“Unlike physical abuse where a single strike or blow often leaves marks or bruises and qualifies an act of domestic violence, narcissistic abuse is invisible. Narcissistic abuse is the sum of many unseen injuries. It’s an indiscernible assault on the spirit, identity, and the psyche of the victim. The impact is cumulative, and its full effect isn’t felt until the damage is extensive. Although bruises and broken bones heal much faster than a broken spirit, narcissistic abuse tends to go unnoticed because there aren’t any laws prohibiting mind games, browbeating, or name calling.” WNAAD
Entangling with a person who has NPD (or a likely combination of pathological disorders including sociopathy and psychopathy) can have a devastating effect on the quality of life for family members, friends, colleagues and intimate partners. Due to the stress of sustained psychological and emotional abuse, victims may develop a condition commonly known as Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome (NAS) or Narcissistic Victim Syndrome (NVS), which is a type of PTSD (basically a severe trauma disorder).
Symptoms include brain fog, pacing, confusion, anxiety, panic attacks, feeling trapped, insomnia, obsessive thoughts, exhaustion, depression, rapid heart rate, digestive issues, headaches, muscle aches and frequent or serious illness as a result of a depleted immune system. At its most extreme, victims of NPD abuse may develop suicidal thoughts or terminal disease.
…and even if they had, I might not have believed them…
Complex PTSD (C-PTSD) is common among people who have lived in high-stress circumstances like narcissistic and other abusive relationships. Some of the symptoms are:
- Difficulty in managing emotions – experiencing depression, difficulty controlling anger, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, anxiety
- Feelings of helplessness, shame, guilt, feeling detached from other humans, and/or feeling like everything is your fault.
- Feeling like you have no control over your life, the abuser has complete power over you, the abuser always “wins”, nothing will ever change
- Hopelessness about the future, feeling like people will never change, feeling like circumstances will never change.
- Repression of memories, flashbacks, or feeling dissociated from the experiences.
- Isolating yourself, not trusting other people.
The most difficult part of the abuse recovery journey will be forgiving yourself for ignoring red flags and putting up with the abuse.
Once you’ve set boundaries, an abuser will do everything in their power to hurt you and to destroy whatever is important to you.
Emotional reactions and absolute control are what abusers are after, so don’t show emotions or give them any information at all.
Do not seek support or validation from anyone who is not a member of the NPD abuse survivor community.
The only way out is to cut contact. Do not expect resolution or closure, as abusers are not interested in any of these things.
If what you have been trying to do to get well hasn’t been working, then you must open yourself to the possibility of another way.
Victims of narcissistic abuse tend to spend an extraordinary amount of time reading books and watching videos in an effort to wrap their heads around the twisted minds of psychological abusers. This is a crucial part of the healing process, as you will simply not be able to comprehend what is happening until you educate yourself thoroughly on the darker elements of human psychology.
The amount of time it takes for a victim to gain the understanding they need to achieve clarity will vary from person to person, but the process helps to validate that what they experienced was real and to confirm that they aren’t crazy.
THE HOLY GRAIL OF NARCISSISTIC ABUSE RECOVERY
“The separation from members of your family needn’t always be because they are narcissists. Sometimes a narcissistic ex-partner will be so persuasive and calculating that your own family will blame you for the breakdown of a relationship. It might even be the case that your ex and your family still have contact with each other, and that to remove one from your life, you must, reluctantly, say goodbye to the other too. Whatever the reasons are, cutting ties with members of your family will be a serious challenge.” A Conscious Rethink, The RollerCoaster Recovery from Narcissistic Abuse
A weekly dose of vitamin D from the sun is crucial for good health, relieves body pain and helps to increase energy levels.
Try to drink at least 64 fl oz daily (4 of the 16 fl. oz bottles). You should take the first 16 – 32 fl. oz directly upon wakeup.
A strict whole food, plant-based diet can help speed recovery; approach food with the mindset of an athlete.
Besides being the ultimate youth serum, making physical fitness a priority will make you look and feel your best.
If you need to take a sleep aid, do it; it’s especially crucial now that both body and mind get a solid nightly rest.
Inhaling fresh air in nature makes you happier, strengthens your immune system, gives you energy and results in a sharper mind.