achieve recovery, they still should not try to accomplish this task alone. Depression and trauma are ‘disconnective disorders’ and they do not improve in isolation. To fix them you have to be connected to others and accept that there is goodness and real love out there.

Today I can clearly see that early intervention is so vital. Trauma is real and debilitating in situations like this abuse that is born from a hideous betrayal of a person’s spirit and belief system. It can shut you down completely and keep you locked up in isolation because your replaced belief system from the abuse doesn’t trust that there is goodness in life. Sometimes we don’t see this until many years after the fact. This is not recovery, this is living in fear because of a traumatic event and this is what this abuse does and what the Narcissist wants. A Narcissist cannot live or survive on their own, they need us (people) to feel alive and be alive, but they are predator that feed off of people. We don’t need people to survive, we want to enjoy people, like them, and even love them. There should be a sign around a Narcissist’s neck that says ‘danger, do not feed this animal because they will completely devour you!’ The Narcissist has stolen enough from you, so don’t allow them to take anything else from you, especially other people and love. What this Narcissist forced into your head can be desensitized and you CAN recover completely. It all starts with you and a journey away from what they are and what they have done. You deserve the love that you gave so freely and unconditionally. It is still there and with self-compassion you CAN and WILL give it back to yourself. No/minimal contact always!


Posted on April 14, 2015, in Narcissism. Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. i am grateful for you help im a catholic and believe in forgiveness but he just grabbbed me and started again now im worried for my children how do i help them


  2. This hit it right on the nail. I felt as if you were talking to me.
    No contact I can MOST definitely do but what happens when you have joint custody with a monster and have to have contact because of the children?


  3. Probably one of the best articles I’ve read on this topic. Thank you.


  4. Is there a specific type of therapy the helps the most and the fastest?!?! I don’t care how intense it is.


  5. I feel all these things. Where can I go for help


  6. Greg , how about 18yrs of marriage and he has custody of all but only 2 of 3 stay with him. I feel like it will never end. I don’t have the money n resources he has. Totally alienated from my girls and he does his other daughter the same way, she hasn’t seen her sisters since she came to live here. Only because I busted him out for abusing her adderall for 6 mos. he wouldn’t admit it n even went so low as blame me. I didn’t even know who her dr was untill I found out he’s been filling it n she didn’t know she was getting it. My littler ones have same meds n dfcs says their gona preserve the family. That don’t include me. Now he is going after me for child support that I was told would never have to b payed cause I never worked.
    Yup he found out my new husband will b I titled to taxes for oldest and he pressed charges on me.
    Now I go to court on Dec3rd to tell the judge I refuse to pay my abuser and I would like for this to be givin back to superior for modifications
    Idk how they got any numbers for me to go by for pay? I never worked.
    450+100 for rears
    I was working till he latched on
    He would of wound up getting 85 % of take home well
    I thought about it and decided with my husbands support and Liz that I no longer be a victim of HIM anymore. Liz even got a part time so Hubby don’t have to pay for all her stuff. She gets no help from dad.
    I need a lawyer most likely I’ll b in jail on the 3rd
    Then who will protect my Liz from him. Who will fight n bring awareness to my case and daily write emails to state reps n lawyers judges n even the mayor.
    So now how do I walk away n never look back when my girls are his new weapon and are being captive
    Please inbox me ASAP
    Floyd Co Ga


