The journey to a healed life after narcissistic abuse is not a quick and easy one. Reminders of past conflicts continue to hurt and create new pain. It is common to lose contact with you own needs, desires and sense of self when you have survived purgatory. Recovery from relationship abuse is a lifelong commitment of dedication and hard work that is well worth the effort. You will find freedom, love and serenity if you keep showing up. It is inevitable that there will be times of sadness, tension or outright anger.
I believe there is a psychic enslavement of the person when a narcissist captures codependent supply. Breaking the chords of entrapment requires the body to detox itself of unhealthy hazardous emotional waste. The detox symptoms produce anxiety, restlessness, irritability, insomnia, headaches, poor concentration, depression, obsessions, and social isolation. Detoxing symptoms are similar to post-acute withdrawal from drugs. Among the signs of addiction are compulsion, obsession, and denial, craving, mood swings, and unpredictable behavior. As the relationship or addiction progresses control over thoughts and behavior are lost. Your life is no longer under your control and the losses became increasingly profound. Like alcoholism or drug use, withdrawal from the narcissistic relationship shares many of the same benchmarks, as does the process of relapse. In the beginning, your emotions will change minute to minute and hour to hour. As you continue to heal the good stretches will get longer and longer. Detoxing the loss is necessary but not a steady progress; rather it will be two steps forward and one step back. You are likely to experience periods of emotional instability. Grieving is important and so is knowing what it is you are grieving for. I recommend that you list your losses on paper as a preventive measure against relapse. Crying in front of other people as you process your grief is understandable. Grief isn’t always predictable, not always controllable. Cutting off all contact with your abuser is necessary for your own mental health and the only way you will guarantee not going back. If you have children a mediator or attorney will need to communicate for you.
Many partners hang on for years hoping the narcissist will own up to what they have done and admit to their cruelty. The withheld admission of wrong doing becomes “unfinished business.” The lack of closure when you leave can contribute to obsessive thoughts about getting revenge. The spiritual challenge becomes one of letting go of the desire for retribution. Hurtful behavior is in the past; remember your freedom involves giving up the urge to punish. You need to accept that the narcissist is incapable of caring about your feelings or loving you. Narcissistic entitlement is a self-serving, one-way street attitude that creates bitterness and resentment in the abuser who feels entitled and in the people around them who don’t like being treated that way. If you don’t accept “what is” the narcissist gets to continue to destroy your life. You become a volunteer martyr when you refuse to heal and give up a victim mentality.
Treatment for the survivors includes education, individual therapy, changing unhealthy behavior, and courageous exploration through which you rediscover yourself and identify self-defeating patterns. You pull through the dark night of the soul by creating a new life. If you don’t create a new life, the factors that brought you to your victimization will eventually be repeated. You can set goals and direction for your life and place value on yourself. You can love and encourage yourself. You stop the abuse by sitting on your hands and doing nothing when you feel the urge to contact your abuser. After a while you will develop confidence to change your life. Peace will become more important than chaos and drama. You will own your power and life will be manageable.
Thank you for reading my post. I’ve dedicated my personal and professional life to the importance of non-violence and self-compassion by teaching from my experience. As a result, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes put an end to relationship abuse. And, as I learn and grow, I teach self-compassion and give advice I use myself, in the hopes that it helps you to improve your own life.