I have been debating writing this post. I wrote at the end of the year about wanting to move this blog towards a new place, away from this topic. But this topic still seems relevant and many of you read or reread the NPD posts so I thought I would provide a sort of “update” on this topic. I am at a very different place than when I first started blogging about this. But even with where I’m at now, I still struggle at times. There are still remnants; pieces that are misshapen and need tender care. There are moments of confusion and questioning myself.
I like to think because I’m healthy, have no contact with the narc and am in love and in a healthy relationship that I was all “healed” from the damage. But the truth is, being a victim of any abuse leaves you scared. Leaves you with moments of doubt and uncertainty.
When you have been a narcissists supply, you have been deceived in a hideous, insidious way. You essentially have your brain warped; mind f’d we call it. The wires have to (in some ways) be reprogrammed to think normally again. And I’m not sure how long that takes.
So I thought I would write what this recovering looks like to me. I am not any authority on abuse or know what you need if in this situation, so please seek help if you are in danger. But I do know what I’ve studied and gone through after experiencing narcissistic abuse. What I’ve done to get healthy and perhaps some of these things can help you as well.
My steps of recovery:
1. Recognizing what abuse is. Reading and studying about narcissistic abuse. The more I learned the more power I developed to fight my mind when it wanted to believe the opposite. When I wanted to think there was actual love there, I had to unlearn the things he made me believe were love.
2. Listening to the voice that says this isn’t right. That gut instinct. The isolation from family and friends, how you’re spoken to, the hot/cold moods, the insistence to please and the forceful ways in which you are made to do so. None of that was okay. And you’re gut almost always knows this. I’ve learned to listen to it now.
3. Absolute zero contact. I read over and over how vital this is to healing and would agree. I blocked, deleted and made sure to avoid any places where any contact would be likely. I’m lucky I was able to follow through. The narc didn’t respect those boundaries all the time, but what matters is that I follow that. Often as the victim we don’t know how to sever the tie and because our brain has been messed up, we become addicted to the abuser. Zero contact was the hardest but most effective action for healing.
4. Journaling and writing about it all helped me feel less alone. Helped me understand more of this type of abuser and gave me a voice I didn’t have in any other way. And writing is a fabulous outlet to help process all the emotions you’re not sure how to handle. Sometimes just getting them out even if to just tear it up helps release those feelings that you have no where else to put them.
5. I focused on my health and creating a life I loved. I didn’t stay focused on the losses. Or the abuse. I would give it thought, write about it and then move onto something else. I read all the time. Kept busy with friends and tried to stay busy. I became physically active to help in releasing all those happy endorphins; to keep myself positive.
Each of us has to do what we can to heal from abuse. Hopefully we choose to heal and move on in a healthy way. My process has worked for me. And yet I still have moments where I see more work to be done. The wounds are long scared over but they are still there. If you’re in the open wound or scabbed over stage, I recommend seeking help. Be part of a community that will support your healing. Take ideas from others. Read. Write. Healing from narcissistic abuse is a journey. But one you can recover from and move forward to build a beautiful life.