  7. i don’t really know what to say. i have tried for so long to fix it myself, and i always come back to the thought that i can’t be fixed. the only time i have ever felt real love was when it was completely platonic, and sometimes, i don’t even know if i can trust that. i grew up in a family of narcissists. for the longest time, i was convinced i was crazy, and in relationships, i was attracted to narcissistic men, and i allowed narcissistic people to attach themselves to me as friends. i’ve had to walk away from my life and start over a few times, and i’ve kept very few people from my old lives in contact. i’ve tried to get therapy, but haven’t been able to connect to the one therapist i was able to find/afford. now, i don’t try anymore. i don’t feel like i can connect to anyone at all, but the people who know me say that i am such a nice person to be around. i’m almost 50, i was too terrified to have kids in case i turned out to be like my family, i can’t really commit to anything – jobs, friendships, even the thought of buying a house or learning to drive feels like too much commitment. i have an arms-length relationship with my parents now, but i have not had any contact with my brother since 1996, and have told both of my parents i will cut off contact with them if they try to make me see him or be involved with him. i’m estranged from most of my extended family, because i have no idea how to interact with most of them beyond superficiality either. i can talk about the abuse, and have often, but only like it was some bizarre story. but i don’t know how to make it better. because i can’t really trust anyone. so how do i fix me?


  8. Reblogged this on Diary of a Disenchanted Diva and commented:
    This. All of this! Coupled with post-EMCS sepsis and near death experience. Takes time to recover. I’m not all the way there yet, still in survival mode.


  9. I realized I was in one of these lopsided relationships this year when we had another trauma happen. My daughter, his stepdaughter, was sexually assaulted. The man has been arrested but the emotional fallout is ongoing. I began having panic and anxiety attacks. My eyes were opened when one night he punched a hole in the wall while I was in the midst of an attack. Because I was “driving him crazy”. So he was basically telling me to keep my problems to myself, I couldn’t go to him, my spouse, for support during this most traumatic time in our lives.
    I am constantly blamed for everything – we would never fight if I wasn’t this or that. Etc. I feel lost and hopeless at this point, devoid of emotions. I’m the kind of person who tries to understand others, so I’ve tried to support him in his struggles, but I feel like I’m carrying the relationship at this point. And I can’t do it anymore. I don’t know what to do anymore.


  10. I’m doing ok right now. Started No Contact 2 months ago, off my own back. Did dump my Narc last year but went back to him to get closure. I was actually begging him to tell me what i’d done wrong because i needed to protect myself in any future relationships from feeling so bad…not realising i had trauma, and the trauma could happen months later and that he’d caused it. I’m so grateful i found your group on facebook, and so grateful for all the stuff you’ve posted because i understand so much more now. I’m finding it really easy to let go of someone who was never real.


  11. Its 6 a.m.. I woke up to your insightful writings. I’m in tears or wiping them dry. All of what you say is so true. I read your words and there i am . it is my truth. Truth is all i have had that has kept me going in the midst of ba lifetime of lies. I am the product of a narcissistic sociopathic mother…. Father … Spouses etc. At 56 after the trauma of losing my 19 year old son to a car accident. I was left alone by all and told i should be over it. I am so broken and fighting to pick myself up. I am better as i had lost my voice and just let everyone spin me like a top.v why not i had suffered the worst pain any mother could. I was drowning and no one would throw me a rope. They all preferred me to throw them mine and i did.
    So your writing s are and have been what is guiding me back.
    At least i can cry today. My ex narc after luring me back emotionally is getting married in December.
    I just left a homeless shelter living in a clean and sober house fighting my way back.
    You know even the groups i attend co dependency and domestic violence will not get to the heart of recovery. Which is narcissistic abuse. This includes a ptsd group. Why because when i give them the info ib think they seeb themselves. What a pickle that is
    Anyway thank you for the life raft. God Bless you
    By the way…. I have worked my entire Life. I am intelligent… And look where this has taken me.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I would absolutely go no contact if we didn’t share a credit card wit a 7k balance that will take two more years to pay off…and he promised, when we took it out, to make the payments. It’s was for his dental work, and his credit was bad. I was hesitant at the time and felt cornered into it. I left him and he was onto his now fiancée within days; he also has an ex wife and child support. Between that and a lavish showy wedding to pay for, guess where my financial obligation ranks? As he’s made the payments later and later, I’ve had to ask when they’re going to be made, which gives him all the control; I’m sure he relishes my fear that I’ll be left with this debt I can’t afford. His last email ended with him calling me a cheating whore; I’ve actually considered adding the 7k to my own individual debt despite the bankruptcy-level hit to my finances just to get him out of my life for good.


  13. I finally found a way to cut off my narcissistic abuser. Like…today. A few hours ago.
    It was only three weeks ago that my best friend actually met him while I was visiting his home for the first time and if she hadn’t…I probably wouldn’t be here. I’d still be his puppet, thinking things were wrong with me, in an endless cycle of apologies and trying to make up for things I’d done wrong that I couldn’t figure out. He instantly hated her and it brought out a side of him he couldn’t hide. He became more and more distant, started closing himself of, and making me feel like I’d done something wrong. He called her stupid and invasive and a few other choice names, and made me feel horribly about my choice in friend. But…I love her and she’s a wonderful person who has been extremely generous and stuck up for me when I had no one, and I have no question that her presence in my life is a good one. He continued to beat me up emotionally about everything I did. He even found a way to make me leaving for 45 minutes to get groceries to surprise him with homemade cinnamon roll pancakes bad (“Where did you go? You were gone forever. How could you not tell me? What’s your agenda?”) Given that I’d driven 660 miles to his town, his suspicions were ridiculous. It was my first time there. I had to google the grocery store.
    All of the other visits had been at my house. Which was far away, and I would never have invited friends to take away from his time. I realize now he wouldn’t have let me. He’d been using me for three years and until this visit, I had no idea things weren’t right.
    The visit went downhill and never recovered. He made up a lie about getting called in to work and kicked me out to find somewhere to stay a night early. He didn’t think twice about it. I caught him in his lie, which made him even more angry. He blamed me, stated that he needed space to think about what I’d done to him, and how I’d made him feel. He then ended contact for three weeks. I sent pathetic letters apologizing, asking for forgiveness, wondering what I’d done to deserve three weeks of torture. My best friend and her husband kept saying that it was abusive behavior and that what he was making me do wasn’t OK, but I defended him. Until someone suggested I google narcissism. Over the past few weeks, I realized that’s exactly what this “relationship” was.
    Friday, I finally said that I was finished and I had to sever ties and stop waiting for him to come back. I finally got a response. The first in three weeks. He responded with how badly I hurt him, and how the whole visit went terribly wrong and he couldn’t wrap his head around it, commented again on my “crazy” friend, that I was the only person who made his head hurt, how sad and pained he was, that he couldn’t “do this” anymore. So instead of apologizing like I usually would, told him that I would stop hurting him and that I was obviously making him unhappy. I told him he should let go of what was hurting him, that he should stop re-reading my letters since they were causing him so much pain, burn them, and go out with his friends to talk about me and feel better. “Wow, harsh.” was his response. Then “I could never destroy anything from you, ever.” I still went ahead and unfriended him, changed all my passwords, cut him off from my netflix account (which he’d been using for free for a couple years because…I thought it was a kind thing to do), etc. He realized it and went off: “You are the most consistently inconsistent person I’ve ever met. You profess undying ability to be there and be a support and you start telling me off when I start to speak. I start to open up and you defriend me and tell me to burn things. Makes perfect sense, right? Delete me from everything I’m on. Facebook, netflix, my number. Whatever it is you need that’s the antitheses of anything you’ve ever said….feel free. Carte blanche, like always.” Thankfully, I’d spoken to a therapist and done my research and was prepared. My best friend is still here, making sure I hear what’s really there. I finally stood up for myself. I told him that I would not take his abuse any more, that blaming everything on me was not fair or warranted, and that if he chose to engage in constructive and assertive communication we could continue. But if not, I wasn’t interested nor would I shoulder any more blame. I told him I was concerned about him, and that the anger and lack of empathy or emotional intimacy was concerning, that three weeks of utter silence was not a normal way to punish someone you “love”, and that I worried if he didn’t seek help he would never be happy in the future. I told him I myself was getting help for faults I’ve noticed and need assistance with. I said I was telling him this out of love and that I would always be here if he wanted me to be, but not in the capacity of door mat any longer. I said the volcano of anger that he was holding in was clearly making him suffer and that if he seemed to be bordering on a serious issue. Then sent a link to a narcissist/silent treatment page.
    That did it. Thank God. I was hoping it would. I came back to a small hissy fit of messages: “Nope. Thanks. I think.” “I’m done. That diatribe sealed it.” “Best of luck?” “Thanks, for nothing.” I expected it. I was waiting for him to reject anything I had to say, and was told that would be how it went. He did exactly what everything says he would. I blocked him. If he said anything else, I’ll never know unless he uses my phone number. I need to change that, too.
    I’m still a bit fearful of revenge, but thankfully I do live 660 miles away. I have a lot of healing to do and a lot of voices to silence. I guess three years of this will do that. I never thought I was susceptible to abuse. I feel weird saying I was abused. A big part of me wants to go apologize and throw myself at his feet. How the hell did I become THAT person? I’m very, very confused. But at least now I can move on and get better.


    • I feel like I just read my life – waking up from a very bad dream/ nightmare. Still trying to connect the dots knowing better , feelings in my gut but ignoring them! Experiencing the unthinkable & denying it could be that – but clearly it is/ now to end it , to recover – I don’t know where to begin.


    • This sounds EXACTLY like my last 3 years. I have no idea how to get away safely


  14. PTSD The feeling tired, confused, fearful and depressed, then having good days thinking it is better. NC for 2 months 2 weeks.
    Today I wanted to contact mother because I am facing surgery tomorrow. I want a mother, that i will never have. I know she would use my illness as a way to hurt me. “I’m being punished for treating her so bad” If I am getting attention because of surgery……she would be furious! (I saw this in the past when her husband was concerned about me at the emergency room.)
    Any way, NC is the best way for me to heal.
    When I am outside, sometimes I feel afraid, that her or someone she knows will see me outside my new place. (NM does not know where I am living. If she does, she has not harassed me yet, or mailed me anything)

    Thanks for posting this! I will reread it often🙂


  15. To sum it up they are, either they be male or female , SUPER ASSHOLES, usually with an amplitude that qualifies them as mentally disordered, i.e, Nuts. They can’t begin to understand themselves, even though they know something is off with them, and they usually have addiction to drugs or alcohol that is blamed for excessive behaviors.
    You get the idea. Stay away from the cacti.


  16. I have been through a three year ordeal post the break up of my marriage. My x was an abisive man in every sense of he word and a complete narcissist. Having affairs flirting with women in front of me and my children. It was a total nightmare. I was told by my doctor that I was ” in the Stockholm syndrome”. A syndrome of abuse that I could not get out of. The I love u, got me every time. Finally I got the strength to leave when he starting physically abusing my children. I know I am suffering from PTSD. I can’t seem to break out of the cycle of panic, depression , self deprecation. It’s getting easier over time but it is so damaging. I hope that women In this situation read this and get out of toxic relationships sooner then later. It has taken a terrible toll on me being in a relationship with a complete narcissist for 23 years. I wish this blog would have existed when I was 19. Even as a physician I couldn’t see reality couldn’t face. reality. I allowed someone to destroy my ego then try to destroy me emotionally, financially in everyway. It’s a long journey and a very hard one. Surround yourself with people you love ,avoid toxic friends and collegues. As when you have been bullied you are weak and a target for everyone.


  17. This is so close to the mark it has left me feeling emotional… I am in this place… its hard… really hard.


  18. Thank you so much for such a profound text! I really needed to hear the words about fear after abuse and not being able to connect to anybody after suffering the abuse. Let this be my next milestone to move on.


  1. Pingback: Narcissistic Abuse – Why Does It Take So Long to Heal? | Charlie

  2. Pingback: Narcissistic Abuse – Why Does It Take So Long to Heal? | Everyone Matters What's The Matter With You?

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